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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:10 pm 
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OK!! AI/TI/Kayak camping time in South Florida has arrived.

We are planning an AI/TI/kayak trip next week, Nov 17-20, 2010. Leave at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, Nov 17, from Chokoloskee for Pavilion Key. As usual, this will be a thrilling fishing trip--if that does not pan out, at the very least you can enjoy one of the premier islands in the Everglades. On Saturday, Nov 20, we return to Chokoloskee about 1:00 pm. Long-range weather forecast is for beautiful weather and light winds (there maybe "isolated showers" on Thursday with 30% chance of rain.)

Any kayakers who want to try out an AI will have an opportunity.

If you are interested, drop me a line at kwellma AT bellsouth DOT net, or post a message here.

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: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:21 am 
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Location: Saint Johns, Florida
I would have loved to go but I need more of a warning.

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Jerry D.
St. Johns, Florida
2010 TI
2008 AI


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:53 am 
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Hi Jerry,

Sorry for the short notice. Doing Pavilion Key is a routine trip down here--we probably do it 2-3, even 4 times a yr--so, when Nancy got back from a recent business trip, it occurred to us, "Hey, let's do a trip to Pavilion next week." I wanted to get it in before Thanksgiving weekend when it will be very crowded. Of course, it takes me a day or so to look at the tides and decide what days. By then, it is "short notice" for some.

One "routine trip" is the annual Flamingo to Chokoloskee trip--about 70 miles, 5-7 day trip. I will probably schedule that for mid-Jan, though no dates are set yet.

Another trip, which is anything but routine, is the Big Bend Paddle Trail from the Aucilla River to the Suwannee River (ca 100 mi) or even down to Cedar Key (ca 130 mi). It would be scheduled for mid to late March. I've kayaked that stretch 3 times, but doing it in an AI would definitely be a bit of a challenge because of the numerous sand/gravel bars and shallow areas--tides are critical. The state people who govern that stretch of Florida also have a rather rigid timetable that is geared to paddlers and not sailors. Nevertheless, I plan to do it in an AI this year.

Jerry, could you sent an email so I have your address? Send it to kwellma at bellsouth dot net. I sometimes get notices out by email before I post them on this forum. That way I can get things organized with people likely to make a trip, before putting it up "officially" on this forum.

Have a nice day....

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: Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:58 am 
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Heads up! Planned Flamingo to Chokoloskee Trip, Jan 10-16, 2011

This year's 7-day trip along the Gulf coast of the Everglades from Flamingo to Chokoloskee is being set up. The tentative schedule:

Jan 10, 2011 Flamingo to Middle Cape Sable (15 mi)
Jan 11 Mid Cape to Graveyard (16 mi) Catch fish along way.
Jan 12 Graveyard to Highland Beach (8 mi)—this stretch of shoreline has some of the best fishing in Florida.
Jan 13 Fishing day/relaxing--fish Broad River or Lostman's River. If you don't fish, relax and enjoy Highland Beach. HB is a terrific place to spend some time.
Jan 14 Highland Beach to Pavilion Key (20 mi)
Jan 15 Fishing day/relaxing. Pavilion is justifiably referred to as the "Gem of the Everglades." Pavilion is a guaranteed “fish fry night.”
Jan 16 Pavilion to Chokoloskee landing (9 mi)

Several trip reports in this area have been posted on this thread-- The link to last year's AI trip is http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=90
Scroll down until you see the title, “Flamingo to Chokoloskee Trip, Jan 13-Jan 18, 2010.”

One TI and 2 AIs are planning to do the trip as of this posting. Charlie Fast (TI, Bosab on forum) is handling his own transportation. If only 2-3 AI owners do this trip, I can arrange the logistics. If there are more, we will have to be creative to shuttle people/cars around.

If you have any questions, ask them here or send an email to me at 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: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:29 am 
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Location: South Florida
Our Everglades National Park 7-day trip (Flamingo to Chokoloskee) is shaping up nicely. We have 4 AIs and 1 TI doing the trip. We will launch from Flamingo ramps at 11:30 am, Monday, Jan 10 and arrive in Chokoloskee at 12:30 PM, Jan 16.

We will spend a few days on Pavilion Key—a great destination for AI/TI campers. Specifically, we will reach Pavilion on Fri, Jan 14, spend Saturday fishing, walking the beach, taking pictures, and just relaxing. We will definitely have a fish fry Saturday night and, with luck, Friday night. Sunday, we will sail on into Chokoloskee.

For those of you interested in AI/TI camping in the Everglades, come out and join us on Pavilion Key. If interested, leave a comment here or drop me a note at kwellma at bellsouth dot net. Do it soon, so I can coordinate anyone coming out.

Those doing the trip from Flamingo to Chokoloskee are Charlie Fast (TI) from Tampa, Rick Parks (AI) from the Orlando area, Bob Quirk (AI) from just N of Miami, my wife, Nancy (AI), and myself (AI) from SW of Miami.

