The ongoing, on the water stories of the Holland family

Offering trips, tricks, and tall tales

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Barracuda Bites Kayaker in Keys - in the Kayak

Breaking news from Big Pine Key (where me and Liz camped when she was pregnant with Owen and took out our Gheenoe with 9 horse outboard)...

A woman was in a double kayak with a friend when a frikkin barracuda jumped out of the water and bit her.

Check out the whole story here.

To all the barracudas out there: I am not afraid.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gators? What gators?

Hit the Loxahatchee River run again this weekend. Rain clouds threatened. But drifted away from the area. Made the hour long run down to the second dam. Water level was very high which made it much easier than the first time we ran this stretch, floated right over all those sunken logs. Had a picnic at the second and did some swimming and riding over the dam in the mini rapid it created. Owen had a lot of fun swimming around.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Useppa Island

So Liz's dad is now a member of the Useppa Island Club. It's a very small private island with multimillion dollar "cottages" and an upscale B n B. He docks his Sea Ray there weeks at a time.

Useppa is north of Sanibel and Captiva, almost at Boca Grande. It's in, I believe Pine Island Sound.

We took the ferry over from Key West lite Pine Island. We, of course, brought our one man inflatable. It's a very natural area right on the intracoastal with only a few barrier island separating from the the Gulf of Mexico. Mangrove islands abound. Saw jellyfish (Liz got stung while cleaning her dad's boat hull), dolphins (at one point they played in the boat's wake), pelicans, gopher tortoises, and just a ton of birds.

I got two short paddles in - it was just too hot. But we did take the dinghy out to Cabbage Key and Cayo Costa state park.

Friday, April 23, 2010

First trip since November

Cold weather. Trying to buy a house. Trips to Disney. Plain laziness.

Many things conspired to keep us off the water... but yesterday we finally made it out... for a short after-work run down the intracoastal, under the Linton Blvd. bridge, past multimillion dollar mansions.

And now that the kayak is on top of the car and all the gear is packed we'll probably make it out this weekend too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally Made It to Munyon Island

On our third trip we finally made it to Munyon Island in John D. MacArthur State Park. Perfect weather and great water conditions.

And James, my brother, made it with us - his first kayaking trip. (Check out this totally unrelated video James made - the music is his own - performed and produced - and he used public domain footage for the visuals.)

We went approached the island as we have in the past, saw a group of at least two manatees on the way out. We went around the north side and then entered the man made mangrove trail. Found a little place to "park" the 'yaks next to the walkway that connects the picnic pavilions. We hit the beach on the west side. It sits right across the water (intracoastal/Lake Worth lagoon) from a bunch of mansions in what I think is Riviera Beach. We sat there for a couple of hours watching the yachts and fishing boats go by. Owen had fun playing in the water, especially when the boats kicked up some waves.

After returning to shore, we made our way to the Dune Dog Cafe in Jupiter - our favorite post kayaking trip spot.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Loxahatchee Swamp Crawl

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge – this is not the river run we love. This is slog through a canoe trail off one of the interminable canals that run through the ‘glades. Lots of gators and bugs. I say slog because it was hot and sunny and the canoe trail was full of lily pads and water plants. We got stuck good once. And the rest of the time was hard going. It’s hard to paddle when you keep hitting huge root balls and plant stalks. We did the 5.5 miles in about 2 ½ hours. The rangers said, “Don’t worry ‘bout the gators.” But why didn’t they mention the plant-infested canoe trail? Still fun but we won’t be going back.

John D. McArthur part 2

We headed back to find Munyon Island… and found it. A relatively quick paddle brought us to a sandbar/beach on the northwest side. But then a swiftly rolling thunderstorm found us. So we hightailed it back to the launch. We made it as far as the bridge when the rain came pouring down and lightening came (not too close – but still). We chilled under the bridge for about an hour until it died down.

By the way, this was my mother-in-law’s first time kayaking ever. She did have fun. (Side note: the first time my wife and I took her camping – to the beautiful on the water Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge in the Florida Keys – we found ourselves in near tropical storm force winds the entire weekend. So we have quite a record when it comes to taking her on “adventures.”)

On the way we did see a group of two or three manatees poking their snouts out of the water for air. Awesome.