Description ( click here to see chart (http://files.meetup.com/270488/Trip%20Ratings.pdf)) - SK2-SK3 (distance 17-19 miles/ speed 3.5+ mph)
Why not start off the new year with a nice long trip! It's what some of you have been asking for.... Just don't RSVP if you're planning a major hangover - paddling through it is not a lot of fun!
The New River Loop forms a 25-mile-long circle that links a series of conservation areas, parks, and cultural and historic sites--all within metropolitan Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. It encompasses almost all of Fort Lauderdale's New River's north and south forks, the Tarpon and Stranahan Rivers, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Dania Cut-off and New River Canals. This loop is part of the Broward Urban River Trails (http://www.burt.org/).
Why SK2-SK3? There are three challenging aspects to this trip:
1. Dania Cutoff Canal at US-1 - narrow bridge and swift currents.
2. Port Everglades - can be very choppy at times and a lot of boat traffic.
3. Total paddle distance will be between 17-18 miles.
Are you capable of doing this trip? I am leaving that to your judgment. The most important rule to keep in mind is to know your abilities! "Can I do a self rescue in choppy water? Am I the master of my kayak or does it master me? Am I comfortable sitting in my kayak for 4-5 hours?"
If you have any questions email the organizer (http://kayaking.meetup.com/130/suggestion/).
LAUNCH TIME - Plan to launch starting at 8AM, with a "move out" time of 9AM. DO NOT BE LATE - the trip will be leaving on time.
TRIP DETAILS - Launch point is the beach on Whiskey Creek inside John U Lloyd Park - 26° 4'52.15"N 80° 6'37.96"W. This site gives us the best chance to have the current with us most of the trip, and those who have done this trip can attest that it's best to have the current with you or slack tide. We should be on the water by the times indicated above. We will head south along the ICW to the Dania Cutoff Canal, then west on the canal to near US441. At this point there will be a turnoff available to the NE which leads under I-595/SR84 to the South Fork of the New River. At the New River we will turn east and follow the river out to the ICW, turning south to pass under the 17th Street Causeway bridge into Port Everglades. Once in the Port we will hug the east side of the channel until we reach the Port entrance channel, where we will turn east to the point where the channel narrows. When traffic allows we will paddle across the entrance channel toward the Nova Research Center and USCG base, then south on the ICW to the launch.
FOOD/DRINK Bring lunch/snacks - we plan to break for lunch at Bill Keith Preserve Park on the South Fork of the New River at 26° 5'57.06"N 80° 9'55.05"W - just east of the I-95 bridge. Water is a necessity, other tasty drinks are an option too.
WEATHER Rain will not stop this trip but, lightning and thunder will. There needs to be no evidence of lightning and thunder for at least a half hour before the trip start, and if it moves in we will seek appropriate shelter.
PARKING Parking is included in your park admission of $4-6 (depending on how many are in your car). IMPORTANT - After entering the park you will drive PAST the boat launch area (on your left) and pass over a bridge with a view of Whiskey Creek. Enter the next parking area on your right and park as close to the SE corner of the lot (26° 4'58.80"N 80° 6'37.55"W) as possible. Launch fee note: If you choose to launch from the boat ramp there is an additional fee to do so - inquire & pay on entry. DO NOT try to sneak this launch.
LAUNCH SITE This trip launches from the beach on Whiskey Creek inside John U Lloyd Park - 26° 4'52.15"N 80° 6'37.96"W. There is a carry of ca. 800 ft. from the parking lot to the water - be sure to bring wheels if you have them!
GEAR (http://kayaking.meetup.com/130/pages/GEAR%21%21/) BASICS plus VHF, SELF RESCUE GEAR, PERSONAL GEAR*, SUN CLOTHING, lunch & snacks. Please visit the GEAR (http://kayaking.meetup.com/130/pages/GEAR%21%21/) page link for specifics!