Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cocoa Beach to Fort Myers, FL via Stalite Beach,Vero Beach,Stuart, Indiantown, and Labelle.

I apologize for the lack of posts. As the adventure continued, we were getting more and more relaxed and harder and harder to cut into happy hours to post. We have received numerous calls and e-mails asking if we dropped off the face of the earth!

We are here. We are enjoying our adventure and will be continuing back towards Connecticut beginning this Monday the March 5th.

1/19/12 We departed Cocoa Beach for Satellite Beach to visit our good friends from CT, Gerry and Christine Downey. We are going to spend a couple of nights at their doc at their house.

1/21/12 We departed Satellite Beach to Vero Beach, FL

1/22/12 We departed Vero Beach to Stuart, FL. We arrived at Sunset Bay Marina and after we got comfortable, we went up to the boaters lounge to watch the Patriots game with a lot of other Northerners. After that, we got together with Sarah and Robbie who own "Blondie's Hot Dogs" in downtown Bristol. They winter in Stuart and we had a great cocktail hour on the the Irish Rover!!

1/24/12 We departed Stuart and went to Indiantown, Fl which is a good stopping point to go across Lake Okeechobee.

1/25/12 We departed Indiantown and went through the Port Mayaca lock which is prior to the Lake.  The lake was calm and we made the 36 mile crossing with no issues. We stopped in Labelle which is on the Okeechobee waterway which goes to Fort Myers.

1/26/12 We departed Labelle FL and continued through locks to the Caloosahatchee River and Fort Myers on the West coast of Florida. We are staying at Legacy Harbor Marina which is a first class marina and within walking distance to historic downtown with its outside dining and music Thursday through Sunday!   We met up with our CT friends Lynda and Bob Kruger who are doing the great loop and went up to Canada and down the Mississippi River. They will be spending the summers along with us in Mystic also.  We also re-connected with old friends Bob and Donna Agostinelli who moved from CT to Cape Coral, FL 12 years ago. It has been great to get together with both the Kruger's and Agostinelli's!

We will be leaving here Monday 3/5/12. Also, while we were here, we purchased a condominium on the Caloosahatchee River with a boat dock and within walking distance to historic Fort Myers!!
Life is GOOD!!

The morning we were leaving Cocoa,FL
The beach at Satellite Beach while visiting Jerry and Christine.
The Irish Rover docked at Jerry and Christine's Florida home on a canal off of the intra-coastal waterway.

Along the intra-coastal there are many small islands where people pull up to the shore and camp out overnight. It is very laid back down here.

As we get further south, there are more and more dolphins that swim along with the boat!

This was our Stuart anchorage.

Carole enjoying our Stuart evening!

Waiting for our 1st lock in Port St. Lucy to begin our trip across Lake Okeechobee.
We pulled into the lock and they close the door behind you and begin to let in the water in front so the water raises to the level of the next part of the trip. We will be going through 5-locks to get to Fort Myers.

You hold onto the lines dropped down from the lock and keep the boat against the wall as it rises with the water.

This is the lock that brings you into Lake Okeechobee.
At the locks, they have signs that tell you where you are, where you were and how far you have to go.
Kinda like a highway!

We began to see a lot of cattle along the waterway and I was wondering if they used ATV's to follow their herds. I got the answer at the next bend......

Old fashion cowboys tending their herds!
Once we passed the last lock, we came down the Caloosahatchee River and Fort Myers!

We had dinner at Donna and Bob Agostinelli along with Lynda and Bob Kruger. Donna is on the left and Lynda on the right. It doesn't get any better than this!!

This is the view from our living room of our new condo looking across the Caloosahatchee River which is the intra-coastal waterway. Sitting back and watching cruising boats is fantastic!
This is the view looking down the river also from our master bedroom.

This is our dock and fishing hut at the end.
This is our building from the water. Our unit is on the 2nd floor (actually the 3rd floor since the 1st floor is the Pool and community area)
This is a sunset from Fort Myers Beach. Hundreds and hundreds of people go down to the beach to watch some of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere!

Sunset from our boat at Legacy Harbor Marina. We will be leaving Monday morning but will have many great memories and can't wait to be back here next fall!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

St. Augustine, FL to Cocoa, Fl including Palm Coast, Ponce Inlet and Titusville.

Wednesday January 11 to Friday January 13th we remained in St. Augustine enjoying the city and all it has to offer.

Friday Jan. 13, 2012 day number 125, departed St. Augustine at 8:30AM and arrived in Palm Coast at 11:30AM.
Today's miles - 20  Total miles 1390.

