More on the Derelict Boats of the Indian River Lagoon


I guess I’m fascinated by the abandoned boats along the six mile stretch of the Indian River Lagoon that boarders Sebastian Florida, my home town.  The first boat I ran across, a ship really, was a fifty footer designed for environmental studies.  It sat hard on the bottom, washed up against the outside of a lagoon on IR 3 (IR3 denotes the third spoil island in Indian River County, counting from north to south).  It had been there a while and was stripped of anything of value or dangerous to the environment like engines and fuel.  I guessed that it had broken loose from a mooring somewhere and had been blown to its resting place by a pair of hurricanes that hit the area a few years earlier.  But why wasn’t if salvaged? All I know is that I watched as the sand it sat upon washed away little by little over the years.  Then one day it was gone.  How I really don’t know, but the wind and waves worked on the sand it sat on until it opened into the island’s lagoon, effectively splitting it in two.  

So, every year I make one or more pilgrimages, paddling along the spoil islands, to inventory the current condition of the wrecked and abandoned boats, remove those that are mysteriously gone, and add any newcomers.  The video below shot in October of 2019, catalogs the current crop of derelicts.  The one below that, shot over several years, shows some of the same boats over many years as they slowly deteriorate and vanish.  Each one has a story that I can only speculate about.

 © Don Yackel 2020