Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Vero Beach, FL

Saturday April 8, 2017
Monday April 10, 2017

Although it made for a 43 NM travel day, we decided to press on to Vero Beach today, based on numerous recommendations to see it. It was one of the places we did not see on the way down last fall.  I was so concerned about getting there before dark that we got going at 6:55 am, right at dawn.

I needn't have worried.  Even with a stop at Ft. Pierce for fuel and a pumpout, we still got there with almost 4 hours of daylight left!   I haven't yet gotten used to how much longer the days are, and how many miles on the ICW we can now cover in daylight!

Vero Beach is sometimes called "Velcro Beach" because many cruisers who stop there never leave!

This time, we took a slip.  We got one of the last ones available.  Our friends Vic and Marilyn on S/V Whisper were already here on a mooring.

Once here, we learned that the full-size replicas of two of Columbus' ships, the Nina and the Pinta, were tied up at the T-head docks for the last 8 days, and were staying through the weekend.  These Brazilian-built ships are all hand-made with period tools, and are felt to be the most accurate replicas ever built. 

Our slip was the first one inside the T-head, so we were right up next to the Nina.  This was both cool and annoying, as the tour crowds gave us almost no privacy during the day.

Dolce Vita next to the Nina on the North T-Head
The Pinta on the South T-Head
Vic and Marilyn had a rental car for one more day, so we drove into the beach side of town with them.  Once there, we encountered a car buff with his fully restored Thunderbird that he was showing off.

Afterward, the ladies went to the beach, and Vic and I hiked around town and chatted.  Its a a pretty typical beach town, but clean, well-maintained, and somewhat upscale.  A real contrast with the Bahamas!

Afterwards, the two couples went our separate ways.  We did some window shopping, then stopped at a recommended shop called "Cravings" for lunch and ice cream. :)   It's only a short walk from the beach part of town on "The Island" back to the marina, so we walked back.

That evening, we had Vic & Marilyn over for dinner aboard our boat.
Vic & Marilyn

The town has an extensive network of free buses, one of which stops right in the marina. But the schedule pamphlet is pretty indecipherable for trying to figure out when the next bus is due, and whether its going to the beach or the mainland.   Our best info came from other cruisers and locals. On Monday, we managed to take it in to the mainland part of town, and met up with Vic & Marilyn at West Marine to look for some supplies, then spent the rest of the afternoon picking up a few other things before returning to the marina.

The Vero Beach Municipal marina has some park-like grounds. Overall, it is a very pleasant place to stay, although they seem to be chronically understaffed.

Park-Like Marina Grounds
Relaxing under a Banyan Tree

Tomorrow, we'll press on Northward for two days, and then stop at Joan's cousin Joe's place in Cocoa FL for a few days, like we did last fall.

Life is good.

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