Nov 16 to Nov 24, 2011

November 16, 2011

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Steve looking handsome with his “Mo” for Mo-vember coming in nicely

We got back to the Titusville Marina around 1030hrs. Thankfully, the dinghy, motor and Diana were all still there. After we said our goodbyes to Steve’s parents, we headed back to the boat to get sorted out and head off towards Cocoa Beach.

When we got to poor Diana at her mooring, she was covered in bird poop!!! We were only gone 3 days. The birds had a party and they didn’t even bother to clean up after themselves – the nerve!! Steve even found a partially eaten fish on deck – haha! We spent an hour cleaning – Steve on the deck and me in the cabin. By 1230hrs we were on our way.

It was a pleasant but uneventful 20 mile cruise to Cocoa Beach. It was sunny and warm – I even got on deck to sun tan a little J

We arrived around 1500hrs and anchored right away. There are plenty of boats in this anchorage but only a few are cruisers. I think most of these belong to people who live in the area and some look abandoned.

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Anchorage at Cocoa Beach

November 17, 2011 

It is HOT-HOT-HOT and we love it!!! It is sunny with a temperature climbing to the mid 80’s J

We dinghied to shore first thing to check out the shops. We had a few errands to run but we wanted to have a look around first.

Cocoa Beach has a small waterfront area with many unique shops and art galleries.

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A sign on one of the walls to illustrate the artsy-ness of the downtown core.

We visited an art co-op. Art Co-Ops are fun because the artists have to work in the gallery which means you can have an opportunity to chat with them if you choose to. The gallery was bright and colourful. We could see ourselves purchasing several pieces…but we would need a bigger boat to store them so we window shopped instead. While I was looking around, Steve chatted with Michael Xavier who is a watercolour, acrylic, pen & ink, mixed media artist. He was working on a piece while we were there. His use of rich dark colours stood out for me – if you are curious his website is www.michaelxavierart.com 

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Don’t be fooled!! This is a Tea Party protest and not part of the "Occupy" Wall Street Protest!! Gotta hand it to the Tea Party – they sure will twist anything to get attention.

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We saw a sign for Pottery and Sculpture – “this way!!!” We were in bamboo jungles that lead us to the pottery and sculpture gallery of Harry Guthrie Phillips.  

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This is a sculpture in his fountain. He does Marine Sculpture; all kinds of fish, turtles, pots, cups, vases with a marine influence and he is starting to do birds - beautiful stuff with a variety of unique glazes.  

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Phillips, who is also a teacher, could see we had an interest in pottery (thanks to Steve’s daughter Val – who LOVES it, studies it and is learning how to do it) brought us back to his shop to show us around.

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His shop – with a mug he was working on when we arrived (on the table on the right)

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Here is Phillips showing us his kiln. He explained that he fires his pieces at a higher temperature than normal which brings out the intense colour of his glazes, which he makes himself. He pulled out a brick so we could see the fire bursting out of the kiln. He makes these temperature-gauge sculptures that are about 10 inches in length with three cones standing upright. He showed Steve one in the kiln and continued to explain to us that when all three cones have fallen, he knows his piece is done and can be removed from the fire.

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His kiln and work area.

We headed for lunch and learned the grocery store and West Marine was located on the other side of the bridge – about 3 miles away.  So, instead of taking a bus or cab, we hopped in our dinghy and headed across the water.

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Our dinghy under the tight security of this beautiful Blue Heron ;)

We rode under the bridge to a dock at “Doc’s Bait Shop” where we met Doc.  We were greeted by a large, older man with a grey-blond beard, a big smile and a mischievous grin. We asked if we could leave our dinghy on his dock while we picked up some provisions. He said “Of course!” and invited us to a jam session going on at his shop on Sunday. We learned that he is in his 70’s, has lived here his whole life and inherited this bait shop from his dad. He even showed us part of his family home that is still standing located just next to the shop. Then he sang me a song - it was of the bluegrass variety and he did a fantastic job J

We did our provisioning and headed back to the boat – what a day!!

We sorted out the boat for travel again tomorrow – we intend on setting sail at first light in order to get to Vero Beach before 1600hrs. It’s about 50 miles or so from Cocoa Beach.

