Thursday, December 29, 2011

Friends are all around us in Stuart

We have only been doing this cruising thing for 3 years so it is amazing how many people we have met and a perfect example is right here.  We are surrounded by people we have met before and they come from all over the place.

AJ, Lisa  & Tinker on their new Seawind

Don, Margaret & Tiller on m/v Rufuge

Reiner & Renate on Nati

Jon, Arlene & the Aliens on Kasidah

How many lives does a cat have?

On Refuge they have a cat named Tiller.  As you can see he knows no fear.....he likes going around the mooring field keeping an eye on everything.

He is pretty good at keeping on dry land but he missed the dinghy the other day and Don had to fish him out with the fish net.

One more life used up.....

Merry Christmas!

The Chief & Millie came into town for a few days and we did as we said............tried to eat our way through Stuart!  Not sure if we accomplished it but I feel 10 lbs. heavier!

On the day after Christmas the marina put on a brunch for the cruisers.  Someone in the marina has a son who is a chef locally and he wanted to put on the meal & what a brunch it was!!

 - Shrimp & grits (the best ever & I think a Binnacle must have!!)
 - Eggs with prosciutto
 - Fruit of all kinds
 - Sawmill biscuits and gravy (again the best!!)
 - Drinks with vodka (your choice chocolate or whip cream)
 - Croissants
 - Scones
 - and much, much more than you can ever eat.........lots of fun for everyone!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Stuart, Fl

We are on a mooring in Stuart Florida this weekend and are hanging out with the Chief & Millie.  They came across the state the other day and we'll try to eat our way through all the restaurants in town.

We wish everyone an enjoyable peaceful MERRY CHRISTMAS  for 2011 and a HAPPY NEW YEARS.

Stay tune for more updates and news in 2012!!

Lucky number 13 with Clyde 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Goodbye Melbourne ....we are heading south to Stuart

We have had a great time over the past week hanging out with Jean and Tom.  With their Cougar (1986 vintage) we were able to do all the chores that were needed to be done.  We even were able to see SU beat NC State!

We were anchored just across from Eau Gallie Yacht Basin and they let us shower, park the car and get water from the marina.  Karen, dockmaster is great to deal with and we will certainly go back there.

Ballard Park

We had a fun visit from M/V IAMJEANIUS on the last day.  She sure looks like a fun boat to hang out on and she was also spotless!

Next stop is Stuart where we will meet up with the Chief & Millie for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Melbourne, Fl

After a nice sail we anchored in Eau Gallie Basin and it was like old home week.  Almost to the day we were in here for our very first sail down the east coast 3 year ago.  The basin is small and some question the holding but we have a nice shallow spot right across from Eau Gallie Yacht Basin.  The marina is great and has allowed us to have showers and to moor the dinghy there.  Jean & Tom has lent us the "cougar " for a couple of days so we can do a good job at provisioning.

daylight version
The area is like a zoo at sunset!  We have our own manatee hanging out along with a couple of dolphins fishing nearby.  We also have ospreys everywhere, pelicans learning to fish (I am trying to get a video of this action), egrets all over and there is an owl somewhere.

Oh yes, the homes and boats are decorated for the holidays, we get to see it all!!

night version

Finally some good sailing!

The best sail since the Chesakpeake!  Onward to Melbourne.....

There is one constant in coastal sailing..........

.................make sure all plans are in pencil!  Things will continue to change and they did the following day.

We catch the 10:30 bridge to head out to the inlet and when we get there all we see is white.  As in white, large breaking waves covering the entire inlet.  We have already enjoyed Winah Bay Inlet along with St Andrews Inlet and were really thrilled about another wet, bumpy, "lets toss everything in the air" Inlet so we turned around and headed south the "other" way, as in the ICW.  The sailing isn't as much fun but it is still enjoyable to see the landscape, particularly since this is our first time.  As a side note when we caught the 11:00am bridge the other way a boat moored next to us the night before went out and a half hour later I called them.   They did go out but had already decided we made the better choice.  They said it was very ugly and would have come back but once in the current going out they had no choice but to keep going.

We did get to go by Fort Mantanzas on the way south.  It is supposed to be a cool visit but that will have to be another time.

We end up in Sea Ray cut for the night.  The Sea Ray factory is right on the water so it was interesting just to see the boats in the water.  We did have a very peaceful and quiet night.

The next day we did a long run on the inside (63 miles) and like normal we always see rather unique living arrangements.  Now this boat had no roadside dwelling near it and it appeared to be basically tied to a few stakes in the ground.  But it seemed to be home to someone!

