Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week 27: Apr. 3-9, 2013 (Day 183-189)

Week 27:

Wed. Apr. 3, 2013—Day 183:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  SE 10-15K
Weather:  mainly sunny till late afternoon, then threatening rain clouds

Another am that we slept in till 0700 hrs.; high winds were expected late Wed. & Thurs. so we’ve been told, but because we were not moving we were not so concerned.  I haven’t been yelled at recently or spoken to unkindly etc., all kinds of conveniences are here except internet has been suspect for much of the day, free bus service, therefore Vero Beach is not a bad place to lay up.  Graeme took me to shore after breakfast & I had a long 45 min. powerwalk to the beach, along the boardwalk & back to the marina & a lovely shower.  I tried internet but not.  Graeme did an oil & filter change & brought the old oil preserver to the marina office for disposal.  A quick lunch on board then we took the #1 bus to Humiston Park; 3 hrs. of beach time, catching rays, reading , people watching & walking along the expensive shops of Ocean Dr. before taking the 1555 hrs. #1 bus back to the marina.  The clouds were looking very ominous but seemed to have moved off westward.  A quick shower for both of us before dinghying back to the boat.  Terri & Bill’s diesel genset had been leaking a very minimal amount over the last 3 days but unsure exactly where & still there; they were unable to get someone in the near future so have delayed tomorrow’s departure.  We phoned Lynn & Larry over the noon hour & they were on schedule for Lake Worth today, dinner with friends tonight, then Vero tomorrow. 

Thurs.  Apr. 4, 2013—Day 184:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  S & light & clocking W about 10K to NE to SE about 5-10K
Weather:  cloudy, little rain in the am, tornado warning mid afternoon with lightning & thunder & rain, then cloudy night

Vero Beach Municipal Marina-- lounge, laundry & showers

A warm calm night; thusfar the high winds have not come to flourishen.  It was to shore soon after breakfast with a month’s worth of sorted laundry & supplies, shower supplies & computer backpack supplies + garbage & diesel jerry can.  I did 3 full wash loads @ $2.00 each & 3 dry loads @ $1.50 each; a huge job at the expense or instead of a powerwalk.  It did give me an opportunity to reacquaint with a few cruisers we first met near the beginning of the trip.  A shower felt wonderful as ever & then some emails & my blog, although I was unable to post any pics as the internet was so very slow or cutting in & out.  Graeme took a bus to town for a washer or bolt & hopefully for some info for Larry re a new starter battery, only returning mid afternoon; I was about to take the dinghy & all the laundry, shower & computer back to the boat on my own.  Vero Marina holds a cruisers’ Happy Hour every Thurs. at 1600 hrs. till whenever, but with the pending weather/tornado weather warning we did not attend but awaited the Morrow’s arrival about 1800 hrs.  Instead we hosted a cheering greeting happy hour party with ‘Whiski Mak’ & ‘Second Option’; soon after their arrival & when securely tied up ‘Twomorrows’ joined in.  No lack of conversation & laughs.  A clouded sunset with red sky only visible to the north.  A clouded night, no stars, no moon.

Fri. Apr. 5, 2013—Day 185:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  SE to S light
Weather:  cloudy & rainy especially in the am, humid to damp till evening

Another quiet & calm night, just humid by morning.  While I showered Graeme took the #1 bus to West Marine yet again.  Towards noon the Morrows & ourselves gathered at the lounge awaiting a pick up by Enterprise Car Rental; Terri & Bill took showers & did laundry & did a run to Publix, then later declined meeting us for Mexican dinner at El Jalisco.  Everyone’s spirits seemed dampened on this grey day.  Our car route included Total Wine, way south in Port St. Lucie, Sam’s Club  & Bells all on US #1, a drive through Ft. Pierce City Marina (construction still in progress by breakwater), then a stop & drink at Harbortown Marina.  We so happened to see Dixie & Rex (Wonderland); hugs & short chat.  We ended the day’s travel with a good dinner at the El Jalisco (Publix Shopping Center).  The humidity had subsided as the north winds increased & in fact it was slightly on the cool side.  We had late evening farewell drinks on our boat as Terri & Bill were leaving in the morning; the umbilical cord was being cut after about 6 wks. of travelling together.  Clouded skies at sunset & all night.

