Anyhow, the guy I got it from lives in Bradenton not far from Anna Maria island, so I took that route down to South Lido beach on Longboat key to try it out. I did stop and get a waterproof box for my wallet and car keys; which floats and ties onto the boat, and a emergency whistle. I managed to get the boat off the car top by myself and drag it to the shoreline,... then after donning my lifejacket and getting my paddle in hand I started off....Only to halt and come back!
I got out and immediately tipped the kayak over and got water in it...YAY for my new waterproof wallet & key holder-they worked great! Anyhow...I came back ashore to adjust the footbrace location... the guy I got it from was very tall...So finally I took off...
Some guy on shore decided he wanted to give me a push after he had heckled me a bit previously! I paddled a ways along the waterline... I enjoyed my quiet ride as I watched jet skiers and motor boaters burning up our natural resources.
South Lido is a very wind protected cove which is why I picked it...It also has a big sand bar where it meets the ocean which keeps undertow minimal.
The boat handled well and I have been told that the paddles are more important than the boat, so I guess these field & stream $25 dollar paddles aren't too bad for starters. Also, the seat is ok---I can see how that will be important for comfort.
After about 45 mins a storm blew in and it started raining/lightning so I took er' back to the car and a fellow helped me get it back on the car top. Anyhow it went pretty well---dragging it to shore and all took a bit out of me so hopefully I can find other local kayakers to boat with. The whole dog/kayaking idea will be a long time down the road as I need to get a better handle on everything first. Especially because my dog is sort of a jerk.
Hopefully we will get some nice weather the next two days as I would like to find some river areas to paddle in... see some wildlife, and no motor boats!
Places I will check out soon.....
22. Little Manatee River
Near Bradenton, this tannin-tinted river has a sandy bottom
and steep banks. With numerous access points along this 7-mile trail,
paddlers will journey through a variety of habitats including sand pine
scrub, willow marsh, and hardwood forest. Look for otter, and turtles
along the way and an occasional eagle soaring overhead.
23. Myakka River
Few rivers in Florida equal the short
but scenic Myakka when it comes to
an all-around paddling experience. The
river begins in a hardwood swamp
and runs through more than 60 miles
of varied terrain before emptying into
the fertile fishing grounds of Charlotte
Harbor. Fourteen miles of the river
flow through Myakka River State Park
offering easy access to paddlers. Most
kayakers and canoeists choose a sixmile
loop around Upper Myakka Lake
(a great day trip for bird watchers) or
a short stretch to the south in the wilderness preserve above Lower
Myakka Lake. It is possible to travel all the way to the harbor, but this is
not recommended for beginners. Rangers limit access in the preserve
to 30 people a day, so start early. The Myakka River offers a diverse
experience, including Little Salt Spring and Warm Mineral Spring.