Islamorada, Florida, USA
November 18-20, 2012
Quality rating for DIY (do it yourselfers): *** – 3 stars out of 5 stars
Islamorada is one of the Florida keys and sits just 90 minutes south of Miami International Airport
Its easy to navigate yourself in a rental car from the airport,with quick access to the Florida turnpike which will take you south to Islamorada and the Keys (see photo of map below)
Public access to Kitesurfing is available at Whale Harbour in Islamorada via a small and somewhat rocky beach. Another nearby launch spot is available further south in Islamorada at Anne’s Beach which is also public access.
What makes Islamorada special is the miles and miles of flats which offer waist deep water for a long way out from the beach
Not so good in the keys is the predominant private property and gated beach areas .
If you get the prevailing Northeast winds all will be good at most launch sites.
If you get a Northwest wind system you may have a tough time finding a suitable launch site or kiteable waters.
Arrived at Miami International airport Sunday, November 19th 2:30 pm on a flight from Toronto
Rented a car from Hertz at the airport and drove to Islamorada. Upon leaving the airport take highway 836 west over to the Florida turnpike southbound. The Florida Turnpike ends in Florida City where it connects to highway 1 southbound which will take you directly to Islamorada. Next to the main launch site in Islamorada at whale Harbour is the Chesapeake Resort which you can stay at for $170 a night. The Chesapeake resort does not have a launch spot for kiters but is oceanfront with a great view of the Islamorada flats. The resort has a hot tub for après kite relaxing and a couple ofswmim pools. Although you will pay a $18 daily resort fee for Internet access, also included is a waterspouts hut with kayaks and bicycles for guest use. Islamorada and all the Florida keys are bicycle friendly with many available bicycle paths for use on those non wind days. The whale Harbour launch site is also home to 7 kiteboarding which operates kite safaris and downwinders out of this location. Anne’s beach is 10 minutes south of Whale Harbour and the second parking lot furthest south has the better launch spot at high tide via a 75 metre beach ( see photo’s below). Islamorada has several restaurants and bars and hotel options. I like Chesapeake since it is directly beside Whale Harbour, the downside is they have no kite launch options on the resort
No wind days can be filled with fishing, as Whale Harbour also is a Marina with dozens of 40 foot fishing boats available to charter. Personally I would bring my fly fishing rod along since Anne’s beach at high tide has some awesome fishing options.