Happy to report that Miss My Money is headed south. We haven’t done a lot of boating since we completed our second loop. David single handed it and brought Miss My Money back up to Jacksonville in March. He had a buddy boat, Living the Dream, with Jim & Patrick traveling with him.
Once Barbara’s school semester ended, we took a couple long trips down the St. Johns River. On one of those trips we made it all the way down to Sanford and we were able to spend a couple weeks at Silver Glen Springs, still one of our favorite boating destinations. When Hurricane Irma decided to make landfall in Florida in September, we moved Miss My Money down the St. Johns River to the Ortega Landing Marina. It was a much more protected spot than our home dock. Because we had some land traveling to do near the end of hurricane season, we kept her tied up at the marina for about a month. Fortunately we had no damage in Jacksonville and were able to bring her back home.
On Thursday, November 16th we untied from our dock in Jacksonville and headed south. We had ordered up sunny skies and calm water and they were both definitely delivered to us. We had absolutely gorgeous traveling conditions. One-hundred and eight miles later we ended up at the New Smyrna Beach City Marina. Felt great to be back on the water.
We’ve made this trip down the Florida coast many times and we always see lots of dolphins and occasionally a manatee, but seeing a manatee is rare. Friday made up for that! The short narrow Haulover Canal, which connects the Mosquito Lagoon with the Indian River, was just boiling with manatees. We couldn’t believe how many we saw.
All the way down from Jacksonville we noticed lots of docks damaged from Hurricane Irma and a bunch of boats that sunk either washed up on the shoreline or partially sunk near homeowners’ docks.
Arrived at the Melbourne Harbor early Friday afternoon. We had invited looper friends, Hamp & Denise, from “Gracie”, onto Miss My Money.
Also had a visit from Joan, a friend from our past that we’d run into again at Grafton Illinois while we were during our loop. She was traveling on Willow True and has Kentucky ties, so it was fun seeing her. We also had a visit from Rafe from the PDQ Cat Daddy. Timing worked out for him to stop by on his way from his boat as he headed back home to Texas. We all walked over and had dinner at one of the cute little restaurants in Melbourne. Rafe spent the night in our spare stateroom; we enjoyed catching up and talking about some future boating plans.
After Rafe left on Saturday, we walked back into town was spent a few hours browsing around in the shops in downtown Melbourne and just did some much anticipated all-around relaxing on the boat.
We pulled into the Vero Beach City Marina on Saturday afternoon. They were overbooked. After some shuffling around, we got snugged in tightly behind a huge yacht. There is only a foot to spare between us and the yacht to keep our nose from sticking out in the fairway.
On Tuesday, Tom and Julie, off the PDQ Next Adventure drove down from Titusville and spent the afternoon visiting. Temperatures were perfect for just hanging out on the flybridge. Had a great lunch and enjoyed hearing about their planned trips and travels since we last saw them on the rivers. Then On Wednesday, another gold looper boat Wye Tug pulled into the marina. We hadn’t seem them either since we were back on the inland rivers. Later in the afternoon Diane and Jack on the PDQ Airlia came by the boat. They keep Airlia on a mooring ball in front of their condo here in Vero. It was fun seeing them again and hearing about their upcoming travel plans.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving with a couple hundred boaters here in Vero for a Thanksgiving feast. We got word that the dock builders are on site in Ft. Myers and ready to start construction. Plans are right now, weather permitting, to untie on Friday and continue south with Miss My Money. Hopefully the weather will stay good so that we can get across Lake Okeechobee on Saturday and then into Ft. Myers on Sunday. Barbara will drive back up to Jacksonville Monday morning while Dave remains in Ft. Myers to oversee the dock projects. Soon the next chapter of their cruising adventures will begin as Barbara will transition completely off campus and work totally online. It is an exciting time! This will open up many more opportunities for cruising.