Not too much exciting about Stuart this time around, so we’ll jump straightaway to our Monday departure. Seventeen- to twenty-knot winds, but otherwise absolutely gorgeous.
Know what else is gorgeous? An aft-facing camera, that’s what. Unless we were piloting Misty Pearl from the flybridge, we had a pretty limited view of the sportfish boats zooming up from behind, waiting for the worst possible time to throw a huge wake at us. Now at least we can see the bastards coming.
Dana and Oscar seem to prefer the pilothouse lounging area. It’s worth pointing out that if they had been in position a few days ago, Doug probably wouldn’t have driven us into that drainage ditch. So it’s probably fair to just go ahead and blame them.
One of the many things we forgot about since we last came through here is that inlets suck. And blow. No really, inlets suck and blow. Inlets allow tidal water to come in (flood current) and go out (ebb current). Depending on the direction and location of ICW travel, you either get sucked or blown. Which sucks. And blows.
Anyway, easy trip up to Vero Beach, where we met up with Steal Away—a Looping sailboat docked behind us in Clewiston, and Talisman—a Looping Targa 48 that lost its burgee to the sea a few hours earlier. Nice folks. Not much else happened. We have no idea how Chris and Heather are doing, or whether the wedding they advertised on the restroom doors two years ago even took place. But we wish them well.
We also wish well to River Runner. Hopefully he doesn’t encounter any eight-inch waves.
Yesterday was another easy day up to Melbourne. The only tricky bit was when we passed Green 65. Someone recently posted a warning on the AGLCA forum about shoaling in the channel. Yup, there was shoaling in the channel, but we snuck through.
It’s always fascinating to see neighborhoods on islands accessible only by boat. Grant Farm Island, for example, is one of those.
Supposedly some rich dude was going to put a resort here, but didn’t. Now it’s just a bunch of old people, because according to the article we read, young people move away when they discover sex.
The startling part of the day came after we docked at Melbourne. Melbourne claims to be the birthplace of Florida because Ponce de Leon landed here. Our last trip through here we commented on old Ponce and on St. Augustine’s liberal use of his name for marketing purposes. But since then, to quote The Dude, “certain things have come to light.”* Some map collectors and archeologist types have determined that Europeans had mapped some of Florida well before all that Fountain of Youth nonsense. In fact, they have proffered evidence that John Cabot—whose eponymous trail gave Doug numerous opportunities to annoy Dana with stops to drone—was here first. The de Leon stuff is a sham. Yup, from Augustine (St.) to Zook (Ron), Florida is just a hotbed of liars and cheats.** But we love Melbourne, which may have the best breakfast joint in the state.
This time, we zoomed right past Cocoa Beach without even a photo from the ICW. Cocoa Beach is famous as the home of Major Tony Nelson and that magical scamp Jeannie (not to be confused with our Looper friends on Magic Jeanne). On a tangentially related note, years ago Doug had a brush with greatness when he spent quality time in a Phoenix bar chatting with Major Roger Healy. “Hi Bob” indeed.
Tonight we’re in Titusville. Our first time here. Our initial observation is that The Tuxedo Bomb at Pier 220 really is the bomb. Doug’s seen way too many YouTube videos of birds attacking drones to take a chance, but the osprey guarding the marina from atop a sailboat mast took a break which allowed a very quick flight shortly before sunset.
Tonight, game two of the Women’s College World Series. Tomorrow, Daytona Beach, where the statute of limitations should protect us from repercussions from any spring-break indiscretions that one or more of us may or may not have in his or her past.
On a final note, here are some pelicans.
* The Big Lebowski—one of the great art films of our time—opens with “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” in the background. Doug knows all the movie lines but failed to recall the soundtrack in time to reference it in our post introducing Tumbleweed. Obviously quite mortifying for Doug. Dana doesn’t really seem to care.
**Football season is around the corner. Expect those liars and cheats in Gainesville to be near the top of the SEC East again, while the Volunteers—paragons of integrity and virtue—languish behind. It’s not a coincidence people.