Our Time in Fort Pierce and the CLODs
The day after we arrived back in Fort Pierce from St. Louis to move aboard Dejarlo, we moved her (along with help from our friends Jim and Sharon) from the private dock where she had been living into the Fort Pierce City Marina, a terrific facility giving us access to all the amenities plus close proximity to all the wonderful action of Fort Pierce.
We intended to stay in this marina for a week to ten days before departing south to the Keys.
We left thirty days later!
Anyone that has ever owned a boat, especially a boat this size, knows the tremendous amount or work involved. We didn’t! But we learned fast!
Everything on a boat costs at least twice as much to purchase and takes at least twice as long to accomplish.
I was suddenly on a first name basis with all the employees at the local West Marine!
That was the surprisingly difficult part of our thirty days at Fort Pierce City Marina. There was also a good and wonderful part … the CLODs.
Among the communities of Fort Pierce and Vero Beach, there resides a large group of retired cruisers. These are people that have years of experience and thousands of miles of travel by sailboat, including the ICW, the Bahamas, the eastern Caribbean and the western Caribbean. The members of this group, most in there 60’s and 70’s, have retired from cruising and settled in homes and condos in the area. They’re referred to as CLODs … Cruisers Living On Dirt!
They are a wonderful group of people with bucket loads of sailing experience and a willingness to share their knowledge.
And they invited Jane and me into their group for the thirty days we were here. We attended their socials, went bowling, went drinking, went eating, etc., etc., etc. (don’t you people ever sleep!)
They went out sailing with us (thanks Charlie) and taught us things that would have taken us months on our own to acquire.
We are forever grateful for their hospitality, warmth, kindness and wiliness to share with a couple of neophytes like us. We consider them our friends for life and can’t wait to return to Vero Beach/Fort Pierce to spend time with them again.
And thanks to our good friends, Jim and Sharon Dalton (CLODs themselves), for extending the invitations to join with the group.
Our transition into this lifestyle was made much more pleasant by the CLODs. Thank you!