Friday, 30 April 2004
Day 35 Friday April 30 Norfolk to Deltaville
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Wolf Trap LighthouseWe left early to take advantage of the light winds. It seemed like an hour we spent passing the huge naval harbor. A patrol boat followed us the entire way. There was every kind of naval vessel you can imagine including several aircraft carriers. There is a large building behind every dock which we guess is a barracks and warehouse. Then it is out into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. We passed two ancient lighthouses as we headed north. (see photo of Wolf Trap Light). Arriving at Deltaville we were greeted by boaters from Eddyville Creek that we first met last fall at Aqua on the Tombigbee. A visiting Yacht Club was having a blessing of the fleet ceremony. The crews were all dressed up in their best nautical outfits. The courtesy car was a Buick Roadmaster station wagon. Certainly the finest courtesy car yet. Most are wrecks.

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Posted on 04/30/2004 4:06 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 29 April 2004
Day 34 Thursday April 29 Downtown Norfolk
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Downtown NorfolkToday we toured downtown Norfolk on their free electric bus. We stopped at the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial which is in the 1850's city hall. The gifts that the MacArthur's were given by Phillipines, Japan and Korea are on display. There is an interesting movie on his life. At 4:00 our friend Corin arrived from Nashville and we went out to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack at the marina. Corin will be with us until Alexandria. 

Sailboat from South Africa

Tonight a sailboat came in from South Africa. They had been sailing for 6 months. They plan to end their trip in Annapolis and sell the boat. That's a hard way to get money out of South Africa.

 
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Posted on 04/29/2004 4:08 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 28 April 2004
Day 33 Wednesday April 28 Great Dismal Swamp Canal to Norfolk
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Great Dismal Swamp Canal to NorfolkWe had 17 more miles of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal to make the 1100AM opening. The lockmaster said that the Corps of Engineers plans to close the canal down for good in October to save $400K. That would be a real shame as it is such a beautiful place unlike any other. You can learn more on the website at www.dismalswamp.net. From there it was just 11 miles to Norfolk. The harbor is huge with lots of activity and naval ships. There is a Naval Museum with the battleship Wisconsin preserved for active duty. It is a free tour but visitors are not allowed inside. The marina and waterfront are better than any we have seen. This downtown is really alive with a full scale shopping center just 4 blocks from the marina. Tonight we went to a movie there.

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Posted on 04/28/2004 3:22 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 27 April 2004
Day 33 Tuesday April 27 Crossing Albermarle Sound to Elizabeth City
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Great Dismal Swamp CanalToday we had to cross Albermarle Sound. This is another shallow (10-15 feet) body of water that is feared by all boaters. By leaving early we crossed the 14 miles of open water without difficulty and arrived in Elizabeth City around 10:00AM. The docks there were not great although the price was right (free). So after a short tour of the town we left for the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. Developed by George Washington in 1793 it is the oldest continually used canal in the USA. It is very narrow (see photo) but there are no commercial tows. There are two locks that only open 4 times a day. We went through the first lock and got to the NC Visitors Center which has the canal on one side and highway 17 on the other side. The docks are very good and we are moored with a C-Dory and a large sailboat.

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Posted on 04/27/2004 3:21 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 26 April 2004
Day 32 Monday April 26 Alligator River Marina
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Thunderstorms at Alligator River MarinaLast night the Dowry Creek owners had a pot luck beer-can chicken dinner that was really fun. To make beer can chicken you stuff an open can of beer in the chicken and barbeque it. It was really moist and good. We left the marina early to take advantage of the low winds on the Pungo River. There was a long canal that connected the Pungo to the Alligator River. The Alligator River was 4 miles wide and we had a following sea with 2-4 foot waves to the highway 64 swing bridge. The bridge only opens if the winds are below 35 miles an hour and marina was on the other side of the bridge so we had to get through to get shelter. Fortunately the winds weren't so high and after a 10 minute wait we got through and into the safe harbor at the Alligator River Marina. We got there about 12:30 so to avoid the thunderstorms and rain that were forecast for the afternoon and evening (see photo). We got lots of rain but no thunderstorm that night. Cell phone coverage has been non existent since Beaufort NC.

