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10,000 Islands paddle and camp

Treat your Valentine to a moonlight cruise and a starry night camping on a gulf beach in the Ten Thousand Islands of Everglades National park.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/100649477


Park Map
Use the zoom glass in the lower right corner that shows up when you scroll over it, Picnic and Tiger keys are in the North West corner of the park.
http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/upload/Ever_park-Map-FY10.pdf

The cost is $4 per person payable to the Park when you arrive at the station.

The limit of 13 people is based on the Park's limit of 13 total for the Island. Your best friends are allowed, as long as they are "socialized", and they won't increase the head count as long as he/she has four legs. (see bottom of page)

Agenda:
Meet at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center by noon on Friday the 14th and paddle the out going tide to Picnic key where we will set up our base camp. On Saturday we can decide where we want to go exploring, the whole area is beautiful so where we go will depend on the winds. We will spend the night again on Picnic, since we will have reserved it and only certain keys can be camped on. Sunday we will pack up and paddle the incoming tide back to Everglades City. The dates for this trip are planned around the tide tables, the tides in the passes can be much stronger than the rivers we usually paddle.

This is plotted on my GPS satellite imagery software. The bottom route goes out Indian Key Pass and is 7 miles ea. way. The top route goes out West Pass and is a little under 8 miles, I want to take this one going out. It will be more scenic and won't have all the tour boats that Indian Key has. 

Your home away from home.

Once there, your playground and sunsets await you.


I don't feel the need to restrict this to sea kayak class boats since the passes are mostly protected from the winds and chop. That said, people with boats below 14 ft. should team up and rent a canoe together, a two person canoe can easily keep up with the yaks. 

Rentals are available at the Visitor Center: canoes-$25 per day, single kayaks $45 per day, tandem kayaks $55 per day

Requirements:

MANDATORY: Read Five Golden Rules for Water Safety

• You will want a tent or hammock. The bugs are pretty easy going this time of year, especially on the beach sides of the keys, but definitely bring repellent.

• We will carry all firewood needed. No cutting allowed! I can take a healthy bundle but would like everyone to take a couple of pieces each.

• 1 gallon of water per person per day.

• You already know the mandatory safe boating requirements, etc.

• Food with enough calories to last the trip.

• Plan to pack as much as possible inside your boat, stacking on top makes you unstable and susceptible to ruining everyone's weekend.

• We will paddle as a group at all times, although you will see other boaters about this is still the wilderness.

For those who haven't kayak camped this article will be a great help.http://www.kayakzak.com/articles/kayak_camping.php

The following link is required reading for all going:
http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/upload/Wilderness-Trip-Planner-2012.pdf

To get a good feel for the area just do a Google search for 10,000 Islands and turn on photos.

This page is great, it even lists gps coordinates for most of the camping Keys with a pic and a blurb.
http://www.evergladesdiary.com/dir_north.html

Visitor's Center Info with GPS and all the rest

http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/gcdirections.htm

DOGS

I am a huge dog lover and feel this kind of trip is important for your relationship as well as great fun for them. There is little liklihood we'll encounter crocs or pythons on the islands so they should be safe unless the raccoon is bigger. 

Dogs will be allowed as long as they are socialized, that means they get along with other dogs big and small. If your dog goes to the park and plays nicely with everyone else then he's socialized. If he is insecure and feels the need to prove he's the Alpha then he's not and needs to be left with the pet sitter. You know which he is.

We also require that they be experienced wilderness paddlers, don't ask us to be sitters. 

If we figure out in the parking lot he isn't socialized you will be asked to leave. This will be a judgement call made by the host and organizer. 

Please post here if you wish to include your best friend on the trip

Latest AccuWeather update as of Tuesday, Feb. 12th


Important Safety Notice

This is the pass between Tiger key and Picnic key. Make serious note of the oyster bar in the middle, whenever coming and going always stay close to Picnic. Don't venture over between the rocks and Tiger, it gets very treacherous in there when the tide goes out. You know how you get those little rollers off the Gulf even when it's not windy? Out by the tip of Tiger it's fine but nearing the rocks it can get rough. I took water over the stern heading in under one of those mild conditions and I am much higher than the kayaks. I don't want to see someone get flipped or swamped in one of these passes. 

Also make note of the camp symbol where it says Picnic key, that's where the privy is just so you know :-)




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  • Anna

    That was the best trip ever. Thank you Jim for let it happen and thank you for sharing your outstanding pics. :-))

    February 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    You guys made this trip special and worth whatever it took to get you there. Watching the joy on Kristina's face made it all worth it :)

    here is the black n white shot of the weekend, it's called "yoga on the beach"
    http://www.redbubble.com/people/skeeterman/works/11548166-yoga-on-the-beach

    1 · February 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      ok, it's here with a watermark

      February 17, 2014

  • Fawn

    Dang, I wish I could have been there!

