Deer Island: Day 47, Florida CT Paddle 3.31.18

Dear Reader,

This morning we got a late start leaving Suwannee, the town of canals and where everyone has waterfront property.

The ceiling fan in our motel room had done a crappy job of circulating air around our rain-drenched paddling clothes which we’d draped over the three chairs – one to go with each bed in the otherwise spare room. It’s uninspiring to crawl out from under warm covers when wet clothes await you and grey clouds are outside. Besides, the tide was too low. So we dawdled until the sun peeked through the clouds around noon.

We’d left our outer gear – spraydecks, tow belts, life jackets – and our food and water bags and paddles in the screened community shelter right by the river. They too were still soaking wet this morning from yesterday’s rain. It was great to have that space to spread them out in though, so we had a bit less moisture in our room than otherwise.

We gathered everything up, loaded Miss Pink and Baby Blue while at the top of the bank, then dropped them over the side, climbed down the bank ourselves, got into our boats and paddled away.

We paddled out the canal, into the Suwannee River and out through East Pass, the river’s eastern braid in the delta.

The swamp trees gave way to grasses. Both sprouted flowers I hadn’t seen in the days before.

And East Pass was teaming with fishermen, cormorants, osprey nests and ospreys. And apparently with enough fish for all.

Once out of the delta, we entered the gulf and had a 2.5 nautical mile crossing to Deer Island. Here the wind picked up somewhat, out of the east, and made us earn our keep. Seldom do we have a day paddling when we don’t feel some pain.

A short day of paddling at just 7 nm, but it was 3 pm and a good time to call it a day. Stopping here today will get us into Cedar Key early tomorrow to buy groceries and maybe do some laundry.

Covering the beach were the remains of horseshoe crabs as if this were a designated final resting space. And around the corner, hundreds of fiddler crabs moved as in armies pillaging the moist land.

In the sea, a dolphin surfaced and then a manatee lifted its snout, bared its back and a bit of its tail and then disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

This island is private and the owners that live on it came by on their ATV and said hi. Which was greatly appreciated by yours truly and John. They would’ve had every right to throw us off and they didn’t. Apparently they have a fondness for sea kayakers because we don’t trash beaches. They were quite nice.

The sun was on its way down, and without wind the no-see-ums appeared. I inhaled them in droves before we both dived into the tent.

Everything’s dry. It’s a blue moon. And it’s time for bed. Happy Easter and April Fools Day tomorrow- whichever you observe. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

We are alive.

We are healthy.

We are adventurers.

Goodnight!

Cheers, Susana

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