Monday, April 13, 2009

"The Family That Kayaks Together..."

It was a great way to end Spring Break 2009. My husband, our two children and I, packed up the truck and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter weekend. We arrived just in time for lunch. Grandpa made delicious ham & cheese quesadillas. After lunch we packed up the trucks with three personal kayaks, three borrowed kayaks and one small canoe, also borrowed.

Our first day of kayaking was at Bishop's Harbor. The weather was perfect with bright sun and about 80 degrees. It was easy to launch the kayaks and canoe because the water was shallow and the bottom of the harbor was sandy. That sandy bottom sure made it easy on our bare feet (we had forgotten to pack our water shoes) as we cast off. We kayaked for roughly three hours, enjoying the quiet and the sights of nature. When it came time to head home there was a bit of a breeze that made it more of a challenge getting back to our launch site.

We kayaked at Robinson Preserve on day two. Again perfect weather and launch site. While kayaking in the peaceful preserve we spotted a set of nesting bald eagles. They were such a stunning sight. Their brilliant white heads were very visible from our seated positions on the water. I also saw many fish swim beneath my kayak. One of those fish was a pretty black and white stripped Sergeant-Major.

We kayaked for about four hours around the mangroves and under wooden bridges as we made our way to the open water of Tampa Bay. We did not venture far into the bay because of the strong currents there. While in the bay we were able to get a nice view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On our way to the bay a couple of preserve employees were working on a fallen mangrove that was partially blocking the waterway. My husband and his father gave them a hand in the sawing and tying off of the debris.

Robinson Preserve has an observation tower. I climbed the tower and when I got up to the top, was rewarded with a spectacular view. You can just see the Sunshine Skyway bridge in the distance. The two days of kayaking, visiting with Grandma, Grandpa and A.B., were excellent ways to wrap up Spring Break 2009.

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