Thursday, March 31, 2011

 I am sitting here at 8pm in a rain and lightning storm, no thunder yet.  We had a little rain this afternoon after we returned from Publix.  It cleared up around 3 just in time for the 4pm Happy Hour!  Yeah.  We went around 5 and hooked up with David and Jill again and then Gary started talking to Larry & Leslie a couple that were on a 55' trawler we had been admiring named Algonquin.  It is an older boat ( 1981) with an 18 foot beam.  It is huge!! If our boat is like a trailer, theirs is a double wide!!  Leslie invited us aboard for a look see.  What a  boat, and they have done a beautiful job of having her restored.  New galley with all the bells and whistles, new teak veneer on all the bulkheads....just gorgeous.  They live on her full time, although Leslie still works as a consultant.  Way out of our league but fun to see.

We dinghied under the bridge and across the ICW  to have dinner with our friends from Marathon, Jill, David, Lillian & Mickey on Tuesday. I had my first raw oyster....not thinking I'll be having another soon.  It was to be savored then swallowed I was told.  I just have this thing....I need to chew to savor....and a raw oyster is not something you want to chew.

The next day Jill, David, Gary & I decided to go for a walk to the beach and we went to an outside sandwich shop for a that was something I could savor!  Unfortunately if you weigh them burger vs oyster.....I think the oyster would win the contest.  We still have a lot of walking to do to work off the burger where as the oyster probably would slide right out!  It was a share a table type of place and Jill & I sat down with an older couple who were just finishing their lunch.  They were an unbelievable 85 years old, he was showing her Vero for the first time and she couldn't stop smiling.  They were from New Jersey.  It seems that if you are open to it you can learn lots from almost everyone you meet.  I am now a sponge.....soaking up info wherever I go.  I have become a shameless eavesdropper! When we returned to the boat the winds picked up and the boats started pooring in the field.  They are full so rafting boats is a given.  We have been lucky and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for how they do things here.  Gary helped out yesterday when a single handed sailor was obviously having trouble rafting off of Mickey & Lillian's Island Packet.  Two other guys in a dinghy ended up jumping aboard and helping him out with the lines.  The winds were really gusting, not a help that is for sure.  That's what it's like though everyone willing to help out at any given time.

It has been fun here, mainly because of the people.  We met a couple from Ottawa while waiting for the bus at Publix today.  They were also on their first cruise and had just returned from the Bahamas and are now on their way back to Canada.  Everyone is so open and friendly .  Unlike land life where you are "on your own" pretty much, cruising is becoming in my mind a "moving community".  You are more than likely to end up with the same people in a different port. It is really very cool.

We are headed for Cocoa tomorrow, weather permitting.  We intended on leaving today, but mother nature said "you better rethink that" so we did and are glad for it.  If we had left we wouldn't have met Paul and Carolyn from Ottawa, or Leslie and Larry from the Chesapeake....or been safely moored when the winds kicked up to 25 to 30.  All is good!

Gary, David, Jill, Mickey, Lillian, & Jann

Vero Mooring Field with us at Left
Vero Mascot Art, remember the Peacocks in Coconut Grove?
Named after you Welsh Goddess you!!
Thank God,  they're everywhere!!!
The Driftwood Inn ...historic landmark inn on the beach made out of driftwood.
logs and too much kitsch to mention...very unique and interesting place that we walked through
My bailer..I just couldn't resist taking this one
Gary helping out yesterday.  Single handed captain tried to raft off  of Mickey & Lillian
this was the 3rd attempt in high wind gusts.  2 other cruisers jumped on board his boat to
help him get it secured, Gary was handling the mooring line.  
Happy Hour....(or two)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still Here, Still Trying!

Still trying to figure this picture glitch out, it seems to be a blogger issue, but without pictures what is the story?!!!  I'll try again tomorrow as we will supposedly be "weathered in", besides we're havin' fun!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 24th -28th

We arrived Thursday at the city Marina and Mooring Field in Vero Beach. The distance from our last anchorage was probably about 40 miles and it took us 6 hours at 6.5 mph,  alternating engines.  It was a pretty uneventful trip except for the fire in Ft. Pierce.  It looked like it was right behind a ridge of houses but it didn't appear to get to them in the 40 minutes or so that we could observe it.  There was a helicopter getting water out of what must have been a small lake or something on shore between the fire and houses.  We don't have tv so don't know if it did damage or not.

