Preparing To Get Underway

Family Coming to Visit

We are having visitors to VB next week and one family member who has never sailed with me wants to go out. I explained that it is a two hour trip to the Ft. Pierce Inlet, and two hours back. If the weather permits, we can spend some time day sailing in the Atlantic. Now I don’t know how strong everyone’s sea legs are, but at the first sign of sea sickness we are heading back inside.

What most people do not understand is you don’t just get onboard and go for a ride. I had to put the furling jib back on because I had it off for hurricane season. I made sure all batteries and jump start systems were fully charged. I checked out the engine and every thing seems OK at the dock. I checked jib halyard, jib sheets, out haul lines, reef lines, furling lines, and traveler lines. I also relabeled all snap blocks. Checked the weather forecast and it is iffy but I will be ready to go. I also had scheduled the yearly engine maintenance for next week but I can put this off for a few days.

Next, I will need to stock provisions for a day sail. One thing I will not do is drink alcoholic beverages while sailing. When you check Florida statistics, a large number of boating accidents are alcohol related. There will be a lot of boat traffic on the Inter coastal Waterway because many boaters who were down for the winter are starting to head back North.

In addition, once we are onboard I have a four page pre-sail check list I will have to go through with the crew. Make sure crew understands how to use the VHF radio in case of emergency is just one item on the check list.

These people will be ready!

Centennial Christmas Boat Parade

On Saturday, December 15th, 2018, starting at 1800, there will be a Christmas Boat Parade and it will end with the parade of boats circling the Vero Beach City marina. 

2017 Christmas Boat Parade

With her stern facing the marina basin, Sunday II has an ideal spot for watching the parade. So, rain or shine, our plan is to be there.

Red Tide Update October 30, 2018

Indian River County is still experiencing red tide conditions and all beaches in Indian River County will remain closed until further notice. 

General Updates:

  • Yesterday the winds were mainly out north.
  • There was no significant amount of new fish washing ashore nor respiratory discomfort.
  • Water samples were collected at beaches and shipped to FWC.

 Progress as of the end of day Monday:

  • The contractor has cleared approximately 16.5 miles of 22.5 miles of countywide shoreline.
  • To date, approximately 132,000 pounds of waste have been removed from IRC beaches.

Red Tide Update

Indian River County is still experiencing Red Tide conditions and all beaches in Indian River County will remain closed until further notice.

The County’s marine debris removal contractor initiated debris removal last Saturday.

  • There continues to be large amounts of dead fish washing ashore (mainly mullet, Jack, lookdowns, snapper, grouper, puffer, eels, tropical fish) along the county from the winds and high surf.
  • The contractor anticipates being able to clean approximately 1 – 1 ½ miles per day.

Progress as of the end of day Thursday:

  • The contractor has cleared approximately 9.5 miles of the 22.5 miles of countywide shoreline.
  • The total weight removed is approximately 82,000 pounds.

Anticipated work today (Friday):

  • Focusing on the northern part of the county: Treasures Shores Park and Turtle Beach Park 2-3 miles north and south of the parks.

Weather Conditions:

  • A front working through our area will change the winds to SSW 5-15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Winds Saturday will be out of the west at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Winds Sunday will turn back around from the north at 10 to 15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Hopefully, this change in winds will be enough to blow the red tide back out to sea.

Per the recommendation of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), we will be testing water samples twice weekly.

Red Tide Cautions

Protective Actions:

All people are encouraged to follow the recommendations provided by the Department of Health:

  • People, especially those with respiratory issues, are encouraged to stay away from the beaches if possible until further notice. Persons may experience throat irritation and/or coughing if directly exposed to Red Tide.
  • Higher wind or tides can spread Red Tide more quickly.
  • Dead fish are not to be eaten! Be cautious with any fish caught from the southeastern coast of Florida.
  • Do not consume shellfish of any kind caught in this area until the Red Tide passes.
  • The Indian River County Emergency Information Center is open to take your questions from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. today.  Please call 772-226-4000.
  • For general information on harmful algal blooms occurring in Florida and current status reports by the state, please visit these links:

Red Tide Cleanup

The Red Tide is still present in Indian River County and cleanup operations are in effect. All of the beaches in our county remain closed. The image below shows where the cleanup operations are taking place. On the Indian River County beaches, the toxic effects of Red Tide has mostly been fish kill and the clean up contractor will remove 10-15,000 lbs of dead fish off the beaches per day.

With a continuing East wind, Red Tide is expected to linger on our beaches for more days!

Red Tide

What is Red Tide?

There are numerous microscopic algae in the ocean and they are essential components to ocean life but when they are supplied with excess nutrients, they multiply uncontrollably, and can become an unwanted toxic mass commonly called a “red tide” or harmful algal blooms. (HAB)

What Causes Red Tide?

This is still being investigated but some marine scientist believe the up welling of nutrients from the sea floor from massive storms is most likely the cause of these events.

Dinoflagellates are major producers of oxygen in the ocean (and freshwater). But some species can grow out of control, causing a red tide.(2004 Smithsonian Institution)

For a more detailed and reference filled description of red tide see Wikipedia:
Wikipedia and Red Tide
  Red tide has invaded Indian River County. Watch this news report:

Float Plans

Most safety conscience boaters will advise you to file a float plan when you are venturing out on the water. You will need a float plan when YOU want people to know where you plan to sail and you will need a float plan when PEOPLE need to locate you while you are sailing. You should leave a copy of a written float plan with your marina, and friend(s) or relative(s).

There are several online Float Plans available in various formats and within each plan there are instructions to follow in case of an overdue boater. Here are links to a few:

The BoatUS site has both Word and Pdf format

A Float Plan template from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary

The US Power Squadron has a form you can fill out and then print.

Here is the partial Float Plan that we used on our trip to Green Turtle. It changed several times and each time it changed we made sure to notify those people with whom we had shared the plan.

Float Plan VB Green Turtle-1