June 13 Cocoa to Daytona

The weather forecast was for temps in the 90s.  Can this really be only mid-June?  We pulled away from the dock around 9 AM after discovering this morning that our bilge pump was constantly running.  How long was that happening?  Needless to say, we have to replace the faulty pump.  So Bob called West Marine in Jacksonville and they will deliver a new pump to the St Augustine Marina in a couple of days.  It won’t take long for Bob to swap out the old one for the new one and we’ll be good to go.  It’s always good have your own mechanic on board.  SeaRay was test-driving a new boat in the ICW near their Merritt Island SeaRay plant.

When we were on cruise speed it created a very nice breeze on an otherwise muggy day.  From the ICW just south of Titusville, we got a good view of the Kennedy Space Center assembly building and the launch pads to the left in the picture. 

As we approached the Haulover Canal and Bridge, we encountered 5 or 6 manatees and a few dolphins in our path.  With care, we passed through the canal and entered Mosquito Lagoon with Merritt Island to the east, which is a National Wildlife Refuge.

It is also a restricted area for boats during a space launch, but it has a great view of the launch pad from there.  We encountered a few boats along the way, but for the most part, boat traffic was light on this Monday.  We came upon a “slow, no wake” zone that was 5 miles long teeming with manatees.  No wonder we had to go slow.  They were everywhere!  We saw this osprey nest built on the very top level of the roof of this unusual looking house.  Great place to build a nest!

Farther down the way, we noticed this house for its unusual scalloped roof line, front and sides.

This “slow, no wake” area is the only area we’ve ever seen with a daytime and nighttime speed limit for boaters.

We came upon this houseboat that was aground on this barrier island. We’ve seen so many boats like this on our trip.

This stretch of waterway is very shallow outside of the channel in the ICW.  If you stray outside the channel, you will probably run aground on an oyster bed like this one.  When the tide is out, the oyster beds are easy to see.  When the tide is in, they are just under the surface of the water and disastrous to hit. Bob has to be very watchful ALL the time.

Next up, New Smyrna Beach and this stinky island of pelicans.

We also discovered a new marina in town that was not shown in my outdated 2010 Waterway Guidebook.  We’ll have to check it out on our way home.

We went from coastal wilderness at Titusville to the “city” starting at New Smyrna.  This distinctive red lighthouse stands 175 feet tall guarding the entrance to Ponce de Leon Inlet.

Once we could get back up to cruising speed, we came across SeaTow assisting a pontoon boat without steering.  Been there!  Done that! 

There was no threat of rain today for our 5 hour trip.  The high rises began to appear as we neared Daytona and our stop at Halifax Marina for the night. 

We often get jet skiers like this who want to jump their jet skis over our wake.  It makes for quite an entertaining show.

We saw more boats that were abandoned and aground along the shoreline.  Unfortunately, it takes the state or county a long time to clear them out of the water or be salvaged.

We arrived in the marina at 2:00 and it was a long, hot ride.  We docked without any problems and got settled in for the evening.

Auggie was so anxious to get off the boat he was actually whining.  The concrete pier was so hot to the touch that I carried him there and back, but he got to run around in the park and chase squirrels.  He got very warm and I didn’t want him to get overheated, so after awhile we returned to the boat to cool off in the AC.  We both needed it!  Our trip took so long today because of all the slow, no wake zones we had to pass through.  I help a little with the navigating, check signs and bridge heights with binoculars, watch for channel markers and crab pots, and get food and drink for the captain, but Bob really does all the work.  He was beat and the three of us just wanted to have dinner (leftover pizza for us) and chill out for the evening.  We saw dark clouds and heard thunder off to the west of us, but we didn’t expect to get wet tonight.  After dinner, Auggie and I took our evening walk and came back to the boat to watch a little TV.  We’ll all sleep good tonight.     

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