Warm and gentle winds from the south and east have caressed the Florida Keys these last few weeks and served as a good omen for the first BurnhamGuide trip of 2011 through the wide open waters of the Lower Keys Backcountry.
When traveling by kayak, a tail wind is always appreciated; this one helped push our kayaks northwest for our nine-mile Day One journey.
At Snipe Point, low tide exposed sand flats as far as the eye could see. It seemed entirely possible to walk to nearby Marvin Key across a watery desert. Far from barren, the flats at low tide reveal hidden wonders: marine worms, whelks, Florida fighting conchs.
Then the tide rolls back in and the sun melts like a ball of yellow candy into a dark horizon. A billion stars emerged as we sat around the fire, soaking in the moonless sky.
Come morning, a reddish egret chased minnows in a shallow pool in front of our tent. For three days we immersed ourselves, paddling along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, making time to indulge our passions, be it yoga, journaling, photography, or just sitting on a beach where you felt like the only humans alive on the planet.
Always close to our minds were encounters of the wild kind. At the Inner Passage, a three-foot sand shark approached, it’s camouflaged tan body blending perfectly with the bottom. It same me and with a "swoosh" it was gone. We bid it adieu and dug in our paddles for another gorgeous day of paddling in paradise.
If you'd like to join us, BurnhamGuides still has room left on several trips in February and early March, 2011. Email or call 305-240-0650 for availability.