Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hanging in Stuart

Well we really are hanging in Stuart, hanging on a ball that is! We have been here for about 2 weeks and lucky to have a ball, there are several dozen boats across the river anchored waiting to get a ball! Bunch of boats like us waiting here till after the holidays before they head further south. We like this marina and the town very much.
Anita is already in tx with our daughter and I will be flying out tomorrow. We will get back Monday the 17th and i will begin the project to swap our 2 135 watt solar panels for two new 245 watt panels! We just don't have enough solar to keep up and running the genny for 6 hrs a day is just to much. I was able to sell the old panels and charge controller online at Craig's list! Might even pick up a wind charger. Below are some shots of life in Stuart!

Boardwalk at the marina complex

Sunset from the rocking chairs on the marina boardwalk

Shot of downtown historic stuart

Rocking chairs on boardwalk just out front of the marina office

My favorite girl on a walk in historic stuart

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fernandina to Vero Beach

Bridges,Bridges, Bridges, on the ICW it's all about bridges. Our trip from Fernandina south to St Augustine was routine. We picked up a ball and spent a couple days there. Got up early to head south to Daytona Beach in the company of

Mandalay a Benateau 50 crewed by John and Debra Barrows. There is a fixed bridge about 3 miles south of the mooring field in St Augustine and when we arrived at it the board that shows clearance showed 62 feet! We need 63.5 so we had to turn around and head back to the mooring field where we waited a couple more hrs so the tide could fall enough for us to get thru! We returned about 2 hrs later to see it now show 63 and a little. We decided to ease up to the bridge and see how it looked. It appeared that we could make it ( bridges usually have a bit more height than they show on the boards) so we creeped up to it and eventually passed it! So do our traveling companions. So on we went to Daytona! We got to Daytona before dark and anchored in a spot off the ICW that Mandalay had used prior.

Pic of our travel friends passing under the bridge

Got up early and hauled anchor at Daytona and continued south. Next stop Titusville! Had a cool trip with no issues, picked up the ball with no problem and got a good nights sleep!

Up early again to find fog was to thick to travel so we delayed till 9 am and continued south! We stopped in coco beach for lunch! Dropped the hook off of the ICW near the old downtown area. Mandalay put the dink down and we rode to town with them! Had a great pizza lunch and Returned to the boat and continued south again!

We made it to an anchorage we used on our way up north, it's called dragon point. We tucked in and spent a quite night even though the wind blew all night!

Next morning we headed south once more!
The wind picked up and eventually hit 20 knts directly out of the north which also was pushing water into the bay raising water levels. This became a real problem when we reached the wabbasso fixed bridge. The board showed 62 feet! We understood it was off by a foot but we just did not want to chance it! So we anchored just north of the bridge(along with 3 other sailboats unable to make it under 63 ft) the next low tide was 5 hrs away, but the strong both winds didn't ever allow the water to drop enough. So we spent the night and hoped the low tide scheduled for 7am would allow us to pass! We got up at daybreak to light winds and a 63 ft showing on the board that is really 64, so we hauled anchor and scurried thru and continued to Vero Beach!

Photo of sandpiper with crew up the mast checking the height of wabbasso bridge
the infamous wabbasso bridge

We arrived at Vero Beach at 9am and fueled up and grabbed a mooring ball and settled in for a weeks stay, the have a nice thanksgiving party here so we will spend our second thanksgiving on water!

More soon!

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Location:River Dr,Vero Beach,United States

Sunday, November 11, 2012

On the road again

After a week in Fernandina we are back on the ICW . Fernandina was a great place to park the boat while I flew back to Houston for my check ups. Everything went well and after a Thursday thu Sat morning stay in Houston I arrived back Sat afternoon. Anita and I took advantage of the rental car we picked up, to go shopping. After two trips to Costco in Jacksonville, Walmart, and several others we made it back to the marina and loaded up the boat. We got off Sunday at 8 am and had a pleasant run south. We did encounter some of the most extreme current so far on the trip. At times we had a 3 knot current at our back and at others we had 4 knots on our nose! Transiting bridges with the current just blasting thru is a experience! Saw one boat actually was driven into the side rails at the bridge of lions in St.Augustine.

We did have a causality, the current here in the St Augustine mooring fid claimed our boat hook!
Anita was attempting to snag the line on the ball when the current started moving us away from the ball and she could not hold it so it went to davey jones locker. We will be getting another before we leave so we can continue to use mooring fields.

We will be leaving after a day or two here, headed for Daytona beach!
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Charleston to Fernandina

Well after almost two weeks here in Charleston weather finally allowed us to continue south. Sat morning we left the marina at slack tide around 1030 am. We had a very uneventful 22 hr offshore motor sail. We arrived at Fernandina beach marina. This is a great marina actually on Amelia Island! We will be here about a week. I will be flying back to Houston for my yearly check up. More later. Below are a few pics

Ft Sumtner as we left Charleston Harbour on Sat.

Ft that guards the entrance to Fernandina

-Huge live oak in neighborhood at Fernadina

Our dock on the inside at the marina

Resturant at the Marina

More of the Marina

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Return to Charleston

We left Beaufort NC Saturday morning at 8am, forecast was for benign weather. What we got was wind on our nose at 15 knots for 12 hrs, then a beam reach in 3-5 foot seas for 6 hrs, followed by wind from astern starting at 15 building to a steady 25 with guest to 35 and 8-12 foot seas! Wow! We managed and arrived in charleston channel at 530pm and then waited til 830pm to enter the marina at slack current! Went right to bed! Got up Monday morn to a gorgeous day! Spent the morning getting a mountain of salt off the boat, then Anita and I went down town to have lunch. Some pics below

Sunset offshore on way to Charleston

Discovery and Jubilee at the face dock at Charelston Harbour after the demanding passage!

