Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coach meets Trawler on the Okeechobee

We are back in Stuart, Florida, this time at the Corps of Engineers campground adjacent to the St. Lucie Lock, on the Okeechobee Waterway (map). In addition to nine camp sites with water and electricity, there are also eight slips with the same amenities. While $24 per night is about average for a campground, it's a great deal for dockage, and there were three trawlers as well as a couple of sailboats here last night. One of the boats is a Defever 49, and we wondered if we had seen them at Cruiser Expo. As I type, another trawler is waiting to lock downriver.

We picked this spot because it was nearly halfway to Cocoa, where we plan to spend the three nights leading up to the launch. We were alerted to this spot at Trawler Fest as a good place to camp in view of the lock. This is on the upriver side; there is also a county park campground on the downriver side. The county park is not nearly as nice, with less of a view, yet only $3 cheaper (although they do have no-hookup sites for $16). It's larger, though, and was our backup plan in case the small handful of sites here were full.

We had just settled in and were enjoying a glass of wine up on the deck, overlooking the channel, when Louise's phone rang with a call from the Disaster Operations Center in DC. It was the staff deployment center, wanting to send her to Orlando to help with the Haiti relief effort, specifically repatriation. That seemed odd to us, because our direct management in DC had just called us earlier in the day to confirm our participation in a meeting in Tucson just two weeks from now (relief deployments are usually a minimum of three weeks). Louise explained the meeting situation to the deployment people, and I called our leads to find out what was going on.

The deployment center was so desperate for help that they agreed to a single week for the assignment, leaving us just enough time to make Tucson (without, of course, any of our planned stops or visits en route). Meanwhile, the leads seemed to think we were unneeded in Orlando and could not understand why Louise was being sent. As it stands right now, she has deployment orders (but I do not), and we are waiting for a call back from Washington sorting out the apparent confusion.

Checkout time here is in just five minutes, so we will need to get on the road. The route for Orlando splits off from the route for Cocoa about an hour and a half north; with any luck, we will have a definitive answer before we hit that point. In the meantime, I am mulling over in the back of my mind how we can still see the launch if Louise is (or both of us are) working an operation in Orlando. Stay tuned; one of us will probably tweet as soon as we know where we're headed.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Louise and Sean,
    The two of us (plus three white dogs) lived along the Indian River in Cocoa for about three years in the late 80’s when I was in boat design and engineering. The Sea Ray Engineering was on Merritt Island. Nice quiet area, just stay East of US 1 for safety. The downtown area has some quaint shops and used to have a couple nice local restaurants (one is The Black Tulip), but you'd need the scooters to get there. The ride out to the Beach area is nice but maybe the two main roads are a little busy for the scooters. If you get there the Mango Tree was pricy but good. By now the names have probably changed.

    We watched a couple night launches, breathtaking! Pat used to work for Rockwell and once a week had to be at the launch area to do medical visits - exciting we guess, but the scale makes it seem slow paced.

    The rear A-frame you have on came from there.

    Safe travels to Tucson.

    Pat and Russ


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!