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April  2008

Week One:

 

This has again been a busy week. We finished repairing the boat from the accident - new stanchions arrived from Hunter and we fitted them. The dodger came down and we sewed a patch into it. The dodger frame was taken ashore and we bent it back using the concrete picnic table and a park bench at the marina. Looks good and the total cost was $287 for the stanchions. (Sometimes it's good to have a production boat!)

We had another boat rafted to us Saturday night through Wednesday, Jo and Judy on "Just B'cause". Capt. Jo knows something about electronics, so Andrew asked him how to read the new digital ohm meter and check out a few things.............alas he managed to find a new problem with our flaky battery charger. A new one was ordered. More $$$ - will it ever end?

We also re-waterproofed the main bimini so when it rains we don't drown in the cockpit.

The new course computer arrived from Raymarine and we fitted this - Well Vanessa fitted it in a very tight space - and now the Autohelm works. The new battery charger arrived Friday night - so Andrew has this project to look forward to over the weekend.

The weather has been interesting - Thunder and lightning - heavy rain (thank goodness we got the waterproofing done!)- Some days have been sunny and 85 Degrees, however it has been very breezy and we have been swinging around on the mooring ball constantly.

Friday (April 4th) was Andrew's 60th birthday. It was also time for a break, so Andrew and Ray went off for a "boy's lunch out", whilst Vanessa and Pat did the girl thing, "SHOP" (and get the groceries for a little birthday party). The children called in and sent lovely gifts and good wishes, and our boating friends made the day very special.

 

 

 

Andrew in sewing mode.

Goodies for the birthday boy.

Let's get the party started!

A toast!

Present time.

Beautiful cake made by Pat.

Make a wish!

 

Week Two:

It's finished (the full enclosure - that is) ..... at least for the time being. Never, never again - Andrew has had enough of sewing. We bit off more than we could chew with this project (nearly cost a marriage, but it did save us $$$)! The repairs are done, for now, and we are on the move again. We spent two weeks in Vero mainly working, but it's not a bad place to be. All the amenities you could wish for and free bus transportation to beach, shops etc. We did manage a few hours of enjoyment during our stay. On Sunday we said farewell to Joe & Sigi, who were heading back to Md.

We had two boats rafted to us during our stay, both Canadian. It's fun to chat with other sailors and hear about their adventures/misadventures! It appears that the Bahamas was not a great place to be this year due to very strong winds and cool temps. Snorkeling was not good apparently, so we don't feel as if we missed out.

Vanessa and Pat managed to find time to go kayaking a couple of times. Whilst Andrew and Ray made sure the beer was cold!!!

As we venture on northwards the autopilot appears to be working. The battery charger is charging correctly and should it happen to rain we will be dry. 

 

It's done!

At last.

The bubble!

Not bad eh!

Farewell dinner for Joe & Sigi.

Pat tooting the horn.

Three old drunken sailors.

Ah bliss.

 

Week Three:

We left Vero Friday morning and made it to Titusville that evening. Approx 75 miles. It was a long day, but easy with the autopilot working again. We anchored outside Titusville marina and this turned out to be a little bumpy...OK...very bumpy. Not that the captain noticed "zzzzzz"  but the admiral was up in the cockpit most of the night (again). With another early start the following morning we made a lot of miles again, also hit bottom when we passed a dredger that was in the middle of the channel (fortunately we got off the sand bar without too much trouble) and later, anchored in the little canal known as the "Cement Plant". A very narrow but well protected anchorage. Sunday morning we arrived at Oyster Creek marina in the San Sebastian river - a stones throw from the old city of St. Augustine. Stayed at this marina on our way south so we knew the layout. We are leaving here next Sunday morning to continue north.

The wind has been relentless and the temperature darn right chilly. It's good to be in a dock, and really good to have our "bubble" ("Sunshine" we pinched your name,) finished. It's toasty with the sun on it.

We continue with the never ending repairs. A new head was fitted in the fore cabin without much ado, thankfully. The air conditioning in the aft cabin no longer makes weird noises. (That was an awkward repair job - won't tell you the noises that came out of the captain and crew!). The Autohelm now has another problem that we cannot do "SETUP" - for the time being we will leave it as is and see what happens. 

