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Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: East FL – 8 – Melbourne Beach to St. Lucie River and Stuart

  • Captain Jane Reports on the Vero Beach Art Museum

    The always-worth-visiting Vero Beach Museum of Art has some great offerings right now and through January 11, 2011. It’s only a 15-minute stroll from the city marina and it would be well worth visiting, even if it is two shuttle buses away from where you are docked. For those at the city marina, turn right at the marina exit, cross the highway (not so bad — there are traffic lights); the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway will be on your right; follow the signs to the museum.
    Our favorite exhibit of the current three is Metamorphosis: Abstract Works by Federico Uribe — and he’s not kidding about the metamorphosis part. The artist uses CDs, vinyl records, retired library books, chopsticks and plastic forks and transforms them into works of art. Federico Uribe was born in Colombia and now lives in Florida. This small exhibit packs a wallop — each item gave us a double-take as in “those are chopsticks?!!!”
    Don’t just look around you, also look up in the corners of the ceiling — in this installation the metaphor of “art is everywhere” is also literal. I asked the security guard which of Uribe’s work was his favorite and he said: Everything! I urge you to visit this exhibit and promise you that plastic forks will never be the same.
    The featured special exhibit, Fay, is a selection of William Wegman’s charming and bizarre photographs of his second weimaraner Fay Ray; the entrance fee is $5 and includes two 30-minute movies in the auditorium and on a video monitor outside the exhibit a series of shorts he did for Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live. The Saturday Night Live dog baseball game is a hoot.
    Mr. Wegman bought Fay three years after the death of what may have been the most photographed Weimaraner in the world — Man Ray. As bereft as Wegman was, a four-month old weimaraner puppy named Cinnamon Girl captured his heart and he was soon taking pictures of dogs again. He renamed the puppy Fay Ray and she proved to be quite the actress and performer. A docent is on hand to give you background information on Mr. Wegman and his work.
    Just across the hall is a small salon with the third special exhibit, but don’t let the small size fool you — this is a fascinating, varied exhibit worth savoring. Clearly Color offers selections from the museum’s collection of glass works. Each item is a jewel. Note that some of the works are by Dale Chihuly, his first assistant and the assistant’s student. It’s fun to see the relationships of teaching and inspiration in their works.
    If you are headed for Vero Beach after January 11, check out the next series of special exhibits. It’s a wonderful, creative museum with a splendid sculpture garden and sense of humor.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Basic Information:
    Vero Beach Museum of Art,
    Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 4:30
    Sunday, 1 to 4:30

  • Captain Jane Reports on Vero Beach Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaWow, what an active social life and great community spirit at this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! If you are cruising through VERO, please stop off here if time permits, and let them know how much you appreciate their support of the cruising community, by way of their support for the SSECN!

    View of the Bridge just south of the entrance channel to Vero Beach City Marina

    Here is your 2010/2011 season update on Vero Beach City Marina. This AICW Cruisers Mecca is hopping. While you can sometimes get a mooring ball for yourself, boats are doubled and tripled up on
    mooring balls as I type this, a vessel spent the night at the fuel dock and one boat is heading to a mooring after two at the dock because a previous reservation bumped her. If you want a slip ($1.50 a foot), we recommend you reserve at least several days in advance.

    The social life on shore has changed just a bit, so here’s a summary of how it appears to be for the moment.

