Saturday, March 23, 2013

One Last Cruise

Days on cruise:  315

Distance traveled:  21.3 miles

Travel time: 2 hours, 39 minutes

Total trip odometer:  6,303 statute miles

Well, we decided not to stop Looping after all, so today we headed north again, ready to begin Loop #2!

Ok, maybe that’s not what really happened. Ten days at dock sorting, cleaning, unpacking the boat, loading the pickup truck and having Dave handle a list of minor repairs was enough, and we were ready for a break, so we took a trip!

photo (51)

Actually we started the day by going to the Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market one last time. It seemed there were far fewer booths, especially fruits and vegetables, than last year, but we enjoyed it anyway.


Fellow Loopers Mark and Allyn on Second Wind, and Deanna and Dick on Sareanna were 10 miles north in Vero Beach, so drove down to meet us there. Mark and Allyn are new friends we met in Sanibel a month ago who just started their Loop the week before. We’ve spent lots of time with them since then and greatly enjoy their company. Dick and Deanna were the Lead Boat in our Gulf Crossing flotilla from Carabelle to Tarpon Springs in January, and they also completed their Loop three days after we did!


Shortly after noon we slipped our lines and headed up the ICW for a last night at anchor, just for the heck of it. We didn’t anchor out much after we left Mobile, AL in early January, mostly because it was so cold and we wanted shore power to keep the heat running, but also because it was unusually windy. We missed anchoring out and wanted one last night on the hook.


As we passed Vero Beach City Marina (above) we texted Second Wind and think we see their boat, just barely, in the photo above.


The mansions lining the ICW here are different than those further south: still big, but less so, and prettier, we think.


We dropped the hook in 8 feet of water between Pine Island and Hole in the Wall Island, just off the ICW five miles north of Vero Beach. We anchored here a little more than a year ago when Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell sent us on a “test run” by ourselves, and we liked it. There are lots of Spoil Islands in this area (islands created by piles of dredged material from the ICW), and many of them have pretty white beaches where smaller boats pull ashore to picnic, as above.


Our chartplotter screen shows the “figure 8” we did to check  the depth of the bottom where we intended the drop the hook, then the path the boat followed while settling after the wind and current, running in opposite directions, decided where we would land.

Now . . . for a relaxing evening!

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