I Dock in the Daytona municipal marina was a fortunate location as we met such a great group of boaters, in particular our near-neighbours, Jim and Fran, and Dan and Debbie. We enjoyed drinks on our boat and dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant in their company. They were also generous with trips to stores (including the World Market where Terry was able to replenish his Vegemite supply) and advice about sailing in Florida and the Bahamas. Wes, another I-Docker, helped us with some work on the boat and some good ideas for our planned visit to Key West.
Christmas was very low key. We called the Hogan family Christmas party on Skype at about 2 in the morning, and it was great to chat to everyone, though in some ways they seemed further away than ever. Later we biked through town in search of somewhere to eat lunch and found a bar open where we celebrated with a bucket of crawfish and a couple of cold beers. The beach seemed to be the place to be on Christmas day, with thousands of people picnicking, swimming and of course driving on the rock hard white sand.
With our oil changed and various other jobs done, we made the most of the good conditions to cover nearly fifty miles to Titusville, where we anchored out amongst a variety of vessels - including some that seemed to be abandoned - near the municipal marina. The next day was similar, as we made our way through the chain of tiny green islands that line this part of the Waterway, and anchored in the lee of one of them for the night.
Venison burgers on the grill, another spectacular sunset and the gentle rocking of the boat in the perfect silence of the night - broken only by the sound of handgun fire from two guys camping on the island. We never did find out if they both survived the night. From Titusville we had a short passage to a slip in a private marina south of Vero Beach, where we would leave Common Sense for a few days while we headed to Sarasota to spend a few days with our friend Jane from our original marina at Kent Narrows.
The drive from Vero Beach to Sarasota took us right across Florida, and much of it could have been the south west of Western Australia, only substituting palms for gum trees. Flattish green pastures, cattle, citrus orchards - we could easily have been in Harvey!
Whenever we asked Jane about her home in Sarasota, her answer was always simply, "It's paradise!" and as we approached the coast it started to look as though she was speaking the truth. The Sarasota story will be the subject of the next blog - appearing soon!
A happy new year to all our lovely friends, whom we miss every day.