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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sombrero Beach - Lost in the Mangroves

Sombrero  Beach                                                                      7 miles              696 miles
9:20 -1:00
3.83 miles on Endomondo and probably another 3 before I turned it on
High 80s, blue skies, white clouds

Sombrero Beach is a public beach with beautiful white sand, playground equipment, bathroom, showers, picnic tables, volleyball court, dock and beautiful, clear water.   It's an easy access into the water.  We launched and headed to our right towards the radio towers.  We passed several beautiful homes on the water.  We paddled into a channel and passed a few boats.  We kept paddling and entered into a narrow channel lined with these interesting mangrove trees that make up the 'island'.  Island is stretching it, because we didn't see any land or any place where we could walk.  We kept paddling, and the mangroves around us kept getting tighter.  We followed some orange markings on the trees.  We think we were following somebody's kayak route into the midst of the island.  It was really fun!  We had to break our paddles in half as we didn't even have enough room to use our paddles fully.  At one point we had to lay down in our kayaks to go under a tree branch.  We kept going until it led us into a shallow bay.  We never saw any other orange markings and headed back the way we came and on the way back we saw the orange markings from this direction.   Hoping not to get lost, I turned on Endomondo.  We circled around the island and went under a bridge.  We thought this was interesting because from our kayaks, we never saw land until we paddled past the end of the concrete bridge.  The wind was blowing towards us as we went under the bridge and out towards the ocean.  When we got on the far side of the island, we could see very dark clouds and a waterspout farther out to sea.  We paddled faster as we didn't want to be caught in a rainstorm.  Rain would be okay,but we wouldn't want to be out there in lightning.  Although, if that had happened, we would have paddled into the mangrove trees.  Wildlife we saw included minnows, bigger fish, egrets, herons, pelicans and jellyfish.  We finally rounded the corner of the island and could see Sombrero Beach.  We landed, put away our kayak gear and had a picnic lunch on the beach.  We snorkeled for a short while, but only for a short time as it was a bit overcast, water was almost cloudy and we didn't see anything.

This is not at Sombrero Beach, but in the Everglades.  We drove across this National Park on
Saturday, October 17 to get to Marathon Key, Florida.
You can see that I turned the Endomondo on in the middle of the mangrove, but then I turned it off
and it picked us up again at point 1.  We probably need to add another 3 miles to this route as we paddled
into the mangrove and around the northeast section of the island. (3.83 plus another 3 = 7)
3.83 miles in 1:51, Avg Speed 2.1, Max Speed 12.5 WHAT??


Launching Area


There were some beautiful homes just outside of the park.

Lots and lots and lots of birds.





We saw these brown jellyfish everywhere here.




Getting under the mangroves.

Almost there.

Now it's time for the tall guy!



Like a maze in here.






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