At the bottom of Florida is the 1.5 million sq/mi Everglades National Park. Many people anchor at the Shark River on their way from Marco (and points North) and the Keys. The Park has a marina at Flamingo that would make a good alternative. There was not any current information about the marina, rather than rely on “Looper Folklore”, on 27 January 2015 I drove to Flamingo and spoke to “Flamingo Rick” the marina manager.
The channel from the west coast is well marked and has a minimum of 6′ of water. Rick says there is a 45′ boat that comes in about every other week without a problem. The largest boat was a 70′. As always, stay between
the markers. When you come into the marina, the basin is on the Port Side. You will find gators sunning themselves on the Starboard side bank.
There are 32 slips in the marina. Water depth is min of 5.5 at mean low tide (there is a 3′ tide swing). 5 of the slips are wall ties, there are 6 floating docks that will hold a 30-40′ boat. There is also a T head that would hold a 40′ cat. Each slip has one 30amp marine outlet, and one 20amp house outlet and water.
Diesel fuel was $4.05 and gas was $5.15 the day I was there.
Cost is $2/ft/night, that includes electric, a pump out and water.
There are cold showers at $3 each. Solar showers at $2 each are 1/4 mile away at the camp ground. No laundry.
There is a pretty well stocked store with small boat parts, food, beer, fishing gear, etc. For being in a remote location they had pretty decent prices. (Beer was only $1 more a 12 pack than what I pay in Tavernier.)
A cafe is on site, open from 11-7 November – April. It’s the normal burgers, chicken sandwiches, etc.
There are guide tours of the “backwater” and Florida Bay areas at $30 per person for a 90 minute tour.
There is a canal from the Marina into Coot Bay. You will need to portage your dink / kayak / canoe past the dam (“The Plug”) to get into the Canal.
Since the park is pretty flat you can bike around. Note that the park is huge, it’s a 30 mile ride from Flamingo to the main gate. Based on the trailers in the parking lot the big usage is to launch / retrieve boats that fish in the Bay.
“Flamingo Rick”‘s personal cell phone is 239-595-9927. Due to some level of infighting between the NPS and the Marina, marina staff does not answer the NPS land line. Cell coverage is very spotty, only ATT seemed to work.
This is a place that I would stay at. It’s clean, has OK facilities, good location to see part of the park.
Foster and Susan
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Flamingo Marina