19/01/2010/2:53 pm, Lake Worth
Sails are up these days! We left Vero Beach about noon on Sunday and used the staysail to help us along down the ICW to Ft Pierce. It really helped too because when we rolled it in just before the bascule bridge, we dropped almost 2 knots. On Monday, we motorsailed (with the main and the yankee) on the outside to Lake Worth. I wished - as always - that we could dispense with the engine entirely but we'd have run the risk of not making our anchorage till dusk and we'd rather not take the chance.
There was a lot more wind than we had expected on Sunday afternoon and we took a look at the anchorage just past the bascule bridge because it would be more protected from the W wind, but after a short circle in, the depth was dropping rapidly and there wasn't a lot of room anyway. We continued to the Causeway Island anchorage where we stopped two years ago. It is important to stay close to the 2 reds leading through that channel after leaving the ICW at R 188. The shoals are encroaching, and the G shown on the chart is missing. There were only 3 other boats there so even though the wind was still strong, we were in 20 feet of water we could let out lots of chain. Fortunately, by about 6:30 the wind dropped from the 20 kn with gusts to 30 that we had been seeing and stayed down all night.
We spent Monday night at the anchorage just inside Lake Worth Inlet, left about 7:30 and sailed outside to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday where we plan to stay a few days at Cooley's Landing Marina on the New River for a few days.
I heard someone say on the radio, "The water is BLUE!" and sure enough, it is now. There were 4 or 5 other boats out there on Tuesday, the sun was shining even though the wind was fairly cool and it was a beautiful day to be on the water. I looked at the ICW chart now and then and said to Jim, "If we were inside we'd be coming to this bridge now." or "The channel would be really narrow there." How lovely not to have to worry about those things any more.
16/01/2010/10:20 am, Vero Beach, FL
Oh what fun we are having! The days are warm and the evenings are filled with fun. This is cruising.
On Thursday evening, we joined Cori and Eric (Further), Ellen and Dave (Cordelia), Ann and Bob (Baloo) on board Melodeon at a musical potluck hosted by Chris and Frank. The grand tour was fascinating - Melodeon is the result of years of hand building, personal design, and searching out of parts and accessories at mariners consignment shops. The salon easily handled 8 people as we chowed down on plates heaped with yummy food, and later as the guitars, a mandolin and various noisemakers came out. Dave, Eric and Frank produced some fine music and it was an absolute delight to listen in (and add some noise) as they drifted through their repertoires, putting their own touch on songs that they all knew and playing off each other on the originals.
Friday evening saw us joining friends in 2 different locations. Along with Pat and Wayne (Kolibrie) we dinghied across the ICW to visit the Dockside Grill - up the canal beside the Lobster Shanty - where they had discovered the best deal on Happy Hour in the area. A full pound of tasty ribs for $5, crab cakes, calamari, chicken fingers and other goodies for between $3 and $5, and beer at half price between 3 and 6 daily. We sat on the patio just because it was warm enough to do it finally, and there was lots of room even by the time we left, but Pat said the key is to get there early if you want space with the inside crowd. It was fun to share Bayfield stories with owners of a sister ship, and to learn of places to go and things to do from these explorers. Our excellent server told us she has family ties in St. Andrews, NB ( a couple of hours from Amherst where we grew up) and her son is a chef at the Algonquin Hotel. Small world!
We moved on from happy hour to join Barb and Mike in the warm and cosy salon of Nelleke for the first BBQ of the season (well, the BBQ was on the stern rail!) Eric and Cori were there too, and we filled our already comfortable stomachs with still more good food as we chatted about boats and itineraries and experiences on land and afloat.
Our days have been filled with walks on the beach, trips to the grocery store, topping up of fuel and water tanks, and we even made one stop at West Marine. There is a cruisers gathering at 4 this afternoon and rumour has it there will be music there too.
Stephen and Nathalie (Katmandu) picked up the mooring ball behind us yesterday. The last time we saw them in Fernandina Beach, they had no mast so it's good to see that they look like a sailing vessel again!
14/01/2010/12:20 pm, Vero Beach, FL
Hmmm... Buses or Bars? They're both wonderful people watching spots.
We walked to the beach last night, searched out Waldo's - part of the Driftwood Resort across from Cravings on the main drag along the waterfront. The music was great - and the people watching was just about as good. Voodoo played great old rock music in a bar/restaurant that has seen its share of good times, I'm sure! Above our heads was an old tin ceiling, walls were wood and plaster and the decor was "beach" with shells and twine enlivened with lighting from Tiffany styled lamps. The bar opened inside and outside on the deck and beer was unquestionably the drink of choice. The place had good vibes!
With the exception of a few cruisers, including Cori and Eric (Further) and Frank (Melodeon) with whom we sat, the crowd seemed mostly local. How did we know this? Lots of hugs and kisses when people came in, some enthusiastic dancing, a "standing by the band" crowd instead of a "sit at the tables" crowd. There were some battered old hats, and interesting hairdos, and a guy with an instrument that seemed to be made of a board, a coke can, a string or two and a lighter that served as a fret. We never did hear it, but it was pretty neat looking.
We both loved watching the human interactions, listening to the music and drinking Island Lager with new friends.
This morning (Thursday) it was quite a lot warmer in the cabin when we woke up (13C) and as the sun rose, it got warmer still until it was a coffee in the cockpit with a book kind of a morning. Ahhhh...
Then I headed off on the bus to the library to use the internet. I can't pick up a good enough signal to use at the marina without paying for it and why pay when I can take a trip to the library?
Besides running into Pat and Wayne (Kolibrie) and making plans for meeting tomorrow for happy hour at a place they've found, I spent my time listening to the fascinating one sided conversation from the robust and friendly woman behind me. She kept up a lively commentary as we rode along - Banks and how they treat people, Ice cream parlours and her favourite flavours, thugs who elbow old ladies out of the way. A girl across from me was intently reading a college text on Accounting, a couple of fellows were doing the typical slouch with ipod plugs in their ears, and a lovely gentle young man got on with a sweet little girl in tow. Yesterday there was another young man with a child - equally warm and kind.
As I sit at the library table, there are a couple of 50 ish men doing a practice test for some sort of exam. I'm listening in shamelessly and think it must be a math test of some kind. The talk is of adding and subtracting and they are working hard at it.
Down the aisle, a very stylish 70 something lady is checking with the librarian on some topic or another. The easy chairs are filled with seniors and the computer stations have mostly intent younger faces at them. The signs around the room announce tai chi and calligraphy classes, Zumba Dance opportunities and book clubs and a valentine tea party.
Think of the opportunities!!