Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Friday, May 12, 2017


Our dink tales continue – on number five in less than nine months……  Big Bertha (#4) who we acquired in an emergency is too big to fit comfortably on our upper deck so she is on the market and looking for a new home. We have replaced her with a much down-sized model that better fits our space and needs. Anyone looking for a fun and easy to store dink should get in touch for this great deal.

Leaking replacement

Wandering AB


Hopefully our last new dink!

We are currently in Jacksonville for a few weeks before heading up to Charleston and our Bermuda Adventure.  A few days in Stuart were needed to collect the newest dink and then we headed out for an overnite offshore to St Augustine.  The trip was mostly calm and uneventful with the exception of an hour about 2:30 AM. Steve had just settled down for a nap when the seas churned up into a confused mess – rearranging the galley, breaking glassware, and rocketing Steve off the bed.  This was not in the forecast and there was no big wind outside, but clearly something strange was happening.  We figured the wind shift that we had expected was more dramatic and abrupt than predicted (that is why it is a prediction not a promise!).  Fortunately, things settled back down and we enjoyed much smoother seas for the rest of the journey into the mooring field at St Augustine.  The bridge of Lions even cooperated and we made the opening without having to wait an extra half hour – much appreciated at the end of a 26+ hour run. Never a hardship to spend a couple nights in the St Augustine mooring field – we visited favorite haunts i.e. the Sailors’ Exchange and walked the touristy parts of town. We even managed to make it to the Tuesday Night Cruiser Happy Hour at the White Lion where we met two couples just returning stateside after many years in Europe, the Pacific and the Caribbean. A great opportunity to get first hand suggestions on favorite haunts and tips for long distance travel.

One long 10 ½ hour day brought us to our home base at The Marina at Ortega Landing.  Fellow Krogen owner, Bill, kindly jumped out to catch some lines as we arrived long after the wonder staff here had closed up for the day. So a short week after returning to Florida, we are snug back on B dock in one of the best marinas on the East Coast. 
White nose dolphin

company as we entered St Johns River
 - thankfully a BIG channel

Monday, May 8, 2017

Heading North

Heading North
Postings have been rare this season and so I am now playing catch up.  There are a few more picks and words on the Raggeds before we start back….
First Duncan Town was as friendly and interesting as we had been lead to believe it would be.  Even the trip into the town is interesting.  The route follows a 2 plus mile canal through mangroves – lined much of the way with discarded (harvested) conch shells. 

At the end of the canal the colorful buildings are perched on the rocky (ragged) peak of Ragged Island.

The hospitality exceeded even the glowing reports in our guide book. The first lady we met helped us find all our needs – lunch, grocery and even spare parts.  She never just gave us info, but guided us around and checked back to see if we needed anything else. Everyone we met was equally friendly and helpful.  Our town tour included views of the local salt flats – and we even got a few samples to take home. 

 The highlight, however,  was our trek out to Persus Wilson’s former bar and grill that has a DC3 built into the roof. Even pictures do not do justice to his clever construction.  He personally gave us a tour which was a special treat since he has been recovering for almost a year from a chemical poisoning. He is finally on the road to recovery and he graciously led us around his interesting property and even gave us a lift back into town.

LUNCH stop - THANKS Erika!

Duncan Town is so welcoming to cruisers that they have built a TIKI hut on Hog Island for cruisers which is equipped with lounge chairs, grills, tables and all manner of d├ęcor. On Hog Island we also found many well maintained and well-marked trails.  The trails were cleverly marked with trash (or treasures) from the beaches.  The amazing variety of junk that was used and recycled keep us on the trail and amused during our walks on Hog.

Looking ahead for a good weather window to head north, we started back up the chain with stops again at Flamingo and Water Cays.  The commercial fishermen at both locations were kind enough to supply us with great seafood – either for cash or an exchange of services.  We also met Adele and Herman with their grandson Toby on a unique steel two masted schooner. The wealth of interesting folks is a giant part of our enjoyment in cruising.
Birthday party for Alan

Toby getting a conch cracking lesson

Our return took us across the banks with a quiet night behind Great Exuma Island where again we had excellent cell connectivity – only a 300 email download.
Another day landed us in Blackpoint for a visit with Ida for laundry and a haircut. We then made a stop at Staniel Cay for water and were delighted to hear from Kim and Cathy – who were nearby – all the wind had prevented them from heading north. A mini-reunion was needed to exchange notes and catch up……liberally accompanied by good food and beverages.
entertainment in the Staniel Cay anchorage

Our serious northerly trek began with a few days at Hawksbill Cay – a stop in the Exuma Land and Sea park – our first visit there.  We enjoyed a few hikes and Steve found some nice spots to snorkel as well. This island was occupied for many years and has the ruins to prove it. The beehive oven with the neighboring conch pile reveals their clever use of local materials in home construction. Thankfully the paths were clear which again made us marvel at the hardy souls who inhabited these lands in the post-Revolutionary War era. However, the beaches and the water were spectacular.

 Our route back stateside was almost a reverse of our trip over.  We hopped to West Bay – an anchorage on the west end of New Providence Island and waited for some calm winds before heading across.  We had hoped to spend a night on the bank but opted to just anchor for break of four hours before continuing on into the St Lucie Inlet and a mooring at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart, FL. The break gave the severe thunderstorms a chance to dissipate and the waters to calm – which seemed to happen as we enjoyed excellent favorable winds to cross the Gulf Stream.  Crossing when winds are opposed to the current or of any strength makes for a rough trip - that means NO fishing. Needless to say, Steve likes to make sure we cross in calm weather to keep the freezer stocked.
This old guy gave him a fight

Even part of a moon helps light the night

Checking in was facilitated by our Local Boater Cards and only required a phone call to legally clear us through. Time to catch up with no more excuses……
the condition of our flag suggests the winds we have endured