    1. Weekly Cruisers Breakfast hosted by Vero Beach’s CLOD (Cruisers Living on Dirt) continues on Wednesday mornings at 8 at 2002 restaurant (the Publix stop on the free Vero Beach GoLine shuttle bus.)
    2. Thursday Night Is Happy Hour, bring your own beverage and bring an appetizer to share at the picnic area near the main dinghy dock. I think this begins at 4:30 PM; there are signs in the cruisers lounge. If you are a musician, bring an instrument. It was hopping this past Thursday.
    3. Free GoLine Shuttle Bus seems to have more routes than ever. Note that the stop at Publix has changed — it no longer stops right in front of this reprovisioning gift to cruisers, but it’s only a short walk across the parking lot. Ask the driver to point to the new return spot just across from where you get out. The GoLine bus stop sign is still in front of the Publix, but don’t let that fool you — or so we were told.
    4. Free Wifi now at Vero Beach Municipal Marina — but it’s a little peripatetic at the moment. Yachtspots is gone and the city marina is in the process of upgrading and installing high speed wifi. The staff may ask you to limit your heavy internet use to the hours of 7 PM to 7 AM until the full upgrades are in. When they are up and running, the high speed signal should reach all the way to the most Northern moorings. Ask for the pass code and current status at the office. For now, easy on the Skype and hold back on Netflix streaming during office hours. 😉
    5. Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. The 10 AM GoLine Shuttle will take you there and pick you up an hour later. Or you can walk. It’s a pleasant 20 minute stroll there and a little less pleasant on the way back if while shopping you forgot you will be walking back.
    6. Recycling is gone, temporarily, we hope! Most cruisers want recycling and value marinas who offer it. From what I have learned, recycling is expensive and the marinas need our help to make it work. Most of us do it right, but it only takes a few to muck it up and it seems some transients have created a problem at Vero which the marina is earnestly trying to resolve. The staff is trying to come up with a way to train cruisers into behaving so that recycling can resume. It seems that some transients, particularly in the summer, have been dumping garbage in the recycling containers and the recycling company did not have the time or person power to sort through the garbage. The marina staff, out of personal commitment to recycling, then set up their own bins and tried marking them really clearly — but then they experienced personally why the recycling company gave up. So, please urge your fellow boaters to behave. Marina staff asked me to ask folks also to please, please, please honor the recycling of oil rules; they collect $1 for disposal and it truly costs them more in labor and fees to provide this important environmental service. Please don’t mix anti-freeze in with the oil or other contaminants as it slaps the marina with a huge bill later in the process. Also, please don’t skirt the rules and dump used oil by the trash or outside the trash bins. Those who tuck in their oil-related trash between the bins and the doorrs create opportunity for costly and time-consuming cleanup when the trash area doors are opened and everything topples over.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Vero Beach Municipal Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Vero Beach Municipal Marina

  • Praise for Pelican Yacht Club, AICW Statute Mile 965.5

    Pelican Yacht Club is located on the southern shores of the Fort Pierce Inlet, east-southeast of flashing buoy #13.

    Spent the last couple of nights here and wanted to mention that it’s a little slice of “Old Florida” here just off the Fort Pierce Inlet. Nice folks, well kept (fixed) docks, a little tight for maneuvering in and out but plenty of water for our 5′6″ draft. Two good restaurant finds within a five minute walk: Dave’s Diner, for what we might argue is the best of several very good breakfast places that we have found along the Waterway, and the “Tiki” like bar and grill On the Edge – great setting, very good food, welcoming service, mix of locals and visitors.
    Captain Leigh Hough

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pelican Yacht Club

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pelican Yacht Club

  • Accolades for Fort Pierce City Marina (Statute Mile 966.5)

     Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589You will seldom (if ever) find a better run municipal watercraft facility than Fort Pierce City Marina. Dockmaster Dean and his staff do everything that can be done to make cruisers welcome, and encourage them to linger for awhile. And, of course, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Ft. Pierce City Marina – Ft. Pierce, FL, ICW 966. This is our southern destination. We stay here for at least 2 months each winter. It is just off of the Indian River, very accessible, and has an excellent inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The “old town” city center of activity is at the marina! There is a weekly farmer’s market, parades, monthly old car rallies, motorcycle rallies, great restaurants, shopping, and all other necessary services. This marina is really well managed, with an excellent staff, and is a terrific stop for ocean/ICW travelers.
    Sabra Morgan

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

    Click on Chartlet Below to Open a Chart View Window,
    Centered on the Location of This Marina:

