Posts Tagged ‘Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail’

imperial-river-boat-ramp-jeff-fabiszewski-sean-fitzgibbon-sweetwater-kayaksIts official November 1 – 3, 2013 Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski are guest speakers at the 2013 Calusa Blueways Paddling Festival.  The teaching line up is: Cutting Through the Hype, Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway, Practical First Aid, and Risk Management For All Paddlers. Join Sean, Jeff, and other notable coaches in Fort Myers-Sanibel for a rocking good time. http://www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com/

calusa blueway logoActivities are planned throughout Lee County from Friday through Sunday.  Come try a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard for free courtesy of Florida Paddle Sports and Gulf Coast Kayak, which are offering kayak and paddleboard demos and lessons. Food will be served noon to 2:30 p.m. It’s free to attend; food tickets available for purchase at event.  Evening events are at the Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Myers-Sanibel. Join with fellow travelers as we gather both evenings for a full evening of sharing paddling stories, networking, reviewing trail maps, drinks & dinner, live music, and “meet the authors” special programming from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  You’ll find the most demos, instruction and speakers on the Sanibel Causeway.

  • Friday November 1st
    • 2:00 to 3:00pm Cutting Through the Hype, on the Sanibel Causeway
    • 4:00 to 5:00pm Risk Management For All Paddlers, on the Sanibel Causeway
  • Saturday November 2nd
    • 10:00 to 11:00am Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway, on the Sanibel Causeway
    • 1:30 to 2:45pm Practical First Aid, on the water
  • Sunday November 3rd
    • 1:30 to 2:15pm Practical First Aid, on the water
  • Cutting Through the Hype: A boat, paddle, and PFD will get a kayaker started.  But there are other gear, materials, designs, and gadgetry; how does one decide what to buy, what/when to use, and what to wear when kayaking?!  This is a great opportunity to understand products: their development, the slick marketing, and the practical financial function.
  • Risk Management For All Paddlers: This session provides people with a lens to help identify and manage risk on and off the water.  The best safety is identifying problems before they happen.  The second best safety action is how to react when problems occur.
  • Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway: Tampa Bay, Fla.-area paddlers Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski, aka “Team Sweetwater,” departed on Oct. 19 for a 12-day, 190-mile paddle along the southwest coast of Florida, following the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. The pair did the trip to raise awareness and funds for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail — one of the best marked paddling routes in the world — as well as for the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island.
  • Practical First Aid: Minimal preparation prevents massive maintenance.  This intro on the water class provides commonsense tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions after a health problem occurs.  The demonstrations combined with realistic scenarios and mock patients are the next step in learning how to react.

 September 18, 2011 – Let the Journey Begin!!

LEE COUNTY- Two men are to begin their expedition tomorrow to raise money for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail and Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

(From http://www.fox4now.com)

Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski are experienced kayakers from the Tampa Bay area who have formed Team Sweetwater. The two plans on paddling the 190-mile marked and unmarked paddling trail in Lee County.

The Team is paddling to raise awareness for the Paddling Trail and the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) which is on Sanibel Island. The public is encouraged to visit www.liquidrhythmkayaking.com to make a donation to both organizations. The expedition blog will be updated daily.

Team Sweetwater will return to Lee County on November 4-6 to teach a rescue class and speak about the expedition during the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival and Symposium.

The expedition starts tomorrow, September 19th at 8 a.m. and goes until October 2nd.

Check back for updates on their paddle.

(Posted 22:00)

September 19, 2011 – They’re Off

Today is the offical first day of the trip and everything went well. The overnight pre-departure camping went without incident and they launched from Caloosahatchee Regional Park, which is located near Alva. Their first planned detour from the Caloosahatchee River was the Hickey Creek. Hickey Creek is actually a mitigation park implemented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission (FWC). This mitigation area gives developers an alternative solution to creating mitigation areas on their development site. For additional information and a map of the area check out the Hickey_Creek_Information brochure.

WP Franklin Lock

After completing the creek and finding their way back to the Caloosahatchee, the journey continued downstream until they reached their first obstacle, the WP Franklin Lock and Dam. These locks were constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 and are located approximately 33 miles from the Intercoastal Waterway. Their primary purpose is for flood control, water control, prevention of saltwater intrusion, and for navigational purposes. This is one of five locks the Corps constructed and maintains along the 152 mile Okeechobee Waterway.  Unfortunately they were not able (allowed) to pass through these locks, so this became the first portage of the trip. Camping at Rock Creek Resort.

