Monday, March 16, 2015

After Fort Pierce

Monday, March 16 -

Left Fort Pierce City Marina around 11:30 AM on Monday, March 9,  having downloaded new charts to cover our upcoming travels.  Nice day of travel.  Anchored at Palm Bay/Rocky Point at mile 925 behind one of the islands for some protection from the SE winds.  Gorgeous little spot in the evening...

and in the morning!

We dubbed this Lucy's Place...

On Tuesday we traveled to Titusville Municipal Marina mooring field.  Before we decide on that, we eyed three different anchorages and decided all 3 were lacking in wind protection from the howling SE blow.  Well, little did we know!  The winds that evening coming in on our moored boat made us feel like we were in a rodeo.  Yee-ha!  I'd say a moderate chop on the mooring field..

Lucy and I had a rather harrowing experience while on her evening walk.  We had taken the dinghy to  the closest ramp near our mooring, which wasn't the closest to the marina.  Wayne decided to take the gas can over to get some gasoline for the dinghy and Lucy and I stayed in the park to walk around until he got back.

The park had a walk along the harbor and we strolled over there.  I was interested to see whether the walkway went all the way around to the marina, so sort of leaned out over the rail to look.  I turned back around...and looked for Lucy.  I mean, she's on the leash with a short lead....where was she?  Then I noticed the leash pulled taut over the edge of the walk!  I hadn't heard a splash or a yelp, which worried me even more.  I peered over the edge...and there she was, soaking wet, standing on some rocks, and staring at the wall.  I knelt down and was able to pull her up by the harness.

I checked her all over and she was fine!  But soaked!!  I had on two t-shirts that evening and used the outer one to dry her off some.  By the time Wayne got back, she was nearly dry.

Poor little thing!  I wonder what was going on in her mind when she fell into the water.  I've always felt that she has had a sense of where drop-offs are, even though she can't see.  When she's on the bed she won't go off the edge.  And when she walks up the step to the bow of the boat...she will stay there barking until we get her down.  Apparently not!  Then again, it could be she would have had her senses up if she'd been off the leash, but has learned to [gulp] trust our lead. Well, I've learned a lesson there: no more walks along the water with Lucy unless she's in my arms!

Shortly after sundown the winds diminished...and during the night the water was totally flat.

Next morning our waters were still smooth.  Here's our view from the mooring field as the sun began to rise.

Good news!  May not know who he is...but he's here!!!

We had another beautiful day of travel last Wednesday.  The waters were so calm that morning, they were like glass....

Going through the Haulover Canal, heading towards the Mosquito Lagoon, we saw more manatees than we've seen in years.  There were people fishing off the bank all along the edge of the canal...and at the end, the bridge.

We passed a....well, what do you know.  I've left my copy of the Exaltation of Larks at home and don't know off hand what a group of beginner kayakers would be called.  I know!  A slap of kayakers!

Wednesday evening we anchored at Rockhouse Creek near Ponce Inlet.  We were the only boat in the anchorage that evening and it may be one of the prettiest places we've ever anchored.  In the back ground you can see the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse.

"Phenomenal," declared Wayne, as he enjoyed the late afternoon deck time...

We are anchoring more on this trip than our last and there are several reasons for that...not the least of which is the ease with which we can deploy and haul in our dinghy.  [Commercial plug to follow.]  Ben's Dinghy Popper holds the little vessel up out of the waves without obscuring the back deck view...and can pop that dinghy right in the water when we're ready to go ashore.

Here's Wayne the next morning as we got ready to take Lucy to the nearby shore.

The only yukky thing about this anchorage was that on that nearby shore where hundreds of jellyfish that had met their demise.  Apparently we're not the only ones who shouldn't get too much sun:  those jellyfish just melted away, leaving (to paraphrase Jimmy Buffet) a temporary impression of a permanent condition.

After three long days of travel, we realized we were ready for a dock.  We called Stephanie at Hidden Harbor and asked if we could come in two days early.  She checked their space and said we could come on up!  We had a pretty long day of travel that Thursday and got into the marina after 5:30.  We didn't have to worry about needing help getting in, though, because Stephanie, the dock master,  and about six other boaters on the dock were there to help us in through the considerable current.  That was just our first indication that this is a unique community of boaters, many of them here for extended stays, who go out of their way to be friendly and helpful.

Why, we even got invited to a birthday party on Saturday afternoon for one of the children who live here at the marina, Kenzi.  Kenzi turned 9 on Saturday and we were all treated to a pot luck and birthday cake!  Here's Kenzi opening up her presents...

We've been here several days now and are feeling right at home.  Today I'm blogging in the laundry room while taking care of some life chores.  Hidden Harbor Marina, located at King St. and Hwy 1,  is well situated for walking around the Old Town of St. Augustine...and for accessing the local Sunshine Bus System for those trips further in the area.  

On Friday, our first full day here, we started off with a cooked breakfast at Theo's, right by the marina.  A Greek omelet and French toast feast had us ready to take on the day.  Theo's gets into the nautical atmosphere of St. Augustine with artifacts hanging all over the place...

We walked up to the Bridge of Lions, admiring the unique architecture in the old city on the way...much of it sponsored by Flagler.  

Starting our visit with a 1.5 hour motor train tour seemed to be a good way to get oriented and to pick out some things for return visits later in the week.  I spied several art galleries/shops I'd like to revisit...and a museum.  And we saw a LOT of motorcycles out and about!  Apparently Daytona Bike Week is good for the entire coast of Florida in terms of tourist visits!

Later we walked to the Sailor's Exchange, a collection of some new, some used, boating items.  It looked like a big old antique store inside with the shelves going up to the ceiling and packed with items.  You had to look at everything in the store to make sure you hadn't missed that special something!  ;-)  Wayne was looking for a small paddle for the dinghy.  Apparently he wanted a mama bear size 'cause we found a papa bear and baby bear size.  

I was drawn (so to speak) to a huge bin filled with bolts, screws, nuts, etc.  I came home and sketched a piece for my art journal.

This is an animal friendly marina.  So far we've met 2 cats and 3 other dogs.  Brisa is a Portuguese water dog and lives with her humans on a lovely 1980 Kadey Krogen that they are slowly renovating.  It's hull number 15!'s name is Miss Brisa.  Brisa sits upright in a chair on the back deck and watches the goings on....

Had lunch yesterday at the Back 40 Urban Cafe, which is in walking distance of the marina.  Had an excellent lunch of a Cuban sandwich and sides.  Really good food at a really good price!

Here are a few more pictures from our walks around town.

Alleyways and small streets just chocked full of interesting stores...

A taste of this funky, arty, eclectic city....

Old buildings galore....

We leave here on the 31st to move north, so we'll have more time to explore.  ;-)  More to come from St. Augustine.