Into the Glades - Sweetwater
United States Florida Everglades
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Below is a short report of my trip out to Sweetwater Chickee
DAY ONE – 03/17/12
winds NE 10-15 mph, partly Sunny, 79 ̊F (19.3 miles)
Left Everglades City Ranger Station around 10am to start my paddle toward the Lopez River at the end of the rising tide. Due to the winds I took the back waterway route east of Oyster Bay and Huston Bay to make my way to Sweetwater Chickee. There are some shallow areas on the route but the tide was still high so there were no worries. The last mile paddling to the chickee seemed to take forever due to outgoing tide and wind. Hoped the chickee to myself but there was a group of 5 power boaters there. Still had plenty of light left so I setup my tent (which had to be tied down) and relaxed for a bit. That evening my neighbors shared some spotted trout they caught that day. Far better cry than the Colman Ziti Spaghetti I had earlier. It’s great having neighbors that can bring a lot of stuff in their power boats. I’d forgotten how good you can see the stars out here, was able to count 13 satellites with a 90 minute period. One of the guys was able to do a great Bard Owl call and was able to call three of them real close to us. The only problem was they made a racket for the next hour or so.
DAY TWO – 03/18/12
winds NE 5-10 mph, partly Sunny, 79 ̊F (20.1 miles)
Bid farewell to my power boater buddies and started by trip back around 9am. Less than a ¼ I came across two dolphins working as team fishing in the shallow areas. On the trip back took the more direct route across the bays. Took photos of some birds on the way and spotted a few more dolphins. Found the incoming tide at the Lopez River still strong so took a break at the new Crooked Creek Chickee. Once I was at the end of Lopez River there were a few Osprey flying around. One of them was able to hover in the wind like a humming bird sort of speaks (see attached video). The rest of the paddle back to the Ranger station was uneventful. Once packed up, headed over to City Seafood for my traditional after paddle Gator Basket.