Time on our hands

All our launch tasks are complete. Strathspey is definitely ready to sail and, if we stay any longer at Green Cove Springs, there will be time on our hands to start contemplating new projects. So we cast off at slack tide early Thursday morning. Sunny and warm, it’s an easy punt downstream on the fast-flowing St John’s River in Northern Florida. Today is the last day that the Jacksonville FEC railway bridge is open for an entire week and we need to pass through that bridge plus the Jacksonville Main Street bridge before we can breath easier. Both bridges are suspect these days; the railway bridge can shut down at a moment’s notice mostly because it is old technology but often it’s due to a lot more of ‘just because’. The Main Street Bridge often has construction going on that seems to be a good excuse for the bridge tender to ask cruisers to circle above the bridge for an hour or more. We’re happy that each of these bridge openings works in our favour today and we make it an early day with a sharp right through a wide bed of crab pots to anchor behind Exchange Island just past Jacksonville. Here, it’s urban yet peaceful with birds swooping and calling and dolphins arcing in and out of the shallow water.

A cold day at the wheel - can you tell which one of us this is?

A cold day at the wheel – can you tell which one of us this is?

We have a quiet night despite my restlessness (I’m always antsy our first anchoring out after months ashore) and we up-anchor in 8 degrees Celsius by 7:30 am and catch the fast flowing ebb tide of the St John’s River all the way down to our right hand turn onto the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Immediately, we see the 25-foot depths of the St John’s River give way to the shallow 8-12 foot depths prevalent in the ICW. It’s a cold morning with us bundled up in polar fleeces, foul weather gear, toques and gloves but by noon the temps have risen to 17 Celsius and, in the strong afternoon sun, we slowly discard layer after layer. By 3 pm we’ve motored through the Bridge of Lions at St Augustine and snagged a mooring ball in front of the oldest city in North America.

St Augustine is one of our favourite cities – great walking, good pubs, excellent restaurants and lots of good mojo going on. Our Honda outboard carburetor is toasted for the second season in a row so, rather than rowing our dinghy into shore against a three-knot current, we call the marina launch and they pick us up at 4 pm but warn us that the last launch back to the boats is at 6 pm. Ashore, we have quick showers, download emails and have a surprise encounter and nice chat with Tom, Tracy and Eva (the ‘Fishers’ from s/v Sheila at Trident Yacht Club). With 45 minutes to spare and looking for a warm place to wait for our 6 pm shuttle home to Strathspey, we stroll across the road to A1A Pub for one of their home brews. We nab two stools at the end of the bar counter and I put our neatly folded wet towels out of the way on the counter against the wall. Shortly after, someone comes over and says ‘I have a bet on…. I say you are cruisers but my husband says you are just sloppy drinkers’. It dawns on me that she is referring to our towels and we laugh and confess to being cruisers. Too funny – where else would you pop into a pub with wet towels? We catch the 6 pm launch home to Strathspey and, in the face of another cold night, we start our diesel Espar heater and settle in for the night. We’re never very happy on a mooring ball here in St Augustine; we’re a lightweight racer/cruiser so when the current picks up through here, Strathspey wants to surge forward on the current’s lift but is held back by the mooring ball so, often, we end up with that stupid ball bouncing underneath our hull keeping us awake all night. This time, after a tip from our launch driver, we pull the ball up on a short leash over our anchor roller and it works just fine until 4:30 am when the line we attached to the mooring ball starts shifting back and forth against our anchor making it bang back and forth. We try to ignore this but finally cry uncle around 6 am and get Strathspey ready to cast off and head further South.

This the view as we pass under every bridge!

This the view as we pass under every bridge!

It’s a long, cold day from St. Augustine down to New Symrna Beach where we make a left turn and slowly nose our way into seven feet of water about 100 feet East of the ICW channel. Onshore, we can see the flickering light of a campfire; it’s Saturday night and the little spoil islands up and down the Florida ICW are prime for families camping and fishing each weekend. Sunday morning, we think ‘Ah yes, we’re in the South finally!’ It’s 25 Celsius and sunny with just a hint of breeze to keep us pleasantly cool as we motor another 60 nautical miles South to Eau Gallie. Another long day, but this time when we secure our anchor, it’s a lovely warm evening and we sit out in the cockpit enjoying a glass of wine until well after sunset.

