In the mouth of Tampa Bay, Southwest of Fort Desoto, lyes Egmont key.
enjoyed kayaking here when the gulf is flat. The island is exotic and
has ruins that
make the Island even more interesting. You can snorkel or dive in the
western part (Bottom of pic) or take a walk through an old brick road
in the middle of the Island. There are places where you can dive on the
NW and SW part of the Island. But be careful where you walk. Some of the
beach is offlimits due to occurring wildlife. On the NE part of the island
is a lighthouse that has stood since 1858. There is also a brick road
through the middle of the island, a Wild Life refuge, and a Shore Bird
During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles
end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy
Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish American War threatened, Fort Dade
was built on
the island and remained active until 1923.
The paddle is about an hour
and is around 1 mile. You can launch from the pier
(near the tower) or you can take the ferry. Boats will leave Fort DeSoto
9:00 AM until 12:30 PM on a regular schedule. Follow the Egmont Ferry
you are on Ft. Desoto Beach.
The turtles are friendly...
The viability wasn't that great
but we dived around some of the ruins on
the west side of the Island.
Watch where you step! These
gopher Turtles are not afraid to walk in front of you on their turf. They
may even eat your camera....
A beautiful Island, you might
forget your in the middle of Tampa Bay..
This photo below looks more like the keys ...
Red tide seemed to be moderate
when we went on 8/21/05.
Not bad over all, seemed to be worse on the East side facing the bay.
No doubt the west side of Egmont
gets surf, I've heard stories of people scoring some real sick waves here.
If you are kayaking from Ft.
Desoto, watch for these huge tankers that frequent the pass. You might
catch a wave off the wake. The pass is 90' deep and on low tide can send
crushing waves on the sand bars near this 90' deep drop in the ocean.
Some say it gets sharky here.