Sailing away

Today was a rare treat.  Mike and Colleen Odonnell took us all out for the day on their 44 foot motorboat, cruising up and down the intercoastal waterway.  The boat lives in New Smyrna, which is about an hour’s drive to the north east from Orlando.


Loading up the crew

Susan and Karl live on the 18th floor; the Odonnells used to live on the 19th.  Mike is one of those guys who own bits and pieces of companies all over the place and make “deals”.  I don’t understand it, but it seems to give them a nice life.

This is Colleen, the pretty one of the two.


Given that it was Sunday, July 3, there were thousands of people enjoying the water and the weekend.  Boats were everywhere, and almost all of them powered.  I only saw one or two sailboats all day.


Florida has great clouds.

People were just pulling up on this sandbar, which will disappear in a few hours when the tide comes in.


Boats large and small were everywhere.


Lots of people enjoying the water, just cruising along.



I rode up in the bridge with Mike, looking at everything, sweating in the fiery humidity and taking pictures.  Gail and Susan were in the air conditioned cabin.


Best friends in the whole world.

After a while, we stopped in a marina for lunch.  You have to radio in to see if there is a place to put a boat as big as Mike’s, and we were lucky to find a slip.

Lunch was at Ponce Inlet, where you can also find the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the state at 175 feet.  Given how abysmally flat Florida is, you can darn near see Miami from the top.  The lighthouse was built in 1835, making it one of the oldest in the nation.

We started our meal with an order of gator bites–chunks of deep fried alligator.  I think it tastes mostly like pork tenderloin, and it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.


Gator bites and remoulade sauce. The right way to start a meal in these parts.

I had ahi poke sliders.  Poke seems to be all the rage this year, which is fine with me.  Spiced up bits of raw tuna with seaweed salad on sweet soft rolls.  My kind of lunch.


Ahi Poke Sliders

The serve a great fish sandwich, as you would expect.  It was hard to find the bun under all the fish and fixings.


Megaladon Fish Sandwich. That’s what they call it.

After lunch we cruised further north for a while, almost up to Daytona Beach, then turned around and headed home.

Back at the Smyrna Yacht Club, there was a fine classic holiday buffet set up for the members.  Since we hadn’t eaten in over 2.5 hours, we took a table.


Macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw and watermelon. Fried chicken. Beans. A grill with hot dogs and hamburgers. Classic Americana at its finest.

We ate.  Some drank.  We schmoozed and enjoyed.  I noticed a number of people with fun decorations for the holiday and took photos:

Walking back to our car, I noticed something that amused me:


Maybe in a yacht club an American sports car is considered sub-compact.

This was a great day.  We had a wonderful time with friends, good food, a bottle of very old wine (for the red wine drinkers, at least), saw the sights and just kicked back and relaxed.  Of course, nobody actually got in the sun, that just isn’t done anymore.

We’ll have to have a staff meeting in the morning to decide on the day’s activities, but then there will be a party here to watch the fireworks Monday night.  Stay tuned, I plan on having some great photos.




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