Nest of snow birds

Trip Start Dec 01, 2007
Trip End May 31, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, April 12, 2008

It felt really good to get the First Forty moving.  I blew the horn as we rounded the turn getting out of the Twelve Oaks Marina and it felt good to hear the purr of the engine as we passed dozens of anchored cruising boats.  We made the turn north and started up the ICW passing the PGA bridge, Seminole Marina and other local sights.   I had nearly stopped thinking of the Bahamas.  The winds were still blowing hard in the wrong direction and we were heading north despite them.  It all felt good.

The first 40 miles going up it full of bridges and go-slow zones so I was happy when we dropped anchor north of Stuart.  I had not paid much attention to segmenting the trip up to logical stops, but Sue had.  We call this a "Float Plan" and Sue has been doing it for some time.  When we hauled anchor the next morning, I ask Sue where we were going.  She said "Vero Beach".  Oh, I said.....  OK.

Our friend Jim, on "Summer Skis" (Nordhavn 43) had kept his boat in Vero Beach and we had driven up there to see him once.  It was a nice set up....a decent marina near the beach, on a free city bus, culture and shopping near by.  This might be good. 

I called the Vero Beach City Marina on the cell phone and found the could take up on a shared mooring for 11 bucks a kind of pricing.  My only concern is that the marina asks that the mooring is shared with 2-3 boats.  I was worried about the 'rafting' idea and wanted to see what kind of vessel we might be paired with. 

So we make our way up the ICW at our usual 7 kts....chug..chug..chug.  By 3pm we had the Vero channel in sight.  I turned it and saw many boats....some on a single mooring but most 2 or 3 abreast.  I looked for a possible go.  It had all been turned into a mooring field.  Sue called the harbor master and the radio and they assigned us to mooring 15 along with a smaller trawler called Salty.  After sizing up the prospective mooring mate, I made the approach and with light winds we were able to safely tie up along the smaller and older vessel.  Luckily the captain and mate were on board and they helped us tie up safely.  While I was still not in love with sharing a tie, it seemed like it might work.

So we stayed three night at the Vero Marina and had a very nice time.  We found that the vast majority of the boats had 'wintered' there and most were from either Canada or New England.  A few would come and go daily but most had been full blown "Snow Birds".  To a couple, they were all friendly and welcoming as we have always found cruisers.  Personally, this is a bit too much like boat as RV for my taste.  I want the adventure of going to new places and facing new challenges, but they were nice folks. 

We ended up going to a couple parties over the three days as well as time at the Vero beach, seaside happy hour, a Thai Lunch and some great weather.  With the availability of the city of Vero plus the great transportation and beach access, it was easy to see why this place is popular. 

But three days was enough for these rolling stones turned cruisers.  It was time to go and by 9am today, we resumed our trip north. 
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