Thursday, April 27, 2017

Georgetown to Little River SC

This leg of the Great Loop follows the Waccamaw River, easily the prettiest area between Florida & the Hudson River.  We had a prefect day, cooler temps, a nice breeze, and a little assist from the river current.

Northbound snowbirds were out in force today.  We passed at least 8 sailboats cruising at a slightly slower speed than we were.

Tonight we had dinner with niece Christine & her friend Bryn at the Officers Club at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club.  It's in Little River, not sure why it's called MBYC.  We happened to show up on Trivia Night, Club members were having a really good time.  MBYC dock rate is only $1.00/ft, with free in slip pump out.

We have been asked by some loopers to deliver a hose. Apparently, the hose owners left it on the dock on Jekyll Island and local liveaboards said, "finders keepers".  However, loopers (Lucky Ducks) took it and planned to get it to the original owners. It may take a few of us passing it along to reach its owners (Gypsy's Palace). Here is a picture of the presentation of the hose. (The adventures of "wallhose").

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4/26 Isle of Palms to Georgetown, SC

Because it was a shorter route, we decided to sleep in 'til 0700.  Ron is still sick, but manages to keep going.  We had been underway for a couple of hours with literally no boat traffic, when we saw a cloud of smoke in the distance.  It resembled a mushroom cloud.  As we got closer we could see fires burning in the marshes.  We radioed the coast guard to see if it was affecting traffic on the ICW, but they were unaware of the fire.  We decided to proceed with caution.  At times the edge of the ICW was on fire up to waters edge. We closed all of the windows and doors when we encountered smoke reaching across the waterway.  That only lasted for about 1/2 mile.


We saw an unusual swing bridge ferry today.  It is a barge that swings from shore to shore.

We arrived at 1500 and Ron went right to bed, getting up for a bite to eat, and then back to sleep.  I know he is sick because he wants to see a doctor in Myrtle Beach tomorrow.  He is out of cold tablets, so I walked a couple of blocks to town to get some more. I saw some teenage boys and they said it was 2 miles to CVS.  I walked another block and asked a gentleman walking toward me for directions. He offered to drive me there. After thinking it over for a minute, I accepted his offer. He took me to the Rite Aid and then took me back to town.  A big thank you to a very kind stranger, Dennis Baker!, May God bless you and your family!

A footnote:  Two days ago Ron and Duke were walking the docks at Lady's Island (Beaufort), when a Labradoodle came down the gang plank from a large Canadian boat, Odyssey 50.  She was carrying a toy which she dropped in front of Duke. She the went up back to  the boat, got bag of treats and brought those to Duke, too.  We knew Canadians were friendly, but this was extraordinary!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

4/25 Beaufort, SC to Isle of Palms, SC

Despite Ron's respiratory infection, we were up at 0600 and departed at 0657.  The weather had improved since yesterday, but it was windy.  All day long, we encountered many boats heading north, probably because, like us, they had waited out the weather.

Our daughter Grace sent us a text with a picture of baby Collins, due in October.

As the day progressed, the winds calmed down.  Going through Charleston Harbor we had the best conditions we've ever had there.  This sailing vessel was in the Charleston Marina.
Once we were docked at Isle of Palms, Ron crashed and I  took Duke for a walk.  We found this sign in one of the neighborhoods....amazing because I play in a dulcimer group with the same name.

Monday, April 24, 2017

4/19-4/24 Brunswick, GA to Beaufort,SC

4/19  A big thank you to Randy and Janet Wallace  from Chattanooga (parked next to us in Brunswick).  Upon Ron's late return from Michigan, they loaned us their car so that we could return the rental truck and pick up some groceries.

4/20  Our departure at 0800 seemed to go well for a few minutes until we realized that our new chart plotter was not working.  Fortunately, we have a computer and a tablet as backups.  The weather is nearly perfect.
Sunbury Crab Company

We made it safely to Sunbury Crab Company before 5 pm. This is a must see place 8.5 miles up a river with no marked channel.  We were here in 2012.

 The marina is run by a family that also runs the restaurant.  We had dinner with a looper couple from Missouri (Jim and Mandy Conley) and the owner of the restaurant gave us preferred seating.

The problem with the chart plotter is resolved..just a loose connection.

4/21  Sunrise in Sunbury just before heading out for an 80+ mile day.

