Turtle Time at Jupiter Outdoor Center

The Time of My Life

High tide is when the moon pushes water from the ocean in towards shore. This influx of water rushes into jetty’s and channels along the coasts, causing many fish and other wildlife to come in towards the shore. High tide is the best time to fish, snorkel, and kayak for the most clarity and sightings. This is why at Jupiter Outdoor Center, Turtle Time focuses on directing guests to the best local spot for viewing turtles in the wild. Right near our location is the cove where the Turtles swim up for air and graze on the sea grass beds below. Before we began our adventure, JOC showed us the basics of “turtle etiquette” to ensure that we knew not to touch or approach any wild sea creatures. My first time going was the absolute best time of my life as i had never swam so close to a Sea Turtle before. We paddled against the current first which was quite a workout, but when we arrived, it was well worth it. We were able to clearly see below the surface in our new Crystal Kayaks. These transparent bottom kayaks provide up to 20 feet of visibility for a combination of kayaking and snorkeling. Fish and a Spotted Eagle Ray swam right under us and we were able to see them with full clarity. As we drifted up towards the cove, at least 4 sea turtles poked their heads out of the water. We parked the boats up near shore and got our snorkel masks out for a closer look.  As we were putting drops on our lenses, a juvenile sea turtle rushed by our feet and disappeared into the distance. I had never seen a turtle move so quickly in my life! The water was very warm and crystal clear as we began our snorkel around the cove. For the first 20 minutes, we didn’t see any more turtles and started to get a bit discouraged. Then, out of no where, two huge adult sea turtles swam in my direction together. I turned on my GoPro and waited quietly so they were not frightened. They swam up almost within arms reach and began drifting slowly along my path. After they disappeared, I set my camera up on the sea floor to see if we could get a close up of the next one feeding. Sure enough, another beautiful turtle came right up to me and swam right in front of my camera, grazing on the grass in front of it. After that, the Turtles were too abundant to count and we swam with them continuously for about an hour and took as many photos and videos as possible. We only had two masks, so I gave my snorkel gear to my cousin to try and started towards the shore. When the water reached my waist, i came up on what looked like a large cloud of sand in the water floating towards me. I didn’t think anything of it until all of a sudden, a little gray face popped its head up for air! At that moment i realized that i was standing next to a giant manatee the size of my Kayak! It startled me so much that i jumped, but when i realized what i was seeing, the moment became magical. I had never seen animals in the wild that close up and for a manatee to swim right up to me, was something i could have never imagined. He swam around us for about 20 minutes until he made his way out into the channel. After that we saw at least 10 more sea turtles swimming under and around us hanging out, waiting to go up on the beach. Dusk was setting in and on our way back to shore, we looked back how our experience was way more than we expected. Many people will never see a turtle in their lifetime and who would have thought we would see over 15 in one day. It is truly a blessing to live in such an amazing place with such a vast array of ecosystems and wildlife to explore. Turtle Time will be the time of your life as it was for my friends and I.

JOC is also pleased to announce a collaboration  with Dr. Larry Woods of The  National Save the Sea Turtles Foundation to assist in collecting research on these beautiful creatures.