Just at dusk we pulled behind a railroad bridge near Titusville for the night.  Unknown to us at the time we picked a very nice place for the night as we were able to see a beautiful moonrise and in the morning we also had a nice sunrise.  The huge building in the sunrise is the Kennedy Space Center and a launch platform (I'm assuming for the shuttle) is beside it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time to visit St Augustine, FL

After our night visit with the Kadey Krogen over the night we headed down to Jacksonville Beach and had a great night at Beach Marina and then it was a quick run to St Augustine.   At Beach Marina they really like the morning they dropped a newspaper right on our net!  Now that is cool....

On the way across the St John's river we decided to give a slightly larger vessel room to get by us.  I do think it was a good idea!

 We have heard great things about St Augustine and it hasn't let us down.  The municipal marina has a large number of mooring balls and they are much further apart than those in Fernandina Beach.  Overall they do a great job with a large dinghy dock, hot showers, a shuttle service to your boat during the day and the town is right at the end of the dock.

St Augustine is the oldest city in the nation (started somewhere in the 1600's and there are many old buildings to see.  It is too bad the cold front came through as it made it hard to get off the boat and at night it went back into the 40's.....burrrrrrrrr!!!   We will just have to come back.

Bridge of Lions

Cobblestone streets

Now this is old!

This is cool!

Older yet!

Tomorrow it looks like we will have a weather wind to go outside and make an overnight run down to Cape Canaveral and then it's down to Melbourne to harass Jean and Tom for a day or so.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh so close......

When we got back to the boat this afternoon we had our new neighbor come for a visit.  We told them if they open the drapes and hand over the popcorn then we would be set.  With the current and the wind we actually got as close as 10 feet and then we pulled the bridle up tight and put the daggerboard down.  The tide will turn at 10pm and then we can go to sleep.

What does a 39 foot trawler have in common with a 3,500 lb trimaran?

Caution:  objects can and will  appear closer then they are!

Hi nieghbor....pass the popcorn!

Fernandina Beach

After grabbing a mooring ball we decided to walk around the town and what a great town it is.  The oldest railroad in Florida is here and a lot of "Peg Legs".

I need my own sword!

Christmas is in the air and it is still great to see palm trees with light on them.  Even the marina had decor up and the day was fun just walking around, seeing the sights and hanging out.  It is much nicer when you don't have to bundle up all day.

At the marina

Christmas in Fernandina Beach

Recap of the last few days on Grey Hound

  • We just completed a 34 hour sail out of Georgetown, SC, out into the North Atlantic and tried for Jacksonville, FL.  The winds did not cooperate and we decided to sail to St Simon Inlet instead.  The sail ended up to be approx. 210 miles and was our first (by ourselves) ocean overnight.  It was cold for most of the time (we slept in foul weather gear) and the wind was up and down.  The seas, particularly early were pretty good size.  GH handled them great and there was no time that we felt unsafe.  When the moon set at midnight the night was as dark as any we can remember.  We saw no other sailing boats, but a number of freighters went by us.  We did hear one boat call our friends on Windward.  We tried to take a number of videos of the dolphins as they swam all around us many times but they didn't come out at all.  We will need a better camera for that.
  • Anne saw all the shooting stars at night and even saw a comet go across the sky.  Somehow I lucked out and slept through every one??!!
  • The sail saved us about 75 miles and 4 or 5 days since we didn't have to motor down the ICW.
  • At Jekyll Island Marina we had a good nights sleep after hot showers and a quick dinner at the local restaurant.  The heater was on all night and we slept very well.  In the morning we headed over to Cumberland Island and decided at the last minute to anchor in Brickhill River for a night as the wind would have made Fernandina Beach pretty rough.
  • In the morning we motored down the river, passed by the sub base on the St Mary's River and grabbed a mooring ball at Fernandina Beach.  
  • Tomorrow I am putting on shorts!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Our last few anchorages are as follows:
    • N 34.02.972     W 077.53.365
    • N 33.52.346     W 078.34.174
    • N 33.30.545     W 079.08.761
  • The anchorages have been very good holding.  Thank you "Mr Spade Anchor"!!  Also the extra chain does not hurt either.  Our last anchorage had a tide of over 6 feet!!
  • From the Chesapeake to the Florida border we have used 32 gallons of gas.  
Georgetown Lighthouse

The sun setting at sea

Sunset at Jekyll Island Marina

Friday, December 2, 2011

And all good plans can and will change!

Out of Georgetown at 7am.  Yes, Kismet, we actually did it!

Had a fun (ok, maybe not) departure out of Winyah Inlet and did a lot of miles going south and west for about 36 hours.  But........we are not in Florida!!!  But we are close.

