Carl Ross Key, Everglades National Park

Shallow and Sweet, as opposed to short. We are paddling out to Carl Ross Key for a day paddle. This is a beautiful but long paddle.  Surrounded by First National Bank, CRK is known for trapping paddlers who foolishly attempted an approach during an ebbing tide.  We will not be doing that.  The access to CRK is through Rocky Channel, or from the Gulf.  The water over First National Bank is generally clear.  Grass beds are are lush and filled with sea life. Large rays are bountiful on the flats.  It's a beautiful remote place worth seeing.  But you MUST be experienced and prepared for a long hot paddle.

There is an open water crossing greater than five miles, tide may be a concern, and we will be paddling a good amount of distance at a pace exceeding 3 knots. With that being said, this is a gorgeous place to paddle. I mean G O R G E O U S. If you are up to a strenuous paddle, its well worth the time.

DISTANCE: 18 Miles

DIFFICULTY: Advanced or Experienced Intermediate

PARK FEES: Entrance fee to the park is $10 per car, or $25 for the one-year pass. The pass includes admission at the Shark Valley entrance. There is a $3 per boat launch fee.

RENTALS: Rentals are available through The Paddle House and Miles, $45 for a single sea kayak (no rec boats/no tandems) Contact The Paddle House for reservations at 786.307.3816.

WHAT TO BRING: Your boat, your paddle, your PFD (which you will wear at all times), water, water, hydration tabs (such a Nuun tabs which we love), non-alcoholic beverage, and more water, food for lunch, safety equipment you see fit, sunscreen and whatever else you feel you need to ensure a safe day on the water. Don't forget your nautical charts and compass, or GPS.

http://force5.us/main/images/stories/2011cruising/map1.jpg

TIDES:

Tides for Flamingo, Florida Bay starting with June 8, 2014.
Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
           /Low      Time    Feet    Sunset                    Visible

Su   8      Low   7:11 AM     0.4   6:33 AM     Set  2:58 AM      69
     8     High  12:02 PM     2.2   8:13 PM    Rise  3:54 PM
     8      Low   8:31 PM     0.2
 
http://force5.us/main/images/stories/2011cruising/map.jpg

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a club.  Organizers and event hosts coordinate the details of a paddle. If at any time anyone is concerned about weather conditions (rain, lightning, heat, cold, wind, etc.), or you feel ill, exhausted, or otherwise, you are encouraged to exercise caution and follow your better judgment. If you run into any trouble during a paddle, elect to depart from the group, or return early, please let an organizer or lead paddler know you are separating from the group. We go as a group, we aim to return as group. If someone runs into trouble, we do our best to help each other out. That includes loading and unloading boats. Please take necessary measures to ensure the seaworthiness of your vessel and bring your personal safety equipment. PFD's are required by law and by the group. You must also have a signal whistle. They are not only required by the U.S. Coast Guard but they are also a great and inexpensive way to get the attention of those around you. As with all of our paddles, we are not guides. Even when a paddler that offers guiding services participates, they are there as club members attempting to enjoy a recreational paddle. We are first and foremost, a group of kayaking enthusiasts out for a good time. By participating in any of our paddles you assume all risks and responsibilities for your personal health and safety and for your equipment; as well as the safety and equipment of your guests. It is important for everyone that each participant be prepared for the trip. Please use your discretion and best judgment when joining a trip. Be sure you are up to the paddle -- physically, mentally and that your equipment is appropriate for the intended trip. All night paddles require lights; even for rentals or borrowed boats. Intermediate to Advanced Paddles are for those who have substantial experience, skill, and solid knowledge of boat handling and self-rescues. Kayaking has inherent risks. Often, we are the smallest boats on the water. We each individually assume these risks, and more, each time we go out on the water. We each individually assume these risks, and more, each time we go out on the water.

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  • Flex 029 K.

    I've got a series of digital artworks, partially inspired by the lovely Carl Ross Key and Florida Bay in general. If you're interested, they will be showing this Friday June 20th at Moksha Family Arts Collective. It's in North Miami, so stop on by from 8 - 10pm !

    https://www.facebook.com/events/236520939890148/

    P.S. They have the monthly Moksha Roots Live party right afterwards .. if you like Pina Colada & Reggae music!
    ;)

    June 18

  • Pat O.

    Thank you Esther for organizing this trip. The best part was just being on water in wide open spaces

    1 · June 9

  • Lucas G.

    All, going only as far as that first key was al I could muster, and thanks to all those who kept a weather eye out for the laggard. My stop was well rewarded. Circling the key just after you all set out, not twenty feet from me came out of the trees a bald eagle, about five feet of wingspan. Magnificent bird. After trekking through the Rockies, I come to see my first wild one in the Florida Keys!
    My hat's off to those who went the distance. You're better kayakers, with faster kayaks, than me.
    Hopefully, Esther, you didn't worry too much when you didn't find me at the key on your way back. The horse flies got to be awful. I was back at Flamingo at 14:00.
    What time did you all get back?

