Saturday, March 12, 2011

Paddling with Mermaids

What a couple of days - both for eating and paddling! The Geezers paddled both the Crystal River and the Homosassa River today. Yesterday, we moved camp from St. Joseph's Peninsula to Homosassa, with a lunch stop in St. Marks. We'll catch you up on our discoveries.

Mike and Andy in the Riverside Cafe, St. Marks
After packing up yesterday, we met our friend Andy Lundberg in St. Marks, not too far from his home base in Tallahassee. The Riverside Cafe turned out some great fish and shrimp sandwiches, and we just had to sample the Key Lime pie. The cafe is somewhat open-air, with Boat-tailed Grackles and a Yellow-rumped Wablers flying in to look for leftovers among the tables. We gave Andy back the kayak we'd borrowed, and he also took the one we bought in Mississippi, so we could trim down to just two boats. Many thanks, Andy!

Which of these birds is alive?
After lunch, we moved on to the old village of Homosassa, and what turns out to be a very nice spot at Camp'n'Water, right on the Homosassa River. Today, we paddled on the Crystal River and found lots of Manatee's. These gentle giants (mistaken for mermaids in the olden days by sailors who were away from home far too long) will swim right up to your kayak, and raise their heads to take a look. We saw several cows with calves. One calf came up under Mike's kayak, looking for a place to nurse.

Pining for the 'ole home bar
In our search for Manatees, we paddled by the Ale House, a moniker stolen from Geezer Mike's favorite pub in Troy, NY. I think I saw a homesick tear in his eye for a moment there. That is until we remembered that ice jams are threatening to flood parts of Troy. Here is FL, we paddled in bright sun and temps in the 70's (we'll take it).

A big Manatee comes up for air
An ice cream cone and a quick Whalen gave us new energy, and not having enough paddling for the day, we set out on the Homosassa just before sunset. Ospreys, Cormorants and Night-Herons kept us company as we paddled a loop down the river and back through canals in the village.

Dinner recommendations came from the Old Curmudgeon, friend Bill Whalen. Even though he had to be in Orlando and could not join us, he steered us right. Only a few minutes away was the Freezer, also known as the Cedar Key Seafood Company. Their old freezer room is now a bar and seafood spot. Draft Beers were $2, the clam chowder was good and the boiled shrimp were fantastic. Reader can check it out at

'Nite, all!

1 comment:

  1. I am soooooooooo jealous! Yeah, and those sailors of old must have REALLY been away from home for too long! lol