Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fernandina Beach to Brunswick

We left Fernandina Beach right after breakfast. Since we were anchored and they didn't have a great landing for us to enjoy the little town, seemed like the thing to do. The winds were calm, so was the water. Up into Georgia we went.

On today's journey we made two inlet crossings. The first was across the St. Mary's River, which had little swells to it, but nothing worrisome. The most noteworthy thing about it is Kings Bay, a naval base where they build submarines. There are looper stories about the subs coming in or out of the base. Apparently, the inlet is cleared of all traffic with military boats getting folks out of the way. The subs come in at 30 knots.

The second inlet is Jekyll Sound, or "The Hole."  Neither name is particularly filled with warm fuzzies, are they? While dredged for commercial traffic, smack in the middle of it is very shallow water. That's why our route was nearly out to sea, then back, to go around the unseeable island.

This isn't about the lighthouse. Almost in the middle
on the beach is a channel marker (?!)
Just getting to that point was the biggest thrill of the day. The ICW goes by Jekyll Island along Fancy Bluff Creek. At the moment, there are a number of shoals inside it. Even if you follow the channel markers you can run aground -- some depths are as little as 2.5 feet. We draft 3.5, which is crazy shallow, but we were diligent. Russ downloaded Bob423 (the ICW mapper) and he called out the course while I piloted it. "Port! More port! Okay, now straight... now starboard!" It was nerve racking. But we didn't bump once, so our aground count remains unchanged.

We have reservations at Brunswick Landing Marina for the next couple of days (weather coming yet again). The dockmaster gave us the slip option of stern in or bow. I opted for stern -- hey, I haven't done it since we left Palmetto! I figured I should keep these skills dusted off. I'm please to say that docking went off without a hitch.

The Sydney Lanier suspension bridge. 
This is a major shipping channel to and from the Atlantic.
I'm keeping my eye out for really big boats!

Friday, March 29, 2019

St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach

3 - nights anchored
2 - runs aground
1 - scrape
1 - months on the voyage (really??!!)

We didn't plan on getting this far today. We thought we'd stop in Jacksonville Beach, which would have been a 4 hour day. But we hear there's a nifty little farmer's market in Brunswick (our next stop) on Saturdays. We pushed today in hopes of seeing it tomorrow. We dig little farmer's markets.

Up early, we did our coffee and cereal, and headed out, pronto. We had to stop right away to pump out. They offered pump outs at our marina, but it was a bit funky, and after the last incident, I just wanted to leave. Right in the city of St. Augustine is their own marina, and they offer free pump outs to anyone. We did have to wait, giving us an opportunity to practice the "stay right here, despite the tide and wind and current" maneuver. But once a spot opened up on the dock, we slid right in and did our thing. Then, we headed up the river.

Farewell, fort of St. Augustine
Our journey was uneventful but full of interesting and challenging developments. Firstly, we had to cross a commercial channel as we passed by Jacksonville. We crisscrossed paths with a tug, and, man, did he make a wake! Next, while coming up river, a cruise ship (albeit a small one) was coming down. Lastly, given some of the weather we've been having some of our electronic data is out of date. Russ has been following another cruiser named Bob423 who makes current maps while he and his wife travel up and down the ICW. Occasionally we'd switch to those waypoints when they differed from our Navionics. Quite the voyage.

We anchored just outside Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. This might be the last time we stop in Florida. I haven't been out of the state since we drove in last October to buy the boat.

Hey, that's us!! This was sent to us from another looper
who snapped it as we passed them.
Shout out to Jill Kristy and her crew, the Spurlocks.
The marina here was pretty damaged by hurricane Irma a couple of years ago. They plan on reopening this summer. But there are no mooring balls (I really wanted to try that for a change over anchoring) and no convenient place to park the dinghy for dogs. Well, we did find a spot and took the dogs for a long walk. When we returned, however, someone was moving our dinghy since we parked in their spot. We profusely apologized. She was kind, but a bit irked. I can't blame her.

While on the walk, however, we got to see a little bit of the darling town here, full of restaurants, shops, and tourist to-dos. We've seen so many towns in Florida struggling to make that happen we couldn't help but wonder how this one succeeded. Kudos to them. We wished we could stay longer.

