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Old 08-12-2019, 23:25   #1
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Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

Packing list (https://lighterpack.com/r/bggkl7)

About 10 years ago I heard of a trail through the Everglades where one could travel from Naples to flamingo Florida. Itís about 100 miles of backcountry swamp, bay, lagoon, beach and river. The trip is traditionally done in groups with canoes or kayaks. Iím going solo (testament to my character I guess).

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The romantic idea of an 8 day paddle down the wilderness waterway is remote but well marked (mostly) and is the scene of my next adventure.

With a rebuilt a 30 year old fiberglass canoe and fitted it with a A frame sail. I know itís not a sailboat per say but technically it will be sailing soo I figure this group would enjoy.

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The trip will be starting in a week on December 14th, a link to my location is will be added later. This will be live during the trip because my wife demands it, probably for the best.

Id be interested in any advice from those who have done similar trips before.

Here is a link to my packing list. (https://lighterpack.com/r/bggkl7) Let me know what youíd bring or leave behind.

Sail fast
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Old 08-12-2019, 23:34   #2
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

A friend done something similar a few years back. I remember him complaining about mosquitos. Big time mosquitos. And sighting occasional alligators, a few of them in fact. No sails, just the canoe.

He overnighted on marked platforms along the route. I'll call him for more details and will update with his responses.
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Old 09-12-2019, 00:06   #3
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC Reefer View Post
Packing list (https://lighterpack.com/r/bggkl7)

About 10 years ago I heard of a trail through the Everglades where one could travel from Naples to flamingo Florida. Itís about 100 miles of backcountry swamp, bay, lagoon, beach and river. The trip is traditionally done in groups with canoes or kayaks. Iím going solo (testament to my character I guess).

Attachment 204618

The romantic idea of an 8 day paddle down the wilderness waterway is remote but well marked (mostly) and is the scene of my next adventure.

With a rebuilt a 30 year old fiberglass canoe and fitted it with a A frame sail. I know itís not a sailboat per say but technically it will be sailing soo I figure this group would enjoy.

(Attachment 204619

The trip will be starting in a week on December 14th, a link to my location is will be added later. This will be live during the trip because my wife demands it, probably for the best.

Id be interested in any advice from those who have done similar trips before.

Here is a link to my packing list. (https://lighterpack.com/r/bggkl7) Let me know what youíd bring or leave behind.

Sail fast

===


This is the right time of year since anything in warmer weather will get you carried away by mosquitoes. Technically the wilderness waterway starts at Everglades City. There is a back channel from Naples to Marco Island and from there you can make your way inshore down through Goodland and Gullivan Bay. You'll probably be exposed to at least some open water between Gullivan and Everglades City.


I've never done the entire waterway, just some major parts of it at the north end, the mid-section near Shark River, and the south end near Flamingo. It's interesting country for sure but you will be very much on your own. Cell phone service is non existent south of Marco and hand held VHF range is very limited. I was once involved in relaying distress messages to USCG from a Boston Whaler that had parked itself in the mangroves. One other time I rescued a guy in a flats boat that was stranded in the boondocks of the Shark River area.



The EPIRB is a good idea and I'd recommend a backup GPS, and a cell phone with the Navionics charting app. It is *very* easy to get lost back there. I believe you are required to file a float plan with the park service if you are over nighting in the wilderness area.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:44   #4
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

Not just the occasional alligators. Flamingo has salt water crocodiles as well. I'd be more worried about the mosquitos!

Enjoy the epic trip and post details!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
A friend done something similar a few years back. I remember him complaining about mosquitos. Big time mosquitos. And sighting occasional alligators, a few of them in fact. No sails, just the canoe.

