Let Down vs. Lift Off


SpaceX was supposed to launch a Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket a week ago. The purpose is is to send several TONS of supplies to the International Space Station – this being the 17th such resupply flight!  We moved to the Manatee Hammock Campground thinking we’d be in a good spot to watch the launch.  It was rescheduled for Tuesday.  Then Wednesday.  Then Friday (today).  As of late last night it was still scheduled, so we got up and walked to the shore from our campsite at 2:45am.  There were maybe a dozen or two others gathered to watch it.  About 10 minutes before the scheduled 3:11am launch, they scrubbed it due to a problem with the drone landing site boat (named Of Course I Still Love You!).  So it is now scheduled for tomorrow at 2am.  I was hoping to have a cool picture or two, so I had to shoot something!  Here is a 3am shot of NASA’s VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building).  SpaceX leases space from NASA, and the launch should be visible just beyond the VAB.  We get to try again tomorrow morning!



Running into Weather

I have the privilege of doing a morning run around the camp area here, and it takes me right along the shore for a bit.  One morning it was rather cool where our trailer is, but when I got to the clearing near the shore, it was dramatically warmer and more humid.  The breeze off the water made such a difference that my glasses fogged over!  I ran in the fog until I hit the trees (Ok, I didn’t hit them; my glasses weren’t THAT foggy) where it was shady and cooler and the glasses cleared.  I don’t remember ever seeing climate change that dramatic in just a few feet.  (Except in the islands where it may be raining like crazy on one side of the street and dry on the other.)  Most of the campsites are in heavily wooded areas, and they block more wind than I’d have believed possible.  Sometimes we don’t even notice the wind, and we walk to the shore to find it quite windy there and significant wave action.

Morning run site:



Forest Lake Academy

I’ve had a bit of a grudge against Forest Lake Academy, ever since it stole a girlfriend from me in high school. (MJ you know who you are!) OK, so it wasn’t really the school, but I had to be upset with somebody.  But I’ll admit I’ve always wanted to see it.  After I posted about us being at the Space Center last week, I got an email from a gal I went to high school with, and haven’t seen or heard from since then – Karen Cockrell. (Not the same girl…) We agreed to meet, and we spent the day with her today.  She gave us the long awaited tour of FLA.  It’s really beautiful!  A HUGE campus, looking like maybe a small college!  And just inside the front gates were a couple beautiful Sandhill Cranes.  Awesome!  There is a Robotics competition going on this weekend, and we got to see some very impressive robotic projects that these clever lucky kids are working on.






They have an equally impressive elementary school:



So here’s to catching up with friends from long ago!



Bird Watching

I’ve been wanting to just go wandering and shoot some birds, so I finally got a chance.  In the campground we see Ibis all over, Pelicans often, an occasional Osprey, and plenty of Gulls.  Here are a few pix of all but the Pelicans:





Who knew an Osprey could turn his head around like an Owl?


It’s almost like he was upset at me for taking his portrait from the wrong end…



We even enjoy the elegance of the seagulls:













  1. How do you like the Manatee Hammock Campground? I’ve read some iffy reviews on Campendium – mainly due to noise? We want to come and watch a Falcon Heavy launch at some point when we have a week or two to wait for reschedules… 😉

    • We love it! There is a crew doing some work with a tractor, but they don’t seem to make much noise. Maybe if they were near your site it would be annoying. This is nowhere near as much work noise as the last place. There are occasional trains to be heard going by. I kinda like ‘em!

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