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The paddle began as an easy very calm paddle north up the beach of Anna Maria where I quickly encountered a pod of dolphin. Several dolphins came close to the boat, but they would not cooperate with photos. Once in the Tampa Bay channel, the water became rougher and rougher. In the middle of the channel, I encountered a 3-5 foot chop. There were even some white caps. Not for the faint of heart. Once I got out of the main channel, the water smoothed out again. The first thing I saw on Egmont was a bald eagle guarding the perimeter of the beach. This is a magnificent creature in the wild. Next I noticed hundreds of rays (variety unknown) swimming under my kayak (Ocean Kayak Frenzy-red). I also have a Competition Kayak tandem, but I was alone on this trip. Egmont is a bird sanctuary, and it is illegal to get out of your boat on shore. So once I got to Egmont, I paddled north up the bay side of the island. I decided that I did not have enough time to circumnavigate the island, so I decided to turn around and head for Passage Key. The entire trip to Egmont from Anna Maria took about 1.5 hours. Passage key was on the way back to Anna Maria and I decided it was worth a look. I had heard that it was a nudist colony of sorts, and also a bird sanctuary. When nearing the key I noticed a large number of birds, and a lot of nude people on boats. The birds were the highlight. I paddled around Passage Key and noticed a couple of other Kayakers on up the island. I decided to go and speak to them. As I got closer and closer, I noticed that they too, were naked. I told them they were my first naked kayakers, and we had a chuckle. I parted company with them and paddled back to the launch spot. The entire trip took about 4 hours, and was well worth it.
Paddler's Truck Rack