Friday, December 20, 2013

Hitting the Pause Button

We've parked the boat in a marina for 3 months to catch up on projects.

The main salon windows need replacing, some canvas work awaits, there's always varnish, I want to repaint the cockpit plus many other small things that we want to get done.

Here's some of our 'neighbors'. Must be 50 in the school.

When we're done here we will haul out to repaint the bottom and a few more projects that can only be done out of the water. Hopefully we're all caught up (yea right) by spring in time to head north.

Merry Christmas

We will be traveling to British Columbia to visit family for the holidays, by airport shuttle, plane, rental automobile and ferry.    Stay tuned for our post about our trip.  We hope it will not turn into a remake of the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles!   To our readers, friends and family, we wish you the merriest Christmas and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vero Beach

Vero Beach, Florida is a nice stop along the Intracoastal Waterway. In fact, it is nicknamed "velcro beach" because cruisers come to the marina here for a short visit and end up staying a long time. Why? Maybe because Vero has an inexpensive mooring field that is well protected from the winds and waves. They have a weekly cruisers happy hour, a great meet and great. But, for us, it's the free shuttle bus to town for shopping and supplies or to the beach! In fact, it is the first thing we did when we got here. We jumped on the shuttle to ........

The beach

We couldn't wait to kick off our shoes and walk along the beach.

I love watching the seagulls glide in the strong winds

Small birds are running from the surf as they hunt for food

This is the Driftwood lodge. A lodge and restaurant found along the beach here in Vero. An eccentric built the original lodge from driftwood. It has been added on to through the years and is a feast for the eyes.

Now thats a table and bench.

You could spend hours reading.

They have incredible sculptures and antiques here too.

Gotta love the beach.

We met a lot of great new people here. Had lots of fun with some old friends too. We had dinner with Stew and Diana from Casual Class. These pelicans were looking for a hand out at one of the restaurants we went to with them.

Stew and Diana gave us the hand made "star" for the top of my Christmas tree. I decorated it with sea shells found while walking the beaches of the Bahamas. Thanks guys, it is perfect!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's beginning to look.........

.........a lot like Christmas! All the small towns here in Florida seem to have holiday festivals.

Titusville even had snow!

Look at it piling up on the palm tree.

In Cocoa, the kids got to experience tubing down a snowy hill.

Frosty the snowman made an appearance.

Christmas trees light up the night.

Of course, the sunset here in Melbourne Florida is the best light show!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Day on the ICW

We spend many days traveling the Intracoastal Waterway. This is an inside passage that allows protection from the big winds and waves of the North Atlantic ocean. It can be challenging with heavy currents, big tidal swings, lots of boat traffic and bridges.

Here are some pics of our trip from Daytona to Titusville.

We got an early start before dawn but with enough light in the sky to navigate. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise.

There are "high bridges" that are fixed. Most are supposed to be at least 65' vertical clearance at high tide. This is good as Freedom needs about 63' (more is preferable).

Here is a picture of a gage on the bridge to help determine clearance. Heights vary with
tide and winds. High winds can drive water to higher levels giving less clearance. This one showed about 64'. 

This is a Bascule Bridge. It is much too low for us to get under. We call the bridge tender on the VHF radio and request an opening. Some will open on demand. Others have a schedule. This one opens every 20 minutes when requested.

Timing for the bridges is crucial. If you arrive too early you have to jockey around waiting. This can be difficult with current pushing you towards the bridge, especially if there are multiple boats waiting with you.

It was an easy day of travel. We arrived in Titusville in time to visit with our friends from Old Rosie, Ben and Jane.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Road Trip!

We got the call. Time for a road trip.

Freedom is tied up safe and sound in North Carolina where the cotton is ready for harvest.

Autumn is the perfect time to hit the road.

Love driving through the mountainous areas of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. is cold in Michigan. Good thing we have warm family and friends to visit.

The reason for the trip? Ed had a big studio shoot.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


"A ship is always referred to as "she" because it costs so much to keep her in paint and powder".

ADM. Chester Nimitz

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Bern

After picking up our rental car from Enterprise for our drive to Detroit, we ventured into New Bern for a look around and dinner.
They seem to have a thing for bears here.

It's a very nice little town.

And to top it off, it's the birthplace of Pepsi.

Dinner was very good. We'll have to come back and spend more time here someday. Meantime we've temporarily become dirt dwellers and car drivers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nice Work!

We replaced an old Taylormade fender under their lifetime warranty. Thank you Taylormade.
A new fender deserves a new fender cover. Chris did a fantastic job fabricating the new cover. Here it is next to an older one. Sharp!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moving South

It is starting to get chilly, especially at night. It is time to move south.

After you pass through Norfolk, Virginia there is a section with lift bridges. These bridges have restricted openings during the week. The weekends are less restrictive and if you are folowing a tow and barge you can sail through on their bridge opening (they arrange opening reservations). Here is the one we were lucky enough to follow through.

Monday was our day to travel the Albemarle Sound, the Alligator River, and the Alligator Pungo Canal. What a great day with beautiful sights.

Here is Ed using our new traveler controls as we sailed the Albemarle Sound.

The Alligator River is shown below.....not a single gator was seen.

The Alligator Pungo Canal reminds us of our river travels.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013





saturated with liquid, esp. water; soaked through.

It's October so we must be in Annapolis for the US Sailboat show.   To say that it rained and was chilly, wet and windy is an uderstatement.  We had a rainstorm stalled over Annapolis and it poured, in buckets, for four of the five days of the show.  Sailors are troopers, we didn't let rain stop us, we donned our foul weather gear and trudged, sodden through the show.  What a blast.

Ed shot videos for Sail magazine. He rigged a plastic bag around the camera to keep it dry. The show must go on.

It was not all work. We spent a lot. A lot of time hanging with friends at Pussers (the local restaurant and bar). And a lot of money on cool boat gear, in fact all the money we made on the Sail magazine shoot.

Monday was the final day of the show. It was bright and sunny.....yay!

We are now getting underweigh to head south.