Fort Pierce

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sun 10 Nov 2013 23:58
27:28.0N 80:19.6W
We are at the Harbortown marina in Fort Pierce, which is newly renovated and a generally nice place.  It has a restaurant/bar and live music in the evenings.  Luxurious showers.  Air conditioned launderette.  Swimming pool.  Cruisers lounge with TV and computers.  Naturally there are quite a lot of live-aboard cruisers hanging out here.
In fact, there is a mall a short walk away with a Publix supermarket for groceries, West Marine for boat bits, Wendys for burgers, chinese takeaway, pizza restaurant and a pound store for Andrea to satisfy her urges to go foraging.  What more could we want?
Andrea checked out the magazine rack at Publix to get an idea of the choice reading material for the area.  You can pick up a lot from what the locals are reading.  Quilting for the women, fishing and guns for the men, but did you know there was a monthly periodical devoted exclusively to boar hunting? 
This morning we were invited to brunch on Simplicity, another catamaran that sailed with the Salty Dawgs.  They took the gutsy route of heading directly south across the gulf stream.  They had some hairy moments because their reefing failed so they were going faster than they wanted, with water coming over the decks. They were happy to get here in one piece. 
It seems like we were lucky to have taken the inshore route.  Of the Salty Dawgs heading for the BVIs, two lost their rudders, two lost their masts and one simply broke apart under the battering it received from the waves.  And there is another storm about to hit the others.  Fingers crossed there are no more incidents because they are a long way out at sea now.  The first storm was only about 100 miles offshore and the damaged boats (that didn’t sink) could be towed back by the coastguard.
Tomorrow morning Anastasa gets hauled out of the water for the second time since we bought her.  The first haulout  was done by Catana who obviously knew exactly what they were doing.  This time the lift will be done by the 150 ton lift at the boatyard here at Harbortown marina.  It can handle boats up to 30 feet wide.  We are only 28 feet, so there should be a foot to spare on each side of the lifting dock as we cruise in!  No problem, except that our fenders are more like 18” wide so they will get squashed a bit by the concrete walls as we squeeze in.
Then I have to instruct the lift operator where to put the straps.  If you don’t get the straps in the right place you can damage the hull, and the boatyard will not take any responsibility for the positioning.  There are arrows on Anastasia’s sides to show you where they should go, but I saw the Catana guys tapping the hull with hammers to locate internal bulkheads, so I am not so confident in those arrows.  Anyway, I have also arranged for a diver to check we don’t cover any through-hull fittings with the straps because trapping those might also damage the hull.  What could go wrong?