We’ve been at the city marina in Vero Beach for over a week, on a mooring. It’s a great place to provision and wait for weather for our crossing to the Bahamas. So far winds have been in the 15-25 range (very strong for us) and/or from the wrong direction. We need the right weather to have a safe and reasonably comfortable crossing through the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas; our route will take about 20 hours. So we wait.
There are lots of other boats here, also waiting to cross.
While we’re waiting, we’re doing boat projects. Goldwin has wired the solar panels and the SSB (single side band radio). BTW, the solar panels are terrific – putting out mucho power. I’ve re-provisioned – I start to get twitchy when the bins aren’t crammed with food. Chores are pretty easy to do here because a free city bus stops at the marina and goes right to a huge grocery store and a boat parts place. You can change buses and get to lots of other stores too. And the marina has a laundromat, hot showers and internet.
But it’s not all work. We’ve taken some time for fun too. Like a walk on the beach:
The most fun was our trip to visit good friends George and Jackie who are on their boat in Biscayne Bay. We had to rent a car in order to run errands in Ft. Pierce (Marine Connections Liquidators – a huge warehouse packed full of boat parts) and West Palm Beach, so we just kept going until we got to Coconut Grove, south of Miami. We had a fun lunch – so great to finally get together. They have been cruising since August, but we just kept missing each other.
On Christmas Day we went for a dinghy ride, exploring the mangroves. We happened upon birds fishing:
And two amorous herons. They both stretched out their necks and pointed their beaks upward – it’s called “sky pointing,” and then the one on the right puffed out its wings. It looks like part of a graceful courtship dance. But they typically mate in the spring??? Apparently this display is very similar to their behavior when defending their shoreline from other herons. But these two looked way too friendly for that.
We have a heron who lives in the cove by our dock at home – he lets loose with some angry prehistoric squawks when our presence interrupts his fishing. We’re pretty sure he’s swearing at us.
Ooh, and here’s another dolphin picture – this friendly guy came over to swim alongside the boat on our way to Vero! Clearly a bold move – so unlike his camera-shy buddies.
When we get our weather window, we will head for the Abacos in the northern Bahamas, and probably stay there for awhile. Temperature-wise, it can be cooler there in January than the more southern islands in the Bahamas, but it’s lovely, with good sailing and great snorkeling. Once we get to the Abacos, our plan is to have no plan.
P.S. Upon reading our holiday post, my daughter wanted to know, didn’t I have anything better to do than knit outfits for my wooden spoons. Hahahaha.