Weeki Wachee Trip Report


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Ted | VCKC
Published Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Date: 27 December 2005

Location: Weeki Wachee River

Number of Paddlers: 24 brave and hearty club members paddled this terrific spring fed river. With the exception of one privately owned kayak, 23 members rented mostly single and some tandem kayaks and perhaps a couple of canoes from the outfitter.

Travel Time From Publix Shopping Center: 70 miles or 1 1/4 hrs. We departed Southern Trace Shopping Center at a little after 8 and arrived at the Canoe Rental at 0930. Directions were good and no one that I know of got lost.

Trip Length: 6 1/2 miles or just over 2-1/2 hrs. Put in at Outfitter's at approx 0930 and arrived at Take-Out (Christian Campgrounds) at 12ish (some faster paddlers completed the trip in less time than I did).

Boat Rentals:

We've used Weeki Wachee Canoe Rental (WWCR) on past trips and they continue to impress us with the quality of their boats as well as their excellent service. The canoes are in good shape, have molded seats with supplied backrests. The single kayaks are molded plastic sit-on-tops and are very comfortable. Their tandem kayaks are Old Towne Otters, a good all purpose recreational kayak. At the end of the trip, one of their employees was at the Take-Out to assist in beaching the boats and the shuttle (10 passenger) van arrived within 10 minutes for the short drive back to our cars. The outfitter gives a 10% discount for group rentals of 10 or more boats - we qualified for this savings.

Air Temperature and Weather Conditions:

It was a beautiful late December day and a perfect day to be on the water. The air temperature at the time of Put-In was just at 60 and rose to upper 60s for the majority of the trip. The sky was clear with no clouds (that I noticed), with very low humidity. One club member commented that he had to remind himself that it was late December. It just always seems that we have perfect weather for this annual trip.

The River and Terrain:

This is a truly beautiful river and still relatively free of riverside homes, but that will change with time - some of us noticed a sign advertising lots for sale at $375,000 each. The clarity and scenic beauty of the river hits you as soon as you launch your boat. The Weeki Wachee is not overly wide nor deep expect around the various boils you paddle over. It seemed that for most of the trip, we glided with the current over inches of perfectly clear water and past long stretches of Florida wilderness. The current made for an effortless trip and the downfalls we experienced on our last trip (October 2004) were cleared away, so it was possible to just glide with the current and sit back and enjoy the passing scenery. All members seemed to enjoy the Weeki Wachee and some commented that this was their favorite river.

Wildlife Sightings:

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was floating over and looking at a small pod of manatees that included a baby in perhaps 3 feet of crystal clear water. It's amazing how effective their natural colors and shapes camouflage them so effectively. My Son was right on top of them without noticing them until I pointed them out to him. We saw this pod of three
then another very large one just a little further on, some paddlers said they saw a fifth. Some also said they spotted a small and probably immature alligator. The bird life was evident and we passed by pelicans in trees and other beautiful birds (sorry, I'm not a birder, therefore, can't be more specific.

Group Enjoyment and Difficulty Rating:

There were many new club members on this trip and I overheard comments of how great this trip was and how much they enjoyed it. How could you not! I would continue to recommend this trip to those with basic paddling skills - what a great introduction to Florida Rivers and our club goal to offer rewarding trips to its members. This is certainly an outfitter and trip to remember for when you have visitors who are looking for a place to explore during their stay.

After Trip Lunch:

All met afterwards at Bayport Inn for lunch, laughs and a few quaffed a PBR or two. My grouper sandwich was good but missed the jalapeno peppers as a topping.


Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008



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