Saturday, December 09, 2006

Optimism

The Indian River, 28.54623 -80.75323

We left Titusville Marina just before dawn this morning. We wanted to avoid getting trapped in the slip. Yesterday morning the winds were calm until just before dawn, then they howled from the direction cross to our slip. All day long we could have never backed out of that slip without a big risk of losing control in the tight spaces and running into other boats. We wanted to be 40 miles south in Melbourne by mid afternoon.

Today it proved to be unnecessary. The winds held off until 11 in the morning and then they only blew at 15 knots. In fact, the weather became so nice, and the view of the launch pad to our east was so tempting, that we decided to abandon the idea of going to Melbourne. We will sit here tonight in the hopes that the shuttle will launch.

We invited Dave Hackett to join us but he declined. That was a shame. I'm sure that Dave would love the sight of the launch close up.

We had some time to kill so I took the dinghy ashore and walked 1.5 miles up to the Astronaut Hall of Fame because that sounded like fun. When I got there, I found the admission fee ($17) too steep so I didn't go in. I walked another 1.5 miles westward following signs for a warbird museum. Alas, at the end I decided that the museum was too many miles away for the walk and I turned back. Oh well, I had a nice walk in nice weather.

Right now we're anchored about 2 miles NE of the Addison Bridge. This is the bridge that David and his family must have crossed to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center two years ago. It is also the bridge where we anchored in March 2005 and where we ran aground for the first time in Tarwathie. As a matter of fact, we ran aground twice in the same spot within 10 minutes. To read that story you'll have to go to the March 2005 archive of this blog.

We have a perfect grandstand seat for the launch. The Vertical Assembly Building is right in front of us. The launch pad is plainly visible about 5 miles away. We couldn't get much closer unless we were guests of NASA. Please please let the launch go tonight. The skies are clear, the winds are less than 10 knots right now. The only problem seems to be winds more than 15 knots at one of the emergency landing places. Please please.

Right now I have to post before the sun sets. Our story from tonight will have to wait for tomorrow's blog.

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