Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Freezing in Florida

The past few days have really been great. Well, much like the days before them. We have been staying at more docks lately, due to some foul weather, and just cause it is easier. We crossed the border into Florida on the 16th, warm sunny Florida... the temperature was 45 when we crossed the border, and the low last night was 26. I think Mark and I are bringing down the Pittsburgh weather with us. We stayed in Fernandina Beach, a nice quaint little town, we got a mooring at the city marina, you just sail up to a float and put a line through it, much easier than setting your own anchor. Going into town for dinner, we met this guy who was just walking around with his 4 year old daughter, basically showing her off, she was pretty awesome, it was a little creepy, but funny. They took us to a pizza shop that was absolutely delicious, always good to ask the locals. And. I finished my paper for phage genomics lab. Last paper. Ever. That felt great.

The 17th we got out with the sunrise, slipped the line from the mooring and were on our way. We kept hearing the coast guard come on the radio "Secuuritay securitay securitay, there is power line maintainence at mile marker 740" ("security" being the lowest level of urgency for an announcement, "pan" is the next, and then "mayday") We just kind of brushed it off as nothing, until we come to 740... I see a helicopter, something is hanging from the bottom of it as it flies around the high power lines... what is it? no... it couldnt be... what??? ya, thats a guy, on a 100 foot line, dangling from the bottom of a helicopter, flying at ridiculous speeds, around high power lines. It was insaaane. They must get paid tonnns of money. We have also been seeing lots of porpoise lately, they get in these huge battles and there is just crazy turbulence in the water, tails and fins flying. Must be mating season.

The 18th we had an easy day of sailing, still pretty cold, but our final destination was Daytona Beach, and we still went and got our feet wet. My cousins and the girl from Bird on a Wire went straight into the water, I was tempted to, but when everyone started making fun of the girls, I figured I would hold back, hah. We stayed in a dock that only charged 80 cents a foot for docking, so we were all over that. I actually steered the boat into a slip for the first time, and I did quite well, Brian even said I did better than him and our other boat partners, well at least thats what he said in front of Grandad, It took a little convincing to get him to let me do it, but he was happy with my landing, so that was good.

Today we are on our way to Titusville and are going through the Kennedy Space Center. Probably because of the protected grounds, the wildlife here is amazing. We have been seeing lots of falcons, heron, huge pelicans, more dolphin battles, we saw some flamingos, and on our way through a cut there was a bobcat striding across the rocks. Pretty amazing. When either Mark or I are below deck, we are inevitably called frantically to the cockpit to see some craziness going on, it was in the middle of writing about the helicopter that I was called up to see an island covered in birds, and then we saw the bobcat. It is awesome. Looking around now we can see the vehicular assembly building and the launch pads, they are impressively huge even from this distance, I have seen some of it up close, which just adds to the effect.

We are now at our anchoring for tonight, Mark and I went to the shore, a ruddy looking shoreline by a railroad track. It was a nice section of beach completely untouched before we got there, that is the kind of place I am looking forward to finding on this trip. There were really cool shells all around and these funky crabs in every shell I overturned, I found a yacht American flag thing and a puffer fish. So cool. Well, time to cook up something for dinner, it is tough to come up with my usual creations with such a limited selection, I do what I can. Thats it for now, goodnight.

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