We love Indian food. The quest for trade directly with India, for spices and other goods, inspired Christopher Columbus and other quests for a direct shipping channel between western Europe and India in the 1400’s. In 2023, We love Indian spices aboard Shellerina.
Tonight, Shelly created a dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, that we both love. But instead of rice, she used fettuccini. My goodness! It was good!
We were aiming for the highly acclaimed anchorage in between the two free city docks.
However, when we got here around 4:00 (long slow day through no wake zones) there was no anchorage to be found?! This area was all filled in with docks & boats. Plus there were a dozen or two large power boats at idle (not anchored) in the vicinity. Very odd!
We zigged and zagged around all the big boats that were idling all over the place. Then found a good spot on the other side of the harbor to drop the anchor and think a bit to figure out what is going on, and what we will do.
After a while at anchor I called the local TowBoatUS. He explained that the anchorage is closed for a big international boat show next week. The big boats doing their pirouettes in the vicinity were all boat show exhibits waiting their turn to go into their show slips!
Then we set the VHF radio to scan all channels to determine which channel(s) the boat show staff was using to coordinate the “loading up” of boat show slips.
We passed ICW mm 1000 today and dropped the hook where several other boats were anchoring.
This day was an easy 20 statute miles from Stuart and including a fuel stop, it was about 3 hours on a Friday afternoon after I had gotten all my work done for the week.
The ICW or “American Intracoastal Waterway” starts in Norfolk VA (mile zero). Then goes all the way to Brownsville TX on a mostly inland series of man-made canals and natural waterways. It is safer and easier than “going outside” for most powerboats under 40 or 50 feet… and many sailboats too. North of Norfolk, there are some “waterways” but not as much of an intrastate organized system as the ICW.
We stayed at the free dock at city hall in bustling down town Stuart. There is a 4-hour limit posted on signs, and no overnighters.
We arrived at 3:15pm and the Plan A was to simply anchor off the dock a few 100 feet between the dock and the St Lucy ICW. There were two sailboats and one trawler anchoring off on the Thursday night that we were in town.
When we got back four hours later at sunset, several locals suggested we just stay on the dock. “This county is pretty chill.” i.e. not hot tempered. Having a little rebel blood in our veins: That Plan B actually worked for us.
PROs: Several restaurants all walking distance. Floating cement docks in “good” condition. (Zero evidence of hurricane damage.) We called Parks & Rec at city hall to verify the dock was in good shape and available for transients to go ashore for a few hours. They welcomed us and our Plan A was “No problem at all! That what it is there for.”
Plan B didn’t exist yet. LOL. There are municipal restrooms and showers open to the public during daytime in the city hall building. They have 316 Stainless Steel ‘prison’ heads but things were acceptably cleaned and attended to.
CONs: it is not very protected from wakes and weather. This dock is part of a city Boardwalk. So, there is a lot of foot traffic and joggers. So groups of young people are louder than others, and there is one commercial Tiki Party boat that drops off and picks up there.
The dock is long, so the din from the bars/restaurants , and sidewalk musicians won’t bother most cruisers. But it’ll be too noisy for some others.
The “slips” to the right of the cement floating dock offered some protection from the wind and wakes. Our 39 x 14.5 ft trawler fit. Be ready to use fender boards and fenders and an extra spring line. Avoid spending long ours on the open face front docks, but technically we aren’t allowed to spend long hours there.
Funny story: before pushing off this a.m. Shelly and I both decided to use the city hall’s public restrooms and bring our trash in.
As we were slowly walking back to our boat to start the engine and push off, two police officers passed us (walking with purpose) on the long dock walkway. We are slow compared to anyone on foot.
We both thought, “We’re Busted” for staying overnight! Our Hearts beating harder than normal as we watched as the the two peace officers walked up then right by Shellerina and continued to simply inspect everything else going on on the city’s docks! Lucked out!
There are no signs of staff, dock hands, or rules enforcement. So, make your own decisions. My Bottom line: I think I recommend this place on a day with NON-stormy weather, and a Plan A approach to visit a welcoming town. For lunch, dinner, or whatever YOU dare! <wink>
That place is on the “wrong” side of the railroad bridge that will be closed for a few months soon. So look up that detail. This free dock is on the east “right” side and will not be impacted by the St Lucie waterway shutdown due to maintenance on that well used RR bridge.
