Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Return To Oz...OZELLO, FLORIDA
(The ramp at Ozello...very basic)
Last week, before the big family fandango reunion, Jr. and I slipped away to explore a tiny coastal community named Ozello. Previously we had driven down the twisty, turny "mountain" road that snakes from the clutter of Highway 19 to the edge of the Gulf. The two lane road slithers through clusters of palm islands set in a vast spartina marsh and the drive alone is worthy of a visit, but we are aquatic and this time we planned to get wet.
When you read any article about fishing or boating around Ozello, the one consistent theme is the area's shallow rocky bottom and it's negative impact on any type of propeller...that and the fact that there's a maze of tiny keys and little in the way of channel markers.
So we came by canoe to scout the area and make decisions about possibly bringing the boat.
We launched at the single lane boat ramp (there's a steep drop at the end of the ramp...beware) and paddled out over a clear outgoing tide. The water was absolutely beautiful and for most of the morning we were accompanied by a momma dolphin and her tiny newborn.
With the clear water, rocky islands, and red mangroves, it really felt like we were paddling down on the Gulf (west) side of the real Florida Keys.
Posted by R.Powers at 9:50 AM