Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nov. 30- Dec. 6, 2010 (Week 9, Day 57-63)

Tues. Nov. 30,2010 (Week 9, Day 57): Destination: Vero Beach (Mile 951.7) to Hobe Sound (Mile 1000) Departure: 0815 hrs. Arrival: 1610 hrs. Mileage: 48.3 SM Weather: wicked S & SSE winds & rain throughtout the night, at dawn a little more calm but rain continued on & off, partly sunny & partly cloudy with dark nasty clouds at times Winds: strong & gusty S & SSE winds 10-25K during night, S winds at dawn & during daytime as we motored along with the wind dead on the nose steadily increased 10K-->12K-->15-18K consistently.

Out of bed at 0615hrs. Unpleasant weather & winds predicted for next few days with a cold front approaching on Wed. eve & Thurs. when we listened to NOAA; do we leave or do we stay? At 0730 hrs. decision made to move on. Bill from ‘Momento Mori’ assisted us with our departure with ease. We passed by ‘Twomorrows’ who were staying today & Wed. but we will stay in contact & meet up in a few days. It is the midway point between the upper & lower sections of the Indian River (120 mi. in all) after Vero Beach Bridge. It was a straight stretch X 13 mi. to Fort Pierce, at which point the Indian River appears wide but actually the channel is narrow with shoals on each side; often many birds are seen walking on these shoals. About 1400 hrs. we were fighting the current (low tide) & crossing St. Lucie Inlet (Mile 987-990). Here is the intersection of the ICW, St. Lucie River & Mile 0 on the Okeechobee Waterway (inland passage from Florida east coast to Lake Okeechobee to west coast), therefore called “Crossroads”. This is also the beginning of the “Gold Coast” of Florida---Spanish Armada left Havana, Cuba bond for Spain carrying 14 million gold coins; on July 30, 1715 most of the fleet was lost as well as their gold coins when they were hit by a strong hurricane that threw them on reefs. South winds still honking about 15-18K as we passed Lake Peck (Mile 992.2) with several boats already at anchorage. On through Hobe Sound Bridge (Mile 995.9—bascule) to Hobe Sound hoping the wind will settle down & we can get some protection by tucking into the western shore. At anchor time the S winds were blowing 13-14K, blue skies & fluffy clouds; we turned west just before R44 & anchored in 8-9 ft. water with 100 ft. chain out. I called & talked to Mom & heard very briefly about her 3 week trip. Boat showers for the 2 of us. After sunset the winds & rain suddenly erupted & just as fast they came, they would be done; these waves of wind & rain happened all evening long; hatches & ports closed, then opened, then closed. Supper= pork chops, cob of corn shared & fresh vegetable medley stir fry. The night was still warm& muggy & surprisingly calm.

Wed. Dec. 1, 2010 (Week 9, Day 58): Happy Birthday Tina! Happy Travels in China, Brenda! Destination: Hobe Sound (Mile 1000) to Lantana (Mile 1031.1) Departure : 0745 hrs. Arrival: 1440 hrs. Mileage: 31.1 SM Weather: warm 71F, flat calm water on waking, sunny with few white clouds in am although T-storms predicted with the approach of the cold front; at anchor time the temp dropped & sky was grey Winds: S 5-10K but expected to go SW to NW; late am gusty W winds & at anchor time winds vassillated NNW to N.

We woke at 0630 hrs. to surprising calm waters. Anchor & chain came up clean. We had a series of 11 bridges to open today; some open on request while others are restricted to specific hours-->half hour or 1/4 after or 1/4 to the hour, thus timing was necessary to be time efficient. This also was the reason for a longer mileage day yesterday & less planned today. TIP: departure from this location best at ½ hrs. ie 0730 hrs. in order to make restricted opening of 3rd bridge, Indiantown Bridge (Mile 1006). After the PGA Bridge (Mile 1012) Graeme noticed the tachometer not working. We seemed to have wasted a lot of time not thinking we would make a bridge opening therefore slow down & arrive late for one opening & too early for the next--- poor time management. #2 Problem: electrical handheld remote windlass control did not work when the time came to anchor just SW of Lantana Bridge; I lowered the anchor manually via the windlass--- depth= 8.3 ft. & 80 ft. of chain. #3 Problem: on anchoring I noticed a large bolt on the lower bow roller sticking out & on removing the bolt, which simply needed to screw in, & the lower bow roller Graeme unaware of the bushing inside the roller & dropped it in the drink. #4 Problem: domestic batteries once again not charging. Time to problem solve: (1) turned engine off then turned it back on & tach now working; (2) checked the manual & the connections of the handheld; (3) Graeme checked the batteries & alternator (?combiner problem) & their connections & suddenly batteries charging; (4) a Graeme brainwave--- now that the domestic batteries are charging he checked the handheld remote & now working; yeh! Some info to keep in mind. At suppertime phoned Lee but had to leave a message, then phoned the Morrows--- will leave Vero on Fri. Lee shortly phoned back & explained that they were unable to receive us till Sat.; Tina having an Ikea party--- no problem. We should have called when we were still in Vero. Supper= ham & pineapple, potatoes/rice & fresh beans. Internet for a short time, then reading then bed at 2200 hrs. NNW winds consistently blew around 10K all eve & night; skies cleared.

ICW Waterway: Hobe Sound-->Jupiter Sound-->Jupiter Inlet to the E-->Loxahatchee River--> Lake Worth Creek

Thurs. Dec. 2, 2010 (Week 9, Day 59): Destination: (Mile 1031.1) to Lake Boca Raton (Mile 1047.8) Departure: 1130 hrs. Arrival: 1510 hrs. Mileage: 16.7 SM Weather: bright, sunny, no clouds in blue sky, a cool 54F (low) 70F (high) but comfortable Winds: N at 8-13K

No hurry to get up, no hurry to leave as Lee & Tina’s destination must wait till Sat. & not today; that was poor planning on my part as I should have called the Williams from Vero Beach for a convenient arrival date. A boat shower, breakfast & then Graeme took me to shore at 0900 hrs. to walk to the library (only 3 blocks west, on right side of road beside the P.O.). Unfortunately the library was not open till 1000 hrs., I could not connect to the internet from outside & once inside the library did not have WiFi (can you imagine, especially in this day & age & in Florida of all places!) I used their computer to contact my family & finally complete my nursing registration online. With less than 3 mins. till pickup time, I ran back to the floating dinghy dock for 1030 hrs. where Graeme was waiting . In the literature there is an 18 hour limit to anchoring here. The dinghy motor was up on it’s position on the pull pit, we were ready to go but discovered the domestic batteries not charging again, therefore the anchor windlass won’t work; Graeme turned engine off, checked all connections, turned engine on & batteries now charging---let’s go. We up anchored with the handheld & were ready to tackle more bridge openings, only 6 today. Lake Worth ends just north of Boynton Beach-Ocean Ave. Bridge (Mile 1035). The ICW is now a canal with concrete bulkheads on each side. We met ‘Artful Dodger’ & ‘Firecrest’ waiting at Atlantic Ave. for an opening; we travelled with them through the next 3 bridges, anchoring in a small anchorage at Lake Boca Raton (turned E north of G65 & running along the shoreline to anchor in the NE section; depth=8.3 ft. & 80 ft. chain. The 2 other boats milled around a bit till they anchored along the E shore; Pat did touch on a knoll on the edge approaching the center, a real no no. Pat, Karin & Dave came over for a social& we sited a manatee about 20 ft. to port. Supper= beef stir fry with rice. Internet with booster on & off; journal writing & reading. Evening & night was clear & calm, stars, sliver moon & N winds 8-10K decreasing to 5-8K. Bedtime 2230 hrs.

