The tide was out when we awoke, and it was post-dawn. Ah, the pressures of being a racer. And the mud was… very, very muddy.
Photo: At the
First filling waterbladders and rinsing hair, we wandered around to the rangers’ office and bought permits for Darwin’s Place for tonight’s resting place—about a 20-mile paddle away—and with our eyes bigger than our energy, Joe River Chickee for the following night—near enough to Flamingo’s CP3 probably not to worry—but only as every chickee or groundsite inbetween more manageable in a long day was fully booked.
And lo-and-behold, SB’s standing beside us—hand proffered requesting ice-cream money—happy to join us at each evening’s camp site.
Sheltered from the wind to reach Chokoloskee’s CP3, instead of cutting across the choppy bay, we nipped behind the causeway bridge just around from the Ranger’s Station, and paddled down to the checkpoint, smartly coming up the Wilderness Waterway side, so as not to have to lift our boats over the road. Checking in at 1640, we were off. 174 miles (280km) checked off.
For an excellent chart of the Wilderness Waterway, click here to follow our route.
A magical night, near full moon beaming down over us, making reading a chart fairly easy. With not a hint of a breeze, dead calm water reflected everything so purely. A night to remember.