Ft. Pierce to Marineland
13 April 2019
We spent three nights in Ft. Pierce waiting for some weather (wind and rain) to move through. There was a lot of wind but not much rain. Brenda took us all to do some provisioning for our trip north. We had some delicious bbq ribs at a place that she recommended for lunch. Brenda came back to the boat with us and we enjoyed a glass of wine together. We talked with cruising friends on S/V SeaQuell, Utopia, and Monarch. They will all be spending some time in Urbanna this summer. It will be fun to see everyone again. Judy and I enjoyed walking around the historic district by the marina at Ft. Pierce. We stopped by the Manatee center and shopped at the gift store.
After fueling up and pumping out, we left the fuel dock at Ft. Pierce marina at 7:40 a.m. It was clear with light S.W. winds.
A huge ray flew out of the water into the air just ahead of us. There were lots of dolphins and pelicans on the Indian River. The homes along the waterway here are beautiful. Some clouds rolled in and we had a few sprinkles of rain after lunch. The winds shifted to the East. Nemo anchored near Cocoa Beach and we rafted up with them at 5:15 p.m. We played a game of dominoes after dinner.
We left our anchorage at 7:30 a.m. We motored to New Smyrna Beach. Traffic was backed up on the NASA Causeway Bridge. There were buses and campers crossing over to get a spot to view the rocket launch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. We could see the rocket on the launch pad in the distance. Haul Over Canal was busy with fishermen and kayaks. We saw manatee, dolphin, skates and jellyfish. We tied up to the New Smyrna Beach free dock at 4 p.m. and walked to town for dinner. We had drinks and pulled pork nachos at Yellow Dog Eats. Then we walked through town and found an opening at the rail road crossing to watch the rocket launch at 6:30. We had a great view of the rocket and the boosters as they fell away. Then we walked to the Corkscrew for dinner. We called it a night and returned to the boats.
We left the New Smyrna dock at 7 a.m. The weather was clear, sunny and hot! The winds were S-S.E. at 5-10 knots. The wind picked up just enough to put
out the head sail for a bit on the Matanzas River. Butterflies have been traveling with us for days. We arrived at Marineland Marina at 3 p.m. We all had dinner on Bay Breezin'. We were tired and so we called it an early night.
Snakes, Turtles and Butterflies....oh my!
Judy and I went for a walk to the beach and returned 5 hours later. We read about a place called Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. It was only a 30 minute walk down the A1A highway from the beach. The city built a beautiful, wide sidewalk for pedestrians and bicycles. There were condos and beach houses part of the way. Then there was a stretch of natural area that was full of wild flowers and wild life. We saw snakes, a large snapping turtle and zillions of butterflies. I kept my eyes peeled for alligators! We finally reached our destination. Washington Oaks is on the National Register of Historic Places. What a beautiful place it was. It has a rich history from orange groves to the homeplace of Owen and Louise Young. He was chairman of G.E.,founder and chairman of RCA. She was a self made millionaire, manufacturing lingerie and table linen in the Philippines, at the age of 19. They built a winter home, an office for his photography interest, a green house, art studio and formal gardens. We walked the half mile of trails through these beautiful gardens with lush tropical foliage, fountains and roses. After visiting the greenhouse and the gift shop, we walked back to the marina. It was 5 miles round trip. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry. After a delicious meal on Nemo, we called it an early night ...again!