7861TRIP REPORT TO TURKEY KEY & BEYOUND -- THREE DAYS OFF THE EVERGLADES
- Mar 2, 2012Monday morning early, after filling out the proper permits, "Team Alberto, Brenda & Bob" were swept out Sandfly Pass on a strong ebb tide and felt fairly smug about our pace until we reached the Gulf and had to turn south around Demijohn Key into a strong head wind. The opposing wind and current set up white water across our decks and made us push and pant all the way to Rabbit Key. After a short rest and a group strategy session Brenda was able to pull out a secret passage through Lumber Key to the protected waters on the east side of Rabbit where we proceeded into diminishing winds all the way to Pavilion Key. There we lunched, relaxed and talked of White Pelicans and their habits. Well rested, we paddled easily out into the open water bearing 135 degrees for about five miles and came in just shy of Clam Point where we briefly stretched and then worked our way through the inside shallow passage, past New Turkey Key, to our destination on Turkey Key. Giant conk shells awaited us on the beach and we noted that the Sanibel shell collectors would go just "crazy" here if they knew what decorated our beach. Then Emergency Crum Cake was distributed to all who were famished and tent sites were setup quickly. At sunset a fire appeared on the beach. Who knew that Alberto was a master fire builder? Not I! But it did explain the saw he carries in his kayak.
The next day we paddled through the shallows of Buzzard Key, North Plover Key and Plover Key on a day trip to Lostman's Bay. Blue sky, big fluffy spring-time clouds and gentle winds from the south greeted us. The activities for the morning consisted of trying to catch Alberto who always seemed to loom just ahead of us and in trying to name the countless birds that populated the keys we past. A bet was made as to which island was Bird Key and which was "Mangrove" Key, and which point was Alligator and which was Porpoise. Someone finally won and someone lost but the discussion lived on all afternoon. Hog Key was beautiful, with an old oak tree standing over the water, seemingly out of place. We brunched and Brenda and Bob proceeded down to Lostman's Bay, found its private shallow entrance to the North and exited across the bay to the South. Lostman's is huge, protected and worthy of further exploration but now we slid back along the coast, picked up Alberto, stretched and headed on a broad reach to our home on Turkey Key.
There was no green flash at sunset that night and Wednesday we headed back. The south wind which we had had for two days persisted for another day and helped to lift our boats downwind to the North. Paddling was easy and water played around our deck lines and hatches as we slid along, almost caught in the trough, seemingly stationary, as the water did it work carrying us home. We rested again and lunched on Pavillion, and again on Rabbit, waited a bit for the tides to turn and returned around Demijohn and up Sandfly to the ranger station. It turns out that the three of us are a good team and enjoyed each other's company, so I think that, as we have opportunity, we may do other trips in the future. We traveled somewhere around 55 to 60 miles in three days, saw some breathtaking new places, and gave nature the chance to cleanse our souls. We all returned grateful. Attached is a link to Alberto's fabulous pictures, they well describe our adventure.
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