Ann’s Birthday Trip #1

This trip took us from the Harborage at Stuart, to Vero Beach Municipal Marina and the beautiful anchorage and deserted beach at Peck Lake.  The crew consisted of Bill Miller, Ann Miller Sarah Miller,  Michael Miller and Reyna Puga.

I arrived Friday night to prep the boat, buy groceries and plan the route.  Ann, Sarah, Reyna and Michael arrived late  Saturday night.  We left at dawn on Sunday for the 6 hour leg to Vero Municipal.  We had as many as 12 dolphins at once tag along for the ride!

Dolphins on the way to Vero
Dolphins on the way to Vero

It was a beautiful day for the trip North, and everyone helped at the helm.

Reyna at the helm
Reyna at the helm

We arrived at Vero Municipal a little after lunch and moored in a different spot than usual.  The mooring ball was very close to shore and other boats, and I was worried that we would swing into something if the wind shifted.  We snugged up very tight on the ball though and had no problems.   The younger 3/5 of the crew decided they wanted to explore the local area in the dinghy.  I still hadn’t had time to put on the registration numbers or state decal, but we hadn’t been stopped yet.

After lunch, we decided to shop for Ann’s birthday and birthday party.  We did a google search and found a Walmart just on the other side of the ICW (Inter-coastal Waterway) just blocks from a nice neighborhood.

I drove Sarah, Rayna and Michael across to the City of Vero and dropped tham off between two multi-million dollar homes at the end of a channel.  I then went back to get Ann and we took the dinghy to the Riverside Cafe and Bar to listen to live music and have a couple of tropical libations while they shopped.

Riverside Cafe - Vero Beach - Hangout for Major League Spring Training
Riverside Cafe - Vero Beach - Hangout for Major League Spring Training

Sarah called several time while we were at the Riverside for help on finding the Walmart.  It turns out is was 4-5 miles away and the Google listing we looked at over five years old!  Luckily, they found another place to shop and got some great gifts for Ann’s 50th along with the ingredients for a chocolate cake.

After our shopping adventure, Michael and Reyna decided to explore a deserted island they had spotted earlier by dinghy.  Unfortunately our luck finally ran out on not properly displaying our State License and Registration and they were stopped by the Harbor Police.  It turns out Michael needed a boating certificate to drive the boat and we didn’t have the required fire extinguisher either.

Harbor Police
Harbor Police

Luckily, Reyna managed to convince the police that Michael was not a terrorist and they were let go with only a warning.  We spent the next 2 hours putting the state registration numbers and license decals on the dinghy so we could drive to dinner.

We took the now legal dinghy to the transient dock at the marina and walked the two miles to Vero Beach.  There is nothing going on in Vero Beach on Sunday night.  We ended up having pizza at a local hangout, playing scrabble back at the Ann Louise and retiring early.

Just prior to dawn the next morning,  I decided to take the boat off the mooring ball and out of the harbor myself without waking anyone.  Not a big deal, except you have to move pretty quick after you un-hook to get to the helm, especially since we were in tight quarters.  I really tried not to use the bow thruster  since it is really noisy in the master stateroom, but I had to test it and ended up waking up Ann.   What a beautiful time of day to be on the water and watch the sunrise.

We ran about 7 hours to Peck lake without incident, and anchored in the nearly deserted harbor.  We launched the dinghy,  played on the beach for a few hours and baked Ann’s birthday cake while Ann took a walk.

Just us on about 5 miles of beach
Just us on about 5 miles of beach

Here are a few shots of the boat at anchor.

Reyna, Sarah and the Birthday Girl
Reyna, Sarah and the Birthday Girl

And another

Michael and Reyna
Michael and Reyna

Tha night we celebrated Ann’s 50th birthday with red beans and rice, chicken and birthday cake.  We topped it all off with a game of scrabble and we let Ann win being it was her birthday.

Happy 50th!
Happy 50th!

The next morning was windy and the younger members of the crew took the dinghy to the beach while Ann and I had tea on the sunny aft deck.  The great thing about anchoring is the aft deck is almost always well protected from the wind.    We pulled up anchor and headed North to the Marriott at Hutchinson Island.  The Ann Louise was going to be in Trawlerfest the next day, so we had to get her cleaned up for the show.  Gary Hitch gave us a ride back to the Harborage to get our cars and Ann and the kids headed for the airport.  Everyone had a great time and we can’t wait till the next trip!

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