Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stuart to Cocoa Florida

After a week in Stuart

Bill and I decided to move on up the east coast to Cocoa Beach

Stuart is a beautiful city with a very busy marina, we enjoyed visiting with Anna and Jim Daub there. Jim and Anna make their winter home in Stuart and they are a very delightful couple. They were very informative about the area. Our admiration for them began at Kentucky Dam Marina, they are experienced in traveling the Tenn-Tom and have traveled the Great Loop many times.

While there in Stuart Bill and I walked the boardwalk enjoying the views, there are many cute shops including 2 ice cream and chocolate shops. 
We unhooked our lines from the mooring ball about 8:00 am pulled over to the fuel dock, pumped out our holding tank and filled up the water supply ready to cruise. It will take 2 days to get to Cocoa Beach, Our destination is for Cocoa Village Marina. The picture above is our first look at the Atlantic Ocean to the east, but we turned north and headed up the Atlantic intracoastal waterway.

Our first night was on the "hook" because the first marina of choice was being dredged and the second was full with no slips available.
Our anchorage near a bridge. This is the only time Bill will get me to sleep under a bridge! He used to tease me about if we did not work we would be living under a bridge...we don't work so here we are.
Actually it was very peaceful, there was a park nearby. The highway traffic calmed and the night was quiet. Both Bill and I slept pretty fitfully because of checking our depth and the hold on our anchor. PROUD LADY did well she did not move neither did the anchor. We should trust just a little more.
Here is the night view.

In AICW is riddled with many small islands and barrier islands separating us from the Atlantic ocean. One of my favorite things to take pictures about is shipwrecks. This one looks fairly new in the last couple of years..could it have been a hurricane or operator error that sent her to shore?

The clouds this morning are simply beautiful and there are lots of sailboats out today.
The water is a gorgeous aqua blue. Playing next to Proud Lady are many dolphins and I seen 2 sea turtles, sorry there are no pictures of the turtles, just a beautiful memory.
Sailboats on mooring balls

This family is enjoying a picnic on a barrier island.
Hope you enjoy this part of the trip. I will write more later...Love JOY

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mooring or Lessing in Stuart

Feb 14th to the 18th

This is a mooring ball on the day we came into Stuart we decided to stay on a mooring ball (mostly to save money) doing this is kind of exciting. On our arrival the wind decided to kick up and it took me 2 attempts to catch rope. It was heavy and slimy with green goo. Once I caught the ball between the wind and waves, Bill left the helm and helped me to tie it up as instructed by the dock-master.
 Bill and Joyce from Carried Away are here so we planned to eat out tonight with them. Also at this stop we have friends from Kentucky Dam marina Anna and Jim Daub. Anna gave us recommendations for restaurants nearby we ate at Duffy's then walked around the little shops of the town of Stuart. OK so now if you have heard of the Great Loop and read books many authors say, "it has a great ice cream store", well this city does, it has a great ice cream store.
These are our neighbors here on the mooring ball. The big ships owner is planning a trip across the Atlantic toward England. I am showing here in this photo his example of attaching to the mooring ball. He has a mooring harness. 
Our first couple days 15th and 16th  here it rained and blew Proud Lady swung back and forth then bounced up and down, as she was directed into the wind. Friday the 15th was Carlie Grace Birthday she called and made my day. I also walked into town for a haircut, there I met Kim the master-cutter  My hair looks wonderful it has been about 2 months since it was cut. On Saturday the 16th we made it into the marina in our dinghy and caught the bus to Walmart by the afternoon the wind and waves were too strong to get onto shore we stayed out on Proud Lady. On Sunday the 17th woke up to very high winds and waves with white caps but by afternoon the sun came out we were able to leave the boat climb into our dinghy, go ashore do 2 loads of laundry and took a walk in the park. We needed the walk. 
Sunsets are very beautiful here in Stuart, this one faces the intracoastal waterway as the sun sets in the west. The yellow buoy marks the mooring field.
Today is Monday and we will dinghy into the marina to shower. Whew! The days go by so fast even when we don't have much to do ...time passes so fast. Sorry I haven't written sooner I have been productive and pieced blocks on the quilt I am working on. Will write more later. Love You, JOY

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another Great day of Crusing


I Love You

Lake Okeechobee crossing 2- 12- 13 
This lake is a very large but the day was beautiful calm and sunny.
Bill and I left the marina at Clewiston headed out across the lake about 830 am and except for a few fishing boats we did not see any other boats. 
There was this concrete structure.
After about 3 1/2 hours we neared the Port Mayaca lock and dam.
We arrived about noon,there were divers in the lock so we tied to the dolphins, I thought this would be nice we can make sandwiches, but  no sooner then we got tied the lock was ready. 
We met the divers and lock-master inside and exchanged greetings. We were now in the St Lucie River.
The scenery in this canal was wildly beautiful, more cows, sugarcane fields some beautiful homes and an occasional fishing boat or kayak.
Birds, alligators and water pipes and pumps are frequently seen. We only had about 11 miles to travel until our next planned stop WHEN what the heck! Our starboard engine died AGAIN! 
Our anchorage near a campground at the St Lucie Lock.

