Cooling Our Heels

Merritt Island, FL  28 24.4 N, 080 40.6 W

Here we are at Harbortown Marina on Merritt Island, just south of Cape Canaveral.  We arrived this morning after three days of non-stop sailing down the coast.  Our last update was written from the ocean off Savannah, GA, but I couldn’t post it until today.  Shortly after I wrote the post we encountered dolphins.  Not the swim-by or semi-curious ones that we saw earlier in the trip – these came to play with Little Rosie.  First there were two, then four, and finally six dolphins swimming next to and under our bow.

A dolphin comes to play with Little Rosie

They swam, dove, surfaced, and cavorted so close we could almost touch them.  They transformed four adults into smiling children (see the last picture in the previous post).  The dolphins raced along for about an hour and then as quickly as they came, they swam off.  We sat amazed for the longest time remembering what we had seen.

Cruising is usually moving along at a pace that works, and we were doing great.  We had learned earlier in the trip that a space shuttle launch was scheduled for Monday.  We had a good weather forecast so we kept going.  We were off St. Augustine, trolling for fish at the appointed time.   Cape Canaveral was still almost 60 miles away when the rocket blasted off and appeared from behind our genoa.  At that distance it was still an amazing site.  A glowing red fireball and a long trail of smoke climbing into the sky.  Soon we could see the rocket separate from the shuttle and drop back to earth.  Amazing!

The weather was still holding and we kept sailing through the night.  We arrived off Cape Canaveral early today and headed in to the Canaveral Barge Canal.  We had to negotiate a bridge and then a lock in the canal.  While in the lock we saw a Manatee.  Evidently they understand the rythm of the lock and use it to pass between the outer part of the canal and the Bananna River.

We found an inexpensive marina with an inexpensive slip, warm showers, a cool pool, laundry facilities, and a restaurant.  After about three days we travelled approximately 330 miles – mostly under sail.

We will rest and resupply here and them move south to visit relatives.

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9 Responses to “Cooling Our Heels”

  1. Chris & Bill Says:

    Congratulations on making it this far south! How cool to see your photos, especially of off-shore. Bill loved the dolphin photos. We are jealous! It beats the boatyard at Backyard Boats!

    We spent the weekend putting PLOVER away for the winter at Lark’s dock, even though it was 70 degrees.

    Keep the updates coming!

    Chris & Bill

  2. Haf Jonsson Says:

    Eric/Jackie; Good to see IDA didn’t hold you up long. Thanks for the blog – the detailes in it allow us to follow you step by step on Google Earth.

    Bon Voyage,

    Haf

  3. Terry and Bob Says:

    Hey guys! I am SO jealous … we want to be there! At this rate it’s gonna be tough to catch up with you but glad to see you’re making such great progress. We are too, though of a different kind. The new motor is almost ready to put in, the rigger is coming on Monday, and we’re hoping to be ready to push off by Dec. 1. [Know anyone who needs a fabulous rebuilt Albin transmission?????? We could use some cash to offset all these unexpected costs :(]

    Keep the updates coming and we’ll (hopefully) see you soon!

    Bob and terry

  4. Fay (little sis) Says:

    Hi,
    My students were very excited to hear about the dolphins and manatees. Beth, do you remember the manatee we saw in Florida?
    Beth and Pete, I sure hope you are taking wonderful pictures…I can’t wait to hear more!

  5. Jim Lant Says:

    Eric and Jackie sorry I missed you guys when you were in Hampton. Looking good enjoy your adventure!!

  6. Barry & Nancy Says:

    Any duct tape left?

  7. Greg Cantori Says:

    When we made Cape Canaveral I swore I’d never sail again. Thank goodness time helped wipe that out! Glad you guys made it with fair weather. Continued fair winds…..

  8. Dale Mason Says:

    I’m so glad to finally find your blog. It’s great to hear how your trip is going. I’ll check back often.

  9. Glenna and Mark Says:

    We’re back from California from our adventure and look forward to keeping up with yours.

    Great pictures! What an experience the dolphin escort was! We’ll send you some California pictures so you can remember what land looks like. 🙂

    Be safe.

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