He overnighted on marked platforms along the route. I'll call him for more details and will update with his responses.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:48   #5
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

Since you are doing this, google Everglades Challenge and read up as much as you can on the site. I used to do this race from Ft. De Soto (Tampa) to Key largo. The key to a successful crossing is to understand the tides. You just cannot sail or paddle sail against them. Also, be aware most of this is a National Park so make sure you pay for the number of nights you will be staying. There are a series of platforms along the route where you can Spring a pop tent. bring a very good GPS as you want to make sure you are in the right passages, also mark all the spots were there are oysters bars that will cut your hull, and very important is to bring a large pole to get you out of trouble in the mud.
Fine mesh no-see-hum protection for your head is a must.
Other than that, enjoy it - it is beautiful
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:21   #6
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

I did some of the area in 1985. Paddled part of the inside from Evergaldes City. Can be very tricky navigating. This was before GPS. The other part was from Flamingo westward around Cape Sable where we camped on the beach.this was in mid April and the no-see-ums made life miserable. We were windbound and were stuck for 3 days and spent most of the time in the tents reading and cooking meals. The only relief was if we dashed out into the wind and surf to escape the critters. I would think your time frame would not be so buggy, but you don't know till you get there. For me personaly I like to allow a day or two extra just in case a non travel day happens. I agree with the fellow that posted info on the Everglades challenge for info & the comments on the tides. I followed on line the challange last year. Was interesting to me



Your list of supplies and weights looks very interesting . Personally I would take much more creature comforts such as some fresh food in cooler and extra water, I think your canoe would handle the weight fine and if you don''t need to portage the stuff weight shouldn't be much of a problem unless you think the extra weight may add more drag. which can be overcome with a little more umpha put in to each paddle stroke. But you may like to go more spartan like..to each their own.



When wind bound on the beach I did find an interesting item while seeking relief in the surf. the waves uncovered it & I just happened to spot it before it was re buried or washed back to sea. I attached a photo of the fairly large skull.


Have a great trip.





i will be following
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Old 09-12-2019, 13:28   #7
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

http://www.watertribe.com/events/evergladeschallenge/
This is the link

One more advice if I could. Get a SPOT beacon subscription and you can set it up so it relays your position once a day or every hour. The old one I have gave you a choice to ask for help - no emergency help or life in danger help. You can create a list of people to their emails that can roughly see what you are up to. Peace of mind.
WARNING - if you have not been to the Everglades, make sure you know how to recognize two VERY POISONING TREES that are native to the 10,000 island and Everglades. One of them is called the Poison Wood - just donít touch it. The other one is even worse, is called the Manicheel tree which just being under the canopy of one will make you sick. Please learn how to recognize them.

Take care
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Old 09-12-2019, 21:41   #8
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

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WARNING - if you have not been to the Everglades, make sure you know how to recognize two VERY POISONING TREES that are native to the 10,000 island and Everglades.

Had not considered poisonous plants at all. Thanks yíall for the good advice. And yes, my gear list is sparse with regards to creature comforts.

Some of you have mentioned navigation equipment and I see this as my biggest manageable challenge.

I wonít have any cell service but My iPhone is (fingers crossed) the primary GPS as it provides satellite imagery of the backcountry. iPhone 7 is water resistant and has true GPS. In an otter box and velcroed to a dry bag I think it will work. But in case it doesnít, The Backup GPS is a Garmin map 76. Iíll also have printout images of each section, a compass and a guide book to navigate.

Again Iím going solo, so if there is something youíd need 3 days away from help then I want to know.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:31   #9
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

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Originally Posted by JC Reefer View Post
Had not considered poisonous plants at all. Thanks yíall for the good advice. And yes, my gear list is sparse with regards to creature comforts.

Some of you have mentioned navigation equipment and I see this as my biggest manageable challenge.

I wonít have any cell service but My iPhone is (fingers crossed) the primary GPS as it provides satellite imagery of the backcountry. iPhone 7 is water resistant and has true GPS. In an otter box and velcroed to a dry bag I think it will work. But in case it doesnít, The Backup GPS is a Garmin map 76. Iíll also have printout images of each section, a compass and a guide book to navigate.

Again Iím going solo, so if there is something youíd need 3 days away from help then I want to know.


I forgot to add, get the TOP SPOT charts for that area. You can buy 3 for $60 and is sound investment as they are very detailed and waterproof.

I know this might be a complication for you but consider building an ama or outrigger to provide piece of mind and stabilize the cane when the weather gets rough. The easiest way to make one is with blue Dow styrofoam and one 1/4Ē ply running lengthwise. You do not need more than 4Ē diameter and 8 ft length.

