Friday, March 31, 2006

Day28: Stage5 is Cedar Key to Ft DeSoto

... as reported by DancesWithSandyBottom

After a shower and some good sleep, a good tide-favorable time to leave Cedar Key will be 10:30 AM on Friday (Day28). The distance to the finish line at Ft. DeSota will be 120 miles.

This is Stage5; "the sprint to the finish". Here are some views of the course from Cedar Key to Ft. DeSoto. (

SandyBottom left Cedar Key at about 10:30 AM with the tide and paddled until past midnight. There was no moon light. The weather was relatively calm.
Paddling about 3-4 miles off shore Friday night, SandyBottom and DrKayak found themselves in the middle of a fishing fleet, or "every fishing boat in Florida" as she described it. "...and they all appeared to be coming directly at us." I think some evasive maneuvering was involved; more on that later directly from SB and DrK. It's clear that it was very scary at the time.

After leaving Mermaids' Landing and after evading the fleet they stopped once at about midnight or 1 AM (not sure about his detail) on a sandbar to rest/sleep in their boats for 3 hours. After that, they paddled from about 3:30 AM to 11:30 AM and then SB called in. At that point they were about 53.5 miles south of Mermaids' Landing, 26 miles north of Anclote Key, and about 67 miles north of Ft DeSoto.

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