We made it. We made it to the Atlantic Ocean. No more fresh water and back to the salt. We had unhooked from the dolphin and started to head east toward Stuart Florida. The travel was with light winds, a few fishermen and a lot of scenery of the lifestyle of the folks on the east coast. Boats became larger and we were passing more of them. It must have been the day for the animals. Making our way east we saw our first alligator and also some horses coming to the water for a drink. We locked through our last lock, St Lucie Lock with an 8 foot drop. It was easy. Hold the line and let it out. Down is so much easier than going up in all locks. As we were leaving I yelled to Scott “manatee”. Directly in front of our bow was the beautiful manatee diving and swimming. We slowed completely down and only pushed through as needed until the gentle giant was past. Apparently it wanted a ride in the lock.
Down the St. Lucie Canal towards the St. Lucie River andthe many boats we would pass. They come within only about 10 feet of your boat at full speed. It’s creepy to this laker girl. No one slows down. You rock all the time from so much wake. It seems strange to us as we always slow for the boats that pass, but that’s in the north. Down here it’s all about doing whatever works. There is so much boat traffic that is it normal to come so close to each other. It’s just different to us but Scott is getting used to it already.
We found our home at Manatee Pocket, a very busy inlet. We are staying the night at Sailfish Marina. It’s mainly a fishing marina with large deep sea fishing boats. There isn’t a lot of slips available so we are at the end of the fuel dock. It’s actually a great spot to watch the boats go by. The marina has laundry, gas and diesel, wifi that works. We con’t need much more than that. We did, however, head out on the dingy to dinner at Shirmper’s Raw Grill. A lovely dinner on an open patio. We ended up traveling back to the boat after dark. The boat traffic was gone. I think we passed one boat. The interesting thing to us is how many boats are anchored and look like they haven’t moved in years. They are just anchored out in the open area, with their dingy attached. Liveaboards we are assuming.
We have been looking for a slip to leave the boat at for the 4 months at home. Not an easy task as it seems. We are looking at leaving her on the hard for the duration which hasn’t proved to be any cheaper really. Wet slip real estate is slightly higher priced but not significant. We are thinking that she might be better out of the salt water and wait for our return when we come back to move north. Forgetting that Monday is an official holiday we are finding several places closed. That could change the date for departure home by at least one day.