Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A little slice of Paradise

We worked our way south to Marineland Marina.  The marina has been newly rebuilt in August 2011.  The old marina was destroyed by the storm surge from Hurricane Floyd years ago.  The channel is well marked and easy to navigate.  We arrived at mid tide and had enough water.  At low tide we sink into the murk. Tied up to the face dock, the view of the channel/ICW is great. 

Marineland is part of the Georgia Aquarium research facility.  Across  the street from the marina is the main Dolphin building.  They give people the opportunity to interact with dolphins (for a fee).  The dolphins in the exhibit were either raised in captivity or were injured and were brought to the facility to heal.  Dolphins that could not be returned to the wild stayed with Marineland.

All around the marina there are salt water ponds that house all sorts of marine life.  We walked around all of them and tried to figure out what some of the big things were in the middle of the pond.  A fresh water pond located in the former campground is home to turtles, fish and an alligator.  Nature abounds at Marineland!  You can go across the street to the beach, take a kayak tour of all the preserve islands across the ICW, walk the nature trails or just sit on the stern of the boat and watch the dolphins play by the green marker.  There are no bars or restaurants.  A few of the  restaurants from the Hammock do deliver to the marina.  We borrowed the dock masters' car and went to the Publix to pick up a few things.  To us, this is a paradise.  We happened to arrive during Daytona Bike Week.  Motorcycles of all shapes and sizes were blasting down A1A.  We went over to the Marineland garden area, sat down and enjoyed the show.  Next came the Spring Break crowd. The bikini's and surf contests were a great spectator event. 

The winds have shifted from the North to the South-East.  It is time to head back to the Chesapeake.  The winter this year has been mild so the bugs are out in force.  Bugs in muggy anchorages are NO fun!  We are going to try and make it to Beaufort and send plane tickets to two of our three sons, Chris and Philbert.  We'll grab onto the Gulf Stream and book to the Chesapeake Bay. 

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