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Posted on 04/26/2004 3:05 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 25 April 2004
Day 31 Sunday April 25 Crossing Neuse River and Pamlico Sound
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Dowry Creek Marina This was a day to be dreaded if there was any wind as we had to cross the wide open Neuse River and Pamlico Sound. Towering waves are possible in northeast winds. We left at 6:15AM and ran in 3-4 foot waves for 3 hours. Another open stretch on the Pungo River was much tamer and the wind stayed below 10 mph at all times. We are at Dowry Creek Marina. It is owned by a couple from Ann Arbor. They have had 3 hurricanes in the past 4 years. There is still damage to their swimming pool from Isabel last fall.

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Posted on 04/25/2004 4:14 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 24 April 2004
Day 30 Saturday April 24 Beaufort to Oriental
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Oriental We used the courtesy car to get to a medical clinic so Mavis could have her stitches removed. It was supposed to open at 9:00AM and advertised no waiting. It finally opened at 9:30 when all the staff showed up. Then we waited with several others till 9:45 before anything was done. Mavis fingers are looking much better. We left at 11:30AM for Oriental. Just north of Beaufort I was following our plotted route according to the latest charts when the depth sounder alarm went off. I slowed but we ran aground in a sand bank.. Our first grounding. A cell phone call brought Towboat US within 20 minutes and we were hauled off without any damage. The towboat operator said that the channel had been closed for a couple of years but the charts don't show it. He said he gets a lot of business there. The bill was $600 (covered 100% by towing insurance). We were underway within an hour. Most boats are going fast and ruin their props and struts which costs $1000's to fix. Because we have a single engine slow Grand Banks with a keel protecting the prop and rudder there was no damage. Oriental is another quaint fishing town that promotes itself as the sailing capital of America. Not to be outdone by Beaufort, Oriental was having their first annual boat show with exhibits, food and blue grass music.

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Posted on 04/24/2004 4:13 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 23 April 2004
Day 29 Friday April 23 Snead's Ferry to Beaufort NC
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Kite flyingWe left early to get to the Onslow Bridge for the 7:30 opening. We got there in time but the bridgemaster said he was not allowed to open until 1200 noon because the Navy was practicing with live ammunition and firing across the ICW. We had to drop the anchor and wait. It was a good time to try out the kite I received at Christmas.

By noon there were 5 other boats all waiting as well. Then Warship 58 came on the radio and said that they had a casualty and there was a shell stuck in the barrel of the gun which faced south while they steamed east at 25 knots. Any vessel within 15 miles south had better get out of the way in case the shell went off. However, the waterway was opened as we were west and we sailed for Beaufort NC. 

Kite flying

It's another small historic fishing town. It was music festival weekend at the waterfront so there were crowds and very noisy bands playing. We had supper at a very good restaurant called Spouters. They had the best scallops ever.

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Posted on 04/23/2004 4:07 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 22 April 2004
Day 28 Thursday April 22 Swan Point Marina at Snead's Ferry
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Swan Point Marina at Snead's FerryThe next stop was Swan Point Marina at Snead's Ferry in North Carolina. The marina has fixed docks, at low tide there is little water, the power doesn't work, the restaurant is closed and the water is shut off. Not exactly according to the description in the Waterway Guide. We have to run the generator to get power. However, the worst story came from a couple stranded here in their new Mainship 40 ft trawler. They hit what is believed to be an illegal concrete and metal fishing net anchor right in the channel 50 yards north of marker #9. It broke the prop, shaft, rudder and transmission. In the last 9 days two other boats hit the same object and are high and dry waiting for repairs at this marina. Fortunately we were lucky and missed it. It seems the fishermen stretch nets across narrow channels at night when they can't be seen. The nets are tied down at anchors. The nets catch every fish that is swimming in the channel. The locals all know who is doing it but no one will tell.

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Posted on 04/22/2004 8:15 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 21 April 2004
Day 27 Wednesday April 21 Bucksport to Bald Head Island
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Bald Head IslandIt was just a short 30 miles to Bald Head Island. Another planned community like Defauske and Hilton Head but in our view the best. It is not as flat and the beaches are wide and beautiful here. Every house is unique and many have a guest cabin and golf club garage. A friend, formerly with Duthie Associates, is the CIO for the corporation that runs Bald Head. She gave us the grand tour in a golf tour and explained the history. Old Baldy is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina.

