Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Passed 1000 mile mark as "leg two" of this voyage continues

After a lengthier stay in Fort Pierce than we planned, thanks to a holding tank "issue" (IT happens!), a wait for a parts delivery, and some mighty gusts up to 35 or 40 knots, we didn't get underway until yesterday morning.

That gave us a chance to visit the Navy Seal Museum. It's located here in Fort Pierce because the Seals program (formerly known as Frogmen or "Underwater Demolition Team") began here in 1943. It was pretty impressive and worth a visit especially if the only thing you know about the Seals was their recent rescue of the Maersk captain kidnapped by Somalia pirates. The Seals' training is exceptionally tough, earning one week of it "Hell Week." Only 30 percent of each class makes it to the end of training.

The delay also gave us the time to visit the super duper Fort Pierce Farmers Market last Saturday, restock the wine cellar, and enjoy more "docktails" with Stu and Claudia, who also left the Fort Pierce Harbourtown Marina yesterday morning.

The weekly Farmers Market with 100 plus tents really wowed us. They had a live band too. We bought too many fresh veggies, I'm sure. Here is Captain Pete as he began with an empty basket. We didn't know they'd have food/cooking tents, or we'd have planned to have either breakfast or lunch there.

Yesterday we moved south to Stuart, got a mooring, and walked around the cutesy historic district. We called sailing buddies from NJ who now live here, were in luck to catch them at home, and met them for dinner at Duffy's. We hadn't seen Ed and Patty Donnelly for 7 years, so it was great to catch up. They've traded in sailing for visiting national parks in their motorhome. Real travellers, they've been to almost ALL the national parks in 47 states. Only North Dakota has eluded these road-hungry tourists.

What a small world story too--Ed saw us with the jib up on MicMac as he played softball earlier in the afternoon, not knowing it was us of course. We were the only sailboat on the ICW yesterday on the way to Stuart.

Today we passed the 1000 mile mark on this trip, and "enjoyed" 10 bridge openings from Stuart to Lake Worth (North Palm Beach area). Most of the bridge tenders were extremely happy to hear from us. We also were stopped by a Coast Guard boat and asked if we had any firearms on board before they boarded us. After saying "No guns," Pete mentioned that he's a Coast Guard Auxiliarist. "No need to board, then," one Coastie then said, "but we need to ask you a bunch of questions to keep our numbers up." We tried to be cordial but we were trying to make a bridge opening. If you miss most of these, you drive around in circles on your boat to kill time for 30 minutes.

Two other sailboats traveled with us today. One of them is now anchored beside us. A manatee just welcomed us to Lake Worth. Weather has been chillier than we'd like, but sunny. We saw googads of lovely mega-homes on this stretch today, especially along Hobe Sound. Ya gotta wonder how these folks made so much money!

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