The Route South

Monday, December 19, 2011

On to Stuart



Monday October 31, 2011
We aren’t very interested in a dawn departure today…its only 46° outside!
At 0730 the engine is warmed up and we are underway.  By 1115 we are passing Georgetown, SC.  The 2+ mph current is in our face and our boat speed is down to 5.7 mph.  But as is the way in South Carolina and Georgia, the current that is bad on one side of an inlet is good on the other, so we will be making 9 mph at some point in the day.
Shortly after lunch we have left Winyah Bay and entered the Estherville-Minum Canal, one of the many land cuts that serve to connect the natural channels making up the ICW. 
By 1550 we have passed McClellanville and turned into the anchorage at Five Fathom Creek.  The anchor is down and set in 15’ of water and one knot of current.  Shortly before sunset we noticed that the dropping tide had exposed a large oyster bar, not too far from the boat.  We decided that we would rather relocate the boat now rather than an hour from now, in the dark.  After a thirty-minute anchor dance, we are settled in for the night.  The propane heater is out and ready.  It is clear and will be cold tonight.
58 miles
Under way on Winyah Bay

Tuesday November 1, 2011
Today will be a fairly short one.  It was cold last night – that must have kept the Trick-Or-Treaters away.  We were warm as toast - our little heater glowed cherry red until we went to bed. When we got up this morning, we turned it back on to take the chill out of the cabin.
At 0745 the engine was started up and five minutes later the anchor was aboard.  We rejoined the ICW at 0800.  By 1230 we were entering Charleston Harbor and by 1315 we were tied up at Charleston Maritime Center.  It’s rockin’ and rollin’ in here but we will be here two nights.  Charleston is one of our favorite stops.
38.5 miles
Charleston Maritime Center 
Car carriers and tugboats pass close by.


Wednesday November 2, 2011
We planned a layover day today.  There is a great Harris-Teeter grocery store just five or six blocks from the marina.  We can reprovision with a week’s worth of groceries on our bikes by using two backpacks and strapping a couple of extra bags on the luggage racks.  With the chores out of the way, we spent the rest of the time sightseeing and shopping in the Old Slave Market.  We didn't buy any old slaves.

We love wandering Charleston and taking in the architecture.

Oh Yeah!  I could live here!
The George Eveleigh house was built around 1743.  Remember your high school history? That's thirty years before the Revolutionary War!  It has remained in the same family since 1875!
More car carriers.  No wonder we rock and roll!

Thursday November 3, 2011
We are away from the dock at 0720.  It is only 50° but the wind is light and variable so its really pretty comfortable.  I love traveling this area of the ICW.  The names of the creeks and rivers sound like Dr. Seuss wrote them.  Wapoo Creek, Stono River, Edisto River, Ashepoo River, Coosaw Cutoff.  After negotiating that alphabet soup we finally arrived at Beaufort (Bee-U-Fort) SC.  Our original plan was to anchor in Factory Creek but the anchorage was crowded and very deep.  We tried a spot in the river near the Town Dock but it too was quite deep and the direction of the forecasted wind shift was unfavorable so we went into the Town Marina at 1730.
73 Miles

Friday November 4 & Saturday November 5, 2011
Glad we decided to take a slip.  The wind is 20, gusting to 30 kts.  We are taking a couple of lay days.  We had lunch on Friday with folks we met off the sailing catamaran Free Bird, Joann and John Gilchrist.  The following day we had lunch with fellow Krogenites, Nick and Sharie (Sweet Time-KK39) and Bill and Ruth (Happy Ours-KK48 Whaleback).  We borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and drove Nick and Sharie back to their boat in Port Royal.

Sunday November 6, 2011
The boat was wide-awake by 0630 and we were away from the dock by 0635.  Its 50° and a jacket feels good.  At 0730 we pass Parris Island, the US Marine Corps. favorite vacation destination, and an hour later we are across Port Royal Sound and entering Skull Creek, passing by the beautiful Hilton Head Island.  Before lunch we entered Georgia by crossing the Savannah River.  By 1230 we passed by Thunderbolt Marina and thirty minutes later we have the anchor down and set in the Herb River.  The huge sailboat "Mirabella V" is in the distance.  You can read more about her at:
http://www.mirabellayachts.com/
By nightfall there are twelve other boats in the anchorage.
47 miles

At 247', "Mirabella V" is the largest single-masted sailboat in the world.
Her mast is 292' tall and is required to have a red aircraft clearance light on top!
She is seen here at Thunderbolt Marina in Georgia.