I make a reservation at Vero Beach Municipal Marina for Monday night. This is a popular place so I’ve made this reservation over a week ago and we’re glad I did as we motor south against 20-knot winds on the nose. It’s a warm South wind but when it gusts over 20 knots, we grimace as we note that Strathspey is now plodding along at less than five knots (at times 4.7 knots!). We normally can hoover along at almost 7 knots so its obvious that this wind is one to be reckoned with. We pull into Vero Beach at 1:30 pm and, after refueling, pumping out, filling our water tanks and picking up four parcels we’ve had shipped here, we are finally swinging on a mooring ball with new neighbours, s/v Cutting Class from Mystic, Connecticut.

The view on our chart plotter showing the narrow track all the way down the Indian River.

The view on our chart plotter showing the narrow track all the way down the Indian River.

Each time we make this 4 ½ day trip between Green Cove Springs and Vero Beach, we ask each other why we don’t just leave Strathspey at a marina further south for the summer. It’s not a particularly interesting section of the ICW between here and Green Cove Springs and once we enter the Indian River section it’s just downright tedious; long stretches of straight, wide-open water where, if we stray off the dredged channel, Strathspey’s low water alarm beeps at us as we guide the boat back onto the straight and narrow.

So here at Vero Beach, now that we’re close to good marine supply stores we take the time to do all necessary maintenance before we leave the USA. Number one on the list of high priorities, as usual, is Strathspey’s power management. In fact, power management is one of Blair’s biggest challenges here on the boat. In a day, we typically use 90-100 Amp hours, which means that we can go approximately four days before our four 6-Volt batteries are completely flat. If we’re not actually sailing with our instruments and we’re just running our fridge and a few lights, then our solar panels easily meet our demands. If we’re sailing with the chart plotter and autopilot on, we suck up that 100 Amp hours easily.

We have three battery charging sources here on Strathspey; a 100-Amp battery charger that uses an AC plug into shore (that’s the easy one but only good if we are tied to a dock), four 85 Watt solar panels (also good but only if it’s a sunny day) and an 125 Amp alternator on our Yanmar engine (good only if we are running the engine). Each of these sources charges our batteries and each source has a regulator that determines how much charge the batteries need. On our last day of motoring down to Vero Beach, the regulator for the 125 Amp alternator stops working. After motoring all day, our batteries are at a lower level than when we’d pulled up our anchor in Eau Gallie, six hours North. We order a new regulator from the local West Marine store here in Vero Beach. But now, with time on his hands as he waits for the regulator to arrive, Blair rethinks Strathspey’s three power sources and installs a high-current on/off switch to control the current coming from the solar panels. This allows him to manage the charge going to our battery bank with a little more finesse than simply throwing a blanket over the solar panels to prevent them sending power to our batteries.

Our Iridium phone dwarfs my IPhone.

Our Iridium phone dwarfs my IPhone.

Here in Vero with time on our hands as we wait for a good weather window to cross the Gulf Steam, we wait for boat parts, we take long walks to the beach and into town, I go to a local yoga class and Blair putters around the boat doing what I call ‘low-grade’ maintenance. I winch him up to mid-mast height to replace the steaming light bulb, he installs a good system to secure our diesel and gas containers on deck and he calls Iridium satellite to resolve our automated SOS signal. It’s nice to take a break from the steady push South but mostly I’m thinking that I don’t want Blair to have too much time on his hands here in the land of plenty; remember, this is the guy who, despite his pretty high octane career, has often said he wants to have a job where he can just wear a pencil tucked behind his ear and take ‘stuff’ apart and re-engineer it.

Our newest (and I hope our favourite) instrument aboard Strathspey this season is our Iridium satellite phone. Phone is a misnomer as it looks like an iPhone on steroids. This phone, and its accompanying data plan, allows us unlimited texts and data from anywhere in the world. A really cool feature is that we can send out these location signals to anyone on ‘the list’ so our friends and family will know where we are. I sent a test location signal out to Brooklyn last week when we were anchored in New Symrna Beach and she knew exactly where we were. If any of you want to be added to ‘the list’, just send me an email at my shercam account and I’ll add you. You can use this to travel with us vicariously!

This is Strathspey anchored south of the Ponce de Leon Inlet last week.

This is Strathspey anchored south of the Ponce Inlet last week.

