Like any entity that's been passed back and forth by owners and empires and geographically and geologically messed up, Florida is a mixed-up mama that can't make up its mind. Pamper visitors? Or make them cry?
Started the morning with the state's notorious muggy weather and no-see-ums so thick and undiscerning they were biting Pope! (An extremely rare occurrence; normally they congregate around me while he laughs over in the shadows.)
We passed mosquito-y marshes and barrier islands with wall-to-wall high rises.
Then the state threw a few hundred crab pots into our parh.
Having been forewarned by the crew of Wren, a sailboat that lost its transmission from tangling with these dangerous devices, we were ultra vigilant. In central Florida, they are packed into the MIDDLE of the ICW channel! Seems like there oughta be a law against navigational hazards. Maybe there is.
Balancing those manmade death traps are the natural wonders of the ICW Zoological Extravaganza and Wild Game Park. Broad-butt manatees and dancing porpoises. Pelicans, herons, hawks, egrets, anhingas.
Dragonflies and orange monarch butterflies. And, ahem, our first giant horsefly. ONE INCH LONG.
And then came...the bridges.
For each one, you have to take down the sail(s) and wait for a bridge opening. Then turn into the wind, up with the sail(s) and underway agaiin. A laborious and time-consuming process.
In the end, the Sunshine State relented and served up a cool breeze and perfect sailing weather. I made good time with the mainsail while Pope stayed below, patching the jib. Another 70 mile day. (The newly rebuilt engine is faster and more powerful than the old!)
We finished the day at the home of Judy and Dave ftom sailboat Wren in Palm Coast, for cool drinks and laughs on their screened patio. (For more on them, see blog posts from Nassau in January; they were fellow members of the Broken-Down Boat Club.)
Yes, Florida has a lot to offer--sunny, funny, and sometimes aggravating as helll.