April 11 -30, 2018: Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, FL

After spending a few days in Vero Beach, we moved to Fort Pierce City Marina while we waited to go to Stuart, FL, to have some major work done on Kestrel starting on May 1.

Fort Pierce never disappoints.  The marina itself is immaculate, and its central location downtown makes everything so easy.  There’s restaurants and a hardware store within easy walking distance, and while the Publix is a little bit of a hike, it’s not horrible.  There is a library branch right outside the marina that will grant lending privileges to cruisers, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations while we were there.


The marina is full of life.  The water at the dock is full of manatees, dolphins, and mullet (the fish, not the hairstyle, thank goodness).  There are pelicans dive-bombing all over the place, gulls pooping on the dock (their sole purpose in life from what I can tell), snowy egrets, and my favorites, the green herons.  They are about the size of a crow and perch over the water on docklines and power cables, waiting to scoop up tiny fish.

One of the nicest things is being able to get off the boat and stretch our legs by just walking around downtown and seeing the sights.  It’s so convenient at this particular marina, and it was novel enough to be exciting for us.  We made it our post-dinner ritual to stroll the docks and check out who had left and who was new.


The name of this business was so wildly inappropriate that it surprised a bark of laughter out of me.  Nothing quite like conjuring up spree killing to guarantee some name recognition!

The Saturday Farmer’s Market is right outside the marina, and it is amazing.  It’s one of the biggest farmer’s markets I’ve ever been to, and the array of fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads, honeys, snacks, meals, baked goods, soaps, plants, herbs, and personal care items is staggering.  And that’s not counting the craft market, which is equally as large and is held across the street.


This is just one of the many vegetable stands.  The quality and variety of produce was mind-blowing.


Orchids and herbs were a popular item at the market.  

We made it a weekly event to go early enough to have fresh donuts from the mini-donut stand and then get vegetables for the week.


These fresh, hot cider donuts were wonderful beyond description.  Lightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and absolutely to die for.

There was always a band playing for the duration of the market, and they were always good.  People brought lawn chairs and set up to watch all morning.  Each week this cute lady and her daughter would come and dance.


We attended the first potluck that was held jointly between the Fort Pierce City Marina and the Fort Pierce Yacht Club, which is a short walk down from the marina.  The marina provided hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque, and drinks and did all of the grilling.  There were many people there, and we had quite a spread.  The yacht club members were very inviting, the club itself is beautiful.  We had a great time, and I hope they continue the tradition.

The highlight for me was one day we were walking over a bridge, and we saw four or five manatees playing and rolling in the water beneath us.  They were having a great time “wrestling” with each other and swimming around.  We must have watched them for a good ten minutes.  There’s something about them that I find so sweet and appealing.

Soon enough our break was over, and it was time to go to Stuart and get to work.