Saturday, May 26, 2012


5/21/12 After 75 miles on the ICW, we arrived in Charleston Harbor. Most of the day the waters were very calm, but as we entered the harbor, it was rougher water. We headed up the Cooper River to the Charleston Maritime Center Marina which is within blocks of downtown. Our looper friends, Jenny and Jerry Reves invited us over for cocktails and generously loaned us their truck for the week.

  5/22/12 We toured Middleton Place Plantation today....the gardens, the house, the slave quarters and grounds (via a buggy ride). Lunch at the plantation was one price regardless of your selection. For $20.00, we chose from a variety of soups, salads, entrees and desserts.

  5/23/12 We were able to catch the ferry near our marina for the tour of Fort Sumter.

Dinner with Jenny and Jerry was at a new Italian Restaurant...very good.

5/24/12 While Ron took a water taxi across the harbor for a tour of the Yorktown and the Laffey, I got a haircut, did laundry and did some shopping. I finally selected a sweet grass basket after visiting nearly every vendor. Sweet grass baskets come in many shapes and sizes. They were originally made by African American women in this area,and the skill is still taught to young children. Very small baskets sell for about $35.00. The more ornate, large baskets sell for up to $200.00.

5/25/12 Today was the opening of the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Festival. We attended the opening ceremony at city hall with Jenny and Jerry.

Afterwards, we ate at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB).  Since we did not have a reservation, they asked if we would be willing to eat at the community table.  We accepted the offer and sat at the counter facing the open kitchen.   Evening found us at a Piccolo Spoleto Irish group known as The Teetotallers.....they were fantastic.  Members of this group are John Doyle (guitarist), Martin Hayes (fiddle), and Kevin Crawford (flute). For the next two weeks, many music, theater, and dance groups will perform. Spoleto originated in Spoleto, Italy. The USA version came to Charleston 36 years ago. Piccolo Spoleto was a more affordable version of the festival.

  5/26/12 One of the Spoleto events which is most popular is Chamber Music (the St. Lawrence Quartet), and it lived up to its reputation. We sat 2 rows behind the mayor of Charleston. He has been mayor for 30 years and is attributed with bringing the arts to Charleston.  Afterwards, we had lunch at a casual French restaurant, where again there were community counters so that you could interact with other diners. Following lunch, we toured one of the mansions.  We had planned to leave Monday am, but another tropical storm is headed this way. We don't expect a direct hit, but seas will be high. Beryl is expected to make landfall in Jacksonville,FL, but we will have to wait and see.  We attended St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Charleston.  It is a primarily African-American parish which is celebrating its 175 anniversary.  Several parishioners came up and personally welcomed us and all guests were recognized during the service.

5/27/12   Tonight we attended an old fashioned  (Gullah) Camp Meeting presented by the Mt. Zion spiritual singers.  This was a reenactment of an African-American prayer meeting from the late 1800's-early 1900's.  Gullah speech was a little difficult to follow, but very interesting!

5/28/12  Memorial Day---What a difference a day makes....Since the small craft warning was cancelled, we were told we no longer had a slip at this marina.  Someone else had reserved our slip for a week, so we have to leave, even though there is still a small craft advisory.  We had a very rough departure.  We turned out of our slip and navigated to the gas dock for an overdue pumpout, and then headed out into Charleston Sound.  Four footers in the sound hit us on the nose, so the 4 miles were tolerable.  Once we entered the ICW, the waters calmed down and we had only occasional rain.  We pulled in to Leland Oil Co. for fuel and overnight dockage about 2pm.  There was not much here, but it afforded us a safe harbor. 

5/29/12  Tropical storm Beryl is headed back north as it turns out to sea.  Heavy rains of 3 to 6 inches are predicted with sustained winds of 35 to 40 mph.  We've decided on a short day of travel so that we can tie up before the storm hits.  Our destination of Georgetown was reached about noon.  Lunch and dinner at some small cafes downtown preceeded the storm which arrived during the night.  Heavy rain and some wind, but nothing severe occurred. 

5/30/12  Several boats pulled out early during the storm.  We are much more cautious and will spend the day in port visiting Georgetown shops and catching up on necessary paperwork. 

Beaufort, SC

5/18/12 We left at 0800--overcast, slightly foggy. We met our insurance requirements today by crossing the 32nd parallel. We our now officially out of "imminent hurricane territory", although anything is possible. Well, that proved to be true. Within 24 hours, a tropical storm named Alberto appeared. He fizzled out on 5/20. WooHoo! We toured Beaufort on foot, Saturday 5/19. There are beautiful old homes here.

