The first Coastal Cruise of 2012 to historic Fakahatchee Island was enjoyed last month by over 20 people who set out in glorious weather on a chartered boat tour from Everglades National Park throught the mysterious mangroves of the Ten Thousand Islands.
Upon arrival at Fakahatchee Island, biologist Glen Stacell (author of A Guide to Native Wildflowers in Southwest Florida) led them up the shell-mound path, pointing out unusual plants such as “the largest pencil cactus tree I’ve ever seen”.
At the pinacle, they wandered through the small cemetery, reading headstones that commemorate pioneering settlers who had lived there in the early 1900s. On the return trip, as the sun was setting, dolphins came up to cavort with the boat and birds began to settle for their nightly roost in the trees.
The Coastal Cruise is organized by the Friends of Fakahatchee. Future dates are February 25, March 10, and March 25. The tour starts at 3:00 PM from Everglades City. Cost is $75 per person and can be booked in advance at www.orchidswamp.org (see Events). For information, phone Marya at (239) 695-2905.