Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Kayaking in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are basically small spits of land connected by bridges on the Overseas Highway. Surrounding you is the water of ocean and bay, but it’s hard to get too far off the beaten track on land. No Name Key off of Big Pine Key is arguably the most remote section of the Upper Keys. The best to way to see the island is from the seat of a sea kayak with Bill Keogh as your guide. For 18 years, Keogh, owner of Big Pine Kayak Adventures, has led paddlers across the channel and into the mangroves of No Name Key. Within moments of my stepmom, Ginny, and I paddling on the calm waters, we would spot the swift frigate birds, tricolored and green herons, and kingfishers. Then we were following Bill and his dog Scudder through a narrow tunnel of mangroves, pulling roots to move us forward. We would soon reach a large salt pond where we would spot numerous upside-down jellyfish in the clear waters. It was just us and the great white egrets in this serene locale. After breathing in our fair share of salty air, we would go back through the sinuous waterway in the mangroves, flowing with the current, and wishing it would never end.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.