Tuesday, Jan 15th
Our landing at Ocean Club Marina afforded us a comfortable nights sleep and the luxury of a leisure morning! We checked in with the Dockmaster and were pleasantly surprised to learn that we could stay on the fuel dock until the Barge Canal Lock opened at 18:00; and, since we arrived so late the night before and did not plan to stay long enough to take a slip, we were given quite a deal . We promised to be discrete about the details! Unbenounced to us, the locks were being repaired and only opened from 18:00 to 21:30 each day.
What a gorgeous day, clear blue skies and approaching 80 degrees this was just what we needed! Finally warm sunny weather! FL was welcoming us! With no place to go we were forced to enjoy a day of rest and relaxation! It was not hard to do! With electronics in tow it was a short walk to a beautiful pool surrounded by palms with piped in music and wifi. While basking in the sun Adrien caught up on Emails, and took a dip while Nina caught up with a few business calls.
On the way back to Dolphin we met up with live-a-board, Peter on ” Bel Conta” a Formosa. With local knowledge, he recommended a few restaurants for lunch within walking distance. He accepted our invitation to join us at Grills, a local tiki fish restaurant, for delicious Mahi Tacos and a Mahi Rubin on sunny deck of overlooking the inner coastal. We shared stories and stopped at a few hardware stores for odds and ends on the way back to the Marina. After a few chores we refueled, topped off the water tanks, called the bridge tender for an opening and left the dock at dusk to make two bridges, a barge lock and 6 mile ride to Cocoa Beach. It was dark and a bit difficult in the narrow channels. Since we started our trip we have not run at night unless we were outside with lots of water around us, so we were both on high alert with a Million Candle Power lantern on hand and Nina taking the bow watch to sight our channel markers. We arrived safely, secured the anchor and enjoyed a comfortable night.
Wednesday, Jan 16th
The next morning the Admiral rowed the Captain ashore for breakfast and a walk. Cocoa Beach is a charming village with lots of shops and a beautiful waterfront park. They also offer a very nice dinghy dock for boaters, very welcoming. It was a short walk when we came upon an outdoor market and coffee shop, Ossorio’s, with a row of umbrella covered tables curbside and a walk up window to order breakfast. We placed our order then realized the tables filled up quickly. Sue and Larry, a lovely snowbird couple from Dayton, OH invited us to share their table with them. Before you knew it we were fast in conversation while Nina enjoyed a delicious omelet with Brie and roasted asparagus, and Adrien, scrambled eggs with ham and cheese….not so good!
With half a day on the water our next stop brought us to Serenity Island just south of Melbourne. We anchored in 7′ of water protected from the south wind and sipping cocktails while enjoying the aroma of a campfire built by a few campers on the island. We were also treated to a few fireworks.
Thursday, Jan 17th
The next morning the ICW was like a mirror as we resumed our trip south. We intended to put in a full day of motoring…… but plans have a way of changing!
By late morning the winds freshened and we were able to set sail and shut down the motor. It’s the first time since transiting the Potomac in early November that we’ve been able to sail!
Going a breakneck speed of 4.2 kts with the Genoa, it was so peaceful as we sailed by beautiful homes, birds and passing vessels. As we approached Merrill P Barber Bridge (Rt 60) , two boats we were transiting with take a sharp left turn into the Vero Beach Municipal Marina. We kept going but it got us curious so Nina looked it up…..
$ 14.60/ mooring
Walk to the beach
Thurs night Happy Hours
Free bus service to market hardware stores and TJMaxx….. What more could we want!
We made a U turn and came back under the bridge and grabbed a mooring for the night… or so we thought.
Of course Adrien made sure we were back by 5:00 for Happy Hour! The first folks we talked to knew our friends from home, the Graves on Ciao! They cruised together several years ago…what a small world! We met several other boaters, some that live aboard in this harbor and are very involved in the community. We learned a lot about the area and all it has to offer as well.
Friday, Jan 18th
The next morning we checked in with harbor master and learned that we were in for some strong winds and rain that night. We decided we were staying put for another night! After hot showers, we grabbed the bus to town to explore, visiting West Marine (we always need something) and had lunch. We were referred to Kelley’s pub for sandwiches and beer. The Rubin and infamous Tuna salad sandwich were delicious and Yuenglings, cold and thirst quenching…. And, all the bartenders
were Pat’s Fans! As we were about to leave, in walked Darrell and Ruth from , Night Cap II. We met them in Atlantic Highlands at Sandy Hook, NJ and travelled down the coast of New Jersey, up the Delaware River and into the Chesapeake….then lost touch around the time Hurricane Sandy made her appearance. It was a great reunion; we caught up on each others journeys and agreed to dine together on Saturday night. As we dinked back to Doplhin we came upon Dean and Susan on “August Borne” from NH. We met them in Sandy Hook as well! We’ve been texting along the way but were always several days apart so it was nice to reconnect.
Saturday, Jan 19th
On Saturday morning we walked back towards the beach hoping to find a good cup of coffee and light breakfast. No luck with the coffee but we did happen upon a Farmer’s Market with all kinds of freshly made foods, fresh vegetables and trinkets. We enjoyed a delicious ham and cheese crepe and tasty crab cakes as we explored the booths. As we walked back towards the beach we came upon an open house for beach front condo’s. I can’t resist these so in we went! These condo’s were georgious….priced in the $3M’s! I felt a bit out of place wearing flip flops, cargo shorts and a fanny pack but what the heck, some of the most wealthy folks look pretty grungy right? I took a few photos for my idea book and we politely declined to make an offer!
The tide was up, the surf was pretty rough making a beach walk out of the question, so we pulled up a stool up at Mulligans and enjoyed tall spicy Bloody Mary’s and chatted with stool neighbors that were also moored in the harbor, “Water Hog” from Stonington, CT.
Back to Dolphin we had just enough time to get dressed and pick up Ruth and Darrell via dink to Riverside Cafe where 50% off Happy Hour drinks started at 17:00! We had a great night and delicious dinner but when it was time to go it was pouring! We made it back to Night Cap II and were invited in for….a night cap! Back to Dolphin for a good nights sleep….we were leaving in the morning!
Sunday, Jan 20th
Up early to a clear sunny morning we decided to take a dink ride through Riverside Gardens, a community of homes on a winding canal just north of our mooring. We enjoyed a peaceful ride admiring homes, each unique with well groomed gardens and all kinds of boats at their docks. The birds enjoyed this neighborhood as well; osprey and pelicans were plentiful.
Saying Good Bye to our friends as we motored out of the mooring field, we were underway by 11:30. Our one night stop turned into three and it was so much fun!