November 28


After pulling my boat back through the mud followed by a mile walk in ankle deep water, it was an 11 mile paddle out into the Gulf to North Anclote Key. I passed several houses on stilts a few miles off shore out in the middle of the water. Some of them looked run down but others looked kept up. I think it would be amazing to stay on them for a night but no one invited me so I just kept paddling. The closer I got to the Key, the water color changed. It went from dark blue to turquoise green. You could see the line where the water changed just like a sign that said welcome to paradise. When I landed on the white sandy beach it was official, I was in paradise. I hopped out before my boat crashed the shore to avoid getting swamped by the tiny waves and pulled my boat ashore. It felt like a movie when explorers are in the small boat coming ashore after reaching a new land. I didn’t even unpack before I went exploring. I walked to the tip of the island and made the turn. Several seashells were scattered along the shore. In the distance I noticed something right off shore. When I got closer I could see that it was a sunken sailboat. This really made me feel like an explorer. I went into the ocean and swam for a bit. I realized it was the first time I have gotten in the water since I got back on the water. Mainly because it was the first beach I came to and I didn’t feel like there were any alligators or jellyfish. The sun slowly dropped into the water as I set up camp and there were several times I just stood there and watched the beauty of it. I realized that with no access to this island besides personal boats, I would probably be alone out here and I was perfectly alright with that.