Magnolia moves definitely into south Florida!


Vero Beach is such an easy place to be it is often referred to as Velco Beach.  We have so many happy memories here. This is “THE PLACE” to meet fellow cruisers. I remember meeting  Acapella here…we spend time with so many boats here. Our friends EleanorQ & Journey are not out this year but boy we have some happy memories.


We eventually broke loose of the Velcro and made the short trip to Fort Pierce to meet up with some VIP guests!


Mike and I served aboard Ticonderoga the early 1980s. We have crossed paths a couple of times over the years but since they have moved to south Florida I look forward to many more visits.


I gvuess the only bad thing is they way my toupe’ looks in this picture! Mike wears his much better!!!


From Fort Pierce we made a stop in Stuart looking forward to our next VIP guests…yup we have more coming!


We have been to Stuart once before for a short visit so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore.  Upon our arrival we me up with our friends on Pegasus. We have had brief visits on docks from Florida to New York but have never been in the same place long. Pegasus introduced us to Acadia and well as you can see, the party was on!


We did have a lovely week and though the pictures do not include the chores accomplished rest assured they did get done! We have VIPs coming!!!


We headed a few miles further south to Palm Garden to meet Annette’s  sister Rochelle and Robbins who were to be in the area on vacation.


We had a terrific day sightseeing around Jupiter and just catching up. I also believe I was able to identify the famous Tiger Woods fire hydrant! We got an early start to the day and before anyone knew it it was time to start getting the boat readied for departure.


Our plan was to get underway from Palm Gardens, go down the ICW to Lake Worth Inlet and get down the coast as quick as we could. The Christmas Winds are blowing from the east and weather windows allowing travel this time of the year can be short and very narrow. Hence we were threading the needle a little bit…


Mar-A-Lago is just a few miles south of the Lakeworth Inlet. The Coast Guard had established a 1000yd security zone off shore so we headed straight out to stay out of trouble. As you can see the CG was going their bit to ensure security. Believe me, the boat had 2 50 Cals on the bow ready to go!!


We had an amazingly fast run down to Miami where we ran into some ship traffic as they were going into Port of Miami. The below maneuver is referred to as the “Bryan Peters.” When presented with the opportunity to stay away from the pointy end of a speeding cargo ship take it…its hard for them to back over us!!! An extra 10 min, no fuss, no stress.


As we passed Miami and began our over night trek down the keys, we were definitely rewarded by the skyline views as sunset.



We had a quiet over night passage. Normally we would take two days and travel inside the reef in the Hawk Channel. As you recall though we were threading the needle on this passage and that forced us into an over night outside the reef. Also outside that reef is the Gulfstream. We were not immediately in the current but we could definitely tell it was right near us. If our course drifted out 1/4 mile off the reef we were immediatly bucking a 1 knot current. Pretty amazing how a small distance can make all the difference. Turas/Agape take note!


Not surprisingly all the mooring balls are currently full in Boot Key soo we dropped the hook west of the harbor.


We are a little exposed but provided with some epic views of the gulf…”you know, we can see Cuba from here!” Its only about 70 miles from here.


Next we are getting ready or the next part of our adventure. So you thought Key West was about as far west as you can go…but no, we are ging another 70 miles to the west to the Dry Tortugas! We are totally juiced!


2016-12-08 Jacksonville–Vero Beach

After departing Cumberland island we headed to Jacksonville, FL to meet up with our friends Greg & Marie from Second Sally. We had and easy passage down the ICW  and up the St Johns River.




The bridge below is the Main Street Bridge. The St Johns has a strong current and as we waited a fellow boater actually lost control of their boat because of a mechanical failure and was swept right into the bridge. There was no damage to the bridge but certainly significant damage to the boats mast…he gads.


We took a dock at Ortega Landing in on the Ortega River. Lovely marina.


First order of business was for the Admiral to produce one of her much sought after “Bowline Bags” for the Pentagon Sailing Club Awards Dinner Raffle.


On Thanksgiving we hopped in our rental car and drove to Vero Beach to join in the annual Cruisers Thanksgiving Lunch. It was a lovely time and we enjoyed meeting up with friends we had not seen since last winter. After that, we headed to St Augustine to enjoy and evening catching up with my Great Uncle Wayne, Carmen and my cousins. It was a wonderful evening!!!!


Before long is was time to get underway. While we at the dock in Ortega a cruise ship actually struck the Main Street Bridge in addition to the sail boat. Needless to say the events of that week added a bit of anxiety and silently we were happy to be though this ship eater!!


Here is the ship that struck the bridge being repaired in a nearby yard.


I guess that is the ships dinghy…or maybe they are just hauling that guy to the Caribbean for the winter.



Beautiful transit day down the ICW to St Augustine.



As we approached the “Bridge Of Lions” in downtown St Augustine who do we see but Uncle Wayne & Carmen. 


It was a real treat for us and and we hope for them as well. Be warned my Uncle Wayne is 98, I have his genes, I can only HOPE to be getting around like he is at that age!


As we transited down the ICW it was easy to see the damage that was done by the recent hurricane Mathew. We would guess the 60% of the docks along the ICW were damaged.


There is a huge backlash against people who anchor in Florida. It is a very complicated issue that does affect our anchoring choices. Sadly this is just one example of a nearly derelict boat. Sadly at some point this boat will likely sink, be abandoned and left for the state to clean up and remove.


Never forget though we are blessed with some wonderful scenery along the way.



Magnolia has never made a stop at the New Smyrna Beach (NSB) and our friend Cheryl has spoken highly of the town many times. We decided we would make the stop. Annette sent a message to Cheryl to let her know we finally made it. Little did we know that Cheryl was on a business and made a 36 hour stop in NSB. It was an amazing coincidence and allowed us to share a few minutes catching up. 



Proceeding south we passed Cape Canaveral and Vehicle Assembly Building.


We had to make our traditional stop at Coco Village. We really enjoy this town and over the times we have stopped here have made many wonderful memories! Always a happy place for us!


As soon as we arrived Vero Beach, maintenance began. In this case Annette got after troubleshooting a problem with the oven broiler. Very proud!


SV Anania and SV Agya  along with Magnolia met up for a casual dinner. We also had the opportunity to dine with Ann Catchick who is our SSCA Homeport Representative. Sadly we gabbed the night away and forgot the picture!!!!