After four full days of settling back into life aboard after a nine-month absence, we…
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See you out there!
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