By the way if is cold enough, donít worry about alligators or salt water crocodile. Few people know that they can live one year without eating, they need warm weather to digest their meal, so most of them will not be that active after the temperature drops.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:52   #10
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

In the 90's and early 00's I was an avid kayaker. I have paddled every waterway that comes off the Wildernesswaterway (WW) and used to do kayak tours. Even had a website that rated all the campsites. I also raced 4 or 5 times from Tampa to Key Largo and once around the state with a group called www.watertribe.org.

Short answer to your question is "sorta". There are several tight passages along the main WW where even a 12' mast from a Balogh sail rig will have issues. Second the wind is "poofy" and can vary in direction. The downwind sail shown in the photo can be useful.

Tips- 1) do NOT sleep in a hammock- bugs bite through them. 2)leave right after a cold front. The cold front kills off the mosquitoes and no-see-ums for a few day. 3) have a 20-30 degree bag and space blanket. If a front comes through you will need that bag. The space blanket works like this- normal, shiny side down. Cold night? Shiny side up. 4) carry 1 Gal/person/day. You will need it. 5) ALL FOOD must be secured. Now it has been 6-7 years since I was back there, but raccoons used to be able to unlatch coolers. All my food was inside my hatches that were closed with hasps, raccoons used to pop the Tupperware like hatches open.

Finally, feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Bill
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Old 10-12-2019, 14:53   #11
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

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Originally Posted by JC Reefer View Post
Had not considered poisonous plants at all. Thanks yíall for the good advice. And yes, my gear list is sparse with regards to creature comforts.

Some of you have mentioned navigation equipment and I see this as my biggest manageable challenge.

I wonít have any cell service but My iPhone is (fingers crossed) the primary GPS as it provides satellite imagery of the backcountry. iPhone 7 is water resistant and has true GPS. In an otter box and velcroed to a dry bag I think it will work. But in case it doesnít, The Backup GPS is a Garmin map 76. Iíll also have printout images of each section, a compass and a guide book to navigate.

Again Iím going solo, so if there is something youíd need 3 days away from help then I want to know.
Do you have solar to charge it?
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Old 11-12-2019, 19:58   #12
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

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Tips- 1) do NOT sleep in a hammock- bugs bite through them.

Wish I would have had this advice before.

During the past summer I did about a dozen trial runs testing different gear On 2-3 day trips. One of my first bright ideas was to sleep in a hammock... Unfortunately I neglected to buy the bug netting. So there I was on a warm windless April night in Florida, sweating to death, hiding in a sleeping bag and the only thing expose were my lips and even those were getting bitten. I can 100% attest that mosquitoes will bite you through a hammock and a sleeping bag. Any body parts the were pressing hard on the hammock was destroyed by mosquito bites. My heels, shoulders and butt were all hit bad.

Letís talk Electronics and charging

For the 8 day trip though, Iím taking more electronics than I have on 1000+ mile cruises. The main reason for this is because Iím alone and getting lost or being bitten by a snake or rabid raccoon is a real risk out in a maze of mangroves.

Iím carrying a solar panel that I think will keep my list of toys charged. That includes:

iPhone 7 plus - primary GPS
Garmin Map 76 - secondary GPS
Inreach - location tracking and SOS
VHF radio - More for weather
EPIB - small personal one I have for deliveries, I figure why not.
Sony Camera with large lens
Go-Pro - Possibly
4 x lithium AA batteries - used in GPS and Flashlight
2 x 10,000 ml amp battery banks

Iíll try to keep all needed gear charged and running using 1 solar panel and the 2 battery banks. The panel is promoted as water resistant but I have made some covers that should help.

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Iíve setup a dry box with a plumbed cable passing into it from the solar panel. Inside the dry box Iíll have battery banks or devices charging. Small tests Have shown good results but this will be a first time to run multiple devices for multiple days.

Any thoughts on my electrical and charging choices?
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Old 11-12-2019, 21:30   #13
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

How about having a SPOT
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Old 11-12-2019, 21:31   #14
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

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How about having a SPOT


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Old 11-12-2019, 22:04   #15
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Re: Solo Sailing the Everglades wilderness waterway

I was in Whitewater Bay last Sunday and headed back this weekend in a houseboat.
Stopped for lunch on the South Joe River platform and didn’t encounter any mosquitoes. That was in daylight, night might be different. Only saw two gators and one croc. Don’t go swimming. Besides the gators and crocs there are bull sharks in the area.

No cell service to speak of. The Inreach will be your primary means of communication.
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