Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sisters Creek, FL

We made it!
Finally in Florida and our first day here is overcast and a bit cold. Nothing like the previous cold weather we have had.
We are enjoying our time at a park across from where we are anchored.

Another Long Journey

The passage was without issues.  The water was extremely calm and almost no wind.  The air was warm and pleasant.  There were two other sail boats behind us so we had some company along the trip.

We came into St. Mary's Inlet at about 5:00 AM Tuesday morning and were exhausted.  After a quick bit of shut eye, the kids were up and ready to go.  We actually did get to visit part of Georgia after all.
Cumberland Island.

This is an amazing getaway that can only be reached by boat.  This island is noted for its wild horses and is a National Seashore.  There is a 17 mile stretch of beach on the Atlantic side and the Cumberland Sound where we anchored on the other side.  As soon as the dingy was in the water the kids were ready to go to the beach.  It is a half mile walk to the other side of the island where the beach is and we had a great time. 

 Our first sighting of the wild horses

 Paul got some pictures up close on the path

After a day at the beach and a previously long night we were all asleep early.

We are having a great time!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Next big trip

We are preparing to go for another all night adventure out in the Atlantic. This way we get to FL and miss the curvy narrow ICW. It was challenging for us to get through SC due to tidal changes of up to 6 feet. We ran a ground again Saturday nearing low tide but were able to navigate through the soft mud.
We will miss going through GA completely but there the tide changes up to 9 feet in some parts.
The Elf has been a regular visitor and the kids enjoy finding him every morning.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

Thanksgiving was a quiet time anchoring just outside of Georgetown. We spent the day cleaning the boat and having a nice Thanksgiving dinner.
Tonight we are just outside of Charleston at an anchorage in Church Creek.
The weather was warm and sunny the past two days and we are all loving it.
The Elf On The Shelf showed up today in our hanging fruit basket of all places.
Christmas is coming and we are far from all of the Black Friday activity. Guess we will have to shop online when we can.
A bird perched on the mast late Thursday night and stayed all night. Maybe it needed a ride South for the winter, if so it picked the right boat. Unfortunately the next morning the boat was covered in foul fishy smelling bird poop.
No more birds will be hitching a ride with us.
The channel is narrow through this area and we ran aground again. Fortunately our boat is awesome and the ground was soft mud so we made it out without having to call sea tow.
We will pay more attention to the warnings on active captain from now on.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Georgetown, SC

We stopped here for the day at their free dock and had sea food for lunch. Then of course we found an ice cream shop. Yum!
We are on our way to anchor out just outside of the city where it will be more quiet and enjoy our thanksgiving day there or near there tomorrow.
The kids are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Elf On The Shelf.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Little River, SC

We made it to South Carolina and we couldn't be happier. The genoa was up and down a few times today depending on the wind. At times the wind would gust and the boat heel over.
Note to self: Legos on a smooth table may slide while the boat is in motion.
Many Lego houses were destroyed today only to be rebuilt.
South Carolina is nice even though they are "unseasonably cold". Warm weather is in the forecast towards the end of the week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wet and Rainy

There is a nice mooring area in Carolina Beach and thank goodness!
It has been windy and rainy all day but seemed to get worse when we were coming into Carolina Beach. Driving the boat up to the mooring ball was a challenge. Then getting our line through was a whole other challenge. After one practice run we got our first line through the second time and then secured a second one just in case. The wind was blowing up to 40 mph with rain in our faces. We had to yell to hear each other but mostly used hand signals to communicate.
We spoke to Randy the harbor master and he said since conditions are so bad we can stay for free. Yea!
Tomorrow we plan to head out to the South Carolina border.
Heading south as quick as we can.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

We are working our way down the ICW and are at mile marker 245. Mile zero started at Norfolk, VA.
Since we started the ICW we have been in a parade of boats traveling south.
It will be interesting to see what the Bahamas will look like. It must be full of boats traveling around.
We are anchored out tonight in a small cove near Camp Lejeune. When we arrived we were the only boat here and now there are 12 more boats anchored with us.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Day in the Life is Staci

