Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Friday, May 20, 2016

hanging on the hard

Hanging on the Hard

Before continuing north, we made a stop in Jacksonville for a bottom job and a few other out of water fixes.  After a quick run up the St John River and a few nights at our floating home in Ortega Landing Marina, we were hauled out at Lambs Yachting Center by Richard.  Here we sit on the gravel while the rains delay the painting although Steve continues to work on his fixes.  We have a new door lock, flopper stopper for swells at anchor, and new packing around the prop… Inside new fabric is on order for some refreshed cushion covers to be sewn as power and space permit.
Our kind hosts at Lambs have lent us a portable AC unit to keep the main cabin cool enough for sleeping since the high humidity and temps do not make this the ideal time to sit in the yard.  On the water there is most often a breeze which moderates the temps and we can always use our boat’s AC.
Lambs also have new bathroom facilities and even provide us the use of car. Our Ortega home is just next door with our other floating friends.  We joined a group at Moon River Pizza on Wednesday for cruising news and great pizza.
One of these days we will be back in the water and on our way north….

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Bike Friendly Florida City

A Bike Friendly Florida City

Marineland, FL is a tiny gem 18 miles south of St Augustine – on a slim slice of land between the ICW and the Atlantic Ocean.  Originally the draw here was the first Oceanarium built as movie studio under water in the 1930s.  It has evolved into a dolphin research and immersion center with major associations like the University of Florida Whitney Lab and the Georgia Aquarium.  Our stay in the marina included general admission to the dolphin center with an up close look at the bottle nose dolphins.

After a walk in the neighboring HAMMOCK, we also took advantage of a sunset kayak trip on the Matanzas River. Our guides explained why this is a very rich ecosystem – it is the only small area where the grasses and mangrove ecosystems co-exist.  The mangroves dominate to the south and the grasses to the north – it only here in a narrow band where they overlap. From the tandem kayaks we had a good look at the grasses and mangroves as well as the oyster beds since we made our trip at low tide. 

But, one of the best features of this stopover is the protected bike path that links Marineland with Flagler Beach.  We traveled a little over 5 miles of the path making several stops. At the Washington Oaks Gardens we walked the paths created by Louise Young when she developed the property with her husband in the late 1930s.  The small winter home that they built contrasts with the opulent mansions of Palm Beach, yet retains a livable design with cozy appeal.  It also is oriented to the view of the river and the extensive gardens designed by Mrs. Young. Although the roses were in bloom, sadly the famous koi ponds were mostly dry and under renovation.  Just a good reason to visit here again!

Further south we stopped for lunch at the Captains BBQ at Bing’s Landing.  The delicious ribs were followed by a tour of the Mala Campra archeological dig that is protected under a pavilion in the park. The site preserves remnants of the Mala Campra plantation structures – early settlers to North Florida.

On south we made a stop at the Hammock Hardware store – a family run business with deep roots in the community.  This is not a big store but they have a little bit of everything and of course, Steve found a few “must haves.”

From there we went on to Publix all on a shaded, protected bike path with stop signs at several intersections.  Most of the time we bike with traffic noise, pollution, and danger, so it was delightful to enjoy a ride with scenic stops free from hazards.

 The Sunday Farmers Market was another bonus - fresh fish, veggies and baked goods - all just steps from our boat.

Finally,  Marineland Marina was a great place to meet other cruisers.  We were inspired to meet Carl and Gail - octogenarians still actively cruising.  It was also great to get their tips for Bahamas travel mining some 30+ years of crossing the Gulf Stream. 

Good Friends

Good Friends

After a few days in Vero Beach restocking and catching up on laundry we headed to Cocoa, FL to meet up with Tim and Norma.  They kindly drove down from Orlando to spend the afternoon with us. Thankfully the weather was settled and we enjoyed an afternoon of catching up with these friends from our Aramco days.  Tim just finally retired so we had a lot to celebrate. Hopefully it will not be another three years before we meet face to face!

Thanks also to Jeff for the info on our new tripod!  What would we do without friends?