Sunday, February 12, 2017

Daytona Beach to Vero Beach - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

This blogpost covers the time from our anchorage just south of Daytona Beach to Vero Beach, where we make a major stopover before proceeding to the Bahamas.

Daytona Beach to Titusville

We left our (somewhat rocky) anchorage last night just off the ICW below Daytona Beach at 7:30 AM, another early start for another 50-mile long day.  Today was relatively uneventful except for some shallow water in New Smyrna Beach--the depth sounder alarm went off at 6 feet but we didn't come close to running aground.  There was a sailboat in front of us that was perplexed by the myriad of markers in the area.  With our chart plotter, we knew exactly the right channel and passed them at this point.  New Smyrna Beach is a neat little area and we want to stop here on a future trip through the area.

This abandoned sailboat was along the ICW just south of
New Smyrna Beach.  We saw a lot of these today,
mostly in the New Smyrna Beach area.
The area must have been hit hard
by Hurricane Matthew.

Today, we traveled about 12 miles through a dredged channel in Mosquito Lagoon--it was mile after mile of simply following the markers with very little change of scenery.  This trip was made more bearable by our trusty autopilot and chart plotter.  (In fact, I don't know how I did this part of the trip 25 years ago.)

The Haulover Canal Bridge was broken when we came through.
Half of the bridge was open and the other half closed--we
made it safely through.  The bridge was
repaired about an hour later.

It's nice to be safely in a slip for the night.  Here, Rainy Days
is in Slip #141 in Titusville Municipal Marina.

We pulled into Titusville Municipal Marina at about 2 PM.  The wind was still blowing hard out of the North and it was a tough entry into the slip with the wind pushing us sideways but we made it with the help of some capable dockhands.

We walked into town for a few odds and ends (like bread and bananas) and then took showers at the marina--they felt soooo good after being out for a few days.

I stopped here at the same marina 25 years ago.  At the time I had a cable failure for the gear shift and I had to replace it here.  I remember pulling the pedestal all apart to replace the cable.  I hope that doesn't happen anytime during this trip!

Titusville to Palm Bay

We left our slip at 8:45 AM, which is a late start for us but it felt good to sleep in a little later than usual.  When we left the marina the wind was dead calm and it was cool--about 65 degrees but it warmed up quickly.

This was some beautiful morning light in Titusville Municipal
Marina when I woke up this morning.

We thought it would be somewhat hairy getting out of our slip this morning but it was really a piece of cake with the help of a knowledgeable dock hand.  Remember that towing a dinghy makes this operation much more difficult.

This is what our chart plotter looked like most of the day, following
a straight dredged channel.  I was so grateful
for our autopilot today!

We spent all day in Florida's Indian River, most of the time traveling in a straight line.  We used the autopilot all day, just hitting +1 or -1 degrees for slight changes in direction.

At times we could see bridges beyond bridges,
up to 15 miles distant.

Typical Florida condominiums dot the
landscape below Titusville.

The lowest depth we saw all day was 6 feet and it was in a congested area around New Smyrna Beach where a sailboat stopped directly in from of us and we had to go around them.  Most of the day, the depth in the ICW channel was between 10 and 13 feet.


The wind speed instrument started acting up today.  It seems to display random wind velocity numbers and then it simply reads "0.0" but the wind direction indicator works fine.  I'll check this out further when we get to Vero Beach.


About 3:15 PM, we anchored just off the ICW near Palm Bay in about 7 feet of water.  Before long several other boats anchored near us.  It was a nice peaceful anchorage!  We cooked dinner on the grill--marinated pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes!

Another beautiful sunset along the ICW--this one from our
anchorage in an area just south of Palm Bay.

Palm Bay to Vero Beach

We have a short day ahead of us today--just 26 miles to Vero Beach.  We got an early start, at 7:30 AM.  It is much easier to get underway early from an anchorage--for one, we aren't very far away from the ICW and all we have to do is lift the anchor using the windlass.


Today was an easy day--we arrived in Vero Beach around 11:30 AM and traveled a distance of 26 miles.  Today's trip was much more circuitous that the previous days.  We saw a lot of boats that were probably damaged during Hurricane Matthew and simply abandoned.

There are a lot of small islands in the Indian River.  Some people
were camped out on some of them last night (Saturday).
There is very little tidal difference in the Indian River
since the Canaveral Lock (between the
Indian River and the ocean) was
installed last year.

Here, a cabin cruiser lies in ruin on one of the
islands in the Indian River.

A 30-foolt sailboat is permanently grounded on this
small island in the Indian River.  It seems like 

no one has responsibility for removing
these abandoned boats.

We have seen dolphins on a daily basis lately.  They like to come up behind our boat and come up for air near our cockpit for the attention they get.  Some our light gray in color and other are almost black in color.  It is very difficult getting good photo's of them when they surface for air for such a short time and they are so close.

This is just a part of the mooring field here at Vero Beach City 
Marina. It is a common practice here for two boats to 
share one mooring ball--I have never seen 
this practice anywhere else.

We will be staying here in Vero Beach for at least a few
days.  Our two new batteries arrive tomorrow.

Our next blogpost will cover our stay here in Vero Beach and possibly the short trip down the ICW to Lake Worth Inlet where we will cross over to the Bahamas.

Thanks for following our blog!

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