Once all sorted, we enjoyed a couple of drinks and had a nice supper of BBQ lamb (for Steve) with grilled veggies and rice – YUM!! This was the first time we have used the BBQ on this trip signaling the warm weather has finally arrived J

November 18, 2011

Up at 0600hrs and under way by 0700hrs. It’s a windy day – East North East Winds 15 – 25 kts! Cloudy with a chance of showers.

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Rain in the distance… 

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The rain was all around but didn’t hit us until after dark…and even then it was just a sprinkle…strange…

Since the wind was on the beam, we put out the jib and motor-sailed all day. We averaged about 6.5 knots! The water is shallow about 10 feet in the channel and 1-5 feet everywhere else so the water kicks up quite a bit with the wind. Steve had a work out at the helm with spray splashing him in the face every once and awhile to make sure he was paying attention ;) While Steve was braving the elements, I took the opportunity to scrub the cabin, do some writing and edit some pictures. What a life J

We arrived at Vero Beach Municipal Marina around 1500hrs in an effort to get a mooring ball for the night. Anchoring in Vero Beach is prohibited so this is our only option for tonight.

We were advised in our Cruising Guide that boats could be rafted up in the mooring field – we did not expect it to be true!! We got into this facility to see most moorings had at least two boats on them!! I guess we aren’t the only ones heading south.

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Part of the mooring field at Vero Beach Municipal marina – some boaters tripled up!!

We topped up our fuel, water and ice then were assigned mooring ball for the night. We are sharing with a nice couple – Dick and Libby - on a West Sail called Tarwathis – they are headed to the Keys sometime after Thanksgiving. After tying up, Steve and I headed for showers, then back to the boat for supper and intermittent internet – terrible connection but good enough to get email.

This is a great facility with markets galore close by. They have an efficient bus and shuttle service right from the marina. This is definitely a stop for provisioning and sight-seeing but we will be pressing on to Lake Worth and should be there in a couple of days. We will first stop in Fort Pierce about 10 miles away – it seems like a protected anchorage that we can hang out in for a few days to make a plan for Lake Worth where we intend to get the boat ready for the Bahamas PLUS both anchorages are FREE J This mooring is 14$ a night – they must be making a fortune!!

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Sea of dinghies at the dinghy dock – there are LOTS of cruisers here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2011

 

It was a short cruise to Fort Piece - about 11 miles. It’s a warm day and we are happy to be leaving the craziness of Vero Beach.

Coming into Fort Pierce we could see the water becoming a light blue – you know, the tropical light blue of the ocean – so cool J

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The water colour becoming a pale blue

We anchored in Faber Cove which turned out to be a PERFECT anchorage!! The entrance depth was a little questionable on the chart; at one point as the channel weaves around the bay and the depth on the chart went from 8 feet to 1 foot in a really small section. It didn’t make much sense so we motored through it very slowly and the depth never went below 8 feet. Rounding the bend we found a little residential area…aka…a little bit of paradise.  

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Anchorage in Faber Cove…we may never leave…

However there is work to be done before we can explore this area. The dinghy has been taking on water at a drastic rate. As soon as we were anchored, we brought the dinghy on board so Steve could investigate. The drain valve is broken and as soon as there is any weight in the boat it brings in water like a sieve. Steve took the drain apart which revealed a cheap plastic valve that didn’t do anything. We are beginning to think that Zodiac is making dinghies for backyard ponds and not oceans!!!

Steve went to work sealing the valve completely with a 5200 adhesive and a fabricated gasket made from a piece of fire hose (thanks Steve Sale). He also ran a bead of adhesive over the seam on the transom that was still leaking despite the professional repair prior to leaving Ottawa.

There was nothing left to do but wait for the adhesive to dry and test out the repair in the morning.

We had some left overs for supper and enjoyed a movie in the cockpit.

November 20, 2011

First thing this morning we were up checking the repair. The adhesive was dry enough so Steve popped the dinghy into the water and waited…NO WATER – the dinghy repair worked!!

Steve put the motor on the dinghy and gave me a ride to shore so I could go for a jog. He spent the time chatting with a fellow cruiser in the same bay, Sylvain on his boat called Extra-Vagant. Sylvain has been here for several days and wouldn’t leave except he has a friend meeting him today to join him on his passage to Bimini. He gave Steve some great tips about the area and where everything is located. Turns out, we got permission from one of the land owners to dock our dinghy, there is laundry, groceries and a cheap breakfast place called Dave’s within walking distance. I found the Fort Pierce boardwalk and surf while on my run this morning. This place is great!!