Happiness is a cold fridge

Launching a cruising boat after a six-month hiatus is like opening up the cottage. Just like you don’t arrive at the cottage, pour yourself a glass of wine and contemplate the good life while sitting in your Adirondack chairs on the dock, there’s no just moving aboard your sailboat and casting off of lines.

Strathspey in travel lift ready to launch

Strathspey in travel lift ready to launch

Because this is hot, humid Florida, over the summer Strathspey had become home to a few crawling critters, some interior mold (both green and white) and a family of birds (an empty nest nestled cozily below our solar panels). We remove the sunshade netting that protects Strathspey’s decks from the harsh sun, make a cursory check of the interior and then set off three ‘bombs’ – these are bug bombs or insecticide foggers that blast out all at once and kill every unwanted guest aboard. Once we set off the bombs, we close the hatch to keep it all below decks and drive over to our storage locker to familiarize ourselves with what exactly we have to move back aboard. We can’t go back aboard Strathspey until tomorrow because of the insecticide and, despite all our pre-planning back in Ottawa, now that we’re down here in Florida, we’re just a tad overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ we have to find places for aboard Strathspey. At the same time, we’re pumped that we’re here in the warm and Strathspey has fared well over our six months apart.

Madge helps Holland Marine staff launch a Nonsuch 33

Madge helps Holland Marine staff launch a Nonsuch 33

This summer we splurged and we left Strathspey in the care of a full-service marina, Holland Marine/Reynolds Marina Park. As part of the spring haul-out and fall launch service, we happily accept that Strathspey’s bottom is painted and her decks scrubbed for us. Once we’re launched, a quick diluted bleach wipe-down of all interior surfaces and we are ready to start moving all the contents of the storage locker aboard.

Installing radar

Installing radar

As I make trip after trip to retrieve cushions, bedding and all manner of sailing ‘stuff’ from our storage locker, Blair starts testing all the onboard systems:
Instrumentation operational: Check
Engine operational: Check
Raw water impeller (cools the engine): Not working, replaced impeller….works now…Check
Radar installed, recalibrated and operational: Check
Bilge pump working: Check
VHF radio operational: Check
Sirius FM operational: Check
Deck wash pump operational: Check
Anchor windlass operation: Not working, replaced three plugs and a fuse holder, working now….Check
SSB radio (for weather routing and email offshore) operational: Check
Reverse Osmosis watermaker backwashed: Check
Refrigerator: Bah humbug, works a little, stops working, works some more, then not so much…..this keeps us from leaving dock.

Receipt from one of many provisioning trips

Receipt from one of many provisioning trips

We call a refrigeration expert from St Augustine and he purges the coolant from our system, installs a dryer and recharges the system with coolant. We’re happy to see the refrigerator dial slowly creep down to 40 Fahrenheit.This little issue delays our departure from Green Cove Springs for four days but we keep busy by making multiple grocery runs, a daily trip in to St Augustine for boat parts, teak boards, varnish and one excellent lunch at King’s Bistro. Blair uses his heat gun to strip the varnish/cetol off our companion way doors and frame and, once we receive new teak frames he paints and installs them.

It’s not all work though and, amazingly, I am able to buy tickets to see Randy Newman at Flagler College in St Augustine on Sunday night; we have great seats and, as usual, he doesn’t disappoint.

Pepper spray for sale at UPS counter

Pepper spray for sale at UPS counter

I dig out our Eastern Florida charts to give myself a refresher on anchorages between Green Cove Springs and Miami (the plan-in-pencil jump-off point to the Bahamas). We package up about 50 pounds of charts for areas North of Florida, knapsacks and suitcases that are taking up too much space and I mail them home to Ottawa via UPS. I wake up in the middle of the night with the thought that I have shipped our Skipper Bob anchorages book home by mistake. We download an ebook version of the book this morning and all is well.

It’s been lovely and sunny and warm here most days but there is a cold front moving in for the next two days; nothing like what is moving across Canada but there’s a chance of rain and the temps will be down around 10 Celsius which is chilly on a boat. We cast our lines off tomorrow morning (Thursday) and head down the St John’s River for a 2 pm date with the FEC railroad bridge opening. The bridge is scheduled to close for a week starting Friday so we’re determined not to get stuck on this side of it!

