Anclote Key Paddle

In Kayak Trips, Kayaking on April 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

5/4/09  Okay, Everything is put away and we are now showered and rested… Let me tell you about our adventure…  the Good and the Bad.

The paddle it self is a wonderful paddle.  That is if you like a small open water paddle, for once you commit you are at the mercy of the water.  It is 3 miles between points of land and it is deep water.  It doesn’t take much wind to kick the waves up, but it is one of my favorites.  And when you have a friend with property 3 miles up river (thanks Darry), it makes this a minimum 12 mile paddle round trip.  The first day we paddled 9 miles before setting up camp by going around to the Gulf side.  Weather and water could not have been any better.  Coming home was not bad, but not great.  We had an east wind stirring the water up and had to tack in with 2-3 foot swells.  This would of been great if the boats were empty and you could of played, but with over 80 pounds of gear in each yak, we found ourselves working hard to paddle against wind and water.

We set up our camp on the beach with my tent, Seans hammock, and we even put up a kitchen shade using Seans wonderful tarp.  The sand is very pretty white sand till you camp on it, then you discover it is soooo fine, your tent better be free standing because you wont get a stake in it, and it clings to EVERYTHING!  I’ll take a brown sand beach any day.

The Island is beautiful with White Sand beaches, Many, many birds of all kinds, pretty lagoons, High Surf Gulf water, a Light House, moderate bay waters, Lots of Sea Shells on the gulf side.  And the water was pretty no matter where you were with colors ranging from an Aqua Blue, to Emerald Green depending on depth and location.

Our Yaks on the Beach

Our Yaks on the Beach

Our Lagoon

Our Lagoon

Our camp

Our camp

Now The Bad

For those of you that have not been on the florida coast line we have a tiny little bug that bites known as “NoSeeUms”.  Normally you can just stay in the sun, or use a bug spray to keep them away.  They are at their worst at sunrise and sunset, and hang out at the tree line.  Now let me tell you about the mutant version that lives on Anclote Key.  We are going to call these ravenous creatures “USeeUms” cause you can.  I wore a white long sleeve shirt that turned black.  As the sun was going down the first night they started coming out, so we dug out the first can of bug spray with 21% deet, you could see the little suckers laughing!  So then Sean dug out his can of 29% deet, and they snickered as they all swarmed toward him.  I had enough of these little f**kers and dug out the stuff I brought back from Alaska that was 98.7% deet, and they started partying!!! They drank deet like collage kids drink beer.   Laying inside the tent Sunday morning I decided to wait till the sun came up to chase them off, as I was creeping out on how many were all over the tent trying to break in.  With the sun up, I had to get up and move about, they are hard core “USeeUms”, the sun did not effect them at all.  As Sean is moving his hand along the inside of his bug screen on his hammock, there is a swarm of the blood suckers following it on the outside.

Sean Smiling before the USeeUms attack

Sean Smiling before the USeeUms attack


5/1/09  The truck is packed and the yaks are loaded.  We will be taking off in the morning for what looks to be the best weather we have had on a trip in a year.  Hopefully when we get back, I will have lots of photos of fun times instead of nasty fronts and wild water.  It is nice to see my truck with our yaks ready to go…


I just wish we didn’t have water restrictions in the area.  My truck is dirty!  And no fires allowed on the beach.

May 2nd & 3rd, the near famous Bad Weather Paddling Trio will go for another Kayak camping trip.  It is coming upon the time of year down here to be to hot to tent camp, so this will be our last one till fall.  All the trips we do this summer will be in the comfort of our air conditioned trailer.  You can call us wimps if you want, I prefer to think of us as getting smarter with age.

 This time we are going to try Anclote Key.  Although we have paddled to the Key many times, it is always to the light house.  I have never been to the North end where the camping is.  Again it is primitive camping.  If anyone out there has done this, please let me know what to expect.  I know Sean wants to paddle over to 3 Rooker Island( I have no idea where it is or what is there) while we are out.  I have already filed our plans withthe island Ranger, andwill update this post as more info is decided.  Anyone with comments can write me at kev_th@yahoo.com

After the paddle I will post how the trip was and any pics one of us might take.  And I am sure Sean will post his version on http://liquidrhythmkayaking.wordpress.com/ .


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