We ended up staying in Vero Beach from March 27-April 6, 2017. As one of our friends put it, we got “velcroed” but good. We were on a mooring ball at the farthest north end of the field, and it was completely quiet and peaceful; the no see-ums could get bad at dusk, but that small inconvenience was worth the beauty. One morning we woke up and had two great horned owls sitting on our spreader, hooting away. The folks on the boat moored next to us had a pit bull named Tugboat, and he was an incredibly entertaining neighbor. Old Mr. Tuggy Tuggerson came out to see us every time we dinghied by, and you could just see him measuring the distance between our two vessels to see if he could jump.
We got many boat projects accomplished and took time to play as well. We rented a car from Enterprise for a surprisingly low cost and absolutely drove the wheels off of it.
Our dear liveaboard friends M & J drove down and met us for the afternoon. They brought their dog Scout, who is possibly the sweetest creature ever to walk the earth. She’s never met a stranger. It was wonderful catching up with all three of them.
We found a Columbia outlet store, which was right on time because our clothes are really taking a beating from laundromats, hard wear, and hard work. Of course we also ate our way through town: donuts (Tasty-O), Mexican (Ay Jalisco), and Nino’s Café (pizza). I can highly recommend all three.
For those confused by the food ordering process, Tasty-O posted this handy instructional guide.
One of the neatest things about Vero Beach is its location on “the Treasure Coast,” a stretch of Florida coastline where a large Spanish treasure fleet sank in 1715. We visited the McLarty Treasure Museum, which was the best $2 admission we’ve ever spent. The museum is run by the state of Florida and is filled with interesting exhibits regarding the 1715 Plate Fleet. Since we had a car, we spent four days metal detecting on various beaches. We didn’t find any silver or gold or jewelry, but we did find coins, a butter knife, a set of keys, and an AA chip. We performed quite a bit of beach cleanup, collecting bottle caps and pull tabs as we found them.
Bonsteel Beach, one of the areas we detected. It was wonderfully deserted.
While we were at the marina, full scale replicas of the Pinta and Santa Maria (of Christopher Columbus fame) arrived. They were offering tours, and it was so cool to see how small the boats really were. All of the food was stored below decks, and the crew slept on the decks. Those were some tough, tough people.
The Pinta (left) and Santa Maria (right).
We finally had to tear ourselves away, and on April 7, we departed for an anchorage in Melbourne, FL.