back in VERO
21 April 2018 | Vero Beach FL mooring field - South
Dean -- WARM and NOISY -- TRAFFIC sirens etc.
Saturday – 21 April 2018 – VERO BEACH FL -- 3 day here
I forgot where I left OFF of the last log post… We’re been catching up on sleep, and participating in the social gatherings here at VERO…
The CROSSING: We left Great Sale Cay, at noon, to time our arrival at the florida coast for post-DAWN on Thursday. Seas were calm on the Little Bahama Bank… almost mirror like; but on the Gulf Stream crossing things got a little “bumpy”…. With “confused seas”; NOT large but confusted with waves having no particular direction…. Sort of 2 and 3 foot “haystacks that the AB, SEEKER, and “Born to Run” just PLOWED through…. The end result was the all the boats were encrusted with SALT….
(we are sort of HOPING for a hard rain… to wash the boats down…. ) yesterday (Friday) I couldn’t stand it any longer; I took a bucket of FRESH WATER out, and wiped down everything I could see or touch… caprails, top of hull, rigging (lowers), deck, coach roof, etc. But, secretly we’re still hoping for RAIN…
Anyway… We got into the US coastal waters just as planned….and entered Fort Pierce Inlet…. Although we were two –PLUS hours after low tide, the current was still in EBB…. So it was a fight to get IN. That part of our plan didn’t work all that well…. ( Although it wasn’t FULL EBB )…
We then turned north toward VERO Beach… through the N. Fort Pierce Bascule Bridge (first bridge opening in three or more months)… and proceeded to VERO.
Trying to check in with Customs and Border Patrol turned out to be more complicated that we thought. We had tried their NEW iPhone APP (called ROAM)… and crashed it three or more times while in the Bahamas… We just figured it was a flaw, or clitch, and they’d fix it before long. WELL……………….our alternate plan was to file a FLOAT PLAN same as the last few years (figuring the OLD system was still in place)…. FLOAT PLAN filled out, and submitted…. Everything copasetic!!! (after all, the new ROAM App said right on it, IT WAS A “PILOT” program….)…. Wouldn’t that indicate to everyone that the OLD systems would still WORK…. “PILOT” said to us…. TRIAL !!!
Anyway…. When we called the CBP telephone number, and cited our “float plan number”… and BR numbers (local boaters option)…. The “gentleman” (used loosely here)…. Laughed at me, and said that ‘system is no longer used, and has been dismantled’. HUMM I said. “Then why did the “dismantled” system give me a brand new float plan NUMBER?” …………… “WELL” he said, we’re not looking at that system anylonger; YOU have to use the ROAM APP…..( I told him of the three or more crashes of the APP while we were in the Islands)….
“REALLY”………….(He laughs again)….”YOU CAN’t use that system in a foreign country, you have to wait until you’re back here, and fill it out!!!”… he said.
Does that make any sense to anyone? BUT, I had filled everything out in the ROAM APP, except for the two pages where it crashed….SO I called it up on the iPHONE…. And sure enough…. The app excepted my data; I pushed SUBMIT; the APP said “DATA being reviewed by CBP officer; and several minutes later a message came IN; “Welcome to the USA”.
SO……………..It does WORK…. JUST NOT how you think it should work.
SO………..we’re BACK…. Went to happy HOUR with the cruisers on Thursday afternoon (1600 hours)… fun time…
Last night (Friday) we gathered with SEEKER, and Don and Judy Polifka at the Riverside Park music festival…. GREAT TIME !!!
Today is the Farmers Market downtown…. And a must trip to the PUBLIX (out of nearly everything)…. OH… What timing…. The first breakfast we made upon entering the USA… .we ran out of propane in the port 20# tank….. (And we used the Last of a TIN of coffee; TIMING !!!
Green Turtle CAY to GREAT SALE Cay -- WAITING NOW !!!
20 April 2018 | Great Sale CAY -- Abacos
Dean - WARM -- calm winds, and seas
Tuesday - GTC to Great SALE Cay -- STAGING for crossing
Took sail cover off - cleaned up cockpit - breakfasted - Programmed GPS for route
Measured fuel in Mid-ship Tank (84 Gallons).. (will transfer "make-up" fuel along the way
Dropped mooring lines about 0830 on a rising tide at GTC...
Wind in the SEA of Abacos just barely off the starboard Bow enough to hold the "yankee" sail FULL... but it helped... But still a motor-sail all the way up the Sea of Abacos to Great Sale cay.
The wind calmed during the night, and turned to the east, just as predicted... The water was flat calm this AM, when we woke up... (not even a ripple in the surface... almost freaky it was so calm).
We anchored Tuesday night in the bight at Great Sale N 26 58.621 W 078 13.210 at about 1815 hours. Just in time for sundowners, and dinner. NICE.... We did not see the meteor showers that night IF there were any... (???)
We're sitting still this AM, to get a favorable arrival TIME at Fort Pierce FL USA - Do NOT want to lay off coast in the DARK... waiting for dawn, in unknown sea conditions.
