This is a neat area to canoe. There are numerous small estuaries
leading back from the bay. The East Pass of the Suwannee River
enters the gulf just north of Cedar Key and would be fun to explore,
as it is totally undeveloped. This is a fisherman's paradise,
and a lot of them use air boats, which are noisy, and can be dangerous
if the operator isn't paying attention to where he is going. Because
it is so far out of the normal tourist traffic, you can still
experience solitude along this section of the coast.
I joined my son Michael, Larry Page, and Gene Talley at the small
county campground north of Cedar Key, and the four of us paddled
out to Deer Island. For five hours, we enjoyed Florida as it was.
The only footprints on the sand were ours. The gulf stretched
out to the horizon, sparkling blue. No traffic noise, no jet skis,
no 'no trespassing' signs. We explored the woods on Dog Island
and found some great places to camp in cooler weather. We walked
the beach, and each of us played our own role of Robinson Crusoe.
It was great.
around the north end of Dog Island, stopping to check out the
exposed section of the shell mound where the tides were slowly
changing the shape of the island. There is no beach on the inshore
side of the island, but we disturbed a bald eagle, and watched
him fly to a perch in a higher tree.
to paddle down the gulf-side of a chain of islands that stretch
towards Cedar Key, and then headed back through a very shallow
water area to the campground. If you aren't careful, the tides
can catch you and strand you in the middle of a mile of mud flats
till the next tide.
Weather Service Live Buoy Report
a few of us paddled to the key off Cedar Key
during a joint canoe/sailboat weekend.