Little Manatee River Wimauma, Fla Dec 6, 2012

Vicki and I discussed getting a tandem kayak so she could go along on more of my kayak trips. We decided to rent one while in Florida from Canoe Outpost in Wimauama to see if we could handle a tandem together. We paddled on the Little Manatee River where it flows through the Little Manatee River State Park.
The water level was a bit low due to a lack of rain. It was very sandy at the start, and the water was very clear.  We hit bottom several times, but were able to get going again with no trouble.
The weather was warm again, with temps in the low 80's and partly cloudy skies.

There were a couple of downed trees, with very narrow openings around them, but we were able to get around them with no problems. The slow current made it easier, too. We'll have to see how that works with the stronger currents back home.

 Vicki didn't do a lot of paddling because her wrist was still sore, so she was in charge of taking pictures.

There were a lot of mullet swimming in the shallow water, and turtles on almost every downed tree and along the banks.

 We took our time going down the river. We were in no hurry, just enjoying the nice weather and the different plants and trees that we don't see in Michigan.
 There were several hawks along the river.
The state park has a screened in building near the river with picnic tables where we stopped for lunch. We met two other couples who were kayaking also. They all seemed disappointed they hadn't seen any alligators. Vicki wasn't disappointed. She didn't really want to see any.

Back on the water after lunch.
The water was getting deeper but the low water levels were evident as the lilly pads were  quite a ways out of the water. And the bottom was darker so you couldn't see very deep into the water.
As we passed one log, Vicki spotted an alligator sunning himself on the bank. We weren't more than fifteen feet away when we spotted it. It looked to be 6-8' long. We turned the kayak around to get a picture of it.

More turtles sunning themselves. We must have seen close to a hundred in all.

The sunken boat that meant we were near our takeout.
 A short paddle, about 2-1/2 hours with the lunch break. But it seemed to go well with the tandem kayak. We'll have to look for a used one so we can go together on more trips.
Total miles paddled today: 4 miles. Year to date: 269.6 miles

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