Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Riviera - Take 3

     Christmas cards were mailed and the ornaments are completed.  It took a couple to trips to Michael’s to make sure I had everything we needed.   Ann was a great help in getting them completed. I am still searching for a few more presents for people, but we are getting there slowly. 
Boat damaged at the dock by IRMA
Found on my walk after the rains ~
part of a palm tree
     Pete received a call from West Marine, Delaware, that our new outboard motor is in.  We will pick it up when we visit for Christmas. Pete offered the old dinghy motor for free on Active Captain. He received his first request within 20 minutes.  Three additional ones were received by the evening.  It was picked up by 2 pm the next day.
     The windows were sealed again, but the rain highlighted another leak.  I put out the plastic drape cloths just in case, which once again kept the cushions dry. Pete hopes to remove all four windows and re-bed them with the new butyl tape. With the cold front that came through last weekend, we will need to wait for warmer and drier weather so that it seals correctly. That cold front dropped temperatures from 79 degrees at 11 am to 63 degrees by 12:30 pm.  It continued downward much more slowly until it bottomed out at 41 degrees by 7 am.  We are not complaining, but a lot of Floridians are wearing winter coats and hats. Back home, our kids are dealing with low 20’s.

     The same time as the temperatures fell, I developed my first cold in 4-5 years.  As I write this, I am 3 days into it and not very happy, (the post nasal drip kept me awake almost all Sunday night.)  Needless to say, I crashed and burned on Monday night.  I got up for breakfast Tuesday, and crawled back into bed to sleep until 1:30 pm!  The sleep really helped, and I know I will be on the uptick soon.
A memorable sunset here at the marina!

     We hope that as you read this, you are well and enjoying the preparations to the holidays.

~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Riviera - Take 2

     The past week and a half have flown by. 
Lola's Seafood - YUM!
     Ann helped me find the makings of my Christmas ornaments. The days of shopping and the assembly did require nourishment, so we enjoyed our lunches at Poppies and the Club.  Pete and Howie joined us for dinners at Jack’s Italian Restaurant and Lola’s Seafood.  Between lasagna and lobster rolls how could we go wrong!
     Pete was able to scrub the boat thoroughly and finally remove a month worth of salt off the hull. Unfortunately, washing also confirmed that our side windows in the salon are sill leaking. The enclosure has been rolled so that we can enjoy the beautiful, warm weather and great breezes. Bailey also had a bath!
    As Pete enjoyed the relaxation after all those projects, he discovered that when he slipped on one of the sail handling lines, he strained his back.  The spasms were still there 2 days later, when Howie and Pete were supposed to play a round of golf.  In stead we enjoyed the visit and the original movie, “Jumanji.”
    On Saturday,12/2, we were up and out by 4:30 am.  We did a one day run up and back to Charleston to retrieve the Acura. We missed the traffic and were back at Riviera Marina by 9 pm.
     Of course, regular chores, cleaning, laundry and food shopping are done as needed, but we also wrote and mailed Christmas cards and have begun the holiday shopping.
Fish be a-jump'in!
     One morning, as I started my walk, there was strange splashing from the beach area by the dock entrance.  Apparently is was breakfast time for the Jacks (fish).  They had pushed the mullets into the shallow waters at the shore line and as a group, attack schools of fish that attempted to find deeper water. It would be quiet for a few minutes, then the splashing and fish jumping would start.  I stood mesmerized for over a half hour.
PEKABU in her dock for
the next 2 months
     Speaking of walking, I try to get my 2 miles in by crisscrossing all the access roads, park and all the docks here at the marina. The heat and humidity are not my friends, but I am managing.  In the process, I usually say “hi” to a number of folks, but there are time I have actually stood and chatted.  One of the most interesting ladies I met, was aboard a 45’ catamaran, THE DAWN TRADER.  She, her husband, three children and the dog became liveaboards about the same time as we did.  They sold everything in Arizona, she left as a newscaster and her husband left his medical practice.  They have been here in Riviera for 7 months. Dad is working with a few medical practices in the area, two of the three kids are attending the local schools and the oldest is doing school online.  They plan to set sail for the Bahamas soon, then head over to Puerto Rico for a while to help with the recovery efforts. I hope to follow their progress via the web.
Our view of the marina at twilight
     The blog has been written, but the photos need processing and the internet needs to be optimal.  The times I have attempted to post, each photo takes 5+ minutes to load.  It is a bit frustrating.  I will have to do this during the week, when fewer people are using the internet.
     When I put it down on paper, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I have been constantly busy no time for reading.  I hope to update about every week while we are here.

