A little Florida History: The early pioneers in Florida were called “Crackers” and this term is still used for Floridians whose families trace back to the original settlers. Some historians believe it was from the cattle industry that began in this state 500 years ago. These ranchers had a unique way of herding the cattle. They used long whips made of braided leather that made a loud “crack” sound to drive the cattle. So Florida cowboys were called “Crackers”. Today there is a breed of horse called a Florida Cracker horse with ancestry to the Spanish stock brought in the 1500′s. – Florida Crackers had their own pioneer culture and language. Life was tough in the outposts of Florida at the turn of the century. Mosquitoes were called “swamp angels.” ”Low-bush-lightning” was the Cracker term for moonshine during Prohibition. And supper for these Cracker pioneers included: ”cooters” (soft-shelled turtles), “piney-woods rooter” (wild hog), and “scrub chicken” (gopher tortoises). I say bon a petit — NOT.
March 2. Left Melbourne docks at 8:30am. Wind coming from the Northeast, which is good. We won’t be getting the fumes from the fires to the North of us as we head to Titusville.
March 3. We picked up a rental a car and went to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (adjacent to Kennedy Space Center). We saw some beautiful Florida birds, but we were disappointed that we didn’t see the Roseate Spoonbill (hope to see one before we leave Florida).
March 4. Today we went to the Kennedy Space Center. It rained, but we got through it fairly well. We must admit that we enjoyed Huntsville, AL Rocket and Space Museum a little better (maybe it was the company–Cassie and Brent were with us ). –
In 1965 when The Vehicle Assembly Building was constructed, it was the largest building in the world. Each stripe on the American flag logo uses 6,000 gallons of paint. Today, it is not the largest building, but it still claims the largest doors.
March 6. We woke up this morning and there was a manatee hanging around next to our boat. It’s the first time we’ve seen one outside of a park setting. Having said that, they are a little
tricky to spot since they spend quite a bit of time under water and only come up every so often to get some air. If the water is very calm, you can see the water swirling, but the water has not been calm very often as of late.
March 7. Readying to move again tomorrow, but first we went to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame where we saw the largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia. Then we took a ride to Port Canaveral and got acquainted with the area.
March 8. We left the docks of Titusville at 7:30am trying to get a jump on the wind. It has been blowing for a week now and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up, but we have to get moving again. We have a date with Kyle in Jacksonville after cruising the St. John’s River and we don’t want to be late. –
Arrived at Daytona Beach and what timing. It’s ”Bike Week” here and I don’t mean the bicycle type of bike, but rather the big boys — “Motorcycles”. We rode our bikes downtown and what a show of bikes!!