    February 17, 2014

  • Kristina

    Best Valentine Adventure Ever

    1 · February 17, 2014

  • Jim D.

    Thanks Jim for everything you did to make this trip happen. An amazing weekend with a fun group...when can we do it again?

    2 · February 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds fun!

    February 14, 2014

  • Howard

    I am really up for this! Live in St Pete.... My car can hold two kayaks... anyone for commuting?

    February 12, 2014

    • SunAnnie

      I'd ride with you Howard...but I will be packing late and shuttling the puppy in the morning...will be cutting it too tight to meet up.

      February 13, 2014

    • Kristina

      Carpooling from Tampa but I think that it would be way to much to coordinate and I am not sure three kayaks would fit. Good thoughts though :)

      February 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi guys,
    Some bad news. Although I was told yesterday that the island was open for the weekend I guess they forgot about the five people who have been there all week. I gave them 8 names so now we need volunteers :-(. I am truely sorry but this is their season, in fact as bad as the weather is here now people are loading kayaks. I know it doesn't help but after driving non stop for 4 hours in the rain had I been literally 5 minutes later no one would be going. There are no other spaces available in the park from Tiger to Flamingo. LuLu is just north of tiger and outside the park but It's small and sure to be packed.
    Please don't make me choose.
    Once again my sincerist apologies,
    Jim
    ps I was also told two months ago that dogs and guns were allowed but it seems you can only bring your gun:-(

    February 13, 2014

    • Dee

      So with my two plus Karen volunteering to bow out, Jim still needs two volunteers to cancel. If nobody else volunteers, two people will be turned away after making the drive down.

      February 13, 2014

    • SunAnnie

      The last two on were Charlie and Caroline. So I have sadly informed them that there is no room on the island. Please let us know if anyone else will not be attending!

      February 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Firewood!!
    I couldn't get any at Publix, my local BBQ house or the yard either :( If anyone can some some please shot out here. We don't need a bunch but a little romantic ambiance might be nice.
    Like I said earlier, I can carry a good size bundle and if everyone could carry a couple of pieces we should have enough.

    February 12, 2014

  • Lisa H.

    Hi Jim, saw your predicament re Picnic. Lulu is not a small island, and I'm sure could accommodate this group. Also, if you change your destination to White Horse, Gulivan, Panther, etc., you will have an hour shorter drive launching from Goodland, no rules from the park, and no possibly wild choppy rough crossing of Chokoloskee Bay.

    February 13, 2014

  • Dee

    I'm so sorry Jim, but I understand. Since I added my guest very recently, my guest and I will volunteer to bow out. Hope you have fun!

    I'll keep my spots on the list though so someone doesn't RSVP and think those spots are open.

    February 13, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I can wait for another time

      February 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Weather way crappy down here in Ft Myers- very windy overcast n cooool

    February 13, 2014

  • Jenny

    Sorry I can not make it, I feel that I have caught what is going around at the office and I don't think I will be better by Friday. Have fun.

    February 12, 2014

    • Anna

      :-(

      1 · February 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds fun!

    February 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds fun!

    February 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds fun!

    February 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please check the safety notice at the end of the meetup details before you hit the water. Always wear your pdf's, I'll actually be breaking my bad habit and wearing mine.

    February 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    You guys are going to love this!! I just inserted above a screen shot from a Lunar calculator.

    On Feb. 14,, Valentines day :-), we get a full moon rising at 6:16 pm, just as the sun is setting in the west.
    This baby is gonna be huge and bright!!
    The image also shows the angle off due east that it will rise in relationship to the islands. based on that I recommend we get to the island with all due haste, set up camp then paddle over to the north beach on Tiger key. From there we will have almost a mile of open water before the next island which will have a low profile.
    It's suppose to be clear, keep those fingers crossed, if so this will be one of mother nature's special events that you just happen to be in the right place for :)

    1 · February 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      p.s., flash lights and head lamps work great too!

      February 10, 2014

    • Jenny

      Glow sticks

      February 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    February 6, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      OK, so this link doesn't work. I could give you the main addy but in the time it took to tell you how to find everything I can just show you. (see the latest entries in the main description) It's lookin' GREAT!!!

      February 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The time is near and the forecasts say clear!!
    I'll update the AccuWeather pic each day, I think a few of you are ready for some sunshine after your weekend at Juniper. So keep your fingers crossed, say the right chants while you meditate, or just do what ever it is you do that always brings you sunshine so we can have a wonderful weekend!

    2 · February 9, 2014

  • Dee

    Anybody from the Seminole County/Orlando area want to carpool? I have a two kayak rack. :)

    February 8, 2014

  • Kristina

    Jim - Are we planning on a pot luck dinner one night or should everyone plan and pack all of their own meals? I am open to what ever you plan - just want to start preparing.
    I also have your tent from Amy and I am planning on using this with a v-rest and sleeping bag. Thanks for letting me borrow it.
    I will also bring my fishing pole - but I will not count on success for any my meals :) - anyother fishing lovers out there?
    I am getting excited and have been looking forward to the this trip for a long time. Donna T and I will be carpooling as we live near each other, but will not be able to come sooner than Friday.

