Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 8: Nov. 21-27, 2012 (Day 50-56)

Week 8:   
Wed. Nov. 21, 2012—Day 50:
Destination:  Melbourne (Mile 918.2) to Vero Beach (Mile 951.7), Vero Beach Municipal Marina
Departure:  0653 hrs.                              Arrival:  1130 hrs.                             Distance:  33.5 SM
Winds:  N 15-25K
Weather: sunny & blue skies & cool out in the breeze

Happy Birthday Mom (#83)!  And Happy Birthday Bill!
An early start just as planned despite the short distance in order to get into Vero early.  The north winds provided us the opportunity to motorsail on a broad reach with full jenny averaging 7.5K, jibbing at times with ease within the narrow channel for the 25 mi. fairly straight run in the open waters to Wabasso.  By mid morning there were whitecaps, a consistent 20-23K winds & 1-2 ft. rollers.  I called Mom with my US cell to wish her a happy birthday; the connection was crystal clear.  North of Wabasso & east of the ICW from just below Sebastian Inlet to just above Wabasso Bridge is the location of Pelican Island, the 1st national wildlife refuge for ibises, egrets, cormorants, blue herons & brown pelicans.  South of Wabasso Bridge the ICW twists past large, beautiful residential homes & their manicured lawns & gardens.  The marina was able to accommodate 2 out of the 3 of us on mooring ball #5.  ‘Second Option’ was the next ball ahead.  We first had to raft up with ‘Discovery’ (Bob & Anita) already on the mooring ball, drop the dinghy in order to thread our mooring line through the pendant, adjust our rafting lines then had ‘Twomorrows’ raft up to us on port & repeat the procedure.  A blimp passed overhead.  After lunch it was to shore for a shower & internet for me & off to West Marine by bus for Graeme for the replacement bow light; the others did laundry but I think I will wait closer to departure date.  We signed up for the sponsored Thanksgiving Dinner at the River House at 1400 hrs. tomorrow.  By late afternoon the north winds brought cold temps.  The Morrows hosted Happy Hour & Larry cooked us a most delicious pizza supper for all of us; the Ellis’ provided 2 completely different sipping rums to sample. We called it a night at 2030 hrs. & I don’t know about anybody else but it was lights out right away.  A cool, crystal clear night & bright stars as the wind persisted.

Thurs. Nov. 22, 2012—Day 51:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  N 10K, increased to 20-15K with 30K gusts, down to 10K
Weather:  sunny, blue skies, cool breeze but warm in the sun, H=upper 60’s & L= low 40’s

Happy Thanksgiving!
In the morning Graeme checked the wind generator as per Ian’s instructions (from Nortons), but the unit was solidly fastened; ? symmetry of the blades but Graeme emailed Ian back.  He also worked on the replacement starboard bowlight he purchase yesterday.  And I finished preparing the Oriental cabbage salad as this was our contribution to the Cruisers Thanksgiving Dinner at River House; prepared our plates, cutlery, napkins & beverages.  Mid am Graeme “carried” me to shore + bike, computer & shower supplies.  I had a lovely hour brisk walk east to the beach; the Atlantic was extremely rough.  I walked south along Ocean Dr. past all the closed shops then west back to the marina.  A nice warm shower followed then a brief look at emails; my internet was so frustrating to connect & so slow once on.  Back at the boat we put on some nice & clean attire & at 1315 hrs. made our way to the canal just behind us to River House.  What a feast of wonderful, ample & delicious array of foods including desserts + door prizes (1st time) + music!  This potluck Thanksgiving Dinner started in 2002 & rivals the week long celebration at St. Mary’s, GA.  Donna & Jack followed us back to our boat for a bit more time of comraderie.  The wind seemed to have calmed some but another cool night with clear skies & stars. 

Fri. Nov. 23, 2012—Day 52:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  N about 5K to less at sunset
Weather:  warm sun, blue sky, coolish breeze

Black Friday & our van rental pickup from Enterprise was today!  What were we thinking?!  Dorothy & Glenn (Dots Way) were visiting the Morrows yesterday & attended Thanksgiving Dinner with all of us.  They stayed overnight & offered to drive us to the Enterprise office (US 1).  By 1030 hrs. Larry & I were driving back to the marina in a white 2013 Dodge Caravan to pick up the other four, then off to US 1 South past Fort Pierce, St. Lucie to Jensen first for lunch at Paniera, then Total Wine, 1 block further south.  Heading north, Graeme was able to exchange his electrical step down watt plug at West Marine & lastly to Verizon Wireless so Morrows & Ellis’ could check on plans for internet for their iPhones & MiFi in the Bahamas (must call Global Assistance).  The fun was hauling all our “beverage supplies” in our respective dinghys.  But Larry’s engine would not start, so we towed them home.  Graeme & I attended Happy Hour onshore, usually held every Thurs. but postponed this week due to Thanksgiving celebrations; well attended.  We met Canadians from Hamilton on ‘Eagles Wings’ that thought we were so wonderful because we slowed up for them so the 3 of us could do the Lady Island Bridge in Beaufort, S.C. together.  A cool evening, no wind!  In fact tonight the boats actually changed direction in accordance to the current, not the north wind that has been blowing relentlessly since Hurricane Sandy.  Skies were clear with stars & ¾ moon.

