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Topic: kayaking w/ Roger< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2014, 8:32 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once again, Roger and I set out for the Everglades and a few nights amongst the critters.  Thursday the 9th, I set out for Flamingo and the plan was to meet Roger in the campground.  We would pick up a permit and start our paddle trip on Friday morning.  Roger was going to use his new canoe with a sailing rig.  I figured it would keep me from leaving him in my paddle spray.  I called him from Robert's Fruit Stand, just outside the park, and he was an hour behind me.

I got my $10 Geezer Pass from the NPS, and then received $8 off my camp site.  Set up the tent and then Roger showed up.  We headed off to the Ranger office to get our permit.

1st choice of itinerary was not possible, due to some folks already filling up our chosen sites for nights 2 and 3.  We decided the best thing would be to add a night between 1 and 2, making it a 5 night trip instead of a 4 night one.  53 miles in 5 nights would mean a shorter travel day each time, but we don't mind that.  Permit secured, we spent a few minutes talking with the rangers, and stopped in for dinner at the restaurant.  Since we had added a night to the trip, I needed to stop by the marina store to see if they had anything for breakfast and lunch on Day 1.  Yep, and they opened at 7, so we retired back to the tents for the night.

Up Friday morning by 6:30 (why can't I sleep well on the night before taking off on any trip?), I took a cool shower and packed up the gear.  The solar hot water heaters were evidently drained by other campers and had not had any time to heat up fresh water.  We put the boats in at the marina and pushed off by 9.  We were purposely slow that morning, as the route was short, and there was no need to hurry.

We passed a group of 6 boats paddling along the shore, heading West just like us.  It was a young adult group, some kayaks, some canoes.  They passed us just as we stopped for a bite of lunch.  That meant they got the big bluff site suitable for 30, and we didn't care.  If we had been there first, they would have been fine setting up there as well.  This way, we just paddled 500 more yds along the shore and stopped near some old pilings.  There were about 18 posts with a cormorant sitting atop each one.

We set up our tents, and I went for a swim.  It was hot to me, whereas Roger said it was Wintertime in Florida and the water was too cold for his liking.  As it started to get dark about 6, we boiled our water and began to make dinner.  The Skeeters came out, so we ate in our tents.  So began our nightly routine.

Day 2 we started out closer to 8, and arrived at our next location before noon.  Here, the water was darker, filled with sea vegetation and crushed shells.  I made the mistake of swimming there also, and carried crushed shells with me until after I showered them off at the end of the trip.  I tried brushing them off, picking them off, but to no avail.  Soap and water did the trick later.

Day 3, the weather turned and the wind began to blow in our face.  The chop was close to 2 ft, and we fought it for almost 2 hours before it relented.  By the time I reached the channel marker at the Shark River, it was 1 pm. I had to cross the Ponce de Leon bay to reach the Shark Point camp site.  Roger was behind me by an hour, but when he reached the bay, the wind helped him make up time.  The bugs at this site, Graveyard, were really bad last year, and this year was close to being as bad.  We had to wear our head nets to set up our shelters.  This site had trees, so i used the WBBB hammock I had brought along, knowing some sites would be better for ham mocking.  I sleep much better in the hammock, and wake up with no soreness at all.

We ate cold meals that night, as the bugs would not give us any reprieve to boil water.  I ate some of the snacks I had brought along, and some of the lunch things.  I was not eating as much as I had figured, and I would go home with about half of the food I carried in the boat.  Breakfast the next day would be eaten in the boat, out on the water and away from the bugs.

Day 4 paddle presented us with our only real choice in routes, yet neither of us thought to mention what we planned to do.  This meant Roger headed off in one direction, under a good sail power, while I paddled off in the other direction, thinking we would meet up later in the day once the 2 routes converged.  Roger decided he was far behind, and he would just use the same route as I.  I paddled along, thinking he was already to the SW of me.  

We were more than OK, paddling along as if solo by day and meeting up at camp.  As I entered Oyster Bay, I kept an eye out for the white sail to show up in front of me, but it hadn't by the time I reached the Joe River about 11.  I checked out the chickee we would be camping on that night, but Roger was not there ahead of me.  Instead, there were 6 others taking up both platforms.  I laughingly asked which group was checking out that day.  They both were, and asked if I had a permit for the site that night.  I did, and they promised to be packed up and gone shortly.  They had a short day and had been in no rush.

I returned to the mouth of the river, to set up where I could be seen from the bay.  I spotted Roger's sail, and realized he had been using the same route as me, just further behind.  He picked up some speed crossing the bay with some decent breezes.  By 11:30, we were back at the chickee, waiting for the other group to finish leaving.  they admired both of our boats, but Roger's sailing rig caught most of the attention.

