Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at Green Turtle

We had a wonderful Christmas at Green Turtle Cay, White Sound. For Christmas Eve dinner we had a full Christmas meal with ham, turkey, all the fixings, and desert at the Bluff  House Marina and Resort. We shared our table with a couple of other cruising boats from Canada and and we all enjoyed ourselves. For Christmas day Brendal of Brendal's Dive Center hosted a cruisers potluck dinner for anyone in the anchorage. Brendal supplied Goombay Smash, Sid's  Grocery supplied the plates and silverware, the liquor store donated wine and rum, and everyone brought enough food to feed an army. Santa even made a quick showing even though it was quite warm. We are now returning to Spanish Cay for a New Years Celebration and will update when that is over.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spanish Cay

  It was a nice motor sail from Great Sale anchorage to Spanish Cay.We had heard of extensive hurricane Irene damage here but they have been very busy and have all but one row of docks with power and water.The customs/immigration officer here is so friendly and efficient.We were checked in and had our 180 day cruising and fishing permit in no time.
After checking in I bought a loaf of fresh Bahamian bread at the office and found out that the New Years Eve party here features the Barefoot Man live and fireworks and all day events. Looks like we might go to Green Turtle for a couple days and head right back here. I love the Barefoot Man,reminds me of a Pat Dailey concert at Put In Bay back home.
Today is laundry day and Mike will refill the diesel and wash salt off the boat, it is so encrusted on the topsides that it looked like ice crystals at night. We took many waves over the top during the early hours of crossing over. I say that for me crossing over is like childbirth,you say it wasn`t so bad after you have slept a few nights.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Sale Cay

Great Sale Cay is the anchorage with decent wind protection that is used by cruisers as a stepping point to and from the Abacos.The island is uninhabited and has a horse shoe shaped anchorage with good holding.We awoke to increasing winds and stayed 3 nights with steady 20 to 25 knot winds and gusts of more.There were 13 boats with us but the big anchorage meant no crowding and with the brisk winds we never met a neighbor.We are very happy with the Manson Supreme anchor that has set first time and held each time.Having the watermaker and generator meant a nice 3 night stay.We celebrated our 40th anniversary there and Mike`s 62nd birthday.

Bahamas at last!

Old sailors legend says never leave on a journey on a friday,they were a bit right.We left Palm Beach marina friday about 4 pm and headed out to the Atlantic I experienced a bit of terror in the inlet as the raging water there was formidable and our sail was caught on a reef line meaning Mike had to go on deck with the boat rolling about,this never bothers him but I am the worrier.It was a very dark night with no stars or moonlight,just clouds so night travel was not so fun.The winds stayed strong and on the nose so the autopilot wouldn`t work meaning hand steering with both hands and feet planted.Mike insisted on the night shift      and finally went below to sleep once we got to the Bahama banks and dawn.What a change,you go from depth of over a thousand feet to 12 feet of turquoise water and a much more gentle breeze.It is hard to explain the color of the water and the beauty of dolphins,flying fish and miles of open water.We pulled into Great Sale Cay Saturday evening and set anchor and slept very soundly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Waiting.

We are still waiting for a favorable weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, we may have an opening this Friday or Saturday. If the weather changes the next opening won't be until next Tuesday or Wednesday. We hope to be in the Bahamas before Christmas, but whatever happens happens!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Waiting !

We are presently at Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream over to the Northern Bahamas. We will cross from Lake Worth Inlet to Great Sale Cay entering the Bahama Banks South of Memory rock and then the next day sail to Spanish Cay to Check in with Customs and Immigration. This is a nice place to wait, Publix, a new West Marine, CVS, and just about anything you could want within easy walking distance. This weekend Enterprise has a $9.95 a day special we have rented a car and will be able to explore the area and meet up with friends.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Living at Lowes

For the last week it seems like I have been living at Lowes. I have been making repairs and moving plumbing in the Mobile home we bought in Lake wales and it seems like right after I buy parts, something else comes up or breaks which means another trip back to Lowes. On the bright side, we will be heading back to the boat on Monday and be back on the water again. If all goes well we will be in West Palm Beach on Tuesday Night and be ready to cross over to the Bahamas when the next weather window opens. Listening to Chris Parker our weather expert it sounds like we might have good weather for a crossing on Thursday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Final Preparations.

We are making our final Preparations to cross over to the Bahamas for the winter. The Boat has been prepared, all of the lines checked, belts checked, spares checked, oil changed, all filters changed. Chris has been busy provisioning and making sure we will have plenty of food.  We had an appointment with Customs and Border Protection today and received our LBO card, which will make clearing customs in the spring much easier. We will celebrate Thanksgiving with family and then head back to the boat and start moving to the Lake Worth area where we will depart from.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Atlantic to the Pacific and back

We are back in Florida after two weeks in Seattle.We enjoyed our daughter's wedding then time with our son,his wife and grandaughters.We took my mother along and enjoyed many tourist sites and a special tea at the Fairmont hotel with Evangeline our oldest grandaughter.Unfortunately Mike and my mother picked up a flu bug on the way home so our plans of crossing to the Bahamas are on hold while they recuperate.Our boat is resting in Fort Pierce and we are hopeful of an early Dec.crossing.I am busy helping with the ill people but have help from my aunts and uncles who also have trailers in our park.The weather here is great,70 to 80 degrees and hoping that will speed recuperation.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rescue Tape !!

Rescue Tape came to the rescue for us, about one week ago as we were traveling down the ICW, Chris said that she smelled diesel fuel. When she opened the engine compartment she saw diesel fuel spraying out if one of our fuel lines. When I went below I saw that it was a special braided hose assembly and could not be just replaced with some spare fuel line. So what to do? Then I remembered the "Rescue Tape" silicone self fusing tape I bought at last years boat show. After a few layers were streched over the line all was well and the repair has lasted leak free for the week and over 300 miles of motoring.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Break from the I.C.W.

