It was a day that made us remember why we bought a sailboat and not a trawler...and after so long on the ICW, we were much in need of the reminder. Despite a late night at the bar last evening, we were underway at a reasonable hour and put the sails up as soon as we got out of the anchorage. They stayed up the entire way to Vero Beach. We started out making 4-6 knots with small following waves. The wind began dead behind us and the sails were a bit stubborn about where they wanted to fly. Fortunately, the wind moved forward so that it was just behind the beam, occasionally in front of the beam, and we picked up speed. At one point today, we were doing more than 11 knots, so we decided to reduce sail and still averaged nearly 7 knots for the day under partial jib.
Not only was the sailing great, but we also caught our best eating fish to date. It was a Spanish mackerel about 32 inches long, weighing about four pounds. This happened within a couple miles of our starting point and it was quite a surprise. I was actually worried about getting under a large (65 foot) bridge under full sail set wing and wing and the rod didn't make any noise. I called Thomas to help with the bridge and he noticed we had a fish. We didn't want to lose such a monster, so we threw him on the cockpit floor while he dug up the fillet knife, etc. Needless to say, our friend was not happy and flopped around so much he managed to dislodge the hook on his own and spurt blood all over the cockpit. Thomas was pleased to be able to yell "Let the decks flow with the blood of the nonbeliever," although not as thrilled to have to clean it all up later.
After the fishing action was over, Thomas finished making a loaf of bread, which we will be putting in the oven here soon. Our fish is probably two night's worth, so we expect to be living high on the hog here in Vero.
Thomas also managed to fix the problem with the dinghy engine connector. It turned out to be very minor (the little prong thing moved and it wasn't latching), and all is well. On the power front, we're making tons of it at the moment. Thomas and I both believe that the battery monitor thing needs to be tweaked so that it isn't so pessimistic.
If Vero is the least bit nice, we expect to hole up here for a couple of days. We are running low on provisions and would like to find a grocery store, and there are a number of small jobs to get done on the boat. Most importantly, I really want to go to the beach.
Got info from the marina people here. There is a free bus we may take for groceries and miscellany on Monday. After checking in, we walked down to the beach. Turned out to be a tour of hurricane destruction. There are several waterfront houses and hotels that basically fell in when the beach washed out from under them and are now being demolished.
We did find a waterfront bar that was open. It was pricey and difficult to get service because it was so busy.
Came back to the dinghy dock and saw George and Jackie from Sea Otter II. Returned to the boat for fish, which we did on the grill. It was good but not as good as salmon on the grill. Probably just a matter of finding the right recipe. The bread turned out really well. I think we have essentially honed the perfect loaf.