December 18, 2014, Stuart, FL – Amy
Departing St. Augustine is always such sweet sorrow. It is such a beautiful place, but there are too many temptations to spend money, so it’s good not to stay too long. We did save a few dollars this time by anchoring instead of taking a mooring ball. The huge mooring field was actually full, so we had no choice. Anchoring was just fine and for a small fee, we were able to use the marina’s facilities and dinghy dock. Our view of the historic town was better than from the south mooring field, but a bit too close to the fort where they fire of canons randomly to entertain the tourists. Kenny and I jumped each time they went off.
From St. Augustine we traveled south down the ICW to Daytona and from there to an anchorage near the space center in Cape Canaveral. While in transit we were boarded by the police who asked to check our toilet. So rare is it that one wants to look at our toilet that we were thrilled by the opportunity. They’re really checking to see if you’re using your holding tank and not pooping into the water. Kenny showed them the lock on our “y-valve” to illustrate that we were indeed using the holding tank. The officer parted without further ado.
Kenny always bristles at these boardings, because it is rather invasive. A boat appears at your side from out of nowhere and the next thing you know an uninvited guest is stepping aboard demanding to see things without any kind of prior provocation or warrant. Of course, it’s illegal on land, but on the sea the rules are different. As the officer departed our boat I quipped, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
Later that day, we anchored near Cape Canaveral with front row seats for the great space launch. We got up early the next morning full of great expectations. For two and a half hours we sat poised for the historic launch; cameras and binoculars in hand. Each time they started the count down, halfway through, someone in the control room would say “abort.” Then all the newscasters would hypothesize about the delay and whether or not it would really happen that day. Well, it didn’t happen that day and was re-scheduled for the next day, weather permitting. After a brief deliberation we decided to move on. We didn’t feel like sitting at anchor in nowheresville waiting for a launch that might not happen.
We sailed rather than motored that day in the ICW which is a rare treat. The track has to be straight and wide and the wind consistent. We imagined we might see the launch the following day, as we anchored only about 35 miles away from the launch site. The spacecraft DID launch that day, but we couldn’t see a thing. Too much cloud cover. We did catch it on our computer/TV, though.
Now we’re in Stuart, FL where we’ve been for nearly two weeks. The best part about hanging out in Stuart (aside from the swell marina with cheap moorings and free bikes, the Riverwalk, cutesy town with many restaurants…) is going to see my holistic doctor, Richard Powers. He knows my every ache and pain not to mention vitamin, mineral, and chemical imbalance. This primary care-chiropractic-comedian-
“I tell you what” he says after poking and prodding, “I’ll give you three months to live.” Ha-ha-ha… “Unless you haven’t paid…then I’ll give you three more.” But seriously folks, this is one serious doctor. When I first went to see him two years ago, I’d been suffering with digestive problems for years. I’d had two endoscopies with two different doctors who found nothing and gave scant advice and recommended taking Prilosec in perpetuity. NOT a good idea.
The problem had become so acute, I went web surfing and came upon Dr. Powers. Within three days of following his advice and taking his supplements, I was cured. No kidding. I continue to send him my blood and consult with him to see how I’m doing on the inside and order the supplements I need to stay well. This is not an infomercial for Richard Powers, but if you’re looking for a great doctor who can cure your incurable, undiagnosable diseases and set you on the right path, he’s the man.
Speaking of health issues, one reason we’ve been hanging out in Stuart for so long is because Kenny injured his knee in Vero Beach, FL, about two weeks ago. When the city marina is crowded, they ask boaters to raft up and share moorings. Approaching the marina, we were instructed on the vhf radio to raft up to a sailboat on mooring #2. When I pulled up to the boat, there was no one aboard, so Kenny stepped over onto the boat and looked for a place to tie up.
The deck was so cluttered with lines, bumpers, sails, a bicycle and various detritus that it was difficult to find tie-off points for our three lines. It was incongruous that this boat’s home port was Wiscasset, the self-proclaimed “prettiest little town in Maine.” Moving forward through the wreckage in an attempt to secure the bow line, Kenny tripped over something and went down hard. The curses which issued forth from his mouth, let me know he was in some serious pain. (Kenny does not use four letter words and often admonishes my sailor’s tongue.) He managed to attach the line to something despite his misery. I urged him to come back to our boat and lie down with some ice on his knee. Both were bleeding, but the real pain was inside the right knee.
