Miami (Black Point) to Flamingo is approximately a 70 mile one way trip via the chosen route.
An awesome multi-day paddle so that we could really enjoy ourselves out there! After a late start from Black Point marina, we paddle past the sun setting over Turkey Point nuclear power plant, and on into the delicious darkness of southern Biscayne Bay. No moon on this night, a nice light breeze to keep us cool, winding our way in the darkness, navigating mostly by light pollution from Key Largo & beyond. Hit a few shallow spots between the Arsnicker Keys, then on towards the distant Card Sound bridge which seemed to go on forever, but was very surreal non the less. Also tide was not in our favor, so a good workout. Our destination is Short Key, about three miles past the bridge. Took a moment to find the camping area in the dark, but we did make a landing about midnight after all & a good nights sleep!
Short Key is Key Largo’s backyard, and not a part of Everglades National Park. Thus it has a different usage pattern and lots of non-native vegetation. I erred in offending the local Chief Raccoon – I should have presented an offering. He got back at me by tearing a gash in my brand new tent, which, strangely I did not notice until the next morning.. my bad (it was PBJs in soft cooler)! 😉
This is a great place to camp, especially during the week with fewer people, and is kinda like hanging out on Hobie Beach (Key Biscayne) back in the “day”.
Gilbert’s is right off Jewfish Creek and makes a perfect place to stop for a great fish sandwich and a cold beer (the last you’ll have until Flamingo). They are also very paddler friendly with a nice beach to pull up on!
There’s a nice cut from Blackwater Sound to eastern Florida Bay. It’s a great feeling as you face into that fresh wind and know you are heading into the wilderness of Blorida Bay. Navigating here is super easy with a chart, just look for the various keys. North Nest Key is the official campsite here, but there isn’t much room once other folks already inhabit the couple of choice spots. We pitched tents maybe a couple of feet from the waterline! After getting up at 4:20am, we packed up quick to launch before sunrise into a favorable tide to head due west across the bay. Past Eagle Key I parted from the main group to head further south and explore the area around Black Betsy Keys, and then onto towards End Key. This is a truly remote area, I did not see any other boaters at all, and the water has the “keys” look/hue to it here, which is different from other parts of the ‘Bay.
Being in a kayak here you have the ultimate freedom of movement to free-range, only limited by low tide in just a few spots. The Shark Point chickee is a great landmark, kinda like a condo on the water! It’s a tall one, about 8ft above the water to reach the platform. From here you can easily see the tower at Flamingo which is just across Snake Bight. I arrived into one of those awesome sunsets, having paddled from sunrise to sunset, and over half the total distance on this one stretch. Good times!!
BIG thanks to my friends at the Miami Kayak Club !
You may also be interested in Across Florida Bay: Flamingo to Long Key Roundtrip Adventure !
NIGHT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY and DIGITAL ART from the EVERGLADES, FLORIDA BAY, TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, BIG CYPRESS & BEYOND!
(click pic to enter)
To learn more about Florida Bay and the Keys, I can recommend this informative and beautifully done book. There is a wealth of information inside along with incredible images by internationally recognized and top local Everglades photographers. If you like Florida Bay and the Keys, you will LOVE this book!
Full Disclosure: A few of my images are in it too.
© 2012 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / digital029art.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..