Arriving Vero Beach, FL

Dancing with DOLPHINS….

 Greeted by Great Blue Herons…

 Perplexed by Pelicans…

 Blanketed by Blue Skies…

 Entertained by Elegant Homes

 Bounded by the Merrill Barbor Bridge…

We arrive VERO BEACH CITY MARINA and raft up with our boat buddies, Catspaw & Cutter Loose

 Our FLEET of Island Packet Yachts in Vero on mooring #40.

 We check in, and pay $13.90 per night for a mooring ball….what a DEAL…

 Off we go, for our first walk down DATE PALM DRIVE….

Welcome to Vero Beach Florida, a city that knows how to build, manage and run a city marina. The location provides everything so well, that it has been given the name “VELCRO BEACH” because many boaters arrive here and never leave! We too love this location and we look forward to a few days of relaxation before pressing on towards the Florida Keys!

Kennedy Space Center

We awake to a beautiful sunrise over the Space Coast
Today we rented a car and spent the day at the Kennedy Space Center out on Cape Canaveral. What an inspiring place, demonstrating our countries ambitions and accomplishments in the race to conquer space. Rockets and vehicles are on display, from the first Mercury-Atlas up to  CURIOSITY, the Mars rover which we saw launched last week. The exhibit on the moon landing with the full size Saturn rocket, the Apollo Command Module, moon rocks and the Lunar Landing Module was very interesting! 
We learned that in the 1960′ when President Kennedy put forth the vision to land a man on the moon and return him safely, we as a country allocated 7% of our national budget to NASA. Sadly today, we have cut the funding to NASA and it is severely underfunded and recently they have laid off thousands brilliant employees as the USA is exploring the privatization of our space program. Currently the SHUTTLE program has ended and it will not be until 2016 that we have a vehicle capable of sending men and women up to the service the International Space Station. We currently pay the Russian Space program $68 million dollars per astronaut to launch us into space! Next year the fee goes up to $85 million dollars per astronaut. Everyone needs to tour this Kennedy Space Center to fully appreciate our amazing accomplishments in space. 
Arrival at KSC with the rocket garden under the USA flag
Eric, Patricia, Radeen and Hayden with the VAB in the background
Thank you Bob W. IP380 Judith III, for this fun photo
The VAB, Vehicle Assembly Building. 63 stories tall
used to assemble the rockets
This building has not been open to the public since 1976
Looking up into the VAB, the Saturn Rocket moon launch
was assembled in this building as well as all Shuttles. Look at the crane
One of the cranes used in VAB to lift the Shuttle and fuel tanks
Eric, Bob and Hayden in front of Shuttle Endeavor
Pad 39a, this is THE PLACE where the moon launch happened
as well as most of the Shuttle launches.
Radeen and Hayden overlooking Pad 39A and the diagrams
Saturn rocket engines!
Saturn Rocket, stage one. Still the largest, most powerful rocket ever built
Apollo space capsule
Retired Shuttle now being built into a new exhibit building
MARS CURIOSITY rover, just launched. This will take 8 months to reach Mars
Powered by plutonium and electric motors! About the size of a Jeep!
What a fantastic tour, what a great day. Thank you Bob W. IP380 owner of Judith III and knowledgeable space scientist, for enhancing our day at KSC. It was wonderful! Next stop….Palm Shores  anchorage, then VERO BEACH….

Arriving Daytona, Fl

Welcome to Daytona, Florida where the bridges
have mosaic tile work like this! Beautiful

Arriving Daytona Beach is always fun because of the bridge bases tiled with mosaics of manatees and dolphins. Welcome to Florida! We have been here 3 times now and have never been to shore, we always drop anchor, sleep, wake up the next day and move on. Sometime soon we will actually have to stop in Daytona and spend some time exploring.

One exciting aspect to today was passing over 999 NM, that is 999 nautical miles from Rock Hall, MD where we departed Oct 22. Moving a boat 1,000 miles takes some effort and most of all, TIME. We travel at 6 knots, which is 6.6 MPH or at a fast jogging / running speed. So, imagine jogging from Maryland to Florida. You need to run 8 hours a day for about 20 days to do that. It takes time and time is what we have. Lucky us, we count our blessings every day!

There it is…999 NM nautical miles from Rock Hall, MD!
This needs to be added to our 1,560 nm summer up to Maine and back.

OK…here we go again, let’s run up another 999 NM 🙂
Radeen…1,000 miles….actually this makes 12,000+ miles for her
Ocean Sailor Girl, who loves to be on the boat.
Boat house roof at a fishing club / restaurant
Fort Matanzas, built in 1750, Spanish Fort just south of St. Augustine
Beautiful and typical view heading down the ICW
Arriving Daytona, FL, the high rise condos begin to appear
Thank you Daytona for these beautiful bridge base mosaic art pieces

 Next stop….Titusville and Kennedy Space Center….

more St. Augustine, Fl

Spanish fort, Castillo de San Marcos, a National Park

We spent 3 days in St. Augustine, Fl and really like this town. We could see spending a longer period here next visit and even leaving our boat here as many cruisers do. We enjoyed walking around the fort, strolling across the Bridge of Lions, and exploring the historic streets. Radeen couldn’t resist touring the former Ponce de Leon Hotel again, with Tiffany glass window, amazing tile work and detailed murals. The students of Flagler College eat in the grand dining room, which is beautifully maintained. There are many opportunities for dining within blocks of the marina. Columbia is a lovely Cuban restaurant, owned by the same family for 6 generations.

The mooring field is very nice, except at slack tides when the mooring ball bashes into your bow like a big bass drum and wakes you at night. We tried several processes to shorten the scope but the mooring pennants are too large to come over your bow roller and the pennant is long enough, 9 feet to still allow the ball to hit the bow. There was no way to prevent this that we could work out. Next stop….DAYTONA, FL…

IP37 Still Crazy under palms off the fort, St. Augustine, Fl

The newly restored Bridge of Lions, a great bridge to walk across
Great Blue Heron guards the St, Augustine mooring field
New IP arrives from Denmark!

GOOGLE MAP of this location