Archive for Sail & kayak

A fishing trip @ shipwrecks

Went to lunch with my tennis buddies at Hooks. Afterward, one of them offered to take us fishing.

It’s a beautiful day, with calm water under a clear blue skies. Hook’s doesn’t have a deck hand, and the water is several feet below the normal waterline on the shore. The buddy said, it’s the global warming … which makes in and out of the sailing boat a little difficult.

The shipwrecks … are usually sit at the bottom of the water. But these two have been there for a while. The owner(s) really should have towed them away.

The two buddies went out on Sunday and caught many fish … So they took us to the same spot again. Although I saw many fish jumping out of the water, however, I’ve no luck to lure one onto my hook. One of them comfort me, by saying, “… that’s why it’s called fishing, not catching.” ha ha ha

We did see a manatee -:)


It’s fishing 🎣 not catching [得意]

昨天他们钓到好的鱼 俺跃跃欲试
然后… 就没有然后了 (虽然鱼诱非常漂亮 – 顺走当耳环吧 [调皮])

人家解释 所以是钓鱼而不是捉鱼 [大哭]

全球暖化下的小民生活,  水位下降 上岸难

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Sailing with Kenny

Ken came to visit and we went to sailing with him. A group of dolphins chase our boat for a little while, when I took out my phone, I was only able to capture one.

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Boat club, bird watch

Boat clubs have been popular for some time. This one charges an initiation fee ($7,750), plus monthly dues that varies for different plans, such as full year, three month, weekdays, etc.

The ten of us sailed on a 12-passenger pontoon to Sunken Island in Hillsborough Bay.

Sandhill cranes 沙丘鹤, pelicans 鹈鹕 and the little oystercatchers 蛎鹬, among many other species.

We waited for the Tropicana train to pass by on the swing bridge at Alafia River ↓

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My first kayak

I ordered my 380x from Sea Eagle directly, instead from Amazon. My friend told me to take photos when I unfold – it’s useful when you fold back.

Here are some sites I checked before buying – not so much to get more info but to validate my selection – I like the look of this one, practically didn’t really consider others. What Agassi’s 1989 motto? Image is everything -:)

  1. SI’s top 6
  2. Forbes
  3. NY Mag
  4. Top 10 
  5. top 6 

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Manatees: kayak w/ Capt. Yak

Captain Yak
2902 Miriam St S
Gulfport, FL

A nice day out there on the Boca Ciega Bay, which is connected to the Gulf of Mexico on the west-central coast of Florida. We paddled through rough water, calm water, mangroves, osprey and manatees.

According to dolphin research center, manatees are about 4-4.5 feet (1.2-1.4 m) long when they are born and average 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg). Full-grown manatees weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds (360-545 kg) and reach 10 feet (3.0 m) in length.

… some photos


We got to the base at 10 and left at 10:30, have the only bathroom break at 11:30 at Clam Bayou and done by 12:51. It’s $30 pp for 4 hours. We didn’t till 2pm.

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The first sailing in FL

What do dolphins want: the sound of motor, the companionship of the humans, or simply bathing? We saw plenty of them, jumping around our boat continuously.

Have you entertain the idea to live on a boat? A friend does that on his 44 footer most of the time. Only retrieves to his condo near by during the hurricanes or severe weather.

The community It’s pretty sizable, with four sections: the 200+ slip marina, houses, low rise and a high rise. On top of sectional hoa, everyone pays community’s hoa. There are two swimming pools for the marina, with has bbq grill and tables, all are very clean. boaters on the far end of the marina use bikes to get around. There is a lively restaurant Dockside Social Bar & Grill, with live music.

The design of the boat is really good and considerate. It has a bedroom, two pull out sleeping areas, three open areas and one enclosed space with air conditioning for social. The marina has 220 slips, his was $65,000 in 2018, is cost $160k now, in 2023.

One of the boats at the marina gets the most love: a sleek alloy color cruiser that looks futuristic. In a sea of mostly white boats, it’s sparkling. 码头上最受喜爱的一艘船: 闪闪发光 时尚 充满未来感一艘 cruiser.