Monday November 7, 2011
This part of the ICW is mind numbing.  The anchor is up shortly after 0630.  The channel cuts back and forth and back and forth and back…..you get the idea.  There isn’t much to see other than the salt marsh spartina grass.  Today we negotiate Hells Gate, the Ogeechee River and Florida Passage and pass by my personal favorite, Dog Hammock Spit.  Our plan is to anchor in the Duplin River but when we enter at 1445 the wind and current are fighting with each other and there are white caps in the anchorage.  I don’t think so!  It’s a short fifteen-minute trip across Doboy Sound to the anchorage at the North River and by 1515 the anchor is down and set, in the company of Betty and Jill aboard the KK48, LILI.
69 miles


Tuesday November 8, 2011
Today we don’t have a lot of miles on the agenda.  By 0715 the anchor is up and five minutes later we rejoin the ICW.  We transit the Little Mud River at 0800 – an area that strikes fear in the hearts of cruising boats for its shallow depths.  We are fortunate that the tide is high and we pass through with no problems.  1130 finds us chugging into Brunswick, GA where we are stopping to take on fuel.  The dockhand at Ocean Petroleum helps us tie up and hands over the fuel nozzle.  150 gallons later, we are full.  That’s not too bad, since the last time we fueled was in Norfolk, VA.  By 1210 we are under way again, retracing our track back to Golden Isles Marina on St. Simons Island, our stop for the night.
43 miles

Wednesday November 9, 2011
We started the engine at 0730 and were able to pirouette the boat around in a tight spot, thanks to the current and the wind.  Before 0800 we are entering St. Simons Sound and an hour later we are transiting St. Andrews Sound.  That is significant because the channel runs out into the mouth of the inlet into the Atlantic.  When the wind and tide current don’t cooperate, it gets lumpy – damn lumpy.  It only takes us thirty minutes to go across to Cumberland Island but it seems like a lot longer.  We have rearranged some of the furniture in the cabin and will have to be careful when we open the cabinets because who knows what is going to jump out!  At 1200 we pass the Kings Bay Submarine Base.  Nobody home!?  At 1245 we are anchored at the south end of Cumberland Island.
37 miles

Thursday November 10, 2011
Lay over day.  The dinghy is in the water and the 15 HP outboard is ready to go.  We went to the Sea Camp dock and walked over to the beach for a little picnic.  It’s a beautiful day!  Betty and Jill invited us to Lili for dinner.  YUM!

Friday November 11, 2011   Veterans’ Day
Last night a cold front blew through and it got LUMPY!  We are happy to get out of here.  The engine is running by 0750 but we are having a problem with our anchor snubber, the rope that attached to the anchor chain.  The retaining pin that holds the hook in place on the anchor chain is bent and won’t open.  I was finally able to work it free and at 0815 the anchor is finally up.  By 0900 we are crossing back in Florida, passing one of our favorite stops, Fernandina Beach.  But not this trip.  Instead we continue on, crossing the St. Johns River and passing through Palm Valley, anchoring at Pine Island shortly after 1530.
56 miles

Saturday November 12, 2011
Today will be short.  The engine is warmed up by 0830 and 15 minutes later we are back in the ICW.  It is a short trip to St. Augustine and just after 1030 we are tied up to mooring #M5 at St. Augustine Municipal Marina.
13 miles
The north mooring field at St. Augustine. The old fort is visible to the right.

Sunday November 13, 2011
It’s a late start today.  Breakfast ashore and then back to the boat for a 1000 departure.  Its nice leaving from a mooring.  Untie one string and drop it overboard.  That’s’ it!  No fenders and dock lines to store.  No muddy anchor chain to wash.  Two hours later we are docking again, at Marineland.  This isn’t the Marineland of your youth.  It’s the same location but a totally new facility, now owned by the Georgia Aquarium.  The marina is a totally new facility and very nice.  But there is nothing around…no stores, no restaurants, and no courtesy car.  Marineland was one of the very first dolphin shows, a pioneer.  But now the focus has changed and it is primarily a research and education facility, although it is open for tours.  It is a nice, quiet stop with good floating docks.
18 miles
Back in a different time!
Its a calm day on the Atlantic Ocean.  Marineland, FL
The dolphins are like big Labrador Retrievers waiting to be fed!
Cindy had the same picture taken here when she was a kid...a loooong time ago!

