Sights along Florida’s ICW: St. Augustine to Vero Beach

We left St. Augustine (STM 778) early on Friday morning, knowing that we would have 3 long traveling days ahead of us in order to reach Vero Beach (STM 952)  – 174 statute miles on the ICW or 151 nautical miles. It was three long, tiring days without much to see or do; and yet somehow I did manage to take some photos.

There were curiosities along the way:

Award for most decorative fixed bridge supports, somewhere around Daytona?

Award for most decorative fixed bridge supports, somewhere around Daytona? That’s all tiles, not paint!

This tug was docked right on the ICW in a residential area. Notice the artwork – I do believe that may be the Pink Panther???

This tug was docked right on the ICW in a residential area. Notice the artwork – I do believe that may be the Pink Panther???

This half sunken sailboat with a structure on top was right off the ICW – ActionTeamFamily You Tube. ???  Of course I googled it to find out the story.  I found two videos by a family, mostly of their children -“an introduction to the action team family our boat and our mission check it out!”  Both videos end with a request for donations to support their “environmental life style.” Hmmm, still not sure about this.

ActionTeam Family You Tube

ActionTeam Family You Tube……. ?

A US flag marks a crab pot. Perhaps there is a reason, but I really did not think that is an appropriate place for our flag.

A US flag marks a crab pot. Perhaps there is a reason, but I really did not think that is an appropriate place for our flag.

Some folks are ready for Christmas even though isn’t even Thanksgiving.

Decked out for the holidays!

Decked out for the holidays!

We were in manatee waters now, and eagerly looked for them as moved along. They are difficult to spot, but we did see 10, but not close enough to get a good picture.

Manatee signs all along the Florida ICW. Maybe more signs than manatees??

Manatee signs all along the Florida ICW. Maybe more signs than manatees??

Through one stretch, if you looked east, it seemed as though you could just head out tot he ocean. But don’t dare! The waters are only 1-4 feet deep.

Looking east

Looking east

At the same time, if you looked west —

icw west shoreline

ICW looking west

The residences on the ICW vary from mansions to nice homes, all with docks, to fishing camps and trailer parks —

Beautiful mansions on the ICW

Beautiful mansions on the ICW

ICW condos

Condos

A canal off the ICW

Homes with a canal off the ICW

Fishing camp on the ICW

Fishing camp on the ICW

This was a delightful surprise – a herd of deer grazing right on the ICW.

Herd of deer grazing

Herd of deer grazing

The scenery does change as you move along from day to day. The first day was a series of bridges – 4 fixed and 3 “restricted” which required an opening. These restricted bridges opened “on request”. We heard an interesting short exchange between a boat and a bridgetender. When the boat inquired if the bridge opened “on demand,” the bridgetender replied that it is never “on demand,” it opens “on request.”

Haulover Canal Bridge

Haulover Canal Bridge

Haulover Canal was a neat little stretch. The ICW literally make a sharp right turn to enter it. It felt a a little strange to make that kind of a turn with a boat.

Turning into Haulover Canal, pelicans on watch

Turning into Haulover Canal, pelicans on watch

Inside Haulover Canal, which was short and narrow, there were people fishing on the banks.

A wave from a fisherman

A wave from a fisherman

The bridge is at the end of the canal. As we passed through, the pelicans were everywhere, flying, diving, swimming.

Pelican action

Pelican action

Just past the pelicans, was a couple with a kayak fishing in the shallows. I wish I had his email to send him these pictures. Look at what he caught!

He caught a BIG one!

He caught a BIG one!

Spoil islands are a byproduct of dredging in the ICW to maintain passable depth. They vary in size and amenities. Some have picnic tables and camping sites for boaters to use. On a nice weekend day, these tiny islands became an oasis of fun for people who want to be on the water, camp, play and fish.

A small "spoil island"

A small “spoil island”

Another spoil island

Another spoil island

Island camping on a weekend

Island camping on a weekend

Over the three days, I tried to photograph the dolphins. I really tried. You have to know when and where they are going to jump or surface, and you have to have the camera focused and ready at that spot. That all requires clairvoyance and more expertise with a camera than I possess!

My dolphin photography attempts

My dolphin photography attempts – fins and tails

This one went right past our hull!!

This one went right past our hull!!

Finally, we arrived in Vero Beach and joined our Shennecossett friends, Marcia and Dan on the mooring!! Yeah!! We will be staying here until after Thanskgiving.

And the sun sets at Vero Beach City Marina

And the sun sets at Vero Beach City Marina

 

 

2 thoughts on “Sights along Florida’s ICW: St. Augustine to Vero Beach

  1. Pingback: Boats , Birds and Bridges | Kindred Spirit

  2. I will take the lovely yellow house on the water. 🙂 You did get enough of the dolphins to prove you saw them, so well done!!

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