Whatever Floats Your Boat

Taylor Bertin exits the mangrove forest on Wabasso Island to head back to the ELC’s kayak, canoe and paddleboard dock.


“We continued all day quietly gliding down Indian river, whose placid surface had remained unbroken for so many ages, by any other voyagers than the beautiful and timid duck, the dignified and unwieldy pelican, and occasionally an Indian in his light
canoe. In whose undisturbed and transparent waters the fishes had increased and multiplied, meeting no death but nature’s. The thickly wooded shores, wrapt in silence and solitude, displayed to the view all the various shades of colouring which the imagination could fancy; and many green and sunny islands, clothed in gay verdure, and diversified by the richest and most luxuriant foliage in this southern clime.”

That was an 1837 journal account by Jacob Motte, written during his travels as an army surgeon during the Second Seminole War. In the years since, the Indian River Lagoon has been altered and stressed, and yet it remains an inviting and tranquil setting, offering up a bounty of flora, fauna and unfettered beauty. When one ventures out into it by boat, modern life can sometimes seem miles or years away.

The best way to do that is by kayak or canoe, with little between yourself and the water. But there are also pontoon boat tours, for those who’d rather sit back and take it all in. Either way, you can’t help but come away with a better appreciation and understanding of this incredible natural asset that slices through our county. 

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