Day 6-Feb. 6, 2018
Since the tide was lowering in an already shallow anchorage, we set off quickly in the morning to make our way to Shark River Island. Shark River would be the most remote area we had visited yet. The nearest hint of civilization is Flamingo, which lies over 20 nautical miles away. While the sailing was mostly fair, we did hit some gusty weather on the way in, but overall we had great luck with lots of sun and steady wind. Matt even threw out the line for the first time as we sailed. We caught two Blue Fish and a Spanish Mackerel. Both were pretty small, so we decided not to keep them, but the fight was definitely enjoyable and they were lovely to admire.
When we finally arrived at Shark River Island, we were impressed by its tranquil beauty. The river averages over 6 feet deep, making it easy for boats like ours to find the perfect anchorage right along the river's shores. We stopped in a spot next to where the river empties into the gulf. All around us were the twisting roots of ancient Mangroves, some as high as 25 feet. No land was visible to us, only the mangroves. It felt truly primordial to be in such a place, as one can only imagine that this was what much of Florida looked like before people. Even the sounds were wonderfully prehistoric. Only the sounds of giant breaching Tarpon and the alien calls of mysterious birds broke the dense silence. It was something ancient and truly magical.
Since it had been a long day of sailing, Matt and I decided to stay on the boat and enjoy the serenity of the area. We took the opportunity to catch up on some work and admire the stars. The area was so devoid of any light pollution, that the bands of the Milky Way were distinct in the sky.