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s/v Wanderlust
Our trip down the West Coast from Washington to San Diego, and then beyond.
Still Here
02/14/2013, Vero Beach, Florida

We are still here enjoying beautiful Vero Beach. One of the highlights of staying here are our morning walks through the neighborhood. The people are all friendly and the houses are all neat and trim with beautiful landscaping. The feature of every house, big or small, are these beautiful trees which can easily be described as works of art--nature's sculpture. I have yet to find out what they are. They remind me of oaks but don't have that leaf and are much more sprawling. We have seen some with branches that reach out and make a turn around a corner of a house. They frequently branch out over the street and many add interest with lots of spanish moss hanging from them. These trees are just the focus point of all the tropical plants surrounding them. There are all kinds of palm grasses, and exotic air plants. We will miss our walks here when we move on.

We are supposed to get our engine part today so expect to be moving on Monday. We try to avoid the waterway on the weekend because it is much busier. We will be making our way up toward Cape Canaveral, and hope the weather continues its warming trend. Yesterday set a record for this time of the year here in Vero Beach at 87 degrees. That is a bit warmer than we like so it may be time to move north. Today is actually cloudy and we are supposed to get rain so it is much cooler. That is our update in this very slow meander north.

02/24/2013 | kathy s
hey is that a banyan tree?? or are they only in Hawaii
Sunny Florida
02/08/2013, Vero Beach, Florida

We've been out of our dry storage marina now for about a week, and have made a little progress on our journey north. We still have work to do on the boat so we are hanging out here in Vero Beach which is a very nice place to stay for awhile and wait for things to warm up further north. The City Marina here is one of the best we've stayed in, and has all the amenities that a cruiser looks for: affordable mooring buoys, convenient dingy dock with water available, wi-fi that reaches out to the moorings, laundry and shower facilities and garbage disposal, and the real bonus is this area has a free bus that picks up right at the marina for trips to the beach or to town. What more could we ask for! The marina is located out on the barrier island which we have found is the nicer side to be on when travelling the ICW. This is the island that creates the waterway with the Atlantic ocean on one side and the canal on the other. We can't help but wish the west coast had such a thing. It would make exploring the west coast by boat so much easier. The weather here has been wonderful. Sunny and warm during the day, but it cools off nicely at night. We are enjoying the change from our usual sweltering tropical temperatures in past years when down in Central America. Our plan is to slowly work our way north to St. Augustine by the end of February. It is near the Georgia border, and we will wait there until temperatures start warming up in March. So I'll make occasional postings on our way, but not much exciting to report on at this point. I need to get my camera out more. The pictures I have so far are all from my new phone.

02/11/2013 | craig dawson
John & Janet,

Florida sure beats the Northwest for a place to be this time of year. You both certainly have an admirable attitude toward retirement along with the fortune of good health, determination, and gusto to carry it off.

A few years ago Karen and I visited a cousin and her husband who met at UW-Madison and retired in Florida. We enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center and St. Augustine in particular with its fascinating history, old town, Castillo de San Marcos and architecture from the Flagler era. If you have never been there, Wikipedia has a good synopsis of its history and points of interest, including Ponce de Leon's purported fountain of youth. Not being superstitious, we declined a taste of the sulfury potion.

Thank you for the Wanderlust log and pics of your escapades, it is a pleasure to follow along.

Craig & Karen

On the Move Again
02/03/2013, Stuart, FL

After 2 weeks in the work yard and then at the dock finishing up the cleaning process, we got underway again. We had to move down the St. Lucie Inlet and go through the lock to get back down to Stuart, Florida and the Intracoastal waterway. We didn't get far since as soon as we left the marina we were stopped for a train passing over the river. After that it was smooth going though and we enjoyed a several hour meander down the river. There was very little traffic along the way and we were able to get a slip at a marina just before the locks. We are enjoying Stuart Florida again and will stay here for a few days watching the weather and move north as long as the temperatures are warm enough to do that comfortably.

