Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cocoa to Vero Beach

June 29, 2017
Day 6 - Cocoa to Vero Beach
09:45 to 17:30 with a 1 hour fuel stop
approximately 54 miles

The closer we get to our jump off point for the Bahamas (Lake Worth inlet), the more we’re looking at weather for crossing. In a powerboat we want flat calm with no wind. It’ll be hot but the sea will be comfortable, it’ll be safe, and efficient on gas. We have to go as far south as we have patience for since we’re crossing the Gulf Stream which has a significant north running current, about three knots. Imagine standing on a fast flowing river and you want to reach an exact spot on the other side. To make it easy on yourself, you’d walk a little further downstream, jump in, and let the current carry you up to that spot on the other side of the river, instead of starting directly across from that point or further north and having to fight the current. That’s what we’re doing with the Gulf Stream. Working our way as far south as we feel is necessary to give us some push from the current and also have a short day. 

When we woke up in Cocoa at the marina we checked the weather and it’s still looking good for a weekend crossing. Instead of leaving first thing in the morning with our coffee in hand, I ran our dirty clothes up to the marina laundromat, taking advantage of the ease of being at a dock, possibly for the last time before the Bahamas. The girls were in heaven, lying around on the couch, eating donuts, and watching cartoons. Hans and I putzed around on deck, putting things away, organizing, and taking trash off the boat. 

Laundry clean and dry, water tanks filed, and we were off. Both our tanks were running rather low on fuel so we coasted into a marina in Eau Gallie and filled our tanks. Glug glug. The boat is thirsty and we were running on fumes. It takes awhile to fill up 180 gallons of gas but the girls didn’t care. They found a perfect climbing tree with a carved stone underneath. It was a fort, a secret hideout, an airplane.

Fueled up, we set off again. The Indian River is wide open and rather boring since the shoreline is so far away. Closer to Vero Beach it narrows and there are spoil islands and bigger islands with trees and sand spits. Dolphins swam with us again and Hans and the kids played on the foredeck, hoping for big wake from other boats and Matilda exclaiming, “Rhumb Line is like a big playground!” Thank goodness she has amazing balance.

We grabbed a mooring ball at the Vero Beach City Marina, snuggled up close to the mangroves. I swear I could see the no-see-ums swarming us. We all swam and went for a dinghy exploration of the mangroves next to the boat. (Because we wanted to be that much closer to the bugs.) Earlier in the day I had placed an order with Shipt, our local grocery store’s home delivery service, and while I was putting the kids to bed Hans rowed ashore and got our groceries. It couldn’t have been easier.

The boat is running well. The more hours we spend on the boat underway, the more ship shape it becomes and the easier travel becomes. We’ve been doing some long days and we have one more long one to get us to Jupiter, and then a short hop to Lake Worth. Matilda is doing well with being on the boat for hours upon hours, but she’s our homebody so that doesn’t surprise us. Freja is getting a little fed up and even declared yesterday that she didn’t even want to do art! But then Hans rigged up a swing out of a throwable PFD and some line and she was happy again. Her boredom is completely understandable and we’re doing our best to make the trip fun but also not be constant entertainers. 

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