Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach FL : Day 5 : Shuttles and Parks

KJ and Dy enjoying Cocoa Beach Village Splashground

Leg 2, Day 5
Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach, FL : Shuttles and Parks

Up early today, and I totally suck at steering the boat in the dark. Ariel must have looked like a whirling dervish as I tried to get us out of our anchor spot on onto the ICW. Zigzag and back again … back and forth. Eventually I just handed the steering over to Val whom did a splendid job of getting us on the ICW, in the dark, and keeping us in the channel. Go Val!

As dawn broke, it didn't take long for us to learn why Mosquito Lagoon is named Mosquito Lagoon. We had these blood sucker passengers!!! All of us had a number of bites. Ugh. Dabs of hydrocortizone to keep the itching to a minimum.

Bastard Blood Sucking Mosquitoes
There were a number of small channels to contend with today, and KJ helped keep watch as we went down them.
KJ helping keep eyes on the narrow canal
We also found more folks camping along the river backs. They must have a lot of Deet or something to keep the bugs off.
Folks camping along narrow canals
We also saw our first island full of "in the wild" natural Florida pink flamingos. (PLEASE NOTE: a person reading this diary shared that these are not Pink Flamingos, but Roseate Spoonbill birds. Thanks James S!)

Island Full Of Pink Flamingos
One of the highlights was getting close to Cape Canaveral where the Space Shuttle is launched. From our reading, the shuttle was supposed to be on the launch pad for a launch next week, but we were never close enough to see it. We did glimpse the Shuttle assembly building though, with its huge NASA logo. 

Space Shuttle Assembly Building
Since we couldn't get a good view of the space shuttle, we decided to push on towards Cocoa beach. We ended up anchoring in Cocoa beach tavern area, right by the bridge, near 2 city parks. Besides the 2 jackholes whom kept racing their jetskis through the anchored boats, this was a fantastic anchorage.

Once anchored up, KJ, Dy, and I deployed Flounder (our tender) and I rowed us all to shore. We were happy to find not 1 but 2 playgrounds … plus a splashground!

Dy Running Out of the Splashground
Tug Playground Equipment
After the girls played for a few hours, I took them over to a pizza lunch at some “Irish” place. The pizza sucked, but the service was fantastic and the girls, well, they just loved eating lunch out.
Pizza break after hard play
Time to row all the way back to Ariel.... alas, the damn current wasn't in my favor. It was definitely a work out.