Tonight we have the perfect anchorage. We are anchored in Peck Lake with several other sailboats. There is a constant cool breeze blowing through the cabin with the help of our wind scoops. We were undecided today when we left Vero Beach whether to go to a mooring ball at Stuart which is to the west of the ICW and the beginning of the trek across Florida through Lake Okeechobee or anchor at Lake Peck. As got closer to the St. Lucie inlet, we decided we would rather skip all the low water and constant watching for markers to go to Stuart and just head south to Lake Peck. The guidebooks’ talk about the short walk to the deserted beach won out. We anchored with ease, snatched on the wind scoops, had drinks, and then headed to shore in the dinghy. It was a very short walk to the beach, and we had it to ourselves. I collected sand and a few shells…nothing unusual. It was nice to walk in the water, listen to the waves crashing, and watch the terns or sandpipers (need to brush up on my birds) rush around looking for food while trying to avoid the water coming in. Once we walked back to the inland side, the no-see-ums began biting. We quickly rowed back to Ragtime, and put up our nets. Tomorrow we continue to head south and will probably end up at Lake Worth.
My non sailing friends seem to think that being on a sailboat is like a cruise. It is not a cruise…ask my sister-in-law. Other non-sailors ask me what we do all day and do we get stir crazy being cooped up. We usually have friends along with us, but this is our first long trip by ourselves, so there is little excess of time except for the evenings. A typical day consists of readying the boat for leaving which depends on whether we are at anchor or a marina. If we are anchored, this means raising the anchor which can sometimes be easy peasy and other times like the morning the anchor came up wrapped in the chain…not so easy!!! This morning we left our mooring ball and went to the fuel dock. We need to fuel about every 3 days. While we are there, we also pump out our head, top of our water tank and buy ice. Once we are under way, I cook breakfast. We eat and then there are dishes to wash. Next on the list is to check all our guidebooks and charts to make sure we are heading the correct direction and what obstacles might there be such as particularly low water depths, inlet currents, and especially bridges. Our boat is 57 feet tall. Many of the bridges are 65 feet, but there are numerous bascule or swing bridges that we have to cross under which means checking their opening schedules. Fortunately the bridges in Florida seem easier to transverse than in South Carolina. Most of them open on request except for morning and evening work traffic. After getting James situated with food and water information, I head down below to make the bed, tidy up and lather up with sunscreen. I will then relieve him at the helm so he can take care of some of his tasks. Before I know it, it is time for lunch! The day passes quickly. We try to anchor or dock by about 5 pm. We eat around 7 pm and then some nights we watch a movie on the computer. Thanks to friends and our sons, we have quite a movie library! Before going to bed, we talk about where we are going tomorrow. Often we are in bed by 9 or at the latest 10 pm. One of our sailor friends calls 9 pm….sailor’s midnight! I often read to 11 or later depending upon how good the book is :-). When the sun wakes us at 7 or 8, we slowly roll out of bed and start another day. Life is good!