Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sea Kayaking at St. Joseph Sound, Dunedin Florida!

Location: St. Joseph Sound, FL. Temperature: 65F Wind: Light Conditions:Overcast

Howdy everyone! My first paddle of the season! I was returning from a week-long business trip in Puerto Rico and stopped off in Florida to visit my youngest brother! Well, naturally, with all that water and warm temperatures surrounding me... my thoughts quickly turned to paddling and locating the nearest kayak outfitter! Luckily, I was able to satisfy my kayak "fix" quickly with a recommended paddle at St. Joseph Sound, just a short few miles from where my brother lives in Palm Harbor Click on the photos to enlarge.

Preparing to put in at St. Joseph Sound. The launch area was sand with little to no waves or current - ideal for kayaks, sail boats and other small water craft. The kayak rental shop was located within 50 yards of the sound. Nice!

"A' marks the put in / take out area. St. Joseph Sound is bordered on the west by Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island, both barrier islands and part of the Honeymoon Island State Park. These are shallow waters, protected from the Gulf of Mexico, that run six miles south to the Memorial Causeway Bridge at Clearwater Beach, with the small town of Dunedin, on the west side.

As I put in, a regatta of catamarans sailed pass, on their return leg to the sailboat rental shop located on the causeway. 

A small, wind-swept island, home to various water fowl,that also served as a convenient "rest stop" for kayakers to stretch their legs.

A heron, not flustered by sun bathers, cars, or other boaters, calmly strides along the shoreline, in search of its next meal.

The causeway, as it makes an easterly "curve" toward the tall resort buildings at Clearwater Beach.

The causeway allows vehicles to drive and park within yards of St. Joseph Sound. Many families were out enjoying a warm Saturday afternoon in "paradise!"  :-)

An anhinga or "snake bird," perched on the "no wake" buoy,  keeps watch for speeding boats. An alert reader "Dave" also suggested the bird may be a cormorant based on its beak shape. Unfortunately, I did encounter a few ignorant boat "captains" who refused to reduce their speed, while overtaking and passing the numerous kayaks and sail boats in the waters. Thankfully, these encounters were few and far between. 

Approaching the causeway bridge. On the other side, the Gulf of Mexico awaits!

Lots of kayaks joined me during my paddling adventure. 

A tangle of catamarans at "rest."

Various sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks proudly on display and ready for the next adventurer!

Paddling at St. Joseph Sound in Florida was an exciting and fun paddle to kick off my season! I plan to make more trips to visit my brother in the future! ;-)
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  1. Looks like a great paddle. Have to get that water therapy in when you can this time of year. Meanwhile, summer is fast approaching. See you on the water.

    1. It was a great paddle! I would like to do another paddle adventure here during a week day with less boat traffic. Maybe on my next visit to my brother's house in Palm harbor?

  2. Ah sea kayaking! I love it! I'm sure you throughly enjoyed visiting your brother! The pictures are pretty! Do you know why the bird is called a "snake bird"?

    1. Hi Caroline! The anhinga or "snake bird" got its name because as the bird swims in water, it's head and neck resemble a black snake head bobing above the waterline. I first encountered anhinga during my paddles in North Carolina. These birds really look like a snake when they are swimming by you!

  3. Lucky you Mike! It looks inviting compared to the frozen waterways we have up here in Canada right now. I remember renting a bike in Dunedin and kayaking the mangroves in the area near Caladesi Island and in Tampa Bay a few years back. Glad you had good weather and a few nice trips to warm places this winter! Did you see any dolphins?

    Cheers from snowy Canada!

  4. I could be wrong, but the anhinga looks like a cormorant. The difference is the beak. Cormorant's are somewhat flat and orange, anhinga beaks are narrower and pointed.

    1. Hi Dave. You may be correct that the bird is actually a cormorant versus an anhinga! I compared photos of the two birds and also by reviewing the neck lengths. Thanks for your comments!


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