7:00 AM. I am awakened to a warm body crawling into bed with me. Oh, it is Nicholas my 4 year old son. Soon my daughter Samantha follows him into our bed and Paul my husband gets up to go return our Red box movie we rented last night for pizza movie night. Usually we would be getting under way by now but we are staying for a while at our dock this morning.
8:00 AM after breakfast we decide to go for a family bike around the neighborhood of Oriental, NC. This makes bringing the bikes totally worth while even though we look like the Beverly Hillbillies as we cruise the coast.
10:00 AM we anchored at Oriental harbor to run errands before our departure to the next destination. We all ride over to the town dingy dock with our boat extras like a spinnaker pole, anchor, and cooler. We no longer need these things so are taking them to the consignment shop. We take our ride over in our dingy which we have nick named Baby Jane crowded all in with our stuff.
10:30 AM we get to our dock and the kids and I go find ice cream of all things and Paul goes to the consignment.
12:00 PM we pull up the anchor without incident or stress with 2 pounds of fresh shrimp from Garlad Fulcher.
1:00 PM I realize that we forgot to eat lunch. After getting over mothers guilt I feed the family and we make it into Beaufort, NC town limits with some stress over the channel and the depth of the Chanel. Will we make it without running aground?
We certainly did. We got diesel fuel which was stressfully because of the wind, the current, and the expensive boats surrounding the dock.
3:05 PM after fuel we are waiting for the bridge to open at 3:30 so we decide to try to anchor but run aground. There is a first time for everything except we didn't have to call sea tow. We were able to push through and create a new channel with the boat.
After we anchored at 4:00 PM we cook our wonderful fresh shrimp. Wow! Fresh shrimp is amazing.
We will go to bed soon after the kids. I am looking forward to reading more of Seabiscuit the book for the kids before bedtime.
Tomorrow we are up early to beat the other boaters to the next anchorage.
More pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


We've made it to Oriental,NC and are in a marina for the next two nights to do laundry,provision, and take nice, warm showers.  This is a nice little town that's way into sailing. There are 3000 sailboats docked here but only 800 residents. Within five minutes of being here a complete stranger came up to us, asked us where we've come from and then offered us a ride to the grocery store.

On Monday the weather was warm and sunny, finally. Staci and Samantha worked on making a cross stitched Christmas stocking while Nicholas relaxed.

Yesterday we left our anchorage in the North River to cross Albermarle Sound in beautiful, calm conditions and as we entered the Alligator river a cold front came in with winds of 25-30 knots. Here is a picture of the front:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our first overnight passage

When we left Cape May Saturday morning the sea was so calm we decided to head straight for Norfolk,VA instead of up the Delaware river and through the C&D canal into the Chesapeake. We are tired of the cold and just want to get south so this saved us about 5 days but involved motoring for 29 hours straight. The trip went well even though the seas got a little rough from midnight until about 3:00 A.M. We were able to put up the sails when we turned west into the mouth of the Chesapeake as the sun rose.

Battleship Wisconsin

Coming through Hampton Roads we saw a lot of Navy warships in port.We continued on to Portsmouth, VA where we are tied up right in the historic downtown with about 8 other cruising boats headed south.. Tomorrow we start the Intracoastal Waterway. Only 715 miles to Florida.

We also visited the children's museum here in Portsmouth. The kids loved it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Under way again

We left Cape May this morning early. The nor-easter finally blew through and we have smooth water for the next couple of days. We plan to take advantage of the smooth water and travel as far as we can.
On our way out of the Cape May inlet we saw a family of dolphins. I tried to get a picture of them but the are slippery little guys that swim fast. Maybe in Florida they will stick around longer and be more photogenic.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Atlantic City to Cape May, NJ

The trip from Manasquan to Atlantic City was cold but we made made it in earlier than expected because we were able to sail and motor.
There is nothing like getting off the boat from days with little to no heat and stepping into a nice hot outdoor jacuzzi on the roof of the Golden Nugget Casino/Hotel. We stayed at the marina next to the hotel and saw some damage on the dock from the hurricane. The damage doesn't seem to stop the casinos from being big and glamorous.
Today was a shorter travel day but still cold and windy. We are staying here for the next few days because of the Nor-Easter moving in. It is supposed to hit tomorrow but it already seems windy and cold. Could it possibly get worse? We will have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Manasquan, NJ

Today was a great day for sailing.  The trip through New York City was smooth as far as the water goes but the air was filled with helicopter fly-bys and the channel was full of shipping traffic and a navy warship.  Maybe they thought we were up to something but then decided to leave us alone.  Seeing New York City from the Hudson River is amazing.

The wind was cold and it was tough to keep warm despite the sunny day.  As we traveled down the coastline of New Jersey we began to see the devastation left from Hurricane Sandy.  The close up look of the damage was while making our way into the Manasquan Inlet.  This is a sad sight to see but rebuilding is already happening.
 This is how Nicholas and Samantha keep themselves busy on the boat.  Taping everything to the table.
 New York City Skyline
 Empire State Building
 The new Freedom Tower
 Statue of Liberty
 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

 George Washington Bridge

 This is right across from where we are anchored now