Tag Archives: Everglades

Doi Nomazi

By Vladimir Brezina

Doi NomaziIt was late December 2013, on the first day of one of our shakedown paddles through the Florida Everglades in preparation for the 2014 Everglades Challenge. We had just landed on the muddy beach behind the Everglades City ranger station to get our permits for camping in the Everglades.

As Johna tells it, “as we headed inland I caught sight of a couple of figures—a man and a woman—dressed identically in Army-green T-shirts and black pants. The woman was wheeling a loaded barrow, and I took them for park rangers.

But Vlad stopped and said to the man, ‘I know you! We’re friends on Facebook!'”

The couple were Doi Nomazi (“Two Nomads”), Adrian and Mihaela, a Romanian husband-and-wife adventure team. Even though they too are based in New York, we’d never met before, and this was the only time we have crossed paths so far.

Like us, they were on a kayak expedition in the Everglades over the holidays—but they were sailing, rather than merely paddling, their black U-boat, a double Long Haul folding kayak.

Later, back in New York, I looked to see how their trip had gone, and found that they had produced an enchanting 86-minute “video diary” of their adventure, entitled “Echoes of the Eskampaba—2013”.

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“Echoes of the Eskampaba” remains my favorite among their videos, perhaps because it features many of the places in the Everglades that we, too, visited on our trip (such as the lovely but mosquito-plagued Highland Beach, where Doi Nomazi camped a few days after us).

But that’s just one of their videos. There are now 28 of them. Once or twice a year, on their vacation, Doi Nomazi visit some fascinating, remote corner of the world. The resulting video is as well-produced as any commercial movie, and more watchable that most. (It’s perhaps not surprising to find that Adrian has a rich resumé as a journalist, cameraman, and film producer and director.) In addition to the Everglades, Doi Nomazi have paddled in the Black Sea, in the Gwaii Haanas of British Columbia, in Greenland, in Alaska’s Glacier Bay… And it’s not all paddling, either: they have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, driven through the back country of Africa and Australia

Here is their latest video, from Glacier Bay:

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Doi Nomazi say that “we have no special training, we are not athletes and we are not seeking any records.” Perhaps not, but their thirst for nature and adventure, and their willingness to endure the inevitable discomforts and hardships, are extraordinary. An inspiration to us all!

Travel Theme: Freedom

By Vladimir Brezina

Ready for adventure!
(Full story of that day in the Florida Everglades is here.)

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Freedom.

Travel Theme: Numbers

By Vladimir Brezina

Sometimes, kayak navigation is just a matter of following the numbers—

Paddling by numbers 1
Paddling by numbers 2
Paddling by numbers 3
Paddling by numbers 4
Paddling by numbers 5

A contribution to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge, Numbers.

Everglades Challenge, Reflections: What Worked, What Didn’t

By Johna Till Johnson and Vladimir Brezina
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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The day after: Johna and Cynthia trying to take apart Johna’s stuck paddle…

“You should write down what worked, and what didn’t,” DolphinGal advised us when she was doing our gear check the day before the start of the Everglades Challenge. So, a tip of the hat to DolphinGal (who has a pretty impressive story of her own to tell about what worked, and what didn’t, in her Everglades Challenge, some years back).

Here’s what we wrote down…

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Everglades Challenge, Segment 6: Flamingo to Key Largo

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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Last few miles

Start: Checkpoint 3, Flamingo, Saturday, March 8,  7:30 AM.
Finish: Race finish, Bay Cove Motel, Key Largo, Saturday, March 8, 9:10 PM.
Distance: 31 nautical miles (36 land miles).
Paddling time: 12.5 hours.
Rest time: About 1 hour.
Average paddling speed: 2.5 knots.

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Everglades Challenge, Segment 5: Highland Beach to Flamingo

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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Through Broad Creek

Start: Highland Beach, Thursday, March 6, about 10 AM.
Finish: Checkpoint 3, Flamingo, Friday, March 7, 11:05 AM.
Distance: 39 nautical miles (45 land miles).
Paddling time: 20 hours.
Stopped time: 5 hours.
Average paddling speed: 2.0 knots.

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Everglades Challenge, Segment 4: Indian Key to Highland Beach

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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Across Chokoloskee Bay

Start: Indian Key, Ten Thousand Islands, Wednesday, March 5, 2 AM.
Finish: Highland Beach, Thursday, March 6, 3:30 AM.
Distance: 40 nautical miles (46 land miles).
Paddling time: 19 hours.
Stopped time (Chokoloskee, Everglades City…): 6.5 hours.
Average paddling speed: 2.1 knots.

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