Monday morning Fred and I went to take a Kayak Tour through the Thousand Island section of Cocoa Beach. They think a section of Cocoa’s barrier beach let go at one time and created what looks exactly like delta flood plain overgrown with mangrove trees. It’s beautiful and full of strange paths that twist and turn through a maze of wild life.

It didn’t look good at first for poor Fred. Fred can’t swim and fears the water and the guide put him in a kayak that was about the width of Fred’s thighs and had almost no sides. He looked like he was going to flip or flood any minute. The guide saw how insecure Fred was and was going to paddle him himself in a tandem kayak but at the last minute he decided that would rob Fred of the experience of paddling his own way through the channels and gliding along the surface, so he put Fred all alone in a big old tandem kayak and although it was a little hard to steer Fred looked pretty happy in the huge thing.

It was everything I wished for him. He glided along the surface of the brackish water and tracked manatees and dolphins and then picked his way through the silent mangrove trails with the occasional buzz of crickets and a few surprised and screaming birds. He was smiling. He loved it! I was so happy for him! He liked it so much that he tipped the guide more than the price of the tour and said, “It was worth every penny”

Fred is a big guy without any swimming skills and this guide made him feel secure and safe enough to complete a 2 hour water tour. To me that was worth everything. The experience is so unique and I’m so happy that I could finally share it with some one I love.

Afterwards we investigated tickets to Universal and we found a two day, two park hopper that I think will save us about 30 bucks at a tourist spot and then we went to the pool and finally we walked to the beach and Fred got to see an Atlas rocket launch. It’s not the shuttle and it’s not a night launch but what was very impressive was that AFTER the rocket was in the air and just a spot in the sky the sound hit us. It was like a rumbling angry lion’s roar that grew louder and louder despite the vanishing rocket. It was loud enough that you had to imagine that actually being there would have deafened you for life.

The thing is that I met a guy who did go and he’s not deaf. That night I saw a man looking through a telescope in the parking lot. I approached him and he was looking at the comet. I looked too. He said to me, “Did you see the launch?” and I answered, “Yes but at the beach here, not at the actual launch site.” He said, “I went to the actual site and guess what happened?” I said, “I can’t even imagine, what?” and he said that a guy came over to him to look in his telescope speaking broken German. It turns out that he’s the head guy for the European space flight agency and he was with what was introduced to him as the European version of John Glenn. “Wow!” I said.

It just goes to show you that you never know who you’re going to meet or what you’ll be doing in the next 5 minutes if you leave yourself open to it. Why it should happen so easily away from home, I don’t know. But there are just as many tourists in Plymouth Massachusetts and I think I’m going to try to be more open to things in the future. What a fabulous day!

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Paddling with Manatees