GRASSY POINT/BOILING CREEK
May 7-8, 2005 by Gary Worob
Day ONE - GRASSY POINT
On Friday, there were 4 of us who camped at Grassy Point. The views and breezes were spectacular. I faced my van to the water and had to keep getting up to look in the night, it was so spectacular. The stars were bright and the winds and cool weather kept all the bugs away. The water was perfect in the morning for a quick dip, then breakfast before our group expanded to 13 for an exploration of Catfish Bayou and looking for a way to get closer to the many osprey nests. We wove around in several tall grass channels and had quite a fun time playing hide and seek, and then realizing we could be there for days, trying to explore when we really needed an overhead shot or a helicopter to guide us. It was great fun.
We came back to the beach for a lunch and some had to leave for Mother's Day weekend, but those who wanted were treated to a tour of a totally self-sufficient house. It was an extremely informative tour, with lots of questions and lots of great insights into living independently, without giving up "things."
Carl, Hank and I paddled up the estuary as far as we could and did get to see an osprey building a nest. He or she was not happy we were there, so we quietly took photos and moved on.
The afternoon was marred by some other "extremely drunk campers", who ruined an otherwise perfect weekend for us and the neighboring house. I won't go into details, but I notified the Northwest Florida Water Management District, with the aide of several other concerned people, to review the procedures at Grassy Point, and to keep me informed of the progress to make this a more user-friendly and safe area for camping, paddling and pure enjoyment.
DAY TWO - BOILING CREEK
We had 10 paddlers on Mother's Day for one of the best paddling trips of my life. I have paddled Boiling Creek for almost 6 years, but this one was as powerful as the very first one, maybe more. We went way upstream, a decision I made, because the downstream section was still high and not cleared enough for my liking, from the heavy rains and tannins that flowed into the stream from the forests.
The trip was very mellow and the weather was perfect. No one was in a hurry and I brought different kinds of food for Mother's Day, including my favorite "ginger snaps." Some of us got to swim in the crystal-clear cool water and floated downstream among the many blooming pitcher plants and lots of other plants in bloom. The ranger did stop people and check passes. So, if you do not have one, make sure you get one. The sturgeon will be running on the Yellow River in the fall, and Boiling Creek flows into the Yellow River, so I, or someone, will surely want to lead a trip and experience the great "caviar" carrier of Yellow River. The sturgeon get as big as 300 pounds, and it is quite a sight to see them coming upstream en masse, and leaping out of the water.
The Boiling Creek trip was from 10 until about 3, and it felt like seconds. That's what happens when you paddle in Paradise.