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: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:20 am 
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I’ve purchased a new GPS

I’ve bragged on another forum that my Garmin 76scx was 5, 6, and now 7 yrs old and still truckin’. It had never failed me. That ended a couple weeks ago on a day-sail, when I went to change batteries and a terminal pin broke off—the terminal connector had been getting weaker and weaker. It can probably be fixed, but, frankly, I’m worried it will last another 7 yrs. If that were the case, I would never get a chance to try some of the new technology.

Since I had a major trip coming up (see above), I took advantage of circumstances to purchase a Garmin GPSmap 78—the most basic of the new 78 series. The 78 is a major upgrade of the Garmin GPSmap 76. The one feature that I really lusted after was the capability to upload “Garmin Custom Maps.” This feature allows you to take any jpg, e.g., a scanned paper map or a Google Earth image, set its coordinates using Google Earth, and then upload it to the Garmin 78. There is a limitation on how large (MB) these custom maps may be, but, since the 78 accepts a microSD memory card, you can store many of these maps on the 78. Here is an example of one I’ve put on my new Garmin 78.

This is a Google Earth image, about 1.8 mi across, which I converted to a Garmin Custom Map. It is the mouth of the Broad River at its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico. On our upcoming trip, we hope to fish this complex area which has many small islands and channels.
Image

This is a picture of my Garmin 78. It was taken in full sunlight and the reflection of clouds & trees off the glass makes for a difficult picture—it is easier to read in actual use. Still, if you look closely you can see the display shows the above Garmin Custom Map zoomed into the area in the box enclosure. Two waypoints (REDS and BROAD3) stored on the GPS show up on the map as they should.

Image

If I zoomed in Google Earth to that area, this next picture is what it looks like. The original Google Earth image is much too dark to use as a Garmin Custom Map, so it is necessary to use photo editing software to brighten the image—you can also resize the image at that time.
Image

I would have given an arm and a leg to have had this capability, when I first began to venture into the Everglades.

After our Flamingo to Chokoloskee trip, I should have a few more things to say about the Garmin 78. One thing you can be sure of, this GPS will be kept in an AquaPac bag for safekeeping on the water. That safeguard kept my Garmin 76 ticking for 7 yrs.

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: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Looks pretty cool, Keith. Definitly nice with the option to make and download aerial photos. But, I don't like the buttons on the top. Is it waterproof? And, wonder if they used any of the newer technology to improve battery life, and improve reception.

Probably, I will keep my 76 until it croaks. Though I do need to get a new battery cover. I just broke it--the bottom of it where it hooks on to the body. (Hum, but I may be using it less for general getting around--because I just bought a smart phone and there is free google maps (with navigation) that comes with it. Will have to see how that goes--I think it talks to you. Don't know if I will like that.) And, hope you give the old gps to someone who will make it work, and get more life out of it.

Have fun Keith.
n


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:10 pm 
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thanks for the thread

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Paul, Rebecca & Stephanie


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:22 pm 
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You are welcome, Paul. Good luck on your trips. Be sure to post the results and your family's impressions.

TM--Yes, I would hang onto that 76 for awhile. The 78 is tougher to read, AND, it hung up on me once this past trip. Also, some routes were messed up. I should have checked ALL of them before leaving. I've done the FLM-Chok trip so many times that I don't really need a chart or GPS. Still, I like to have a GPS with good routes, since I am a straight-line guy when traveling--an old kayaker habit. I do have all the waypts along the way on the 78, so I could have regenerated the routes that did not load properly. On return home, I reloaded all the routes, and they loaded fine, so I'm not sure what caused that problem.

What do you mean you don't like the buttons on the top of the 78--the 76 has the same buttons in the same place? Your hands don't cover the display, if you use your thumbs like the kids do.

Alkaline AA battery usage is about the same as the 76--lithium batteries are recommended. The satellite reception is much faster and more sensitive than my old 76--that is nice.

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: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:19 pm 
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Flamingo to Chokoloskee, Jan 10-16, 2011

We had a great group—4 AIs, 1 Ti, and 4 men and my wife, Nancy. Despite a hopeful forecast of 8-15 mph winds the first day, the trip began with no wind. Instead of sailing 19 mi to NW Cape, we pedaled 11 miles to East Cape Sable.

Image


Leaving Flamingo with high hopes for adventure. A penny for the boaters’ thoughts?
Image

Charlie Fast, in his new TI, looking for a bit of wind on Day 1.
Image

No wind, but a nice sunset. We are still 30 minutes to our fall-back destination—East Cape Sable.
Image

Day 2 opens to fog. Bob Quirk and a couple AIs on East Cape Sable.
Image

Charlie Fast and Rick Parks subdue catch of the day with a fog backdrop.
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And then proudly display it.
Image

Brown pelican tries to figure what the excitement is about.
Image

A red egret is having a better day than we will.
Image

Fog continues to roll in as we prepare for day’s sail.
Image

The fog was so heavy, that Nancy actually got separated from everyone—she was the least experienced sailor. At one point she lost sight of every one. She has a small GPS, but she is used to following other sailors on a difficult day. When she radioed that she had lost visual contact, I headed back to look for her. Somehow, we found each other, and decided to call it a day. The 2 of us headed to shore to set up camp. The other 3 fellows were at Middle Cape, where they camped and waited. We had made ONLY 4 miles.