Today we pulled into Fort Pierce Marina,not a graceful landing as we are in a slip for big boats and took a lot of maneuvering to get ropes set, it's so much easier to anchor out. Today the waterway was very choppy but we got to use the sail for two days in a row. It is now time to get a load of junk off the boat,everything not used in the past year gets taken to our trailer in Lake Wales and sorted. We fly to Seattle Nov 1st for our daughter's wedding and I am ready for a little land life. This I.C.W. Trip was full of rain and a lot less relaxing with a need to get here and not enough time to stop and sightsee. I hope to stay somewhere south next summer and then enjoy the sailing.  I really wanted to scream at Skipper Bob (but he is dead) His beloved anchorage guidebook made us go aground twice in one day. With all the copies sold they could pay Sea tow to actually measure depth yearly,we only draw 4 1/2 feet and went aground as soon as we tried to enter and not at low tide. Fortunately our little engine pulled us out after much coaxing and white knuckles. These anchorages were at mile 785.2 and 786.2.  We found a great anchorage outside of Fort Matanzas. It was deep,peaceful with dolphins and fish jumping all around.  This stretch was full of bridges but mostly 65 feet so few slowdowns. With sun shining it is a joy to meander down the scenic I.C.W. But bad weather can make for long days.  I was promised a special restaurant meal tonight,lots of on board meals prepared this trip. As we cleaned up and strolled up to the marina restaurant I spied the "closed for renovation" sign. He owes me that meal tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Noreaster in Georgia

It was provisioning day on Wednesday at Isle of Hope Marina, love those free loaner cars. Last night we anchored out in the South River, thank God for our Manson anchor, it was 20 knots with serious gusts that made it feel like the bow was airborne but the anchor held. Early up after a night of hourly anchor checks and a stop at Golden Isle Marina at St. Simon's Island. Stopping caused me fear with the wind but the dockmaster made it painless. I was treated to a restaurant lunch then a nap made me quit saying "I want to go home". I forgot we sold our home. Anyway all is good and they have live music tonight with the lead singer from Blues Traveler and Ivan Neville, next generation of the Neville Brothers. Weather report sucks for the next several days so tomorrow is a sleep in late day,YEAH!
This I.C.W. trip has been so different. Wind,rain,gloom predominates but we are making progress and this makes the Seattle weather we are to experience next month seem lovely.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

South Carolina !

We have made it to South Carolina and are at Georgetown, SC for the afternoon, there were 30 knot gusts forcast for this afternoon so I decided to take a break at the dock rather than anchor in a creek off of the ICW. The last week has been a test of our skills trying to predict where we will stay for the night and timing all of the inlets along the coast. At times we can be traveling at over seven knots on one side of an inlet only to be slowed down to three knots on the other side.Here is a video we took just before a inlet We also have to watch out for low tide around the inlets as there are areas that shoal to around five foot in the channel, so we try to pass those areas at high tide or at least 1/2 tide and rising. 175 more miles to go in South Carolina and then on to Georgia and the nine foot tides!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

North Carolina I.C.W.-Not For Wimps

I had a wonderful evening anchored in Mile Hammock Bay-Camp Lajune,N.C. The bombs bursting in air around us did not bother me but we left the beautiful anchorage to a lightening show .Onward we went and arrived at the first bridge to find that the bridge tender forgot to turn on his radio,in the nick of time we got his cell number and up went the bridge.The next bridge opened only on the hour so we tried to idle down to wait.The current then sent us into the shallows . We got out only to be bombarded by fast  flying fishing boats and even one who was setting his net across our path directly  in front of the bridge.When we finally got through at full throttle we found opposing current allowed only 3 knots speed.This was as I watched the weather radio on the phone showing that the thunder we heard was an approaching storm front.
All was good as we found the Carolina State Park Marina almost empty and tied down and enjoyed a dinner and long shower.It was only 30 dollars with electric and water included here but quiet a walk to any town services so it it's an evening of rest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

rain,rain go away!

This morning we are at the docks on the Beaufort,N.C. water.Yesterday we awakened early to a gorgeous sunrise at an anchorage in Campbell creek,all alone except for the mosquitoes that flourish in the constant rain.It was a wonderful day down the I.C.W. until afternoon when a torrential downpour came about suddenly,as much rain as Hurricane Irene and lightening everywhere.I n a narrow section of the canal I prayed while Mike got us safely to the Beaufort city dock. was treated to a yummy soft shell crab then and Mike enjoyed a few well deserved adult beverages.The marina had a free loaner station wagon so off we went( before dinner) to the hardware store and grocery store.
I had picked up a pressure  cooker cookbook -Miss Vickie's Pressure Cooker Recipes- in Annapolis and have been enjoying the tasty and easy meals.It is the best source to learn pressure cooking ,a fat volume with great advice.Pressure cooking uses less fuel,saves time and meats come out very tender even with cheap cuts.
Our fuel and water tanks are refilled and now await a tide change to leave the dock but for the seventh day in a row rain clouds are all around us.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank You

A special thank you to John Petrini and crew at his Petrini Shipyard.His hospitality and workmanship were next to none.The location in Spa Creek was an easy walk to downtown and the public bus stop and post office nearby meant no car was needed. We got to enjoy too many good meals and the shopping mall made rainy days fly by.Annapolis is truly the sailing capitol of the world with multiple marine stores available.
We are now ready to cross the Albermerle Sound.I always am glad to leave the noise and encroaching warships of Norfolk but we did enjoy a wonderful German restaurant at Portsmouth,Va.They offer over 350 varieties of beer but with an early start ahead Mike enjoyed just one.The Great Dismal swamp was the next stop and we were serenaded at the first lock by Robert on his conch horn,he is so helpful and makes locking a breeze.We were pre warned that the excess duckweed could clog and overheat the engine but had no problem.We made it through both locks and and ancored last night behind Goat Island.The anchorage was easy to set anchor and we were all alone in a beautiful lagoon with only a few croakers as noise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Southbound II

Southbound again! We are now on the move down the Chesapeake Bay and heading for the ICW on the way to the Bahamas. We left Petrini's Shipyard  at 7:30 on Tuesday the 20th, and spent last night at Solomons MD. We left there about 7AM and made it to Deltaville VA around 4:30 this afternoon. We will continue on to Norfolk and the ICW tomorrow. We have had rain the last two days and it looks like it won't let up until next Monday but as long as the winds don't build we will press on. Also we have to watch the two tropical depressions that are building and watch out for the falling NASA satellite!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodbye Irene, Hello Katia ?

