Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Indian River

The Indian River
28 29.47 N 080 45.45 W

Florida's East Coast offers several styles of local scenery.

We already enjoyed the nature and the salt marshes of the Tolomato River between the Saint Johns River and Saint Augustine. The river offers long stretches where little or no trace of human habitation are visible.

From Matanzas Inlet south toward Daytona, we pass through a region where the east bank of the ICW is covered by tightly packed vacation homes. However, across from them on the west bank is a state park which offers some of the prettiest nature in the whole state. The pretty part is also salt marshes. However there are numerous small islands covered with trees. The fauna here transitions from temperate to semi-tropical as more and more palm trees are seen. The birds and dolphins and manatees all seem plentiful there. I envy the east bank people's view out of their windows. Just great.

Mosquito Lagoon is another magical place. It is like a big lake, but only 1-2 feet deep in most places, except for the dredged channel for the ICW. So called fish camps abound. These are trailer parks full of RVs which have water frontage. Presumably, most of the RV customers also bring boats they can take out fishing. I've been told that if you can find a small depression 3-4 feet deep in the lagoon, that it will be packed with fish. The fish love to hang around in those little holes. To the East, on the far bank of the lagoon is Canaveral National Seashore.

The Indian River by contrast is very populated. Both shores are developed by what appear to be year-round houses. The river is about 3-4 miles wide, and 120 miles long. It extends from just north of Titusville in the North to Lake Worth and Palm Beach to the South. We can find a secure anchorage every 5 miles or so. There are lots of fun places to visit, Titusville, NASA/Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Stuart. Only the stretch of the river near Melbourne has water deep enough for sailboats to do their thing. The rest of the river is too shallow for except in the dredged ICW channel.

South of Lake Worth, once comes to the urban hell of Boca/Lauderdale/Miami. There's not much there attractive to us. South of that, is Biscayne Bay which is delightful for sailing. South of Biscayne Bay, one comes to the Florida Keys.

We'll be spending a couple of months here up and down the Indian River. We expect to have fun.

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