Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Birthday Gift

Cape Canaveral to Palm Bay
December 5

What we saw of NASA's Orion test flight
We didn’t have special plans for December 5, Keith’s birthday. Unless you count being on a boat in Florida. But some days turn out better than you’d plan.
What official NASA photographer Bill Ingalls saw

The only thing on our agenda: to move from Point A to Point B. We set the alarm and weighed anchor just before dawn. Fifteen minutes later we witnessed the launch of NASA’s first Orion test flight from Cape Canaveral, about ten miles away. Even though we didn’t have a close-up view, it was exhilarating. A promising start to the day.

At the end of the day we dropped anchor in the Indian River and sat in the cockpit of Pelican to enjoy some moments of calm. Suddenly an amazing pelican show began. We like to think pelicans seek us out, that they somehow sense our boat is part of their squadron. At first there were around ten birds, then their numbers increased to about twenty-five. In funny, gawky, and graceful movements, they put on a fishing extravaganza. They circled high in the sky and, once fixed on a glinting, moving target in the water, dive-bombed with technical precision. As they started to dive they looked clumsy, wings and beak akimbo. But just before impact, they streamlined, every awkward appendage tucked in and perfectly aligned, and entered the water like missiles. With a tremendous splash. Followed by a huge gulp. Over and over, they repeated the sequence, two or three birds at a time.

Maybe a personal pelican squadron was Keith’s birthday gift from God.
All the things in this world are gifts and signs of God’s love to us.
The whole world is a love letter from God.
Peter Kreeft

These aren't the dive-bombing pelicans, just pelicans at the Fort Pierce jetty
"I seem to have something stuck in my craw!"
A pretty posing pelican
The facilities...


  1. Looking forward to watching your travels again this winter! Enjoy! And have a wonderful Christmas time.
    Sue (and Fred)

    1. Thanks, Sue (and Fred). Knowing you're enjoying the blog helps keep me motivated to keep it up. I hope there will be plenty of interesting experiences to write about. And it was great to see you this summer.