Here, at Joe River Chickee, the chickee was set too close to the mangroves, so the bugs were bad once it began to get to late afternoon and early evening.  This night, I failed to keep my meds close by, and I paid for it when I needed some antihistamine for the itching caused by the no-see-ums.  My ink pen also ran dry, leaving me with no way to work my Sudoku puzzles for the last night.

We had a short day of paddling for Day 5, with less than 5 miles to go to the last night's spot.  True to Everglades form, we fought tidal current and wind that day, making it a 3 hour paddle.  Still, we were there by 12, even with a long break in the morning.  That left us with lots of time to lay around, soaking up the shade when we could find some, and talk about future paddling plans.  We share some back problems, so we each recognized certain moves the other would make when reacting to body pains.  Getting to be older men, we have begun to pay for youthful errors when we abused our bodies in other pursuits.

Day 6 meant we were paddling back to the marina, 11 miles away.  We got up early and left camp by 7:30.  We had a little less than a mile to reach White Water Bay, a 4 mile wide open water passage just to reach the half way point.  Once we hit the Bay, Roger left me in his dust.  I stopped to remove a jacket, and he opened up a 200 yard gap.  The wind picked up, in our direction this time, and he widened his advantage.  I had to overcome an urge to close the gap, since I knew I could not paddle hard enough to really catch him, and all it would do is tire me out unnecessarily.  Competition in males is still a strong primal urge.  

We had agreed to wait for the other at Tarpon Creek, and at the Buttonwood canal opening.  Roger was waiting for 45 minutes for me at the mouth of Tarpon, but we should have stated the wait to be at the other end.  We had a 1/2 mile paddle to Coot Bay, and my boat was much quicker.  I reached Coot Bay and started across, thinking Roger would catch me soon enough with the wind at his back.  However, we had to get out into the bay enough for the wind to drop back down off the tops of the trees.  When I reached the entry to the canal, Roger was still out in the middle of the bay.  I waited about 15 minutes for him and we began to take his sailing rig down.  The canal is very narrow, and the trees overhang it some.  There are also commercial tour boats of the pontoon variety that ply the canal on their way out into the bay.  We needed to be able to move well off to the sides for them to pass.

I reached the marina first, tied up my kayak and walked the 2 blocks to the parking lot we left our cars in.  When I got back to the marina, Roger was just tying up his canoe, so I took him back to his car and we both drove back to load up.  From there, we hit the showers in the campground, and had a last lunch at the restaurant.  Roger was staying another night or so to meet up with some other friends, and I was driving home to the wife.  I arrived back home by 5, and was warmly welcomed by M.  Funny thing about short absences, they do make us miss the other.

I am sure Roger will chime in to put in his side, and I will try to add some pictures later.  I have a couple of Roger and his sailing canoe.






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RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2014, 9:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looks like a nice trip!  Glad you had a good time, aside from the bugs (ugh.  I hate bugs.  This is probably why I like to vacation in the alpine.  Or the desert).

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ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2014, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This brochure has a map of the sites.  our camps were East Cape, NW Cape, Graveyard Creek, Joe River, South Joe, and back to Flamingo.  

http://www.nps.gov/ever....012.pdf


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Everything I know, I learned by doing it wrong at least twice.

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CajunHiker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2014, 11:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Love the sailing canoe!

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oldnolder Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2014, 8:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like fun except for the bugs.
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Lamebeaver Search for posts by this member.
trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2014, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's not a canoe, it's a trimaran!  :D
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johnhens Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2014, 9:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, I am surprised mosquitoes would be a problem at this time of year. Nice sailing rig!!
Everglades and the Tortugas are on my list!!
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Roger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2014, 7:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It was yet another great trip with ol-zeke.  

The everglades are unique.  In addition to being a National Park it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is the largest designated sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent and has the largest stand of mangroves in the world.

This year, and especially this fall, south Florida has received a lot more rain than normally.  This has resulted in lot of problems including a higher than normal amount of mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

For those of you that have not visited the everglades I urge you to put it on you bucket list of places to visit and spend some time one winter.  Summer is well not to pleasant in the glades!


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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
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double cabin Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2014, 12:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I saw this the other day and had to run. I still can't believe the guy that once called Wyoming home is in Florida now. Looks like a lot of great fun. Thanks for sharing guys.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2014, 8:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What fun! Love the pictures. Thanks, Ol Zeke, for posting this trip report. I really enjoyed it. I gotta get LonesomeGeorge to check it out.

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"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees."   John Muir   1898
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 24 2014, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love reading about the trips you guys take.  Nice rig, Roger.

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