Independence. She travels the ICW
carrying about 100 guests. Who knew?
Darling downtown Fernandina Beach

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tides, winds, and recaps

The mooring field at the fort.
We'll try there next time.
As we move northward we'd been told about tides. Tides have always been something to be aware of, but through Georgia and South Carolina, they are formidable. Tidal swings can be as much as 8-9 feet. Which not only is an issue for docking (keeping lines taught yet movable for the swing), but just getting to your port may need to be timed with tide. Ideally you'd like not to have to get to your slip with a raging current.

Already we're noticing the change in tides. Here in St. Augustine it swings 3-4 feet. Might swing more with the oncoming weather.

Speaking of which, we didn't plan on it but we're staying here until Friday. A couple of reasons for that. The oncoming weather being one. It looks like it will bring some crazy stiff winds until Thursday. 

Additionally, the pug's eye hasn't gotten better. Last week I made an appointment for her at a vet here in St. Augustine. They saw her Monday morning, gave her new drops, and changed her regimen. The doctor really wanted to see her in a couple of days just to make sure she was improving. And, I'm happy to report, now she is. 

Moreover, if we did leave today (which was a thought) we'd have to get somewhere to weather out the storm there instead. Frankly, this is as good a place to spend a couple of days as any. The old town is easily accessible, lots of restaurants and shopping, and lots of things to do.

You have to imagine the moat filled with water.

Since it happened Russ and I have mulled over the docking incident. Should we have managed it? Should I have tried again? In the discussion we realized we didn't have some hard facts, like, how long are we really? I'm a little embarrassed to admit we didn't really know until now 

The vessel itself is 40 feet, and that's what we tell dock masters when we make reservations. But we have a large anchor (remember that?) which adds 28 inches. We also have a dinghy that hangs off our back. All told (and with a tape measure to verify) our real length is 45 feet. Then we headed off to the B dock and measured the gap. It was supposed to be 50 feet. It was 49. Two feet on either end, given the current and the wind? We should have never tried.

I feel vindicated.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Palm Beach to St. Augustine

Perhaps we should add another metric: How often we hit other boats. Officially, today is 1.
So, the scoreboard reads:

     2 - nights anchored
     2 - times aground
     1 - scrape

We planned on dawdling the morning in Palm Beach. The little marina was very friendly and very affordable. But when we saw other boats heading out just as the sun came up, we got itchy gills (since itchy feet on a boat just means you need some ointment). We were pulling out just after 9 am.

It wasn't a far ride to St. Augustine. We met and chatted with (via radio) other loopers on their way. The day was warm, sunny, and the water friendly. With the exception of being massively waked by a boat called Summer Villa (I deemed him Summer Villain), it was a dandy ride.

The marina we're staying at is off the ICW on the San Sebastian River. It got some great reviews from other loopers; cheaper than the marinas right in the city, quieter, and more private, with easy access to the downtown. Sounded perfect. 

See the bumps on the beach? Those are cannonball jellyfish.
And they are everywhere!

As we headed up the river I noticed both the current and the wind. They weren't crazy strong, but they definitely impacted the movement of the boat. Russ hailed the marina on the radio, got no response. Then he called the on cell. By that time we'd passed the place. While he was getting docking instructions, I turned the boat around. All fine.

The instructions we got was to park on the T, between two boats, on the B dock. We were told it was a 50 foot space (and we are a 40 foot vessel). Right away, I notice the wind was pushing us into the dock. Moreover, I'm not wild about parking between two vessels. But we gave it a shot.

Other boat owners came out (it's what you do when you hear engines nearby) to lend a hand. In front was a power yacht, in back, a sailboat. I aimed for in between.

The approached went slowly, which is good. Russ tossed a line, someone caught it. But my back end started to drift towards the sailboat. I moved closer to the front, but I didn't feel like I had enough space. Meanwhile, we continued to move to the sailboat.

Finally, I said I was giving up, threw the starboard engines in reverse, trying to swing the dinghy away from the sailboat. I used some throttle, trying to back away, but I wasn't able to clear the boat. Our bumper skid along their side. That is such a horrible feeling.

Frazzled, I noticed the A dock had NO BOATS on it. I just parked Cat-n-Dogs there, without permission or incident. Russ went to the office to see remaining here would be okay. He came back with thumbs up.

