Monday, December 30, 2013

Yea, Yea, Yea... it's about time I updated this blog  - well here ya go...
Sean at the helm

Spencer, Tamera and Sean Great Bridge lock, VA
 Monday 30 September we departed Southport, NC in the early morning and headed on to Myrtle Beach enjoying our journey down the beautiful ICW.  Yes - we have one of the best cooks around... Tamera continues to spoil me with tasty dishes...

Shrimp, biscuits and poached eggs 

Everything's better with whip cream on it 
That's a tuna salad 
Continuing on we passed through Charleston, SC – big shipping port not very hospitable to small boats unless you have buckets of cash - so we anchored out just south the town.
Tamera and W.T after anchor detail
Moving on we ended up in Beaufort, SC. Our timing was inline with the Shrimp Festival which was outstanding. We  stayed at Lady’s Island Marina - what a great place – about a mile from downtown but half the price. What a cool place – full of history, friendly people, beautiful antebellum homes, great food ... Our vision was to stay a few days, we stayed a month!


Sean driving the pump out boat
We had the opportunity to have some visitors including Colleen Kelly, John 'the travelin man' Sullivan and all the way from Colorado Vivian Stonewall and her daughter Tamara. We took advantage of our location to visit Hilton Head, Savannah (where the new Sponge Bob movie was being filmed), Parris Island – where they make Marines and Fripp Island one of the prettiest spots on the South Carolina coast.

John, Vivian & Trouble

Lady's Island Marina put on a Low Country Boil

Tamera and John Sullivan in Savannah, GA

The view from our slip at Lady's Island Marina
 The wild life along the way has been incredible. We had so many beautiful Dolphins swimming along with us through the Carolinas and they just love to swim in front of the boat. We had one of them swim on our forward port side for about 1 hour- amazing mammals. We also saw an alligator or two...

.   We departed Beaufort on the 27th of October and moved on to Georgia.  The next several nights we anchored along the way eventually spending a night dock side in Isle of Hope, GA. Onward we pushed to a wonderful anchorage off of Queens Island, GA where we could see Sapelo Islands red and white lighthouse. Tuesday 29 October we crossed the line and anchored in Fernandina Beach, Florida!

The next day we left the ICW at Mayport, FL and traveled up the St. John’s River 20 miles or so through downtown Jacksonville until we reached Mulberry Cove Marina where we stayed for about a week. One morning we got to enjoy the sounds of the Navy Band marching down the street right in front of the marina - we had our very own parade.

Tamera's mother was supposed to come over from the west coast of Florida for a visit but she broke her hand and was in a cast making driving difficult so we rented a car and went over to check on her and help her out. We left Jacksonville the morning of November 7th and heading to St. Augustine. Here we found the best price for diesel fuel in Florida we topped off and planned to stayed just for the night. We woke up to winds out of the SE blowing 30 – 35 knots - not a good day to push on. So stay another day which gave us a chance to explore the oldest city in Florida. If your down that way a great place for seafood is Hurricane Patty’s - looks are deceiving -the food was outstanding! The following morning the sky was blue the air calm and we headed to Daytona Beach were we economized by anchoring out. The city was on fire with Christmas lights and the sunset could not be beat. Next stop Cape Canaveral were we anchored with a view of Kennedy Space Center in beautiful weather! We were lucky enough to view a rocket launch to Mars while anchored out.

  Early morning departure on Veterans Day took us past Dragon Point and into Manatee Cove Marina, Cocoa Beach, FL. As we pulled up to the dock there was a Veterans Day celebration going on with a band and all...
We really love this part of Florida Beach; uncrowded, great seafood, beautiful beaches, friendly people plus amazing wild life - we had several Manatee’s swim right by our slip. The marina has a very active yacht club with many activities - Sean was able to take a sailing course and qualify on the 14' Expos, great opportunity. 
Sailing class - two instructors one student - great ratio
Sean and I also took time to visit Disney World

 We enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving at Manatee Cove Yacht Club with Colleen, Dianne, and friends Gloria & Bob (who traveled over from the west coast of Florida to visit with us) and about sixty other members!
W.T, Dianne and Tamera
Kelsey and Tamera preparing chicken enchiladas'
  Time to continue south... we got under way on Tuesday the 3rd of December in great weather with the plan of being in Key West by the 9th. Our vision was to anchor out all the way down to the keys – no marinas, no shore ties – this let us test our abilities to be fully self sufficient – and it was great! First beautiful evening Ft. Pierce, Wednesday West Palm Beach, Thursday Hollywood (lots of bright lights), Friday enjoyed seeing Miami along the waters edge, so much nicer than traveling I-95.
One of the several dozen bridges between Cocoa Beach and Miami 
... more bridges...

...yet another bridge we need 25 feet to clear
Friends along the ICW
First catch in the Key's
 We arrived in the official start of the keys Friday night and spent the night in Thursday Cove/Barnes Sound (little north of Key Largo). Saturday we moved to Fat Deer Key -we thought for one night, but weather said 'NO WAY' so we ended up staying for two nights. We took advantage of this opportunity to do a little fishing – we were catching them like he knew what he was doing. From here we headed to Bahia Honda State Park just before Big Pine Key. Twelve slips at the marina – we were the only boat there. What a beautiful spot – you could walk up on the old Flagler bridge and watch the most spectacular sunset around. Plus I think it is one of the nicest beaches in the keys. 
Old Seven mile bridge at Bahia Honda

Tamera and Sean Bahia Honda, FL

Sunset Bahia Honda
 By this point we needed a few groceries – Sean can make a pound on roast beef and a half gallon of milk disappear quickly. We took the small boat to the next key over where we could get some provision to hold us over until we got to Key West. The weather looked good on Monday morning until we got underway outside the protection of the cove at Bahia Honda on the Atlantic Ocean side. Waves were running 5 - 7 feet not to mention the hollowing winds... it took all of about five minutes to make the decision to retreat back to Bahia Honda. From the beach you would never know it was that rough out there. We spent another wonderful day exploring the island and the beach. 
The morning of December 11th was a great day to get underway... King Neptune was much kinder to us ... three foot swells and light winds. It was a short four hour trip to Boca Chica Marina Key West, FL – so here we are!