Everything worked out great for Annapolis, as the hurricane Irene's track was ofshore and the expected storm surge came at low tide with a west wind to cancel everything out for us. The water never even came up to the top of the docks and the highest wind we saw was 64 mph.  The marina here in Annapolis just got power 54 hours after the hurricane ended. We had no problems in the boat as we have solar and wind power with a Honda generator backup if the solar and wind don't keep up with our electrical demands. We have all of the extra dock lines removed, the dingy back inflated and hanging on the davits, and all our storm gear stowed. Now we have to worry where the next tropical storm,  Katia tracks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane preps.

We are presently getting ready for Hurricane Irene, the marina that we are at is up Spa Creek past the lift bridge off of Annapolis Harbor. We have extra lines run to the six large pilings that surrond us at the dock here in Petrinis Shipyard, all of the sails have been lashed tightly down multiple times, the bimini has been lowered and lashed to the frame, the dingy has been deflated and is lashed to the deck, The generator has been fuled up and is ready to go and the watertanks have been filled. I have also secured the solar panel and lashed the wind generator blades so that they will not over rev and possibly damage it. The last prep will be to remove the drop in air conditoner and batten down the forward hatch as the storm approaches. All of our dock lines have been checked and are ready to be loosened or tightened if need be depending on the state of the tide. We will send out Spot Messenger messages to let everyone know our status as the storm passes in case the phone system is down.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Land Roving

 For the past month we have been on the road while the boat gets lots of boatyard work done here at Petrini Shipyard in Annapolis.We inquired about having the bottom scraped and painted and ended up having Awlgrip paint applied to the sides also.She is now seafoam green  with a teal stripe, the paint job done here was amazing, the painter was such a perfectionist who worked  on our old sailboat.We also had a new thru-hull put in for the watermaker and deck wash.We can`t say enough about the talented and caring staff here at Petrini's Shipyard in Annapolis. John Petrini oversees all work done and hires the best assistants available.
While the work was ongoing we spent time in Seattle with the kids and grandkids and had a
great visit.We all went on a cruise of the harbor in a Sparkmans and Stevens oceangoing racing sailboat.Little Evangeline was on watch for whales and sharks and unfortunately she saw none but still enjoyed the sail.Next we returned home to Madison,Ohio and got to go to a barrel tasting party at our favorite winery-Harpersfield Winery.The owners are such great friends and we enjoyed an overnight stay above the press house followed by dinner.They just released the new Gewurztraminer wine and we stocked up the boat.
Now we are back to Annapolis and catching up with cruising friends and resupplying  for the trip back down the I.C.W. in Sept.Our next week will be spent making the topsides sparkle a bit as they  need lots of  TLC  compared to the new Awlgrip on the sides.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sad Week

The evening that we returned from Florida we got a call that Mike`s little sister Laurel had suffered a cardiac arrest in the hospital in Cleveland.The next morning we were once again in a rental car and went to Cleveland.We arrived in time to spend time with her and pick up his sister Lu from the airport.Laurel lost her battle and passed away with us at her side.Our daughter Amy flew in from Seattle and was a big help comforting Grandma and sorting through Laurel`s apartment.Laurel was a stained glass artist and photographer as well as clerk in the ICU at University Hospital.We are back in Annapolis and preparing the boat for yardwork here and our trip to Seattle.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Trailer Trash

Well so much for no home,spur of the moment decision made after realizing our boat was sinking under the  load of too many personal belongings and spare parts. Mike and I traveled to Lake Wales,Fl. to look at a Mobile Home that I had seen near my mother and our friend Glenn. We made an offer for half the asking price and now are official trailer trash. We brought a car load full of not needed stuff from the boat with us but want to store more this fall when the boat arrives in Fla. I feel more secure having somewhere to go if one of us is too ill to travel. Mike likes the big shop area with huge table that he can do canvas sewing on. Next year we may be reverse snowbirds and spend the summer here. It is an older Mobile Home with enclosed sunroom,carport,working air conditioning and a big kitchen area. The down side is home repairs, Mike just fixed two leaking faucets and drain. The park is a senior Mobile Home and RV Park that Mike`s Grandpa stayed in many years ago.
It hasn"t been a good summer for sailing-hot and rainy so we will travel next week to Seattle to see the kids and grandkids and hope to hitch a sail there. The boat will have no vacation,Petrini`s boatyard will do the bottom paint,add a through hull for the watermaker and deck wash and may paint the hull too. We still plan to travel to the Abacos this winter and I will enjoy the space inside that we have cleared up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Side trip

We just returned from a busy side trip by car back home to Northeast Ohio to visit family, friends, and take care of some business. The best news is that our house finally sold after a year on the market so the boat is now our only home until we decide that we need a home base somewhere. We had a wonderful time at Harpersfield Winery and were able to meet up with some of the boaters from Geneva State Park Marina where we formerly kept our boat. I also stopped at Grand River Yacht Club and met with Phil and Loraine from Changes, Jack from Passage 788, and Lee from Britannia, everyone was doing well and it was good to see everyone. Now that we are back at Annapolis we have some boat chores to do, and meet up with some friends here in the next couple of weeks and then we will fly out to Seattle to visit our children and grandchildren before we continue on cruising the Chesapeake this Summer and prepare for our return to the Bahamas This Winter.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Annapolis !

We are finally back to Annapolis where we will keep the boat for the next month, and then do some exploring on the Chesapeake for the Summer before heading back South and the Bahamas for next Winter. Monday we will rent a car and drive back to Ohio to visit with family and take care of some business, and after that we will fly out to Seattle to visit with our kids and grandchildren before we continue on cruising.

Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning!

Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning! That is what we did not do and we ended having a worse day on the water than the two gulf stream crossings we just did. We wanted to get to Annapolis so we could drive home and visit family so we left Deltaville with a less than favorable forecast and we paid for it. We started out with calm seas and a 5 MPH following breeze. By the time we passed Sandy Point where the Potomac enters the Chesapeake the winds were 15 to 20 and building. We had 5 ft short following seas and an occasional 6 footer. It was not fun trying to keep the boat under control and there were not a lot of places to duck out of the weather without having to turn broadside to the was so we just continued on to Solomons. When we got there we tied up took a short walk as the weather was looking threatining and then downpour began. Of course it rained so hard that the cover on our Airconditoner started letting the rain in and it soaked our berth! After the rain let up I put another cover on the airconditoner we stripped the bed and Chris took all the bedding up to the dryer, needless to say we didn't get a good nights sleep that night.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Deltaville VA.

We have been relaxing at Dozier`s Regatta Point Marina for a few days,strong winds are a relief from the oppresive heat we have had for weeks but make northward passage in the Chesapeake very uncomfortable.Today a Nordig Tug 37 footer left the dock only to return an hour later as the waves were cresting to his bow.They have several loaner cars and we have done shopping at the grocery store and West Marine and hardware store.They had a get together on the porch last night and supplied cheese,crackers and wines.They have a nice pool,laundry and gorgeous immaculate showers.We have been able to clean almost a years worth of crud off the deck but need to wax again soon and will need a haul out in Annapolis to add another thru hull for the watermaker and deck wash , we can do the hull scrub then.I am very eager to get to Annapolis to visit my family but this is a nice place to be stuck.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

63 miles, no bull!

Yesterday we had a long day, we left The Alligator River at 6 AM and didn't stop until 7:30 PM right behind a Mexican Restaurant on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. While motoring down the canal we looked over to the side and saw a large black Angus bull wading in the canal about 20 ft from us! When Chris first saw the movement on the side of the canal ahead of us she thought it was a bear, but it turned out to be the bull.  We had dinner at the Mexican restaurant and then we walked across the street to the Food Lion store and got some fruit and produce. This morning we could not get a early start as we had to wait for the Bridge and Lock that was right in front of us to open. By the time we were through both it was already almost 10, and then when we got almost to Norfolk we had to wait for a railroad bridge and a lift bridge, so that shot my schedule all to pieces and we decided to stay at Hampton VA instead of going on to Deltaville VA. We are glad we stopped at Hampton City Pier as it was 93 deg when we stopped and they have a IMAX theater next door in the Virginia Air and Space museum and it was showing The Pirates of the Caribbean movie. We sat in the wonderful airconditioning , enjoyed the movie, and then went out to dinner just a block away in downtown Hampton. Tomorrow we should be able to make it to Deltaville before the evening thunderstorms that are forecast.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keep Moving!

We ended up staying an extra day in Oriental due to forecast thunderstorms that never materialized, just a few showers. The next day we headed farther north up the Pamlico sound and stopped for the night in Dowry Creek just past Belhaven NC where we took advantage of the marina car and went to the local Food Lion store to replenish our stores. Today we moved on up the Alligator Pungo canal through the Alligator river swing bridge and are now tied up at The Alligator River Marina where we fueled up, had dinner and plotted our next leg of the journey across the Abermarle sound and then north through the Great Dismal Swamp canal. We will have 2 locks and a couple of lift bridges to negotiate and then on to Norfolk  and the South end of the Chesapeake.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Short day!

We left Morehead City at 7am during slack water and rode the current up the river for a while and are now at Oriental. I was tired of the long days and wanted an afternoon off to recharge my batteries, so we pulled into Oriental NC just before lunch and will resume the Northward dash in the AM after a leisurely afternoon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Slow Slog

Today was a slow slog all day with current against us and little wind -but on the nose.I was feeling discouraged at lack of progress at 4 pm so I went below to cook and of course the wind and current got going and away we went to Morehead City.We docked at Portside Marina and found our first bearable walking weather.While walking the waterfront we came upon a Bud Light concert. Mike got quickly chosen to dance with the Bud Light girls. I was so shocked that he actually went up that I missed the photo op, he has a tee shirt as proof. The band was wonderful good old rock and roll and lifted me out of my slow slog slump.Today was also miles along Camp Lejeune and we felt very safe with Marines in boats and helicopters and camped in Mile Hammock Bay. It was a little odd to be cruising along as they blew things up along the shore.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Surf City, NC

After a late start because of timing the Snows Cut and then having to fight the current and negotiate three bridges that are all on restricted schedules we decided to stop at Surf City, NC. We are at Beach Marine, it is a little pricey ($2 a ft), but it is right in the middle of the town with everything you could need within an easy walk. Some have asked why we are staying at all of the marinas on the way north, and the reason is that it has been over 90 deg every day since we left Fort Pierce and we wanted to plug in to run the AC. We are docked next to a River Cruise boat and a Pirate tour boat and the people seem to have a good time on them. Tomorrow will be another long day as we continue North and plan to stop somewhere around Morehead City or Beaufort NC and then on to Oriental or somewhere in that vicinity the next day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Carolina Beach State Park

We are now at  Carolina Beach State Park, a real bargain marina. They just reopened this winter after rebuilding the marina totaly. It is only $30 to stay the night, electric included. We will wait to leave tommorow until around 10AM so that we will have the current with us as we head up Snows Cut and not have to fight the current.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Myrtle Beach meltdown

Today we made it to Myrtle Beach-Lightkeepers Marina ( $1 a foot and only $5 for electric) after another long day and a short stay at Georgetown SC. It was a fabulous morning actually using the jib sailing down a forested pathway with osprey (sea eagles) everywhere.There were lots of huge nests and many had mother and baby birds in them.The chirp of the babies was so enjoyable and there was very little traffic on the waterway.
Yesterday we were plagued by biting flies in the morning but today only a couple but they were mutant megabig flies.We also saw our first alligator in this stretch.It is hard to describe the beauty of the Waccamaw River-miles of trees full of Spanish moss,jumping fish,mocha water that you can see reflections in and the osprey.I spent time at the bow just loving it all.
In the afternoon we approached Myrtle Beach and by the time we reached the swing bridge the bridge operator warned us to keep hydrated as it was 100 degrees.It seemed warm but after docking it was crazy hot on land.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


We had a long day today, but we made it all the way to Charleston from Beaufort. I want to say sorry to all the other people that we did not get to visit while in Florida, but our schedule did not allow us to spend much time there and we have to get home to take care of some business that has come up. We will be back down in the fall and then we should be able to visit then.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beaufort, SC

We are curently in Beaufort, SC at Lady's Island Marina. Just had a nice meal at the Factory Creek Fish House. Chris had the garlic shrimp and I had the blackened grouper, both were tasty. We plan on anchoring out somewhere between here and Charleston, SC and then the next day we will time the passage through Elliot Cut on Wapoo Creek for slack water or somewhere around it. After that we wil stop somewhere around charleston for a night and then keep moving North.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Northward progress

We are now stopped at Isle of Hope Ga after spending last night anchored in Walberg Creek just South of St Catherines sound. Walberg Island is an exotic animal breeding site for the New York Zoological society, although we did not see any exotic animals. We did battle biting flys the last two days while motoring along, ( Note to self, finish screen enclosure!!) We took the Marina loaner car to Walmart today and restocked on a few items and plan on taking the bus into Savannah tomorrow. Then we will head for Beaufort, SC on Friday weather permitting.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jekyll Harbor Revisited

We have stopped at Jekyl Harbor again, it is a nice marina and they have a loaner car that you can take to the grocery store to restock on food. They also have clean showers, laundry, cable TV, and a nice bar/resturant.

Fernandina Beach

We are now at Fernandina Beach and slowly moving north at 6 miles an hour. We spent last night at Jacksonville Beach and had a fun time, they opened a new restaurant, Nippers (They bought the rights to use the name from Nippers on Guana Cay) at Beach Marina and they had a band from Trinidad there so we decided to celebrate the end of the world there with a few boat drinks. Tonight we are at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island Florida. It was recommended that we stop here and we are glad we did. It is a real nice town and worth another stop on our way back next fall. Plenty of places to shop at and lots of good restaurants and bars. Nice town to walk around and explore. Just No Grocery stores within easy walking distance.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Palm Coast Marina.

We left Cocoa on Thursday and motor sailed to New Smyrna Beach where we ran into Jeff, Cindy and their Shelty and Dachshund. We first met them back at Treasure Cay, and it was great getting to see them and talk for a while. After a night at New Smyrna we started North again, and ended up at Palm Coast Marina North of Daytona. All of the staff here is very friendly and helpful, they have a small store and there is a shopping village with a few good restaurants a short walk away. One of the liveaboards here joked that this is one of the best assisted living marinas in Florida. It is the only stop for Fuel between Daytona and St. Augustine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Love Bugs!!

We left Fort Pierce this morning and started our trip up to the Cheasapeake. We ended motoring most of the way to Cocoa Beach as the wind was right on the nose most of the way, and to add to our fun we had swarms of Love Bugs the whole way. If you don't know what they are or haven't experienced them, here is a article about them; Lovebugs are a considerable nuisance to motorists. They congregate in unbelievable numbers along highways and the insects spatter on the windshields and grills of moving trucks and automobiles. Windshields become covered with the fatty remains, and vision is obscured. During flights, the flies clog radiator fins causing cars to overheat. They also get into refrigeration equipment on trucks causing them to malfunction. The fatty tissue will cause pitting of the car's finish if it is not removed within a few days. Flies enter cars and sometimes drivers and passengers soil their clothing by sitting on lovebugs. They are also a considerable nuisance to fresh paint. The flies enter houses under construction in such numbers that carpenters refuse to work. Beekeepers complain because worker bees do not visit flowers that have been infested with the flies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Music Night

We just went to a Jazz night here at Fort Pierce ( Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society ) with Joy and Joe on High Spirits, it was a realy nice night and we had a good time. One of the things that we have missed while cruising is all of the live music that we have at  Harpersfield Winery and the other venues in Northeast Ohio.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lift Off

We got up early this morning and took a rental car up to Titusville to see the Space Shuttle launch. It was a great sight, but due to the cloud cover we could only see the shuttle for about thirty seconds until it passed into the clouds. After we left Titusville we stopped by Cocoa Village Marina and visited with Gary and Janet on LEE-ANN and we had a nice lunch with them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fort Pierce

So we are stuck in Harborview Marina,not bad with pool,tiki bar and Publix a block away.We spent a week cruising Florida catching up with friends and family and put over 500 miles on the rental car.Thanks to Dan Dimichele and his wife for a nice time at the Rainforest Cafe catching up on hometown news.I loved our tour of Disney area with my little sis Maria and James-fun relaxing day.I got to spend a day also with my roomie from nursing school Debbie and her husband and they treated us to lunch at Cheesecake factory and caught up with each others lives.I got to spend time with my Uncle Dave and picked up our new Honda 2000generator and our old airconditioner there.
We neded recuperation time after all that,I am having a hard time handling the crazy traffic and pace of life here now-take me back to the Abacos now.
It took a few waiting days but we found a diver and had the bottom of the boat cleaned and new zinc put on-in time to wait out another weather front-weather guru says strong risk of storms so we will stay tied up and rent a car again today.I am eager to leave before hurricane season and to get to Annapolis to fly to Seattle and see the kids and grandaughters!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back Home

We spent May 1st anchored at Great Sale Cay with 27 other boats,it was brisk winds but enjoyed a fast fun sail to get tucked in there.We spent 24 hours with vhf conferences with the other boats gathered there and 24 hours later after a 4pm weather update 20 boats headed out across the Atlantic ocean.We had double reefed the main and used 3/4 of the jib due to strong tail winds that never slowed until we got 3/4 of the way across the Gulf Stream.The forecast included a storm in 48 hours, so that meant using the motor to help propel across the stream faster.We had the smallest boat and the smallest engine so we soon lagged behind the pack.Taking turns at the wheel I became incapacitated by a serious headache at the 20 hour point followed by seasickness.Mike stayed strong and we pulled into Harbor View Marina in Fort Pierce,Fla. 22 hours later.I soon fell asleep but Mike celebrated at the tiki bar.I awoke the next day with no upset stomach and just a small lingering headache so we rented a car and have enjoyed traveling the state visiting family and friends.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Return Trip

