Sunrise paddles – difficult for those who (like us) are NOT morning people…. LOL but oh so worth it! We so enjoyed saying good morning to the sun as we paddled and explored the Western section of Downtown Stuart via waterway.
It is not rare in Florida to have beautiful days, however today was perfect. The weather was not too hot, with a slight breeze making it a wonderful 80ish degrees. The water was glassy flat as we paddled around a red mangrove island. When we reached our mid-paddle break we even got to see a couple manatees pop their noses and tails out of the water. They were following the current North, so they quickly passed us so, sadly, they did not have time to be curious about us. It was cool to see them in their natural habitat tho. We also could hear and see numerous birds in the area as they all scoured the waters for their lunch. It was a great day.
Enjoy the photos! Click each one to see full size.
We decided to visit a local park that is not often visited by paddle boards due to the low hanging trees and large reptiles. ? Nothing could keep us away tho as this is one of the most beautiful places to paddle. Here are some photos of our 4 meddle round trip.
Meredyth took out a mom and son for a morning of sandbar hopping! Thankfully they were able to have a lot of fun before the thunder and lightning entered the area and made them come back to shore. (We do not play with lightning at all! If it is within 15 miles, we head to land or do not go out at all – depending on where we are at the time)
This morning we had a blast exploring the waterways specifically for Sea Stars! We found SO MANY! Such a relaxing way to spend an hour or so in the morning. The time just flew by! We also were able to find a HUGE Cassiopeia (Upside Down Jellfish). The upside down jellyfish’s stinging cells are produced in a mucus that is released into the water when disturbed from the bottom. As long as you do not disturb them too much they will not release the toxin filled mucus. Even if they do release the toxic mucus, it’s not so toxic. The sting is very mild and most people don’t even feel it. So, of course, we had to take the chance to see it a bit more up-close. We also found a Green Heron bird nest with 3 babies. They were so fuzzy and cute!!
Our World Oceans Day Sunrise Paddle on June 8, 2019 was a complete success! We greeted the sun and were rewarded with so many nature finds – it was amazing! From a HUGE “Red Hairy” crab that had taken over a Lightning Whelk shell to a baby (teenager) manatee who was pretty curious, we could not have been happier with how we started our day.
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King/Queen of the Board
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It was such a beautiful morning! The water was a bit chilly when we first stepped our toes in it to get onto our boards, but the sun very quickly warmed us up. I warned the girls that the nice breeze that we were feeling was going to give us a slight “boot-camp” workout on the way back. They laughed, but later understood. =)
We glided into the Manatee Pocket and found the waters to be calm and peaceful – providing an awesome reflection of us as we paddled. We searched the entire pocket for manatees, but today we found none. We found Pelicans, Egrets and Cone Jellys (awesome bioluminescent jellyfish that you can pick up, if you can catch them, and they glow in shades of blues and greens). There were a ton of fish always jumping around within feet of our boards.
The highlight of the tour was a tie for me, from the awesome Mangrove Tunnel – that I cannot get enough of, all the way to the awesome team building that the girls did! They were SUP-er Stars with that! They even managed to get all 4 to criss-cross their boards (see photos for this part) and not fall in! Only about half of everyone who tries it can do it without getting wet.
I hope everyone enjoyed their morning on the water!
We love perfect paddle boarding weather. We were happy to take out 2 different groups of newbies!! I love newbies. I love helping someone try a new activity and realize just how easy and fun this low impact sport can be. EVERYONE did amazing! Not one in our group fell during the entire lesson! The only splashes were later in the tours – either surfing a boat wake or while participating in a team building activity. Thank you so much to everyone who came out. Enjoy the photos! ~ Florida Girl Leisa
We had such a Sunday Early Funday! We followed Dolphins both going out and coming back from our tour, which was pretty cool. We love seeing them in the Manatee Pocket, because it shows how healthy our water is there now! Dolphins know where the good fish are and where they can get clean water, and they were all throughout the Manatee Pocket on that Sunday. Very encouraging to see. We also found Comb Jellies to play with! We all got to see them glowing their greens and blues as they swam alongside us. We didn’t attempt to pick any up tho, as we know that they are very delicate. Once again the manatees evaded us on this adventure – hopefully we will see them next time!
It was so chilly when we started out! All bundled up in double pants, long sleeves and jackets, we set out to explore nature. As we headed out and throughout the paddle, we encountered so many birds! Ibis, Great Blue Herons, Night Herons, Ospreys & Limpkins. It was beautiful to see them at every turn.
The trees were tall and housed many a spider, who spun their webs above our heads. At times we needed to duck down slightly, just to make sure we would not get a face full of web!