     Hope your plans for the holidays are on schedule!

 ~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Riviera Beach

     After a good night’s sleep, Pete was up early to get a few things done for work.  The Uber driver picked us up around 9:30 am so we could pick up the rental car by 10.  We had requested a full-sized car and was pleasantly surprised when the sales rep handed Pete the keys to a Dodge Charger R/T!  With the quick pick-up, low grumble when accelerating and the great handling, I can understand why Greg loves his Challenger SRT!
One of the original
Duncan Donut Shops -
A must stop before returning to the boat!
Still amazed by the fish
that swim around the docks
   Pete had to return to complete some things for work.  After straightened up, I walked to the office to see if we could figure out the problem with the WiFi not connecting. Debbie confirmed our password and gave us a new temporary just in case, but advised us to call the WiFi support for additional assistance.
    Once back at the boat, after my walk, I defrosted the refrigerator, showered and then called support.  We need to connect to one of the hotspots with a “G” after the number.  Once I did, the system recognized us from last year, and we had access.
     After lunch, I got to drive "the beast" up to Staples and Publix, with a stop at for fuel.  We will have the car though Sunday.  This will allow us freedom until we pick up the Acura at Charleston Airport on Saturday.
     Once back, I reloaded the fridge from the completed defrosting, and quickly stored the perishables. Then I needed to make dinner quickly as it was almost 7 and we were very hungry.  After dinner we cleaned up and put away the rest of the foods, while watching the Rockefeller tree lighting special. 

     The rest of the boat needs a good cleaning, but that will have to wait.  

~ ~ ~ /) ~~ K & P

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fort Pierce to Riviera Beach, FL

Today:    53 miles, 8.75 hours, ICW, St. M 1018.2
Total:     1141.2 miles, 169.25 hours

      Once again, up before the sun.  We have a way to go today.  It will be pretty, but trying.  We have the 6 bridges to contend with today.  The fun begins in Jupiter.
     As we were leaving Fort Pierce City Marina, Pete asked, “Where are the green channel markers?  There was a whole line of them as we came in yesterday!”  Right now, we could only find one!  Exiting into the main channel, Pete found one barely touching the surface, but at least we could see the drag due to the current.  There wasn’t even a hint of current from the other 4 or 5.  Pete called and spoke with the marina manager and reported what we encountered.  He said that they just received funding to replace the current green and red private channel markers with more permanent ones. Next time we come through, they will be visible.
Our lady of leisure loves
her creature comforts
     The winds were out of the SSE at about 12, but there were gusts upward of 18-20.  We were able to do some motor sailing until the winds changed directions.  When we were successful, our speed reached 8.4; without the wind we dropped to 6.8 mph due to the current against us.
Jupiter Light decorated
     Since Ft. Pierce, we had a gray hulled sailboat behind us.  As we approached the first bridge, Jupiter’s 707, Pete slowed so that he could catch up with us and go through the bridges together. He, too, slowed down! We tried hailing him, but not successful.  When we hailed the bridge, Pete told him why he had slowed, but again that boat wasn’t listening.  We lost about 15 minutes between the slow down and waiting for him at the bridge to catch up. The same thing happened at Jupiter Federal Bridge. When the bridge tender asked him to come closer, he said that he didn’t want to get closed due to the current.  By the time we cleared Jupiter Federal, Pete had to mosey the mile to the next bridge, the Donald Ross.  SV PRELUDE finally decided to call us only to inquire if we had contacted the bridge. It was then that Pete informed him that “we had plenty of time.  We missed the 11 am opening by 3 minutes.  We now needed to wait until the 11:30.”  His response: “Oh.”  This bridge is notorious for being a very slow opening bridge and it did take about 5-6 minutes once traffic is shut down.
     The next bridge, is about 3 miles and, in the past, we were able to make it by running the engine fully open (8.2 mph without current). Unfortunately, the current was against us and we missed the opening by 6 minutes, so, Pete danced in the current for the 25 minutes until the opening.  As the bridge sounded it horn for the opening, I saw the 45-foot power boat heading north along the eastern side of the channel.  Unfortunately, this bastille bridge opened and lifted to the west.  We and PRELUDE were southbound, on the eastern side as the bridge began to rise.  The “----” (you fill in the blank) in the power boat, maintained his eastern part of the channel course.  Pete requested he move to the western side, so we could safely pass. “Dumb sail boaters.  You don’t travel that side on 95!” Pete tried to explain about our mast, but he just continued his course right at us.  Pete has to throw the engine in reverse when the ---- was 15 feet from our bow!  He continued berating us and moved only slightly, about 5 feet to the west, to pass us. Needless to say, we were speechless!
The "bird" to the right is really the drone!
     We did pass a north bound brand new 70'+, luxury, fishing boat. It was being circled by a drone! no doubt they were filming a promotional video for the boat.
     The other two bridge openings were uneventful, and we slid into our slip at 4pm.  Thankfully it was slack tide and we were able to back in.  Since this is our home for the next 2 months, it will make it easier to get on and off, fill the water and do the pump outs and most importantly, provide shade during the hottest part of the day.  The dog was walked, and we had dinner.  Early starts and fresh air poisoning made it an early night.

