Elske visits Marineland Marina, AICW Statute Mile 796
Good reports keep pouring in for SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Marineland Marina which lies south – southeast of AICW marker #87, along the Waterway’s eastern shore. Our thanks to David and Jaculeyn for sharing their delightful blog.
Folks at Vero Beach has recommended Marineland Marina to us as a “must do” layover. We are very glad we did. This marina is undergoing renovations. Brand-new floating docks have been installed. A new dock-master’s office is under construction. The staff are delightful highly customer-service focused young men who are enthusiastic about meeting the needs of boaters.
We toured Marineland. The experience can best be described as a “blast from the past.” It is a simple place full of history and yet an active living aquatic experience for visitors today. Jackie remembers going to Marineland as a child, so this was a bit of a memory jogger for her. We had the honor of a “private” 45-minute tour with 2 delightful young women who clearly love what they do. Marineland was started in 1938 as a movie studio and then grew and changed over the years. It was the sight for WWII Naval training exercises. It was the first oceanarium and provided early training of dolphins. The first of whom was Nellie who lived to a very old age, the oldest known dolphin in captivity. Marineland now has an educational and research focus thanks to funding by the Vanderbilt Whitney family, the University of Florida and the Georgia Aquarium. There are no longer “dolphin shows” like Sea World or other amusement parks. It was fun to see pictures of the old TV shows and movies that have been filmed here. Jackie’s favorite was SEA HUNT with a very young Lloyd Bridges. We also got to see the educational part in action with a group of elementary school children on a field trip. They clearly were learning about the aquatic world and showed great enthusiasm for the dolphins and the other sea creatures here.
David and Jaculeyn