December 6


Paddled in the intercostal fighting a current and wind all day. The wind is blowing from the south and there is no end in sight. Everyone has been warning me about the “cold front” that is moving in this week. It’s supposed to get down in the 40s. Even though I have been living in Ohio where 40 is a heat wave in December, mix in wind and waves that is a recipe for disaster. Getting wet and staying wet at that temperature is a sure call for hypothermia. Not something I signed up for while paddling in Florida. I can wear extra clothing to help prevent it but with head winds, paddling is next to impossible. The next week is definitely going to be a challenge. When pulling into Venice I stopped at a restaurant to use a flush toilet before heading to my campsite. It was a tiki bar on the water but the bathroom was in the nice restaurant so I got some looks walking through. I stopped at the tiki bar for a coke and heard 2 couples talking about RVing. They were discussing if the campgrounds in the Keys were open. I of course ease dropped trying to get some information. I have been trying to decide if paddling to the keys is an option. Reports are that most of the keys were hit badly but Key West is restored because it’s a money maker. I didn’t get any real answers and took off to Snake Island to camp. It’s right in the middle of Venice. When I pulled up it was empty. I walked over to the other side where there were several people hanging out. I asked if I was allowed to camp on the island. They said I would have to ask the mayor. And he just so happened to be there. He said I had to file for a permit, and it took about 3 weeks for approval. I was concerned at first but then replied with “ok, so how much cash?”  They said I got the point and I realized I had walked up on the community of the Snake Island Republic. It’s a group of locals who go out to the island and hang out at sunset. We chatted for a while before I went and set up camp. I was definitely jealous of the “community” that they have. With being nomadic for the past 6 months, having a group of friends around is definitely something I miss.