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Trip report: December 2017

Marco Island... Paddling at Caxambas Pass

We launched from Caxambas Park, a 4-acre park on Marco Island, with boat ramp, ship store, and fishing along seawall. The park provides access to the northern Ten Thousand Islands and Gulf of Mexico. After days of paddling in the mangroves of the Everglades, this was an opportunity for us or us to enjoy some clear water and shelling along white sand shoreline, while watching birds and dolphins. (Detailed map and photos below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: Various
Location: Collier County
Difficulty:
Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Caxambas Park (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Marco Island (links, above right)
Nearby points of interest: Marco Island, Naples, The Everglades, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Look, but do not disturb birds on sandbars. Some sandbars are seasonally posted, as this is an important area for shore birds feeding and nesting nearby.
Cape Romano - from the northern tip of Dickmans Island, it is about a 4.5 mile straight paddle along island shoreline to the southern tip of Cape Romano. Famous for its (abandoned) concrete domed houses, this is a popular spot with sea kayakers and campers. Along the way, Kice Island is another popular paddling destination. This is only the beginning of paddling opportunities in the Ten Thousand Islands area.

Paddling at Marco Island
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
Caxambas Park Launch to Dickman's Island
Launching from the boat ramp at Caxambas Park, pay the small launch fee at the ship store. No dedicated hand-carry launch, but the paved boat ramp is extra wide, so there was plenty of room to launch our kayaks from the side, without interrupting the larger boats. We paddled across Caxambas Pass - past Henry Key, to Dickman's Island and its beach.
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Ship store and boat ramp Boat ramp at Caxambas Park Leaving the boat ramp. into the cove
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Lots of birds Crossing Caxambas Pass Past Henry Key Approaching Dickman's Island At Dickman's Island
Dickman's Island
We paddled around to the Gulf side of the island, enjoying its beach. It was hard to believe how close to the city we were.
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Rounding the island at Dickman's Point Along the beach Birds on the beach Looking out on the Gulf End of island, looking across channel at Kice Island
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Jet skiers On the beach  Good for shelling View of the Gulf This is a popular spot for kayakers
Dickman's Island back to Caxambas Park
We paddled back across Caxambas Pass to the seawall where 5-6 dolphin were chasing fish - paddling near them was a highlight.
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Heading back Tide was going out, sandbar in front of us
but able to paddle around
Along the seawall
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Many dolphin feeding along seawall on outgoing tide Back into the cove Toward Caxambas Park Returning to launch

See more: Paddling at Rookery Bay

More information on paddling at Marco Island (opens in a new window):

- Caxambas Boat Park and Marina

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