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Greek Heritage and Florida's National Seashore

New Smyrna Beach and Mosquito Lagoon


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Monday, January 10th

Since Bob thought he had fixed the Mercedes's problem, we returned the rental car to Enterprise. It cost $26.13 for the two days, which was pretty cheap (a half cent less than $13.07/day for those like me that are math challenged).

Then I went to find the Canaveral National Seashore office, which was on Julia Street in Titusville. It was there, but it looked abandoned - locked up tight and no sign of life, although we didn't ring the bell to be admitted. I had thought I could get some information there.
Canaveral National Seashore headquarters

Canaveral National Seashore headquarters


I took a photo of the historic courthouse,
Titusville Courthouse

Titusville Courthouse


Historic theatre

Historic theatre


and the steeples of some churches which I found out later that one of them has a Tiffany window so I want to go back and see that from inside.
100_5120.JPGSt Gabriel's steeple

St Gabriel's steeple


Bob got fuel in the car (diesel was only $2.099 there) and we started out for New Smyrna. I wanted to visit New Smyrna for two reasons.
1) I have been checking to see how the marinas fared. The New Smyrna Municipal Marina was a particularly unusual one, and I could see from the ICW that there was a CSY like our boat there. I couldn't see the name of it from our boat though, and thought I might find that out.
2) We have only been there once by boat, and I did not take any pictures of the waterfront or the historic markers.

Our only visit by boat

Flashback 2000, December 11-12 A Refuge for the Exhausted

In 2000, after we left Port Orange, where we had a hair raising experience with the current in a marina, I started calling Smyrna marinas. All of them were full except the yacht club which only took other yacht club members and the town marina, and that was a co-op. There is no dockmaster, and they don't monitor the radio. They had 2 transient slips. If we got there and they were open, we could stay there. If someone else got there first, we couldn't stay there. Then we would have to anchor behind Chicken Island, and I was chicken to do that. I found where the marina was on the chart, so that I could direct Bob there. We were behind another sailboat at the Coronado Beach Bridge just before New Smyrna Beach (named by Greek immigrants), and I was afraid they would go into the Smyrna Marina, but they didn't. So we tied up by noon after a very traumatic start and 11 miles at 5.4 mph for a total of 844 nm. We walked up to the office and registered (filled out a form envelope - put money into it and stuck it through a slot).
Municipal New Smyrna Marina from the river

Municipal New Smyrna Marina from the river


Then we walked over to the Sea Harvest Seafood Restaurant which has only fried food. Service is quick and friendly. Food can be taken out or eaten on the deck outside. There is a big sign on the deck with reasons not to feed the birds, but the birds obviously ARE fed.

There was a sign warning against feeding the birds. It said:
Bird feeding sign

Bird feeding sign


"To insure your dining pleasure while eating on the deck, Please DON'T FEED THE BIRDS!. After considerable thinking on our part we have come up with 7 good reasons why you shouldn't feed the birds. We could not think of 3 more to make 10 so 7 will just have to do.

-7 It's not good for humans to feed wild critters.
-6 They are really not that cute and cuddly.
-5 They don't pay taxes so why feed them.
-4 Don't you hate to sit down for dinner and have rude obnoxious guests show up.
-3 It's tough to carry on a conversation while being bombarded.
-2 Bird poop tasts really lousy on our fish. We provide Tarter sauce for that.
-1 They can mess up a really good hair day!
No Fishing

No Fishing


If you feel that you must feed the birds please go to the far end of the dock away from all the other guests."
RosalieAnn at the New Smyrna marina from the restaurant

RosalieAnn at the New Smyrna marina from the restaurant


They have fried chicken, shrimp, fish or seafood - either in a sandwich or in a basket with french fries and cole slaw. I had a good shrimp sandwich for lunch, and Bob had a seafood dinner in the evening. We ate out on the pier and the birds (gulls and grackles mainly) waited around to be fed. One of the grackles only had one leg.

I waylaid the postman and gave him post cards for our grandsons on the way back to the boat, and used the pay phone to get pocketmail. Bob as usual was too restless to just rest, so he walked over to a marine supply store and around Old Fort Park which was right by the marina. Then he cleaned the bimini curtains.

About 5 we walked back to the same place and got dinner there as neither of us felt like walking any more than that. I got chicken and Bob got a seafood dinner.

This time, there was a great egret and a bunch of plovers begging for food. The egret actually walked right up to the table.
Begging

Begging


On the way home, we saw the big orange full moon rise but my pictures of it didn't come out..

I saw a green heron on a dock line, and that night I saw a yellow crowned night heron walking around on the dock next to the boat. It also rained quite a bit.

December 12, 2000 Leaving New Smyrna Beach
Bob was up at 7, took up the trash and used the bathroom and I used the pay phone. Cast off at 8:15 without incident (high tide). Was a trifle foggy. Oops - Bob and I both forgot to put on our life jackets.

We motored under the fixed bridge just south of the marina (the place to go under isn't in the middle but way over on the end) on our way to Titusville.

