January 1st-23rd, 2004
Home Away From Home. Or Is This Home?
||Our dock looked like a toy shop at
times with Thomas the Tank Engine trains and tracks, scooters
and our bikes occupying most of the space. The boys made friends
with Helen, an affable lady with a quick wit and a knack for
dealing with toddlers. She and her husband Bob also are
liveaboards. They have two young granddaughters who visit often
which made for great fun for the boys. They played for hours
together but even when the girls werenít there, the boys begged
to go to Helenís boat.
Pierre and I would decide
on a day to leave and the day would come and go. Soon, another week
would pass. Pierre and I were learning a lot about the workings of our
boat. Pierre met a boat cleaner named John who spent a couple hours with
us demonstrating the best way to clean the hull, stainless steel, teak
decks, etc.. The amount of maintenance boats require can be
overwhelming. The people weíve met here have been gracious with their
time and knowledge which has boosted our confidence in being able to
maintain our boat.
Saturday January 24th, 2004
Time To Move On, Again.
When we dropped anchor in
Daytona in early December, our plan was to stay 24 hours.
Six weeks have passed and the time has
come to move on. Ron, who is not usually
an early riser, was on the dock bright and early to give us a send off.
After refueling, we were on our way.
Pierre was anxious to see how our new
transmission would perform.
After a full day of
motoring on the ICW, we dropped anchor north of Cape Canaveral.
The transmission passed the test so far.
Sunday January 25th, 2004
Time To Move On, Again.
Our initial plan was to go
offshore at the Cape Canaveral Canal but with a SW wind, this would make
for a slow and bumpy trip so we decided to continue on the waterway.
There were lots of recreational boaters
out on this sunny, cool day. While
underway I sanded the teak rails and eyebrows on the deck and applied a
coat of varnish. The week before we left
Daytona we had put a couple coats of varnish on so I wanted to keep it
We were all getting back
into the cruising groove. We motored into Vero Beach Marina at sunset
and picked up a mooring for $8. We
stopped at the dock first to pay since we planned to take off early in
the morning and were convinced by the dock master and his friend Mike to
consider staying a day or two to see their wonderful city.
Mike really talked the place up which
made us think about staying.
The guys on the dock last
night were convincing so we decided to stay. We walked several blocks
through a well manicured neighborhood on our way to the beach and a
nearby park. Vero has a free bus service so we used it to see more of
the town. Itís hard to judge a place after a few hours but what we saw
Monday January 26th, 2004
Running Into "Velcro Beach".
When we returned to the
dinghy dock, we met a woman with twin 8 year-old boys.
She said they left Charleston in October
with plans to cruise the Bahamas and have been here since November.
She said her husband developed an
inguinal hernia and needed surgery so they decided to have it done here.
Thomas and Patrick had new friends as
her boys and two other young boys from another cruising boat played
together for hours. The parents home
school the children. The twin's
mother tries to tailor the education to the area where they are as much
as possible. Iíve learned from other
cruising mothers that a two and a half hour session of home schooling
equals a full day at school. Since my
boys are preschool age, I donít have to follow a curriculum, but I do
try to work with them on the alphabet, writing and other preschool
After meeting these people, I was ready to stay. I
had as much fun throwing the football around with the older boys as
Thomas and Patrick did. I ran into Mike
and he was happy to see that we stayed. He
said they nicknamed this place Velcro Beach because people stick and
canít seem to leave.
January 27th, 2004
Honey Could You Pick Up Some Milk?
As much as we would have
liked to stay, we had places to be so as soon as the sun came up, we
took off. It was another pretty day
motor sailing on the ICW. We were now
entering the Gold Coast. All one had to
do was look around at the houses and you knew how it got its nickname.
We arrived at the Lake Worth anchorage
at sunset. We needed milk so Pierre made
a quick dinghy run in the dark to a nearby beach where a five minute
walk would lead him to a Publix.
January 28th, 2004
An Attempt To Visit With The Queen.
Then wind was 5-10 knots
out of the NE making it perfect for an offshore run to Ft. Lauderdale.
We sailed close to shore, avoiding the
northerly set of the Gulf stream. I
thought for sure this would be the day I caught a fish but once again I
came up empty handed.
As we entered the Port
Everglades channel I could see the Queen Mary 2 at a dock off our port
bow. It dwarfed the other cruise liners
docked nearby. I was waiting for the 17th
St. drawbridge to open and thought Iíd head closer to the QM2 to get a
photo. Bad idea. Within
seconds, an orange inflatable Coast Guard boat came charging up to our
boat. Three men on board with serious
looks on their face informed me that I was in a security zone. Luckily,
the boys were in the cockpit with me which made me appear fairly
||Once we passed under the
17th St. bridge we were now in the stretch of the ICW known
as Miracle Mile. Mega yachts were
everywhere and so were luxurious waterfront homes. We
passed by a huge motor yacht named Aussie Rules and later learned
that its owner was Greg Norman, the pro golfer.
In this area, these kind of yachts were the norm.
Dockage in Ft. Lauderdale is not cheap
so we were hoping to get one of only four moorings in the area.
It was 5 p.m. when we arrived at the
mooring area south of the Las Olas bridge and got the last mooring.
To be in an area like this for $20 a day
was great. Being on the mooring also gave us access to nice facilities
at the City Municipal Marina at the east end of the bridge.
We had dinner with a nice Canadian couple, Ron and Leslie, who are also
on a mooring. They recently cruised the Bahamas and would be leaving
soon to return to Canada.
January 29th, 2004
Some Old Paths Cross.
Our plan was to stay a
couple days and see if the Neal Pryde dealer in Miami could deliver our
main sail to us so we wouldnít have to make a stop in Miami.
We also wanted to get our Windbugger
wind generator fixed since the company was based here.
Well, two days turned into almost a week
but at least we were productive and had fun.
We met two of Pierreís
friends from his delivery days, Jack Showers and David Strickland for
dinner at Chucks in Ft. Lauderdale. In
the late 60ís and 70ís they worked together for Patrick Ellam, a
bluechip yacht delivery service based out of the New York/New England
area. In 1969, after getting out of
school, Pierre was making his way across the Atlantic on a Seafarer 31
with just the owner and himself onboard. After
31 days and several weeks of being lost, they managed to find the port
of Horta in the Azores where they made the acquaintance of Jack Showers
and his crew. Jack was delivering a
Chinese junk, the Ding Hao from Jamaica over to Malta in the
Mediterranean. One thing led to another
and after hanging out in Europe for a year Pierre started crewing for
Patrick Ellam Inc. Pierre crewed for
Jack off and on for a couple years and credits Jack for getting him over
the hump in celestial navigation. He was
excited about seeing David and Jack and showing off the twins.