Kayak Miami: Full moon paddling on the historic Miami River

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Industrial feel cruising on the Miami River at night!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history shawn beightol

Evening itinerary and points of interest along the Miami River.
Thanks to Shawn Beightol for the map!

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This interesting evening cruise presented local adventurers with a tasty plate of local history and tranquil paddling along with a side dish of full moon fever! Earlier in the day I got up at 6:25 AM to see the total lunar eclipse, but it was cloudy and thus disappointing. Luckily by the evening the clouds cleared and we had a sweet light easterly breeze on the Miami River. The outing was organized by South Florida Everglades explorer Shawn Beightol in conjunction with Christopher Scott Boykin of the Florida Trail Association (FTA), Big Cypress Chapter.

This was a special event for FTA members only. They also organize some great backcountry hikes in our own South Florida wilderness in the Everglades and Big Cypress. If you’re interested, you can check out photography from past trips on my sister page at AwakentheGrass.com.

You can also join the FTA online directly at: http://www.floridatrail.org/make-a-difference/become-a-member/

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Paddling on the Miami River is easy in a canoe or kayak. Since it is subject to tides, it’s good to get the timing right! Please note that the Miami River is a busy working commercial and recreational waterway. At night things really slow down, however the docks run 24-7 so GIANT FREIGHTERS and  TUG BOATS can appear at anytime!! It’s easy to get distracted by all the lights and relative calmness – always be aware of your surroundings!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history shawn beightol

Trip leader Shawn Beightol in his canoe. He brought a PA system!!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Zooooooming around at night on the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history

Spotting local wildlife ..

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history

Easy paddling under the full moon on the river.

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Starting at Curtis Park on the Miami River, we would paddle up and down the river for about 7 miles total. We always had the tide in our favor so paddling was relaxed and informative. This was thanks to the fact that Shawn brought along a small PA system so we could all hear him and paddle at the same time. At certain moments I almost expected to maybe hear an Elvis impersonation, but never did. Nevertheless, the PA was an awesome idea – kudos!!

Shawn led the group past the main historical features of this stretch of the river: Musa Isle, the Miami River rapids (yes!), the Tamiami Canal connector and a still functioning circa 1921 swing bridge. We also peeked into Palmer Lake which is an artificial lake (an old rock pit) that is not a sovereign waterway per a historic court decision (Picciolo v. Jones). We saw the north (remnant) and south forks of the Miami River, and imagined what this confluence of waters would have looked like a hundred years ago. Near the end, we stopped to snack at Sewell Park and cruise by the Miccosukee/Seminole “caves” and Embassy on the Lawrence Canal, before heading back to our starting point.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history satellite

Detail of approximate location of the rapids on the Miami River.
The falls were dynamited in 1908 and dredged.

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Miami River rapids 1896 kayakfari Okeechobee Everglades canoe expedition paddle River of Grass 2014 Flex Maslan kayak florida

River rapids on the Miami River in 1896.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, floridamemory.com

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Miami River rapids 1896 kayakfari Okeechobee Everglades canoe expedition paddle River of Grass 2014 Flex Maslan kayak florida

Miami River rapids circa 1896.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, floridamemory.com

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Scenes along the Miami River rapids area – then and now:

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Entering a very industrial zone just past where the Miami River rapids once flowed!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

The dramatic difference of what one hundred years of development can do..

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We cruised along the river in a beautiful eerie industrial darkness sort of way!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Eerie industrial shipping zone and docks along the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Miami River dock workers on the graveyard shift.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Blackness punctuated with blinding strong lights, industrial noises, smells and a lung full of diesel~

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history

Shawn talks about local history of the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history

Paddlers on the Tamiami Canal connector.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Leah with a tow-assist for Shawn as she swings her kayak around on the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Paddlers and freighter ships on the Miami River at night coexist peacefully.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Approach to Palmer Lake.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history

Gotta Do .. the Do – on Palmer Lake! 😉

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history tamiami dredge 1920

Dredge working and boat in the Tamiami Canal circa 1920.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, floridamemory.com
Fishbaugh, W. A.(William A.), 1873-1950

