The tour we chose was the "Keys to Ozello" tour, a 2 1/2 hour trip starting down the Homosassa River, through part of Chassahowitzka N.W.R., out to the Gulf of Mexico, around the St. Martins keys, and back to Homosassa through the waterways of Ozello. It sounded like fun, and a group of nine of us signed up with River Safaris.
As we idled down the river, we passed the Homosassa shrimping boats. This is an idle only zone to protect the manatees.
Monkey Island, off the shores of the Riverside Resort. There are 5 monkeys residing on the island, but I didn't get any good shots..only butt shots!
Bird life was plentiful...first up were brown pelicans
We then passed an island of nesting Great Blue Herons...here's an adult on a nest
then a juvenile standing tall and proud!
and then I spotted this little chick peering out of a nest...cool!
A cormorant striking a very nice pose for the camera
A very fierce looking osprey atop one of the idle zone signs
Beautiful homes lined the riverfront, and down side canals. Looks like a lovely place to live...until the next big storm arrives! I wouldn't want to try and get homeowner's insurance on these homes!
Picking up speed, we sped through the waters of the Chassahowitzka N.W.R.
Out into the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Martins Keys. I was so surprised how shallow the water is here, only a few inches deep for the most part. We drifted over sponges and anemones, watching through the clear water.
I thought this picture was very interesting, you can barely tell where the water ends and the sky starts!
A flock of white pelicans, with a pair of mallards high-tailing it away in front
White pelicans in flight
and away they go!
Cormorants taking off...they are very clumsy looking as they take off. It almost looks like their backsides are too heavy for them to lift out of the water!
Great Blue Heron in flight
Only these birds between us and Mexico! :-)
Bird Key...the noise emanating from this island was incredible!
The waterways through Ozello...Captain Bob says he never sees anyone back here, and the fishing is great :-)
Turkey Vultures making like totem poles...I didn't know they dried their wings like that.
More vultures in a row. They almost look nice :-).
Some final brown pelican pictures.
It was a really fun experience, and we definitely recommend it if you are in the area. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day weather-wise either! After our experience we went out for lunch to the Riverside Resort's restaurant The Riverside Crab House, where most everyone had their all-you-can-eat fish fry special. It was an unanimous hit, and everyone decided we would have to return again :-). It was an extremely fun day! Thanks to Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Doris for suggesting it, and treating us to lunch ;-).