Spanish Cay Beach Bar

Well we didn't want to leave the Abacos, but we have started the northward migration. We just arrived at Spanish Cay where checked into the Bahamas and it is our last stop on the way home. We will stay here tonight and set sail for Great Sale Cay where we will anchor overnight and then on Monday afternoon leave for the 130 mile trip to Fort Pierce. We just finished dinner here at the Spanish Cay restaurant and I still think that this is the best food that we have in the Abacos all winter. They are just opening the beach bar on the ocean side of the island and it is a raw bar with oysters and shrimp and of course a full bar. Also the pool and hot tub just outside of the main bar is open.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We had a good day yesterday snorkeling on Mermaid Reef, which is just a short walk from Marsh Harbor Marina. I took some pictures and have them posted on the links portion of the blog, and here is a direct link; Mermaid Reef Pictures We are starting to get ready to return to the States and start heading to the Chesapeake for the summer. We are waiting until we get a good weather window with at least 2 days of settled weather before we cross the Gulf Stream over to Fort Pierce, and check back through US Customs.Once we get there we will rent a car and drive over to Lake Wales and pick up a few things we had delivered to the wife's mothers home.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Full Moon Party

Last night we took a small ferry with 6 of our cruising buddies to Cracker P`s  for their famous full moon party.The day had been cloudy with rain all day so sailing plans were on hold and we found space on a special ferry.When we arrived we found Lat`s and Att`s website infamous fellow `That Boat Guy` George with his beautiful wife Kerri of the boat Marquesa.We shared conversation and the fabulous buffet there that had coconut conch,BBQ chicken,fish,roast beef and multiple side dishes including dessert.It was all you can eat so the guys really got their money`s worth.They had a D.J. playing music which  became what my Dad called `That Boom Boom Boom` our griping  caused the D.J. to ask us what music we wanted so music again became dancing tunes.It was midnight when our tired group returned our boats which is up all night for us.
The full moon means ultra low and ultra high tide changes so we were glad we did`t try to take our boat to this low water venue.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Too many farewells

Many of our cruising friends have returned to the States,mostly because of income tax preparation,we had picked up software for taxes in Palm Beach and paid lots electronically this week.There are also several cruisers who have returned from Eleuthra and are restocking and repairing for their return.Every Thursday at 5 pm The Jib Room here has a cruisers get together with 2 for 1 drinks and we bring snacks .This week we spent time with cruisers who circumnavigated by sextant in the 1970`s and again with small children in the 80`s.They were so open and personable and shared hints and encouragement to us .We had a boat next to us with world travelers from Australia and a Dutch boat down the dock.
We enjoyed a snorkeling day on Mermaid Reef this week.It was my first time in years-first time the ocean was bath water warm.Mike bought a dive suit and has snorkeled several times this season-another thing on my Florida shopping list.The reef was amazing as the ocean was crystal clear and the fish plentiful.Mike brought a snack for them and they`attacked`him and even slid into the Ziploc bag with the snacks.It was like swimming in an aquarium surrounded by vibrant colored fish including a lion fish that the Bahamians have asked us to kill but it is a protected reef and we did not bring our Hawaiian sling that day.
We have the big medical supply kit that we stocked in Annapolis that sat unused until this week.Early this week a woman was exiting her dingy and trying to corral her dog and slipped between boat and dock and tore up her knee.Steve the marina manager and owner called his Dr. who agreed to suture her even though it was Sunday,he called a cab and I returned with the kit and bandaged her for the ride.Her husband returned the next day to thank us and gave details of the care she received,she was given IV antibiotics,tetanus update,pain med IM and 26 fine sutures,great care here in Marsh Harbor because if she had been down south in Georgetown  the vet has the only xray machine.
Yesterday a dock mate was fishing at Man o War and fell 10 feet from his tuna tower onto his deck.He radioed Steven  at the marina that his crew were en route to his dock but crew on board had never docked the boat,he said he was in horrible pain with a broken arm and leg.Steven called his friend with Yellow Air taxi and found that they were en route to Marsh Harbor airport and would fly him to his hospital in Fla.Steven got his truck running then grabbed his runabout with another staff member and met the boat and jumped in and docked the boat.Several people were gathered and I met the boat and splinted his obviously broken wrist and ankle,he was in horrific pain and I had little time as the plane was waiting,his vital signs were good so Mike gave him a pain pill we had and several people put a tarp on a reclining pool chair and carried it to the truck bed.They made it to the plane and I hope to hear how he made out.
The first medical crisis was at the Barefoot Man concert where he called for a Dr. to go to the top deck,nobody came so a fellow cruising nurse friend and I went up and found a thin elderly man recuperating from passing out,he had a strong pulse,pale color,no sweating,hot skin and was a heart patient,he had no pain but had been gardening earlier and had only had half a drink.We encouraged him to lie on a damp towel and ice was brought.About this time a big lady burst in and proclaimed `I`m an R.N. so stand back`.Fortunately Troy from Dive Guana brought his medical kit checked his b/p and took him home as he felt well.The heat this time of year means you must force fluids if in open sun.We are lucky to have our cockpit enclosure,6 fans and 2 wind scoops. The Jib room here is always cool and breezy and we often while away our afternoon playing Mexican train dominoes there.
This week has been sad with friends leaving and because I found that my brother Michael needs a kidney transplant.He has no children so I must find a way to be tested or a weather window to return to Fla.I am awaiting word on his blood type and have had a younger brother and sister offer already .
The wonderful news is that my daughter Amy has been engaged to marry Todd.The wedding will be late fall in Seattle so I will have a busy summer.We plan on returning to the Bahamas after the wedding and our new generator is waiting for us in Fla. so that we can travel farther south next year and anchor out more often.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Gary !!!

