Monday, Dec 16
Vero Beach, FL
We woke to sunny skies and 58F inside the boat. Today’s plan was to take showers (which had lots of hot water) and take the 905am bus into town to go to Walmart and then get groceries. The bus system is called the Go Line Indian River Transit System. There is no charge but they do request donations. The bus comes right to the marina and along the way are West Marine Express and Publix. After going to the transit station, which is a large parking lot with the bus routes 1 through 8 marked on the pavement, you can pick up buses to go many places, but the most used by the cruisers is Bus 2 – green line to Target and Lowes, Walmart and the Indian River Mall. Along this route are MANY stores and also a Movie theater with 24 movies. It’s great to have this but using the bus does seem to take most of the day. Phil and I got back about 145pm and then I started washing clothes (took 5 machines) while Phil got Katie to come back to help me. Phil then went back to Changes and changed the oil on the engine. Finally we got back to the boat at 315pm and started to clean up and put away the groceries and get ready to go over to Karen and Ed of S/V Passages for happy hour. We were docked behind them at the marina in St. Marys, GA. Beth and Jim of S/V Map Cap had been gone all day and were invited to come, so we put on note on the boat to come after they returned from their errands.
We were the first to arrive at Passages, an Island Packet 40, but were joined later with Ann from S/V Bees Knees, Penny and Hal on S/V Volantis, a Baba 40, and Jim and Beth on S/V Madcap, a Bayfield 36. Despite it being chilly, we were warm enough in the cockpit with the Cockpit enclosure all zipped up. We had a good time chatting and I was able to get everyone to sign a square in my quilt. Turns out we met Ann while washing clothes. She has a 5mo English springer spaniel named Lucy who is a very sweet dog. There are many boaters here that have dogs. They are not allowed inside the buildings, so there are many people who sit on the “front porch” with their dogs. Katie loves this and makes the rounds petting the dogs. It was very cold getting back to Changes. By 711pm it was 47F outside and 62F inside. We lit the oil lamp and I made Pumpkin s We lit the oil lantern to help provide some heat. I also made pumpkin spice bread from a mix (oh my!) to help warm up the boat. We had leftovers for supper. Katie and Phil had leftover beef stew and I had the rice/grain dish with sausage.
We were trying to decide about whether to stay another day at Vero Beach or go to Lake Worth tomorrow, close to West Palm Beach for Katie to see her Dad. Katie talked to him on the phone and he is available to see Katie Wednesday for dinner. He wished that he were able to give him a week notice, but we honestly didn’t know a week ago where we were going to be. We find that we have a general goal of where we are going, but the specifics can and do change day by day and sometimes we make last minute changes within a day. Since he couldn’t see her all day Wednesday, we decided to stay another day in Vero Beach and leave early Wednesday morning to anchor in North Lake Worth, which is not too far away for him. It was really cooling down and we were glad to get in bed later under the warm covers after another evening of reading.
Tuesday, Dec 6
Vero Beach, FL
We woke early enough for Phil to try to listen on the ham radio to the waterway net, but there was too much extra noise. It was 51F inside the boat. We did listen to the weather radio and they are predicting more record lows over the next couple days. There is talk amongst the boaters of a weather window to go over to the Bahamas on Saturday or Sunday, so we’ll see what happens for them. Those that are going from here will go out the Fort Pierce Inlet south to Port Lucie and then cross over going to get ultimately to Green Turtle Cay (pronounced Key) which is about 22 hours total. We need to be in the states through December 11 to get one of Katie’s medications refilled so will be looking to cross on the next one.