Now enjoying a well deserved cocktail before someone cooks!! Wish we had some staff on board. This ain't no cruise ship, that's for sure!

Sailing up the ICW

Captain shows his new friend the way ahead.

Other boaters enjoying the ICW

Lots of activity at the campsite.

The admiral inside the bubble.

 

Week Four:

 

We left St. Augustine early Sunday morning and headed for Cumberland Island - the weather report was good and we had a great day on the Island on Monday. Cumberland Island can become very uncomfortable in a blow and with a not so good forecast for Tuesday night we left early and headed for Fort Frederica where we met up with Ray and Pat on "Reflection".  On the way we had the Captain's new friend sing a song (Click here for video).

We are now well and truly in Georgia (marshes and lots of bugs) and winding our way north. Sometimes we think we are going round in circles in the marshlands! On Friday we arrived at Thunderbolt and have pulled into a marina for a couple of nights. Desperately needed some fuel (Now $4.60 a gallon!!). The marina's Krispy Kreme donuts helped us swallow that blow and now we have to walk off the calories in Savannah (before lunch!). It's a tough life!

View of St. Augustine fort as we left early in the morning.

The admiral sewing for twins.

Move over and give us some room in the channel.

The main road on Cumberland Island.

Vanessa headed for the beach- Cumberland Is.

Wild horses on the beach.

Another wild horse.

The main anchorage at Cumberland Island. Trust me this is a rare sight to have it so smooth.

Woody Woodpecker.

 

Week Five:

 

From Cumberland we went to Fort Frederica on St. Simon's Island. This was where we met up with "Reflection", Pat & Ray. We are now traveling together again. Our next stop was Thunderbolt Marina near Savannah. We spent two nights there and thoroughly enjoyed the Krispy Kreme donuts and newspaper delivered to our boat each morning. We took the bus into Savannah and watched Linda and Ray of "Summertime" queue up outside Paula Dean's restaurant! A very famous and busy lunch spot. We were too hungry to wait!

Our next stopover was Beaufort, SC. We sailed there, yes, that's right...at least the jib was out. Later that afternoon the jib had to come down and off because it was falling apart fast and needed the captain's sewing skills. Out came the machine (marriage breaker) and work began at the anchorage in Factory creek. Having stayed there on our way South we knew it would be protected from the forecasted 25 knot breezes coming our way. Bufort as opposed to Bofort is a pleasant little town to visit, and the four of us had an enjoyable day doing the tourist thing. Now we can cross that one off the list. The winds did kick up on day two and it was a really rough night (for at least one of us!) Vanessa spent the night keeping watch (what's new) in the "bubble". Thank heavens for that enclosure - don't know how we coped without it!

We are now well and truly on our way back to the bay. I think I said this before - but - for all our sailing friends in the Chesapeake - you don't know how lucky you are. We have a totally new appreciation for what our Bay has to offer. I couldn't wait to get out of it 6 months ago and I can't wait to get back now. No big tides, strong currents or bridges to worry about, and the most beautiful secluded anchorages to get into. We never knew we had it so good! (OK....when we eventually do the Bahamas, all that may change, but until then????)

Next stop was the Stono river. We anchored late near the entrance to Elliott Cut after a long 67 mile day. Whilst enjoying a late cocktail aboard Tally Ho, Pat noticed their "power" boat was "sailing" all over the place and we felt ours was too. (Current and wind causing allsorts of trouble). With much haste Pat and Ray departed (leaving their drinks behind) to rescue their ship. We also upped anchor and moved to a less congested area. It was another restless night.

Moving on thru Charleston to Price's Creek we bumped bottom a couple of times. (OK - ran aground!) Fortunately Ray had given us warning of the problem spots so we were super careful and managed to break free. After a relaxing walk along a beautiful beach we moved on to our overnight anchorage at Graham Creek. At the entrance was a rather large alligator. No kayaking for me today!

Catch of the day........ or should we keep it as bait for the big one?

People lining up to get a meal ticket at the famous Paula Dean's restaurant.

Candy shop in downtown Savannah, GA. Andrew loves to see machinery like this working.

Pat and Ray outside an Antibellum House in Beaufort SC.

Scrumping for Japanese plums in Beaufort, SC

Another sand dollar for the collection.

An alligator in Graham Creek