fbpx

Month: November 2011

Everglades USA Exped – Day 6

Friday, November 18th
USA Expedition blog: Everglades kayak Flamingo to Middle Cape
by Livio

We woke up this morning in Flamingo, Florida and we could hear the mosquitos swarming around the tent. We prepared to leave the campsite and have a fresh water “shower” under a hosepipe at the boating dock. While showering we heard a splashing sound in the water and we were amazed to a see a manatee looking up next to us in the water. The woman at the visitor center shop told us the manatee came because he likes the freshwater.

The short time in a little bit of civilization was great, but we are all looking forward to again immerse ourselves completely out into the remote nature surroundings. Before we left Flamingo had the opportunity to have a look around the small museum there and speak to two Everglades rangers who informed us about the species and conditions we could expect through the rest of our trek through the Everglades.

We left Flamingo in a north-westerly direction keeping next to the coast so that we could stop on some of the pristine beaches. After lunch we crossed a big bay and half way through it started pouring rain. The waves were big and choppy as we paddled almost five miles across the rough open water. The group stayed positive and rowed hard and eventually we reached the other side of the bay smiling.

We set up camp between passing storms on the beach at Middle Cape for the night. From long ago I was scared of the insects and reptiles. After we set up the tents Mike showed us a scorpion that was running in the bush. I learned that Scorpions are more scared of us then we are of them. They won’t harm us if we don’t threaten them. It is great to see how you get more and more comfortable in nature as you learn to understand and appreciate it.  I don’t miss civilization any more!

Wednesday: Key Largo through Buttonwood Sound to North Nest Key — 7 miles (11 km)
Thursday: North Nest Key to Flamingo — 26 miles (42 km)
Friday: Flamingo to Middle Cape — 16.5 miles (26 km)
TOTAL: 2 ½ day total distance travelled — 49.5 miles (79.5 km)

Mike’s blog 16.11.2011

Tonight, after a 90 mile sail from Port Everglades, we've arrived in Key Largo; America's southernmost point and the site of the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.

Everglades USA Exped – Day 5

Thursday, November 17th
USA Expedition blog: Everglades Kayak North Nest Key to Flamingo
by Ann-Kathrin

After the short glimpse we had yesterday afternoon at the extent of the kayak expedition awaiting us over the next six days, today marked our first complete day on the water.

The night was long and tight in a tent with the four of us girls– Aya, Theresa, Jule and I. We woke up when the sun rose and ate a nice breakfast of oats with brown sugar, then packed our equipment to leave the camp site as early as possible to get in the kayaks and begin the trip. We were all very keen on seeing the beautiful nature in store for us, although the sleep schedule is a bit difficult to get used to!

As soon as all the boats were packed we kayaked out into the endless blue of the shallow open water and the surrounding mangrove forests. The destination for the day had the pretty name – “Flamingo”.

We were amazed by all the untouched, pure nature we paddled by. About every two hours we had a little rest for our arms and to get used to the rhythm of moving all day long. We learned how to “raft-up” all the kayaks when we want to take a break and how to store them properly if we wanted to have a break on a small beach of a lonely island. Everyone was excited to see and to experience what the calm and peaceful surroundings of the Everglades National Park – the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.

After the first hours of paddling we realized how hard the next days were going to be. On two tall wooden platforms in the middle of a large inlet we had a longer break, we ate our daypacks, which we were really happy about, and had a rest which we all enjoyed after a hard paddle. We carried on and came upon our first experience with the diverse Everglades wildlife. As we kayaked through deeper waters we saw a shark passing right along side us! The sharks chase the mullet fish that we see jumping high out of the water around us at all times. It was a really moving moment with the shark to understand that the natural animals have no intention to hurt us, they just carry on with their routines and we are able to see how peaceful the life between animals and humans can be.

Later on, without resting we got into a difficult situation where we had to paddle through water that was less than one meter deep. It was more of a swampy seagrass field. We had a hard time getting through the deep, thick mud and after we did we were exhausted but also happy to see that it was only a small distance to our next campsite.

