Thursday, February 22, 2024

Kayaking Cedar Key

Preparing to kayak to Cedar Key
We woke at 6 am and did our language lessons before going down to take the dogs on a 40 minute walk through the neighborhood. When we got back to the house, we had a breakfast of oatmeal and bagels. Mark & I loaded the kayaks and gear on the pickup, and we left for Cedar Key a little before 9 am. The drive to Cedar Key was about 90 minutes, but we made a quick stop at Gulf to Lake Marine so Mark could pay for the new boat.

As we drove into the town of Cedar Key, it was apparent that the area had been hit hard by last August’s Hurricane Idalia. Several buildings had lines indicating the high-water mark. It appeared that most homes and businesses had made a quick recovery, and the town was ready to greet visitors.

Taking a break on Cedar Key

We were able to park right at the beach and unloaded the kayaks quickly a little before 11 am. We paddled the half mile over to Cedar Key in the shallow water. While paddling around the island, we watched an osprey diving for fish near our boats. The bird didn’t have any success while we were watching but seeing the beautiful bird in action was a treat. We paddled to the back side of the island, sometimes against strong currents watching the different birds and even a raccoon on the beach. We floated through a canal that cut through the island and came out near where we started. We ate some snacks on the beach and chatted with a couple visiting from Minnesota. 

 Ruins of the Eberhard Faber pencil factory

While walking around and saw some structures on the other side of the island, so we started paddling around the island in the opposite direction. We stopped near the destroyed dock by the ruins of the Eberhard Faber factory, which made the wooden slabs for pencils in the 1860s. There were some bricks scattered as well as a few iron parts. We walked about a quarter of a mile into the island’s interior where we saw a cemetery with graves from the late 1800s and the first decade of the 20th century. We returned to the kayaks and paddled from the island to the area where parked. We loaded the kayaks quickly and started driving back south toward Homosassa.

The lunch choice was at Robinson’s Seafood Restaurant. I felt bad because I tracked a lot of sand into the restaurant on my water shoes.  I had tried to get the sand off before I came in but still made a mess.  Cindy and I had the platter which included grouper, shrimp, oysters and a crab cake. I had fries as my side while Cindy had chowder. Mark had the shrimp dinner and Mary had grouper. Only Mark was able to finish his meal, so we brought grouper filets back for leftovers. 

Sunset from Standish Drive

We were back at the house by 5 pm and took the dogs on a short walk before walking across the road to watch the sunset.

We made popcorn while we watched an episode of Astrid and an episode of Vienna Blood on PBS after doing our evening language lessons.

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