Monday November 14, 2011
By 0800 we are breakfast’d, coffee’dand underway.  The ICW is all ours today.  There is almost no boat traffic.  Palm Coast slid by at 0900 and at 1230 we are tying up at Loggerhead Marina in Daytona Beach.  As we were finishing tying the boat, Wayne and Carol on Take Time (KK48 Whaleback) cruised by.  This will be home until after Thanksgiving.
33 miles

Tuesday November 29, 2011
Thanksgiving in Clearwater was great.  We stayed part of the time at Chip and Susan’s and part of it with Bob and Sharie.  We had a nice holiday dinner at Sharies and Mom came with us.  She did great and really enjoyed the afternoon.  The Friday after Thanksgiving we drove back to Daytona and Chip and Major came for a visit.  It was nice to spend some time with him on the boat.
We were away from the dock by 0700 and two hours later are past Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach.  Along the way we passed a Gozzard 43 trawler named Mar-Ian.  I chatted them up on the VHF radio and it turns out that it belongs to a former Manatee (Sumo) owner, Ian Payton.  They were on a delivery trip up from the Keys where they just purchased the boat.  Noon found us transiting the Haulover Canal and by 1600 the anchor was down at Cocoa.
69 miles

Wednesday November 30, 2011
By 0715 we are headed south in the ICW again.  At 0915 we pass Dragon Point at Eau Gallie.  There has been a rumor that the dragon was going to be rebuilt but there is no evidence yet.  Just before lunch we pass Sebastian Inlet and at 1325 we turn off the ICW and into the Loggerhead Marina in Vero Beach.  This is not our usual stop because we really enjoy the mooring field at Vero Beach.  But we have a few days left on our contract with Loggerhead in Daytona and consequently we have reciprocal rights here.  In short, we are staying here tonight for free!
51 miles

Thursday December 1, 2011
Shortly after 0700 we are back in the ICW.  At 0730 we pass the mooring field at Vero Beach and an hour and a half later we are passing Ft. Pierce.  By 1145 we are at “the Crossroads”, a convoluted convergence of the St. Lucie Inlet, the southbound ICW, the St. Lucie River/Okechobee Waterway and the northbound ICW.  As we turn north and head up the St. Lucie River toward Stuart, the wind is gusting over 30 kts. across the deck.  This could make docking interesting!  By 1300 we are side-tied to the floating dock at Sunset Bay Marina – home for the winter.
48 miles
Home for the winter!
Its not hard to like being here!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Goin' To Where The Weather Suits My Clothes

The nights are getting cooler and we are starting to see some color in the leaves.  Every day we hear more geese honking through the sky, heading south. Its time for Morning Star to go too.  Cindy borrowed "Black Beauty", Calvert Marina's courtesy car (old black Mercedes) for a final trip to the grocery store and I spent the better part of a day in the engine room changing fluids and filters.  Now, just as soon as the weather breaks we will be out of here.

Sunday October 16, 2011 - Randy's birthday
The alarm went off at its customary 6:30 but we were already awake.  After a quick bowl of cereal we each took a cup of coffee to the pilot house and started the pre-departure ritual.  Start the engine - check the depth sounder - start the chart plotter and bring the GPS on line - check to see that the running lights are all on - turn the inverter on - unhook the power cord, roll it up and stow it - roll up and stow the water hose.  After a brief discussion of the undocking procedure, we untied the dock lines and we are away by 0700.  The log book shows that we passed Drum Point at 0722 and Cedar Point at 0750.  Now we are south-bound in the Chesapeake.  By 1000 we are abeam Point Lookout, the northern side of the Potomac River.  The Potomac is a very large river and it is frequently a wash-machine ride getting across.  Not so today.  It provided a comparatively mild passage and we passed west of Smith Point Light, the southern point, by 1125.  It took a half- hour to cross the Rappahannock River at 1430 and I called Mike Warren to see if his offer of dock space was still good.  It was and by 1600 we were slowly feeling our way into Cobbs Creek. Thirty minutes later we were tied up at Mike's dock and enjoying his and Dyan's hospitality.  After a couple glasses of wine on their patio outside, the four of us had dinner aboard Morning Star and called it an early night.
61 nautical miles

