FL - Everglades Wilderness Waterway Last Day - Pearl Bay chickee to Flamingo - 14.8 miles



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The final leg of our trip leads across Whitewater Bay and into Flamingo Canal. Our trip is over and it was all good, even when it was bad.




by Julio Perez and Hank McComas




With the last day a short one, we arose at the usual time and sought out a route to Whitewater Bay. The handicap facilities made for an easy launch. This was a really comfortable chickee. The water was very clear and there was a heavy carpet of grasses just below the water. Swimming was out because of the alligators, but a quick lowering into the water at the handicap facility substituted for a bath. The view out the outhouse was spectacular.




There is a high from the sense of adventure that traveling these narrow, hidden waterways, tiny bays and islands creates. Continually anxious to get to the next bend just to see what is next. It’s the opposite of those hours long open crossings. The narrow courses of the channels between the small bays were lined with a combination of low mangroves and saw grass. Epiphytes studded the branches of the mangroves. A silver overcast reflected off of the still waters deep within Hells Bay.




Whitewater Bay was still living up to its name but this time it appeared that the winds were with us. We entered the bay heading due west expected a good ride south from what appeared to be northerly winds. We navigated between two islands and were ready to head south and the wind turned to the west. Just our luck. We sliced through good wind waves long enough to turn and ride some southeast into the canal. It was much more fun with the boats lighter.

Entering the canal we returned to civilization – tour boats full of tourists taking pictures and fishermen dashing about. It became evident that we had not seen a power boat in a few days. The wildlife and mature vegetation in the canal was interesting but it was hard to appreciate with the boat traffic. Back at the ramp we unloaded boats, threw away 10 days worth of garbage, secured boats and celebrated with ice cream sandwiches.


Hells Bay canoe trail
Hells Bay canoe trail
Photo by Julio Perez



After a shower and putting on the least stinky clothing we had we were on the road north. We stopped along the road to inspect the put in for the other end of the canoe trail through Hells Bay. With the low water it looked dubious as to whether it was passable. But that would have to wait for another adventure...............


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EVEN THE BEST BOATERS CAN FIND THEMSELVES IN SERIOUS TROUBLE ON THE MILDEST OF DAYS ON THE WATER. PARTICIPATION IN THIS SPORT IS A STRENUOUS ACTIVITY. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY SUCH ACTIVITY. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EACH BOATER TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OR HER OWN SAFETY, AND IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE DANGER LEVEL AND ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS SPORT.


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