Fri. Dec. 3, 2010, (Week 9, Day 60): Destination: Lake Boca Raton (Mile 1047.8) to Lake Sylvia (Mile 1064.5) Departure: 0745 hrs. Arrival: 1130 hrs. Mileage: 16.3 SM Weather: sunny, blue skies & comfortable dry temp Winds: light & N

Slept through till 0615 hrs. & discovered that the domestic batteries not charging again. Breakfast, quick look & check with the voltmeter at the battery bank-->unsuccessful. Up anchored anyways by manually operating the windlass-->very tough especially until the anchor broke bottom. Now for the next series of bridge openings (9). We saw 3 manatees on port between the Camino Real & Hillsboro Blvd. Bridges, & caught up to ‘Artful’ & ‘Firecrest’ at the Atlantic Blvd. Bridge. After the last of the bridges for today, Las Olas, it was imperative to keep to the east shore on entering Lake Sylvia; large sailboat well over to starboard of us hit hard. Also there is a shoal about 6 ft. one must pass over hugging the east shore then turn immediately WSW into 10 ft. depth. There was already a few boats; we were glad we left early because by sunset the anchorage was jam packed. Pat came over ASAP & inspected the battery bank etc. & within ½ hrs. discovered a relay on the domestic battery malfunctioning. He proceeded to show Graeme how to bypass if required in the future. We ran the engine & the domestic batteries were charging; we need to find a few relays. With dinghy we motored under the low canal bridge, ducking our bodies low into the dinghy, crossed the ICW & up a channel to a park & dinghy dock beside the police station & then had a long walk to 15th & west to A1A or Hwy. 1 & 24th to a West Marine, Verizon, an automotive store, 2 marina places-->no relay. It was approaching sunset so time to head back to the boat. The tide was rising & so we took the 3rd canal north of the previous canal we had taken after crossing the ICW; this time we really had to duck down flat in the dinghy. An early supper (1800 hrs.)= sausage, potatoes & fresh beans. Pat dinghies over & invited us over to his boat to show & install my external hard drive & then a free wind/current program (Open CPN2) + very lovely photos of NFLD & his boat. It was way past everyone’s bedtime before be headed back home. Beautiful calm, clear night with stars, city lights, imparticular the Hyatt-->external elevator outlined in blue lights, circular pattern of lights around the perimeter & a candle pattern of lights with a flickering red flame.

Sat. Dec. 4, 2010 (Week 9, Day 61): Destination: Lake Sylvia (Mile 1064.5) to Mandarin Isle, South Fork new River (Mile 1068)-->Tina & Lee’s Departure: 1040 hrs. Arrival: 1220 hrs. Mileage: 3.5 SM Weather: warm & sunny, blue skies, T=74F Winds: nothing to speak of-->N

Up at 0700 hrs. Pat & company had already left for Miami (outside route) taking advantage of slack tide to easier get out of Port Everglades. Many boats in fact had moved on. Breakfast, boat shower, cleaning under a couple of floor board compartments & prep for beverage storage. A clean anchor when we up anchored. We slowly left Lake Sylvia hugging east shore again down to R12 & turning to R14. At the bifurcation on the New River, it is highly recommended to take marker ‘A’ to starboard when southbound. We continued south & west on the New River, meeting a few tourist boats & calling for the opening of a series of bridges through downtown Ft. Lauderdale. After Davey Blvd. Bridge we turned to port into the 5th canal= Mandarin Isle. There were many boats of various widths lining both sides of the canal. Lee met us & we rafted up to ‘In Sync’ (Endeavour 35). Lots of hugs, talk, snacks out on the patio on such a magnificent warm, sunny afternoon. We were introduced to Leelou, a 31/2 month Yorkshire Terrier--> how cute! Graeme did fuelling, Tina made bombay chicken with for supper while we chatted away; ice cream & alcohol+++ fruit medley for dessert. We saw fantastic photos of their June trip to the Exumas. A clear calm night & pleasantly cool. Bedtime about 2200 hrs.; slept well.

Sun. Dec. 5, 2010 (Week 9, Day 62): Destination: stay in Ft. Lauderdale at Tina & Lee’s Weather: sunny, warm & calm, but late pm cloudy Winds: calm am, W wind picked up significantly in pm but a calm evening

Slept till 0700 hrs. Tina had gone into work. After breakfast removed some meat from the freezer for prepping some meals ahead of time, garage maintenance + inventory, spoke to the Morrows. Lee kindly connected us up to the internet. Lee & Graeme went relay hunting & propane & diesel refilling shopping; unsuccessful with the relay & propane especially being a Sunday. I did emails, 3 loads of laundry & babysat Leelou. When Tina returned home from work we sat round kibitzing then took them out to dinner to ‘Bimini Boatyard’ as a thank you; certainly a lovely meal & a lovely evening. Lee drove around the tourist area close to Lake Sylvia which were nicely decorated for Christmas + an expensive home area close by. On returning home we had a nightcap& more chatting till 2130 hrs. then to bed. West wind had decreased & it remained calm with cloudy patches in the night sky. Lots still to do tomorrow with the arrival of the Hunts tomorrow evening.

Mon. Dec. 6, 2010 (Week 9, Day 63): Destination: stay in Ft. Lauderdale (Mile 1068) Weather: sunny & quite cool with a low of 50F last night & high today of 60F; overnight low 40’sF Winds: W & strong, probably 15-25K with gusts

Up at 0700 hrs. with a massive list of jobs to do today: Graeme-->relay, propane, wind gen blade removal (awaiting replacements; Laura-->prepare chicken marengo & pot of chili in am, haircut & shopping; I walked back to the house with a cart & backpack filled to the brim; I looked like a bag lady. Once home the shopping got put away, my hair washed, the V-berth prepared while the guys drove to Miami International Airport to pick up the Hunts. I prepared a tray of snacks awaiting Tina to come home from work & the rest of the gang. Tina prepared 4 different kinds of pizzas for supper. A evening of good food, lots of talk & laughs, lots of rum & wine & just a great time! It was very cool tonight-->heater; clear skies & stars.

Nov. 23-29, 2010 (Week 8, Day 50-56)

Tues. Nov. 23, 2010 (Week 8, Day 50): Destination: stay in St. Augustine Weather: magnificent dawn, full sun, some evidence of smoke fire on the eastern shore, pleasant temp high =75F Winds: light to nil with a heavy East component; boat direction--> according per tides

Breakfast, boat showers because of the convenience, although marina has 2 nice showers + 2 toilets (swipe card accessible only) & laundry facility consisted of 4 washers, 4 dryers + a lounge with a T.V. (open 0800-2000 hrs.---swipe card only). We made arrangements with the marina office to have the head pumped out; we wired the head’s valve shut on entering Florida--> frequent police boardings & checks apparently. We had a glance at emails then it was time to walk to the bus stop (blue line) by the Flagler Auditorium for 0915 hrs.--> age 60 or > (seniors)= $0.50, <60 style="mso-spacerun: yes"> At the Publix we grabbed all the fixings for US Thanksgiving dinner on the 25th to be hosted by the Morrows + a few other basic necessities until we reach Vero Beach. We returned to the marina & Lynn had finished her laundry; home, groceries packed away, lunch & back to the historic area for our walkabout. We had our beers at the A1A & bumped into Karin & Patric, & on leaving Sandy & Steve & their friends (Beth & Jim—Madcap). Graeme & I were hosting dinner for the Morrows & the Collins; I was a mad rush until our guests arrived shortly after 1700 hrs.--- BBQ stuffed pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots (Morrows) & cherry Danish cake for dessert (Collins). What a wonderful evening! The party broke up at 2100 hrs. as all are moving on tomorrow. Dishes were washed, then time for bed. Another calm & quiet night with clear skies & <>

Wed. Nov. 24, 2010 (Week 8, Day 51): Destination: St. Augustine (Mile 778.1) to Daytona (Seabreeze- Mile 829)
Departure: 0800 hrs. Arrival: 1445 hrs. 
Mileage: 50.9 SM Weather: amazing dawn sky & sunrise, full sun, blue skies, temp. 62F to mid 70’sF, dew+++
Winds: if any existed it came from the South

