Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pushing on to Melbourne and a Special Light Show 11/21

The weather finally settled down in Fernandina Beach and we pushed on to a very quiet, dark, creek anchorage in north Florida.
I should, of course, explain how our plumbing works at this time. When one wishes to flush the toilet, one rapidly raises and lowers the handle just to the right of the bowl. This draws water from beneath of the boat into the toilet bowl and then expels all the contents of the bowl into a holding tank where it remains until it is removed by a sanitary pumpout machine (one hopes that will be reasonably soon).
In this case the water came from a tidal marsh near the Atlantic. At any rate, on this night I visited the head at 10:30 and since everyone else was asleep I didn’t turn on the light. My eyes were well adjusted to the dark so that when I flushed the head I could easily see the scores of tiny phosphorescent creatures which rushed in with the sea water. This was an unexpected treat, so I pumped for quite awhile. Then knowing Mary Ann as well as I do, I woke her up and encouraged her to flush the toilet for awhile. She enjoyed this thoroughly, as I knew she would, and flushed 15-20 times. We considered waking Sam too, but suspected he would prefer continuing a deep sleep to gazing into the toilet. We have observed the phosphorescence when rowing at night in he dingy, but this was a special moment for us seeing the little creatures for the first time in our toilet.
Regarding other matters, dolphins are more numerous the further south we travel, and we have seen: White Pelicans (enormous birds with up a 8 1/2 wing span, Black Skimmers, and Coots. People tell us there are manatees all around, but we haven’t seen any so we’re skeptical.
St. Augustine was another beautiful town. We took a day off travel to go sightseeing there. The fort on the waterfront Castillo de San Marcos is one of the oldest structures in the Americas, built in 1672. We also attended mass at Cathedral of St. Augustine, the oldest Catholic parish in the United States, established 1565.
When we arrived Saturday morning, an anti-Bush rally was in progress attended by at least 15 demonstrators. One protester carried two signs: “Mission Accomplished! Gas $3 a gallon” and a smaller one “Will Work for Food”. Another first, my first political panhandler!
We’re spending tonight in Melbourne; the people are extremely helpful and friendly. A fellow at the marina let us use his truck all afternoon and now we’re all stocked up for the Bahamas.
We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We will miss home more than usual during the holiday but will try to console ourselves with the palm trees, warm weather, and watchng the manatees, if there really are any.