Trip details: Day 1: Caloosahatchee Regional Park to Rock Creek Resort via Hickey Creek.  Miles covered –  20.1

September 20, 2011 – Downstream and Into Open Water

Picnic Island

The journey continues by heading downstream to the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River and beyond. The destination for today is Picnic Island. Picnic Island located about three miles southwest of the mouth of the Caloosahatchee and about 1.5 miles southeast of Saint James City on Pine Island. If you are tracking their progress on Google Earth, it can be found at latitude 26°29’23.46”N, longitude 82°02’57.20”W.

For the most part it was a very uneventful day on the water, although their paddle was interrupted by an afternoon Florida rain shower. Both Jeff and Sean were surprised by the variety of marine life they encountered today and hopefully photos will follow when they return.

Trip details: Day 2: Rock Creek Resort to Picnic Island. Miles covered 19.1

September 21, 2011 – Heading North

A highlight of today’s trip was the bald eagle they saw during today’s northerly trip. Otherwise the trip was uneventful except they had to perform some minor repairs to the boats. According to Jeff, the skeg on his kayak was sticking and would not function properly. The skeg on his kayak is rope operated and its mechanism is a combination of rope and bungee cords. So to resolve this issue he exited the kayak, flipped it over, pulled the skeg mechanism apart, washed it, and then reassembled it.  He also said Sean’s boat, being a custom two piece design, needed to have the bolts tightened that connected the two sections together. Since this was not critical and since they did not have tools for this repair, they opted to delay repair until the end of today’s paddle.

 

If you are interested in tracking their journey you can go to Google Earth and download their software. Once you have the program running Lee County Parks and Recreation offers a free KML plug-in that overlays Google Earth with the all of sign posts on the trip. You can either access the Lee County Parks and Recreation site and look for the KML files or click here to download them directly. Trip details: Day 3: Picnic Island (54) to Sun and Moon Inn (83). Miles covered 11.2

 

September 22, 2011 – Heading North

Heading off around 9:30 a.m. this morning from the Sun and Moon Inn, Jeff and Sean were headed for their next destination, Bokeelia Island by way of marker 99 in Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park. Marker 99 is the northern most point of the Calusa Blueway Trail and is located in the southeast corner of Charlotte Harbor on the mainland. Just a note about the park itself, it is not simply one land mass but rather multiple land masses that encompasses some 42,000 acres in Lee and Charlotte Counties. Unfortunately with weather moving in the northern leg of today’s journey was cut short when a decision was made, somewhere between markers 96 and 97, to head directly for Bokeelia Island. If you are following the journey on Google Earth and have downloaded the plugin from the September 21st posting, there is no actual sign post number giving you the location of Bokeelia Island. Bokeelia Island is located at the northern most tip of Pine Island, which is at the south end of Charlotte Harbor.

Arriving around 5:00 p.m. all is well and they will be staying at the Jug Creek Cottages for this evening. The next leg of the journey is to be to Cayo Casta; however, with the forecasted weather there is some discussion about making the trip tomorrow or whether a “weather day” would be in order. As of this blog no decision has been made. So at this point they are on schedule and where they should be. All of the boat repairs have been made and everyone is safe.

Trip details: Day 4: Sun and Moon Inn (83) in Matlacha to Jug Creek Cottages on Bokeelia Island. Miles covered 8+.

 September 23, 2011 – Off to Cayo Costa

They left Jug Creek Cottages on Bokeelia Island and have traveled west to Cayo Costa State Park. During their trip they saw dolphins and a variety of other marine life. When they arrived on Cayo Costa they came ashore on the northeast corner of the island. The park service was gracious enough to provide ground transport for them to the Gulf side of the island. So for the next couple of days they will be enjoying the sun and fun of Cayo Costa.

