Friday, November 18, 2011

Loggerhead Club & Marina - We arrivel

Bridge at Stuart - as a work of art?
We were concerned about backing out of our slip at Vero Beach. The fairway is just wide enough for our 42 ft boat but there's no extra room. With the winds gusting in the 20's, we had to choose our departing strategy carefully. We waited for the 20 kt gusts to pass by and then backed out during one in the teens. With some help from others in the marina, we made the turn without hitting anything and counted ourselves lucky. However, upon starting down the ICW, the wind really started to howl. Even though it's a protected route, the ICW can be over a mile wide in some areas, plenty of room for a 25 kt wind to kick up some serious wave action. In fact, we saw gusts topping 32 kts (that's 37 mph!). We had a small section of sail up to help stabilize the boat as we rocketed along. Although the ICW travels through a very wide area here (over a mle), the channel itself is very narrow, only a hundred feet or so - you've got to pay attention to staying on the magenta line (the center of the ICW route). With a 30 kt wind and kicked up seas, that can be a challenge.
At Loggerhead Marina - We're out there somewhere!

We stayed at Loggerhead last year, they had good prices ($11/ft for a month's stay) and they looked after your boat while you were away. The down side is that the marina borders a large river and waves can be whipped up, causing a bouncy night. But since we're going to be away for all but 4 or 5 days, then it's no problem for us. The wind is still rushing by at 15 to 20 kts and is supposed to stay that way for the next 24 hours. Being in a boat, you are part of the weather! In a house, the weather is outside and you can choose to participate or not - no such choice on a boat, it's part of the attraction of boating.

The marina itself is fine. The docks are concrete and floating with pilings between all the slips for running lines to keep your boat centered in the slip. This year we reserved an east pointing slip so we are pointed into the major wave and wind action, better than last year. The marina has a pool and exercise room along with a nice restaurant. We'll spend the next two days getting the  boat ready for its month and a half rest.