December 10, 2014 – Vero Beach to North Palm Beach

The last leg of this trip was the run from Vero Beach to North Palm Beach.  Our original plan had been to exit the ICW at Fort Pierce and cruise outside down to the Lake Worth Inlet in order to avoid the numerous bridges between Vero Beach and North Palm Beach.  However, the marine forecast continued to call for heavy seas in the Atlantic with waves up to 11 feet.  So inside it was, a 65 mile run down the ICW.

We were up early again and by 7am we were on our way.  It was chilly in the morning and by 9am it was only 55®F. But the sky was clear, the wind light and the dolphins were out to play.  It was a delightful run south.

Sunrise - Vero Beach

Sunrise – Vero Beach

Islands in the ICW

Islands in the ICW

Marshes along the ICW

Marshes along the ICW

Houses Along the ICW

Houses Along the ICW

More Houses

More Houses

Private Canals Off ICW

Private Canals Off ICW

There were numerous bridges along the way, many where the stated clearance was 25ft or so.  If we lowered our antennas, we could easily pass under those without waiting for an opening.  Unfortunately, because of the storm out to sea, the tides were extremely high and the bridges, which normally have a 25ft clearance, only had an 18ft clearance.  Fortunately, we seemed to time the bridge openings well, and the longest we had to wait for a bridge was about 5 minutes.

The Last Bridge

The Last Bridge

By 1:45pm, we were turning off the ICW for Old Port Cove Marina – our new home port.  As we turned into the marina and headed for our slip, we realized that we would be tied up next to another Fleming – a very new Fleming 58.  The owner was out watching us dock as were several dock hands.  Nothing like an audience for docking at a new place!

Fortunately, the docking went smoothly and by 2:15pm, our trip south was finished.  We were home for the winter.

Old Port Cove Marina was as lovely as we remembered it.  It is within a large gated community that has numerous apartment buildings and condominiums, with many grassy areas, gardens and many walking trails.  The people at the marina are incredibly friendly and in a matter of just a few hours, we felt at home.

White Ibis Feeding Behind Curiosity

White Ibis Feeding Behind Curiosity

Casting A Long Shadow

Casting A Long Shadow

That evening, we had dinner at the Sandpiper Cove, the marina’s restaurant, which was quite good.   Then, it was off to bed.

After over 1000 miles of cruising, we would not have to get up early to leave or spend time planning the next leg.  We were done and it felt good!  Now we just have to endure the sunny days and warm Florida temperatures during the winter months.  We will not be in Florida for the entire winter.  We’ll return to Maryland for Christmas and then go back and forth, spending most of February in the sun.  Then sometime in the Spring we’ll start the journey north so that we can spend the late Spring and Summer up in Maryland.

So our cruising is ended.  Now we begin the winter vacation in beautiful North Palm Beach.  More on that in future blogs.

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