https://www.facebook.com/Florida-Hawksbill-Project-119729704762313/

Fullerton Island Jupiter Florida

Fullerton Island: Jupiter’s Hidden Gem

Once proposed for luxury properties, Fullerton Island was 12 acres of prime Jupiter real estate ready to be sold to the highest bidder. Fullerton Island is a piece of land right off Jupiter’s Sawfish Bay Park that remained vacant for many years over legal disputes. Before 2013, the island was infested with invasive species and required a major make over to dispose of the non-native plants like Australian Pines and Brazilian Pepper Trees. Fullerton Islands history begins in the 1920’s when the School District of Palm Beach County gave a selection of unsurveyed land to local attorney, B.F Hampton. In that selection, 2 spoil islands would be available to him, one of them being Fullerton Island. In lieu of legal fees, Hampton would choose Fullerton as his compensation. In the 1950’s, Hampton gifted the island to his grandson, Richard Fullerton as inheritance. The Island was named after Hampton’s grandson and until the 1990’s, it would remain practically untouched. As Jupiter began inhabiting more and more people between the 80’s and 90’s, Fullerton Island was noticed by local real estate as being a prime location for luxury homes on the water. Michelle Alexander, a Jupiter developer, proposed to buy the property for 2.2 million dollars but was intercepted by the Town of Jupiter stating that the land was designated for conservation and not for residential development. Alexander then filed a suit with the Town of Jupiter for refusing the permit which would last over a decade until the court favored the town and her contract with the Fullerton family was voided. In 2003, the island was bought by engineer Herb Kahlert and Ed Oliver for 2.6 million dollars and once again proposed for luxury residential homes, going against the islands conservation zoning designation. After much backlash from residents and the town, the two withdrew the plan for development. In 2008, the island was finally purchased by the Town of Jupiter for 2.9 million dollars in an effort to turn the island into a conservation land and increase eco-tourism in the area. Clearing of land, dredging, removing exotic plants, building docks and planting mangroves and other native plants would begin in 2013 with a hefty price tag of 3 million dollars. Backhoes were used to dig 3 foot deep channels meandering through the island, only deep enough for kayaks, paddle boards, and maybe a small skiff. This would make the island fully accessible from both sides by small watercraft. The 55,000 cubic yards of sand collected from the island would be hauled down to Lake Worth near Bryant Park to be reused for the construction of the Snook Islands preserve project. Mangroves and other native species were added to the island to create a flourishing environment for local sea and land creatures. The added foliage would create a perfect habitat for many different species of native birds, making it the perfect place for any ornithologist. Fish and other species to see at Fullerton Island include Florida manatees, Rays, Porpoise, Snook, Snapper, Sheepshead, and Mullet as well as birds like Blue Heron and Spoonbills. The island is now a thriving estuary promoting conservation as well as eco-friendly tourism in the Jupiter and has influenced locals, visitors, and businesses to utilize the hidden jewel. Jupiter Outdoor Center is proud to be the committed adoptive parents of Fullerton Island through Palm Beach County’s Adopt a Park Program.

http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/General/Adopt-A-Park.aspx

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/jupiter-new-preserve-once-proposed-for-mansions-now-public-park/LuAln1S3liPMLOM0LUl8uM/

World Ocean Day Event Jupiter Outdoor Center

“Our Oceans, Our Future 2017”

World Oceans Day began in 2002 with the idea that recognizing one global ocean could connect us all. This global event has brought awareness to the many problems that are faced with ocean conservation today. Pollution and over fishing are some of the reasons why marine ecosystems are deteriorating and that is why World Oceans Day is a way that people can come together to understand the importance of these issues. With advisers and volunteers around the world, The Ocean Project has used its World Oceans Day, to promote events all over the world.

That is why Jupiter Outdoor Center and many other local businesses will be taking part in celebrating unity through the common goal of conserving our natural oceans. On June 11th, JOC will be participating in day long event honoring World Oceans Day. The center will begin the event with a paddle out to the turtle viewing area and a Dolphin Tour sponsored by TARA’s Foundation from 10-12 pm. Jupiter Water Taxi will be operating tours around Jupiter’s waterways beginning at 11 am and free kids Kayaking and Paddle-boarding lessons will be offered on our Love St. beach from 1-4 pm. Also, our amazing friends over at the Loxahatchee River Center will be offering a live touch tank for the kids from 2-3 pm. Music and food will be sponsored by the I Love Lucy Foundation and raffles will be presented by TARA’s Foundation where memberships, retail items, and snorkeling gear will be awarded to the lucky winners. Activities will be abundant at the JOC World Oceans Day event for your education and pleasure!

Jupiter Outdoor Center 20 year anniversary

Jupiter Outdoor Center is Celebrating 20 Years of Eco-Friendly Fun

In honor of Jupiter Outdoor Center’s 20th anniversary, the center will be celebrating this milestone by offering a free 3 month individual membership to the person that submits a story and picture that best illustrates the many reasons why JOC is the ultimate choice for outdoor adventure and fun! Here is our story about why friends and customers call JOC “ the real JUPITER experience”. From the day back in 97 when JOC opened at what is now known as Guanabanas it has been the place to go for all things “ OUTDOORS”. In fact ,if you like Guanabanas you might be interested to know that it started out in 1999 as The Kayak Cafe inside the JOC outfitters store where the bar is now located. In Other Words, if there was no JOC, there would be no Guanabanas! Since moving to the Inlet on Love St in 2014 paddlers and campers have raved about the crystal clear blue water , Its serenity and abundance of amenities. We are the perfect place to experience a 360 degree view of all the beauty Jupiter has to offer. And we have a Hammock!!

