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100 Miles to Flamingo

Posted by James on Thursday, May 29, 2014,
 I fought the afternoon rush hour traffic across town. With the green Oldtown canoe tied to my  beat up Ford pickup I was headed for Dania Beach Boulevard and the intracoastal. My friend Anthony was there waiting for me. He was going to keep my truck for the week while I paddled 100 plus miles from Fort Lauderdale to Flamingo in Everglades National Park. 

It was a trip that had been bouncing around in my head for 20 years, Most of my exploring is well off the telecommunications grid in the rem...

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A Warning from Carlos

Posted by James on Wednesday, March 12, 2014,
 The water finds many ways across the morass and into the Gulf of Mexico. I'd heard mention of one small river that covered the 5 miles from Highway 41 through the marsh land and mangrove and on down to a bay in the 10,000 Islands .
 On a whim, I decided a weekend exploring was just what I needed, and with my canoe and gear loaded on the pickup, I headed for Florida's west coast.
 The landing isn't marked along the highway and, even though I'd taken a close look on Google, I blew past it the fi...
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Loxahatchee Run Around

Posted by James on Sunday, January 12, 2014,
   CRASH KASPLASH!  The big alligator surprised me and I veered my canoe away from the thick  cattails as he plunged into the water.
 I was paddling along the wide canal that circumnavigates Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. It's 59.5 miles around and, for no other reason than "why not", I decided to go the full distance.

 It was an idea perhaps ill conceived. Strictly speaking the refuge closes at sundown and it would take me longer than a day to cover the distance. My biggest concern was getting k...
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Quest for the Inaccessible Lake

Posted by James on Friday, November 8, 2013,
                       

                                                      (This is an unfinished work)
                                            _________________________
______________________________

"I have labored hard and staked my all on this undertaking, for I love that renown which is the noblest recompense of man."
                                               Hernando Cortez



 On January 18th 2013 I finally reach a small lake hidden deep in the mangrove swamps of Florida. In the g...
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The Inaccessible Lake

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Thursday, May 17, 2012,

  
                                             *******************
 In April of 2012 I attempted to reach a somewhat inaccessible lake buried deep in a mangrove swamp. My motivation for going was simply that it was there, It was remote and I knew of no one having been there before.

                                                         **********

" Where are you headed ?" Said the large authoritative park ranger as I pulled up to the dock. He was obviously the law around here and not the kind ...

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Manatees Attack!

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Friday, January 20, 2012,


 The sun had just set as I entered the park and Venus was shineing brightly in the east. There was no one at the entrance to collect the $10 fee but a sign read "Station Closed Park Open" so I started on down the lonely 40 mile road.

 Only a half a dozen cars passed me on their way out. Lights shining brightly as we met  along the two lane highway.

 When I reached the marina  fortyfive minutes later it appeared recently abandoned as if everyone had just left for the night. I stopped at the rang...


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Searching for Tancha

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Monday, April 11, 2011,

 
Punta de Tancha (Tancha Point) is the old Spanish name for Cape Sable. Ponce de Leon first sighted this coast in 1513 and slave raiders may have been there even earlier. It can be an inhospitable place. Even the Caloosa Indians avoided using it for there permanent settlements except along the coast. The land immediately behind the cape was an unforgiving place full of crocodiles, alligators, and mosquitos. It still is. When you consider it's long history it is astounding how little it has ch...

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Almost Perfect

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Sunday, March 20, 2011,

Sometimes everything just goes right. The kids and I just returned from a week in and around Cape Sable. It was a total gas.
  After the fiasco we had last Thanksgiving, when the truck broke down, I felt like we deserved to have a great time. We did.
  I had been planning and gathering supplies for months. We had lots of provisions, charts, tide tables, satellite images and a plan., I knew where I wanted to go and hoped conditions would be favorable.
  The drive down had been nice. I took highwa...
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Holy Canoe!

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Friday, February 18, 2011,

  What kinda fool buys a canoe with a hole in it? Apparently this kinda fool.
Old Town is one of the premiere canoe manufacturers, known for their quality . I had been searching craigslist for several months and finally found a good ABS plastic canoe offered at a good price. It looked a little rough in the picture but i called the kid and decided to take the two hour drive up to Stewart Florida and check it out.
  I was a little concerned when I saw that it had been impaled  on something. Someo...

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Subversive Outlaw Gorilla Canoeing

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Sunday, January 2, 2011,
                                                

Google Earth is a wonderful thing. I would never go where I go without the satellite images they provide. You can't find these places on a map. Even USGS maps don't show enough detail. Hell the satellite images don't show "enough" detail but you can at least get a clue.
 New Years Eve had kinda been a bust. I just wasn't feelin it this year and went to bed shortly after midnight. My plan had been to wake up early with the kids and spend the day c...
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Disaster Strikes!

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Wednesday, December 29, 2010,


 The first trip of the year was one to remember. The picture kinda tells the story. As always it's important to go with the flow. It was the day after Thanksgiving and the kids and I were making an impromptu trip down to the park. It was going to be a quick visit, we were only going to stay at the campground and do a little paddling about. No big deal. The drive down on the turnpike had been super quick. As always I was happy to leave the city and farm land behind and get into the park. Oddly...

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Urban Canoeing

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Tuesday, December 28, 2010,


It occurred to me that not everyone might  be interested in the total wilderness experience and that perhaps something a little less off the beaten path was in order.
 Fortunately, Fort Lauderdale has several good places to go canoeing where you can still see the natural side of Florida without having to venture far from civilization.
  West Lake behind Dania Beach and near by John Loyde Park  are some of the best. the two places can be combined for a pleasant 1/2 day trip.
 Recently the kids an...

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Strange ride on the wind

Posted by Florida Canoe Adventures on Tuesday, December 28, 2010,


 Strange ride on the wind!

What compels me sometimes? Any normal person would be home in bed but I had managed to rise early and made it to Loxahatchee by 6am. It was pitch dark and very windy and I was totally alone.
Apparently I had arrived here at the same time as a winter cold front and the wind was very blustery. Early morning is usually a calm  time and the strong wind seemed out of place.
  I untied the canoe and set it at the waters edge,then loaded up my few supplies (a cooler of snacks...

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