A Day at the Port

Tuesday November 17th 2020

The overnight temperature was in the low sixties. Even though it was a bright sunny day the temperature only peaked in the mid seventies. The primary component to today’s weather was a strong north wind. It was so strong the pelicans were flying sideways keeping their heads into the wind.

I spent the day wandering around the campground, day use area, and beach. All the time keeping my eye on the inlet to the port watching for interesting activity. During these pandemic dominated times, the port isn’t as active as it has been. The biggest difference is the lack of cruise ships. On a normal prepandemic day there would be between one and five cruise ships in port. Now the cruise ships are all anchored at sea or sailing in circles in various areas of the worlds oceans. One area with a few dozen cruise ships is between Miami and Freeport in the Bahamas. I understand the ships based here come in once in a while for supplies.

Battered pilot boat waiting for business.
Sailboat following a ship out of port.

The big event for the day was watching the departure of a US Navy ship from the Navy dock in the boat basin across the inlet from the campground. The littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) was towed in about ten days ago after loosing propulsion in the Caribbean. There was a huge crane towering over the ship most of the day as they finished up getting it operational enough to reach its home port of Mayport near Jacksonville. Two tugs arrived near the slack low tide to get it turned around and headed out to sea.

USS Detroit tied up at the Navy dock in Port Canaveral.
USS Detroit pulled away from the dock and partially turned by tugs.
Heading out the channel into the Atlantic.

The county and Port Authority are limiting access to the campground, fishing pier and beach to support social distancing. They have also blocked off areas and closed things like the kids playground. Even with the limited capacity there are still more people wandering around, fishing and using the beach than I’ve experienced at other campgrounds and parks this year. The people here all have different levels of social distancing awareness. Some people are wearing masks, others make sure they don’t get to close to other people and some seem oblivious to all concerns. I try to give other people a wide berth. If someones is approaching down a narrow path, I’ll wait for them to pass before entering the path. I’m also reluctant to go out on the narrower section of the pier lined with fishermen. If I do go out on the pier, I’ll probably wear my mask. Today it was in my pocket.

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