Everglades time again! This year I went for five days/four nights with my sister Diana Pray from LA. We did a lazy double figure eight route around northeastern Whitewater Bay and the Gulf. [Gallery] With the exception of a few distant motorboats we were completely alone for four days, quite remarkable!
The wind was southerly the entire trip, so the first day we started out sailing almost all the way to the Roberts River Chickee.
I brought along a 360° panoramic camera and took some impressive shots! Here we are on our own little planet.
The next day we took The Cut-Off over to the North River and ate lunch on the Watson River Chickee. Then we got lost in The Labyrinth on our way to the Shark River.
Surprisingly we ended up on what I call “Dad’s Creek” where my father and I dumped the canoe in 2005. This set us up for a very pleasant twilight excursion up stream to the Shark River Chickee.
The next day the water was like glass as we headed into one of the northern channels of the Shark River to set up our boomerang out to the Gulf of Mexico. [The river reverses flow twice a day, down with the outgoing tide and up with the high tide. So if you time it right you can ride the current both ways! I call the upstream flow the “Everglades Escalator!“]
This trip was remarkable for how many sea creatures we saw! We watched dolphins feeding/cavorting at least ten times, including their habit of laying on their side in the shallows and splashing fish onto the shore.
We saw a Manatee come up for air and then swim under us in the Labyrinth. But the highlight was returning up the Shark River where we were in the middle of a group of Sea Turtles (maybe ten!) who would popup randomly for air and be gone in a second. [It reminded me of whack-a-mole!] One actually ran into Diana’s kayak!! The heads were huge so I think the were Loggerheads.
We got back to the Watson River Chickee at dusk, promptly ate and went to bed. The next morning we were greeted by dolphins feeding a few feet away!
The next day was a leisurely float down the eastern side of Whitewater Bay.
We got to the Lane Bay Chickee well before dark and had some time to relax and swim. The breeze finally kept the bugs off <smile>.
The next day we worked our way down through the maze of Hells Bay.
Back on Whitewater Bay we encountered a 10-15 mph headwind. It was a bit of a slog but so much better than a canoe!
A quick return trip across Coot Bay finished our most excellent adventure!