Despite the windy venue at Vero we still managed to do everything we needed, just not all we wanted. Chris on Polar Pacer made a delicious pumpkin soup- from a real pumpkin- and eight of us were invited to partake. Russ made fresh herb focaccia bread which was a big hit and we slurped and munched our way through a few hours of cruiser chat. Polar Pacer had been traveling with another boat, My Passion, since Maryland and we finally got to meet them.
We became regulars at Publix with a couple detours to ABC Liquors, Dollar Tree and Panera. If all this weight doesn’t lower our water line, then nothing will. Don’t forget we’d taken on fuel and those 100-plus gals weigh about 800 lbs. We had volunteered to bring four boxes of used school books to BlackPoint, Exuma and those got picked up at the dinghy dock. SSCA organizes a team to obtain the books, box them manageably and distribute them to cruisers in several locations. Cruising boats then deliver them to one or more of several schools in Exuma. We’d store them in the shower during crossing.
Thanksgiving was fun as always and we enjoyed meeting and talking with new people. This year door prizes were provided by local merchants and My Passion came away with a certificate to Mulligans over by the beach; the perfect excuse to dine out. The six of us hopped on the bus (well, as much as a foot and knee injury) would allow. The drink special was $4 Long Island Ice Teas and budget minded folk all, that was the unanimous choice. Service was great (nearly always so south of New Jersey) and the food was good too. We walked back leisurely, Tom and Russ making an unsuccessful try at gaining admittance to the Vero Beach Yacht Club located next to the marina.
Saturday we’d tear ourselves away from Velcro around 2pm which would let us pass under the day’s three hi-rise bridges not too close to high tide. First though, a laundry room visit was required and while I did that Russ picked up a special chafe material for our jib furl line at West Marine. We met up at the “quick trip” dinghy dock and ran into Matina, a Lagoon 380 we’d met on our last day in George Town with Tina and Matt and adorable dog Farley aboard. We exchanged Bahamas cruising plans, tips and timing. Maybe our next meeting won’t happen on the last day we are “wherever.”
Our Sunday stop was Peck Lake- more like half a lake, on the east side of the ICW, with the beach only a stone’s throw. Peck Lake is a popular stop and one we hadn’t done before. The clincher was when Sue of s/v Patience (remember our saviors in New Bern?) told me that sea beans were very likely to be found on the beach. Right she was.
We each found several, as well as native ones. Prepped our Q and Bahamian courtesy flags and sewed the six feet of chafe line covering on the jib furl.
Amazingly the forecast still held for a Tuesday crossing and Monday we made a leisurely trip to Lake Worth at West Palm Beach, enjoying several manatee sightings along the way. Passed by Lutra who was anchored along the west shore, a couple miles north of our destination. Patti was in the process of pulling up her anchors, but she has great ESP and looked up just as we came by and we exchanged “safe travels” on the radio. She and her crossing companions had just returned from provisioning and had a pickup truck full of supplies to load on; and yes, eggs too 🙂
Anchor down at 2:15 and we set to work on final prep. Dinghy well secured, my phone disabled, new message on Russ’s phone and various info emails sent off. Continuous weather checks too, naturally. Good to go to the beautiful blue Bahama Banks.