Folding Kayaks Forum

The user forum for FoldingKayaks.org
It is currently Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:25 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:59 am 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Yes, folks, we're doing it again this year -- 10 days in Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park -- in the middle of winter! You are all invited! There are likely to be day paddles, night paddles, a swamp tromp (last year we tromped into a cypress dome and found the resident alligator at home!). Everything is improvised, unguided, and optional. And guaranteed to be memorable!

Reservations for the campground can be made at http://www.recreation.gov. I do recommend reservations this year. The campground will be under new concession management. It can't hurt to lock in your reservation and rate before that happens. Wry smiley face.

If you're interested, send me a private message on this forum with your email address, and I'll email you the f.a.q. If you decide to come, let me know, so I can get a head count for the ... tada! ... pancake breakfast!

UPDATE as of 10/13/2018:
ER, NEVER MIND! IGNORE THE ABOVE. DUE TO HURRICANE MARIA, FLAMINGO CAMPGROUND WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 15.

Soooo.... We took a group e-vote, and decided to hold the flotilla at Trail Lakes Campground in Ochopee, FL, along the Tamiami Trail not too far from Everglades City.

The paddling in the area is diverse -- mangrove tunnels, Chokoloskee Bay, wild rides on the tidal current out through the mangrove keys to the Gulf.

For sailors, there is Chokoloskee Bay (watch for oyster bars). It's also fun to sail out through one of the passes to the Gulf. Preferably with the tide. But with or against, it's an exciting challenge.

Everglades City, just a few miles away, has restaurants, a small grocery store, AND a terrific hardware store. Just in case.

Oh, and this is the land of the Skunk Ape. 'Nough said.

Reservations should be made soon -- they expect to sell out this winter with or without us.

You can make reservations either on:

http://www.evergladescamping.net --> reservations

or by phone:

1-239-695-2275

You'll need to know the class of your rig, as defined by Trail Lakes. 
Class A is 50 amps
Class C is 30 amps
Popups and small travel trailers are Class B.
Tents are ... well, you'll figure it out.

You'll have to pay the full non-refundable fare up front.

They may ask if you are part of a group.  I identified us to them as the "Flamingo Flotilla".  They seemed amused.  Hrrmmmph.  Seems like a fine name to me!  I mean Trail Lakes.  What's up with that??

They do allow dogs, leashed. 

If you decide to come, please let me know by Private Message on this forum. Thanks!

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Last edited by AnnR on Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:09 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:40 pm
Posts: 33
Bad news everyone, I received an automated phone call and an email from recreation. gov this morning informing me all reservations for Flamingo from 11/15/17 to 4/15/18 are cancelled. Refunds will be issued. They do not know when the campground will reopen. We moved to Everglades City the last time a hurricane tested our patience. Where would y'all like to go this time? We need a quick decision as sites fill up fast in January. Earl


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:50 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 801
Location: atlanta, georgia
Well that sucks. Wish I had suggestions for alternatives but I just don't know the Everglades. In any case I will be there wherever you move the Flotilla to. Fingers crossed you can find a place.

g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990's A1 Expedition
2010 Klepper Quattro
Kayaksailer
Balogh sail rig, 24 + 36 HP
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:00 am 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Yep, it's not looking too good for Flamingo this year, though who knows -- the campground could be ready for action well before 4/15. No way to tell at this point. After Hurricane Wilma dumped scads of mud on the campground in October, 2005, it was reopened late January the next year. So there is some justification for optimists to keep their fingers crossed.... But still, the Park's official line is 4/15. So we have to take that seriously.

Here is a link to the NPS's excellent daily updates on the restoration progress at the many South Florida national parks which were damaged by Irma:

https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/severe ... sponse.htm

Here is a link to pictures of the various parks impacted by the hurricane, posted by the NPS. Flamingo is in there, at the beginning of page 1 and on page 2 of the pictures.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nps_eimt/

I've suggested to the folks on the flotilla email list the we continue the discussion here as to whether to cancel, relocate, or hope for the best.

Someone suggested Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Looks like a tempting venue, but near as I can tell, it's fully booked for our time slot -- and for most of the winter season.

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:27 am 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Photo of the Flamingo campground.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nps_eimt/36892364000/

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:28 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:40 pm
Posts: 33
I started in south Florida and worked my way up until I found a federal site with availability. All Corp of Engineer sites are already booked! I have never camped at Ft. Pickens but am familiar with the area. Unless someone has a better location I'm going to book here https://www.recreation.gov/recreational ... Code=70904 and I will do it very soon.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:35 am 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Great idea, Earl. I don't know Fort Pickens at all, but it looks pretty sweet. I gather the paddling would be either in the Gulf of Mexico or Pensacola Bay? As you find out more about it, please let us know the details. It looks like there are 57 sites available for the flotilla dates.

