29 March 2013
After hard work both by us and Eric as well as his crew at the Indiantown Marina it was finally time to say goodbye. Although we were eager to get on with our journey we were going to miss Eric and his crew, because we had grown to like all of them as if they were old friends. After our goodbyes were said we departed and proceeded down the St. Lucie Canal and through the lock. Once we were through the lock our boat was in salty water again, - the St. Lucie River, a confusing collection of buoys where the St. Lucie River meets the north and south ICW channels. We had been through this before and encountered no difficulties, and after one bridge opening at Fort Pierce we decided to spend the night at a marina at Nettles Island. We found Nettles Island to be an insular, odd, but charming community consisting of small houses and mobile homes placed on odd parrallelogram lots. The island is a square with parallel and triangular lots. Golf carts and bicycles replace most automobiles in this community. The marina is welcoming with a small grocery store, shop, and restaurant. After one night we jumped back onto the ICW and north to Vero Beach.
We took up a mooring in the north field and spent more than a month there. We enjoyed spending time with the now new Vero Beach residents - Merle, Barb, and Mozart. During our stay we took a short trip home to see Wiley's play (Voices of the Middle Passage) produced at Elgin Community College. We were fortunate to have time to visit friends and family. We also had the opportunity to take in another play at Steppenwolf - "That Mother ****ing Hat".
Upon returning to Vero Beach we were surprised by a phone call from Ron and Mavis Barkley. Wiley and Mavis friendship goes back to 1968. We had a lovely dinner at their gorgeous home and dined at a beachside elegant restaurant -Colbalt. We were able to enjoy: a fine production of Les Miserable at the local theater, "Woody Sez" - a musical biography of the great Woody Guthrie, visited with our sister-in-law and her mother as we toured the Art Museum, took in the Art Fair - Under the Oaks with new friends Florrie and Lew, Wiley swam in the ocean in his triathlon wetsuit daily watched carefully by his new friend Murray the lifeguard, dined at outdoor cafes and mostly just thoroughly enjoyed being in Vero Beach. We waited for a weather window to move south to Lake Worth and then across to the Bahamas but were frustrated as one strong cold front after another swept over us. We had to use blankets and sleeping bags at night, and even used our alcohol heater at the mooring!