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Home Force 5 Sailing Destinations A Trip to Carl Ross Key in the Everglades
A Trip to Carl Ross Key in the Everglades | Print |

The launch went great – no monsters – only a splash from manatee in the bay and we headed out into the bay with the kayaks and the daysailer.


The harbor entrance is a narrow channel that flows past a small island covered with rare white pelicans and we also saw a small roseate spoonbill in the mangroves by the shore. Fish were jumping everywhere.

The kayaks soon left us as the wind was light and we had to negotiate sand bars at the entrance. Once away from shore we  got out the snacks and chased after the daysailer with Miles and his guests.

It was a sunny Florida day and the wind was blowing about 6 knots. Miles has some beginning sailors with him and we exchanged snacks from our cooler with them and tried to figure out which small island was our destination. The kayakers in the distance were traveling over another sandbar towards a particular island which looked very promising (our destination point) however we couldn’t cross the shallow water so we went further up and to try to go around it. Annie sat on the cooler and practiced taking pictures. 

Eventually we pulled up the board, popped up the centerboard and slid over the sandbar in kayak mode and headed towards the key as Annie was getting bored and wanted to play on the beach.  

Carl Ross Key

The daysailer had to go a bit farther so we hit the island and waited for them. The key was covered with interesting shells and small fish were everywhere. So we walked all around the island and sat in the shallow water, playing with the hermit crabs and watching the daysailer come in.

As they arrived we started noticing the clouds getting ominous in the wrong direction. Summer in the Everglades means afternoon storms so we decided to eat quickly and not stay much longer. Back out over the bar and the wind began piping up. With the storm coming we decided to sail in close to shore. Crossing the bar, we saw dolphins chasing fish towards the shallow water.  Cool!  But the storm was getting closer.

The good thing about the storm was the wind – we had a fast trip back. The bad thing was the rain and lighting that we could see in the distance that was arriving with the wind. So we sailed swift and fast back to the harbor. Tacking back upwind was great with Annie leaning way out and the boat just flew. We arrived with the kayaks, but the daysailer was still out there as Miles couldn’t cross the sandbar as soon as we could. After we pulled the boat out, we took our binoculars out and went up to the overlook and had a great view of him racing the storm in. He got in just as the rain hit and we toasted his timing and helped him put the boat away. 

Map of the trip.