February 1-12, 2018
Miles Traveled: 51
Total Miles Traveled: 3651
Namaste departed Indiantown marina on a gorgeous February 1st. There were a couple of bridges to pass under and a lock to manage, all of which we had done coming the other direction in Spring 2016.
As we exited the St. Lucie River turning left onto the ICW (Inter-coastal Waterway) we passed through the “crossroads” (where the St. Lucie River, ICW, St. Lucie Inlet, and Manatee Pocket all come together) into new territory for the first time in 20 months! We are back in the land of sunrises where our adventure grows a new leg.
Because it was 51 miles to our destination of Fort Pierce FL, we decided to make an overnight stop at the Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart and enjoy the incredible hospitality on the docks and the lovely River Walk into town. We were asked to say hi to friends of friends on the “Free to b”. We walked the docks, as we always do, but didn’t see the boat until the following morning when we discovered she was two boats down the dock out of hundreds docked and moored close-by.
Coming into Sunset Bay Mooring & Marina, Jim waving from the River Walk, and the Namaste Too nestled at the dock with “Free to be” two boats to our stern.
The trip from Stuart into Fort Pierce was relaxed except for slight concern about current in the marina. We had calculated slack-tide (the time with minimal water moving in or out and thus the lowest current) and timed our arrival accordingly only to find that the marina used the tide charts of the next station north instead of the Fort Pierce readings. Thus, the current was stiff but we managed to dock for fuel and a pump-out in preparation for our month-long stay. As we re-boarded to move into our slip, Captain Jim turned the key to a soft click instead of a robust roar. After just having spent $800+ for new batteries there was no good explanation for why the engine wouldn’t fire up so the busy fuel dock requested that we move as soon as possible requiring a hip-tow from another boat into our assigned slip. Nancy and Mike on “California Lady”, friends from Faro Blanco two years ago, were awaiting our arrival to assist, commiserate and serve up a chili supper on their back deck, better known as the porch.
Lunch and fancy drinks at Cobb’s Landing with Debbie and Tom
Happy Hour supper aboard the Namaste Too adding Mike and Nancy
Now, neither the engine nor the air conditioning were working! Over the next few days the engine issue was diagnosed as a starter problem which was removed from the engine room, a solenoid replaced and a fork adjusted at the nearby alternator shop and then reinstalled by the captain. When the key turned this time it was music to our ears. We had to wait a few days on the air conditioner guy but eventually we connected and that issue was an easily replaced fuse that we would never have found ourselves. Back in business just in time for Debbie and Tom, our Great Lakes boating buddies, arrival from Michigan. But first, we were treated to watching the Space X – Falcon Heavy Rocket take-off from the Kennedy Space Center. From 94 miles away, the pictures aren’t as dramatic as the feeling of watching live as the 27 rocket engines lifted into the air. If you haven’t seen the pictures taken of Earth through the windshield of the Tesla aboard the spaceship, you are missing something.
Space X – Falcon Heavy Rocket
Now back to a word about Debbie and Tom. We cruised Lake Erie with these guys for about 8 years when we were both new to the big boat thing making many buddy trips to Put-in-Bay, Pelee and Kelly’s Island before we moved Namaste to Lake Charlevoix. They have visited us three times while on the loop (Gulf Port, Marathon and now Fort Pierce) and report that they are in favor of the Namaste Too as much improved accommodations. While they were here we stopped working and began to explore Fort Pierce, a slightly tired but rejuvenating, inter-coastal city whose claim to fame is hosting the Navy SEALs beach reconnaissance training ground during World War II (1943-46). Think preparing for the invasion of Normandy! We toured The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum commemorating the work of these amazing men. I just learned that the SEALs also train for winter weather water operations in Alpena, MI.
In addition to our educational experience, we also had two trips to the State Park beach where we watched Tom play with his favorite Christmas toy, a drone camera. Next was lunch at the Disney resort on Hutchinson Island, the barrier reef protecting Fort Pierce from the Atlantic.
A beach. . .a drone. . .a captive audience!
We walked through town and had a memorable Tappas dinner listening to singer and pianist Antonio York. Two Tiki bars, a trip to Best Buy, lady shopping in Vero Beach and getting our smart TV set to watch the Olympics (thanks Tom!) were rounded out with a trip to the most amazing Farmers Market 100 yards from the boat and creating a Debbie feast of roast pork tenderloin (cooked in the insta-pot), sweet potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, pea-pods, a green salad++, roasted tomato/rosemary bread, and red wine with strawberries for dessert. It was sad to see them go off into the abyss of snow awaiting them in Grand Rapids but more visits are promised!
Jim has found a true captain’s shopping extravaganza called the Marine Connection right here in Fort Pierce. It is a liquidator of marine supplies, both new and used. Housed in huge barns with helpful staff, they sell anything and everything a boater could possibly need except for the ridiculously expensive davit system we need for our dinghy. Pictures tell the story best!
A basket ride, buildings, biminis, and benches
I joined a three-time-a-week jazzercize class with Nancy (no pictures available). It seems I am getting better at the jazz part but my feed don’t always follow what my brain suggests. What I know for sure is that I was hot, sweaty and tired at the end of the hour today so I am sitting on the fly-bridge looking out over the inter-coastal to Hutchinson Island in a cool breeze drinking La Croix, eating trail mix and feeling quite healthy thinking about all those amazing Olympians!
A question you might ask, why are you staying a month in Fort Pierce? Well, there are many answers depending upon the day but mostly to savor the perfect Florida weather (average high temps vary between 79 and 82) and the low slip fees which are cheaper by about 25% on a weekly or 50% on a monthly basis. When we begin moving every day or so anchoring frequently will allow us to enjoy a more peaceful life at reduced costs.
Sammy Sayz: I finally got a groom last week from a really nice lady in this cute little pink shop. J & J say that it is the best haircut ever so I guess I look pretty good but they haven’t yet held up a mirror. It was great to have Debbie and Tom aboard for a little diversion and lots of petting and treats but I am sad because the beaches around here aren’t dog friendly so I had to stay on the air conditioned boat. Can you imagine?
Good Boat Name: “Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust”
Bad Boat Name: “Ultimate Bitch”
Quote: “Walls Keep everybody out. Boundaries teach people where the door is.” -Mark Groves
Get well: Craig
Happy Birthday: Bernie, Karen, Ollie, Colleen,
Sending love to all of my Valentines!