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October  2011

Week One:

We had great weather at the beginning of this week and made stops in Isle of Palms (whilst there we witnessed a waterway move to one of the islands - see below), and Charleston. We took a walk to downtown Charleston to see some of the sites we'd missed on previous stops. It is a charming city of interesting homes and lovely flora. If you decide to stay at the Charleston City Marina you will be pleased by the cleanliness of their showers. They are not the cheapest marina to stay at but perhaps that's why their facilities are good! On the "Megadock" rested Mirabella V, it's reputed to be the largest single masted sailing vessel in the world with a LOA of 247ft and the mast over 250ft tall. Nice looking yacht! Tally Ho was at the other end of the dock. Hmm, I wonder why?

From Charleston we went to the Ashepoo river to anchor in a new spot for us, highly recommended by other cruisers both on Active Captain and Skipper Bob's. Not such a great idea for us though - of course it was getting late and the sun was going down and we just couldn't get the anchor to hold. After several attempts we moved down river to an unknown spot and we grabbed immediately...phew! The weather forecast for the end of the week was not looking good so we pushed on to Bull Creek the next day, and again had a hard time anchoring (are we doing something wrong? or is it that we've spent too much time at home and in marinas lately!) To be fair it was blowing 20k and against a fierce opposing current. Again it was almost sunset before we were firmly in. The wind blew all night and we decided to make a dash for the Isle of Hope marina the following day. Good job too, the winds are gale force and lots of rain is expected in the next few days.

Moving Day on the water.

Mirabella V

 

Charleston High Street.

 

Week Two:

We arrived at the Isle of Hope marina in the nick of time. The skies darkened, the wind blew and the rain came down in sheets.............for 3 solid days! Although the marina has a loaner car it's only for a couple of hours a day so we decided to rent a vehicle and take a road trip down to Brunswick to visit cruising friends, Sue and Paul (m/v Odyssey). They were fabulous hosts and showed us around the marina and drove us over to St. Simons island for a look at the beach and ocean. Thank goodness we are heading back to the Bahamas! They are too.

Have car will travel.......so we drove into Savannah and did the tourist thing taking the tour bus around town. They say that Charleston is charming and Savannah is seductive, well it seduced us alright! It's a beautiful city and the people are laid back and very friendly. The trees covered in Spanish moss are haunting and look magical especially when it's breezy.

We had lots of excitement during our 4 night stay at IOH. One morning at around 4am Andrew was woken up by a noise outside. He peeked out and saw a huge barge trying to negotiate the hairpin turn in the ICW (right where the marina sits). The gale force winds and strong current were blowing him towards the stern of Tally Ho! The barge had already hit some docks and damaged a 40ft sea ray nearby.  Eventually, after many difficult maneuvers the barge got back in the ICW and we were able to go back to sleep. The coast guard was informed of the incident and hopefully not too much damage was done.

As we departed at 9am on Wednesday, the fog seemed to become denser and we turned around at 9:30am to arrive back at the dock. Will we ever leave this place! We like it but.........  Within the hour it had cleared up and we were on our way again.

It was a long day and we arrived at the Crescent River in time for a cocktail on deck before sunset. Sounds lovely doesn't it? Not so good though - Andrew opened the freezer to get the ice for the "oh so deserved cocktails" and whatd'ya know, the darned thing had defrosted, shut down, failed --------expletive! We struggled to get to the compressor under the settee (now we're hot and sticky and our glasses are empty) to find the little red light sending us some kind of morse code! Oh ---- expletive! After much ado we ordered a new part to be shipped immediately to the nearest marina. We had our cocktails and dinner at a most unreasonable hour and fell into bed exhausted.

We're now on our way to pick up the part after spending another rough night at anchor in the Frederica river with nasty storms all around us.

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET!

Isle of Hope Marina during the 3 day storm.

Andrew Sue and Paul (Odyssey) in Brunswick GA

Savannah GA.

A great historic district in Savannah.

Great Cast iron work in the historic district.

We just love the trees.

 

Week Three:

Jekyll Island is a lovely place to visit and especially when you have friends there. Karen (Premium Time) was there to greet us at the dock and help with our lines, and then she gave us the royal tour of the place, followed by a homemade, delicious, low country boil dinner and excellent key lime pie! What a hostess! Whilst walking the beach we came upon oyster shells in bags. Apparently the dredgers do so much damage to the oyster population when they clear the way for us boaters that they are now bagging the shells that are dredged and strategically placing them back in the water to replenish the oyster population.

Our refrigerator part arrived, however in the meantime we had put the original back in and it's now been a week and it's still working...mega confusion! But we're happy to have ice for our drinks, so, WHATEVER!

The next port of call was the Fort George anchorage and we had a pleasant evening there. An early start and we arrived at another favorite anchorage, Fort Matanzas. It's a great place to put the dinghy down and go to the beach and park. We didn't do it this time, getting lazy and enjoying our cocktails too much.

The weather report was not looking good for the next few days so we decided to set sail (motorsail) for the Halifax River Yacht Club and spend a few days there waiting out the storm. As it turned out it was a good decision. We spent 3 nights there protected at the marina.

 

Karen is cookin'

Oyster shell bags

North end of Jekyll

Oceanside N. Jekyll

Beautiful root formations

Out for a long weekend? Or another move.

Sundown at Fort Matanzas

 

Week Four:

Next port of call, Titusville. Our friends, Vince & Linda (Fortnight), had just arrived at Westland marine and we were looking forward to seeing them but the winds were blowing and we decided to anchor just below the bridge. It was cold and too breezy to let the dinghy down so our reunion would have to wait for a few days. Dragon Point was a short days sail and we've anchored there before, so that was our next stop. The following day we would try a new anchorage just five miles North of Vero. On second thoughts......forget it. Strong North winds and very shallow depths made up our minds for us. Onward to Vero!

We have now been at Vero on a mooring ball for one week and it looks like it'll be another week before we can move. It's been very busy. We met up with old friends, Frank (Sea Smoke), John & Diane (Duetto), and Fortnight. We rented a car to visit Orlando and see where our son will get married in March. Also took a trip to Indiantown, Fort Pierce (lovely farmer's market on Saturday) and Stuart to investigate haul out/storage options for next summer. 

The weather continues to be very unstable and we are sick of wind and rain. I won't mention the boat troubles, but of course, we've had enough of those too. Among other things, the refrigerator still seems to be a problem!

Vero Beach water front.

An interesting plant growing on a tree.

The Farmers Market at fort Pierce.