Kayak Trip Cures Cabin Fever!

The put-in at the end of Weedon Island Park Drive

I’ve felt like a northerner all month as most days have been gray and cold. For a Floridian, that can cause a serious case of cabin fever.  A sure cure is to get out on the water. That’s what I did this past Saturday, January 23. I joined a group of 11 who booked a trip with professional guide Mike Siebel of Canoe Country Outfitters on a tour of the Weedon Island mangroves. The day started out a little foggy and cold, but blue skies soon opened up a clear view all the way to Howard Frankland Bridge. Experienced kayakers warned me to stay away from the mangroves in low tide.  But Mike made sure we didn’t get out there just to get stuck in the mud and clam beds. At this time of year, the shallow water is pristine. The sky was a cloudless winter blue not often seen in Florida. Herons watched from a safe perch as we paddled by.

Even though trail markers direct kayakers where to go, it’s a confusing route through narrow tunnels that open up to a series estuaries.

Navigating through the mangroves

So it is nice to have an experienced guide leading the way. There is nothing like paddling among these sturdy roots to appreciate how important they are to Tampa Bay.  I’ve sea kayaked in the saltwater marshes off the coast of South Carolina, but I am ashamed to say this was my first trip in my own St. Petersburg backyard.

Towards the end of our three-hour adventure, we broke into a clearing just in time to see the mullet jumping like crazy. I wonder what got them all stirred up? Never did see what was happening, but the mullet were busy! Overhead a flock of white pelicans circled. The area is so rich with fish and wildlife, the Weedon Island Culture thrived here for over 800 years.

If you have a bit of cabin fever, call Mike at Canoe Country Outfitters and book a trip. By the way, he brings all the gear you need.  Here is a 2 minute video of the trip!

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4 responses to “Kayak Trip Cures Cabin Fever!

  1. Great job, Kyle! Didn’t even realize you had a video camera with you–and I appreciated that you didn’t show all the times I ran off course into the mangroves 🙂 That was a fun outing and you captured it well!!

  2. I was one of the people that accompanied you on the paddle. Loved your video. If you are looking to getting into sea kayaking, look up the Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers at http://www.clubkayak.com/tbsk. We are a local sea kayaker club that has aprox 200 members.

  3. Hello Kyle & David

    Thank you for such a wonderful presentation.

    When I visit my kids in Tampa on Sunday I’m going to open your blob and video to share with them. Your description and video brought the beauty of the day back to me.
    My grandson and I have been kayaking on the trail at Fort Desoto when he was 9 or 10, and even though the trail is wonderful there it does not compare to Weedon Island. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. This is exactly why we paddle. To get away and enjoy the beauty of nature. Kayaking brings utopia to me 🙂

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