Hit Counter

Monday, March 30, 2009

More on Ft. Pierce

We are still in Ft. Pierce, although Byrne and Sharon left earlier this week, we have been able to keep ourselves busy. In between the rain showers, we have managed to get out and ride our bikes. All the way to West Marine and back, Byrne! I think we should have invested stock in West Marine the way we keep stimulating their business with our money!! But, now we have only one project left to accomplish on the inside of the boat...the outside still has it's own projects!! We now have all the necessary componets to clean and wax the deck of the boat although rain has slowed that project along with the dred of doing it!!

I have finally gotten out and taken some pictures of Ft. Pierce, it really is a nice quiet town with alot going on. In the last three weeks, they have had The Smothers Brothers, Bill Cosby, Peking Acrobats,and The Oakridge Boys performing at the Sunrise Theater. The theater opened in 1923 as the largest on the East coast between Miami and Jacksonville. It remains very active with something new going on almost every day. I found out the Met's hold their spring training camp close,(St. Lucie, Fl) but will miss seeing any games now that they are almost ready for opening Day.

So baseball starts and college b-ball continues...what's up with that?? I thought it was MARCH madness, will they call it April flurry now? All my picks petered out so I have no one to root for! I have moved on to soccer now. MLS kicked off last week and the Womens league on Sunday. I hope they make it this time around. From the look of the first game it has promise. Now there is something to watch on Sundays...check it out!

Enjoy the pictures as we enjoy Ft. Pierce.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

So, we have been in Ft. Pierce now for a week, after an overnight stay in Melbourne. While in Melbourne we had breakfast with Aunt Lil and Uncle Ron

who winter there from Indiana. They are actually my friend Debbie’s aunt and uncle, but you know when you meet someone for the first time and you feel like you have known them forever? That is how it was. We had a wonderful time chatting and hope they will join us on our return trip north.

Since we have been in Ft. Pierce it has done nothing but rain, at least some time every day. Each morning I can hear a manatee under the boat rubbing it's back and drinking our AC water as it runs out the side of the boat. It's pretty cool and I did catch a picture yesterday morning.

We met up with Tom, from Nipigon, for dinner on Monday. Rose, he cooked a wonderful dinner for us, but we did miss you. Hurry home!!

Our friends, Sharon and Byrne, from Ottawa, Canada, arrived last Saturday and it has been catch up on a whole year ever since! They own a beautiful 42’ custom made (by Byrne’s father) sailboat and are returning from the Bahamas and headed north. They will be continuing their sailing in Lake Ontario for a while!
On St. Patrick’s Day, we partook in drinking some green beer (actually it was just the bottle that was green) on the streets of Ft. Pierce and afterwards had a nice dinner at the “TIKI HUT” here at the marina. The celebration wasn’t like the ones we’ve attended in Dayton, Ohio, but then again you don’t walk around in shorts and tee shirts in Ohio this time of year either! It was small and subdued in comparison, but nevertheless fun!

We have made many trips to Wal-Mart for the girls and West Marine for the men, almost a daily experience!! It is amazing, either what you forget or what else you can find that you need, when you have the ability to go shopping!! We go weeks without seeing a Wal-Mart, then can’t seem to get enough!! And speaking of enough… we went to a “Marine Flea Market” in Dania, Florida, about 2 hours away, and of course found things to buy!!! Gordon and I are trying to do our part for the economy!!! Seriously though, we did get a pair of dock lines to replace some stiff worn out ones and a ball fender to match the one we found on the beach in Turks and Caicos. Then it was off to eat!!!

Patrick, we found another one of the Diners featured by Guy Fieri (in episode 310 Comfort Food), on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Grandpa’s Bakery and Restaurant was great. Gordon and I had the Rueben’s, Byrne, a ham and mushroom omelet and Sharon had the fruit salad with hot banana bread. I must say we were full when we left, but couldn’t resist some Cannoli’s to take with us for later. Byrne swears we eat our way up and down the coast…maybe we do??! That’s all for now. (It’s time for dinner!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


We were up bright and early, still haven't completely adjusted to daylight saving time! We had breakfast, yes, it was strawberry shortcake, then we were off to do some more bike riding. We rode over to the causeway in preparation for finding the best place to be to see the liftoff. We talked to some people who had already parked and were essentially tailgating, although most were inside in their AC motor homes! Everyone seemed excited about seeing this lift, it is only one of a few left to launch before they go to something else. We spent most of the day riding bikes about town and we checked out the Space Park before heading back to the marina for dinner only to find out the launch had been scrubbed!

