A day at Oleta

Oleta River State Park

I had a great day at Oleta River State Park Sunday. I got a chance to meet Greyak and Mario from the forums, Hastings and his lovely wife, Jeff and others. I am afraid that I do not remember all the names. I got my first introduction to the Greenland Paddles also. (I wasn’t the only one with a euro paddle so I felt better) Greyak had about three with him, the most notable was the graphite one that was so light that I almost felt uncomfortable with it. I was having a lot of flutter with the paddle but Greyak showed me the proper angle and this reduced it somewhat. I did find it hard to not flutter without grasping the blade firmly but I am sure that this comes with time. What surprised me the most was the efficiency of the paddle in general, as I was easily able to maintain the same speed as my euro paddle with half the effort. Just for that alone I must have one! One thing I did not realize until afterwards is that since the paddle itself is so long, that it would be ok to get your hand in the water as you paddle…I was probably trying to paddle with half the blade?

Anyway, we paddled out from right across from the kayak and bike rental place that Colleen at Full Moon Kayaks started up. It looks like it is a success as I saw a bunch of her kayaks out on the water yesterday. Hopefully it will do really well …more the merrier to the sport!

We went out past the beach area and pier and went into some mangrove trails. That was fun and a bit challenging as we were negotiating in some pretty tight spots. We got to a bridge and some of us just managed to slide under it and we left the rest of the group and thinking we would meet up with them at the end…we took another route back and with the current being what it was, decided to portage the boats past the bridge, put back in, and went back out to the entrance of the mangrove trails and met up with the rest of the group.

Looking at the clouds forming, we decided that it didn’t look threatening and headed out to one of the small islands in the bay. The rain had started and then came down reasonably hard. Paddling out to the island we heard some pretty loud thunder and I am thinking, ok here we go .I am the only one out here with an aluminum paddle! Toast anyone?

Several of us stayed in the boats off shore which I understand is much safer than being on shore during lightning. The rest of us just waited it out. Pretty soon the sun came back out. It was just a small shower after all.

We started doing some rolling maneuvers and I got some great advice and tips on Greenland paddle rolling and greyak (Kris) spotted me a few times. I think I got up properly once and Kris swears he didn’t help but I am not sure I believe him. Subsequent attempts showed a severe lack of form as I was diving the blade and not hip snapping and twisting up properly with the head down.

I saw Hastings do a Queen Ann salute which was pretty impressive and the couple (Lynette and Jeff maybe?) were obvious experts in kayak skills. It was suggested that I bite my pfd to keep my head in the proper position for rolling the boats and while I tried it once, I didn’t make it over until I let go and muscled my way up. Need to really work on that. Lynette was great at yelling at me to keep my head down.

All in all it was wonderful to be with such obviously experienced paddlers and while I didn’t ask too many question as I didn’t want to presume, I noticed a great many things and learned a tremendous amount. Great Fun!

I know. I write too much.


Nice report
Just don’t let Greyak corrupt you with that GL paddle.

He almost got my wife, but I was able to convert her back to the PROPER paddle with the threat that I wouldn’t carry her yak to and from the put-in anymore.




I am planning paddle at Oleta this coming Sunday, I would like to meet some of the p.neters as well, let me know if you are going out this weekend.


Oleta Sunday
Hey I’m in! I have a rolling class at FBO on Saturday morning but Sunday sounds good. Maybe I can talk my wife into taking the kids to that beach over there and I will go out and play…er practice skills…:slight_smile:


Lets get in touch towards the weekend, I have to get my ass back in my boat, it’s been over 10 days that I don’t paddle, this never happened in the last two years.

Too much work/headaches not enough motivation at the end of the day…and you see, I have no excuse, I live in a lakefront home, all it takes is to put the boat in the water and paddle.

yep no excuse

– Last Updated: Aug-23-05 11:20 AM EST –

I have to load the boat on the car and drive about mile and a half to get to the lake..so you really have no excuse!

send me an e-mail towards the end of the week..paul@cafeweb.net.

where is Flamingo in the Everglades? (saw that in your profile)

which kayak(s) do you have?


have to see what this storm is gonna do now. most upsetting as this may just cut into my paddling time.


If you want to overnight in the Everglades NP you need to get a permit from the rangers. Everglades City or Flamingo ranger stationsd are the two options.

Everglades City offers more options, more campsites within 10/15 miles range.

Flamingo is the starting point for Florida Bay, from there you can get to Carl Ross Key (favorite destination for many paddlers), Little Rabbit Key (never been there) or East Cape (big loooong beaches). Be ready to deal with open water if you chose Flamingo.

I recommend reading GUIDE TO SEAKAYAKING IN SOUTHERN FLORIDA by Nigel Foster.

will get the book
should have gotten it a long time ago.