Out of bed at 0645 hrs. & ready to move on after breakfast. We were off the mooring ball at 0800 hrs. on a rising tide/against the current, exiting between R8 & 10 but closer to R8. We motored along the Matanzas River to Crescent Bascule Bridge (Mile 788.9) & on towards Matanzas Inlet area where buoys are often moved because of the frequent & changing shoals; we were fortunate to be passing through on a high tide (14 ft. average). In this area marshland alternated with forest & it seemed desolate & eerie until we reached Palm Coast on the west side & it’s 3 canals off the ICW. Grand Haven was about 5 mi. further south again on the west side; it is a country club community of condos, golf courses & private homes. Next was Fox Cut where exposed rocks lined both sides. We passed under yet another bridge, Flagler Beach Bridge (Mile 810.6—fixed 65 ft. clearance) to L.B. Knox Bridge (Mile 816---bascule); the bridge tender(female) was so casual & funny, but was difficult to understand. Mile 814 marked the beginning of the manatee zone. ICW entered the headwaters of Halifax River which widens towards Daytona; it was a straight & well-marked channel with attractive homes on the East bank. A 5 mile passage from Tomoka Basin to Ormond Beach Bridge (Mile 824.9---fixed) required close attention sticking to the middle as there were shoals on east & west sides just outside the channel. We anchored East of R32 in 7-1/2 ft. water, just north of the Seabreeze Bridge. Daytona Beach--> 4 bridges; Seabreeze, Main Street (bascule), International Speedway & Memorial (bascule). Supper= chicken with vodka sauce, rice & fresh beans. Internet via ‘Twomorrows’ secured site + reading & in bed at 2130 hrs. Light traffic noise, but clear & calm night, stars & ¾ moon.

ICW Waterway: Matanzas River-->past Matanzas Inlet-->Fox Cut-->Halifax River-->Tomoka Basin (part of Halifax River)

Thurs. Nov. 25, 2010 (Week 8, Day 52): Happy US Thanksgiving! Destination: Daytona (Mile 829) to Titusville (Mile 878) Departure: 0635 hrs. Arrival: 1500 hrs. Mileage: 49 SM Weather: lovely red hue over the water at dawn then full sun, blue skies & clear to the S & W & some clouds to the NE Winds: very light S in the am & nice 8K S in pm

Larry had started turkey dinner preparations for tonight yesterday evening; we did a pass by starboard to port & handed over a package of mashed potatoes & chopped celery for the stuffing. The bridge tenders at the Main Street & the Memorial Bridges were in a cheerful mood & all openings were on request due to the holiday. Some shallow water in Ponce de Leon Cut that leads into the Indian River North; someday I would like to climb the stairs of the Ponce de Leon lighthouse. No problems with the George Munson Bridge (Mile 845--bascule) today. We took the Sheephead Cut around New Smyrna (Mile 845.5). The ICW followed a dredged channel between mainland & numerous small islets X 10 miles; on the west side there are several fishing camps. From Mile 855 to 870 runs Mosquito Lagoon, an open shallow expanse of water followed by a sharp turn to starboard into the Haulover Canal, home of herons, egrets, alligators & manatee, & through the Allenhurst Haulover Canal Bridge (Mile --bascule). A whole string of sailboats in single file motored through the Lagoon with the NASA shuttle hangar in the background-->impressive view (photos). Two thirds of the way through the Lagoon ‘Twomorrows’ experienced a sudden loss of power from the engine whereby they could only run at 2000 RPMs; dirty fuel & dirty filters expected cause. Thus we limped slowly into Titusville anchorage. Numerous boats here tonight. We anchored in 8ft. of water (60 ft. chain). The sun of the day till early pm was now on & off clouds & the winds had picked up nicely to 8K from the south; our travelling direction was south as well, so dead on our nose. The anchorage got a little bumpy for a while before sunset then settled down but there was enough wind to keep the wind gen turning. Pat & Karin Collins dinghied into shore & found that the West Marine is no longer. The aroma of turkey dinner whafted from ‘Twomorrows’ as we made our arrival. And the taste of supper was even better, absolutely scrumptious= turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, bean casserole, fresh cranberry sauce, heated buns, & warm pumpkin pie & whipped cream for dessert! We even watched a live NFL football game on T.V. Stuffed to the gills we motored back home. Larry insisted that he would not ruin Thanksgiving doing the filter changes on the engine till tomorrow am; so it will be a later start tomorrow am. Generously cloudy& moon not visible but a pleasant temp & breeze to keep the wind gen working & the boat head to wind & pulling on the anchor. Thank you Lord for yet another wonderful day surrounded by wonderful friends!

ICW Waterway: Halifax River-->Ponce de Leon Cut-->

Fri. Nov. 26, 2010 (Week 8, Day 53): Destination: Titusville (Mile 878) to Melbourne (Mile 918.2) Departure: 1000 hrs. Arrival: 1635 hrs. Mileage: 40 SM Weather: cloudy dawn but clouds quickly dissipated & bright sun & warm temp Winds: strong & gusty South 10-25.7K

‘Artful Dodger’ passed our stern on leaving Titusville at 0700 hrs. Larry was having his breakfast coffee & then was going to start changing engine filters. In the meantime Graeme filled 2 jerry diesel cans into the boat tank & 3-1/2 jerry cans of water into the water tank in preparation for a top up in Vero Beach in a couple of days, while I did housekeeping. No news from Larry at 0800, 0830, 0900 & at 0930 hrs. he radioed that the fuel filters X2 were not very dirty & not the solution to his problem; he found a crack in a elbow but no reason for the low engine power & the upsetting news that they would not be able to continue today & may even call the rest of the trip off! I choked up. And we have to press on in order to make our deadline. Larry will check to see if there is a engine mechanic familiar with Yanmar engines in Titusville, but it is a long weekend. Oh Pat, where are you? We need you! Graeme thought he had an elbow--- it’s on the Viking, but he had some JB Weld. At 1000 hrs. we lifted the anchor after dinghy engine lifted from the dinghy, etc. We passed the package of JB Weld to Larry as he did a pass in his dinghy--- it is getting windier & a little rough by now. I now have tears in my eyes. We motored south on the Indian River with a stiff South wind that increased (averaging 17-20K & maxed at 25.7K) & the skies became grey & threatening in the south & west. Our boat speed varied between 4.8-5.2K but the south wind was too far in front to fly our head sail. Finally shortly after noon the wind shifted ever so slightly to the west, enough that we were able to unfurl the jenny some, increasing our boat speed to 5.5-6.1K. By 1400 hrs. the wind shifted back to dead south. We passed Mile 900 at 1340 hrs. The bad weather clouds seemed to be south of our location & crossed over from the west to east side of the ICW & sun & white fluffy clouds prevailed. When we were approaching Eau Gallie & getting ready to turn off the ICW & anchor, we hailed Patric Collins & he responded; his group were anchored 5 miles further south, on the northeast side of the Melbourne Bridge. We phoned Larry that we had made contact & agreed to have Pat speak to him at 1800 hrs. Larry had info re mechanics in Cocoa, Tel Mar Marina on the Banana River & Melbourne. Skies now were very dark & the wind was up. Heavy rain apparently in Titusville but nothing here till a little later that did not last more than 5 min. Pat called Larry asking multiple questions & giving instructions so as to diagnose whether air filter or dirt in the aluminium fuel tank (methyl hydrate & automatic transmission fluid) vs transmission. Pat told him that he would wait for them in Vero until they got there & would look at the engine if Larry could not get any satisfaction along the way. That continues to be the beauty of this trip & the last--- the people, the kindness, generousity of fellow cruisers! We will continue on to Vero Beach with the rest of this group (an early start), reservations made, & God willing will meet up with the Morrows on Sun. Supper= ham, pineapple slices, potato/rice & fresh beans/broccoli. Winds have shifted to the west & are to continue to shift to the north by the am; skies were now clear & stars visible.

