Silver River Trip Report


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Gary Brady & Al Letch | VCKC
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2008


DATES: March 25 & 26, 2008

NUMBER OF PADDLERS:

3/25
Canoes - 22
Single Kayaks - 19
Tandem Kayaks - 1
PBOs - 22

3/26
Canoes - 22
Single Kayaks - 4
PBO's - 11

TRAVEL TIME: 50 minutes - 45 miles

TRIP LENGTH: 10 miles round trip - approximately 4 hours

BOAT RENTALS:

Florida Pack and Paddle for canoes. No concerns/complaints from paddlers. Bruce does have four (4) kayaks, but they are not in great condition. Wild Florida Adventures for kayaks. Several complaints regarding condition of equipment. Broken backs made it uncomfortable paddling for some. Brack also had an altercation with one of our paddlers and refused to provide him a boat (made out a check on the spot and gave it back to club member). I'm still not sure what the argument was over. Fortunately, we had a "no show" and Bruce had an extra kayak for our paddler. Also heard a comment that Brack was yelling at some people not paying strict attention to some of his instructions. Recommendation only to use Wild Florida Adventures as last resort.

WEATHER CONDITIONS:

Cold conditions at check-in, but both days turned out to be beautiful conditions once on the water.

THE RIVER/TERRAIN/SCENERY:

The Silver River was, as expected, one of the clubs most scenic paddles. An all natural setting with zero development along the entire run. Paddlers could easily envision what natural Florida was like many years ago. Once we were out of the canal the water became crystal clear for the entire 5 mile paddle up to Silver Springs. As we past over areas of sandy bottom you could easily identify the variety of fish below us. While it took some effort to paddle against the current for the first half of the trip; all but a few that had boat problems made it the distance and were rewarded by the abundance of beautiful scenery and wildlife.

WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:

The highlight of the trip for most was the presence of large groups or families of Rhesus monkeys. It wasn't difficult spotting these creatures, as there were literally dozens of them playing along the river banks and swimming in the shallows. We saw many babies of all sizes, pregnant moms, and some dominant males keeping careful eye on us. Other more common sightings included a variety of bird life (anhinga, ducks, egrets, herons, hawks, limpkins, pileated woodpeckers, kingfishers and less often spotted wild turkey and bard owl), gators, turtles, river otter, deer and 3 - 4 foot gar among the fish species. WOW, who needs a zoo!!

GROUP ENJOYMENT AND DIFFICULTY:

While not technically difficult, the up river paddle required a level of endurance not suitable for anyone who didn't participate in some form of physical exercise. Comments were all favorable and people really enjoyed the trip and perfect weather conditions. I know several members were ready to go back on their own.

WARNING:

One member did not head the signs at Ray Wayside and was ticketed for parking in a Boat Trailer Only spot.

LUNCH STOP/RESTAURANT:

We had lunch at Rythms (formerly Rondos) following the trip and had the usual good service, food and drink that we have come to expect. Large portions, reasonable prices, and friendly wait staff (just ask Jerry!).

ALL AND ALL ONE OF OUR BEST TRIPS TO DATE

SUBMITTED BY:

Gary Brady & Al Letch

Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008



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