We turned north from Stuart Friday morning, taking the ICW toward home. We had traveled these waters two months ago, but they looked slightly different this time because we were going in the opposite direction. The destination was Vero Beach, where we’d spent 16 days in late January and February. We were determined not to stay that long this time — our horse knows we’re heading for the barn, and is anxious to get there quickly. It was a good day on the water, sunny but not too hot, with a little wind but not enough nor from the right direction for sailing, and Madge was continuing to prove to us that she can consistently run at 6 kts. By around three o’clock, we arrived at Vero Beach. All the mooring balls were occupied, but as is the practice here, we rafted up with a nice Catalina 34 Mark II named Plumpuppet. We didn’t really get much of a chance to meet the crew, because early the next morning they dropped off the ball and took a slip in the marina. We later learned that the boat is being put up for sale. I’ve always liked the 34 Mk II. It is a perfect size for a cruising couple, and quite popular. Though two feet shorter than Madge, it has a bit more room below (being wider) and a roomier cockpit. The boat looks to be in good shape. I hope it finds a new home soon. Somebody’s gonna get a good boat. But I digress…
We had a few items on our checklist for this visit, and only wanted to stay long enough to get them done. We needed to provision and do laundry; wanted to go to the beach; refuel; pump out; and hit the Monday night burger special at Mr. Manatee’s. We checked in for five nights, thinking to leave on Wednesday. Ha!
On Saturday, we went to the grocery and marine stores in the morning, and did laundry in the afternoon. We walked to the beach on Sunday, even though it was a bit cool and very windy, and went to an ice cream social on some friends’ boat in the afternoon. Besides us and the hosts, there were two other couples there. We had a great time and stayed several hours, talking about places we’d been or want to go, and all the funny stories that naturally go with having spent any amount of time on the water. On Monday evening, the ice cream group gathered again, and we all dinghied across the Indian River to Mr. Manatee’s Bar and Grill for the burger special.
In the meantime, on Sunday night, we learned that the Dubhes were heading our way, and planned to reach Vero Beach by Thursday. Since they are great traveling companions, and our boats run at about the same speed, we decided to wait for them to catch up, so we could head north together. We don’t know how long they’ll want to stay in Vero Beach to catch their breath, but we’ll hang out here until they’re ready to go.
Nothing holds on like Velcro… Beach.