Harvest moon, Super moon, Blood moon and High Tides of the final tetrad Eclipse of 2015!

.

On September 27, 2015, a celestial alignment of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon created an event that hasn’t happened since 1982! On this night, we’d have our autumnal equinox “harvest moon”. We’d also have an extra-large and extra-bright “super” moon. In addition to rising early and appearing about 14% larger and 30% brighter, we would also have a total lunar eclipse! It would make for a reddish-brown looking moon as the sunlight filters through the Earth’s atmosphere before illuminating the moon. This has been popularly dubbed as a “blood” moon. Finally, this eclipse would be the final of the most recent tetrad of lunar eclipses. All of the above has been collectively described as the 2015 “super” moon, one which would also bring some unusually high tides!

Here in South Florida, the extra high tides were expected to create some minor flooding in low lying areas. For kayakers and campers, the super high tides would also likely temporarily flood some of the island and ground sites in Everglades National Park.

.

Read more about kayaking and camping on Florida Bay at:

Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay turtle grass

Paddling through mats of loose turtlegrass in Florida Bay.
CLICK for story!

.

I decided to paddle out to the Johnson Key Chickee camping platform / outback condominium to observe, enjoy and photograph this rare event! As it often turns out this time of year, the weather was unsettled with lots of general cloudiness.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon flood

Arrival at the Johnson Key chickee finds the center platform already submerged under a foot of water. There was still about another hour of tide to come in!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon flood

An unusual situation – most of the time, the kayak needs to be lifted onto the top of this center platform!
CLICK for story!

.

Upon arrival at the chickee, I found myself in the unusual situation of having to get out of my kayak while floating above the (low) center platform. Typically, I need to lift the kayak up onto this same platform! The water was already about a foot over the platform and made for a somewhat bizarre situation unloading the boat. Also, it wasn’t even high tide yet. There was at least another hour to go!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon flood

Nearing the afternoon extreme high tide, the lower wood beams are underwater!

.

Here we can see the reasoning and foresight behind this rather tall chickee structure that is situated in open water. When the chickee was first opened for use in 2010, there was a lot of criticism from paddlers concerning the height in comparison to the other Park chickees. It was difficult to access the structure as built, and the Park retrofitted the lower center platform as pictured above to ease accessibility concerns. Still, it’s very easy to see that with even moderate 3 – 4 foot seas on the ‘Bay, the entire platform could get wet under these extra high tide conditions. Luckily for me, the seas were nearly flat this time!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon sunset

Nice sunset panorama, but with lots of unsettled weather particularly in the Gulf.

.

As is often the case on these open water chickees, there was a nice breeze, along with periodic gusts of up to maybe 15 knots coming off the squalls over the Gulf to the west. I set up a tarp to block the wind so that I could prepare my dinner which I devoured watching the sunset through breaks in the clouds.

.

Tasty & Quick Cooking!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay dinner camp cook

Snapshot of my delicious dinner. Potatoes, carrots, zucchini, some broccoli and onions with garlic and Mejillones en escabeche sauce (mussels)! 🙂
CLICK for story!

.

Celestial mechanics not only is like clockwork, it IS clockwork! It’s the what and the how of our measurements and concepts of time. It is therefore straightforward to calculate with precision celestial motions like sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, lunar cycles and eclipses, and also the corresponding tides. Mind you, this doesn’t take into account geographic features (such as the flow and drainage patterns of Florida Bay). Thus the calculated tidal predictions need to be checked versus actual observed conditions in a particular location(s). Typically this is only done for populated areas where people have an interest in knowing these things. The closest such place to the Johnson Key chickee is the (fmr) town of Flamingo, now the southern terminus of Everglades National Park proper.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon

The 14% larger and 30% brighter supermoon rises over Florida Bay!

.

If one is close enough, and particularly if close to the same longitude, the tide prediction tables can be relied upon. I call this “faith in numbers”, because that’s what it calls for! You can read about a full moon summer camp out on a tidal sandbar in the lower Keys in:

Higher ground in the Lower Keys and Faith in Numbers!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon

The supermoon takes it’s place in the sky as unsuspecting creatures carry on!
CLICK for story!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon

Oh no! Nooooooooo! The eclipse is taking a big bite out of the moon!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon totality

As the eclipse eats away more and more of the harvest ‘super’ moon it becomes a ‘blood’ moon.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon totality

Nearing totality, we have a super-duper blood, bloody moon!

.

Read more about full moon camping at:

ART of Darkness – Camping with the Stars! Part I

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay psychedelic

The totality of the eclipse had a decidedly psychedelic effect on me! 😉

.

The deep darkness brought on by the eclipse and the ever rising water levels reminded me of a powerful poem by the famous Czech author Karel Jaromír Erben. His book ‘Kytice z pověstí národních‘ – A Bouquet of Folk Legends (or just ‘Kytice‘ for short) is a collection of poems based on Slavic mythology and folk themes, long considered to be one of the greatest works of Czech literature.

.

Flex Maslan space kayak art photography kayakfari fantasy night alien everglades sky

Could it be that the eclipse manifested a Water Goblin spirit-creature in the form of a sting ray?
CLICK for story!

.

