NOVEMBER--Fernandina Beach, FL to Fort Lauderdale, FL

Ah, the 1st of November has arrived. Our boat insurance states we must stay north of the Florida/Georgia border until November 1 (limits exposure to hurricanes). So on November 1--- at "first light" left Fernandina Beach headed for Vero Beach. Wind less than 5 knots from the northwest as we headed out the channel---another day of motor sailing! Off the St. John's River, encountered some military traffic--two inbound US Navy Warships which do not put out an AIS signal (Automatic Identification System). Both passed us without getting close. Picked up an AIS signal from an outbound warship. The AIS signal gives the ship's name (DARING), bearing, speed and the closet point of approach (CPA). The CPA indicated the ship would be close when it passed in front of us so Carl called the ship just to make sure they had a visual on us or at least we showed up on their radar. When Carl called for the US Navy Warship DARING there was no response--the ship kept getting closer. I used the binoculars to look for the number on the warship (they usually identify themselves as US Warship Number something or other). Noted the number D-35 on the hull so I passed that on to Carl who called for ""US Warship D-35". A voice with a proper English accent responded, "This is HMS Warship D-35". Whoops, it was a British Warship not a US Warship. After our radio contact, HMS DARING (D-35) turned off their AIS. It isn't a good idea for warships to advertise their positions.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Saw lots of dolphins, sea turtles and lots of big platter-sized jelly fish. The night passed by quickly. Just off Cape Canaveral around 2 AM. A little concerned that we may have to deal with a security zone for the November 2 launch of the Space Shuttle DISCOVERY. Not a problem---the restriction for ocean going vessels doesn't go into effect until 4 hours prior to launch (this zone is 9 miles north and south of launch pad then 60 miles east). Carl wanted to go in to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch the following day. I wanted to continue to Fort Pierce---continued to Fort Pierce which was a good thing because the flight was delayed several times and is now scheduled to launch sometime in December.

Slowed down in the morning so avoid maximum ebb tide at the Fort Pierce Inlet. Fort Pierce Inlet can be a wild ride when the current moves against the waves. The tide had slowed down when we went through the inlet and still it was a rolly ride for us. Arrived in Vero Beach late afternoon. Assigned a mooring all by ourselves! In Vero Beach, during peak season there are three boats sharing one mooring. In fact, there were only 4 boats in the south mooring field and not that many in the north field. Had a good night's rest.

Our new prop arrived on Wednesday. Keith (CAMELOT) was available to help Carl install it Thursday morning. Carl and I moved DISCOVERY down to Cracker Boy Marina in Fort Pierce. Out of the water by 11:00 AM--stayed in the slings for the installation. Back in the water by 1:00 PM and back in Vero Beach by 3:30 PM. Keith and Rose picked us up at 4:30 PM for Ron and Karen's housewarming party. Lots of people at the housewarming party along with great appetizers. Ron and Karen's house is big and nicely decorated.

Below on the left is Carl standing on the bow keeping the headsail foil off the crossbar on the lift. The marina told us it would not be necessary to take down the sails and unpin the foils. However, Carl did have to hold them back as DISCOVERY would swing in the slings from front to back. Pictured on the right is Keith (CAMELOT) and Carl taking the damaged prop off. The middle left picture shows the damaged prop---those blades should all be straight! Picture middle right shows our new Autoprop! Bottom left picture shows the guys making the fine adjustments. Picture on the bottom right shows the Autoprop on the shaft. The installation went as smooth as silk!!!


The next six pictures were taken at Ron and Karen's (SEA DANCER) Housewarming Party. Top left is Rose (CAMELOT) and Nancy (SOUTHERN ESTATE). Top right is Carl and Keith (CAMELOT). They must have talked agreed to wear black while working on the prop! Middle left is a picture of the host and hostess--Ron and Karen. Middle right is George and Lois (Formerly of Scot Free who we met our first year in the Bahamas). Bottom left was taken during gift opening time. This bowl is something Karen had her eye on for a long time and now she finally has it! Bottom right is Pat (formerly WIND BORNE) and Linda (formerly WATER MUSIC).

Our friends, Kris and Craig on TILT arrived in Vero Beach on November 11 straight from Georgetown, SC. The weather in the Carolinas had been brutal forcing them inside on the ICW which is a challenge with their tall mast and deep keel which work against one another. In other words, they need low water to clear the fixed bridges. To get under bridges, the water gets skinny running the magenta line on the channel. Both of them were quite relieved to get to Vero Beach. TILT and DISCOVERY shared the same mooring while until we left---don't know if someone moved in or not when we left.

Vero Beach is often called "Velcro Beach" by cruisers because it is so hard to leave! The city has free buses one of which stops right at the marina so it is easy to provision and obtain various supplies. Another reason for staying longer than planned is there are so many former and current cruisers that own homes in and around Vero. We were :stuck" in Vero for 24 days! At least 4 days a week I hopped on the bus to either Sam's Club, Wal-mart or Publix buying enough groceries to fill 3 bags that I could carry on to the bus. Takes a while to provision this way.

The Cruisers' Breakfast is held every Wednesday morning. The breakfast room is always packed and so noisy you can only talk to the person on your immediate right or left. Still it is a time to meet up with people we've met over the years. Thursday night is Cruisers' Happy Hour. Saturday is the Farmers' Market with fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and some crafty products. One vendor makes an unusual but delicious bread---butterscotch which is great with butter, toasted or used for french toast.

