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Bayport Report
(Bayport to Pine Island)

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Report By:  admin    Date: 9/6/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 12 photos     Map & Directions: View

Hank (tonto), Jerry (jandbrare) and I (admin) took a saltwater kayak trip from Bayport to Pine Island this morning. We discovered clean well kept parks, BayPort and Alfred Mckethan, along with a host of saltmarsh waterways just perfect for exploring.

My Report:

What a wonderful sunny day for a paddling trip in Hernando County. With temperatures in the high 80s and a slight breeze, the water was warm and calm enough to enjoy some time on the high seas.

At 9am prompt, Hank, Jerry and I from Green Wave Forum slipped our kayaks into the saltmarsh at Bayport park and immediately headed toward the open gulf. Jerry's wife, Beckye, didn't come on the paddling trip, but did drop off Jerry and would meet-up with us again at Alfred Mckethan / Pine Island Park.

I had put together a few GPS coordinates for the trip. After clearing the fishing pier at Bayport we turned north / northwest toward to most distant point of land jutting out into the Gulf. We traveled about 1.6 miles to the first marker. What I thought was a beach looking at it from Google maps / satellite view turned out to be something else. The "beach" had about one foot of water and the area that looked like sand was actually part of a shallow mangrove and marsh system. Oh well, it did make a good place for a quick break and some photo taking.

The next marker on the trip was to Rock Island. This tiny dot of an island was named on Google so I figured it was worth checking out. Definitely so! Being appropriately named, plenty of rocks surrounded the island. In between the rocks, all kinds of tiny fish and crabs can be spotted. We didn't realize until our return trip that a small, hidden beach is on the backside of Rock Island.

Beyond Rock Island, our destination of Pine Island and Alfred Mckethan was due north. Another 6 / 10 of a mile and we were at Pine Island. Beckye was already waiting on the beach for Jerry and was surprised to see us so soon. The entire trip took about 1 1/4 hours. If you push, you can make it under an hour.

The sandy beach and park is wonderfully clean and a small snack bar called Willy's Tropical Breeze serves up tasty treats. Try the Chicago Dog - I did and it was delicious! Jerry seemed very satisfied with his steak wrap and Hank decided to skip lunch and go straight for chocolate ice cream.

Jerry decided to stay with Beckye at Pine Island while Hank and I returned via backwater route through the salt marsh. It's easy to find. After reaching Rock Island, turn south-southeast instead of southwest and you'll see a series of wide channels through the marsh. It comes out very near the Bayport Park.

On the way back, a dolphin came within 10 feet of our boats and it looked lost in the two-foot deep waters. I suggested that we may want to help the dolphin find his way to deeper water and Hank said he/she probably knows better than we do. It did seem to be heading in the right direction (west) and I'm sure it is cruising the gulf right now.

At 12:30pm we were already off the water and loading boats for the return trip home. About 2.5 hours of paddling and another one hour at Pine Island made this an easy open water trip, perfect for beginning sea kayakers.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: Saltwater
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 6.3
Fees/Costs $: $2 park Pine Isl

Photos from Bayport to Pine Island:    (Click image to view full size)

Bayport Boat Ramp No Comm
Bayport Boat Ramp

Hank and Jerry launching at 9am from Bayport Park and boat ramp.

Little Blue Heron No Comm
Little Blue Heron

We spotted this Little Blue near the Bayport fishing pier.

Jerry at Bayport No Comm
Jerry at Bayport

Jerry paddling the open gulf near Bayport.

Hank at Bayport No Comm
Hank at Bayport

Hank checking out some mangroves and marsh near Bayport.

Mini Jerry No Comm
Mini Jerry

Jerry shrunk, no wait, the mangroves grew. No wait. Maybe the mangoves are in the foreground...

Bayport Marsh No Comm
Bayport Marsh

Saltmarsh near Bayport Florida.

Rock Island No Comm
Rock Island

This cool little island is 6/10 mile south of Pine Island Park in Hernando County.

Rocks at Rock Island No Comm
Rocks at Rock Island

Not a great photo but maybe you can see some of the rocks surrounding Rock Island.

Pine Island No Comm
Pine Island

Approaching Alfred McKethan / Pine Island Park.

Willy's Cafe No Comm
Willy's Cafe

Hank and Jerry at Willy's Tropical Cafe at Pine Island Park.

Returning to Bayport No Comm
Returning to Bayport

Hank cutting through the last bit of marsh before we reach Bayport.

Wood Stork No Comm
Wood Stork

On the way home we stopped at Jenkins Creek (nearby) and spotted this stork and several of his/her friends.


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThere is a small, hidden beach on the east side of Rock Island. The shallow waters of this cool little island has all kinds of nooks and crannies just waiting for you to explore. GPS coordinates are N28 33.590 W82 39.305 (28.559833, -82.655083 Google)

Post Date: 9/6/2008

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