Saturday, January 24, 2009

Islamorada Chamber of Commerce Video

Want some fun ideas for your visit? Watch this video from Judy Hull of the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kayak Adventures

I received my favorite type of phone call the other evening from our friend Captain Rick Floyd of Island Hoppers Kayaking. It was an invitation to go on a kayak adventure near East Cape.

Rick is an example of a new breed of guides in Islamorada and the Florida Keys who specialize in kayak tours. In this case it was an advanced eco-tour that combined kayaking with fishing and site-seeing in the remote, unforgiving areas of the park.

Rick arrived at the boat ramp with four specialized kayaks (that allow stand-up paddling & fishing) lashed to his boat and we sped off across Florida Bay towards East Cape channel. Once there we secured the boat, unloaded the kayaks and headed into the swampy wilderness of Everglades National Park. He timed it perfect with the incoming tide so paddling was easy.

We saw numerous exotic creatures including the elusive Roseate Spoonbill, White Pelicans, Wood Storks, Herons, alligators, crocodiles, sharks and much more... all up close and personal. It was like being in a tarzan movie. As far as fishing, we were sight-casting with jigs for Redfish and Snook. What a blast!

Rick and other kayak guides offer a variety of trips from easy sunset paddles for beginners to advanced everglades adventures. It's a beautiful and unique experience. You can reach Rick at 305-345-1908.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cheeca Lodge Burns!

A New Years Eve blaze gutted the main building at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada last night. Eighty firefighter and rescue crews from as far away as Miami battled the flames late into the night. 

Although the fire was quickly brought under control, firefighters were still shooting water all over on the smoldering roof through midday January 1st. It looks to me like the main building (which houses the restaurants, administrative offices, front desk, and a huge block of rooms) was extensively damaged, if not totally lost.

All guests were evacuated and relocated to other hotels with no injuries reported at this point. Cheeca is closed indefinitely.