07. July 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Maryann’s and my latest adventure: Canoeing on Florida’s Blackwater River.  Geologically, Florida’s Blackwater River is a “blackwater river“: tannins are leached out of the local vegetation giving the water a diluted-tea color.

Yesterday we took the kids up to Blackwater River State Park (about 25 miles north of our house) and picked up a pair of canoes at Blackwater Canoe Rental.  For about $42 per canoe, we chose the 1/2 day ride.  According to the folks at the canoe rental center, the timing applies to how much distance you have to cover.  You can take all day to do a 1/2 day ride if you choose to spend the day swimming instead.

Blackwater Canoe Rental also offers kayak and inner tube rentals — groups can rent any combination of canoe, kayak and tube and tie them together into groups.  I see a kayak/tube combo trip in our future!

We were put in a school bus that took us off-road through Blackwater River State Park to a put-in area 4 miles east of where we had parked the truck.  Maryann and I packed sandwiches and drinks for the gang, which were easily loaded into the canoes.  Each of us took two boys and we were on our way!

The kids didn’t quite know what to expect, but we were greeted with a gentle-moving freshwater river that averaged about 3 feet deep and was lined with the same really soft sand that exits through the east end of Pensacola Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico.  The water was considerably cooler than the Gulf waters we experienced this past weekend at the beach.

The boys were pretty good about taking turns paddling (all 4 boys wanted to help paddle, which was great for Maryann and me!).

It took us about 4 hours to cover the 4 miles, and that included 4 x 20-30 minute stops along the way.  The kids really enjoyed playing in the water and exploring the wildlife.  We saw birds, turtles and way-too-many-spiders!

Maryann took just about all of these pictures (I took the ones with her in them, along with a couple others) with her waterproof Kodak Easy Sport C123 camera.  Maryann turned many of the pics into a nice collage which you can see at her Fotomom blog.

Maryann has a Kodak waterproof camera, which is what she used for all these photos.  Jacob looks like he’s ready to slice Timmy in half.  Timmy’s doing this unicorn thing which I’ll explain later.

Love these pics of the boys playing on this log.

Maryann was trying to capture splashes…

There was a particularly deep spot here that the kids would drift through with their floatation devices.

A spider?  YIKES!  A group of teenagers/college kids drifted past this tree stump in their tubes, saw the spider, freaked loudly, and then got their tubes tangled on this stump.  They were stuck for several minutes until one of us untangled them.  Maryann and I were fascinated by the spider (along with our sons) and the young adults thought we were fearless!

This is Timmy’s portrayal of a Pokemon named Samurott.  He has a unicorn-like horn and these bearded growths protruding sideways from his mouth.