Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sebastian, Florida

Passed by Sebastian today on the way south.  Mifi(our on board wifi) broke today.  All posts will be short and sweet since I am posting by phone.  Looking forward to Halloween in Vero Beach with Jack and Piper.  

Saw this dolphin in his Flipper costume. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Manatee Sighting at Titusville

We are again at the Titusville Municipal Marina--we stopped here last March with Lainey and Miranda on our way south to Fort Lauderdale.  The marina was crowded then but not as much now.  We learned that many boaters are just starting to move south for the winter.  I suppose we got a head start.  Charlie the dockmaster was very helpful helping is refuel and get into our slip.  The sun was setting as we went stern first into the slip.  I had to slip the lines over a post using a hook which proved easier than I anticipated.  The dockhands had a bit rougher time with the stern because there was a bit of wind.  I crashed after this long day on the water while Mr. Adventure went out to visit with the neighbors.  Sunday was spent cleaning the boat and preparing to go home for a week. 

While Steve was washing the outside of the boat several manatee(s)? came up for some fresh water.

Finally pulling ourselves away from these huge slugs we finished cleaning and took Jack over to the dog park.  He had been patiently waiting for us. 

I am starting to feel like a photographer for Wild Kingdom  with all the animal photos I have been taking--birds, dolphins, fish, manatees, dogs...  Thank goodness we are going home on Monday--back to the other wild kingdom.  


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Marineland Marina

We have to praise Marineland Marina.  We love the Buck-A-Foot Club (meaning they charge a dollar per foot length of boat).  It is here that we learned of such a club and will now look for more in the future.   The dockmaster and dockhand were helpful with the boating and everything going on in Marineland. 

This marina which has just 20 transient slips has much to offer including Free Pump-out, free wifi, restrooms with showers and laundry facility and slips wide enough for catamarans.  Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Zumba is on Monday and Wednesday.  They offer Florida Master Naturalist Classes for Cruisers an environmental education extension program being offered in partnership with the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) and participating organizations throughout the state. The FMNP both informs and prepares persons to share information about Florida’s natural world and environmental history.  

Check out the video of the history of the  mairna here

We will definitely stop here again!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wandering Around Marineland

After visiting the Georgia Aquarium  Marineland Dolphin Adventure we wandered around Marineland, the town. 

We found two ponds which hold fish that aren't fed to the dolphins across the street.  The fish in these ponds are then studies by the University of Florida center located here also. 

This guy is clearly comfortable around people.  I could have touched him if I had reached out a little.  They are used to being fed frequently by the locals and are not shy. 

Meandering Joy at the Marineland Marina

After grabbing some bug spray we decided to find the River to Sea Preserve adjacent to the marina. 

Coquina Stone

Boardwalk along the A1A Highway 

Several couples had set up picnic tables with tablecloths and candle light for dinner on the beach at sunset along the boardwalk. 




Still working on renovations
 What we know as Marineland today was begun in 1938 as Marine Studios whose purpose was as an oceanarium that could be used to film marine life just south of St. Augustine on A1A Highway.  Marineland became a fashionable destination attracting many tourists and becoming the set of movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature.  The opening of Disney world boosted attendance to the park but the opening of Sea World negatively impacted attendance.  

In 1999 the park was forced to close due to Hurricane's Irene and Floyd.  Already in disrepair, the buildings on the West side of A1A were demolished in 2003 leaving just the buildings along the Atlantic Ocean.  In 2004 the facility closed for extensive renovations and reopened in 2006.  The Dolphin Show at Marineland is no longer available as the former park  reopened as an hands on educational facility.  The Marineland property along the ICW  was donated to Flagler County and is now the River to the Sea Preserve one of the County's many parks   In 1974 the University of Florida  opened the Whitney Marine Laboratory adjacent to Marineland. This laboratory's purpose was the experimental study of marine animals but it was separate from the lab that was once operated by Marineland. 

The photo above is of Nellie the 60 year old dolphin who was born in the Marineland facility 1953.  She has exceeded life expectancy of dolphins in captivity by 35 years and in the wild by 48 years.  We did not get to see Nellie as she does not like to venture out much any more.  We were told she has cataracts which limits her activity.  Nellie starred in a Timex Commercial in 1961 below. 

Marineland  is now part of the Georgia Aquarium known as Marineland Dolphin Adventure.  
Guests can choose from a variety of interactive programs, which range from a touch-and-feed experience to being a dolphin trainer for a day, where participants play a role in activities including preparing meals, feeding animals, encountering dolphins and more.  The Immersion option gives guests the opportunity to spend time with the dolphins in either shallow or deep  water, experiencing the grace and power of these animals.  Marineland Dolphin Adventure offers Education Programs including  youth and teen summer camps, as well as an adults education program focusing on the history of Marineland. 

We missed the scheduled events for the day--but plan to come back another time to swim with the dolphins.  


Jacksonville Beach to Marineland

We have plans to make it to Marineland today.  Anyone remember Marineland from those visits to St. Augustine as a child? 

Before we could get to Marineland we had to pass through Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine. Beautiful homes (mansiona), interesting docks, beautiful flora and fauna line the waters.

Getting around in St. Augustine can be tricky but we made it in just fine.  The Bridge of Lions was closed so we had to wait about 15 minutes for an opening to pass on through.  

Fort Matanzas National Monument lies between the ICW and the ocean.  It was built in 1742 by the Spanish in order to protect the Matanzas inlet which could be used as a rear entrance to St. Agustine and bypassing its main defense of Castilla de San Marcos.  It is made from coquina, a shellstone found in the area.  The Matanzas inlet is named  after the executions, or matanzas  which is spanish for slaughters on its north shore, of Jean Ribault  and his band of Hugenot  Frenchmen, the last of the Fort Caroline colonists, by the Spanish in 1565.

A few more curves in the river and we arrived at the Marineland marina.