Nancy and our camp on the morning of Day 3. Our 3 friends are on Mid Cape—the point on the left horizon.
Image

Today (Day 3) the winds are less favorable and have increased. It is going to be another difficult day. I had planned to make 16 mi. After 2.5 hrs, we had made only 4 mi to NW Cape. The next leg to Graveyard was 12 mi with the wind on our nose and very rough seas. We would have made it after dark—no fun. So, we decided to spend the night at Northwest Cape, hoping for more favorable conditions on Day 4. So far, we have made 19 mi in 3 days. Bummer.

We camp on NW Cape. Nancy looks over a nice line up of AIs and Charlie’s dune TI.
Image

Bob Quirk, Charlie Fast, Nancy, Rick Parks (surreptitiously taking picture of me) on NW Cape.
Image

This camp pet did more begging than Fido ever was allowed.
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Day 4: Charlie adjusts his comforter as he chats with Rick at breakfast. A “comforter” on NW Cape? That has got to be a first—TI sailors live a different life.
Image

Day 4 opened to strong winds on our nose, and the forecast indicated no change for a day or 2. Charlie had a hard deadline at trip’s end. In 11 Flamingo to Chokoloskee trips (8 by sea kayak, 3 by AI/Ti), I had never quit. Some people have always felt we were pushing our luck. I guess it caught up with us this year. If we hadn’t had that first windless day, if the winds had been just a bit more favorable each day, and if we had not had the fog—if any one of those things had been different, the ending would have been different. As leader of the trip and with 20-20 hindsight, I wonder, maybe we could have made that last 12-mile leg to Graveyard on Day 3, Bob wanted to try for it, but….

Day 4: The decision is made—ABORT! We are running before strong winds and on bumpy seas back to Flamingo. It took us 3 days to get to NW Cape; it will take us 4-5 hrs to return. Nancy has a half mile lead as we near East Cape Sable. She is definitely a downwind sailor. I’m about to get all wet.
Image

Arrgh! Kayak Bob’s spray skirts would solve this little problem.
Image

Charlie had an unfortunate accident at East Cape Sable on the return. He found a gravel bar and broke his TI rudder. It did not shear his rudder pin; but, it did shear off his rudder. He did a great job getting his rudderless boat 11 miles back to Flamingo. This picture of the rudder housing was taken at home. Hobie is furnishing him the new (the really new version) housing in time for his attempt at the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in March.

Image

While this trip was aborted, it is not done. Stay tuned….

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


Last edited by Chekika on Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:36 pm 
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Thanks again Keith. We always enjoy these trip reports. Even though you couldn't go exactly where you intended, still looks like a pretty enjoyable trip.
Keep 'em coming mate.

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Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Great shots and story line, Thanks a million.

Clearly illustrates that anyone going out on the water needs to be prepared to deal with adversity.

I commend your smart planning and sense of adventure.

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"THE WIND IS YOUR FRIEND,.."


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:38 pm 
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just to set the record straight the thing called a comforter is an all weather snuggie. All polyester, waterproof on one side and very warm. That and the folding chair made the trip much more comfortable! The snuggie doubles as a pillow at night. If you can get to South Florida in the winter these are great trips to take. Bring your Snuggie. It can get cold. Thanks for having me along

Charlie


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:28 am 
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I’ve had a couple emails w/ pictures from friends regarding that fog we experienced on our “Flamingo-Chokoloskee” trip. Frank Baron was visiting Fairchild Gardens in Miami that day. Here are a couple of his pictures:
Image

Image

Bill Fite took a picture as he sailed in Florida Bay, perhaps not too far from us:
Image

Bill is a very experienced sailor and has been very successful competing in the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge event. He had these comments regarding Nancy’s difficulty navigating in the fog:

… I thought I'd relate my recent experience you can share with your wife. I have sailed at night and all night in most kinds of weather and visibility, but I have never been so disoriented as I was in this thick fog in Florida Bay a week or two ago. Usually you can see something on a dark night--moon sliver, halo, glow of city, dark cloud patch or whatever. The morning of this picture I couldn't see a horizon of any kind or anything else. Even motoring I could not keep from wandering all over the place unless I absolutely stared at my compass. Sailing would have been even harder.

I count it as a very good experience. I will not rely on instinct and seat-of-pants reckoning for navigation when conditions like this are possible, even if the outing is a casual one.


Nancy thought Bill’s remarks were spot on. She also said she could see land on her GPS, and she would have made it to shore, even w/o my help--how deflating.

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: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:20 am 
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Rene Potvin joined us on our just-completed Flamingo to Chokoloskee (in reverse!) trip. He has written an excellent description w/ pictures. Very well done.
http://miami2montreal.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/chocoloskee-to-flamingo-seven-days-through-the-everglades/

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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