Tough just sitting here... with perfectly flat water around us....and stretching out for miles in the direction we have to travel..... Weird !!! BUT that's passage planning!!!
We can't send or POST this message or coordinates because there is absolutely NO phone service this far out.... SO I'll save and post later.
WE did change all the SIMM cards back to VERIZON this AM... BTC will have to wait another year...
(actually NOT true.... You have to top up or ADD money to your Bahama Telephone CARDs every 80 days, OR they GIVE YOUR NUMBER AWAY!!! So it's a good thing to put On YOU "to do list" IF you want to keep the same BTC phone number)
OK.... Nearly time to pull anchor.... STORE this, and get AB READY !!!!
Last FULL DAY in GTC -- before heading toward USA
16 April 2018 | GTC
DEAN -- after the storm -- sunny and warm
Last DAY at GTC --
Made it a full day at GTC – OUR Last until next season…
Filed the float plan with Customs, and Border security; Tried their new ROAM program – CRASHED !!! several times… SEEKER, nor Second WiNd could get through the “TRIP” page… Crashes every time.
OH well… have to do it the old way…
You wouldn’t think that a couple of US Citizens coming back into their own country would be so complicated… BUT the Gov’t has a way of making it JUST THAT WAY !!! complicated.
Anyway… we walked into town for one last LUNCH… we went to Miss Emily’s Blue BEE Bar… for beers, Goombay Mashes; and FOOD…. NICE… then to the grocery stores…. And then home to the boats…
We were ALL (SEEKER; AB; Dalmatian) invited to SECOND WIND for Laura’s HOME MADE PIZZA… YUMMMM YUMMMM delicious !!!! NICE evening… We might be saying goodbye to them (Second Wind) for a while, Unless they change their mind tonight, and decide to drop mooring lines and come with us all. SEEKER; and AB are planning on staging for the Stream Crossing at Great Sale Cay… tomorrow night… then cross on WED evening/ Thursday wee hours…arrive Fort Pierce after dawn on Thursday…. Dalmatian might just head due NORTH…. And see how far they can get before the weather turns on them…
SO…. After the PIZZA evening, Susan and I put the dinghy motor on the aft deck rail; and the dinghy (George) on the foredeck (we’re not dragging the dinghy through that CHOP tomorrow; that would cost us a good knot or two in boat speed, and milage).
So… we still have to go through our “GO TO SEA” LIST… and tie things down inside the boat… and straighten up the cockpit… FIT for night sailing…. (everything in it’s PLACE… etc. so you can reach out and touch whatever you need, in the dark)…
OK… LONG Day… started early with the STORM passing through here in the wee hours…. SO… not a whole lot of sleep last night…. Good NIGHT.
STORM hours away
15 April 2018
Sunday night – STORM coming EARLY tomorrow AM – 0400 hours
WELL… the flags (American, and Bahamian) are down and stored; the dinghy is raised to the cap rail (starboard side), and secured; hatches are “ready” to be secured before retiring tonight; potable water tanks are filled; batteries are charged (wind Generator continues to crank out some pretty amazing “juice”…in these winds…
I guess we’re ready (double lines on the mooring is pretty customary for us…. So that’s been done since we arrived).
Susan is watching a country music award show… and I’m catching up on blog stuff.
We had a nice “happy hour” at SEEKER tonight…. Might be the last for a while… Monday is supposed to be sort of “nasty” here… Same storm that will hit here in the early hours of Monday is already raising havoc in Florida… and elsewhere in the USA.
We catch little bits and pieces of US News.
Earl came over to AB, and helped me put the SUP board on the side deck of AB… We’ll probably take it down again in VERO Beach… but for the storm, I’d rather it be on deck.
I know that the rest of the world was ahead of us, in watching “HOMELAND” (Claire daines, etc.)… but we’re now into the fourth season (binge watching), and that show is just weird… CIA people are “nuts”.
I know; I know; it’s just a story…. BUT…
That’s how ‘cruisers ROLL’… when there’s NO TV at all… you watch DVD movies, and DVD Series, and then TRADE with other cruisers along the way… and BINGE WATCH in between TRADES!!!
Strange existence, I know!!!
Don’t know what we’d do for excitement if there were things like NETFLIX, or HULU on a cruise boat….
Summary of last few days - White Sound - Tranquil Turtle
15 April 2018 | White Sound
Dean - Sunny and WARM... occasional Sprinkles
Sunday 15 April 2018 -- Relaxing DAY—So FAR
This has been a sort of relaxing day, so far… Although this morning during the Single Side Band (radio) check in (High Freq. Radio), s/v MINX mentioned during the “announcements” that a new program had been initiated by the US Government (namely Homeland Security)… under the Small Vessel Reporting System… (SVRS- or local boaters option program)…. SO I took notes, and downloaded the new APP for phones…. (new APP “CBP Roam”) ……………. Wow… It took a while to download; mostly because of Donnie’s WIFI here… (WEAK)….
Anyway…once downloaded; I started to enter data…. WOW…! Typical Gov’t data base…. 14 types of security levels to get into it… And then…. Probably the entire cruising community was ON the SITE… So about ¾ of the way through IT CRASHED…. SO……… I’ll try again tonight, when most cruisers are asleep.
