Wekiwa Springs is the spring. Most springs I've seen in Florida bubble up from a deep round basin. Wekiwa Springs comes from a crevice, about four feet wide, twenty feet long which sits in four feet of water. You can stand at the edge, or more likely swim, as the surfaces are algae covered and quite slippery, staring into the deep abyss as crystal clear 72 degree (F) water rushes by you. Forty-two million gallons a day run from the spring.
In the pool by the spring, you can snorkel about, watching turtles and fish.
Sit on tops are a different story. The sort of sit-on-tops that rental places offer are mostly heavy rafts, good as a sunning and swimming platform but not much more. Wekiwa Springs concessions offers both uncomfortable sit-on-tops and lousy sit-insides.
Their sit-inside kayak is an Old Town Otter without foot pedals. With no place to brace my feet I had two choices, brace awkwardly at the knee and feel my feet go numb, or slump backwards and paddle in the lounging position.
|Knees locked against the side I'm plowing along, but not really rotating well|
The river itself was nice enough, with the requisite turtles, ergets and herons. But it was scarcely compensation for dealing with the gear. It was a busy river, we could look enviously at the youth group whose leaders were comfortably ensconced in Wilderness Systems Pungos, and be entertained by the other paddlers from the park, who, wisely had elected to rent canoes.
Another trio, all in one canoe, was preparing for an upcoming 72 hour race. They were vague on the details of the race, but very enthusiastic. They were using real kayak paddles, which they must have brought from home. The woman in the center proudly announced this was her first attempt at paddling.
We also met a paddleboarder who does the trip from Wekiva Island (another launch) to Rock Springs regularly, and thinks of it as one of his favorite runs. (He uses his own board.)
We didn't go very far; Sandy Huff in Paddler's Guide to the Sunshine State, calls the Wekiwa River one of the prettiest in the state, she suggests if you can paddle just one waterway in the state to make it this one. That may be, but I wouldn't use these boats.
|Paddle board bottoms|