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No Name Key Report

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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 11/27/2010 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 30 photos     Map & Directions: View

My fifth visit to the Keys since Labor Day, 2009, time to explore a new place. A location with no name, or No Name, was just the ticket. I had a vauge idea of how to get there, no idea of the size of the Key, or what I might see. Time for adventure.

My Report:

I need to clarify my comment about having “a vague idea” about No Name Key. I had read about it, and 49 other Keys paddles in an excellent book, Kayaking the Keys: 50 Great Paddling Adventures in Florida's Southernmost Archipelago, by Kathleen Patton. However, I last saw the book in June, and was relying on memory to get to the launch. My memory was better than expected. I saw two Key deer on the drive to the launch site, plus one as I unloaded. The water is a few feet from the end of the road, parking is on the side of the road. I shoved off, pushing the yak across seaweed washed on shore to floatable depth. Two or three posts in the water mark the spot. A homeowners dock was to my left. As 95% of the island is natural, I was glad for it so I would know how to find the launch site.

On my way at 8:30, headed right, south. My intent to circumnavigate No Name Key. And see more Key deer. Five minutes later, four deer on shore.
I headed south as that is where the wind was coming from. Much calmer than Thanksgiving and Friday had been, but I wanted it at my back later as I circled the Key.

A second, and more scenic landmark, is the old Bahia Honda bridge. I took several pictures of it, then turned my attention to a great egret with a fish on No Name. I did not see the buck behind it at first.

I was having a great paddle. A little windy, but not choppy in the shallow water, five deer, a great frigate bird as I launched, ibis, great egrets, belted kingfishers, great blue heron, a lot of vultures. A few small sharks. I gazed at the egrets in the distance, standing far off shore. Wait, are those deer? Beyond the egrets. They were. Two, I paddled for ten minutes before I reached them, walking across the shallows, far beyond land. As I was downwind, I got nice and close. Two bucks. The smaller, sensing me, high tailed it back towards No Name Key. The larger, sized me up, determined I was no threat, and continued his trek towards Big Pine. All I could do was say, “wow”
After the trans island deer, I took pics of more great egrets, I paddled 45 minutes without any photos. I thought I heard an exhale. Then I saw the dolphin. And another, and another. A pod of six or more. Dolphins, deer and Dave. I like that trio.

Just to remind you, this was my first time paddling No Name Key. I had no idea how large it was, or how long the voyage would take. Had no map, no idea how the island was shaped. But, if I kept close to shore, and kept turning right I had to eventually reach the bridge to Big Pine Key. That would indicate I was on course.

I now know there are two large bays and a good sized island on the south end of No Name.
Reached the bridge at 10:55. More keys on the horizon, some, I would think, lower case, no name keys. Saw another Key deer, more bird life, before landing at 11:55, just short of 3.5 hours to circle No Name Key.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: Saltwater
Boat Type: Kayak
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from No Name Key:    (Click image to view full size)

Launch/landing No Comm
Buck & Ibis No Comm
Buck & Ibis
Buck & Doe No Comm
Buck & Doe
Doe No Comm
Young buck & doe No Comm
Young buck & doe
Doe No Comm
Cormorants No Comm
Cormorants No Comm
Old Bahia Honda Brid No Comm
Old Bahia Honda Brid
Old Bahia Honda Brid No Comm
Old Bahia Honda Brid
Great egret & buck No Comm
Great egret & buck
Buck No Comm
No Name Key No Comm
No Name Key
Grt egret in shallow No Comm
Grt egret in shallow
Great egret No Comm
Great egret
Deer Xing No Comm
Deer Xing
Getting deep No Comm
Getting deep
Who's there? No Comm
Who's there?
Run! No Comm
Not one to run No Comm
Not one to run
Cool customer No Comm
Cool customer
Fraidy deer No Comm
Fraidy deer
Dolphin No Comm
Dolphins No Comm
Big Pine No Name Bri No Comm
Big Pine No Name Bri
Great egret No Comm
Great egret
Belted kingfisher No Comm
Belted kingfisher
Cormorants No Comm
Osprey No Comm
Key Deer No Comm
Key Deer

Post Date: 11/30/2010

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