That's right, my new toy is a pair of feet.
Well, no, it's actually the green sit on top fishing kayak the feet are resting in.
This year when the family asked, "What do you want for Christmas?", I told them a gift card to the kayak store would be nice.
I had picked out a kayak I liked and planned to get it later in 2009 after I had stashed away a few bills. I didn't mind waiting for my gratifikayakication and any little gift cards would just help me work up to my goal.
So, my wife and kids gave me cards, my brother and my parents too and I was still very happy to slowly save the rest and get the kayak in March or April.
But then they went on sale at the store, plus a 10% off coupon came in the mail at the same time and Mrs. FC couldn't stand it.
"You work hard, go get your toy. It's just going to cost you more money if you miss this super sale deal."
Alas ... I succumbed to instant gratifikayakication and now I am a kayaker months ahead of schedule.
Just trying to stimulate the economy ...
So, yesterday I drove up to Fishbone Creek in Dixie County and kayaked for the first time. I've been canoeing for about a bazillion years and the transition to kayaking is pretty intuitive with that paddle time behind me.
The boat handled nicely and is just the kind of stable platform I want for photos and fishing. I launched at the muddy ramp at Fishbone Creek and went upstream with a following tide. Going with the current allowed me to stop and drift up to birds along the sandbars and shoreline. The quiet drift is on a little video I shot, but that will come later on a faster connection.
The nice thing about the kayak is the birds seem to ignore you more than they do in a canoe. They just did not seem concerned about me and mostly went about their business.
Okay birdies ... I'm thinking we have a Willit and perhaps a Greater Yellowlegs in the photo above?
Chime in Avianoholics... you know you want to.
I can't find my bird book since the remodeling shuffle of stuff to hither and yon, so corrections and verifications are appreciated.
Obviously a plover. I'm going with killdeer, but await your annointment or chastisement.
The water was full of mullet and schools of redfish too. I didn't bring a rod this time, but the reds, the kayak, and me have a date in the future.
This is an area of clean water and not far from a major clamfarming lease area, so I imagine any oysters in here are probably safe for gathering. I did not gather any, since it wasn't this day's plan ... plus, you really want to check the map of approved shellfish gathering areas before you go slurping any bivalvia buddies down.
I plan to do just that though.
This pic is closely cropped as the rascal almost flew out of the picture. I like the way the spray droplets give a sense of motion.
As I said earlier, I went upstream on a rising tide for photo purposes, but I also wanted to see how the kayak felt paddling against a current ... remember this was a shakedown cruise. I got my wish as the tide and the wind both picked up briskly to challenge me on the way back.
It wasn't bad at all though. The kayak handles well for a short boat.
It was a day dominated by blue. Today promises to be the same ... if I can sneak away again. I left the kayak on the trailer just in case.
Maybe freshwater today ...?
I think he's maxxed out his wading limit.
Questions you might have:
- Where the heck is this place, FC? I'm not telling you ... you might move here... Just kidding, this is part of the Lower Suwannee River NWR. Google it and look for Fishbone Creek on their maps.
- What kind of facilities are present? Bushes and trees mostly ... and a small observation tower and mud launching ramp at Fishbone Creek.
- What about this Dixie Mainline Road thing? What are you ... psychic? I haven't mentioned that yet ... it's tomorrow's post. Weird...
- What did you have for lunch on this trip? Water (not bottled!), a protein bar and about 3 satsumas.
- Is there cell phone service in the area? Not that I could tell and I have Alltel which has the best rural reception around the nature coast. You will be on your own for a change. My family had no idea where I was as I was going to call when I found a place to explore ... too late I discovered there was no service. I went anyway of course, but I don't recommend a no float plan policy.
- What kind of kayak is that? She's a Pelican Castaway 11-6. Go here for all the details. Note: I did not get mine from that store.
- Expensive? Are you kidding? I'm a teacher. I got mine from a local Sports Authority store. It usually lists for $499, but during the holidays was marked down to $449, plus there was an additional 10% off deal, which dropped it to the $400 zone. You can spend a heck of a lot more on sit on top fishing kayaks, but this one seemed to be the right boat at the right price.
Tomorrow, it's either Payne's Prairie roadside gators or the Dixie Mainline Trail ...or some Bear antic that hasn't even occurred yet.
Have a safe New Year's Eve. I will be spending mine cheering on my boy at the final night of a three night basketball tournament.
That should keep me out of trouble.