The green roof house Legend has it that the husband often came home drunk and couldn’t find their house. So the loving wife painted their roof green that can glow in the dark night. 绿屋顶 传说丈夫经常醉酒后找不到家. 于是, 他慈爱的妻子就把他们的屋顶漆成了在黑夜里会发光的绿色.

One of the mates on board fell off the boat as he was making a phone call. The other mates alert the captain who stopped and went to pick him up. Remarkably, he still has his phone. Falling off any boat is easy …


We’ve late lunch at Floridays, sat at our usual table and tried their sun died tomato mussels, which is really good. There are many jumping fish. I didn’t catch any on my camera: too difficult. One fun fact: the two young men were asked to wear their shirts while the young women could go in with bikini tops. The heavily tattooed husband said, “oh, that’s so not fair. Can someone lend me a bra?” His wife said no …ha ha ha  四老四小 2个女娃👙 1个男娃光背. 六块还是八块腹肌+纹身 去吃饭时被告知上身需要点什么 失望 … 为啥? 性别歧视 “能有人借俺个胸围吗?” 他媳妇儿不肯 😂

The parking by the restaurant isn’t easy. Many diners have made reservation. One of the attendant is very talkative and told us that this is his 2nd career. His first was working in his family’s hardware business in Ohio (?) He later came up to the restaurant and took our plates away – helping the waiting staff or what?

Between Hernando De Soto (1957) and Green (an old photo; fishing pier) bridges at Manatee River by Bradenton is the railroad bascule / drawbridge 吊桥 Google map labels it as CSX Train Bridge. The boat owner said it’s used by Tropicana and stays up most of the time. This website captions it  “This riveted through plate girder bascule also includes extremely long approaches. Lengths given are extremely rough estimates.”

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Kayak on Little Manatee River

215 Lightfoot Road
Wimauma FL 33598

Swimming with alligators

A little Amazon in Florida: Little Manatee River State Park is one of blackwater rivers in southwest Florida and the most pristine.

A blackwater river has slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps or wetlands. The darkness comes from vegetation decays, tannins leach into the water, making a transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling black tea.

This park begins in a swampy area near Fort Lonesome and travels west nearly 40 miles, to merge into Tampa Bay from E.G. Simmons.

One of the friends said that the tide was below sea level when we started.

I’ve done canoeing in the Delaware River many times, especially during the spring when the rapids are strong. Kayaking on the Little Manatee is different, the water is very calm, and couple of times the water is so shallow, we have to get off the boat to push. Weight of the paddlers do make difference. For newbies, it’s better to rent flat bottom kayak.

We started from Access Point #1 and rent from Canoe Outpost. Their fees are $5 parking $30 rental that includes van pick up for 1; two paddlers in a kayak is about $50.

One of interesting posts we’ve seen is 

Y’all better paddle faster I hear BANJO music

Suppose a homepage paid to Deliverance, a 1972 thriller film by Boorman, starring Burt Reynolds (1936-2018)? A few men went on a canoe trip … and one of them was being raped/molested by a group of locals … “Paddle faster, I hear banjos” becomes a phrase, perhaps means immediate danger or bunch of really stupid people. We all got a good laugh out of it.


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An icebreaker in the Lake Harmony

I finally got to circle the Lake Harmony, on New Year Day. I would have do it again but the oar is bit too short, that getting myself wet.

The lake is privately owned, about 2.5 miles long; serene and the glacial water is very clear.

As I was paddling the small kayak, I thought about Alan Kulwicki (1954-93) whose trade mark was “Polish victory lap“, which is going clockwise after winning the race. We attended a nascar race here, in the Poconos in 1992. Unfortunately, Kulwicki died in an airplane crash the following year.

The sound of crashing the thin ice ⇓ sounds like music to me -:)

Here is my 2.5 miles circling of the lake ⇓

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Kayaking on the Hudson

Kayake @ Pier 26. We were waiting for our food @ City Vineyard, so I went over to check.
“What time is it?” The girl asked.
“6:59” I said, looking at my phone.
“Ok, you’ll be the last one.


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