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Indy Neighbors Visit Us At Indian Harbour Beach 2/6-13/10

De’d and Jerry Swinehart live across the street from us in Indianapolis. More than neighbors to us, they are very good friends. With the weather so gloomy in Indy, it wasn’t hard to convince them to come and see us in Florida. Our week together went by way too fast and we all felt like there was more we wanted to do while they were here.  More than once, I’ve heard it said , “If you are visiting somewhere that you never intend to revisit, do everything there is to do there. If it is a place you would like to revisit, don’t worry about doing everything there is to do.” Good advice. De’d and Jerry plan on returning someday and we’ll have more opportunities to explore the attractions of this area.

De'd and Jerry at the beach on Valentine's Day

While they were here, we went to the ocean as much as possible. Walking the beach and looking for seashells was one of our favorite activities.  We had a special walk on the beach on Valentine’s Day, and De’d and I received valentines in the sand drawn by our sweeties. 

A person who lives locally told De’d about a restaurant on the beach, Sun on the Beach , locally called SOB (seriously); and after driving to it to have breakfast there, we realized we’d been walking right by it while walking on the beach. SOB, the restaurant, is hard to see from the beach because the sand dunes conceal it; but once we knew it was there, we were able to find it from the beach and stop in for a cup of hot chocolate one chilly day while we were walking. De’d and Jerry have traveled abroad extensively and they too realize the value of talking to the “locals” regarding the best places to go to.

Another restaurant we found by talking to locals was an Irish pub in Melbourne. Since the Swineharts have been to Ireland, they were intrigued by the Irish menu offering typical Irish fare. However, the preparation of the food was not up to Ireland’s unique standards, but satisfied our pallets nonetheless. Meg O’Malley’s Irish Pub has historically served a cup of bean soup for the price of 18 cents, so of course we all had to experience this delicious tradition.

Earlier this week, we got to see the launching of the space shuttle, Endeavor, transporting the astronauts who are

Launching of Space Shuttle Endeavour

going to attach another segment to the space station. The first morning it was suppose to launch, it was scrubbed due to strong winds. After getting up for a 4:30 AM launching two days in a row, we were relieved and delighted it was a successful launch on the second day. All four of us were thrilled we were able to go just one mile down to the beach to see this spectacular sight. From Satellite Beach, we could not see the shape of the space shuttle, but to see the huge ball of fire and the trail it made very near where we were observing it at the beach, was worth getting up at such an ungodly hour. We also got to see the launching of the unmanned solar satellite that was sent to observe the sun. It was hard to see it from where we were on Satellite Beach. It looked like a shooting star instead of a huge ball of fire. Even though it’s presentation was not as dramatic as that of the space shuttle, it was still awesome to see it. ‘

De'd and Jerry's first sail

By asking the Swinehart’s what the highlights of their time at Indian Harbour Beach were, I found out one of the main ones was their time spent sailing with us on White Swan. It was the first time either of them had sailed and they enjoyed every minute. There was a light breeze on Indian River the day we sailed, so we used the “screecher”, which is a sail designed to use in light wind. We did not hoist the main sail and with just the screecher we had a lovely sail moving two to three knots. It was a good day to take out friends who have never sailed before.

For happy hour that evening, we went to our boat neighbors, Pat and Tom Dennis, mainly so De’d and Jerry could see what the inside of a mono hull sailboat looks like. I tried to explain what it’s like to them before we went, likening it to going down into a cave. This description is not meant to be derogatory, it’s just different than going aboard a catamaran. They agreed with my description and the decent into the Dennis’ salon allowed us an evening filled with laughter, and good refreshments.

Not only were, De’d and Jerry here for Gary’s birthday celebration, they also went with us to Ed and Cheryl Byers’ home to watch the sadly defeated Colts in the Super Bowl.  Periodic phone calls to Pat, our dear Saint’s fan, made it an even more fun evening, until the  premonition of the “fallen-cake Colts” (see Gary’s B’day blog) came to the glory of Pat’s fruition.

One day was spent driving one hour north of Indian Harbour Beach to the Kennedy Space Center. I had gone there

De'd, Jerry and Gary at Kennedy Space Center

years ago, and so had De’d and Jerry, but Gary had never been there. So, though we all enjoyed the attraction, Gary really enjoyed his first time experience there. Being there brought a renewed sense of pride in what our nation has accomplished in the area of space exploration. Personally, it saddens us that our nation is planning on discontinuing the NASA program.

On the way to the Kennedy Space Center, we stopped by the US Customs office in Cape Canaveral and got our “secret codes” we’ll need when we return from the Bahamas. We had to present our passports and boat decal and documentation to the customs officer to get our personal code numbers that we will call in to the customs office when we re-enter a U.S. port. By so doing, we don’t have to physically check in to re-enter the country. This code is good for life so we won’t have to have it renewed. Our boating friends told us about this easier method of going through customs with the boat. Gary and I continue to learn about what we need to make our Bahama passage successful. There’s more to the preparation for this leg of our journey than just “we are going to the Bahamas”.

Also, in talking to others who have been to the Bahamas, we realized we needed another set of charts that are more detailed than what we previously purchased, We are continually amazed at how much we DON’T know. You’d think at our age, we would know it all. NOT!!! This trip has not only taught us more about sailing, but also a lot about geography, history, cultures, flora, fauna and sea life.



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