Everglades Exploration Network

Good evening. My cousin and I just completed our trip from Chockoloskee to Coot Bay Pond. Our trip was as follows: started at Chockoloskee Island Park, Lopez River, Darwin's Place, Highland Beach, Oyster Bay Chickee and out at Coot Bay pond. We followed the markers until Lostman's river, then out to the beach. Followed the coast down to Graveyard Creek, then in to the Oyster Bay Chickee. We had to choose a shorter duration due to the weather/wind forcast. We had a good time, and learned a lot. Learned that we need to learn a lot more.

We started our last day with an excellent plan. Low tide was scheduled to be at 8:30am. So, we thought that we would start slowly, and that the tide would eventually turn and push us down the Joe River. Well, the current was against us the whole day. And as usual, the 10-15mph winds from the NE, were really 15-20 from the East. Does any one have any insite to the tides in the Joe river?

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There is a big delay on the Joe.. We had an incoming tide all the way when the tide tables at Shark River indicated the water was ebbing there.

We were there about three weeks ago.. We went from Coot Bay to Oyster Bay .. the reverse of what you did. The tide was really moving against us on Tarpon Creek.

out of five days, we had the wind and tides with us for only one.

The tides on Joe River are not always what you would expect from the published charts. They are just predictions.

If you look on the National Data Buoy Center website you will see station WWEF1 is just a little north of where Tarpon Creek empties into Whitewater Bay. Look at the recent data for tidal height for the period before you leave and you can approximate when high and low tide will be on your trip, and therefor on the Joe.  The tide only changes inches, but the fluctuation is clear.

However, other circumstances have a larger effect on the direction of flow, especially wind. If there has been a duration of strong wind from a certain direction it can easily over ride the tidal influence.

Precipitation and flood control measures also can play a big role, as has been the case this winter and especially lately. The current may seem like the tide is falling all day when a big bulge of freshwater is draining out.

A strong continuous wind can make the water move in just about any direction, but I've only seen freshwater running out.

My experience a couple of weeks ago was the tide was running in strongly on Tarpon.. Estimated about two mph.. it was making whirlpools.  There had been quite a wind from the east the day before.

IMO the scariest conditions happen at the outflow of some rivers on Cape Sable where sandbars have been deposited. This makes for strong eddies at the river mouth and potentially confusing seas over the sanbars.

We had a pretty exciting time crossing in front of Broad River on an incoming tide. We had watched the tides most of the day, before we went down the Joe river. Maybe we just out ran the incoming tide? We know that we headed out maybe 1/2 hour before low tide. We had a good trip, learned a lot. Swore we would never go back. We will see.

If you want hellish conditions , today on Florida Bay The Everglades Challenge is on in gale force winds.

Yeah, before we left we turned 7 days into 6. We pulled our permit with the thought that we probably could turn 6 into 5 if the weather got bad. So, 5 it was.

 You folks are nuts. 

 With backcountry water levels at peak-of-the-summer levels in March why ya'll like

 to paddle where powerboats zoom by is beyond anything I can reason.   This late in the season

 all the upland backcountry paddling is still screaming for paddlers. 

 Get in the real Everglades, get in the sloughs and don't come out to saltwater until the freshwater is gone.

Probably because we are equipped for camping on dry land and not equipped for daytripping.. I saw very few powerboaters.

But thanks for your friendly tips. Because I live 2000 miles away scouting in other areas is difficult. Yet I rarely use the WW.

As stated above some of us are nearly a thousand miles away, and only get to visit the Everglades every few years. Some of us are learning what you already know. I have learned a lot from you guys/gals on this forum, someday hope to travel through some of the areas that you are already bored with. But for now, I am happy to accept my amateur status, and only get to the Glades every few years. And yes, everyone here calls us crazy just for doing what you guys call amateur stuff. "Why don't you just buy a motor boat?"

I wonder if there's a way to help get all you folks in the backcountry, the other half of the Everglades.

For someone traveling a long distance to get here, what are the biggest problems in doing something

like paddling down Shark Slough to Canepatch then on to Flamingo or exits up near Honky-Tonk City?

On the other hand, maybe paddlers just don't want to get off the brochure.   Even paddlers down

here don't seem to use what's available to them.   With the perfect paddling season we've had this year,

you'd expect a steady flow of slough paddlers yet even with these conditions you can still count these

paddlers on one hand.  

Part of the problem for some of us is that we are still trying to build skills and knowledge. The Everglades is one of the few areas in the country that you can truly get away from society and be forced to really plan your trip.  I learned a ton on our last trip. I also learned that I need to learn a lot more. We didn't see any other paddlers the whole week we were there. All of Whitewater bay was open.

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