Safely parked in A dock. You can see B dock behind us.
Being conscientious boaters, Russ went to the sailboat to offer compensation. He saw the scratches, three of them, the longest was maybe three inches. In other words, really not much at all. The sailboat owners were long timers at the marina and knew a repair person who happened to be working here at the time. We got a quote for repairs, and shook hands. 

Throughout much of the day I fretted over the incident. I feel I should have declined the spot once I saw it and saved everyone the excitement. But, it's done, and no real harm was made. 

We got out our bikes and headed for the darling town of St. Augustine.

Friday, March 22, 2019

New Symrna Beach to Palm Coast

In the AGLCA newsletter this morning there was an announcement about a boat crossing it's wake (that's what they call it when you've completed the loop, you've crossed your wake). In the article they mentioned all the bridges they went under, locks they passed through, and gallons they used (in wine 😀). We think those are the wrong metrics. Instead we're going to count how many nights we've anchored and how many times we've run her aground.

So, we've had 2 nights of anchoring thus far, and 2 bottom bumps. In fact, we've traveled 2 days without hitting bottom, so we're feeling pretty good about ourselves.

Last night taking the dogs for a walk turned out to be a bit of a hassle. Firstly, there seemed to be a mass-jellyfish-suicide thing on all the beaches. The sand was littered with clear, puffy, dead jellyfish. Keeping the dogs off them was a task. Secondly, the tide had come up and the beaches dwindled. It was hard to get the dinghy close enough to shore to let the dogs out. Russ had to jump into the water and haul it closer. None of which seemed fun to do in the dark. Not to mention the cold.
Daytona Beach!

As a result, we tried to sleep in a bit this morning and take the dogs in some daylight. We got to sleep in until 6 am -- woo hoo! Once the sky was light enough we tried a third beach for the dogs, which worked perfectly, then immediately headed out. We were heading north by 8 am.

The night temps had dropped to 47 degrees, which is CRAZY. All day long I wore my heaviest coat, and never felt particularly overdressed. The day did warm up, but not until we were docked in Palm Coast.

The ICW was much narrower on this run, albeit deep. No incidents at all, save for a couple of hitchhiking dolphins. Everyone was polite, everyone passed at slow speeds. All in all, it was a good boating day. 

Ate at Mezzaluna, and Italian place.
This is "Escarole and Beans," and appetizer.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

T-ville to New Symrna Beach

The light blue is a low speed zone.
Apparently, gmaps thinks I walked.
Took a while to get underway this morning. Firstly we needed to get the bottom of the boat cleaned. We had an appointment yesterday morning to get that done, but the wind was so bad that the poor diver would have had a bouncing catamaran to work under. He didn't seem down with that. So he came out at 8 am, quite happy we didn't insist he do it yesterday, and gave us a bit of extra cleaning, wiping off the brown stain along our sides from Lake Okeechobee.

Next we needed to fuel up. We puttered up to the fuel dock and did just that before departing. 

Quick math quiz: We have two tanks, one for each engine, and each hold 300 gallons of diesel fuel. At the price of $3.20 per gallon, how big a heart attack am I going to have when we tank up? (I'm comin' Elizabeth!)

Calm day weather wise as we tooted up the Indian River, through the Haulover Canal (made for NASA), and onto Mosquito Lagoon. In fact, weather wise we had no issues. We did have a couple of "what the hell is that guy doing?" moments. The first was a boat headed right at us, which isn't uncommon. Many boats (speed boats) do that, then veer off kinda last minute. That way you cross their wakes at a better angle (at least that's what I think they're doing, otherwise they're just jerks). But this guy (quite an older gentleman) had a small boat full of family and two large dogs. He came at us, came at us, came at us...

Farewell, Titusville
Quick note about boating: There is a pecking order for who needs to give the right of way and who has it. Basically, the least maneuverable you are, the higher on the list you are. So, big motor boats have the right of way over small motor boats, since they can easily move about you.

We're not huge, but we were definitely bigger than this guy, clearly. And he kept coming at us. I had to stop my boat. Then he turned, and came close enough that one of his party could have reached out and touched our sides. Bozo.

A while later, we took a little side fairway (this is what our navigation aids told us to do) called Sheephead Cut. It's faster than staying on the ICW. Not to mention prettier. While deep the channel isn't very wide. Ahead of us were three kayakers -- in the channel. As I approached them, they stayed right in the channel.

