Anchoring First Time In 2017

We left Vero Beach Monday morning with intentions of anchoring out.  Kent got a new anchor while we were in Fort Myers, so now it’s time to put it to the test.  The weather forecast said there could be high winds in the morning.   We had partly cloudy skies when we left Vero Beach but traveling on the smooth water was great, even if the weather was overcast.

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We had four dolphins showing off to me along side the boat.  It was so nice to see them swimming with the boat.  We have seen several dolphins since we left Fort Myers, but none of them wanted to play and show off.  When dolphins are feeding they are not interested in following boat wakes.  They stayed with us for quite a while before they left.

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We see a lot of small islands with shallow water along sections of the Indian River (AICW).  I though this picture really shows you the shoaling on the AICW at low tide.  It’s very important to stay between the markers and watch your sailing line on our chart plotter.

This is one of many abandoned boats due to hurricane Matthew that we have seen.  This one is all the way on shore.  This area is called Grant-Valkaria.

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We decide to anchor at Merritt Island or what is known as Dragon Point.  There is a story of how it got its name.  The Merritt Island Dragon was a 100′ green concrete shaped dragon weighing an estimated 20 tons and named “Annie”.  The dragon stood at the southern tip of Merritt Island know as Dragon Point.  This is where the Indian River Lagoon split to form the Banana River Lagoon.  Annie the dragon served as a landmark for both locals, a playhouse for children, and boaters.  The dragon was built by Louis VanDercar in 1971.

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Then in August 2002 the sculpture was badly damaged and partially collapsed into the water during a storm.  Then vandalism was to blamed for contributing to the statues destruction.  After more than 30 years of providing a landmark at the entrance to the Banana River it remains only a sad symbol of its former self lying half in and half out of the water.  There was not much left to see as we passed by it.  A children’s book about the dragon, River Dragon : A real Florida Fairy Tale was published in 2003.

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We had to have the Mathers Bridge opened as we wanted to anchor past this point for more protection.  We just got the anchor set and we had a down pour of rain.  I finally got to check out the new rain coat I purchased for the trip.  I didn’t get wet but the poor people on the rowing team did.

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It was a beautiful place to anchor even if we didn’t have a sunset.  There were several other boats anchored in front of us.  The rain finally stopped for a while.

Kent and I celebrated our first anchorage this year with wine and music. We had a great night.  I just love being out on an anchor surrounded by water and getting rocked to sleep.

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Everything was great until 5 in the morning when the wind really picked up with gust up to 25 mile per hr.  The anchor held and after an hour Kent came back to bed and we rocked and rolled for a while.

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