We spent one night at Telemar Bay Marina. We tied up, hooked up the electric cord and got out computers to do book work and such. Pretty boring stuff.
Then we got 2 surprises. First there was lots of splashing right next to the boat. That's usually not a good thing, but this time it was dolphins frolicking in the slip next to us. Our own private Sea World entertainment. Computer work can wait!
Then sculling boats came out of the marina one after the other. We learned this a favorite sport in the area and teams will go out to practice on the ICW every day. Some teams are local but a team from Canada was in the area that week so we could hear the coxswain shouting instructions in French. You don't see that every day!
Manatee Cove Marina at Patrick Air Force Base
We stayed at the Manatee Cove Marina at Patrick Air Force Base for the last 2 weeks of January. Our friends from Yankton, SD (Ray and Pam Monfore) sponsored us. This marina is for veterans. It was awesome. Pam and Ray have a new 27 ft Ranger Tug so it was fun to be in the slip right next to them. The photo shows Tim and Ray doing their "Vanna White" impression.
Since the marina is inside the gates of the Air Force Base we passed through security each time we went shopping or touristing. I felt very safe with our service men and women guarding the gates.
On January 19 we had the great fortune to see a rocket launch while sitting on our dock. The rocket went up from the NASA launch facility at the Kennedy Space Center. We could see the actual launch and then see when the second stage boosters fall away from the main rocket.
Manatees are so cool..
Pam took us to the local spot where manatees gather to stay warm when the temperatures drop. The air temperature was about 40 degrees the day we saw these big guys. They are huge. And they have "cow" noses.
The ones in this photo are about 8 foot long and hundreds of pounds. They move slow. I caught a shot of this guy rolling over. See all the log-like things in the background? More manatees.
Staying warm together
Baby and mama manatee
Traveling back to SD for Feb.
We flew home to South Dakota for February. Crazy, right? The boat is out of the water, in storage at Anchorage Yacht Basin in Melbourne Florida while we are gone.
Tim has spreadsheet work to do for the business and I am in charge of getting taxes done. But, best of all, it is great to see friends and family. We have met some wonderful characters on this trip (you know who you are...) but it feels good to return to our little town and have the checker at the grocery store exclaim, "What are you doing here? I thought you were on a boat trip!" Friendly harassment? Old friends can do that.
Tim's brother, Dan, picked us up at the Sioux Falls airport with winter coats, hats and mittens for us. It's been 2 weeks and we are starting to get used to below zero temperatures again. Scraping my vehicle windshield? I still don't like that part of winter.
Where have we been?
This is the map shows our January travels.
Tim and I started our Great Loop Adventure on 9-11-2017 in Ottowa, Illinois. We put the boat on a trailer and drove 9 hours from our home in South Dakota to Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottowa to put her in the water. Tim's brother, Dan, drove the truck and trailer back to our house. Thanks Dan!