Saturday, December 3rd

At sunrise, the anchor is up in Daytona.  Despite the 20 knot easterly winds, the morning air is warm and inviting.  There is no need for jackets or sweaters today.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but we feel as if we have crossed a subtropical climate border where chilly mornings are no longer a threat. 

Underway at daybreak in Daytona

Truth be told, we are totally unfamiliar with Florida weather.  We are accustomed to windy conditions related to the passage of frontal boundaries.  The barometer aboard Cutter Loose indicates that Northern Florida is under the influence of high pressure.  Today’s wind is from the east, stemming from a center of high pressure located to the north.  The isobars are not tightly stacked, yet a sea breeze has been blowing at a steady 20 knots all day.  Obviously, we have much to learn about local weather.

Cutter Loose is bound for Titusville, some 43 miles to the south.  Today’s leg takes us over the 1,000 mile threshold since we left Rock Hall on October 22nd.  In this segment of the waterway, the ICW follows the Halifax River, passing along the Ponce de Leon inlet, New Smyrna Beach and a land cut known as the Haulover Canal which connects the Mosquito Lagoon with the Indian River.  Halfway through today’s journey, we notice a rectangular box on the distant horizon.  It is the vehicle assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center, 15 miles to the south.

Just north of Titusville, we pass through the NASA railroad bridge, which remains in the open position except when space vehicles are being transported to the launch pad.  At 2 PM, Cutter Loose is tied to a City mooring just outside of the Titusville municipal boat basin. 

We dinghy ashore to pay our mooring fee and rent a car for tomorrow’s visit to the Space Center.  The rental agent explains that NASA’s termination of the space shuttle program had adversely impacted the local economy.  Titusville no longer attracts the NASA-related tourist trade.  We will do our very best to counteract this decline.

Inside the marina basin, we encounter a group of wood storks grazing in the grassy area near the water’s edge.

Wood stork in Titusville

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