New Smyrna Beach (Mile 846 ICW)

Melvyn Brown
Thu 30 Dec 2010 21:38

29: 01.64N 80: 55.23W


We left St Augustine on Tuesday, togged out in thermals and gloves but arrived in New Smyrna Beach in blazing sunshine – hooray!  We didn’t leave until 10 o’clock in the morning to give us a rising tide and less chance of going aground – one of our neighbours elected to have the local “Tow Man” pilot their boat out of St Augustine.


It’s been a pleasant two days motoring, with long stretches of “proper” canal where navigation was simple and depths as advertised.  The only problem was the absence of anchoring sites to the left or right of the channel and so we stayed at a marina last night at a place called Palm Coast.  It is very much a “manufactured” resort and looking a bit forlorn.  There was a European Village complex just down the road.  It was quite surreal.  It was built around three sides of a courtyard with Dutch-style tall, narrow units with a shop at ground level and three or four apartments above, but with an air of Italian piazza about it.  In the centre was scaffolding with several large speakers (the sort of thing you might see at an outdoor concert) playing Christmas carols – pity the residents (if there were any).  Only about a third of the retail units were let, one was an English Tea Room serving Shepherd’s Pie, Cornish Pasty (with a short explanatory note on the menu for the uninitiated), Cream Tea or High Tea.


As we were coming along this morning Melvyn spotted what he described as a Fishermen’s Convention taking place in the centre of the channel ahead.  When we got closer we found 10/15 small boats in a frenzy of activity.


They were pretty reluctant to get out of our way (we didn’t have a lot of scope to manoeuvre given the channel width) as they were continuously casting and pulling in nets containing a bucket full of shrimps.  One of the fishermen held one up for Melv to see and it was about four inches in length.


Obviously the jungle drums had passed on the news because we met other boats coming the other way hastening to join in what we can only think was an occasional event.








As always, we travelled past some fabulous waterside properties.  However I got an inkling it wasn’t all that pleasant in the height of summer as most had insect screens – and I don’t mean just over the windows.  The majority had what might be mistaken for fruit cages enclosing the entire downstairs patio area, and quite often continuing up to the roof to take in the bedroom balconies too.  Somewhat surprisingly the addition of these large enclosures doesn’t always detract from the appearance of the house, it rather depends upon the style and shape of the original building, however sometimes they do resemble what they are – an afterthought.


For the first time we saw orange trees growing in the gardens.  Many homeowners favour statues and one often seen – which never fails to make my heart miss a beat – is designed to balance on the landing dock rail and is of a small (and quite realistic!) boy holding a fishing rod.


We came along parallel to Daytona Beach where the skyline was more CSI Miami.


Hoping to forego the thermal vest tomorrow as the temperature is expected to be 70ish and if we can decipher the bus route/timetable we intend taking a look at the beach.


These are our neighbours.