Monday, December 19, 2005

Rafting in Vero Beach

"On the Road Again down the ICW from Titusville"
We left Titusville (I think there's an old joke lurking in that town name by the way. Something about buying two tickets to Pittsburg...) at 7:30 am on Sunday. Looking to make an anchorage near Melbourne FL just around the corner from Dragon Point. This is the far southern tip of Merritt Island near Satellite Beach We were nicely tucked away with several other boats. Some of these boats were forced out by the marine police and later we found out why. There was a Christmas boat parade with power boats (who else would do this?) decorated with christmas lights with many festive drunks...I mean festive holiday people on board. There was actually plenty of room but as long as you're paying three really large marine policeman, you might as well give them someone to harass.
Stiff north wind is still blowing and keeping us off of the ocean which is frustrating and we rocked and rolled pretty good all night.

On Monday we pulled our anchor at 7:00 AM again and headed more south. Now this north wind is being our friend and we rolled out our Genny and blew right down this ditch at about 6 kts. Small turns here and there required us to jibe but only cost a minimum of swearing. Good thing because we needed all are swearing skills when we got to Vero Beach.

Along the way there were several dolfins, really. We quickly get the camera and take movies but none yet have captured the essence. However we were able to capture the essence of this scene! This is what you don't want to do on the ICW:

We had called the marina earlier and, as promised in the cruising guide, there is no anchoring in Vero Beach but the marina maintains many mooring balls. The bad news is that they are very busy so you can expect to have to 'raft up' to an already moored boat. This means pulling up parallel to the other boat and tying the two of them together with fenders inbetween. When we came in we got the location and name of our rafting partner - Mooney. Now usually, when two boats raft up there are crewmembers on both boats that throw each other lines and gently reel in the boat to be rafted to the already moored boat. No such luck for us. Mooney had left fenders out on her starboard side and gone ashore. That's brave! If they had ever seen me dock this boat or knew the I would be coming in I bet they would have never left!

More fun-there was plenty of wind and current. Both against our motion so that's good. So I brought Enee in close for Sue to leap (ok Sue does not leap) or step off on to Mooney but the wind/current pushed me off before she could go. We drove around and made another pass. This time Sue got aboard.
Now I have to stay at the helm to continue to drive the boat forward to compensate for the currernt. The only way I could help Sue was to holler impossible directions about every 15 seconds and in the inbetween time complain about how slowly she was accomplishing her tasks.

Good news - after about a half and hour and no damage to either boat we are secure to Mooney. I think we'll go ashore too before Mooney owners get back and tell me how I did it all wrong. I also notice that they are flying a German flag and our boat is bigger than theirs so I hope they are not looking for more liebensraum! More good news...Sue and I are still married!

We may have a chance to get out on the ocean from Palm Beach later in the week and do the last leg to Ft. Lauderdale on the ocean.


rich P said...


Don't know if it's the one to which you're referring, but I know one GREAT joke about "two tickets to Pittsburg". I'll share it with you when we see you in a few days!

Brian said...

Sounds like a Cap'n Snappy moment

guess said...

Is it search and rescue time? Where are you? Will the Chairman's preserved body lie in a public mausoleum sprouting fungus someday like all the other "great leaders" of the revolutions(s)?