Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rockets, Dolphin, Manatee, and Planes

Vero Beach, Florida

Saturday morning, we finally got motivated enough to get up and do a morning kayak trip.  We had hoped to do some kayak diving and lobstering right from the beach, but the winds are blowing from the wrong direction and it’s still too choppy.

Well this morning, we finally got ambitious enough to go kayaking.  Actually, I think we finally felt guilty enough for not kayaking! 

Our intention was an early morning kayak, but in order to do that you have to get out of bed early!

We drove over to Wabasso Beach Causeway and got parked by around 8:00 am.  It was still early, but starting to get warm.  We  wanted to get there earlier to avoid the heat.

It was a beautiful morning though and even though it was a Saturday, the little park wasn’t full and we were able to park right in front of the launch area.  We did our good deeds and picked up a bunch of trash left by some previous visitors, ate our breakfast,  and then started to air up our kayaks.

Wabasso Beach Causeway boat launch

Wabasso Beach Causeway boat launch

If you remember, we sold our hard kayaks last spring and bought two new Sea Eagle Fast Track 385’s inflatable kayaks.   We had some trouble with the first two sets we ordered and Sea Eagle shipped us brand new ones.  These are the third pair we have had and we hadn’t even taken them out of the boxes yet.  By the time we got them, we were back home in Georgia, and were trying to get moved out for our home buyers. 

So, today was their maiden voyage.  They performed well and we are happy with them….so far.

The causeway where  we put the boats in, leads from the mainland,  to the barrier island.  It is not right on the Atlantic.   Since the surf is still pretty high, it was the only place we could kayak.  It’s nice and calm.

Map picture

The water is brackish (mix of salt and fresh) and not very clear.  The area is full of mangroves, which are where fish lay their eggs and the babies grow before heading out to sea.


Wabasso Beach Causeway paddle

When we started out, it was getting a little warm, but the smell of the ocean and soft breeze made it wonderful despite the heat.

We headed towards the mangroves looking for a little shade.

I happened to look up and noticed the most amazing thing.  I thought it was an airplane.  It looked red and had a very thick white contrail.

rocket launch off of Wabasso Causeway

It looked a lot more red than the picture shows.  As soon as Al saw it, he remembered they were supposed to launch a rocket this morning.  Yep, that’s what it was!  (rockets red glare?)

rocket launch off of Wabasso Causeway

rocket launch off of Wabasso Causeway

rocket contrails

We looked it up when we got home. Here is what it was.

GRAIL Launch Postponed Until Saturday   Space News   redOrbit2

The next paragraphs were copied from the internet.

The GRAIL mission consists of two twin spacecraft that are built to help scientists understand more about the structure of the lunar interior. The orbiters will ride aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II 7920H-10C rocket, NASA’s most powerful rocket.

Once in lunar orbit, the spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them. Regional gravitational differences on the moon are expected to expand and contract that distance. The twin orbiters will fly a circuitous route to lunar orbit taking 3.5 months and covering more than 2.5 million miles each.

It was the coolest thing to see it launch right in front of me, right over the water.

The contrails lasted for quite a while.  A minute or so after we saw it we heard the most unusual noises.  It sounded like lots of firecrackers in the distance.  We’ve heard sonic booms before from the shuttles, but this didn’t sound anything like that.  It went on for a minute or two.  (bombs bursting in air?)   We haven’t figured out what that noise was.

Well this day was just getting better and better.  The next thing we saw was a pretty yellow airplane flying up and down near shore.  Later, when he flew right over us, we found out he was a mosquito control plane and was dropping some sort of pellets.

mosquito control airplane

Then we saw a pod of Dolphin fishing.  Yep, this day keeps getting better!

dolphin fishing

Note the Dolphin by Al’s foot?

Al kayaking with dolphin

As we paddled along the mangroves, we saw lots of birds.

A Great Egret.




Anhinga up close



Jelly fish



We didn’t get a picture of the Manatee unfortunately.

manatee zone

Some huge houses along the water.

mangroves that have been cut down

Note how there are no mangroves in front of these houses?

mangroves cut down

It’s supposed to be illegal to cut mangroves.  They provide valuable nursery area for fish and protection from erosion and hurricanes.  If you have enough money, you can do whatever you like.

Wabasso Beach Causeway paddle




It was a wonderful morning kayaking and one of the most memorable we’ve ever had.  Soon it started getting too hot and we came back, planning on doing a late afternoon paddle.

Unfortunately, after we came home, had lunch and a short? nap, it was storming and so our afternoon paddle was out.

We intend to get up early (really this time) and go again tomorrow!

On the way home, we drove by the beach to confirm it was still too rough for beach diving.

wabasso beach surf

It was.

Yesterday we went down to Palm Beach and to the turtle sanctuary.  I’ll post some pictures later on that trip.

It was a very good day.


  1. What a fantastic day you had out on your kayaks! I guess it was worth putting up with the heat. Great photos!

  2. Wow, your day couldn't get much better than that! Glad you finally got to get the kayaks out - you were so fortunate to see so many things - especially that rocket!

  3. What a totally perfect day for you guys... and the photos were incredible! LOVED it all!!!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  4. I've been waiting to see some kayaking pics. What a great morning!

  5. great day for a kayak trip!!..some wonderful shots in the post!!!

  6. That has got to be just about the most perfect day ever.

  7. Sounds like you are really enjoying your new "life". We love your kayaking stories and pictures. Hope we can take our Sea Eagle out soon.

  8. Those are some fantastic adventures you are having... we sure enjoy riding along with you on your paddle. And we didn't even have to get wet! LOL

    As for the mangroves, we even have rules along our little river to not be able to cut anything thicker than a thumb within so many feet of the river, to retain the banks and wildlife and wetlands. Shame on those big house owners!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  9. What kind of camera do you take kayaking with you? It takes great shots.

    When do the manatees start coming inland?



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