June 20 New Smyrna Beach to Cocoa

All night long the wind blew causing the boat to rock and move in the slip.  I prayed for the winds to lessen for tomorrow, so we could move on to a new destination.  When we got up this morning, the winds did seem lighter, but still blowing pretty steady.  We did a thorough check of all the weather sites and the predicted winds were supposed to be a little lighter today, but still difficult to exit our slip at the marina.  We made a group decision to stay another day.  We went through all our morning routines, including taking Auggie for his walk.  On the way back to the boat, the wind seemed to die off quite a bit, so we checked the weather forecast again and after some discussion, we decided to take a chance and move down to Cocoa--the Canaveral Barge Canal and Harbortown Marina--to be exact.  Randy participated in the discussion from the top deck of the boat through the hatch.

The decision is ultimately left up to the captain since he is the one that drives the boat.  Ran and I agreed that whatever Bob felt comfortable doing is what we agreed to do.  We knew that most of the way south, we would be somewhat protected from the winds by the barrier islands, but there were a couple of open water areas where the wind would be stronger and produce bigger waves.  One of those areas was the Mosquito Lagoon and the other was the open water area from the Haulover Cut to where we would turn off the ICW near Cocoa on the Indian River.  Once we got into the Canaveral Barge Canal, we would be somewhat protected from the wind and would have an easier entrance into the Harbortown Marina.  We untied the lines and pulled out of the marina at 9:45, a little later than we normally get going, but the winds had lightened up by then and it was good to take advantage of that.  It was a beautiful day with mostly sunny skies, cooler temps, and less humidity.  Not far out of New Smyrna Beach Marina, we saw TowBoat US trying to pull this beautiful boat off of the sandbar.  That's never good. 

It was a pretty easy ride until we hit the open water in Mosquito Lagoon.  Then we had waves quartering on the port beam causing waves splashing against the side of the boat.  Our window on the port side was totally covered in salt which made it hard to see out of.  The ride was smooth nonetheless.  Once we turned into the Haulover Canal, the wind and waves were behind us, so we coasted into the canal.  It was full of fishermen today.

This is a slow, no-wake zone, so Bob had Randy clean the windshield so we could all see better.

After that, Randy took advantage of the slow speed in the canal to relax on the bow and take it all in.

In the canal, there were many manatees mating.  We had to proceed carefully so as not to hit any.  They were all over in the canal.  We even had to pass over a couple....very carefully.  Once we passed through the canal, Randy came off the bow and picked up speed to cruise down the Indian River.  The wind picked up a little as we finished our trek into the Canaveral Barge Canal.  We crossed under the bridge and past the SeaRay plant, where our boat was built in 1997.

We went down the canal about 3/4 of the way and eventually came to the Harbortown Marina entrance where we would spend the night.

We pulled into this protected marina and took a spot on the end of the pier, for easy in, easy out departure.  Once we got tied up, Randy gave the boat a rinse to get rid of all the salt.  It was coated with salt on the port side.

After we settled in, it was time to go for a swim in the pool, so we headed up to check in at the marina office and then to the pool. 

We found a shady spot on the pool deck and relaxed after a day on the water.  Ran and I floated in the pool.  We had it all to ourselves!

Nicole offered to drive down from Jacksonville to pick Randy up and take him to the Orlando airport for his flight tomorrow.  She ran into a traffic jam due to a wildfire south of Jacksonville and was stuck in traffic for over an hour.  That delayed her arrival at the marina until 5:30.  Once she arrived, we decided to go out to dinner together in Cocoa.

We wanted to go back to Norman's Raw Bar and Grill to have dinner.  It was closed on Sunday when we wanted to go there last time we were in Cocoa. 

We had a nice dinner together and lots of laughs. 

On the ride back to the boat, we crossed the bridge over the Indian River.  The setting sun created pink cottonball clouds.  The winds were calm and the water below us looked like glass.

Ran and Nicole came back to the boat to collect Randy's things.  They stayed for 30 minutes to finish watching the Bachelorette show where the brother of Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers' quarterback), Jordan, was a participant.  After the show was over, it was time to say goodbye, so Ran and Nicole could make the drive up to Orlando for the night.  We said our goodbyes and they were gone.  We enjoyed our short time with my brother, but made plans to get together again soon.  The sky was beautiful as the last bit of sun lit up the horizon.

Tonight there is a full moon, called a strawberry moon.  For the first time since 1967, the strawberry moon and the summer solstice coincided Monday in a rare occurrence.This occurrence will not happen again until 2062.  Its name does not actually reflect the real color of the moon.  The tag for the full moon in June was actually given by the native Americans since it was the time to harvest strawberries.   The moon we saw was bright in a clear sky, but did not appear pink.  It had an orange glow that can't really be seen in this picture, but beautiful just the same.  What a nice way to end the day.