Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wacissa River Headwaters

We FINALLY got to get out and paddle this wonderfully cool morning, after a little more than two weeks of the seemingly endless process of settling into a new house and town. For the first excursion I chose the Wacissa River (pronounced wah-SIS-uh), which is a pretty short spring fed river typical of this part of FL, roughly 30 mins from Tallahassee. The parking lot was nearly empty when we got there to unload the boats at the headwaters. We paddled S from the launch, pulled into a small creek or two looking for a place called Big Blue Spring, which we found, and then downriver about 3 miles to a small river island called Cedar Island, which we did a little loop around and paddled against the light current back to the launch. Big Blue is a huge azure hole in the earth that is about 45' deep, with precipitous walls that seem to go straight down. There are two swimming platforms, but we didn't use them this time. The water is about 70 degrees year round, so I'll be using it again to escape from the heat down here. The two most striking things about the trip were the water clarity (crystalline) and the wildlife, especially the birds. We saw great egret, tons of snowy egrets, great blue heron, little blue heron, tricolored heron, green heron, white ibis, swallow-tailed kite, common moorhen, American coot, kingfishers, cormorant, anhinga, osprey, ducks, a hawk, and probably, but not positively, a purple gallinule. We also saw plenty of Suwanee Cooters (turtle) and one little gator. Aside from Big Blue, opportunities to get out of the boat were non-existent, so we were both glad to get back to the lot at the end after over 3 hours in the cockpit. It got warm, but it's really not too bad today, even as I type this in mid-afternoon it's not that bad outside. Now we're going to work in the yard and do standard Sunday stuff like read and nap. Cheers.

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