Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vero Beach FL - May, 2017

May 14 thru May 16

--Blogpost written by Bob

It rained a little during the night but I slept through it without noticing.  This morning, Sunday, May 14, our solar panels started generating electrical power with just a trickle at 7:15 AM.  The sun was barely up at that time.  The air is cool and clean, like most times after a rain.

This is a power pedestal on the floating dock nearby.  These
provide access to shore power and fresh
water when we are at the dock.

I completed the installation of the new lifeline stanchion this morning after buying a 10-24 tap, #25 tap drill bit, and a tap wrench yesterday.  (Of course, I have all these things in our storage locker in Annapolis but I didn't think I would need them on this trip.)   Fortunately, I found my portable battery-operated drill onboard or it would have been nearly impossible to drill & tap the stainless steel stanchion.

In the early afternoon, we went to the Indian River Mall to get a new battery for my watch--I got the new battery AND a new (Pulsar-brand) watch!  The highlight of our day was getting our first Starbucks coffee in three months!

Yesterday afternoon I started putting together our daily travel plan for when we leave Vero Beach on Thursday morning (5/18).  Most of the days are 50+ miles of ICW travel, taking advantage of the longer daylight hours in May, compared to our previous ICW travel in the fall and winter.  As always, this plan is subject to change.

     5/18: Vero Beach (MM 952) to Cocoa (MM 897) - 55 miles
     5/19: Cocoa (MM 897) to New Smyrna Beach (MM 848) - 49 miles
     5/20: New Smyrna Beach (MM 848) to Marineland (MM 796) - 52 miles
     (Stay overnight in marina at Marineland)
     5/21: Marineland (MM 796) to St Augustine (MM 777) - 19 miles
     (Stay in St. Augustine for couple days; nights of 5/21 thru 5/23) 
     5/24: St. Augustine (MM 777) to Fernandina Beach (MM 715) - 62 miles
     (Wait in marina at Fernandina Beach for good weather window)
     Ocean Passage from Fernandina Beach to Charleston (~30-hours overnight)
     Stay in Charleston City Marina for a couple days
     Possible Ocean Passage to Southport NC (~24 hours overnight)


I used to hate Mondays.  Now, Monday is just like any other day of the week.  Today is Monday, May 15--the middle of the month and I feel the need to wrap things up here and get moving back toward the Chesapeake Bay for hurricane season.  We'll be leaving Vero Beach on Thursday morning.  Our trip back to the Chesapeake Bay will take us about a month.

The small harbor here in Vero Beach is as smooth as glass this morning.  There are not many sounds, other that the sound of traffic crossing the bridge about 1/2-mile away and several different types of birds singing.  The morning stillness is interrupted by a dolphin swimming through the harbor, as it surfaces for air every hundred feet or so.

The north mooring field at Vero Beach City
Marina on the morning of May 15.

Breakfast is an important meal for us on this sailing trip.  Today,
Maggie made poached eggs served on toasted english
muffins.  Some days we have French toast, Kodiak
cakes (a high-protein pancake mix), bacon and
egg sandwiches, or instant hot cereal
(oatmeal or cream of wheat).

I just finished reading Dove by Robin L. Graham.  While I admire someone who has sailed single-handedly around the world (starting in 1965 at age 16), I think the book should have ended after Chapter 12--it's a fairly good read up to that point.  I can't help thinking about his childlike selfishness though.  The book was published in 1991, twenty-six years after the start of his voyage.

We finished up the day by doing a little shopping, and went out for dinner at Blue Agave, a cute little Mexican restaurant in Vero Beach.


It is another sunny morning, Tuesday, May 16, with a light breeze out of the east.  Maggie took off early this morning with our rental car to visit her friend in Sarasota, about 3 hours away from Vero Beach.

I met with a marine surveyor this morning at 9:30 AM.  He was assigned to follow up our insurance claim for the damage our runaway anchor did to the bow of s/v Rainy Days back in the northern Bahamas.  The surveyor thinks it may take a week to fix.  I wouldn't be surprised if it cost upward of $5000 in repair costs.  I setup a time to get an estimate about a month from now (for insurance purposes) and a time for my boat's haulout (8/21 thru 9/1).  We will be renting the guest cottage at Hartge Yacht Harbor during the haulout.  I took some better photographs of the damage this morning.

This is a good overall view of the damage created on May 6 as we
motored into 20 to 25-knot winds on the Little Bahama Bank.

The damage to the teak toe rail was on the
piece I just had replaced last summer.

At lunchtime I walked over to the Riverside Cafe and had a delicious steak sandwich!  On the walk back I noticed the newly planted palm trees.  They use diagonal bracing in all four directions to support the young tree while it establishes its root system.

Newly planted palm trees with diagonal bracing to insure its roots
gain a foothold before being blown over.  The bracing
is like the palm tree's training wheels.

We'll have one more day here in Vero Beach and it will be spent getting ready to travel the ICW again.  Stay tuned for our trip back to the Chesapeake Bay...

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