We reached Flamingo beneath a beautiful sunset and the funny jumping mullet fish around us. We were very happy to get out of the water and there was even a fresh water hose on the boat landing ramp — a real luxury!! — to be able to wash the salt off our bodies. We fired up a bit of nice warm Trek 'n Eat dinner.  After that, we all changed clothes and had our first battle with the thousands of hungry mosquitos that thrive in the hot and humid conditions of Florida’s swamplands. Everyone was more then happy to slip into the tents and to sleep after a very long first day of kayaking across Everglades National Park.

Wednesday: Key Largo through Buttonwood Sound to North Nest Key – 7 miles
Thursday: North Nest Key to Big Key, Mosquito Point, Shark Point Chickee to Flamingo – 26 mi
TOTAL: 1 ½ day total distance travelled —  33 miles(53 km)

Everglades USA Exped – Day 4

Wednesday, November 16th
USA Expedition blog: Arrival in Key Largo and kayak adventure departure
by Theresa Kaiser

Tuesday night was pretty special because it was the first night outside on the ocean. After sailing all day from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo PANGAEA was fixed in one place with the anchor dropped for the night. Every young explorer was responsible for a one-hour anchor watch throughout the evening. What we “watch” for is any movement of the boat or drifting as there is always a chance that strong winds could dislodge the anchor or alter our position or the anchor’s chain could break.  We take watch to make sure that we are always secure even while all is quiet and asleep.  Livio woke me up at 5:30 AM and for the next hour I had responsibility for PANGAEA making sure that everyone aboard was safe. I felt a little nervous at the beginning because I realized how important this responsibility really is.

Everything went well on watch and after breakfast I had to pack all the gear which I needed for the next seven days because we have the amazing opportunity for a 6-day kayak trip of more than 100 miles through the Everglades National Park.

After we packed our gear we went with Tristan on the dingy for a twenty minute boat ride through mangroves and harbors to Key Largo where we had to pick up our kayaks from Florida Bay Outfitters. We are all super excited about this trip and couldn’t wait to go out on the water and start paddling! But first we all ate a big lunch together — staff and young explorers — to give us energy for the adventure ahead.

We finally hit the water at about 3 PM. Everybody shared a tandem kayak except for Mike who was in a single boat by himself. I was paired together with Mary, Mike’s PR director.  In the beginning we had some difficulties and some laughs trying to figure out how to synch up our strokes and get that kayak to go straight! But after a while, we got used to the boat, the finesse of the rudder and to each other and we really got to enjoy this trip

After a two-hour paddle, the sun set bright in the sky and night fell and we arrived at our campsite with the light of headlamps. It was a small beach at North Nest Key –- one of the beautiful, tiny islands of the thousands and thousands in the Everglades. We set up our tents, made a campfire and I ate for the first but not the last time Trek’n Eat. I didn’t expect it to taste so good!

This is going to be the first time outside in the Everglades and I am super excited for the next few days, looking forward to exploring and to learning about this unique environment and all the animals in there!

Everglades USA Exped – Day 3

Tuesday, November 15th
USA Expedition blog:  Sail from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo
by Jule Holland

Today we got to sleep in a little and had a calm morning getting the boat ready to sail. We left Port Everglades harbor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at about two o’clock and set sail on a 100-mile trip in the direction of Key Largo – the largest and northernmost island in the Florida Keys . We were all so excited to finally sail Pangaea!

Setting up the main and the stay sail, we needed all helping hands. After that we enjoyed a beautiful view over the ocean. We had only little waves, almost no clouds in the sky and the sun gave the sea a silver-blue shimmer. It was awesome to sit in the front of PANGAEA and feel the wind blow in our face and the water splashing onto us. This is what we all have been waiting for so long, just feeling pure freedom!


When the sun was about to set we saw three dolphins  jumping out of the water and later on there was a beautiful firework at the horizon. During our watch shift Aya and I had to look out for other ships, keep a close eye on the shallow water depth and maintain the course of Pangaea.

As we are going to keep on sailing throughout the whole night everyone must serve a two-hour night-watch-shift, every six hours.

We are all looking forward to tomorrow and our arrival to Key Largo! 