Our mat at the bottom of Strathspey's companionway stairs

Our mat at the bottom of Strathspey’s companionway stairs

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – a season’s retrospective

This season was full of big changes aboard Strathspey. First and most importantly, we left Strathspey down in Green Cove Springs, Florida over a pretty hot, wet summer; locals tell us that the summer of 2013 was one of the wettest on record. Arriving back in Green Cove Springs in late December we felt guilty when we saw Strathspey’s green, algae-covered decks to say nothing about the heavy grime from the dirty boatyard. After installing all new electronics, a new water maker, a new holding tank and radar and buying a new dinghy we realized our late launch had effectively shortened our cruising season and, most importantly, our cruising range. So, here we are, back in Green Cove Springs, at the end of a cruising season and we take stock….what worked, what didn’t and what would we do differently. It’s mostly good, some bad and some a little downright ugly.

Leaving Strathspey in Florida was good because it meant we didn’t have to slog south for over a thousand miles before finally getting warm. But, and this is a big bad but…..the heavy summer rains in Florida combined with the humidity turned Strathspey’s decks an emerald green. Even uglier, a less than perfect seal in our companion way caused water damage to our beautiful teak and holly floors down below.

Teak and holly floorboards

Our late launch was good because it meant we spent a fun Christmas with our children back in Ottawa. But it was a pretty bad time trying to get Strathspey ready to launch in Florida in January. Sure, it was measurably warmer than Ottawa but it was still cold to be on a boat when the outdoor temps sometimes hovered just over the freezing mark. On top of that it was hard to get a good weather window to cross over to the Bahamas at that time of year. It was a good thing to spend the winter in the Abacos and explore all sorts of new (to us) neat little anchorages and harbours. But it was a bad thing that the Abacos in the winter is soooo windy because you really aren’t far enough south to avoid the continuous cold fronts stretching south. In fact, there were a few fronts where our weather guy, Chris Parker, actually said it was gonna get ugly.

Atlantis Booster Rocket and fuel tank

Our new instruments were an absolute necessity because our chart plotter had failed us in Cuba last year and, given that they were almost 13 years old, it was time to replace them. The bad (well…not really bad but definitely not good) was that there was a big learning curve with these instruments. When we crossed onto the Bahamas Bank and Blair lay down at the end of his watch, I ended up hand-steering for almost three hours in the middle of the night rather than disturbing his desperately needed sleep. I knew how to do a Heading Hold on our new instruments (just continue on this heading forever) BUT I couldn’t figure out how to do a GO TO (pick a point on the chart 20 miles ahead and trust the auto pilot to take care of drift and current and correct your headings accordingly). That meant I had to keep correcting my Heading hold every 10 minutes or so as the current pushed us North. Another good thing about staying in the Abacos for the winter was that we had lots of easy sailing from one anchorage to another rather than a season of destination-driven sailing of long distances. This gave us time to really familiarize ourselves with our new Garmin instruments. Oh and yes…I now know how to do a Go To!

Our new dinghy was a big Ugly disappointment. There is no Good aspect to it. We purchased an Achilles Hypalon soft-bottomed dinghy and, despite our best efforts, we struggled all season to keep that sucker inflated. Blair pumped the air floor up almost every day and the days that he didn’t, we really knew it; the dinghy would go squirrely and cavitate until we would almost come to a complete stop before it recovered. It had a pair of snap-apart oars that were great to store down below in one of our lockers until one of the oars finally seized up and would not come apart at all, making for a big storage problem. The D-ring on the bow actually started rusting after one week of use, which was really surprising. After using our dinghy for this past season, we don’t think this particular model is well-suited for life in the Bahamas or any further south. So, back here in Florida, we’ve returned it to an Achilles repair shop and are hoping to trade it in on a hard-bottomed AB dinghy.

St Augustine sidewalks

Our water maker is good, all good. We love this new addition to Strathspey and can’t imagine cruising without it. We have a Spectra 150 that is rated for 8 gallons an hour. Realistically though, we think it is closer to six gallons per hour. We swim more often, knowing we can have a fresh water shower. We anchor in more remote areas knowing a lack of drinking water won’t drive us back to town. We even, on occasion, before we got sensible, used it to give our toilet a fresh water flush. Now that it is properly plumbed into Strathspey, it’s even better.

