Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Coot Bay Pond

Wednesday February 13, 2013
Site T-15 Flamingo Campground
Everglades National Park


TUESDAY February 12

Tuesday we recovered from the long day Monday.  :-)    Did some chores including moving winter clothing into the Space Bags I won.  Thanks again Roxi & Annie.

These things are really wonderful for saving space.   They shrink two quilts down to a flat pancake.   I put 5 bags with quilts sweaters, lined jeans and coats under the bed.  Amazing!

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None of the other chores was as interesting as this….so let’s just skip right on to Wednesday.


WEDNESDAY February 13

After fully recovering from our day of tight paddling through the Noble Mangrove hammock, we are ready to take on bigger waters.   So we head out for Coot Bay Pond.  We get another early start because the winds are supposed to pick up in the afternoon.   That is also why we have not planned to do the entire 7.5 mile loop from Coot Bay Pond, through Coot Bay into Mud Bay and finally into Bear Lake and then portage to the canal back into Coot Bay for our return.

Here’s the map for the full trip.  We’re not sure how far we’ll go but when the wind picks up we’ll turn around and come back.  David would really really like to do this trip but today just isn’t the day and we are running out of days.  Next time for sure!

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Coot Bay Pond has a nice put in right beside the main park road.  David is heading out into the pond.

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If this is Coot Bay POND, I can’t wait to see Coot BAY.  This sure isn’t what I think of as a “pond”.

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We see what we think are the namesake coots off in the distance.  And there are some but there are also what I think are the blue billed lesser scaups.  Judy will correct me if I’m wrong.  The picture is a bit fuzzy since I was taking it across the pond.   I was going to delete it but I wanted you to see the blue bills.  Aren’t they great??   The guy in the front of the line with the white bill is the coot. 


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We paddle all around the edge of the pond which looks like an enclosed body of water.  We are looking for the trail into coot pond.   David finds it and disappears inside.

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Here I go.  Pretty small opening.

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Here’s what I see inside.   How cool!!

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Looks pretty happy doesn’t he?


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This time the tunnels are BIG and become dark but what what fun.

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In too short a time we come out of our wonderland and into Coot Bay where the first thing we see is this.

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Pretty sure he’s an alligator but that big bulbous nose makes me wonder.  Wish I could see his teeth to know for sure.  The Everglades is the only place in the continental US that you might see a crocodile.  Whichever he is pays us no mind at all.

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This is a BIG bay.  And as you can see by the waves, the winds are picking up.  Not too bad though as we cut across the end to the side where we’ll find the opening into Mud Lake.


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This time it’s definitely the American Coots.  Their white bills give them away.

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Pelicans fly in overhead.

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I’m thinking that the opening should be just beyond this section.

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Nope, but around the corner are these red mangrove roots.  Just amazing!

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Ah ha, there it is.  Much easier to find than the first one but a long way around this very big bay.

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In we go again and another little world opens up.

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More low overhead….for some people

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And out we come into mud lake.  And muddy it looks too in comparison with the coots, bay and pond.

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The wind has picked up even more so we don’t go out into Mud Lake very far but paddle around the mangrove islands in the area of the passage way in order to stay out of the wind.

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After a while we decide it’s time to head back so we reverse our direction and back we go the way we came.

Through the tunnel from Mud Lake to Coot Bay.

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This time there is a line of coots that stretches way down the bay.  From this distance it looks like a single line but when we get closer it is multi-coot deep.

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We cross the bay and it’s back into the tunnel to Coot Bay Pond.

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I was last in going over  but I’m first out coming back

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I catch David as he comes through.  A nice circle to end our kayak.  We have paddled nearly 3/4 of the distance of the entire loop by the time we go over and back to Mud Lake.  If it hadn’t been for the wind, we would have done it all.

For sure we will be looking for a day to take the whole trip the minute we arrive for our next visit to the Everglades. The first calm calm day and we’ll be out to do it all including the portage from the Bear Lake trail to the canal into Coot Bay.

See the map at the beginning for that to make sense.    Can’t wait!

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After dinner, and just before sunset we walk over to Eco Pond, one of my very favorite spots and close to the campground.   Here is what we see.  A perfect way to end ANOTHER great day in Everglades National Park.

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This is going to be the hardest thing to leave behind here in the Everglades, the ability to walk over to Eco Pond every day just after sunrise and before sunset and see such beautiful sights.


  1. You got some great shots!! I loved the one with the tip of the blue kayak looking out into the passage way. Hard to pic a favorite this time.... to many to choose from!

  2. Those last three photos are amazing!

    The line of coots is way cool. It was a great day! Thanks.....

    Until next time....

  3. That was an amazing number of coots! It sounds and looks like you are both having a great time. We're like you...we never seem to have enough time to do and see everything we want to do. Of course that gives us a good excuse to go back!

  4. What a great paddle. I'd miss Eco pond too.

  5. Sherry, I am convinced that I need to get out in a kayak...it is so peaceful just seeing your photo's. Bob doesn't share my interest in getting out onto the water. He is concerned about safety and I hope someday he will come around. In the meantime, I will enjoy your water adventures.

  6. Not only does David look happy in the picture of him in the kayak, he looks pretty strong, too...holding up that tree with one hand! ;c)

  7. Just LOVE the adventure and pictures, but worry about how u know where to go and get back & what about things dangling down in those close tunnels???

  8. Nice paddle. Those tunnels are so cool!

  9. Dang, your adventures make this desert lover start thinking about kayaks. Crazy!

  10. Is it cold there? I am ready for summer

  11. wow you take amazing photos Sherry...pretty chilly here this evening..but suppose to warm up fast again..thankfully...happy to see you both having a grand time!!

  12. I wish Joe had the desire to go kayaking. I would love to try it. But I wouldn't enjoy it as much if he wasn't with me.

  13. Nice to see you guys enjoying all life has to offer. It is so peaceful to be on a lake by yourself and wildlife makes it all the more special.
    Thanks for the photo tour.

  14. Nice paddle but that tunnel makes me a little nervous! :)

  15. What a great "voyage". You and David know how to eek out every moment of life with new discoveries every day. :)

  16. Hmm...I thought I posted a comment on this one - I love the mangrove paddles - leafy tunnels full of mystery. Fantastic pictures of trees, boats, birds and human. You guys are living the life!


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