Sat. Nov. 27, 2010 (Week 8, Day 54): Destination: Melbourne (Mile 918.2) to Vero Beach (Mile 951.7---Vero Beach Municipal City Marina) Departure: 0715 hrs. Arrival: 1215 hrs. Mileage: 33.5 SM Weather: cloudy especially to the west & north with blue skies mainly south, & sunny when we departed & hazy, warm from 60’sF in am to a high of mid 70’sF Winds: shifted to the west last night & had the wind gen whirling like mad, but more south & <>

Up at 0600 hrs. because of proposed 0700 hrs. departure; the other boats (3) left at 0640 hrs. Usual am routine before lifting the anchor; a bit of mud mixed with tiny shells--- sprayed off chain & anchor. Water calm & in no time skies to the west & north black & threatening; foul weather gear ready. We were rolling along at 6.2-6.5K & with encouragement finally got Graeme to unfurl the jenny, increasing speed to 6.8-7.0K; we kept the sail full until the last bridge before Vero Beach at which point the winds shifted on the nose & we had catch up & had passed Pat & the other 2 boats. Just as we were approaching the last few markers before our turn into the marina Lynn called saying that they were able to leave, moving all at full RPMs towards Melbourne as their destination for today; Larry was unable to crack the fuel injectors but was able to blow air through the tube to the injectors & probably cleared dirt from the line. At G139 we made a wide turn into the marina channel, announced our arrival & received our mooring assignment---M54, deep in the north field. Our mooring buddy (Memento Mori) was not present on his boat but our tie up went well nevertheless--- a lot easier with previous knowledge from 2 years ago. Lunch & into the marina to register. The last bus had just departed--- reduced service on Sat. & nil on Sun. Instead we decided to get 2 loads of laundry done & out of the way; 5 washers ($2.00 each—35 min.) & 5 dryers ($1.50 each—45 min.) + a shower that felt so good just letting the water run & run & run. By noon the temp. was very warm & the skies were continually changing between dark threatening clouds to sun & white fluffy clouds & back again; we even had some short lived rain; the wind in the afternoon blew from the west. At 1730 hrs. Larry called that all was well & they were anchored on the SE side of the Melbourne Bridge. Supper=hamburger with fried onions, seasoned potatoes & fresh beans. Instead of journal writing or reading we watched a DVD (Happy Feet) that Karin & Pat had loaned us--- so cute, great music. Read a bit, then to bed at 2230 hrs. Clouds with a shift of the winds from the north at 10-15K all night; quite warm. This section is commonly referred to as Florida’s “Treasure Coast”.

Sun. Nov. 28, 2010 (Week 8, Day 55): Destination: stay in Vero (Mile 951.7) Weather: warm & cloudy at first, then skies cleared mid morn & sun quite warm; clouds late evening & rain shower Winds: N at about 8K in am & E in the afternoon then S by evening & calm

Up at 0615 hrs. breakfast & dressed for church. Graeme dinghied me in to shore at 0800 hrs. & I walked 2 blocks east & 7 blocks south to the corner of Mockingbird & Iris then up Iris to Holy Cross R.C. Church--- 25 min. walk; too early for 0900 hrs. mass & just sat & took in the beauty of this contemporary modern church & it’s stained glass windows. I was asked to bring up the Eucharist gifts to the priest--- what an honour! Mass was 1 hour, then I walked back via A1A to Beachland Blvd.& turned left (west) to the RBC Bank & withdrew some cash then to the marina. Graeme picked me up at the dinghy dock at 1040 hrs. He had emptied the diesel jerry cans into the boat tank & refilled those jerry cans + gas jerry can into the dinghy engine & refilled it. I scrubbed the deck & both deck edges as best as possible + the hatches & ports & stern with vinegar & water; now we need a good rainfall. The Morrows had arrived & were at the fuel dock & they would moor up with ‘Artful Dodger’ so Pat could more easily check their engine. Lunch, then dinghied over to the Morrows & chatted with all. Pat even showed me how to transfer all my emails from my Rogers Yahoo account into my gmail account; hooked up to the Morrows internet site & checked my emails. Larry made arrangements through Enterprise for a car rental for tomorrow, although car rentals only $9.99 over the weekend. Marina shower at 1600 hrs. then all 6 of us to the Riverside Café at 1700 hrs. for supper; Morrows paid the whole bill! Rain on our dinghy ride home. We said our goodbyes to Karin & Pat as they are moving on tomorrow but hope to meet up later. A warm, calm night with some rain thrown in.

Mon. Nov. 29, 2010 (Week 8, Day 56): stay in Vero Beach &take advantage of our car rental to reprovision to a certain extent. Weather: warm & humid+++ (H= 80’ish) & variable, some clouds, some sun & blue sky, threatening clouds & rain & start the rotation over again Winds: not of any significance from the SSE till overnight

Breakfast, a boat shower& prepped with lists of places & things to get with the car rental today. Enterprise picked the 4 of us + 1 other couple up & brought us to the office on US 1 South to conduct the administrative part; busy & slow service. We finally got our vehicle at 1030 hrs. & headed south on Hwy. 1-->West Marine, propane tank refill for the Morrows, Total Wine in Jensen Beach about 30 mi. away for box wine X 4, cases of beer X 4, variety of rums. On return route we hit an Ace Hardware (wood bleach to clean pale yellow moustache stain on bow & stern from tannin water), Sun Landing Canvass (canvass snaps & strap) by Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce & Pet Smart in Vero for the first round of shopping; transferred all back to boat & grabbed a quick sandwich. It was now 1400 hrs. & back to land for the second run--> Verizon (Lynn’s Blackberry), Wal Mart (groceries); 1800 hrs. already so forget Publix & drove to Mulligan’s Beach House right on Vero Beach at the end of Beachland Blvd. for Happy Hour & supper. Rains socked in good & hard, fortunately with a little reprieve as we got back to the dinghies--> bailed the dinghies, loaded the groceries & headed home in the dark to pack all away. Strong gusting E & SE winds up to 20-25K & rains began short time later; we could feel the boat rock back & forth despite being tied to the mooring ball & lashed well to ‘Momento Mori’ which happened to continue ALL night long. After several attempts of phoning Mom & Donna & finally got Donna; she & Tom had a good trip to Florida; too bad we couldn’t hook up. I thought Mom had arrived home from NZ/Australia late last night but arriving tonight (29th) & will call her tomorrow. No internet, journal writing &reading--> I’m nearly finished my first novel. I slept till 0430 hrs. waking up now & again to sounds of strong gusts of wind & rain, but fortunate to fall back to sleep. There were occasional clear patches in the night sky with stars & ½ moon visible.

Nov. 16-22, 2010 (Week 7, Day 43-48)

Tues. Nov. 16, 2010 (Week 7, Day 43): Destination: Savannah, Turner Creek Weather: cloudy with sunny periods, white & grey clouds, rain predicted Winds: suddenly the wind gen started whirling at 0530 hrs. & the SW winds built as the day went on to 15-20K with frequent gusts.

We were woken by the the sudden increase in the wind velocity. Graeme thought we were dragging but not & stayed up observing while I went back to bed & dozed in & out of sleep till 0730 hrs. The near derelict boat beside us had 2 bow & 2 stern anchor lines & he did not swing like the rest of us with the tides & the winds; at times we felt too uncomfortably close, especially if the winds picked up more. We were still approaching low tide. Breakfast & housekeeping. A boat behind us left leaving a more favourable spot so we relocated & in 11 ft. water. Then we dinghied over to Hogan’s Marina, paid our tie up fee & walked to Publix to buy fresh fruit & vegetables. Once back to the boat I packed the groceries away in their storage spots & the winds were now gusting to 20K. Graeme decided to dinghy me to shore so I could walk to the library & work away for several hours while he stood guard. Numerous emails, charged my camera battery, downloaded another memory photo card onto my laptop, formatted 2 memory cards for future use. Suddenly my brother emailed with some very sad news--- one of my nieces hockey teammates committed suicide at the age of 15! Why? How devastating! I was late for my arranged pick up time. Now the skies were very grey & the winds had increased gusting > 20K & only a few drops of rain. The Morrows called that the new refrigeration module had been installed successfully & they would be on their way tomorrow. We both read for a while; I couldn’t stop thinking of the tragic news from home. Supper= meatballs in vodka sauce with spaghetti noodles + fresh beans--> yummy! Bed at 2130 hrs. Slowly the winds decreased overnight but the sky remained cloudy; in the middle of the night the clouds started breaking up & the moon was visible. It was warm again tonight.

