Friday, January 29, 2016

A few days away from the farm

Earlier this week I was in the Miami area on my way to do some kayak sailing and camping in the Everglades National Park.   Part of the trip involved driving through a predominately agricultural area with plenty of bee hives set up throughout the fields.  Something I probably wouldn't have noticed before getting into beekeeping.

The trip was originally supposed to be 5 days but some very bad weather came through at the last minute and we postponed the trip 2 days.  Because who wants to sail in thunderstorms and 50 mph gusts.  Especially when your boat has a 16' lightning rod.  There were two groups of us and the plan was to meet in the middle and then sail back to Flamingo together.  After the bad weather, everyone in my group cancelled except one guy who had to cancel the day we were leaving because he was feeling quite sick.  So I ended up going myself to meet up with the other group.

The seas were quite challenging but well worth it being able to enjoy the beauty of the everglades park.  Very remote with almost no people around.    Headwinds prevented me from getting to my preferred destination on day one so I camped on mid-cape with a beautiful full moon.  Only concern I had was a strong tide might come up and encroach on the campsite so I made sure to tie the boat to a tree just in case and was prepared to move the tent in the night if that happened.  Fortunately the tide was no big deal.
Fellow sailor Martin going through gear

Day two I met up with the other group and hung out.  A great group of guys and a gal.  A perfect day.  Our camping companion was a Pelican that walked among us and hung out between our boats.  Completely unafraid of us and not a beggar either.  At one point I got down eye level with him (or her) and had what I thought was an intelligent conversation (one sided).  The pelican even took a nap at our campsite for awhile but finally flew off a few hours later.  The pelican was the high point of the trip for me.
My Hobie Adventure Island boat

Another time I was sitting having lunch when I looked down at the water and saw a large shark cruising only about 3 feet offshore in pretty shallow water.  Really cool.  Someone thought it was a bull shark.

Another honey bee related coincidence was one of the guys on the trip was passionate about making his own Meade which is an alcoholic beverage made from honey.    I've never had Meade before but may end up doing a honey / Meade swap with him.  Could even save me from having to set up a stand somewhere to sell the honey I have. 

Here's a 7 minute video of the trip:

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