Dick and Gayl's Cruising Adventures

Central Florida East Coast

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Central Florida, Heading South

Our journal entries are arranged chronologically, so even if this part of the page looks the same to you as it did last time you visited, please scroll down to see if we have added anything since you last checked. 

February 3-5, 2005  Titusville
"The water is wide, I cannot get over . . ."
Much of the 48 miles we traveled today was through wide expanses of water, stretching to the horizon.  Fishermen zipped across the water in their shallow skiffs.  But, we were confined to our narrow channel, and woe to us if we strayed out of the ditch.  These vast waters measured just two feet deep, sometimes less, for as far as the eye could see.

The local specialty is rock shrimp, served here.

Within hours after we got to the Titusville Marina, a front blew in with north winds blasting at 25 miles per hour, and some stronger gusts.  The winds kicked up some waves, and we rolled through the night.

Since the winds showed no signs of abating when we got up the next morning, we decided to rent a car and visit the Kennedy Space Center. 
The local agency, U-Save, offers free pick-up at the marina.  The fellow who came to pick us up arrived in a station wagon with the back seats down and a huge German Shepherd patrolling the car. He pulled up one of the back seats, carpeted in dog hair, and offered it to Gayl.  Gayl shared the back with Timmy the dog, and Dick joined the driver up front.  The windows in back were locked in a half open position so Timmy could hang his head out, which meant Gayl had a windy ride, too.  When we got to the car rental agency, the driver pointed us to the office, then turned to Timmy and said, "You wait here Timmy.  Daddy will be right back."
When we rented the car we had to sign and initial statements indicating that pets were strictly prohibited from the rental cars.


We took our dented and oxidized little Chevy Cavalier to the Kennedy Space Center, and had a most wonderful time.  We walked in a space shuttle; visited the command center for the Apollo Missions, where there were multimedia presentations that helped appreciate and understand the stress and excitement of supporting the missions from the ground; we marveled at how immense the space crafts were and how tiny the crew quarters were. We ended the day with a fabulous 3-D IMAX film shot by astronauts in the International Space Station.

With all our museum experience, we knew we should be disturbed at all the mixing of authentic objects and reproductions, real footage and virtual reality, but we just took it all in as a Disneyland meets rocket science show, and it worked.


We thought that this quote from Charles Duke, Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot, not only summarized his experience, but summarized our experience--at the Space Center and in our wider adventures this year: " Yahoo!  This is so great I can hardly believe it."

February 6, 2005  Vero Beach

We cruised our longest day ever, 75 miles, to get from stormy Titusville to sunny Vero Beach.  By the time we got settled on the dock, it was nearing time for the Super Bowl, so we took a walk into town to look for a bar with a television. Fortunately, the only restaurant open was Mulligan's, an Irish sports and beach bar with a television visible from every table. Unfortunately, we were too tired to sit through the whole game there, so we actually left when we finished our meal, a little before halftime.
There was a television in the boater's lounge at the marina, so we peeked in to catch the last part of the halftime show before heading to Starsong to crash.  We heard the final score and commercial critiques the next day on the radio.  Gayl was more interested in the commercials, Dick more interested in the game, and between us we had it all covered.


The action at the Vero Beach Marina is not really on the docks, but out on the mooring balls.  They have about 75 balls, and they raft three boats per ball, so the waters around the marina are alive with tenders for the moored boats.  The dinghy dock has so many tenders double and triple parked at it that you have to climb into and over other tenders to get from yours to the dock.  Here is a view of a tiny part of the mooring field.  Out here is where we will be next time we pass through Vero. 

February 7 Pirate's Cove Marina Stuart
On our 39 mile cruise from Vero Beach to Stuart, the damage from last hurricane season was the most severe of any we have seen so far. 
For mile after mile between Fort Pierce and Jensen Beach the eastern shoreline was ravaged by the wind and water, leaving 12-20 foot sand cliffs. Earth moving equipment is crawling around in spots, trying to soften the edges of the damage, new pavers line the shore along long stretches, and ugly inflatable wave buffers are tethered out a foot or two from the shoreline to minimize further erosion while work is in progress.
Many homes lost big chunks of their yards and have only pilings left from elaborate dock compounds.  We heard that in some spots waterfront roads were washed into the sea.  

On a lighter note, we listened to Diane Ream on NPR as we cruised,  She was interviewing a chocolate expert, and sampling exotic chocolates from around the world.  We hauled out our stash of Hershey's miniatures to assist us in fully savoring the topic.  We recognized that to fully savor the topic we should have been sampling 75% dark chocolate from France, but as seasoned sailors we are becoming quite accomplished in making do with what is on hand. 

We had a short cruising day, and were on the dock at Pirate's Cove Marina by 1:30.  So, we had a leisurely lunch of focaccia bread with turkey, tomatoes, and melted cheddar on the flybridge, enjoying the sun, the breeze and passing boats.  Then we spent the best part of the afternoon giving Starsong a good washdown, top to bottom.  Once again, a task that would seem onerous on land was a joy afloat.  Boat magic.