End Flashback

I thought we might as well go I-95 up and come back on US 1, so as I was getting out the maps, Bob asked if 405 went to US 1, and it does so he turned on it. But it was the north end of 405 going south and took us on a long detour through the backside of Titusville including viewing the Titusville solid waste disposal area and the recycling plant. Whereas if we had taken 406, we would have cut about 10 miles off the trip. Oh well.
Skate Board Ramps

Skate Board Ramps

Bocce ball Courts

Bocce ball Courts


As we were getting to the route 44 exit for New Smyrna Beach, the car started to vibrate again, but Bob is convinced it must be the other tire. We got off and found the visitor's center from which we got a lot of maps and information. Visitor's Centers (when open) are a Good Thing. I asked them why the bridges in New Smyrna were painted pink, and they did not know.
Pink Bridge of New Smyrna from our boat in 2003

Pink Bridge of New Smyrna from our boat in 2003


I asked if anyone had asked them that question before, and they said No.Driving into New Smyrna Beach

Driving into New Smyrna Beach


Dunn Lumber store

Dunn Lumber store


I took this photo as we drove into New Smyrna. It seemed to be an early style building. It is actually Dunn Lumber, which has the Original Overhead Door of Daytona Beach and has been "Serving Volusia, Seminole, Orange, and Flagler Counties with building material needs since 1905.
Downtown Street

Downtown Street


Then we saw a post office, so I stopped and mailed my package of lighthouse pictures off to Hatteras. We drove through the historic downtown
Historic site sign - no skateboarding

Historic site sign - no skateboarding


This site is best known for its "old fort" ruins. These are massive, intact coquina stone foundations of a building constructed by 18th-century colonists at New Smyrna's Turnbull settlement - the Old Fort name is a misnomer because it was not a fort.
"Old Fort" Ruins

"Old Fort" Ruins


Those people that don't actually know the history of the site think it is an old Spanish fort built in the 1500's by Menendez de Aviles (this was the speculation of John Detwiler, historian and first editor of the New Smyrna Breeze newspaper). Some say that Turnbull had started building a "palace" on a shell mound but only got as far as the "coquina" block foundation. Or was it the beginnings of a Catholic Church, or a Turnbull period warehouse? No one really knows. When we got to the Fort Historic site, we climbed up on it (it's about 6 feet above street level - just the foundations)
Bob walking up the Fort walls

Bob walking up the Fort walls


And looked down to where the New Smyrna Marina was. It's completely gone. The ladies at the Visitor's Center prepared us by telling us that the Municipal Marina was gone. And indeed it was - nothing was there except the bulkhead, which they were working on. The whole thing had been wiped clean away.
Blank space at the bulkhead where the marina was

Blank space at the bulkhead where the marina was

Waterfront WITHOUT the Municipal Marina

Waterfront WITHOUT the Municipal Marina


We walked across the square, past the library to the courthouse and where the monument to the original Greek settlers were.
City Hall across the square

City Hall across the square


Memorial

Memorial

Monument opposite the City Hall

Monument opposite the City Hall


This stone commemorates the 1769 colony of Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scot, who had recruited 200 Greeks, 110 Italians and 1190 Minorcans to homestead his royal land grant of 101,000 acres. This was the site of the largest single attempt at colonial settlement in what is now the United States up to that time (eight vessels with 1,403 people).

Dr. Turnbull was a physician and entrepreneur who obtained a grant of land from the British Crown, with a and he named the colony "New Smyrna."

The colonists came prepared to till the soil, bringing with them farming implements, seeds, and cuttings of mulberry, grape, olive, orange and fig. The settlement produced the bulk of the indigo of the world during the revolution. They also made red dye of cochineal, and Barilla from weed gathered on the sea edge. Their system of drainage canals, the ruins of stone wharves indigo vats, wells and home sites are still to be seen. Nine years after founding the colony, the colonists were released from their contracts and moved to St. Augustine.

The stone says:

TO THE PAST
... TO THE PRESENT
...... TO THE FUTURE

Dedicated On This
200th Anniversay
In Honor Of Those
Intrepid Hellenes
Who Came To The New World in 1769
As Settlers Of The Historic New Smyrna Colony Of Florida
By Americans Proud Of Their
Hellenic Heritage
Who Cherish Their Participation
In The Great Ideals
Of Democracy And Freedom
As Embodied In Our
American Way Of Life
So That Generations Yet Unborn
May Fulfull The Hopes
Engendered By These
Priceless Legacies
_____________________
Presented by the
Order of AHEPA
American Hellenic Educational
Progressive Association
May 4, 1969

Church on town square

Church on town square


Banner on the Library

Banner on the Library


While we were looking at the Old Fort, I took this picture of the library. A website about it says:
"The New Smyrna Free Library (now the Connor Library Museum) was constructed by Washington Everett Connor in 1901. Mr. Connor, a New York stockbroker, personally maintained the building and paid the librarian's salary for 20 years. Originally located on the northwest corner of Faulkner and Washington Streets, the library was deeded to the City in 1924, with the stipulation that the City continue to maintain the building as a library.

"In 1940, the New Smyrna Free Library was moved into the newly completed Works Projects Administration (WPA) facility on Sams Avenue (now City Hall). After the relocation of the library, the New Smyrna Beach Garden Club used the original library building as its headquarters.
building would be allowed a graceful retirement. By 1990, the Connor Library stood abandoned and deteriorating and seemed a likely candidate
"Despite its illustrious beginnings, it did not appear that the for demolition. In 1991, the City of New Smyrna Beach moved the building to its present location in Old Fort Park. It remained in its dilapidated state in the park until 1994, when the building was completely restored and converted into a museum detailing the history of Southeast Volusia County."

In 2001, the Connor Library Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary. I did not know it was a museum, or I might have visited it-- or maybe it wasn't open at the time we were there - I don't really remember.
Museum with ADA wheel chair lift

Museum with ADA wheel chair lift


By now it was about 11:45, and time to start looking for lunch.
Driving across the bridge

Driving across the bridge


I directed Bob to drive across the bridge that used to be called the Coronado bridge which is a bascule bridge right by the Riverview restaurant and hotel which was the bridge tender's house. Originally, I had thought we might eat there - we tried to stay there on our boat one time, but they had no dock space except for some they were saving for a much bigger boat. But as the ladies at the information center had told us, they were only serving dinner. So we drove on out to the beach
Beach Buns Bakery/Cafe

Beach Buns Bakery/Cafe


I saw this place and thought it was a cute sign so I took a photo. I thought about stopping here for lunch, but it was on the wrong side of the street.

