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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:07 am 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Now that we took delivery of our TI and have some vacation time coming up, my wife posed the question this morning of possibly spending some quality time down in Florida in the near future.

What sort of opportunities are there to do kayak camping down in Florida along the Gulf coast? More specifically between the Fort Myers area and Key West? We've done car camping down there a number of times over the years, but nothing along the lines of kayaking from location to location and camping on the beach at night.

Does anyone have some links you can direct me to? Many thanks in advance...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:33 am 
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Location: Boynton Beach
Congratulations on the arrival of your new boat. My AI is in route and will be at my local dealer by the time I get back from a trip in about a week.
If you will be in the Ft Myers area, you should look into this: http://www.floridastateparks.org/cayocosta/default.cfm
Go here: http://ftp.ij.net/wctss/wctss/ and you can see some cruise reports and photos of Pelican Bay, which on on the inside of Caya Costa island. We always stay on that little beach and camp in our boats for free. You may have to rent a camp site to tent camp, but it would be a great base for exploring the areas north and south. You could make a week out of that place alone.

If you want more wilderness, you could head to Everglades City and explore the Everglades National Park via Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Go to the Watertribe site for some pictures and reports on sailing in the Everglades Park (Everglades Challenge). Also, check out Keith's trip reports on this forum. He has some great write ups and photos of the park.

For more comfort you could try the small hotels on Sunset Cove in Key Largo. Yo can sample Florida Bay form there. There are a few good restaurants within walking distance from there - Mrs Mack's is my favorite.

Farther down on Grassy Key is: http://www.gulfviewwaterfrontresort.com/ It's reasonable for the keys and is on a pretty cove opening to the Gulf and they allow pets.

Let us know before you go. some of us might want to tag along.

Ted


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:45 am 
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Thanks, Ted! Appreciate the info.

My wife is flip-flopping on whether or not to do Florida this soon after delivery of the TI; there's the oil issue, the newness of the TI to us, the long distance from home and the heat, etc. But then I catch her reading more on going down to Florida, so I know it's working on her mind.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:05 pm 
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I'm DYING for next camping season to try the sites in Everglades National Park basically between Flamingo and the Naples. Below are a couple of sites with some of the best resources I've seen so far:

This one is by the park service and shows the rules and regulations for camping in ENP, and basic info on where the campsites are:

http://www.nps.gov/ever/upload/Wilderne ... lanner.pdf

Here are some pretty detailed maps including GPS coordinates of the campsites

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/paddling ... ment14.htm

I can't tell you how jelous I am that you have you TI. :mrgreen: The wait to get mine is absolutely KILLING me!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Mitch & Brady,

Welcome to the world of AI and TAI camping! This is not the camping season in FL, especially in the Everglades area--much too hot, and the bugs (noseeums, mosquitoes) can be fierce. The camping "season" in south Florida begins about the first of November and lasts through the end of March. You can stretch that a bit on both ends but expect to suffer a bit from the heat & maybe bugs. The best months for enjoyable camping down here are Dec-Feb. March can be good. If you like to camp and fish, Nov & Mar are your better months.

Brady, where is your home base?

Hope to see you down here next season.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:01 pm 
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Hi Keith,

I'm here in Miami, so I'll be around next season. Hopefully my TI will have come in by then!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:05 am 
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Brady,

Steve Sanders is expecting a TI delivery in the near future. Also, Ted Fite is getting an AI. When do you expect your TI. Both Steve & Ted plan to do some camping next season. If you send your email, I'll add you to my list that I send announcements of plans. Also, Ted, Steve, and I are planning to get together for a sail when their boats arrive (if they make it by July 1.)

My email is kwellma at bellsouth dot net.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:41 pm 
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I'm jbrady at technopeople.com. I'm told I'll have it hopefully in July, but that depends mostly on if the Hobie Gods smile upon me! I'm thinking Biscayne Bay might be a fun place to break it in (right there off of Dog Beach off the Rickenbocker causeway). 'till then all I can do is drive the empty trailer around!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Keith, mine should be here when i get back from Ohio this weekend. I'd love to break it in on biscayne Bay.

Ted


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:47 am 
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Keep me posted!

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:45 am 
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
Welcome guys. It's great to see the south fla Adventure population growing. It should be a great camping season. The Rickenbacker Causeway is about the best place to launch in the area. No slippery boat ramp and you can back your trailer to the water and leave it there. You might want to wear blindes though because some of the things they jamb into a bikini are just plain wrong. I launch just west of the last entrance before the Miami Seaquarium. There is deeper water close to shore and the sail to the cut is short. A sail around Virginia Key is a great way to christen a new boat.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:32 am 
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Nice imagery quirkster. You're probably right about the causeway being an easy place to launch from. Keith likes to go out of Matheson - he lives nearby. My preference has been to sail in the south end of the bay, usually out of Homestead Marina. The water is beautifully clear and the motor boat traffic more spread out. You've got Elliott Key to go to for camping or just to use the grills and facilities and, with these boats, you can scoot out of Sands Cut and into the Atlantic. Triumph Reef is about four miles out and is a beautifully compact reef that rises from about 15' to 3'. Sands Cut is extremely shallow with fast moving current, but we could pull everything up and paddle out.

Ramp launching would be OK at Homestead, but the channel out is quite long. We should be able to slide out of the channel and sail though the shallows to deeper water. It may even be possible to launch off of their beach, but I haven't looked closely at the beach and don't know how close you can get to it with a car - it could be a bit of a slog with the kayak carts.

I'd like to go soon, but I don't know about this heat. It's seven miles across to Elliott. Against a prevailing light east wind and with the two hour drive and set up and take down, it could be an ordeal. I usually spend the night on the mono hull when I go down there, to cut the pain of the drive and rigging and it's usually in nicer weather. The other thing, in the summer, is those nasty storms that kick up in the afternoon. For my money, in the summer the best bet is to go further south to the Keys and get a hotel or small apt and do some day sailing. Sunset Cove in Key Largo has some reasonable places and is surrounded by good water, good food and good drink - what could be better.

Ted


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:48 am 
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Hi Guys,

Rickenbacker would be great. Some place in the keys would be good--wherever Ted would suggest, but I'm getting short on time this summer.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:02 am 
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http://www.baycovemotel.com/

This is about as cheap as it gets in the Keys 85, plus taxes for rooms with two beds, probably a little less for a single. I seem to recall them having refrigerates - maybe micros. They have a ramp and dock and are located on Sunset Cove, at the finish line of the Everglades Challenge. They are right next door to Mrs Mac's Kitchen, which is good eats. You can sail out to Nest Keys from there. If we go there, I would prefer to go during the week, now that I have the time. It's much more quiet and pleasant than on the weekends. I'd prefer to split cost on a room but would take a single. They have availability both this week and next. What's your pleasure? We could do one or two nights. It's about a three hour drive for me. I would get there early and get in a day of sailing in before checking in.

Ted


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:44 am 
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Ted & Bob,

Turns out I have some company this week. I could do a day sail out of Rickenbacker depending on the day.

Alternatively, my wife and I would be interested in going down to the Bay Cove Motel for an overnighter, like either next Monday/Tue or Tue/Wed (that is the period, June 28-29, 29-30). Anybody interested in that? It looks like we could pull our boats out on their beach.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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