Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mosquito Lagoon Supplemental

Whoops, I posted that last blog before getting to the heart of the story.

Two years ago we met with the family for a glorious week at Disney World in Orlando. The kids weren't the only ones who had a great time. We all did.

Before heading back north we had one mission to accomplish after Disney. Many in the family had never seen the ocean. Therefore, we set out to find the nearest nice beach. That happened to be Canaveral National Seashore, south of New Smyrna. We drove 10 miles or so south of the city, seeing nothing but sand dunes on the ocean side. Finally we stopped at a parking area and walked over the dunes to the beach.

The beach lived up to expectations. It was spectacular nature. It was unspoiled. There were very few people and no buildings in sight. The waves pounded in from the sea, showing the green underbelly of the waves, then the brown soup as it churned the sand. Sand Pipers skitted along the water line. There were shells and sea creatures to find. Pelicans in patrol formation glided up and down the dune ridge. The water was a little too cold for swimming, but we were able to wade in the surf up to our knees. Everyone loved it.

Returning to the car, we spotted signs for another trail on the other side of the road. This trail led away from the ocean. We decided to follow the trail just for adventure. It was great. Under the canopy of the palms, it was a jungle-like environment, (except dry and sandy rather than wet and muddy). The plants and creatures very all very exotic for those in the family who had never seen more than Vermont and New York, or for those who came from Alaska.

The trail ended after a mile or so at the shores of a big lake called Mosquito Lagoon. We watched the fish jumping, and the kids had a ball finding the abandoned shells of horseshoe crabs. Those shells look like monster things to small kids. The lagoon was pretty still and we could see fish jumping from a long distance away. That is the same Mosquito Lagoon that we are sailing through today. It is a lake about 5 miles wide by 20 miles long. Excepted for the dredged channel for the ICW, it is only 2-5 feet deep everywhere. It is dotted with countless tiny islands. They say that it is a fisherman's paradise, and that the fish tend to gather in pools where the water is one foot deeper than average.

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