  • Praise for The Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart, Fl departing the AICW c. Statute Mile 496

    Formerly the Harbourage Marina and Yacht Club, The Loggerhead Club and Marina of Stuart lies northwest of Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River marker #23, and east of the US1/Stuart high-rise bridge.
    We stayed at the Harborage Marina and Yacht Club, now Loggerhead Marina, in Stuart. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The clubhouse and pool area are gorgeous. The restroom-shower facilities are the best we have found in Florida. (We felt like we were at a spa rather than a marina). There is a nice live aboard community there on both the floating docks and the fixed docks. Saint Lucie Inlet to the East gives easy access to the Atlantic and the Bahamas. Saint Lucie River to the West gives access to the Okeechobee Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. The only negative is there are no marine or grocery stores close to the marina.
    Captain Jeff Prahm aboard mv Java Girl

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Loggerhead Club of Stuart

  • Praise For Sunset Bay Marina (South Fork, St. Lucie River, on the Okeechobee Waterway)

    Since the city of Stuart leased out this property, and the facility was rebuilt as Sunset Bay Marina, we have received nothing but praise for Sunset Bay here on the Cruisers’ Net.

    There is no doubt that Sunset Bay is the BEST marina in the Stuart area. It was opened in 2009 so is not yet in many cruiser’s guides. Everything is new, great facilities, although mostly transient, it would pay to book ahead as many people come in for an overnight, then stay for 2 weeks. There is also a mooring field.
    Keith and Laurie Rawlings
    M/V “KenBane”

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina

  • Pirates Cove Resort and Marina (on Manatee Pocket, off the St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    Pirates Cove is one of the most upstream facilities on Manatee Pocket. This body of water lies near the intersection of the AICW/Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River, known locally as “The Crossroads.” I’ve always been impressed with Pirates Cove, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sailcraft at their docks. Always has been 100% power vessels.

    We stayed here on 4/5/2010 for one night and had a nice stay. Since we were there for one night they put us on the fuel dock which was fine with me since access into and out of the slips looked like it could be a little tight (50′ LOA). We were enroute from Ft. Lauderdale to the northern Gulf Coast and some of our group who were driving a vehcile home stayed in the rooms and reported them as nice. The restraunt was pretty good, the marina staff were helpful. I’d stay here again. The location is very good if your headed to the west coast of Florida and you’re breaking the trip across into two days.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pirates Cove Resort and Marina

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, on the South Fork St. Lucie River)

    Here’s a different point of view on Stuart’s Sunset Bay Marina. Heretofore, the messages received here on the Net concerning this facility have been overwhelmingly positive!

    8 March 2010. It looked like it would have been a great marina but available only to folks who book six months in advance. When we asked for a one-night transient dock, we were told to come back in June! There were empty slips and a big inside protected fuel dock that no one was on. Something wrong here.
    Obviously no transient slips were reserved, despite the Waterway Guide claim of there being 60. This was the first marina we encountered that had nothing available for transients, keeping in mind our size usually guarantees a spot can always be found for us.
    The facilities for the mooring field were excellent but as noted by others, it is completely open to high speed waterway traffic, subject to gunnel-to-gunnel rolling and wet dinghy rides. And why is there no bum boat available for such a large mooring field?
    Two of the three other marinas in the area also claimed to be filled, with only the Harborage Yacht Club and Marina having transient places available. One said they don’t take sailboats despite the visible masts. For short term stayers like ourselves, Stuart wasn’t that attractive of a place. We anchored up the North Fork after the first rolly day on a mooring, moved to Harborage for a day for provisioning, walking over the bridge, cabbing back.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    Below is a response from the management at Sunset Bay Marina:

