Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #59 Thanks For The Cruisers

How can we sum up the whirlwind weekend at the SSCA Annual Party? After the grueling trek down the ICW—motoring from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM most days—the opportunity to sit in one place for a week was heavenly. Did I say “sit” in one place? Well, Caloosa Spirit sat in one place in the anchorage (figuratively speaking—the 15 knots was sometimes lumpy). We, on the other hand, were on the go from sun-up till well after dark for several days. Joyously so. Seldom have we had the pleasure of sharing the company of so many friends in one place. We reconnected over several meals with Gail and Paul of Puffin, Cathy and Carl of Persuasion, and Carla and Greg of… well, Spellbound. They just recently sold Magic in Trinidad and have purchased Spellbound, which is still in charter service. We also had the opportunity to participate in several informative seminars, not to mention the fun of meeting new cruising friends. The day after the convention ended Gail and Paul graciously drove us around Melbourne for provisions and supplies. We also got to have a lovely dinner with Cathy and Chuck, old friends from Indianapolis, who live part-time in Melbourne. It’s been a terrific stay.

We’re ready to move on to Vero Beach tomorrow. The forecast is calling for 15-20 out of the north, so we’re really hoping we can sail in the ICW channel.

The northerly arrived and we did indeed have a bracing sail. It was a pleasure to not be a trawler-wannabe for once. Under just a head sail we even hit 8 knots as we raced down the ICW. Even the overcast skies couldn’t undermine our enjoyment of the day. We’re now comfortably tied onto a mooring at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina, expecting to spend a week or so here. A Thanksgiving Pot-Luck, hosted by some fellow cruisers, should be the high point of our stay.

Catching the bus to Publix and doing the laundry yesterday were both wise choices. The rains arrived late yesterday afternoon and have continued off and on all day today. One of the unique aspects of the Vero Beach mooring field is the rafting that the management offers in order to accommodate more boats. When we arrived the other day we got assigned to an unoccupied mooring, but today we got company. John and Judy on Aldebaran will be our neighbors for a week or so.

Vero Moorings
Vero Beach Mooring Field

The skies have finally cleared, although the north winds have caused the temperature to drop. We made a bus run to Wal-Mart for a few items—specifically some sort of carrier for the turkey we’re taking to the Thanksgiving Pot-Luck. The posted notice indicated that there were too few turkeys last year, so, since we really like to have turkey for Thanksgiving, we decided to contribute one this year. Jim will carve the bird before we go, but we needed something large enough to carry the carved meat in. Unfortunately, when we got back to the boat, we realized that the carrier we’d found was not among our purchases. Somehow it had gotten left at the check-out. So tomorrow Jim will make a return trip to Wal-Mart to rescue the lost carrier. We’re never at a loss for something to do.

We’re thankful we’re together, and we’re thankful we’ve been able to fulfill our cruising dream. We’re definitely thankful for being where the weather is warm and pleasant. We do miss our family on this family holiday, and that’s probably the hardest thing to get used to as we cruise. But the cruising family helps make up for the loss to some extent. Vero Beach has become known for its cruisers’ Thanksgiving Pot-Luck, and we’re thankful we were here for it. The turkey we contributed roasted beautifully in our propane oven, complete with bread stuffing, and the gravy even turned out with no lumps! (For anyone who knows my usual gravy, that’s really something to be thankful for!) I half expected the crowd of about 150 to avoid my pot of mashed rutabaga, but it was empty at the end of the day. The buffet table virtually groaned under the weight of meats, vegetables, salads, and desserts brought in by about 60-70 cruising boats in the mooring field. No one left hungry. The weather was perfect for gathering inside and out for food, drink, and conversation, and we acquired several new boat cards. We’re thankful we didn’t miss this special Thanksgiving celebration.

Vero Thanksgiving
Vero Beach Thanksgiving

New friends
New friends

The bus system here is just outstanding. Some wise soul in charge foresaw the large crowd that would be riding this morning and saw fit to provide an extra bus. Sure enough, it took two buses to accommodate all the cruisers wanting to go for provisions this morning, including us. Several others are getting ready to make a crossing to the Bahamas. We envy them, but we’ve decided that Christmas with our family in Indianapolis is more important. So we now have flight tickets for December 13, and Mom is ecstatic. This afternoon we enjoyed a shrimp happy hour in our cockpit with Jim and Lani on Sea Trekker and John and Judy on Aldebaran. We had briefly met Jim and Lani at Cumberland Island on our way north, and it was fun to meet up and get reacquainted here.

By the way, how about a show of hands of all those who got their Target or Wal-Mart wake-up call for the 5:00 AM specials this morning. Ah, the joys of the season. Our excuse (as if we need one) is that the bus didn’t come until 9:00 today. But that computer for $379 sure sounded like a good deal.

Fair winds and a faithful wake until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford
s/v Caloosa Spirit

P. S. Don’t forget to look up Alice’s book, Reaching a Far Horizon, at www.lulu.com!

Posted Saturday November 26, 2005

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  1. on Sunday december 4 with 5 new inches of snow, I so enjoy reading of your weekly journal of adventures!
    — rob mc elrath    12/04/2005 05:41 AM    #
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