Title of above picture: David and his first mate.
Well, I’m lazy—what can I say? I had planned to write religiously every day, but by the time we get into harbor, set the fenders out and lines to our slip to our satisfaction, plug in to power (or start generator if necessary at anchor), go in to register, and walk the dog, it’s time to either start dinner and/or appetizers/wine. After a glass or two of wine, there’s no WAY I’m going to have the energy to write a coherent sentence, so that day’s shot. I’ve decided to try to write thoughts down during my morning coffee, since that is not a time I’m liable to skip. Ever.
We left the mooring ball at Titusville fairly uneventfully. Rather than facing another 1/2 mile row into shore to let Hunny pee and poop, David brought the boat into the harbor and just drifted there while I lowered the dinghy, and rowed with Hunny a few hundred feet to a boat launch next to a park. Luckily, she relieves herself on command and very quickly; in 15 minutes, we were back to Golden and ready to start out. Fairly short trip (4-5 hours?) on to the Halifax Yacht Club, a marina that was highly rated on “Active Captain” (the “Yelp” of the mariner’s world). To qualify, one has to be a member of the Marine Trawler’s Association (MTOA), which we fortuitously had joined the day before. Wow. What a change from the night before. For some reason, moorage was the least expensive we’d found so far–almost half of what it cost at the Municipal dock in Vero Beach! It was SO posh–we felt like we brought the quality of the place down by stepping off in bare feet, shorts, and dirty T-shirt’s. I insisted on immediately taking a shower and changing so it wouldn’t be assumed I was a homeless vagrant who’d wandered in. Meanwhile, David was given a tour of the Club, including its long history, and invited to have a drink in their beautiful outdoor “tiki bar” after 4. Of course we complied. We found the members to be incredibly friendly and hospitable, and spent a few hours socializing, eating, and drinking until sunset. The next morning, a Saturday, we heard there was a farmer’s market nearby. So we grabbed a shopping bag and Hunny, and ambled over to see what they offered. To our surprise, it was a REAL farmer’s market– produce just pulled out of the ground, citrus from nearby farms, fresh fish and shrimp caught in local waters. We bought salad ingredients and a homemade “cheese bread” for dinner, and headed back to Golden.
We left the Yacht Club about 11, and headed for a marina in “Marineland”, nearly to St Augustine. Apparently Marineland used to be a huge tourist destination, where people could watch captured dolphins perform tricks, but when animal exploitation became less popular, it was turned into a research center by the University of Florida. The marina itself is glorious–brand new facilities, including docks and electrical pedestals, baths, laundry room. It is extremely protected and quiet except for the faint dull roar of the waves crashing on the beach across the road. After settling in (we arrived at about 2), we took Hunny to the beach, took her off her leash, and allowed her to run as far and as fast as she cared. Oh my gosh, what a happy dog. She turned into a 7 year old puppy–cavorting, growling, running after birds and their shadows, and in general playing her part as the epitome of happiness. After an hour or so of playing (Hunny) and walking (us) we returned to the boat, where Hunny immediately wolfed down a bowlful of food, drank gallons of water, and crashed in a pile of sand on my freshly re-covered sofa cushions. Oh well, she deserved it. Meanwhile we enjoyed our dinner of unbelievably luscious salad made with fresh local produce and dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and “cheese bread” and wine. What a life.
Now it’s morning in Marineland (sounds like a movie, eh?). We plan to head on over to the farmer’s market conveniently located in the marina’s parking lot when it opens at 10, then start out for St. Augustine. We have some mail waiting, as well as our new dinghy. Will write tomorrow morning, god willing.