Ft Pierce to St Augustine, 4/6-4/16

Snug on the J dock T-head at Ft Pierce City Marina

Snug on the J dock T-head at Ft Pierce City Marina

A Mom-ism I often heard growing up was, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” Could this possibly apply to blogging? Nah. Bloggers get to blog about anything; good, bad, indifferent or nasty. But since you want to interest your readers and hold their attention for a few minutes, then, I subscribe to the thought that if you don’t have anything interesting (and that can have a broad definition) to write about, wait until you do… or if so much time has passed that you might be thought dead, then, write.

Nothing terribly exciting or interesting has occurred in the 10 days we’ve been in Florida, and since you’ve all been buried in last-minute tax return preparation, now is a good time to come up for air (maybe spring has arrived in time for Easter!) and a new blog post from Ortolan and her crew.

The 3 nights at Ft Pierce City Marina were the first ever we’d spent in Ft Pierce which is to Vero Beach what Deep River was/is to Essex, CT.  🙂 Some will get this and if you don’t, no worries. We had a great stay enjoying the historic district with its plethora (I do like that word) of intriguing shops, the well-known Sunrise Theatre, the tasty Importico Café and Bakery and The Original Tiki Bar and Restaurant set along the Indian River at the marina.

Excellent libations and fast service!

Excellent libations and fast service!

Lily Tomlin was to appear soon- what a blast that would be

Lily Tomlin was to appear soon- what a blast that would be

The nearest Publix is apprx 2 miles away; forgive us our taxi sins for we could not walk that far and back loaded with six bags of food and wine. And still we’d be buying more in Vero Beach. Four months away uses up a lot of staples and paper/plastic goods. The store had a scale; the first we’ve seen in a long time.

Been a long time- but I did turn and smile

Been a long time- but I did turn and smile

Russ almost began drooling at the very excellent wi-fi; three nights of House of Cards (a Netflix original series) and characters you love to hate.

The cockpit, decks, strataglass panels and back screen panel all got a much needed cleaning and we felt ready to take on the dirty air of the U.S.

The freezer repair was a success (as I write this it is resting comfy at 16F) and the faux Engel was placed into fridge service which is more to its liking.

Marc spent 3hrs and the price was very fair

Marc spent 3hrs and the price was very fair

Did we stop at Vero Beach? Of course we did; however it wasn’t as sticky as usual and we only stayed two nights. That was enough time to provision, get a propane tan re-filled, a haircut for me and ice cream for Russ.

The freezer seemed to handle new items reasonably well so we gave it a pop quiz and dumped in a whole bunch of meats and sausage we always buy at Melbourne Beach Market. The new temp held at 22 for a couple of days but since we were moving every day, generating power, it gradually got down to 16.

A little bummed on two counts. One, our bows already have a brownish mustache and below the waterline that Russ scrubbed less than 2 weeks ago has gotten scummy already. Not the clean and clear Bahamas. Two, we heard on the news (Ok Russ read it on his iPhone news app) that former CT governor, John Rowland is under arrest for campaign fraud. Gee, didn’t one prison stint cure you buddy? Good thing we aren’t from CT anymore. 🙂

After Melbourne Beach we’d planned to stop at Cocoa; funky shops, great bakery/café all an easy walk from the accessible town dinghy dock by the park. A weather check showed that if we wanted to arrive in St Augustine in good weather with at least one decent weather day, Cocoa needed to be cut; and so it was. Ended up being the right move. Saturday’s stop was Titusville, another new place for us.

Usually a weekend finds many local boats out and about but not so much Saturday and only a very few cruising boats, many heading south. We seem to be between packs.

Titusville installed a huge mooring field a couple of years ago, but only half (if that) of the balls are in because more aren’t needed. We stopped for fuel and water; so why not do an $18 mooring too? The wind was blowing us on the dock for a bit of a crash landing, but that’s why we have a rub rail.  The older gentleman who mans the fuel dock was exemplary and asked all the right questions as well as understood the best order; start the water first because that always takes longer than the diesel. Oh and did we need to also fill our water jugs? Not this time but no one has ever asked that. We also filled the outboard tank with gas ($4.99/gal- pricier than roadside). The original plan was to arrive here early Sunday morning to allow time to explore around, but the 36nm trip plus fueling time got us in too late Saturday to bother launching the dinghy.

