We departed Stuart April 16 for Vero Beach, about 45 miles north on the ICW. Navigation conditions here are quite different from what we are used to in the Pacific Northwest. The broad rivers have narrow, often winding channels, shallow waters – only 5 to 10 feet under the keel is typical  – and shifting sandbars. Our first day was exciting and generally confidence inspiring as we gradually made our way to our destination, but we had our challenges and learned some lessons too:
– pay attention to the channel at all times and speeds, or you’ll find yourself bumping along a sandbar, as we did. Apparently this is not uncommon, however the first time it is certainly disconcerting. Fortunately we were at ‘slow cruise’ when this happened and we were able to power off the sandy bottom with relative ease.

– the Admiral (Ria) is not strong enough to secure the ring for the mooring buoy when our vessel is being buffeted by 20 knot winds, no matter how hard we try. If it hadn’t been for the assistance of a nearby Good Samaritan in his dinghy, we would have had to stay at the Vero Beach Marina dock. Without going into the technicalities, we learned from this a better way to secure our boat using the ‘bridle’, which is a necessity for anchoring a twin hulled vessel.

Despite the apprehension (a nicer word than fear) about unfamiliar waters, and a few scrapes and bruises, we’re having a great time. We’ve really enjoyed the cruising, the scenery, and the places we’ve stopped (Vero Beach and Eau Gallie). Hopefully the following pictures will do justice to the tropical beauty and character of this part of  the Florida coast.

We're too tall - the friendly bridge operator responded to our radio call.


Vero Beach anchorage - scene of our first catamaran mooring (mis)adventure.


This is typical of the channels along the Florida ICW.


Ria's first ride on her new folding bike.


Vero Beach residential street scene - very lush.


Our second stop, a cosy gem (with hot showers and laundry!)


Original family home of prominent Eau Gallie settlers - from Canada!


Next stop – Cape Canaveral.


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  1. Great photos! It looks like a nice start to your adventure. As a side note….in your copius amounts of time 🙂 …… is it possible for you to add a subscribe option to your blog so that your followers can subscribe and get notifications of your updates as soon as they are posted? That would be awesome.

    Keep the photos coming!


    1. Hi Mindy,

      Glad your enjoying the photos, and thanks very much for the subscribe option suggestion (didn’t know there was one). I’ll definitely add this feature as soon as I figure out where it is and how to do it.

      In the meantime (hopefully not long, but as you well know, computers are not my strong suit), I expect we’ll be providing a new post about every 5 to 7 days.

      See you when we get to Montreal…..


  2. Wahoooo! You’re officially underway…what a great adventure! Great to finally meet Ria – ok maybe just through pictures. Hopefully we can do that in person soon! All the best and love reading the blog…happy cruising!

    1. Pleased to hear you’ve caught up with us on the blog Beth. More pictures and (mis)adventure stories to come.

      Yes, we’re also hoping we get a chance to see you when we’re up Massachusetts way…..


  3. Hey John and Ria! Doug sent me the link to your blog so I can follow along too! Looking forward to reading all about your great adventures!

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