31 December 2006

Vero Beach, Florida

December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Helen! (Kristen’s mom)

We left Titusville on Wednesday morning together with Snow Day. The weather was a bit blustery but the wind was coming from the north so it wasn’t too bad since we were heading south (always south!).

We planned on making three short day hops to get to Vero Beach, also called “Velcro Beach” by some who can’t get themselves to leave.

Hans and a gelaming Boris. Cleaned with a toothbrush! (see, cruising isn't *all* fun & games).

Day one we went about 20 miles to Cocoa, Florida. When we arrived we spent a couple of hours at what is reputed to be the East Coast’s best and biggest hardware store, S.F. Travis & Co. and we went out for dinner at a biker bar/restaurant where the waitress left some of her own blood on our table…. Biker bar indeed…

After pulling up our sea-weed laden anchor rode, we were able to give Boris a well deserved break and hoist our sails for a reach down the Indian River. Snow Day also put their sails up and it was so much fun to be going along with another boat on such a beautiful day. We were healing to 20 degrees and moving at about 5 knots with no waves on the water!

Snow Day sailing along. They're a little bit faster than us under sail, which they happily gloated about and talked about longer waterline, bigger sail area, etc. Technical details. The next time we're under sail together, Whisper will be a speck on their *forward* horizon.

Whisper sailing along.

Whisper & Snow Day at anchor after a day of sailing.

We anchored on the eastern shore of the Indian River with the hopes of finding out way across the barrier island that separates the Indian River from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach. After one failed attempt at the Miller Bushwhacking tour of the alligator and who-know-what-else-slithers infested, dark, wet, jungle that is the eastern shore of the Indian River, we made a second attempt and landed our dinghies on some unsuspecting retired Floridian’s back yard and scurried across to the beach.

Although it was dark and only about 50 degrees (15 C) Abbey and Mathew from Snow Day went swimming. The two crews feasted on rice and beans and watched the surf and such.

Day three saw us arriving in Vero Beach where we are now rafted together sharing a mooring ball (there is no anchoring allowed in Vero Beach).

Kristen braving the torrential downpours and hour-long rain storm that accompanied us on our way to Vero Beach.

We spent the last two days going to the beach. The water is warm and swimmable, but the surf is huge and we’ve both gotten tossed around quite a bit.

We’ll spend New Year’s Eve here and then head south to Palm Beach on Wednesday.

Two happy boogie boarders.

Hans playing frisbee at the beach.

Guitarist Abbey.

Hopefully we didn't keep the whole anchorage awake with our music-making. The band consisted of a guitar, washboard, harmonica, penny flute and many voices. The nail on the coffin of the singing was "Blue Suede Shoes" which turned into the "Never Ending Song" which Rob successfully ended by singing about "Smelly Suede Shoes." Abbey & Matthew went wild!