A wonderful paddle yesterday on the Silver River with two friends. For one them it was the maiden voyage of her new touring kayak, for the other an opportunity to try out her new paddle. Nothing new for me, but I enjoyed the scenery.
We met up at Silver Springs State Park, unloaded the yaks at the launch then drove 2 cars down to Ray Wayside and came back in one of them. $6 per person for admission and launch fee plus a $5 parking fee for the car we left at Ray Wayside. We were on the water and headed downstream by about 9:30.
My friend Melanie had purchased a lightly used Eddyline Denali this morning (the one she demoed last week – see the post from 06-23-17) so this was her maiden voyage. While owning several kayaks in her personal fleet, there was a hole in the touring department that the Denali will fill nicely for our 2- and 3-day trips. The Denali is made of thermoformed ABS plastic, 15 feet 3 inches long, 24.5 inches wide, has a moderate V-hull, and has a lot of storage space for camping gear. Melanie’s only worry was being able to get in and out easily, since she is used to a larger cockpit opening. But she managed without going over at the launch and on the water she seemed to really like the new boat. And I’m glad since I had recommended the boat to her! Also as part of the deal Melanie acquired a new all-carbon Werner Kalliste paddle. Going from fiberglass to carbon taking some getting used to since there is a slightly different feel, but by the end of the paddle she was really enjoying the lower swing weight.
And as another part of the same deal Melanie purchased a sparkly green Wind Swift paddle for our friend Erin who had been looking for a good paddle.
While the two of them were playing with their new toys I was looking for wildlife. Nothing unusual on this paddle, just the normal things seen on the Silver River minus the monkeys who did not put in an appearance on this trip. But I was able to get a couple of good shots of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea alba) stalking along the river bank.
And I was able to find several sets of Mamma Wood Ducks (Aix Sponsa) with their little ones.
As well as a little gator peeking at me from the weeds.
and a beautiful immature Little Blue Heron, almost into her adult slate-blue plumage.
A colorful display of Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) and Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
A still life with spring and cypress
And a couple of pics of us cruising down the beautiful Silver River