November 9


I was up early this morning and about to load the boat when the bugs started breakfast. Instead of just loading up and getting out of there I decided to make a fire to fight them off. As I was sitting there I heard a boat coming up. I thought it was a crab fisherman picking up his pods but he came over and pulled right up to shore.  Not that I was doing anything wrong, but it’s always a weird feeling when some one just pulls up when you are in the middle of nowhere. He asked if I was camping and staying all weekend. Not knowing what day it was I said no I only camped last night and was about to leave. We got to talking and he said he was a 14 year veteran and always camps out here every year for Veterans Day weekend. He was just coming out to drop off and set up then would be back with his wife and daughter after they got off work. He had the whole set up. Grill, rake, tiki torches, even brought his own fire wood. Which was good because I think I used the last twig on the island to make my fire this morning. I was kind of jealous that he got to spend all weekend on this amazing island with tons of supplies. He said he had roughed it and camped enough in the military and with the wife and kid it was nice. I agreed. When I’m not doing a long expedition and car camping, I take the kitchen sink. No need to rough it if I don’t have to. I thanked him for his service and went on my way. It was an easy paddle out to the ocean as the tide was going out. I made the turn and went by the light house that I had been following yesterday. I could tell the tide was dropping so I had to continue to go further out. When I got close to the river I needed to turn up, it was tricky finding enough water to get to the river. I could see the crab traps half out of the water. I finally had to just get out and pull my boat and hop back in every few feet. Finally I was pulling it 100 yards and got back in right at the mouth of the river. Sure enough I got stuck again. I knew it wasn’t much longer till low tide so I decided to just wait it out instead of sinking in the muck and exhausting myself. I clipped on to an old crab trap that was barnicled over and told myself that when the boat moves I would be good to go. About an hour into sitting there I could see the water still dropping on my carabiner. If I wasn’t going anywhere before I definitely wasn’t now. And to add sugar on top of it, the temperature dropped and it started raining.  I grabbed my tarp and just threw it over me in the boat and stared at the blue tarp wall. Luckily the storm was quick and light but the temperature was chilly now so I just kept wrapped in the tarp like a burrito for warmth. After sitting there for about 3 hours freezing, I figured I better do something. I was trying to gage the levels off the crab traps around me when I noticed a marker ball not too far from me floating in the water. That meant there was probably a trap under the water which means it was more than a  foot and a half deep. I could have been free three hours ago and napping in my dry tent by now. I fought through the muck and finally got my boat free and had an easy mile paddle up the river.  I did have to get out every so often but no where near as bad as earlier. Checking the map to avoid making the same mistake as yesterday, I made it right to the camp site. The camp site is shared with the Florida Trail. This section of the Florida Trail runs down a dirt road that is built up in the middle of the marsh. I got the tent set up and went for a hike. I was able to hike the entire width of the 1,300 mile long Florida Trail. It was gorgeous. Some people complain about long road walks when hiking long distance trails but with the sun setting I would have just kept walking the extra 7 miles to the next campsite no matter how many miles I had done that day.  Even though it’s kind of windy and it’s chillier, I left the rain fly off my tent to star gaze since I am so far from a city. I can see about four little areas of light off from civilization off in the distence but I know that I am only going to be getting further and further away.