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Kayaking the Keys — February 2017

My life, my love, my lady, is the sea
Approximate route I kayaked

A year after thru hiking the Florida Trail I returned to the Sunshine State, this time with my kayak. I paddled from the Lee County Manatee Park in Ft. Meyers to Key West, via Biscayne Bay, enjoying the Everglades, Keys, coral reefs, and avoiding Spring Breakers along the way. Browse all the pictures from my kayaking odyssey.

I wanted to paddle as far as Dry Tortugas if I had a weather window, but the ferry I needed for a return trip is apparently ridiculously popular and would needed to have been booked months in advance, which was a non-starter for this type of trip.

From my kayak I saw lots of birds, manatees, dolphins, crocodiles, sharks, crabs, and colorful fish. I also donated a lot of blood to mosquitoes.

Along the way I stopped at a few reefs to snorkel from my kayak. I wanted to visit several more, but the seas were too choppy those days. My snorkeling sites included:

After I finished my kayaking trip I also took a commercial boat to snorkel at Looe Key.

My route encompassed 4 sections of the Florida Circumnavigation Saltwater Paddling Trail. I count it as the first stretch of an ECT expedition, so if I ever get around to hiking the AT I would nearly have section “hiked” that trail.

Snorkeling at Fowey Rocks Lighthouse
In my kayak at the Southern Most Point marker in Key West