After 4 rainy chilly days in St. Augustine we’re finally enjoying warm Florida weather in Cocoa.  I hope I’m not being too optimistic but I’m putting away the winter clothes and sleeping bags!

On our last day in St. Augustine we borrowed the courtesy car to do some exploring in the old town area.  The streets near the waterfront were flooded due to higher than normal tides.  After observing the boats rocking and rolling in the mooring field we were glad that we put into the marina.

Since it was chilly we decided to check out the Lightner Museum.  All of the reviews that described it as an eclectic collection were spot on.  I liked the Tiffany collection and we both got a kick out of the toaster collection.

Lightner Museum courtyard
Courtyard at the Lightner Museum

Cool toaster collection
Cool toaster collection

Tiffany dragonfly lamp
Tiffany dragonfly lamp. I’ve been fascinated with Tiffany since reading the novel “Clara and Mr. Tiffany” about the women he employed in the glass making process.

They gave a demo of large, old-time music boxes.  Some had large disks and one even ran on a series of cardboard plates with holes.  We enjoyed a fine lunch at the Bistro De Leon of authentic French onion soup and a baguette sandwich with warm brie and walnuts.

I took the above pictures on my iPhone and uploaded them directly to Flickr.  I still find it difficult to edit photos on the little screen.  I usually email the photos to myself so I have them on the laptop for editing and uploading.  It’s cumbersome but I’m still not entirely happy with going directly from iPhone to upload.

Since we left St. Augustine on a Saturday we didn’t have to worry about the restrictions on the Bridge of Lions.  The transit through the St. Augustine inlet was not much fun.  We fought the current going out and crabbed sideways coming around the mark.  There were a few more bridges to go through and of course, more fog. I may have said this already but we’ve seem more fog in Florida than we saw in Maine last summer.

With the current pushing us we made it past Daytona to the anchorage near New Symrna called Rockhouse Creek.  It’s a lovely spot near the Ponce de Leon inlet with a view of the lighthouse flashing at night.

The Ponce inlet channel was once again a challenge as there is severe shoaling.  Other cruisers warned us to go very close to day marker 18 and keep the green/red buoy to our starboard.  We were so focused on the first marker that we almost completely missed the second one.  As the depth dropped to below 6 ft I glanced over and saw the green/red and shouted at Skip to turn left.  Whew, that was close!

I love the stretch of water below the Ponce inlet.  For many miles we traveled through the Mosquito Lagoon, a wide, shallow body of water with incredible birds and sea life.  We had dolphins swimming along the boat and I briefly saw a manatee.  We crossed through a canal into the Indian river where there are small islands teeming with bird life.

Indian River

Dolphin escort. Bailey goes berserk when he sees them swimming nearby.

Bird Island
Bird Island

I got yelled at by the Coast Guard for Hon-talking on the radio.  As a motor boat passed us the woman told me she was also from Baltimore.  I said that I thought so because I heard her calling other boats.  (A true Baltimoron can easily recognize the accent.)  We did a little ‘Hi Hon’ and then switched to another channel to chat.  I don’t think the CG appreciated our humor!

Cocoa Village marina is one of our favorite stops on the waterway.  The marina is a friendly place and so is the little town.  One of the highlights is the used book store that has the most amazing collection of cheap romance novels (and lots of other more readable material.)  How can there be so many romance novels?  They’re all the same story!

We also love the Thai Thai restaurant so much that we went there twice.  They have the best sushi.

Skip is doing much better. His wound is healing and the side effects of the medications are wearing off. He still gets very tired after a long day of traveling. We’re off to Vero Beach tomorrow and will hang out there for a while. We want to make sure he’s fully recovered before heading off to the Bahamas. Plus, we have lots of friends to see there!