Titusville, Florida (Mile 878 ICW)

Melvyn Brown
Thu 6 Jan 2011 00:12

28: 37.2N 80: 48.6W


We arrived in Titusville on Tuesday afternoon, having travelled only 30 odd miles.  Our journey involved crossing a large expanse of water called Mosquito Lagoon.  It was a very strange environment.  Very shallow (with just the dredged channel), very still, with islands dotted about and the disconcerting sight of herons standing in the shallows a matter of feet from the boat.  In the distance we could see the launch tower at Kennedy Space Centre, and indeed the lifting bridge is kept closed on launch days as the direction of take off is over the lagoon.


We are in the Municipal Marina where the majority of the boats are yachts (as opposed to mega motor boats) and there is a thriving community of live-aboards (I was chatting to a woman in the laundrette – where else? – and she told me they had been here five years).


I’m not sure that the town of Titusville has anything going for it but for its proximity to Kennedy and the fact it offers a vantage point for launches.  As the space programme has declined, so have the fortunes of Titusville.




For the past week or so we have been seeing Manatee Area signs with a 25mph maximum speed (as Melv said: “I wish!”).  We have seen dolphins with chunks out of their dorsal fins and tails and when you consider how much faster they are it is not surprising Manatees are in such danger from motor boats.  In addition over 300 have died this year from “shock” because of the unusual low water temperatures and large numbers have been on the move seeking warmer water.


I asked one of the Marina staff what the chances were that we might see a Manatee and he said someone had claimed to have seen one yesterday, but he thought it more likely it was a dolphin.  However in the summer 30/40 or so come into the marina and give birth to their babies.  Without much expectation I also asked about seeing an alligator and he told me they too visited, but were presently ‘hunkered down keeping warm’.  He pointed to the nearest dock and said last year a woman was climbing out of her dinghy, one foot in the boat and the other on the dock when she noticed a 9ft alligator in the water below her!


A quiet afternoon at the water’s edge isn’t really a possibility with pelicans dive bombing with a noise comparable with a 10lb bag of potatoes being thrown into the water.  From our observations they rarely seem to miss.


I’m just finishing a very good non-fiction book on the War of Independence (Almost A Miracle by John Ferling).  My interest was sparked by our visit to Williamsburg and our tour of the Yorktown battlements.  I was very conscious of the fact I knew very little about the war, for one how long it lasted (8 years) and if asked I would probably have said it was a popular decision and all Americans were in agreement – but in fact there were many so-called Tories who fought on the British side.  The book is nearly 600 pages long and because the Yorktown battle took place in 1782 that episode is only covered near the end of the book, but it been far from a dry read.  The Author throws in a few amusing asides – one I especially liked concerned Washington’s lobbying to become the overall Commander:  ‘Washington, a Virginia congressman who had none too subtly been attending Congress in the uniform he had worn during the French and Indian War….’.