Everglades Exploration Network

As most of you know there are two new chickies in FL Bay I have seen pictures and they look good. One is located at Umbrella Key near Garfield Bite the other is near Johnson Key. Along with Rabbit key they form a nice muti day triangle for a kayak trip. I undrstand the pelicans have already taken up residence and are leaviing their deposites on them. Also I found out why they are so high, I believe six feet off the water. They build them high to minimize the shadow on the bottom so the sea grass will not be affected. So for the near future getting your gear in and out of the kayak will be challenging. I.m not sure if there is an acceptable compromise but I would guess that for the near term we will have to adapt and endure.

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I've seen pictures of the Johnson Key chickies but I didn't know that a new chickie was built near Umbrella Key, Isn't Shark Point campsite nearby? It means that we can have now more options for paddlers doing the Flamingo to the Keys loop.

You can see Johnson chickie here
I think they may be calling it the Shark Point chickie and they are closing the beach camp.
I saw the Umbrella Key chickee before completion. It looked like it would be a heck of a haul to get your gear up that high. Maybe a hoist would be nice :) The thought of unloading gear while water filled my hull played like a short film between my ears.

There's not a lot of land left at Alligator Creek.

Bob, is there a means by which a paddler can exit in rough surf? It was just a ladder to a platform when I saw it last. ANy tips would be helpful. It looks like a nice weekend getaway spot.

Wow, that is a haul to get out of a touring kayak and onto that platform. Not to mention trying to get stuff out of the hatches. Even with my canoe it would be difficult. I suppose the park just designed these chickees to be used by powerboaters?
I think the park recognizes the problem. But since these are out in the open bay, they need to be high to deal with big weather and storm surges...

Users need to meet with NPS to design some sort of transition system to get from sea level to deck level with minimum effort & risk to life, limb & property. These designs might vary from location to location.
Yakmaster. I asked about the six foot height requirement and was told it was solely a function of naot casting a permanant sunlight shadow on the sea grass.
Hello everyone! I stayed at the Shark Point Chickee this weekend and here are my thoughts. The chickee is VERY well built, might be the best one in the park besides Pearl Bay. Spacious, very solid and new. With that being said, the location is not very good, it is open water so the wind is BRUTAL, especially at night. It was very difficult to sleep and tie the tents down. Also, with all the complaints about the chickee being too high, I agree. It took us about 2 hours to load up the kayaks in the morning due to how high up we were and on top of that you catch even more wind. Due to the height its a great fishing spot because you have a great vantage point and the water is pretty clear. Maybe it will be be used as a spot to stop for lunch or fishing on the way to Alligator Creek Campsite. Just thought I would share! If you want to see pictures or video of the other stuff I saw check out my blog and website. www.aboveallpictures.com

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