Everglades Day 2

Everglades Day 2

Wind and tides dictate where you can travel in the vast wilderness of the Ten Thousand Islands. Both were in my favor. The decision was made to go south while the winds were favorable.
Traveling south 60 miles down the coast was extremely enjoyable, everything from a deliciously crisp green apple, to the passing by of Mormon Key, Lostmans River, the Harney and Shark River, and finally the white shelly beaches of the southern most beach on the gulf coast of Florida, Cape Sable. The Beach was absolutely picture perfect. The shells were good and people sparse. The people I did run into were friendly and from Wisconsin. The older lady was very nice and talked about her old shell collection, with a twinkle in her eye. She had been collecting shells for years.
The wind had picked up to 25 mph out of the south east. I was anchored in the last bight on the gulf coast, tucked in just enough so the boat was lying in calm water. My thoughts drifted like the tide. Should I go to Flamingo and top off with fuel, then come back and anchor for the night in Lake Ingraham? If the wind picks up out of the south and gets a little west to it, things could get ugly, and I still have to get back up the coast. Running on the inside in the bays can be a bit dicey this time of year with the tides because of the shallow water. Two to three feet of water in the bays, when there is water. I brought 3 props; one is already dinged, and one is aluminum. The back bay on these tides, is definitely plan “D”. I decided to anchor up for the night just north of the entrance to Lake Ingraham. The tide was really moving at the entrance, at least 5 knots. I decided to anchor in a little Eddy to the north of the entrance. The sand bar west of the entrance provided excellent protection from the wind. The tidal drop is 5.8 feet on this moon, huge for the gulf coast. This stretch of beach was a treasure trove of plants, shells, and a plethora of signs and scat, of four legged critters.
The moon coming up over Lake Ingraham startled me for a moment. The moon beams on the driftwood caused me to run a quarter mile down the beach to get my camera. The sun’s last pinkish glow was still in the sky as I walked back to the boat. The mosquitoes came out to dine soon after the pink left the sky. Common sense says,” Keep your tent door’s zipped at all times until its time to get in.”

Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

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