Sunday, (weather: ESE 8-16kts, high temp 78, sunny) all the local boats were out in force, especially around the Ponce inlet where several low tide sand bars provide the perfect hangout.

Rockhouse Crk- looking through it toward Ponce de Leon inlet

Rockhouse Crk- looking through it toward Ponce de Leon inlet

The 43nm trip took us through Mosquito Lagoon where we always hope to see manatees and this time we sure did!

Almost looked like gators, but when they moved, you knew they were manatees

Almost looked like gators, but when they moved, you knew they were manatees

The water is so dark that they are hard to spot unless you are quite close but we saw at least eight and some were mom and pup pairs. Osprey and dolphins too, not to be left out.

They raced past us, then Ship did Happen; they stopped cold

They raced past us, then Ship did Happen; they stopped cold

Our anchorage was with four others, just off the ICW channel north of a bridge in Daytona Beach.

Monday was a 45nm trip to St. Augustine and with the wind behind us (SSE 8-15kts) and a mostly favorable current the entire way (surprising) we ran on one engine for most of the day. Another first, a MAYDAY call; loud and clear. Scared me just hearing a man’s loud and urgent voice calling, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. He’d just seen a center console with several persons on board capsize near the Matanzas inlet. He reported that the people were conscious as they could be seen moving and standing on a sand bar (perhaps the one they ran into by accident). He assisted and the last we heard, the Coast Guard was getting his info.

A bald eagle and manatee sighting rounded out the trip which ended easily thanks to a slack tide mooring ball pickup. Our mooring neighbors who arrived over the next couple of days had all kinds of fun getting that mooring line. This gave Russ a chance (after we’d already raised the dinghy) to provide mooring assistance to a single-hander who was fighting wind and current, and after 4 tries, we took pity. He was grateful.

S/v Gambrinus made valiant attempts but the wind proved too great a foe

S/v Gambrinus made valiant attempts but the wind proved too great a foe

The rain and wind ahead of the approaching front began Tuesday around noon. Looked like the entire east coast had rain and/or snow- you poor things, but we got cold too- 49F 8am Wed morning. Brrrrr… and I almost laughed to see Russ wearing jeans- what an odd sight. No rain Wed so we spent the morning changing engine oil and filters, fuel filters, genset filter and the impeller which still looked good but wasn’t functioning properly.

Me in blue fuzzy socks and Russ in jeans and a jacket. Warmed up a bit later on

Me in blue fuzzy socks and Russ in jeans and a jacket. Warmed up a bit later on

With the “blue” chores complete, we moved on and in for the “pink” chore; laundry. But that also meant we’d take showers, which are very nice and just across from the laundry room/lounge.

Spanish galleon replica, El Galeon is hanging out for a six-month stint at St Augustine. She is berthed along the new “outer” floating docks with her sister (smaller) ship whose name I don’t know. We learned she is not made of wood, but sure looks realistic. We passed up paying $15/pp to step aboard.

El Galeon with the bow of her sister ship to left. Bridge of Lions behind

El Galeon with the bow of her sister ship to left. Bridge of Lions behind

Took this as we left the mooring field to catch the 10am bridge opening

Took this as we left the mooring field to catch the 10am bridge opening

This church tower caught my eye. We'd seen repairs underway when we walked by

This church tower caught my eye. We’d seen repairs underway when we walked by the day before

Farewell St Augustine; two hours would find us in marsh-lined creek. Looking and feeling more and more like Georgia every day.

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4 thoughts on “Ft Pierce to St Augustine, 4/6-4/16

  1. We keep traveling the same route! I was just in Vero Beach (although the rain diminished my enthusiasm for it), Melbourne and Cocoa Beach just a week ago for spring break. The more often I visit, the more I see myself there permanently.

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  2. The last time Rowland was indicted was 2004, and that was also the first time UConn won both mens and womens NCAA brackets. So he’s like a good luck charm, indict him and everybody wins!

    Like

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