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Posted on 04/21/2004 8:14 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 20 April 2004
Day 26 Tuesday April 20 Waccamaw River
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Waccamaw River 'rock pile'Shortly after leaving at 800AM we heard over the radio that "Marcom" another 40 ft Bluewater ran aground in exactly the same place as "Looking Good" yesterday. There must be something strange about Bluewater Yachts. It was a day on the Waccamaw River which some say is the most scenic waterway on the east coast.. To us it just looked like the Cumberland with cypress trees along the banks. At Bucksport the rescue squad was diving for a boater whose fast boat had hit an object at high speed in a narrow winding river. We passed through the 'rock pile' without incident where the channel is narrow and rock ledges line the shore (see photo). At high tide the ledges are covered. Every mile or so there is a sign advertising the tow services and the propeller repair. We stopped at Crickett Cove Marina and had dinner at their restaurant.

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Posted on 04/20/2004 8:23 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 19 April 2004
Day 25 Monday April 19, 2004 Fort Sumpter to Georgetown
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Live Oak in GeorgetownWe were out at 7:15 without difficulty. The first leg took us out beside Fort Sumpter where the Civil War began. It was not open yet so none of its flags were flying. The rest of the day was spent in the waterway passing through giant marshes. It was like being on the prairies since all you could see to the horizon was marsh. As we neared Georgetown the waterway widens out from an ocean inlet and with a south wind become a little choppy with 2 foot waves. We were welcomed by a boarding from the Coast Guard. Katy Leigh passed inspection without a problem. Next a 40 foot Bluewater called 'Looking Good' didn't look so good when it ran hard aground mistaking the channel buoys for the ICW buoys. TowboatUS finally got her off 4 hours later when the tide started to rise. She had to be towed in so there must be damage. We are beside a 125 foot sailboat 'Snow Goose' from New Jersey. The crew is hard at work fixing blisters in the fairing that covers the aluminum hull. Georgetown is another old town settled in the 1700's with a number of houses dating back to that time. The live oak pictured between the two houses is over 500 years old and measured 23 ft in circumference, 120 feet tall, with a crown spread of 125 according to the sign dating to 1940.

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Posted on 04/19/2004 8:07 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 18 April 2004
Day 24 Sunday April 18 Charleston
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Cruising on the Coosaw River

This was a rest day. Got up late, did some work on the boat, and plotted courses for the next 7 days. A shuttle van from the marina took us downtown to the market where we had brunch at Minstrel's Restaurant. Their eggs benedict were excellent. We took the tour of the Exchange Building. This is one of the three oldest buildings in the USA according to the sign. We walked on the same floor that George Washington walked on in 1791. They had kind of a hokey animatronics history lesson on the ground floor which was a jail at one time. We re-provisioned at a Harris Teeter store located in a restored waterfront terminal building in downtown Charleston. The van picked us and the groceries up at the store and brought us back to the marina. Very convenient and no extra charge. The weather is perfect today with a light wind, no clouds and 80 degrees. The forecast looks good for the next week as well. The photo is from yesterday where we are cruising on the Coosaw River just north of Beaufort.

 
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Posted on 04/18/2004 4:52 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 17 April 2004
Day 23 Saturday April 17 Beaufort to Charleston
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Chocolate cake at Emily's in BeaufortDinner last night was at Emily's in Beaufort. We went with Bill and Gerda from 'Worth Doing' a new 42 foot Grand Banks Europa. They did the loop last year and are from Onaway MI. Emily's is a Tapas restaurant so you can order various dishes of relatively small portions including emu, garlic shrimp, etc. The food was magnificent. For dessert we ate most of the chocolate cake in the photo. Everyone left at 8:00 to make the bridge opening. It was a 65 mile run to Charleston. The last 10 miles were very slow because of no wake zones and the fast current that ran against us. We got into the Ashley Marina without incident and the current and wind were all in our favor.

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Posted on 04/17/2004 8:43 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 16 April 2004
Day 22 Friday April 16 Hilton Head to Beaufort
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Horse drawn carriage in BeaufortAlan and Jenny left for home in Nashville after breakfast. We left Skull Creek for Beaufort; a distance of 21 miles. What a contrast to Hilton Head. Beaufort dates back to the 1700's. There are beautiful old homes and an interesting shopping street. The marina is one of the best so far with very knowledgeable dockhands. The current is very strong. We came in facing the current and then the dockhand turned the boat around using the current so we would be facing the right way to leave in the morning. That way he said we could avoid being caught in 'ping-pong alley'. We took a horse drawn carriage tour around the town and learned all about the town's history from the driver. This was one of the richest cities in America during the 1700's and early 1800's. It was spared from being burned by the Union so a large number of ante bellum homes remain. All are lived in and well maintained.

