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OCTOBER---"Out at Sea to Vero Beach, FL

Cruising:

September's activity log ended with a "cliff hanger"......Where will DISCOVERY go? Left Oriental mid-morning on September 30. The goal was to get to Fernandina Beach, FL if the wind stayed north to west in direction OR head to Charleston, SC if the wind clocked to the southwest to south.

Near perfect conditions for moving south. Wind north at 10 knots so the seas are small. Not enough wind to sail but what wind we have fills the sails so move quickly through the water at low engine rpm. Lots of dolphin activity especially in the morning and right before sunset. I am so amazed by these wonderful creatures. The seas are slightly behind us so DISCOVERY rides up and down the waves. In my opinion, the dolphins think we are one of them so they join DISCOVERY at the bow. Take a look at our position report to see our progress down the coast.

The first overnight--- it is difficult to fall sleep when you are not on watch. Falling asleep and staying asleep gets easier every night after that. This is the first time coming down the coast that we did not have to put extra clothes on during the night watch and only a light blanket was needed for sleeping. Very dark at night--the moon was rising around 4:00 AM. By Wednesday morning , the wind is starting to clock to the northeast but still too light to sail so continue motorsailing. The dolphins continue to amaze us. Started discussing our final destination in the afternoon. Weather conditions are holding but Chris Parker said the wind along the SE US Coast will continue to clock and will be southeast by Thursday morning which would not be good for us. Fernandina Beach is possible by 7 or 8 PM (still enough light for the inlet) but the weather entices us to continue. The big question is "When will those winds clock southeast and how strong will they be if we aren't in port yet?" Estimate that we would reach St. Augustine in the dark and don't want to go into that inlet without good light. Also would reach Ponce early the next morning when it is still dark. Final decision......go in to the ICW at Cape Canaveral. About the time we settled on the final destination, the wind increased enough to sail without any help from the engine. Strictly sailed for about 12 hours. Getting closer to the Gulfstream so there are crazy waves. DISCOVERY is wallowing around a little but good going and no engine running during the night for better sleeping conditions.

By daybreak Thursday, we are sailing close to the Florida coast off the Space Center. The water off the cape is shallow so you have to sail quite a distance off the point and then head back in. Requested an opening for the bridge inside the inlet ---waited about 10 minutes to get into the lock. Motored down the Barge Canal. Looking forward to dropping the anchor is about 6 hours! Thought about stopping in Cocoa Beach but it was way too early to stop so we went to Dragon Point at Melbourne. Anchored by 5 PM. Opened the boat up for fresh air, showered, made pizza and enjoyed an ice cold beer followed by a good night's sleep.

The water in the Indian River is high (could be wind driven tide with all the north wind or the tide is high because of heavy rainfall in September ). Our VHF antenna clicked as we passed under all the bridges from Cocoa Beach to Melbourne. Carl talked to Keith (CAMELOT) who told us to watch out for the Wabasso Bridge (this bridge is one of those troublesome bridges that isn't as high as specified). We decided that if the stage markers indicated low clearance we would anchor, Carl would go up the mast and take down all the instruments that would break. Ended up anchoring and removing the instruments. Passed slowly under the bridge.....the antenna did bend way back. Probably could have made it through without breaking anything but it was less stressful with the expensive instruments down.

Fueled up at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina. Wow, the place is like a ghost town. We are way, way early this year. At a mooring by ourselves--when the marina gets busy there are 3 boats on one mooring. .CAMELOT is at one mooring and there are two French Canadian boats in the north mooring field. CAMELOT moved to Riverside Boatyard a couple days after our arrival. Otherwise only 5-6 local boats spread between the north and south mooring fields. Often our dinghy is the only dinghy at the dock .Washed those stinky clothes we wore from Oriental to Dragon Point. Enjoyed that first shower at the marina where you can use all the water you want and there is a blow dryer for my hair.This is living.

While at the mooring, Carl decided to start up the generator for the first time this season. It was hard to start but he finally it started. Big problem.....it would not generate electricity. He worked on it for hours tying to fix it. Bounced ideas off Chris (SYNERGY) who has the same generator. Finally came to the conclusion that the generator had to be take up to Jacksonville, FL for repair.