We were trying to get a view of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse without going all the way north to get over to the other side. I did eventually see the top of it. We even went in the CG station, but could not see it from there.
Entrance to the Coast Guard Station

Entrance to the Coast Guard Station


Possibly we could have seen it from the state park that was there, but we didn't go in there - the admission was more than we wanted to pay just to take a look at the lighthouse - which we've seen from the boat in any case.

We drove down the ocean side looking for a place to eat before we went to the Canaveral National Seashore which I knew would have nothing. Finally we passed the very LAST place (JB's Fish Camp and Seafood Restaurant which Bob didn't see because the sign was in the shade), and he turned around and we had lunch there.
Unattended Children will be used as Crab Bait

Unattended Children will be used as Crab Bait

JB Fish Camp Restaurant menu - Southern Seafood with an Attitude

JB Fish Camp Restaurant menu - Southern Seafood with an Attitude


Stuffed deer in the Fish Camp restaurant

Stuffed deer in the Fish Camp restaurant


This is NOT Burger King

This is NOT Burger King


Drinks part of the menu

Drinks part of the menu

Outside seating

Outside seating


We ate inside, although there was outside seating available. Bob had half a pound of steamed spiced shrimp ($8.00)
Steamed Spiced Shrimp on the menu

Steamed Spiced Shrimp on the menu


Bob's shrimp

Bob's shrimp


and I had a plain crabcake appetizer ($5.85).
Appetizer part of the menu

Appetizer part of the menu

My appetizer crab cake

My appetizer crab cake


It was a reasonable sized crabcake and very good. That way I didn't have to have potato chips or a bun like in a sandwich. Then I had Florida orange cake.
Florida Orange Cake

Florida Orange Cake


According to the menu, they use Old Bay (which they described as a spicy crab boil for those that wouldn't know what it was) and Bob said the shrimp were very good, although he had some intestinal problems later. The place was pretty busy. It took us about an hour. It would have been less if we had gotten the bill sooner.
Our shrimp are guaranteed to catch a fish or die trying

Our shrimp are guaranteed to catch a fish or die trying


Dock at the restaurant

Dock at the restaurant

Bob on the dock

Bob on the dock


They said that they were on the Indian River, and Bob and I were pretty sure it was Mosquito Lagoon,
Mosquito Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon

NOT the Indian River

NOT the Indian River


as the Indian River is on the other side of the Haulover Canal. On looking it up later, I find that there seems to be a movement afoot to rename the Mosquito Lagoon as the Indian River Lagoon, just like Mosquito Inlet has become Ponce de Leon inlet.llarge_100_5169.JPGMosquito Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon


Mosquitoes are bad PR.
Pelicans

Pelicans


Seagull

Seagull


Entrance

Entrance


We got to the entrance of the park at about 1300, and got in free with our Golden Age passport. We went to the visitor's center first and saw a tape on the park. The Canaveral National Seashore is split into two parts - a northern part and a southern part. You can't drive from the northern part to the southern part because the road does not go all the way through. Today we have entered the northern section by coming from New Smyrna. When we are in the InterCoastal Waterway, we are actually in the National Seashore on the Mosquito Lagoon side as far as the Haulover Canal where the ICW transits to the Indian River.
Sign about the plants of the seashore

Sign about the plants of the seashore


Then we drove all the way out to the end of the road.
National Park Service Map

National Park Service Map


Bob sat in the car
Parking

Parking


while I went out to take a picture of the beach. There are strict prohibitions about walking on the dunes.
Prohibited sign

Prohibited sign


large_6936277-National_Seashore_Titusville.jpgNational Seashore

National Seashore

Seashore

Seashore

Beach

Beach

Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore


We went back to Eldora, where there is a house that is all that is left of the community of Eldora. On the walk in, we saw an armadillo (we saw one cross the road earlier and also saw a snake on the road). The armadillo kept sticking his head under the leaves.
Armadillo

Armadillo


They neither see nor hear very well, so he (or she) let us walk right up to him.

The house has been 'restored' and is called the Eldora State House. We saw another tape about the house and it's history with the last people
that lived there named Wells and about the restoration.
Eldora Village sign

Eldora Village sign

Eldora information

Eldora information


Dolly's tombstone

Dolly's tombstone

Dolly the mule

Dolly the mule


Model of Eldora

Model of Eldora


Old photo of Eldora

Old photo of Eldora

On the River

On the River

Eldora house

Eldora house

Eldora

Eldora

House at Eldora

House at Eldora


There's no rational reason for it to be called the State House, as it was never the capitol. And the restoration has basically completely rebuilt the house - it looks like none of it is original except the floorboards downstairs, and maybe the cistern.
Cistern

Cistern

Eldora house

Eldora house


We used the toilets out by the parking lot - they were kind of like airline toilets only bigger with a lever in the floor to let the waste through to a reservoir. There was no water for handwashing - they supplied waterless hand cleaner.

We drove across to the mainland on the other bridge (the fixed bridge). and set off down US 1 toward Titusville.
Two rocket boosters outside the HS gate

Two rocket boosters outside the HS gate


The high school has two rocket boosters outside the gate. We got back to the unit about 4:30.
Shrimp statue outside the restaurant

Shrimp statue outside the restaurant


For dinner, we went out to Dixie Crossroads.We had been warned to go early and that it would be extremely busy on the weekend, so we got there before 6 and there were a lot of people standing around outside. But we found a parking place and got seated right away.
Menu/placemat

Menu/placemat


I had the
Lobster dinner $14.95

Lobster dinner $14.95


which was a good sized lobster. Bob had a small order of the fish of the day which was grouper for $10.99 and also had a sweet potato which was served with both regular butter and cinnamon butter.
Bob's grouper and sweet potato

