Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's a Hard Knock Life

We are taking our time heading south this year. The weather has been great. We had one REALLY cold night otherwise it has been very mild. We took the Dismal Swamp route again....lots of thumps to the keel (our hard knocks) but always a beautiful, scenic route with the nicest people along the route.

Looking back at our route along the swamp.

The water is colored by the peat underground and makes a foamy tea when agitated.

Besides the very narrow channel, there are 3 bridges that need to open and two locks.

The narrow channel is made narrower yet. This pic might help explain the hard knocks....logs and limbs lying on the bottom.

South Mills bridge opening for us and the power boat in front of us.

Tieing to the lock and heading down. There is a lock tender both human and dog!

The human tender.

The dog tender.

Some great swampy sights.

At the end of it all is Elizabeth City.

They have a happy hour for cruisers every weekday. The Mayor talks about all that is available for cruisers in his fair city. Wine, beer, cheese and the slips are free. They even provide a rose for the ladies.

We enjoyed a Homecoming parade that passed by our slips and a great night at the local Cypress Creek restaurant.

A great way to travel even with all the hard knocks!

Friday, October 16, 2015

North to South

So, we hussled north to enjoy time with our friends in the Chesapeake Bay and enjoy the boat show in Annapolis.

It's starting to cool off, you can tell by the morning fog.

We left Norfolk, VA and sailed the Chesapeake Bay overnight to visit with friends in Baltimore. So much fun was had in Baltimore that there are no pics!

Passing the last lift bridge into Norfolk.

Beautiful sunsets on the Bay.

We stopped to visit friends, just outside of Baltimore.

A pair of Endeavours.

Brrrrrr....it is getting cold. Time to head South!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What Season is It?


After one of the worst lightning storms the sky at sunset looked like this in Fernandina Harbor.

In Stuart we had rain storms almost every day, some worse than others.

Storms are not the only thing slowing us down (we are sitting out a storm in Georgia right now). Storm forcasts have kept us in place. Hurricane Erika at one time or another was going to head right up the east coast, head in at Miami, Stuart, St Augustine, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Each change in the forcast had our own corresponding change....go north, go south, go west. We are glad that Erika dissipated! Now we get the nasty rain storms that remain.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Cumberland Island is the southernmost barrier island in Georgia. The island is a national park with 36,000 acres of forest, beaches, freshwater lakes, and saltwater marshes.

This year they have sheltered 582 sea turtle nests.

Sea Turtles are endangered. Each nest has about 100 eggs. Survival rate of turtle babies are 1 in five!

The island has beautiful live oak trees and abundant wildlife including wild horses. In the 1800s the Carnegies had a number of mansions on the island.

This Carnegie mansion is in ruins on the island.

We spent a number of days anchored here to explore the island while studying the Hurricane Erika forcasts. This hurricane has had some of the most convoluted forcasting. We had many plans set and then changed and set again.

We took our bikes and rode during the cooler mornings.

Boardwalks take you over the dunes and salt marshes towards the beach

Foliage around the beaches

Monday, August 3, 2015


We got some new wheels! Eds folding bike was recalled and mine was a cheap knock-off. Both were turning into rust machines. When we first got here to Stuart, Florida we rented a car to run to Fort Lauderdale to look at and buy our new bikes. These have 24" wheels and should ride much faster. While in Fort Lauderdale we met with friends for dinner. A fun time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's a Wrap

We are back in the states. Nice to have plentiful provisions at reasonable prices, all the free water we can use, nice calm anchorages and big varieties of restaurants and stores. We will miss the Bahamian people, the crystal clear water, the fabulous and numerous beaches.

We've traded the sound of the rooster crowing.

For the sound of the train whistle.

While cruising the Bahamas you need to fly the courtesy flag. Ours did not do well.

Here is a side by side comparison of it brand new and after 2 months.

My favorite thing in the Bahamas were all the critters. I loved getting up close to the sea turtles.

Eds favorite was the hiking and snorkeling.

Can't wait to go back.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Berry Islands

Our final Bahamas destination for this trip is the Berry Island chain. We sailed downwind from our anchorage at Old Fort Bay on the NW shore of New Providence Island. Our first stop was an anchorage at Devils-Hoffmans Cove. This is a nice anchorage with wind protection but has surge coming in from the cut. Our first spot to anchor got so rolly that we moved to a new spot at high tide. We had lots of fun exploring the uninhabited cays and enjoying the underwater sea life.

We hadn't seen starfish in the Exumas. Lots of them here and sand dollars too.

One of the beaches on one of the cays.

From Devils-Hoffmans we sailed North around Great Stirrup Cay to head past all the shallow waters to Great Harbour Cay. The claim to fame for Great Stirrup is as a stop for cruise ships. The big ships anchor off shore and ferry passengers to a protected bay for fun with jet skis, para-sailing and enjoying the beach.

We anchored in Bullocks Harbour right outside Great Harbour Marina. Miles and miles of great dinghy gunk-holing in this area.

A cut through the mangroves that are around Great Harbour Cay.

We see the after effects of hurricanes throughout the Bahamas. This 'Summer Place' has a draft of probably 8' and is sitting in no more than 4' at high tide and there is no deep water for miles around it.

A hurricane casualty?

Great Harbour has a rich history. The Beach Club was built in 1969 and was a very fancy, dress atire only, very exclusive night club. We met Angie who told us how, as an employee, she was not allowed in the club at night. She disguised herself, dressed to the nines and snuck in. The club was closed and abandoned in 1975.

The old beach club as it sits today. Rumor has it that it was a favorite hang-out for the rat pack, in its day.

There is a fabulous cresent beach on the oceanside within walking distance (although locals stop to give you a ride if they see you walking). We enjoyed the beach and had lunch at the "new" Beach Club.

The people make this cay very special. The nicest we have met. The marina held a party for all the US visitors for our Independence Day (theirs is July tenth). The party included food, drink and arts and craft booths. The proceeds from sales go to the island school. They had a band, a mini Junkanoo and a fireworks display. A fun time was had by all and everyone attended.

We are going to miss the Bahamas....till next time.