So this has to be one of my favorite paddles in the Bay Area. It is very challenging and if the weather holds true, very rewarding. It definitely helps to surround yourself with like minded people that like to push themselves and don’t start complaining when the weather turns and things get dicey. The weather… well, that is what makes this paddle so interesting. Egmont Island is located a few miles off shore from Ft. Desoto Park. It is across the Tampa Bay Channel (an extremely busy shipping channel servicing the entire Tampa Bay area.) Egmont is actually smack dab in the middle of said shipping channel. It is also the midway point between Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Island to the south. Those of us that live in the area know, to get there involves a trip across the Skyway Bridge; for some perspective.
So, forgetting all about that shipping channel for a second leaves us with one major concern when trying to orchestrate this paddle. The weather. I assure you, when it is not cooperating, it makes for a long day. So for those reading this that feel inspired, please feel inspired to seek out good skilled company and have a plan. This is not a ‘hey ill just paddle over there’ kind of trip. Please treat this channel and surrounding water with some respect because if you do not, it will give you the same in return.
Ok, so back to why I love this paddle so much. Once you have done it, you realize that it is an accomplishment. Its not like climbing THE mountain, but it is like climbing A mountain you always wanted to climb. There is definitely a sense of “I just did that” that comes with this paddle. There is also the untapped, mostly unadulterated nature found on and in the waters surrounding this island. The remains of a once glorious Military Fort, now taken over by salt and sea. The effects of time and what seems like an absence of it. It all blends together so symmetrically to give the impression you have transported somewhere else entirely. When the tide is right, there is also great visibility in the water for doing some free diving. I always look forward to the next run.
Song: Raise Some Hell Artist: The Dirty River Boys
Please head over to iTunes and purchase this song : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/raise-some-hell/id554409803?i=554409880