Everglades National Park, Day 9 – Saturday – February 16, 2013

Day 9, Saturday – Kayaking Florida Bay

Last night, another weather front moved through and the winds have shifted.  Instead of blowing from the Southeast and Southwest…it is now blowing from the Northeast.  The temperature has dropped considerably, but for the time, Florida Bay is calm.  We decided we would take advantage and try to do some paddling on the Bay today!!

Before we went paddling, Dan showed me how to fix a problem with Baby’s mud-flap.  It really is handy to have such talented friends camping nearby.  Yes, Gin and Syl arrived on Wednesday then Dan and Tricia arrived yesterday:o)) You can’t reserve a specific site, but we were lucky and managed to get sites all together.

Gin & Syl were across the street.                     Dan and Tricia were to our left.01 - Gin and Syl site  02 - Dan and Tricia site
Baby’s mud-flap had not been installed correctly and never swung properly.
Dan made quick work of fixing the problem:o))
   Thanks, MacGyver!
00 - Dan and Bill Fixing a problem on Mud Guard  00 - Dan Fixing a problem on Mud Guard
We are camped in the T-Loop and drove over to the Marina
 to launch our kayak into Florida Bay.00b - Map Flamingo Developed area00a - Map of Florida Bay
With the wind coming from the north,
the Mangroves blocked the wind and made Florida Bay look like a HUGE lake.05 - Great Blue Heron in Shallow and Calm Florida Bay
(click on any photo to enlarge)
Yesterday, we launched at the marina into Buttonwood Canal. 
Today we launched at the Marina, but on the salt-water side into Florida Bay.01 - Launch at marina- canal wall  01 - Launch at marina
We followed one of the tour boats through the marina to the bay.02 - following tour boat out to Florida Bay
We paddled on the right side and then turned to the left as we enter Florida Bay.03b - paddled along the mangroves 03b2 - paddled along the mangroves
As we made the turn, we met this fisherman and his dog.03 - Fisherman and his dog
He was heading way out past the point.  He told us there are some really big fish to be caught!!
He also says he spends the winter in South Florida fishing and spends the summer in Alaska!!!
Sure liked to know how he finances those adventures;o))
As we got out in the Bay, we looked back and saw the visitors center from the water.06 - view back at Flamingo Visitor Center
At the top of their antenna tower is a huge Osprey nest.
Here’s a closer look;o)
06b - view back at Flamingo Visitor Center Osprey Nest
The Osprey are everywhere…
They are quite large and very healthy looking!!
07e - Osprey  07f - Osprey close enough
We saw Osprey after Osprey flying over our heads with huge fish!!07c - Osprey bringing dinner  07d - Osprey bringing dinner
A short distance off shore, there is a big Osprey nest on this little Mangrove Island?!?!!07 - Osprey Nest in small Mangrove Island
We paddled closed enough to see there will probably be some chicks in this nest soon;o))07b - Osprey Nest along coast hanky panky
We paddled close to the shore so that the Mangroves blocked the wind!!
Everywhere we looked we saw birds.
These three pelicans took off over our heads;o((
04a - 3 Pelicans 04b - 3 Pelicans
A Great Blue Heron flew right in front of us!!05b - Great Blue Heron in Shallow and Calm Florida Bay
This Snowy Egret and Little Blue Heron strolled the shoreline.08- Snowy Egret  08a - Little Blue Heron
A Green Heron and White Ibis looked like they were deep in conversation;o)08b - Green Heron and White Ibis
With the wind blowing from the north, the water is blown away from the shore.  While it is always a shallow body of water, today it was extremely shallow.  We could see the bottom and actually hit bottom a couple times.  But there was lots to see down there as well. We hesitate to disturb living creatures, but this just had to be check out…
Bill pulled up this shell and we still could not figure out Who was eating Who??04 - Stuff in the water...who is eating who
We weren’t the only paddlers enjoying this wonderful day on Florida Bay.10 - other kayakers
We paddled out far enough to see where the rangers live.11 - Staff Housing
Not a bad gig in the winter;o))
  Not so much in the summer;o((
We heard all the mosquito horror stories from the rangers!!
At this point, we turned around and headed back. 
We had already spent several hours enjoying this beautiful place.
Another view of the Flamingo Visitor Center and the beautiful clouds.12 - Heading back to marina
Heading back into the marina.
12a - Heading back to marina
That’s the wall that was built to keep Florida Bay from flowing into Buttonwood Canal.12b - Heading back to marina
I guess all good things must come to an end…..darn it;o))12c - Heading back to marina
We had a wonderful paddle on Florida Bay. 
Got the kayak packed up and drove back to the campground. 
The wind out of the north was really strong and quite cool. 
When we got back, we found our neighbors huddled out of the wind behind Baby.
We have read about the Drum Circles that take place along the coast to celebrate Sunset. 
Not sure what we are celebrating in this “Coconut” Circle;o)))
13 - The Coconut Circle
Just being in this beautiful place with good friends is reason enough to celebrate!!!


  1. It was awfully nice of the gang to welcome you back with such a lovely coconut :) But they should have used that coconut and made you a dessert :) Yum...coconut cream pie anyone???

  2. That's the one thing we never got to do. We never had the wind shift. Great afternoon. Thanks for taking me out. Maybe next time I can go on my own now that I know just how to do it!

  3. Another great time. You got some really nice bird shots there:)

  4. Such great times! And oh the laughter we had! :-)

  5. No wonder those Osprey look so healthy, the area seems to be teeming with fish.

    Another great paddle with super pictures to boot. And a coconut circle, too. What a life! ;c)

  6. It seems that the Osprey were always able to catch a fish whenever they wanted it. They certainly were healthy birds. Enjoyed our coconut circle.

  7. Good times! Love the shots of the osprey with fish in their talons. :)

  8. You said it so well, "being in a beautiful place with great friends is reason to celebrate!" Couldn't agree more, doesn't get any better than that!

  9. Amazing shots of the Osprey flying home with dinner!