Sat. Apr. 6, 2013—Day 186:
Destination:  Vero Beach (Mile 951.7)
Winds:  brisk, cool WNW to NW +/-15K, decreased by evening
Weather:  mostly a glorious sunny day

Janet & David (Whiski Mak)
Sudden onset of northerly winds of 15-20K during the night causing our 3 boats on one mooring ball to jerk around but all was O.K.  Early morning showers before breakfast & when we returned before 0900 hrs.  Terri & Bill had gone—thanks guys!  It did not seem like a proper farewell.  I thought we could have had a chance to express our thanks & farewell for a great time & friendship of buddy boating; our paths will probably never cross again.  Today’s adventures included Lynn getting a hair cut while I browsed the regular Sat. morning’s Farmers Market at Humiston Park (0800-1200 hrs.) & Larry & Graeme picked up Larry’s new starter battery & finally a trip to Walmart & Publix finishing early afternoon.  Larry drove me to Holy Cross Catholic Church to attend their 1600 hrs. Mass; it was over in 45 mins., something I was not used to while in the Bahamas, so I had time to walk back to the marina.  Janet & David came over & we all enjoyed a very pleasant farewell happy hour; ‘Whiski Mak’ & ourselves plan to depart tomorrow; the Morrows will probably follow suit after turning the car rental in early Mon. am.  The northerly winds decreased & the warmth of the sun was glorious.  There were many conch blowers in the anchorage tonight.  Larry cooked a delicious Hoppin John supper for us which we devoured; hurray, one of the southern dinners on my list!  The icing on the cake was a shot of Nassau Royale.  It remained cloudy during the night as we slowly clocked to the east.

Sun. Apr. 7, 2013—Day 187:
Destination: Vero Beach (Mile 951.7) to Palm Shores (Mile 909)
Departure:  0855 hrs.                          Arrival:  1455 hrs.                                Distance:  42.7 SM
Winds:  NNE 8-12K
Weather:  low level cloud in the am, many sunny periods throughout the day, H= 78F & L= 65F
What ICW number was that?

 A quiet calm night, an early shower, the last garbage disposed of & 1 water jerry can emptied into the boat tank was refilled this morning.  We said our good byes to ‘Cocoon II’ but Bette & Bill (Sea Mist) had not surfaced yet.  The dinghy motor & dinghy were lifted, then breakfast.  We said our good byes to Lynn & Larry who will catch up to us in the next few days.  A parade of a dozen boats (+/-) left this am.  I wondered if we may have an anchorage problem at the end of the day.  Also, I didn’t think we would have any or as much a problem with weekend boat traffic in this central section of Florida, but the powerboats were discourteous, disrespectful, etc. between not announcing their approach from the rear & their speed & wake when passing.  Lots of beautiful homes lined many sections of the ICW waterfront & lots of sea life was seen along the Indian River—dolphins, pelicans, cormorants & osprey & new osprey nests, a sure sign of Spring.  We motorsailed this section knows as the Treasure Coast of Florida under jenny at a speed of +/- 6.0K.  I was able to catch up writing the last 2 days of my blog in Word while moving along.  We had reached Melbourne at 1240 hrs., too early to stop, therefore we continued through 2 more bridges, setting the anchor & 100 ft. of chain in 8 ft. of water at Palm Shores.  There were only 3 boats here for the night, one of which was ‘Whiski Mak’; surprising after the parade of boats heading north today.  We probably should have proceeded to Cocoa because our dilemma now was where to go tomorrow; Titusville is too close & Daytona is too far.  I have mentioned in the past how I would like to see & climb the lighthouse at Ponce de Leon; this might be my opportunity.  A lovely sunset until the sun slid behind the landmass & red sky that followed.  A calm, clear, dark night sky + stars.

Mon. Apr. 8, 2013—Day 188:
Destination:  Palm Shores (Mile 909) to Rockhouse Creek (Mile 842.2)
Departure:  0700 hrs.                         Arrival:  1710 hrs.                               Distance:  66.8 SM
Winds:  N 3-5K & even flat calm, not a ripple at times to NNE at 10K
Weather:  light fog to full sun, few clouds at times then sun again