Sat. Nov. 24, 2012—Day 53:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  N 10-12K, decreased by late afternoon
Weather:  wall-to-wall sun & blue sky; cool in the am but glorious temps by late morning

Bed linen was changed & the grocery list was finalized by the time four of us  were on our way for hair cuts, Terri to “Hair Cutters” by Target & Bells & 3 of us at “Beach Barber Shop” ($20.00).  Bill & Graeme graciously stayed behind so we would have more room & worked on their projects; Bill’s canvass was been returned mid am & Graeme finished the modifications & installation to his new starboard bow light.  Also our mooring ball neighbour, ‘Discovery’ left & Bill was allowed to move to our ball, assisted by Graeme.  The grocery shopping was done at Sams Club & Walmart.  Already 1300 hrs. as we drove back to the marina & dinghied our respective purchases to out boats.  Terri made preparations for our Saturday College Football Party, while the rest of us did more shopping at West Marine & Walmart; rivalry college games between Ohio vs Michigan & Alabama vs Auburn & an excuse for more boozing & good food with friends.  A peaceful, calm night; the sky was filled with clusters of light clouds that cleared completely during the night, then stars & ¾+ moon.

Sun. Nov. 25, 2012—Day 54:          
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  N & light
Weather:  glorious sun & blue sky

One month till Christmas!  I woke early enough to attend Mass at Holy Cross at 0730 hrs.  Showered, meat packaged & froze for future dinners, then off for a day of exploring the beach/coastal road (A1A) from Vero to Eau Gallie.  We stopped a few times along the way to view the Atlantic & beaches, boardwalks at different locations, as it was our last day with the van & we had to use our near full tank of gas before returning the vehicle.  We stopped by Eau Gallie for a delicious Mexican lunch & 2 for 1 margaritas, except for me, the D.D.  & then crossed the Eau Gallie Causeway Bridge to the west shore & headed south for our return drive.  We did make a stop at a real cool discount/surplus marine supply store.  Our last stop was at Vero Publix for our last fresh food purchases.  Graeme & I stopped by Suzi & Dennis’ boat, ‘Thate Wata’ & were shown their new unlocked 3G MiFi Hotspot device from At&T (not Sprint or T-Mobile) that works apparently in the Bahamas with a purchase of a Batelco SIM card & a no contract, monthly data plan of your choice.  The laundry facilities were free so we decided that now would be a good time to do my 3 loads: 5 washers ($2.00) & dryers ($1.50).  The water was like glass, clear star filled sky & ¾+ moon.

Mon. Nov. 26, 2012—Day 55:
Destination:  Vero beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  NE-ENE nil to light
Weather:  clear, sunny & blue sky in the am, a few white & grey clouds late pm

A bit of housecleaning & organizing before going ashore.  The 1st order of business was returning the van; we were reimbursed with a free ¾ tank of fuel on our next rental.  #2 when back at the marina was a wonderful hour long power walk over the bridge for pictures then along the Atlantic beach on the sand to the boardwalk then back.  And #3 was a great shower; not sure what Graeme was up to.  It was already 1130 hrs. so when he picked me up & returned to the boat we had lunch.  Back to shore for some internet on our respective computers but Graeme could not connect for the longest time, whereas I could do emails but no web searches.  The marina server was doing some new wiring installations.  It was laundry day for the Morrows & Ellis & Verheydens (off to Stuart in the am).  Larry finally contacted a guy (Tony) to come to the marina to check his dinghy engine (bad spark plug) & accidentally stumbled on 2 boats who also used Tony for their engine problems.  Bill attempted to install a 12V plug in his cockpit & blew a fuse that conked out ALL his nav instruments.  Terri was on the phone as her daughter, 7 months pregnant, suddenly developed high bold pressure & was scheduled for an emergency C-section.  And SCT was hosting Happy Hour amongst all this commotion, upheaval & tension.  The fuse was located & replaced & the nav instruments worked.  The C-section was done & little Emma (4lbs. 6 oz.) was born at about 1800 hrs. & mother & baby were doing O.K.  Just after sunset a pod of dolphins were swimming behind our sterns; what a congratulatory performance for MeeMaw & Poppa!  The no-see-ums & mosquitoes made an appearance.  Some cloud cover at sunset & at night & near full moon.

Tues. Nov. 27, 2012—Day 56:   
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds: light northerly
Weather:  mostly sunny with cloudy periods, slight increase in humidity

A warm night.  No real decision re plans to move on tomorrow was made last night as Graeme slept all evening & night, barely waking for some supper well after it was cooked & I had eaten.  Also we were wondering about any new news from ‘Second Option’ & Lynn’s meds; tracked to be in Jacksonville this am.  I was eating breakfast when Bill said they were ready to leave if we were going.  We mutually agreed one more night here.  ‘Kathrian’ left just before 0800 hrs.; they were off for Stuart (36.2 SM).  To shore for a shower, posting week 8 of my blog with pictures & charging 2 computers & toothbrush.  Six of us caught the 1215 hrs. #1 Go Line Bus to town.  We got off at the West Marine stop & had lunch at the Irish Pub.  Afterwards we took the #1 bus to the transfer hub & #2 bus to Target & Bells (browsing for bargains), then #2 bus to Walmart for fuses.  We caught the #2 back to the transfer hub & #1 to the marina.  We met a couple on a C&C 30 (‘Whisper’) who were from Newfoundland waiting for the bus.  Back home we lifted the dinghy & engine in prep for departure for tomorrow morning.  We had a gathering on ‘Twomorrows’.  They were waiting to see if Lynn’s meds arrive at noon or where they have been transferred next.  A pink sky at sunset but increasing clouds obscuring the full moon by bedtime.       

1 comment:

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