Loading/unloading kayaks; carrying kayaks to/from water; getting in/out of kayaks; paddling approximately 5 miles; about 3.5 hours on the water. Walking approximately 1.5 miles; flat, sandy beach. Getting on/off passenger vans; driving approximately 6 miles; about 1/2 hour.
At the hotel, we’ll choose from a variety of dishes on the breakfast buffet with selections such as eggs, waffles, oatmeal, grits, breakfast meats, potatoes, fresh fruits, yogurts, granola, cereals, and more, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Boarding our passenger vans early, we’ll set off from the hotel to our kayaking location for the day. Upon arrival with our Group Leader and our Sanibel Sea School boating leaders, we will engage in an introduction to best practices when kayaking, dos and don’ts, and kayaking safety. Aboard our kayaks, we’ll catch Sanibel at its most glorious time—sunrise. Launching just before dawn, we’ll venture into the stillness of the pre-dawn morning to catch the sunrise and all the wildlife activity that begins with the cresting of the sun. As the sun rises, we may see manatees, dolphins, and the many birds that are beginning their day. In the fall and winter months, there is the added gift of the migratory birds that winter in southern Florida. Back at the hotel after our early morning paddle, we will hear from an expert conchologist regarding the art of shelling – or looking for seashells – and what we can expect to find on this beach. Next, we’ll walk out to the beach with the conchologist to do some beachcombing on our own as we look for shells, sea glass, sea beans (also known as drift seeds), and other gifts from the sea amid the surf and sun – as the weather allows.
At the hotel, we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, water included.
Then we will transfer with Sanibel Sea School to arrive at the east end of Sanibel Island, which will allow us paddlers to experience the three major coastal ecosystems – mangroves, seagrass beds, and beaches – which are highly integrated and provide habitat for a diverse array of marine creatures. During this field trip, we will paddle a cross-section of ecosystems to discover first-hand how they are connected. We are sure to see local wildlife during our paddle and by the end of our journey, we will have a new appreciation for how integral these three ecosystems are to the state of Florida and our planet. Transportation will be provided from Sanibel Sea School to Lighthouse Beach where we’ll hop back into our kayaks to set out into the water for a view of the lighthouse from the perspective of local resident fishermen and boatmen. This location is weather dependent and subject to change based on the gulf winds.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.