Mini meet-ups on marina moorings (4/7-4/25)

65′ Nina built by hand, 85′ Pinta- at Vero Beach City Marina docks for 10 days

I am sure that someday one of our stops at Vero Beach City Marina mooring field will be short, but this wasn’t the one. If only our MINI Cooper, Bonny was here to make the post title complete! The day we arrived at 1:15pm, mooring #47 was the only empty ball remaining. Fenders out, lines ready, prepared to raft we were. True to form, the more prepared the more likely “it” won’t happen.

From our ball #47 looking south- oh… who’s that boat?

Ortolan beat us here; her new owners taking the same window we did to get across. The window would shut for the next seven to ten days, so if you were interested and ready, now was the time. We chatted and lamented that very soon they’d be hauling out for the summer.  I really dislike being hauled out because it means work, work, work. Our next haul out appears to be two, yes TWO years away!! Yes, that’s really good.

How many bus trips in to Publix? I lost count; surely more than the trips to the ABC Liquor Store and other miscellaneous stores, oh and the post office and the Farmers’ Market- which we got to twice. Panera got two stops also. It’s located very close to Publix you know.

Yum, arugula shoots. Two weeks earlier I bought radish shoots- they held up very well

Dentist appointments checked off too. Another very important stop was a visit to Battery Plus Bulbs, a nationwide small chain of shops that sell all kinds of batteries and bulbs. Russ had called numerous places and mobile services in an effort to have my iPhone brought back to life with a new battery.  This shop required using two bus routes, but we were up for the challenge. Competent, professional and quick service; all for less than $50.

Packages arrived from our best friends at Amazon, Defender and Quill. After an easy (yes miracles do happen) tax prep and filing morning, we got ourselves settled and engaged in our respective cording/line endeavors.


First step- lots of online research, then some trial and error. Next, “borrow” 2ft of my new brass wire and success!

Remember Russ’s lifeline project last summer- the one where we saved a ton of time and money by not putting a new vinyl covering over the “in good shape” stainless lines? Now he was taking it a step further into the realm of “soft but stronger than steel” line, namely Dyneema. We first used it as a way to attach our bridle hook to the anchor rode back in Ortolan days. Russ next used it for the lifting bridles to hoist up the dinghy. After reading that it worked well as a replacement for stainless lifelines, he replaced the stainless lines at the bow. Every time we’d lean over the line to attach the bridle to the anchor chain, a bit of rust would rub off on our shirts if we weren’t really crazy careful. That was successful, so why not do that all around; eliminate some rattling and have no rust or teeny shards of stainless ready to attack you.

Lines, knots, braids, splicing- oh my!

I had the good fortune (I think) to be introduced to knotting/macramé by Erin on m/v Barefeet. She admired a bracelet I’d made using a smooth coral piece with a center space- perfect for using a Larks’ Head knot on either side to make a bracelet. Her version used knotted macramé and she sent me the link for the “how to.”   Gee, what is it about cording that might be more cruiser/boater/water friendly? Maybe the fact that it won’t tarnish? Could be some merit there, as I often have to remove tarnish from the silver and copper jewelry I make. Salt water and even salty air love to leave their mark on metals. Add a how-to book to that Amazon order and aweigh I go.

This Great Horned Owl swooped in one evening.

A first! Great horned owl on boat next to us at 7:45pm- dusk

We’d hoped to see PDQ34 friends Jack & Diane on Airlia, but the day after we arrived they took off for what must have been a mini cruise because as long we stayed they didn’t return. Hey, it’s not US… is it?

However; Soulstice not only arrived after our chores were done (two weeks later) but they got the mooring next door- which is the closest we came to being rafted. They’d spent mucho time in the Abacos, enjoying the seldom visited out (more west) islands and cays; just what they like. I gaped at Lesli’s collection of sea biscuits, sand dollars and baskets that she’d woven herself since George Town. Very handy to have pretty baskets to display collected beach treasures. And boy, that girl can sure stir the pot! As in it prompted a mini Manta moment on Sunday and that’s all I’m gonna say.

Twins & Soulstice- a mini rendezvous

Pizza on Soulstice– doesn’t she cut well?

And then we thought Airlia had returned. I mean a PDQ34 picks up the only open mooring near the condo complex where they live, so why even check with the binoculars? But hey, no. It’s a new PDQ family member! Don and Lesli had returned from a shopping trip, noticed the boat and the next thing we know, it’s cocktails on Soulstice! Nick and Tayrn (rhymes with Karen) of (you’re gonna love this) Taryn Aweigh are new owners, bound for a couple of months in the Bahamas with a few other PDQs. We all shared as much about each other as humanely possible in less than two hours. Was really nice hanging out, even if it was up on the windy flybridge! 🙂

Our very first raft buddies from Nov 2010 arrived.  Vero is much like George Town, Bahamas; many boats stop to enjoy the pleasures of this protected lagoon so sooner or later you will run into people you know and you will meet lots of new peeps.  They played Uber and gave us a ride into town with their rental car so we had a quick catch-up and heard they’d be leaving soon, to do that “try and sail thing” up to St Mary’s inlet.

My marina shower buddy

To shower on board or use the marina shower, ah that is the question. As with many aspects of living aboard the answer isn’t always obvious. Although for Russ, who had the pleasure of a foot fungus a few years ago, he chooses “aboard” 99% of the time. This time I hit the bonus round and found a shower buddy.

Finally, the big day arrived. No, not departure day, although it was. This was the reason we’d spent 18 nights here; have our screens replaced. The Phantom Screens operate like an old-fashioned roller shade, either closing vertically, or horizontally as in the case of our door. The front window now has a finer mesh screen to keep out smaller insects and the little plastic gizmo on the roller set to a simple up and down and not “roller shade” mode. The door screen is now black instead of the old dark gray and is even less noticeable. It fits fully into the frame now. The old one didn’t fit because it had been trimmed a few times. The magnetic catch is new and the crappy screws got replaced with stainless ones. All for way less $$ and a much shorter lead time than if we’d had the Phantom franchise operation in CT do the work.  These screens are used primarily in Florida homes, boats are a minuscule (another “mini”) piece of their biz. Here anyway.

The job complete, Joe taken ashore. Only took 4 dinghy trips. Ate lunch, cast off the one remaining mooring line and bye, bye Vero.  Next stop, St Augustine. See you there!

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