Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I've jumped ship

I'm on my way home and Don has crew aboard today and is headed up the ICW through Georgia - it's gorgeous but shallow waters. Can you read the book title?

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's warm now - the no seeums are happy

~Fernandina Beach FL - I am about to jum p ship - another nice cruising surprise as Talisman picked up the mooring next to us last night - Roger and Kathy and their dog Pepper - Just went to T Ray's for breakfast - for those of you who don't know T Ray's it's a once in a life time experience - Their t shirt says"eat here get gas " . Ray used to own ( well still does  ) the Exxon station - said he had to do something with all the oil when they closed the gas station so he opened the dinner.  I'll get photos up later - it looks like they stopped pumping gas one day and started serving food the next - a real kick !!
Off to Greensboro,NC to see my college friends Bob & Lyn Houghton, then to Richmond to see sailing friends then to brother Charlies  then home.  Don isn't good at blogging and his computer has dies - i'll keep it up  when i get home to track his progress.  We went to the ocean beach here yesterday and looked out at a gorgeous flat ocean with 10 knot east wind - ahhhhh why couldn't that have been a  sailing day for us??

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hey Brother ~ So glad you didn't leave me

Not hard to find reminders of how short life is.  Got the shocking news that my brother Sean had a heart attack Wed. night.  He is doing well after surgery and hopefully will be home tomorrow.  He and his twin, Peter were just 1 1/2 years old when I was born.  Having so many children, my mother just considered the 3 of us one unit - every dentist and doctor appointment together,every swim  and sailing lesson, we hung out together in the station wagon while Mom had coffee at the Bellows Falls coffee shop ( today you would be arrested for leaving your kids in the car - but then - a pack of five flavor life savors is all it took - we were happy )  That's Sean on the left, Peter and then me.  We went to college together ( he had more stick to-it-iveness than I did ! ) Sean and I were pals ~ I even followed him to the Mobile gas station in Wellfleet to work summers ~  had the same group of friends  and voila - how lucky could I be - he married one of my best friends from boarding school Joan who also followed us to UVM . Sean's been there for me in my tough times and has always been so happy for me in my good times. It was so great to see he and Joan in Miami while we were down there this winter. I can't wait to get home and head to Vermont to give you a big hug - i love you brother .

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Driving isn't nearly as much fun as floating

Drove 9 hours to Stuart and back to get our car - it was so strange to pass the town names of places we have stopped - whir - whizz - I 95 - Yuck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Long and windy day

~ Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FL - Saturday we had a 9 hour day from St. Augustine to Fernandina with winds never going below 25 knots.  That is a very challenging stretch with little water in spots and now we are in 5 foot tides the currents are enormous and strong. We got through the bridge of lions @ 7:30 AM -

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We are looking for CREW

We are looking for a crew member to help Don  take our Westsail from Fernandina Beach, FL ( St Mary's GA area to either Beaufort or all the way to our final destination of Deltaville.  I have to go back to Maine to work so had planned to jump ship. WE have one crew and would like one more for a total of 3.  Experience off shore preferred, not totally necessary - This is more like a couple of weeks commitment than a couple of days.  We will pay expenses. Interested? Send us an email

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday DON & TILLER!!

~ St Augustine 777.8 - Today is Don and Tiller's birthday - I know can you believe it? Tiller born on don's birthday - last year when Tiller asked if he could find his birth parents we said - ahh gee why not?  When we got the birth certificate - well there it was...March 26, 2008 :~)

We had an exciting night last night - a cold front blew through at 11:30 at 40 miles per hour.  We are on anchor amongst 25 boats - the holding here has a reputation for not being that great - it's worth it because we have access to St Augustine.  (There is a lot of current here - in fact we struggled a little when we anchored and the ind was blowing 15 - 20 against the current - the boat settled in and the wind had died at dinner time.) Now our boat was bucking like a bronc - we sleep forward in the V berth so woke up with  he first of the storm. Don got up and stayed up to watch and be sure we didn't drag or the boats around us.The top wind Don saw was 38 - that is not fun - quite frightening in fact though had we dragged we would have had to do what one person in the anchorage had to do - go out in the storm and drive the boat into the wind the best you can.  That where a an enclosure would be really great.

Don's favorite meal to eat out is breakfast and I desperately needed a shower so off we went to land - had  a wonderful omelet at the Greek restaurant, showered ( luxuriated actually ) We try to take sailors showers ( short ) but the St Augustine marina has real water pressure - ahhhh.