When we got to the dinghy dock to sign in people were headed in with drinks and snacks, whoo hoo, just in time for happy hour!!  We met Ed from Ohio on his trawler and Barbara & her husband (can't remember his name) also on a trawler and from New Jersey and got two opposing opinions on the intracoastal through Georgia.  Ed said nay and Barbara & ? said yeah.   Believe me happy hours can be a font of information!!

They have a great bus system here which has two stops at the Marina, one a quarter to the hour which goes to the beach and then swings back at quarter after the hour to go to the mainland and shopping.  So on Friday we went to Publix, we wanted to go to Wal Mart but I forgot the shopping bags & back pack (which is my new essential accessory that I can never remember to take) But I digress, we went to Publix and West Marine and picked up a few essentials.

Then Saturday I went on the bus to a great Farmer's Market at the beach.  After our trip to Publix the day before where fresh vegetables are priced outrageously high...I believe they all come from Mexico or South America I refused to spend $4. a pound for tomatoes at Publix.  The farmers market had fresh picked tomatoes for $1.79 a pound.   We had to get back to the boat by 1:00 for the pump out boat and as they are a pretty loosely run outfit here  they couldn't give us a time.  "Could be 1 or could be 4, don't know".  We were ready to spend the afternoon waiting but lucky us we were number one since we are on the first off we headed to the car show in the park about a 1/4 mile from the Marina.  Great show.....a couple of hundred cars.

Today we had planned to go to Wal Mart and Lowe's and woke up to rain.  It is going to rain for the next few days so we decided to go anyway. Took us 4 hours start to finish, but Gary has a new pillow to lay his head on, and he got the supplies John Mackie suggested to make a filter for the vent on our holding tank.  Hopefully it will stop the noxious odors when you flush.  It is just a piece of pvc pipe that you fill with a filter material from the Pet Supply store and attach somehow to the hoses below.  TOO MUCH INFO for me.....just fix it!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Canadian Version of our boat only newer.  1989 Oceania 42 in Peck Lake Anchorage
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The Yellow Brick Road

We hauled anchor at 9:15 this morning a bit late but hey we're not living a schedule here. Anyway I didn't sleep that well last night....there were trains going by about every 30 minutes, which surprised the heck out of me, first time we've heard any trains and this seemed an unlikely place.  I'll have to research that one...

We travelled through Lake Worth following the Intracoastal waterway into what is best described as a canal.  It was a little like going from the North Channel into the Colony Canals (for all of you Algonac natives), except it was about 200 feet wide, still not what I expected.  All of a sudden we were in a narrow waterway with small condos, houses, and boats, North Palm Beach.  We felt like we had left Oz and returned to Kansas!

This leg lasted about an hour with 5 or 6 bridges (who's counting anymore, too many)  clearance for us, then we came to Jupiter.....yup you guessed it, we are back in Oz again.  After awhile they all look alike but your head is still spinning around trying to see it all.  We travelled a bit farther and were back in Kansas but only for a short's back to OZ in technicolor!  Jupiter Beach and Hobe Sound....very beautiful large rolling lawns from the water up to houses that were set on the top of the ridge, quite a change from everywhere else where the houses have been practically in the water!  Remember the Billy Idol song "Money,Money"?, well I could here it blaring from the heavens as we cruised by these.

Back to bridges...we were able to clear all but one today and it was opening when we got there.  The bridge situation is entertaining.  Everyone on channel 9 on the VHF asking for passage and since there are so many bridges so close together there is lots of radio traffic.  I have mastered the art of bridge opening and have become the "bridge person" on this trip.  I have listened to everyone else and have gotten my own lingo going..."Atlantic Avenue Bridge, Atlantic Avenue Bridge, this is the northbound motor vessel Sea Angel requesting passage on your 10:15 opening". the bridge tender will then say "roger that Sea Angel I'll be opening in 20 minutes."  Then I say "Roger That"  (can't you just hear me saying that) and after we go through the bridge I call back and say "Atlantic Ave Bridge Sea Angel Clear, thank you." and they usually say thank you captain, have a nice day. 2 seconds of Glory.

We decided to stop early today because we made as much time in 4 hours today as we did in almost 7 yesterday, due to no waiting for bridge openings and having the tides push us along.  Yeah!  Like I said we don't have a schedule, so we can stop and smell the roses. We are anchored in Peck Lake,  where you can go ashore and cross the small barrier Island to the Atlantic.  There are a lot of boats here tonight...seems to be a favorite spot.  Night and day from yesterday....superyachts to mangroves.

Oh no,  just heard the train go by.......I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!