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Posted on 04/16/2004 9:21 PM by Bob Duthie
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Thursday, 15 April 2004
Day 21 Thursday April 15 Hilton Head
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Harbour Town at Hilton HeadWe spent most of the day at Harbour Town walking around the shops and looking at the boats that were paying $10 a foot for a slip. Some were over 100 feet long and didn't mind paying $1000 a night to be near the 18th hole at the golf classic. The harbor was dug out so is well sheltered and modeled after Italian harbors. I had to climb to the top of the lighthouse to take the photo. Much better than Skull Creek. On Hilton Head everything is new since development only started in 1950.

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Posted on 04/15/2004 9:05 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 14 April 2004
Day 20 Wednesday April 14 Mavis has a mishap
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Defauske Island The wind reduced somewhat in the morning but the cold cloudy weather continued until the afternoon. We rented a golf cart (no cars allowed on Defauske) and toured the island with the main attractions being the golf course, hotel and a model (for sale) cottage. At 3:30 we left for Hilton Head with Jenny. Alan took the ferry to get his car. We wanted to stay at the Harbour Town Marina but since the Heritage Golf Classic was on there they wanted $400 per night for a slip so we had to settle for the Skull Creek Marina. It was well named as another disaster took place here. This marina was also not sheltered and in the river with strong currents. We docked on the outside without a problem. Alan drove us around the beautiful developments on Hilton Head called plantations. Returning to the boat we decided we would be more comfortable on an inner slip. It was not a good decision. The wind and current conspired and we found ourselves crosswise with Mavis mashing two fingers between our boat and the bow rail of another. We gave up and went back to the outside dock. Then we took Mavis to the local hospital to get her hand stitched up. It was 1100 before we got back to the boat and had a sandwich for dinner. The wind had died down so we all got a good sleep.

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Posted on 04/14/2004 9:04 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 13 April 2004
Day 19 Tuesday April 13 Savannah to Defauske Island
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Defauske IslandIt is just 20 miles from Savannah to Defauske Island. We arrived before noon. Our friends Alan and Jenny arrived to join us on the 4:00PM ferry from Hilton Head. This island is beginning to be developed but with no bridge it is expensive and will take some time. There is a good hotel and conference center on the island. It is best known for the movie 'Conrack'. We will remember it for the one of the worst nights ever on the boat. The dock was not sheltered and the stern faced the incoming waves. It was cold, and the wind was blowing up to 30 miles an hour all night long so we had waves crashing onto us and the lines creaking under the strain. No one got much sleep.

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Posted on 04/13/2004 9:02 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 12 April 2004
Day 18 Monday April 12 Jekyll Island to Thunderbolt Marina
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Yacht being servicedLast night the weather forecast was dead right. We had our first thunderstorm with heavy rain. As the tide was low again the dock master took me out in a Boston Whaler to take soundings of the channel. He pointed out a whole island shown on the charts no longer exists as it was washed out in a storm a couple of years ago. No wonder it was confusing trying to find Delegal Marina. We left shortly after and had no trouble this time getting back to the Intracoastal Waterway. It was only 18 miles to Savannah so after a short run we arrived at Thunderbolt Marina (formerly Palmer Johnson). They no longer build super yachts here but do provide service. There was a huge yacht on the ways. This marina is the closest to downtown and there is public bus service about a mile away. So we rode the bus, had lunch at the Savannah College of Art & Design tea room and wandered about the historic district. Dinner was aboard.

