Tag Archives: water

Kayaking on the Gulf Coast

Kayaking on the Gulf Coast

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

We only stayed in Cedar Key, Florida, for a week, but we packed it full of fun stuff. One of our favorite things was kayaking out to Atsena Otie (which means cedar island in a tribal language). Mike and I shared a kayak and accompanied guide Mandy Davis and three of her friends on an awesome daylong adventure.

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

Mandy is an accomplished, seasoned naturalist and guide who’s recently set up shop in Cedar Key. She runs Hidden Coast Outdoors, and the Atsena Otie adventure is one of many tours she offers. Not only did Mandy show us how to kayak, but she also educated us on the history of Cedar Key. We learned that the city of Cedar Key was located on Atsena Otie Island. Cedar Key was an important port. Two mills on the island produced ‘cedar’ slats for shipment to northern pencil factories. Economic decline began when Henry Plant’s railroad to Tampa began service in 1886, and a devastating Atlantic hurricane in 1896 was the final blow.

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

We made the short hike to the now-closed pier and the cemetery. Mandy brought along paper and crayons so we could take headstone rubbings. I chose a grave marker with my name (except with a Z instead of an S). What a unique souvenir! We then kayaked further east for lunch. Mandy prepared a homemade, gourmet Mexican meal for us, and we ate on the beach near eaglets and other water birds.

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

travel, photography, Instagram, kayaking, outdoors, Hidden Coast Outdoors, Atsena Otie, Cedar Key, Florida, beach, water, hiking, history, cemetery, headstone rubbing

It was a glorious experience, so much fun and a wonderful workout.  $90 (per person) VERY well spent!!

Neighbors

Neighbors

white pelicans, The Vineyards Campground, Grapevine, Texas, travel, photography, water, marina, views

As I sit comfortably in the recliner, working and writing blog posts on my laptop, with blueberry green tea in the cup holder and a view of the marina out the window, I glance up to see our new neighbors arrive. They’re a little loud but awfully nice to look at. A small smile crosses my face as I turn back to the keyboard.  This is what RVing is all about.

Getting our sea legs

Getting our sea legs

Sailing5

Our last day with Grant, Barbie and Catie was spent on the water.  We motored down to Fort Monroe, about 40 minutes from our campground in Williamsburg, and boarded Grant’s boat, “Hedonist”.  After lunch, we headed out.  The weather was lovely.  We had fair winds and following seas, making for a relaxed, smooth ride, ideal for Mike’s first time on a sailboat.  Catie and Barbie whipped up magical Painkillers in the galley, and we sipped and chatted while cruising by one of the largest naval shipyards in the world.  Returning to the slip was rougher.  Even having taken my travel sickness pill, I was queasy, so I was relieved when we docked.  After some more conversation and lots of hugs all around, we bid a bittersweet goodbye.  Our visit had been more wonderful than we ever anticipated.  We were looking forward to moving on to D.C., but we were sad to leave our newly rediscovered family.

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SailingMikeAndElisabeth