From the "free" mooring in Stuart, we now had the lengthy east coast of Florida ahead. Our weather was holding and the matter came down to choosing the right inlets from the Atlantic to move us from the turns and bridges of the ICW to the less encumbered, outside coastal legs. But, a national schedule issue began to confound our choices. Upon arrival on the space coast, the shuttle was scheduled to lift off, along with lots of restrictions on the water. As we converged on Canaveral the news was hot on channel 16 and we began to think about a ringside seat for the shot. Then the craft sprung a leak and we decided to visit family for awhile and then move on north of the restrictions while they fixed the leak.
After spending Thursday at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina, we moved on up to Satellite Beach for a visit with cousin Tom Wright and his wife Jane. We soon pulled in behind Dragon Point and made our way up the Grand Canal to their perfect retirement home. Located on the canal there was lots of room for their Wilber trawler and a fine home engineered for the projects that occupy our later years. Tom had a full workshop and lots of photography gadgets while Jane kept the gardens and kitchen complex well in hand. Her testament was a fine dinner that evening and we reviewed the Wright family history over some really fine wine. On departure in the morning we came across several hundred kayakers training for the next olympics.
After a long 71 Nm day we dropped the hook in South Daytona and hit the sack. On Sunday the destination was a favorite..St Augustine. We took up a spot at the municipal marina south of the Bridge of Lions and as Bill gave the boat a wash, Jean set forth with the back-pack across the bridge on a grocery run. Jim Euliss an old Navy friend, joined for dinner. We were so engrossed in conversation that evening that we missed the shuttle launch, entirely. The next morning, as we maneuvered in the fog, we awoke Jim on Tutu Bene with a horn blast. The fog soon cleared and we made it, on the outside to Fernandina Beach and the lowest priced diesel fuel in Florida. It was here on the fuel dock that we spent the night. The day before St Pat's Day...and we had dinner at Murphy's Pub.