Visiting Vero Beach, Florida - Cruisers Guide

We love our little nook of a sailboat. We’ve had our ups and downs. But, it has won my heart. The simplicity it requires can be hard to adjust to, but I have grown to love it. And the doors it opens to the world are well worth any comforts it withholds. Returning after thanksgiving was hard for us. We craved the comforts we left behind. But, returning after Christmas was different for some reason. It was as if we hadn’t missed a beat. Coming back to the boat finally felt like returning home and we were excited to be onboard. 

sailboat watercolor

 Our little home of a boat as painted by a friend we've met along the way, Leigh Harris.
Florida has been good to us. The weather finally warmed up and we’ve been living in tanktops and shorts. My kind of weather. I’ve never been much of a fall or spring time girl. I’d rather have one of the two extremes. Give me mid summer temps by the sea or rugged winter in the mountains. And, in this summer weather by the sea, there’s little I need to be happy. Maybe just Jesus, Joel, food & water. 

e are almost to Miami. Due to the poor weather windows February offers, crossing to the Bahamas isn’t looking too promising. But that’s okay, when you live by the weather you learn to roll with what it offers. So, for now we are headed for the keys. Excited and eager to get there, we’ve been pushing hard. That being said, we’ve still made a few stops here and there. 

In Palm Coast, we stopped to visit with Joel’s grandparents. Palm Coast Marina is a great place to tie up for a few days. They offer “no frills” slips (which means no water or electrical hook up) for $20 a night. We try to anchor as often as possible (to save money). But, we would never leave the boat at anchor overnight. And, since we wanted to spend a day or two with Joel’s grandparents, we tied the boat up at the marina for a few nights. We enjoyed our time with them and even got a few projects done while on land. Joel spent a whole day in the lazarette. 

sailboat repair

few nights later, we pulled into an anchorage in downtown Daytona. After a full day traveling, we dropped the anchor just as the sunset. Exhausted, we sat in the cabin trying to scrape together an idea for dinner. Before we could make any progress, a fellow cruiser road up in their dinghy and invited us to dinner. Excited to make friends, we quickly tidied up and dinghyed over to their boat. Pam and Jim invited us aboard their beautiful Catamaran. Pam fed us the most delicious lasagna and we chatted about life, boats, Bahamas, the Keys, and spear fishing for hours. We really enjoyed getting to know them both. 

he next morning, we bid them far winds as we headed into shore. We worked for a few hours at a local coffee shop (which gave me a chance to share the last blog post!). But by lunch, we were ready to get some miles under our hull. So we journyed a few miles south and tied up at a free dock for the night. 

The next evening, we pulled into an anchorage in Cape Canaveral. In the distance we could see the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building…famous NASA building) and the space shuttle launch site (I’d share picture but the buildings are rather microscopic).  Also in this anchorage was a little uninhabited island. Well, at least uninhabited by humans. One whole side of the island was dusted white from bird droppings (thus I dubbed it “Bird Poop Island”). But, that didn’t keep us from exploring it. After a slight set back running our dinghy aground on a rocky shoal, we tied off and walked around. 

places to anchor Cape Canaveral
tips for icw travel

orning time had us underway and headed for Vero Beach. We had some beautiful weather and a good breeze. So we hoisted the sails and zipped our way south. 

patagonia sailing
tips for new sailors

Pulling into Vero Beach was a rush of excitement for us. Among cruisers, Vero beach has been nicknamed “Velcro Beach.” It has earned its name as many sailors end up staying her much longer then expected.  While checking in the marina, the guy in front of us said, “ I planned to be her four days and now it’s been a 48 days!” 

We had our fingers crossed it wouldn’t cast its spell on us. What was exciting for us, was cruising through the harbor full of beautiful sailboats. And in the midst of the crowd, seeing several of our friends. Pam and Jim were anchored in the front corner waving as we passed. Deeper in the mooring field, I noticed a familiar boat we hadn’t seen since before Christmas. We had caught up with our friends from South Port! 

Velcro Beach

ero beach was a fun little stop. We were able to escape the grasp of its Velcro. Even still, we spent a few days resting, restocking and adventuring around town. One day the weather was so warm that we put our bathing suits on and headed to the beach. 

Vero beach
Sailing Vero Beach
as we seek

nother day was spent figuring out the free public bus routes so we could stock up on groceries. I love public transportation for the people, but the time isn’t the best. You have to get on bus 1 and ride it all around the city until it stops at the hub. Then, jump off and jump onto bus 2 that takes you all around the next half off the city. Only to arrive at your destination two hours later. But, everyone else on the bus has to endure the same thing. So you might as well sit down, shut up and appreciate the free ride. Which we did. And, we are still appreciating the groceries we were able to stock up on.   

live aboard groceries

fter a few days of hanging in the marina lounge, our pile of boat cards showed many new faces and we were ready to bid Vero beach fair well. (On land, people have business cards. But by boat, people have boat cards. My kind of system) More and more, the best part of this trip has become the people we see and meet. The cruising community functions much different the the society living just past the water's edge. You could spend a lifetime in a the same neighborhood and never meet someone living just down the street. But, on board, it seems it often only takes one night to become great friends with everyone  in your anchorage. I'm constantly inspired by the ways of life living here, on the water. 

anchoring in velcro beach

ntil Next Time, 
Much Love