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Posted on 04/12/2004 9:07 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 11 April 2004
Day 17 Easter Sunday April 11 Jekyll Island
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Jekyll Island Club HotelThis was not our best day. The plan was to anchor at New Teakettle Creek in one of Georgia's great marshes. I had a magnificent breakfast (see photo) at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and was back on the boat at 9:00AM ready to go. Mavis had walked 1.5 miles to a store to get groceries but when she went to pay found she had lost her money on the way. She walked back got some more money and returned to the store. A total of 6 miles and 2 hours of walking. So now we left at 10:30 but the weather forecast for the night was not good so it was decided to find a marina instead of anchoring. There are not very many marinas in the vast marshes so instead of a 40 mile cruise we had to go 82 miles. It meant an arrival time of 7:30PM just before sunset. However, the channel to the Delegal Creek marina was very confusing and at low tide risky. The course I plotted and loaded into the Garmin chart plotter refused to work so we had to resort to using the directions in the guide book. At times the depth sounder showed less than 0 under the keel but somehow we made it across the shoals. The marina was closed but they had said earlier to tie up to the fuel dock. We only took 13 photos today none of which will win any prizes.

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Posted on 04/11/2004 8:56 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 10 April 2004
Day 16 Saturday April 10 Cumberland Island National Seashore
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Cumberland Island National SeashoreWe left early to get to Cumberland Island National Seashore. The island was 90% owned by Andrew Carnegie around the turn of the last century. He built a mansion on the island which is now in ruins. The Carnegie family donated their holdings to the government. There is no bridge to the island and never will be so the population is very small. We anchored out and took the dinghy to the park's dingy dock. It was about a mile across to the beach which is very wide, hard packed, and stretches for miles. Then we walked to the ruined mansion.

The island is covered with huge live oaks which shade the palmetto palm underneath. There a lot of Spanish moss in the live oaks. On the way back we saw the wild horses the island is famous for.

Wild horses on Cumberland Island beach

Around 1230 we pulled anchor and cruised north to Jekyll Island. This island is owned by the Georgia State government but is leased out to various businesses. It was acquired by the New York industrial tycoons in the early 1900's and used to escape New York winters. We docked at the Jekyll Club Hotel dock and it all to ourselves. The hotel was restored in the 80's and is very grand. Jackets and ties are required at dinner. The tide is 8 feet high here so as it dropped we wondered if we would be on the bottom. Although the guide book says there is 11 feet of water at low tide, I measured it as more like 5 feet as we had just 1.5 feet under the keel at low tide. There is a good looking restaurant on the dock but the wait was 45 minutes so we had pizza on the boat.

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Posted on 04/10/2004 8:59 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 9 April 2004
Day 15 Good Friday April 9 Fernandina Beach
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Out at 7:15AM our first task was to get fuel. First time since Bradenton and we added 100 gallons to fill the tanks - full. We cruised north to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Except for about 10 miles the channel is wide and marshes extend for miles. At the St John's River there is a huge dry dock that contained a destroyer. We managed to get dock space at Fernandina Beach Municipal and avoided anchoring out. The tide here is 7 feet high and in some slips the boats just settle into the mud. This town was also settled at the same time as St Augustine. It is very touristy as well but much more sophisticated shops than St. Augustine. There are two paper mills here (but no smell so far) and it is a shrimp fishing center. The photo shows the view off the stern of our boat during cocktail hour.

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Posted on 04/09/2004 9:10 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 9 April 2004
Day 14 Thursday April 8 St. Augustine
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St. Augustine is the oldest city in America dating back to the 1500's. It changed hands several times among the Spaniards, French, and English before becoming part of the USA in 1821. We spent the day in museums and walking around the town. The living museum had well versed guides that talked about what they would have done in the 1700's. The calligrapher worked for the church recording birthdays, etc. The old town has many shops catering to tourists. The building in the photo is an office building. We ate dinner out at a garden restaurant across from the Spanish fort.

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Posted on 04/09/2004 9:08 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 7 April 2004
Day 12 Tuesday April 6 Arriving at Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona
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Dolphin alongside the boatThree other sailboats anchored near us last night and left before it was light. We passed each one by 1000. Our course took us past the Kennedy Space Center where we could see the rocket assembly building from 25 miles away. There were no lift offs today unfortunately. Poorly named Mosquito Lagoon is a long, very wide and beautiful stretch of water. It is wild on all sides and reminded us of Kentucky Lake. Unlike Kentucky Lake we had dolphins accompany us several times. The tidal current in the Halifax River was running against us at about 2 mph. and slowed us down. At one point Mavis and I debated whether you can resume speed when you see the resume sign or whether you have to wait till you get to the sign. I decided that it was OK to speed up insight of the sign. A boat coming our way turned on its blue lights. It was the sheriff. He set us straight but did not issue a ticket. Now we know. We finally arrived at Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona at 530 just before closure. A new restaurant had just opened up in the marina and we decided to try it. The service was abysmal but the food when it finally arrived was pretty good. Not a good idea to try new restaurants on opening week.