Peace and calm in Cobb's Creek at Marina Mike's


Monday October 17, 2011
By 0725 the engine was warmed up and we were ready to go.  Mike came down at 0730 to help us untie (and make sure that we were really leaving).  Ten minutes later we were leaving beautiful Cobbs Creek and entering the Piankatank River, which flows to the Bay.  At 0950 we were passing west of Wolf Trap Light with a confused 3' swell and a wind-driven chop from a different direction.  We "tacked" in toward the shore, looking for smoother water and a more comfortable ride.  We had been talking to Greg aboard "Allegria" (KK48 Whaleback) about different strategies to avoid the swell.  Greg went farther out into the Bay but it didn't seem to help.  Finally, by 1130, as we passed York Spit Light, the waves suddenly started to lay down.  At 1300 we passed the swash channel at Thimble Shoals as a light southerly breeze started to build.  By 1500 we had negotiated the Navy yard and all the activity associated with a passage through their area, and were tied up at one of our favorite stops, the free dock at the High Street Basin in Portsmouth, VA.  Dick and Lynn Davenport (KK42 "Ladyhawke") were already tied up and Dick helped us tie up.  We all had cocktails in Allegria's pilothouse.

Dick and Lynn walked to the Commodore Theater with Cindy and me, for dinner and a movie.  We got a kick out of the Commodore, an old, beautifully restored movie house.  The movie was "A Dolphin's Tale" and it was fun for us because it was filmed in Clearwater.  We were living at the City Marina while all the commotion was going on and it was neat seeing the product of their work.  You can see more about the Commodore Theater at: http://www.commodoretheatre.com/index.php
53.7 miles


Tuesday October 18, 2011
Gilmerton bridge has a restricted opening schedule during rush hour.  If we don't go through at 6 AM, we don't go until 0930.  Since there was no benefit to departing in the dark, we loafed until 0830, when we left the High Street Basin and started south down the ICW.  Our first destination was Top Rack Marina, who has the best fuel pricing anywhere around.  Our intention is to fill our tank, which should last us to Brunswick, GA.  But first, there is Gilmerton.  0930 came and went without an opening.  Turns out, there was a train coming and they had to delay the opening by ten minutes.  Fortunately the delay held no consequence for us and we were able to top off the tank with 100 gallons of fuel and still be under way by 1020.  The Deep Creek lock at the Dismal Swamp opens at 1100 and we were waiting for them to open.  It took a while because there were eight boats locking through but by 1200 we were all out of the lock and passed through the bridge, into the Dismal Swap Canal.  Lockmaster George is also Bridgetender George so a bit of patience is necessary while he drives from the lock to the bridge, stops traffic and opens the bridge.  We had a leisurely afternoon cruise, arriving at the North Carolina Visitors Center dock at 1430.  Before the day was done, there were four boats in our raft, including Ladyhawke, and sixteen boats tied and rafted to the dock for the night.
29 miles.

The lock is pretty full.
Deep Creek lock on the Dismal Swamp Canal.


Wednesday October 19, 2011
At 0745 the raft was breaking up.  Not everybody was leaving but Ladyhawke and Morning Star were and a sailboat left earlier.  We were on time for the 0830 bridge and lock opening  at South Mills Lock and by 0905 we were through and following the beautiful Passquotank River - my favorite river on the east coast.  At 1200 we tied up to the bulkhead wall at the City Park in Elizabeth City, NC, one of our favorite stops on the ICW.  (The bridge tender even offered us the use of his pickup truck!)The "Rose Buddies" hosted one of their famous wine and cheese parties for the cruisers.  It was very well attended, not only by the cruisers but by many of the locals.  The "guest of honor" was Colonel Backus, who was the head of that District of the Army Corps of Engineers, the group responsible for the maintenance of the ICW and the Dismal Swamp.  It was great being able to talk to him and explain how much the ICW means to us all and to tell him the local folks how much we enjoy their city!
23.5 miles

Thursday October 20, 2011
High winds!  Albemarle Sound will be angry so we are declaring a layover day.  We ran the generator to charge the batteries and discovered a leaking exhaust hose.  No more generator until we get that fixed.  It was cold at night so we got the propane heater out of storage and we were warm as toast.

