This past weekend, I guided a trio of intrepid travelers from the other end of the “age spectrum”. Chuck, his wife Betsy, and Chuck’s sister Joanna, are all in their 70′s, but they don’t let age slow them down. We were transported to Camp Lulu Key in the “Yak Attack”, a dedicated kayak transport boat that Everglades Area Tours uses for base camp kayak camping trips. This allows us to add levels of comfort that we normally couldn’t enjoy when packing kayaks or canoes for multiple night camping trips.
Well our elected officials have done it again … bumping chests and doing nothing. The shutdown has affected the tours that we conduct directly in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress. However, the Boat Assisted Kayak Eco Tours, the Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco Tours and the Swamp Walks continue. The Boat Assisted tours depart from Marco Island/Goodland.
Fox New 4 interviewed us about the shutdown …. http://www.fox4now.com/news/local/Collier-Tourism-Affected-By-Shutdown-226238881.html
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Capt. Charles Wright, Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org, 239-695-3633
EVERGLADES AREA TOURS SUPPORTS LONG DISTANCE SWIMMER DIANA NYAD’S
HISTORIC ATTEMPT TO SWIM THE FLORIDA STRAITS
Chokoloskee, FL (August 29, 2013) – On Saturday morning, 64-year old long distance swimmer Diana Nyad will once again to try again to swim solo the 100 miles from Marina Hemingway in Havana, Cuba across the Florida Straits to Key West. Everglades Area Tours, based in Chokoloskee and Marco Island, is supporting Nyad’s epic effort with the donation of a fully outfitted kayak, a satellite phone and two kayak guides as members of the
6-person kayak crew that is part of the 65-person Extreme Dream Team support crew.
This is Diana’s fifth attempt to swim the Florida Straits without a shark cage. The first attempt was 35 years ago at the age of 25. It was July of 2011 before she would try again. Recent attempts have been thwarted by severe stings from jellies. In the 1970’s Diane was heralded as the greatest long distance swimmer in the world and is an inductee in the Women’s Swimming Hall of Fame.
This swim attempt by Nyad came to the attention of Capt. Charles Wright, owner of Everglades Area Tours, through one of his kayak eco-adventure guides, Don McCumber, who has served on two of Nyad’s previous swim attempts. “Don is fully committed to Diana and her Extreme Dream. It was an easy decision to have Everglades Area Tours join Don to support Nyad’s incredible spirit of adventure, courage and athleticism in this historic effort,” said Wright.
McCumber is the kayak team captain, serving on his third Nyad Cuba-to-Florida swim. On the team for the first time is Everglades Area Tours guide Darlene Meadows. Rounding out the team is Brenda Anderson (kayak leader on the July 2011 attempt), Elke Thuerling (2012 kayak captain, 2011 mother ship captain), Buco Pantellis (on all four recent swims) and Mike Devlin, President of the Paradise Coast Paddlers Club based in Naples, Florida.
Nyad and the Extreme Dream Team are scheduled to leave Key West by boat for the trip to Cuba early Friday. Today at 2:07pm Nyad posted to her blog at www.diananyad.com, “Tomorrow I leave for Cuba for the Final Attempt. This is the end of the journey. And the journey has been magnificent.” Nyad plans to deliver a press conference Friday, August 30 at 4:00pm in Cuba, where she will announce the final determination on the start of the swim based on weather and conditions.
Everglades Area Tours provides a wide variety of recreational and educational paddling, motor boating and hiking experiences including motor boat-assisted kayak expeditions into the Wilderness Waterway portion of Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands region around Marco Island. Everglades Area Tours is recognized as a sustainable tour provider for its actions on tours and in the community and is certified as a Silver Level Eco Tour Operator by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism. For more information visit www.EvergladesAreaTours.com or www.Facebook.com/EvergladesAreaTours.
The date is set …February 22, 2014. Mark your calendars.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2014 and we are looking forward to another great day. The event will be the same informal format as in the past … very casual. It is a social event to bring together paddling folks for a day of family-oriented fun. It is a great opportunity to meet new friends who enjoy the paddling the area, learn a bit of the colorful local history and experience a wonderful part of Florida.
There is no cost for the event. However, we always try to raise money for a worthy non-profit. The Florida Society for Ethical Eco Tourism is the beneficiary for this year’s event! Please visit their website, become a member and signup for their newsletter.
Details will be available soon, so please stay in touch!
Every September, there is a large migration of raptors that passes over this area and the Keys. Thunderstorms will cause them “drop out” and hang around in viewing range.
Last year 651 Peregrine Falcons were counted in just one day in Marathon. This past week, we were on the Everglades National Park Birding and Wildlife Expediton, near the mouth of the East River, in Fakahatchee Bay. There were several hundred Swallow Tailed Kites who gathered together and then simultaneously rode a large thermal to altitude where the all turned south … and were gone. Spectacular to witness.