Kayakkev

Cayo Costa

In Kayak Trips on February 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

WOW!!!!

That is all I can say.  We left on time and we arrived at Boca Grande driving around the island to decide where best to launch.  We decided the beach at the lighthouse was the best to pack our boats and hit the surf.  We could see the island just 3/4 of a mile across the channel.  The wind had the water a little stirred up along with the motor boats, and it was an outgoing tide.  We got our yaks down to the water and all our gear packed up, launched and with a headwind I think we set a record slow time.  Hahahaha, it took us about 3 hours to paddle 3 miles.  I had a couple of dolphins come swim beside me and I swear they were laughing when they cut in front of me and took off.  We decided to follow the island around to find our camp site instead of extending the paddle to 7 miles… after all we didn’t want to set our tents up in the dark.  I have to admit that it was some of the most beautiful water I have ever seen.

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  And the beach on Cayo Costa was a pristine white sand with black sand specs.

My Yak on the Beach

My Yak on the Beach

As we walked up the beach trail to confirm our reservation, we hear a voice asking if we took a group on the Chaz river for a local outfitter and low and behold, there was Tracy & her son Bay.  As she directed us to the tram (wagon pulled by a pickup), we went to the Ranger Station.  The Rangers who run Cayo Costa where as friendly and nice as I have ever had the pleasure to run into, they even loaned us a cart we could use to haul our gear (not sure they know they did this).  We ate a great lunch, and set up camp. 

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We were warned of coons, and read posters of feral hogs, but neither ever showed.  Instead we saw some small rats running through the camp and one of the prettiest snakes I have ever seen.  It was ever bit of 8 feet, with a small black head and neck, that turned a copper color fat body.  It didn’t seem to be scared of us, but was not threatening either.  Once this snake got himself one of the rats for dinner, we saw neither again.  I had to wait to get home to look up what kind of snake it was, and discovered it was a “Eastern Coach Whip”.  After Seans aka Shelly’s fine dinner, we went to bed early.  While sleeping a storm front decided to blow in.  At 2 am the winds howled thru the camp at 30 knots, and the skies were clouded over but the sky was as bright as if there were a dozen street lights in our camp ground alone.  About 4 am it got eerie quiet.  At 6 we broke camp and hauled butt to our yaks and set off back to the light house before the actual front came through.  Our VHF radio was talking of 12-14 foot swells and 40 knot winds.  What we found was 8-10 foot swells and 20 knot winds.  The only lucky thing was the tide was incoming carrying us in instead of out to sea.  It continued to get rougher the closer we got to our destination, and at one point it was a point of fight or flight, but we made it and landed on the beach with a laughing group hug.  We loaded our gear and yaks on the truck while people walking on the beach all questioned why we just kayaked in that nasty weather.  As we were pulling out the actual front hit.  As soon as I can get the pics from Seans camera, I will post the pics of the wildest front I have ever seen.

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Both days of this paddle confirmed this is an advanced paddle, and I can’t wait to do it again!!!  Click on this link if you want to read Sean’s version of the trip. http://liquidrhythmkayaking.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/cayo-costa-currents/

 

This is a future trip I hope to report more on later.  But for Christmas last year I got a book on Nigel Fosters trips around Florida, and this trip sounded exciting.  It is considered an advanced paddle because of Florida weather can kick things up on open water at any moment.  We will be launching from Boca Grande Bay, paddling across the bay into open water to the island of Cayo Costa.  There we will check-in for our camp site, unload our yaks, and then go explore around the island and maybe even paddle over to Cabbage Key.  Then return to our camp for a gourmet dinner cooked by Shelly (Seans wife).  I just haven’t had the heart to tell Sean he has to carry the firewood. LOL

The yaks are loaded on the truck and right now it looks like if I drive/fall into the water I will float.  3 touring yaks, 2 Atlantis, and 1 Wilderness, all tied on top

We are doing this trip feb 28th, and returning march 1st  watch for updates on this trip and pics.

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  1. Kevin, you were right. That is one awesome looking front.

  2. hehe, we should have took a picture of the truck with the yaks on top…

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