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Pelican Island Nwr Report

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Report By:  lynette422001    Date: 8/28/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 3 photos     Map & Directions: View

Sebastian Riverside Park has a boat launch, a canoe/kayak launch, clean restrooms, and a convenience store. There are also several restaurants near by, including my favorite, Captain Hirams. There are several paddling routes from which to choose.

My Report:

Trip report, the best trip ever

This trip began at 7pm on Friday, August 28 at Sebastian Riverside Park, Sebastian, Florida. Myself and 4 friends wanted to camp, explore, and paddle this area including the Pelican Island National Refuge.

We unloaded our gear after a brief rain shower and set off to find a campsite in the rapidly failing light. The sunset was spectacular. We could have ended the trip right there and gone home happy.

We chose the island nearest to the canoe/kayak launch area, about 1/2 mile. We camped on the east side. The tide was in and there was a wide sandy beach that would easily accomodate a group of 20. Our group of 5 had plenty of room. The bugs, miraculously , were few. Tents were rapidly set up in the remaining light and I went for a swim to cool off. The water glowed with the activity of bioluminescent microorganisms. Very dramatic. We built a small fire and had a light dinner before again launching our kayaks for a night paddle. We had a half moon and clouds however managed not to lose anyone in the dark.

At midnight, the shuttle was launched. The northern sky was filled with a diffuse yellow glow followed by the distinctive trail of the shuttle. Very, very fabulous.

I slept very well on my air mattress and flannel sheet and was not disturbed by bugs. My companions were not so lucky and were troubled by damaged and improperly set up tents.

Dawn came pink, gold, and blue the next morning and we were rewarded with glass-like paddling conditions on our trek south and east to Pelican Island. We actually missed it the first time, then found it easily approaching from the southeast. This actually falls in the category of being "lost" however with my unerring sense of direction we found this underwhelming spot with the addition of "only" 2 miles to our route. It was a fabulous paddle with great company including a 10 year old paddler who would put many adults to shame with her ability.

We made it back to the campsite just in time to pack up and paddle back to the park before the rain hit. We loaded gear (into cars) in the rain and it felt great. We were very hot and allowed our inner children to enjoy the rain. Lunch and libations at Captain Hiram's followed.

As always, know your limits, wear a PFD, and take a friend or two along for company. Sunscreen, bug repellant, nourishment , and generous fluids are always in order.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Pelican Island Nwr:    (Click image to view full size)

Spoil Island No Comm
Spoil Island

photo by Lise Champoux-Rhoden

Park Sign No Comm
Park Sign

photo by Lise Champoux-Rhoden

Fishing dock No Comm
Fishing dock

photo by Lise Champoux-Rhoden


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsCamping on spoil islands in this area is spectacular. They are scenic, roomy, and remarkably clean. See this link for more information

Post Date: 8/31/2009

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