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Two If By Sea
Dragon Point
04/23/2014, Melbourne, FL

We left Vero Beach at 7:45 am for our six-hour trip north to Dragon Point on the Indian river at Melbourne. NOAA and the weather forecasters were spot on with 5 to 10 knots out of the north, switching to an easterly sea breeze. This segment of the ICW is either flanked by beautiful homes or is made up of wide expanses of open water. Unfortunately, the wind direction and velocity prevented any motorsailing.

We have been at the Dragon Point anchorage on the Banana River before. however, this afternoon, because of the predicted light, southeasterly breeze, we elected to anchor in the lee of the point along the shore of the Indian River. This will also allow us an easy, early start tomorrow for another six-hour run to Titusville. We have not been north of Melbourne; our last trip to this area was to try to see the last launch of the space shuttle which was aborted.

04/24/2014 | Duane Ising
The east coast of FL is pretty darn long, isn't it? Glad you are on the move and enjoying good weather, as are we!
Moving North
04/22/2014, Vero Beach, FL

Finally, we have left Stuart and are now at Vero beach, after a seven-hour run. We had the current with us on the St. Lucie River. We were going almost seven knots until we reached the inlet and turned north on the Indian River. Now the current is against us and we lost two and a half knots at the turn.

Vero is a terrific spot with inexpensive mooring balls, nice facilities and nearby streets arched with moss-covered live oaks. We leave tomorrow morning early for Melbourne, about six hours away. We will stop back here for several days on our return trip.

Good Weather At Last
04/21/2014, Stuart, FL

Looks like tomorrow is the day to finally leave Stuart and continue north to St. Augustine. The low pressure area sitting in the Gulf has finally moved across Florida and up into the Atlantic. Following it, a high pressure area has formed over Florida, resulting in at least seven days of good weather. In fact, it looks like there would be a window to cross to the Bahamas at the end of the week, but it comes too late for us. There would not be enough time to enjoy the Abacos before having to return. Patty and I are fine with the decision and look forward to heading north.

For Easter yesterday, we had brunch on our boat with Bob, Mary, Bill and Patty. Starting with bloody mary's or mimosas, we then had Patty's egg cups, Mary's fruit salad, and Patty's (Renaissance) asparagus with hollandaise and pineapple coffee cake. We certainly do not deprive ourselves of life's pleasures while cruising.

Always Making Improvements
04/19/2014, Stuart, FL

When getting ready to cruise, it is important to test the boat's systems and equipment. Then, if needed, you have time to make repairs or replacements. This year, we, or I, did not check two items. As I noted several days ago, after leaving, I discovered that our handheld GPS no longer worked. After having it for over ten years, this seemed reasonable. Therefore, I purchased a new, updated version through Amazon.

I recently discovered that our Toshiba television also had quit working. Today, it is not uncommon to have a television on board. Patty and I don't use the television when out on short trips. However, when we are out for a month or more, we like to keep up with the news and a few of our weekly shows. So, after having been out for over two weeks, we thought we would turn it on. Nothing! After playing with it, I got it to power up, but could not change channels, there was no sound even after I finally got the volume button to move the loudness scale, and the remote did not work. I was not able to activate the menu button to try to reset the television. So, off to Walmart on the marina shuttle bus and back to the boat with a new Vizio 23" television that works. The only drawback is that channel selection is very limited to over-the-air signals. No cable out on a mooring ball!

Weatherwise, we are now looking at leaving here on Tuesday. It did finally rain hard early this morning and more is predicted this evening. The radar shows it's out there, but not here.

Weather 101
04/17/2014, Stuart, FL

Thursday has come and gone and we are still in Stuart. This past week it appeared that the prediction for Thursday was 10-15 mph out of the East, with a chance of showers. Considering our recent weather, this would be fine for traveling to Vero Beach. By Wednesday evening, this had changed. Now, the prediction for today was 15-20 mph out the East with 70% chance of rain. We checked the radar around 6:00 am and it showed several cells coming in over our route on the Indian River and Ft. Pierce. As the sun came up, the skies were ominous. This picture does not accurately depict what we saw. With no need to go to Vero and preferring Stuart if the weather came as predicted, we called Bob and Mary and said we were staying put. No argument on their part. Did I mention a chance of thunderstorms Friday and Saturday with locally heavy rain?

We had ideal weather crossing Florida. After we arrived in Stuart, a cold front came through, which is not unusual for this time of year. Such a front is preceded by rainy weather and then it is followed by cooler, drier temperatures. This did not happen. As it sometimes occurs, the front stalled over southern Florida. This results in cloudy skies, wind and threats of rain. Then a stalled front will move back north, pulling warm, humid air with it. More clouds, wind and rain. Reportedly, another cold front is due to pass through this weekend. When is it going to stop?

Last Tuesday, while sitting in the cockpit, I turned and looked upriver. There was a wall of rain speeding down the river. We had about two minutes to get ready for it. As we watched it go through, Patty saw one light dinghy behind another boat completely in the air, upside down. In all, it lasted about 15 minutes.

We are beginning to question why we come to the East Coast at all. It is very difficult to plan our trip north as we don't know when to leave, how long to get there, and how to return to the West Coast. Bill and Patty have even tried to convince us to cross to the Bahamas with them. If we can't even leave here, how is there ever going to be a suitable window to cross?

Does it sound like I'm venting? Well, I am. Fortunately, Stuart is a great area to wait out weather. We just don't want to live here.

04/17/2014 | Jan
If it makes you feel any better, the weather's not cooperating on the west coast either... :( Cheers! J&D
04/17/2014 | Carol & Gil
It's hard to wait..we remember...but you are still lucky to be doing it. We miss it. Good luck
04/18/2014 | Marilyn
Enjoying reading your blog! Be grateful you don't have to shovel snow... The bay covers with ice each night and then breaks up in the wind and sun. Still have a lot of solid ice over 2' thick. No bugs here - which is hard on the birds which have already arrived. Poor robins are surviving on dessicated crab apples. Enjoy each day. Marilyn & Glen
The Decision Has Been Made
04/13/2014, Stuart, FL

There is a reason this is called Sunset Bay Marina. Other than Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto, the sunsets here are unsurpassed by any. The boat shownhere is Bill and Patty's Renaissance, a Dutch Flyer 32.

Today being Sunday, it's Farmers' Market Day. We went, expecting it to be as before. However, we were surprised to find that, at least for this weekend, it was a craft fair with at least ten times the normal number of booths. They were located all down the main downtown street and then some. We love Stuart!

The weather for today called for NE winds of around 20 mph and 40% chance of rain. We certainly had the wind, gusting to 25. Fortunately, it was from the east, so that water was basically flat. No rain.

The decision has been made. No Bahamas. The weather through next week has no weather window to attempt a crossing. The wind prediction is either north, northeast, or east with seas three-to-five feet. Not good. For that matter, the prediction is not good for leaving Stuart until Wendesday with a southerly wind direction. That would be good for heading north. This still gives us plenty of time for a trip up to St. Augustine and then return to Punta Gorda.

As many of you know, Stuart is a great place, but it is time to move on.

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Who: Patty and David Power
Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
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