The first few days back were an adjustment. Florida is louder, more crowded and just different from all that we had been experiencing the past 3 months.
The reason we decided to land at Ft Pierce was to have the boat hauled out and some maintenance work done.
Heartbeat was expected to be at a yard for a week. We knew we couldn’t stay on the boat as it would be like living in an oven (or hotter) so we decided to rent a car and explore.
We found out a SpaceX rocket was scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral on 4/9 but was scrubbed early due to weather. We were 90 min from Cape Canaveral and so we drove north on 4/10 to stay the night with Dave & Carol (Moxie) and watch the lift off. Mike & Mary (Forever Friday) were in the area as well so we all had a delicious dinner on Moxie and waited for lift off. Scrubbed a second time. On 4/11 us and Moxie made the most of the day and toured Kennedy Space Center (KSC). It was impressive. We spent most of the day there and did not see everything. Highly recommend a visit if you are in the area, the storytelling is fantastic. Too many pictures to share and they do not reflect how large some of these items really are but here are a few highlights.
With our heads full of all that we had learned and seen that day we headed back to Moxie for what would hopefully be the rocket launch. At 6:35 pm the Falcon Heavy rocket launched, carrying with it a communications satellite. This was an amazing experience – sitting on the bow of friend’s boat with direct view of lift off. The sound and the rumbling were hard to explain. Eight minutes after take off there were dual sonic booms heard as the 2 boosters landed back at Cape Canaveral for reuse.
The following day we thanked Dave & Carol for their generosity of letting us stay with them multiple nights. They will leave their boat and head home to Massachusetts but we hope to cross paths with them again.
We drove back to Ft Pierce, checked on the boat, picked Penny up at the dog sitter, visited the Navy Seal Museum (which was fantastic) and drove south an hour to see what the city of Stuart had to offer.
We stayed 2 nights at a hotel and both nights we listened to some fantastic live music at an outdoor space called Terra Fermata which is in downtown Stuart. Patio chairs, small tables, garden lights strung above – it was a great venue.
Our days however were less exciting. Since we had a rental car we took advantage of running errands. We spent our time (and our money) at Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Publix, West Marine and I am sure some other places. Our list was long after limited shopping in the Bahamas.
The night before Heartbeat was ready to go back in the water we drove an hour north to Cocoa Beach for dinner with Mike & Mary and crashed on their pull out sofa. As Forever Friday is an American Tug 34 we felt right at home.
Heartbeat is now back in the water with new bottom paint, a shiny hull and a repaired muffler. We head north on the Atlantic ICW for the next “chunk” of The Great Loop – the east coast.