Another flotillian checked with Trail Lakes Campground in the Everglades City area (the Skunk Ape Headquarters where we stayed the year of Wilma. I'm sure you remember it fondly, Earl...). They will be reopening soon and feel they can accommodate us. It looks like they've upgraded since we were there, with chickees and cabins, as well as regular camping sites. Not sure about electric. Or about paddling. Who knows what the paddling trails will be like. I can't imagine that the canoe launch at the Ranger Station in Everglades City won't be open by then. A downside to Trail Lakes is that it is landlocked. We have to cartop to each trailhead. But there's quite a variety of mangrove tunnel trails in the area, plus paddling in the 10,000 Islands, riding the current out Indian Key Pass.... Just another idea.

People are sending me suggestions, and I'll post them here as they come in.

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:52 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
I called Gulf Islands National Seashore this morning to inquire about Fort Pickens Campground, and spoke with a very knowledgeable volunteer.

Campground fees are $26/night, or $13/night with senior pass.
Park entrance fee is $15/7 days.

The campsites have water and electric hookups.

Paddling and sailing would be on the open water or along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico or Pensacola Bay. There are a couple of small lakes, which can be accessed from the water by dragging boats across a sand bar.

It's a bit of a hike from the campground to the water, according to the volunteer I spoke with, and we couldn't leave our boats on the beach. On the Gulf side, you can drive to within 50 feet of the water, but there's not much parking room right there. You have to park at a nearby picnic area. On the Bay side, there is a boardwalk through the dunes which would allow us to cart our boats to the beach.

It can be windy and rough, but that's the beauty of having launch opportunities on two opposing sides of an island. The tide range is only 1.5 feet, and only in extreme conditions do you have to worry about waterless flats or mud. The bottom is mostly sand on both the Gulf and Bay sides.

There can be noseeums, now and then, but bugs are generally not a problem.

Negatives:

Winter temperatures:
You can look at different months and years at this site:
https://m.accuweather.com/en/us/pensaco ... =2/01/2016
Highs for our time frame seem to range from 55 to 75, with lows from 30-65.
My informant says the last couple of years have been unusually warm. Three years ago, there was an ice storm in January that damaged a fair number of trees. Temps below freezing overnight are not the norm, but happen many times every year. In my perusings of the above site, I saw an overnight low of 28, with highs in the 40s, during our time slot.

Water temperatures: Volunteer Roman told me to expect 51-53 degrees. Drysuit time for me!

The above information comes from one call to one volunteer. Does anyone have firsthand experience with this area?

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:58 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 801
Location: atlanta, georgia
Thanks Anne, if you decide on Gulf Islands I am in. And please don't be afraid of water temps, they are seldom below 60F and forecast for January is low 60'S. https://www.seatemperature.org/north-am ... anuary.htm

g

_________________
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1990's A1 Expedition
2010 Klepper Quattro
Kayaksailer
Balogh sail rig, 24 + 36 HP
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:52 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Thanks for keeping me honesst, Greg! I'll take 60 over 50 any day!

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:41 am 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
Here's another option: Trail Lakes Campground, near Everglades City.

Www.evergladescamping.net

They have chickees and cabins and RV sites with water and electric, as well as tent sites. There is also a group site.

For people who were at the 2006 flotilla which we held there: The screened-in area where we held our pancake breakfast, saw Horst's slides of Kleppering in the South Seas, and watched the Skunk Ape 'documentary", is gone. Maybe if we ask really nicely, they will find a way to give us a showing of the Skunk Ape. Or the video. :) The campground is under new management. It's now being run by the son of the fellow who ran it when we were there.

The paddling in the area is diverse -- mangrove tunnels, Chokoloskee Bay, wild rides on the tidal current out through the mangrove keys to the Gulf.

For sailors, there is Chokoloskee Bay (watch for oyster bars). It's also fun to sail out through one of the passes to the Gulf. Preferably with the tide. But with or against, it's an exciting challenge.

Everglades City, just a few miles away, has restaurants, a small grocery store, AND a terrific hardware store. Just in case.

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:51 pm 
forum fan

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:02 am
Posts: 22
And the winner is, by popular vote, Trail Lakes! I've edited the first post in this thread with a description of the area and details on how to make reservations. Which I recommend doing sooner rather than later.

Hope to see you there!

_________________
annr
Hazel, blue Folbot Aleut
Starfish, blue Folbot Yukon
Mudlark, yellow Folbot Greenland II
Audrey, Feathercraft Aeronaut
and a hardshell or two


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group