    As Assistant Harbormaster at Sunset Bay Marina I can tell you that our marina is always available to transients and since we opened last year we have not had to turn down, due to lack of availability, any transients who have wished to come in on a daily basis. We offer side to ties on our fixed docks for transients of all size vessels from 25′ to 125′. We have, however, had to put those who own vessels under 40′ and who wish to have a long term dockage on a waiting list as all of our slips that accommodate those size vessels filled up almost as soon as we opened last year. We are trying to accommodate these vessels on our waiting list as soon as slips become available.
    The Okeechoobee Waterway traffic problem that we have had in the past has been addressed as the entire area surrounding the mooring field and the marina has just recently been designated as a no-wake zone by the State of Florida and slow no-wake signage has been installed.
    As far as the “bum boat” goes, unfortunately we do not have one but we have always personally patrolled our mooring field several times each day with our carolina skiff and constantly offer assistance to our mooring field guests in any way we possibly can, helping them with provisions, etc.
    We apologize for any misunderstandings that may have occurred.
    Ruth Conrad

    <a href=””><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina</strong></span></a>

  • “Potty Patrol” Once Again Underway on AICW/Indian River

    Notice that the inspections Captains Bob and Judy describe below are taking place at MARINAS. I would bet there are also cruising craft being stopped while underway as well.

    According to today’s issue of Florida Today newspaper [4/26/10], over the weekend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) launched onboard inspections of sanitation systems of live-aboard boats in marinas and boats on the ICW. Over the weekend they inspected boats in marinas on Merritt Island, Melbourne and Vero Beach. The operation is going to continue until Friday (April 30th).
    Bob McLeran and Judy Young

    I had the experience personally yesterday. Went to Sanderling to do a little work after posting the article to this list. The young FWC officer had no idea that only a few places in Florida are no discharge
    zones (he’d spent most of his short career in the Keys, which IS a NDZ) and he’d never heard of a Lectrasan/Electrascan. I proceeded to provide a modest amount of education, he called his supervisor and confirmed that his new teacher was correct. Very receptive, courteous, not an issue. Got a receipt from him that Sanderling was in compliance.
    A friend in another marina where sanitation inspections were taking place yesterday told me that the FWC officers were taking “samples” from the Lectrasan boats for testing. How they did that I’m not sure, but I’d never take either of my Lectrasans apart to allow a sample to be taken, nor would I break the overboard line for that purpose (there are couplings to do so. If the FWC officer wanted to get into the engine room to do it, with the assurance that they’d be responsible for any damage, I’d CONSIDER letting them do so!
    We’ve been boarded several times by water cops (local sheriffs or FWC officers) for sanitation inspections and when we’d tell them we had 2 heads and 2 Lectrasans they all said “thanks” and departed!
    Bob McLeran and Judy Young

    We were boarded in Vero Beach mooring field shortly after arriving on Saturday and the dye test was done. Then again on Sunday when we were on the ICW heading to Cocoa, the same two officers came up to our boat but recognized us and laughed and said didn’t we check you yesterday? Just doing their job.
    Capt. RL & Karen
    s/v Last Call

    How are they treating boats with Porta potties and pump out systems that are legal? Also how are they dealing with wag Bag owners/

  • Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce, St. M. 965)

    Harbortown Marina is located north of downtown Fort Pierce. We also strongly recommend that you consider nearby Fort Pierce City Marina, and not just because this latter facility is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. They are also an absolutely first-class, city run marina in every way, shape and fashion!

    I left my boat here while visiting friends in Vero Beach. The cost for the slip, with power (monthly rate) was the same as staying at a mooring at Vero Beach Municipal Marina. Of course, this only works if you have access to a car. Great staff, nice restaurant, and yes, the docks do need some attention. If you look at an unprotected piling (most are wrapped with some material that hide the damage), you wonder how they stand up to the stress.
    HB Koern

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce)

  • Secluded Anchorage (near Statute Mile 945.5)

    This little anchorage lies just north of what used to be the Jones Fruit Dock,  but only Waterway veterans will remember that place. For everyone else, let’s just say that it lies north of Vero Beach. This a great spot to drop the hook, but swinging room is a bit skimpy, and may only be appropriate for vessels 32 feet and smaller.