Beautiful park with free docks!
Elizabeth City, NC


Friday October 21, 2011
Its 50 degrees outside!  The engine is warm and the dock lines are untied by 0730 and we are away from the dock.  Two hours later we enter Albemarle Sound at PR#1.  Its a bit rolly and we have to "tack" several times, changing course to find a more comfortable angle to take the waves.  But it takes less than two hours to cross the Albemarle and after passing through the Alligator River Swing Bridge, its smooth traveling down to the Alligator-Pungo Canal.  We transited the Canal and entered the Pungo River at 1655.  We have "done" that stretch of water half-a-dozen times now and have yet to see our first pungo. Darn!  The anchor is down by 1710 and soon after six or seven other boats pulled in to anchor.  Long day!
76.7 miles.

Peaceful anchorage.
Pungo River, NC


Saturday October 22, 2011
Our pre-departure rituals don't take very much time and we have the anchor up and have rejoined the ICW before 0800.  The little town of Bellhaven passes by and we have entered the Pamlico River shortly after 1000.  Goose Creek, Hobucken (with its tiny Coast Guard station), Bay River, Maw Point Shoal and the Neuse River are all waypoints we put behind us on our way to Oriental, NC.  We anchored in Green's Creek, passing "Wind Horse" on the way in.  Wind Horse" is an 84 ft. aluminum cruising motorboat owned by circumnavigators and boatbuilders Steve and Linda Dashew.  It is a truly unique vessel.  The Dashews think "outside the box", first with the sailboats they build and now with their approach to cruising powerboat design and construction.  Truly innovative.  I saw Steve Dashew at the Maine Boats and Harbors show in Rockland this summer.  You can read about them at: http://dashewoffshore.com/
55 miles

Wind Horse at anchor.
Oriental, NC


Sunday October 23, 2011
The anchor was up, the chain washed down and everything stowed at 0730 and we entered the Neuse River ten minutes later.  Once again we had to tack, altering course to port by 30 degrees to mitigate the rolling.  Once we got to the other side of the river we were able to alter course again and by 0810 we entered Adams Creek, followed by the Adams Creek Canal at 0900.  The canal is fairly short and by 1000 we were through and into the Newport River, tying up at Morehead City Yacht Basin at 1030.  Tomorrow will be a lay day for we have a mechanic scheduled to replace the broken generator exhaust hose.  We used the courtesy car to go to the grocery store, took on water and washed the boat while we had the down time.
24.7 miles

Morning Star at Morehead City Municipal Marina.
Morehead City, NC


Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Up and at 'em at our usual 0630 and by 0725 we were back in the ICW.  We passed Bogue inlet and arrived at Onslow Beach Bridge for the noon opening.  They were on time - an unusual occurence.  This bridge is the only bridge on the ICW that is owned and operated by The Marine Corps. because it is located at Camp Lejune.  We passed our usual anchorage at Mile Hammock Bay and continued on past Topsail Beach, arriving at Wrightsville Beach at 1730.  But it took an hour of fussing around to finally get anchored.  It took three tries before we were both satisfied and the sun was setting.  Long Day!
83.25 miles

Wednesday October 26, 2011
Usual start up, anchor up drill and we are underway by 0730.  At 0900 we passed through Snow's Cut and entered the Cape Fear River.  At the last minute we changed our destination to Bald Head Island and a quick phone call reserved us a slip.  We were tied up at Bald Head Island marina by 1100.  The rest of the day was spent in idle pursuits; lunch at the marina restaurant and touring the island by golf cart.  The place is beautiful!  We have heard other cruisers rave about the place and they were right!
28.9 miles

The beach at Cape Fear.
Bald Head Island, NC

Randy in front of the lighthouse........What?..........What's so funny?
Bald Head Island, NC

Thursday October 27, 2011
0940 - Depart Bald Head Island.
1020 - Arrive Southport.  Tie up at Fishy Fishy (restaurant)
3.8 miles   .8 hours
Southport is a delightful little community at the bottom of the Cape Fear River, where the river is joined by the ICW.  It is full of shops and small restaurants and beautiful homes.  Most of the homes in the old section pre-date the Civil War.  It was a delightful stop.

