From Vero Beach, we travelled to the Cocoa, FL area and anchored near town. Cocoa has a lot of small touristy shops and restaurants. We watched the NASA websites about a possible rocket launch and were excited to learn that one was scheduled for the evening we were in Cocoa. The area is called the space coast and Cocoa is about 10 miles from Cape Canaveral and the Space Center. The time came near for the launch, however they experienced a problem so there was a delay of about an hour. Once the problem was fixed, the countdown resumed. Suddenly it looked like another sunset toward the NW from our anchorage as the rocket started to lift off. Right before our eyes, we could clearly see it take off and fly over our heads. Oddly, a short time later, the sound arrived resembling a rumble of jets taking off. If you are ever in the area when a launch is scheduled, you should try to watch the rocket take off, it is amazing.
From Cocoa, we stopped for one night at Port Orange at Adventure Yacht Harbor marina located in a residential area. There was not much to see in the immediate area, but they did have a good restaurant on site called “The Boondocks.” Mikey Likes It joined us for dinner. They’ve travelled with us a few days now. Along the way, we saw a few more dolphins who chose to be our escorts along the ICW. We always enjoy their visits and never tire of their presence.
Our next stops were in the St. Augustine area. We stayed two nights on a mooring in St. Augustine harbor and then moved to a dock at Rivers Edge Marina exploring the city from both locations. There is a LOT to see and do in St Augustine. This is also a location of a lot of Really OLD stuff:
- Oldest City in the United States founded in 1565
- Oldest wooden school house in USA
- Oldest street in USA– Aviles Street
- Oldest house
- Oldest masonry fort in the continental USA, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
- Two beautiful old churches which we toured and gathered more historical information
- Flagler College—originally the fancy Ponce De Leon Hotel built between 1885 and 1887 by Henry M. Flagler (railroad magnate) who instantly became charmed by St. Augustine. The hotel, now turned active college, boasts Tiffany stained glass windows, interior decorated with imported marble, carved oak, and murals painted by famous artists. Back in its heyday, the hotel had its share of famous visitors including three presidents lodged there. “Presidents stayed and the wealthy played” here. This tour is highly recommended. If Teresa lived in St. Augustine, she claims she’d sign up for a class or two in one of the college buildings.
- Many old neighborhoods beg to be explored with numerous shopping opportunities
- Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum constructed over 130 years ago. We climbed the 219 stairs to the very top and stepped out on to the open air catwalk. The climb proved well worth the effort as we looked out over the harbor and saw Sanctuary peacefully moored in Matanzas Bay, south of the Bridge of Lions.
St. Augustine Lighthouse is one of the prettiest on the trip with its bold black and white stripes crowned with a red top. Inside the lighthouse keeper’s home, they have interactive displays for the young and young at heart. There were a number of school kids on site experiencing the lighthouse for their field trip. Their bright yellow shirts on the winding stairways made for an interesting contrast.
One of the best shopping stops was the Sailors Exchange—finally a guy store! They have new and used boat parts of every vintage you might imagine.
We were delighted to welcome Teresa’s sister Karen in St. Augustine. She’ll be travelling and exploring with us for a few days. From St. Augustine, we plan to move up the coast. Karen plans to head home from Fernandina Beach.
Scenes from Flagler College
Chocolate Factory Tour
St Augustine Churches
St Augustine Lighthouse
Spanish Fort at St Augustine
Around St Augustine