Thursday, February 28, 2019

Honest John’s Fish Camp!!

Thurs, Feb 28th: Fort Pierce, FL to Melbourne Beach, FL

37.57 miles   …   5 hours

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Sights along the way today…

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Loved the sculpture of girl swimming with the Dolphin

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HonestJohns (16)Jonathan & Rosa are Gold Loopers getting ready to start their 3rd Loop in April. Jonathan’s family has owned this land since the 1880’s. His great grand father bought the land (homestead purchase) and farmed beans. Jonathan’s grandfather turned the place into Honest John’s Fish Camp. He didn’t like farming! Jonathan and his brother, Robert, run the place.

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Not many Loopers can get to HJFC, but we can in the Rossi. Jonathan had reached out to Rip and invited us to come. He sent screen shots of his route across some skinny water. Rip followed perfectly. No drama, easy peazy!

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I am so glad we stopped and met Jonathan, Rosa, Wuji Cross (Rosa’s bird) and Gator the Pig. This is Olde Florida.

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A special treat Jonathan & Rosa took us on a tour of the 50 acres in the afternoon, even over to the beaches of Atlantic Ocean.

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Then, after dinner they took us to see the magnificent sunset!

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What a fun place, great couple and wonderful experience!! Now, it will be our turn to host them when they come by in early May during their next Loop!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fort Pierce, FL

Wed, Feb 27th: Corset Island to Fort Pierce City Marina

27.9 miles   …   4 hours

FortPierce (20)We were off the dock by 7:50 am. Might be a new record for us. 9am is more our starting time. Last night was hot on the boat with no AC and partially closed up due to rain. No one slept well; we were all awake early.

A nice day to travel … sights along the way:

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This was a fun stop; a place we could enjoy staying for a few days. There was a mini farmers market. we passed on everything but the Kettle Korn and fresh squeezed Lemonade!!

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Rip found a place for dessert – Gelato!

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Art Studio next to the Gelato Store – I thought this was cool.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Corset Island–a Public Park Boat Ramp / Launch

Tues, Feb 26th: Riviera Beach, FL to Corset Island, FL
25 miles   …   3.5 hours
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We didn’t have far to go today, so we didn’t have to rush off first thing in the morning. Rip got a bit of a rest.
We went to a Public Park at Corset Island, just off the ICW. They have a park with boat ramp, trash cans and restrooms. It’s all we need.
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After getting in the slip and as I was walking Cally – a 2 hour max notice was seen. Well, we see if anyone kicks us out.
Mostly, we were quite the curiosity. Several people asked about the boat; everyone stared. One guy got a tour of the boat, then came back a couple hours later with his wife so she could see the boat.
No one bothered us - We had a nice quiet night (though there was a fast rain storm during the night) and moved on early the next morning.
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Monday, February 25, 2019

Riviera Beach City Marina, Riviera Beach, FL

Monday, Feb 23rd: Dania Beach, FL to Riviera Beach, FL

51.5 miles   …   7 hours

CorsetIsland (6)After a wonderful stay with Frank & Susan it was time to move north again. This stretch is mostly about getting to Jacksonville, Fl to see my college roommate (and her hubby/college buddy) and start a cruise up the St John’s River. We have been looking forward to this part of the loop since we started …back 4/20/17.

The amount of money we saw in Extreme Mansions and Ultra Mega Yachts was mind numbing. I couldn’t even take pictures…it was just one enormous property or yacht after another. Some homes had sculpture gardens for adults (or show) on one side and play grounds for the kids /grand kids on the other.

Sights along the way …

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Did you catch the “fine print”

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RivieraBeach (1)The marina texted a site plan (dock layout) with arrow leading from the ICW to our slip. Wish more marinas would do this. Only problem was … the slip didn’t have a long enough finger pier to get Cally off the boat. And, we confirmed that prior to entering the marina harbor because the finger pier was drawn short on the dock plan they sent. Confirmed 32’. Upon entering the basin – it clearly wasn’t 32’. We hailed the marina staff on vhf. they put us on hold. HELLO, we are in our dock fairway in current and cannot hold station easily. What seemed way to long, they directed us further down the fairway to a slip with 32’ finger pier.

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Next challenge was finding the office, the showers/bathrooms and where to walk Miss Cally. It was a LONG walk to anything / everything. But, there was lots of grassy areas for Cally to walk. our walk to showers, etc was another story. Glad we are only staying 1 night.

Not impressed and wouldn’t go back here.