Quick note about boating (2): Motor boats have to give way to non-motor vessels (again, due to maneuverability) like sailboats (with sails unfurled), paddleboards, row boats, and -- you guessed it -- kayakers.

So I slow, and I slow, and I slow down, again coming to a flippin' stop. My husband went out on the bow and kindly asked them to GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! I mean, they can be anywhere; they're tiny little boats with tiny little drafts. I have to be right here. Bozos. (I never think to take pictures of these things. I'll get better, I'm sure)

Anchored near New Symrna Beach.
Those are fellow anchorers.
At the end of the day we reached our anchorage, dropped anchor, and parked for the night.

We immediately had to take the dogs to shore via the dinghy. Unlike previous anchorages that had some kind of pier for dinghys, this one only has some sandy beaches. We got to practice the "run the boat onto the beach, jump out, and tie it off" stunt. Went fine, but it will be interesting to do in the dark tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 18, 2019

TItusville (yes, still!)

Rocket history, right when you arrive
While we're kinda stuck here for the next few days (gonna be over a week when it's all done and over with), we have found fun ways to occupy our time. Yesterday was "space day!" Since we saw a launch we thought it was a good time to go visit the Kennedy Space Center, of KSC. Not to be confused with KFC. Totally different.

When you arrive it's clear they took some notes from Disney on how to run a theme park. Lots of ways to heighten the senses, heighten the drama, and heighten the price. $10 for parking alone, in a massive lot in Florida. Excessive, but hey. It's for space!

The first thing we did was the bus tour. It's a 40 minute ride that takes you around all the launch pads, complete with video explanations and a perky driver who points out non-spacey things, like the bald eaglets that hatched last winter sitting in that tree, or the alligator hanging out in that bog.
Bald eaglets. That nest is the size of a king mattress.
All quite fascinating. We got to see the crawler, which is how they transport rockets to their pads. In some cases, they are the pad. If moves along a special track at a whopping 1 MPH. Makes my boat seem zippy. They typically only use them at night, so there's little traffic or looky-loos.

The crawler
Launchpad 39A is most famous since it's the place that launched every moon mission. It's currently leased to Space X, and is where they launch their rockets, including the famed Tesla Roadster. Launchpad 39B is going to be the place where their going to launch the next generation of moon rockets as well as those destined for Mars. The plan, they say, is a station on the moon.

Launchpad 39A. Space X made it black.
Launchpad 39B. Note the 3 towers around it.
Those are for lightning.

The bus drops you off at a facility where you can watch a video, eat some food, and catch another bus back to the theme park. Inside it are a number of articles, booths, and hands-on things, but above it? A lunar rocket. All three stages, and the capsule.

How big was the stage 1 rocket?
That's me in the bottom of the screen.
After the bus tour we wanted to see the space shuttle, Atlantis. First you have to watch a little movie about how it took 12 years to go from idea to takeoff in 1981. Then you get to walk around the shuttle itself. It is impressive to see up close and personal, but you really get the sense that, yeah, it was time to end that era. It has a worn and used look about it.

Too big to get in one shot
Big payload area. Bigger than you think.

Note the mixed colors on the heat tiles.
Yep, it's heyday is behind it.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Titusville -- things to do

Should you ever be in the marina for a week or so, there are a number of things you can do here. Like, see the manatees! There's a water line that leaks, and for some reason, the manatees prefer city water over the vast water they're swimming in. They're hangin' out fifty feet from our boat. Gotta watch to the end...

Cape Canaveral is just across the way, so watch a launch. The best view is from a little park, about a mile away. We walked there hoping for an unobstructed view, but the launch got delayed and we had dogs to walk for the evening. We saw if from the fly deck. It was clear, however, the thing to witness was the actual lift off, which was blocked by buildings and trees. Maybe next time. Because it was dark I couldn't get any decent pictures. Imagine a single bright star in the sky, and that's about what it looked like.

It's gonna go up over there!
I was shocked to see the people who came to watch.
Thought by now they'd be over it.
Lastly, chores. Russ picked up the canvas yesterday, so we took time this morning (while the air was still) to put her up. Whadya think?

Russ pulling the leash line. It's fastened with zip ties first.

Halfway done.
Ta Da!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Titusville -- home for a while

Blue faced manatee, just 50 feet from our boat.
I assume the blue isn't its usual color.
We came here to watch the launch, which should be this evening. Starting tomorrow, however, the weather gets iffy, and stays iffy for days. 

