such great info
Again, thanks so much for all this advice!
We’ve got the Delorme map book so we’ll start plotting all those recommended areas on it this weekend and narrow down our planned route (always subject to change once we get there, of course.) Need to figure out which airport to fly into so we can order tickets now while they are still cheap.
One of the reasons we chose Florida is that it is one of the few warm winter domestic destinations we can still get to from Pittsburgh in a single flight. Since Pittsburgh is no longer the USair hub, getting anywhere becomes a clusterf**k of flight transfers and delays – takes a full day to get anywhere (even a day and a half) and the same again to get back. It’s to the point that for most anywhere 600 miles or less distant it takes less time to drive than fly! My personal record so far is 28 hours and 5 flights to get from Albany, NY, to Pittsburgh. That’s 20 hours more than to drive. When USair and Delta flew direct it used to take about 50 minutes.
On the no-see-ums, kinda expected that. We live along a river with some backwaters and a swampy area up north here so we’ve got all that protective stuff, though the resistance you’ve reported to DEET is daunting. So the Avon stuff really does work? Skeeters LOVE me. Fleas, too. If you want to de-flea your cat just sit it on my lap and they’ll bail off onto moi. Don’t know if the vermin preferring type O blood is an old wives’ tale but it certainly seems true in my case. I know I’ve always gotten worse welts than my male companions – thinner skin, maybe. Yeah, it’s hard to see through the headnets but it’s much harder to see through swollen eyelids.
such great info
tropical no seeums have a different
personality than northern no seeums. As I live in the woods of Maine lakeside I know the latter. They are rampant in New Brunswick in grassy pastures. But they are repelled by DEET.
The Florida ones are not. I have been to the Everglades and Ocala some half dozen times now and if the weather is cold bugs are not a problem. If the weather gets suddenly hot as it did last March there was a problem.
Your folding kayaks..bring a repair kit. Oyster bars are murder on hulls. And feet. Where there are shellfish I do not wear open toed sandals.
Also bring a beach tarp. Not for sun protection particularly but I have found that sand gets into everything. Stoves and gear stays cleaner if its put on a clean square of fabric. Beach camping is no longer romantic with grit.
You should also consider the
Tsala Apopka chain of lakes in Citrus County. Access can be gained in Inverness & Hernando
You might want to read this:
In CR the real and only reason to paddle there is to get an easy and low risk view of Manatee. Too many boats, people and development. Also for some reason the no seeums is the best kept Florida secret. Way worse than Adirondack/New England black flies. The worst bites are from launching and “unlaunching”. The unprotected area from the tops of your shoes/water line and the bottom of your shorts. They do laugh at DEET less than 100% but benedryl does stop the itch (almost). Go anyway!
my morning paddle today
Went around Hontoon Island via the St. Johns River, Hontoon Dead River, and Snake Creek today. If Snake Creek is clogged with vegetation then the canal at marker 80 is usually open. It’s about as wild and pretty as you can find in central FL. In late January to early February the maples will be in full bloom and there will be birds galore in addition to manatees. It’s not the clear water of a spring run but it is a beautiful paddle none the less and I’m glad that I live on the lake 2km from the loop.
You could also launch at Fort Island
And paddle up Crystal river or along the coast line.