-- Last Updated: Jun-10-10 8:19 AM EST --
Before the BP oil spill potentially ruins Everglades National Park for years to come, I decided to take a 10-day, 129-mile solo paddle in my new Swift Shearwater. I attached a Bimini top to my canoe to get a respite from the hot midday Florida sun, plus I placed a folding reclining chair over the canoe seat so I'd have back support while paddling, plus a chair to sit on at campsites. Five of the campsites were land-based, and the last four were on chickees (free-standing docks). I paddled from Flamingo along Florida Bay to East Cape Sable, then moved north up the Gulf coast to Middle Cape Sable, Northwest Cape Sable, Shark Point, and Highland Beach. From there I paddled south to the Harney River chickee, then on to chickees in the Shark River and Joe River. From the South Joe River chickee it was just 8.6 miles back to Flamingo.
Here are pics:
Packing up on East Cape at the beginning of Day Two.
Middle Cape Sable.
Campsite at Middle Cape. My tent is a Marmot Aeolos.
Spotted seatrout for dinner and lunch for the next two days.
American crocodile tracks at Middle Cape. There was a freshly-dug nest at the other end.
Royal terns hanging out on a sandbar at Middle Sable Creek.
Northwest Cape Sable, the calmest of the three capes.
Frigatebirds following a pod of dolphin (porpoise) offshore.
Shark Point, Day Four
And osprey along the edge of the Gulf.
Highland Beach, Day Five, about sixty miles from where I launched.
A storm over the Gulf at sundown. Pelting rain, lightning, booming thunder, screaming wind. I thought it was Armageddon!
Another fat seatrout for dinner, caught on the morning of Day Six off Highland Beach.
A shell mound at the mouth of the Harney River where I stopped to wash off and take a break. The pause that refreshes.
Harney River chickee.
Home Sweet Home on the Harney River chickee.
On the way to the Shark River chickee.
Approaching the South Joe River chickee, Day Nine.
The Last Supper. These Alessi products are super good and great for camping.
Sunrise on Day Ten.
Whitewater Bay...NOT living up to its name, thankfully.
Buttonwood Canal where my fiancee was waiting to greet me on the dock back at Flamingo.
The end of a great trip!