kayakcafe
Kayaking , Paddling, with Stand Up Paddle Board lessons and just being on the water sharing adventures in Palm Coast
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05/23/11
Manatee Whisperer
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:15 am

Days are sweeping by quickly with the paddling season upon us.
 The manatees have been wonderful! 2 new local babies, and a new mom loaded with barnacles on her topside have kept us amused and amazed how fragile these  mermaids are…..
I will try to post pics here soon..but blogging is new for me.

There is a lone  juvenile manatee (Eleanor Rigby) that still comes and eats the grass from the bottom of docks here, and another turtle who seems to have picked up residency as well  at the Palm Coast Marina ….he has replaced Harry whose shell and carcass we found last fall….so sad. Prop killed him.

 Anyways, dolphins have been so abundant for paddlers, today especially, with the bait flowing in with the rising tide.

This morning-3 Manatees came into the kayak launch ramp to munch under our paddleboard dock!  To top t off, a small black snack- who also is totally misplaced- was tagging behind effortlessly…how cool is that!

Thats Mondays news clip…..need to go paddle boarding!

Yes, stand up paddle boarding is easy and so much fun! I have been playing aorund with them for over a year- no big deal to folks here…and now , everyone wants to try it!

 Sundays will be (SUP)paddle board demo time for those who want to try  and not sure they can!
 Call us!
386-445-0506 or check out www.kayakcafe.com for more info!

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05/14/11
Manatees,shrimp and dolphins in Palm Coast
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 2:35 pm

It takes a rainy day for us to have time off to blog….. The winds have been sweet from the ocean this month , carrying a salty flavor and cool breeze to caress the local  waterways and creeks. The sun not quite too hot yet, though drinking more water to hydrate  is on the menu this month. We are grateful on this side of the ICW ,we always we have a nice breeze on the waters edge to cool off with.

We have noticed a few more bait fish and shrimp popping about. Paddlers return….and once in a while a solitary dried fish waits to be placed back into its watery resting place where the crabs do their janitorial jobs…eating carcasses, keeping the bottom clean and tidy. Every creature has a purpose, and the crabs certainly are  a very important cleaner for the waterways bottoms. We salute the crabs this month….so many sizes, colors and personailties! The are wonderful caretakers of the banks, thousands of tini holes   along the waters edge , stoically guarding their homes and quickly scurring as soon as  a shadow catches them ahead of our kayaks…Blue, orange, white, grey, scarlet….so many colors to entertain us .

Manatees are active now as well. We have a new juvenile we named El (Eleanor Rigby as suggested by one of our facebook friends) .El has been seen all week at the marina basin, along the fuel dock and in the cansl. We guess she is the new born we had last year…she is baout 4 to 5 feet, slender and scarred already. Not as friendly as Molly, but accepting of people watching and taking photos.

A new shipment of stand up paddleboards came in yesterday, and of course I needed to test them out. I had my phones with me in the dry bag- but carelessly forgot my camera. 2 nice size manatees  , very slowly swam by the canal wall as I paddled  along side…my cell phone was not fast enough to snap a pic  each time they surfaced…I think they were more curious about me standing on top of a board looking all funny and strange to them while apparently moving on the waters surface….They stayed at least 6 feet to my side  , but we were in sync with eachother for a while…..
I love the paddle boards-great exercise and easier than most think.

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02/22/11
2/22/11
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:13 am
Sunny , clear blue skis and great wildlife this week…as well as the pollen droppiung on the ground locally.
It has been the best in weather and critter show all week! Our paddlers have been very
excited to see a family of river otters in St. Joe’s, manatees grazing along the waterway and in the canals (F Section & now C Section  ), and of course watching our very active dolphins  feeding. I am not familiar with Otters, and still have not seen any in Florida myself….our paddling guests bring back stories of their splashing about and being very entertaining.
I assume manatee mating season will start shortly, and then the real show begins. Use caution when taking photos as manatees will not move out of your way- they are too busy!:) and people need to move away from their path.
You need to give them space to court  and play. They can beach up to the shoreline as well, so do not approach.
Their splashing about will spout up mud, sand and water at times. Folks have called in saying they are fighting- no- just being romantic and a bit pushy to some of the cows during courtship……
Please call Florida wildlife  if you  see a distressed or injured mammal or abusive onlooker (boaters, swimmers etc.)
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02/19/11
Finally-great weather in Palm Coast
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:28 pm

Its been a few days since I last enterred a few thoughts.. My husband has been  pushing me to chat about our adventures, however  simple they might be. Maybe its what keeps our dreams alive, to have it bound on text-reminding us to edit our lives as we go forth with reflection of the blue print we leave behind or carve forward…its the same on the water.
 Every inch we touch, whether be land or sea….is an experience forward. It brings forth change.
We notice a shiny shell, pick it up,  view it,  discard it,  take it home, or skim it across the waters’ surface…we leave a trail. Our life is a path we lead or follow. The sea offers a respite to that path-whether we find the balance in sailing, motoring, paddling, swimming, painting, gazing or crossing a bridge  as we experience it. The water..
 
   Today was a perfect day on the water.  Sun, warmth, calm waters and a sense of adventure played out for  the perfect day.

Tomorrow will be even better.