It was another great day in paradise! We had a short trip down to Palm Coast to visit an old boating buddy, John Frasier. We stayed at the Palm Coast Marina right off of the intracoastal waterway. John follows our blog and if we don't post in several days, we get a call! It was great to catch up.

Saturday January 14, 2012 day number 126, departed Palm Coast at 8:30 and arrived in Ponce Inlet, Fl at 1:15PM
Today's miles -35  Total miles 1,425

We stopped in Ponce Inlet to visit with Bristol friends Bill and Rosemarie Englert. We stayed at the Adventure Yacht Harbor which is a small yard but good staff. Bill and Rosemarie took us out to a great sports bar/restaurant called the North Turn which was where the original Daytona races were when they included the beach as part of the race way.. Had a great time and caught up on Bristol.

Sunday January 15, 2012 day number127 departed Ponce Inlet at 8:30AM and arrived in Titusville, Fl at 2:PM
Today's miles 45  Total miles 1,470

We left under sunny skies but it was only 36 degrees! It warmed up to the low 60's by the afternoon. We moored at the Municipal marina.

Monday January 16, 2012 day number 128 we departed Titusville at 9:30 and arrived at Cocoa, Fl at 11:00AM
Today's miles 20  Total miles 1,490.
We spent 3-days in Cocoa.

Cocoa brings back memories of visiting my parents in Cocoa Beach in February of each year during school vacation. Met with old boating buddies from Mass. and now live in West Melbourne, Bob and Lois Hersey. Had a great visit and went to lunch on the river at the Sunset Grill.

Henry Flagler has built so much of the St. Augustine area as well as many other Florida areas. His Grand hotel that he built is now home of Flagler College.

The ceiling in the entrance of Flagler College. The dining hall has $43 million worth of Tiffany glass.

Carole's friend on our bow pulpit.

One of the 2-lions at the beginning of the "Bridge of Lions"

We took a tour and wine tasting at the San Sebastian winery. The barrels here are actually their port wine which we of course felt obligated to purchase!

Wines being racked.

The walkways across the large vats under the walkway are made with barrel slates.

The entrance to Palm Coast Marina is right off the intracoastal.

There are a lot of condos with docks in the Palm Coast area along the waterway.

A couple of neat houseboats along the way.

Coming up on Daytona

Even the bridges in Daytona are special.

There were several camp grounds or fish camps along the way to Titusville. Waterfront living at a fraction of the cost!

At anchor in Titusville, we enjoyed a great steak dinner with a bit of Cabernet.

Kennedy Space Center as seen from the intracoastal.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fernandina Beach, FL to St. Augustine, FL with a stop in Jacksonville Beach, FL

Monday January 9, 2012 day number 121
Departed Fernandina Beach at 9:30AM and arrived in Jacksonville Beach at 1:30PM
Today's miles 30, total trip miles 1,340.

Tues. January 10, 2012 day number 122
Departed Jacksonville Beach at 8:10AM and arrived in St. Augustine at 12:10PM
Today's miles 30, total trip miles 1,370.

The trip from Fernandina Beach to St. Augustine was good with warm weather and smooth seas. After crossing the St. Johns River, the tide turned against us and at one point to get through a small bridge, we had to increase our engines RPMs to make it through with swirling currents. While at that RPM we should have been going 8-knots, we were only going 2.5-knots through the bridge. These are the times that make a good excuse for landing drinks! The rest of the trip was uneventful except for the dolphin swimming along with us. Carole is now happy she has good pictures of the dolphins!

At our anchorage at Fernandina Beach, we were anchored across from a factory that runs 24/7. It actually was a neat sight.

There are a lot of pelicans along the intracoastal waterway.

This was a 3-story boat lift/deck along the waterway.

It was a bit foggy getting underway in the morning but the fog lifted quickly.

This part of the trip is a pretty straight shot down the waterway with not much traffic.

This is Carole's dolphin swimming in our bow wake. She was with us for a few miles.

The dolphin would go back and forth and then come back up for air.

There is a sand spit at the St. Augustine inlet where they allow cars. Hope this guy remembers that it isn't high tide yet!

Coming up on St. Augustine from the water is impressive.

There are a lot of beautiful streets in the oldest city in the United States.

Flager College was originally the Ponce de Leon hotel that Henry Flagler built to bring all of his rich buddies from the Northeast to enjoy the warm Florida winters. It was only open for 3-months a year, Jan.-March and the guests had to pay for the whole 3-months up front.

Not your typical college lobby!

This is the main plaza which overlooks the water. They leave downtown lite up for the month of January which is spectacular! They call it "Nights of Lights"

This is the view from our marina slip as we sit enjoying an after dinner glass of port!

This is looking the other way from our boat. They call this "The Bridge of Lions" since there are large lion sculpture at each end. This has been a great stop.