    We stop here almost every time we pass by, including Mar 31, 2010. We usually anchor about halfway up behind the island, but this time a little more to the south, about 150 feet south of a buoy midstream. We had our usual quiet night but in the morning, pulled up a heavy chain attached to an old mooring and caught on our anchor. I had seen two moorings here in previous years and wondered where one of them went – now we know! So be aware that there have been moorings midstream behind the island and there is the possibility of catching one with your anchor. Other than that it’s a delightful, protected spot.
    Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Secluded Anchorage

  • Sailfish Marina (Manatee Pocket, near Stuart, Florida – near St. M. 988)

    Sailfish Marina of Stuart is the first facility that will come abeam to the west, after entering Manatee Pocket!

    We are staying a couple nights at Sailfish Marina, just off the ICW, in the Manatee Pocket, near Stuart, Fla. They give a Boat US discount off on fuel. They give 25% off their slips, making it only $1.50 per foot, very reasonable for Fla. The washer and dryer are only $1.00 each. For reservations, call 772-283-1122 for Kay, the office manager. The owners Jan and Butch Bayley are very helpful too.
    Cindy Shue

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sailfish Marina of Stuart

  • New Eastern Florida AICW Anchorage (near Statute Mile 947)

    The new (at least to yours truly) anchorage described below by Captains John and Angie will be found just south of the old Jones Fruit Dock location (for Waterway veterans that remember this venerable stopover). This is one of the new overnight havens for which we have had input here on the Net, with which I am completely unfamiliar. Anyone else dropped the hook here. If so, please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your experiences.

    You missed the best anchorage in this area, at about MM 947 behind the small spoil islet. We went in just N of flashing red marker “112″ and never saw less than 8 ft. We were there recently in March on a Sat. with 6 other boats, four left late in the day. The ICW was busy and noisy during the day, but no wakes reached us. Protected from most directions of wind except S.
    John and Angie

    I e-mailed Captains John and Angie, and asked for more details on the location of this anchorage. They were kind enough to forward the reply below:

    Hi Claiborne
    The “spoil islet” is on the W side of the ICW and the anchorage is on the W side of it.
    N 27deg 43.3min W 80deg 23.9min
    Thanks for all that you do to share good cruising info.
    John and Angie
    m/v Snow Bird
    Leopard 37 powercat

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, on the South Fork St. Lucie River)

    Seldom have we gotten just a quantity of good messages concerning a newly minted marina facility as those we have received over the last six months for Sunset Bay Marina. If you don’t already know, this facility has risen on the site of the old City of Stuart pier, later a mooring field known as Southpointe Anchorage. Sunset Bay is found just upstream of the old Roosevelt Bridges, on the South Fork of St. Lucie River.

    As I traveled the distance up the St. Lucie River to Sunset Bay Marina, I wondered if it was going to be worth the extra mileage – it was! One of the few places with floating docks – which were excellent. CLEAN washrooms/showers/laundry. Store with marine supplies. And yes the restaurant was excellent, both in terms of food and service. And that is one of the two key attractions to this facility – it has everything but it is all about SERVICE. They specialize in that. Assistance with docking and experienced advice. There’s get acquainted parties, bbqs and other activities for both long term and transient boaters to enjoy. I was only there one night but it is definitely a place I would visit again, maybe even for the long term!
    Lois Lipton

    I agree with Lois’s comments and add that the facility includes a large mooring field, with all the amenities available for boaters on the moorings. There are clean showers, new washers & dryers, bikes, cruisers’ lounge with a printer for our laptops, and friendly service. All this for only $10/night. The location in downtown Stuart is another plus: restaurants, shops, Publix, farmers’ market every Sunday, music on the Riverwalk. We stopped for a day or two, but will stay for a couple of weeks.
    Julie and John Stocksdale

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina

  • New AICW Anchorage Just North of St. Lucie River/Inlet – Okeechobee Waterway Intersection

    Below Captain Hardin describes an anchor down spot I’ve never tried before. And, to the best of my recollection, we’ve never had a posting here on the Cruisers’ Net about dropping the hook on these waters. Has anyone else anchored here???????