This picture of Tiller is the evening in Rock house Creek when we were on Claire and Dean's trawler - Tiller was jumping form our dingy to Barry's - what he didn't consider was that as he pushed off the 2 dinghies would be much farther apart - he made it, gratefully didn't claw into Barry's inflatable - it was quite a site - I don't know how long that jump was but longer than I have ever seen him jump ! Sami caught the pre jump form on he phone. Her is Barry putting Tiller back where he belongs ! Well off to town again and figure out where we can find a few groceries.  I'll get a pic of Don on his birthday scooter and post later.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A dolphin and a Pirate

777.8~ St Augustine - WE had a great evening in Daytona with Sami and Barry - cocktails on their boat and then dinner at Carribean Jacks across the river. We lef tour dingy up - Barry was generous enough to dingy us all with their tender as they are dragging theirs.  Great conversation about sailing, where we all came from , where we are all going ( who knows?) . Nice to be with folks who are enjoying the beauty and challenges of the ICW.  It's not just the ditch that some who have never done this think it is.  We have lots of challenges with water depths, navigation - we cross sounds, go up wide rivers, narrow rivers, into creeks, into historic little towns.  It's a challenge that takes patience and concentration. on our boat we are out in the weather as well. It can be cold or occasionally  very hot.  We had a long day from Daytona - we left at 7:30 and had to dilly dally as low tide a the Matanzas inlet was at noon. That is the spot to go aground this year.As the other boats that anchored in Daytona caught up with us we all chatted  we were puttering along palm Coast - had turned off our engine and had the jib out. that quiet. We let the 5 sailboats and 2 trwalers go by - after much chat about tide they slowed down as well. Ever After caught up as well and stayed caboose.  We got a call back on the radio from someone who was ahead of our 7 boats - he hit the inlet at dead low and gave us the instructions to go through.  We had to ignore the channel markers and go within 50 feet of the shore to keep enough water to get through. It was very distracting as Tow Boat was right there trying to tow of yet another boat that was in the middle of the marked channel and went aground.  The first boat just krept along and we all tried our best to follow his path.  Ever After was just far enough behind to see the lead boat's line - and ran aground - soft though because he was barely moving. They were able to back off - phew ! The only good news would have been that they would not have had to wait for the tow boat !

After we got through - we powered up and as if in celebration this dolphin came along side and swam with us for 20 minutes. Every time I thought he had gone because it had been too long in between his breaches - up he would pop spraying us and getting Tiller really excited.Tiller would get up on the rail and then when the dolphin popped up he would flatten his ears and his body down while still trying to dare to peek at the dolphin.  This was so much fun and the wind had cranked up that we didn't notice for a little while that we were being followed by a pirate !                    This guy must have come out of the anchorage at the fort and saw our Maine hailing port.  he cranked up his outboard and caught us at an opening bridge we had to slow down for.  He started his trip in Sioux City, Iowa and is on his way to Brooklin , Maine.  yes it that boat.  holly cow - all types  - see that blue flag he is flying - that's the Maine state flag ! Click on the first picture to make it bigger to get a perspective of how this guy is a little exposed to the elements. Our boat is 22,000 lbs and regularly rocked by motor boats passing by - we just can't imagine this young guys bravado or .....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From Paradise to Daytona

~ Daytona - Alas - we decided to stay another day in Rock House Creek to socialize with our new friends Claire and Dean on their new ( to them ) CHY Trawler named "Southern Comfort" and our friends from Stuart Sami and Barry on "Ever After". Claire has been wanting a cat on board so we were asked to Bring Tiller with us. He loved the space and proved to her he could climb the outside ladder. She wanted to be sure a boat cat could -('course he could ) She tried to trade us her stuffed cat for Tiller - but no such luck. We had a nice social hour on their boat  until the no-see-ums invaded. of the advantages of this cold windy winter down here - no bugs.  We woke to 55 degrees again in the cabin this morning - a bit chilly.  Now in our less than gorgeous anchorage in Daytona between 2 bridges and just out of the  channel it's a beautiful 70 degree day.  We work every day to not get too much sun exposure. Difficult on our open cockpit boat but the trip to here was just 2 1/2 hours.  Claire and Dean have gone to a marina - ahhh a shower - forgot what that feels like .... We are anchored with Barry and Sami and will dingy over to Caribbean Joe's for dinner.  Tomorrow comes the Dicey - W - tricky spots all day - not looking forward to that but I will say we have goteen pretty good a them. Don's instincts are very good - a few years of experience on the ICW helps and lots of research about the tide and asking other boaters. A little disconcerting that every few hours the Coast Guard comes on the marine radio with a warning about running aground at the Matanzas inlet but they don't hop in their little boat and go move the markers so the deep water would again me in the middle.  They have that spot marked by floating cans - not hard to move. Instead we have found out we are to go through the area getting as close tot he red cans as we can without taking paint off them. Yikes -