Paddling Around Lover’s Key, Great Calusa Blueway

January 16 (Friday): Lover’s Key Paddle, put-in on Estero Boulevard, across from Dog Beach

The best thing about this paddle was that it started with Alan bringing coffee and donuts!  Beyond that, it was kind of a frustrating day.  Our maps and GPS units suggested that there should be a opening through the northern neck of the West passage through the island.  Such a passage would allow us to do either an inside or outside circumnavigation of the key.  We passed under the highway bridge and paddled by the aptly named Dog Beach.

DSCN4643 - Version 2

Alan (on the left) joined us for this day paddle

Everything started off OK, but soon we were in water too shallow for paddling.  The bottom was solid sand (not muck), so we got out and pulled our boats for some distance.  This happened more than once.  We passed under a state park foot bridge where a throng of vacationers watched as we hit a dead end.  There was nothing to do but turn around and retrace our path back to our launch point.  

Ft. Meyer's Beach/Lover's Key - Version 2

Our route.  On the west it ended in a dead end.  

Again passing the Dog Beach and paddling back under the bridge, we began to paddle up the East coast of the island.  About halfway up we stopped at a county boat launch for a lunch break.  Alan found a commissary with ice cream.  Soon we were enjoying a nice cold ice cream sandwich (If you haven’t yet noticed, Alan is a bad influence!).  After our break we continued North along the Eastern shore.  We finally reached the beach at the north end of the island and stopped briefly to stretch and give Bruce a chance to work on his stuck skeg.  Then it was South along the same coast till we reached our launch point across from the Dog Park.  

This was a pretty paddle.  It was overcast much of the time and a little windy out in the open, but it was January and warm, and it was a day on the water, paddling with friends.  That makes it a good day.

Today’s Statistics:

  • Distance: 10.28 miles
  • Time: Just under 5 hours
  • Average Speed: a pokey 2.1 mph


What every dog beach needs, a Doggie Shower!

 © Don Yackel 2020