Beyond BOW – Intro to Kayaking – Weeki Wachee Paddle

Beyond BOW –  Intro to Kayaking –  Weeki Wachee Paddle

June 5, 2010 Hosted by Good Time Kayaking and Not a Clue Adventures

We partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program to host a beginners paddle on the Weekie Wachee River.  Our group met at 8 am and we handed out gift bags that included information on programs in Florida, and information on local vendors that support our events. After everyone checked in Robin Hamm from good time kayaking introduced various kayaks to our group, reviewed paddling techniques and how to enter and exit kayaks.

Soon we were all on the river experiencing all the beauty around us. We were a very diverse group from many different age groups and backgrounds. We all had one thing in common, our love of the outdoors!

We were all pleased with the crystal clear water and the wildlife all around us. We saw critters as soon as we hit the water a mother Wood Duck and her ducklings. Soon after we saw mallards, cooters/ turtles, and even a raccoon on shore.  About a mile upstream we stopped on a sandy beach and Robin gave us all emergency instruction on recovering from a flipped kayak in deeper water. This is a wonderful thing to know and everyone was grateful for that portion of the class.

The water was a perfect 72 degrees, crystal clear and flowing steadily to the gulf – which was where we were heading. The first few hours paddling the river was lined by beautiful lush forests on either side. We stopped many times to swim and snack and relax at beautiful, serene sandy beaches. We were able to admire schools of mullet and other fish swimming by and large eagle’s nests high in the trees.

As we paddled into a more residential portion on the river we were greeted by a beautiful manatee. So graceful just under the water, it passed us undisturbed. The wildest “wildlife” on the river was a group of 50 paddlers from Tampa Adventure Group (TAG). We spent most of the time trying to avoid this large group. There were many people on the river; one even was pulling a toy alligator. That sure turned some heads! They mostly gathered around the many jumps and rope swings that we just paddled past. To really enjoy this river come out on a weekday! It was nice to see an FWC officer on the river keeping all in-line and safe.

By 2 pm we were hungry and we tied up across from Rogers Park at the Upper Deck Restaurant.  They offer fantastic food at good prices and a view of the river to beat. I recommend the Blackened Smothered Chicken Sandwich! We had about 1 hour of paddling left after lunch that took us through beautiful brackish marshland, the wind was picking up and as we got closer to the gulf there was no longer a restriction on boat wakes so ride was bit more difficult. We saw yet another eagle’s nest and other shorebirds flying about.

As we approached the end of our journey we saw the American flag flying high in the wind at the point where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico. It was a beautiful site for sure.  As we paddled by the oyster beds and the tall marsh grasses I could not help but wonder if the oil from the BP spill will change this area forever. There is so much life right there in those marshes. There were many birds nesting and caring for young.

We plan on taking this trip again very soon. If you do not want to wait for us contact Good Time Kayaking directly at www.goodtimekayaking.com

Until next time…

Jeanene

 

 

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About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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3 Responses to Beyond BOW – Intro to Kayaking – Weeki Wachee Paddle

  1. Cora says:

    Sounds wonderful. I pray the oil spill will not reach it.

  2. Sandra says:

    What a magnificent area to visit. The water is so crystal clear. I hope it stays that way.

  3. Jeanene says:

    Don\’t worry girls this river flows from springs to the Gulf of Mexico. If anything will be hit it will be the marshlands along the last 2 miles of the river. We will be taking the same trip again on July 17th. I will keep you up to date!

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