Adding two new solar panels was all good as well. This doubled our power to 340 W and, most importantly, put power consumption way down the list of things to worry about aboard Strathspey. We had purchased a Yamaha 2000 diesel generator and tucked it down below in our starboard locker in case the solar panels couldn’t keep up with our power usage but we only dragged that thing out twice and only because we wanted to make water while sitting at anchor. Also, on the power end of things, we replaced all five of our AGM batteries this year and are happy to report that they held a charge without issue, unlike last year when our seven-year old AGMs would not stay charged.

Our new holding tank and new waste plumbing system was sort of good….and sort of not good. The persistent eau de sewage smell from last season was eliminated immediately with these new installations. However, later in the season, it re-surfaced and Blair spent many hours trying to determine where that smell was originating from. He tightened clamps, he applied silicon gel to all fittings, he even spread soap on the inspection plate of the actual holding tank to see if it was leaking. Now, here we are ready to haul-out next week and the smell is completely gone. A mystery to us and here’s hoping it stays gone.

Communications was sometimes good and sometimes bad. Number one on my list of pet peeves while cruising on Strathspey is Communications or rather the difficulties of Communications; it’s important that I can stay connected with our children. We wistfully remember our first cruise South in 2007/2008 when getting emails was as easy as hoisting our wifi antennae up the mast and logging in via un-secured routers. Not so anymore. It was easy, albeit expensive, to stay connected while in the USA – we have a pretty rudimentary cell phone on which we can receive phone calls and texts and we purchased a Verizon MIFI, a wireless hotspot, so as to receive emails while in the US. Once we crossed to the Bahamas, we inserted our Bahamian Batelco SIM chip into my iPhone and purchased a data plan and a voice plan. So, I can happily confirm that we stayed connected to the kids but the cost was pretty ugly. Blair always tells me that in the future, Internet will be the highest priced utility for Canadians and I definitely agree after totaling up our Communications bills for this past season and seeing that we are close to $700.

Reynolds Park Yacht Center

We’ve spent the last week readying Strathspey for another summer in the South. We’ve stripped the canvas off, applied a final, protective coat of wax on her topsides, off-loaded anything that can be damaged by mildew, made trip after trip to our storage locker and are about to do a final wipe down of the interior with a mild bleach solution. Strathspey will be hauled out on Monday and then we start heading home to Ottawa. A great season!

Boat maintenance in the land of plenty

Harbortown Marina is an easy place to stay if you have some boat work you want to accomplish. And Fort Pierce itself is one of the easiest places to clear Customs in Florida. After arriving from the Bahamas, at 6:45 pm we’ve arrived too late to clear Customs but Blair calls the 1-800 US Customs office and gets a clearance number and is told we have 24 hours to go to the St Lucie International Airport to clear into the USA in person. Our friends, Jim and Nancy, live here in Vero Beach and the next day they very kindly drive us out to the airport to clear in. Then we stop for Mexican food and catch-up on what’s been happening with them since we last saw them in January.

So, now that we are on terra firma (well sort of…it’s a dock that’s attached to terra firma) the boat maintenance begins again. For the first job, Blair is awarded lots of ‘Attaboys’ from me. He rebuilds our toilet. No, not the actual toilet, just the toilet guts – all that stuff that you never think twice about when you’re at home. Because we don’t have access to unlimited fresh water, we actually flush the toilet with salt water that is sucked in from outside the boat. All the effluent water is routed to a 22-gallon holding tank and then the final solution for this effluent depends on where we are. In the Bahamas, there are no sewage pump out facilities so when we eventually get to an area with good tidal flow out to the great wide ocean the effluent is routed out through a mascerator and diluted and dispersed. In the USA and Canada, this is a no-no and most every marina we stop at has sewage pump out facilities that we engage.

Tornado Watch

But, salt water is hard on marine toilets and eventually all the pipes and valves start seizing up and need replacing. Now, if I had my way, I’d just heave the toilet overboard at the end of every season but that’s expensive and Blair ‘graciously’ performs this task and I say ‘Attaboy’ and have a nice cold beer for him when he finishes.

This season, there’s a ‘first time’ in the never-ending toilet maintenance saga. Our mascerator pump has burned out. This is a 16-Amp pump that is a 100% necessity if we are going to use our holding tank. And we absolutely must use our holding tank in the Bahamian harbours and anchorages. And now that we’re back in the USA, not using the holding tank results in some pretty big fines. Besides, it’s just NOT NICE to pump your sewage overboard willy-nilly.