Discovery with Ashley river bridge in background

Charleston Harbour from bridge

Anita at our fav eating spot in Charleston, pogans porch

-Anita in the post office downtown charleston.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back to River Dunes

Well we had two great passage days south on the ICW! The best part is that we cleared all the bridges plus the infamous 64 foot Wilkerson bridge! Weather was great temps in the mid 70s sunshine and gentle breeze. We stopped sun nite and anchored out just before the albemale sound , then monitored down to Belhaven and anchored out in the Harbour. We got up early and motor sailed to river dunes one of our favorite stops. Just about a hour out we were having a friendly race (yes sailing for a change) when the mainsail came sliding down the mast flaking itself nicely on the deck! We got it under control and then continued on to river dunes. We called a sailmaker (inner banks sails) and they met us at the dock and took the sail back to the loft and to our surprise returned it within 3 hrs! We then had a wonderful dinner of grilled salmon on our friends tommy and Kay Lyons boat and slept well that night. Tomorrow we will use the loaner car to explore oriental! Oh and did I mention it's a buck a foot and we have a two for one coupon so it's 50 cents a foot!!!!!!!!

-River dunes pool

Shot of docks from clubhouse

Cool outside seating area at clubhouse

Fireplace at clubhouse at river dunes

Billiards anyone!

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Leaving norfolk

Well we left Annapolis tues morning at 530 am and made a 80 mile run to Deltaville. Spent 3 days there and then sailed to Norfolk. Spent the night at tidewater marina due to high winds that night. We got a early start sat morning and managed to make it thru the bridges and locks that make Norfolk a tough chore. We anchored out sat night and got a early start Sun morning. Made good time and reached Belhaven Sun night and we anchored out in the Harbour. Plans are to reach river dunes Monday!

Big navy ship in Norfolk naval base

Aircraft carrier

One of the big major bridges on the way out of Norfolk. That's our travel companion Jubilee out in front

This is a shot from inside the lock south of Norfolk

-More great bridge shots

Great bridge, Norfolk VA

Thimble shoals light on approach to Norfolk from Chessapeake

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Annapolis wrap up

Well our two weeks here in Americas sailing capital has come to an end. The boat show was great, today was the final day, mother nature is telling us it's time for us to go also. Cold and rainy yesterday and today, improving tomorrow. Our plan is to shove off at 5 am tomorrow. We will be buddy boating with our friends on Jubilee, a gorgeous Passport 47 crewed by Tommy and Kay Lyons! Heading for Deltaville for a overbite and then to Norfolk and points south. Below are some more pics of our stay in Annapolis

-Man they have big crabs here in Maryland!

My favorite boat show girl!

View from our mooring looking over to the boat show! Can you say primo spot!

More shots from the show

Cool boats

There's that girl again!

Our last day ashore, went to Ruth and chicks for lunch one more time, that's the famous 6 pound milk shake(17 bucks) if you drink it in 30 min you get a t shirt and a tummy ache I bet!

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Friday, September 28, 2012

More pics from Annapolis

Discovery on her mooring in Annapolis Harbour.

Middeltons is a famous tavern in historic district of Annapolis.

Super fast transpac 52 on the hard in boatyard in back creek.

Pic looking down spa creek from the spa creek bascule bridge in Annapolis.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Awoke to another spectacular day here. Clear skies and a high of 75. Got dressed and took the dink to downtown. We headed to a deli we heard was a must stop chick and Ruth's. This place was featured on man vs food. It's a small crowded place that reaks of atmosphere. It has a huge menu but the feature is the crab items. Anita had a crab eggs benedict, and I had a crab and cheese omelet and wow we're they good! Pic below

Next stop was the Naval Academy, just a couple blocks from the center of the historic area of Annapolis. We went to the visitors center showed our ID and signed up for a walking tour. First we saw a 15 min movie on the academy and then formed up for our tour. Our Guide was great and we were able to see just about everything on the grounds. It's very impressive to see the nearly 200 year old campus and the 4400 midshipmen. Our tour started at 1130 and because of our timing we got to witness the entire student body forming up on the central yard for the pre lunch assembly. The formed up in battalions and the marched into the main hall for lunch accompanied by the marching band and color guard. It was very inspiring. We went into the building ( that is the worlds largest dorm, housing 4400 midshipmen) itself and saw the memorial Hall where all the names of navy graduates who have been lost in wars. Also has battle flags from our past wars etc. The tour took about 2 hrs and ended in the main chapel ( seems more like a cathedral. It's beautiful and has a crypt below that holds the body of John Paul Jones. It's very cool also. I took a bunch of photos. Tomorrow we plan to go to the museum.

Navy mascot is the goat, this is at the entrance to the Academy!

This is the pre lunch assembly!


Another photo of the noon assembly in front of Bancroft Hall!

Memorial hall in Bancroft hall, this is the famous don't give up the ship comment that was made into a battle flag

Photo of interior of Bancroft hall

Chapel at the Naval Academy, under this building is the burial site of John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones crypt under Chapel

That's a boat suspended from the ceiling in the Chapel

Photo from the Naval Academy visitor center, our boat is over my right shoulder, Arkansas flag flying!

Examples of shots of downtown!

Near the dingy dock.

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