Bob's grouper and sweet potato


He said it was a little rubbery and said he should have had the lobster. We each had two sides with our dinners - I had
Shrimp Soup

Shrimp Soup


(clear broth with a lot of potatoes and a few little shrimp) and a sweet potato. Bob had a salad (ordinary looking)
Bob's side salad

Bob's side salad


They served us corn fitters with powdered sugar as the bread,
Corn fritters

Corn fritters


and these were pretty good. The total including tip was a bit less than $38.00
Sign on the highway at night

Sign on the highway at night

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:16 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Meritorious Merritt Island National Wildlife Preserve

And the South Part of Canaveral National Seashore


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday, January 11th

Although Bob hasn't actually fixed the problem, after further consideration, he decided it was not a mechanical problem with the car, but was something with the tires. He decided this because the problem doesn't surface until the tires are warmed up (an hour or so of high speed driving). So we canceled our appointment with the Mercedes dealer because they don't "do" tires.

This morning, Bob started watching an old black and white Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracey movie on TV (the one where they are both lawyers), and I got to watching it too, so we had lunch in the unit before we started out. Because there's only one phone for me to plug my computer into, and it is in the kitchen, I mostly take the computer into the main bedroom and Bob watches the TV he wants to watch without disturbing me in the living room.
Left Red=Canaveral National Seashore: Dark Green=Merritt Island Refuge: Light Green=Cape Kennedy: Right Red=Cape Canaveral AFB

Left Red=Canaveral National Seashore: Dark Green=Merritt Island Refuge: Light Green=Cape Kennedy: Right Red=Cape Canaveral AFB

The Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville and St. Augustine are known as Florida's First Coast. Both because it was the first area settled by Europeans and because it is the first place you get to when coming south.

Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Melbourne are the Space Coast. The Phone area code for this area is 3,2,1 like the countdown for the launching of rockets.

We drove over to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. We stopped on the way to observe the opening of the TItusville swing bridge that we went through so often on our boat
Approaching the swing span on the road

Approaching the swing span on the road

Bridge swinging open

Bridge swinging open

At the bridge gates

At the bridge gates


Anchorage from the bridge in 2005

Anchorage from the bridge in 2005


Sailboat going through the bridge

Sailboat going through the bridge

Sailboat on the other side of the bridge - the NASA Causeway bridge up is open down the river

Sailboat on the other side of the bridge - the NASA Causeway bridge up is open down the river


At the visitor's center, I bought a Florida bird book ($13 plus tax)
Shop

Shop


Title of the film at the visitor's Center

Title of the film at the visitor's Center

Visitor's Center from the boardwalk

Visitor's Center from the boardwalk


and we walked out along the little 1/4 mile boardwalk at the visitor's center.
Vulture on an Osprey platform

Vulture on an Osprey platform


looking down into the water from the boardwalk

looking down into the water from the boardwalk

Bass and bluegills in the visitor's center pond

Bass and bluegills in the visitor's center pond

Freshwater Ponds

Freshwater Ponds

A flower at the edge of a fresh water pond

A flower at the edge of a fresh water pond

Edges

Edges

Wetlands

Wetlands


Saw a big turtle on the road as we left the visitor's center.
Turtle

Turtle

Water turtle near visitor's center

Water turtle near visitor's center


After we visited the Visitor's Center, we drove out along the edge of the refuge that adjoins the space center (seeing wood storks and other birds)
Marshes along the road

Marshes along the road


until we got to the southern part of the Canaveral National Seashore (got in free with our Golden Age pass).
Crossing the RR tracks approaching ticket booth

Crossing the RR tracks approaching ticket booth


Entrance gate to the seashore

Entrance gate to the seashore


Cape Kennedy vehicle installation

Cape Kennedy vehicle installation

The old Cape Canaveral lighthouse is the tiny black and white thing in the middle of this photo.

The old Cape Canaveral lighthouse is the tiny black and white thing in the middle of this photo.


This part of the seashore has undeveloped beaches and limited services. There are no designated picnic areas, phones, food, or drinking water. There is no public transportation in the park. You can tour the park via private vehicle, bicycle, or on foot. We went to Playalinda Beach. I got a stamp in my book at Merritt Island, but there's no Visitor's Center at the south side of the Seashore. They also apparently have the same kind of waterless toilets cum portapotty type facilities there that they do at Eldora.
Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore

large_451557334693230-Beach_ecosys..ife_Refuge.jpgLooking south toward Cape Kennedy

Looking south toward Cape Kennedy

Looking north

Looking north

Seagull riding the wind

Seagull riding the wind

Sign about turtle nesting on Canaveral Seashore

Sign about turtle nesting on Canaveral Seashore

Warning sign on the dune line

Warning sign on the dune line


Then we drove along the road to the Haulover Canal bridge
Road appoaching Haulover Bridge

Road appoaching Haulover Bridge


Approaching the Haulover Bridge

Approaching the Haulover Bridge

Looking down the canal from the bridge

Looking down the canal from the bridge


and stopped at the Manatee Observation area.
Sign

Sign

Haulover draw bridge from manatee area

Haulover draw bridge from manatee area

Haulover Bascule Bridge and fishermen

Haulover Bascule Bridge and fishermen


Manatee in Haulover Canal

Manatee in Haulover Canal

Dark shadow of a manatee

Dark shadow of a manatee


The manatees that I photographed in the marina in Titusville were more visible, although these came up to the surface fairly often.
Manatees in Titusville Marina on a previous visit

Manatees in Titusville Marina on a previous visit


Then after we got fuel, we came back to the unit and had dinner here. We haven't spent much money today at all.

