Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cape Canaveral Revisited

It took a few days to order parts and have the autopilot fixed in Cape Canaveral.  We found a great help in Zach, owner of Duys Marine Electronics, who is Raymarine certified and managed to take the whole thing apart and put it back together as good as new.  

There was little to see around the marina so we decided to rent a car and take a tour inland.  I did a little internet search and found a place call Kissimet and booked a house with a pool just next to the old town.  The house was fine and the pool warm but the old town was actually Ye Ol’ Towne and was not exactly the historically authentic place that we had in mind.  It was a completely newly built carnival type town with small rides (including a merry-go-round) and little shops and restaurants.  It was Friday night and every Friday night Ye Ol’ Towne hosts the largest weekly old automobile cruise in North America.  Well, this was quite a sight to see.  More than 200 gleaming old cars all restored to perfection promenaded slowly through the narrow streets while the audience watched in awe.  It was quite hilarious and rather impressive really.  The kids loved waving at the drivers and Seb and I had a great time trying to pick which driver most resembled his car.  Several of the seemed to share charachteristics, kind of like dogs and their owners. 

The hotel was full of flyers for various swamp boat companies, all of whom guaranteed beautiful nature and alligator sightings.  Finding little to differentiate we picked the closest one.  The weather was looking very gloomy and the wind was picking up as we arrived.  Unfortunately, we were determined at all cost to go out in a swamp boat so we picked the only one foolish enough to be offereing tours in this weather and huddled into the front row.  Macsen started screaming about ¼ second after the (extremely loud) propeller started and we started careening through the choppy swamp waters.  A kind fellow passenger handed me some earphones to help him drown out the sound, after which he huddled miserably against me.  The tour consisted of a 10 minute super fast ride to get to the swamp, a 5 minute super fast ride through the swamp (during which time I think we killed at least one poor innocent duck and terrorized about 500 other swamp birds).  The driver seemed to be trying to hunt them down.  After this we stopped and huddled in the rain for 15 minutes while the driver collected the exorbitant rates they required us to pay for this torture.  We were then driven into a dingy creek next to a highway where we remained for ½ hour while the driver explained that we wouldn’t be seeing any alligators.  Freezing (and swearing a little) we were once again raced across the wavy bay, drenched and miserable and delivered back to our car.  And the guaranteed alligator sighting? The driver’s accomplice pulled a baby alligator out of the back of his pickup and anyone stupid enough to agree could hold it and have their picture taken. The poor creatures mouth was taped closed with electrical tape and it looked more miserable that the alligator that Seb and Macsen had eaten for dinner the night before.  Horrible. Cruel. Awful. 

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