I learned some valuable lessons during my kayaking trip down the Weeki Wachee River today. First let me just say that this is a nice calm ride. You can practically just float downstream, and just use your oar to steer periodically. Still, folks who know me will not be surprised to learn than I managed to flip my kayak. This was about 10 minutes after posting a Facebook Live video teasing my husband for having to work, while I was out having fun. I guess you could say it was Karma.
Knowing that I am a bit of a klutz, I purchased a new waterproof iPhone bag and a 10L dry bag for my digital camera, lunch, and towel. However, in order for the gear to work properly, it has to be used properly, and that leads me to the lessons of the day:
- A waterproof iPhone bag isn’t much good if it’s not secured to your body. I had this clever little bag that is clear so you can take pictures without removing the phone from the bag. It even comes with a neck strap. The problem was that the strap was too short and it was awkward trying to take video, so I took it off. That was a very bad move and when the kayak flipped, I lost the phone.
- A dry bag can’t keep your things dry if it is open. The dry bag was the perfect size to fit my digital camera, lunch, and towel. As I was slowly floating down the river, I decided to take out my camera and take photos of some of the birds in the trees. When I was finished taking the photos, I promptly put the camera back in a dry bag. Unfortunately, I failed to secure the top and I flipped the kayak, the bag filled with water.
- Don’t let a mishap ruin the adventure. Things can be replaced.
After a good thirty minutes of searching for the phone and beating myself up over my dumb mistakes, I realized that the damage was done. While I was pretty disappointed in myself, I decided to let it go and try to enjoy the last 3.5 miles of my kayak trip. It helps that I have a super understanding husband who I knew would laugh with me and not give me too much grief over my mistakes.
How to Kayak on the Weeki Wachee River
If you are interested in kayaking on the river, you can either rent a kayak or bring your own. Regardless of which option you choose, the rental companies also provide a shuttle service so you can easily return to your vehicle after your excursion.
If you are bringing your own kayak, you may want to invest in a kayak cart as there is no parking near the launch point. Choose from one of these kayak carts to make simple work of getting yours to and from your vehicle.
More Freshwater Springs
Once you’ve visited Weeki Wachee, you’re going to want to see some of the other fabulous freshwater springs in Florida. Each is unique, with its own special way of showcasing the state’s beauty. Click here to read our article about the freshwater springs we’ve visited so far. Hint: Rainbow Springs State Parks has gorgeous water AND the some of best full hook-up camping we’ve seen in a Florida State Park.
Oh my. I can totally see myself doing something like this. We have actually gone kayaking before and used the dry bags… and taken stuff out and not closed them up again. It really does defeat the purpose. 🙂 But what I want to know is, how did you flip your kayak???
I really wish I knew how I managed to flip it on such a calm river. Number one I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. There was a bend in the river which caused a little bit of a current in the corner. It was pulling my kayak up under a tree and I was trying to turn it when I flipped. It was one of those sit on top type of kayaks, which I personally think are less stable. I’m thinking of buying my own kayak for future trips–the kind you sit inside of.
Carol ("Mimi") says
Good for you . . . making your first kayaking trip, despite the problems and set-backs. I’ve had my kayak for many years, and I absolutely love it. (it’s a sit-in, not a sit-on) Kayaking in peaceful, calm waters is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating activities in the world. I hope you’ll continue kayaking and find great peace and enjoyment.
Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi
Oh my that’s challenging. An experience is always worth much more than an object. Glad you were able to put it behind you and build those memories.
Amber Harrop says
Oh No, Julie ! That sounds like things I would do – sorry you lost your phone
Thank goodness for insurance!
Oh no! That sounds exactly like something I would do. Be totally prepared (and tease the husband) and then mess up due to my own errors. Glad to read you had insurance!
No! Sorry that happened. I’m glad you managed to let it go and keep enjoying. The whole time as I read this it reminded me of my recent trip with my sister to Zion. I let her borrow one of my clear phone covers like yours while we walked the river and she took it off her neck to take a picture. She dropped the phone in a place with a strong current. We spent an hour in freezing water trying to find it when we finally gave up. It’s so sad when things like this happen but definitely best to not let it ruin a trip. 🙂
I guess I’m not the only one who lost a phone in a waterproof case.
OMG! I hope that your digital camera did not get spoiled. I would have been so horrified if something like that had to happen to me. Kudos to you that you managed to continue your adventure
Yes, the digital camera, a Nikon D50 was completely ruined. The only thing salvageable was the memory card inside.
Doesn’t that make your trip more memorable ?! Just a thought. If you had not lost your phone or flipped the kayak on a calm water like that you wouldn’t have written this post. And it’s so much fun to know that we all are flawed. Grow, grow and glow. Thanks for sharing this Julie !
Too true, and I love that slogan!
Stephen Rohan says
Great guide and useful advice. I had similar problems Kayaking in Thailand recently. What a great name for a River!
I can’t wait to make it to Thailand! Weeki Wachee is the Native American name for winding river.
Karthik Rao says
I can totally relate with the small mistakes. although not over a kayaking incident,since I have never tried. Glad you could enjoy your trip. Other things can be got back over time. 🙂
Its good to know the pros and cons about kayaking, things that we should or not do when doing this activity. great post! loved it.
Oh no! The good from this is that we have all learnt valuable lessons, sorry you had to go through it though
Anushka Aggarwal says
I guess travelling is always a learning experience, on my very first international trip, our 500$ got stolen on a very first day in Russia, no one was there to help, no one spoke English, We didn’t grief about it, we were happy at least whoever stole money left our debit cards in our wallet 🙂 . Lesson learnt, now we carry hidden wallets and belts 🙂
That was a pricey lesson for you! I’m glad you didn’t let it ruin your trip.
Gosh sounds like something I would do! I’m so clumsy ha!