    I guess the blind pig finds a acorn every once in a while. Went into manatee pocket at St Lucie, wind was blowing out of the south today at 15+. The holding was not great, Ii think that “skippy” gives it a 3. Stayed for a couple of hours and watched the anchor alarm, chartplotter did not show movement but the MKI eyeball said otherwise, pulled anchor with the intention of going to Jensen Beach at (SB) MM 981.8 as the holding was a 4. North on the ICW I turned E just past G233, north of the shoal and then back south to the island. anchored less than 100yds from the island in 7.5+ at low tide. The island blocks the south wind and the shoal 6″ protects from the wakes. Winds in the lee are less than 5. Seems like a great stop, Roxann would love to get off onto the island. Beaches are pure white sand. I think this is a very good stop with south winds and the dog can go ashore. N2711.04/W08010.92.
    Charles Hardin

  • Good Boat Upholsterer in Stuart, FL

    What an interesting business name!

    We had all our upholstery done for our boat at Covergirls Upholstery. Wewere very pleased. They may be able to help you out.
    279 Southeast Monterey Road, Stuart, FL
    (772) 286-5776

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, FL on the St. Lucie River, South Fork) And the Roosevelt Bridges

    There have already been many postings praising Sunset Bay Marina here on the Cruisers’ Net. For those who don’t know, this facility is the new incarnation of the Stuart City Marina, once known as Southpointe Anchorage. The new version has plentiful slip dockage, plus an extensive mooring field.
    What makes Captain Dave’s note below so valuable, is his advice about the nearby Roosevelt Bridges, which lie between Sunset Bay and the AICW. These old spans were supposed to be removed with the adjacent high-rise span opened, but that’s never happened!

    Ditto to all the good comments. We agree and will be there for the next three months.
    Note of interest: I suggest calling the Roosevelt Bridge for an opening before going under the new 65′ bridge. The bridge tender is very accommodating and will let you know when she is about to open so you can proceed safely. Be prepared to stop and possibly turn around as the railroad bridge closed without warning just after we started to go under the new bridge.
    On weekends with many boaters and a strong tide racing thru there, it can get interesting.
    Capt Dave

  • Vero Beach Municipal Marina and Vero Beach (Statute Mile 952)

