Back in Stuart
11 April 2011
We remain another night in the West Palm Beach area although we move to north Lake Worth to a more serene anchorage. We had sort of planned to head further today but, with the nasty weather this morning and the traffic on the ICW, we decided to remain. There was a very large power boat show over the weekend at Palm Beach and it disbanded this morning meaning that dozens, more likely hundreds of large power vessels are returning from whence they came; many north along the ICW. We would be competing on the waterway with them and it's no contest. So we have a quiet and pleasant afternoon and evening in north Lake Worth.
We leave early on Tuesday to ply our way up the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), through numerous bridges and some tricky passages intending to make it to Stuart. Our passage is uneventful and we make good time transiting the 10 or so bridges along our intended route.
We get to Sunset Bay Marina mid afternoon. This is the place where we spend some time at the beginning and the end of our winter cruise. It's a wonderful marina and an equally impressive town. We pick up a mooring and are warmly greeted by the courteous Marina staff. As soon as I get settled, I hustle into town to pick up our Jeep from storage. I get to the storage facility to retrieve the Jeep but I'd forgotten in December when we stored it to disconnect the battery so, of course, it would not start. Fortunately, a neighbouring garage came and boosted me and away I went.
We stayed in Stuart for a week, preparing the boat for it's summer storage, cleaning, packing clothes but also going for runs/walks, going to restaurants, socializing and generally chilling out. Similar to the last two years, our plan is for Judy and Chopin to fly from West Palm Beach to New York/New Jersey where she will visit her family and I will finalize the preparations of the boat. Even though it's a short (3 hour), direct flight from PBI to EWR (Newark), it is quite traumatic for Chopin, therefore, for Judy and I as well. The biggest challenge is to try to force the tranquillizer down Chopin's gullet. He squirms, howls, scratches and battles our best efforts but we manage to get some down his throat and soon his eyes begin to close so the trip should be fine.
I spend the next two days feverishly doing the many chores necessary to decomission the boat. I do have a pleasant distraction, however, in that our good cruising buddy Ray from Whisper is in town with his son and friend and we spend a great evening with them. We originally met Ray in the Dismal Swamp on our way down the ICW in 2008 and have kept in touch in the interim.
We endure two days of vigorous thunderstorms and squalls and I'm glad to be in the security of the strong moorings of Sunset Bay Marina.