Soldier Key Warm-Up Paddle (Kakay or SUP) from Bill Baggs

It’s time to get some distance on! Got rebuild the miles and here we go. Seven miles each way, open-water, must have solid boat/board handling skills and be prepared for the weather to change in the blink of an eye (or two). Let’s paddle to Soldier Key, over the Safety Valve, past Stiltsville. It’s a beautiful paddle with lots of sea creatures to be experienced.


This paddle is not suitable for boats under 14’. Ideally, 16' and over are best for this event.  Be sure you bring plenty to drink and some food as well. Water alone will not be enough. Hydration is important on a longish summer paddle. We like Nuun tabs. There are other products but those have worked great for us. It will be hot. Don’t pull an Esther and get all burnt. Use your sunblock, wear a hat, and don’t forget your camera. Marine radios are recommended. Solid shoes are a must. The bottom around Soldier Key is jagged.


With all that being said, be prepared to be rewarded for you efforts. Swimming, photos ops, relaxation are phenomenal on this paddle. So get ready to paddle, and paddle hard.

Distance:  About 14-miles, 7 each way

Difficulty:  Moderate to extreme, expect boat traffic, currents, possible chop.  This is an open water crossing.

What to Bring:  Your boat or board, paddle, PFD (which you will wear), proper hydration (min 1 gallon per person recommended), snacks, sun protection, hat, cool sunglasses, camera.

 

Tides for Soldier Key starting with June 15, 2013.

Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
           /Low      Time    Feet    Sunset                    Visible

Sa  15     High   2:05 AM     1.9   6:29 AM     Set 12:19 AM      31
    15      Low   8:41 AM     0.2   8:13 PM    Rise 12:28 PM
    15     High   2:32 PM     1.8
    15      Low   8:59 PM     0.3


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  • Rolando P.

    I finally fished uploading the videos this are the links:

    Around Soldier key
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMQyvBUwzoA

    Soldier key snorkeling
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsHu_1rhhac

    The trip to and from soldier key
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RPKp9H3qIE


    Enjoy

    1 · June 19, 2013

  • Pat O.

    Great day, great paddle, wonderful paddling companions. Will have to come over to Miami again. I have one picture to share.

    June 17, 2013

  • Esther

    What a perfect day! Conditions where ideal, temperature was warm but bearable. Good tides and wind and a great bunch. Total distance was just shy of 14 miles. We made it to Soldier in 2 hours, back in 2 and a few minutes. Awesome seeing my friend and off-trail guru Terry Helmers on a park boat over the safety valve. Then Carmen and company paddling off the beach. I love running into people at out of the way places :) Lunch and a few beers at No Name Harbor was a treat too. Thanks so much everyone. Next long paddle, Carl Ross Key. It felt great to paddle!

    June 16, 2013

  • Bill

    It was nice to paddle with such a wonderful group of kaykers. Will be looking forward to another trip soon. thanks to everyone for your help.

    June 16, 2013

  • Dave

    Great weather, perfect conditions, good group of people! :)

    June 16, 2013

  • Jill

    BEST PADDLE YET THIS YEAR!!! Perfect day and excellent company - can't say enough good stuff about this one :)

    1 · June 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful day and a good long haul plus a great place to cool off and relax in the middle.

    June 15, 2013

  • Rolando P.

    Perfect weather and perfect company

    1 · June 15, 2013

  • Cynthia Selene H.

    I have a single inflatable kayak....is this paddle doable with my kayak?

    June 14, 2013

    • Esther

      Hi Cynthia, An inflatable is not a good open water option. I would not use that type of kayak for this trip. It is long, hot, and can be quite challenging.

      June 14, 2013

  • Pat O.

    I'm bring Oscar with me.

    1 · June 14, 2013

  • Rolando P.

    If there is a waiting list please include me in case some one cancel.

    June 12, 2013

  • Robert

    Are we meeting at the kayak launch area immediately to the right when we enter the park?

    June 11, 2013

    • Esther

      Oceanside. First parking lot on the left. Turn left at the parking lane nearest the beach area. There are two loading parking disagrees marked for banks and kayak launch. It's a healthy walk to the water.

      June 11, 2013

  • tania r.

    Esther: You are killing me!!!!....Saturday!!!!

    June 4, 2013

    • Esther

      Next one will be on a Sunday, just for you :)

      1 · June 10, 2013

  • Rolando P.

    mmh I don't know if I have the skills for this paddle. I haven't learn how to roll on my kayak yet. Esther are you going to do another of those kayak classes/seminars soon?

    June 2, 2013

    • Esther

      Yes, is there a date you prefer?

      June 3, 2013

  • Mercedes

    Ditto, wondering if I'm skilled enough..

    June 3, 2013

    • Esther

      This is not a terribly difficult paddle but it does require some experience. I am scheduling some longer paddle, we used to them all the time. Start with Virginia Key Circumnavigation, that 8-miles. Graduate to Key Biscayne (about 12); then try the open water and bay crossings. Ideally you will be in at least 16' sea kayak, 14' footer can do it but you have to paddle more, less glide = more effort.

      June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to something challenging. I will be in lead love the exercise!

    1 · June 3, 2013

    • Esther

      : ) We'll see about that.

      1 · June 3, 2013

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