Everglades USA Exped – Day 2

November 14th,  Blog by Theresa Kaiser, 16yrs, Germany

Tuesday night was pretty special because it was the first night outside on the ocean. After sailing all day from Fort Lauderdale to Key Largo PANGAEA was fixed in one place with the anchor dropped for the night. Every young explorer was responsible for a one-hour anchor watch throughout the evening. What we “watch” for is any movement of the boat or drifting as there is always a chance that strong winds could dislodge the anchor or alter our position or the anchor’s chain could break. We take watch to make sure that we are always secure even while all is quiet and asleep. Livio woke me up at 5:30 AM and for the next hour I had responsibility for PANGAEA making sure that everyone aboard was safe. I felt a little nervous at the beginning because I realized how important this responsibility really is.

Everything went well on watch and after breakfast I had to pack all the gear which I needed for the next seven days because we have the amazing opportunity for a 6-day kayak trip of more than 120 miles through the Everglades National Park.

After we packed our gear we went with Tristan on the dingy for a twenty minute boat ride through mangroves and harbors to Key Largo where we had to pick up our kayaks from Florida Bay Outfitters. We are all super excited about this trip and couldn’t wait to go out on the water and start paddling! But first we all ate a big lunch together — staff and young explorers — to give us energy for the adventure ahead.

We finally hit the water at about 3 PM. Everybody shared a tandem kayak except for Mike who was in a single boat by himself. I was paired together with Mary, Mike’s PR director. In the beginning we had some difficulties and some laughs trying to figure out how to synch up our strokes and get that kayak to go straight! But after a while, we got used to the boat, the finesse of the rudder and to each other and we really got to enjoy this trip

After a two-hour paddle, the sun set bright in the sky and night fell and we arrived at our campsite with the light of headlamps. It was a small beach at North Nest Key –- one of the beautiful, tiny islands of the thousands and thousands in the Everglades. We set up our tents, made a campfire and I ate for the first but not the last time Trek’n Eat. I didn’t expect it to taste so good!

This is going to be the first time outside in the Everglades and I am super excited for the next few days, looking forward to exploring and to learning about this unique environment and all the animals in there!

Mike’s blog 13.11.2011

All aboard! PANGAEA is ready for the 10th Mike Horn Pangaea Young Explorers Program expedition. Seven new Young Explorers have arrived and we're all charged with energy to change the world. We will share our new-found knowledge with you for the next 20 days. Wish us luck as we explore the Everglades and endeavor to help save the Gulf of Mexico.

Everglades USA Exped – Day 1

November 13th, Blog by Dan Cullum, 19, New Zealand

For many of the Young Explorers on board, it was our first time seeing and being on board Pangaea. We arrived late last night at Bahia Mar Yachting Club in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and as we walked along the dock and saw the words ‘Pangaea’ written on the bow of a large boat at the end of the dock, we knew the expedition had begun.

Scrubbing the decks and removing rust from the railings were the agenda for this morning, followed by a boat safety talk from Mike, and then a sailing configuration session, taught by Tristan. All the Young Explorers are a little nervous and excited about our first sail tomorrow morning, we have all been told that a lot is expected of us and that we should be able to work all the equipment we learnt about today when Mike asks us.

We also learnt that a few days ago Pangaea had lost her anchor in Port Everglades and that we were going to spend the afternoon retrieving it. The GPS location had been recorded and once we were at the location, six of the Mike Horn Team went diving looking for the anchor. The Young Explorers were all watching from the boat, keeping an eye out for the divers and where they may appear. It took about 4 tries of the team to locate and retrieve the anchor which took the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening.

After seeing all the diving being done today, the Young Explorers are looking forward to the diving that we will experience on this trip, and all the beautiful things that we will see.

Leaving tomorrow morning, the harbour, the safety of the port; this is it, the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

 

Pangaea’s raring to go!

The YEP's are now on their way to Fort Lauderdale where Pangaea awaits them. She's stocked up and ready to go! Today our Young Explorers and 8 staff from the Mike Horn team, including guides, scuba specialists, doctors and media crew, will join Pangaa in her mooring at the Bahia Mar Marina. Very soon they will start an exciting adventure, sailing around the Florida Keys, kayaking the Everglades and discovering the unique ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !