09 April 2018
We spent 3 nights at the Ft. Pierce city marina. The weather was beautiful. Temperatures in the mid 60's at night and upper 70's during the day with a comfortable sea breeze. There were pelicans everywhere. Carl's cousin Brenda and her grandson Magnus had lunch with us at the Tiki Hut on Monday 4/2. They have the best crab cake sandwich there! After lunch, Brenda took us shopping and Carl got a hair cut. It was nearly 6 p.m. when we returned to the marina. We filled up the dock cart and hauled our provisions to the boat. Tuesday morning 4/3 we walked to the bakery for breakfast. We relaxed back on the boat and after lunch we took a long walk around town. We visited the Manatee Observation and Education Center, the visitors center, a few shops and had gelato at Uncle Carlo's. Brenda and Magnus came to hang out on the boat with us and then we ran one more errand. Wednesday morning 4/4 we untied the lines at 8:30a.m. It was sunny with light winds out of the south. We motored all day and arrived at our anchorage for the night at 5:15p.m. A few dolphins played around the boat before dinner. Thursday morning 4/5 we had the anchor up and were underway at 7:45a.m. It was cool and clear. There were whitecaps and the winds were 15-20 out of the north. The Haul Over Canal was full of manatee and fishermen. We saw lots of cormorants, pelicans and dolphin. We reached our anchorage at New Smyrna Beach at 4:26p.m. Just before sunset, two huge manatee and one lone dolphin swam right by the boat. Friday morning 4/6 the anchor was up at 6:45a.m. Light, north winds had us motoring again. Our plans were to go to St. Augustine. There were no slips or moorings available so we talked about anchoring there. Then, we changed our plans and pulled in to Marineland marina at 3:00p.m. With unsettled weather in the forcast, we decided to stay a few days. With three nights at the marina, we received two free tickets to Marineland. We have never had enough time to visit on our previous stops here. Saturday morning 4/7 after a "Captain's" breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausage links, we headed across the A1A to Marineland. Marineland, "the world's first oceanarium", was built in 1938 and opened as Marine Studios. Several movies were filmed here. There used to be dolphin shows, but now it is a research and interaction facility. We saw turtles that have been rescued and a tank of seven sand tiger sharks. The sharks are huge...up to 10 feet long. They are endangered and attempts are being made for them to breed in captivity. We watched as they were fed individually with a long pole holding the fish. Because they are so docile and slow moving, they only get 1/2 of one percent of their body weight 3 times a week. For a 400 pound shark that is only about 2 pounds of fish. They add vitamins to the frozen fish. The sharks looked pretty hungry. Afterwards we walked over to the dolphin tanks. It was feeding time here too. After the dolphins jumped up out of the water to take fish out of the trainers hand, they played ball and frisbee. I have always loved dolphins. This reminds me of one of my favorite t.v. shows growing up, "Flipper". I've always said that I would like to come back as a dolphin in my next life! For $230 you can swim with the dolphins. We watched as a dozen people prepared to go in the water with them. I always wanted to do this as a child. I think I prefer to be in a more natural setting if I ever decide to take the plunge. Maybe I'll just jump in the water next time one swims by the boat! It was fun to watch. We had thunderstorms as a cold front came through in the afternoon. Sunday morning 4/8 it was considerably colder. We put on jeans and long sleeved shirts and walked to the farmer's market. There was a man cooking pizzas in a wood fired oven, a hotdog stand, several jewelry booths, baked goods, plants and produce. There was such a variety of food that it was hard to decide what to get. So, we got several things: shrimp, a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, rosemary garlic foccacia, beef empanadas, spanakopita, a jar of bruschetta, canolli, apple and blueberry pastries and an oatmeal cookie! It was getting colder as we shopped. We had to get back to the boat to warm up and we ate the empanadas for lunch. I went to Publix with our boat neighbor to buy ingredients for shrimp chowder. Our boat neighbors, Deborah, Frank, Kathy and Victor came over at five o'clock for wine and appetizers. We enjoyed it and everyone must have had a good time because they stayed until 8:00. Monday 4/8 it rained all day. Our plans have changed once again as the weather deteriorates. We are staying two more nights. But we are not in a big hurry to get home.....it is snowing there!