Wednesday, January 12th

Last night, when Bob asked me what we would be doing today, I hadn't made up my mind yet, but sometime last night I decided that I needed to get out the binoculars and that we should go back to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and do Black Point Drive. This is an unpaved one way loop which we didn't take yesterday - partly because it seemed like it would rain (and did a little) and partly because it WAS unpaved. But some folks I met at the visitor's center boardwalk trail said they'd seen 52 species that morning. So I started regretting that I'd missed that.

I thought that the eco-tour that goes out of the Titusville marina might do some of the edge of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, but they stay in the Indian River. So I made a reservation for the 1330 tour, and then we drove over the Titusville bridge to the Refuge.
Birds at the start of Black Point Drive

Birds at the start of Black Point Drive


Marshy areas along the road

Marshy areas along the road


Digging machine we met on loop road

Digging machine we met on loop road


At the third turnout, a guy came the other direction in an official truck and asked us to wait as they were doing some work and a dump trunk had overturned. The righted it and now they were bringing out the track vehicle they'd used. This was a very large backhoe type machine - about 2 stories tall with tank type treads. I thought the guy might drive it into the canal (he was using some kind of remote control device in his hand) because he went so far on the other side of the road to keep from hitting us, but he didn't. There were others on the road too - some stopped and just left all their car doors open to go look at the birds. Many of them had big cameras with tripods and long lenses. I took some pictures too.
Little diving duck

Little diving duck


Heron fishing

Heron fishing

Great white egret

Great white egret

Blue heron

Blue heron

Wood Stork

Wood Stork

large_59227211898466-Refuge_Ecosy..ife_Refuge.jpgRosette Spoonbill and Wood Storks

Rosette Spoonbill and Wood Storks

large_867212691898314-More_Merritt..ife_Refuge.jpgWood Stork coming in for a landing

Wood Stork coming in for a landing

Coastal marshes with a wading bird

Coastal marshes with a wading bird

Redwinged blackbird

Redwinged blackbird

Water control system

Water control system


We saw white ibis, snowy and great white egrets, wood storks, rosette spoonbills, common moorhen, tri colored heron, double crested cormorant, osprey, red winged blackbirds, American coot, and brown and white pelicans. I think we also saw pintail ducks - there were a lot of ducks - a pied-billed grebe, little blue heron, and some curlews.
Shorebird

Shorebird

Ducks

Ducks

large_x100_5302.JPGRosette Spoonbills

Rosette Spoonbills

Duck pond

Duck pond

Tricolor heron

Tricolor heron

Moorhen hiding in the mangroves

Moorhen hiding in the mangroves

Egrets

Egrets

An Egret fishing

An Egret fishing


When we got about 2/3rds of the way around, I saw a clump of white birds which turned out to be pelicans. They were all in a clot feeding. Most of them had their heads down in the water, and then they'd stick their beak up and swallow and then stick their head down in the water again.
White Pelican's feeding

White Pelican's feeding

White Pelican coming in to a landing

White Pelican coming in to a landing

Clump of White Pelicans

Clump of White Pelicans


Some other white pelicans were coming in - quite comical the way the land - they would put their feet out in front of them, and sort of skid along the water into the clot of their brethren.
White pelican's landing

White pelican's landing


Wintering Birds - Year Round Alligators

Wintering Birds - Year Round Alligators


A little later on I saw an alligator on the other side of the ditch, but he slid into the water before I could even point him out to Bob. I also saw one submerged with just his eyes out.

After we had done that loop, we drove back to the Coffee Shoppe which we had intended to have lunch on Saturday.
Sign on the street

Sign on the street


Coffee Shop at lunch

Coffee Shop at lunch


I had a egg salad sandwich ($2.35 which came with chips) I was a little nervous about getting to the marina in time, so I didn't have the shepherd's pie lunch with 2 sides which would have been $4.99.
Specials menu on the wall

Specials menu on the wall


Bob had a hamburger ($2.39 also with chips). With iced tea, the total bill was $7.76, and we were finished in half an hour. During the week, they also serve dinner.

We went out to the marina and of course were there 45 minutes early. We walked around a bit and sat for a bit in the sun.
Marina office

Marina office


There was supposed to be a rocket launch at 1345, but it was quite windy - there were whitecaps on the Indian River - so no one thought it would actually get off. The pontoon boat took us out under the Titusville swing bridge (without opening it).
Looking at launch from beside the Titusville Bridge

Looking at launch from beside the Titusville Bridge


They say this bridge is going to be replaced because it doesn't work too well, and just as we got to the bridge, the shuttle was launched, so we got to see that.
Shuttle launch from the river

Shuttle launch from the river

large_932794692778-Closed_for_S..ife_Refuge.jpgSecond stage of the rocket kicks in

Second stage of the rocket kicks in

Shuttle going up

Shuttle going up

Shuttle

Shuttle


They took us around the three spoil islands - one - Spider Island
Spider Island with old rocket trail

Spider Island with old rocket trail


which was named because it was infested with spiders before someone took a match to it and burned it over- on the south side of the bridge, and two (Secret Island and Fire Island) were on the north side.
Titusville bridge opening

Titusville bridge opening

large_100_5336.JPGEnd of the bridge

End of the bridge


After the excitement of the rocket launch (it's the one that's going to crash into a comet), we saw a pod of bottlenosed dolphin feeding, with the brown pelicans trying to steal some of the fish. We watched that for quite a bit, but it was very hard to get pictures of the dolphins - they are so quick. Bob saw a tag on one of them - the research people come and tag and number them with liquid nitrogen.
Dolphins

Dolphins

Pelicans

Pelicans


The guide also told us how locals fish for shrimp (at night with a light and a net). You are allowed a 5 lb. bucket per boat with a fishing license. They run particularly well when there is a cold snap.
large_100_5340.JPG
Boat Ramp on the Indian River

Boat Ramp on the Indian River


She said you could not crab from a boat unless you used traps - you can only do that from shore. We had a nice tour.
St. Gabriel's

