If you want to see the diverse animal life of the Indian River Lagoon and enjoy a leisurely morning or afternoon out on the water, then there’s no better recreational activity to engage in than a Florida kayaking tour in Cocoa Beach. Launched right from the parking lot of the Cocoa Beach Country Club, Cocoa Beach Kayaking owner Jessica Yeaman will take you on a guided tour of some of the winding shoreline off of the Minuteman Causeway.
Our tour began at 8:30 in the morning and lasted approximately 2.5 hours and we saw a a multitude of plant life including 3 different mangrove trees including the red ones that have a bean pod hanging from the branches, a variety of birds including osprey, water turkeys (also known as the snake bird), tarpon streaking through the water, mullet and the gentle giants of Florida river-ways, the Florida manatee. Being in Florida for more than 40 years I have seen plenty of manatee, but never like this. They are the most gentle, curious and mildly playful creatures you can imagine and they enjoyed gently pushing our kayaks around after we spotted them and just floated near their location. You can watch the manatees come right up to your boat and push it around, but don’t touch them because it is against the law.
Florida Manatee playing with our kayak
The area we kayaked in off of the Minuteman Causeway (a permanently unfinished causeway) is actually known as the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands and if you don’t know your way around the area, it would be fairly easy to get lost as the mangroves and islands create a maze like path to follow. Therefore, we recommend you at least make your first journey with a guide and Cocoa Beach Kayaking is the perfect outfit to introduce you to the area.
Our guide Jessica (pictured to the left) is in the process of finishing up her degree in Oceanography and is a member of the SeaWorld Marine Mammal Rescue Team so she really knows her stuff and knows the natural surroundings of the Banana River and the Indian River Lagoon. Even though I’ve been living here for more than 40 years she informed us of natural Florida news that I didn’t know. One piece of information, that is vital to our manatee friends, was that most manatees are not killed by boat propellers as one would think, they are killed by boat strikes that break their ribs and puncture their lungs. That’s why you are supposed to idle your boat in manatee zones, so you don’t strike them.
If you want to join in on the fun and see a part of Florida up close and personal that you don’t normally see, take a trip with Cocoa Beach Kayaking. The cost is $30 per person and reservations must be made. Bring a snack with you if you want one, but everything else is supplied including hats, towels, sun block, bottled water and sunglasses if you need them. It is worth the price of admission just to watch your guide Jessica pat the water and call and talk to the manatees just like they were little puppies. Trust me, you will have a great time.
You can visit their website above by clicking the link above or call (321) 784-4545 to get more information or to make reservations.
Osprey seen while kayaking the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands