Thursday, November 14, 2013

Currents, Cake Mix and Christmas is Coming

As I reported last post, we slipped into Fort Pierce on Tuesday just ahead of some really windy weather. This was, of course, our first time ever coming through the inlet here. We absorbed every bit of information we could get. We left early enough to arrive in daylight. We made sure that we did not come in when the current opposed the wind (thanks Tammy). We got some local knowledge from our neighbor, Jim, at our last stop regarding the harbor improvements on-going at the Fort Pierce City Marina. The addition of some barriers and re-routing of channels has caused some serious currents and eddies approaching the marina.

Ultimately, we had a pretty easy entrance. We came through at incoming tide with a northeast wind behind us. In fact, we got quite a push. We were making about 9.4 knots SOG threading our way through the little fishing boats working at the rips. We were still a few hours ahead of the predicted increase in the winds. One interesting moment occurred as we were making the left-right-left turns under the bridge and entering the marina. One of those eddies grabbed our stern. Even though I had been warned and was expecting it, we went from center channel to nearly grazing the green marker in a matter of seconds. I needed a solid blast of engine to straighten out. So, thanks to Jim for the heads-up.

Duane about to be trained
We got a little misdirection from the marina staff (story for another day) and ended up docking at the fuel dock. Turns out, the slip they had intended to put us in was really meant for a smaller 42 ft boat than our 42 ft boat. Since the fuel dock was, technically, closed while they upgraded their tanks, this worked out alright. The wind did arrive on schedule. By midnight, we had gusts over 35 knots so we were glad to be buttoned up.

Fort Pierce is sort of nice, sort of not. We did find a gelato place but it was a little disappointing. Not at all up to the standards of the East Coast Ice Cream Tour. However, we did find the best bakery that we have seen in years. Not that we judge a town by its' food- well, yes we do. They do have a Navy Seal Museum so they get big points for that. Unfortunately, we didn't make it over there.

Duncan Hines
OK. Time for the unique and wonderful story for the day. There is a big Hatteras motor yacht right next to us  named 'Hinesite'. I met the gentleman yesterday. His name is Duncan. Later in the day, the cogs turned in my brain and I thought, 'Wait a minute. Duncan Hines?' Today, we got the chance to fill in the story. He is not the Duncan Hines that you may know from the cake mix. He is the nephew of that Duncan Hines. Duncan (here) shared a biography of Duncan Hines with us.

Duncan Hines
The more famous Uncle Duncan was far more than just cakes. In his day, he parlayed his traveling salesman experience into one of the earliest travel guides, ultimately writing three successful books - 'Adventures in Eating', 'Adventures in Cooking' and 'Lodging for a Night'. As his reputation for excellence and honesty grew, his stamp of approval on an establishment came to be widely respected. The food and cake business came later and was, pretty much, just a footnote on his fame. Proctor and Gamble acquired the company after his death and the name stayed on the cake boxes that most of us grew up with. I suspect that my parents would have known exactly who he really was. Duncan invited us to go out to dinner tonight but we already had supper on the stove. Too bad. I'm sure he would have taken us someplace great.

Relaxing in the cockpit, waiting for the wind to pass.
We do have a minor change in plans. We have been targeting Fort Lauderdale as a place to leave SeaClearly for a while. We need to run north for grand-daughter Reagan's first birthday and a combined Thanksgiving-Christmas. We dawdled around having too much fun and eating in Charleston, waited out wind (had fun and ate) in Fernandina Beach and waited out wind (relaxed, polished some boat parts - and ate) here in Fort Pierce. So, we are a little behind schedule. Instead of Lauderdale, we found a spot in Stuart that is only about 20 miles south of here.  We will get back home for a few days, then up to Richmond for a few days. We can take some of our cold clothes home and leave them:)

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in both places. We do feel a little strange about leaving SeaClearly. We have been on this adventure for over a month and we are very attached to our boat. She is, very much, our home.

The marina at Stuart will put us within an easy travel day of Lake Worth when we get back to SeaClearly. We are thinking Lake Worth will be our jump point to the Bahamas. Tomorrow, early, we are moving there and signed up for a month.
Fort Pierce - Signs of the season


  1. You better 'fess up that you're really 46 ft. and not 42. Sometimes bragging rights come with a price! I have learned that lesson over time.

    1. I am sure that you are right Thierry. It would have been worse if he had insisted on sticking us in a short slip down a skinny fairway in the wind and current. But it does say 42 on the side:)