Tuesday, December 2, 2008

...And The Rockets Red Glare

Mile 878 ~ Titusville ~ We stayed in Titusville for 3 nights to give us the opportunity to rent a car and go to the Kennedy space center. It was short day from Rockhouse Creek ~ we arrived needing fuel and our head pumped our (bathroom ) only to find out there is no fuel or pump out available. Life on the boat changes with 3 nights at anchor. We live off our batteries so can’t run the computer or lights at will. This experience is a good lesson in consumption or lack there of as it may. On Sunday we never left the boat. Michelle got this shot of Heron – our boat – just before the squalls started to hit. We had woken in the morning to rough water. Tiller was out of sorts from the get go as the boat gently bounced up and down, up and down. In the afternoon just as Don was about to take a nap the winds really picked up. We hadn’t listened to the radio since morning. I turned it on to find out we were in the middle of a tornado watch. The winds had consistently been in the 30’s. Don got up, put some of his rain gear on just in case. We watched carefully and tuned into other boaters on the radio watching as the gusts went into the 40’s and a high was reported of 45 mph. The concern is the anchor dragging. There were about 30 boats in the anchorage and as unsettling as it is to be in that kind of storm at anchor it is somewhat comforting to know there are lots of neighbors "in the same boat" and eyeing everyone to make note the moment someone drags. One boat did drag and we felt very bad for them as they had to be out in their open cockpit , move and reanchor the boat. Late afternoon the storm had blown by and we were happy to have a calm night.

Monday we went to the Kennedy Space Center which I can’t believe I ever would have thought was a fun thing to do. It was a blast !! Yuck, yuck ! Can you believe I forgot to take my camera – thanks to Michelle and Greg we have some photos of the day – though Michelle we notice you are a little camera shy ! We had a great time – 2 3-d movies ~ don’t we just look fabulous ~ , a bus ride that took us to three locations on Cape Canaveral to get a close up of the launch pad, to tour the Apollo Saturn V ( click on the photo to enlarge then push back key ) The thing is huge – It’s the largest rocket ever made – 363 feet long - hard to believe ~ and also to the International Space Station Center where behind glass we could observe the clean room, workers from different countries working on their piece of the space station. The room is entirely sterile. A Japanese crew was working while we were there – all very interesting. Each stop had short films and other displays as well.
Then back to the main attraction center for a Shuttle Launch Experience. A little over hyped – you get strapped into seats and supposedly have the sights, sounds and feelings of a vertical launch at 17,500 miles an hour. It was noisy and we got shook around – sort of fun - but as we said over hyped and we were very happy to be there on a Monday after the holiday weekend and didn’t have to stand in line for it. It was a full day, far more interesting and fun than I thought it would be. Seeing the ground from the bus tour was interesting as well. We got a glimpse of the enormous crawler machine that moves the space shuttle from the assembly building to the launch. We were there from around 9:45 to 4:00 PM and didn’t get to tour the astronaut hall of fame and see a few other exhibits. If anyone is ever in the area we recommend the whole experience. The ticket actually covers 2 days if you have the time.

Cape Canaveral is pretty interesting as it’s a wild life refuge. 140,000 acres of preserved land as well as NASA and all it’s buildings and thousands of employees. We saw a huge bald eagle nest, an alligator sunning himself, an armadillo on the side of the road and thankfully nothing else.
Topped our day off by dinner at a Mexican restaurant with an indoor chapel should we have needed one for anything. . Onto to Cocoa ….

SaturnV Rocket

Assembly Building
The storm is coming


Greg-Argonauta said...

Marg and Don,

Wait until everybody finds out you are really living in the Holiday Inn in New Bern and all these pictures are staged.

Margaret said...

Guess it's lucky I have the photos to prove it - of course I can't publish some of those photos like showers on the Wicama !