November 15, 2010.
We’ve arrived in the Promised Land, Vero Beach. There’s a huge low pressure system that been hovering out near Bermuda and its effects have been very apparent here in Florida. Weather buoys near the coast here are reporting 15 foot seas for days.
So it was an easy decision for us to cover the 180 miles from Saint Augustine to Vero Beach on the ICW. This stretch of the ICW is pretty much north/ south and if there’s wind a lot of it can be sailed so its not too bad. Plus there’s a lot to see. Another plus is that when you're miles offshore you never get the opportunity to squeeze through a lift bridge while a work barge is side tied under the span.
The route is lined with hundreds of tiny islands.
It’s not unusual to see people claiming their own spot and setting up campsites for fishing and whatnot.
Theres some cool little towns along the way. Cocoa Beach is a cutsey little shopping town with free wifi broadcast to the anchorage.
Theres always something unexpected to see as you cruise slowly southward. This year we were treated to a flock of
pink flamingos on the wing as well as some formation flying by a dozen or so private planes.
The homes along this stretch run the gambit from rundown trailers and shacks right up through gazillion dollar waterfront estates. The funny thing is that behind the rundown places you see people outside actually using their waterfront property. While the only people you see at the larger homes are the groundskeepers. I often wonder if the guy who owns that big house ever gets to just sit and have a beer in the lounge chair next to the gazebo overlooking the pool and its backlit waterfalls or is it all for show.
When we finally arrived in Vero we managed to get there during a bit of a clusterfuck. As the marina entrance came into view so did several dozen small powerboats. They were just milling about heading this way and that, some drifting, some slowly underway. The entire waterway was clogged with boats but we managed to scatter them as we turned in towards the mooring fields protected basin.
It turned out to be “The Blessing of the Fleet” and the reviewing stand was right next to the marinas fuel dock. The fuel dock was occupado so we had to stand off and wait for 20 minutes. Usually its not a problem but there was a bit of breeze, some current and dozens of small powerboats milling about like gnats. I would have said screw this and went straight to our mooring but we were low on water and taking it on at the fuel dock would save me several hours of jugging. At one point we were just sitting there as this old guy in his 20 foot powerboat is backing up, headed right towards us. He obviously doesn’t see us and he’s getting close enough that its an issue. Christy has been standing out on the side deck waiting to handle lines when our turn at the fuel dock arrives. I expect her to say something like “Excuse me, you’re getting a bit close" or something like that. Instead she bellows “ Hey!!!, You gotta turn around once in a while!!”. Its kinda like having my own little longshoreman on board.
Once on the dock we took on some diesel and 140 gallons of water before heading out to our new home for the next 2 weeks, mooring 42.