The Route South

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Part Deaux

OK. We are going to try something different. It took forever to e-mail the last installment. I think the culprit was the pictures. So here goes.

When we last talked, MORNING STAR had just arrived in Stuart for the Krogen Owners Rendezvous. What a great party Krogen put on. They had Columbia Polar fleece jackets for everybody, complete with the Krogen logo embroidered on the front. There was a dinner Friday night, semi potluck (everybody brought hors d’hourves or desert) and Krogen provided pasta. Oh yea, they also footed the bill for the open bar…no small expense. On Saturday there was complimentary coffee and bagels/Danish/muffins, followed by a couple of informative talks. After lunch, most of the owners opened their boats for a “Krogen Crawl”. This is where everybody gets to show off what they have done to make their boat special. Some really great ideas. Saturday night was a catered barbecue, live band and, of course, another open bar…all at Krogen’s expense. The party went on for hours. Sunday Am was coffee, etc. and then most of the boats started getting ready to leave. And that’s where we pick up.
Krogens all in a row

Sunday April 16, 2006

We left Stuart Cay Marina with a bang…literally. As we departed I fired a cannon salute. For those of you who don’t know about it, I received a brass cannon from the Master Pools Guild as a gift at the conclusion of my term as president. It fires 10 gauge black powder blank shotgun shells and it roars. Great fun!

At 11:25 AM we turned north on the ICW – new territory for us. At noon we were abeam Ocean Breeze Park, where Cindy’s grandparents used to winter many years ago. Boy I’d have liked to have seen Florida back then. We made it to Vero Beach by 4:05 PM and took a mooring. Actually, at Vero you are required to share so we tied up along side another trawler, the Medrick, from Maine. We were a bit hesitant about this process but our mooring-mates couldn’t have been greater. Frank and Ginny were retired teachers who spend the summers at their home in Maine and the winters in Florida or the Bahamas aboard the boat. That’s what I want to do when I grow up. Cindy asked Frank what he taught and learned that he was a college professor. When she asked what subject he taught he replied “physics”. There was a silence followed by Frank’s comment, “Ayah, that usually stops the conversation cold”! We had a great chat with them until dinner. Turns out that they were friends of former Manatee owners, who in turn sold their boat to friends of ours, Tim & Sue Poston.

Monday April 17, 2006

We took the dingy into the marina dock and took a short walk around. Their facility is great. Vero Beach could give lessons to other cities on how to run a marina. Ginny says that Vero Beach has been nicknamed Velcro Beach by many of the cruisers because they come to town and stick. There is a great library and the City has a bus that takes cruisers to the grocery store and other establishments. Today we need to put some miles behind us so we were away by 8:45 AM. We had an uneventful day and were anchored at Cocoa Beach by 4:00 PM.

Tuesday April 18, 2006

Once again, we needed to put some miles under the keel. We have to be in Jacksonville by Saturday and want to spend a day in St. Augustine, so we had the anchor up by 7:30 AM and were under way. By quarter after nine we passed under the NASA Causeway Bridge, reminding us that we were in Space program territory. We could see the HUGE Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in the distance. Even from this far away the building is immense. Eventually passed through New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet and had our anchor down between the two bridges at Daytona by 5:00 PM. Lots of “No Wake” and “Manatee” zones today, which really slow us down.
Ft. Matanzas - Its haunted!

Wednesday April 19, 2006

We are on a mission. Our air conditioner gave up the ghost in Stuart and although we don’t need it now, we very well may need it when we get to the marshland of Georgia and South Carolina. Certainly we will need it in the Chesapeake. We called the dock master at Jacksonville and he referred a guy who we called on the phone. Our plan was to meet him in Jax and have him inspect the A/C. My fear is that it is dead and will need to be replaced…not in the budget but probably way past due since the unit on board is original to the boat, 1988 vintage. When I mentioned that we were planning to stop in St. Augustine he offered to come to the boat there. Turns out that his business is located about a mile from the St. Augustine City Marina. So our anchor is up at 7:20 AM and we are steaming for St. Augustine. We arrived shortly after 2:00 PM, took on about 200 gallons of diesel fuel, tied up in our slip and called Clay, the A/C guy. True to his word, one of his guys came walking down the dock about an hour later. As I feared, he pronounced the unit DOA. The good news is that he could have a new one on Friday and install it the same afternoon. Looks like we will be tourists for an extra day.

Saturday April 22, 2006

We are sick of being tourists! We did the trolley tour and saw the sights. Reminded us a lot of home. The buildings are different but the crowds and tee shirt shops are all the same. We had a really mediocre meal one night at a Mexican restaurant and a good dinner with John and Pam from Compass Rose (KK42). But mainly we waited for the A/C guy. Fortunately the weather has been quite pleasant so we didn’t suffer from the heat. Friday we toured the old Ponce de Leon Hotel, which is now the home of Flagler College. A truly fascinating place.
Lightner Museum - St. Augustine City Hall

Flagler College - St. Augustine
Flagler College - Ornate Dome
Clay’s guys showed up at 1:30 PM as promised with the new A.C. Things NEVER are easy on a boat and what should have been a slide-the-old-one-out-slide-the-new-one-in project wound up taking them until 8:00 PM. Would you believe it that we closed the boat up and tested the A/C and it started raining at 8:15 PM? So now we gotta’ get on down the road. We were away from the City Marina before 8:00 Am and headed north up the ICW. As we approached Jax a dredge was working in a very narrow, very shallow section of the channel. We squeezed by and could feel the keel oozing through the mud. But we made it without incident and were tied up at Beach Marine by 12:40 PM. We cleaned the boat and ourselves just in time for Cindy’s cousins, the Scotts to arrive for drinks and dinner ashore. Tomorrow we leave MORNING STAR and hop in our rental car for a week back in Clearwater. And that’s all I know!