Friday, March 5, 2010

Little Shark River Anchorage; Of alligators and men

We pulled out in the early morning for Little Shark River in the Everglades National Park. We had some discussion about our course; ultimately we wanted to get to Naples which was a 93 nautical mile trip at 8.5kts per hr. A long day in the summer with more light and a bit of a stretch on this winter day. We did not want to have to push that hard as there was no reason for it. We were up for a more leisurely route.  That is after all what we like to do go slow and enjoy the trip. The first segment would be about 35nm, ahh.

When coming out of Marathon our first turn was to the north-northwest and through the seven mile bridge. Jeannie and I have been over this long bridge many times but it was the first time under it. On a sunny day the blue green water color is a real stunner.
You can see two bridges, the larger is the one cars use today. The smaller and lower one with a gap in it is the old one built by Flagler. This smaller one was used most recently in the movie True Lies with Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  It was a thrill going this way.
It was a beautiful day and a smooth cruise. We arrived at Little Shark River and dropped anchor into a small cove just inside the mouth of the river. We had great water depth of 12' and set the anchor without difficulty. There was one other boat in the cove when we arrived and easily a dozen more anchored in a line up the river as the day wore on. There is a nice write up in the cruising guide we use about this anchorage and may help explain why a dozen boats showed up on a random winters weekday.

Once we got settled we got the dingy ready to go exploring. Dieter and I were prepping the davit.

Seabright sitting nicely at our anchorage.

We zipped around the river with Dieter and Joanie at the helm.  The guide book told us not to swim here as there are too many alligators; we did not see any but did not want to test the theory. Not ready to be alligator bait. This area is truly remote with no visible sign of civilization. No cell phones no internet no traffic. For any who brought dogs there was not a place for a dog to get off. Just mangroves no walkable land or neaches.
It was very beautiful.

We mostly went looking for birds and found the usual pelicans and egrets. It was a lot of fun. The mangroves where the predominate foliage.These were shelters for all sorts of fish and water fowl. We had some debate about what of the three types of mangroves these were and finally concluded we were unsure. We found this on the internet;

These three types are the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), the black mangrove (Avicennia Germinans), and white mangroves (Laguncularia Racemosa). see

There were not many channel markers but with this one you can see how strong the current can run as the tides changes.

 Jeannie and I "dinking" around Indian River caught in a picture taking a picture. We have adopted the verb dinking as an expression of going about in the dingy. It is a lot of fun, close to the water and we can really zip along. It is the best way to see the area up close and in very shallow water.

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