I had bought Katie long underwear tops yesterday and they are too small – more from them being made small than Katie being so big – so we decided to go on the bus today and get it exchanged and other items that had come up. This may be the last place that we can easily to get to stores that are too far away for walking or biking. Phil also went along and we all got off at the West Marine Express stop. Phil bought a battery operated 360 degree white light for the dinghy and Katie and I walked to Radio Shack for me to get new ear buds headphones and then to Craft and Things to get muslin. There isn’t any other fabric store in town and the muslin was $9.99/yd – really high in my book but bought a yard as I needed more to cut more squares for people to sign for the quilt I’ll make in the future. This is the 3rd time that I’ve had to make more 4.5” squares. Katie and I met up with Phil and he decided to get a few more groceries that we missed yesterday while Katie and I got on the bus to continue to Walmart. We didn’t have any problem getting the tops exchanged and Katie also got a new belt and white socks. I also have been looking for silicone baking pans, but Walmart doesn’t carry them any more. We walked to Target but no luck there, though I did buy a queen size flannel sheet set just so I could have a 2nd flannel sheet for Phil and I. On to Bed Bath and Beyond which was down the strip mall. We stopped in front of Lowes for hot dogs for lunch (we were on a time schedule to get the bus) and then found Bed, Bath & Beyond. They didn’t have the muffin tins I was looking for, but I did buy a silicon bunt pan. On the way back to the bus stop, we went into Michaels and I was able to buy individual muffin silicon muffin cups, which I think will work better and take up less storage space. I bought a couple balls of yarn for Katie to make a pair of socks for herself and then got back on the bus to go all the way back. Phil picked up us at 145pm back at the Marina. I have to say that this bus system is very good about being on time.
Since we were leaving tomorrow and who knows when we’ll have showers again, Phil and I went in to take showers and also for me to do a load of clothes to wash the new sheets. After the shower it was nice to be able to dry the towels on time left over from someone else and get everything else dried again. One thing nice here at Vero Beach is the Captain’s Lounge. It’s warm in there, so the family on S/V Sisu were all in watching TV and then taking showers too. Others also had the same idea. Turns out it was 44F inside their boat this morning even with the heater going that they have. Brrrr! I guess with a bigger boat it’s harder to heat unlike Changes, except for our V-berth. It’s always much colder than the main cabin.
We wanted a quick supper tonight, so I made Chicken fingers added to a pasta sauce mix with peas. I also cooked separately some rutabaga and we ate all but 3 chicken fingers which Phil wanted to save for a sandwich another day. Katie started knitting her swatch for her socks and Phil and I read. We started getting ready for bed at 9pm – me remaking the bed with the new sheets and Katie putting together her bed. We had a lot of condensation on the overhead in the V-berth so I wiped it off with a couple tea towels. We plan to get up at 6am tomorrow morning so that we can listen to Chris Parker’s weather report at 630am on the Ham radio and then get an early start. We have 65 statute miles to go tomorrow. We took apart the dinghy in preparation for travels tomorrow and found that 2 of the life jackets have used engine oil on them. One may be ruined and the other isn’t nearly as bad. Guess some of the oil got in the bottom of the dinghy and Phil didn’t notice.
Wednesday, December 8
Passage from Vero Beach to Lake Worth anchorage
We woke to lots of condensation inside the boat. The flannel sheets made a difference and we were quite warm under the covers. We had let the oil lamp burn last night which may have helped as it was 55 inside and 38F outside. We did listen to Chris Parker and it looks like the weather window to cross the Gulf Stream is today as a low pressure is coming Sun – Mon and they’re expect gale force winds. Of course we will be waiting for the next one and hope to be far enough south and in a safe anchorage before the higher winds start.
Phil started the engine at 655am and we pulled away from S/V Mad Cap and the mooring ball about 7am. At least the winds are light NW 4-7 knots. I took the helm while we went under the fixed bridge for route I60 and then Phil took over for the first watch. Since it was pretty chilly, I decided to cook scrambled eggs in a Ziploc bag like my Dad had told me about. You put what you want with your eggs in a Ziploc bag and cook it in hot water. BTW, it works great. The eggs are hot and fluffy and no extra fat used in cooking! I also made butter biscuits and got the boat warmed up to 64F. It sure was nice to have a hot breakfast and I took the helm at 820am so Phil could have his breakfast (I left his eggs in the water to keep warm). The winds continue to be light and it’s feeling pretty warm outside with my many layers and the sun shining on you. I even had to unzip my foul weather jacket. I’ve been updating the blog while underway and Phil is hot in his T-shirt and sweatshirt at 1130am. We haven’t seen many boats on the ICW today. One boat was 20-25 min ahead of us going through the Fort Pierce North Bridge. Mostly we’ve been seeing motor boats on the ICW with a few sailboats thrown in.
We hope to get to Lake Worth by mid afternoon so that Mike can get Katie and Phil and I will have supper together. We plan to leave tomorrow morning to get to Fort Lauderdale and then if the weather is ok, go outside to get to Miami as this is the section of the ICW that has many lift bridges on it, which really slow you down.