Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beginning Our Trip North

March 22-28

Days 131-137

It may be difficult to believe, but it has taken us awhile to get back into the groove of traveling in the ICW. Life is sure different on the east coast of Florida than it is in the Bahamas. Instead of finding quiet anchorages on secluded beaches, we find ourselves tucking up to shore beside bridges as we stop for the night. Our need to reprovision and notify U.S. Customs of our return, sent us into the municipal marina at Ft. Pierce. What a wonderful facility this is. The city of Ft. Pierce has done an amazing job renovating the waterfront district. The park provides the perfect setting for the many different events scheduled throughout the year. Unfortunately, we were a week late for the Seafood Festival, but we did enjoy some great music during the week long Jazz event. The one problem we had here (getting to a grocery store) was solved by some very nice boaters I met at the laundromat. They very graciously offered us the loan of their car so that we could make a trip to Publix and Walgreen's. Jim and Mimi on Perfect Balance stopped at the marina to fuel up, giving us a chance to catch up on their travels, as we had not heard from them since our crossing to Bimini. They were in a little hurry to move on northward in order to see a NASA launch scheduled for the 25th. What a fantastic opportunity! Time to leave the marina to continue our travels.

Arriving in the very busy Stuart inlet on a Saturday afternoon was probably not the best timing for our entry back in the states.  There were fishermen and pleasure boasters zipping all around us as they were making the most of a beautiful day on the water.  We hadn't dealt with this many fast moving boats in a very long time.

Traffic along the ICW is still quite busy as we search for an anchorage after a long day of blue water.
No quiet sandy beaches here! We spent the night anchored near a park on the north side of the bridge.

What a nice way to start the day.  The heavy fog kept us socked in until midmorning.  A little disconcerting because I had already called in our arrival to Customs and was told we had to appear at the office in Ft. Pierce by this afternoon.  Luckily the fog lifted and we were able to arrive in plenty of time.

One of the many Jazz bands that entertained huge crowds in the waterfront park during the week.

After a hurricane hit Ft. Pierce hard a few years ago, much of the downtown area has been rebuilt.  I thought this display was quite interesting.  Hope the diver thinks twice before he jumps!

Almost missed this one! This sunset was a painter's delight. Unfortunately the camera does not do it justice.

Was thrilled to view this NASA launch as we traveled up the ICW.  The rocket was carrying technology that will improve the GPS system for people like us.  I can't imagine how much more difficult this journey would be if we did not have GPS.

This trench through the mangroves is a haven for manatees.  Unfortunately, I am not quick enough with the camera to catch one in my lens.  They surface so briefly that I only manage to get a picture of where they were.

So glad to be back with the dolphins.  We have had many of them swim with us since we have returned to the ICW.

The scenery from our anchorages has changed.  We hadn't seen a highrise since we left Nassau.

I don't think it was really necessary, but obviously the duck in front of us felt like he needed to wait for the bridge to open too.  He seriously swam around right in front of us until the bridge opened completely, then he turned and headed up stream.

The European Village is a unique area that provides great opportunities for guests at Palm Coast Marina to enjoy a variety of really good restaurants within walking distance. It may have been just a little too convenient. Jess and I enjoyed dinner here 3 times while we were at Palm Coast.  Actually, other than the fact that the grocery store is a little too far from the marina, we really enjoyed our stay here.  The city has done a great job providing miles and miles of walking trails.

So happy to catch up with George and Martha on Aunt Aggie.  We first met them at the Rendezvous in October and again for a fun evening in Columbus, MS.  Making new friends is the best part of this trip!  They hailed us as they passed by our anchorage in the morning, letting us know that they would be stopping at Palm Coast for the night.  We pulled in behind them and of course made dinner plans right away.

Had to share a picture of the best taco salad I have ever had.  Loved the sun dried tomato shell.

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