Decided to explore the Wacissa River today via Kayak. Wanted to add a new adventure to my ‘Walk into the Future’ and did some research on local Kayak outfitters. Discovered the Wacissa River Canoe and Kayak Rentals outfit was only a 20-minute drive from me and had very reasonable prices for their rental options.
The owners and staff were very friendly and had great knowledge of the Wacissa River and the multiple channels that branched off from the main river. They outfitted me with a sit-on kayak, life vest, paddle, map and final instructions for my adventure.
Launching off was easy and the day on the river began with me exploring multiple local inlets close to the outfitters docks. I realized it has been right at 4 years since I last kayaked so needed to get my balance and paddle rotations down again. Took me about 10 minutes to get the hang of kayaking again and I was off.
There was a lot off overhead cover (shade) on the initial part of my adventure. The outfitters also rent cabins that sit right on the river, so I rode by several of them on my way out to the open waters of the Wacissa river. There were a few other kayakers out but not a lot of water traffic or noise during the time out on the water.
The wild life on the river was close by and amazing! Saw several different type and shape turtles just hanging out and sunning themselves. Of course, every time I tried to get close to take a picture, they immediately dove to get away from me.
It took about an hour of paddling the river before I spotted my first eagle. Very impressive birds but when experienced in the wild they can be awe inspiring. I was able to float for a bit and watch one have a large fish for lunch. Got a couple pictures of this without disturbing the eagle or making it decide to dive bomb me.
What’s a kayak trip on a river in North Florida without gators? Spotted my first one of the day swimming close to where I was observing my eagle friend. Decided to paddle closer to the gator which was about 7 feet long to get some ‘up close’ photos. This all made sense when I started paddling. Luckily, I came to my senses before I got too close to the gator because I had no Plan B for what I would do if it took serious interest in me. Decided to float a bit instead of heading towards the gator and freaking us both out. I was able to get some pictures of smaller gators but didn’t linger too long to avoid disturbing them or freaking myself out.
Turning to head back in allowed me to fully take in how far I had traveled on the river without really thinking about distance. Still didn’t worry about distance but rediscovered kayaking is a great way to burn some calories. The rotational paddle motion needed to move the kayak will really work your arms, shoulders and core. Didn’t rush to get back, simply enjoyed the river and the views provided as I came back to the outfitters.
Highly recommend getting out on a kayak or canoe and taking in a peaceful day on the river.
Just don’t disturb gators!
Check out my new friends if you want to kayak the Wacissa: http://www.wacissarivercanoerentals.com/index.htm