This marina has an unusual loaner car policy. You may have it for 1 hour only, cannot take it across the bridge, and you can't reserve it in advance..that necessitates hanging around the office in order to grab the car. 5/20/12 St. Peter's Church was across the bridge on Lady's Island, so we got a taxi. $7.50 each way, but we also stopped at Publix. The gospel was about stewardship....all that we have is on loan from God....we come into the world and exit the world with nothing. Our job is to be good stewards of our time, talent, and treasures. Due to the tropical storm watch, we stayed an extra night. 5/21/12 Along with 5 sailboats and 3 fast powerboats, we departed for Charleston. The power boats were obnoxious to the Canadian sailboats as they passed. Some unkind words were exchanged.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


We arrived at Isle of Hope Marina on the south side of Savannah in a rainstorm.  After calling downtown Savannah for dockage at the city docks, we were told that no space was available because a cruise ship was coming in.   We quickly called Isle of Hope and got dockspace.
 This marina has very unusual docks. The inside docks are long and hold multiple boats which are parallel parked, but unlike most marinas, the fairway is very narrow, barely the width of a large boat.  According to some liveaboards, the dockhands move the boats in and out as needed, not the boat owners.  These same liveaboards. Pam and Dave from Drift Away, mentioned that they follow "Sweet Pea's" blog, and that a dog named Duke was mentioned.  They wondered if it was our Duke who was mentioned. It was.   
Small world! 

We headed for downtown Savannah on public transportation..  Due to the many stops, it took about 40 minutes, but the bus was airconditioned.  People on the bus were warm, friendly and helpful.  Several busriders said, "Are you visiting?  Welcome to Savannah!"  Public transportation in most cities is a vital resource for people in service jobs and for the poor.  I am awed by the kindness shown to us.  (We were wondering which restaurant to choose for dinner, and Barbara, the person next to us was wondering if she would have enough to eat before her next food stamps arrived. She had lost her food stamp voucher and was told she could not get a replacement this week.)  How fortunate we are compared to so many others.  We went to the visitors' center and got on The Old Savannah Trolley tour which took us throughout the city and through its many squares.  Beautiful, but hot and muggy.

Life imitates art?

 Lunch was at the riverfront at Huey's restaurant, which is famous for its (sp. Bignyets) which is a light batter fried and dredged in powered sugar.  Yummy.  After walking around, we caught the bus back to Isle of Hope Walmart where, due to impending storms, we called the marina for a ride  The staff at this marina was very rides, loaner cars, good dock help.

We sold our Illinois house today...the closing was this morning.  Everything was done for us electronically by the realtor (invaluable for us as we traveled).

Another couple from the marina joined us on the bus ride into Savannah today.  We spent a few hours walking around and having lunch and then caught the bus back.  After dinner on the boat, we did some grocery shopping.

We are staying one more night...when you pay for 3 nights at this marina, the 4th is free.  We caught up on laundry, cleaning, and cooking for an evening potluck under the covered dock.
Duke meets Olivia at the potluck.  (photo courtesy of Drift Away)
Enjoyable evening at Isle of Hope Marina (photo courtesy of Drift Away)
 It was good we stayed on the boat today.  There was a gunman downtown in the area we were yesterday.  He ran into The Olde Pink House and barracaded himself inside.  The area was blocked off and helicopters and swat teams prevented people and traffic from entering the area.  He was apprehended this afternoon.


Established as a retreat in the 19th century for the elite of Savannah, Isle of Hope provided a refuge from the intense heat and outbreaks of malaria prevalent throughout the summer months. Originally owned by Henry Parker, the land was divided into lots in the 1850s and 1860s. These were sold to prominent Savannah families who built palatial homes along the water. A small African American settlement in the district dates from after the Civil War when freed slaves from Wormsloe Plantation settled in the town. In 1871 a railroad was built connecting Savannah with Isle of Hope and by the early 20th century many residents were living in the town year-round. The historic district encompasses a large area extending back from the Skidaway River. Landscaped with old oak trees covered in Spanish moss, the houses range in style from Greek Revival, Victorian, and Neoclassical to Craftsman Bungalows. Many of the residences also have both formal and informal gardens.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Brunswick, GA to Savannah

5/13/12  Brunswick to Sunbury Crab Co.
 Today was a 72 mile day.  Several sounds had to be crossed and it was very windy.  The first was St. Simons Sound.  It was very rough.  Next was Altamaha Sound and then Doboy Sound.  No other boats were around until we entered Sapello Sound.  A boat passed us close aboard on our starboard side giving us  a big wake.  We were already struggling to handle the rough water.  As soon as he passed us, he stopped.  We pulled back on the throttle, but he just sat there so we passed him slowly on his port side.  As soon as we passed, he hit the gas and nearly ran into our stern.  He crossed behind us very close aboard and then slowed down again.  Don't know what was going wouldn't have been a problem in calm water, but it was very rough. The greenhead flies hovered around the outside of the boat during our entire transit, and we were happy to be inside the boat.   Our last sound was St. Catherine's where we headed inland up the Medway River (5 miles) to the Sunbury Crab Co & Marina.  We had to wait out a rain storm before we were able to pull up to the outer dock.  The place was rustic but surprisingly good.  They had great fresh shrimp dinners and live music outdoors afterward.  Sam the Sax Man Hulett from Brunswick was terrific.  The people were very friendly.  Some locals came by and talked to us.  The waitress came out to meet Duke, and the restaurant owner, Elaine, chatted with us and gave us complimentary drinks.  Fun place!