Wed. Nov. 17, 2010 (Week 7, Day 44): Destination: Savannah (Mile 585.5) to Redbird Creek (Mile 606.8) Departure: 0930 hrs. Arrival: 1315 hrs. Mileage: 21.3 SM Weather: clear, sunny, blue skies, no clouds, T= 60’sF Winds: more settled today with a few gusts during the night & the wind gen whirling at times; during the day winds W at 6-10K

There was no hurry to leave as we were not doing too many miles today & the low tide trend was till late in the morning (1115 ish). Banana pancakes, boat shower & dinghy motor raised. When the anchor was up the chain was completely clean but the anchor was heavily muddy--- hosed down. We slowly crept out of Turner Creek because of low tide, out into the Wilmington River & unfurled some jenny on a broad reach to help us against the current. We weaved back & forth through Skidaway Narrows (low tide) but sufficient water. The Skidaway Narrows Bridge (bascule) opened on request. The Morrows called us on the VHF & they were just 2 hrs. behind us. Good depths through Burnside River & Vernon River, a wide river leading to North Ossabaw Sound. It was a rising tide through Hell’s Gate (Mile 601.4-602.4) but still a little skinny (6.2-9.0); this is the cut around Ossabaw Island into Ogeechee River--- Georgia’s 2nd largest river with known strong ebb tides. At R98 we turned into Florida Passage entrance & very soon afterwards turn to starboard before G99 into Redbird Creek. We dropped the anchor in a flooding tide & an opposing & gusting W wind. A group of dolphins were playing in the grasses on the east shore---going nuts in fact especially one who seemed to be nosing into the muddy shore for the longest time; apparently they are known to do this to force small schools of fish into the mud. The Morrows arrived almost 2 hours later. And the Skipper’s meeting was held here to decide our destinations for the next few days. It looks like we must push on each day with good mileages & miss Thanksgiving in St. Mary’s in order to make it to Ft. Lauderdale by Dec. 3; clean boat, laundry, reprovision in time for the Hunts’ arrival on Dec.6th. We were so looking forward to celebrating US Thanksgiving with other cruisers, a tradition the community of St. Marys puts on; 300 people are expected this year. Supper= meatballs with vodka sauce for G & tilapia fish & fresh beans for moi. Mileage planning, journal writing, then to bed. An early start tomorrow in order to put in big miles. Quiet, calm, clear, stars+++, ¾ moon; possible frost predicted in some inland areas, but we were very comfortable.

ICW Waterway: Turner Creek-->Wilmington River-->Skidaway Narrows-->Burnside River--> Vernon River-->Hells Gate-->Ogeechee River-->Florida Passage--> Redbird Creek

Thurs. Nov. 18, 2010 (Week 7, Day 45): Destination: Redbird Creek (Mile 606.8) to Wallys Leg (Mile 666) Departure: 0730 hrs. Arrival: 1600 hrs. Mileage: 59.2 SM Weather: magnificent sunrise to full sun, blue skies, no clouds, cool am temp= ? upper 30’sF or lower 40’sF Winds: light in am to 8-10K in pm from the west

As the dark of night was turning to light, the red sky hovering over the salt marsh grasses was breathtaking! I think that the Doucet’s especially Diane could attest that it would be similar to the sunrises in the Prairies. It was crystal clear & a bit cool-->scarf but no tuque & socks with my sandals. I have just broken my cardinal rule--- socks & sandals! Pulling up anchor is so easy now with an electric windless--- 150 ft. 3/8” chain + 150 ft. rode. The chain & anchor came up clean (I now even have a pressurized hose to clean the bow etc.). We passed through 4 sounds today & so we were constantly moving with or against the current depending on our position to each sound. It was so calm today that instead of the usual sandwiches & salad for lunches, I made us hot dogs, a nice change (some may not think so). We started the day at near low tide & shortly after noon the tide was on a rising cycle. We met some skinny water on one of the many curves of the Front River & at G185, the Rockdedundy River, when we met a powerboat followed by a tug. A rising tide was perfect for this next passage through the worst section of shallow water on the entire Atlantic ICW from Norfolk to Florida, the Little Mud River (Mile 653-656.4); now 1400 hrs., 2 hours into a rising tide, we crept through, averaging 7.5-8 ft. depths; Graeme was at the helm & I was antsy so tried to read. Phewf! We were also lucky in that a powerboat followed by ‘Twomorrows’ were in front of us giving us a blow by blow commentation as they passed. Dolphins gracefully broke through the water surface near all the Sounds close to our bow or off to our sides. I couldn’t help to think of my niece’s friend--- if she could have only seen through her bleakness to see all this beauty! And I would think about Art Bird, a friend who just a week ago lost his fighting battle with ALS. Oh, how my heart aches! We anchored in Wallys Leg at 1600 hrs. in 14 ft. (80 ft. chain). We rowed over to the Skipper’s Meeting on ‘Twomorrows’ with much assistance from the current. We will head to Brunswick Landing Marina tomorrow to do laundry (free), free WiFi, oil change, fill our diesel tank & water tank for our trek down to Ft. Lauderdale. The Morrows have blown their marina budget with their stay in Hilton Head with their fridge problems, so they will hang out & anchor in the Frederica or Lanier Rivers. Then Sat. we will meet up on our way back up the Brunswick River to St. Simon Sound then tackle the dreaded passage through Jekyll Island--- no government money spent to dredge this constantly shoaling area in many years especially G17 & 19 (favour green side). It must be passed in high tide only! We have encouraged the Morrows to go to St. Marys for their US Thanksgiving. I feel that I am being repetitive, but the sunset tonight was just as spectacular as the sunrise this morning & for so many of our sunrises & sunsets for most of days thus far; we certainly have been lucky with our weather. Slack tide assisted us for our row home. Supper= sloppy joes & broccoli. Journal writing & reading & then bedtime.

ICW Waterway: Florida Passage (G99-R102, Mile 605.9-608.5)-->St. Catherines Sound-->(Mile 618) best at low water slack when sea is calmest & currents most favourable-->North Newport River (Mile 620)-->Johnson Creek, a serpentine, deep channel (saw a sailboat whose bow was in the marshy bank)-->South Newport River-->Sapelo Sound (Mile 632)-->Sapelo River-->Front River, narrow & deep but 1 corner only 6.4 ft.-->Creighton Narrows (Mile 642)-->Crescent River-->Old Teakettle Creek which widens into--> Doboy Sound (Mile 649)-->North River-->Little Mud River (Mile 653-656.4)-->Buttermilk Sound, interesting cloudy mud brown water-->MacKay River-->Wallys Leg

Fri. Nov. 19, 2010 (Week 7, Day 46): Destination: Wallys Leg (Mile 666) to Brunswick Landing Marina (Mile 680) Departure: 0815 hrs. Arrival: 1125 hrs. Mileage: 14 SM Weather: same amazing sunrise, sun, clear blue sky, comfortable cool temp about 50F with a predicted high of 72F Winds: E, calm <5-8k

I guess St. Simon & Jekyll Island will have to wait till Spring, although Graeme doesn’t see the attraction to visit these spots. Lynn & Larry will anchor off Lanier Island by the coast guard but will wait a few hours before departing till temp warms up & some of the dew evaporates off the windows. And we were off to Brunswick. After turning at the red shipping channel marker in St. Simon Sound we were forced to motor out of the channel because of a practice exercise whereby a helicopter lowered a rescue worker by wire into the water to perform some kind of rescue maneuver. Sherry, dockmaster, was on hand to catch our mooring lines at Brunswick Landing Marina. Ouch, marina fees were up from 2 yrs. ago to $2.00 per ft., competitive with marinas in the area apparently, but with all the above mentioned amenities. Graeme had his list of necessary tasks & I got started immediately at mine as soon as we had shore power established & happy with dock tie up. Two loads of wash on while I took a shower, then 2 loads in the dryer & 2 more loads of wash on; lunch & back to the dryer; met a nice lady from Pickering, Ont. on their way to Turks & Caicos possibly BVI’s. By lunch Graeme had boat’s water & diesel tanks filled, garbage removed & after lunch the engine oil changed & refilled the jerry cans of water & diesel. By 1600 hrs. we had the chores done. It was time now to explore this small community before it totally closes up & darkness is upon us. It seems the economy has hit this area; on Newcastle Street many businesses were closed down. We did not venture too far from this street. A beer ($2.00 each) at Brewburger Pub where we again met 2 Canadians from B.C. then home to make supper with the near full moon staring me in the face through the galley port. Supper= sausage, fresh beans & potatoes. We will rendezvous with the Morrows in the am by St. Simon Sound & Jekyll Island River by both of us leaving our ports by 0630hrs. & by so doing also take advantage of the very early morning high tide to make passage past Jekyll Island, as bad as Little Mud River. Graeme suddenly remembered that Sherry did not collect the money for the diesel he purchased & so he left a sealed envelope with boat card, money & note & pushed it through the drop box to the office. More journal writing then off to bed. I am having fun doing this diary, but boy is it ever cutting into my novel reading time. Quiet night, calm, near full moon, stars but some cloud cover & a low temp of 50F. Although it was quite warm tonight we had the electricity & put the heater on to keep the cockpit warmer & drier & therefore less moisture on the windows. By the way, this was our last night in “Golden Isles” region of Georgia.

