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Date: 20 October 2022. Marineland of Florida.


As I was writing about my recent Disney trip with the kids (not yet uploaded) I recalled another place that remains dear to my heart. Though not in business these days, one of my favorite stops in Florida was Marineland. This attraction was just south of St. Augustine on the east coast. Marineland had a large marine aquarium which was such fun to view. They also were famous for their dolphin shows.

When heading north or south on the ICW (Intra-coastal Waterway) MARINELAND ↓ was on the ocean side of the waterway.

The Marineland facility spanned from the ICW to the Atlantic Ocean. It was magnificent to my youthful eyes.

If you prefer to see a larger sized chart, this is the link you want: http://janice142.com/images/Charts/411b-Marineland.jpg

Memory Lane: Growing up aboard our boat, I was of course exposed to sea life. One of the places we visited with some regularity was Marineland of Florida. That place had aquariums, dolphin shows and educated folks about the importance of our seas. It was a fascinating stop along the waterway.

For new readers, The Fishing Boat article tells about the boat I was born and raised aboard.

This is a photo of a scuba diver at Marineland feeding the fish from an old book. I turned the picture into a homemade bookmark.

Here is a picture of the aquarium at Marineland. This photo was in the 1939 edition of Book of Fishes.

Though the Book of Fishes was damaged (I *have* to remember not to put important things under open portlights) many of the pages were just fine. I found the pictures interesting so back in 2019 I created bookmarks for friends at Christmastime.

I ended up with several extra bookmarks which I kept for myself. Those I displayed in my aft window for a while to provide a bit of privacy.

During Christmastime I pinned the bookmarks on a leafy garland as part of my holiday decor. Later the bookmarks were displayed in a window. They make me happy.

A few years ago I passed along the small 2' tall tree we had used on our boat to a sailing couple. My old tree:

Skipper is under the Morningstar ProStar30 solar regulator in the lower right corner in this picture from 2013.

Side Note: I remember when "old folks" would quit decorating for Christmas and I was HORRIFIED. Now, well, I admit that each year I cut back a bit more. I have passed along items that I no longer feel like displaying. The Christmas holiday season is still my favorite. I get the opportunity to look back at memories from decades ago. Heck, I even have a few ornaments that belonged to my grandma. She was born in the the 1890's!

I am by nature thrifty. Taking a damaged book published in 1939 and creating something useful for friends provided me with a sense of accomplishment. These bookmarks (shown below) sent out in 2019 were gifted to folks far and near. Each year I make something for my boat friends...

You may be able to tell that Christmas is important to me. It is a chance to touch base with people from my past. Sometimes I even get cards which is too cool! Hint: My address is P.O. Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL  33738

I do read a lot of books. Though I am transitioning to a kindle, I love having a variety of bookmarks.
These from the 1939 Book of Fishes are larger, thus easier to find. I use mine in my reference books too.

Keeping spare bookmarks in the window looking aft also offers a degree of privacy from folks passing by.

The aquarium at Marineland was fascinating. It was darker in that building, and cool even in the heat of the day. I loved seeing dolphins from the Amazon River and all sorts of cool sea life. There was one tank with seahorses which particularly made me happy. A diver with a helmet would feed the fish too.

Speaking of seahorses, when at Disney with the Kidlet and her family earlier this year I was delighted to find a seahorse habitat display:

Visiting Marineland was always a joy. That is why we continued to stop in at Marineland on our way north and south along the Intra-coastal Waterway each year. It was one of my favorite places to stay. Back then the marina was not fancy. Few of the stops we made were at snazzy "yachting" marinas. 

Years ago that area of the ICW was not built up. It was basically miles of undeveloped land.

In checking online it appears that Marineland does offer transient dockage. The marina is a lot bigger than it used to be. I plan to go there again for a couple days. The beach just south of Marineland had giant coquina rocks. Waves washed between the large rocks. Jumping from rock to rock was exciting when I was younger and fearless. If you are interested in visiting too, details about the Marineland Marina can be found at this link: https://www.marinelandmarina.com/

Back then (1950's and 60's) the attraction closed at night. As a child though, closed only meant I could explore the property without people! One year I met a security guard who took me to a pool where the Navy was training dolphins. He allowed me to toss a ball to the dolphin. Then I would run around the tank to a new spot. Next I would put my hand in the water. Soon enough my ball would be returned to me by a dolphin. This was exciting for me. Even now a half century later I remember the kindness that guard showed to me.

Dolphins are amazing. I love the way they swim alongside boats.

I am certain most boat brats (such as self) learned seahorses are quite unique. The boys carry/incubate the fry. After fertilization, the eggs are expelled into a pouch on the tummy of the male seahorse. Gestation takes between two and four weeks. After that time the babies (called fry) are emerge from the pouch. The fry are on their own and receive no support nor protection from the parent seahorses.

This world is absolutely fascinating. I am fortunate to live in an age where so much knowledge can be obtained instantaneously online.

Having a tablet has expanded my world so much... far more than I anticipated. Now I cannot imagine life without one. I continue
to count among my blessings Cap'n Gary who sent the Verizon tablet. It has truly changed my life. Thank you again Cap'n.

I am indeed incredibly lucky. For instance I was taken by Baby and her family to Disney. It was great to ride It's a Small World.

Going to Disney with the kids was a great joy. The little ones loved it too.

Autumn has arrived in Florida. The breezes are definitely cooler. This is the perfect time of the year. Thank you for sharing in my world. I appreciate that.

Most of all, I thank you for reading.

Did you ever visit the any of the Marineland attractions?
And, have you had an opportunity to go to the marina since it has been ?

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Categories: Books, Characters, Entertainment, Gear, Locations, Memory Lane, Pets, Wild Things,

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