Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vero Beach City Marina - Live Oaks Revisited

Look at the twists and turns, one section could be a keel, another a rib of a frigate
It was a glorious day with blue skies, 80's, so naturally we did laundry... Reality intrudes even in paradise. That exercise took most of the morning with many trips back and forth to feed the machines their ration of quarters. Along the way we saw dolphins playing the the anchorage.

More keels, more ribs...
I had plenty of time to reinspect the scene of last year's crime, Ann allergic reactions to live oaks. They are still there but this time we're on a mooring with a good breeze. Once around the docks the breeze is not apparent and that must concentrate the pollen to some extent. So far this time, Ann's had no reaction to the live oak pollen.

It is hard to believe Florida's fascination with live oaks. It's true that they were instrumental in the construction of America's first true war ships towards the end of the 1700's, six frigates. Key to the strength of the construction technique was the use of live oaks. They have a swirling grain pattern that make them useless for furniture but very strong if the wood is used in the direction of growth. As you can see from the photos, the limbs bend and turn in all directions. You can imagine a builder selecting one piece for the keel, another piece for a rib and so on. The live oak gave the Americans an advantage over the British in the strength of the ships. Only one of the frigates was defeated by the British.

You're down there and I'm up here...darn...
However, Florida has taken the live oaks to heart. If you cut one down (to build a house, remodel, etc.), then by Florida law, you must replace the tree with two live oaks. If the live oak is mature beyond a certain size, then it must be replaced with four live oaks! At that rate the sate may soon be overrun with live oaks! By the way, you also cannot cut any part of a mangrove, not a branch, not a twig, much less a whole tree.

With that we now waiting for weather. We may or may not move Sunday. There's a front coming through that may delay our departure. After that is appears to be clear weather (mostly) until we reach Savannah at Hinckley on March 3 or so.