March 2006

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We are still in Florida.  We traveled from Fort Myers to Long Point State Park and then on to Patrick Air Force Base, a total distance of just under 200 miles.

Most of March was spent handling repairs and dealing with family issues in Palm Bay, so we won’t bore you with all the details but will tell you about the fun things we did during the month.

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Pelicans can get very lazy during the "snowbird" season.  They like to hang around the fish cleaning station and grab any handouts they can.  They also try to intimidate you with their stares.

We started off the month by spending about ten days at Long Point County Park, one of Brevard County’s three campgrounds located in Melbourne Beach, right off A1A. The majority of Long Point’s RV and tent sites are either at water’s edge or have a water view of the Indian River. Most sites are spacious with fire rings and tables. There is plenty of room to bike, walk and the park is very pet friendly. Wading birds are found everywhere. We were entertained one day at the fish cleaning station watching the pelicans jockey for positions close enough to catch the fish scraps. In the meantime, a wood stork was circling behind the station looking for handouts. We spoke to one of the fishermen cleaning his catch and he told us that sometimes the storks are brazen enough to peck the back of his legs looking for fish – what nerve!

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Our campsite at Long Point overlooked mangroves on a section of the Indian River.  The area was ideal for kayaking as well as viewing wading birds, dolphins and manatees. 

Larry took advantage of the calm waters surrounding Long Point to launch his Sea Eagle inflatable kayak from our own personal boat ramp behind our rig (actually, the ramp was just a kayak-size spit of sand). He paddled around getting closer to herons, cranes and egrets fishing on nearby banks. One afternoon, Barb and Laurent (friends from our Vero Beach Habitat build) came to visit, bringing Steve (from our Big Pine Habitat work now in Vero Beach) and Laurent’s two-man kayak. Barb and Lucille visited while the guys paddled around the peninsula on which Long Point is located. Afterwards, Jim and Linda (also from our Big Pine Habitat work) joined us for a cookout. We had fun catching up on how the Habitat builds were progressing in both Vero Beach and the Keys.

Another afternoon, we met Lucille’s Aunt Alma and husband Bud for lunch at Golden Corral. Bud and Alma, both avid golfers, have come down to Palm Bay the past three winters, avoiding upstate New York’s cold weather in exchange for plenty of opportunity to hit the links.

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Our campsite at Patrick AFB overlooked a canal that was popular with manatees and dolphin.

From Long Point, we moved to the military campground at Patrick Air Force Base, our home away from home, or at least it seems that way. We had to park in the dry camp area about six days, waiting for an opening in the full hookup section. We’re getting to be pros at dry camping this season. Our time there was pleasant – we were parked overlooking a canal. The sites in the dry camp area are much more spacious than those with hookups. But with temperatures starting to warm up, we were glad to have power to run our air conditioner when our name came up to move to a full hookup site.

We took a day off from chores and along with Lucille’s parents, drove to Tamarac to visit Aunts Lorraine and Florence. Lorraine’s home sustained quite a bit of damage thanks to Hurricane Wilma. This was the first time any of us had seen her home since then. Luckily, most of the extensive repairs have been done – everything looks great now.

Cousin Susan and her husband Ken came by to visit us at Patrick one Sunday afternoon – the first time either one of them had seen our home on wheels. The next day, Lucille fixed a belated St. Patrick’s Day lunch of corned beef and cabbage in Palm Bay and her Aunt Eugenie and cousin Diane joined all of us for lunch.

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Some days the Banana River was calm enough for kayaking.  Lucille snapped this picture of Larry as a manatee was diving below the surface.

The campground at Patrick AFB is located on the banks of the Banana River. One morning, the water was so calm that Larry went kayaking and paddled amongst several manatees frolicking in the water (or possibly mating?) He has also seen dolphins while kayaking as well as an alligator and turtles.

A lot of the military snowbirds are starting to migrate back north. The campground had a farewell potluck lunch one afternoon, providing chicken wings and several six-foot long sandwiches. The rest of us brought either a side dish or dessert. There were even door prizes – we won’t miss going to these events in the future!

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Florida boasts a variety of birds.  The upper left photo shows a Great Blue Heron watching for fish with a Little Blue Heron perched nearby.  The other two photos are of the Little Blue Heron. 

And so ends another month. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending the winter in warm and sunny Florida but we’ll soon be joining the migration ourselves. We’ll spend a week at one of our favorite military campgrounds – Mayport Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida; Easter with Pat and Yvette and friends Bill and Jan at Jekyll Island in Georgia; a week at a new military campground near Charleston, South Carolina; a quick visit with friends Barry and Judy in Virginia Beach; and we’ll finish off the month of April at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware, before putting us and our home on wheels on a ferry across the Delaware Bay – that should be an adventure in itself! Our ultimate destination is East Canaan, Connecticut, where we’ll be spending the summer workamping at Lone Oak Campground. If any of our readers are traveling in New England and will be near the northwest corner of Connecticut, please let us know – maybe we can get together!

 

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