Friday October 28, 2011
The harbor is directly on the ICW so we were heading "down the ditch" before 0730. The inlet at  Lockwood's Folly has had a horrible reputation in recent years but it has been dredged and we never saw less than 16 feet of depth as we passed through at 0900.  At 1124 we crossed into South Carolina just before crossing New River inlet.  Usually we stop at Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach but we passed by this time, traveling another three hours to Osprey Marina.  Its a new stop for us but one that comes highly recommended to us by several Krogen friends.  At 1615 we are tied up and secure.  We have a couple of days of wind and unfavorable weather so we are going to sit that out right here.  Dick and Lynn on" Ladyhawke" spend a month or more here in the spring and again in the fall.  We had drinks one night and dinner out another.  "Stevedore"(KK42) is here although Sharon and Steven are away on a road trip, visiting family.
64.6 miles.

Osprey Marina
Socastee, SC

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get Ready...Get Set.........Go!

Its been a month since the log has been updated.  Its not because there hasn't been anything going on.  Quite the contrary - we've both been so busy that there hasn't been enough time to sit and write.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Today is the Calvert County Watermen's Festival.  The big draw is the boat docking contest.  It is done single-handed, from single-engine commercial boats by guys who run these boats every day. The idea is to race the clock - best time wins.  Commercial fishermen come from all over trying for a year's worth of  braggin' rights .

video



You can see more, including a great YouTube video, by clicking the Calvert Watermen's website at :
http://calvertwatermen.org/index.htm

Monday, September 19, 2011
We were up early and in our rental car headed for BWI airport.  I had a scheduled trip to Florida and Cindy was flying to Dayton, OH to visit our niece, Sarah, and to get her baby-fix with Xavier and brand-new Samantha Anne.  This required a level of planning to which we are no longer accustomed.

Trip Planning:

  • Book a one-way rental car to BWI (not easy in little Solomon's).
  • Book two fights on Monday morning at close to the same departure time, to two different destinations.
  • Book two return flights on Saturday from two different locations at close to the same arrival time.
  • Book another one-way rental car, from BWI to Solomons.
  • Arrange for a ride from Solomons to Lexington Park to pick the first rental car.
  • Arrange for a ride from Lexington Park back to Solomons after the second rental car.
  • Do all of this within the constraints of two different Frequent Flier programs.
Morning Star looked like Mission Control with two laptops, a couple of Droid phones and an iPad working overtime to get this trip coordinated.  Cindy thinks that hurricane prep is easier.  But it was worth it.  My trip to Florida went off without a hitch and Cindy had a great time in Ohio.  

Monday, September 26, 2011
The Krogen Rendezvous is the end of this week but boats will start showing up on Monday.  Once again, I'm the dock master (no scratched paint in previous years) so I will be busy for the next several days.  Although there won't be any formal activities until Thursday, there will be plenty to do in the mean time.  We wound up with about 30 boats and over 100 people in attendance.  Plenty of good food, good drinks and good fellowship.  Saturday night was the Chef's contest, a four-way grilling cookoff.  Cindy's team, "Poulet de Mer" (Chicken Of The Sea!) fixed an heirloom chicken recipe that was delicious.  The judges couldn't decide so the decision was by popular acclamation.  We all applauded for our favorite team and the winner was........a four-way tie!  
Once again we had our favorite band "Classic Case" providing the entertainment.  They are gaining house-band status since this is the fourth or fifth consecutive year they have played.  We all danced until well past Krogen-midnight (9PM).
Sunday morning was cool and breezy when time came to break up our raft-up but it went off without a hitch.  No insurance claims were filed!  Yeah!

The Krogen Crawl - walking the docks and visiting with friends is the best part of the Rendezvous.

Pretty boats all in a row.  Boatshow-style docking.  There's room for everybody.

The Chef Challenge Cook-off.

Representing Team Poulet de Mer - Cindy and Larry Bateman

Another tragic kitchen accident!


