The wind finally subsided and we started traveling out into the gulf toward Everglade City and the 10,000 islands. As we were leaving Marco Island, we passed Witte’s condo and Henk saw us out in the gulf with binoculars. The ride to Everglade City was lumpy due to left over waves from the strong wind over the week end, but thankfully we made it in safely. The Admiral appeared a bit green behind the gills—she was mighty happy for her feet to touch the ground. Our trip was a long winding route through the mangrove islands into Everglade City. We docked the first night at the Rod and Gun Club—an old building built in the 1800’s. Basic amenities: electric only. There is a spacious dining area on the deck and a dining room inside. The food was very good. It is a must see if you are in the area and enjoy old architecture. This area is known as the Stone Crab capital. Lots of crabbing/fishing boats going by creating wave action at the dock even in the early morning hours. We were the only boat at their dock. Staying in this area is like going back in time. No big box stores, no traffic congestion, but lots of air boat attractions to tour the Everglades. Several eateries and available and places to purchase fresh seafood. Another redeeming value: Ice Cream shop!
After one night, we moved a ½ mile further inland to Everglade Isle RV Luxury Retreat. The RV resort also has a marina. This is a whole new dimension to “camping.” They only allow class A motor coaches, and all of the ones we saw were very high end. Each camp site is exquisitely manicured and landscaped. There were many docks to choose from since there were only two other boats docked when we arrived. Bill, the manager, took us around the grounds on a golf cart.
Since this is air boat tour land, we decided to sign up for a ride going deep into the mangrove swamps through tunnels of mangrove trees. After a while, the landscape opened up to a Saw Grass swamp. It would be easy to get lost out there since one mangrove swamp looks similar to the adjoining one.
We purchased stone crab claws at one of the local markets, and prepared dinner back at the boat. Stone Crab Claws, fries, salad and Key Lime pie on the boat … can’t get much better than that!
Tomorrow we plan to head to an anchorage in the Shark River, and then on to Marathon in the Keys weather permitting. As interesting as Everglade City is, the Keys call out our name.
Scenes from Everglade City
Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City
Everglades Air Boat Ride