Seychelle SUP: Women’s SUP & Love Retreat Key Largo Florida 2024

During the last week of March, I had the opportunity to join Seychelle SUP for her Women’s SUP & Love Wellness Retreat in Key Largo Florida, and wow… What a beautiful week we had! It was filled with many sunny days, dolphins, mangroves, palm trees, paddling, meditations, journaling, yoga, healthy nutritious food, and more. It was the perfect retreat for female paddlers looking to spend lots of time on the water, but also to enjoy living a healthy routine throughout the week. We drank tea, laughed, cried, and shared so many stories that have created a strong bond between all of us that will keep us connected forever. I feel honored that I was able to connect with 14 women from all over the world to share our love of paddling and to bond over our passion for growing the paddling community.

We started the week on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I went to each guest room and placed gifts that Seychelle had collected from her travels on all of the ladies beds which included a journal, Seychelle SUP stickers, and a heart shaped rock that Seychelle had found on the beaches in Bali. Not long after Seychelle and I greeted all of the guests as they arrived one by one. Just from a simple hello, I knew I was going to be in for a great week with these wonderful ladies. We gathered in the living room, introduced ourselves, and talked about the logistics for the week. We discussed the daily itinerary, but also mentioned how each day would differ depending on the weather conditions. Afterwards we had a delicious healthy veggie salad dinner with a variety of protein options for all diet restrictions. We watched a beautiful sunset go down over Tarpon Basin where we were staying at the Dolphin Plus Bayside Resort to conclude our first evening in paradise.

Gifts from Seychelle

Our first night enjoying dinner on the beautiful wrap around porch at the Dolphin Plus Bayside Resort

With each day for the rest of the week, we followed a very similar routine that usually went like this…

6:45 am – Wake up

7:00 am – Daily Meditation led by Seychelle followed by a 10 minute journaling session

7:30 am – Eat a pre-paddle snack (usually yogurt, berries, granola, toast, bananas, oatmeal)

8:00 am – Paddle Session #1

11:00 am – Brunch (which was different every day)

12:00 pm – 3:45pm Free Time

4:00 pm – Paddle Session #2

6:30 pm – Dinner (which was different every day)

8:00 pm – Reflections

9:00 pm – Bedtime

Wednesdays agenda

Even with a similar routine, every single day was uniquely different. On the first full day we started with setting everyone up with proper paddles, boards, and other gear so that everyone felt confident to paddle. Then we paddled to the most stunning mangrove forest I’ve ever seen in my life. The way the tree leaves created a canopy to mark the entrance of the channel felt like mother nature was welcoming us to come inside, look around, and enjoy her forest. We paddled to a rope swing and laughed as some of us had beautiful jumps, and others fell. We felt like children playing amongst the mangrove trees.

Seychelle and the ladies paddling through the mangrove forest entrance

The beautiful mangrove canopy we got to paddle under

Seychelle being her authentic self with these incredible women!

As the week went on, we ate well, practiced paddling drills and skills, saw manatees, had a super fun relay race, did SUP yoga and regular yoga, enjoyed Key Lime pie, had tea time (thanks to the ladies from the United Kingdom), watched more sunsets, and enjoyed each other’s company immensely. All of those activities that we were able to do were not only so much fun, but they felt extra special to be doing them with a world class athlete like Seychelle. As my job on this trip was to document the retreat, I could tell by the amount of photos and videos I took, just how much every single woman on the retreat was enjoying Seychelle’s company. As I saw the endless amount of smiles being shared amongst all of the women, I began to understand why Seychelle is so successful at what she does. Not only is she a phenomenal athlete, she is also a phenomenal human being.

A glimpse of what our evening gatherings looked like

Seychelle running a drills and skills course

She knows exactly how to bring a room full of complete strangers together, while challenging us to open up, talk about our lives, and share our life experiences. For some that was an easy task, but for others it was not, and yet Seychelle was able to create a beautiful space for all of us to feel safe and valued. The openness that she created between us is what made this retreat absolutely magical. Not only did I learn an incredible amount from Seychelle and by being her right hand man (also alongside her incredible husband Will) but I learned a wealth of knowledge from every single woman that participated in the retreat. I learned what it’s like to start your own business, paddle in the UK, create better content for marketing platforms, website SEO’s, and more! Most importantly I also learned how to truly listen and reflect while all of these incredible women shared their life stories with me. Each and every single woman has worked so damn hard to be where they are today and it was so immensely powerful to be surrounded by their energy for the whole week. I can honestly say that I want to be like every single one of these women as I continue to grow up and pursue this wild, fun, crazy paddling journey.

Girls night out on our last evening together in Key Largo

On our last day we woke up at 6:00 am, so that we could be on the water by 6:45 am to watch the sunrise. We quietly grabbed our boards, and hit the glassy water to paddle to the middle of Tarpon Basin. The daylight was beginning to show as we arranged our boards in a circle to join hands and reflect on the week we just spent together. Seychelle asked us to share a rose, a thorn, and a unicorn. The rose being our favorite part of the week, the thorn being something that challenged us during the week, and the unicorn being something we didn’t expect to happen. Most women described their roses as being able to paddle everyday of the week, and our common thorn was how sad we were that the week was over and how we have to head back home to our realities. Not long after we all shared our thoughts, the sun started to peek out from the clouds, and in that moment everything felt calm, still, and just absolutely perfect. It’s almost like Seychelle had ordered a beautiful perfectly timed sunrise for us to enjoy to close out the retreat. We paddled back to the Dolphin Villa’s, packed our bags, and took a few more group photos together before heading home. This week that we spent together I will absolutely cherish in my heart forever and I have thanked Seychelle immensely for the incredible work that she continues to do to bring women together to not only paddle, but to live authentically, learn, and love.

Enjoying our sunrise paddle together

Our magical sunrise with Seychelle

To learn more about Seychelle SUP visit her website

To learn more about the next Women’s SUP & Love retreat and other clinics visit her website

For learn more about Seychelle’s coaching information Download the Seychelle SUP App Here

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About the Author

Maddi Leblanc

Maddi Leblanc is a Niagara born, Canada-based stand up paddling athlete for Team Canada, SUP instructor, and lake surfer. Maddi is also the events and community co-ordinator at Surf the Greats. She has been paddle boarding for over ten years, competing in SUP for seven years, and surfing the Great Lakes for seven years. She is also a masters alumni from Brock University in Recreation & Leisure Studies. Find her on Instagram.

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