We’ve kayaked at Crystal River before but wanted to explore the area a little more. So Lynn and I decided to take advantage of our long weekend and went back last Saturday. It was a very beautiful trip – relaxing, great scenery, and good weather too. We reserved two kayaks for 8:30am from the Crystal River Kayak Company and were on the water before most of the crowd got there.
In the winter months, manatees are all over this area although we didn’t see any on this trip. It’s warmed up so much they’ve moved on. If you’re planning to kayak here, it’s best to go early in the day. We drove by later and the water was very crowded – not at all like what we experienced the first thing in the morning.
The hotel where we stayed was right on the water, so I was hoping for a good sunrise or sunset view, but was disappointed. There weren’t any good sight lines east or west and even though we drove around a bit looking, we couldn’t find a spot close by. I’ll have to do more research before our next trip.
So … on to Plan B. The deck next to hotel pool was right on the river, next to dive shop and restaurant / bar. For some reason, the evenings were crowded and noisy, but before dawn there was no one around! So I got up early on both mornings and wandered down to the water. It was extremely calm both days with a full moon. Perfect conditions for some pre-dawn, long exposures. I made several images and I like this one best:
One view from the water by our hotel. I wanted to show the sailboats and reflections against the sky. It was about 30 minutes before dawn, and so dark that it took me a few tries to frame the image the way I wanted. The sky colors were a bonus – I couldn’t see them at the time. I was lucky the water was calm and the boats didn’t move during the 6 second exposure.
In addition to the kayaking and relaxing, we also had several good meals and especially liked Charlie’s Fish House. There’s lots to do in the area too. We enjoyed stops at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park on the way over, and Micanopy and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park on the way back.
Weeki Wachee mermaid.
Weeki Wachee State Park has a live mermaid show, a glass bottom boat ride, a water park and canoe / kayak rentals. It was crowded when we stopped. We saw the mermaid show, but the line for the boat ride was over an hour long.
Micanopy is a good place to look for antiques and photograph historic buildings in an “old Florida” setting.
We had a great trip, but it was too short. There’s way more to see and do in this area and it won’t all fit into a single weekend. We might have to schedule another visit soon. You can see a few more photos from Crystal River in this set on Flickr.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.