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We took a short hop from St Augustine to Marineland Marina. Marineland is where they used to shoot Seahunt and is now a research facility. We were starting to get vibration from the engine again so Bob called a mechanic to see if he could come take a look. Because it was Saturday, we were not optimistic about getting someone to come out. The marina was brand new and Lief the dockmaster was very helpful but we decided to wait for Daytona - our next stop. There were no restaurants in the area so the six of us had a pizza party on Her Diamond with delivered pizza from Tony's and then an enthusiastic game of cards.

Unusual boat house along the way.

The next morning we were off to Daytona Beach and the Daytona Beach Marina and Boat Works. We choose this marina because they have a boat yard and could pull the boat if needed. The 35 mile trip was uneventful for us. Trekker started out a bit earlier so that they could make use of low tide going under the fixed bridges. Despite the earlier start time, they had some problems with clearing the 65 foot bridges along the way and had to use their water bag to heel the boat over so they could get under two of the bridges. Needless to say this was very stressful for them. Once tied up we all enjoyed happy hour at the Chart House here in the marina.

Bascule bridge here we come!

65 foot bridge right before Daytona.

Bob, the dock master told us that they had a mechanic that could look at the boat and we had gotten a name of a mechanic that came highly recommended from Vicki and Mack. We called both and first thing Monday morning Ray came to look at the engine. Trekker and Aquila left early Monday morning. So then there was one.

As Bob suspected, we needed new engine mounts – The crab trap incident was still plaguing us. The engine was not holding an alignment. Ray ordered the parts and we waited for Tuesday afternoon when the parts would arrive.

As it happens, Bob’s brother David ‘s best friend from college, Marty, lives near Daytona Beach with his wife Liz. They moved here about a year ago. We called them and they invited us to dinner. They could not have been more welcoming. We went to their beautiful house for a delicious dinner and they even took me shopping on Wednesday morning. Thank you Liz and Marty – you are wonderful!

First night of Hannukah was a bit sad without family = we did get Hannukah candles and lit our own on Tuesday. I am going to the beach today and will look for drift wood so that we can make a Hannukiah.

Sad make-shift Hannukiah.

Wednesday morning, Ray came with the motor mounts, installed them and then tried to align the engine. He couldn’t. The engine was being pulled too far over to one side. This meant that the strut that holds the shaft near the propeller end was bent and not letting the shaft come into the boat at an angle that allowed the engine to be aligned. Like the motor mounts, this was a result of the engine being forced to stall after the crab trap line locked around the propeller. So, first thing Thursday morning the boat yard was scheduled to lift Her Diamond out of the water. We were taken over to the travel lift by the pump out boat and Ray was able to straighten the strut. SUCCESS!! Now an alignment and we should be good to go.

Up she goes!!

A word about the marina – There aren’t that many sail boats here, mostly power and they are BIG. Right next to us is a 65 foot custom built power catamaran that the owner of the marina is restoring. The owner, David, is very friendly, and gave us a tour of his boat. The dock master, (also named Bob) reminds me a bit of my Bob as he is a retired banker, worked for West Marine and now has a full time job at the marina that he loves. There are manatees here in the marina that are exciting to watch. They are drawn by the fresh water stream that mixes here with the salt water of the Atlantic. You see bubbles and brown water from where they have touched the muddy bottom and then a nose comes up for air. So cute.

Daytona Beach Marina and Boat Works at dawn - We are getting up early on travel days most of the time.

We left Daytona Beach early Friday morning for Titusville – where we will take a day to tour the Kennedy Space Center. Since arriving in North Florida, we have started to notice damaged buildings and docks, and a significant number of sunken and beached boats. The path of destruction left by hurricanes Mathew last year and Irma, and Jose this year is everywhere – although it has not prevented us from traveling or finding places to stay. I have to admit, it is very strange to motor through a channel next to the top of a sailboat mast sticking 10’ out of the water. We have been told that dockage may become scarce as we go further south – but we remain optimistic.

Daytona Beach peer - I went there on my bike while the work was getting done on the boat. this shows the beach at low tide.

Various signs of hurricane wreckage - boats having gone aground and left.

We continue to be moved on a daily basis by the beauty of the ocean, the rivers and the abundant wildlife.

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