Cedar Key Trip Report

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Published Tuesday, January 10, 2006

All Twenty-seven club members who participated on this trip off Cedar Key commented what a great day this was. The weather finally cooperated and the paddle was one to remember.

We departed The Villages (Southern Trace Shopping Center) at around 730AM and because of a traffic delay for a bad accident; it took most 2-½ hrs to arrive at the Public Beach for our boat launch. Our return trip was exactly 1 ¾ hrs.

Brack, our outfitter of Wild Florida Adventures and Tom of Kayak Cedar Keys were ready for us with their great kayaks and we launched our yaks at 1030AM. Prior to our launch Brack went over safety concerns to include issues about the many oyster beds in this area of the Gulf and especially around the Key and he was right.

The Gulf was calm with little to no breeze and the sky was nicely overcast for the early part of the trip and temperatures rose from mid-60s to upper 70s with no humidity. The paddle from the beach to Atsena Otie Key was great. I stayed at the rear of the pack and enjoyed looking out at the mass of kayaks paddling the Gulf waters (pictures are on our club's website). I really can't say how long it took to paddle the mile and a half to the key but then, who cared! Some spotted dolphin but they (the dolphins) continued swimming away from us.

We beached at Atsena Otie and Brack gave us great information about this tiny island and explained the walking trail that lead to the small cemetery. To me, looking back from the Key to the town of Cedar Key looked like a greater distance than the view in reverse. We spent maybe 20 minutes on Atsena and walked to the grave sites (pictures included on our website) and chatted with Brack and Tom and got a wealth of information about the surrounding area.

Back on the water we paddled around Atsena and through a channel that cuts the key in half. On this leg of the trip we paddled single file, Brack and Tom advised of the many oyster beds some in very shallow waters. We passed within viewing distance of a large Bald Eagle nest as well as two Osprey nests. Paddling through an island is a great experience and gave us a great picture of past history.

We stopped once more one Atsena for a quick break as well as head-count before paddling to the Public Beach, which ended our 3-hour trip.

As planned, we met for a much-deserved lunch at Frog's Landing and I really recommend their Crab Bisque and Blackened Grouper Sandwich. This and a pint or two of Newcastle Ale, which is on tap, was a perfect conclusion of a great club trip.

Paddle Safely

Last update Friday, April 11, 2008

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