Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

S/V Gallivant sharing a mooring ball with the larger motor-sailor Far Niente in Vero Beach City Marina. 
Ours is a Gulfstar 45, a 45-foot sailboat.

Where did the days go? We arrived in Vero Beach, Florida on a raincheck of a Valentine’s Day.

Poke sushi bowl from Ume’s Grill, Vero Beach, our late Valentine’s dinner out. Delish!
$13.95, high-quality, super-fresh sushi, and food to feed two. Pretty, too!

We had only 3 critical items to complete before we jumped from Vero to Miami:

  1. Pick up our US Coast Guard boat registration paperwork. The registration was supposed to join us in Jacksonville, but it got sent to Vancouver Washington then from there to Sunnier in Fort Pierce to collect. Our boat paperwork’s traveled much further than we have!
  2. Get our sail bag repaired and recommissioned. We needed a rental car to take our sail bag to Mack’s Sails, who made it, in Stuart Florida to get a new 16-foot zipper for it,. We then took it to a canvas repair shop in Fort Pierce, Marine Canvas and Upholstery, who graciously fixed it that afternoon.
  3. Take our COVID test with our best guess at getting results but also arriving within 5 days of the test in the Bahamas. We did that today, via a Lift ride as the pharmacy would only do tests from folks driving through in a vehicle, not walking by.

Rearview of our Far Niente and Gallivant rafted together on the same mooring ball in Vero Beach, Florida.

We also need one colossal double-dose of cooperation from the weather gods

  1. Weak to no southerly winds in our face as we sail south to Miami—when there’s been a steady stream of southerlies of late
  2. Weak to no Northerly wind to cross the Gulf Stream from Miami to Bimini Bahamas.

Not one of our “wishes”—pelican poop on our BBQ (among other places).
Since cleaned. Vero Beach, Florida.

We had some wishes . . . pork fried rice take-out for Valentine’s dinner. Ume’s Grill—the off-the-charts best rated “Chinese” place in town we were able to visit the one day we had a rental car was actually a Japanese place. It was one of our best meals out, and we rarely eat out so we were happy.

Wayne plays chariot driver with our dinghy to Julene (center) and her friends on each side of her,
Tom and Annie from near her Pennsylvania hometown.

We definitely wanted to invite our friends from Sunnier Palms over to see the boat. Sunnier was about a half-hour drive from Vero. Despite rainy weather—I baled water up to my ankles out that morning from our dinghy—some of our friends still made it. Great fun all around!

Wayne Over, also from Sunnier Palms. He also helped us out by agreeing
to play courier on some mail we needed to catch up with.

This also gave us time to 

  1. do a little more provisioning, stock up some spare parts, and a few other odds and ends
  2. get our ducks in a row for taxes
  3. find out the best strategy for maintaining some US phone coverage while transitioning to a Bahamas SIM chip while we’re in the Bahamas
  4. square away the other detail for our Bahamas Health VISA
  5. set up our re-entry application to the US (sort of—we weren’t able to get full application-only check-in)
  6. wash some laundry from the marina laundromat
  7. enjoy a glorious marina shower with no worries about the speed of our sump pump or how much we were draining our water supply
  8. organize: we only moved onto the boat on January 31st are still sorting the best ways to use space
  9. complete some general troubleshooting and set-up on the boat
  10. paddle—take a kayak trip through the mangroves and marina

Location Location

Fisherman, sussing out which of the stone crabs he caught in his traps are legal. Vero Beach, Florida.
I came across him on my kayak outing.

We’re in Vero Beach, Florida: 27 39.445N 80 22.276W, part of the Intracoastal waterway (ICW). 
We appreciate Vero Beach’s free bus, the terrific marina showers, and a protected moorage (albeit all too protected for no-see-ums, too). All that and more makes for a place many cruisers “swallow the hook” and stop cruising, which led to its nickname: Velcro Beach.

This stone crab was a keeper: male with a large enough claw. The fisherman
snaps off the claw, which will regenerate over 6-12 months.

We, however, are ready to move on. All we need is the right weather. Tomorrow, we believe. We’re hoping Tuesday or Wednesday the conditions will be favorable to sail into Bimini.