Tres jolie rendezvous avec les bateaux PDQ

Vign Eau, Twin Sisters, Abbotsford III, Miss My Money, Cat Daddy

Docked from right to left: Vign Eau, Twin Sisters, Abbotsford III, Miss My Money, Cat Daddy

How about that title uh? Am sure it’s B minus at best but I think you get the drift; although I am not suggesting anything French about it. We did however; enjoy the company of Nicole and Serge of m/v Vign Eau docked behind us. The annual PDQ Winter Rendezvous, usually held in January, was moved to Dec 5 this year; perfect timing for us. Sponsored by Rhumb Line Yacht Sales, the event takes place at Stuart Yachts where many PDQs go for service before or afterwards.

About six of us owners arrived by boat and the other two dozen or so drove in. Five boats (4 34s and 1 41’) are for sale through Rhumb Line and one other broker and we got to poke around on those. I am especially curious about various window treatments, both interior and exterior.

Most PDQ34 owners are former sailors, although some have slowed down from express cruisers! A really friendly group of people and no matter who we spoke with we found something in common almost immediately; where they lived, cruised, who they knew, etc. The one day event contained 6 educational sessions; during the 2nd and 3rd sessions the ladies got to gather (jammed in like sardines is more like it!) on one of the brokerage boats while the guys got to enjoy engine-related stuff. We didn’t talk about girlie stuff thank you very much; we talked about interior maintenance and cleaning recommendations, and storage tips and ideas. Got my list made right way.

Stuart sits west of the ICW on the way to Lake Okeechobee; new scenery for us. Rain had settled in; not a steady thing but enough to keep you on your “quick close all the windows” toes.

We left Peck Lake in favor of a shorter trip to Stuart Yachts on Friday, our scheduled day to arrive. Anchored in a spot near shore with North and NW protection. A sailing cat sat anchored close by. Was dark when we heard a knock; uh oh. The cat’s owner and no, he wasn’t saying we were too close, rather he had a request. Just yesterday his mooring malfunctioned causing the boat to go walkabout! We commiserated on that; knowing the exact feeling. Now the boat was anchored and could we call if we noticed that she might be dragging. Even asked if we needed anything.

Train tracks run north & south along much of Florida’s east coast, often close to Rte 1 and the ICW; sound carries well over water let me just say. This same set of tracks will also be used for Florida’s All Aboard, adding many more trains and way more frequent bridge openings. Don’t think that will affect most ICW cruisers, but I wouldn’t want to live or boat around affected areas.

Roosevelt high brdg, RR bridge , Old Roosevelt bascule. We wait our turn

Roosevelt fixed bridge, RR bridge with train and the Old Roosevelt bascule bridge. We wait our turn

DSC02908 (800x600)

The RR bridge and bascule are so close that you can’t see one for the other

 

We clear RR bridge with its narrow opening span

We clear RR bridge with its narrow opening span, said to be only 30 feet. Imagine Ortolan at 23 ft!

We make it a practice to use our phones or iPad and check ActiveCaptain for hazard markers that may affect us; with Twins not many do :-).  Checking when traveling in an unfamiliar area is smart and in our excitement over getting into Stuart Yachts a day early we didn’t look. Let’s leave it at that and now like your new car with the first scratch over and done with, we’ve had our first soft grounding. Ooh did I say that? Visions of SeaTow danced in my head, fading quickly as we backed up and all was well.
Stuart Yachts sits on the South Fork of the St Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway; a very narrow, windy branch for sure.

Into the South Fork

Into the South Fork

 

Approx one mile before SYBuilders

Approx one mile before Stuart Yachts

 

brokerage boats arrive

We are docked.  Watching brokerage boats arrive Friday afternoon.

An avid boater friend who we met while hauled out in RI one summer, lives (as of 12/15 make that lived) part-time in Port St Lucie. We’ve kept in touch and he was ready, willing and able to offer car services while we were in Stuart. As much as I’d like to be living part-time in a small bungalow near the shore, this friendship and camaraderie aspect of our nomadic cruising life is the #1 thing that puts a smile on my face and happiness in my heart for the odd life we live. Makes the Captain happy too.

Mark's 14' Peep Hen, s/v Peep Show

Mark’s 14′ Peep Hen, s/v Peep Show. Heading for RI a week after I took this photo

A few PDQ owners had a car and a couple of times we got together for dinner. Below is our farewell meal at Shrimpers in Manatee Pocket. I chose Shrimp Caprese- delicious and a creative twist on traditional Caprese and on the Port T-Loin Caprese I love to prepare.

Russ Lori Rafe Charlotte and Doug at Shrimpers

Russ, Lori, Rafe, Charlotte and Doug at Shrimpers

Many boat cards changed hands, cruising plans discussed, invites to come by when “in town”, and of course PDQ boat talk of systems, stuff and more stuff.  I’m sure our paths will cross again and when they do, reconnecting will be fun. We expect to see s/v Gypsy out there too!

 

 

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