Trip details: Day 5: Jug Creek Cottages to Cayo Costa State Park: Miles covered 10

 September 24, 2011 – Day Off

Today was a planned day of rest with an extra day on Cayo Costa. This is their fifth day on the water and of promoting the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) and the Great Calusa Blueway Trail to all they have met. Overall the response to those they have spoken has been excellent with many wanting additional information. In case you don’t know about CROW, they rely 100% on your charitable support. Their mission is to save wildlife through compassion, care and education. Donations and more information about CROW can be found at http://www.crowclinic.org.

It rained last night and much to their amazement they found that Jeff’s tent leaks around the skylight. However since there was no mention of how bad the leak was or if they were going to try and repair it, it’s probably not bad but rather an inconvenience. When I spoke with Sean he was quick to point out that his hammock and tarp combination were dry but he also had a concern for this accommodations. It appears a nest of bees has appeared relativity close to the entrance to his hammock, so he is being very careful when he enters and exits his hammock so as not to disturb his new neighbors.

During the day they have met some of the other tourists and campers on the island. One couple was kayaking around the island geocaching. “Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” If you want to find out more on geocaching, click here.  Another group of five individuals was celebrating one of their members birthday. Being tourist to the island and festive, they extended an offer to Jeff and Sean to partake of their hospitality and libations.

Jeff is teaching Sean how to play a game called Hive. Not quite sure if this is a board game or a card game. Check back on tomorrow’s blog for an answer and maybe how it’s played.

While not a long or particularity treacherous trip thus far, they are finding that day six away from family brings with it thoughts of missing kids and family members.

Tomorrow’s float plan is to break camp in the morning and head for the northern end of Sanibel.

Trip details: Day 6: Staying put.

September 25, 2011 – Turning South and on to Sanibel Island

They are on the move again and heading south. A special thanks to the park service on Cayo Costa for transporting Team Sweetwater (Jeff and Sean) back to their boats on the east side of the island. Heading south their destination is Sanibel Island. Along the way they will also pass North Captiva Island and Captiva Island. A brief history of the islands states “… these barrier islands were dominated by the fierce Calusa Indians.” “The [Spanish] conquistadors nearly wiped out the entire Calusa population in a series of battles and enslaved the remaining few in Cuban prison camps, where they eventually died.” Jose Gaspar also used these islands for the repairing of his ships. It is rumored that Jose may have buried his treasure on Sanibel Island.

Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages

They arrived on the north end of Sanibel Island earlier today without any on water incidents. The only comment Jeff made was that it was HOT!! Temperature, according the Weather Underground, was in the high 80’s day.

Dinner was at the Lazy Flamingo Restaurant again. They have managed to stop at two of the four locations. Can they find the other two? Only time will tell. As for lodging, they will be at the Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages this evening. The Castaways is located just a stone’s throw from Blind Pass Bridge.The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) was established on the island in 1968 and is towards the other end of the island from the Castaways. “It is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. C.R.O.W. has a complete wildlife hospital at the middle of its 12.5 acre sanctuary. The clinic focuses on education in an effort to prevent injuries to animals caused by human interference. Guided presentations are given year around.”

Facts and Figures: Today’s travel was 16.2 miles and it took them about 5 ¼ hours. This amounts to an average of 3.1 mph, which has been about the average thus far for the trip.Trip details: Day 7: Cayo Costa State Park to the Castaways on Sanibel Island: Miles covered 16.2

September 26, 2011 – Visiting CROW and Hitting the Road

Welcome to CROW

Most of today was spent visiting at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). As mentioned previously CROW is located on 12.5 acres on Sanibel Island, south of the Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages, on Sanibel-Captive Road. While there Jeff and Sean were given a tour of the facility and met some of the current patients, which included raccoons, turtles, and birds.

Patient

The clinic is fortunate to receive donations of fruit and vegetables from the local markets. While this helps to reduce the cost of feeding their patients, they still need tax deductable donations to purchase the mice and fish protein that is needed. Some of the new arrivals included several seagulls. According to the staff the birds fell out of their nest and were brought to the center in a McDonalds’ happy meal box.

So hitting the road, not paddling, they find themselves on San Carlos Island this evening. Transportation was courtesy of a fellow kayaker who was kind enough to drive them off the island and shuttle them to the San Carlos RV Park and Island Resort (marker 44).

