Stopping off at an island for an afternoon picnic or shell hunt is a must when cruising the Indian River Lagoon. There are many spoil islands located in the lagoon that 321 Boat Club members can anchor down at and bring relaxation to a new level. If you’re going to be stopping off to check out the scenery, or fire up the grill, there’s a few things you should know. Understanding where and how to anchor and how to respect the ecosystem you’re about to enter is extremely important when stopping off at an Indian River Lagoon spoil island.
What Are Spoil Islands?
Spoil islands in the Indian River Lagoon are both natural and man-made. The man-made ones were created when Port Canaveral was dredged to allow for the large cruise ships and barges the port accommodates. Over time and with the help of the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Field Office, academic institutions, private groups, and government agencies these islands have been groomed for ultimate recreation. In an effort to bring awareness of the fragile eco systems alive and well in the Indian River Lagoon as well as to create exciting spaces to anchor and experience the best of boat life, some of these islands are outfitted with picnic tables, designated fire rings, and grills. When you anchor for lunch at one of these spoil islands you can grill up some hot dogs while you watch manatees lumber by, or dolphins play in the peaceful lagoon. Spoil islands can provide boat club members up close and personal visitation with native vegetation and wildlife.
Anchoring at A Spoil Island
There are many spoil islands boaters can anchor at and enjoy. You just need to know where to anchor. The Indian River Lagoon is a rather shallow lagoon with an average depth of five feet. Knowing where is safe to drop anchor is extremely important. Running aground or hitting rocks is never fun, so pay attention to where other boaters have stopped at and use a depth finder to determine your anchoring strategy. If you are lucky enough to be the first boater to pull up to a spoiler island, take a slow and steady approach. In some cases a sizeable amount of the island will be submerged providing a sandbar that you can walk up to and set up an umbrella and some chairs. While in idle, circle the island to determine the best place to anchor at. When you find a suitable place, drop your anchor and enjoy. If you need tips on safe anchoring, please refer to this guide.
Respecting The Islands
The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most treasured estuaries in the United States. With thousands of fish, bird, and marine mammal species, and thousands of native plants, the spoil islands that speckle the lagoon offer a space where you can get up close and personal with the natives. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife. Being careful to not run aground and damaged seagrass beds is important. Similarly staying on designated trails and in cleared areas while recreating can ensure that the precious mangrove forests and other habitats are safe. Packing out what you pack in is also necessary to protect fish, birds and other wildlife from waste and our waterways free of garbage. Respecting the lagoon and enjoying its beauty is what boating is all about. With a 321 Boat club membership, you can take all the time you need to explore every one of these spoil islands. Choosing which ones you enjoy most will be an exciting yet relaxing adventure your whole family can enjoy!
At 321 Boat Club we want all of our boat club members to have a great time every time they rent a boat for the day. If you have questions about how to best utilize your time on the water, don’t hesitate to ask. With the spoil islands available for relaxation and recreation finding something to do is easy!