Cruise to isolated Keewaydin Island and do yoga on the beach

Andrea Stetson
Special to Coastal Life

The Sweet Liberty is sweetening the sensation of sailing with a series of special stretches.

Kelly Dallaire and Angie Torres enjoy the boat ride back to port aboard the Sweet Liberty after doing yoga on Keewaydin Island.

Once a month during their regular three-hour cruise to isolated Keewaydin Island, guests will be able to do more than shelling and swimming on the island beach.

They will also be invited to do yoga.

Heather Pilling teaches a yoga class on Keewaydin Island after arriving with passengers aboard the Sweet Liberty.

“It was just an idea that I had,” said Sweet Liberty owner Susan Chaplin. “I feel that yoga and sailing are two real relaxing things and I thought they would blend nicely together.”

The Sweet Liberty makes daily afternoon trips to the island, but during the special monthly trip, yoga instructor Heather Pilling will join the cruise and teach the yoga class on the silky sand.

“It is just something I thought would be a real neat idea,” Chaplin said. “Yoga on the beach is catching on. It’s a trendy thing. It’s definitely starting to become a trend.”

Pilling has been practicing yoga for 16 years and teaching it for four years. This month was her first class on the beach.

“Feel the sensation of the wind,” she told her clients as they moved from pose to pose. “Listen to the waves.”


Pilling said the beach is a perfect place for yoga.

“The nature is around you especially on the beach. You find the waves soothing,” she explained. “You forget about the serenity of the beach. You need to stop and embrace it in our daily hustle and bustle.”

Angie Torres said yoga on the beach along with a sailing trip is exactly what she needs to escape the hustle and bustle of her daily life. Torres is an elementary-school principal in Immokalee and said the trip was a great way to relax.

“When you have demanding careers, we tend to not take care of ourselves,” Torres said. “It was wonderful. The fresh air. The ocean waves the natural sounds.”

Torres planned to follow the yoga on the beach and the boat ride with a bike ride and then a pedicure.

Her friend, Kelly Dallaire, joined her. Dallaire is an executive assistant who said she also needed a fun way to relax.

“It seemed really interesting,” Dallaire said. “It was harder than I thought it would be. It was amazing.”

The first sailing and yoga trip had only two people opting for yoga on the beach. Chaplin is hoping to grow the program to about 10 people. The rest of those on the boat that day spent their time on Keewaydin, looking for shells and admiring the scenery.

But boat owner Chaplin decided to join her customers and do some yoga.

“I have no time to go to a yoga studio so I will just bring them to my boat,” she joked. “I will do every one of these.”

After an hour of yoga, Chaplin still plans to do it again.

“I thought it was great,” she said. “I thought it was a really nice experience. I am hoping for more people on the next event. We will be offering it monthly. If we get a huge interest we can add it on twice a month.”


The 53-feet long, 30-feet wide catamaran sailboat has a 70-foot tall mast. It can hold up to 49 passengers.

On the way to the island, the captain tells guests about everything from the birds and mammals seen along the way to the history of Keewaydin Island.

On a recent trip, guests saw a bald eagle along with other more common birds.

They also learned that Keewaydin has a large mud puddle made from natural springs that keeps animals alive with fresh water.

If you go

What: Sailing and yoga

Where: Leaves from the Naples City Dock, 880 12th Ave. S. Naples, and goes to Keewaydin Island

When: The Sweet Liberty has daily trips, the next trip with yoga will be March 26, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cost: $55 with yoga, $40 for the trip without yoga

Info: 239-793-3525