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Goin' South
Cruising the eastern seaboard from Maine to the Bahamas.

Puffin taking a breather at Indian Town Marina

Across the Okeechobee Waterway

How did the famous writers do it. Hemingway traveled the world, drank, fished, went on safari, drank some more, married four wives and wrote famous works. I ride a few miles in Puffin, socialize with a few friends, squeeze in a short nap and can't seem to manage a timely blog as well.

A couple of days ago Puffin started across the Okeechobee waterway from Stuart. By mid-afternoon we had arrived at Indian Town Marina - a pocket marina notched into the edge of the waterway. Turning in a narrow entrance, it seemed like a scene from an earlier Florida - one could even imagine a houseboat in permanent residence, it's laid-back owner imbibing local brews and reluctantly swatting at the tendrils of local malfeasance and mayhem.

As we made fast to a palm-studded concrete bulkhead, the resident alligator basked contentedly nearby. Two manatees floated around the corner, monuments to inactivity that rose to the surface just often enough to remind us they were mammals and alive. A nearby great blue heron stood his sentinel watch for the unwary morsel, unfazed by the activities of the marina residents. Responding to my obvious interest in the local wildlife, a young lady informed us of the occasional presence of a pair of somnolent cottonmouths over by the back pier.

This marina is a true hurricane hole and also, perhaps, a place where some boats come to be forgotten, if a walk through the upper fields were any indication. If one is weary of the sterile, bland marinas of the ICW, Indian Town Marina is a must-stop waypoint for those cruising the Okeechobee waterway.

The Marina evokes a rich flavor of the tropics, while not skimping at all on the basic ablutionary amenities, including pumpouts and even including great WiFi. Most importantly, it is assuredly not short on hospitality and I quickly realized I wanted to stay longer, finding an attraction with this tropic ease and rural ambience that suffused the marina

By previous arrangement we met there with good friends Michelle and Doug on their beautiful Selene and later found ourselves sitting out under the palms and a live oak lit with Christmas lights, until the middle hours of the evening. We retired when the wine and the stories ran out and planned an early start the next morning. Little did we know what lay ahead.


"Krogenites" at the the weekly Thursday breakfast, Key West Diner, Stuart, Florida

Stuart, Florida

We arrived in Stuart, Florida on February 13, a popular place and resting spot that we had been hearing about from other Krogen boats for years. Sunset Bay Marina is a very nice location, within walking distance of a charming historic downtown area filled with shops and restaurants and ice cream parlors, has a courtesy van to necessary stores twice a week, and has a nice ambiance for lounging around on the dock. Many boats prefer a slip, and those were full, but we took a mooring and were very happy with the extra quiet and privacy a mooring provides. We enjoyed listening to the trains passing by, gazing at the occasional passing boats, and the bridge lights at night. And it was a treat to join in a weekly Thursday Krogen cruisers breakfast at the Key West Diner, with 24 other Krogenites.

Bicycling was fairly easy here despite the highway traffic. So few people walk these days that we used the sidewalks, and each day chose a different destination, ended by a reward at an ice cream store.

Soon we will be departing for the west coast of Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway.


The victuals at a late afternoon gathering of friends aboard Puffin recently.


Nancy hiding from yesterday's 20-30 knots of wind and 50 degree temps behind
a giant banyan tree

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