Sean, Brian, and I had a great time paddling the Florida Keys this past week. Kevin has been a great help in posting on this blog, and helping us make safe decisions.
We had planned that it would take us two weeks to paddle an estimated 230 miles around the Florida Keys. We picked a time that usually has the most mild temperature and wind conditions. Then with our spouses, and sons blessings, we began our trip.
Oddly, the Keys experienced record setting cold and high winds during our paddle. We saw this as a challenge. Kept our spirits up and went forward. We did our best to stay in the lee of the wind. But this was not always easy due to the topography of the land, as well as, the depth of the water.
We crossed between several keys. And got worked over. But we pressed on smiling. Until we got to the final crossing before Seven Mile Bridge. The two keys that were an estimated mile apart. With wind being funneled at what my wind meeter estimated at 25mph. The swells were over our head. And after we got through it we were raw.
We made it to the Long Key State Park and reevaluated the weather and risk of attempting to cross Seven Mile Bridge. We made the decision to take two weather days at the park and stay in their primitive camp ground. After talking to local paddlers, Park Rangers, and listening to the local weather advisory for two days we had two choices. Stay for three more days at the park or reschedule the paddle. After a lot of deliberation we chose to come home.
We had a great adventure. And in the next few weeks Sean and I will be posting about the high and lows of our time on the water.