    Thanks again, Esther.

    Lucas

    June 9

    • Esther

      We were relieved your car was gone. We called for you and figured you had returned. So glad you saw the eagle. There are a few in the area. I saw a juvenile last winter back by Bear Lake. Beautiful. We were back between 4 and 4:30. Those deer flies had sharp teeth! Ouch!! Glad you had a good Paddle. Next stop, snake bight for the spoonbills

      June 9

  • Esther

    Well, everyone will sleep soundly tonight : ) Beautiful morning with glassy flat water and plenty of water to make it to and from our destination. Dolphins showed us their skills as we paddled over the bank. Sea turtle seemed to be the creatures of the day. I saw a massive green turtle as we approached CRK. It's head must have been as big as a volleyball! Weather in the distance threatened the paddle, but in the end, fair weather prevailed. Great paddling with everyone, Total distance was closer to 20 miles based on course traveled. Great job everyone! Thanks for a great day.

    1 · June 8

  • Leah

    It was an awesome paddle and but tough. Thankful for the vivarin that gave me the needed boost on the way back. 20 mile paddles with no base, not a good idea. But we all made it with smiles on our faces...great group.

    June 9

    • Esther

      That's open water for you. Longest open segment was about 5.5 mi. Oyster keys have ground good for a break or emergency stop.

      June 9

    • Leah

      Thanks Flex...yep, def will avoid the hold up on the way back. Last time I had an incoming tide, which was nice,

      June 7

    • Leah

      And stay tuned for an overnight trip to Broad key, 2 weekends from now or later in August, TBD.

      2 · June 7

  • Esther

    We're good as long as we stay in the creeks. High tide at East Cape is at 11am Rocky is best appreciated at low tide when its the only way back on the east side. 9am is launch time. Let's keep it as planned. Meaning be there early. We all know what happens when we start changing up last minute!

    June 7

  • Leah

    Oh yeah, I highly recommend freezing your water bags and gatoraid bottles tonight...the cold fluids will last through much of the day and put a smile on your face.

    1 · June 7

  • Leah

    Hey intrepid paddlers. I may try to get an earlier start to avoid some of the heat and boats, say 0730 to 0800, if anyone wants to join me. Another benefit, if you get to the park entrance early enough, no one's there to take your money:) The low tide at Flamingo is at 0700, high at 1200, which also makes an earlier start better since it may be possible to paddle over First National Bank coming and going, though going may be a stretch depending on how long the island stay is. The tide times at Flamingo are delayed compared to the outer banks, but I'm not sure by how much. I've paddled out to CRK a couple times and was just there about a month ago (via motor boat). We were rewarded with prickly pear fruits but I'm not sure if any remain by now. should be a good day to spot sharks, rays, maybe even a sawfish. See you on the water.

    June 7

  • Flex 029 K.

    I just put up an article on Florida Bay including CRK you might find useful and maybe inspiring!? Have a great paddle! :)
    Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!
    http://kayakfari.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/6188/

    June 6

    • Jill

      Is this the same article that ran in last issue of Sea Kayaker mag? I liked it a lot!

      June 7

    • Flex 029 K.

      Yes, thanks Jill. This is the extended online mix!

      June 7

  • Jeff W.

    Esther I am going to have to back out.... Looks like unexpected guests have foiled my CRK plans yet again :-p give my spot to some deserving soul .... Will have to settle for a sunset paddle after the crowds leave Sunday evening.

    June 7

  • Esther

    Hi all. We have a wait list. The group is actually a bit larger, I Abe some others joining in. Carl Ross Key s tiny and not suited for larger groups. This will be a very strenuous paddle with high heat, full sun, and little wind. Overhearing is a risk. Please bring at least one gallon of water each. Hydration tabs are highly recommended. Water is not enough. You must be able to maintain a pace of 3mph over a three hour period. There are no stood along the way, no place for a break or to stretch your legs. I will do this again on a different route very soon. It is a gorgeous paddle with lots to see. Don't forget sunblock and food. And hydrate hydrate hydrate!!!

    1 · June 6

  • Lucas G.

    For Happyeveryday,

    I can give you a ride if you have a way to get to around Dadeland shopping center. I live close to Baptist Hospital. I'll be carrying my kayak . Are you renting from Esther? You can reach me tomorrow, saturday, at[masked] 8554. Lucas

    June 6

  • happyeveryday

    this is so cool, i was wondering if anyone could carpool with me, i will share the gas, i live at coral way, close to brickell

    June 6

  • Jeff W.

    Didn't see this till just now and it already full :-p call me Esther if a spot opens up please :-)

    June 1

    • Jill

      Jeff take my spot - I can't make it that Sunday - I must've rsvp'd yes bc I REALLY would like to go but can't. Have fun!

      2 · June 1

    • Jeff W.

      You rock Jill thanks!!!

      1 · June 2

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