The real news from Fort Pierce, though, is that our friends Dave and Joan drove all the way from northern Virginia to bring back our cat. YES, SPOT IS WITH US ONCE AGAIN!!! As I am certain Ann will tell you below, Spot fit right back into her first home. After a quick “sniff over,” she approved Traveling Soul for cat habitation and settled right back into her regular sleeping habits. In addition, Dave and Joan are joining us for a couple of weeks during our trip up the Intracoastal. So, with four humans and a cat, we had a pretty full boat when we left Fort Pierce the morning of the 9th. Our destination was the Space Coast of Florida – specifically Cape Canaveral.We had, of course, passed what Floridians call the “Space Coast” many times. And while we had visited Cocoa and Cocoa Beach, we had never taken the extra time and effort to cross the Indian and Banana Rivers to get to the area around Cape Canaveral itself. This time we did. To get to our marina we had to locate and traverse the Canaveral Barge Canal which has two bridges and one lock. I think the lock raised us a total of about one foot each way, so it was not a very big deal. The marina where we stayed, the Ocean Club Marina at Cape Canaveral, was pretty nice; it had a swimming pool that Joan checked out, clean restrooms, good showers and very nice docks.
|Ann's photo of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket.|
While at Canaveral, we got lucky. The night we were there, there was a launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. It was cool having seen the rocket on the launch pad earlier in the day and being able to watch it take off and disappear on its way into space. I have kind of “before” and “after” pictures.
|The Bridge of Lions at St. Augustine.|
Other than go to restaurants, we went to Starbucks each morning while in Saint Augustine, went to the market street a couple of times and visited the Spanish Military Medical Museum – a fascinating experience for anyone interested in either the military or medicine. In addition, Ann, Dave, Joan and Teri Miller (from Miller Time) went on a tour of Flagler College while I vegged out on the boat.
We left St. Augustine on April 16th. About ten miles north of the city we saw three individual Customs and Border Control boats checking on local fishermen. Okay, now think about this. I understand that our president is concerned about the security of our border with Mexico, but at least eighteen border control officers, three machine guns and several hundred thousand dollars in equipment are currently massed protecting America’s border with … uh … no one along the ICW north of Saint Augustine. Maybe they were trying to keep the Georgian Rednecks from fishing in Florida’s waters, or maybe some Cubans were trying a strategic envelopment along the coast. Otherwise, I am confused.
Since we had spent three days on a mooring in St. Augustine and a day before that on the hook in the Indian River, we needed to fill up our water tanks, so we headed to Beach Marina just outside of Jacksonville, Florida. Now most every cruiser knows that the water throughout the marina is very shallow. We were kicking up a lot of mud in our slip on the outside of the T-dock. But what most people don’t realize is that the individual piers do not have any rubber or plastic trimming. That means that when your boat ribs against the pier, it is aluminum on fiberglass – a battle that the boat is sure to lose. Sure enough we had two long scars on the side of the boat. (Yes, I know we should have had a fender down there. We did, but our fender got squeezed out of the space between the boat and the pier.) Dave and I managed to clean the black mark off, but the scar will probably remain until we get a god waxing.
|One of the still-standing slave cabins at Kingsley Plantation|
Our initial intention had been to cruise from Ft. George to Cumberland Island where we would anchor for a couple of nights, then travel to Jekyll – which is just few miles down the waterway – and finally to Brunswick, GA where Dave and Joan would leave us. However, because a front was coming in and Gale Force winds were expected, we decided to reverse the order of our Cumberland and Jekyll visits. In other words, we would go to Jekyll first so we could enjoy the relative protection of a marina, then we would backtrack a few miles so we could anchor at Cumberland in better weather.
|Spot back on board and in one of her favorite haunts.|
I really enjoyed the Kennedy Space center, I remember watching all the space launches and splash downs with my dad. He was a real fan of NASA. It just really brought back so many fond memories. My dad would be just amazed on how different space exploration has become. When the SpaceX was already in orbit, the two fuel rockets were returned to earth on two different landing pads, and will be used again for another launch, the sonic boom told us that the they had returned to earth. No more parachutes and splashdowns.
I know Michael wants to get this blog out so I am going to keep it short.
We are slowly making our way home, we have more friends to visit on the way. We should be back in Solomons, MD by the end of May.
We will keep you posted..