ICW Waterway: Wallys Leg-->MacKay River-->St. Simon Sound-->Brunswick River-->East River

Sat. Nov. 20, 2010 (Week 7, Day 47): Destination: Brunswick (Mile 680) to Bells River, Fernandina Beach, Florida (Mile 716.5) Departure: 0630 hrs. Arrival: 1305 hrs. Mileage: 36.5 SM Weather: cloudy to South, cloudy with clear patches elsewhere in am but then occupied the skies with grey clouds in the East, maybe rain, warm Winds: light E 3K, St. Simon Sound calm; in pm ENE winds increased to about 9K after we had anchored; wind gen doing it’s thing

Alarm went off at 0500 hrs., shower, breakfast & departed as planned. A shrimp boat led the way under the 185 ft. high Sidney Lanier Bridge. We met a huge tanker on the SE side of the bridge. We turned to starboard at R2 into Jekyll Creek (Mile 681) at absolute high tide (0730-0800 hrs.), sticking to the green side as advised, especially at G17 & G19--- sometimes only 3 ft. at low tide! But we had good depths of 11-14 ft. except at R20. The Morrows were right behind us as we communicated the depths to each other. We entered Jekyll Sound (Mile 686) followed by St. Andrew Sound. To avoid extensive shoals the ICW cuts East for a short distance out the sound’s inlet channel. It can be rough especially if the winds & tides are opposing. Then the passage turns SW into more sheltered water at R32 which is shoaling badly, therefore we had to turn immediately to the western side on passing the mark; perhaps better would have been turning west AT the mark. We were now in the Cumberland River. Just a little ways out into the inlet we could see the breakers. As we were motoring down the western shore of Cumberland Island we saw wild horses walking the beach. And the dolphins made their appearance several times today everywhere. Kings Bay (Mile 708) was to starboard & is a submarine home--> security patrol boats. After R78 & G79 the marker colours reversed (pass red to port & green to starboard) & followed the large ship’s channel to St. Marys Inlet. There are 2 approaches & anchorages to Cumberland Island; more than wonderful, protected in it’s primitive state island! In 1972 it was declared a National Seashore Park; thus it will be spared modern development---> it will be a stop in the Spring as we did Spring ’09. At 1215 hrs. we crossed the “Golden Isles” region of Georgia into the “First Coast” region of Florida as we crossed the mouth of St. Marys River in Cumberland Sound, rounding G29. Here we entered the Amelia River passing Fort Clinch & the seaport of Fernandina Beach on port. At G10 we turned to starboard anchoring in the Bells River. The Morrows had difficulty getting their anchor to set confidently & therefore reluctant to dinghy the long distance to Fernandina Beach. Skipper’s meeting was held on VHF, reservations made for St. Augustine for Nov. 22. Despite the clouds we still had a lovely sunset. The winds settled & boat direction changed according to the current. We were both very lethargic today. Can we wait till 2100 hrs. before going to bed?

Sun. Nov. 21, 2010 (Week 7, Day 48): Happy Birthday Mom way across the world in NZ & Australia! Destination: Fernandina Beach (Mile 716.5) to Pine Island (Mile 765) Departure: 0800 hrs. Arrival: 1520 hrs. Mileage: 48.5SM Weather: sun, blue skies, almost hot & dew+++ in the am; did I mention that we have been in shorts for several days now Winds: ESE to SE 4-10K

Ten hours of sleep & woke up to this warm beautiful day. No, we did not make it till 2100 hrs. last night; only 2030 hrs. On leaving Bells River Graeme spotted ‘Artful Dodger’ anchored in the anchorage in front of Fernandina Beach Marina. He did not respond to our hail on VHF so we circled his boat & yelled Patric Collins; he responded & after a short chat agreed to meet in Pine island tonight. Larry then pointed out all the Canadian boats in the anchorage & in the marina; watch out, we are taking over! From the Amelia River we entered Kingsley River; once again I hardly recognized the topography because it was high tide. We all broke our cruising rule re travelling on a weekend in Florida especially on such a beautiful day--- all the crazy power boaters were out. We were pushed across the St. Johns River right after the Sisters Creek Bridge (bascule); often the crosscurrents are as strong as 4-6K! Then heavily against the current as we proceeded through Pablo Creek; the current was particularly bad crossing under the Atlantic Beach Bridge, the Pablo Creek Bridge & the McCormick Bridge. Our jenny was in & out on a beam reach & sometimes on a beat in an attempt to assist our progress against the current. The falling tide continued through Jacksonville Beach, Palm Valley Cut & into the Tolomato River. Pine Island was a very popular anchorage tonight---14 boats. The clouds rolled in from the south therefore it was impossible to see the launch scheduled between 1700-1900 hrs. We did see a sunset & there was some red sky. We dinghied over to ‘Twomorrows’ after unsuccessfully hailing ‘Artful Dodger’. I supplied snacks & Larry cooked our first meal ever of shrimp & grits with some smoked sausage added--> good, & even Graeme indulged in this popular southern dish! A very calm, peaceful night as a full moon guided us back home.

ICW Waterway: Amelia River-->Kingsley River-->South Amelia River--> Nassau Sound-->across St. Johns River-->Pablo Creek-->Palm Valley Cut-->Tolomato River.

Mon. Nov. 22, 2010 (Week 7, Day 49): Destination: Pine Island (Mile 765) to St. Augustine (Mile 778.1) Departure: 0750 hrs. Arrival: 1045 hrs. Mileage: 13.1 SM Weather: warm, ?60F, sunny with some white clouds & an apparent mist on the salt marsh grasses & no dew this am Winds: S & variable 2-8K

The anchorage was clearing quickly. But shortly into the ICW there was a sudden smell of smoke; it was more pronounced in the cockpit rather than the cabin. Nevertheless we shut everything down & lowered the anchor by manually operating the windlass (40 ft. of chain), but Graeme was not seeing any smoke problems except he did notice that the domestic battery was not charging. Up ahead the Morrows called with the same smell; a catamaran behind us said there were fires in the vicinity. We started the motor, raised the anchor & moved on. The odour did get worse but now it was more distinguishable as wood smoke. The non charging domestic battery caused Graeme concern & the checking & testing of wires etc. began. Under the Villano Bridge & I had some confusion as to how to round R60--- GPS & charts indicated one way whereas every other boat & the number & colour marker system indicated the other way. The tide was rising to near high, hence the current against us to this point, then a push. We just missed the 1000 hrs. opening of the Bridge of Lions so we were all doing donuts, a good time to contact the marina & get our assigned mooring balls in the south field-->M54. Once through the bridge we motored through the mooring field to locate our ball & were attached to the mooring ball at 1045 hrs. While Graeme worked on problem solving the domestic battery problem, Larry & I went to the marina office to register, pay, collect our dinghy tags & bathroom passes; Larry showed me the laundry facilities & we walked into the Ship’s Store that was recently under new management (poor), & to the tour office for bus schedule. Clouds had moved in. Graeme & Larry both worked on the battery mystery & even phoned Ian at Norton’s. They suddenly discovered that the domestic battery was now charging. We dinghied over to see Lynn & were soon joined by Graeme & Karin & Patric Collins. Supper= J.P. Henley Pub, thenwe walked around the Old Market, Plaza & Lightner Museum--- all the trees dressed with Christmas lights & decorations. The night sky was lightly cloudy & the full moon was visible, the wind & water was calm & quiet.