Pretty short runway don't you think?????
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Palm Beach Marina's must be full if this guy had to anchor!

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What we surmised to be a paint booth for the super yacht.  We're pretty sure that's what it is...fumes, you know!
1920'S Trumpy Yacht Mariner III  now a charter boat in N.Y. and Palm Beach

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Jupiter Island Boat House

Super Mini Tug along Intracoastal

Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge  Peck Lake Anchorage

Only Path to the Beach

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Too Much To Process!

I have to make this short.  Today has been great but totally exhausting.  We travelled 35 miles, made it through about 14 bridges ad waited a total of 2 hours for openings in 8 hours!  Can you even imagine, 35 miles in 8 hours???

 We have been overwhelmed by the wealth in South Florida. At the end or our day, we are in Palm Beach  in front of the Rybovich Marina. The total dollars here are in excess of untotaled billions.  Here a 175 foot yacht looks like a dinghy.  The size of the boats are unbelievable and the houses lining the waterway are all like hotels.  I am including a few pictures but basically it has been an 8 hour day and we are beat!!

Maybe I can think clearly when we get out of "gaga" land!  Oops, Gary just came down and collected the binocs for more voyeurism...wish we had Dad's big eyes here they would sure come in handy.  Right now a cruise ship is leaving, so I'll be back in a sec!

Wow...that was deja vu' she must be an older ship, because as the captain "poured the coals to her', she started belching smoke.....just like the Sea Angel!!!!  We do tend to leave a little plume behind us when maneuvering in tight spaces...but she obviously has her aches and pains as do we!

No Comments: A Picture is Better than a thousand words

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Where Did I Leave Off?

Let's see, I left off with going to the library.  Well we did go and my idea of reading some magazines went out the window.  The few that were left were either nothing we wanted to read or in Spanish.  Oh well, the good part is that we saw many more things we never would have seen.  We had been concentrating on South Beach and the library is in North, whole new world. 

We took the bus, which is a tale in itself.  Welcome to their world....get on the bus, very nice woman driver, with a very erratic way of driving.  Go 2 stops and on gets a homeless man (pretty sure anyway) he had lots of Publix bags not full of groceries, a pull cart and a very large duffle bag.  Then the yelling began....between the bus driver and Ed...well he kind of looked like an Ed :)  She started in on how he couldn't have things in the aisle of the bus, he came back with numerous retorts to which she yelled back you can't have things in the aisle, this went on for about 5 start and stop blocks.  Everyone else seemed to take it in stride as they got on and off the bus, so in the end when he got off we decided it was, if not a choreographed amusement, friendly banter.   I  do have to say I wouldn't want to get on her wrong side. She then had to board a woman in a wheelchair and let me tell you by then she was WAY off schedule.  She proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell....trying to make up for lost time.  With the traffic in South Beach this was more terrifying than N.Y.C.!!
She apologized for "him" when we got off  saying he was crazy and always gave her grief.  I think there was a little dual craziness going on there, but she did see us later and waved and stopped the bus to ask if we wanted a she is firm in my memory at least as a "great character".

Anyway, we made it to the library, left and walked back to the boat.  On the way back we saw the Miami Ballet, the Bass art museum and the Holocaust Memorial. The latter being something we did not seek out, but were deeply moved by.  It was the most beautiful setting for the most horrific story, and a lesson in history that we try to forget, but can't possibly after experiencing this place.  I did not have my camera, but probably would not have taken pictures it was too sobering for that.

Sunday we took another bus with a much more sedate driver...but a much longer ride.  We have seen so much here and we agree that each has its value, walking you see more sights, riding the bus you get an experience in "people".  I have seen so many people here talking to themselves I feel I may be the crazy one.

Anyway, after the long bus ride we sat in the park at government cut, ate lunch and watched the insanity on the waterway.  From tour boats, to Sport Fish, to Jet Ski's.  There is only one speed PEDAL TO THE METAL!!   Only the cruise ships showed any common sense at all.  Amazing.

We made it back to the boat around 7:30 pm.  Long beautiful day.  We left this morning, headed north.  Hopefully I will catch up on this blog and not be a day behind, it is so much easier to remember what happened today as to recount yesterday.  There is just too much to see and too little time to reflect!!!!!
Rough, Rough Water, believe me only for the very daring.

Norwegian Pearl leaving port

The wake hitting shore after being sucked out by the ship, the water went down
about 3 feet as she went through the cut.

South Miami Park on Government Cut

Norwegian Dawn being escorted by the Jet Skiers

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The Mega of all Mega Yachts.