Right now we are at Jekyll Island Marina.  The offer of super hot showers, power for our heater (low 30's tonight) and the ability to wash Grey Hound off after a 200+ sail on the North Atlantic was too good an offer.  We even had someone else cook tonight.

Stay tune for further updates........we are going to bed!!

No bathing suits today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A new recipe tonight and then we are outta here......

Grey Hound is set, the auto pilot is installed and we are sitting down to a nice hot dinner that is from Christine's cookbook!  "Utica Greens......Grey Hound style"!!!  The lows have been in the 30's so it is time to say "haste la vista baby.......that is to you folks in SC.

We plan on getting up early and heading to Murrell's inlet and into the Atlantic for a 200 mile run to Jacksonville, FL on the outside.  We have done over 400 miles of the ICW and now it is time to sail!!

Look out JAX, here we come!!

Georgetown, SC

We pulled into Georgetown a couple of days ago to await our package from Defender Industries.  Yes, the auto pilot gave up the ghost.  Our loss ended up being a good thing as we have had a great time in Georgetown.

When I called Harborwalk Marina to see if they would accept our package, they could not have been nicer.  Both Mike & Chris, the managers of the marina have been above the call of duty and we could only hope that more marinas are like Harborwalk.  And of course we like the marina pals....Lucy & Gabriel, the labs.  It is FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY!!

The town itself has done a ton of work cleaning up the waterfront and a boardwalk now extends across the whole town.  There are dinghy docks and a number of other docks for cruising boats.  The restaurants cater to the travelers and we have yet to meet someone that is not friendly.

We will be back!!

Georgetown Boardwalk

Live Oak drives

Town Clock on Front Street

The Waccamaw River and Thoroughfare Creek

Since we decided to keep going to Georgetown, SC we did have the opportunity to see the beautiful Waccamaw River area.  It is hardly developed and the pictures can tell it all.  I don't think one could see the area any other way but from the water so we had the best view!

Our next "chalet" on the water!

Both Windward and GH decided that Thoroughfare Creek would be a great location to spend a couple of days before we trekked on to Georgetown.  The weather was nice and it was here that we happened to be the first people on Windward's first trip down the ICW to partake in a "happy hour"!  Lots of fun for all and those guys are great!!

Also "Renew-it" took us on our longest dinghy ride ever......... 4 hours of going up the creek to "Exchange", an original 1820's plantation.  Not the grandest but still here, looking like something from another era.  The live oaks and the moss is magnificent.
The Exchange

Resting Renew-it before the 9 mile motor

You looking at ME??!!

We go south with our friends on s/v Windward

From Carolina Beach our original plan was to motor to Shallotte Creek.  When we got there neither of us like what we saw......too little water and lots of current!  Onward.....

Next stop was Calabash.  The name even sounds kind of cool so it was much better.  When we pulled in we recognized one of the two boats from Mile Hammock.  When we went into Carolina Beach, they turned off into Wrightsville Beach.  But, now they are stuck with us!!  S/V Windward is a great looking Fugi 45 and they have done a ton of work on her.

Morning also brought in fog and we had to wait a little while for some of it to burn off.  We pulled out shortly after the shrimp boat went by.

The things people do for golf!

Pulling into Thoroughfare Creek with Windward

Still going.......

Out of Carolina Beach and further points south.  Since the seas and wind didn't cooperate too much and, oh yeah......why is the tiller pilot smoking????

No this is not the Colorado River!
Just lets keep going south so we can finally have warm water and water weather.  Sooooooo.... we keep going down the ICW a little longer.  Because the current and tide is so strong down here we planned on going down the Cape Fear River with help.  In order for that to happen we went through Snow Cut with the water looking like this!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One final blast with the direction finder telling us where to go!

So far the last 3 days our direction finder (also know as the wind indicator to some) has told us where to go.  It's either straight upwind or just plain, no wind!  The bridges in this area must enjoy driving boaters nutty as you really have to plan on hitting the bascule bridge right on time or you end up waiting up to an hour for the next opening.  With the current with us we even motored at 8.2 its for a couple of miles just to make it to the bridge!

For the last two night we have been anchored in Carolina Beach as the cold front came through.  Not too much rain but it is blowing hard now.  The cooler weather is returning tomorrow so for Thanksgiving we are going to head out with the tide and keep moving south.  Maybe I can spear a runaway turkey along the way!

We dinked into the public docks for a walk and to mail a letter out.  No wonder the Post Office is going bust.  We could NOT find a mailbox anywhere!  At the end we walked over to a Marriott Hotel and the desk said they would send it out with their mail.  How crazy.....

Carolina Beach boardwalk

Looking out toward the anchorage