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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:33 am 
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Chekika,

I ran across some old posts where you (or someone posting as Chekika) were sea kayaking The Big Bend of the Saltwater Paddling Trail some time ago. What are your thoughts about doing that section in an AI or TI, if you care to share any? I haven't checked to see if one can get camping permits for any craft or if it is limited to paddling craft, nor have I looked at distances and such to consider how little time it might take in a Hobie Island sailing between camps instead of paddling, but I've read some about the area and it has my interest. (I'm currently reading Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast.) It's a fair bit closer to me than southern Florida too.

Thanks in advance!

Duff

(That's my red AI with the lawn chair seat in your photos at at EC upthread. I've since sold the AI but kept the seat for my new-to-me TI.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Hi Duff,

Yes, we have done the Big Bend section of the FL paddling trail--4 times I think--via sea kayak. The last time was in early April, 2010. A number of people have indicated an interest in doing it in AI/TIs. The section from the Aucilla River to the Suwannee River is about 105 mi. It can be cool, even in April. That last trip, I didn't have enough warm clothes. Also, doing it in April, you are facing SE headwinds much of the time. I don't know if you want company, but I'm sure we could put together a good group for a trip. It would be necessary to pick your campsites--many are a mile or 2 up some river. Are you planning on doing the EC this year? Are you thinking of any specific or approximate dates for the FL paddling trail?

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:02 pm 
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No and no. I don't have any specific plans at all! Probably not doing the EC but there's still time to change my mind on that too. Can't wait to get back to that part of the world and do some more exploring.

I started reading about the Big Bend paddling trail before I heard about the EC. I didn't have a sailboat and was mostly paddling at that time, although I had sailed before. Then got distracted for awhile and started thinking about it again. Yep, I would want some company and would be interested in going with a group on Hobies if one materialized and I could swing it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:48 am 
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Duff,

It has been a while since I've looked at the Big Bend FL Paddle Trail and its rather severe restrictions for doing trips--much, much more restrictive than, say, doing Everglades National Park. The Paddle Trail managers actually have designed specific trips, all North to South only, all aimed at paddlers (kayaks & canoes). I think we can get around that, i.e., we could put together a couple of their specific trips with required (expected) stops to make a doable Hobie AI/TI trip. It would be a challenging trip, which is what makes it especially interesting. Other than the wind and the weather, here is a picture of some of the problems--serious oyster bars at low tide in front of the Butler Island designated camp site:

Image


Duff, do you have time in the months Jan-Feb or early April that you could do this trip? I like to ask the person or persons who suggest a trip what the best time is for them. It will probably be cold (by my standards) in Jan-Feb, even getting down to freezing temps, but the prevailing winds may be better. In Apr, it will be warmer, quite warm maybe, but cool days are possible. There will likely be headwinds much of the time in April.

Where are you located? You know, you can go to the "user control panel" and your profile, and put in your location which will appear in your sidebar on your posts.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:09 pm 
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I'm not sure I'm out of pipe dream mode yet. First was to find out if it was possible to do it in an island, meaning, not restricted, campsites not too small or too difficult to accommodate one Hobie, much less two or more or what have you. You answered some of that! Oyster beds do look like they might be a challenge. I tangled with a few in March getting out of Chokoloskee. I looked at some of the regs online today and don't see anything saying no. Did see a limit of 8 people and 4 tents per site.

I live in Oklahoma City, so that's a couple of easy days driving to get to my end of the trail, maybe 15 hours or so.

I ordered the guide for the paddling trail a few years ago. Next step would be to look at some real maps, google maps, and start wrapping my head around details, total trip time, distance between camps, what might be sailed, what would need to be pedaled or paddled and other things to contend with, like oyster beds. Is it likely about 5 days on the water? I had it my head it was about that if paddling and all went well.

I'm self employed, so time away is at the whim of my customers, sometimes I do what I want and sometimes I do what they want. Jan, Feb sounds good if not too cold. (I like warm in the day and cool at night. Don't we all?) I can handle down to freezing temps at night. Do have a drysuit for on the water. April might work too but my anniversary is the 9th and I probably don't need to be gone in boat around that time.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:29 pm 
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I found camp descriptions and trip options! (Ordered a couple of maps too.)

Quote:
There are six trip options along the 105-mile paddling trail. Trip 1 covers the entire trail (9 days/8 nights), while the remaining options are for 5-day/4-night or 3-day/2-night trips. All trips are from north to south to minimize overlapping schedules. We have added new permit options for single nights as well as two 6-day/5-night trips. Single nights are a great introduction to the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail or a good option when you can’t commit to a multi-night trip.


http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wma ... s/#tripOpt

9/8 is probably a bit much for me for checking it out the first time. 5/4 or 3/2 maybe.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:41 am 
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Hi Duff,

Sorry to be slow in responding. I've worked out a visual triptic (8 days/7 nights):

Image


I also applied for a permit for the above trip, and it was successful--I will cancel it in the next few hours; it was just a test. The permit I got was for "Trip 1"

Regarding the triptic, Rock Island, Dallas Creek, Sink Creek, and Butler Island are standard Big Bend camping sites. In Keaton Beach, we have stayed at the "Old Pavilion RV Park" because they have a deep water approach, a ramp, and some docks to pull our boats out on. We do a lay-over day in Steinhatchee and usually try to stay at the River Haven Motel (they also rent a house, which we used in 2010.) In Horseshoe Beach, there is an interesting restaurant that we usually stop at for an early dinner before proceeding on to Butler Island. The AI/TIs may make some of these side stops a bit more problematic, but I think we can still do them.

