Vero Beach, FL
Saturday – Wednesday, April 24 – 28, 2004
Bill headed ashore for morning coffee in the marina office and read for a while. Later, we called Pica and they joined us for a shopping trip to Wal Mart where Bill bought a new wrist watch to replace the one he’d broken and a pair of sunglasses to replace yet another broken pair. (The second temple broke off during our crossing.) Sandy managed to find a new jersey for $7. Next stop was West Marine to purchase a “master repair kit” for the head and a few other sundries.
We returned to the marina and moved the boat to a mooring. We got our things together and drove to Port St. Lucie to visit Ole Olsen (Janice Henry’s father) who has a house where he spends his winters. It’s a lovely semi-detached home on the water just off the St. Lucie River. We visited and went out for dinner … Chinese. The food was great and quite a change from Bahamian fare.
After another short visit at Ole’s house, we headed back north to the marina for a quiet evening and a long sleep.
Today was more visits to Lancaster friends. Susan & Hewitt Dyall used to live in Lancaster but moved to Port St. Lucie years ago. They have a lovely home on the water just a couple of miles from Ole’s place. We got reacquainted and spent a lovely afternoon catching up with each other’s lives and had dinner at a local restaurant.
Later that day we went to visit Bob & Eileen Lutz who we’d seen briefly on our way down. You can see their community across the water from the Dyall’s home. Lutz’ home is in a gated community right on a golf course. They’ve completely redone it since they moved down here last year. It is lovely and they are loving Florida.
We spent the rest of the evening catching up and had a great night’s sleep.
Big breakfast prepared by Eileen and we ate by the pool. Pretty darn nice!
Later that morning we decided to head to the beach for some shelling before we headed back to Vero Beach. We pulled into a beach access parking lot and walked the beach for about half an hour. Returning to the car we found the rear window shattered and soon discovered Sandy’s bag, carefully placed under the rear seat, had been stolen. It contained her wallet with cash and cards, our Palm Pilot, digital camera, cell phone and a few other items. We called the police who did a good job documenting one of a rash of similar robberies happening at the beaches. The officer was clearly upset about the problem as this was his special patrol area.
Returning home to the Lutzes, we immediately canceled credit cards and reported losses to our insurance companies. What a bummer finish to a delightful visit!
On the way home we found a Palm Pilot on sale and priced cameras. The cell phone model appears to be obsolete and we really wanted one plug compatible with our remaining phone. The Verizon rep suggested E-Bay. That evening Bill went on-line, found many duplicate phones and bid on one.
It was hot and humid again today. We headed to the Wal-Mart Supercenter with Pica to shop for groceries while Bill bought a replacement for the digital camera. Then it was time to return the rental car. ($50 for four days … what a bargain!) Bill checked and found that we won the auction for the replacement cell phone. ($26 plus $8 shipping sure beat the $200 that Verizon would have charged!)
We also got what we considered to be a fair settlement with our insurance company and they will send us a settlement check.
It rained most of the afternoon and it was very hot and stuffy on board putting our groceries away. We had Sea Lion (Jeannette & Bill) and Pica over for dinner. Grilled pork tenderloin, stuffed baked potatoes, salad and fruit ambrosia for dessert.
The rain yesterday brought some cooler weather and lower humidity today. Bill had three loads of wash started before 7:00 a.m. at the marina laundromat. Sandy joined him a little later. We finished folding the wash and Bill returned to the boat to again do some repairs to the head and replace a bolt. Sandy walked with Nancy on Corsair and Jeannette on Sea Lion and later took the free shuttle to a nearby shopping center with Lou and Jean.
A number of us went to the Riverview Restaurant for their Wednesday night happy hour – buy one drink and get one free. We then took a taxi to the Patio Restaurant for a great dinner at a great price.
Vero Beach to Titusville, FL
Thursday, April 29, 2004
This was to be a serious travel day and we began by leaving Vero Beach at 6:20. Sea Lion, Corsair (a catamaran we’d met) and Attitude followed close behind. There was enough wind (E 12-18 with showers predicted) to use the sails and we made some great speed. We’d had in mind to stop at Coco but, examining the anchorage, it was really rough and would not have been fun.
Sea Lion passed us at that point and said they were going to go on to Titusville. We checked our navigation and decided we could probably make it, too, even though Sea Lion moves a little faster than us. The trick was that the draw bridge near Canaveral has major work being done to it and it only opened every four hours. Miss the 4:00 opening and we’d have to cool our heels until 8:00. Our chartplotter predicted that we’d just exactly make the opening. Beyond that, the Titusville bridge has restricted openings at that time of day but our prediction was that we’d just make their 4:30 opening as well. Off we went!
It was dicey, but we made it, arriving just at 4:00 at the first bridge and just in time at the second bridge. We just love it when a plan comes together! We took a slip Titusville Municipal Marina right beside Sea Lion, got showers and all was well with the world. On the way up the dock we even found Nisha tied up and Arati and John on their way out the dock. It was nice to see them one last time. They leave their boat here and summer in Albuquerque. It was time for them to unload all the cruising gear from the boat prior to pulling it out of the water for the season.
That evening we had dinner aboard Sea Lion with Bill & Jeanette. They planned to leave early the next morning while we’d relax a bit because we planned a short day to New Smyrna to visit with the Rorabaughs.
Titusville to New Smyrna, FL
Friday, April 30, 2004
The next morning Bill took a walk and found nirvana in a local 7-11 where they had a real honest-to-goodness cappichino machine and he had his favorite morning beverage, half cappichino, half coffee. Sandy took her morning walk. We took advantage of free water (still getting over the fact that water is “free”) to fill the water tanks and wash the boat.
We said our farewells to Sea Lion. And then Sandy took her morning walk while Bill changed the engine oil. About 11:00 we dropped our lines and headed toward New Smyrna under partly cloudy skies with SE winds at about 15 knots. The current was with us most of the way and we actually hit 8.0 mph over the ground on several occasions!
That morning we talked to Jack & Edie on the phone. They’d checked the small municipal marina and found several vacant slips. Since you can’t make reservations we just had to hope there’d still be one when we arrived. But, the signs were good. We approached New Smyrna in the face of gathering storm clouds and gusty winds, just hoping we’d get to tie up before the thunderstorms hit. It was just about that time that Sandy noticed some smoke and soot and dirty liquid leaking in the engine compartment. Obviously, we had some kind of unpleasant leak. But the engine was running fine and there was no sign of fire so we toughed it out, finding an open tee-head at the New Smyrna Municipal Marina.
The rain began about 3:30 just as Jack arrived to pick up us and our gear to take us to the house. As a result of earlier calls they’d arranged to visit Barb & Joe Morgan’s new house for drinks and dinner. We showered and headed out. Joe and Barb (Uncle Harry) had just moved in to their new home in a development just a couple of miles from Jack & Edie. Their boat is on the market and they plan to live full time in Florida. We had a great time visiting but were ready to sack out when we returned to Rorabaughs.