We wanted to get to Hell's Gate (shallow cut) before low tide.  We got there an hour before low tide and the water there was 8 feet deep.  Our draft is 4 feet.  We arrived just after 5 pm in Beaufort, SC.  Instead of going to the Beaufort Marina, we chose Lady's Island Marina across the river.
Lady's Island Marina

Low tide (tides are 8 feet here)

Pumpouts boat.

ST. Peter Church

This turned out to be great.  It has mostly live-a-boards, some of whom have been here for years.  The marina has free laundry (washers free/ dryers $2.00).  They also have a loaner car which you can take any limit on time.  On Mondays, the pump out boat comes by and does free pumpouts.  About 2 miles from here, a marina was destroyed in Hurricane Matthew.  They lost all of their docks and 29 boats were destroyed. Here, they had only minor damage (the boat owners put their boats at anchor during the storm).

4/22-4/24  We caught up on some phone calls, shopping and chores.  On Sunday we attended St. Peter Catholic Church and then went across the river for brunch.  On the walls were posters of movies that have been filmed locally.

4/24  We waited for storms today that never materialized.  However, it is good that we stayed put because Charleston had heavy rain and flooding.  That is our destination tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4/18 and 4/19 Unexpected trip to Michigan

Ron left Duke and me here at Brunswick Landing Marina and headed for Alabama to pick up Katrinka and Brenda following their accident in our truck.  He left about 6:30 pm and arrived 6.5 hours later.  It was too late to get a motel room so he slept in the car.  This morning (4/18), they went to the Ford dealership, loaded up everything and took off for Lansing, Michigan.  It was so amazing that neither Trinkie mor Brenda were hurt.  The truck's auxillary tank was full of 100 gallons of diesel expensive loss.
They made a brief stop at Josh and Jessica's in Nashville and visited with Leah for about 30 minutes. They arrived at 9:30 pm at Trinkie's.
4/19  After a few hours sleep, Ron was on the road again at 0430..  He should
arrive here about 8pm.

What else can happen?  We are hoping this string of bad luck has ended.

Monday, April 17, 2017

4/17 Amelia Island, FL to Brunswick, GA

We left on a low tide (6 foot tides here).  This marina has a history of shallow entry and slips.  Last time we were here in 2015, our boat sat in the silt during low tide.  There was no problem this time because they have dredged!
The winds were calm and the water was flat; even the sound was tame!

As we headed under the bridge to Brunswick, a strange looking ship was headed out.

Just as we were docking, we got a call from our friend Katrinka, who, with a friend, was driving our truck to Michigan. They were heading home and were going to leave our truck there so we would have it in August.  They had an accident in Alabama due to a tire which blew out. The truck hit a guard rail and went into a ditch.  They were uninjured but the truck was totalled.

So, for the second time on this trip, Ron rented a car.  He is driving to pick them up and drive them to Michigan.  Duke and I are in one of our favorite marinas, Brunswick Landing.  (Free laundry facilities, nice Yacht club)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

St. Augustine /Amelia Island 4/14----4/16

4/14  Ron made a 9 hour round trip to Dunedin yesterday to pick up our spare prop.  Today the diver came and switched out the damaged prop.  It had more damage than we suspected and we are so glad we were close enough to home to make the repairs.

For dinner we walked about a half mile across the Bridge of Lions for seafood.

4/15 In the afternoon, we had lunch at a Polish/Greek restaurant and then shopped on George Street.

  We attended Easter Vigil which started at 8:30 pm at the cathedral and ended at 11 pm.  The church was decorated with beautiful flowers everywhere.

4/16  After a wonderful week in St. Augustine, we are back on the water again.  Near Jacksonville, we saw mansions on both land and water.

 Our destination is Amelia Island Marina.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

4/4 to 4/13 Clewiston to St. Augustine

We have had poor WIFI for the past ten days at marinas so I have been unable to post.  This will be a summary of events.
4/4  We left Clewiston at 0725.  Made it across Lake Okeechobee in 3 hours. Winds 17, light chop to 1 footers. Sunny.  Mike from Big O Marine Towing said to call him when we were 15 minutes from the Port Mayaka Lock (north side of the lake).  He called his friend the lock master and the lock was open when wearrived.  The water on the lake is low, so we got right through with no drop.  See picture of boat behind us.

Home, home on the range/swamp.