Vic, a Looper we met back in Canada in Little Current, Ontario from M/V Felix (a catamaran) came over to help us tie up. He was helping a friend deliver a sailboat south. Vic invited us to stop by when in St Simons GA and offered to take us for a provisioning run, etc. they are fun and we will look he & Bette up when we get close to them.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

NOT a Good Stop–Marina Docks Don’t Work for the Rossi and a Visit with Friends in Miami!

Thurs, Feb 21st: Key Largo to Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park, Miami Beach, FL
60.5 miles – 7 hours
HauloverPark (20)A lot of work goes in to getting underway when anchored. First the dinghy has to come on board. This time one of the support legs was coming loose. Rip fixed quickly.
Next up, raising the anchor. Which didn't go perfectly either as the rode didn't want to fall correctly in the anchor locker, as fed by the windlass. Rip straightened that out, still the windlass didn't like pulling the rode and actually created 2 picks in it. Once the chain started coming in, all went normal. Something for Rip to noodle through in the coming days.
Sights along the way…
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HauloverPark (14)HauloverPark (13)Our cruise was a long one; a bit hotter than previous days. We had the wind from the side or aft so little breeze thru the boat. Several larger bodies of water to travel today...Barnes Sound, Card Sound and Biscayne Bay.  Barnes Sound was bumpier than we like but Rip did well moving the boat to the most comfortable route possible. He had to work hard at it. Card Sound was much better and gave hope Biscayne wouldn't be too bad. Oh well, Biscayne was was a bear. This boat doesn’t like going down sea (waves behind pushing the boat). Rip worked hard at keeping the boat in the best position and yet still on course. It was exhausting for him. I sat with Cally on the day bed to keep her in position and not moving around, as well as watching for fast boats coming up behind us. This wasn’t fun.
DaniaBeach1 (8)A planned long travel day was extended when we arrived at the marina only to find we couldn’t get Cally off the boat to the dock/sea wall.
HauloverPark (12)Rip had done his usual scouting of marinas and picked Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park as it had floating docks and was close to Frank & Susan. Problem was upon arrival we saw the concrete docks weren’t floating and were built WAY HIGHER than any other dock we has seen along the way.
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We were put into a corner with no access from our stern to the rear wall. We were so low at the sea wall along side that Rip stepped off the roof of the boat to the wall. NO way to get Cally off the boat…except to lower the dinghy and take her to a floating dock to then go for a walk.
HauloverPark (10)HauloverPark (5)HauloverPark (4)We were supposed to be here for 4 days. We couldn’t just turn around and go elsewhere, as Cally was ready to go to shore. Dinghy down, Cally to shore and back to the boat, showers for us; then dinner. Exhausting. Rip found another marina for the next 3 days!!
We did find ice cream … so, there is that.
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Fri, Feb 22; Haulover Marina to Dania Beach Marina, Dania Beach, Miami
10.7 miles   …   2 hours
DaniaBeach1 (9)A short run to a floating dock!!! Of course we arrive when the dockmaster is at lunch. He says to go to the courtesy dock but doesn’t explain what to look for…so we tie up to C Dock by accident and have to move again when he gets back from lunch. Much smaller and MUCH nicer marina. Except we are a LONG way to grass for Cally and showers/bathrooms, laundry for us. And, very little grass for Cally to do her business.
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Sights along the way today…
DaniaBeach1 (6)DaniaBeach1 (10)DaniaBeach1 (1)BUT, we are headed off to stay with Frank & Susan. Cally has been there before and we will have lots of grass and space for her to walk. Frank picks us up on his way from the airport (arriving from a business trip to DC).
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Surrounded by beach & the ocean beaches but Cally isn’t allowed to walk on the beach or the parking lot for the beach.
DaniaBeach (2)Frank & Susan are amazing & flexible hosts. We are not your typical sight seeing guests in Miami Beach. They had toured us on our first visit back in 2016. This time, after weeks on the boat, it was nice just to hang at their condo and spend time with them. Friday night hanging on the balcony until way too late was wonderful! But, we were busy.
FrankAndSusan (7)FrankAndSusan (8)FrankAndSusan (10)FrankAndSusan (12)First thing (before 8am) Saturday morning Rip had to have Frank take him back to the boat as our Temperature monitor went off during the night. We think it is only a wifi connection issue, BUT if electric was turned off or the AC failed (etc) we would have issues with the boat or maybe lose food in the frig and separate freezer. It’s always something. It was just a wifi issue, Rip worked through and was able to return to the condo.
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Lots more walks, chats and good food … it was time to say good bye and head back to the boat.
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Looper friends, Dennis & Jodi, we met at the AGLCA Rendezvous in the fall of 2016 drove down from Ft Lauderdale to see us. AND, brought bubbles to celebrate. It was great to see them again. Next time will probably be in 2021 when they plan to do the loop and will pass by the house in NC.
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