We arrived in Vero Beach on Sunday afternoon (Sunday, November 17th) and joined Cutting Class on mooring ball #17. We hadn’t seen Marcia and Dan since they left Shennecossett Yacht Club a week before we did, waaaay back in September. Mooring ball #17 – that’s our house number back home! How appropriate!
We plan to stay here at Vero Beach through Thanksgiving, kick back, chill out, relax, and do boat maintenance, laundry, and provisioning. Vero is a very popular place for cruisers – nice lounge, laundry, bathhouse, free bus to shopping. Did I mention FREE bus to shopping?? And only $15 per night – a bargain compared to New England mooring fees. Vero will become crowded as Thanksgiving approaches. It is well-known for its cruisers’ Thanksgiving. The town provides turkeys and hams and the cruisers all bring the side dishes. Vero is also known as “Velcro Beach” because so many cruisers settle here after their cruising days are over.
Some boats are eccentric or have quite a sense of humor. This is one-of-a-kind! Is the owner lonely?
Monday was a beach day, a real beach day! A short dinghy ride brings you right across the road from the public beaches. We all went swimming. Swimming in November!! We northerners think the water temperature was just right -about what it is by late August back home.
And then there were three! San cles arrived in Vero Beach and joined us on Mooring #17. We have all kept in touch as we traveled south at our own speeds and needs; and are delighted that we reached Vero around the same time. Now it’s really a rendezvous/reunion! What fun it is to all be together again!
Reunions = HAPPY Hour. Shenny boats know how to put together some awesome appetizers. Who needs dinner after this spread?
By Wednesday, the weather, once again, changed to the dark side – rain. And more rain. And some more rain. At first, we were able to do things in between the showers, but by Thursday, the rains were downpours. I felt as though I were sleeping underwater at night – the sound of water rushing beside me, under me, and over me. Is this what a submarine is like?
The Shennecossett Reunion grew – Bill, one of our SYC launch drivers, lives in Vero Beach during the winter and Connecticut in the summer. He came out to visit us in that dreadful downpour. Now that’s the spirit!
After the rain, comes the clean up. Our decks may be very clean from the rain, but the dinghies were filled with water.
With clear skies again, we went over to walk on the beach. The sea was much rougher than just a few days ago.
The nicer weather also meant it was a good time for boat maintenance.
I do “boat maintenance” as well; it’s just not as exciting as chain plates, water pumps, and stuffing boxes. I cook, clean, organize, do laundry, and do more laundry. But I also have fun, such as kayaking and watching my egret friend.
Vero Beach City Marina holds a Cruiser Happy Hour every Thursday. Everyone gets together and shares appetizers, conversations, and stories. Vero is a great place to connect again with new and old friends. Boats we have met along the way have appeared again here – Classic Cyn, Hydrotherapy, Horizon, Traveling Soul, Salty Paws, Moonraker, Simple Life. The camaraderie among cruisers is amazing. Cruising is the great equalizer, and there is no cruiser stereotype. We come in all shapes, designs, and sizes. It does not matter what size or type of boat you have, what you once did in your land life, or how much money you have.
Cruisers exchange boat cards. What’s a “boat card”? It is a business card for boaters so that we can easily share information, especially since we rarely have paper and pens with us when we meet on the water. Boat cards have evolved over the years, transforming from simple text and graphic to photos of the boat and the people. Boat cards usually include the name of the boat, the make, homeport, crew’s names, emails, and phone numbers. We were advised to include a picture of ourselves because it makes it easier to remember people if you have that extra memory jog. Generally we remember people by their boat names anyway. We are collecting quite a few already, but how do you organize them? Power vs sail? Homeport? Where you met them (if you even recall that?) I haven’t figured that out yet.