We got lucky and sold the Jeep on Saturday so we are finally free of our last shore bound possession, the last anchor to land so to speak. We decided we would get a slip at a Melbourne City Marina Sunday night to make it easier to complete last-minute shopping before heading south.

                Alison (Teresa’s daughter) came down from Jacksonville, FL to spend a bit of time with her mom before we headed further away from her. Being in the marina made it easier for her to visit as well as allowing easier loading of supplies onto the boat. We could also top off the water tanks and wash the outside of the boat a bit before heading off for parts unknown. (At least unknown to us)

                Monday morning we set off bound for Vero Beach for a couple of days. Of course, the Gremlins struck again when near the end of our run down the waterway, the engine up and shutdown. After many years with this beast of an engine, I knew by its slow last gasps it had run out of fuel. A quick glance at the fuel gauge verified there was plenty of fuel in the tank.

                With a bit of quick troubleshooting along with getting diesel fuel all over the aft cabin, I determined we were not getting any fuel from the tank to the engine. We had replaced the fuel tank a couple of months back, so all the fuel lines were new. It was not clear what the issue was, but I could not get a good flow of fuel to the engine. We quickly dropped anchor just on the edge of the channel as it was becoming painfully clear this was not a quick fix.

After screwing around for a bit while making a bigger mess with diesel fuel all over, I tried running the engine straight out of a spare 5 gallon jerry can we carry on deck just for such emergencies. Doing this allowed us to safely make the last couples of miles to Vero. This worked fine until the can of fuel ran out just as we finished tying alongside the boat we would be moored to for a couple of days. At least that was good timing.

                The Vero Beach mooring field is small but very protected from wind and waves. As the number of moorings is limited, most boats raft up to another boat secured to the mooring. Doing this allows more boats to have a place to moor in a small location. We tied alongside an unoccupied boat so had a bit of privacy for the few days we were there. This mooring field has a large cruising community, so it felt like we were among friends. There was even a small radio net in the mornings where boats would introduce themselves and news of interest in the harbor was shared.

                We spent a couple of days here to do some walking around town and even took a shuttle bus to the beach to walk along the boardwalk on the ocean side of the barrier island. Of course, there were chores as well. I had to see what the problem was with getting fuel to the engine. I did find a couple of slightly loose hose clamps and one hose that appeared to be a bit kinked. After fixing these items everything seemed good and the engine was running off the fuel tank again without issue.

                Thursday morning we got up early and headed to the fuel dock to top off and get some more water along with emptying the waste tank. Good thing we started early as a line soon formed of boats waiting to get in and do the same thing we were doing. Our next stop was going to be Stuart for a day or 2. Some friends had told us about a well-protected mooring field there so we thought we would check it out. Stuart was ok but not much close by in the way of stores. Lots of on water restaurants but not much else. As expected, there were also lots of high end sport fishing boats and marinas.

                We had planned on leaving Saturday but then remembered how bad the boat traffic and bridges were just south of here around Jupiter so we decided to wait and get an early start on Sunday, hoping the traffic would be lighter on a Sunday morning.

The crew of Vayu