On our approach Bill called the St. Lucie lock poor Bill was so tired and frustrated about the engine he asked the lock-master if we could tie off at the " penguins" for the night......there was dead silence. He then quickly corrected himself and asked if we could tie up at the dolphins, permission was granted by the lockmaster. I bet that man had a good laugh cause we sure did. ANYWAY here is a picture of the river above you can see a dolphin near the right side edge of picture they are 16 inch round post tied together with cable, shaped like a pyramid with huge cleats to tie up to. Bill and I fixed a quick meal of toco salad and sat on the bow of Proud lady watching the local school practicing with kayaks and racing up and down the river. I did not take a picture.
St Lucie Lock and a picture of the dolphins. There are thousands of birds flying over the lock.

The sunset over the trees at the anchorage.
Bill sitting on the bow charting in Proud Ladys logbook.

February 13 our arrival at Stuart, Florida

There are not any pictures to post about Stuart. Our cruise today was short we left our anchorage at St Lucie Lock inside these locks Bill had to leave the helm and hold to the stern, I held the bow line. Bill talked with the lockmaster, then a diver we had seen yesterday at the Port Mayaca lock walked had a up and complemented Proud Lady, the drop is 13 feet. St Lucie river is very pretty there are more homes that line the waterway. In Stuart the wind kicked up, we found the marina and were assigned to a mooring ball. 
I will write more later about this adventure with our first mooring ball. Love ya all, Joy

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wrong Turn In a Great spot

LaBelle to Clewiston 

In the Okeechobee waterway

This was our anchorage a free dock in LaBelle on the first night after leaving Ft Meyers. There was a sailboat at the dock when we arrived and the guy from the sailboat helped us tie up, because of the current and wind on Sunday he advised us to drop both bow and stern anchors to keep from drifting.
He is on his way home to Maryland, he is out of supplies. I made him supper for helping us. He was very grateful.

Proud Lady was anchored in this rustic but very pretty corner in the right side of the picture. Bill and I slept very well that night, then got up early, pulled up the anchors and headed to Clewiston our 40 mile destination for today.

Most of the waterway today was trees, grass houses.....etc every day has a different scene and feel. Not much to see but we enjoyed the ride Today was extra quiet compared to the city noise and marinas we have visited the last few weeks.
The engines are running well, not much boat traffic....Life is good!

This water hyacinth reminded me of the Tenn Tom waterway 

An abandoned boat makes you wonder what its story is.

We passed the town of Moore Haven, went through the Moore haven lock and dam then entered into a very swampy area

This is an open RR bridge near Moore Haven, I don't think it has seen a train in a long time.

Not much to see today it was quiet and peaceful, birds singing a couple of gators sunning themselves.
About 3:30 pm we see the route that takes us across the Okeechobee Lake but we had agreed earlier to anchor out for the night near Clewiston. The left turn takes you to the Lake route, the right turn takes you to the little town of  Clewiston, we turned right and What a surprise! The lock was open we drove through entered into the town bay to discover a very narrow channel and Roland Martin Marina and Tiki bar. The dock master called "Little Man" quickly tied us off gave us information and made us feel at home. This little man was featured in Yachting Magazine 2004 for "the best dock master in the world". Little Man can whip the lines around the cleat in a flash. He is known for taking very good care of his boaters and boats. Bill and I did not expect to be in a marina tonight but here we are. If you are like me I believe things happen for a reason, you know God dose not make mistakes. He leads us to the right time right place to meet new folks and make new friends.   
More later, Love JOY

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ft. Meyers to Caloosahatchee River to the Okeechobee

February 7th to Feburary 10th

This was a fast weekend. Bill and I arrived in Ft Meyers Legacy Harbor Thursday February 7th.
You are not going to believe this but the starboard engine quit again on the way from Cayo Costa Island. Bill spent most of his time below working on her and missed some of the scenery. When we arrived to the harbor, the harbor master helped us in and tie up. Bill immediately set out to find a parts store and walked a couple of miles to get new gas line hose (currently the engine has copper fuel line) He is fed up and is changing all the lines to rubber hose. Just a snippet here about Ft Meyers history, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had homes here, they were instrumental in the production of rubber to make tires for Henry Fords cars that made them friends with Harvey Firestone. The hose purchased and copper lines replaced along with a couple of calls to Bills mechanic friends for consultation, Ethyl the starboard engine is once again humming to the tune of an ole' trawler blues. SHE'S RUNNING!

