Again, we headed south. Our first anchorage was in the St. George's River. Not too bad of an anchorage, but very narrow with a bit of small boat traffic. Still, the National Park was interesting, with a fair amount of old plantation ruins to explore.
After the next day's travels, we anchored just off the ICW north of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. This was a large, fairly popular anchorage due to its having weaker currents than south of the bridge. We did not go ashore here, as the only dinghy dock was out of range for our poor rowing arms. Immediately to our east was the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which looked interesting but was not easily accessed from our position. Pirate ships abounded in these waters, and made for some entertainment value.
On our third day of this leg, we anchored near "R44" in Daytona Beach. Unfortunately, we touched bottom here while working our way through the anchorage, but were able to get free after a few hours of work and tidal inflow. Of course we were IN BETWEEN other, larger boats when we found this bar, in depths charted to be 14 feet. We never saw enough water in this anchorage, and getting in and out was fairly nerve-wracking. Neither the electronic or paper charts showed the same depths as our sounder.
And finally, we made it to Titusville. The anchorage is typical of what we've come to expect in Florida. Off the ICW, in six to seven foot depths. Darcy took the helm and tried to manuever us as close as possible to the marina, but we kept running out of water. So we settled for being close to the ICW channel, and getting a bit more exercise rowing in. Titusville is not much of a tourist town, but it IS great for provisioning, with groceries and such within a few blocks of the dinghy dock. Save-a-Lot seems to be cheaper than Sam's, without the bulk requirement! Also, our first night in we splurged on a Papa John's pizza with pepperoni, which was absolutely delicious!
And so I sit in Titusville. Darcy boarded a bus Thursday bound for Michigan, and two weddings. I got to stay and watch the Shuttle Atlantis launch on what is probably its last mission. Friday, thousands of people flooded into Titusville to watch the launch. The bridge just south of our anchorage was absolutely covered with pedestrians, as a prime viewing area of the launch. I tuned to the NASA AM radio station, and listened to the commentary and countdown in realtime. Even at a distance, I could here the cheering of the crowd the moment the shuttle lifted off the pad. It was an amazing thing to watch!
Rowing in to get provisions for the Shuttle Launch Potluck at the marina in the evening, I saw evidence of the thousands of people that flock to the area for a launch. Not a single space in Titusville did not have a vehicle on top of it. Some people even tried parking the driving lane on the major highway! Trailers peddling shaved ice, cold drinks, and inflatable space shuttles were everywhere. I was able to classify six different languages, and saw license plates from 18 states. Anyway, here I sit in Titusville, awaiting the return of our vessel's navigator/skipper/chef.