We decided an early departure was a good idea so that we could avoid late afternoon storms.  We had hoped to dock in downtown Savannah, but after calling several marinas, we learned there were no slips available because a cruise ship was coming in.  As we made our last call, we passed the Isle of Hope Marina on the south side of Savannah, so we called them on the radio and they had room for us.  They also have a complimentary car which can be checked out for 2 hours, and bus service to downtown is available.  Severe storms arrived late afternoon , but we were safely docked by then.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Amelia island to Brunswick, GA

5/11/12. Cumberland GA We arrived early and anchored. Tides here are 6 to 7 feet, so anchorages are tricky. Our first attempt landed us aground briefly, but we were able to pull off the shoal. We went ashore with Duke to the National Park grounds and hiked through the beautiful canopied trail to the beach.

 One hundred fifty horses roam wild on the island, and one appeared and grazed on the dune grasses. We were able to get fairly close for some photos.

 After returning to the ranger station and sitting on the porch for a while, we dinghyed back to the boat. At 1845, Ron and Duke headed back to shore for their evening walk. They hiked to the ruins on the south end of the island and met 12 horses, including 2 foals there. It was nearly dark when they returned to the boat. During the night it was fairly windy with light chop hitting the boat, making a slapping sound which caused some sleep deprivation. (we have entered the land of green head flies, so we keep the boat closed with the screens open....these guys bite!)

5/12/12 We pulled out of the anchorage at 0900, heading for Brunswick, GA. Ron was hoping we'd see a submarine, but there were no sitings. We crossed St. Andrew's sound and it was very rough. This inlet is the most exposed to the Atlantic Ocean,other than Norfolk, so the swells really affected the crossing. After the crossing, the seas calmed down to moderate chop and we headed for Brunswick Landing Marina. Sherry, the dock master, gave the best directions we 've ever received for dockage instructions. Sherry looked and sounded like Berta on Two and a Half Men. I walked to a local farmers market and found good produce. We attended St. Francis Xavier Church and then went to dinner at Indigo(good food, reasonable prices). We biked around this historic town and took pix of the old courthouse and a tree, Lover 's Tree, which has grown in this town since before the US Constitution was signed.
5/13/12 Departed and headed toward Savannah. We will have at least one anchorage or marina before we get there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

St. Augustine to Amelia Island

Carol in new condo
5/4/12. We left Dunedin after spending 6 1/2 days at home establishing a new physician,working around the house and spending time with friends. We were able to spend time with our former neighbor, Carol Lindstrom, at her new Clearwater Beach condo and accompanied her to dinner in Dunedin after giving her a tour of our new place.

Our friend, Becky cooked a wonderful meal for 8 of us before Ken and Trinkie headed back to Michigan and Crystal and Bob headed for Sanibel Island and we departed for the next leg of our journey. We arrived in St. Augustine at 1500 after stopping in Plant City for a Strawberry shake. After unpacking, we bought groceries and added two more days to our car rental so we could tour St. A.

5/5/12. We spent the day walking around the historic section of town.

It was VERY hot and there were lots of tourists. Our impression was that it was very commercial. We did tour a Greek shrine and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. Ron bought new shoes to help his aching feet and we had a mid-afternoon snack (tapas) and sangria. Church Saturday evening happened to be a first communion for the children of the parish. We returned to Walmart for some forgotten items where we saw two random acts of kindness. An elderly woman dropped some produce and a young woman scrambled to assist her. A few minutes later, a teen dropped a wadded up $5.00 bill, and another young woman tracked her down and returned it. Nice to see! We had dinner at the marina restaurant, Hurricane Patty's. Guess we left at the right time, since we heard later that there was a bar fight. Our marina, River's Edge was not so good. It lacked garbage cans, had huge mud flats when the tide went out and there were no other amenities other than a shower. A grizzled looking guy, who appeared homeless, sat on the porch all day and all evening. We found out later that he actually owned a small sailboat.

5/6/12. We spent the day preparing for a Monday am departure. Our evening meal was at Columbia Restaurant....very good!

5/7/12. After waiting for high tide (the only time you could get near the gas dock) we fueled up and got a pump out and departed for Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville. It was a very nice marina with a pool and floating docks. We met a couple at the pool from California. Their boat is Island Girl.

5/8/12. Saw Island Girl as they passed us on the route to Amelia Island. They took several pictures of our boat.

We arrived at Fernandina Harbor Marina just after Island Girl pulled in.

5/9/12 Nice marina, and super nice downtown area with quaint shops.

5/10/12. Ron took a long bike ride and I shopped before meeting him for lunch at Cafe Karibo. We took the trolley tour of the historic district. It was a beautiful day before evening storms rolled in.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Pix

yes, it's one house!
private yacht!
private yachts
Now that's a tug
Ron and cousin Jimmy
Gorgeous tree