Madcap Sailing

06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
16 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
12 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
07 March 2016
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida, USA
06 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
05 March 2016 | Key West, Florida
04 March 2016 | Marquesas Keys, Florida, USA
03 March 2016 | Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA
28 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
27 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
13 February 2016 | Teotihuacán, near Mexico City
12 February 2016 | Mexico City
11 February 2016 | Mexico City
07 February 2016 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico

Slow and Steady? or Just Slow!

12 May 2010 | Vero Beach, FL
Beth / 80's cooler in evenings - mostly
The "S" word can be applied to both our sailing and my blogging lately ... not that we've been in much of a hurry this winter at all.

We came in to Vero Beach on Friday morning, thinking it would be for a day or two and we're still here.

Just as it has happened every other time, our leisurely pace has proven to be comfortable and enlightening. Yes, we are in the USA with all its busyness and opportunities, with its automobile-based patterns of movement, with stores and TV and Coast Guard and Sea Tow and other chatter on the VHF. But we are still on a boat, and still living a cruiser's life. We still read books rather than newspapers. We listen to birds and waves rather than TV or radio (admittedly, the no radio part is because ours doesn't work). We still meet people on the dock or in the boaters' lounge or when our dinghies cross paths rather than through planning or formal invitations. We watch dolphins play by the side of the boat as we sip our morning coffee and admire parrots in the trees. We are remembering again to relax and shrug off bureaucratic blundering.

I'll tell you first about the "bb". We thought we were being so smart last fall, by arranging our cruising permit (given by US Customs and Border Protection) so it would expire while we were out of the country. We had asked for a 6 month one that would expire automatically, but the very nice officer in Baltimore said she preferred to give us a 1 year one, and told us send it to her when we left the country and she would cancel it. Well, that sounded fine to us. When we left in January, we mailed it in. The trouble is that she didn't cancel it.

The permit runs until November 2, 2010 so we are fine to move about on it until then. The difficulty comes 15 days after that time when, as happened last trip, an officer might say, "Oh no, I can't give you a new permit because you are not just coming in from foreign." On the other hand, we may find an officer who has no problem with disregarding that requirement and we'll be fine. The nice but non-sailing officer at Ft. Pierce told us off-handedly, "It's no problem, just go over to the Bahamas one day and back the next and you'll be eligible for a permit." Right.

One would think they would be interested in a system that is clear, standard across the country, and requires a minimum of effort to enforce. They have so many complications and variations from region to region that it makes it very difficult for a cruiser to comply. At least this time all the folks we dealt with were pleasant and attempting to be helpful, and rather than informing us sternly that we were misinformed, this officer told us that we should be aware that not all offices interpret the "rules" in the same way. Right again.

One nice thing about USCBP is that checking in personally is very straightforward. Jim called them and gave our vessel number, passport numbers, address, date of departure etc. and got our confirmation number very quickly. No questions about how many bottles of alcohol or cartons of cigarettes or fruit or vegetables we had on board, or any of the minutiae that consume Canadian Customs and Immigration.

We dropped the anchor just off the Pelican Yacht Club in the first little bight off the south side of Ft. Pierce Inlet on Friday night. We came in the inlet at 10pm and didn't want to go searching around for deep water any further along. Since we planned to be in the area for a couple of days until the winds were better for a trip north, we headed up the ICW for the 15 miles to Vero Beach on Saturday morning.

Jim and Nancy (Solitaire) came in soon after us, and we were able to celebrate the safe arrival of both boats over champagne and pizza (a winning combination!) at their lovely condo that evening.

In the days since then, we've enjoyed lunch at Riverside Cafe near the marina in Vero (blackened scallops on caesar salad), a stellar lunch at Cobb's Landing in Fort Pierce (juicy grilled shrimp on spinach and goat cheese salad), Mother's Day happy hour chez Aadland with Nancy and Jim - also including Jay and Di (Far Niente) and Judy and Greg (My Destiny). We picked up a bagful of quality books at the Friends of the Library store ($1 apiece for hard cover and $.50 for paperback.) We bought and savoured strawberries and asparagus and plump shrimp and Ghirardelli chocolate and robust coffee at the Fresh Market. We've powerwalked the boardwalk and the beach, strolled the tree lined residential streets, and dinghied around the mooring field to see who's here.

We enjoyed meeting Ruth and Mark (Witchcraft) - a boat we'd seen in several Bahamian anchorages but never got to meet, and John and Jan (Solitude) and we chatted again with Chris and Frank (Melodeon). It was a joy to see Bruce (Zingara) again. In fact I had a blast one afternoon shopping for boats on the internet with him - boats for Bruce, not for us!! That guy is a real sailor - he used 5 gallons of fuel on his trip from Staniel Cay to Vero Beach - that's at least a couple of hundred miles!!

Oh - and how could I forget the showers? We've showered every single day - with lots of water! My shower on Saturday was the first one using more than a litre of water since Fresh Creek, Andros on Feb 14th!! Oh what luxury!

We'll be off in the morning - I think. The plan is to go down the ICW to Ft Pierce, out the inlet and then set our course for St Augustine. We think it will take 35 hours or so. We'll visit there for a day or two and move on to Fernandina Beach, where we are hauling out at Tiger Point Marine. Till then... Thanks for your comments, support and good wishes!

Comments
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
Extra:
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Social:
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011