Once at the RV park and island resort the next major decision of the day was food. Do they head next door for the all you can eat blue crabs at Maria’s Backwater Bar and Grill or venture to the Nuauti Turtle. Just for those of who are were wondering, Team Sweetwater will not be visiting all of the Lazy Flamingo locations, they skipped the one on the southern tip of Sanibel.

Just a great thanks to the San Carlos RV Park and Island Resort for rescuing Jeff and Sean from the downpour last evening by upgrading them to a SUPER RV. They really enjoyed watching television while sitting on nice comfy (dry) furniture.

They are back on the water tomorrow and headed for Koreshan State Park. Koreshan is located upstream from Estero Bay.

Trip details: Day 8: Sightseeing and shuttle ride

September 27-28 2011 – Koreshan State Park

Mound Key

They arrive at Koreshan State Park early this afternoon. The plans for tomorrow include staying at Koreshan State Park for second night. This does not mean a day off the water, but rather a chance to go and visit Mound Key Archeological State Park. Mound Key is located near the mouth of Estero River and is believed to have been the capitol for the Calusa tribe.  More on Mound Key tomorrow.

If you are tracking Team Sweetwater’s trek on Google Earth you can look for markers 24, 25, and 25a. Can’t find the markers, download the plug-in here. Thursday will have them moving to Big Hickory State Park.

Trip details: Day 9: San Carlos Island RV Park and Island Resort (44) to Koreshan State Park. Miles: 11.1 Averaged 3.1 mph.

September 28, 2011 – Day Off

Team Sweetwater (Jeff and Sean) spent most of Wednesday the 28th, exploring the sights, sounds of Koreshan State Park.

Trip details: Day 10: Explore Koreshan State Park.

September 29th, 2011 – Onto Big Hickey Island and then Home

Today we find them back on the water and headed for Big Hickey Island with a planned detour to Mound Key Archeological State Park for some exploring.   The wildlife on and around the water was abundant with the sightings of manatees, dolphins, roseate spoon bills, night herons, and loons. Upon reaching Big Hickey Island they both commented on how new the campsite was as it was recently cleared and still contained piles of ashes from the clear cutting and burning.

Tomorrow will mark the end of the trip when they take out at Imperial River boat ramp. What to know more about the journey? Come to the Calusa Blueways Paddling Festival, November 3rd to the 6th off the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Check out the schedule of events and be part of the festivities.

Please don’t forget about Team Sweetwater’s sponsor of choice Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) and how desperately they need donations of either money or supplies. If you have the opportunity and have some spare time volunteer at the clinic.

Trip details: Day 11 Koreshan State Park to Big Hickey Island via Mound Key Archeological State Park. Miles: 8.44. Averaged 3.1 mph.

Hello All, This is the long anticipated 2nd post in the Tribal Tides series. In this post I will discuss the actual route and “natural schedule” that Jeff & myself shall be attempting to paddle during our 2 weeks on the water. Why we chose the direction we are headed in on the route & possible opportunities that are arising.

The schedule as it sits right now of course is subject to change at any given moment depending on weather conditions, paddler safety/health issues, and available lodging/safe places to camp. At this time we are choosing to take full advantage of any local Bed & Breakfasts, inns, and local campgrounds (public or private) along the way; as well as some primitive beach/mangrove camping as available. Jeff & I have chosen not to go totally primitive every night for camping simply because the Great Calusa Blueway, along with Lee County Parks and Recreation & the Florida Paddling Trails Association have made it so easy for anyone to do all or some of the segments of the paddling trail. They have very detailed websites & links that get paddlers/mariners to safe and secure places to bed down for the night.

Also in the works is the possibility of doing an informative/teaching speaking session at the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival  November third through the sixth.  And hopefully the chance to write some reviews about the local lodging & amenities, history of the area, fishing, cooking, and gear as we promote the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail!!

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Jeff & I will launch the expedition on Monday September 19th at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park; near the town of Alva. We will then head down river to Hickey Creek and do some exploring up the creek for 4-5 miles. Paddling back down the creek and headed down river for Telegraph Creek, up & back. Some may know that the Orange River is also here but Jeff and I have done this river many times before when we were guiding trips so we are skipping it. We will then be heading down river to camp and on Day 2 to begin exploring the remainder of the river and a few more of its tributaries. Eventually leaving the mouth of the river and primitive camping on Picnic Island.

