We send our best wishes for wonderful holiday season and a safe and healthy new year.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
We send our best wishes for wonderful holiday season and a safe and healthy new year.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Snug for the Winter
From Morehead City, we caught a favorable current and cruised on into Charleston 34 hours later. After a few days revisiting favorite haunts in Charleston – Tim the butcher, the Saturday Market and a Blues Piano brunch at the Mills House Inn, we headed on out off shore to the St John’s River.
As we left the protection of the harbor, another boat hailed us offering to stay in touch over night as we both were traveling on the same route. Since we never saw another boat on our trip from Morehead City into Charleston, it was nice to share the journey with a friendly boat. Even when the trip is uneventful and calm, it is an added comfort to have a comrade's light bobbing along the horizon. We waved good by as our overnite buddies turned south on the ICW.
Dolphins also kept us company!
We timed our arrival to catch the incoming tide. This plan would have been perfect but for the unscheduled maintenance closure for the railroad bridge in downtown Jacksonville. Originally we should have had an opening from 11 to 12:30 but the Coast Guard announced in the wee hours that the bridge would close at 8AM and not reopen until 3PM. By that time, we were already flying with the tide on track for that 11AM opening. Fortunately, there was a tiny space to wait on the free docks – most of the docks were closed due to damage caused by Matthew. So, we tied up next to the Jaguar Owner’s yacht and waited for the afternoon opening.
This did give us a chance for a nap after our overnight. 3 PM was kind of optimistic but eventually the bridge opened and we made our way into The Marina at Ortega Landing – our home for the next several months. Should Jacksonville be on your travel plans – give us a shout. Visitors are a welcome break from our “endless” boat chores and the “sociable life” on the docks.
Frank keeps guard on the stern and is making friends with all the dock walkers.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Back a few weeks we were trying to guess which way to hide from Hurricane Matthew and gauge how he would impact our plans to join the Kadey Krogen Rendezvous in Solomons, MD. The storm fortunately decided to head out to sea before reaching the Chesapeake Bay, but not before churning up most of the ICW from Florida to Virginia.
The Rendezvous was spared and offered days and days of cruiser fun – an extended event since due to Matthew none of us could leave. The photos show our interwoven docking system which kept all on the dock until it was safe for anyone to cast off lines. We did enjoy the many joint meals, meetings and sharing sessions. A big shout out to our leaders on Alizann and Dock Master extraordinaire Randy, who pulled off the event in spite of Matthew.
Leaving the pack of fellow cruisers was a gradual process because most of us were heading south along the same routes. We did not hurry since most of the waterways were flooded. It provided a good excuse to stop in several places that we have not managed to visit on previous trips. Our first stop was in Edenton NC – where the town generously provides two days of free dockage. With the high water, we had no trouble floating into their docks and enjoying this historic town. It was a nice treat to spend our time there with The Good Life.
|In addition to walking the town, we took the trolley tour|
Our next stop was Manteo on Roanoke Island where we followed The Good Life and met Alizann. This island is the site of the Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony. We heard the story of this mystery from the ranger at site of Fort Raleigh. The fate of the colonist is still unclear although recent discoveries and new DNA methods may eventually shed light on what happened to them more than 400 years ago.
From Manteo we rented a car to visit the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills – the National Park honoring man’s first machine powered airplane flights. We wandered the grounds and marveled at the old photos showing the once remote windy location that contributed to this milestone in aviation history. Today the scene has been stabilized with trees and grass as well as embellished with monuments to show the distances covered in those first flights. On one of the famous Kill Devil Hills is a monument to the events that took place in early 1900s. Sadly, the museum is about to be closed for extensive renovations so the Wright glider and plane had been temporarily removed. Just another excuse to revisit this park in the future!
On Roanoke Island we also found time to stop at the North Carolina Aquarium and were lucky to be there for the shark feeding session. The audience was almost as entertaining as the sharks.
From Manteo we crossed the Pamlico Sound on a perfect day to spend the weekend on Ocracoke Island. The National Park docks offer special rates to holders of the Senior Gold Pass and the secure mooring was welcome for the weather that blew across the outer banks. Enjoying these remote islands in the less crowded shoulder season is one of the benefits of slowly working our way south. In the next week we hope to be heading to our winter dock in Jacksonville…..
|Leaving Manteo on a PERFECT MORNING|
|Coast Guard repairing aids to navigation|
Friday, October 7, 2016
Rhode Island to Connecticut and points South
Time slips away with good friends on board. After finally leaving New Bedford we made a stop at Bristol, RI to visit the town and the Herreshoff Museum. They also house the America’s Cup Hall of Fame which seemed appropriate as we are contemplating a trip to Bermuda next spring to watch the races. Any interested in crewing should give us a shout!