The plan was sound: go to Cape Canaveral this morning, watch the launch, drop off the rental first thing in the morning, and get underway. The weather looked just like the trip here, cloudy, rainy, and breezy. While uneventful, it wasn't the best boating day.

Savannah had other plans. When she came out of her crate this morning one eye was gooped shut and swollen. I called a vet first thing, and got her an appointment. Poor girl has a small ulceration, but it can't be ignore. She'll need drops every 4 hour for the next 10 days.

Sad dog with a bad eye
Once we got all that taken care of, however, the morning was over. We won't be able to make the Kennedy Space Station tours. I'd gotten pretty sold on the idea. Meanwhile, Russ got notice that canvas #1 (the stern) would be done today. Given we had a car he wanted to just go and get it.

We hemmed and hawed over what we should do. We even talked about just leaving now, given today's weather was quite lovely. In the end we concluded we'd stay in Titusville through the weekend and into next week. That way we could see the space place, put on the new canvas top, mend the dog a bit, and do other putter jobs around the boat.

Given that delay we've decided to bag the idea of going down the St. Johns River to Green Cove Springs.

On the plus side, the launch is looking good for tonight. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Eau Gallie to Titusville

Subtitled: Ran her aground two days in a row!

Eau Gallie (French for "water kitchen", I think) Yacht Center is tucked back in along a Eau Gallie river. When we came in (Sunday) our biggest issue were all the paddleboards and kayaks out on a lovely day. When we parked the boat, there was dredging equipment in the center of the river. 

We didn't get an early start on the day. Firstly, Russ made plans to have breakfast with an old HP buddy, Jishnu, who now lives in Melbourne. We ate at the Oh! Biscuit, which was a wonderful little place. Then we brought Jishnu to the boat for a tour, and hung out a while. 

Meanwhile, one of the little businesses at the marina is Karen's Canvas. And, of course, we still needed one. I wandered into her office asking if she had the time to make a pattern. I fully expected her to be booked (like every other canvas company we've dealt with), but she was happy to, except she couldn't get to use until 11:30 today. 

It wasn't until after noon that she stopped by, apologizing for her tardiness -- she failed to "Spring Ahead." She made the pattern and we headed out. Just as the winds came up and the clouds covered the skies.
That's Karen, of Karen's Canvas, making our bimini top

The dredgers, while off on the weekends, were now in full swing. The barge was down river and blocking some of the channel out. Russ, on my bow, told me to stay to the right, nearer the green channel marker, to give them room. At about the same time the fellas on the barge started waving their hands, indicating we needed to be closer to them, we bumped. And we stuck. I couldn't get her to move. Russ took over and jammed her into reverse, freeing us from the mud. We managed to slip by, a bit embarrassed, without incident the second time through.

Note to self: Next time HAIL the barge, and ask them where they want us. They are dredging, after all, so it makes sense it's deeper near them. Duh.

Once out on the ICW things went more smoothly. The winds, nearly 15 mph, came from the north, so we were heading into them. Which made the ride a little bumpy, but not as bad if we had to deal with them from the side. It did, however, slow our progress. We barely held 8 knots.

We called the Titusville marina to let them know we were indeed on our way given our late start. The guy on the phone sounded a bit flustered -- weather here is windy, we'll put you in a large slip so you can choose what side you want to dock on, and we'll have a couple of guys out there to help. All of that information put me in a mood for the rest of the journey, while visions of the Pink Shell and nearly running into someone's swank yacht filled my mind.

After turning westward and starting down the little channel to the marina we hailed them. They, again, warned us of the winds and gave us directions to our slip. It was against a wall, they said, and the wind is going to try to blow you into it. No pressure.

Armed with that, I kept Cat-n-Dogs on the north side, expecting the wind to blow me into the other side of the fairway. I crept up onto the slip, slowly making the turn while Russ threw a line to a dock worker. And missed. I slowed our approach further. Second time hit the mark, and they helped pull us in. But, really? None of this was hard at all!  Brought her up, full stop, engines off. Easy peasy.

Home for a couple of days, the Titusville Marina
Thus proving, once again, I just can't worry about a possible future and a bad outcome. When it was all done, coming in was way easier than going out.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Making our way to Melbourne

Not Australia, by the way.