We wandered down the watery trail, up to the first dam. the water was low, so instead of paddling the boards over top of the dam, we instead hoisted ourselves onto the pathway to the side and carried our boards over. Thankfully the wooded pathway is not slippery, as you would expect. Once past the dam, the water moves very fast, giving us a sense of rapids – Florida Style. We only had to steer our boards, in order to avoid the roots popping up everywhere, breaking through the water. At times, the roots would be just below the surface of the water…. just low enough for them to be out of sight, but high enough to grab our boards and spin us around, threatening to throw us into the cold water and scrambling to get back on – knowing something is always on the floor bottom looking up at our toes. At this point, most of us opted to be on our knees, which proved to be a much safer option, and did not overturn any of us.
At the turn-around point we were surrounded by Cypress Knees. They looked like people, all congregated on the water banks, as if they knew something we didn’t. We made sure to take photos of their meeting. Watching us at this point was a curious Kingfisher. He would jump from branch to branch, following us, making shrill noises. He stopped in time for us to include him in a photo we took of a tree branch masquerading as an octopus.
Almost back to the launch spot at Picnic Island, we were talking about the past 2 hours and the nature we had seen. We were surprised we had not seen any alligators, especially due to the cooler weather we had as we started out. At this point, jackets and long sleeves had been abandoned, and the rays of the sun were beating down just enough to keep us warm and comfortable. Perfect gator weather, when about 40 feet in front of us a large-ish alligator, about 7-8 feet long, decided to swim across our watery path. We all paddled towards the reptile, as we were head that way anyways, and were able to watch as he slowly disappeared under the surface. Leaving all of us wondering who was paddling on top of him. We waited an appropriate amount of time to see if he would resurface and let us see him, but we think he knew that and he stayed safely on the sandy floor of the river.
All in all, this adventure was definitely one we would like to repeat over and over again. Not a paddle for beginners, but definitely for those who have been taught already and would like to venture into the green wild of Riverbend Park.
As the sun began its nighttime bedtime ritual, the warmth of the day began to fade. The winds had picked up and made it very rough on the East side of Sandsprit Park – leaving us no choice but to change our paddling direction into the Manatee Pocket. This was the much calmer choice vs the small whitecaps that were being thrown about on the East side towards the St Lucie Inlet. Especially since we had a couple beginners in our group.
The Pocket was calm and beautiful as the skies changed from light to dark blue. We paddled around sailboats and tried not to interrupt the many birds who were taking their place in their roosts for the night. It was beautiful to be among them as they glided above the water into the trees.
That’s the best way to describe the paddle we had. Oh wait… add the word perfect. It really was. We had everything (except the supermoon) on this paddle. It was cloudy and the rain lightly drizzled half the time we were out. The water was very calm and glass-like as we glided on top of the water. Fish were jumping and birds were everywhere. It was so peaceful.
One of our paddlers, Susan, we have dubbed “The Dolphin Whisperer” as she had told us about her previous dolphin encounters on these same waters. She lived up to her name as it seemed the dolphins were drawn to her, even coming within inches to her paddle board. We all got to paddle alongside the dolphins for about 15 minutes – ooh-ing and ah-ing the whole time.
We circled a couple islands and then went back to the 1st island just east of Sandsprit park. When we had passed it the first time, it was like a mini bird sanctuary, as black birds had taken up every available space. By the time we came back, they had all left in a large cloud like formation. There was a small beach available for us to “park” our boards, which we did, and then we hung out at the island and waited to see if the moon would peek through the clouds. We caught hermit crabs and followed a stingray and a sheepshead as we waded through the shallow waters just off the beach area. There was a beautiful feel to the air and we were all happy to relax and destress on the island for a while.
Finally, after 2 hours, we decided the moon was just not going to make an appearance that night, so with our flashlights mounted to our heads and arms, we headed back to the park. Everyone was relaxed and full of smiles as we ended our adventure.
Here are the photos we could capture in the darkened skies of the evening.
We had such a great time during our sunset paddle! It was beautiful outside and the water was very smooth. The mullet-run has begun! We could see them everywhere! I got to see a manta ray jump out of the water and was mildly devastated I didnt get it on camera. Our customer Keith came out with us and paddled the Hovie SUP Nomad 12’6 displacement hull board that he had purchased from us earlier in the day. He was FAST! The rest of us just enjoyed our glide on the water and took in the beautiful sunset that was playing hide-and-seek with the storm clouds to our west. Enjoy the photos we have from that evening!
We had such a great time during this sunset paddle. The views were amazing and the company was great. Everyone was trying to learn different paddling techniques and tricks. The kids played King of the Board (or in this case “Queen of the Board”) and tried different team building activities.
We were out for a little over an hour and it was perfect timing for both a workout and fun family activity. We saw a stingray, a bunch of fish and a bunch of birds heading home for the night.
Let us know when we can schedule YOUR paddle boarding adventure! Call us @ 772-205-6920