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Watch dog. Watching people fish. Watching dolphins. Watching pelicans.

Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 7: Cocoa, Fl to Daytona, Fl

Conditions: Clouds and some light rain, cooler, then sun & clouds and warmer.  Winds SSW 5 – 10 mph, ICW calm.

Distance traveled: 68 statute miles

Time underway: 7 hours 17 minutes

Average Speed: 8 kts

Max Speed: 12.3 kts

Fuel used: 62 gallons

Despite our arrival drama at Cocoa, we had a wonderful first night connecting with dear friends Rachel and Pete, long-time cruisers who have given us incredible advice and support on our journey.  We feel lucky to know them and they traveled a distance to Cocoa just to take us to dinner that first night.  After a little discussion, we ended up picking a casual place called Murdock’s Southern Bistro.  The menu was terrific and our server, who went by the name Spicoli (the name of a character in the 80’s classic movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High), was on his game, polite and eager to please.  The only picture we took was of the fish dip, which was excellent.  The Fish Tacos with the fresh caught Cobia were reportedly tasty as was the Seared Tuna Salad and the Strawberry Chicken Salad.  However, the Admiral can attest that the Lobster Mac-n-Cheese was…decadent!  Sorry, it’s hard to take pictures when there’s a fork in your hand!  Thanks, Pete and Rachel, it was a wonderful evening. 

We took the next day off from cruising due to weather which enabled us to catch up on life a bit.  That night we were joined by Ramie, Tim, and Ringo, the Miss Norma crew, for a great dinner onboard of chicken marsala, truffle oil Brussel sprouts, crispy garlic, rosemary red potatoes and a fresh garden salad.  Evenings like this are important.  Conversations about future travel plans and the day’s events on this shared journey on the water are smattered with laughter, gratitude and camaraderie.

We caught Miss Norma leaving at first light. See you soon Miss Norma!

We had an easy departure from the terrific Cocoa Village Marina.  It was quite the opposite of our arrival as it was relatively calm.  We send Dockmaster Trish special thanks for treating us so kindly and welcoming us with open (and strong!) arms!  We’ll see you soon.

Early light leaving Cocoa Village Marina.

Because the bridge of the boat was rather wet after an early morning soaking and there was our first cool breeze of the trip blowing, we opted to run from the pilot house until things cleared up.  They ultimately did save for a couple of light showers here and there.  This leg of the ICW has some of the easiest stretches of waterway with few problem areas along the way. A couple of hours after being underway we passed Titusville which, to us, is one of those iconic stops on the trip (there wasn’t any room at the docks for us to have stopped there this time).  When Jasper was a puppy on his first trip down the ICW when we helped a friend move his boat, we had a memorable stop there because there’s a great dog park.  It’s very popular among cruisers.  We also passed through the train bridge – normally left open – that carried the shuttles to Cape Canaveral.

Following Miss Norma through the open Cape Canaveral train bridge.

When we were just north of Titusville we noticed that Jasper was suddenly on alert and then we were hailed by the motor vessel Arietta, a lovely blue-hulled Eastbay, as he wished to pass us.  After the pass was complete he hailed us again to chat and told us that he was the gentleman that would walk by our boat several times a day at Stock Island Marina over the winter with his Sheltie.  Let’s just say Jasper was always aware when their Sheltie was nearby and let us all know.  It’s a fun part of the trip connecting that way with the good people you’ve met along the journey.

Arietta on the move with Jasper’s “friend” aboard.
Shortly after Titusville is another spot that always stands out in our minds, Haulover Canal.  It connects a stretch of the ICW that’s slightly more inland with a stretch closer to the ocean.
Folks line the banks for some good fishin’. Not sure what they are catching…but it’s not our wake!

How Jasper spends a lot of the ride each day, checking out the beautiful sights and hoping for a sea creature sighting.
Jasper’s reward for his patience!
How a lot of our day looked.
Bait. Beer. Snacks. Ice. And lots of people waving who seem…nice.
We’re drawn to this image. Maybe it’s the wistful sky. Maybe it’s the forlorn abandoned structure. Maybe it’s the feeling that it could be anywhere…

A lot of boaters lament the many no-wake Manatee Zones that you encounter where you’re required to travel at very slow speeds, often for good distances.  We don’t mind it as the idea is to protect these amazing creatures.  But rarely, if ever, have we actually ever seen a manatee in a manatee zone.  Today was different as we continued along the Indian River North near Oak Hill, Florida when we were in a Manatee Zone for several miles and were treated to a show from the sea cows and dolphins for much of the stretch.  It was hard to capture good shots but it was a moment to really sit back and enjoy the magic of the waterway.

Shortly before arriving at our destination, this sunken sailboat was just off the main channel. According to notes online it has been there for quite some time. It obviously takes a lot of resources to fix a situation like this but it seems strange that it wouldn’t be taken care of.

Our arrival at Halifax Harbor Marina in the mid-afternoon was uneventful.  It’s a big, municipal marina that we’ve stayed at before with a wonderfully friendly staff and concrete floating docks.  We fueled up, pumped out and took Jasper for a nice long walk and settled in for an evening with the Miss Norma Crew who arrived after us, looking forward to dinner and the impending space launch down the coast.

Approaching the turn off the ICW into Halifax Harbor Marina.
Bill (formerly from near our neck of the woods in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and Miss Bert (above) were not only attentive and efficient assisting in our pump out and fuel up, but Miss Bert also showed Jasper some extra special love. Thanks for the kindness, Miss Bert!
Miss Norma arrives at Halifax Harbor Marina as we fuel up OLOH.

See you out there!

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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I loved our evening together and look forward to spending more fun time with you both and of course Jasper in the future! Safe travels on the high seas!
  2. Rachel and I really enjoyed our time with you in Cocoa and the chance to catch up on "Boats, Plans, Life" aboard OLOH. Since this was the first time I had been on board since the first week of your purchase, the transformation of the salon, helm and galley was nothing short of amazing. You have truly made it "home" with great attention to detail and stylish comfort. Oh course, the Jasper makes it even better! We look forward to following along as you head north and wish you continued safe passage. Pete & Rachel
    1. It was wonderful sharing time with you both. Thanks for the kind words about the transformation, it's always a work in progress but it does feel like home. We'll see you on the water one way or another!

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