Could be an interesting way to check back into the USA though…. ONCE your data is entered… all you do is dial up and have a VIDeo CHAT with Customs, and Border Patrol… no boarding, no taxi trips to airports, etc.
Could be GOOD!!!
SO………………… I haven’t really written anything for a blog in about a week or so…. WE’ve been busy with the end of the trip STUFF… namely doing the things we’ve wanted to to… and never made the time.
Like: 1.) The dinghy trip to WHITE Sound, here in Green Turtle Cay; We’d never been in White sound, where the BLUFF house, Green Turtle Club, and dive shop are located. SO WE (SEEKER; Dalmatian; Second Wind; and AB) all took our respective dinghies out the channel, around the point, and into White Sound. NICE trip (a little bouncy, but not too wet). NICE place…. I guess the “HOLDING” isn’t that great IF you’re anchored there…. But a mooring would be good.
We dodged some rain storms; visited the Green Turtle Club (Dollar Bar, and lounge) and then had lunch at the Tranquil Turtle bar…over on the Sea of Abacos side of the island. GREAT !!! ON the trip back to the boats we stopped midway, and walked to the OCEAN side beaches…. For Beach TIME…. Then stopped again on the way back to the dinghies for RUM Drinks…. Two (2) “Bahama mamas”, or “Goombay smashes” for $10 (happy hour at the Leeward Yacht club).
On Friday Last, we again attended the “cruisers NITE” at the Plymouth Liquor store, and CAFÉ. Buy a bottle, and they keep your glass wine glass topped up all night (well, until your bottle runs empty)…
ON Thursday…. What ???? Project DAY…. Followed by a music night… Normally when you play for a group, you tend to play your “best stuff”…. So I told Earl, Kathy and some others that we’d make a night of playing “everything else”…. Music you’re never heard at least ME play before…. So that’s what we did. Interesting, and NICE!!!
OK…. There’s probably a lot more that I’m leaving OUT, but we’ll close this NOW, and POST.
Tuesday - WED -- STORM and Turtle Crawl CAFE
11 April 2018 | GTC -- mooring
Dean -- HOT - STORMY -- RAIN
Tuesday - WED --- 10-11 April 2018 - GTC - Turtle Crawl Restaruant Lunch - STORM
Yesterday (Tuesday) was "fresh greens" day at the hydroponic gardens, near the Leeward Yacht club... So we all (SEEKER; and AB) walked down there.... And bought greens.... We bought 'greens' for SECOND WIND...(Bill and Laura), because they were late in rising, and weren't 'ready' to go....when the caravan left the boats...
Anyway... after 'greens' trip the only thing we really had "planned" was LUNCH at the The "Turtle Crawl Café" ; Expensive, but great, healthy food (nothing fried).... $$$ and VERY GOOD Service.
In the afternoon, the wind all but died... and the temperature was in the high, high 80's...so Susan and I went swimming.... And played around on the SUP (paddle board).... Sitting on it... swimming up onto it, etc. Just having fun... and being WET. We stopped doing that JUST IN TIME for the "happy Hour" on SEEKER at 1700 hours.
Happy Hour was fun... with crews from Dalmatian; Second Wind, and AB. BUT...as the sun set, and Tom blew the celebratory CONCH... it was time to leave.... A weather front was approaching FAST.... And I mean FAST!!!! We no sooner got back to the AB, and 'zipped IN the front glass of the BIMINI than this front HIT us.... Had to be 35 knots of wind....OR over...
We shut down the wind Generator, which had all but 'taken OFF'.... (saved itself, by 'freewheeling')... Tom's wind GEN was making a thunderous racket over on Dalmatian.
I went back out in the "Blow" to put a second security tie down on the dinghy.... I figured we could find the paddleboard in the mangroves IF that decided to go "walk-about".... But the dinghy must be secured.
The storms dissipated overnight, but re-appeared this morning early.... With lightning, and deluge type rain. I opened the water-FILL on the port side of AB.... Laid down our "dam"... and literally FILLED on empty 40 gallon tank in minutes!!!!
The WX forecast says rain on and off throughout the day today.... So... looks like a music, and inside project day...
Speaking of WX forecasts.... Looks like we WILL NOT be taking this "very Brief" window back to the USA... Friday / SAT. BUT, the good news is AFTER the wild SUNDAY weather, next week looks pretty good for a crossing. I'll have to modify our "float Plan" a bit... (filed with the USCG - SVRS), but no problem.
OK.... WELL... it's raining again.... (figures!!! ; I just pumped out the dinghy - about 9 inches of water in the stern).
One tiny project from yesterday... that makes a big difference... is I adjusted the Low Idle speed Mixture, and Idle speed on the Mercury outboard (dinghy motor)... SEEMS like a small thing, but it's disconcerting when it stalls AFTER a high speed run (coming down to idle speed).... NOT a good feeling ever !!!! SO....... ALL better now... ;) yeah (touch wood here) KNOCK!!