We couldn’t have asked for a better day then when Gypsies Palace left the dock n April 1st for our first week of our Great Loop Adventure. The winds and seas were calm so we traveled outside from Boca Raton to Stuart. Just a beautiful day that you dream about.
The whole week was a party everywhere we stopped as we met with friends on nearly every stop! We even had friends ride with us from Boca to Stuart and Uber back home! We stopped in a place called Nettles Island on Hutchinson Island and it was interesting. There were really nice mobile homes with regular homes in between and they were all built on an angle. Golf carts were used to ride around. These people have a slice of paradise.
Our next day took us to Vero Beach where my friend got us space at the Quail Valley Yacht Club. The funny thing there was that the dockmaster tried to fit us into a slip that he said was 28 ft. with our beam of 25 ft. We got stuck between the pilings going in so in reality, their slip was 25 ft. No matter how hard Capt. Steve tried that boat was not going to fit!
We started the new tradition of the “Coconut” welcome shot. I found this bottle of Captain Morgan’s Coconut Liquor and we all raise a toast to the Loop with each group of friends. By the way, my Vero friends brought us lobster to grill on the boat – really roughing it, right?
Day 3 we were heading to Cocoa Beach Village Marina. This is a very popular spot for boaters because the area is full of restaurants that are all walkable. My best friend from Orlando came over with her family and we again celebrated. We met people that were Gold Loopers there. People that have completed the Loop one time.
Day 4 was a day of dodging storms and bad weather. This day the winds were picking up and really bad storms were coming across Jacksonville and heading south. Capt. Steve did a great job of monitoring the radars and seeing where the bad cells were going to be. We waited out some of the bad storms by just sitting in a “white out” situation. When we docked at New Smyrna City Marina we later found out that 2 sailboats and a trawler grounded that were traveling behind us. The winds must have pushed them out of the channel.
We were met at the dock by friends from Orlando and we went right out for a bite to eat. We were also met at the dock by a fellow Looper that helped us tie up. I had let me know that we were coming via an App on our phone from the Looper’s Association that let’s us see other Looper boats. It is such a cool thing and fun! We see the boats within a 200 mile radius.
When we left on Day 5 the winds were now 20 – 30 mph. A very windy day to Marineland. We managed to dock and catch up on some boat things during this period. One “boat thing” is laundry. The boat does have a combination washer/ dryer that works fine. However, it does take about 2 hours to do one very small load. By small load that would be one sheet! Most of my laundry will be done at the marinas as they typically furnish washers and dryers. While we were there we lucked out because more storms were to the north and south of us and we did not get anything to be concerned about.
Heading to Jacksonville was another windy day. As we cruised by St. Augustine we passed the mooring field where many boaters stay and use their dinghy to go into the lovely town. We stayed in Jacksonville 4 days to meet up with friends, shop and catch up with things,including a grooming for shaggy Mozzy. We entertained at the dock, watched the Masters and did errands.
Summary: It was a highly successful send off for the state of Florida!!