Monday, April 17, 2017

Kayaking Stuart Florida - South River Outfitters.

New town. New kayak. My inflatable Sea Eagle kayaks have served me well in my former home in South Florida but the waters in my new town seem a better fit for a hard sided kayak.

A lot of the places I want to visit have either sharp oyster beds or sharp teeth just below the water. I bought my new kayak about 6 months ago when Sports Authority had a going out of business sale. As soon as I got it home, it seems, the algae blooms that got national attention began. It has been in the garage ever since. But finally I had a break in the weather, my schedule, and clear water.

The first trick was to figure how to secure the kayak to the roof of the car. A few youtube tutorials helped with that. Next trick was to actually get it on the roof. I'm 6' 4" but so is my vehicle. Not only that, but I was about to take it on the highway just a few blocks from the house. Solid tie downs seemed appropriate for my first ever high speed cargo transport. 

My launch point for my first time with this kayak was South River Outfitters in Stuart Fl. I have rented kayaks here in the past and I knew exactly what to expect for half the trip. This time I was going much farther than in past visits. 

The trip starts off with houses on the left and nature on the right. About 20 minutes later it's all nature. Last time I did this trip I came across a few small alligators. This time, as you can see in the video above, I ran into a 4 footer right past the last house. There were several smaller ones close enough to the kayak that I got a tail splash by one as it dove for deeper water. When I got way out into the swampy area with the tighter waters, I ran into a huge gator who did not back down or submerge. I did not film it. I just back paddled away and decided to call it a day. As long as you stay alert and stay away so will the gators. I had one bump a canoe many years ago and there is no way I want that to happen again. 

This was a great starter trip and one I've been looking forward to enjoying in my own water craft for quite a while. I will be back - With friends I hope next time. I miss kayaking in the Florida Keys so next time I will try a more open water adventure.  

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