The two pictures below were taken when Kris and I went to the Farmers' Market.

Pictures from Happy Hour. Top left is Hans and Judy (WHISPUUR V). Top right is Cheryl and Skip (ELEANOR M). Bottom left is Jack and Evie (DISTANT STAR). Bottom right is Sue and Bill (NICE N EASY).

Pat and Mac (formerly on WIND-BORNE) invited Kris, Craig, Carl and I over for dinner. Mac grilled salmon for dinner. Pat gave me the recipe for the marinade she used. Hope to us it on the fish Carl will catch this winter in the Bahamas! Played SEQUENCE--the girls had a very successful night.

Keith and Rose (CAMELOT) invited several cruisers (TILT--Kris and Craig, WHISPUUR V--Judy and Hans, SEA DANCER--Ron only because Karen was visiting her parents and DISCOVERY) over for dinner at their home. Rose made lasagna and salad, Kris brought an appetizer and I brought dessert. Assumed we would get in a round of SEQUENCE in. However, we just sat around the table talking having a good visit.

Two pictures taken in the kitchen at Keith and Rose's home.

NASA launched a Delta IV Heavy Rocket. The 23-story rocket carried a spy satellite that's described as the “largest in the world.” The National Reconnaissance Office did not provide any other details other than "the mission is classified." From our mooring, we could see the rocket going up and then move across the sky. Pretty cool. Would have been cooler if we would have been in Titusville but we weren't!

With TILT and DISCOVERY side by side on the same mooring, we had each other over for dinner and/or Happy Hour a couple times. Kris had a big dinner for Pat, Mac, Carl and I. I did not go because of a bad cold---didn't want to "give it to them". Carl joined them for dinner. I could hear them laughing and having a good time from the V-berth.

Liz and Chris (SPIN DRIFT) came over to DISCOVERY for Happy Hour along with Kris and Craig. Liz doesn't eat anything with garlic which means she could not eat the appetizers Kris and I made. It had been a long time since we saw Chris and Liz---November of 2007 when they passed through the Ladies Island Bridge by Beaufort, SC----we were at the Beaufort anchorage. Hopefully we will see them again in the Bahamas this year since our time together in Vero Beach was very short.

Pictures taken during Happy Hour on DISCOVERY---guests Liz, Chris, Kris and Craig.


Ron and Karen invited DISCOVERY, TILT and ELEANOR M (Skip and Cheryl) over for dinner. Karen is a good cook and known for her desserts. This night she made a cake---the recipe came from Switzerland. The cake was beautiful and delicious--layers of a thin cake, meringue, strawberries and real whipped cream. Oh to die for.

Dinner at Ron and Karen's. Top left is a close up of one of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted. Top right shows Carl, Kris and Craig patiently waiting for dessert. Bottom left shows Karen about to cut it. She managed to cut the cake without it collapsing!

Attended Thanksgiving dinner at Jim and Ann Catchick's along with about 30 other cruisers most of which now have a home in the area. Ate outdoors on the lawn under Christmas tree lights at tables set with tablecloths and placemats. Delicious food.

The picture on the left shows Karen reading a joke to entertain the guests before dinner. Picture on the right is my dinner plate.

On the left is Jim and Ann's table. Jim is at the end of the table--Ann to his left. The picture on the right is of our table. At the end is Roland and to his right is Kathleen (Lady Kathleen). We met Roland and Kathleen in 2005 in Annapolis and again in 2009 in the Eastern Caribbean.

Untied our lines Friday morning. Stopped for fuel, water and paid our mooring fees then off to West Palm Beach via the ICW. Winds for the south (on the nose) so we decided if we had to motor might as well do it in calm seas. Made good time .Pulled into the anchorage south of Peanut Island around 5:00 PM. Surprised to see SPIN DRIFT there ready to pull anchor within the hour. Chris was dealing with an electrical problem.

The next day we continued down the ICW. Twelve opening bridges to pass through some opening on request, others on the hour and half hour and some on the quarter and three-quarter hour. Also the waterway was busy with personal watercraft and smaller powerboats. Anchored in Lake Boca Raton for the night. The anchorage was packed with small boats playing music and partying. They all left shortly before sunset. Then the anchorage was so peaceful.

Seven opening bridges to pass through the next day. Anchored at Middle River about 1/4 mile from Jon and Jill's place. They live on one of the many canals in Fort Lauderdale. Their sailboat, SIRIUS, is at a dock in front of the condo they are renting. Shortly after we dropped anchor, Jon and Jill brought their center console run about over to visit. We rode with them over to the canal where they keep the run about so we were able to see some of the area. Oh, we are in Fort Lauderdale to get our replacement solar panel and return the defective one to Kyocera.

Monday our solar panel arrived from Kyocera. The defective panel was repacked and sent back to Kyocera. Carl installed the new one Tuesday morning.

So---the month has come to an end. Leaving for Lucaya at 4:00 PM hoping to get across the Gulfstream before the forecasted strong and squally cold front arrives. Should be in Lucaya around sunrise.

Submitted by:
Marilyn Thoreson
November 30, 2010