2020-01-11 — Cocoa Christmas to Stuart, FL

Departing Palm Coast we were on a bit o a weather rush…Annette was heading to Virginia to visit family over Christmas and we needed to be down to Cocoa Village. Mother nature can be a tough task master. Do not cross her, or get underway when she sends you a warning. But somehow on this day the tides, currents and weather all aligned to give us a remarkable passage. We managed 76 miles in one day and we did not even have to work that hard. An amazing day, just when we needed on! Leaving Jeanies house we headed down the coast through New Smyrna, Daytona and into Titusville.

The overnight winds were forecast from the North East so to give us the most comfortable night we anchored to the south of the NASA Causeway providing a terrific wind and wave break.

The next morning as I was doing the morning HAM Radio net I noted a sad thing on shore….

..someone late for work and in a bit of a rush???? Yea, do not miss that! Thankfully Magnolia MIGHT be able to make 15mph….going over Niagara Falls!!!

After my sadness for the car driver abated we got underway and headed the short few miles down to Cocoa where the first couple of days we were expecting strong South East winds. We had never anchored here before so you can see we took a couple of laps around to see find the spot we liked!

We planned to meet our friends Jim & Laurie board SV Kismet. With inclement weather approaching Jim and I decided to take a hike to the grocery store while the ladies stayed dry and did their own thing. Arriving back to the dinghy dock we came a across a highly questionable “Bait & Tackle” shop which really appeared be a dive bar camouflaged as a bait shop…..we were in heaven! A couple of beers, a couple of cigars and toss in the local cast of characters and we were headed for and epic afternoon. Very reminiscent of an afternoon spent in Old San Juan many many years ago!

Notice we could only get in so much trouble with Magnolia and Kismet anchored in a line and the eagle eyed Admirals perhaps on the lookout!

While Jim & Laurie moved on to Vero and Annette jumped a plane to Virginia I was left to my own devices. First up a small lighting upgrade in the galley. The forward end of the galley always struck me as a bit dark.

Next up was a bit of laundry. We have a washer/dryer onboard. I can run the washer off the inverter (no running generator) but do need the generator for the dryer…hence laundry hanging in the Florida sun!

After I got my chores done it was geek-time. I have been experimenting with various sensors aboard Magnolia. I have settled on the Arduino based EPS32 microprocessor. It has low power consumption and built in WIFI. This particular device is measuring the current and voltage of the solar and house battery system. The time is received from a NTP server I run aboard, the temperature and humidity, The current flow from the solar panels and the current flow in/out of the battery followed by voltage and solar production in watts.

A stop in Cocoa is NEVER complete without a stop at Travis Hardware. I don’t know about you but there are few hardware stores that rate a historical marker!!! It is an amazing place and I have never not found what I was looking for….in today’s case some metric speciality screws…crazy, they have EVERYTHING!!!!

Upon Annettes return we made the day trip to Vero Beach where we hoped to meet up with Dan and Marica (SV Cutting Class). Long term readers will undoubtedly recognize the names. We have known them since our very first year underway.

We had a swell evening aboard Magnolia with Jim, Laurie, Marcia and Dan.

We then headed down to Stuart, FL on New Year Day in order to make the scheduled yearly doctor visits.

Once the doctor appointments were complete we headed up river 6 miles to our friends dock.

Magnolia feeling at home on the South Fork of the St Lucie River.

The rest of the story…Greg and Nancy owned Stuart Yachts for I think about 40 years. Greg and Nancy guided us through, and their crew did much of the work restoring Magnolia to a proper yacht. Jenifer, their daughter owned the home we rented during the restoration work. Once again Magnolia made helped us make great friends. Even though Greg is retired, he is still my go-to when it comes to questions regarding the care of this fine vessel. We are blessed to call them friends!

A stop in Stuart is never complete without a visit with Ticonderoga shipmate Mike Camacho and his lovely wife Michele. We commissioned Ticonderoga together back in 1983 and there was much high jinx through the years. See the reference to “an afternoon in Old San Juan” above. I am hoping we can do a boating meet up before we depart the area!!!

We hope everyone had a safe and prosperous holiday. We are keeping all those who are having challenges, health and otherwise in our prayers…we are thinking of all you! Be Safe From Magnolia.