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Between Cocoa Beach and the Bennett Causeway, you have four or five miles of better depths than there are farther south, and plenty of elbow room as well. There's a well-marked channel, room to anchor, spoil islands to beach on and grass flats to fish. Just remember this channel cuts up into the security zone, so mind your chart and be careful not to stray from the permitted waters.

The Kennedy Space Center is such a big attraction that it gets the bulk of the region's publicity — after all, it is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Information on museums and other things to see and do can be had through the Visitor Complex.

In Titusville you'll find the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum & Gift Shop at 4 Main St. This admission-free museum has monuments on the Space Program and the people who make it work. It is known for being a "hands-on-space-memorabilia-museum." Not everything is hands-on, of course, but kids — and their hands — are welcome! Open Monday - Saturday, 10AM-5PM. Phone is 321-264-0434.

Another place to visit in Titusville, if you are excited by flights of an even earlier vintage, is the War Bird Museum. This aviation museum offers historic displays and authentic military aircraft from WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. For museum hours and further info, phone 321-268-1941.

But not all attractions are space- or aircraft-oriented. And yet, the area's divergent mix of attractions and activities is perhaps most evident around the Space Center itself, whose boundaries also encompass the 220-square mile Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Proving that technology and nature can coexist, the Merritt Island NWR is home to more endangered species than any other refuge in the U.S. The Merritt Island

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NWR is becoming known as the nation's best breeding ground for our beloved national symbol, the bald eagle (which is also endangered). Since it is located along the “Atlantic Flyway,” a major bird migration corridor, the refuge is also a key stop for many migratory birds. In all, the refuge hosts over 500 species of wildlife — including the Atlantic loggerhead turtle and 20 others on the endangered lists — and 1,000 species of plants. Not a bad showing for an area best known for being high tech!

On the mainland side, Titusville and Cocoa offer not only excellent dockage, shore facilities and convenient shopping, but also are the gateways to the attractions in the Orlando area. Once upon a time this mainly meant Walt Disney World, but now there are many more things to see and do in and around Orlando. And while the emphasis is still on family fun, you don't necessarily need kids in tow to appreciate what the area has to offer. Not only are there now more theme parks with adult-sized thrill rides, Orlando has a number of restaurants whose food is, in itself, worth the side trip. You can rent a car or catch a shuttle bus for the 50-odd mile trip to Orlando, and probably any marina in the area can help you make the connection.

Facilities in Titusville include the aforementioned Westland Marine and Titusville Municipal Marina, both of which are in a protected harbor just north of the city proper. There's a well marked approach channel which leads off to the west shortly above the State Road 402 Bridge (mile 878.9). Your best bet is to stay in the ICW channel until the approach channel's outer markers are abeam and then turn straight in. Cutting corners is not a good idea where the water outside dredged channels can be iffy. There's a popular anchorage outside the entrance to the basin.

Farther south, Harbor Square is sheltered a mile or so inside the Canaveral Barge Canal.  (Continue...)

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