Day 4
Graveyard to NorthWest Cape
12 miles
page4-day4 copy

We head out of camp by about 9 and since the winds are low, we take a straight line course across the large Shark River Bay. If it was windy, this Bay could be very dangerous with large waves. At this point in our trip we are about 40 mlles from the closest settlement! We head south towards Cape Sable, the winds pick up strongly from the south. We know this will be a problem as we head towards the open waters around the Cape. By about 1 pm we get to the bottom of Florida, Cape Sable and must turn east to round the Cape. Naturally, by this time, the wind is gusting to 20 from the east. As we turn directly into the wind and try to move through the crashing waves, it becomes like a roller coaster, riding the swells up and down. I really am not too worried about the waves as I can easily keep my kayak pointed straight into the waves to avoid problems. The trick comes in finally picking a place to beach with the waves rolling toward shore. As we land at out camping spot, I get to the beach and only have one wave break onto the kayak cockpit.


The Northwest Cape Sable Camp is my favorite spot to camp. Long stretches of lonely and very pretty beaches. The beach width in this location is wider than any we have seen. It is easy to pick a spot to place our tents. It is a challenge, setting up a tent in gusty 20 mph winds. As I am setting up the tent, I move a piece of dead wood away from where one of my stakes must go, and realize I have a sticker in my finger. As I brush it away, it doesn't move and I see, instead, a humongous ant, securely attached to my finger. When I finally dislodge it, it take s hunk of my skin with it to eat. Now, I notice that the dead wood I had moved, is actually an ant nest. I made peace with the ants and promised to not bother them again. They eventually settled down and it was not a problem. I did not want to try to move the tent in the strong winds we were getting. About 2 hours after we setup camp, our Michigan friends arrive and make camp about 1/2 mile west of us. They had an even tougher time than we did, because there later start meant they paddled more hours directly into the wind.


This beach location has a clean, firm bottom making it easier to get into the water. I had brought a 6X6 tarp that turns out to be a good camp aide. We stretch it our on the beach and can use it as a kitchen or staging area to keep sand and muck off of things.


Again, it is easy to find lots of drift wood for a fire. We listen to the VHF radio for the weather forecast. It tells us that the winds will build during the next day and swing again from the east. I DO NOT want to risk battling the strong winds and waves as we continue around the Cape but luckily there is an option. We can duck into Lake Ingraham, which is about 1/2 mile inland and makes a diagonal cut across the Cape, coming out just a few miles west of our next campsite! We talk over the plan with the other group and both decide this is the plan for the next day.

Next Day