Blair is the master of redundancy aboard Strathspey. He has spares for just about everything and has tucked them into any available hidey-hole…behind cushions, under floor boards and if I didn’t complain about the lack of space for groceries, he’d be storing all these parts in amongst the tomatoes, I’m sure. So we do have a spare mascerator but the replacement job isn’t fun and involves an intimate handling of some nasty parts of the toilet that never see daylight. This is definitely a ‘blue’ job. Blair gets to it and, as the pump is removed, it is clear what has caused the burn out. One of my covered hair elastics is wrapped around the mascerator blades, holding them immobile. Our friends Katy and Rick on Makana have taken problem toilets apart multiple times only to determine that one of Katy’s elastics is the culprit. When I heard that story from Katy, I thought ‘Oh that’s just bizarre…, how on earth could that happen’. Well, I’m not so smug now and resolve to keep a closer watch on my hair elastics while in the vicinity of our toilet.

Engine apart

The next job Blair tackles is a change of all the gaskets on Strathspey’s engine timing gear. We’ve had a persistent oil leak with this engine all season and hopefully new gaskets will do the trick. He’s filthy with this job though. His hands are blackened with grease and oil and, when he slices his finger on a sharp bit, I can see the blood but I can’t see the gash because his hand is so black. I make him run his hand under fresh water and, just in time, stop him from wiping the blood up with his oil rag. He says, ‘Ah, just squeeze some Polysporin on it and cover it with a bandaid and I’ll be fine’. He’s a little offended when I offer him Windex to take all the black off and asks me if I’d prefer a belt sander instead.

Engine back together

The weather in Fort Pierce is hot and humid and there is a Tornado watch during our time here. It blows over late in the day but the temperatures continue in the low 30’s Celsius. We spend five days at a quiet dock here at Harbortown Marina and then one morning, we slip the lines and head 12 miles North to Vero Beach Harbor where we secure a mooring ball. We have some minor work required to complete the installation of our water maker and decide that Vero Beach is a good location for this work. Back in January when Blair installed the water maker we decided not to plumb in the brine discharge hose. After the water maker filters fresh water from salt water, this hose takes the leftover salt water and pumps it overboard. We wanted to make sure that we were happy with the way the water maker was functioning before we plumbed the hose in and, while in the Bahamas, we’d simply hung that discharge hose over the side of Strathspey. It worked fine but wasn’t very efficient (or pretty) as the hose had to be routed out through one of our hatches and firmly tied to the edge of the boat so the salty water actually made it into the sea rather than all over our decks and cockpit. So, here in Vero Beach, Blair drilled a hole in Strathspey’s stern and fitted it with a through-hull plate and then plumbed the hose from the through-hull back to the water maker. Looks very tidy and there’s another job off the list.

Here in Vero Beach, we make the occasional trip to Riverside Café for their happy hour (beer at $2.75 a pint from 4-7 pm) and their blackened fish tacos. Riverside Café, a five minute dinghy ride from our boat, is always full and their outside deck which faces the ICW offers up wonderful nightly sunsets. It’s an easy trip over. We hop in our dinghy and motor slowly through the mooring field, speeding up slightly when we pass the last boat on mooring #1, making a wide arc under the ICW bridge and then a quick U-turn into Riverside’s dinghy dock. No one gives us a second glance as we scramble out of our dinghy as folks arrive here via foot, car, dinghy, kayak and even some of those floating couches (aka pontoon boats).

We’re still in slo-mo mode and working our way slowly North through Florida right now. We hear that it is still cold and snowy in Ottawa these days but Spring will be on it’s way soon. It’s hot here in Vero Beach now…usually high 20’s Celsius, occasionally breaking 30. But one evening this past week the temperature falls dramatically and at some point during the early morning hours, Blair wakes up and covers us with our big down comforter. When we wake up around 7:30 am it is 8 Celsius in the cabin and we scramble to dig out our polar fleeces stored deep in our lockers. A quick look at the weather forecast assures us that is a brief anomaly and the temperatures will climb to 27 Celsius by Friday when we’ve planned to drive up to Kennedy Space Center. Neither of us has been to the Space Center before and we’re both pumped to take a break from maintenance work and explore the center.