Ocklawaha River- Ray's Landing Report


View: More Ocklawaha River- Ray's Landing reports, Central Florida Locations 

Report By:  admin    Date: 4/22/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 8 photos     Map & Directions: View


The put-in is west of Ocala, Fl, on SR 40 at Ray's Wayside Park

My Report:

NUMBER OF PADDLERS:
Canoes - 17
Single Kayaks - 14
Tandem Kayaks -3

PBOs - 13

TRAVEL TIME: 5055 minutes. (Hats go off to all members for the efficient way all the shuttling of paddlers between sites was handled)

TRIP LENGTH: 10 miles taking 3.54 hours

BOAT RENTALS: Florida Pack and Paddle for canoes. No concerns/complaints from paddlers. Aardvark's Florida Kayak Company. Excellent equipment. Suggest we use Aardvark whenever possible.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Ideal conditions with temperatures in low 80's with a light breeze.

THE RIVER/TERRAIN/SCENERY: Very pretty stretch of the Ocklawaha with thick vegetation and plenty of tree protection providing shade and blockage from, and in the event of, strong winds. The winds, however, were not a concern on this day. The water was very clear as we started our journey and clouded up as we got further from the springs. We had a good current making paddling easy, but several areas of minor deadfall along this section of the river created problems for the inexperienced/novice paddlers. There were several banked areas along the river where paddlers could get out and stretch their legs, but they were few and far between. There is no commercial or residential development along this stretch, giving paddlers a real sense of what the term "natural Florida" really means. Always a trip worth doing once a year.

WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS: Wildlife sightings were minimal during this paddle. Turtles were in abundance as they most often are, but I didn't see anything else but several bird varieties. Several gator sightings were reported, but I didn't even see them. Perhaps it was because I was busy (along with several others) assisting paddlers caught in precarious situations.

GROUP ENJOYMENT AND DIFFICULTY: We had 66 people on the river, and for the majority it was an extremely enjoyable day paddling. The weather was perfect, and the downstream current made it a leisurely and relaxing trip. This was considered an easy paddle and promoted as such in the trip plan. However, we had several "first timers" on the trip with no experience and in poor physical condition. It didn't take long to discover these individuals should not have been on the water. We had numerous spills, and in several cases it took the help of 3 or 4 people to get these wet paddlers back in their boats. We were concerned not only with water safety, but the degree of exhaustion experienced by some trying to get out of their predicament. With the many stops for emergency assistance, we spent 1 1/2 hours longer than we should have on the river. Thanks goes out to Tad, Steve, Mickey, Liz, Chuck and Bev, and Karl for their help. Without their assistance we could have had big problems. Members have to realize that paddling can become a very physically demanding sport, especially in moving water with a capsized boat. More discussion on this issue will follow.

LUNCH STOP/RESTAURANT: We had a last minute (and I do mean last minute!) change in lunch stop. I discovered the day before the trip that Rhythms was out of business. Luckily, I made a dry run to verify directions and saw a closed sign when I went by the restaurant. I followed up with several calls and no answers. Liz offered to check it once again that evening on her way to class. Sure enough, they're gone! She was able to find another restaurant that would open early just for our group the next day. We went to the Clubhouse Grill which is located directly across from the Silver Springs Water Park. Service was a bit slow, but the food was good and the beer was cold.

For most it was an enjoyable day. For the leadership and all those who assisted with responsibility, it was a stressful time, raising issues that need resolution to avoid similar occurrences in the future.

SUBMITTED BY: Gary Brady

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Distance (miles): 10
Fees/Costs $: 5


Photos from Ocklawaha River- Ray's Landing:    (Click image to view full size)

Dell being 'rescued No Comm
Dell being 'rescued

"Next time, I'm going business class"

Dell on the Ock No Comm
Dell on the Ock

Dell 'up the creek..

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock

The Ock No Comm
The Ock

Miscellaneous Ock



Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThe outfitter did not provide a shuttle so it was necessary to drive to the take-out at Gore's Landing and leave sufficient vehicles to drive all paddlers back to the put-in at Ray's Landing.



Post Date: 5/3/2008

Go to admin's Trip JournalMore Trips and Comments on Ocklawaha River- Ray's Landing
More Central Florida LocationsView Regions

Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. The Village Canoe and Kayak Club and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.