March 22

New Smyrna Beach Marina

Our plan was to move north to St. Augustine after leaving Cocoa Beach so we hopscotched forward to New Smyrna Beach on our way. Smaller, quiet marina here. We are just inside the ocean on the intercostal waterway.  We drove the dinghy over the bay where we sat looking across the wild Atlantic at the green waves cresting and breaking on the beach, the foam sliding back into the surf. It is a wonder.

Loggerhead turtle in the marina and a Manatee visited us dockside. We learned they love freshwater and while they can live in salt or brackish water, they must return to fresh water every 2 weeks. So, we coxed it with bottles of Aquafina. We learned later that it is illegal to do so! Yikes. Signs are posted everywhere stating we are NOT to feed them, but water???

Watering the Manatee

Had a gathering on our dock with other Loopers. Since the season has changed, everyone is moving north, following the seasons to be out of the Great Lakes by mid-September when those waters can turn treacherous. Timing is everything. If you languish in the Keys too long you might need to scurry up the north shore missing many glorious anchorages and historic sites.

Each evening we plan a route and then review all the available marinas along that path, decide on one that suits us and call ahead for reservations. Sometimes they are booked and we find another. On this occasion, they could only accommodate us for 2 nights. Then the weather turned cold and windy, and our slip reservation expired and we had to vacate early due to weather. We chose Daytona Beach to wait out the storm and found a marina who would take us. Now we’re learning that many of the marinas north of here are booked solid or they’ve been closed since Hurricane Matthew barreled through last fall. We see numerous sunken boats all along the way.

 

March 23

Halifax Harbor Marina, Daytona Beach

Halifax Marina
Halifax Marina from our boat

Gorgeous marina in the heart of Daytona Beach located right off the Intercoastal Waterway at mile marker 830 it has 550 slips on 60 acres where there is easy access to nearby shopping, restaurants, and entertainment – just minutes from the Daytona International Speedway and the World’s Most Famous Beach! Aren’t we blessed to see all this?

Daytona Beach

The weather is still cool and cloudy and it dampens our mood; makes us want to read and relax, but we must press on. Our goal is to be in New York Harbor by early June.

 

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