~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Monday, November 27, 2017

Vero Beach to Fort Pierce, FL

Today:    15 miles, 2 hours, ICW, St. M 966
Total:     1198.2 miles, 160.5 hours

     Debbie invited us for breakfast.  She made great breakfast sandwiches.  I wish I had remembered to take the banana nut bread out of the freezer last night.  Hopefully, Mike and Deb will enjoy it over the next few mornings.  Once again Bailey got quite a few of her new treats.  I know she would gladly go wherever Debbie goes. Talk about disloyal crew!
     By 9:15 we said our final good-byes and headed out.  It was a short day.  It is a bit incomprehensible to be at our destination after just 2 hours. It was an easy ride with the current.  We did get behind 7 other sailboats. Unfortunately, the last four in front of us kept varying their speed between 5 and 6, while the current had our cruising speed at 7.8.  Since we would have to wait at the bridge for everyone to catch up, we just moseyed along at their speed.  After all, it was just a 2-hour ride.
     Once docked, Pete spent most of the day working.  I did some reading and a lot of writing for the blog.  I kind of fell off the writing wagon. I also called the Vet for additional medication for Bailey’s ear.  Things are getting worse.  When we see him in the spring, he will reevaluate medications and the possibility of a biopsy.  We just feel bad for her.
  I am constantly awed by the minute to minute changes in lighting with sunrises and sunsets. Only 2 minutes separated these two photos!

View towards the sunset 3 minutes later
     Originally, we figured we would just push on to Riviera Beach.  However, with the close timing of the bridges today, we don’t want to arrive to the marina after dark and after they close. With the strong currents and narrow fairways, we decided to arrive tomorrow afternoon, after a slightly shorter ride, sunlight and deck hands available.  One more day of travel and then we will stay put for a while.

