Everglades Exploration Network

Loop from Flamingo through Whitewater Bay and out to capes Oct 6-10

I had called Flamingo and talked with a Ranger in regards to mosquitos. He had told me that they were bad, and knowing this we decided to go anyway. Our last trip had been Memorial Day and the deer flies then were bad, so we were prepared.

Arriving at Flamingo we found it deserted. Since ramp and lot was empty we didn't feel rushed and pushed off about 9:30 am. We paddled up the canal towards Whitewater Bay. The few boats we encountered were all returning. Hmmm.....

We entered into Whitewater Bay and took a left. Flat calm. No bugs unless we got close to shore. We had wondered about level of water at chickees with the extreme high tides. When we got to south Joe River chickee we found the floor still above water, but barely. We stopped there for lunch and a break then headed on out to Joe River continuing towards Joe River chickee. Twice dolphins escorted us for a mile or so, sometimes beside us then in front. The tide had changed and we made it to stopping point by 4:30. Set up tents quickly not sure of the bugs and glad we did. About 6:00 they ran us in for the night. Some breeze later to make it tolerable and a beautiful night to look at stars.

Up early the next morning as we had to try and get out through Shark River and catch some of the tide carrying us towards NW cape. Leaving Joe River and turning up into Oyster Bay was incredible. The sun was just coming over the mangroves and the water was flat calm. In the distance to the north a bank of clouds appeared to be snow covered mountains on top of the trees. No other boats to make waves. Along the shoreline before entering creek leading to little Shark River the tall mangroves were reflecting like a mirror in the still black water.

High tide was 10:15 am at mouth of Shark River. We arrived there about 10:00. Last two miles were tough, as if I tried to get nearer to the edge of creek to maybe find an eddy, here come the mosquitos, forcing me to stay in current the whole time. Also water was so high it was difficult to get on edge of creek and not hit submerged limbs. Welcomed relief to see the final red marker. Turning south and going about a mile got us out of current inflow to River and started helping us. Sea breeze hadn't come up yet so mostly flat conditions all the way down to the cape.

We set up camp and started exploring. Usually we can go back in the bush some, but unless we got covered up again, we couldn't, and it was too hot. Spent that day and the next one walking the beach, fishing, improving camp, reading and playing with new gps that I can't figure out. Beautiful sunsets but then in tent immediately.

Early Friday morning we departed for east cape we had flat seas and tide with us all the way. Stopped briefly at middle cape to lay in the water and cool off. Set up camp at East cape and started looking around again. Found cool place under large mangrove jutting out into the water.

Saturday we made dash back to Flamingo. We had wind and tide with us all the way. Almost like not paddling compared to other segments. More people now at Flamingo, day visitors walking around and some fishermen. We did not see other kayakers. Loaded kayaks on trailer and headed to Rosita's in Florida City. After I leave there I can hardly keep my eyes open and have 3 hour drive back, but it is a must stop.

Great trip. The heat coupled with the bugs makes it more difficult. I hope next time we can wait maybe a month.

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A couple of more photos
Entering Oyster Bay

Reminds me this year to bring the beach umbrella. Its in sections and seven feet across and adjustable. I am tired of baking on the Cape!

Yes it fits in a kayak.

We actually dug a small pool to get in and cool off. It was a bit of work, but worth the effort. We dug a hole near top of high tide line, covered bottom with plastic tarp, let rising tide partially fill it, then built dam and used empty 30 liter dry bag as bucket to fill to top. Great place to be for sunset. Next high tide took it away, but we were leaving anyway.

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