We had to make a decision, we could either rush and use the current weather window to cross or wait for the next. With gale-like winds coming in at the end of the week, we decided we didn’t want to hurry across just to be scrambling to find a good anchorage to hunker down into for our first days in the Bahamas, so we are headed south on island time, waiting for the windy days to pass and catch the next good weather opportunity. We made it just a wee little bit further south to Vero Beach, frequently called “Velcro Beach” by cruisers because it’s apparently just so easy to stay here. We picked up a mooring and paid for two nights, not usually our style, but for $15.00 a night we get hot, almost pressure-washer hard, showers, free wifi, and access to the rest of the Marina amenities like laundry, book exchanges, and other cruisers to mingle with. The most welcome feature for us, though, is the floating dinghy dock! We now have legitimate access to shore. Woohoo. But wait, it gets even better, at the end of the dinghy dock is a bus stop-where a FREE bus comes around twice an hour to pick you up and take you all over town or to the beach.
Our first night in we didn’t have the energy to go exploring, I have no idea what was so exhausting about a windless putter down the nearly deserted ICW but we were in bed by 7:30. With our extra hours of sleep, we were ready to put our tourist shoes on the next day. In the morning we took the bus to the closest shopping center. It had two grocery stores, a West Marine, two liquor stores, a TJMaxx and a handful of other chain restraints and shops. We loaded up on another $100.00 of groceries because even though we just bought six months of groceries I decided I needed stuff to make dinner. Backpacks overloaded, we missed the bus by one minute so we wandered around a dive shop for a half an hour until we caught the next bus. It wasn’t really the right bus because it took the long route back, but it still eventually went where we were going. We got on the bus with an older gentleman who was wearing very torn, thin clothes but had wads of money and new lotto tickets falling out of every pocket. He knew most of the people on the bus and also knew exactly how to push all of their buttons. And did. A bunch of smack-talk became loud and turned into “I’m gonna kick your…”. We really thought there might be a fight between the guy next to me and the one behind me, but there wasn’t. Just drama. It was just like being back on a school bus. We just sat and enjoyed the air conditioning and the free ride.
In the evening we saw a bit more of town had a to-remember dinner with our friend. She took us to what must be the best spot in Vero, the Kilted Mermaid. A very good night.
In the morning we got on the bus, this time to the beach. I have been to the beach only twice since coming back from the Bahamas so it was a treat. We gazed at the flat ocean and what was the last few hours of calm crossing weather there was. In the afternoon we lounged around and stopped by the office and paid for one more night on the mooring. We then walked to the very large, and completely free, dog park that shares the waterfront with the mooring field so Kai could have a play date with his friend Congo (and we could meet up with Congo’s Mom). Kai hasn’t been to a dog park in months and ran and sniffed himself to exhaustion.
The next day we hopped on the bus and spent the morning at the beach and peeking in all the pricy boutiques and found some galleries to enjoy. The good thing about wandering about in a rich community is that there is absolutely no temptation to buy anything! We came home for lunch (the gourmet cafes are not in our budget). We also stopped by the office and paid for three more nights before hopping on the bus again.
^^ Vero Beach City Marina mooring field
^^ Dinghy dock + free bus = match made in heaven ❤️
^^ Kai cooling his paws at the (free) dog park.