The lid says it all...
Our plan for now is to sit here until sometime after the first of the year and than head up the West Coast of Florida towards Fort Myers – cross Lake Okeechobee and sometime after that on to the Bahamas... 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Plan B
My apologies for the delay in up-dating our whereabouts… a lot of time and energy has been required to change our course of direction… and our Verizon Hotspot has been less than stellar… the bill has been right on time but the service has NOT…
We made a retreat Back down Lake Champlain finding a tranquil anchorage behind Schuyler Island – directly across the lake from Burlington, VT.  Sean and I hopped in the small boat and made our way ashore for a little exploring… 

Quick stops were made in Mechanicsburg, NY a great town with free dockage on a beautiful waterfront, Waterford, NY and down the Hudson River to Houghtailing Island were we spent another beautiful night anchored out.  As we made our way south we searched for replacement batteries to solve the electrical problem to no avail.
As we made our way back south thorough New
New York City Sean had the helm as we passed the Statue of Liberty – and we headed on to Shark River, NJ. Eventually we came upon a golf cart dealer at Cape May, NJ who was able to quickly supply us with replacement batteries.  It was a task for Sean and I to pull and replace all eight 75lbs batteries from the engine room – (I don’t think the rental car a Mini Cooper liked it either), but the result were worth the effort.  Once again, the hospitality of Mary & Scott Rae was greatly appreciated and we are looking forward to cruising with them in the future. 

 In the ever continuing battle of boat maintenance we ordered a starter for the generator and had it sent to Spencer P. in Virginia who later delivered it to when we went to our good friend- Master Chief Dan Boe’s retirement in Virginia Beach. Dan and his bride Heidi concluded a successful 30 year career with the U.S. Coast Guard – the organization will certainly miss his technical skills and leadership.
As we headed up Delaware Bay we made contact with another good friend, Bob Morrison. 

Bob, Sean, Tim and W.T
Bobs boat
Tim, Tamera and Sean
Sean and Tim getting ready to transit the C&D Canal
 He and his son Tim sailed down from Philadelphia to Delaware City to meet us. We had an excellent time day sailing Delaware Bay on his boat and passing through the C&D canal to Chesapeake City.
Bob and Tamera
 Spent a couple of days back in Norfolk, VA – where we started.  It was great to spend some time with our oldest son Spencer - and visit with friends.
Onslow Beach, NC
Spencer, Tamera and Sean Onslow Beach, NC
We made our way south to Goscaulk Marina on the New River in North Carolina, where we stayed for two weeks! The original vision was four days – but it was such a great place we had a hard time pulling up stakes.  We were fortunate that Spencer was able to visit us twice while there and celebrate his 21st Birthday.
Spencer's 21st Birthday
Underway breakfast
Traveling south we anchored in Wilmington, NC and pushed on to Southport, NC. for three days.  What an excellent place to stay – we had the opportunity to enjoy their Wooden Boat Show, free Maritime Museum and an outstanding candy shop.
Key West, FL here we come!
Sean's favorite artifact at the museum

 Of course Tamara loves a bad boy so she found a pirate to hang out with at the boat show…



























Thursday, August 8, 2013

29 July – 1 August 2013
We arrive at the outpost of Gaines Marina Rouse Point, NY approximately one mile south of the Canadian border.
 Beautiful spot – most of the regulars are from Montreal about an hour away by car.  Arrangements have been made to forward mail here; we take on fuel - 220 gallons, give the boat a wash down - all looks right with the world.  The temperature is definitely cooler at 0600 it was 11celsius – getting ready for the break north (52degrees) – but it warmed up to 72 degrees.    

As it turns out two day priority delivery for here means four days…

So we entertain ourselves by going over charts, reading guide books practicing our French, walking the beautiful neighborhoods of the town and chatting with the marina regulars and locals, etc.
Gaines Marina, Rouse Point, NY

we spotted Captain America and his crew
 Tam spent time making delicious meals
Including home made pizza - crust and all...

Sean and I went to the Dodge Library circa 1927

and looked at interesting architectural details
Meanwhile in the background Tamera and I are having hard discussions about our present plans...

 As we sit on the Canadian border with the temperature dropping - and we review our plans we come to the conclusion that to start our Canadian adventure the first week of August is not prudent.

To spend the necessary time to explore and enjoy the rich history of Canada to include its canals systems of the Trent Severn Waterway - 45 locks, 240 miles, the Rideau Canal a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Northern Channel and Georgian Bay - approximately a 1200 mile trip -  we would not be to the top of Lake Michigan until the beginning of October. 
This by most accounts is not where Captain Ron, Kitty and Swab should be on a 36 foot fiberglass boat...
As the saying goes; 'You've got to have a plan to change the plan.'
 So we came to the conclusion we need to pull a one eighty and go south -
Florida here we come!
See you next year Canada