    Vero Beach MarinaWe are all very excited that our dear friend, Captain Jane Tigar has agreed to become a “roving reporter” for the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. Captain Jane has been contributing stories and cruising news to the Net for many years. Now, her articles will be a bit lengthier, and allow one and all to take a more in-depth look at the ports of call and anchorages on which she chooses to report. Everyone please join with me in welcoming Captain Jane aboard!
    Below, Jane takes a good, long look at the delightful port of call known as Vero Beach, and its city marina plus mooring field. Good choice, Jane, as Vero Beach Municipal Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    If there’s one marina that rivals a good anchorage, it’s Vero Beach Municipal Marina. Whether in a slip or on a mooring ball, it’s a bucolic setting that could make you rethink any associations you have with the word “municipal.” This is not some impersonal marina where you feel like you are in a boat parking lot and your sight-seeing is limited to the marina office and land heads. Think summer camp, a charming foliage rich cove, great sunsets and bright stars at night combined with easy access to culture, entertainment and provisioning.
    Vero Beach Municipal Marina is possibly the most convenient marina we’ve ever visited. The ocean, restaurants and shops are only a 15 minute walk away. “Serious” shopping centers are a short and free shuttle bus ride away with a choice of mid to high range supermarkets, post office, UPS store, and, the all important West Marine Express. There are two shuttle stops at the the marina — one at the dinghy dock and one near the land heads and showers and marina office. It does not get more convenient than this.
    It’s one of our “stay a week” places, not just for the free shuttle buses to and around town but because of the year round summer camp like atmospher. Cruisers do and seem to expect to talk to each other, make friends, swap cruising tips and stories. Maybe it’s because we all queue up for the bus together or because there’s a picnic table, lounge, book swap, plentiful laundry machines — and this physical layout encourages community. Even the mail pick-up feels like camp, with one of the dock hands sorting the mail and putting it in alphabetized cubbies. The way cruisers come for the mail, you’d think they were expecting a care package from Mom and Dad. Maybe they are….
    This time a series of cold snaps and small craft advisories, kept us here a little longer than planned and, as often happens, when we stay longer than we initially intend, we discover something special.
    This year’s discovery is the Vero Beach Museum of Art, a 15 minute walk from the Marina, just across the main road. There is a spectacular exhibit of ceramic masterpieces running right now called Innovation and Change: Great Ceramics from the Ceramics Research Center of Arizona State University Art Museum Collection. This is one masterpiece after another, some fanciful and all amazing to see — even if you think you aren’t interested in ceramics. While this exhibit closes January 10, several more are opening in its wake.
    For cruisers returning Northbound, these two exhibits, among others, will be waiting for you well into May. We can vouch for Food for Thought, a series of huge outdoor bronze sculptures that are plays on words and ideas in the form of giant food-related sculptures by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz. It is great fun to see and walk through the sculpture garden of these surreal and humorous structures with the ocean as a far away backdrop. It runs through May 16, 2010.
    A maritime-themed exhibit awaits late snow-birds and returning snowbirds. Ships and shorelines, William Bradford and Nineteenth-Century American Marine Painting, opens January 30 and runs through May 10, 2010.
    This, to us, is reason alone to get off your boat in Vero Beach.
    But, there is more. Among the “camp” activities back at the marina, there’s the Saturday afternoon get together at the picnic table, starting at 4. Musicians welcome and bring a snack to share.
    Wedesday mornings, you can take the first shuttle bus at 8 and join the cruisers breakfast at the 2002 diner. Get out at the Publix stop; it’s only about five minutes ride from the marina. There you will meet not only active cruisers but local members of CLOD, Cruisers Living on Dirt. It’s an affable group and if you’re lucky, you may get a fanciful bird ornament from Rose — she makes them out of colorful retired computer tape. I proudly wear mine.
    Vero Beach is also a good opportunity for those who need and want a break from eating aboard. We had a good “deli fix” at Two Jays Deli; while it’s not New York City or Kruppens in DC, they do a good job and their sliced meats and nova are far better than the supermarket equivalents; you can get white fish, bagels that are water boiled and there are even take-out knishes. We also had a great lunch at the Siam Orchid restaurant, easily reached by the shuttle, tell the driver you want to get off at the West Marine. Their Thai green curry and red curry lunch specials are excellent and authentic, and at $6.50 with soup of the day, a bargain. They also have first rate sushi offerings at reasonable prices. Bangkok in Downtown is another good Thai restaurant; get off at Pocahontas transfer station on the shuttle bus. This area is fun to walk around, nice shops, including Tea and Chi which is a few doors away from the Cultural Council of Indian River County’s office where you can get the Culture Vulture booklet that highlights cultural events in town.
    This is a stop we look forward to each cruise South and 2010 did not disappoint.
    Jane Tigar
    S/V Lady Jane

    View of the marina office, fuel dock and part of the mooring field.

    A sculpture in the Food for Thought exhibit of giant bronze sculptures by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz at the Vero Beach Museum of Art through January 10, 2010. This sculpture is entitled “WMD”.


    Sunset at Vero Beach Municipal Marina

    View of the mooring field.

    Good summary of Vero Beach Municipal Marina. We stopped there briefly this past April and found it as enjoyable as you noted.