We got to see the hydrogen spewing from the rocket through binoculars but that would be all she wrote. We will be leaving here in the morning, the next stop will be in Melbourne.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Haviing left early this morning, the trip south was breezy and almost cool! Sorry guys, but 70* is cool when your on the water! We were making good time and had the current with us most of the way. Once we reached mosquito Lagoon we heard the Coast Guard anounce the closing of the surrounding area due to tomorrows space launch. Gordon only panicked a little bit! It turned out fine, we entered the Hallover Canal, made it through the Drawbridge an quick time and were on approach to Titusville. We saw alot of dolphin on this trip, but missed seeing the manatee.

We docked at the Titusville City Marina, we have stayed with them before, and were all tied up,electric and water hooked up and riding bikes before 5:00pm. Titusville is a run down small town just north of Cocoa Beach and it's claim to fame is NASA. I can assure you it isn't a vacation destination other than to see a launch or visit NASA its self.

We checked back aboard the boat had some dinner made from the nice vegi's I bought at the Daytona Farmers Market and baked a short bread. Now that's a story!! Ok, so I wanted to bake a shortbread for the wonderful strawberries I had...Troy eat your heart out! I pulled the butter out, found my bisquik in the back of my pantry cabinet which I had to totally unpack to get to, but I did find my bag of sugar there too...which I spilled! So now I have to clean up the sugar spill first before continuing....I was looking at the recipe and of course I miss read the amounts(who would think a recipe would mention that you needed to add a half cup of sugar to the berries??) Any way, I finally got the shortbread in the oven an hour and a half after starting and now it was 9:30, Gordon was asleep so guess who had strawberry short cake all by herself??!? With whipped cream to boot! Gordon will have his for breakfast I guess. I would more baking if it wasn't such a project to do on our boat, I wonder if it's such a project on all boats?

So now I'm tired and full, so good night!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today is our last day in Daytona Beach. The 2009 Daytona 500 NASCAR race has been over for almost a month now; the hoard of accompanying stock car fans having all gone back to their normal lives. With them went the lumbering blimps, darting planes and grandiose banners that once filled the daytime skies. Bike Week too has ended, it’s final day being yesterday. Now the town seems eerily quiet without the constant, low-level roar of motorcycle engines rumbling in the distance or the roving bands of bikers, stalking the sidewalks at all hours of the day and night. With their passing, we’ve carefully filed both events away as fond memories of the people we’ve met here and the fun we’ve had while in Daytona Beach. But, rather than being quiet and relaxed, our last day started off with a bang.

The morning began with loud voices and excited conversation outside of our boat. Schooner woke up first and alerted me that something was not right. I got out of bed, threw on some clothes and scurried up the ladder to see what was happening. Boy was I ever surprised when I saw that the boat at the slip behind us was more than half under water. It was still tied to the dock, but it had definitely sunk. I went out onto the T-head and took a closer look and it was clear that the sinking had occurred recently, because there were still air bubbles coming from the seams and joints where the deck assembly joined the hull.

Well, in no time at all, there were people everywhere on the dock. Daytona Beach Fire & Rescue Crew, the Coast Guard, Daytona Police, the Florida EPA, Marina Security, and the usual contingent of spectators had all gathered to stare at, and comment on, what had happened to what was once a pristine 2000 Monterey, Model 296 Cruiser. Salvage people were called, along with the vessel’s owner, and soon they too joined the crowd. Kim and I watched the sideshow for an hour or so, but finally decided to leave, run some last minute errands and let the official types do what was required to get the boat up off of the bottom. So, leaving Schooner on board to guard the boat, we jumped on our bicycles and headed for town.

First on our “to do” list was brunch at HOUND DOGS, Daytona’s best, locally owned, fast food restaurant. Mike and Anne, the owners, were both on hand and in between the steady flow of customers, Kim and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch accompanied by good conversation. With appetites satisfied, we all said our good byes and Kim and I promised to see them again on our way back north.

From HOUND DOGS, we made an ATM run at the bank, went to the local drug store to replenish some first-aid supplies and finally made our way back to the boat. There, we discovered that our sunken neighbors had been raised, floated onto an awaiting trailer and hauled out of the water. The salvage crew, who were still cleaning up equipment on the dock, told us a plastic fitting, (we replaced all of these on our boat with bronze fittings during the first month of ownership) connected to a thru-hull fitting, had failed. Apparently, the overworked bilge pump finally gave out and the result was a sunken boat. We hope the owners have good insurance.