I went over to the other boat to make sure we were secure and then went below on Mary T to see the patient. We both decided we did not want to stay in Vero Beach and that as soon as he was able, we would take off and anchor in Ft. Pierce. We radioed the marina and let them know what happened and that we would not be staying. Seconds later another boat, Renegade, came on the radio and asked if we’d like to tie up to them. It was such a nice offer we couldn’t refuse. Besides, Kenny needed to rest his knee. The people on Renegade, Nancy and Dirk, were truly hospitable. I joined them for a visit and got a tour of their huge gorgeous sailboat called a Vagabond. It’s one of those beautiful, piratey boats with an elegant bow and port windows in the stern. I was smitten and told Kenny we need to get one. (svrenegade.blogspot.com)
The next day Nancy and Dirk departed for the Bahamas and we headed for Stuart. (We passed the booby-trap laden boat along the way and waved.) We spent two months in Stuart two years ago while I was editing Red Dot on the Ocean and really fell in love with the town. On Sundays there’s a farmers’ market and free concerts on the water. We saw a really good blues band there this time.
Kenny’s knee was still feeling pretty rough when we arrived here, so he went to the hospital for an x-ray. Nothing was broken but they suggested he see an orthopedist if it didn’t improve, because it was swollen and there was clearly some trauma there. They gave him a big awkward brace which he wore a couple of times and then discarded because it was throwing his back out. We had some other braces anyway from surgery on his other knee in Palm Beach back in 2010. Florida and knees obviously a bad combination.
A couple of days after our arrival in Stuart, our old run-aground friends from Enterprise, Mike and Lesley, caught up to us. We enjoyed a happy hour together at our new favorite bar: Spoto’s Oyster Bar. The happy hour features excellent cheap hors d’oeuvres like salmon fish dip, sushi, and spring roles. We hadn’t enjoyed enough of each other so they came over to Mary T for more cocktails, sausage and ukulele playing. It was our first of many “sausage and uke” parties to come. Although we haven’t spent much time with Mike and Lesley, they feel like old friends and our meetings our always festive. We also got to know Ed and Chris from Freedom better. We’d met during our previous Stuart stay. We had other get-togethers with Kenny’s cousins George and Alex along with wives Peggy and Sharon.
From Stuart we drove across the state in a rental car to see Kenny’s relatives on the west side of the state. The drive across was fascinating. We took route 70, through sparsely populated cattle and orange country. It felt like we were on a different planet. Our first stop was to see Kenny’s son, Justin and family, in Ellenton. Justin moved across the state with his two children after separating from his wife. They’re now set up in an apartment with Justin’s new girlfriend, Amanda, and her three children and a passel of animals. They have a bird, a lizard and two small dogs. Needless to say it is cozy.
Our 12-year-old granddaughter, Trynity, is beautiful and charming and brilliant, of course! Her hair is now done in rainbow colors. She shared her latest artwork with us, based on a Japanese anime character. Her little sister, Madyn, is a bundle of joyful energy and has very large vocabulary for a person so small.
The second day in Ellenton, we stole Trynity for an afternoon and went shopping for a Christmas tree and decorations. Later, trimming the tree, Madyn encouraged us and said frequently, “You’re doing a good job.” It’s nice when the little ones encourage the grown-ups. Then it was time to leave to go visit Kenny’s brother, Jack, in Land o’ Lakes FL, north of Tampa.
Jack and his wife, Mary, live in the jungle. They speak of snakes and crocodiles and bee infestations. I didn’t see any of the above, but enjoyed the dense, tropical flora and the lake in their backyard. We sipped many a beer and Mary cooked us lovely meals including some delicious shrimp on the barbie. It was very relaxing. And of course we need to find time to relax in our busy, stressful life of sailing south toward Mexico.
Upon returning to Stuart, Kenny’s knee was still vexing him a bit, so after much ado he agreed to see an orthopedist, just to make sure no ligaments were torn or damaged. The doctor declared him fit as a fiddle, but said that if it didn’t improve in another two weeks he might want to get an MRI. We’re optimistic that it won’t be necessary. It’s gets better by the day. He even rode a bike today!
Tomorrow we depart Stuart and head for West Palm where we will see more friends and relatives! The fun never ends.
December 23, 2014, Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Kenny
We did move on to West Palm Beach through the ICW on a beautiful Saturday which was a bit stressful, boat-traffic wise. Lots of bridges, too. From West Palm, we motored down on the outside, to Ft. Lauderdale where we are enjoying the sights and sounds of this wealthy corner of Florida. Yesterday, friends Lou and Jane, came for a visit. We took them on a dinghy tour through the canals to see some of the elaborate lights on the palm trees. On our way back, our motor quit abruptly causing us to swiftly drift away from the Mary T. Amy and Lou made a valiant effort to row us back but the current was too strong. I pulled the motor up to find that we caught a plastic bag on the prop. Once removed, we were underway again. Disaster averted, we went back to the Mary T for a fine dinner prepared by chef Amy.
We’d like to take this opportunity to say happy holidays and best wishes for the new year to all our friends and family.