Stayed on the boat at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina until Riverside had a place for us---Riverside was full. when we arrived in Vero Beach. Moved DISCOVERY to Riverside (Fort Pierce) on Friday. Entered the yard's channel at high tide (no problems with depth). Wow, getting into the well was exciting. The current was running pretty strong, the channel is narrow, the wind was blowing and it is a tight turn! The dinghy was on the foredeck. I am standing on the starboard side trying to get a line to the lift operator. Carl yells for me to fend off on the port side. I can't get there with the dinghy. No worries---did not touch a thing before we were secured for haulout. Have to admit my heart was racing. Bev picked us up around 5 PM. Can't live onboard at this boatyard so we are staying with Bev until our mattress is delivered on Wednesday. Bob is in Maine working so she is alone---also the reason why they have a vehicle to let us use.

Took the generator out of the boat at Riverside and into Bev's car. Drove it up to Jacksonville for repair. Much to Carl's surprise the problem is the engine (not the part that generates electricity as he thought it was0. Left the generator at the shop for repair. The shop could not give us a date as to when it will be ready. We will call them the first Monday in November to see how things are going.

Hired the yard to help us remove the generator from the boat to Bev's car. The forklift was raised to the maximum extension to get the generator off the boat. Carl worked on cleaning the generator in our garage. The NexGen people in Jacksonville sort of scolded him about cleaning and painting it. They felt it would have been better for them to see the generator in its state that it was when removed (help with the diagnoses).

 

Pointe West Townhouse:

Kathleen, our realtor, picked us up the Sunday before closing and drove us to Pointe West to see our place. Well, the seller did not complete the items on the agreement except to clean the carpet. Disappointed but we have moved past it. Bob and Bev "loaned" us a vehicle for the month which helped us so much. Drove back to the marina. Plan to put DISCOVERY on the hard for a month or so for a number of reasons" 1) Keep her freshly painted bottom clean; 2) It is still hurricane season--more secure on the hard; and 3) Don't have to worry about her while we work on the townhouse.

The outside of the townhouse at West Pointe. The garage faces north. Bottom left shows the patio that faces west. Next fall we will plant something that will provide some privacy and shade for the patio. Bottom right is the front of the house (faces south). Have an end unit away from the street. Yes, there is a satellite dish on the garage but we don't have a TV!

Just a couple interior photos. Will include photos of each room as we get furniture in future logs. The nice thing about our kitchen is the granite counters and cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. New kitchen appliances in stainless steel are on the list of things to change. To the right of the kitchen sink is a raised counter or snack bar. Next is the dining room and finally the office. The color scheme the seller used we didn't like (burgundy and a yellow).

 

The first day in the townhouse, Carl fixed a leaking drain in the main bathroom upstairs. He also rebuilt the faucets in all three bathrooms. The work is just starting but I think its fun.

 

Selected paint and trim colors and hired a painter. The painter said he could paint on October 24. and he arrived two days early (after checking with us). Carl obtained three estimates for installing hurricane windows and a patio door. He now knows more about high impact glass than any one needs to know. Hired one of the three contractors......they ordered windows and will install them the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Bev and Di took me to the local consignment shops. Vero Beach has a reputation for good, lightly used furniture available at several consignment stores at reasonable prices. Initially, I was a novice when it came to price. Did not know a deal from a rip-off. However, I've been following Craigs List daily and check E-bay for used furniture plus looked a new furniture to get a better handle on prices. I haven't seen good stuff for cheap but I've seen good stuff at a reasonable price. Our townhouse is small so lots of the available furniture is way, way to big for the rooms. Found several dining rooms that "I just had to have". Took the measurements in the store, checked the measurements out at the townhouse....too big. It is hard to be patient.

Purchased Bev's sofa (apartment size) because she bought a new one. Ordered 3 bar stools from Overstock and a night stand from Walmart (never again). Found a daybed and a very funky dining room table with 6 chairs on Craigs List. I will have to refinish the top of the table and change the color of the table's and chair's painted surfaces. Watching for a buffet (small) that I can paint to match the table and chairs. Making headway.

