Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Last Day in Sebastian

Friday March 1, 2013
Site 48, Sebastian Inlet State Park
Vero Beach, Florida



Today is our final day in site 49. Can’t say I’m sorry to leave the site.  But I am sorry to leave the place.

It’s another cold and windy day but David goes out with me for his first sunrise since we’ve been here.  Of course he who hesitates is lost and the sun never shows its face until afternoon today.  We wait for about 30 minutes and then I go off for a run over to the other side of the park wearing a jacket for the first time in a long time.  David goes for a walk dressed in polar fleece.


Because we leave tomorrow, today is a pack up day.   I do 3 loads of laundry in the park’s only 3 machines and of course have to shuffle back and forth.  Someone is using two of the 3 when I first come up. I put one load in and walk back to the coach.  I go back in 15 minutes and put in load two but washer #3 is still in use. 


Headline news: Space launch interrupts laundry!!

Can’t wait for that last washer, we want to go over to the long pier to watch the space shuttle take off from Cape Canaveral just up the coast.   We don’t see much but it’s something we’ve never done before.

First it’s a glowing yellow dot in the sky and then it streaks upward and soon it is only a tail.   Still,  WE saw it!!!








From the pier, I look back at the beach where we usually spend part of our day.  It looks lovely but deserted.  I can see the never changing yellow caution flag.   Maybe you can too if you look hard.  It’s that yellow dot mid tree line.




The feathered gang is all there but it’s mighty windy and cold and I have things to do.





Back at the campground there are chores to be done.  At least for me.

I finally get the 3rd machine, put the other two loads in the dryer and shuffle back and forth some more.  I finally finish the laundry.

David goes over to see the Fishing Museum film about Sebastian Inlet.  I’d seen it before. It’s a nice film about the history ancient and recent of the local area and the dredging of the inlet.   I do some vacuuming while he’s gone.


 Well that’s enough, time to go do something fun.


This day seems to qualify for the ‘not so nice day’ we had said we would use to return to the Barrier Island Sanctuary Center.  So we drive up the road to look more closely at their exhibits.




This place is just GREAT.  They have this rain barrel on display for which they won 2nd prize at the Brevard County Fair.  It’s gorgeous, the barrel for sure and maybe the fair.  I wasn’t there but I really wonder what won first prize.  I am coveting that rain barrel for the farm at which I no longer live.






Then we start again to look at some of the best educational exhibits I’ve ever seen.

In a previous blog( if you haven’t seen it, click here)  I showed one audio exhibit allowing us to listen to the voices of the creatures who live in the inlet and ocean.  The ear pieces were shells.  Very cool!

All of the exhibits here are  interesting and are presented in such a way that they attract and hold your attention.   And I actually do mean all.


For instance:

Who weighs as much as you do??  Or you and a friend or two??

Want to know just HOW BIG the creatures of the sea in this area are?
Get on the scale and see who weighs as much as you do.




I got on and I’m a Tarpon.   David as you can see below is a Southern Stingray.  Together we are a Loggerhead Sea Turtle.  WOW – a loggerhead is as big as the two of us.   Now that’s AMAZING!

There were two guys coming out of the theater.  Hefty men both of them.  I asked them to get on the scale with us.  Notice the size of the platform, designed no doubt for 15 3rd graders.  Anyway, when they got on, all of a sudden we were a Pygmy Sperm Whale.

Notice that THE biggest creature is the West Indian Manatee at 1000 pounds.  You can click the picture to see more closely.




Where do all the sea turtles nest?

There is a world map with lights which shows all of the important global nesting areas in the world for each of the three turtles who nest here at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.  The number of lights in each area is an indication of the numbers of nests.



If you push the buttons one at a time they light up in the color of each turtle.  The entire map is wall size so a picture of it all would not enable you to see the lights.  

Many more loggerheads than greens.  Leatherbacks have the fewest numbers.   Greens and Leatherbacks are only on the East Coast of Florida in the US.   Loggerheads are on the east and west coasts of Florida and up into the Carolinas.   I found it interesting that no sea turtles nest on the west coast of the U.S.  Not even in Baja.  Just not the right kind of beaches I guess.







We try to help get the baby sea turtles safely launched.


And then there is the baby sea turtle wall board game.  You have to try to get the baby sea turtle through all the hazards of his life and out to sea by spinning the wheel.   Here’s David spinning




At the beginning of the game is the hazard “a raccoon digs up your nest”.  My poor turtle lands on that spot 3 times in a row.  I could not spin anything but but that dark green color.  By the time I finally get beyond that raccoon,  I am far behind David’s baby who seems to have smooth sailing and eventually goes on to make it to the sea while mine is still back trying to avoid being chased by a ghost crab.


See David’s down there in the ‘congratulations you made it’ spot??
See me on the yellow square by the ghost crab.  I haven’t even gotten past “You are picked up and dropped by a gull” although I did make it through “someone shines a light on you”.     I want a rematch but it is getting late and we want to see more of their films. 





