Vero Beach mooringsWe left Cocoa later in the morning than usual which made for a long day motoring to Vero Beach.  It’s so nice to finally be in warmer weather (sorry folks back home but I have to say it!)  We arrived at Vero near sunset and experienced mass confusion when trying to figure out where to go.  The city marina provides moorings for visiting boats and boats also raft up on a single mooring.   Joe arrived first and was told to tie up to a boat on a mooring.  We listened on the radio as he called the marina back to tell them that there wasn’t anyone on the boat, signs were posted that said ‘wet varnish’ and he couldn’t find any cleats to tie up to–all challenges for a single-hander.  At the same time, Merlin arrived and was told to tie up to  a different  mooring where there was one other boat and we would also be assigned.  After Merlin got in, they radioed the marina to tell them that there were 2 boats already there–thus, no room for Moondance.   When we got there, we told to go to a different mooring and tie up with Winsome.  There was no one on board but we managed to tie on without any problem.  In the meantime, Ed & Tina went over to Onward and helped Joe tie up to the varnished boat.  Whew!!

After all that, we were rather grumpy.  We took Bailey to shore and although it was our turn to host dinner, Joe offered to host and Tina wanted to use up some food since they were going home in a week.   After a nice rum drink, Vero started to look a lot better!

The next morning, we walked to the beach and had breakfast looking at the ocean.  The marina was about a mile from the beach and not a bad walk.  I can see why cruisers really like Vero Beach.  The moorings are cheap and they have easy access to a dinghy dock, showers,  laundry and free public transportation.  You could stay for a long time for a very reasonable price.  We opted to stay for 2 nights and since we were headed for a long stay in Stuart, we didn’t need to go to any stores so we just hung out on the boat.  Our neighbors on Winsome invited us over for happy hour where we met 2 other couples.  We had the usual animated discussions of our adventures on the ICW and debated the different ways to cross over to the Bahamas.  The more people you talk to, the more different opinions you get!

Ed and Joe were on an adventure getting a car and a new outboard engine (too complicated to describe) and didn’t get back until late in the evening.  Tina joined us for dinner and brought over some refridgerated items that she didn’t want to throw away.  We were all splitting up the next day but will hopefully join up soon.  Ed & Tina are going home for the holidays.  Joe is staying in Vero to wait for parts and will join back up with us later.

We left early on Saturday for Stuart.  The Florida waters are a pretty green and we see lots of dolphins and pelicans.  Getting close to the St Lucie river, boat traffic was crazy.  It was just like coming into the South river on a Sunday afternoon!  Fishing boats were dashing in and out without any regard to smaller or slow moving boats.  Once we turned the corner and headed up the river, the traffic slowed down.  We arrived at the Harborage marina and filled up the fuel tank.  Afterwards, we located our slip which is in a separate part of the marina with floating docks.  We’re practically under a high bridge and a long walk from the main marina but its pretty nice.  We plan to stay here for 8 days which was more expensive that a monthly rate so we payed for a month.  If the weather isn’t good for a crossing, maybe we’ll just stay a while.  I was disappointed to find that they don’t have a laundry.  The advertisement is misleading–they have a laundry service (too expensive!)  I’ll either have to find a laundromat or take our dirty laundry to our friend’s houses.  What great friends!!

After a much needed nap and shower, John and Judy picked us up for dinner at Jim and Binnie’s house.  What a great welcome from our CSC friends!  Binnie served a delicious dinner and we regaled them with our harrowing tales of traveling the ICW. 

Sunday morning, Jim and Sue picked us up for breakfast at a local place.  We enjoyed getting caught up with them and are looking forward to seeing them later in the week.  For the afternoon activities, Skip worked on replacing the impeller on the engine and I started reorganizing our supplies.  I need to figure out what we still need to buy before heading to the Bahamas.