Escape the Chaos~
Coming from a small Western Colorado town and moving into a bustling area like Southwest Florida can feel overwhelming sometimes. The amount of people and traffic feel chaotic to a small town girl like me. Wanting to get away and feel remote is often on my mind.
When my husband and I moved to the area about 4 years ago, part of the deal was that we would purchase a boat. This had been a lifelong dream of my husband, and staying true to our plan, a small fishing boat was purchased.
Where are These Islands?
The Ten Thousand Islands quickly became the escape that my husband and I needed. The Ten Thousand Islands are a chain of islands located near Everglades City and partially sit on the western edge of Everglades National Park. These islands are covered by mangrove trees (remember the trees that seem to float on the water) and form a barrier to the mainland of Florida.
Where did Everybody Go?
With so many people in Southwest Florida, escaping into the Ten Thousand Islands feels remote and isolated. It’s funny that being in the area can feel that way, when such a large population of people live nearby. But, as we have discovered, a lot of people don’t go down into this area of the Everglades. I have no idea why!
Everglades City – A Step Back in Time
We generally launch out of Everglades City early in the morning, just as the sun is coming up. Everglades City is a tiny community that feels a bit like stepping back in time to Olde Florida. The boat dock we launch at is tucked in a canal with waterfront homes surrounding it.
Fishing & Sightseeing
Once on the water, we head out for a nice day of fishing and sightseeing. It is fun to cruise around a bunch of the islands and try fishing up close to them and also seeing what other kinds of wildlife are around, like birds and raccoons. Many of the islands have back waters that are pretty large and have plenty of fish. We often see huge turtles and manatees in these back bays.
Many of the islands have big beaches on them as well. People will camp overnight on these beaches, especially in the winter months when there is little humidity and less insects. Of course, these beaches can only be reached via boat or kayak.
We will often land on a beach and explore the area and have a picnic in the sand. On some islands there are a lot of seashells scattered about, but be aware that taking seashells from Everglades National Park is not permitted.
What a Catch! Not Me silly!
Most of the photos in this post were taken just a few weeks ago when I went out with my husband for the day. We took the boat pretty far south of Everglades City and did a little fishing in the morning. I caught a nice redfish that I released, but otherwise mostly enjoyed sightseeing for the rest of the day.
White Pelicans Galore
There was a huge flock of American white pelicans gathered on a sandbar that we watched for some time. It was hard to get close to them without spooking them, so we creeped up very slowly on our boat. I had definitely never seen that many pelicans together at one time. It was quite a sight!
Bottlenose Dolphins Everywhere!
As we started to head back in for the day, we spotted several pods of bottlenose dolphins jumping and playing. These majestic animals are much bigger than you might think. I love watching them and we easily spent an hour doing just that and taking lots of photographs.
We had a wonderful, relaxing day cruising around the Ten Thousand Islands. Every time we are out there, we feel a little more rejuvenated and better able to handle the hustle and bustle of Southwest Florida.
Where is Your Getaway?
Do you have a favorite place to escape to that is close by your home? Do you have a quick weekend getaway spot? If so, I hope you get to go to it as often as you need to and it helps clear your head for another week ahead!