jbcoleman wrote:Ann, Please put me on the list again. Now that I have a new knee, I will be there.
Cool beans, John! I look forward to meeting you. And your knee.
jbcoleman wrote:Trying to decide on a room or camping.
Tough one. Camping puts you more in the middle of things, since most folks stay at the campground. But I don't think the Lodgers have felt too left out in past years. A couple of us have bikes, and we jet on over to the Lodge to leave messages about impromptu pot-lucks and popcorn socials and the like. Plus you can always come visit. And the daily morning planning sessions at the campground will keep you as in sync with the day's activities as you want to be.
Last year, at mid-to-high tides, it was possible to launch into Florida Bay from a spot within easy carting distance from the campsites, but that is not true every year. At low tide, don't even think about it! If you're staying at the Lodge, you'd probably prefer to cartop the half-mile to the marina ramps to get to Florida Bay.
jbcoleman wrote:What kind of temperature can we expect?
Coldest-ever in Jan-Feb is 35 degrees
(Fahrenheit!); warmest-ever in Jan-Feb is 89; avg. high in Jan-Feb is 77; avg. low 61. So bring clothes for all kinds of weather, including rainy, even though it's the dry season.
In past years, it's been so hot that we were actually grateful for the campground's cold showers; so cold that we shivered under sleeping bags and blankets; so windy that screen tents blew over (well, ok, my
screen tent blew over; so rainy we were huddling under tarps tied to car mirrors and barbecue pits (you can't tie anything to trees in the campground). So come prepared for anything!
jbcoleman wrote:If you had to choose just one set of charts which would you buy.
Depends how far you plan to roam.
For day-paddles in the Flamingo area, including the near-shore waters of Florida Bay, I'd just bring Waterproof Chart #39 (“Lostmans River to Whitewater Bay”)
. This will also serve you just fine and dandy if you want to take an extended back-country camping trip, looping through Whitewater Bay and back down the Florida Bay beaches. You can spend a happy 3-10 days camping with this chart alone.
If you want to overnight on keys in Florida Bay, or sail farther out into the bay, you'll also want Waterproof Chart #33E ("Florida Bay”)
If you want to head north of Whitewater Bay, to complete the Wilderness Waterway, say, or camp in the Ten Thousand Islands, add Waterproof Chart #41 (“Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands”)
, and you're covered all the way up to the north end of the park, Everglades City.
All of the charts I've checked (Waterproof Charts, NOAA, Top Spot Fishing and Recreation Maps, and the placemat charts they sell at the Flamingo Marina) have a blind spot, if you're planning on doing the Wilderness Waterway. They lapse into strip charts for the northern portion of the park, which don't extend to the location of Sunday Bay chickee. Which I discovered one evening last year as I was looking for the Sunday Bay chickee. Oops. So for Waterway treks, I'd also bring National Geographic Trails Illustrated chart #243 ("Everglades National Park")
. It covers the whole park, including Sunday Bay, but at a 1:100,000 scale. Not terribly detailed, but it's a good overview. I wouldn't take that as my only chart, though.
Waterproof Charts are available from
The Natl G. chart can be had at http://www.freshtracksmaps.com/ngtiparks.htm
One chart I haven not seen is Maptech # 28 ("Flamingo to Everglades City")
, available from http://www.maptech.com/water/waterproof ... ida%20Keys
. The Watertribers like this one, which, along with Waterproof Chart #33E, gets them from Everglades City to Key Largo. I imagine that Maptech #28 covers Sunday Bay Chickee. It's listed as "scale 1:166,666 with insets".
Confused enough yet? If not, just keep on asking questions! I'll see what I can do!