The 10-12 mph breeze is keeping us cool. We have decided to head south as the forecasts tell us that the very warm February will be followed by a cooler March.
Bimini is about 45 nm from Miami. We’ll likely cross from Ft Lauderdale.
We are very excited today to hear from Tim Gibbs and his Admiral Debbie. They are just 47 miles south of us in Ft Pierce. So we’ll get to celebrate their Wake Crossing in a couple days. They are AGLCA Harbor Hosts from Cleveland OH, where we met them in July of 2021 when we were passing through that port. Tim was very helpful. Their boat, Table Six, is the same Mainship 390 that our boat is.
We just pushed off from a week and a day at Cocoa Village Marina FL. It was an enchanting week with great people surrounding us each day.
Lyle and Chris had come through for us a couple days ago with much needed assistance on the solar project.
Lyle’s father needed to get from their boat to the marina parking lot and then to the hospital. A wheelchair was needed for the task, as his dad was incapacitated.
Ken and Lyle walked over to the nearby dentist office to see if, by chance, they had a wheelchair. Sitting there in the waiting room was Shelly, who was standing vigil while I was getting my dental work done.
Shelly said, “I have a wheelchair, right on our boat!” One slip away from Lyle’s boat was her wheelchair which they then used to get Lyle’s dad to the hospital where he has been admitted. Our prayers are with him as he is reportedly having a tough time.
The aft array of two 200 watt (each) solar panels was getting shaded by the radar too often. So, today I installed a third. The AWG 10 wire was enough to accommodate the extra flow and the Solar Controller (150 volts in / 35 Amps out) could easily handle it (new config: 3x 19 vdc = 57 vdc / 13 A).
Dr. Lunstrum came highly recommended by “Ken” the GM and dock master here at Cocoa Village Marina (FL) ICW mm 897.3
I cracked my #3 (first molar upper right) on Friday night, so that meant that our 1 night stay would extend to Monday at least. This dental practice is 50 feet from this marina! I learned that they are not “in network” for my dental insurance. But the reputation and close proximity is key when cruising. It’s like he is practicing dentistry right on my dock!
We are still enjoying our anchorage here between Ponce de Lion Inlet and New Smyrna Beach. As mentioned, this Cooks Creek reciprocates with the tide. So, sometimes we are in a northerly current heading (ebb) out the inlet. Six hours later we are in flood, the current is strong in the opposite south direction.
On a hot afternoon halfway between ebb and flood, what is a man to do?
Jump into the water for a swim, of course. The water is 76°F and it feels SO good… refreshing. The heat is just sucked out of my body. It saves our fresh water supply too.
Just in case, I put out a safety line. I could tell there was no current by looking at bubbles off the swim platform. But, the safety line is “free insurance” and makes the Admiral feel better!
Lots of boats seem to like to “cruise” thru the secondary “anchorage channel” just to take a closer look at all of us who are anchored here from other ports of the eastern seaboard.
Some of them even observe the no wake zone!
The best approach to get into the anchorage channel from the ICW is between R18A and R20, then go south as far as you’d like. There is plenty of water in here… (until there isn’t. <wink>)
It’s actually fun to watch all the boats going by on Satudays and Sundays. Here we are in late February with temps in the 80s! Fortunately, today there is a breeze. Late yesterday we actually had to run the generator so we could have A/C for an hour or so. There was no breeze and it was hot.
The current reciprocates with the tide here, so care must be taken if one wants to jump in for a swim! Time it at slack tide and/or put a tailing line out for added security.
After anchoring out for a few nights we splurged for one night in this top notch marina: Coquina Marina here in Daytona Beach.
Staying at a marina also enabled us to meet up with good friends from Maine, Chrissy and Steve who moved here and are building a new home. We got to see it before dark and a couple months before it was completed and ready to move in to. Very nice!
We cannot wait to see it done in a couple months when we head north.
But, that is not why these two cards made “favorites-of-the-week”.
First, we were in a pickle. We had St Brendans Isle forward our mail to St Augustine Municipal marina on Friday using USPS Express Mail. We knew for certain that it would get there on Saturday.
Well, it got there on Saturday, but after that marina’s 11:00am [strict] check out time. We had to leave and I figured, “We’ll figure something out…” to get that package forwarded to our next stop.
