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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I’m looking for sailing-camping partners on a 70 mi, 7-day trip from Flamingo (south end of Everglades National Park) to Chokoloskee (north end of ENP). Starting dates are flexible, but the starting day is not. Will start on Monday and end on Sunday. I plan to start the trip on a Monday between Jan 9 and Feb 2. An alternative time frame could be Mar 9 thru Mar 23—those are the starting Mondays. Doing the trip in Jan-Feb will be “coolâ€

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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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 Post subject: Trip
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Keith, I might be interested but I don't think I could not make the early set of dates. I don't even take delivery of my AI until December 31, hopefully. The March dates would be great as that would give me time to get a tent and all the other stuff. I have been sailing for years and know the ropes. I am retired and have no demands on my time.

Question, if you park your car in Flamingo and end up 70 miles north in Chokoloskee how do you get back to your car?

Ron Patterson
DarwinianOne@gmail.com


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:20 pm 
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Hi Ron,

I've done this trip 8 times and I've always been lucky to have my son and his family help with the shuttle. Usually, the drill is that (1) people get to my house, (2) using my suv/trailer (and maybe 1 car) we get down to FLM, and (3) my son & family get the cars over to Chokoloskee.

Regarding dates, I try to accomodate people. So, let's play it by ear for now. There are not a lot of AI people who can (want to?) do this stuff--take off a week and go camping--so, it is possible we will only have a couple people and a lot of flexibility. Bill Waller was a great partner last year, but he has some knee problems he needs to attend to this year.

I am also going to sandwich in a FLM-Chok sea kayak trip with some good friends. That will take place Feb 19-25. Those are very odd dates for me, but they are necessary because it is the only time a good friend can do the trip.

I hope we can get together and do this trip.

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 Dec 23, 2008 6:51 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Okay, hope everything works out fine but if not, no big problem. I live in Pensacola but right now I am in Breckenridge, Co. My son, who works in Saudi Arabia is on his repat vacation. He gave me a free vacation up here with his wife and two kids. It has been a great experience but I will be glad to get back to Pensacola. Right now we have two feet of snow but I don't ski.

I ordered my AI on November 24 and the dealer said it would take three weeks. But I called him yesterday and he said it was somewhere between California and Pensacola. Oh well, I won't be back there until the 30th anyway. Just hope I can pick it up the next day.

Ron Patterson


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:52 pm 
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Location: Albuquerque
I'm planning a trip to Panama City in March for the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (Ilove my job!) Wondering if any Hobie AI dealers will be coming to the Summit. It's a great place to meet a bunch of boating safety folks. I myself was wondering if an AI can be rented in the area? I'm planning to stay a few days after the summit and could use some ideas of favorite hangouts both on the water and off.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:39 pm
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Location: Venice, Florida
Count me in Keith.

THIS TRIP IS JUST TOO GOOD TO MISS.

Many would pay big money for a trip like this. Keith has been kayaking, fishing, and camping the islands of the coastal everglades for years. He knows the best fishing spots and the best campsites. We get fish cleaning out of the way by 3PM (thats when Happy Hour starts). Once we're good and happy, some start dinner while others gather firewood. We finish dinner and clean up by 5:30. Then we move down to firepit on the beach, and as the sun sets we light the campfire. Now its story time around the campfire. Lots of great stories and memories of sunsets and full moons glimmering across the gulf. As embers dim we finalize plans for the next day then head for our tents.

I got to know Keith and his south FL friends last year on several trips out from the northern end of the ENP (just south of Naples and Marco Island). This is the Ten Thousand Islands area. Lots of nice little islands with nice beaches and soft sand to camp/sleep on.

I never would have considered this trip without complete confidence in Keith. This area was new to me (damn mangrove islands all look alike) and hadn't learned how to use my GPS yet. I was suppose to get total knee replacements this month, but it got postponed. Well, guess what, I'm going to postpone it some more. I can get them done this next summer when its too hot and buggy to camp out on the islands.

Try to make this trip if you can. I've hiked most of the Appalachian Trail so I know a little about camping and adventure, but I'll never want to miss this trip as long as I can still make it.

Please no wimps/whiners--just adults and good story tellers.

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Hobie AI & WS Tempest 180 Pro
SW Gulf Coast: Sarasota to Keys

I'm not completely useless. I can always serve as a bad example.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Any Burmese pythons reported in those parts yet? In addition to snake owners illegally releasing the snakes into the wild when they got huge, hundreds of pythons kept as pets and in zoo situations also escaped into the Everglades when Hurricane Andrew went through South Florida. It has been a perfect breeding ground for them since 1992 and the population is spreading around south Florida in an uncontrollable way.
There's a map in this U of FL report which gives me pause for sleeping in a tent on the ground where these critters which grow up to 23'may lurk.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW28600.pdf
The same reason why we would want to go there in January wearing bathing suits, is the same reason they thrive there. Only a hard freeze could curb their populations.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:36 am 
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Hey, Denizen, you are going to scare people. Unnecessarily. Pythons, thanks to the intervention of ordinary citizens, are moving into the Everglades, but to my knowledge no human has ever been killed by one. There is no record of any one being killed by alligators or crocodiles in ENP since its inception in 1947. Now, compare that to deaths from automobile accidents, drug overdose, random shootings, directed shootings, muggings, home invasions, terrorist bombings (9/11) , armed robbery, hate crimes, our preemptive wars, etc.

In all our years of camping on the everglades Gulf coast beaches, we have only seen one snake--a 6 ft, 10-rattle Eastern diamondback rattle snake. He was not near any of our campsites. Rangers say that pygmy rattlers are quite common in the Flamingo area, but I have never seen one.

It is hard to find a more peaceful, relaxing area than the Gulf beaches of the Everglades National Park.

