Visiting Folks Along the Indian River

Cocoa, Fort Pierce, and Stuart, FL

We stayed at Merrit Island for a few days while we ran some errands and visited the Kennedy Space Center.  The Space Center was well worth the extra day, but it was time to move on.


We had known for some time that our friends Mark and Michelle on the Manta 40 catamaran Reach would be heading south on their way from Conneticut to tropical climes during the same general time frame as we planned.  We visited with them as they passed through the Chesapeake, but they got a head start on us heading south.  We were less than a day behind them at Oriental, but then we leap-frogged them when we sailed to Cape Canaveral.  It turns out that the people who bought their old Columbia 40, Echo, were staying in a marina in Cocoa, FL., so Mark and Michelle stopped there to visit.  We couldn’t pass up the chance to rendezvous with them, so we motored the few miles over to Cocoa and anchored there.

Reach Anchored off Cocoa, FL

We spent a few days in Cocoa exploring the town, running more errands, and hanging out.  We met Dave and Judy from Echo, and John and Barbara from the PDQ cat
Sam the Skull.

Mark and Michelle in Cocoa

CocoaOn Nov. 25, Reach left Cocoa, with Compass Rose less than an hour behind. We motored down the ICW without a plan for a definite stopping place. We finally decided to stop in a little anchorage before Vero Beach. Skipper Bob’s book on anchorages gave a description of how to find the right spot and as we rounded Pine Island and looked back into the anchorage there was Reach.We settled into the anchorage and I set about a task that required a quiet anchorage – going part way up the mast to install a new flag halyard.

Installing a new flag halyard

Mark couldn’t miss out on the fun, so he dinghied over to help. I got the job finished just before the sun went down.

Sunset at Pine Island on the Indian River

Fort Pierce

Thanksgiving - Florida style

The next stop was Fort Pierce.  We anchored just before the Fort Pierce inlet and Reach soon joined us there. Jackie’s niece, Jenny, and her husband and new baby live nearby.  They had us all over for Thanksgiving dinner.  It sure seems odd to be eating Thanksgiving turkey outside with a large fan blowing on you.
We split company with Reach at Ft. Pierce.  They had a good weather window and jumped outside to head for Miami.  We motored on down the ICW/Indian River to Stuart, FL.   My aunt and uncle have a house on the waterway and I seldom get to see them, so we really couldn’t pass them by.  It’s fun to just anchor the boat and motor the dink in to visit. 
But too soon we had to leave.  Mark and Michelle decided to skip the weather window to jump to the Bahamas, so we wanted to catch them before the next crossing opportunity.  We motored down to Lake Worth and staged in the harbor for an early morning departure for Miami.  The trip had its moments.  First, we made a wrong turn and almost ended up in the Okeechobee Waterway.  Then we had to pass through a few drawbridges.   This gets to be routine – most bridges open on demand, so you hail the bridge tender on the VHF radio and ask for an opening.  They usually tell you to keep coming and they open the bridge just as you get close.  We got out of sync with the operator at the second bridge in Jupiter and found ourselves getting too close, too fast.  Putting Rosie in reverse just spun her in the wrong direction, but we got her under control and squeeked through as the bridge rose.  The next three bridges opened on a schedule and we had to motor fast to make them.  We got to the first one early and ran gently aground while waiting.  And when we got to Lake Worth we found the anchorages pretty full.  We anchored right by the inlet in close quarters with other boats.  When the tide changed it was against the wind and the boats went every which way, making for a somewhat uneasy night.
Next – Miami…..

2 Responses to “Visiting Folks Along the Indian River”

  1. Mark & Michele Says:

    We truly enjoyed Thanksgiving Florida-style! Thanks so much to you, Jinny & Brad for inviting us to join your family and have a real turkey on this day… YUMMMM

  2. former crew Says:

    As we sit here in the snow, is good to hear that you are still making way. Still thinking back on days on the Big Blue Sea. Took a solid week to get my land legs back. I now covet my AM showers & hot coffeee on demand. Here’s to warm breezes in the desired direction.. Beth & Pete (aka ‘crew’)

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