ICW Waterway: Tolomato River-->St. Augustine Inlet-->Matanzas River

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nov. 9-15, 2010 (Week 6, Day 36-42)

Tues. Nov. 9, 2010 (Week 6, Day 36): Destination: Tom Point Creek (Mile 495.7) to Beaufort, S.C. (Mile 539.6) Departure: 0650 hrs. Arrival: 1330 hrs. Mileage: 43.9 SM Weather: a burning red sky hung over the salt marsh grasses as the sun was trying to poke it’s head over the horizon, then brilliant sun in a cloudless, blue sky; tempà cool, probably mid 40’sF but a warming trend approaching with highs in the mid 70’sF Winds: WNW at 3-5K

Larry had to cut the wire to his newly installed bilge pump as it started running & would not shut down + the fridge was not functioning! This is not good! Thus our 0630 hrs. departure was delayed till 0650 hrs. & now a marina was a necessity for them. As for us, that decision was delayed as we had planned to anchor in Factory Creek & dinghy to the city docks to be able to see Beaufort (a definite must see on my list). Anchor came up clean as a whistle again. Rising tide from the North Edisto River into the Dawho River at Mile 496.7 at White Point; wound our way as per chartplotter. We had a few caution shallow water areas today & a rising tide was necessary; (1) Fenwick Cut--> good, (2) Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #1-->20+ ft. deep at near high tide, (3) Asepoo Coosaw Cutoff #2--> min. 14 ft. (hardly recognized the cut with all this water !), (4) Brickyard Creek--> high tide; we were keeping pace with rising/high tide. Lady Island Bridge (swing) is on an irregular opening schedule because of the construction on the fixed bridge (J.E. McTeer Bridge) by Port Royal Landing Marina (Aug. 2011); plenty of time for the 1300 hrs. opening. A 2-3K current pushed us to Port Royal Landing Marina; we decided to do 1 night with the Morrows then anchor out. We were assisted by dock staff & tied up without incident to the face dock; lots of construction noise. We had Morrows over for supper (coq au vin, potatoes & broccoli)--- much appreciated especially with their mechanical problems; Morrows brought over carrot cake for dessert! The construction noise continued all evening till 0300 hrs. then resumed at 0530 hrs. Internet--> problems with posting of my blog & sending an email of the post to my category (a brain wave Wed. night & problem corrected). A clear night, stars & warm enough all night without heater.

ICW Waters: Dawho River-->North Creek & Watts Cut-->South Edisto River-->Fenwick Cut-->Ashepoo River-->Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #1-->Rock Creek-->Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff #2-->Coosaw River-->Brickyard Creek-->Beaufort River

Interesting Info: Numerous sea islands rivers & creeks along the South Carolina coast ie Coosaw Island, Morgan Island, Ladies Island, St. Helena Island, Tripp Island, Parris Island, Hilton Head Island, Pinckney Island, Dafuskie Island.

Wed. Nov. 10, 2010 (Week 6, Day 37): Destination: to stay in Beaufort (Mile 539.6 & to stay at marina (pay 2 nights, get 3rd free) + want to see Beaufort more extensively to get a real feel for the community Weather: sunny, blue skies, no clouds, high= low 70’s, low= low 40’s Wind: nothing to speak of

Woke up early because of the construction. I met a seasonal nurse (works 6 mons., cruises 6 mons.) who works at the Beaufort Memorial Hospital while showering up in the marina. After breakfast Graeme added diesel to the boat tank, I did some housekeeping chores in the shower room & head. We signed up for the courtesy car & the 4 of us tootled off to West Marine, Piggly Wiggly, a canvass shop by Lady Island Swing Bridge then over the bridge, parked the vehicle then walked in & out of shops on Bay St.; back to the car then drove around historic streets, especially NE of Carteret St. Once back to the marina we had a few beers & snacks from the grill restaurant on the premises; who wants supper now? We did have a very late light supper (soup) & read + internet--- ironed out my difficulties. Graeme went to bed before me again! Clear sky filled with stars & crescent moon. No large construction noise tonight, only powerful light (not a problem); probably pouring cement.

Thurs. Nov. 11, 2010 (Week 6, Day 38): Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. Unfortunately we don’t have poppies to wear. Destination: Beaufort (Mile 539.6) Weather: sunny, warm with high in mid 70’sF, blue skies Wind: light with a few gusts

Slept in--- 0700 hrs.! Breakfast, shower at the marina, assembled bike & organized myself for sightseeing historic sites. Lynn was doing laundry while Larry did some V-berth maintenance while awaiting some packages that were arriving via UPS; Graeme--> ?. We will meet for lunch at 1230 hrs. at Luther’s (used to be a pharmacy). I left the marina by bike at 1045 hrs. & stopped several times to look at & take photos of historic sites according to my guide. Lunch at Luther’s was great then more sightseeing while the others drove back. The park at waterside is beautiful--- brick sidewalks amongst the many garden beds, many eateries with patios facing Beaufort River, swinging benches at river’s edge. My bottom is no longer used to sitting on a bike seat. Home at 1600 hrs. & as we were packing up my bike a few no-see ums made their annoying presence. Over to the Morrows for homemade thin crust pizza--- yummy! Larry had his T.V. hooked up but the Sens vs Vancouver game was not televised for our viewing. An early night. Dew everywhere; clear skies, ¼ moon & stars. I do not regret the extra time in Beaufort; I now have a good feel for this beautiful, romantic, friendly community.

Fri. Nov. 12, 2010 (Week 6, Day 39): Destination: Beaufort, S.C. (Mile 539.6) to Bull Creek off Cooper River (Mile 565.5) Departure: 0810 hrs. Arrival: 1215 hrs. Mileage: 25.9SM Weather: sunny, cool (high 60F, low 45F), no clouds, only blue skies Winds: calm of last 3 days replaced by cool & brisk NNE winds at 13-15K

Plans altered slightly from leaving at 0730 hrs. until staff arrived at 0800 hrs. to assist with departure secondary to strong winds, chop, opposing current & bridge construction directly behind; still at low water slack; good departure. “Twomorrows” after clearing the fixed bridge under construction had to quickly swerve & slow down to avoid a construction barge. We motored from Beaufort River into the Port Royal Sound passing Parris Island on our starboard side against the current & the wind was NNE on our port quarter until R246; unfurled some jenny then jibbed with a wide sweeping turn around R246 on a beam reach on port tack & the current now with us; speed= 7-8K. At 1010 hrs. we turned into Skull Creek which separates Pinckney Island from Hilton Head Island. ‘Twomorows’ anchored off Skull Creek Marina hoping to have fridge repairs done today, while we continued on past several marinas, under the Wilton J. Graves Bridge (fixed & the only auto access to & from Hilton Head) into Calibogue Sound; flood tide therefore we were going against the current until we turned into the Cooper River; now the current is with us. Daufuskie Island was on port; author Pat Conroy in his book “The River is Wide” wrote about his life as a schoolteacher there. At Mile 565.5 we turned off the ICW into Bull Creek & anchored in 15-18 ft. with rising tide till 1402 hrs. (80 ft. chain). It was early to stop but we did not want to put too much distance between us & Lynn & Larry. Also we wanted to stage for Fields Cut & the Savannah River. As I sat in the cockpit eating lunch & doing some prep reading with the sun beating down, I was starring at the live oaks, palmetto palms, pines, shrubs & 2 maybe 3 homes on one side & salt marsh grasses on the other side; I watched the ICW traffic---all so very peaceful, a contrast to marina life. Late in the afternoon we received not good news from the Morrows--> wrong part shipped! They will call in the am. Supper= leftovers for me (thai coconut chicken with added shrimp) & sweet & sour meatballs for G. Journal writing, some reading & eyes slammed shut at 2100 hrs. A very peaceful night, clear sky stars+++, 2/3 moon; total 5 boats anchored here overnight. This was our last day & night in South Carolina.

