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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lower Keys Kayak Trips

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Click for slide show of Lower Keys kayaking


Join us, kayak guides and authors of the Florida Keys Paddling Atlas, as we leave the highway sounds of Route 1 behind and delve into a world where fish school through shallow flats and stingrays, sponges and starfish lie silent at the bottom of turquoise

blue channels.


The islands of the Lower Keys spread out into the Gulf of Mexico, appearing on a map as if someone smeared them across shallow waters. Islands are oriented northwest-to-southeast, divided by long, wide channels. Soft corals and sponges predominate in nearshore hardbottom environments. The channels, by contrast, are carpeted with turtle and manatee grass. As the tide goes out, sparkling white sandbars appear, a perfect spot to get out of our kayaks for a lunch or rest break.


More than 200,000 acres of water and small islands make up the Backcountry. Birding is phenomenal in this vital nesting habitat for the namesake of the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. Royal terns group on a sandbar near the Contents, intermingled with laughing gulls and the odd oystercatcher. Near the Mud Keys, osprey soaring high overhead issue their signature sharp-pitched whistle as they scan the water for prey. White and brown pelicans, Little Blue herons, Tri-colored herons, Great egrets, Snowy egrets, and a host of wading birds work swampy mangrove flats from Cutoe Key to Cayo Agua.


A string of islands start at the Content Keys and run southwest to include the Sawyers, Barracudas, Marvin, Snipe Point, Mud Keys and Lower Harbor Keys. A small reef abruptly marks the boundary between the Keys’ shallow waters and the deeper Gulf of Mexico.


A trip out to the "edge of the nearshore waters," is not soon forgotten.


We offer backcountry trips at three levels. Our family-friendly excursion feature an average of seven miles daily, leaving plenty of time to explore winding creeks and shallow coves. For adventure seekers, we extend the distances (an average of 10 miles daily) and cover more ground in order to reach some truly remote areas. Our third option is a once-in-a-lifetime traverse of the entire Lower Keys Backcountry on a five-night expedition. Contact us to discuss which option fits your group's goals and abilities.

Offered every week, Jan. 26 through March 2010. Call 305-240-3298 or email for availability. Trips details at BurnhamGuides.com

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Florida Keys Overnight Kayak Trip

Due to requests for an easy, more affordable overnight trip, we've just added a one-night, two-day traverse of the famous Seven Mile Bridge trip to our "Paddle with the Authors" itinerary.

Featured in films like the Schwarzenegger blockbuster "True Lies," this engineering marvel spans a Caribbean-blue stretch of open water between Marathon and the Lower Keys. Originally built to carry Henry Flagler's East Coast Railroad, the modern highway bridge now carries cars to and from Key West.

Explore and lunch on Pigeon Key, an island museum that housed bridge construction workers. Evening finds us watching egrets and ibis fish in the flats off our island campsite. As the sun sets, we'll see the distant lights of the evening commute across the bridge.

Never too far from civilization, with just 7 miles of paddling per day, this trip is perfect for couples wanting a romantic getaway, or as an introduction to kayak camping.

Cost per adult is just $295, all-inclusive: boat, gear, camping equipment, food and instruction.
Call 305-240-3298 or e-mail us to book your trip to paradise!

For more adventure, consider our Lower Keys expeditions of 2-5 nights, as well as the whole shebang--the 100-mile Florida Keys Paddling Trail from Key Largo to Key West. We are the only guides offering this 9-day life-altering expedition. All details are at www.BurnhamGuides.com

Watch a video Mary shot while kayaking beneath the bridges, and click the arrow below to view the Seven Mile Bridge slide show:

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