When I got back to the boat and cleaned up, we decided to get our laundry done first then explore the boardwalk in the afternoon.

While waiting for our laundry, we went to Dave’s Diner which was conveniently located right next door for a late breakfast. It’s true – breakfast is cheap and delicious!! From 4$ - 6$ a meal we were well fed and completely satisfied. I think we will eat here every day J

We brought our clean laundry back to the boat and safely put away, we headed to the beach to check things out. This is a beautiful place!

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Part of the boardwalk lining the Fort Pierce Inlet

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Ocean Surf

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People fishing from the boardwalk

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Here we are…8 long and mostly cold weeks later…finally with our feet in the sand J

We headed back to the boat for a nice supper. We planned to not make a plan tomorrow and not do any boat work. It is to be an easy day, likely on the beach.

November 21, 2011

First thing we did was head for breakfast at Dave’s – delicious J

I then had my first lesson in the dinghy with the new motor. Steve gave me good instruction so I took him for a ride around the bay. There is a private marina amongst a bunch of condo’s that have the most beautiful boats. I didn’t crash into anything so I deem this lesson a success!!

It really is beautiful here. We have fish jumping all around us. Herons flying about squawking a most horrible sound - they sound like I would imagine a pterodactyl would sound - sort of like cats who’ve been smoking most of their lives growling – it’s so strange but beautiful just the same. We have pelicans diving for their meals and we had a dolphin fishing for his supper this afternoon right by our boat – this is pretty close to paradise for us. I think we could live here.

We also discovered this bay is full of fish that look like catfish. They are fairly big about a pound a piece. After doing some dishes, I let the dirty water out of the drain and instantly heard a rustling in the water. We looked over the stern of the boat and saw 20 or so of them scrambling for the crumbs – so cool but I’m SO NOT GOING SWIMMING!!! (I’m still working on my fear of fish)…

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Here they are!!! EEKS!!!!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent lying on deck reading books and working on our tan – happiness is!

We have an internet connection here too – which is fantastic so we were able to get email and connect with family. I started working on the website conversion then the whole thing went down and I lost 2 pages again L

November 22, 2011

Make a plan day!!

It’s a clear and sunny day J

Before heading for breakfast at Dave’s, Steve and I made a plan for the next few days with projects that needed to be done before his kids arrive in December.

It’s not a long list so that was reassuring. Today, Steve resealed the mast boot and adjusted the mast rigging while I got our website back in order.

I was hoping to head to the beach this afternoon but we will push it back another day.

Tomorrow, we will head to a marina close by to get water, ice and a pump-out then make our way back to the anchorage until after Thanksgiving. The next job on the list is to re-organize our storage. We need to take stock of everything and plan for provisioning for the Bahamas. 

November 23, 2011

Not much to report – enjoyed another sunny, warm day in Fort Pierce.

We are almost a part of the scenery here as the birds don’t seem to notice us much at all. The pelicans are diving closer and closer to the boat and school of dolphins came in to the bay last night and hunted most of the night – so cool!! It was dark but we could still see and hear them slashing about corralling the fish – just spectacular!!

We left anchorage briefly this afternoon. We needed water, ice and a pump out so we headed to the Fort Pierce Marina. The marina is located not far…maybe a couple of miles. We did everything we needed but the only ice they had at the dock was a 50lb bag!!! I immediately went for it but I now know that a 50lb bag of ice is too much – I barely had room for the food and drinks LOL!!!

We had some company tonight – a nice couple; Tom and Pat from North Carolina on a 38 ft Lagoon – Catamaran called Kentris. We visited on each other’s boat, traded stories and had a great time. They are headed to the Exumas – eventually ;) 

November 24, 2011 

We weren’t terribly productive other than a doing a little cleaning. Instead, we spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun on deck – I could get used to this J

The website finally came up about 1830hrs. It was suspended for some reason. We sent a ticket…yesterday…they got back to us tonight to say they suspended it in error. It’s back up and running J

We are leaving first thing in the morning for Lake Worth. It’s about 50 miles from here.