After lunch we still had about 4 ½ miles. As we cruised along the coast, the shore slowly transformed from muddy mangrove forest to sandy beaches. There was also a difference in wildlife. We saw things such as starfish, pelicans, sandpipers, plovers, and Liam and I are convinced to have seen a shark. Connor would disagree. Whatever it was, it swam right underneath our canoe and had a dorsal fin darker than that of a bottle-nosed dolphin. We arrived at our campsite a little after 2. The rest of the afternoon was spent rinsing off in the gulf and tossing frisbee. We had no real opportunity to do any washing the first two days of the trek in the stagnant brackish water, but the salt water is much cleaner.
After dinner, two rangers came cruising in with their motorboat to check for if we had a permit to camp. Ryan got our permit out, and the rangers were on their way. The sun went down and as we were sitting by the fire, a few of us heard noise and breathing like that of dolphin or whale. We walked down the beach and caught a glimpse of what looked like a whale. When we get back to Flamingo we will have to ask around and find out what we might have seen. New Years Eve here is much different than any other year, but I can’t say I have ever spent New Years on the beaches of Everglades National Park.