Day 3 will find us heading north for Matlacha and threw the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve. Lodging may be there for the night. We will then be paddling out again up the mangrove lined coast on Day 4 headed towards the most northern point of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail and Charlotte Harbour Preserve State Park for some exploring and then across 4-5 miles of open water to Bokeelia/Jugg Creek/Back Bay areas to bed down.

Day 5 we are headed from Bokeelia over to Cayo Costa Island, a crossing of about 8 miles. We will be primitive camping/exploring on the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a day or two if time /weather allow. On Day 6 or 7, Jeff & I will be heading south down the outer islands of North Captiva, Captiva and Sanibel Island and threw the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve towards J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Possible stay on Sanibel or primitive camping on a spoil island in Pine Island Sound. We will be doing some exploring of the wildlife refuge then crossing along Sanibel Causeway and threw Matanzas Pass to San Marcos Island for a possible nights stay.

Day 8 or 9 will find us headed threw Hurricane Bay towards Hell Peckney Bay and into the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve; then across to the Estero River mouth and upriver to Koreshan State Historic Site & Park. Jeff and I will be staying a night or two at Koreshan, primitive camping and exploring Mound Key– site of the capitol city of the once great Calusa Indian Nation!!!

From there it is on Day 11 or 12 that we will head to Lovers Key and Big Hickory Island for a possible nights stay on one of either of the islands. Then on Day 13 we will start to make our way threw the Imperial River Preserve towards our final destination which will bring us up the Imperial River, possibly camping again somewhere along the river. Day 14 which will see us paddling to the Imperial River Boat ramp on U.S. 41 to end our paddling expedition and meet our shuttle vehicle to pick-up our boats and gear and whisk us home to our families & friends!!!!

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If one were to look at the segments of the paddling trail you would see we chose to do section 3 which is also the unmarked section first, then section 2 and finishing on section 1. Yes, Jeff and Sean can count and we do know 1 comes before 2 and 3. If you look carefully though there just seems to be a “Natural Flow” to the direction we chose, not to mention logistically being able to complete the most of the trail without having to double back much on anything to get the most out of the paddle/trail itself. Also lets not forget its “OUR” trip and WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT as most people with teenagers will tell you. (That is my 16 year old sons favorite saying- “I do what I want!” – or so HE thinks!)
Also it is possible that Russell Farrow owner of Sweetwater Kayaks and one of the nations best paddlers and kayaking coaches will be joining & paddling with us for a few days!!(also our boss if you want to call him that- we just call him friend!) Well we hope everyone enjoys the most recent post and the third post in the series will be out in 3 weeks Tribal Tides 3: “Native Gear, well not quite”

– Jeff & Sean

As promised paddlers/readers post #1 in the series Tribal Tides, and now on with the post.

Whats a Calusa? Pronounced “kah-LOO-sah”, and sometimes spelled Caloosa; as in Caloosahatchee River (which means “river of the Caloosa”)  The term Calusa refers to a Native American Indian tribe of Southwest, Florida. The Calusa are also famous for their other name the “Shell Indians”. The word Calusa is said to have one of two origins, one being from the tribal village of Calos and the second origin being that calusa meant “Fierce People” in their native language. There are no historical records to prove this second origin. At one time, there were believed to have been up to 50,000 in the Calusa Indian Nation.

The Calusa were not hunters/ farmers like a lot of North American Indians, but instead were expert fisherman, seaman/sailors, and gatherers/ hunters who lived off the Florida Gulfcoast. They were known as a very fierce and war-like tribe, and had political control over many other tribes living in Florida at the time such as the Ais, Jeaga, Jobe, Tequesta, and Matacumbe tribes. Although some think it was a federation of tribes- this is still disputed as the Calusa were thought to have been in absolute power!! They had 1 King Chief with many smaller village Chiefs who had local power. The last Calusa King died in the early 1700’s. The Calusa were thought to have practiced human sacrifice and possibly cannabilism. This is believed to have existed in the more early stages of tribal life in the Calusa tribe. It is also said they were known to have mutilated enemies so they would not be “whole” in the spirit world!! They were also successful in attacking and driving off the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. In their later years the Calusa turned to salvaging riches and gold from shipwrecks all along Florida’s southwest coast and were thought to have been regarded as wealthy, although by this time they were now fighting European diseases as well as the Creek Indians who had come south into Florida.