Monday, October 10, 2011 -  Columbus Day
Wednesday, after the Rendezvous, I had a trip to the Master Pools meeting in Oklahoma City.  I came back sick on Saturday night.  It was a GI bug that got passed around the meeting (probably 20 of us were sick at one time or another that week) and I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to get on the airplane on Saturday afternoon.  But I did.  I slept in my own bed on Saturday night and Cindy fixed a nice breakfast on Sunday and I was on the mend.

We had an appointment for a "short-haul" first thing on Monday.  We were going to pull the boat out of the water, clean the bottom, inspect everything, change the zincs and be back in the water in two hours, tops.  Wrong!  They pulled the boat out and started washing the bottom off and the anti-fouling paint washed off like it was melting.  The water looked like blue milk-VERY disappointing.  Since the bottom paint is only a year old, this was VERY VERY VERY disappointing.  We would normally expect at least two or three years out of a bottom job but we had no real choice but to have the bottom repainted.  Alan, the yard manager at Spring Cove, was able to perform a miracle and have us back in the water on Tuesday afternoon with fresh paint.  

Backing the TravelLift into position.  

We seem to be getting cold snaps frequently now and the leaves are starting to show some color.  Every day we see more Canada geese flying south, reminding us that its time for us to leave.  Ready-Set--Go---as soon as we have a good weather window.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Natural Disaster Week!!

Its Natural Disaster Week on The Discovery Channel  Morning Star!

Randy had a regularly scheduled trip to Clearwater to visit Mom and fill in for Chip while he went to Maine on vacation.  Cindy, as usual, stayed aboard Morning Star at our summer home port, Calvert Marina, in Solomons, MD.

Tuesday, May 23, 2011
Our friends Pam and John live aboard their Krogen 42, Compass Rose, in Annapolis.  Pam drove down to Solomons for lunch with Cindy.  They ate lunch aboard Morning Star and were sitting in the cockpit, talking and enjoying the afternoon when, at 1:15 PM, the boat started to vibrate.  So did the dock, the pilings and the water.  It was an earthquake!  A 5.8 magnitude quake was centered in Mineral, Virginia, only 115 miles away!  Although rural Solomon suffered no signifiant damage, the same couldn't be said in Washington DC.  The White House, Capitol building and Pentagon were partially evacuated and the stresses caused by the quake damaged the National Cathedral, closing it for several weeks.  That tall obelisk, the Washington Monument, suffered major structural damage and is still closed at the time of this writing.  The earthquake was felt as far away as Boston and Toronto!

Damage at the National Cathedral.
AP photo

Evacuating the Capitol.
AP photo


Friday, May 26, 2011
When we left Clearwater, our insurance company gave us a HUGE discount on our boat insurance since Morning Star would be out of Florida during hurricane season.  Yeah, right! 

Looks like Irene is going to visit the Chesapeake!

They certainly predicted the track of Irene correctly!

Cindy spent Friday moving Morning Star to a large covered slip and getting ready for Hurricane Irene.  She did Morning Star proud backing into the slip, a feat that did not go unnoticed by other Krogen owners.  John Holum, from the KK58 Solveig III, emailed  Krogen friends about hurricane preparedness- "Can't speak for Randy except to note that Cindy backed their vessel into a covered slip like a pro yesterday."  I was proud!  Krogen friends Bob and Nancy Anderson (KK39, Puffin) helped get the bimini top folded and Mike and Peggy (KK42, Avalon) helped move the boat into the shed and tie her up.  

Doubled-up the dock lines and hung the fenders.

Added additional lines on both sides of the boat.

Doubled the bow lines and taped the hatches.

Through the years we have owned many different boats and prepped most of them for hurricanes at one time or the other.  It kinda' goes with the territory.  So, as the saying goes, this wasn't Cindy's first rodeo.  Although we rode out Hurricane Ernesto together here in Solomons in 2006, not this time.  So after satisfying herself that she had done all she could, she left for Annapolis and Dr. Jane's and Fuller's house to ride out the storm.


Sandbagging Annapolis 
Sandbags and plywood.
Boats out of the water in preparation for the storm.

Boats "on the hard".