In one of the poems ‘Vodník‘, he presents a malevolent spirit-creature called Vodník – a Water Goblin who dwells in the depths and traps drowning souls in his watery lair! The poem is about premonitions and presentiments, leading to questions about fate, love, control and darker aspects of human nature. The ‘Water Goblin’ perhaps then represents a fear of the unknown and unseen darkness. That would be the Florida Bay analogy!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay vodnik water goblin

An apparition of ‘Vodník’ – the ‘Water Goblin of Florida Bay’ on the Johnson Key chickee!

.

These are the lines that ran through my head as the tide crept up in the darkness:

(in Czech, of course!)

Ach nechoď, nechoď na jezero,
zůstaň dnes doma, moje dcero!
Já měla zlý té noci sen:
nechoď, dceruško, k vodě ven.

(* My best English translation *)

Don’t go, don’t go to the lake,
Stay at home today, my daughter!
I dreamt frightful dreams in the night:
Don’t go, my darling daughter, to the water.

(* Read the rest of the poem: English translation by Susan Reynolds *)

.

The green Water Goblin is the perennial boogeyman in Czech folklore and these days also makes a very popular garden ornament.

.

Flex Maslan Vodnik kayakfari Florida Bay Erben Dvorak water goblin myth poem everglades photography

‘Vodník‘ (aka green Water Goblin) is a part of Slavic mythology and Czech folk legend. Pictured here as a smokin’ garden ornament.

.

Famed Czech composer Antonin Dvořák created a  symphonic poem piece:

The Water Goblin (Vodnik) Op.107 .

.

As the tide kept creeping up into the night, I had to get up a couple of times to rearrange the lines on the kayak. Left on it’s own, it will tend to wedge itself under the structure, and could potentially get crushed as the tide rises! I was finally able to bring it up alongside and into the wind with minimal line slack.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon

Meanwhile, back on the Johnson Key chickee platform the tide was still rising through the night!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon flood

It was tricky tying off my kayak through this night. Using two lines judiciously, I was able to mostly keep it away from the structure.

.

In the wee hours of the night after the eclipse, the moon was once again super bright and illuminated Johnson Key directly due east in front on me. The photograph below was one of the side benefits of getting up (again) to adjust those boat lines! 🙂

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay venus

Bright Venus rising above Johnson Key in the eastern sky before dawn. Though not as bright, Mars and Jupiter were also visible above the horizon!
CLICK for ART of the Bay – Florida Bay Landscapes.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay sunrise

A beautiful sunrise brought in a new, mostly clear day.

.

Read more at:

Camping on the Johnson Key chickee in Florida Bay

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay fisheye

Circular 180×360 panorama of one half of the Johnson Key chickee in the early AM!
CLICK for story!

.

One of the neat things about being outdoors are the unexpected surprises that come up. These can be either good or bad, but are the ones you always remember! On this morning I was pleasantly surprised by a small pod of dolphins hunting and feeding in the shallows that surround the chickee.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay dolphin

I was treated to a visit by dolphins hunting in the flats near the chickee.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay dolphins

One of the curious dolphins swam up to the platform to check me out with her youngster alongside!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay rabbit key

Little Rabbit Key, another ENP backcountry campsite about 7 miles away due south east.
CLICK for story – Little Rabbit Key!

.

The wide vista views from the elevated platform are pretty neat. The only thing is that whoever decided on the placement of the wood railings around the chickee obviously never sat in a camping chair on one. You’ll note that the wood completely blocks your view when sitting! To take in these views, you’ll either have to stand or better yet set up a hammock!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay flamingo ranger station

Looking due north back towards the Flamingo Ranger Station, standard view.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay flamingo ranger station

Close up of the Flamingo Ranger Station, six miles away, as seen at an effective focal length of 2800mm!
CLICK for story!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay bloodmoon

Parallel and perpendicular lines frame my camp on the Johnson Key chickee structure.

.

Read more about kayaking and camping on Florida Bay at:

Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay platform

Nearing low tide at the Johnson Key chickee. Note the white line where the extreme high tide topped out!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari Florida Bay johnson key chickee Kayak Everglades Camp mud flats low tide turtle grass Keys photo

Departing the Johnson chickee platform, with the next low tide predicted at 0.0!
CLICK for story!

.

These were definitely the highest tides I’ve ever seen in Florida bay. I bet the low lying ground and island campsites in Everglades National Park were all flooded to some extent, so I was happy to witness this from the comfort of the Johnson Key chickee structure!

If you missed this rare “super” celestial event, you’ll have to wait a lil while. This was the last total lunar eclipse visible in South Florida until 2019.

The next supermoon combination with a total lunar eclipse won’t occur until 2033!

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari eclipse lunar supermoon high tides chickee kayak johnson keys photography everglades Florida bay flats bank

Gorgeous mid-day panorama paddling on Florida Bay! 🙂
CLICK for ART of the Bay – Florida Bay Landscapes.

.

.

Enjoy!

.

More chickee camping at:

Camping on the Johnson Key chickee in Florida Bay

Flex Maslan kayakfari photographer kayak camping stars night Everglades landscape pano print art Florida Bay slough shark johnson key chickee moon

Camping on the Johnson Key platform in Florida Bay.

.

.

.

Flex Maslan kayakfari.com rasta 420 happy kayakfari kayak canoe paddle photography adventure fitness awakenthegrass everglades florida

.

.

© 2015 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com / decoratedreality.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

All rights reserved!

DISCLAIMER:: The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

With that said..
Blessings friends!

:)

Advertisements