ICW Waters: Beaufort River-->Port Royal Sound-->Skull Creek, Hilton Head-->Calibogue Sound-->Cooper River

Interesting Info re Hilton Head: Explored by English Naval Captain William Hilton in 1663. Once the danger of Indian attacks decreased, families settled & built plantations, which now have vanished but are remembered in the name of resorts. The land was farmed for Sea Island cotton, sugar & indigo. Home of 2 civil war forts & Baynard Ruins, a prosperous plantation. In the 1950’s the Sea Pines Co. was the first to begin resort development. Today Hilton Head has the largest collection of condos, hotels & restaurants & marinas in coastal S.C. The island is boot shaped, 42 square miles with 12 miles of ocean beach. Incorporated as a town of about 30,000. Acres of untouched forest & marshland. Nature paths, catwalks, regular scheduled bird walks, museum & sponsored beach walks, extensive bike paths. Gullah is the low country’s population of direct slave descendants & their unique language, eating, art & tradition--> museums & feastivities.

Sat. Nov 13, 2010 (Week 6, Day 40): Destination Bull Creek (Mile 565.5)to Savannah—Turner Creek (Mile 585.5) Departure: 0935 hrs. Arrival 1315 hrs. Mileage: 20.0 SM Winds: calm, N

We awoke 0630 hrs. but stayed in bed while the other boats departed; still low tide or slack low till 0730 hrs. We wanted a rising tide at least; best would be a mid rising tide. We were also awaiting word from the Morrows; called at 0900 hrs. & no news from the repairman so he was unable to jerry rig anything; will check back at 1700 hrs. We moved on taking advantage of flood tides. Sometimes we were moving with the current & sometimes against, depending on our position passing the multitude of streams behind a chain of barrier islands on their Atlantic coastline. Passage past Daufuskie Landing, extensive shoaling area in vicinity of Ramshorn Creek, entrance into Wright River, the north & south ends of Fields Cut (11-20 ft.), the crossing of the Savannah River (strong currents & possible big ships) & confluence of Elba Island Cut with the Savannah River all went well--- good planning. We are now in the state of Georgia. There was no waiting for the opening of the Causton Bluff Bridge, also called Sam Vernadoe Bridge (bascule)--> 3 boats passed. We slowly passed through Thunderbolt & turned off the ICW at R40 & continued to Turner Creek, following the semicircular path of the creek nearly to it’s end to Hogan’s Marina. We had no knowledge or information for this area so committed to one night at the marina--> electricity, no WiFi, two toilets & one shower simple, clean but inside office building, so when office closes at 1700 hrs. no facilities, but they open at 0700 hrs. (Dec. 0800 hrs. opening). There is an anchoring field just very slightly north of us with an easy dinghy ride to this marina. Dinghy tie up= $10.00 per day. After lunch we walked to the library & worked on emails till 1615 hrs. Graeme walked back earlier looking for the hardware store & purchase some beer at the Publix right next door. On my way home I checked out the bus stops & tried to locate a bus schedule for our tour of historic Savannah tomorrow & picked up some milk, oh maybe a few other things, as I browsed the aisles seeing what was on special at Publix. I will pick up salad & bread stuff before we leave this location. Marina faces west; the sunset was wonderful. Supper= fresh corn on the cob, then pork chop & potatoes for G & leftover coq au vin with added shrimp for me. Graeme extremely tired & in bed early. Journal writing+++. Heater is on just to keep the chill at bay, but night sky clear, near ½ moon, stars & cool (heater); water flat calm.

ICW Waters: Cooper River-->Wells Cut-->Wright River-->Savannah River-->Elba Island Cut-->Wilmington River.

N.B. Library hours: Mon. & Tues.--> 1000-2000 hrs. Wed. & Thurs.--> 1000-1800 hrs. Fri. & Sat.--> 1400-1800 hrs. Sun. closed

Publix hours: 0700 hrs.-2300 hrs. everyday

Interesting Info: The geography of S.C. & Georgia coastlines are similar; mostly deep with many streams behind a chain of mostly uninhabited barrier islands. The waters are very tidal with swift currents & tidal ranges sometimes > than 8 ft. The rapid water movement is more pronounced in Georgia & tends to keep the bottom of even small creeks scoured & deep with a few exceptions. Very limited dredging in this state & increasing shoaling.

Sun. Nov. 14, 2010 (Week 6, Day 41): Destination: Savannah (Turner Creek—Mile 585.5) but anchored out in the creek Weather: wall to wall sun, blue sky, no clouds, verging to very warm temps Wind: nil Tide: low= 0830 ish high= 1500 ish

Out of bed at 0645 hrs., breakfast, shower & attended the Lutheran Church across the street for their 0830 hrs. service--> very similar to R.C. Mass. Meanwhile Graeme walked to the library, sat outside & accessed internet for the few emails he needed to attend to but with at lot of frustration apparently. No buses from here, Wilmington Island on Sundays! There went those sightseeing plans for today. Then tomorrow it will be. I was able to copy the #24 bus time schedule from the marina’s office only copy (is it up to date?). We untied from the dock at 1100 hrs. & anchored in the creek; Graeme readied the dinghy & motor. Gentleman on Bristol (Tanzar) slowed his dinghy & spoke to us; he & his wife are from Belleville, Ont. He had some interesting info--- $15.00 Savannah tour 1-1/2 hrs., excellent & very well worth it; iPAD with 3G pays $29.00 per month & almost constant internet & weather with radar application; highly recommends calling Patrol & Border Crossing at each port. After lunch we tied up the dinghy at Hogan’s Marina--> no charge today because of overnight stay. We walked to ACE Hardware (large) & Family Dollar then back home about 1530 hrs. While we sat in the cockpit I was reminded for some time now, at least since Georgetown, S.C., the sound of birds’ call similar to the bird sounds of the Caribbean --- blissful. A striking sunset. Supper= corn on the cob, cube steak, onions & potatoes. Night sky clear, ½ moon, stars, calm & not as cool as last night. Graeme has read through 4 books, I nil. Early bed tonight so as to get the early bus into downtown Savannah tomorrow.

Mon. Nov. 15, 2010 (Week 6, Day 42): Destination: Savannah anchored in Turner Creek Weather: dew+++, slightly coolish temp. about 60’sF, full sun Winds: light, not enough wind to get wind gen to work

Our boat direction changed with the tides; not really affected by wind, especially today with so little winds. A boat shower, breakfast & by 0730 hrs. we were in the dinghy so as to tie it up at Hogan’s Marina ($10.00 per day). We walked to the #24 bus stop in front of the BP station--- arrived at 0815 hrs.; we met Barb & Jim from New Bern, N.C. (trawler) also going to downtown Savannah. The bus ride was about 45 min. dropping us at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. & Broughton, 2 blocks from the Visitor Center. We paid for an Oglethorpe Trolley Tour--- 90 min. long at $15.00 per person with unlimited on & off bus privileges till 1730 hrs.; throughout the historic area. Mickey was the name of our tour guide--> very good; highly recommend tour for 1st time visitors. The tour ended at The Market (0930-1100 hrs.) We walked The Market (2 blocks) had an early lunch at ‘Tapis’ & planned our walking route. We walked the length of River Street with it’s many shops, Factor Row & Factor Walk taking lots of photos; now 1400 hrs. Then we walked some of the historic streets, squares & houses pointed out to us on tour; again more photos. To ‘Leopolds’ infamous for their ice cream especially their Tutti Fruiti flavor; will be moving back to their original site on the corner of Gwinnett & Broughton in the Spring. We only covered 1/3 of the historic area by foot as we made our way back to our bus stop, stopping for a beer, thinking we had time to spare. But I had read the schedule wrong, missed the 1555 hrs. bus & now had to wait an hour & get the last bus. The return ride was in the dark busy with working folk getting off of work, & it took approximately an hour before our stop. We made a detour to the Publix before going to the dinghy. The Morrows called; rented a car & toured & shopped in around Hilton Head. Supper= hot dog + a cob of corn for me. A cloud cover rolled in late afternoon & rain predicted for tomorrow. Do we go on to Redbird Creek tomorrow or stay here tomorrow? We will see what we feel like doing in the am. A warmer night.

Interesting Info: This will be added in the near future!