We left just past dawn (tricky now that we're back on daylight savings -- we got up later, but it was actually earlier). We had coffee only and got underway quickly. Carefully we weaved our way out of the city marina -- which we really liked.

Things looking good, once we passed under the first big bridge our navigation was easy. Go straight. I'd been piloting. Now it was time for breakfast. Russ had finished tidy-ing up the lines so he took over while I went below and made us some cold cereal.

As I brought him his bowl he said something about the auto-pilot seemed to be taking us too close to the marker, so he put it on standby and was going wide. Then I looked at the marker, which was a red triangle. As you head north on the ICW, red is on the left. It was now on our right. Just as I mentioned that to him we felt a soft bump. Yep, we ran her aground a second time. Engines to slow, we made a hard right getting us back into the channel. No damage, other than a few years shaved off our lives from the brief panic.

My navigation assistants
Many, many times people have told us to have a visual aid right on the console that tells you where the red and green markers should be. Typically these are crafty items, made from popsicle sticks and felt-tip pens. One end is green and the other red. When the markers change (and they do!) you just flip the thing around.

One of our next stops will be to JoAnns.

We were passed by fellow loopers who also just started from Vero Beach. Quick greetings and well wishes were passed over the radio. We hope to see Misty and her crew along the way.

Many tiny vacation islands along the route today
A while ago some folks made contact with us, being fellow Endeavour PowerCat owners. Many emails have been swapped, notes compared, and pictures exchanged with them. Turns out they keep their boat at an Army base near Melbourne and, what do you know, that was on the way. Without further incident, we got set up at the Eau Gallie Marina. Greg and Sheila came by, toured our boat, then we all went to dinner and toured theirs at the Manatee Cove Marina. They drove us around, gave us a bottle of wine, treated us to dinner, then gave us a set of bug screens for our helm doors. We can't thank them enough for the wonderful afternoon and company.

The view out the door at the Eau Gallie.
Lovely park, with paddleboarders and kayaks enjoying their Sunday

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Diggin' Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce has a great small town vibe, much like Palmetto did, but within walking distance of the boat there are quite a few eateries and stores. Moreover, every Saturday (and we were fortunate enough to be here today!) they have a huge Farmer's Market.
Remember this photo?
This is how it looked today
The title of this made me laugh.
It's called "Blind Date."
Did some shopping, then took the dogs on a walk around the quaint downtown area. There we found a wonderful little Mexican restaurant, with some of the best margaritas we've had since leaving the west coast. Of California! Later we did some bike riding. 

Largely we took the day to play. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Truly a new day

The good news is we have all the metal work done for both the back cover and the bimini front. The canvas guy in Stuart came out in the morning and made his pattern (a process that involves tape, clamps, and plastic). He should have that done by end of next week, and will ship it to us wherever we are at the time. The front, however, will require us to find another canvas guy who will do the same thing; make a pattern and make our front cover.




Everyone done with their tasks we left the River Forest Yachting Center and immediately had to lock through the St. Lucie lock. They were set up for west bound traffic, and we were heading east, so they closed and raised an empty lock, then us and another small boat got lowered down, about eight feet. Nearly an hour passed by the time we were on our way.

From there, the rest of the journey along the St. Lucie River was twisty and busy. We were kept on our toes from both passing vessels and oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, various epics were happening on the radio. One vessel, a 42 foot boat, started to take on water while forty miles off shore, calling for assistance. While that drama was going on the coast guard announced that a prop plane crashed in Lake Okeechobee. While none of this excitement was near us, it did add to the tenseness of the day.

Once we made the turn north, two things of import happened. First, this was truly new and unnavigated waters for Cat-n-Dogs. Everywhere we went prior (with the one exception of traveling south from Ft. Myers to Naples) we'd traveled before. Until today. The second thing was that traffic just disappeared. The last couple of hours were straight and easy, making it a wonderful late afternoon.

The park at Ft Pierce City Marina
I must confess, we did have a bit of... confusion when we made the turn into the channel for Fort Pierce City Marina. By then it was 5:30 in the evening, and we turned west, into the sun. The reflection off the water made it impossible to determine if the buoys were green or red. We didn't run aground, or hit anything, but it certainly raised our awareness for closely watching our charts.

Not ours anymore

There's a saying in the boating world, that the happiest days of a boater life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. This...