March 2008
Canoe Trip to Everglades National Park

Click the Map and the pictures for a larger view.

Mike and I flew from Baltimore to Fort Meyers and drove to Everglades City. 

Stayed at the Ivy House and had a nice dinner on the deck at a place called the Depot.
Here I am trying to navigate with my new GPS. Took me awhile to figure out how to use it in a canoe that didn't stop moving even when you stopped paddling.
The mangrove islands are built on old oyster beds which were only exposed in a few places,
We Launched from the Causeway in Chokoloskee and spent the morning working our way through a lot of mangrove islands that block the mainland from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Navigation was hard and we were running against the tide which was like paddling upstream.

We eventually reached the more open water of the gulf and lunched on Turtle Key.
So now we're paddling with dolphins which is neat but the wind is blowing and the waves are getting big and the water seems awfully wide and exposed.

From the map you can see we ducked behind islands to block some of the wind and waves but the last stretch was across pretty open water.
We couldn't tell if this was a sea turtle or a manatee.
Eventually we reached the first night's camp on Pavilion Key. 

There was a group from some Davidson College in North Carolina on the island as well.
They sailed to the island in this strange looking catamaran.
Sunset on Pavilion Key
Sunrise on Pavilion Key
We got up and out of camp early and after about 3 miles more down the coast we turned inland up the Huston River
The mangroves were very inhospitable places for humans.
We reached our second night's camp on the Sunday Bay chickee.
There wasn't much to do but it was a pleasant place to sit and take in the scenery.

Three college kids from Wilkenson College in North Carolina eventually occupied the other half of the chickee.
Watched a dolphin cruise the inlet for fish.
The jumping fish provided a lot of amusement.  There is a video attached to the picture that will give you the idea.

Clicking on the picture should start the video..
Saw lots of water birds on the way back to Chokoloskee.
Eventually we found our way back to civilization.
Stopped at a state park on the way to the airport so we could see some alligators before flying back to Baltimore.