Yesterday we took a short drive over to the Little Manatee River in Ruskin, Florida. Pam called the owner of Osprey Bay Kayaks, who was very helpful. He told us of several launch sites and what to expect at each one. We could launch near the mouth of the river and travel upstream, start from a nice public boat ramp just off Highway 41, or head farther up river to launch.
We chose to start in the middle, and work our way downstream for a while.
It was a good choice.
The river to the west of Hwy 41 is affected quite a bit by the tides, and as we started the tide was still going out. With the east wind behind us we were able to make a leisurely ride downstream a couple of miles.
The views were fabulous. We started in an offshoot of the river, with nice homes, (with nicer boats and docks) lining the waterway. Then we were suddenly out of civilization and were surrounded by mangroves and lots of options on which way to go.
We pulled to shore for a break at one point, and Pam ventured just a step too far into the water. There was a steep drop off, and she was suddenly up to her waist in the chilly river water. Luckily she didn’t fall on in all the way, and since she was only a couple of feet away from me I was able to help her back up to the shallow part. We had a good laugh over that.
We went just a bit farther downstream then decided to head back. By now the current for the most part had died down and we had an easy ride back up to our launch point.
it was a good day. We didn’t see any manatee or dolphin out, but word is that they come up river often. We’re looking forward to spending more time on the Little Manatee.