St. Gabriel's


After we got back to the marina (we didn't see any manatees), we drove over to the St. Gabriel church which is supposed to have Tiffany windows,
Stained glass window from the outside

Stained glass window from the outside

End Windows

End Windows

Historic marker about the church

Historic marker about the church

Garden on the church lawn

Garden on the church lawn

St Gabriel's

St Gabriel's


but it was locked up tight with no indication that there would be any service at any time. I took some photos at the courthouse too
Courthouse

Courthouse

Flags over the courthouse-from the top: US Flag, Florida Flag and Brevard County flag

Flags over the courthouse-from the top: US Flag, Florida Flag and Brevard County flag

Courthouse door with Brevard County seal

Courthouse door with Brevard County seal


And then we went to JC Penny and got Bob a windbreaker on sale - it was 70% off. Now he doesn't have to wear the old stained, faded and too tight blue one out in public anymore.

We came home and Bob did the laundry ($5.25) and we ate dinner at Porky's BBQ.
large_n100_5357.JPGlarge_x100_5371.JPGlarge_100_5370.JPG Photo of old Titusville in Porky's

Photo of old Titusville in Porky's


I didn't write down what we had to eat. I think we had BBQ.
Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

My BBQ

My BBQ

Bob's chicken

Bob's chicken

Dessert buffet

Dessert buffet

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:47 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Mosquito Inlet and Its Lighthouse - Pouncing on Ponce

Titusville to Orlando to Ormond Beach

rain 9 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

13 January 2005 - Thursday

Today we didn't do anything except watch TV (Bob), do computing and take a nap (me). I can't seem to make the 'find' function of my mapping software work. Don't know why, but it is very annoying. I looked up the address of the JC Penny in Orlando on the internet because the shoe department guy at Penny's yesterday said that if anyone had the shoes I wanted, they would be the ones.

On Thursday night, we did go to El Leoncita for dinner.
large_100_5385.JPG
This restaurant was recommended by another VTer, and it wasn't far from our condo. It started in California in 1977 as a Mexican restaurant and Cuban food was added when they moved to Titusville in 1995
Bar area

Bar area


Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa


I had
Huevas Rancheros  ($6.95 with beans and rice)

Huevas Rancheros ($6.95 with beans and rice)


and Bob had the
Taco platter

Taco platter


and had reflux problems afterwards. They didn't have fried ice cream- only flan, pecan pie, cheesecake and chocolate fudge cake. So we didn't have any dessert.
Desserts

Desserts


We looked at the pool. I thought I might swim, but haven't done so. The water is quite warm - I dipped my feet in it.

Bob went to bed (he had already packed), and then got up (because of the reflux) and sat in the living room watching TV while I packed. We finally got to bed about 1:45 in the morning.

Friday January 14th.

I got a shower, and finished up the chocolate chip ice cream for breakfast, and also finished up on the internet. We checked out about 9:30. It was raining like the dickens. We drove towards Orlando on Route 50 going through the wildlife preserve for the dusky seaside sparrow (there's no access to it), and passing through the town of Christmas. It was raining too hard to think about going to Fort Christmas which is has tours of an old fort that are free.

We got to the J.C. Pennys and they had no velcro athletic shoes at all. So we left. That section of Orlando is FULL of all kinds of Oriental business - Korean, Chinese, Thai etc.

Now - originally I had thought we'd go to Lake Wales, but going to Orlando had used up some time, so our next objective was Ponce lighthouse. First hurdle was to get onto I-4. The sign said to turn right to go north, but it didn't look like that road went to the on-ramp, so we didn't Then the next turn was to the ramp going south. So we wandered around a bit until we found our way onto I-4. It was still raining, but not as hard.

I didn't have an actual map of the area I wanted to go to, but I wanted to get off of I-4 and take Dunlawton Drive from Port Orange over to the beach. I figured that we could get off on 44 going to New Smyrna and then head up US 1 to Dunlawton rather than going all the way to Daytona on I-4. Wrong.

We did manage to get off on 44. But then when we got close to New Smyrna, there was a sign saying to turn left to get to US 1 in 1/4 mile. And Bob, having overshot the turn the last time, turned right away instead of waiting for the 1/4 mile to go by. Now we were on historic 4118 - Pioneer Trail. And even though 4118 was on the map, we couldn't tell what direction we were going on it. Eventually, we crossed back over I-95 and ended up back on 44.

So we had to do it over again. Oh well - we weren't in a hurry.

We stopped to eat at Blackbeards in New Smyrna BeachMenu

Menu

Lunch Specials

Lunch Specials

Table with artifacts embedded in plastic

Table with artifacts embedded in plastic


This apparently is a place that the local silver haired community goes for lunch. The people who sat behind us were greeted by name and the waitress asked if they wanted their usual chicken salad or if they wanted to order something else. They also have early bird specials which go from 11:30 am to 6 pm on weekdays. I don't quite understand that.

I had the special (fried fish sandwich with a choice of fries, Manhattan fish soup or new england clam chowder and I picked the clam chowder) for $5.99
Fried Fish Special

Fried Fish Special


and Bob had a hamburger.
Bob's hamburger

Bob's hamburger


I also had a brulee cheesecake for dessert.
Brulee Cheesecake

Brulee Cheesecake


We finally got to Ponce (which is a village, AND an inlet AND a lighthouse), and parked - then we realized that the entrance to the lighthouse was a little ways away.
large_1408-00001320.jpgWhere we originally parked - Not the lighthouse

Where we originally parked - Not the lighthouse


We started to walk over, but I thought that it was a National Monument/Historic place, and so Bob went back to get the car, thinking we could get it with the Golden Age Pass which I had left in the car.
large_1409-00001321.jpg
Sign outside the museum

Sign outside the museum

Bottom of the lighthouse from the parking lot

Bottom of the lighthouse from the parking lot

Sign on the entrance door - No Water, No Food, No Backpacks

Sign on the entrance door - No Water, No Food, No Backpacks


I can understand prohibiting food inside the grounds, but I can't quite see why they prohibit water (and it was raining when we were there) unless they want you to buy the water that they have for sale.