We are in the movie theater when they close the center for the day.

We go into the auditorium and watch at least 5 more short films before they tell us they are closing up and we’ll have to leave.  They let us finish the film we are watching and when we leave the theater sure enough the building is totally empty and the doors locked.  We STILL did not see all the exhibits and haven’t exhausted the films.  What a wonderful place.  Visit #3 will have to be “next time”.


New Neighbors have arrived including a wild one.

When we arrive back at the campsite, we have some new neighbors in a tent.  The wind is blowing, the temperatures are dropping and they are cooking on the fire grate.   Look who is hanging around to see what might be for dinner.   We learn later that s/he returned after dark and rummaged through things they had foolishly left outside.  David doesn’t know how much damage was done.  I sure feel sorry for them in a tent on this cold windy night.




After dinner we get bundled up and go out for our last sunset at Sebastian Inlet.  We leave tomorrow for two weeks in Blue Spring State Park. 

This is our second time to stay at Sebastian Inlet and I’ve loved it even more.   When we return again, I want to have a site closer to the power pole to see if the low voltage and low water pressure will be improved.  Isn’t the third time the charm??

I really hate to leave but the change in the weather is making it easier.  And maybe this same colder weather will enable us to see the manatee for which Blue Spring is renowned.   Now that would be “cool”!

If you have any suggestions for us about what to see and do in the Blue Spring area, please send them along.




  1. You have to leave because of time limit restrictions? Sure is gorgeous there. Sea Turtles are interesting animals. A lot has been done to save them.

    Well? on to the Manatees... what fun and I wonder what I would be on the scale... that could be embarrassing...

    Love the sunset and the space shuttle? outstanding... I thought it had made its last flight... what am I thinking of. something made its last flight not too long ago. CRS

    Another great day!

  2. That was sand, not snow, in your top picture, right?

  3. I like all of those activities at the Center, good idea to go there when the weather is not so nice.

  4. Water temperature is 64 degrees in the Gulf today after this cold spell, bet the manatees are headed inland!

  5. Haven't the shuttles been retired? I'm thinking this is the SpaceX Dragon on a Falcon 9 rocket headed to the Space Station on a resupply mission. Here's a link http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20130301 I don't think these are manned?? Anyway, great that you got to see it!

  6. I can't believe David only made it to one sunrise!!!

    I'm so glad you got to watch the missile launch (Carrie, yes, the space shuttle program has been retired, but they are still launching the occasional missile)

    It was so cloudy here that day that we didn't even bother looking for it. On a clear day it would be visible even from the west coast of Florida.

    That sanctuary center looks pretty interesting. I don't remember ever going there. We'll have to put it on our list. I was also surprised the turtles don't nest on the west coast. We got to rescue one baby turtle once that we found in a parking lot. We took him to a turtle rescue center where they gathered a bunch then took them by boat out to the Sargasso grasses. He was really a cute little guy.

    I'm sure the cold weather has brought some manatees inland, so you should see plenty. Enjoy Blue Springs. I hope you get a good power pole!

  7. After the last few places we stayed that had a visitor center with interesting exhibits, I've concluded that I need to go there on a bad-weather day to really spend time enjoying what the center has to offer ... doing them in conjunction with another activity just doesn't work.

  8. Looks like a great bike trail to Lake Beresford!

  9. I love museums and activity centers that invest so much thinking and experiencing into the displays. It makes learning about each one so much fun. It certainly tells the story that they had to 'kick' you guys out. Now on to a warmer spot!

  10. We love those sort of centers...

    Safe travels!

  11. I really enjoy the exhibits that are set up in state & national parks. It sure helps understand the area. There must be enough parks in Florida to stay a whole year, 2 weeks at a time!

  12. Let me know when you get settled in and thawed out from the cold, and we'll stop by for a visit!!

  13. What a well thought out educational experience in the Sanctuary Center! I hope lots of school kids go there, have fun and learn to appreciate the wonderful things in nature.

    Another item on our "Must See" list! :c)

  14. Wow, The Barrier Island Sanctuary Center looks wonderful. We'll have to put that on our list for the area. I believe you may have good manatee luck at Blue Springs. We went down to the TECO manatee viewing center, sout the Tampa today and there had to be over 100 manatees there. It is suppose to stay could a could more days so hope you have good viewing!!!

  15. I really like the idea of that scale to give a person some perspective of the sea creatures. Ghost crabs surely are a hazard for baby turtles. When I was on loggerhead turtle watch in NC, we each had a walking stick to flip the crabs away from the newborns.

  16. We really enjoy interactive exhibits as well, and it sounds like that center has some really good ones. Very educational.

    Stunning sunset!

  17. I would have loved that sanctuary center! I laughed at your little sea turtles trying to make it through - congrats to Dad for the win ;) Beautiful sunset. And, cool that you got to see the blast off from Cape Canaveral.


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