We make it to Cocoa Beach Village!
(Warning!!!! Bad word ahead!) Last night SUCKED! We didn’t get much sleep. We were tied up on the river so there was lots of wind and current that causes slapping against the hull. Then around 1:30, we got hit with 35 mph sustained winds and gusts over that, followed by heavy rain. So it was up to check lines at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30… At 4:30 I gave up and got up. Around 5:30 a fishing boat came through at full throttle and cause our boat to rock fairly violently banging into the dock. It woke Brenda up with a start thinking that the boat was sinking.
So a little tired we left New Smyrna Beach around 8:30, headed for our final destination Cocoa Beach.
The weather was a little cool, but the skies were mostly clear and there was not much wind. The route from New Smyrna to Cocoa Beach has a lot of Manatee Zones where you can’t go very fast. So we just put the boat on autopilot and cruised along looking at the unique houses and artwork.
We met several boats heading north, and finally got to speed up when we entered Mosquito Lagoon which is long and wide and looks like deep open water, but aside from the 100′ wide channel at 10-12 ft, it is only 2-4 feet deep. Cruising past a “desert island”, Brenda noticed that it had a picnic table on it.
At the end of Mosquito Lagoon, is the Haul Over Canal, which is a major Manatee activity zone. The drawbridge had enough clearance that we didn’t need to have it opened for us. We saw a group of kayakers, a few dolphins, and one Manatee who vanished before we could get a picture. When we exited the canal (which is only about 1 mile long), the weather on the other side was VERY windy. Funny how things can change so fast.
We were able to get back up to a decent speed however even though the ride was a bit rough. We passed some sandy islands with lots of birds and Brenda got some good photos of Pink Spoon Bills. Our next bridge was the NASA Railroad bridge, which is open unless a train is going over it so that was just a short slowdown going through.
After the railroad bridge, we passed the Titusville Mooring field where we spent a night on our way home, and then reached our last drawbridge, the NASA Parkway Bridge, again we fit under without an opening and we were on the home stretch to Cocoa Village Marina! The Indian River is wide and the channel is fairly straight and easy to follow so we made pretty good time.
As we neared Cocoa Village, we went past the NASA Cape Canaveral launch facility and the NASA rocket museum with shuttle launch boosters and tank on display. Unfortunately, we missed the last launch by a few days and the next launch is not until April, but it was still neat to see the launch buildings and towers. Our marina is only about 15 miles from the launch pad so when there are launches, this is a very busy area.
We made it into the marina around 1:00 pm. The approach is very twisty and the marina itself is very tight. We had to back into our slip but made it in without incident. The tides here are very small, only 8-10 inches vs. the 8-9 feet in Georgia so all the docks are fixed rather than floating, and the tie-up is different than we are used to.
This is one of the friendliest marinas we’ve been to. We were guided in like an airplane by an air traffic controller, and met at the dock by Tricia the Dockmistress who helped guide us backing into the slip, and made sure we were well tied up. The facility is great and our dock neighbors are very friendly. The boat beside us had met us at Wacca Wache when they spent the night this past summer (Small world).
We checked in and walked across the street to Cocoa Village which is a revitalized downtown. Lots of small shops, art galleries, and eateries, we had dinner at a converted grocery store that opened in the late 1800s. The front windows were glass arched doors from a nearby hotel, and the floor of the deck outside was the seat boards from the local high school bleachers. Quite an interesting place.
We are here for 6 days, (I’ll blog once during the stay). Bethanny is coming to visit over the weekend and we are going to take her out for her first ride on the boat.
Today’s stats, 45.5 nm, 4 hours underway, the day started warm with light winds and ended cool with 20-25 mph winds.
Tom & Brenda