Sunday, March 5, 2017

Anchored at Vero Beach

We feel like we must be violating a local ordnance of some kind. We are anchored off of Riverside Park in Vero Beach just south of the Municipal Marina. We knew that the marina was very full. All of the slips are taken, boats are rafted up on the mooring balls - two, or more, boats on one ball. Nothing available. Not that we needed a marina visit and we surely were not interested in rafting up. So, we anchored. We can see the marina and mooring field, just north of the bridge, from where we are. But we are all by ourselves.

We are nicely protected from the easterly winds but still have the breeze. We have very little wave action or wakes from the ICW. The park, a short, short dinghy ride away, has little beaches tucked in between the mangroves to land the dinghy. Plenty of room to walk Tilly and a dog park within easy walking distance. There is a restaurant with a dinghy dock a few hundred yards north. There is another park, Veterans Memorial, just south of us flying a large, beautiful U.S. flag all the time. We have 10 - 11 feet of water. We are the only ones here. And, it costs us nothing. We must be breaking the law.

Restaurant...

..., park with beaches to land the dinghy...
... and a big American flag. Not a bad anchorage.

The run down from Melbourne was uneventful and scenic. We are not big fans of the ICW but we have been enjoying the trip. Maybe because it is mid-winter and the boat traffic is light. Maybe because we paid more attention to the tides and currents and, therefore, didn't see quite as many shallow spots.

I had tightened the packing nut on our prop shaft before we left the last anchorage. By whatever name it is called - packing nut, stuffing box, etc - it is what keeps water out of the boat while keeping the prop shaft cool by allowing water to lubricate it. It was was running cool but slinging a good bit of water - an indication that it has loosened up over time. One-quarter of a turn makes all the difference and we are back to running almost dry but still cool.

This is our first visit to Vero Beach and it is very nice. The marina (the one we are not staying at) and the town have a reputation of being very cruiser friendly. It has earned the nickname Velcro Beach because so many people come to visit and never leave. Our friend and local, Bob, treated us to lunch at the previously mentioned restaurant today and then gave us a ride to Publix for a few last minute items. Great to see him and catch up and we appreciated the lunch and the grocery run.

SeaClearly from Riverside Park.

This  move to Vero Beach puts us one step closer to leaping to the Bahamas as soon as the weather will allow. Tomorrow morning we will scoot into the marina fuel dock for diesel, water and pump out. Then a really short trip down to Fort Pierce to stage at the inlet in hopes that the weather does cooperate this time and we can cross the Stream to the Abacos. We have several friend-boats that are already there and wondering when we are going to show up.

Still, we are in no rush. All in good time. We can just sit here in Vero Beach and watch the dolphins, manatees, pelicans and boats. Life is good!

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