We are on the AICW headed north.  Winds 26 but a following sea.
, so it doesn't seem rough. Heading for Ft. Pierce tonight.
Arrived Ft. PIERCE:  Well, I did not take "lasso" in college..although I wish I had.  We came into our slip with winds of 28 and rain.Ron backed into the slip as I attempted the lasso. Missed several times and lost my LLBean watch on the last try.  It now belongs to King Neptune!

0830 we left Ft. Pierce. Arrived at Telemark Beach/Indian Harbor Beach at 1515.

4/6 Very windy today with a small craft advisory, so we are staying put. We are right in front of the office and just across the parking lot from the laundry.

 An Olympic training facility for rowing is next door to the marina so we are able to watch their practice sessions several times a day.

4/7 0700 and we are off.  Captain Ron and 1st mate Duke at the helm.

Duke at his best.

As we approached an eastern turn in the ICW, 6 miles after Titusville, we were concerned about a beam sea since winds were gusting to 38, but there was no problem since some barrier islands protected us.

There were lots of boats damaged by Hurricane Matthew last fall.

Two pink flamingos flew right in front of us and a ray jumped in front of the boat.  Where was my camera??

4/9  Arrived yesterday in St. Augustine.  Today we attended Palm Sunday services at the cathedral. The "first family of St. Augustine" participated.  After the service, the Bishop  and entourage walked to the marina for the blessing of the fleet.  Tonight we took a tour of the city on a trolley chartered by MTOA.

4/10 Shopped with Ann today.  What fun!

4/11  The MTOA Rendezvous officially opened yesterday. There are lots of seminars and activities.  Evening party theme was to dress in clothing from your favorite decade.

Raffles are done at the end of each workshop and event. We won 5 times.  (set of wine glasses, turtle candle, turtle light pull, ninja turtle-which I gave to a little boy on the dock, a lighthouse night light and 2 free nights'stay at two different marinas).
Each evening ended with a dinner.  The band was fabulous tonight.
They had centerpieces on the table containing balloons and a pump.  Look what we made.

4/12  One of my favorite events was Chef Bill's cooking demonstration.   Our lunch was a sampling of all of the foods he cooked.  One dish had shrimp, heavy cream, Lawrys Seasoning, sugar and bananas.  Very good!

 The culmination of the MTOA Rendezvous was the awards dinner.  Turtle pins are given out for various volunteer activities. Since we did a presentation on the Great Loop with Ken and Ann, we earned ruby turtle pins.

4/13 most of the MTOA people left today.  We are staying because of some mechanical issues.  We had someone here 2 days ago to work on our generator--we have a temporary fix.  We also had a diver change our zincs and he found prop damage.  Ron is renting a car and driving back to Dunedin (4 hours each way) to pick up our spare prop.  A diver will switch them out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cape Coral to Clewiston 4/3/17

At 0800 we left the wonderful tie-up on Kitty Nicolai's dock in Cape Coral.  She lives on a 200 foot wide canal making it easy for large boats to dock there even though her place is at the end of the canal.  The route to Lake Okeechobee is lined with beautiful houses.

  We made it to the last lock at Moorhaven before it closed at 1700.  Duke had been restless for several hours and really needed to pee.  After Moorhaven it was only 1 more hour to Clewiston where they were holding the last slip for us......and then it happened.  We ran aground in a construction area.  Ron thought the orange balls were marking the preferred channel when, in reality, it was marking a shoal on the east side of the canal. A sailboat behind us tried to pull us off, but we were way to heavy for them.   After several calls to Tow boat US, we finally found a local guy to help us.  The nearest actual Towboat US boat was in Ft. Myers, several hours away.  The local guy was 45 minutes away and arrived in 40 minutes.  We were considering taking Duke to shore until we spotted the alligator in the water...and he probably had relatives, so Duke stayed on board.
Once we were pulled off the shoal, we were operational with no damage.  We arrived at 1915, pulled in to the slip, walked Duke and went to the restaurant. Very tired!!!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sarasota yesterday/Cape Coral today

Yesterday, life-long friend Susy Warren picked me up at Venice and we drove to Ellen Frank's place in Sarasota.  Our goal was to plan our 72nd birthday party for May, 2018.  We had a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant and spent the night at Ellen's.

Today, Suzy drove me back early so that Ron and I could depart at 0800 for Cape Coral.  All in all, a very nice day on the water.  We are docked behind Kitty Nicolai's home.  She is fantastic!  Laundry, swimming, appetizers and dessert were provided!