Rally Termination… Goodbye (Temporarily) to Friends

Wow, it is hard to believe that our Rally has concluded.  We have traveled more than 1100 miles with the 19 boats in the Sail to the Sun 2016 Rally and it has been a fabulous experience.  Our leader, Wally Moran, has a ton of experience on the ICW and did a great job of balancing a schedule/plan with the flexibility required for sailor types.


Wally and his faithful pup, Aduana.

The Rally officially ended shortly after leaving Vero Beach.  From Vero we headed to Peck Lake which is a small anchorage with a spit of sand that connects via a short path to the Atlantic Ocean.  We saw solid evidence of just how far the Ocean reaches because of the green buoy from the Bahamas that had washed up on this shore.  We spent a pleasant afternoon walking the Atlantic side beach, collecting shells and simply enjoying the empty ocean front.


King of the buoy?


Rally friends showing this buoy who is boss.

I cannot possibly complete our posts about the ICW without including a couple more bridge pictures.  Here are two of my favorites from our last few days on the ICW….


This should be called the Disney Castle Bridge, don’t you think?


The lines of this bridge were sleek and modern.

Moving down the Florida ICW was one monied area after another.  The houses and yachts were so large it was a little ridiculous.  Even though some of the homes were stunningly pretty, all I kept thinking was that I was very glad I didn’t have to maintain any of them.

fl-6The lighting is poor but you get an idea about the homes.

fl-4Better lighting reveals some details.

fl-3  I did appreciate the Christmas spirit on this little abode.

fl-2Hmmm, which one would you choose?

As I said, there were some rather large yachts as well…. I kept thinking of the credit card ad asking, “What’s in your wallet.”  But instead I would ask, “What’s in your back yard?”

Enough of the money stuff….

Perhaps the most unique anchorage we stopped in was Boca Raton.  There is just a tiny bump out of the ICW in Boca where you can anchor.  You must be cautious because it is extremely shallow in the middle.  Gently nudging our way into the area allowed us to find a spot to drop anchor and enjoy a beautiful evening.  The surrounding area was a mixture of beautiful homes and sky-rises.

fl-5Our view during dinner.

The evening was cool, quiet and calm and Frank and I relished a relaxed dinner in the cockpit.  LIB gently pivoted on her anchor and gave us a changing view as we discussed the trip we were finishing and our plans for having the mast returned to our boat.


Enjoying the view and our Christmas lights while reading my Kindle.

Our final Rally stop was at Dinner Key in Miami.  While the other Rally boats awaited bridge openings, we motored ahead and only waited on openings if the bridge was less 16 feet.  fl-8Celebratory drinks in Dinner Key

Once LIB was safely tied up we poured a drink and sat in the cockpit while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.

Wally had planned a final dinner in Dinner Key to mark the end of the Rally.  This gave us a chance to compare plans with the others and discuss weather windows.  Many of the Ralliers will head to the Bahamas and we are very glad to know we will reunite with several of our friends in the near future.

Wally put a lot of thought and effort into our final dinner including awarding “certificates” for some of us.  Not at all surprising was that Frank received an award in recognition of his willingness to dive any Rally boat to check for crab pots, grounding damage, zinc levels, etc.


Frank’s certificate commemorating at least four dives during the Rally.

I, however, was surprised, and secretly pleased, to receive an award of my own. I might not be recognized for important jobs like Frank, but I am a very positive person and I have the award to prove it. 😉


Nice guys (girls) don’t always finish last.

Frank and I are very glad we joined the Sail to the Sun 2016 Rally and highly recommend it to others considering the trek.  We think the ICW would have been a little tiring if we had been on our own.  Having other sailors to share the experience and socialize with was a huge benefit.  We enjoyed sharing the navigation and history of the ICW as well as the adventures and mishaps with so many like minded people.  It was nice to have Wally’s guidance and experience and have other boaters to discuss ideas for future destinations.


The sun sets on the Sail to the Sun 2016 Rally

It is especially nice to know we have 19 other boats we now call our friends and that we already have friends in future anchorages.


Full moon rising at Dinner Key, Miami

This is our concluding post about the ICW Rally.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of the places we passed during this trip.  Have you been inspired to cruise the ICW or are you more interested in island hopping?  I would love to know…

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