    I was at the Municipal Marina some years ago on my way to the Bahamas and back. I loved it, probably the best all round marina I’ve ever been in. I really liked the ice cream shop by the beach. I hope to be there this next winter.
    Jim Owens

    If you stop at the WestMarine on Miracle Mile, stop in Kelly’s Irish pub/bar for an excellent Rueben. Say hi to Ducky. Also, for the best pizza, go to South Beach Pizzaria. It’s a block off the Causeway (17th St). They’ll deliver to the Marina.
    Enjoy Vero. It can be easy to stay longer than you think. Stoping there for a “couple of days” to do some minor fixes and stayed 3 weeks. I now call it Velcro Beach
    Joe Murphy

    Vero is the best kept secret in Florida.My parents lived in the area for 25 years, and it was a thrill while “Looping” to stay at this wonderful marina. There is a fun breakfast place right on north beach next to the boardwalk.Listen to the sea while eating an omlette!Also love “The Driftwood Inn’s large patio overlooking the ocean for lunch. Both places are walkable…a rare occurance in Florida.Try the Riverside theatre for some top notch entertainment.This, too is walking distance from the marina.It doesn’t get better than this!
    Pam Frech

    Should mention that in peak cruising seasons you will probably raft up with a similar size boat on the mooring.
    Some people are put off by this but we have always enjoyed the opportunity to meet more cruisers and we have never (in over a dozen visits) experienced any difficulties with this setup
    Joe Powers/ sv Aquavit

    I find it amusing that cruisers like Vero Beach (as do I) but criticize other cities for wanting to install mooring fields at the expense of anchorage areas. Where is the large anchorage area at Vero Beach? Or am I missing it?

    I too have enjoyed Vero, and the Art Museum, and the very nice restaurant on the beach at the end of this same Main Street. It also gets my OK as a mooring field because it is one of the few that can handle our 60 foot boat. So many former anchorage areas in the NE. are filled with moorings, very few of which can accommodate us, making it a lose-lose situation.
    Beverly Feiges

  • Harbour Isle Marina (Fort Pierce, FL, near St. M. 966)

    Here’s a facility in Fort Pierce, Florida that is not yet listed in the Net’s “Eastern Florida Marina Directory.” We will remedy that situation SOON!

    In the Ft. Pierce area there is a hidden secret. It’s called Harbour Isle Marina. The Marina Manager is Sarah Anderson (772)461-9049. This is a large condo community with great floating concrete docks, pump outs available at your slip, plenty of transient slips, very little current and excellent wind protection. They don’t have fuel, showers, or laundry facilities but laundry and great restaurants are an easy walk. But the BEST is that they are running a special deal! $1.00 per foot plus $5.00 electricity per day. If you stay five nights you get two nights free! Easy access off Faber Cove (turn at ICW marker 188) down their channel on the left into the protected marina. It’s across the bay from Ft. Pierce and a much better deal then anything else in the area. We highly recommend it. Very nice folks there too. Great place to stay.
    John Howe

  • Faber Cove Anchorage (Fort Pierce, FL, near Statute Mile 966.5)

    We have a real problem in that some local and county authorities in Florida are NOT recognizing nor abiding by the new Florida state anchoring law. Stay tuned to an SSECN editorial about this problem soon!

    We anchored in Faber Cove due to the East wind protection. About an hour after anchoring the Coast Guard came by and said that we were reported “in distress” we told them no that we had just anchored and were fine. They saw no problem with our position, wished us a good day and left. About an hour after that the Fort Pierce Police boat arrived and said that we could not stay there because we were too close to the channel and if we caused any accidents we would be financially responsible and that if we dinghied in our dinghy would be stolen and we’d be financially responsible for that too. It was four guns to none, so we moved out further in the bay and anchored in 12′ and no further problem. Florida has passed legislation in 2006 that you can anchor anywhere if you are not a live aboard boat, so what’s up? By the way, Harbour Isle (just off Faber Cove) is running a special dockage at $1.00 per foot with $5.00 per day for electricals. Nice place, floating docks, easy walk to restaurants and stores.
    John Howe

    “Anywhere” doesn’t mean in a channel.
    John C.

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