May 092021

Friday night the weatherman on the Channel 6 news out of Orlando said that yesterday (Saturday) was probably going to be our last good day in terms of temperature before summer hits us hard. Usually, from mid-to-late May until November, the temperatures here on the Central Coast of Florida are in or near the 90s, and the humidity is God awful.

I told Terry that I know she’s working hard to get the final proofing done on my new Tinder Street book, but this might be our last chance to get our kayaks in the water before it gets too hot, and I really needed to do that. So we did.

It was an excellent day, with the temperature at 76 degrees and just a slight breeze. We launched our Old Town Predator kayaks and paddled across the Indian River/Intercoastal Waterway and into Jones Creek, which winds its way through some mangrove hammocks and then empties into Mosquito Lagoon. It being a weekend, there were a few people camped on the little islands, and we exchanged waves as we passed by them.

There were a lot of fish jumping in the water, and at one point I saw a turtle about the size of a dinner plate swimming past. We had that part of the lagoon to ourselves, which was nice, but it was also low tide, and the last time we were out there in low tide my kayak got stuck. Tides are strange here; at high tide you can have several feet of water below you in some areas and at low tide mere inches. We paddled around out there for a while, dodging the sandbars in shallow areas, then we decided to go back out on the river and paddle along the edge of the mangroves where the water is a little deeper.

Terry said this smile on my face was worth taking a day off proofreading and editing. I don’t think I’m ever happier than when I am when out on the water with her.

There were quite a few boats going up and down the river, and most of them were observing the no-wake rule, which is in effect because of all the manatee we have here. But there’s always going to be a jackass or two speeding by and throwing up a big wake because the rules don’t apply to them. Even though our Old Towns are incredibly stable kayaks, I always try to turn my kayak toward the wake to meet it head-on rather than sideways.

After paddling around there for a while, we crossed back to our side of the river and then down the little canal that often holds 70 or more manatee in the winter. Most of them leave when it starts getting hot here, but there are some that seem to hang around most of the time, and we saw four of them in the canal.

Actually, we didn’t see any of them, we saw the flat circles on the water’s surface they make when their heads come up for air and then go back under. We never want to get too close to these gentle giants and disturb them. Sadly, due to a lack of the seagrass they eat caused by both industrial and residential runoff from yards, manatees are starving to death in horrible numbers. So far this year alone, many more manatees have been found dead in Florida as in all of 2020. That just breaks my heart.

There’s nothing like sitting in a canal off the Intracoastal Waterway surrounded by the bubbles of manatee farts. Of course manatees fart. You didn’t know that? Okay, maybe you did, but did you know that farting helps them maintain their buoyancy in the water? Don’t you learn some great things by reading my blog?

Eventually, we left the canal and paddled back toward our boat launch to call it a day. I’ve mentioned the 300-foot fishing pier in our little subdivision, and here’s a picture from the water. The boat launch is off to the right, and the building in the background is our activity center, which also includes one of the community’s two swimming pools.

We pulled the kayaks up onto a little sandy area next to the launch and headed for the activity center to make a pit stop before loading them back up on the trailer and going home. We spent about three hours on the water and loved every minute of it. I wish the weather would stay like this year-round. Then again, if it did I would probably never get any work done.

Today is your last chance to enter our  Free Drawing for an audiobook copy of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – When you’re a kid no one ever tells you how many times you’ll whisper “righty tighty, lefty loosey” to yourself as an adult.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Kayaks And Manatee Farts”

  1. I agree about the calming effect being on the water has.
    You’ve said many times ‘You can’t fix stupid”.

    Wishing Terry a Happy Mothers day.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

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