~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach, FL

Today:    54 miles, 7 hours, ICW St. M 951
Total:     1183.2 miles, 158.5 hours

Sunrise from Cocoa Beach
     As I prepped to get underway, Pete walked Bailey.  The parking lot is full, cars are looking for additional parking, hundreds of people (including kids) are around a carnival like atmosphere across the street and it is only 6:45 am!.  Today is the Half Marathon/10 K Charity Walk/Run.  The race kicked off at 7 am.  It is popular not only for being on Thanksgiving Weekend, but it runs though some special neighborhoods; closing popular streets off from traffic. We left the dock at 7:10 and by the time we were 5 miles south, we could still see hundreds of runners and walkers along the road along the western shore of the ICW.
     Today, we went through the San Sabastian area of the Indian River.  This area is populated with small waste islands that were created out of the dredged channel.  Many of the islands had boats beached, with people swimming, fishing or just wading in the shallow waters.  A few even had tents pitched on the islands.  What a cool place to camp! One sailboat, who was motor sailing through here at 4 mph, is the kind to give us good sailors a bad reputation.  He told a couple of power boats that he had the right of way as he was sailing!  Just south of there is Wabasso Beach.  It is a beautiful, windy river area, with interesting homes lining its shores.
SV RESOLVE on her mooring
with a boat already on her port side
    We slid beside SV RESOLVE, in the mooring field just after 2 PM. We will be rafting with them overnight. Here in Vero, they raft 3 boats per mooring.  Another boat is on the port side.  Once secure, Debbie started feeding Bailey some special treats, well a little more then some! Bailey was besides herself with silliness while trying not to slip overboard in her excitement.
Bailey's attention solely
 on Debbie with her treats
      We talked about cruising this year.  Usually they head over to the Bahamas after provisioning in Marathon, but this year they will be skipping Marathon.  Unsure if all the sunken boats have been removed, most of the small shops are closed and the Food Lion has raised prices now that Winn Dixie is closed for the better part of a year. Instead, they will probably jump from West Palm or Rodrigues Key.  They will again stay in the Abacos and Exumas due to Mike’s mom’s health.
      Jon picked up around 4:15 at the dinghy dock.  We then headed back to Jon and Marilyn’s new home here in Vero Beach.  We sat out in the lanai, laughing and catching up. After some hors d’oeuvres, we returned inside to have Marilyn’s delicious chicken enchilada dinner. For desert, I made an apple cheese torte. Good fun, yummy food and great friends.  A totally enjoyable evening. 

~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Daytona Beach to Cocoa Beach, FL

Today:    77 miles, 9.5 hours, ICW St. M 897
Total:     1129.2 miles, 151.5 hours

The view from our dock
 just before sunrise
The observers to our departure
on the boardwalk destroyed by Irma
Local hangout
     We were away from the dock at 7 and dropped off the key to the dock hand with the fishing net by 7:05. We were one of 2 sailboats heading south at this time of the morning. The warming sun was cool by the clouds, but it was a pretty sunrise. As morning progressed, the clouds lessened.
More local hangouts
Ponce De Leon Light from Rockhouse Creek
      On the ICW, passing by the fishing camps before Mosquito Lagoon, there was extensive damage to almost all the docks.  It was far worse than Matthew’s damage to this area last year.  However, with all that damage, we saw very few sunken or displaced boats onto shore.
Destroyed dock with its new occupants

Floating fishing shanty
    Being the holiday weekend, we did see lots and lots of fishermen. Just outside the fishing camps, was a pontoon boat with 5 fishermen, three of which had fish on their lines, all about 8 inches and looked similar in shape to a damselfish.  The majority of fishermen were in the limited area of Haulover Canal.  At each end of the canal were 10 or more small boats with 2-4 fishermen apiece. In the canal were about 40 more boats spread out over its ½ mile length. Every open space between the trees that lined the banks of the canal we a couple of hundred people with fishing poles. There were campsites, cars and trucks.  It was remarkable to see.  It was also remarkable that one of the fishermen anchored in the middle of the channel on the western end of the canal.  He was totally blissful and ignored us when we passed.
Eastern entrance to the canal loaded with fishing boats
Can you find all 9 fisherman?

Looking back at Haulover Canal

Cloud maker over Indian River before the wind came up
Bailey likes her comfort

    The winds finally came up around 2 and we were able to do a little motor sailing. Around 4, we got a call from the harbormaster at Cocoa Village Marina.  He wanted to know how far from the marina we were and our current speed.  It turns out, they close tonight at 5 instead of 6.  Thankfully, we should be there with about 10 minutes to spare.  I rigged for a port side tie, but unfortunately, to hook up power, our 30-foot cords will not reach unless we turned the boat around.  Pete did a masterful job of doing so and the harbormaster was able to leave at 5.  While Pete walked Bailey, I headed up to the laundry room.  They have a beautiful facility; 4 washers and 4 driers in a separate room from the men’s and women’s locker with 4 showers.  After starting my two loads of laundry, I went back to the boat to cut up the vegetables and prep for dinner.  Then it was time to switch machines.  I headed up with my shower bag and took advantage while the laundry was drying.
Cocoa Village Marina at twilight

  The laundry and I were clean and dry and heading back to the boat by 7.  I finished making dinner.  By 9, we both headed to bed.  We have an early start again tomorrow, but less miles to travel.  We will be meeting Mike and Debbie, SV RESOLVE in Vero Beach tomorrow. Then we will head over to Marilyn and Jon’s (SV ESCAPADE) new home.  It will be good to see them again.

~~~ /) ~~ K & P