We arrived at Stuart after a 40mi trip including a bit up the St Lucie River on Thursday. Where the river crosses the ICW sand banks move regularly and the markers are moved to reflect the deepest channel. That said we only had inches of clearance at a few spots, but we made it. There have been spotty showers and thunderstorms the entire time we have been here and last night we got soaked walking back to the boat. Today we head to Fort Lauderdale to head home for the holidays.
Update: drove to FLL this morning and turned in the rental car at the airport. After waiting in long lines to check bags and then again for security we are now sitting and waiting to board. These big airports sure make traveling on a sailboat seem much more relaxing.
We arrived at Vero around 2 in the afternoon on Saturday after motorsailing down from Cocoa. After drifting around the mooring fiend for 20 minutes waiting for the fuel dock to clear we filled up on diesel. We only used 36 gallons to get here from Beaufort, SC. All of the deep draft moorings were full so we rafted up alongside Willoway, a good friend from Annapolis. Sunday we enjoyed a great dinner with Skip and Harriet at Amalfi. Skip and Harriet moved here several years ago and like so many other cruisers we know who have sold their boats and moved here, they love it. We will stay here until Thursday relaxing and doing boat projects.
On the beach in Vero.
We left St Augustine yesterday morning as soon as the fog lifted, which was around 8:30. We got the Bridge of Lions opening and continued south with a fair current. By 3:30 we were anchored by the Memorial Bridge in Daytona listening to the high rev engines over at the speedway. The 24 hour classic is Saturday and night practice was Thursday. We awoke to more fog, but light enough to depart at sunrise. Our goal was to get to to the NASA Causeway bridge at Canavaral before the closed it for the evening rush. We made it with over an hour to spare. We anchored at Cocoa and went in to town for dinner. The sleepy, funky village is now built up a bit more which I guess is good for the economy but a bit disappointing. Had dinner at the bar overlooking the anchorage. Beer and sandwiches, all we needed. Lows tonight are forecast in the 70’s, but the weather is taking a turn for the worse next week. It’s been so good that it’s hard to complain. Tomorrow Vero!
We left the dock in Besufort around nine, raised the sail and motor sailed out the Port Royal Sound passing Paris Island. After we got to the ocean the winds filled and we killed the engine. The winds built to about 20G24 so we put in a reef and carried on at 7+ knots. We sailed all night enjoying the lack of engine noise. Just after sunrise the winds died and the engine was back on. We had never been into the inlet but with 3′ swells from the NE it was a piece of cake. All of the markers were in the right place, tide was near slack high and the fog was lifting. We called the Municipal Marina and they assigned us a mooring by the old Spanish fort. Being Veterans Day we were treated to a parade while sitting in the cockpit. Went ashore to visit and have lunch then back aboard for Tina to nap. A very nice ocean run bypassing all of the Georgia shallow spots.
After spending a few days in Charleston enjoying the sights and food we moved on down towards Beufort,SC. The waterway is beautiful down here and very desolate, only marshes for miles. We are anchored for the night waiting for a front to come in with wind and rains. Glad we have a good heavy anchor and lots of chain.
The front arrived about 4AM and blew 28 gusting to 36knots, about 40 mph gusts. Boat seemed to stay put, but it woke us up for a few hours. Winds are back below 20 so we will pull up the anchor and head off soon for a slip in Beaufort where we can refuel, do laundry and celebrate Tina’s birthday.
After 2 more travel days, one in the ditch and one in the ocean, we arrived in Charleston Harbor. We made a quick pass by Ft Sumpter and then found our slip at the Mega Dock. We are having drinks and then out to dinner with friends. More later.
After Wrightsville Beach we moved on to Southport, one of our favorite small towns. It is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. First we went to lunch at Fishy Fishy and sat out in the heat.
Then walked and shopped the town.
We always call our friends David and Pat who live in the area when we know when we might get there to see if we can do something together. As luck would have it they were around and came down to the boat for a glass of wine and then we were off to Mr P’s for dinner. Great food and great company! This morning we left for Grand Dunes Marina in Myrtle Beach. The swing bridge after the Marina is broken so the marina is swamped and they lost our reservation. Ultimately they found space for us so here we are waiting for the rain to stop.