Vero Beach- still sticky 11/22- 12/1

DSC02867 (800x589)AND it remains a good place to meet old friends and make new. The trip on Sunday from Melbourne area- easy and few boats thanks to the crappy forecast that never quite came to fruition. Dolphins enjoying the bow wake of a trawler (ours is too puny) and a man-made water-spout added interest and helped keep the binoculars in working condition.DSC02878 (800x506)
The city marina gave us a good laugh and unbeknownst to them, a tip-off on who we’d find on mooring. I’ll give you a clue; she’s a boat near and dear to us.

Recognize this cat?

Recognize this cat?

The marina’s confusion (we tried hard to straighten them out) over which boat goes with which owner lasted even after we departed. 🙂 Respecting their request to be kept out of the lime-light (not even candle-light!) this will be the only mention. Due to his extensive experience with vinyl lettering, Russ applied Ms Ortolan’s new name. Feeling a bit sad that her name is now retired but we still have boat bags bearing her name. And no one was yet looking for us and finding new owners; who, happily are not only still talking to us but invited us out for pizza and catching up.

The week prior we placed orders with seven companies for things we needed for Twins. Tuesday was the mother load; all kinds of goodies from Defender, Quill (K-cups) and Amazon.

Our happy holiday loot from Defender

Our happy holiday loot from Defender

We met David and Barbara on PDQ34 Miss My Money, also heading to Stuart for the rendezvous and Jack and Diane on PDQ34 Airlia who live in the apartments overlooking the mooring field. Interesting to see that even PDQs built the same year have noticeable differences; so far we are very happy with ours. Barbara gave me a wonderful tour (owned the boat about 2 years) while David gave the “guy tour”. Love their shades; and because they are sleek and not puffy like the curtains we have, the interior appears larger. 🙂

A November stop at Vero Beach (aka Velcro Beach, Zero Beach (so mean)) means sharing Thanksgiving with 200 other cruisers, some you may even know. Ann and Mike of m/v Traveling Soul were forced to spend their few days in a slip because the city decreed that boats over 50 ft could no longer attach to a mooring, but three boats could still raft up! Lucky us, we remained alone on our ball way up in the north section.

Sugar Shack Donuts!!

Traveling Soul (the other TS) fed our donut desires with treats from a Cocoa Beach stop the prior day. You guys are THE best!

 

Some cats are cute all the time

Some cats are cute all the time. Ann treats Spot to time on deck (you can’t see her harness )

 

We get legal with the dinghy - boatnumber plate makes this easy

We get legal with the dinghy – boatnumberplate.com makes this easy

Goes without saying that we made several trips on the bus to Publix, did laundry, hit the VB Farmers Market on Saturday. This time we needed to visit the dentist; same one as two years ago. One block from a bus stop (free bus you may recall), less expensive than our CT dentist and Russ is happier with their methods. A win-win.

I love pleasant surprises, don’t you? We get to the bus stop after Publix with plenty of time to spare. The woman waiting (another cruiser) said she was watching the bags of groceries sitting in the corner for another couple who left them to pop into another store. Turns out we knew them- Deja Vu!! and guess who they’d just rafted to? She who shall not be named, that’s who.  I was so tickled when Helen & Joe told us that they recognized the boat but not the people.. where are Lori and Russ and what did you do with them? 🙂  We left the next day, but we know exactly where we will meet up with them ….. when we get there.

 

Yes Ma’am! Fine creek dining

Sunset off Daufuskie Island, looking toward Savannah

Sunset off Daufuskie Island, looking toward Savannah

We often joke about being in a creek for the night and how that is so budget friendly, because where do you spend money up a creek? Maybe if you need that paddle, but otherwise you stay aboard or take Fido to shore a few times assuming there’s a place to land the dinghy.

Since we have oodles of time to get to Myrtle Beach why not take things slow and see what new adventures can be stirred up? Preferably not of the running aground kind which sure would stir up the muddy bottom!

Hilton Head got the pass-by every trip and we looked at the situation again (marinas, location) and it still came up short. But the island that lies close by is Daufuskie Island and it had what we were looking for. After departing Jekyll Island we next stopped for the night in New TeaKettle Creek and after that was Breakfast Creek; we tried to act appropriately.

A high tide the other boats are easy to see

A high tide the other boats are easy to see

At low tide the boats disappear into the marsh grass

At low tide the boats disappear into the marsh grass

Friday would find us crossing the border (the Savannah River) into South Carolina and happy to have transited through Georgia without mishap. A bunch of other cruising boats who we’d been seeing (and hearing on the VHF) for the past week were feeling pretty good too. Unfortunately when you are 6’ draft boat you need to be darn lucky, use enough tide or have an up-to-date online cruising guide (like you know who).

Immediately after crossing the Savannah River one enters Fields Cut where you must hug or strongly favor the red marker at the southern entrance (the less tide the more hugging) and keep to that side before moving to center. Then when you are about to exit at the north you’d better hug and kiss the green side if you don’t have enough tide help. A 7 to 8 ft tide range is typical in these parts. The daymarks could be moved, but why do that when you can cause excitement and backups when a boat goes aground because they don’t know the special path? So stupid.

We decided to begin our day at 11 am which would allow us to run on one engine and transit Fields Cut at mid-rising tide. Our day would end around 4pm and when we looked for a good anchoring spot (a creek, small river) we found a spot in the New River just off the ICW and across from Daufuskie Landing. A reviewer mentioned taking your dinghy to the great floating docks and enjoying a meal at Marshside Mamas. Well if that wasn’t intriguing!

Shortly after we upped anchor, uh oh a boat had run aground at the north end of Fields Cut. Where the rivers bend and snake around too much, skinny cuts are created to bypass the long loops which allows you to move along north or south in a straighter line. Shoaling is a problem in many of these cuts and the situation has worsened measurably even since 2010. So this fearless monohull attempts to transit the cut on a falling tide. TowBoatUS is called and he has difficulty getting them off- over an hour. The Coast Guard sticks their nose in and several others sneak by on the green side with no problem, but with caution. One boat comes along and we hear this “Are all these boats aground?” No, just lining up to get by.

Marshside Mama’s, in business for 18 years is simply the coolest place with funky décor, mostly outside seating and happy wait staff. Our meals, oysters and drinks (their rum drink is the Marshside, of course) were outstanding and we’d have returned the next night in a heartbeat.

First, some island history

First, some island history

Side Two and some lady jumped into the shot

Side Two and some lady jumped into the shot

Guess you would call this the backside as we approached from the dock

Guess you would call this the backside as we approached from the dock

Oysters Fuskie- excellent. I think the greens are collards

Oysters Fuskie- excellent. I think the greens are collards

The menu board and Jen our waitress

The menu board and Jen our waitress

 

Russ selected the ribs and I had the Shrimp and Grits which was so fresh and deelish.

Our table and one other was on a tiny stage off the ground. A brush fire with ample smoke helped keep bugs away.