On our way around to Mystic CT, we spent a couple nights with fellow Krogren owners Mark and Mary on The Good Life. These are special friends who were among the first Krogenites to orient us on our first months aboard. Every time I open Active Captain in Blue Charts I thank Mary for her sage tips and advice. It was good to see them face to face and not just stalk them on our Krogen app.
In Mystic we met up with Aramco buddies, Arch and Susan. Days were spent chatting about their most recent three- month cruise in the Pacific and generally catching up on a couple years of adventures. We appreciated their flexibility in planning and the effort they made to drive from Pennsylvania to see us. While in Mystic we also made a flying run back to Newport to check out dinghy options at the boat show. Our trusty work horse has a persistent leak and needs to find a retirement home.
With the dink needs in mind we stopped on the Niantic River which was conveniently near the Defender store and our cruising friends Dan and Jodi. They graciously let us use their dock in the secure anchorage at the head of the river and helped us take delivery on the new dink. As a bonus we got a tour of their new boat as well as their gorgeous restored historic farm house. These two are master craftsmen and decorators both inside and out. We look forward to seeing the results when they finish restoring their new motor sailor.
|Erben Renewal and Water Hog at rest on the Niantic River CT|
Our next stop on the North Fork of Long Island was also a visit with another set of Aramco friends, Steve and Irene. Sadly, we only spent one day in Mattituck where they have a gorgeous canal vacation home. It was barely enough time to hear news of the five boys and their folks. Busy does not describe their lives and we are grateful they found time to visit with us.
Since the weather was favorable we made a jump from an anchorage behind Montauk on Long Island directly into Cape May, NJ. Not only was the weather kind, but the currents were with us and we made the trip in just 28 hours. Speedy for our slow girl.
Although we intended to stay in Cape May a couple days, after a run to the market in town and take out from The Lobster House, the next morning we headed up the bay for a stop on the Cohansey River. Since we made quick progress with a favorable tide on the Delaware Bay, we arrived with time to dink into the charming town of Greenwich. The Greenwich Boat Works Marina kindly let us use their dock so we had a relaxing walk through this historic town. We were surprised to learn they had their own Tea Party back at the start of the Revolutionary War. Needless to say the tiny town is full of 18th Century homes as well as a tasty deli/restaurant. We will have to return to catch the museums on a weekend.
|Delaware Bay Traffic|
Chesapeake City was our next stop where we again crossed paths with Krogen Forever Exploring and a lunch with another Aramco friend. We had been trying to meet up with Judy since our trip through Detroit in 2013. The wait was all worthwhile because in the meantime she has relocated to Delaware a little more than 15 minutes from Chesapeake City. We enjoyed lunch with Judy and her daughter, Sarah, on a beautiful afternoon. There was a lot to catch up on but so inspiring to hear of her life in Delaware. Active retirement almost covers Judy’s schedule of tennis, pickle ball and line dancing balanced with more sedate fun like bingo…..almost makes us boaters feel like slackers.
Exiting the C & D canal we made our way into the Chesapeake Bay hoping to make a few stops on our way into Solomons, Maryland for the Krogen gathering. We had intended to hop around to favorite spots, but the weather had other ideas. We spent a night on the Corsica River and made a quick trip into Centreville – a short walk from their river front park and then went on up the Chester River to Chestertown. Instead of a few nights there, we spent four – enjoying the town’s amenities between rain showers and wind gusts. We had visited here in 2014 but enjoyed the handy bakery, organic market and full grocery not far out of town. Then the shops were also a nice diversion on rainy afternoons when we needed a break from reading or old movies.
Finally, the weather turned more favorable for the last runs into the Patuxent. We met up with Bill and Lisa on Changing Course to catch up on their trip to Nova Scotia after we parted ways back in Maine. We managed to fill the days before the rendezvous in spite of less than perfect weather.
But now pesky Matthew is lurking out there. Mother nature always has the last word on our plans. We are hoping he heads east sooner rather than later and spares the US coast and off shore islands. If he should head our way we will hide once again up a creek off the mighty Patuxent River.