We spent a wonderful Christmas at Vero Beach. It was a very busy place, with lots of people taking advantage of the excellent shore access and cheap moorings. Several boats that we have met along our journey ended up hanging out there for Christmas so we had a great time catching up with old friends and spending time with new friends on Surprise and Zephyr.
It was an easy holiday, with two exceptions. First, it was cold! Not “Ottawa” cold but it did get down to 2 degrees celsius on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Now, this may not sound cold to our friends and family in Canada but keep in mind that we are in a three-season home on the water. The cold wind seems to find every little opportunity to find its way into the boat and getting to shore in the dinghy is facing the cold, damp wind head on. Brrrrr! Thankfully it only lasted a few days. By yesterday the temperatures in Florida were back to more normal temperatures in the mid-twenty degree range. Yes!
The other event happened late at night, right before Christmas. Mike and I were just about to call it a night when… “bam”. There was a loud thud on the hull of Wild Horses. We both looked at each other and then scrambled up on deck. The wind had picked up quite a bit causing a catamaran that had anchored near us earlier that evening to drag anchor. And that catamaran had just slid into Wild Horses. Yikes!
Yes, this is a “big deal” but we were lucky on several fronts:
Since the boats were already “alongside” each other and it was dark, we decided to just “raft” the other boat up to ours. This is a regular technique boaters use if they are sharing a mooring or if they are anchored with close friends. The two boats tie themselves together and share an anchor.
The other nuance to this situation we found ourselves in with the catamaran is that the other boat, the catamaran, had a planned departure time of 4:30am the next day. They wanted to take advantage of low tide in order to get under their next fixed bridge only 1 nautical mile away. What did this mean for Wild Horses? Well, untying from a raft-up needs the crew of both boats to be on deck and participating. Yeesh. 4:30 in the morning.
With our early morning in mind, the crew of both boats turned in for the night. Only, Mike couldn’t sleep. Although the boats were snugged down and not dragging, Mike was still concerned. He decided to stay on watch, in the cockpit, so that he could react quickly if the boats had any issues. That’s right, no sleep. Double yeesh.
The next morning, at 0400, the crew of both boats woke up, untangled the tie-up lines from the boats and we waved good-bye to our very brief and sudden raft-up friends. We were a little tired and still shocked but also very relieved that the situation was actually pretty un-eventful. Whew.
Dragging boats aside, Vero Beach was a wonderful place to spend Christmas and several of our friends had decided to also spend New Years there. It was a lovely idea but a weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream is opening up over the next week and we want to be in Miami to take advantage of the good weather. The day after Christmas we continued our journey south.
We are now in West Palm Beach but will weigh anchor again tomorrow with the idea of getting to Fort Lauderdale on the weekend and Miami on New Years Day.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.