Thursday, January 8, 2015

Titusville Marina - Getting ready to move south

Step one - swab the decks for a new hand
The trip north to northern climes was a shock to a system used to southern weather! We had a great time visiting our kids and grandkids but it was time to move south again and let the younger generation deal with the cold weather and snow and ice, I don't mind them taking over in those departments.

By the side of the road in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge
Just like Matthew several years ago, we once again have a home schooler on board. This time it's Sarah. She's in the 7th grade and 12 years old. She will be with us until we meet her parents in Key West in February. I've invited her to start the blog off each night (in italics). It's part of her writing assignment and we'll get a 12 year old's perspective on traveling down the ICW on a boat.

Today it was very windy, so windy that the boat was  going back and forth. I  felt like I was going to throw my cookies. So me and Nana went into the laundry room and I built my Lego lion. After that I worked on some work and then we went to Merritt island and had lunch there. 

Sarah meets Pip
Then we went to Merritt island National Wildlife and we were walking on the trail and I saw an Armadillo! It was so cool we got some pictures and it was so close I could pet it. I named the armadillo Pip for short. I then we went on black point trail were you go on a road in your car and see wild animals. 

One of these things do not belong!
We saw the Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Reddish Egret, and the Lesser Scaup. Also the first thing we saw was a alligator they were really cool too I named him Brody. Yesterday I was washing the boat and four manatees came up to say hi. They were so big I called them Fat Joe, Barney, key west, and James. One had barnacles on its back I thought that was neat. Before that I saw a dolphin going in and out the water right on the back of the boat. I named her grace because she moved so gracefully in the waters. Well dinner is going to be yummy pulled pork and tomorrow will another great adventure. 

The birds are used to visitors, they pose well
We awoke to 25 to 30 kt winds out of the northeast which blows directly into the marina. We had whitecaps in the harbor. Sarah was okay until she went down below to her cabin for some books, not a good move. Ann and Sarah retired to land to do lessons and later we toured Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. In November we went to the Refuge but thought the birds were scarce but what a difference today! January is in the middle of the migration with many species wintering over right here. Birds were everywhere, many more than we ever saw before. Sarah took many photos and believes that every animal in her photo needs a name, never thought about that before. 

Meanwhile, I encountered two months' worth of being in a marina with lots of birds. Sarah did the first pass on the boat but some concentrated effort is still needed. The boat seems otherwise okay but I did notice some antifreeze in the bilge. I couldn't find the source but it seemed to localize to under the hot water heater which has an antifreeze feed from the engine for warming the hot water circuit. I'll start the engine Friday and see if anything is apparent. 

I figure it'll take us until Monday to get everything ready while still allowing a visit to the Kennedy Space Center for Sarah so our departure date now is hopefully Tuesday, heading for Vero Beach.