Friday, February 22, 2019

Titusville - We meet Paul of Ursa Major

Paul from Ursa Major and Ann (of Fleetwing)
We got our weekend car this morning form Hertz since Enterprise is no longer offering the deal for $12.99/day. I think the Enterprise thinks they can charge more, they used to be the least expensive but they've grown into the largest car rental company in the US. I suppose it's whatever the market can bear. For us, it's on to Hertz now.

After our usual trip to Walmart for groceries, we found Paul looking over our boat so we introduced ourselves and traded stories. He will be leaving before us going north so I asked if he would post anything out of the ordinary on our Facebook page concerning the ICW. It always pays to have as much knowledge as possible on your way north. The ICW is changing this year due to all the dredging, more so than at any time in the past eight years so it ought to be an interesting trip.

We had intended eating out at Shiloh's but when we arrived around 6:00, the parking lot was overflowing! The cars flowed over to the beach. I could just imagine the scene inside the restaurant with all those people. Tonight was popular due to their "all you can eat" fried fish special. I think it's best to avoid the restaurant on a Friday night.

On Saturday, we pay out usual visit to Black Point Drive in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. We heard there's a lot of spoonbills this year so we'll take a look.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Titusville - Rocket Launch Tonight

Summer Breeze - Bruce and Rosie Phillips on a mooring at Titusville
It's a good perch to view the Space X launch
We're all waiting for a Space X rocket launch tonight. It will carry a communications satellite to orbit but also an Isreal lunar lander! It's hitching a ride on the major payer of the launch, the communications satellite and will then head for the moon. It's going a take a very leisurely path with multiple orbits around the Earth to save fuel but it will reach the moon eventually.

We'll head out around 8:30 and hope for the best. Details.
We just came back from viewing the launch from the end of "A Dock".
The first light, the launch starts
Space X is starting to climb!
Up, up and away!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Titusville - Summer Breeze drops by

It good to meet boaters along the way
There are a lot of boaters that read my blog and know me from my Facebook page on conditions on the ICW. Occasionally, we get visits from those who have read my blog or posts. Today, the crew of Summer  Breeze dropped by, Bruce and Rosie Phillips for a very pleasant afternoon chat. We always like to meet boaters along the way so if you're in the area, just drop by.

I was wrong yesterday about the rocket launch, it's scheduled for Thursday, not tonight. It will be a nighttime launch so it ought to be spectacular. I'll take pictures for the blog. This is the launch that will also include the Israel moon shot vehicle that's aiming for a soft landing on the moon. 

Titusville has a boat that comes right to your boat, very convenient
Titusville is home to a lot of liveaboards. With that, they offer two pump outs a week, Wednesday and Saturday. There is no charge for the service although I do tip $5 to the attendant. They also do the same service for those on the moorings. It's just good business sense for the marina and for the environment. Meanwhile, we're just enjoying the warm weather, great thing that is.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Titusville - TV antenna roosts and moon rising

Gee, thanks for the great perch!!
You see a lot of TV antennas on boats of the type that look like a UFO, a horizontal disk with a circular antenna inside. The higher the antenna is mounted, the better the reception of far away stations. The highest part of a boat is the top of the mast so you'll see most antennas mounted there. It's also the most sought after perch by ospreys. They like the high ground with a good view and a TV antenna mounted on the top of the mast is the perfect osprey perch. What's good for the osprey is not necessarily good for the cleanliness of your boat!

If you have such an antenna mounted on top of your mast, you're doing your part to ensure the survival of ospreys but, perhaps, at the expense of a little clean up once in a while. They are beautiful birds to watch, just not too close to your boat.

We had a "super moon" tonight, the brightest one in 2019. It's when the moon comes closest to the earth in 2019. Although we don't get good sunsets, we do have a good view of the rising moon from Titusville. It really was beautiful There were a few clouds to add some color to the picture. Tomorrow there may be a rocket launch at night, great!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Titusville - Full for the season

As I said, there's no room at the inn
Ann and I were born a little ahead of the baby boomers so when we first came down the ICW, we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Titusville was no problem then in getting a dock, it was half empty. The same went for Key West, plenty of space. Even at Vero Beach you could always get a mooring ball by yourself. I think those days are long gone. I saw just one empty dock here at Titusville and I heard that people looking for a dock at Key West are out of luck. Vero always has double and triple on a mooring now. Marathon used to have empty moorings during January when we were on our way to Key West, not anymore! Not only are there no moorings, you have to sign up on a waiting list and that list can be up to 35 to 50 boats deep.

So we take advantage of our past dockage to get first dibs on renewing our dock for the next year. Although we missed out on Key West this year, we already have our dock there reserved for 2020, likewise for Titusville for the fall of 2019. If you want a long term dock, you have to plan ahead now, unlike in years past.

Well, that's just the new reality of cruising now. You can always just anchor out, that's still an option but the room to do that at a place like Marathon is very limited. If you stay in the main harbor, you're always looking over your shoulder at the next guy and trying to figure wind shifts during the night. Bumping during the night is common there.

Titusville is "sunset challenged" but still there's a little color
Regardless, it's still a lot of fun and I would want everyone that can come on down and enjoy the ride. It's a unique experience with just the right mix of skill required, some tension, and beautiful sunsets. You ought to try it sometime.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Titusville - Donut Day and Pizza Night

Donuts 4U cannot be beat!
What more to ask? Donuts in the morning and pizza at night. Titusville has the best donuts we've ever had. It's a mom and pop store that make their own donuts, Donuts 4U. We always, without fail, have donuts on Sunday mornings from them. The jelly filled donuts put others to shame.

We took Hoolie for his afternoon romp at the dog park. He ignores other dogs, all he wants to do is chase tennis balls. He never brings them back but he does chase them and then loses interest when they stop bouncing. I'm sure there's something I should be doing here to teach him to bring the balls back but I haven't figured it out yet and Hoolie is not volunteering.

Hoolie is waiting for me to throw the tennis ball yet again.
It's the weekend, so it's a day of rest. We'll kick it into high gear (some) on Monday but for now, it's relaxing time. We've grown fond of Papa John's Pizza. For our tastes, it has the right combination of crust, cheese, and toppings that we enjoy. They are located right in town and will deliver to the boat. So we enjoy our wine and pretty soon, the pizza arrives, nice. On Monday it's wash day and more cleaning.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Titusville - Aqua Map Beta, chores and sunset

I spent most of the morning cleaning Fleetwing - so I had to show a photo
First on the agenda was getting three months of grime off the boat. At least Fleetwing did look better after all that work - so I just had to take a photo, bear with me on that. The rest of the morning was spent on working the Aqua Map beta through its paces before the big announcement of all the enhancements. The home base for Aqua Map is northern Italy which is the Silicon Valley of navigation programs (Navionics and others). I trade emails with Claudio of Aqua Map on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day. Distance is no longer a problem in the internet age. It's more like being next door.

The same can be said of managing my 4200 member Facebook page, it's all over the internet. I know a lot of people I've never met face to face but it's as if I've known them for a long time. You never know how many people you influence through your interactions, it's a great age.

You don't get great sunsets at Titusville Marina but we'll take what we can get
We will continue to get Fleetwing in shape and just enjoy the warm weather, better here than in New York where there's another snowstorm coming, we're told, ha, we'll miss it!