    February 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      who cares about food, we have a full moon rising at sunset over the water!!! :-)) I have thought about a pot luck and thought I would leave that planning to you guys, I'll go along with what ever you want.

      February 3, 2014

    • Kristina

      I concur whole heartily - I am in favor of planning for one and paddling more than cooking :)

      February 4, 2014

  • Fawn

    Well, after all that, Julie threw her back out and won't be paddling anywhere. So we are out. Sadly. I look forward to the photos and will see everybody on Cedar Key.

    February 1, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry to hear that Fawn I was looking forward to seeing you again. Hopefully Julie feels better soon.

      February 1, 2014

    • Fawn

      Jim, I'm sad too! I will see you as soon as possible. Miss those Slackers.

      February 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    "A Deadly Predator

    Every year, warm air temperatures lure people into taking small boats out onto lethally cold water, where a large number of them capsize or fall in - and drown. These folks aren't stupid, or intentionally reckless, and many are good swimmers; they simply have the misfortune of falling into a exceptionally lethal and well-camouflaged trap.

    Cold water is a predator - fast, powerful and deadly, with unlimited energy and no need for sleep. A predator so perfectly camouflaged that you can stand right next to it and see absolutely nothing dangerous - just a sparkling invitation to get out on the water and have some fun.

    Cold water preys on the unsuspecting, the unwary, and the careless, but it also lurks offshore, waiting patiently for those with plenty of experience who don't take it seriously."

    There will be a test :)
    http://www.coldwatersafety.org/nccwsRules3.html#tabs-3

    February 1, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      The water temp @ Indian key is 64 deg.

      February 1, 2014

  • Fawn

    Hey Jim, we are trying to figure out if our recreational boats will have enough room for all our gear and are doubtful. Is there a rental option??

    January 31, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Fawn, if you have the Revolution that's 13'5" you can pile a bunch of gear on those. I would say go as lean as possible though. It depends on if you have the bigger Ocean Kayak. If it's the 12' or under it's too small to carry enough gear unless you're a back packer.

      January 31, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      As for speed we need to average 3 mph, which shouldn't be hard on a outgoing tide. You know you boats and what they can do.

      January 31, 2014

  • Sheri A.

    and make sure your campfire is out when you leave, the park rangers really do make rounds out here. We had a few people who snuck onto picnic key and as we were leaving they asked us for descriptions of the 2 and informed us that our fire wasn't all the way out - we thought we had doused it enough and it was below high tide mark as instructed. Have fun, they have the most spectacular sunsets down there.

    January 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Julie just asked me if that was an outhouse she saw a picture of on Picnic key. Great question so I thought I would reply here .
    Yes, it's a port-o-let that the park maintains and really wants us to use to help keep the island in it's pristine state. You'll want to bring your own T.P.
    That's sure worth $2 a night not to have to dig a hole :)

    1 · January 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We're only two weeks out now and the seers are predicting good weather. We do have our lucky (weather) charm along SunAnnie so that should keep the clouds away.

    Some of you are reserved for other trips or may not be certain you can go for other reasons, if that's the case please excuse yourselves now so others who would like to go can plan their weekend.
    Thanks to all for signing up, look forward to seeing you in paradise.

    January 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi. I changed my rsvp so someone on the waiting list should be very happy. I hope to join you all on another trip soon.

    January 24, 2014

  • Ronda G

    Jim, would love to go but I have to work on Friday.
    :((. Maybe next time!

    January 21, 2014

  • Kristina

    Jim - you list hammock up above. Is this the trip that will have trees' or NO trees.
    Second, are we pot lucking or each paddler on their own?
    I have been looking forward to paddling this area for a long time. Last time attempted the winds thwarted our adventure inland. Plenty of reptiles inland :)
    Thanks again for putting this together

    January 13, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      There are more trees here than other islands, by that I mean other than just mangroves. I personally wouldn't want to get that far back in those trees, that's where all the mosquitoes are :) I'm not an experienced hammock user to know how they will treat you in one.

      January 13, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      and yes, lots fewer reptiles out on the islands than inland.

      January 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really good to see all the interest in this trip. If we go in with the limit the SLACKERS will own Picnic!!

    January 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    WoW that was fast :) Up it to 13 Annie, that's the Park limit.

    January 2, 2014

  • Victoria P

    Shucks..gotta find a job wit weekends free! Workin:(

    January 2, 2014

  • Sheri A.

    this is a lovely paddle, stayed on tiger key before, gorgeous sunsets. Have fun

    January 2, 2014

8 went

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