We just celebrated a friends birthday last night, We first met Gary and his wife up in Deltaville Virgina while we were on our way down here and did not see them again until we arrived in here in Marsh Harbor. That is one of the great things about cruising, all of the great people you meet and run into again and again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We got wind

This afternoon while cooking supper the wind suddenly cranked to over 50 miles per hour-no warning of dark skies just wind followed by driving rain.Several boats in the anchorage dragged-one the length of the fairway but no damage to us and only upturned dingys including submerged motor and lost pieces floating but we suffered no harm.this week marina friends suprised me with a birthday party and Jason the dockmaster-barmaster played and sang happy birthday while we enjoyed pizza and cake.The Barefoot Man concert was better than I thought it would be with great music,barebreasted drunk women,lobster newburg dinner,dancing,fireworks and bonfire and good friends to enjoy it all with us.
Abaco has been full of runaway fires this week,they only have a few fire trucks and fewer fireman and little water so with dry brush we have had huge fires,they asked for anyone to help last weekend and it seemed to help finally,they even ran out of gasoline money for the trucks-U.SA. is indeed blessed.The Bahamas are suffering as fewer cruisers and fisherman visit,Orchid Bay marina has no electric due to not paying their electric bill-no electic at marinas in Guana due to the economy,sad.China has stepped in to buy up land and they are excited but I see in their plans a rape of their land with no benefits when I read the plans.Other foreigners have done similar but pulled out and abandoned big resorts so time will tell.

No "good " pictures, Chris kept taking the camera away!  Mike

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Barefoot Man

We had a great time yesterday, even if it started with a rain squall, Great concert, good food and plenty of fun. Here is a link to a photo album of the concert as there are to many photos. I will add more tonight after round two of the concert.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back at Guana Cay!

We left Marsh Harbor this morning around 9 AM and arrived at Guana Cay around 10:30. We took a slip at Orchid Bay Marina for the weekend as we are going to be here for the Barefoot Man concert on Friday afternoon and Saturday night, and the wind is forecast to really blow for the next couple of days and the anchorage here is exposed to the west and there aren't that many mooring balls available. It is a nice marina, only $1 a foot, WiFi available,  pool, clean showers, and restrooms but no electric.  At least we will be tied up securely and not have to worry about dragging or someone dragging down on us. Right now the wind is steady at 25 mph and gusting to 29.

Friday, March 25, 2011


One of the local musical instruments in the Bahamas is a crosscut saw! They play "Rake & Scrape" music and accompany it by scraping a screwdriver across the teeth of the saw with a screwdriver while bending the saw. Here in marsh harbor there are many bars that have music, live bands, and food. Most of the islands here have at least one or two hangouts where cruisers all get together and tell each outher about thier ordeals and adventures. The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is time, when stressful things are happening to you and your boat they are an ordeal, but the next day or week when you are sitting in a bar or pub they turn out to be an adventure. We heard a great talk about this in Annapolis by Bob Bitchen from Lattitudes and Attitudes Magazine. We are going to go to one of the more popular hangouts Nippers, next week to see a concert by "The Barefoot Man". This is a very popular concert and the Island's population realy grows duirng the concert.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things that work for me

Now 7 months into this life there are many things that I bought and am happy with-although I look around here and the boat looks like a commercial for the hoarders TV show.For the galley(I still say kitchen)I like my nesting pots and pans,Fagor Splendid pressure cooker,Lock and Lock storage containers(never leak),pizza stones that I found small size and 2 fit on bottom of oven and keep temperature of oven stable and make crisp mini pizzas,silicone bake ware including mini cupcake ones for Hors d'oeuvres, folding silicone colander and measuring cups and  Schott Zweisel wine glasses that have titanium in the glass for strength.My favorite thing is my Engel freezer-lower power draw and switches automatically between 12v and shore power.
For off season clothing storage I tried the plastic compression bags but they punctured during heavy seas so I found plastic lined canvas squares with zip tops in the Walmart camping section at home.For DVDs we removed them from cases and keep them in a case meant to store Cd's in the car-many stored in a small space.I bought a small DVD player so we can watch movies at night in the cockpit at anchor.We have a Kindle that I loaded up with free books before we left Florida.We also make use here of Buck a Book and trade these books at the marina book exchanges.We bought an Alfa wifi antenna from Amazon while in Fla. and use this plus Skype calls to keep up with family.St. Brenden`s Isle is a mail forwarding service that lets us scan in our mail and then decide to save it,send it or shred it-very reliable.
We purchased Divers Alert Insurance(D.A.N.) that will provide helicopter transport for medical emergencies that can`t be handled here,they also provide medical advice-arrange care and arrange for your partner to return to the states,not expensive for the peace of min it gives you.
My memory foam mattress,hyper vent material to get rid of condensation and Froli system that is a kind of innerspring system make sleeping comfy.Our Travesack system is a vee berth shaped giant sleeping bag that has Velcro in sheets and half the comforter is heavy for winter and half lighter for summer-just flip it over-makes for easy bed making.
Back in the states I stocked up on Purex Complete 3 in 1 laundry sheets-they take up little room and detergent and softener are pricey here.I use a Wonder Wheeler cart to haul laundry or heavy groceries-folds up and has balloon wheels that go everywhere.
Mike likes the Soda Stream soda maker-makes diet cola,root beer,cranapple drinks from water and no hauling all the cans to the boat.He has many things he added that we enjoy-especially the water maker when at anchor although water is available all over the Abacos it is nice not to haul it.He bought solar spotlights at Home Depot that we use on the deck and make nighttime entrances and exits easy.He uses home type water filters on the hose if we do take on marina water.He made a lee cloth for the port settee that was for sleeping when underway but also keeps computers and cameras safe when day sailing.We put on  Port visor window covers that mean I can leave a few windows open and keeps out all but heavy rain-I chose these for the head and galley windows.
Insulated bags to haul back groceries are important here and 12v fans mean I have yet to miss airconditioning.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patricks celebration

Last month we joined the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club,it gives us marina discounts in the Abacos as well as many club activities-and a great burgee for the halyard too.Yesterday we attended the clubs St. Patricks day party.For the cost of the corned beef dinner we got unlimited bar,dessert,entertainment and too much fun.We had 168 people in attendence and were pleasantly suprised to be seated with several of our Treasure Cay happy hour crew-a blast was had by all and Mike even won a contest for wearing the most green.We walked to the Marsh Harbor marina with Phil and Lorraine from Changes and took a cab back.Cabs are plentiful and very professional and clean here.They had singing and then lots of dance music-rock and roll-even Mike hit the dance floor once.If you think that you will be bored or lonely in the Abacos you will be pleasantly surprised how many friends that you make and the winter flies by.Today several people are leaving for the trek back to the states but we aren`t ready to leave yet.

