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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

01 MAY thru 15 MAY 07: Vero Beach, Florida

GPS Position: 27°39'.590N: 80°22'.249W

We left Chub Cay around 0830 and struck out for Bimini. We left in the company of 6 big powerboats and a really fast catamaran. The powerboats quickly pulled out of sight leaving nothing but the not-so-fond memory of their wakes and the cat finally pulled out of sight after six hours of running. We were alone on the Great Bahama Banks.

The wind was in our favor, so we made pretty good time into Bimini. Arriving around 2130 hrs, we dropped anchor on the west side of the island and crashed. I set the alarm for 0230, as both Chris Parker and NOAA reported that the best time to cross would be between 0300 and 1000 tomorrow. When the alarm jolted me awake, I went up topside and checked the conditions. You could have used the ocean as a mirror it was so flat. At 0300 sharp, I pulled the anchor and started across the Gulf Stream for the good ole’ USA.

The weather held for the entire trip over to Ft. Lauderdale and we made Port Everglades at 0930, right on schedule. From there, we traveled inland to the Downtown Riverwalk Marina, which is operated by the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Once settled, I called and cleared us with US Customs. Next, I called and reserved a rental car, so we could do some shopping and go over and report, in
person, to immigration. Kim and I went over and picked up the car, checked in with immigration and then went to Skyline Chili to pig out on Cincinnati style chili spaghetti. Uummmm good!

Over the course of the next six days, we made the usual rounds to grocery stores, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart to restock the boat after our time in the islands. We drove to Miami Beach and ate lunch at an old hangout of ours from the seventies. We also went to Miami Ink, of TLC fame, but wasn’t to impressed. The word dump comes to mind, but that’s just our opinion.

Our camera broke on our last day in Chub Cay, so we went looking for a new one. We called Patrick, who’s a manager with H. H. Gregg, and arranged for Andie to pick one up in Kennesaw tomorrow and bring it to us. It’s difficult being without a camera.

We rode bicycles to the beach and watched the air show and the Thunderbirds. We also watched all of the strange people that were down on the beach. We’re not sure which was the better show, the people or the planes.

We bought a new mattress for our bed from the Zeno Mattress Company ( the original one had given up the ghost.) It’s a custom made, 8” thick natural rubber,
memory foam mattress that’s more comfortable that anything we’ve ever slept on. All in all, it was a productive six days.

On the 9th, we picked up Andie and Havyn at the airport. She’s a pretty baby and really good tempered, so having them with us for a couple of weeks should be a lot of fun. We spent the next two days showing Andie around Ft. Lauderdale and getting her and Havyn used to the regimen of living on the boat. It wasn't much of an adjustment, so we should be clear to leave here on the12th.

We got up this morning, had breakfast and were underway by 1030. Traveling the ICW on a Saturday still stinks. There are lots of boats with stupid people behind the wheel. The worst thing on the ICW are the jet skis. Kids jumping wakes and circling your boat like Indians around a wagon train just drive me crazy. The only salvation is that Andie and Havyn seem to enjoy the traveling and Andie is seeing more than her share of dolphin.

Tonight, we are on Lake Worth, just south of West Palm Beach, FL, in about 15 feet of water. We anchored around 1830 and had a light dinner. The wind is just right to gently rock the boat, so the baby is sleeping really good and the night should be uneventful.

The morning of the12th, I checked my E-mail and got word from BESO that they are at Soverel Harbor Marina in West Palm Beach, FL. I E-mailed them back and told Chip that we were on the way north and would stop there for the next night or two. It will be really great to see chip and Kay again.

Today is Mother’s Day and we arrived at Soverel around noon, pulled into the marina and found our slip. The marina is nice, modern and clean, but the maneuvering room is very tight. It took us 15 minutes or so to back into the slip and another 20 minutes to get everything hooked up. We have 50 amp service, which means we’ll have A/C tonight.

Once settled, we took Andie and Havyn to meet Chip & Kay and agreed to all have diner together. We then walked around the several shops that surrounded the marina and then returned to the boat to relax a bit before dinner. Dinner was really good and the companionship and conversation were excellent. We went back to the boat after dinner and crashed in the comfort of A/C

The next morning, we said our goodbyes again, as Chip and Kay were leaving for Bermuda. After a late start, we finally got underway around 1100 and getting out of Soverel Harbour was a real bitch. I almost tore the dinghy off of the back of the boat when the wind blew the rear of the boat into the pilings at the slip. I almost didn’t get away, but all’s well that ends well and we sustained no damage.

After leaving the marina, we made our way north up the ICW, accompanied by lots of rain and wind; 22 to 25 Kts to be exact. We finally got a spot free rinse on the boat, however, so it didn’t turn out too bad. We ended up in Vero Beach at the City Marina (no anchoring in Vero Beach, as it’s again’ the law) on a mooring. Hopefully, we can get an earlier start tomorrow and make better progress up the Intercoastal.

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