As it turns out, there was NO good solution for less than $150 to get our mail! (6-7 options were explored. Uber, Lyft, couriers, taxi, marina staff, folks we met on the dock, etc.)
Then Shelly said, “Let’s call a Harbor Host!”
These volunteer AGLCA members have been incredibly helpful to us all along the way. I’d list them here, but A) the list would be too long, and B) I fear I’d leave someone out.
We found a nearby Harbor Host, Tom Lahey, in the AGLCA database on the website. Called his number and Tom picked up the call from a Caller ID he had never seen before. I explained that we were Loopers like he and his Admiral, and I explained our predicament. “Tom, do you have any advice? We are running out of options; abandon the mail, or cruise BACK north to St Augustine Municipal Marina!”
Tom said, “I’m in St Augustine today; I’ll pick up your package, and drop it off to you at Marineland Marina on my way home.”
Simple. Elegant. And amazingly Lucky for us!
Many times we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Harbor Host volunteers and other Loopers who have helped us out.
Thank you Tom! Bon voyage to you and Brenda aboard Kissed some Frogs as you push off for Platinum this week!!! Glad you liked Shelly’s lasagna for supper last night! … freshly made from scratch aboard Shellerina. And thank you for being a Harbor Host.
We got destinated in Palm Coast Marina this afternoon, and soon after we were all secured there was a couple walking their bicycles by us on the dock.
“Do you need anything at West Marine?” Was their first question. These folks obviously were generously offering their services too! “No all set, thank you though,” I replied.
Then Stuart asked, “So this is Shellerina?” “Yep” I replied. “We love your blog. We just started our Loop 1500 miles ago from AL we have loved reading you blog in preparation for our start.”
Well, Rod & Stuart of M/V Sea Turtle flattery will get you everywhere! So congratulations for making our favorite Boat Cards of the week!
Seriously, thank you for YOUR generosity too!!! You very much have caught on to the great spirit of the Looping community. Safe Adventures to you. “The experience goes by quickly, so enjoy every hour!”
Vendor cards are maintained in the back, as they are very helpful too!
This Rx helped us get over Covid… we tested negative Thursday Feb 9. We are not at 100%, but we are much better!
Special THANKS to Howard Crew for letting us keep our car at his home about 30 minutes from here.
The weather for the next few days is less than ideal. So remaining under cover here at Lambs Yacht Center makes sense. We’ll push off on Monday to a nearby anchorage and gradually head south to warmer turquoise waters.
After “common cold” like symptoms persisted for a number of days, we self tested for Covid… and came out positive. This surprised me as we both have taste and smell, and neither of us have a fever. We are both vaccinated and”boostered”.
We’ll see if our new primary care physician comes up with any treatment plans or Rx.
In any case, our plans to push off this morning for points south are delayed.
We are starting to feel better! Thanks for everyones prayers!
– Twelfth day of Christmas, aka “Little Christmas”
– The Epiphany
– 2nd anniversary of the attacks on the US Capital
But for Shelly and I, we’ll now remember it as Splash Day after being hauled out December 6, 2022 for a bottom job and some fiberglass repairs.
The fix is simply to tighten the stuffing box so the material compresses a little tighter around the shaft. That’s what we did, and it worked! The next time we haul the boat out, we’ll have new packing material added in the stuffing box.
So the Jaguars fell to the Chiefs 20-27 today. The Jags had several chances to win this game that they could not materialize. But they played a good and respectable game that they can be proud of. We hope Mahomes heals up.
Everyone agrees that the QB, Coach, and whole Team will be one to watch in the next season! Nice job to the locals… nice job Jaguars!
With a boat, it often feels like most every day is a project day! But when your boat is on the hard, you gotta find someone else’s project to work on!
So today, I assisted Gene Rutkowski of Galene splice the “good end” of his anchor line to his chain. Splicing 8-Plait anchor line is a good skill to acquire; today we got more practice together!
We tested it thru the electric windlass, and it went through just fine! I found that his 5/16” chain went thru his Lewmar 002 gypsy very smoothly. So what I learned is that the 002 works perfectly well with 5/16” chain. Whereas my 3/8” chain worked “rough” thru my 002 gypsy; the 003 gypsy that came with my new V3 windlass (installed last fall) works much smoother with 3/8”.
The other ‘well worn’ end is now tied inside his anchor locker.