Last thing on the “to do” list was a trip to Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club to restock our cupboards. To get there, we took the bus that passes right by the marina, which drops off passengers at a stop between the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. It was a short 12-minute ride to the stop, so in no time at all, we had visited both stores and our shopping was done. Then, it was back to the bus stop (a bus comes by every hour) and another 12-minute ride back to the marina. For $3.00 each, round trip, you just can’t beat the convenience.
With all of our errands complete, we retired to the boat and made ready to leave at first light in the morning. Kim and I are both excited to be moving on south, but sad at leaving Daytona Beach. This is one of the best spots along the ICW and a really great spot to come and spend a day or a month. We’ll both really miss it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


It was the last 3 days of Bike Week and the weather finally co-operated and got warm. Thursday, friends Patti and Steve, from Troy, Ohio came over from Orlando for a day of looking at bikes. We walked most of Beach Street before heading back to the Marina. We walked a total of 4 miles.

On Friday, Gordon and I walked from the marina, over the Rt. 92 Bridge
and then north on Atlantic Blvd, where we had lunch at a favorite BBQ joint appropriately called Hog Heaven. Their were many Harley’s in the parking lot and pigs inside!! We had a table for four outside, but since the wait was so long for the coveted outside seating, we had a couple from St Pete join us. It was a pleasant lunch and really enjoyable talking to someone other than just the two of us. After lunch, we continued our walk and gawked at the many bikes and people drinking along the street. From the beach, we headed back across the Main Street Bridge and back toward the marina.

Just as we were arriving at the entrance to the marina, we ran into Chip and Kay, (BESO) on their way to check out the bikes on Beach Street. We were invited to join them, so we proceeded to walk back up Beach Street where we had just come from!!! Since it was Friday evening, all the crazy people were popping out, including the “Girls Gone Wild” crew. At this point I was just about dragging poor Schooner along the sidewalk! We stopped in at a local watering hole called McK’s for a beer, wound up having 2 and those that know me, that was 2 too many!! We had walked a total of 8 miles in the sun and it was a toss up as to which of the 3 of us was the most tired!!!

Saturday morning, we stopped by the Farmers Market just up the street from the marina. What a great selection of fresh vegetables and fruits. I got some strawberries that came from Plant City, Florida, which is where most of your early spring berries come from. The ones I picked out were wonderful!! I even made a short cake to go with them!! Then it was off on another day of walking…back over to the beach, the pier, Hog Heaven and back to the marina! Again another 8mile day! I guess I shouldn’t total up all the miles I have either walked or bicycled this month. I know it would scare me!!

So, that’s the end of Bike Week Daytona and what a great time we have had here. To our friends we visited, those who visited us and new friends we made, it has truly been a memorable month.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Kim and I woke up this morning as excited as two eager tots on Christmas morning. We weren’t going downstairs to open presents, instead, we were going to the opening day of Daytona Bike Week-’09. Bike Week is a motorcycle event and rally held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. More than a half million people make their way to Daytona, lining both sides of N. Beach Street and Main Street, for the 10-day event. The festivities include motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals. The event is usually held on the first full week of March and contends with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as the most popular motorcycle rally in the U.S.A.

Having never been to Bike Week before, the prospect of going out and seeing the sights was, for us, almost more exciting than Christmas. Unlike the Daytona 500, which confines its madness to the speedway and adjacent grounds, Bike Week infects the entire city of Daytona Beach. People descend on Daytona like a swarm of Bees to celebrate the motorcycle, and as early as 7:00 am, we could hear the steady rumble of countless bikes thundering in the distance. The weather, too, was perfect. A cloudless sky, low humidity, 72-°F and a light southerly breeze combined to make the day just right for walking around town.

We Left the boat around 10:00 and headed toward the old Downtown area along N. Beach Street. Having skipped breakfast, we made a mandatory stop at our favorite fast food place, Hound Dogs. This place is so cool with the Elvis memorabilia on all of the walls and the King singing softly in the background. But the best part is the food, because you can get a genuine Chicago Style Dog, or a Chili Cheese Dog that rivals Skyline, or some of the best N. Carolina Style, Pulled Pork Barbeque you’ve ever had. We absolutely love the place.

From Hound Dogs, we wandered on down Beach Street, towards Main Street and across the bridge to Daytona Beach proper. We spent a little better than 6 hours walking the 5.2 mile round trip and taking pictures of the bikes along the way. I honestly don't think we ever saw the same bike twice. People were really friendly and it was fun watching all of the bike displays, partiers, pedestrians and crazies on motorcycles. It was truly just one big party.

We finally got back to the marina around 5:00 pm and kicked back for a bit to rest our feet. Once our feet stopped aching, we put together a slide show from some of our day’s pictures and have posted them here for your enjoyment. If you want bigger images that are in the blog slide show, you can click on http://sailpoints.com/bikeweek/bikeweek09.htm and view them there. The website takes less bandwidth, plus you can RIGHT CLICK on the show and a control panel will pop up so you can stop the action for a longer look. Either way, we hope you enjoy what we saw on Opening Day.