We broke camp and proceeded on our way down Indian River with a head wind. At the mouth of the St. Sebastian we passed the fine hamak of Mr. Gibson, and a few miles below we arrived at Barkers Bluff, quite an eminence, on which is the cabin of Arthur Park. Opposite here is Pelican Island, a few acres in extent, and the first of a series of islands forming the Narrows. As we passed, we saw a party of northern tourists at the island, shooting down harmless birds by scores through mere wantonness. Indian River Narrows is some ten miles in length, and from an eighth to a half mile in width; the channel is about a hundred yards from the western shore or mainland. There are numerous oyster-beds and reefs lying but a few inches below the surface of the water.
Fort Capron, is quite a noted place on the Indian River, thirty-eight miles below St. Sebastian River and about a hundred from Titusville. Directly opposite is an inlet to the sea, through which can be seen the white crests of the breakers as they sparkle in the sunlight. The only vestiges of the old military post are a fallen chimney and the debris of a brick bake-oven; but the parade ground and a moat or ditch can still be distinctly traced. There were several turtling camps scattered along, between the foot of the Narrows and Fort Pierce. The #006600 turtle is taken in gill nets with a mesh of eighteen inches. The business is quite profitable, several thousand turtles were taken last winter, varying in weight from twenty to a hundred pounds. They are kept in circular inclosures of stakes and hurdles, called crawls, and shipped north via Titusville and Jacksonville. We finally set sail from Capron, and went bounding along, down-river, with a fresh breeze, soon passing Taylor Creek, three miles below. A mile farther on, we were abreast of the site of Fort Pierce, on a high, commanding bluff, where the fine parade-ground can still be seen sloping toward the river. We were now below the oyster beds, and the river opened into a broad sheet of water called St. Lucie Sound, extending from Indian River Inlet to Jupiter Narrows. Passing Bird Island, on the beach side, was the palmetto hut of the only settler between Fort Pierce and Jupiter Inlet.