Backwards temperatures

Paddled the Weeki Wachee river today from the mouth at Bayport to the head spring and back - 15.5 miles. Lots of manatees seeking refuge from the cold weather we have had lately. I though it was pretty unusual to be paddling in 42 degree air temps and 72 degree water - not too often the air is 30 degrees colder than the water! It was a gorgeous sunny day, a bit windy though. The temps kept most people home so I pretty much had the river to myself (except for the manatees).

I did wear my drysuit btw.

Anyone else had some weird air/water temp combinations?


I’ve been diving when the water was a lot warmer than the air. You just hated to surface.

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nice pics! The water air temp combo is normal here for an early morning paddle some late summer days. Was there mist in the morning?

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The water in the springs are 72 degrees year round and there
are many of them just like the Weekeewacee all over Florida.
That first picture looks like “Doctors Hole”
One time when I was there a group of Manatees were having a great time playing around. One of them came toward my kayak and then went under it. I looked on both sides to see were it was going and the next thing I new, my kayak came up in the air and if I hadn’t done a couple of quick braces I would have been over.
Nanci said the bunch of them probably had a good laugh


@JackL I did paddle past Hospital Hole (twice) but none of these pics show it. It’s murky and deep so doesn’t make for good photos. There were a dozen or so manatees in the Hole, so I was quite cautious, as I have have several friends flipped as well.

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@kayamedic I was really hoping for some mist as that would have made for some great photos but it was so dry and sunny that there wasn’t any. Might have been some earlier in the AM but Weeki is about an hour and a half north of me so I didn’t get there until 930ish.

Bet you had the river mostly to yourself.

Basically the same experience but on the Silver River.

First race of the FCPA season is the Silver. That day was in the low 30s. Dressed to stay warm for the air. That was too much for the water temp, and I overheated quickly.

It is the only time I didn’t finish that race.

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OK, you all gotta stop torturing us northerners with those tropical pics!


@CraigF I considered going to Silver yesterday but it’s a 2 hr 20 min drive for me - just a little too long to get back at a reasonable time. I do love paddling that river though.

I did see two paddlers in Nelo K1s on the Weeki Wachee yesterday and one was shirtless. I can see at that effort that you’d be plenty warm. I did feel a little funny in my drysuit and fleece hat when they passed me though!

@Overstreet pretty quiet, saw maybe 20 people total. Really nice to be able to enjoy the river without the crowds. I usually wouldn’t even consider going there on a weekend.


The Weeki Wachee has more history for paddlers than the Silver, though the Silver has monkeys in the tree.

The Weeki Wachee is historic because Gene Jensen lived on it. It was there that he came up with the J-200. I have one of his woodstrip models of it.

Was all dressed for the cold air and water in the panhandle dune lakes when we came up upon a guy on a paddle board wearing board shorts and shoes. Stopped to chat. It seems he was from one of those northern formerly Russian east European countries and was used to a colder weather pattern…relatively younger too.

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@Kevburg it was 43 degrees when I launched yesterday morning. It might look tropical, but it sure didn’t feel tropical. But the water was liquid, which I know is not the case in many places up north right now!

(I’m from New England. I get it!)

Though I haven’t done any real winter paddling in the past couple years, its the norm up here for the temps to be “backwards”. Our local club has traditionally done a New Years Day paddle. To assure that it will occur on open water, its held on a lake used for cooling the water from a power plant. The closer you paddle to the discharge from the plant the warmer the water. Its not unusual to paddle 80 deg water near the discharge on a 20 something degree day. Loading/unloading is the cold part. Its called the “fog bowl” because, of course, with temperature differentials like this the surface steams and fog will collect on any reasonably calm day .
Looks like this:

Of course any typical winter day paddling up here the water temperature is warmer than the air or it couldn’t be paddled - spring fed streams or discharge downstream from dams that draw water from below the ice and are shallow enough so solar gain keeps the water liquid for a while downstream .
Like this early spring trip - upper 20s, sunny, by day:


Florida limestone makes for some nice clear water.

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