Bar stools from Overstock. The assembly was much easier and the finished product more solid than the night stand from Walmart. The night stand from Walmart is cute as a bug's ear but not very sturdy. You can see my white leather sofa that I bought from Bev.

 

Jazzed up the rather plain chandelier in the dining room. I had a few pieces of seaglass--Di helped me out with more.

 

While Bev and Bob drove to LA and TX to visit family, I was responsible for watering Sylvie the Sylvester Palm they planted off their patio. Sylvie will provide them with some privacy and shade. In just a few days the nursery will come back to let Sylvie's hair down. Every day I sprayed down her hair and watered her feet.

 

One afternoon we went to Sears (appliance sale) and selected new appliances. There are so many features. Went home to discuss it. To me---it doesn't make sense to get them now and not "use" them until next fall. The one year warranty will disappear and the appliance not even used. However, the refrigerator was not cooling properly so Carl decided to list all the appliances on Craigs List. The refrigerator was almost at give away prices so it sold in 15 minutes. No one has contacted us about the other appliances. So here we sit without a refrigerator. Di and Jay are letting us use their Engel.....a small unit that can be used as a frig or freezer. They had the Engel on their boat as a back-up to the built in system. It is only big enough for our Puur water pitcher, two cans of Root Beer and a few yogurts! Getting estimates from a finish carpenter to trim out the windows and possibly build a wall unit. Lots of things to do.

One guest room that we call Robin's Nest is almost complete. Eventually want to build a work bench for jewelry making and other crafts on the wall opposite the daybed.

Carl bought a shelving unit for the garage and ordered a work bench kit. I am looking forward to using his work bench for re-finishing the dining room table and chairs.

 

Vero Beach Social Activities:

Bob and Bev (SAVAGE SON) invited us out for dinner our first night in Vero Beach along with Di and Jay (formerly FAR NIENTE). Bob, Bev, Di and Jay all live in the development where we purchased a condo/townhouse. What a great time. Talked about all the upgrades we could or should do and where to buy furniture and how much fun we will have together. Life is so good.

Met Karen & Ron (SEADANCER) and Rose & Keith (CAMELOT) one night for pizza followed by Sequence. Went to the CLOD (Cruisers Living on Dirt)) breakfast twice---they meet every Wednesday morning. Bev, Carl and I went to a great Italian place for dinner one night. Out again for pizza with Robin and Mike (SEABISCUIT).

Along with Bev, Di and Jay--we were Invited to a Happy Hour at Jeanine and George's townhouse where we met Pointe West neighbors Maureen & Art and Joan. The girls at the party decided to take tours of each other's townhouse to see what everyone has done to upgrade or decorate. It was fun. We did not tour our place---saving it for later.

Bob and Bev went on a week long trip to Louisiana and Texas to visit family. Before they left, Carl and I made dinner for them plus Jay and Di. Carl grilled salmon. Salmon served on mashed potatoes with roasted red bell pepper sauce and a Caesars salad. I made dessert (pumpkin cake with lots of good stuff on top of it like caramel sauce, whipped cream and chocolate heath bar chips). That night we drank lots of wine.

Celebrated my birthday with Carl, Di and Jay at the Citrus Grill down on the beach. The food was fabulous. All fall they have been running a special from 5:00 to 7::00---for $15.00 you select an entree from a list of about 8 items and a salad from a list of about 5 items followed by a dessert. The setting was perfect---a seat by the window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After dinner we stopped by Humiston Park for the free concert.

Birthday dinner at Citrus Grill. I ordered the cucumber and green bean salad--main course was grilled mahi mahi with lemon couscous. Carl ordered the Amish pork chop on a bed of mashed potatoes.

Di and Jay had a Happy Hour so we could meet Norm and Karen (Pointe West neighbors). Also at the party---Robin and Michael (SEABISCUIT) and Nancy and Jim (SOLITAIRE).

Pat and Mac Rice (formerly WINDBORNE) invited us over for dinner. Once again, Pat made a fantastic dinner......Chicken Creole (I have the recipe). Sequence followed dinner. Had a good time.

Halloween had dinner at Bob and Bev's place along with Michael and Robin. Went back to our tonwhouse early so we could hand out candy to the "trick or treaters".

Submitted by:

Marilyn Thoreson
November 01, 2013