Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve ….. update!

We made it over to Tom & Jean's for a good dinner at a local "crazy" pizza joint.  We believe…..no we know the staff had been nipping in the back room all afternoon…….but  the food was good and we had a lot of laughs.  We thought it was really funny when the waitress showed Jean the pictures of her lovely??!!  pit bull.  She said he (the dog) snuggled better than most men and mentioned he really liked putting his paws around her……and I followed up with.. "as he opened his mouth to wrap the jaws around her neck"!!       Florida girls, they are "out there"!!

After dinner we went through the Wickham Park parade of lights.  OK,  it was pretty cool but a parade is supposed to move.  So why didn't we?  Very slow………  I guess we did move since we are back at Nati but it was funny and we all believe Tom was the only person that accelerated into the non existent passing lane in the park………we just couldn't take it any longer!!

pulling out of the lights on the lake!


Merry Christmas!

We are back from the "Great White North" and no longer have to put on "real shoes" and fleece jackets to go anywhere.  It is a good thing someone likes snow because we have seen all the snow we need to see for a very long time.

During our trip north we were able to see Teagan & Evan.  They both are growing up so fast and it will be soon that they will be driving Nati and we will be able to sit back and just do nothing!  Hah…..can't wait for that day!!

Irish dancing moves
The future engineer in the design stage!

Dinner with his pal, Bradley

Impossible, they are quiet!

We have been able to put together a few Christmas decorations for this year.  The lights have their own solar panel and work on a timer……….

Christmas on Nati

If all goes well we head out of Melbourne tomorrow for our own Christmas Day on the water.  We are 90% provisioned for the Bahamas so it is time to continue our trek south. Then we get ready to cross over to the Magic water…….can't wait.

Merry Christmas to all and lets make 2014 a very good year !!!!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

That is ….Happy Thanksgiving - Melbourne & Intercoastal Pools style!!

Anne and I have heard about what Tom & Jean pull off every year for Thanksgiving but this is the first time that we helped out and yes……it is really something to see…..

working away in the "galley"

This year we ended up frying 18 whole turkeys for many of the employees of Tom's company, Intercoastal Pools.  Jean & Tom have been doing this for years as a little "thank you" for the folks and it started really early this time.

A good turkey is a fried turkey!

This one is ready!

Tom got the oil for the two fryers going about 6am.  We pulled in about 8:30am and he already had the first two turkeys going.  Over the rest of the day we did 18 turkeys!  It was quite a sight as at one time we had ten ready to go on the kitchen counter.  The folks came in waves; stopping for a beer and snack along with chatting with their friends/fellow employees.  It is quite a sight and we think they really appreciate the act of giving by both Jean & Tom.

Before & after

Only a few more to go!

By 3:30pm we had a wrap…….a new record has now been set and we all were ready to sit down and have a "cold one"…..

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I guess it's been a little while……

But…..we are now in Florida and more importantly we are out of the COLD!

We have been moving quickly in an attempt to get out of the nasty weather and make it down to Melbourne in time for Thanksgiving.  The cold fronts kept moving across the country so making it on the outside wasn't in the cards for our time constraints and many of our friends were also forced to keep moving down the ICW just to get south.

Our nights in marinas include:

-St Johns Yacht Harbor during the one big storm and really enjoyed our stay.

-Our other night was at Beach Marine in Jacksonville Beach.   They have a great pub and we got oysters on the half shell for $3.99/dozen!!

We did one night on a mooring in St Augustine since getting to the town docks requires a pass and besides the current there is crazy.

The rest of the nights were spent at anchor and the "Ace of Spades", our 55lb anchor did it's duty.  The one thing we learned is that in most of the anchorages in S Carolina and Georgia have two things in common,  high rates of currents from the tides and nice hard mud/sand.    There were times when we had over 2kts of current turning us 180 degrees every 6 hours!  You better have a good anchor set in those conditions.

 Our anchorages included:

  • Bull Creek, NC
  • S. Santee, SC
  • Whiteside Creek, SC
  • Stono River, SC
  • S Edisto River, SC
  • Beaufort, SC
  • Bull Creek, SC
  • Birthday Creek, GA
  • North River, GA
  • Brickhill River, GA
  • Daytona Beach (memorial bridge anchorage)
  • Tittusville (the RR bridge anchorage)

OK, some pictures….

St Johns Plantation Yacht Harbor

8 foot tides

low tide!

Beaufort, SC waterfront

more of the waterfront

Beautiful homes

low bridge…I mean tree!

