Our goal is to spend the summer months on the Chesapeake Bay, and we have been working slowly that way. Traveling about 30 – 40 miles a day looking for over-nite accommodations along the way.
Leaving Ft. Pierce Florida we moved North to Sebastian Yacht Services, not your big time marina but more, like the name implies a service area. They were very helpful and priced competitively. The owner said, “We wont rip you off any more than the next guy”. If he’s going to be that open I’ll trust him. Right after that he said he was going to lunch and had to pass by the grocery store he give one of us a lift. Cynthia was elected to shop. We stayed one night and pressed on.
After Sebastian came Titusville. That is where we found the Ketch “Sea Witch” from another blog entry. Our main reason to stop in Titusville was by chance see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. We planned our stay to coincide with the launch and luckily the weather held for it to happen. It was a short time before the rocket passed beyond our sight. We were looking at each other after the launch and then the noise of the rocket came. The rocket sound lasted what seemed like a few minutes, all with the flame out of sight. Amazing
Titusville is the home port of, Gold Loopers, Row and Gus Ambler on “Summerland”. Their slip just happened to be right next to were we were birthed. Amblers arrived back after some weeks on the boat and before they were secure in their slip they were asking what they could do for us
We were able to get together and we spent a morning and afternoon checking out the Merritt Island preserve and a great Mexican food lunch.
Proceeding up the coast we made over-nite stops in New Smyrna Beach, just south of Daytona, (Hey Bummer, remember finding the shotgun and radio by the campsite near New Smyrna Beach) and Palm Coast Marina, north of Daytona Beach.
From Palm Coast we traveled to St. Augustine. We figured a little extra time would be spent in St. Augustine, however I didn’t expect almost 2 weeks. St. Augustine is all history, shops, restaurants, carriage rides, and fun.
We had Pirate ships, Spanish Galleons, schooners, and tour boats leaving the dock behind us many times a day. All sorts of pleasure crafts, many mega yachts, coming and going.
St. Augustine Municipal is right next to “old town” and all the transportation outlets to get around town. Each day except Sunday the “Cruisers Shuttle” would pick up boaters and take them to different stores around the area. Being boaters most of the people either went to Wal-Mart, West Marine, or other chandlery shops nearby. The shuttle was free to the riders and was funded by advertisers. So the driver suggested places you might want to visit during your stay in St. Augustine. The “Cruisers Shuttle” worked great for us and the driver brought us to some places that really helped in our maintenance and repairs while at the dock.
One of the big draws to the area is the Fort. Castillo de San Marcos was to be a sure stop. However, they don’t allow dogs in the fort, so, Cynthia went to tour first while Toots and were going for a walk or back to the boat. Toots had other ideas. She would not leave the area while Mamma was touristing. I had to almost drag her away. Finally I found some shade and we sat and waited until Cynthia toured the Castillo.
While we waited Toots met many people interested in her breeding and rugged good looks. She draws a crowd where ever we go. Lately we have begun taking pictures of people and her “fan club” I should have thought of that before. She could have her own Face Book page. I will post some of her pictures in a later issue.
I did get my time to see the Castillo and remembered some of it from when I traveled the area in the early 70’s. One thing was the difference in the cannons. The Spanish made cannons from bronze and the English cast their cannons from iron. Spanish saw the weapons as art and English as just weapons. The pictures show the differences.
Inside some of the rooms the walls have graffiti from soldiers that were stationed and lived at the fort.
St. Augustine is very interesting and offers much for anyone that wants to visit. We will surly stop again, but not for as long. We blew the budget, but it was worth it.
From St. Augustine we moved North to Jacksonville Beach. Jacksonville Beach gave us an opportunity to see the Dragon Boats practice. These long boats were either fiberglass or aluminum, had a crew of 12 with 10 paddlers side by side and coxswain calling the tempo and a person on a steering oar.
Fernandina was an older community that based its welfare on Shrimp. We had just missed the Shrimp festival but the town was very interesting.
Cynthia has told me we will be spending more time in Fernandina on our return trip South.
Just across the Sound from Fernandina we enter Georgia, and that’s another story.
Until next time. Happy Trails