The Ponce de Leon Inlet was called Mosquito Inlet when the lighthouse was built in 1887. Ponce de Leon Light Station was designated a historic landmark in 1998. It is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m in the winter, and can be climbed for an excellent view of the surrounding countryside

Well it turns out that the lighthouse belongs to the county and is a Historic Landmark, but not administered by the NPS. So it was $5 admission for each of us (no discount for seniors) and $1 for a stamp for my passport. In order to get to the museum, you have to pass through the gift shop. This building was built in 1992 from blueprints drawn in 1883 by the architect of our lighthouse for a keeper's dwelling planned for construction at this light station but never built. The restrooms, and research library are here also. The Gift Shop is building #1 of the 11 buildings here
Gift shop where we paid our admission

Gift shop where we paid our admission


It was still raining a little, so I took some film pictures in addition to the digital ones that I took inside out of the rain.
large_2027059-Ponce_Lighthouse_on_film_Ponce_Inlet.jpgPonce Inlet lighthouse in the rain

Ponce Inlet lighthouse in the rain


The whole lighthouse is the tallest one in FL and is 175 feet tall. After you pass through the gift shop and pay your admission, the second step in the museum is #2-Woodshed and Outhouse- now the video theatre. In many lighthouse museums, you can see the video without paying to go into the grounds, but that is not the case here.
#2-Woodshed and Outhouse (and now the theatre)

#2-Woodshed and Outhouse (and now the theatre)


"Wood for the fireplaces and stove of the Second Assistant Keeper's family was kept in this building. In the Video Theater now housed here, you can travel back in time through a twenty minute video program to meet Keeper John Lindquist who tells about the life and history of the Light Station, when it was still called Mosquito Inlet Light Station. Around on the northeast side of this building, you will find the Assistant Keeper's privy, restored as it was when it served as his family's restroom." When we went in, there was a cat lying on one of the benches. He appeared later in the video.
Lighthouse cat

Lighthouse cat

The #3 item on the Lighthouse grounds list is the boatyard[. We didn't bother with it. The lighthouse webpage says:
Boats in the 'boatyard'

Boats in the 'boatyard'


"This area is reserved for the display of historic vessels. Currently on display is the 46-foot F.D. Russell tug boat which sailed for many years in this area. The vessel was built in 1938 on a creek bank of the St. Mary's River by Captain Frank D. Russell, whose high school shop project was the beautiful ship's wheel. The curved bow stem is from a live oak tree he cut down in Turnbull Hammock and hewed out himself. The frame is oak with two inch cypress hull planking."

The #4 building on the tour list is the Second Assistant Keeper's House. Quite frankly, I'm not sure if the building pictured is the First Assistant's or the Second Assistant's House - All I can read on the sign is the word "Memorial"
One of the Keeper's Cottages/Museums

One of the Keeper's Cottages/Museums


The lighthouse webpage says that the second assistant keeper's home is "one of the three original buildings which served as dwellings for the families of the Keeper and his two assistants. Later, it served as the first Town Hall for Ponce Inlet. Today, it is our Lighthouse Museum. Featuring artifacts, photographs, charts, early uniforms, and documents, it tells the story of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and its place in the history of Ponce Inlet."
Restoration of the Ponce Light

Restoration of the Ponce Light

Diorama of building the Mosquito Inlet lighthouse

Diorama of building the Mosquito Inlet lighthouse

Model Original Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse from 1887

Model Original Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse from 1887

The #5 building is the Principal Keeper's house. The museum calls this building the Museum of the Sea. The exhibits include ship models, navigation instruments, pirates' treasure, marine biology, oceanography, exploration, whaling and deep-sea fishing. There was also a video tape, and there was a place for me to sit down inside.
Exhibits in the museum

Exhibits in the museum


Entrance to the Lighthouse Gallery

Entrance to the Lighthouse Gallery


According to the website: "The Principal Keeper's kitchen today serves as a special exhibits and display area. His bedroom today serves as our Lens Workshop where visitors can see our staff restoring rare, historic lighthouse lenses and other lighthouse artifacts"

Finally at #6, we get to the Lighthouse. By this time I was too tired to climb it to see the wonderful view which I'm sure there would be from the top. Also it was raining, and I was a little afraid that if there was lightening, we'd be evacuated from the lighthouse.
Door of the Lighthouse

Door of the Lighthouse


The website specifics are:
"With a brick foundation 12 feet deep and 45 feet wide, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse soars to 175 feet, one of the tallest brick lighthouses in the nation. The tower is 32 feet in diameter at the base and tapers to 12-1/2 feet at the top. The brick walls are 8 feet thick at the bottom and 2 feet thick at the top. One and a quarter million bricks were used to build the lighthouse, and the work took more than four years to complete. In the center of the Italian marble ground floor is the weight well, a standard feature of lighthouses, designed to catch items falling down the tower. Including the seven granite steps at the entrance to the Lighthouse, the iron, spiral staircase leads you 203 steps upwards to the lighthouse gallery (balcony)..."
Lighthouse in the rain

Lighthouse in the rain


The Pump House is the #7 building - sort of an anticlimax after the lighthouse. Not much to see here.
Pump House

Pump House


From the website: "Over a well dug in 1907, this building was constructed to house a water pump which was operated by a windmill built on a tower over the building. Water was pumped upwards to a 600 gallon cypress-wood water tank on the windmill tower. An electric generator was installed in 1925, bringing electricity to the Light Station. A year later, an electric water pump was also installed, and the windmill was taken down. Today, the well is still in use to supply water for the irrigation of our lawns"

#8 is the First Assistant Keeper's Dwelling which is restored and furnished as it would have been at the turn of the century (1900) It is named for Gladys Meyer Davis, whose father was the last civilian principal lightkeeper. She was born here and is/was a lifelong resident of Ponce Inlet.
Living room in the keeper's quarters

Living room in the keeper's quarters


In the kitchen, at the rear of the house, can be seen the china cabinet which was part of the original furnishings of the house when it was completed in 1887. The table and chairs are from the Meyer family. Laundry was done in wash sheds at the rear of each dwelling.

