Kayaking in Florida 2018

Christmas break, 2018, Phil and I set off from the cold and snowy state of Michigan for the sunshine and beaches of Florida. Packed up in our 1992 GMC Vandura and towing our three kayaks,( an extra for my Mom who is another adventurous soul), we made the uneventful drive to Tavares, FL.

The first afternoon/evening spent at my parents’ rental house, we paddled around on the channel between two large Florida lakes and took pics of many water-loving birds in the mangroves and glades.

The next morning we made plans to kayak Crystal River which is about an hour and a half from my parents’. Manatees were usually found over there at this time of year so we packed our lunch, loaded the kayaks and hit the road. We had a tough time locating Three Sisters Springs and being Christmas Day, found out that it was closed… locked up. We asked a nice gentleman who was walking with his wife down the sidewalk where we could launch our kayaks and he gave us directions to a marina where we parked for a fee of $5.00. Even though it was Christmas Day, the manatee cruises were in full swing and carrying loads of tourists, cameras at the ready! We followed some other kayakers, hoping they would lead us to the manatees, and saw dozens of others congregated down the river, some were diving in and among the manatees.

Crystal Springs was nice and we were able to see and touch our first manatees on this vacation, but the next day Silver Springs State Park would blow it out of the water!! 😀

Silver River…a crystal clear, five-mile long, spring fed river! GORGEOUS!!
Keep your distance Mr. Alligator!
These gentle giants, the manatees were a wonder to see!

Goodbye for now, Florida… until next winter! 😀

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