The wind was blowing pretty hard, 20-25 mph, so I decided to move up 4 miles to Pineapple Island. On the way I stopped at the War Memorial Park and filled up my water containers. It was a really nice park right behind the VA hospital. I used one the the hospital’s picnic pavilions to charge up my laptop. There was also a Walmart and several restaurants within walking distance, so I treated myself to a burger and pie before continuing on.
When I finally paddled up to Pineapple Island, it was covered in trash. Corona beer bottles, Natural Light beer cans, plastic containers, napkins, packages of rotting fish, etc. I picked up everything, put it in the fire pit and burned it all so no more trash would blow into the intracoastal waterway. Other than than it was a lovely little island with a raccoon who had no tail and an osprey that kept me company all night by sitting on the tree limb right above my tent. It even flew down once to bathe right next to me. I enjoyed watching his behavior up close.
The next morning I woke up early and paddled about 17 miles to spoil island 13 near Caladesi State park. I hugged the eastern shoreline to avoid to wind and it turned out to be a fairly easy paddle. The island was well kept by the county and had a picnic table and information kiosks scattered about the island. There was an abandoned tent on one side of the island. Apparently many tourists who camp on the islands in this area just leave their tents and gear behind after using it. I guess they can’t take it on a plane so they just leave it setting there knowing someone will eventually scavenge it.
I had planned on paddling to a campsite about 20 miles north of spoil island 13 but noticed an island three miles closer called Durney Island. I was very tempted to paddle out to Anclote Island as well but I decided I didn’t want to do another 6 mile open water crossing after going there. It was still a little breezy. Durney Island turned out to be a great idea. It was close to Port Richey so if you wanted to you could paddle into town and enjoy delicious food and resupply. The island was very popular with campers since it was the weekend. I met several really nice locals and enjoyed my two nights on the island. I went into to town Saturday and ate at Gill Dawg’s. I really liked that small town.
Tonight I’m camped about a half mile up Hope’s Bayou in Werner-Boyce state park. Its gorgeous back here and the breeze is still managing to reach me as well.