120 Jekyll Island, GA to Coco, FL

by

We just caught the words “outlet store” on the Interstate billboard. Looking for socks, we exited and found JR Tobacco Outlet Store. We should have known; we were in North Carolina where cigarettes are sold in quantities at tobacco state low prices. The store is a junky mix of all sorts of odd lot items. Perfume counters sat next to counters selling fishing rods. Of course there is a huge cigarette selection. In the back of the store we found we could purchase a 5’ statue of Joe Camel had we wanted an icon of effective marketing. If purchased it’s sure to generate endless questioning from friends about one’s sanity. We wandered around chuckling at strange variety of goods. Finally we broke down and found the socks we’d come in to purchase.

Ruth had found an article about Lexington, VA as we were traveling. We pulled off to visit Stonewall Jackson’s home and learned a great deal about the famous Confederate general. Town was intriguing, and we spent a warm winter afternoon poking around enjoying the charm of the quiet, historic village. Someday we’ll return and explore a bit more.

Sparkling snow on a bright sunny day greeted us as we entered New York. Roads were clear and dry making for a wonderful last portion of our trip north for the holidays. Time evaporated as we visited family and 10 days vanished in a blink. For as much as we loved being with everyone, there was still the subtle feeling telling us we were away from home, a bit out of our element and there was a quiet tugging on us to head for water. The Sunday before New Years we headed for home.

We entered I95 north of Savannah and found it working hard to maintain its reputation as one of the most unpleasant Interstates we travel. Heavy traffic generated radical changes in speed for no apparent reason. It made for stressful driving. Finally fed up with the congestion we began to shunpike. Traveling along US 17 in Georgia, a sign, Two Way Fish Camp, flashed by. For years on the ICW we’ve seen a corresponding sign in the middle of the Georgia marshes pointing up a wilderness river. We’d always wondered what a marina with that unusual name looked like. We stopped and went back to check. A modern marina with a nice restaurant and condos gave the name respectability. Some day we’ll return by boat and spend some time exploring.

Our new cockpit table thanks to Steve and Linda

Our new cockpit table thanks to Steve and Linda

First order of business on return to Jekyll was to install our latest work of art on Odyssey. In New York we picked up the walnut table top Steve had fashioned to replace Odyssey’s white plastic cockpit table. It fit perfectly. Our new table has a unique history. Years ago Steve removed a lightning- killed walnut tree. He rough sawed it to planks and dried them over his workshop waiting for a project. I helped Steve plane and cut the planks to boards on our last visit. Ruth and Steve arranged the boards for visual impact. Then Steve added his artistic touch creating a unique drop leaf table with custom crafted slides to hold the leaf up. Now it adds a lovely touch of class and color to the cockpit.

Days slipped by as we enjoyed island quiet and cool days that made for easy bike riding. We enjoyed long rides and talked in contrasts as we rode. First we’d talk about staying put for the winter and in mid conservation switch to talk about heading further south. The itch to move won out. Early one morning we cast off and headed south. Three days later we caught a mooring at Vero Beach to enjoy checking out familiar places we’d not visited in almost 18 months.

We had a great reunion with Jim and Doreen, at a nice beach restaurant on our arrival.

Winter came to Vero Beach dropping temperatures into the 30’s. Adding a quilt to the goose down comforter on the bed made for warm comfortable sleeping. The cold provided an incentive to go to bed early, not that we needed one. During the short winter day sunlight heat soaked the cockpit and kept it toasty. With short days the solar panels don’t keep up with electrical use so like most of the other boats on moorings we ran the generator to charge the batteries and at the same ran a small heater or the reverse cycle AC to keep us warm.

Vero was filled to capacity with boats double and triple rafted on moorings when we arrived. We lucked out and were assigned to a mooring that had just opened up before we arrived. A week later Catch 22, a sailing cat, came along side; and we enjoyed Micki and Dick’s company for a few days before they headed for a dock. Sea Jay with old friends Ralph and Steph aboard arrived and rafted off Odyssey. We again worked hard on honing our party skills both aboard and at some of the local restaurants.

A long dinghy ride across the ICW and south a bit brought us to a park ladder on one of the canals where we tied off. From there it’s a few short walk to Publix and other essential stores like ABC Liquor and great restaurants. Going by dinghy feels like more of an adventure than taking the hourly free bus. Ralph and Steph joined us for one of the runs, and we all loaded up with groceries after breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants. Getting everything and everyone back in the dinghy while holding it off the sharp, shell infested ladder and sea wall was a bit of a trick, but we succeeded in not poking a hole in our inflatable and had a fun trip. Reluctantly Ralph and Steph realized it was time leave and headed south. We remained living comfortably on a mooring undecided about going south or just staying put.

Howard and Jean on Seaburds read our short paragraph in the Great Loop Association Newsletter about our St Lawrence adventure. They tracked us down, and we worked out the sale of our charts and discovered they were just down in Stuart. They came up on Seaburds, rafted off and we completed the sale and made new friends.

.

It was getting warm in Vero. For four days in a row we were in shorts and sandals. Slipping into my wet suit and new dive hood I slid into the cold 52-degree water and installed new zincs. With that accomplished all of our maintenance work was complete. We could leave at any time. We were again itchy to be on the move.

The Garden Show spread out under the Live Oaks in Riverside Park. We met up with Jim, Doreen and Greg. We all wandered the show enjoying the variety of plants and other garden stuff for sale. Living aboard removes all temptations to purchase; but it sure was fun to look.

A large flock of several hundred silent birds stayed just out of identification range as we walked toward the beach. Their silence and skittishness had caught our attention. Finally a few of the bolder ones, or maybe lazy ones, lagged behind and revealed themselves as male robins. We’d never seen flocks of robins before, or seen robins that didn’t occasionally emit their cheery chirp. We guessed they were grouping up for the migration north.

A leisurely Sunday morning walk to the beach has become a Vero routine for us. Glazed pecan rolls from Cravings and a Sunday New York Times from the newsstand set us up for a lazy day of reading the paper in the cockpit. This Sunday had a slightly different agenda. We got our rolls and newspaper. However, once we were back aboard Odyssey we freed the mooring line and headed north. Hours later we were in Cocoa tied up to a dock for the first time in weeks. We settled in to finally read the paper and plot the next day’s bike exploration.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: