In Vero you will find a facility of a type becoming more and more available: moorings for rent. Concerned about anchoring in the harbor and dragging anchors tearing up the bottom, the town fathers passed an ordinance prohibiting anchoring entirely and planted moorings in Bethel Creek, the most popular stopping place. You can rent a mooring and dinghy in to the nearby Vero Beach Municipal Marina, whose dockmaster handles dockage and the moorings. One of the first such mooring fields, it has become very popular, so reservations are strongly recommended and you must agree to allow a later arrival to raft alongside. (The moorings are designed to handle the load of multiple boats.) Since rafting can be inevitable, it is suggested that boats traveling together so identify themselves and request rafting when making reservations. The city's complex has expanded to the south and now includes a park with barbecues and picnic shelters.
Other Florida cities and towns have been studying the mooring field at Vero Beach and the idea is being copied! You'll notice other new mooring fields mentioned in the FCD and as you cruise.
The entrance to the harbor is just north of the high bridge for State Road 60 — turn east midway between the new bridge pilings and marker “139.” Keep to mid-channel as there has been shoaling in the area.
Just south of the bridge on the west shore you'll find Vero Marine Center and some waterfront eateries that range from informal to posh, including one of the well-known Jack Baker's restaurants and Mr. Manatee. Some of the docks are best suited for small boats, so cruising folk should approach cautiously. Or, perhaps, by dinghy.
A bit farther south, a privately marked (though charted) side channel heading toward the southeast leads to Quail Valley River Club. There's no overnight dockage but fuel and pumpouts are available to transients.
From Vero south, the Indian River runs wider but shallower, and the need to stay in the channel becomes more important than it was farther north. The river averages more than a mile wide from below Vero to Stuart, but the water on either side of the dredged channel is often shallow enough to be waded by fishermen. You will see strings of private markers leading at right angles from the channel toward private homes and public facilities alike. (Continue...)
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