Fishing standing outside your dinghy
It couldn’t get much calmer last night & the bridge traffic adjacent to where we anchored was light.  We rose before dawn when there was just a sliver moon still visible in the dark sky. Dawn too was just as calm.  The plan was to put some serious miles in today by maintaining a boat speed of 6K & I suggested then Tues. would be a day of exploring Ponce de Leon Inlet & moving a short distance of a couple of hours to Daytona in the afternoon.  Sailing was out of the question in the morning as the winds were much too light & often at times nonexistent & when present was directly on our nose.  We passed through Titusville at about 1230 hrs. & in so doing passed from the Treasure Coast to the Space Coast of Florida.  It was only here that the predicted winds of 10-15mph appeared & not from the east as predicted.  Nevertheless once we passed through Haulover Canal & the bascule bridge into Mosquito Lagoon we were able to use the jenny to our advantage.  And as well the sun was shining once again & nice & warm as I sat half sitting in the cockpit & half on the cockpit combing.  Unfortunately we encountered the same 3 disrespectful, non-communicating motorboat yahoos from Jupiter from yesterday twice today, once before Titusville & once after they had refueled in Titusville.  Vessels were calling ahead warning boats of their belligerent attitude & conduct; these old farts needed to be reported to the authorities.  We got a nice push in the upper or North Indian River as we made our approach closer to New Smyrna Beach (6.8K) + hundreds of small white butterflies flew all around us just like the Spring of 2009 Karen!  There were numerous dolphin sightings & even a manatee   We noticed a possible anchorage across from New Smyrna Yacht Club at about G47- G45.  We took the Sheepshead Cut towards the Coronado Beach Bridge (bascule) in plenty of time for the 1620 hrs. opening.  We attempted to enter the anchorage north of the Coronado Bridge at R22 but gently went aground; we are still not sure how to get into that anchorage.  Yet we had no problems at R18 & it certainly was low tide.  Fortunately, ‘Mutual Fun’ hailed us to say that there was enough room in Rockhouse Creek; we entered between R12 & R10 north of the shoal on the south shore & anchored in 8.5-9 ft. water with 80 ft. chain.  ‘Whiski Mak’ arrived sometime later then came over to discuss plans for the next few days; all in favour of exploring the ocean & beach & climbing the lighthouse at Ponce de Leon Inlet in the morning & early afternoon then proceed the 13 SM to Seabreeze (Daytona) for the night.  Wed. we would push on to St. Augustine & await ‘Twomorrows’ arrival Thurs.  A cool but gorgeous sunset with pink & mauve & red evening sky.  Cool, dark, clear night with stars.

Tues. Apr. 9, 2013—Day 189:
Destination:  Rockhouse Creek (Mile 842.2) to Seabreeze, Daytona (Mile 829.2)
Departure:  1235 hrs.                                 Arrival:  1515 hrs.                              Distance:  13 SM
Winds:  SSE 12-15K, decreased to SE 5-8K evening time
Weather:  brilliant sun, few clouds, 0 humidity, H= upper 70’s & L= upper 60’s
Ponce de Leon Lighthouse

Beach, Surfers, Tents, Vehicles...

A calm night; the tidal current was the major factor affecting boat positions due to the close proximity to Ponce de Leon Inlet.  A bright & most beautiful sunny morning.  All boats but ‘Whiski Mak’ & ourselves left early.  We heard ‘Second Option’ on the VHF & was able to communicate with them; they had a bolt & bracket break on the ammeter on the engine but had repairs done at Halifax Harbor Marina, causing them an extra day in Daytona, but now were off to somewhere north of St. Augustine.  We jumped into our dinghies about 0900 hrs. (high tide at 0822 hrs.) & made our way through the mangrove canal across the waterway to the public dock by the boat launching ramp , then walked to the lighthouse, which does not open till 1000 hrs.  In the meantime we walked toward the inlet, the beach & boardwalk; waves were crashing in, a surfing competition was in progress with vehicles & canvas/nylon tents strung along the beach & surfers in the water, people fishing off the boardwalk & the rock jetty of the inlet passage & walkers.  I could have stayed here all day; I was in my element.  There was a $5.00 admission for the lighthouse (200 steps) & the adjacent museum, but it was now 3 hrs. past high tide & Graeme was worried we would not be able to dinghy back through the mangrove canal  & around the sandbars; very disappointing as there was no time to climb the lighthouse.  We saw locals who had pulled their watercraft up on the sandbars, spread their lounge chairs out & were enjoying this spectacular day of sun & 12-15K SSE wind that was keeping them cool; how cool was this!  We prepared for our departure for the short journey to Daytona, with a 2K current against us, motorsailing up the Halifax River, anchoring north of the Seabreeze Bridge.  Reservations were made for St. Augustine.  There was vivid evidence of low tide around the Ponce de Leon Inlet area with all the exposed sandbars.  An incredible number of dolphins were seen throughout the day & even evening.  Eight boats were anchored here tonight, 2 boats were rafted & 2 other boats were way too close to us, 1 in front & 1 in the rear; sandwiched in by idiots who had no regard for others—great!  I wonder if Graeme or I will sleep tonight & if we will be able to lift anchor early in the am!  An amazing sunset & sky & clear night sky with stars.           

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