I thought this would make a great picture - pelican on pilings.
This is Cabbage Key a cute little Island between Cayo Costa and Ft Meyers.

On our way to Ft Meyers we traveled through what is called the Miserable Mile.
It got the name because you have to cruise at very slow speed or idle speed and there are hundreds of boats this picture didn't do the name justice.

Saturday February 9th FUN DAY! We met up with Nancy and Randy S. they are 

High School friends of Bill and his sister Karen.
They travel in they're motor home every year to Florida.
Randy and Nancy were great folks, they took us to Wal-mart to stock up on supplies, then we went to a awesome citrus fruit store then to their little home and enjoyed the afternoon snacking. Nancy and I swam in the pool while Bill and Randy walked the RV park. They checked out Randy's fishing spots. On the way back to the boat.
We stopped for pizza at RonDao's, Bill and I love pizza. On the way back we were able to see the historical homes of Edison and Ford from the window of they're little car. Ft Meyer streets are lined with palm trees from Ft Meyers beach to downtown Ft Meyers, so beautiful even at night. Nancy said, the trees were the idea of Edison's, he was genious! 

February 10th our cruise to LaBelle on the way across Florida via Okeechobee

This waterway is very scenic with beautiful homes and estates.
Except for this dilapidated pier.
Sunken ship
There cows here.

And lots of groves of oranges.
Bill and I arrived in Labelle, Fl, about 330 pm another guest here at the city dock helped tie us safely to the dock. We enjoyed a supper of hamburgers and slaw on Proud Lady.
Today was beautiful, the engines ran well, Its Brittany's Birthday she is 10 years old this year and I spent time texting with her on her new phone. What a wonderful life!
Well so long I will write more later, Love you- JOY

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sarasota to Cayo Costa State Park

With the engines running well.......

We left Sarasota about 930 am heading out to our first anchorage since all the generator and engine trouble.
Saying goodbye to Sarasota it is a beautiful and energetic city.
There are a lot of white birds in that tree!
We passed a lot of birds on the way along the banks and in the water
  this one of the trees were full of pelicans.
Someone had the right idea naming this place Pelican ally.
We passed through 10 bridges on our travels today.
This one is a swing bridge at Blackburn point, the bridge master operates it from the middle of the bridge.
The Albee road bridge lifted. Making that 2 swing bridges and 1 lift bridge the rest of then were tall enough for Proud lady to travel trough without having to open. Proud Lady stands 15.5 feet above the water, her draft is 4 foot thats the part that is under the water, it could be more cause we have her loaded down with STUFF.


After a good nights rest our plan today is to visit Cayo Costa State Park." A gulf coast island paradise"
After morning chores are done we dropped the dingy into the water.
This is the entrance into the park. Cayo Costa is one of Florida's unspoiled barrier islands consisting of 2420 acres, that can only be reached by boat. There are a few private homes here that were established in the early 1900's but there is no electric power on the island.
We tied our dingy to the dock with lots of other dingys and  small boats. Ferry transportation brings people from Ft. Meyers and other communities near Charlotte harbor

The sign says Welcome to the real Florida
My goal today was to do some shelling on the beach.
The water is very cold but I can't help myself cause we are at a beach, AWESOME!
We shared a picnic under the palms.
A strange looking fish.
Conch in the water, we did not disturb her but we took a lot of pictures. See her pink foot?
Millions of shells.
Sandpipers would run to the water and then when the surf came in they would run away. 

This flower is at the edge of the path near the forest of palms long needle pines and native shrubs.
We spent about 4 hours walking and shelling.
Bill rested while I continued looking at all the beach sights.
Still looking for shells Taylor will be proud of her Ma Joy.
A bigger view of the beach
This is a great place to visit. There are bikes to rent, kayak rentals, fishing, swimming, hiking, primitive camping. We also seen friends from Sea n Red enjoying the park.
After such a long and busy day at the beach we returned to the boat and made pasta, Bill programmed the way points in the chart plotter for the next part of our trip.
I could talk all night about our travels but I will write more later, Love Ya Joy