 Southern flare

Parts of the trip south were rather interesting……our run through Hell Cut was at low tide and I mean low tide!  If you look closely you can see a slight adjustment to our course as we ended up backing up a few feet, turning to starboard and continuing.  The starboard hull (where the depth meter is) said 4.5' but the starboard hull must have been more like 3.5 feet since that part of Nati did not want to go forward.  We made it though but the two unimarans behind us decided to view the pretty scenery until the tide came up. (they were on the bottom and needed more water to float)

Then there was St Andrews Sound.  Notoriously difficult at times to get around since you have to go out almost to the coast to get around the sandbars and then back in.  Well, we made it this time along with two other boats but most stayed (perhaps smartly) at Jekyll Island for the night.

kind of rough

one of our buddies

And fear not……we are back in the land of the "weird".

for you that need some creativity

and the sheet says "tie up here for free"

 Florida would not be complete with out a good sunset.  This one is Daytona Beach style.

is it a bird or plane?

Right now we are going to hang out in Melbourne for a couple of weeks.  There is family "stuff" to take care of so not much in the realm of sailing.  We will clean Nati up some, take care of provisioning and maybe even see some snow.  UGH.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moving…….slow but south, never the less!

As we mentioned before, Osprey Marina is pretty nice.  They appear to getting better and are even adding another 160' of wall space near where we were docked to accommodate more boats.  They fill the fuel dock at night and pretty much all the slips are usually full.  They are doing something correct as the marina is one of the few that we have seen full.
Our view of the marina at dusk

Nati on the long wall

A full gas dock

Our rod from the dock to clubhouse

Take out from Scatori's…….Paella and Caesar salad!  You can't get this type of dinner from just any marina pub!!

After the marina stop we elected to only go a few miles and check out Bull Creek which is just off the Waccama River.  Another rather deep anchorage and the current is moving good but the anchor grabbed and we went nowhere.


From there we made it down to South Santee River and had another nice night.  We know there is some weather coming so we are trying to maximize the anchoring aspect for as long as we can.

So far we have seen:
 - 6 eagles
 - many oyster catchers
 - 1 harrier
 - dozens of Clydes (blue herons)
 - and a ton of shore birds as we move south through this area.  It is one of our favorite sections!
A South Carolina sunset

Yesterday we decided to move when we had the current with us and motored over to the Stono River, south of Charleston, near St. Johns Yacht Harbor.  We have decided to spend a couple of nights here as the nights are going down into the 30's with gale force winds in the area and having heat in the cabin will feel pretty nice.  On top of that we can keep Nati much dryer and reduce the mildew potential.  We will have to give you a report on the marina after a day or to.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

We are not warm yet but heading in the right direction!

Moving south is the key at this time of year.  Don't stop until you can jump in the water and trust us……we are not close to that yet!

So down Adams Creek and past Beaufort/Moorehead City and into Spooner Creek for a night.  We like the little anchorage.  If we can't be in a vacant and quiet spot for the night at least we might as well be in a pretty nice neighborhood and this is quite a spot.  You don't have much room to drop the hook but the holding is good and it would really have to blow to make any movement noticeable.

Spooner Creek

After Spooner Creek we went down Bogue Sound to Mile Hammock for a night.  Again, this a really nice spot and we had 20 boats come in for the night.  We were hoping "Sea Fever", a 92 footer would invite everyone over for a wine tasting!

Then we went down to Carolina Beach and had a good time with Vinny (sv Flight Plan) and Shay at the Lazy Pirate.  It was good to see them and we also had a friendly reminder about 5 foot tides……Dingh-go is now sporting a new line attachment as we had to cut the old one off after our security cable did not come up with the tide.  We couldn't reach it, the wind was howling so we had to cut the tab securing the cable off the dinghy.  The dock still feels the effect of the cable holding it down and my 1972 US Air Force lock in now permanently attached to the dinghy dock in Carolina Beach.  Lesson learned, we hope!

hmmm, I'd say this isn't right!

Another use for Amsteel!

We had a good sail down the Cape Fear River the next day and decided to stage our next leg by stopping at St James Plantation for the night.  Kismet recommended to stop and it sure is nice.  The little pub was enjoyable for dinner and we got to practice close quarter maneuvering  to get in and out.

St James Plantation Marina

From there we moved down to the New River and a side trip up to Calabash.  We couldn't get in here last year as a trawler was sitting on the sand bar so nobody was getting by.  This time we were the first ones in the anchorage and had a lovely evening.  We even dinghied up to Calabash for the first time.  There was one small dock open and we went up the steep docks and found a small fish market so we had clams and red snapper for dinner.  A "real" treat!
Nice anchorage!

Clyde is eyeing his date for the night

6 foot tides here

Little Scrapper

This was something sometime?!?!

Calabash, NC

Nati in the New River

Now we are are at Osprey Marina for the night.  Normally we wouldn't be at the dock but we topped off the diesel, water and will do a dinner at Scatori's.  Food doesn't get any better anywhere!