From Jacksonville to Cocoa, FL (January 20, 2018 to February 1, 2018)

Webster defines a vagabond as a “person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home”. That seems like a pretty good definition for the two of us, although maybe we are more like a turtle; we travel slowly taking our home with us wherever we go. Regardless of the terminology, we know our mission at this point of our lives is to move about, and after being in Jacksonville for almost two months, it was time for us to venture out again.

IMG_2351Carter enjoying a little down time on the iPad before dinner and watching a movie.IMG_2352

Leaving Jacksonville is always a little harder than you might think. First of all, and most importantly, it means saying, “see you later” to Kelly and her family; somehow that never gets easier. Also, no matter how hard we try, departing from Lamb’s Yacht Center never seems to go quite as smoothly as we would wish. Our plan was to borrow Carter for the night of January 20th, and to leave Lamb’s on Saturday with him, traveling a couple of hours down the St. John’s River before starting back onto the ICW and heading south the following day. Plans are nothing if not flexible, however, when boating in concerned. Workers that were supposed to show up on Thursday did not arrive on schedule due to the weather, which meant we weren’t ready to leave on Friday. We still borrowed Carter, though, and he, and we, had a great time together on his first ever all alone sleepover away from home.

IMG_2353The St. John’s River is colorful and diverse.  Here are cranes that unload containers from cargo ships.IMG_1298Pelicans are just such funny birds.  They are lined up watching us as if to ask what we are doing on their property.IMG_1307Just a little way down the river from the cruise ships and the cargo ships, this gentleman was throwing out crab pots.  He was joined by this pelican who took off from the bow of the boat when he found there were no snacks aboard.IMG_1309Arriving in St. Augustine.IMG_1315The beautiful light display in St. Augustine lasts from November 18th to January 31st.  We were so happy we decided to stay on the north side of the Bridge of Lions so we could enjoy the view at night.IMG_1319IMG_1324I love shrimp boats.  These two headed out the morning after we arrived in St. Augustine.

Monday arrived, and we expected to start out, but unfortunately, when John checked the engine room, he found one more item that needed to be attended to before we left. That maintenance taken care of, we started out Wednesday afternoon for the short trip to the marina at the Jacksonville Sports Complex. Once again, though, after being underway for only a few minutes, John entered the engine room and this time found that the shaft to one of the engines was out of alignment. Back to Lamb’s again! Finally we made a successful departure from the Yacht Center on January 26, and we were on our way. We spent the night at the downtown marina, then, the next day completed an easy and flawless trip to St. Augustine, where we spent two nights on a mooring right next to the beautiful downtown, still lit with countless lights for the holiday season.

IMG_2354Passing through the Bridge of Lions before sunrise was a beautiful sight.IMG_2359IMG_1325White pelicans congregating on a tiny island.IMG_1332Entering the marina at Daytona Beach we spotted these workers tearing down a bridge.  I just liked the lines and colors in these shots.IMG_1334

We left St. Augustine before sunrise Monday, January 29th, and traveled to Daytona Beach. While I really don’t like to be cold, I really do prefer to sit on the bow as we move along, and the days were just cold enough that I needed to be wrapped up in a fleece and a jacket. Still, with my cup of coffee to keep me warm, I braved the non-Florida-like temperatures and stayed outside most of the way.

IMG_1336Our view of the wrath of Hurricane Irma has been only along the coastline, of course.  Here, on this stretch of the ICW, there was no doubt that Irma had passed by.IMG_1337IMG_1339These birds seem pretty happy with the situation.  I’m sure the homeowner is not!IMG_1340IMG_1341I’m guessing this boat isn’t getting much use these days.  It would be tough to get to it!IMG_1342IMG_1343You would have to swim to sit on this pretty dock.  IMG_1345Warning!  Do not walk this dock after happy hour!IMG_1354A successful launch of Falcon 9.  Next week is Falcon Heavy.  I wish we could have stayed to see it blast into the sky too.IMG_1359IMG_1364IMG_1370IMG_1384IMG_1387IMG_1392The bridge in Titusville is beautiful at night.IMG_1402The Super Blue Moon lit up the anchorage last night.IMG_1412

We were excited for Tuesday’s trip, as we were moving to Titusville, near the Kennedy Space Center, and a rocket launch was planned for the late afternoon. The ride to Titusville was cold and windy, and when we arrived at the mooring field where we had expected to stay, the seas were a little too rough for my liking. We quickly called the marina there and they thankfully had room for us to get a dock. Before long, we found that the launch had been scrubbed for mechanical reasons and was postponed until the next day. We decided to spend an extra night in Titusville to watch the launch, and we were rewarded with a great view under beautiful blue skies. To top it off, that big beautiful full moon lit our view of the water at night.

IMG_2373Cocoa Village, Fl.  Finally warm weather again!IMG_2374IMG_2376IMG_2377IMG_2380John loves to check out the hardware stores in towns.  This one had the biggest wrenches I have ever seen!


This morning, February 1st, we pulled out of the Titusville Marina and traveled just a few hours in finally warm 73-degree temperature to the Cocoa Village Marina in Cocoa, Florida. Cocoa Village is a pretty, historic place that is just across the street from the marina. There are shops and restaurants up and down the streets, and today we enjoyed a lovely lunch outside on the water, basking in the warmth and the beauty of the rooftop restaurant. Afterwards we enjoyed a nice walk through the village and checked out some of the shops along the way.

We will continue tomorrow on our way southward. The temperatures finally seem to be stabilizing in the 70’s during the day, and we will be able to shed our jackets, don our flip-flops, and apply our sunscreen once again. Kirby will continue his ceaseless dolphin watch as we motor along, and he will be rewarded with innumerable sightings. Our vagabond life will continue once more as AfterMath travels at the speed of a riding lawn mower through the state of Florida. And, yes, we are living our dream.

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