1) Location: We are the only paddle center on Blue Water in Jupiter!

2) The views: Who doesn’t love The Jupiter Inlet  lighthouse and Museum? Our beach has a 360 degree view of all things Jupiter.

3) Famous Hammock: Our beach is home to the iconic JOC hammock where you can relax and snap a picture perfect memory.

3) JOC has many ways to explore  the beautiful Indian and Loxahatchee Rivers and the Jupiter Inlet Aquatic Preserve: Kayaks/sups/water taxi are just some of the ways you can explore these waters.

4) Love St. Beach: Our beach is the perfect spot to take a seat, relax and enjoy one of our many adirondack chairs.

5) Our staff: JOC’s staff is an eclectic blend of water loving, paddle loving people ready and willing to share their passion with everyone.

6) JOC shares the love: We are paddle and pet  friendly even if you don’t rent from us you can launch here and we will create a free trip plan that factors in your experience, interests, tides and weather.

7) JOC is surrounded by local bars and eateries to satisfy any taste after your paddle adventure

8) JOC has the KNOWLEDGE of this area. We have been in business for 20 years and we know our stuff.

9) Passion: JOC is passionate about everything around us and we want to share that with you

10) Diversity: We have many ways for you to enjoy the waterways here. Rentals/tours/camps/parties/water taxi/beach/bikes.

11) Community: JOC has always been a leader in the community and has given back in many ways such as beach cleanups, youth education , supporting the sprint flatwater Olympic Teams and events with local charities and more.

12) ECO FRIENDLY: No motors here!

13) JOC is the clear choice: With our crystal blue water as the backdrop to your adventure you just can’t go wrong.

14) SEA LIFE: so many to list but just a few ranging from tiny crabs to manatees and turtles. You may even see a leatherback turtle one day

15) Fitness: Paddling is a LIFE SPORT! All ages can benefit from paddling on a regular basis.

16) We are OUTSIDE! Nature is the best way to de stress and get away from the over technological world we live in today.

17) 363 days a year we are open! Spend your holidays with us or book a party!

19) Lifestyle: JOC helps you keep your Florida lifestyle in check. We make it easy for you with memberships and guided tours and you can even bring your furry friends, as we are pet friendly.

20) Last but not least LOVE. We are on LOVE Street. We LOVE what we do. We LOVE being there for you. We LOVE Jupiter.

 

“As a tour guide here I am asked if my job ever gets boring. Doing the same thing in the same spot every day. I DO NOT! The water changes every minute, of every day, of every season. I relish the subtle and abrupt fluctuations… the ebb and flow of my daily tour route. The manatees I’ve encountered (and named) are in constant flux. It is a virtual who’s who of Mother Nature’s aquatic best. The flora and fauna of the area are limitless. Sometimes you just have to stop, look and listen and things you never knew, were there all around you. I personally enjoy the billions of tiny fish schools you may find yourself surrounded by. The amazing array of birds is sure to please any ornithologist. JOC’s waterways can offer any kind of day you might be looking for, from a serene early Monday morning to a chaotic party on the sandbar with the boater’s kind of day. Zen to Zestful adventure awaits at JOC.”
-Max Park, JOC Tour Guide/Camp Director

While our views and activities are the best part of our immersive experience, Jupiter’s marine life is an extraordinary sight for everyone. A paddle adventure is the perfect place to see the amazing marine life our waterways have to offer. Here are some of the animals you may come across on your next visit:

1) First and foremost MANATEES
2) Turtles running a close second
3) Hermit crabs: every camper’s favorite
4) Stingrays: From stingrays to spotted eagle rays big and small
5) Needlefish: One of my personal favorites
5) Puffer fish
6) Sea urchins
7) Star fish
8) Conch
9) Sea Cucumbers
10) Seahorses: you have to look hard but they are there
11) Eels
12) Really big Turtles. On a rare occasion you can see leatherback and loggerheads
13) Sharks: Yes, sharks big and small
14) Mullet Fish…tons of them
15) Jellyfish: A turtle’s favorite lunch
16) Clams o plenty
17) Parrot fish…the color of the ocean
18) Blue Crabs
19) Porpoise
20) The locals on the sandbars and beaches enjoying the water and some tunes from their boats. Wink…wink.