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Flamingo to Key west and back

February 18, 2011

I’ve built my itinerary to Key West.

I’ll start where the last trip stopped. From Flamingo, I’ll go straight south to the Keys. The crossing would be 60 km if I had to do it in one go. Fortunately, I can stop at a tiny island called Little Rabbit Key (N24 58.914 W80 49.552). It’s not much more than a speck of sand.

You cannot Google it by looking for N24 58.914 W80 49.552 since they use another format, in this case the position would be 24.9819-80.825867. I found one conversion website where you can enter GPS or Map coordinates and get the Decimal Degrees (WGS84) used by Google : http://boulter.com/gps/.

I’ll reach Long Key and can hopefully use their primitive camping spots at N24 48.543 W80 49.891. The ranger answering the phone at Long Key State Park told me they always find something for the paddlers. It’s better to try to give them a heads up and to avoid the weekend.

Tom Harbour Key is the next stop (N24 46.016 W80 55.561). It’s a short distance from Long Key. It’s a private uninhabited Island whose owner allows paddlers to camp.

It’s a long haul to the next stop. The Florida Keys Paddling Atlas suggest that we stop at the Curry Hammock State Pack but the Park ranger told me that there were only 25 tent sites, 3 miles from shore and that they were booked 11 months in advance. The Atlas states that the Park is considering primitive sites for paddlers but the rangers tell me there are rare arrangements with well connected groups that require the manager’s approval.

I have to reach Molasses Key (N24 41.013 W81 11.452) or Money Key in a single day. It’s 20 miles by road.

Tarpon Creek bridge is one of the rare stops forward (N24 37.846 W81 30.936). You are reduced to sleeping under a bridge! I can go to Tarpon Belly on my way back. It’s a further North from the road (N24 43.671 W81 31.223).

I haven’t figured out what to do about Key West. The campground asks for 70$ a night.

I’ll make my way back and continue all the way north to Key Biscane then work my way back to Flamingo by going through North Nest Key (N25 09.053 W80 30.732) and perhaps Shark Point.

The trip should take about two weeks.

2 Comments
  1. Florida in key west is my favorite place. For traveling its a assume boating fishing and Cristal clear is really attractive.

    • Hey tom, I really liked the place. If you look at your local news stand you may find this article in Small Craft Advisor issue number 82 (the current one). cheers

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