After driving my father-in-law to Bradenton to spend the winter, and working on several repairs to his trailer, I had time to do a little paddling. I contacted Sea Life Kayak Adventures to book a tour in Sarasota Bay.
Being a Monday afternoon, they weren't busy. In fact, I was the only paddler that afternoon.
We paddled into the bay, where we were greeted by a host of cormorants. They would swim alongside the kayaks, then dive under the boats to feed on the fish we scared up in the shallow water. They would resurface in front of or along side us with their catch. There would be as many as four or five at a time swimming alongside us or beneath the water. It was quite entertaining to watch.
A man made island built by John Ringling of Ringling Bros. Circus fame. It is now a bird sanctuary.
An osprey watches us from the island as we paddle along the shore.
A white heron watches cautiously as we paddle by.
A bottom dwelling jelly fish in a bay of the island.
A bald eagle also on the island. Apparently it was rare to see in the area since osprey and eagles don't get along well.
A pelican resting on some equipment left from building the island.
More cormorants rest on more debris. The guide was hoping to see some manatees or dolphins in the bay, but they were not out today.
Entering the mangrove tunnels in South Lido County Park.
The tide was coming in, so a good current was flowing through the tunnels to the pond.
The exposed roots of the mangroves. Black crabs and oysters cling to the roots.
Exiting the tunnels to a large sheltered pond.
A place of solitude from the hustle and noise of the city nearby.
A sea star after we re-entered the mangrove tunnel.
Another white heron in the mangroves.
A night heron sitting in the mangroves. I paddled directly under it without noticing it until the guide pointed him out. He never moved the whole time.
Exiting the mangroves again, back into the bay and to the landing.
A short paddle, but relaxing time on the water as usual.
Miles paddled today: 3.3. Year-to-date: 303.9.
View Sarasota Bay paddle in a larger map