Florida Paddle Notes

About FPN

Enjoy your next paddle with
Florida Paddle Notes!


One of the best things about getting on Florida waterways in my kayak ‘Stumpknocker’ is the ability to explore the scenery up close and personal. Navigating through hard-to-reach spots and shallow waterways inaccessible to other boats brings me close to nature. At Florida Paddle Notes, I am dedicated to discovering and sharing the natural beauty of these diverse habitats.

Hi, I’m James Steele, and welcome to Florida Paddle Notes. My connection with Florida’s waterways dates back to my upbringing in the ’50s and ’60s in Miami. Surrounded by the Florida Keys, The Everglades, and numerous water bodies, I developed a deep affinity for paddling. Consequently, as a teenager, I bought my first Mohawk canoe and started to expand my paddling adventures. My journey led me up the state and eventually to Tranquilla Cove Homestead, near Orange Springs where I continue to embark on new and exciting waterway adventures.”

Things all changed…

Rum Island Spring
Rum Island Spring

In 1972 I purchased a 5-acre lot in a very rural subdivision called Rum Island Estates, just outside of High Springs, Fl. The property, located on sandy Rum Island Road, was a short walk to a gorgeous spring called Rum Island Spring, right on The Santa Fe River! Needless to say, I was in heaven! Back then the spring was rarely visited except by the few locals.  It was there, on the Santa Fe River, that my love for paddling went to another level.. Almost daily, I explored the Santa Fe River and the numerous springs along its journey to the Suwannee River. Many warm sunny days were also spent exploring the pristine 6 miles of the Ichetucknee River, yet to be a state park, as it flowed into the Santa Fe.

Now, 48 years later, I am retired and still enjoy being on the waters of Florida. With Florida Paddle Notes I want to combine my love for the water, an interest in photography, horticulture, and nature to help make planning your next adventure on the water a bit more interesting. I hope you enjoy this site and perhaps I will see you on one of Florida’s amazing waterways!

Meet Stumpknocker…

The Perception Pescador Angler 12′, Sit-On Kayak is a stable, easy-to-paddle kayak. I have it fully customized for photography and the hull design makes for great tracking on lakes or rivers. The extra large cockpit opening provides plenty of room to work with my photography equipment and offers easy entry and exit.



Length 12’ ~ Height 15” ~ 28″ Wide ~ Weight ( without equipment ) 64 lbs ~ Capacity 350 lbs.


Keepers foot brace system ~ Bow hatch, center and stern day hatches and a stern tankwell with bungee ~ Comfort carry handles ~ Paddle Park ~ Scotty Portable Camera Mount and extender ~ Scotty Baitcaster Rod Holder ~ Scotty Bait Accessory Table ~ 2 Flush Mount Rod Holders ~ 3.5 lbs Anchor w/Cleat ~ Targus Extending monopod with GoPro Mount ~ Pijio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion

Stumpknocker on the Smokehouse Prairie
Stumpknocker on the Smokehouse Prairie