Can I swim in the Ocean? How about the River?

Thursday, March 10 2016

Ocean swimming  The waters of the Atlantic Ocean are literally steps off your back yard.  (see photos).   With the Bahamas 60 miles to the east acting as a buffer, our Atlantic Ocean waters are calmer than in most Eastern seaboard areas, and our little barrier island has an excellent history of withstanding storms and hurricanes.  The summer months, generally speaking, offer the most calm-water days of any of the four  seasons.  That being said, it's still the Atlantic.  And it's still an ocean, presenting all of the dangers and risks inherent in any ocean-swimming scenario.   

Fortunately, when the ocean is in one of its more ferocious moods, or perhaps some of your little swimmers feel a bit anxious about the big ocean waters, there are two fantastic safer-swimming alternatives, both just steps away:  Option 1: Swim in in the pristine waters of the Indian River Lagoon, just 15 paces outside your front door.  (see "River Swimming" below).   Option 2:  An Atlantic Ocean beach so calm that it is called "Bathtub Beach" -- it's a place where locals bring their toddlers -- is just a short walk away (See "Bathtub Beach" below).

River swimming:  Our riverside beach is also perfect for swimming and play. Grown-ups can enjoy the afternoon on the dockside Tiki-Hut "Sunset Pavilion", while watching the family frolick in the water.   These waters are only knee-high to waist-high, until near the end of the dock, where the depth is closer to 3 feet to 6 feet.

Jetskis parked by riverfront
(click to enlarge) Watching others play in the river, from the sunset-pavilion tiki-hut party deck

WARNING:  Please do not approach or touch dolphins, manatees or sea turtles, who frequently swim in the waters near the beach and around the dock. These are protected species, and you could be arrested for interacting with them too aggressively.  (see videos below, actual footage from our beach houses)

(See more photos and videos of marine wildlife in Stuart FL, close to our beach houses;  Did you know that when you swim in the river, you are swimming in the most pristine and biologically-diverse estuary in the United States?

Bathtub Beach:  Ocean too rough today?  Or perhaps a toddler or beginning swimmer is a little nervous?  Walk a half-mile south to a hidden gem known to locals as "The Bathtub".   The bathtub is actually a public beach ("Bathtub Reef Beach"), complete with lifeguard & public facilities, but due to its isolation at the far end of our no-exit barrier island, it is fairly unknown in the area except to the immediate locals.

Bathtub Reef Beach
(click to enlarge) Bathtub Reef Beach: An isolated small public beach (with lifeguard & facilities) located at the very end of S. Hutchinson Island. Great beach for toddlers and kids learning to swim. Calm & shallow. Located just a half-mile south of Beach Houses in Paradise

The bathtub is where locals bring toddlers and kids who aren't strong swimmers yet.  It gets its name from its bathtub-like calm and shallow waters, created by rocky outcroppings about 100 yards out in the sea, which cut down the choppy waves.  It's an easy beach walk from your ocean-to-river beach house to the Bathtub, unless you're carrying supplies & toddlers, in which case we recommend taking the short drive in a car, as there is ample public parking.

Bathtub Reef Beach
The calm and shallow waters of bathtub beach, a half-mile walk south of Beach Houses in Paradise