It was too windy and we should not have taken a long trip down to Mosquito Lagoon. Unfortunately the weather in Florida is unpredictable and once you are out on the water, anything is possible.
The wind creates waves which make the water choppy and gives us a bumpy ride. A little bit of that is okay, but riding a long way is not comfortable. Our boat is a fishing boat and is not made to cut through waves. It does quite well when we encounter the wakes of boats we pass, but chop is too much bouncing.
Mosquito Lagoon is a large body of water that is mostly shallow, and especially so on the East side. The lagoon is divided by a narrow strip of land that is part of Merritt Island, and boats cross from one side to the other, following the ICW, through Haulover Canal. It’s what we had planned to do, go down to Haulover and fish the area.
Our ride down from New Smyrna took about 20 minutes but once we hit the open water area it got rough. So we putted in behind one of the islands to sit for a bit and decide what to do.
Not only is the water in this entire area quite shallow, it is brown and murky. I don’t know if it’s always this way, but this day it was. Some parts of the ML are so shallow that only push-poles can be used – no motors, except (I think) trolling motors.
Also, there can be alligators in this water! A year or so ago we went into the West lagoon area and my son dropped me off in the shallow, clear water to wade. I came across a skull… turned out to be an alligator skull. Supposedly gators are more common toward the southern end of the lagoon, nearer the Space Center, but who knows for sure what is under that murky water?
It was a hot day, and I was not going in that water, so we left the area and headed back up north to fish. As we headed back out to the main channel area we saw two yachts speeding along the ICW, which is the only deep area.
The Little Drama Part of my Story
The large boats had gone by when we reached the channel, but their wakes got us. Between the two of them they had created large rolling waves that came right up over the bow of our boat! I was sitting up front so I grabbed our boat bag, which holds our hats, towels, and other things, as the waterfall from a swell cascaded into our boat!
That is a first for us. We’ve never had waved come up and over our Redfisher. Yachts we meet along the ICW can be gigantic and they always slow down if they see a smaller boat nearby. But we were not near them and I doubt they even saw us anyway. We never expected to encounter waves that size, but the water drained out the back, and on we went.
One of the interesting things about being out on our tiny fishing boat in this area is the array of boats we see. We can get into the very shallow backwater areas, but we also follow the ICW at times, such as when we go north to Disappearing Island near Ponce Inlet. Large yachts and sailboats travel this waterway and its a good place to view some really gorgeous boats. Some are docked, and some pass us on their way to wherever. The ICW goes all the way up to the northeastern US.
The Big Boats
We also see beautiful sailboats, and I’m not always that good to get photos, but if you are interested, Sailing Britican is a website about people who sail along the ICW.