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02/12/11
Sunny but still chilly
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:39 pm

Another weekend on its way-still chilly in the morning, but sunburned by the afternoon. Tonight a bitter 35 degrees once  again….outside most of the day chatting, setting folks out paddling and enjoying the sunshine:)
After dinner, we walked down the docks and noticed tini bait fish scurrying along the surface of the calm evening  waters(we wondered if it were raining!) …and a solitary Snowy White Egret with a sneaky  step by step stalk- like manner   hunting his  prey in the basin corner. He was  tucked cautiously under the edge of the dock without acknowledging  our presence, we stood silently  just inches above looking down  watching him skillfully   stalked his dinner..  Splash! Snap! Wiggle! There goes a small minnow… instantly  gulped down into the Egret’s slender white  throat was the feast so diligently caught.
What a perfect ending to a busy day.

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02/11/11
Still chilly and cloudy but….
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:35 am
Another day waiting for some sunshine in Palm Coast-its overcast and supposedly a high of 61 today…….Been on the docks scanning for critters. I was amazed to see an explosion of orange jelley fish - ranging from 2 inches to 8 inches so far in body length. Their tentacles quite long, drifting up to 10 inches with a fat thick underside sac dragging below.
I haven’t made an  idyet…might call a marine lab to see what they are. I have rarely seen Jellies in cold water before….and I mean dozens within a few feet in the basin. I will post a photo on www.kayakcafe.com
I imagine they are in vacation visiting sunny Florida!…..waiting for the sun to pop out. They are feeding on fry I am sure…more later when I can update the species.  Someone called in to ask me- Yes, I am wearing a turtleneck and jacket my friends:)
Lions Mane and CannonBall are the new visitors to our waters this week. This is the norm for their arrival this time of year-though not in the last few years….interesting…..
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02/10/11
February 2011 Kayak Cafe
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 1:00 pm
Its been an interesting last few months with cold fronts blasting throughout the states. Our Central Florida waters have chilled down quite abit-many of us preferring warmer weather to paddle by. Our manatees have left(even Molly )this year. This is a good think- better chance of survival if our winter months take a turn for a prolong freeze or icy conditions- not what Florida  promotes of course- but at least we aren’t shoveling snow…..

        Our Pelican population has been wonderful! They are a spectacular sight lining up the walls and shorelines huddling keeping warm. They summer ocean side-winter intracoastal side:)  Their is a small spoil  island  just 15 miles north of us that hosts a  large  pod of white Pelicans. They are awesome !

Pesky dolphins have been abundant- I say Pesky because they have a sweet charm about them sneaking up on folks…our paddlers-and myself- will be drifting watching them feed or play with mullets,  only to have the dolphins   disappear under the kayak and resurface gleefully to totally disguise their whereabouts!  Almost like a visual tag… you think they are right beside you- a whoosh! A heavy breadth of fishy hot air spills out as they surface opposite where you expect them to  pop up. Quite entertaining at that. Its when they actually throw a small fish at you that you realize these guys truly think about us as their entertainment! I am always in awe of their engaging skills-physically and mentally.
More on that later:)

The paddling for us since Christmas has been hit or miss, sometimes sunny warm days will invite us out, briefly for a few hours until the cold creeps into our bones…..I become quite grumpy after several cloudy days…at least I can take a few days off now and then due to inclement weather. Spring is around the corner and we willl be out straight kayaking, giving tours and playing on the water. We have a new paddling adventure for April- more on details later.

Anyways, I miss the time out on the water sharing the Florida wildlife- and keeping an eye on our habitats which are so fragile now. Another BP accident or intense developement will certainly curb our creatures quality of life. Our tradeoff isn’t that sweet anymore- keep building and growing without social responsibility for the future…..we need hydroponics, green machines and green thumbs to keep our planet thriving. We need ecology, clean waters and adequate  rookeries, hatcheries with less impact in the oceans, estuaries and watersheds. But we all know that-

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09/11/10
Molly the Manatee
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 5:22 pm

There has been one manatee that has been a resident of our canals for over 2 years now. We call her Molly, as it suits her jolly, friendly personality. We remind our paddling guests not to touch or encourage interaction among manatees or wild life in general.

Molly is like an old friend, she will swim by, check you out , glide under the kayak or follow you into St. Joe’s . She just is an old soul who is a  traveler with nothing but time ahead of her….
She tends to frequent the harbor as she munches away on the algae growth underneath boats or docks . The local diver, Rob, routinely cleans boat bottoms and she seems to hang out with him when he and his crew dives. She never has been seen with other manatees, which makes me wonder if she has lost her family at some point in the past…or is she shunned from the other 15 or so Palm Coast Manatees.
I will try to document our local sea cows, as we had a new birthing in “C” section 49 days ago. (Rob, witness the baby when she was around 2 days old-umbilical cord dangling still. We haven’t seen the youngster yet, but can’t wait!)
Molly is extremely friendly on occassion, and will seek out attention from our paddlers- which we warn is not to be encouraged, but to  enjoy at a distance.
Last winter was fairly brutal with such prolonged cold weather….Molly never left our backyards or canals to leave for warmer waters….she survived, and we were so relieved as 3 weeks went by in February, without our seeing or hearing about her. She is an amazing manatee.
Over 600 manatees died in Florida since January 2010.

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Enjoy the Paddle!
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 5:00 pm

Its been a long day on the water, hot, but blended with a sweet
breeze to enjoy the paddle .
I miss the daily afternoon showers to cool us off, but no complaints
here, as this is Florida at its best. Happy with whatever  rains or showers
come our way.
The canals have stirred up some boaters in the last 2 weekends, nice to
see them all out. The waterways have been busy with migration of boats
& yachts heading north or south as well. Always a story on the
water, and always an adventure around the bend. 
Kayaking is what I do, I am new to blogging, happy to share in the kayak experience….

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