The demon is dead.
In the Spring of 2008 Sean and I were leading a group to Anclote Key. It was an overcast day and the water conditions were mild. I was doing some stupid things on land the day before and when we were on the Key I slipped and twisted the wrong way getting lunch out of my stern hatch. Not thinking anything of it we left the Key and headed back to the park.
Then it happened…I thought a bolt of lightning entered my back, zipped down into my left testicle exploding it, then wrapped around my left gluteus maximus, and pierced through my left knee. I could not paddle anymore. All I could do was lay on the back deck. Thankfully I was paddling with experienced friends. And they knew how to help me. The tow into land seemed to take forever (4+ miles). After we got to the beach my friends lifted me out of my kayak.
The cause was simple as my doctor later explained…the disk was just counting down like a ticking time bomb and could have bulged at any time putting pressure on the nerve during a simple task like putting away laundry. It was just a coincidence that the disk hit the nerve when I was in my kayak.
It has taken almost two years for me to work up the courage to paddle to Anclote Key. And Sean and I did this past Tuesday. Before we began the paddle we were greeted by an unexpected development. As of the 22nd of November 2010 Pasco County is now charging a user parking fee! It was only $2. I have no problem with the fee as long as it is going to keep the park looking good. And this park is always clean.
Some would say December in Florida is warm. Well for us locals it is cold. Look at how we were bundled up. LOL.
The paddle was great some small swells, and clear water. The water has been cold, around 50’F. And we saw the effects of the cold on some aquatic life. We saw several dead catfish and one small shark. I think it was a small hammer head, and Sean thinks it was a small Bonnethead shark. It was about 3 feet long.
We got to the Key to see several raccoon tracks. How they got on to this island is anyones guess because the mainland is about 4.5 miles away. But the tracks were not the biggest interest for Sean he made a beeline for the one thing that is always welcoming. The outhouse! The Key gets a lot of use and to help keep the land clean the county put up this outhouse. Surprisingly it does not have a pungent smell.
We had a good lunch and headed back to the park. The last time I beached my kayak at the park I had to be picked up and carried into a car. It was so nice to stand up and carry my kayak to the car.
Having a bad experience on the water always makes you respect your friends, gear, and training. It is good to start the new year with a bad experience left dead on the beach.