ICW Mile Marker 897 – Cocoa Beach
Even with all of our antennas lowered, The Bridge of Lions clearance was to low for us to pass underneath. We requested a bridge opening and captured this image of this majestic bridge in the open position. She is one of the most beautiful bridges on the ICW. South of St. Augustine, we passed Fort Matanzas (MM 793) at the Matanzas Inlet. The Spanish used to control the inlet with this ‘little’ fort situated to easily discharge cannon balls at unwelcome vessels. At Mile Marker 796 we pass Marineland, offering a nice marina for boaters to experience the Oceanarium. The ICW continues down the Matanzas River through the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve where a small island was completely taken with nesting pelicans, egrets and cormorants. The ICW continues through Flagler Beach. At Mile Marker 816 is the Knox Bridge with only 15-foot clearance. We request bridge opening and are quickly cruising again at 18-knots (20-mph). The ICW passes Palm Coast, Ormond Beach (MM 825) and then Daytona Beach (MM 830). We are able to clear Daytona’s Main Street Bridge with a 22-foot clearance but have to request an opening for the Memorial Bridge with only a 21-foot clearance. Further South at the Ponce de Leon Inlet, this stunning 175-foot Ponce Inlet Lighthouse looms on the horizon.
Near Mile Maker 846 the ICW changes from a narrow dredged channel to a large lake as we enter Mosquito Lagoon. It is late afternoon and the wind is starting to blow making choppy waters on the lagoon. At Mile Marker 869 we enter the Haulover Canal, a narrow dredged canal that connects Mosquito Lagoon to the Indian River. Now the river is wide as we pass New Smyrna Beach in a light chop. At this point we are looking for an anchorage for the evening but ‘continue on’ hoping to find calmer waters. The chop has little effect on Cat Inn Around, not the same for her passengers. To the East looms the building that used to house the space shuttle at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The ICW passes the Canaveral Barge Canal (connecting the ICW to the Banana River and Port Canaveral) as we pass under the 65-foot high bridge. At Mile Marker 897 we arrive at Cocoa Beach with the distinctive water tower painted with the American Flag. Here we find a calm anchorage on the East side of the channel. We enjoy the last ‘glow’ of the sunset and settle down for the evening. Cat Inn Around has traveled 119-miles and her passengers are ready to rest. Day 2 comes to a close.