Thursday, March 16, 2023

Space Coast Meetup

We are under way northbound on the ICW, between Daytona and St. Augustine. Today is an "uphill both ways" kind of day, and we're doing just 5.7 knots against an outgoing tide. We have our sights set on a familiar anchorage near Fort Matanzas.

Vector as see from the causeway in Indiatlantic. Photo: Ginnie Havet

We never got off the boat in Indiatlantic. We had a relaxing morning since we planned to go no further than Titusville, on account of a rocket launch we hoped to see. Someone passing by on the causeway snapped a couple of photos of Vector and posted them online in a Hudson River boating group, of all places, where I came across them quite unexpectedly.

We found a piece of broken wine glass stem in the sink with no broken wine glass. Louise has talent.

We weighed anchor at 10am, just as the wind was picking back up, and we had another sloppy day in the Indian River. I had picked out a nice anchorage in the lagoon with a clear line of sight to pad 39-A, just nine miles distant. But it was blowing 25 when we arrived around 4pm, and we needed to tuck up behind the causeway to drop the hook (map) so we could get out of the fetch. We still had a great view at 12 miles distance.

Work is proceeding on the high replacement for the NASA Causeway drawbridge, opening for us in this pic.

We had a nice dinner aboard, and at 8:30 we bundled up and braved the chill on the aft deck to watch the launch of Commercial Resupply Service mission 27 to the International Space Station, atop a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. It was a spectacular night launch, and I tried to capture some of it on video. We could see the second stage light off and the booster make its reentry burn before it was too distant to see. Anchored this close to the security zone, we received numerous "stay clear" messages on our AIS receiver throughout the evening.

Launch of CRS-27 Cargo Dragon on a Falcon-9.

Yesterday's windy cruise brought us to Daytona Beach and a familiar stop at the Halifax River Yacht Club, where we were tied up (map) shortly after 5pm. As we got under way we reached out to good friends Cherie, Chris, Stacey, and Dave, whose boats Y-Not and Stinkpot are docked in Sanford, to see if they might be available to connect as we passed within easy driving distance. Sanford is just 37 miles from Daytona by car, but the same trip by boat is nearly 200.

Pre-launch sunset over Titusville from our anchorage.

In what can best be described as nomadic serendipity, a term coined by Cherie which we have shamelessly stolen, and much to our delight, all four were available last night. They piled into Dave's car for the nearly hour-long drive out to the coast to see us, and we had a nice, if all too short, evening catching up over drinks, dinner, and dessert in the yacht club bar. I know we caught all of them in a rare moment of calm in an otherwise busy schedule. Dave is performing tonight and all day tomorrow for St. Pats at The Sullivan pub in Sanford -- if you are in the area stop in and give him some love.

Great evening with good friends. Photo: Bekah, our server

We ruminated about getting an early start today and making it all the way to Vilano Beach. But we've been on a frenetic pace and we decided to make a shorter day to Matanzas so we could have the morning in Daytona. Louise did some laundry, I offloaded the recycling and filled the water tank, and we hoofed it off to Walgreens and stopped for breakfast sandwiches at Sweet Marlays. We pushed off the dock at 11:30.

This boat is anchored in the channel. I had to disengage the autopilot and go around. Some day a tug will obliterate that dinghy.

The plotter is projecting a 5:30 arrival at Matanzas Inlet, and tomorrow will be another short day to Vilano Beach, where we need provisions at the Publix grocery near the dock. When next you hear from me, we should be out of Florida.

Bonus pic of Vector at Indiatlantic. Photo: Ginnie Havet

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