Friday, March 11, 2011


We got off the dock and first stop was Orchid Bay on Guana.This was a peaceful bay with 2 small marinas and mooring balls,we were lucky to get a mooring ball then headed out to Nippers bar.The bar is oceanside with rolling waves and reefs up close,the water has the most incredible shades of blues and greens and it is wonderful to eat their lobster sandwich and sip their frozen rum punch with the roar of the ocean and relax.We enjoyed a second relaxing day at the mooring and walked the beaches then on to Hopetown.Again lucky to get a mooring ball outside of Hopetown Marina and enjoyed their showers.We have lots of fresh water thanks to the Spectra watermaker and tiny inside shower but mostly use the cockpit showers at night inside the enclosure so a marina shower to stay as long as you wish is a treat at times.At Hopetown this time we enjoyed one of the keylime pies from Vern at Verns Grocery and it was so delicious-tart and smooth and not too sweet with meringue topping.A trip up the 101 stairs winding to the top of the lighthouse helped burn some calories and we both were in awe of the scenery of seeing the ocean and the Bahama banks from above.There are several restaurants,shops and the most beautiful pastel cottages but not the beautiful beaches that I crave.We left for our Marsh Harbor dock the next day not because of the batteries-that held 12-13 volts this trip but because of predicted squalls.
I had a request about who we have met on out trip and there were so many but here are a few.First were Otis and Marti that we met weekly at the S.S.C.A. breakfasts in Annapolis.They are retired and have made several trips here on their Freedom 40 and gave us invaluable advice and friendship.They have stayed in the Abacos this year because of aging parent concerns and we have shared anchorages several times along with the weekly potlucks here.
Gary and Janet on Lee-Ann are from Bedford,Pa. and we met them in Deltaville while they were having sailboat engine repairs.They taught us how to play train dominos there one rainy day and we have caught up with them here where we relearned the domino game and enjoy their fun personalities.
At Palm Beach while waiting for a weather window to cross to here we met Barry and Vicki on Cantible a 43 foot Irwin catch.Vicki teaches college english classes near their home in Annapolis so that meant a plane trip in the middle of their winter to teach.Barry has a twinkle in his eyes and is so much fun,Vicki brings us knowledge from a long sailing background.
Vince and Linda on Fortnight are on a sailboat that they completed in their Canadian backyard.They are retired teachers who have traveled the world with student programs and offer good advice and companionship.
Scott and MaryLynne on Zingaro took over 20 years to build their boat in Thunder Bay Canada.Scott has retired from law enforcement and  his wife works as a physician near their home in the summer.Scott is a skilled McGyver type that will help with any boat issue and runs the nightly 5pm happy hour on his dock at Teasure Cay Marina.
Ed from Boston is also a crazy character that we met at Treasure Cay.He saved for many years for his new Valiant - Tir Na Nog.His wife doesn`t enjoy sailing and he needs a crew to return to the states in April.It is such a gorgeous boat and he is a fun Irishman,sure hope his wife grows to like sailing soon.
Richard and Judy on Partners in Paradise live on aTradewinds 47 trawler.We enjoyed their company on the I.C.W. at several ports but they had 2 powerboats wake them at a high rate of speed causing boat damage and when we met at Daytona Beach some  family issues meant no Bahamas this year.They are retired from the sheriffs dept. and they make everone they meet feel like family.I look forward to seeing them again.
Well that is just a few of the people we have met.Of course we have met a few jerks but very few.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guana Cay to Hopetown

We vare now at Guana Cay, we got here two days ago and are now leaving for Hopetown this AM. We will spend at least a night there and then head back to Marsh Harbor. We will be there for the St Pat's party at Boat harbor. After that who knows.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

stuck to this dock

Plans to leave the Jib room dock this am are changed,thunderstorm risk this afternoon in our little boat means we play chickens and enjoy a rum punch and dominoes in the bar instead.Last night was a blast with the limbo man having a bunch of sorority sisters quite drunk making for an entertaining time.We have made so many friends here and are never bored.We are waiting for office hours Monday to see the cost of a bigger alternator to be shipped here,we have plenty of power while anchored except when the wind dies and overnight the batteries charge goes too low after a week on the hook.I must admit that I enjoy the dock life here and we can take a walk across the street to Mermaid reef for a close to shore reef with lots of friendly tropical fish that cruisers feed cereal so they bombard you as you approach. This area has many stores but the boat mechanical needs mostly need to be shipped FedEx and not cheap,we have many spares fortunately.The staff here at Marsh harbor marina are superb and the food at it`s bar The Jib Room is outstanding-they have a rib night with the best ribs ever-fall off the bone and so much food that they give you two plates-we have learned to share a meal now.Steak night is Sat. and is equally good.My plans of eating rice and canned meat are on hold as well as the eagerly anticipated weight loss.We are glad that we have purchased the Bahama Wimax monthly wifi-the signal is almost always good even on the hook further down islands.The FM radio stations are mostly religious stations with frequent very long obituaries for entertainment.The Sirius radio reception here is excellent thank goodness.It is hard to describe the beauty of the water and friendliness of the Bahamian people here and we wake up every day so happy that we have landed here.    Chris

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marsh Harbor Junkanoo Feb 2011

We stayed for the Junkanoo on Saturday and had a great time. The Junkanoo started around 10pm and we stayed until around 1 in the morning. The costumes were something to see and we had a wonderful time. This was a much larger Junkanoo than the one we saw back at Green Turtle Cay on New Years.
  We were going to leave for Hopetown and Tahti Beach this morning but the weather forecast is for high winds the next couple of days, so we will just stay here until we have a better forecast. We are still having a great time, and will definitely be back in the Bahamas next year. We plan to spend the summer somewhere in the Chesapeake, but that could change also.