The Calusa Indians made heavy, long canoes out of cypress wood that were equipped with both paddles and sails that they used to fish, gather, and hunt from. The Calusa ate fish such as mullet , crab, conchs, clams, oysters, and lobsters that they would either gather or fish for using nets, weirs (corral type pin ), or bow and arrow and spears with shell heads. The tribe also hunted turtles, eels, birds, and small game with blow guns with darts dipped in poison from sting ray slime. Only 20% of their diet was believed to have consisted of fruits, nuts, berries, and everybody’s favorite……..roots!! Because of the abundant supply of food available they were able to become detailed wood carvers & elaborate mask makers, as well as build artificial islands, docks, seawalls out of – yep you guessed it – SHELLS!! There have been many items found, made by the Calusa using seashells and sharkteeth – such as tools for survival and living, weapons, utensils, jewelry, and mask & temple ornaments! I wonder if that has any reasoning for why the Calusa were called the SHELL INDIANS (ya think)??

The Calusa built and lived in chickee-type houses. A chickee is 4 posts with a roof.  The roof is made with support beams covered in palm leaves usually, but could have been solid beams. Sometimes with a raised platform/deck floor. It has no walls to allow good ventilation and cooling sea breezes to blow through in hot humid climates. As far as clothing it was pretty basic breech/loin cloth for the males & palm/moss skirts for females- no shirt, no shoes- No Service! Oh wait thats something entirely different!! The Calusa were a tall people and had long hair that they wore “topknot” on their heads occasionally with feathers. The Calusa warriors often painted their faces and bodies before battles & dances!

Unfortunately, the Calusa culture was decimated by European diseases & the Creek Indian tribe who would later become the Seminoles. (Go Miami Canes- sorry had to represent). Some survivors were thought to have been sent to Cuba while others blended and mixed into the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. One thing is for sure the Calusa language and culture is lost.

WHEW!! So now that you know what a Calusa is lets see why we picked this location as our next paddling expedition. Jeff and I have been tossing this paddling location around for about 3 years now- we have not done an extended paddling trip since December of 2009 and wanted to do this sometime this year. I ran into Betsy Clayton who is the Public Relations person for The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail while in Charleston, S.C. at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival this year. She asked me when I was coming down to paddle as I have been getting info from her on the trail. I said some time this year. I spoke with Jeff shortly after and we decided why not September just before the Calusa Blueways Paddling Festival that will be from November 4th through 6th. We are now back in touch with Betsy and working out all the details. The planets are hopefully aligning and there are things in the works behind the scenes- Stay Tuned!!

As for why we are so interested in this area here goes nothing:

Jeff’s reasons:

  • Because ITS There!
  • Because I Love To Paddle!
  • to get out and paddle an area with various paddling environments and different types of water!

Sean’s reasons:

  • the ability to get to paddle through many different eco-environments and wildlife (saltwater crocs)viewing.
  • a much needed break from the “RAT RACE”!!
  • a great way to get in touch with your “inner paddler” so to speak and actually feel the environment of the Calusa, spiritual paddling in the land of the lost Calusa Indians.

The Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail just seems to be a special place where paddlers can follow in the paddle strokes of a once Great Indian Nation. Jeff and I think it will be neat to go paddle a place that is trying to find a balance between the new world of prosperity and growth and still manages to blend the beliefs of a past civilization and natural wild outdoors. Not to mention caters to a sea fairing community and paddlers. I believe we will take much more away than we know and can even begin to imagine. Jeff and I would also like to try some native survival practices such as water desalination and practice fire by friction techniques.

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The next post in the Tribal Tides series will be out in a week or so and will cover some of the planning we are doing to get ready and some more details and arrangements that have hopefully been made! I think it will probably be the finalized route we are taking over the 2 week time period.

— Jeff  and  Sean

References : Shell People by Kimberly Ripley

Native Languages of the Americas by Laura Reddish & Orrin Lewis

USF Education Web Site “Exploring Florida Website”

Wikipedia- Calusa Indians