Posts Tagged ‘kayakers’

On day two, Missy and I kayaked the Indian River.  The Indian River is not mentioned in any of my guide books, and chances are, it is due to the fact that it is an estuary—where the salt and fresh water mix—rather than a fresh water river.  Because the sea life is so rich and plentiful in the Indian River, it was named Estuary of Natural Significance.  The Indian River runs 156 miles from the Ponce de Leon Inlet in Volusia County to the Jupiter Inlet. (EcoGuide Volusia)

Mangroves on the Indian River

Paddling on the Indian River was significantly different from paddling on the Wekiva.  Rather than a narrow river canopied with various flora, the Indian River was wide and open with mangroves and mounds of shells.  We began by putting in by J.B.’s Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach where a daily fishing boat goes out to catch the special of the day.  People harvest clams, mussels, and oysters in this area.  We paddled along the shoreline, and watched as dolphins played around us, an occasional manatee bobbed his nose out of the water, and the pelicans sat atop of the posts.  We ventured into the area around the mangroves.  The flora included grasses and ferns, and we saw ibis, and egrets—including a great white—resting in the trees.   

The river ran deep and then suddenly shallow, and a couple times we had to push the kayak off a sand bar.  It was actually refreshing to walk through the water.  When we neared the mangroves and looked into the water, we saw masses of shells from oysters, clams, and mussels, and we were happy we had worn something on our feet!   

We ended the day with a late lunch at J.B.’s.

(Outfitter: J.B.’s Lagoon Adventures at J.B.’s Fish Camp. 859 Pompano Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. https://jbslagoonadventures.com/. (386) 427-5023)

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How delightful to spend a day paddling one of the prettiest rivers in Florida, the Wekiva River.  Wekiva means “flowing water,” and Boning explains that it is the only Florida river to receive the recognition of a Wild and Scenic River at both the state and federal level.

Paddling the Wekiva River

I paddled the Wekiva with my sister, Missy.  Our experience was wonderful.  We put in at the Wekiva Marina late morning and paddled north for two to three miles on a quiet little river canopied with vegetation. We did not see a lot of wild life, (except the teenagers that appeared later in the day), most likely because we paddled on a Saturday, and by the end of our day, the river bustled with kayakers and canoers.  We did see egrets, a great blue heron, and a few other species that we were unable to identify.  Turtles sunned themselves on logs.  Beautiful lilies and deadly water hemlock (it resembles Queen Anne’s lace) encroached the waterway, giving us only a narrow passage in some parts of the river.  Oak, cypress, and cabbage palms decorated the banks.  Below us, golden eel grass swayed with the clear current.

Someday, I would love to return to this river to continue the paddle!  We did not paddle the south end from the Wekiva Marina to King’s Landing which according to Huff is considered the most scenic part of the Wekiva–what she describes as the “paddler’s dream.”

(Outfitter: Wekiva Marina. Wekiva Island. 1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, FL 32779. https://www.wekivaisland.com/water-rentals/. (407) 862-1500)

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