Ft Pierce, FL (and some road trips)

We had a great crossing from West End, Bahamas to Ft Pierce, FL. We had set out around the same time as Hemisphere, Moxie and Forever Friday and got the anticipated push from the Gulf Stream making it a 9 hour day for us. You can see our path under the Track Us tab.

The first few days back were an adjustment. Florida is louder, more crowded and just different from all that we had been experiencing the past 3 months.

The reason we decided to land at Ft Pierce was to have the boat hauled out and some maintenance work done.

Heartbeat was expected to be at a yard for a week. We knew we couldn’t stay on the boat as it would be like living in an oven (or hotter) so we decided to rent a car and explore.

We found out a SpaceX rocket was scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral on 4/9 but was scrubbed early due to weather. We were 90 min from Cape Canaveral and so we drove north on 4/10 to stay the night with Dave & Carol (Moxie) and watch the lift off. Mike & Mary (Forever Friday) were in the area as well so we all had a delicious dinner on Moxie and waited for lift off. Scrubbed a second time. On 4/11 us and Moxie made the most of the day and toured Kennedy Space Center (KSC). It was impressive. We spent most of the day there and did not see everything. Highly recommend a visit if you are in the area, the storytelling is fantastic. Too many pictures to share and they do not reflect how large some of these items really are but here are a few highlights.

KSC – Atlantis space shuttle. So cool.

Saturn V rocket – this is taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Astronauts were transported in this van to the launch pad. Appropriately it was named the Astrovan.

KSC – Dave & Carol (Moxie) getting ready for IMAX.

KSC – Apollo 14 crew capsule.

KSC – Suit worn by Alan Sheppard.

With our heads full of all that we had learned and seen that day we headed back to Moxie for what would hopefully be the rocket launch. At 6:35 pm the Falcon Heavy rocket launched, carrying with it a communications satellite. This was an amazing experience – sitting on the bow of friend’s boat with direct view of lift off. The sound and the rumbling were hard to explain. Eight minutes after take off there were dual sonic booms heard as the 2 boosters landed back at Cape Canaveral for reuse.

Take off!

You can barely see it but the rocket is still there.

Long video but very cool to see this take off in person!

The following day we thanked Dave & Carol for their generosity of letting us stay with them multiple nights. They will leave their boat and head home to Massachusetts but we hope to cross paths with them again.

We drove back to Ft Pierce, checked on the boat, picked Penny up at the dog sitter, visited the Navy Seal Museum (which was fantastic) and drove south an hour to see what the city of Stuart had to offer.
Navy Seal Museum in Ft Pierce. This was a very well done history and tribute.

We stayed 2 nights at a hotel and both nights we listened to some fantastic live music at an outdoor space called Terra Fermata which is in downtown Stuart. Patio chairs, small tables, garden lights strung above – it was a great venue.

Our days however were less exciting. Since we had a rental car we took advantage of running errands. We spent our time (and our money) at Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Publix, West Marine and I am sure some other places. Our list was long after limited shopping in the Bahamas.

Our bikes have taken a beating from the sun and salt water. We took them in for repairs to get them working again, spending more than they were worth. Next place we are that we can receive some packages we will have Amazon deliver some bike covers to help keep the sun and salt away.

Best delivery! When Kent was home in February he boxed up some of our left behind wine. We could not fit it all on the boat when we started our trip. Our friend at Cellar503 held the wine and shipped it to us while we were in Ft Pierce. If you like great, unique Oregon wines check out Cellar503 and become a member!

The night before Heartbeat was ready to go back in the water we drove an hour north to Cocoa Beach for dinner with Mike & Mary and crashed on their pull out sofa. As Forever Friday is an American Tug 34 we felt right at home.

Mike is giving Penny some attention. She is the first dog allowed on Forever Friday. Imagine they will be finding dog hair for weeks!

Heartbeat is now back in the water with new bottom paint, a shiny hull and a repaired muffler. We head north on the Atlantic ICW for the next “chunk” of The Great Loop – the east coast.