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PART 3 - THE GULF Jan. 16th - Day 27-Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation

Updated: Jan 29

Around Florida by Kayak Map

The Gulf of Mexico at last! It could not have been a better day to start this new phase of the journey. Gentle west winds made the 19 mile crossing to Cedar Key seem easy, the sun was obscured by clouds and temperatures were mild all day.

As I paddled past the last island on the river mouth, however, I got a taste of what’s to come as I head down the west coast of Florida. My rudder began to scrape the sea floor, which continued even after I was over a mile from shore. The tide was receding, and I was concerned I might get stuck. I put my hand under the hull and estimated that the depth was about a palm deep but filled with rocks. I pointed the boat out to the horizon towards the deeper water, and for about 10 minutes I repeated a mantra out loud, “Please no oyster beds, please no oyster beds, please no oyster beds.” I escaped without issues but there will be a lot more of these shallows from now until St. Petersburg.

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I was approached by a pod of dolphins. They followed me for about 15 minutes, breaching the water almost close enough to touch. They must have been curious about this elongated fish with black a belly, huge golden dorsal fin and tiny flippers. I paddled hard to try and outrun them, but they easily kept pace with me, and eventually left me in the dust.

Cedar key is a more touristy version of Suwannee. The waterfront reminded me of St Marys; there are shops, restaurants and lots of people out on the street.

I’ve been a bit spoiled lately. Of the past 3 nights, I have slept in a bed on 2. Today is the third time in 4 days. A front is moving through and soon it will get cold and rainy. I may have to take a rest day to wait it out.

Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation

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