View topic - Florida Everglades - A Canoe Journey VIDEO

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PostPosted: February 5th, 2013, 12:06 pm 
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Last February, my son Brad and I loaded our durable fiberglass canoe atop the minivan and drove south to the Florida Everglades. It was nice to be able to escape the Canadian winter for a week and do some warm weather paddling. We spent 6 days along the "Wilderness Waterway Trail" in Everglades National Park. This trail starts in the town of Everglades City and makes its way south to the town of Flamingo. It takes about 7 to 10 days to do the trail one way, but with only a 6 day timeline we decided on 3 days heading south on the inland stretch then looping north and heading back via the Gulf Of Mexico, back to Everglades City. I'd highly recomend this trip. It was a nice combination of calm paddling, ocean paddling, fishing and wildlife viewing. We've put together a video to highlight our adventures. Here's the YouTube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdaCisbQ ... 4w&index=5

Thanks Wayne and Brad Jennings

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PostPosted: February 5th, 2013, 9:27 pm 
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Alright, I have to ask - what are the 'rules' for camping around alligators? Is it just the same as camping around bears up here?

I have to admit, I don't think that I would have the same comfort level around the gators that I have at home.

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2013, 7:42 am 
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Just don't feed the alligators. They cannot climb on chickees, they are not found anywhere near beach sites ( they are fresh water residents) and the ground sites are shell mounds. Alligators need to maintain a body temp of 82 so at night they are in the water in the mud. ( it can be in the thirties at night)

Really nothing to worry about. Its a little unsettling to find an alligator swimming patrol around your chickee or ground site (Sweetwater and Willy Willy) but when people arrive, they leave.

Feeding of course makes them linger..so in that respect its the same as feeding bears.


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2013, 8:18 am 
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Hey Splake, All true what littleredcanoe said above. The park rangers told us the only place we might have a close encounter with an an alligator is on the ground sites. If you arrive and they're sunning themselves they tend to quickly scurry away. They also told us to stomp your feet in the morning as you exit your tent, just in case one is hanging around, but normally if they see or hear you they hi-tail it for the water. A bigger concern, according to the rangers is very aggressive raccoons that can come into camp and raid your food supplies, espescially out on some of the beach sites. However, we only saw one raccoon along the shoreline and it wasn't even at a campsite. We also had all our food in an air-tight food barrel. It sure was a great experience, and I'm hoping to go back sometime and complete the southern half of the loop.
Cheers -Wayne-

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2013, 8:56 am 
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Ah but we did encounter a wild boar (potentially dangerous) and I had a run-in with a Florida Bark Scorpion when collecting firewood on one of the remote ocean islands.
We didn't run into one of the 4 venomous snakes in the region (Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Dusky pigmy rattlesnake, Cottonmouth, and Coral Snake ) and you have a higher chance of encountering a boar, or snake on ground or beach sites.
Then again I'm more wary of Ontario's wildlife. IMO full grown moose trumps boar any day and I've had plenty of run-ins with rattlesnakes here in Ontario.

Florida's bear's & panther's (timid just like our wolves) are closer inland and extremely rare.

-Brad

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2013, 10:37 am 
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Thanks guys. Wendy and I did a couple hour paddle in a state park just south of Tampa about 17 years ago. For the day trip, I wasn't too worried about the gators, just kept our hands above the waterline. :-) I wasn't as sure how they would be overnight.

I only had time to watch about half the video before heading out to another hockey game last night but what I saw looks good as always. I'm still jealous of the sound quality you're getting, but hopefully I can improve on some of my audio this year.

Definitely tempts me to plan a mid winter canoe trip in the next few years.

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2013, 5:01 pm 
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Stanjanleafs, boar is a pretty bada$$ dude. We camped on Hog Key last week. Hog Key is so named for its history. A guy raised hogs . Their diet was fish and oysters. That had the sad effect of making their meat inedible. It's said that feral hogs still roam there. I was a bit wary that night!

I have been fortunate to see a panther. Once. Not this year!

We had little racoon pawprints across our "tablecloth" every night except on a chickee. The "tablecloth" is a five foot square of packcloth to keep things from vanishing between chickee boards or on the beach to keep kitchen stuff and meals clean and sand free.


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PostPosted: February 14th, 2013, 9:46 am 
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Looks like you guys made the 2013 Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour with this one:

http://www.reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com ... nu-42.html

Congrats!

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PostPosted: February 14th, 2013, 11:01 pm 
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Splake wrote:
Looks like you guys made the 2013 Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour with this one:

http://www.reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com ... nu-42.html

Congrats!


Thanks!
Hoping to catch a showing of the festival this year!
-Brad

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