Our Southern Navigation Limit This Year — Twixt Vero Beach and Fort Pierce

Benignest Kind

The trip from Vero to Fort Pierce started well with a much friendlier marina employee checking us out and with friendly assistance from the power boat “Panache” slipped next to us. It also helped that the persistent 15 kt breeze dropped for a few minutes since it was coming right from where the stern had to go to get us out of tight quarters.

The waterway had more small fishing boats zipping, drifting, and sitting around than anywhere so far. Of the two that presented navigation problems, both were on cell phones. The water turned more turquoise as we approached the Fort Pierce Inlet. There, the North Bridge Tender gave us a perfectly timed opening. After the next high-rise bridge, the new channel marks for the Fort Pierce City Marina immediately presented a confusing picture. Number 3 and #4 are in reversed positions from all the rest of the marks leading up the new (post hurricane damage) channel. Once the dock hand at Fort Pierce City Marina explained over Ch 9, it was no worries. One ignores the colors and numbers of the first two marks and simply passes between them. Another good dock hand.

This time we had to pivot the boat 180 degrees in tight quarters to slip, but we were glad as it put us in a breezy spot in this land locked basin. Plus in this one slip in the whole place, we can fuel and pump out in the slip! We called and found a nail salon for Janet and walked over later (1/3 mi) to get the necessary repairs. I went to the shuffleboard courts (it was shaded there) to read and watch porpoise while she did her thing.

Back at FPCM we had dinner at the Tiki. The food was…OK. They had a “Ska” version of “The Guns of Navarone” theme playing when we sat down.

Ska, is the predecessor (1950-mid 60s) to Reggae and uses a walking bass beat played almost double time. Reggae is normally slower than Ska and has emphasis on 1st and 3rd beats. It was weird. The music sounded like it was on speed. The group that recorded it, “The Skatilites,” from Jamaica, more or less defined the genre but only stayed together for a year. The live guitar-playing singer who came in later was pretty good, but we were ready for our own music. This was the first night it has been warm enough for fans — city heat and lot of marina concrete nearby. Sleep was a bit fitful, and 0645 came early.

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