Paddled this afternoon with new friends, Zach and Ellen (via Brooke), in the marshes at Wakulla Beach, which is a little west of St. Marks. The "beach" is at the end of a long unpaved road through beautiful St. Marks Refuge forest off of the Coastal Hwy. At the end there's a small lot and a sandy water access that's about 40' long. It looks a lot like the Basin at Fort Fisher (for you folks back home). From here you launch into a big shallow bay with numerous marsh creeks and little marsh islands. The water is brownish, but alive with mullet and something else that was feeding on schools of fish from below. We poked into a couple of creeks and then paddled back across the bay. Along the way I saw some gulls, great egrets, osprey, black crowned night heron, and willet. Something bigger than a mullet made a huge splash, but all we saw was the splash, so who knows. On the sand road out of there I saw a big snake, which I'm pretty sure was an Eastern Diamondback Rattler, but I didn't get a photo so I'm not %100. It was at least 3' long. I stopped and stared, but veered safely around him so he could go about his business. It was a pretty short paddle, but entirely worthwhile because they showed me a launch that has several trip options from short forays to as far as you want to go, and I got to paddle with nice people who will hopefully become folks we can trip with regularly.
The rest of the day was spent putting tricolor sage, silver thyme, and garlic in the herb garden, reading, cutting my hair, and hanging with Aimee. Tomorrow we're paddling the short upper section of the St. Marks River from the Natural Bridge to Horn Springs. I'll post the results. Cheers.
3 weeks ago