#9 Generator/Radio Shack Building
Oil Storage House

Oil Storage House

Exhibits in the Generator building

Exhibits in the Generator building


"Originally a woodshed and privy for the First Assistant Keeper's family, two electrical generators, like the one still here, were installed in the woodshed room in 1940, when a radio beacon was established at this Light Station.
large_1448-100_5423.JPG
In 1943, the Coast Guard built the "Radio Shack" addition on the front of the woodshed to house a new radio room. Today, tools and equipment used by the Keepers and a collection of photographs of lighthouses from around the world are displayed here."

Number 10 on the list is the Ayres Davies Lens Exhibit Building This is a new building, built in 1995, and not one of the historic buildings on the site although it was designed to blend in with them.
Looking in the window at the lights

Looking in the window at the lights


Inside is a collection of lighthouse lenses (and an explanation of what makes a lens a First Order, Second Order etc.) and exhibits explaining the history and technology of Lighthouse Illumination including the biography of Augstin-Jean Fresnel the French engineer who invented the Fresnel lens c 1822. (Fresnel is pronounced Freh-NELL (without the S))
Orders of lenses

Orders of lenses

History of lighthouse illumination

History of lighthouse illumination


At the front is the story of the restoration of the lens that was used in the Ponce lighthouse from 1933 to 1970
First Order Fresnel Lens from Ponce Light

First Order Fresnel Lens from Ponce Light

Details of the Ponce Light Lens

Details of the Ponce Light Lens


Cape Canaveral Light

Cape Canaveral Light


Also on display is the First Order Fresnel lens that was used in the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse from 1868 to 1993.
Looking down on the Canaveral lens

Looking down on the Canaveral lens

Top of the Canaveral light

Top of the Canaveral light

24" Rotating Spotlight

24" Rotating Spotlight


and in that building was a panoramic view of Ponce Inlet. I wanted to climb up a couple of stories to see the inlet, but I didn't have the energy. I took photos of the photos and that will have to do for me.
Museum photo of the inlet

Museum photo of the inlet

Picture of the inlet from museum display

Picture of the inlet from museum display


This inlet is now called Ponce de Leon Inlet (Ponce for short). It seems Mosquito Inlet does not resonate with developers. It is not a class A inlet, but I've been unable to find out what class inlet it is. The lighthouse publicity says it is 'feared' by mariners.

The USLHS Bell is listed at #11 on the lighthouse museum list of things
USLH Bell

USLH Bell

large_1440-55743143-01.jpg
From the museum website: "This 600-pound bronze bell was cast by the E.A. Williams Bell Founders, Jersey City, NJ, in 1911. Bells like this were used by the United States Lighthouse Service as fog signals at lighthouses and on lightships. This particular bell was mounted on a sea buoy at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, but sank in a storm soon afterwards. Recovered by the United States Coast Guard in 1987, it was donated to our Light Station.
large_1441-557-04.jpglarge_1441-557-05.jpg

We drove down A1A through Daytona, and got to the condo (Plantation Island) at about 4:15. They've had some damage from the hurricanes and not all of it is fixed yet. The parking lot is quite small - Bob joked that we would have to walk everywhere once we got a good parking place. It took two trips with the little luggage trolleys to get everything up to the room after it stopped raining.

It is cold and Bob has gotten out his new windbreaker that we got him, and he's also gotten out the sweater we got in Bermuda. There is heat in the unit, but it has obviously not been run before as it stinks.

This is about the same size as the New Orleans unit except there is a TV in the bedroom and a couple of bedside tables. We are in the high rise part which is 6 stories, and there is an elevator (since the hurricanes - only one of them works). There are laundry facilities - $1.50 for the washer and $1.50 for the dryer. There are two TVs. There isn't much storage space for clothing - a tiny closet and one chest in the bedroom, and a broom closet in the hall. The closet is about 1/3rd the size of the one in NOLA which means that there's no place to put the suitcases, let alone the coolers. There is a full kitchen which is quite compact. It seems like the units are pretty well soundproofed.
Beach in the rain

Beach in the rain


Our room looks out on the ocean and beach and one of the pools.
View from our window

View from our window


The patio pool is heated (the ocean one is not). There are a lot of mirrors to make it look like there's more space.
Me reflected in the mirror - ocean behind me

Me reflected in the mirror - ocean behind me


We are on the 4th floor. Local calls are 25 cents and I am using dial-up. So I may just leave the computer on line. We'll see how they like that.
IHOP from the condo

IHOP from the condo


We walked across A1A to the IHOP for dinner. The harried waitress said she could seat us but she was by herself and there was a soccer team having dinner so it might be awhile before we got served. There was one cook, and two busboys and that was all to wait on the whole place.

Eventually, I had 2 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon hash browns and 2 pieces of toast and Bob had French toast. We had hot tea, and the bill was
$15.40. He left the exact change on the register.
Bill for our meal

Bill for our meal


That was because the single waitress was seating people, taking orders, instructing the cook, taking the food and beverages out, totaling the checks and running the cash register. There were 8-12 tables all with multiple people that she was taking care of, and we left the money on the register because otherwise if we waited for her to ring us up, we might still be there.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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