The storm blew through on Saturday and the power went off later that night.  By Sunday it was over.  Cindy drove her rental car back to check on Morning Star and found her patiently waiting to be moved back to the floating dock.  Not even a scratch!  Since the power was out in Annapolis, she decided to stay in Solomons aboard Morning Star Sunday night.  Monday afternoon I flew back to BWI.  Cindy met me at the airport and we hurried back to Solomons for the Survival Party!


After a few days of putting the boat back together we decided to head over to the Eastern Shore for a little cruise.  We had a pleasant day going to Hudson Creek, off the Little Choptank River and then up to the beautiful Wye River before going to the Chester River and Langford Creek.  The weather report chased us over to Annapolis where we sat in the rain for four days, waiting out the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee!


Earthquake.  Hurricane.  Tropical Storm.  Cindy says that if there's a plague of locusts, she's leaving town!








Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mainely Cool

It is blistering hot in the Chesapeake so our annual trip to Maine couldn't have come at a better time.  Although they suffered through the extreme heat with the rest of the nation over the last week, Maine cooled down just in time to welcome the heat-weary crew of Morning Star.  Cool temps, all the lobster, clams, oysters and shrimp you could ever want.  Its good to be us!

We always visit Camden at least once every year.  Its a bit of a tourist town but the harbor is beautiful and full of activity.  My favorite stop is Cappy's Chowder House.  A bowl of their clam chowder is all I need.  Our waitress commented on  Cindy's Manatee neckless and we chatted for a while.  She was from Florida and used to live in Indian Rocks Beach, where her mom was the manager at The Pub, a local waterfront bar and restaruant.  We have been there many times, frequently by boat.  Small world.



Camden Harbor
Dinghy Dock - Camden

Camden Harbor


On the dock at Five Islands Lobster Pound.

Five Islands




On Friday, the 12th, we visited Rockland with Sister Jane and Sam, to attend the Maine Boats, Harbors and Home Show. Its a combination boat show, home show and arts and crafts show all rolled into one fun package.  Next year we are going back on Sunday, the day of the Boatyard Dog competition.


Commuter Yacht "Ragtime"...
 Maine Boats, Harbors and Homes Show - Rockland

...with a Bow Cockpit
Another Morning Star!!  Morris Yachts Daysailer

Its hard not to smile when you come upon a 25-man ukelele band!  The University of Maine-Machias Ukelele Club played for about three hours.  They were all ages shapes and sizes....the ukeleles as well as the people!




video


Walpole Barn is an old converted barn owned by Warren and Deb, friends of Sister Jane and Sam.  It is a delightful shop, filled with an eclectic mixture of wines, oysters, unique housewares and stuff.  Several Saturday afternoons each month, they have a wine tasting.  You don't have to say "wine" and "free" very often to draw a crowd!


Saturday afternoon wine-tasting at Warren & Deb's
Walpole Barn


Cindy & Sister Jane - Walpole Barn


Michael, at Bittersweet Boatyard in South Bristol, came through for us with a rental boat once again.  We headed out for Boothbay Harbor, with the intention of having lunch after watching the start of The Shipyard Cup race, a maxi-yacht sailing regatta.  The smallest boat in the race was 75' and the largest was about 155'.  They are huge, fast and magnificent.  You can check them out at: www.shipyardcup.com



The Shipyard Cup for Maxi Yachts - Boothbay Harbor
photo by Sam Long


Our favorite boat won...the 115' Whisper
photo by Sam Long

They start 'em young in Boothbay!
photo by Sam Long

We received a phone call from Cindy's sister, Sharie.  Three weeks ahead of schedule, our niece, Sarah had a baby girl whom she named Samamtha Anne.  The same afternoon we passed this lobster boat.  Coincidence?  I think not.  This child is bound to be exceptional...She already has a boat named after her!  Welcome aboard Sam!

Named after the newest member of our family?

Why we like Maine!
Port Clyde
Why we had to leave Maine!
Antique scale - Samoset Restaurant - New Harbor
We had a delightful week in Maine.  It was cool and frequently overcast with a bit of Maine rain thrown in for good measure.  But that was OK with us.  It didn't stop us from doing anything and it was certainly a welcome respite from the heat of Maryland.  Thanks once again to Sister Jane and Sam for the use of Sloop Nellie Cottage.  But now we have to get back to Morning Star.  One of us has to go to Clearwater and one of us has to deal with an earthquake and a hurricane!  Stay tuned!