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history shawn beightol

Shawn and his “spaceship” canoe on the Miami River near the Tamiami Canal.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history ferguson mill

This small culvert is all that’s left of Ferguson’s Mill branch of the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history culvert ferguson mill

Going in!!  Inside culvert that once lead to Ferguson’s Mill.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history culvert ferguson mill

Once on the other side of the culvert, the canal was blocked and looked to be a dead end.
Note strange guy in the street behind me! lol.. Miami!!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

“La Flecha” .. time goes one-way, like a river.
Today’s Miami River however is a tidal inlet, so it actually flows back and forth~

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Above – paddling in the moonlight on today’s industrial Miami River and a similar stretch of river a hundred years ago!

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Miami River indian village 1901 kayakfari Okeechobee Everglades canoe expedition paddle River of Grass 2014 Flex Maslan kayak florida

Native “Indian” trading village on the Miami River circa 1901.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, floridamemory.com

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography

Shawn at the south fork of the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography miccosukee caves

Paddling south on the Lawrence Canal along Sewell Park in Miami.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography miccosukee caves

On Lawrence Canal by the Miccosukee/Seminole “caves”.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography sewell park

The canoe launch at Sewell Park on the Miami River. Look carefully and you will see it is occupied by a naked man sitting on the ramp at left. He did not answer any of our questions – we moved on!
CLICK for larger version if you dare!

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography sewell park

Maggy about to seal launch her whitewater kayak into the Miami River!

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Miami River seminole 1916 dugout kayakfari Okeechobee Everglades canoe expedition paddle River of Grass 2014 Flex Maslan kayak florida

A hundred years ago on the Miami River in 1916.
Credit: State Archives of Florida, floridamemory.com

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history satellite

The evening’s path along the Miami River.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography sewell park 17th bridge

Under the 17th Avenue bridge.

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Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe full moon shipyard history photography high tide

The tide was exceptionally high on this full moon night!

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Outstanding cinematography in this film on the Miami River!

Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari paddle kayak canoe ships history Amerikas Flüsse documentary ARTE TV Katja Esson

CLICK for fullscreen video that opens in a new tab.
ARTE TV Miami River documentary by filmmaker Katja Esson.
Amerikas Flüsse : Der Miami River – Krokodile und Kreuzfahrtschiffe.
The Miami River – Crocodiles and Cruise Ships!

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Direct link: http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/055913-001-A/amerikas-flusse

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“A behind the scenes, in the making of the above film ..”

Flex Maslan Miami River night kayakfari canoe shipyard history ARTE TV Katja Esson documentary everglades canal eerie spooky

Spooky night time paddling and filming on the Miami River with ARTE (Euro TV).
Amerikas Flüsse : Der Miami River – Krokodile und Kreuzfahrtschiffe.
The Miami River – Crocodiles and Cruise Ships!

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Enjoy!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari photographer kayak camping stars night Everglades landscape pano print art Florida Bay slough shark camping with the stars

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Flex Maslan Miami River art kayakfari photography kayak Everglades canoe paddle Grass florida canal okeechobee biscayne ships

“Manati Tug Twins – Hot Lips that kissed Miami ships!”
Tug boats along the Miami River.
ART of the Miami River – Perspectives of water and people on the move

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Flex Maslan Miami River art kayakfari photography kayak Everglades canoe paddle Grass florida canal okeechobee biscayne ships

ART of the Miami River – Perspectives of water and people on the move

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Miami River kayakfari Okeechobee Everglades Flex Maslan canoe expedition paddle River of Grass 2014 kayak florida map

River of Grass Canoe Expedition 2014: Lake Okeechobee – Miami River Canal – Biscayne Bay

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rasta happy kayakfari kayak canoe paddle photography adventure

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© 2014 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..
Blessings friends!

🙂

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5 comments on “Kayak Miami: Full moon paddling on the historic Miami River

  1. Pingback: History, Industry and full moon kayak fever on the Miami River! | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

  2. Pingback: Keep your feet firmly in the kayak and stay limber! | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

  3. Pingback: Spooky night time filming on the Miami River with ARTE (Euro TV) | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

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