02/04/2013 | Chris, Jim & Riley Ancil
I just read all of your on line info. Read it to Jim and we decided you guys go away and we get to go no place. As soon as Riley is in college we go, I hope. Stay safe and sent the pictures. What is your dead line for being back (off the water).
Season 5
Janet/cold, windy, raining
01/05/2013, Friday Harbor, WA

Our 5th cruising season is about to begin, as we rush to get things finished up here at home, the van packed up and leave in a few days. The 2013 cruising season will be a little different for us. To start out we will be driving back to the boat rather than flying. That in itself may be our first challenge since we will be leaving in January from the Pacific Northwest and going from one corner of the country to another. We figure we will have to take a southern route by heading down to California and then crossing through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and finally Florida. Our goal of course is to stay in the warmer weather and out of the snowy passes.

We will be going to a small town in the southern part of the state hopefully where the weather will be warm. Wanderlust is sitting in a dry storage lot in Indiantown, Florida on the eastern side of Lake Okeechobe. We will have the usual hard work of getting her recommissioned after 7 months of sitting idle. There is always lots of clean up, reorganizing equipment and provisioning work to do. Once, ready to go it will be time to put the van in storage and head up the Intracostal Waterway. We are looking forward to following this slow meandering waterway in protected water all the way up to the Chesapeake. We look forward to seeing the coastal area of northern Florida, Georgia, South & North Carolina, and West Virginia and into the Cheseapeake where I'm sure there will be more to see than we have time for.

This is a transition year for us as we will be putting Wanderlust on the market and hopefully find a buyer on the east coast who wants to carry on cruising in her to points unknown. Our original plan was to take 5 years on this trip around North and Central America, and that is pretty much what we did. In each of those 5 years we spent 4 to 5 months on the boat and managed to move the boat along its way back to where it came from on the East Coast. Except for the fact that we have been boatless when in the Pacific Northwest in the summer, it has been a pretty good plan. Next year we hope to move towards a little more boating comfort, and get a power trawler. We will still be poking along at 6-7 knots but in a little more comfort, which will be appreciated in the Northwest where the cruising area is endless, but it can be a little cool and wet even in the summer.

So, it you have an interest in this part of the country follow along with us this year on our ICW trip. I will try to post more often than I did last year depending on internet availabiltiy. Since I didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year we just want to wish eveyone a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Back in the USA
05/06/2012, Key West, Florida

After a 825 mile, 7 days and 5 hour passage we made landfall in Key West Florida. It was the longest passage we have had in years so it took some time to adjust our internal clocks, but after a few days we got into that at sea routine and rhythm. It was actually a very good passage through an area that can be difficult, but we got lucky and had fair winds with a good current pushing us for once in the right direction, and a half moon going to full lighting our way. There were a few nights that were quite beautiful and just perfect. We also finally saw some sea life with about a 9 foot shark following us for awhile maybe looking for a handout and we went through a pretty big pod of dolphins. As we approached Cuba we considered a stop since the weather in the straits of Florida wasn't great, but decided against it. After hearing the customs official in Key West telling us what our fine would have been for stopping there, we are glad we didn't do it. Once we turned the corner around Cuba things got a little more interesting and difficult as we had to beat into the wind and had to travel through a counter current before finding the Gulf Stream. Once we got into the Gulf Stream things moved along much faster. Key West has been a fun place to make landfall although a bit expensive. We did splurge and spend a few nights at the dock in order to get the boat cleaned up. Unfortunately, because the weather was about change again and we were behind schedule we couldn't spend as much time here as we wanted. So after dropping lots of money at the West Marine and other stores and restaurants, we were ready to move on. We are now making our way up the chain of Keys and hope to get to our destination in Stuart, Florida in another 2 weeks.

The Home Stretch back to the US
05/04/2012, Strait of Florida

We rounded the western end of Cuba early this morning and then entered the Strait of Florida. We were expecting worse conditions but have been motor sailing in flat seas towards the Gulf Stream and Key West. Right now we are closer to Cuba and have a counter current, but once we hit that Gulf Stream we should really pick up our speed. This is our 6th day out from Isla Providencia and we are excited about getting back into the US, land of plenty and convenience. We are hoping for a late Sunday or early Monday landfall. The trip so far has been our best this season with winds on our beam or aft of the beam and light seas. Add to that a half moon which is now full and you don't get much better than that on a passage.

05/05/2012 | kathy
Glad to hear things are going well.
when do you expect to be back home??
safe waters

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Who: Janet & John Hart
Port: Friday Harbor, Washington
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