For a variety of reasons, I'm going to set the trip up sometime around early April, 2016. The 4-tent rule could be a bit of a problem. I'm going to check with BB Paddle Trail people about (1) our sailing kayaks use on this paddling trail, and (2) how rigid are they regarding the 4-tent rule. At this time, there are 2 couples planning to do the trip (Nancy and myself and the Turners, Debbie and Tom). In our previous trips, we were never checked anywhere along the Trail by Marine Police, but times change. I used to be able to say the same thing about camping in the Everglades, but no more.

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:42 pm 
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You made that easy. The only time I for sure can't go is early April, my anniversary is April 9. That's a little long to be gone from home anyway. (I did it last year for the ill fated EC though. Open ended when I return and it ended up being a ten day trip. Can't spend all that good will with my wife too often. Wish I could make a better adventurer out of her and get her to come along.)

I'll look forward to the trip reports!

BTW - When I was looking for a tandem earlier in the year, the outfitter in Cotter Arkansas, I think it was Ozark Mountain Trading, had a 2014 Dune demo for sale for around $4900 or so. I saw it in the background of a photo on one of their Craigslist ads and called them. They said it was like new. I was looking for a dune and thought about trying to buy that one before I found the 2013 TI I ended up buying. (Craigslist ad. I drove from OKC to St Louis to get it.)

http://ozarkmtc.com/

A couple of weeks ago OKC Kayak in Oklahoma City had a papaya 2014 demo listed for sale on Craigslist for $4999. It's not currently listed but you never know. That price isn't what I would call a steal, but they might be negotiable and TI's don't seem to be all that easy to find in the right place at the right time. I've never seen it. They've only had a red one at their demo days so I don't know what's up with that, if it's at their Tulsa store, newer or older than the red one or what. They could have easily sold it by now too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:51 pm 
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On the other hand, what dates are you looking at exactly? If day one was April 3 or before, I might be able to do the first four days, three nights, bail out at the marina, drive home and be back by April 8, the day before my anniversary. That's assuming I can work out shuttle details and whatever. I'm sure there's outfitters who can help with that locally.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:00 pm 
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Duff, I'm thinking of Mar 29-Apr 5. Easter is Mar 27. It is possible the trip dates could be Mar 30-Apr 6, or even Mar 31-Apr 7. Of course, individuals could start or end on different dates. I have talked to the Paddle Trail managers, and they have no problem with our Island kayak sail boats. The 4-tent rule hopefully will be ignored as long as we stay in the campsite area.

Once we get the people down, more or less committed, then I will arrange a shuttle to the Aucilla launch and places to stay in Keaton Beach (overnight) and Steinhatchee (2 nights). Steinhatchee frequently has fishing tournaments which can complicate things, but we have always managed.

Duff, please drop me a line with your email address. My email is kwellma at gmail dot com. I will be contacting others about this trip in a day or so.

Keith

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:41 am 
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Sounds great! Count me in for at least part of it. I'll start looking at which parts I can't miss. Email sent.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Just finished a trip until the Columbia river. 125 miles from Cape Dissapointment to Reed Island and back again. I was 25 miles short of my goal, the Bonneville Dam. The river got too narrow and fast to go any further. I was stranded 3 days with no wind but finished in 12 days. It was a tough trip. Down the river was just as hard as going up. I had to plan on the wind and tide. Finishing up at Cape Dissapointment, I ran into a Small Crraft Warning. Crossing the bar was a nightmare. The AI 2 really performed well. I can't think of any other recreational boat that could have stayed afloat. I will never again put my boat in such extreme conditions, but it's comforting to know it held together and got me out of there. Amazing trip.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Wow, that must have been a great trip. I like to see a GE picture of such trips, so I put one together of your trip:

Image


Beautiful country side. 250 mi round trip. I hope you can post some pictures here. What is the "bar" you are talking about?

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:09 pm 
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Thanks for the picture Keith. The Bar is where the river meets the ocean without a delta. The outgoing river stacks up against the ocean waves. [img][/i[IMG]http://i1267.photobucket.com/albums/jj549/dpstivers/Mobile%20Uploads/image.jpg[/img]mg][img][/im[IMG]http://i1267.photobucket.com/albums/jj549/dpstivers/Mobile%20Uploads/image_2.jpg[/img]g]Image[img][[IMG]http://i1267.photobucket.com/albums/jj549/dpstivers/Mobile%20Uploads/image_4.jpg[/img]/img]


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:14 am 
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dpstivers wrote:
Thanks for the picture Keith. The Bar is where the river meets the ocean without a delta. The outgoing river stacks up against the ocean waves.

Image

Image

Image

Image

dp--I cleaned up your image links. Several links, when selected, came back saying that the images could not be found. These are the ones that worked. Very nice. Where is that bridge crossing the gorge?

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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