Let's keep things in perspective.

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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 Post subject: sorry about that
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:41 am 
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I suppose I'm sort of impressionable when I watch some of the Discovery channels. I think this issue was amplified either on Animal Planet or another Discovery channel. The threats that we heard about in the 80's and 90's from killer bees and formosa termites spreading out of control were hyped and have never really materialized.
I'm thinking it's more a future problem and only a very remote possibility to encounter a big python now, but I'm also thinking a few precautions wouldn't hurt, like maybe keeping tents reasonably close to each other so your neighbor was able to assist if there was a problem, and maybe keeping a big sharp knife handy when you go to sleep.
It is a p*sser that this non-native species is a manmade problem that has the potential to disrupt the whole ecosystem.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:23 am 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Polecat wrote:
Count me in Keith.

THIS TRIP IS JUST TOO GOOD TO MISS.


Polecat, I am convinced, I do not plan to miss it. However since my AI has not even been delivered yet, there is no way I could make the January dates. Hell, I don't even have a tent or most of the other stuff on the list of necessities.

But you are absolutely correct, it is too good to miss, and if you guys go in January I will definitely make it next year, that's a promise. You are also correct, many would pay good money for such an experience.

I lived in the area (Naples) for a year, back in 79 and 80, loved it but that was way before I retired and I did not get to experience the park as much as I would have liked to. I did spend one night in the park however. The no-see-ems liked to eat me up so I will be sure to take plenty of deet on this trip.

Note: You do not have to get the brand name "Off". Any spray that contains "deet" works just as well.

I am very much looking forward to the trip and thanks for the invite Keith. And a special thanks to Bill Waller who offered his assistance.

Ron Patterson


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Denizen, you've got to come down and join us on a 3-4 day trip in the Everglades so you get a better understanding of the environment. When you first see the Everglades, most people are a little underwhelmed. It looks a bit like the serengeti w/o all the animals. When you first do some trips--especially if you do them solo--it can definitely be a bit intimidating. As you become more and more familiar with the Everglades, you realize that all of the animals are at least as afraid of you as you are of them. That is when you first begin to be comfortable in the Everglades. Regarding pythons, if the rangers and others wage a strong campaign to get rid of them, they, like all other animals will develop a healthy fear of humans and stay away as far as possible.

Personally, I never leave my tent open (except on a very hot afternoon, if I am trying to take a nap), because I don't want mosquitos or noseeums getting in. Think about it, if mosquitos/noseeums can't get in, how is a snake going to get in. No experienced Everglades camper I know, sleeps with his/her knife handy. They might have done that 120 yrs ago when outlaws and unfriendly indians roamed the 'glades, but times have changed, a lot. The only animals in the Everglades that occasionally break into your tent (when you are not in it) are raccoons. Do not leave smelly food-like items in an unattended tent at night.

Denizen, please look at the trips we have done--check the pictures. Does it look like anyone is worried about pythons, alligators, or crocodiles? Mostly we are worried about whether we are going to catch fish for dinner, and usually we don't worry about that. Our trips: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=7276&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15
Scroll down the page if necessary.

Ron, hopefully, we can all (you, Bill, I and others?) can do the trip starting Mar 9. But, you have to get your boat, and get some experience and gear.

Bill, I've sent an email--please check it.

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 Dec 26, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Chekika wrote:
Ron, hopefully, we can all (you, Bill, I and others?) can do the trip starting Mar 9. But, you have to get your boat, and get some experience and gear.


Keith, my boat is supposed to arrive in a few days. I have most of the gear except a tent. I have been sailing for years and have plenty of experience. I tested the AI before I bought it and had no trouble handling it. I am really looking forward to the trip.

Thanks for the invite.

Ron Patterson


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:26 am 
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Ron,

How are you planning to transport your boat?

Also, when you get a tent, be sure to get noseeum netting. Since I have your email, I'm sending an article I wrote about extended kayak camping along coastal Everglades. Much of it applies to any Everglades camper.

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 Dec 27, 2008 2:37 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Keith, right now I am going to trailer my AI. I have a 16 foot AMF Sunbird with trailer. I have pulled the Sunbird off and set it up on blocks. That was no small chore since the Sunbird weighs about 700 pounds. I have placed boards and carpet on the trailer to pick up my AI, hopefully in less than one week. I will further modify the trailer to carry the AI without damaging it when it arrives.

However I am thinking of building a car-top carrier for it. I have been carrying my paddle kayak that way. I have a bicycle carrier which I placed padding on top. I then strapped the front end of my kayak to the car and the rear end of it to the bicycle caddy.

That being said, I would not dare carry my AI in such a manner. But I plan on building a level platform with the rear supported by the bicycle caddy which is inserted in the trailer hitch. The front of the platform would be strapped to the roof of my car. I have been working on the design for weeks and think I have it pretty well perfected. I think I could build it in less than a week.

I ordered my AI on November 24th and they said it would take three weeks to arrive. It has now been almost five weeks and it has not showed up. However I am a patient man and think it should be here in a few days.

Anyway it is perfect sailing weather right now in Pensacola. The air is quite warm though the water temperature is in the low 50's. I have a wet suit and booties in the event I accidentally get dumped in the water.

Thanks for the tips on camping in the everglades. I will print it out and read it several times.

Ron Patterson


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Ron,

Bill (Polecat) has not committed to doing the trip in Mar, but, if it is the 3 of us, possibly you and Bill might come down together--that would be one less car to shuttle and less expense for you fellows. Just something to think about. Bill lives in Venice.

Frankly, it is not surprising your boat is a bit late. Your dealer probably gave you a best case scenario. I don't think the dealers have any idea, initially, how long it is going to take to get a boat from the west coast over here--the truck may go all over the place before getting to FL.

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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