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Posted on 04/07/2004 8:27 PM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 7 April 2004
Day 13 Wednesday April 7 Downtown Daytona
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Downtown DaytonaWith only 54 miles to go today we had time to walk to downtown Daytona for breakfast. It was only about 3 blocks and very attractive. (see photo). Daytona is very keen on recycling with mini-centers every block or two on the waterfront. Each includes and oil recycling container. The ICW from Dayton to St Augustine is built up on both sides of the canal about 60% of the way. It was probably the least scenic so far. The marina at St. Augustine has the biggest sailboats we have seen so far. They can only sail outside the barrier islands as their masts are 80 feet high, much to high to pass under the 60 foot bridges. The one in the photo must be close to 80 feet long and is registered in the Cayman Islands. A tax dodge used by super yachts. One came in beside us and used its thrusters to get to the dock.. There are 3 other boats here that attended the America?s Great Loop Cruisers Association rendezvous last fall. Most had spent the winter in the Bahamas and were now sailing north. Tomorrow we will spend in town seeing the sights.

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Posted on 04/07/2004 8:29 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 5 April 2004
Day 11 Monday April 5 From Vero Beach to Melbourne
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Cruising to MelbourneWe had breakfast aboard and then had work to do; replacing a flag halyard, changing 3 fuel filters, and touching up some varnish. (We scraped the rail docking last night.) Of course after changing the fuel filters the engine would not start. I had to go the manual to find all the bleed screws. Then it started right up. We left at 11:30 and cruised to Melbourne where we are anchored for the night. The pelicans are right beside us feeding. They spot a fish from 30 ft up and then crash into the water. It is spectacular. Tomorrow will be a long day 85 miles to Daytona Beach.

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Posted on 04/05/2004 8:08 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 5 April 2004
Day 10 Sunday April 4 Leaving for Vero Beach
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Dock beside MeanderBreakfast was at the Marriot as part of the Rendezvous. We set sail at 1100 heading north 31 miles for Vero Beach. We stayed there with friends Lee & Vic from Meander that we traveled with last fall on the Tombigee cruise. Vero Beach is the 7th best place to live in the USA according to USA Today. Everything is just about perfect. There is only one high rise. We stayed at their dock beside Meander and had dinner at their home about 30 feet from the dock. The weather in Vero Beach is perfect from November to April. There is no need for air conditioning and rarely any need for heat. It hardly ever even rains.

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Posted on 04/05/2004 8:06 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 3 April 2004
Day 9 Saturday April 3 Last day of the Marlow Marine Rendezvous
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Best costume - pirate and parrotGreat pirate costumeThis was the last day of the Marlow Marine Rendezvous. Mavis passed the small boat handling course actually docking a 42 foot Grand Banks with twin engines. Bob attended an additional lecture on water makers, boat decorating, and sales taxes. While it would be fun to get a water maker I just can't see the need on the inland lakes and rivers. It only makes sense in the Bahamas and Central America where water costs up to $0.65 per gallon. In the afternoon we rented a car shopped for provisions and toured downtown Stuart. There was big craft fair on and the streets were blocked off. Tonight was a costume party with a pirate theme. The winner of the best costume is shown in the front and back photo.

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Posted on 04/03/2004 9:50 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 2 April 2004
Day 7 Thursday April 1 Rest day in Stuart
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RegistrationThis was a rest day. Up late, breakfast at the hotel, and then planning the route from Stuart to Fernandina. Registration was at 2:00PM. All 20 boats arrived and found slips by 4:00PM. There is one 32 foot, two 36 footers, maybe 6-8 42 footers, with the largest boat a 57 foot Nordhavn. There were strong winds so people had lots of trouble getting into their slips. Marlow put on a cocktail party with lots of food so we didn't need any dinner. There are people here from New York, Michigan and Florida.

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Posted on 04/02/2004 9:22 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 2 April 2004
Day 8 Friday April 2 Varnish, fuel filters, water makers, internet, and diesel
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DockThis was a day of learning. I learned about varnish, fuel filters, water makers, getting the internet on a boat, and diesel engines. It was worthwhile as I have been doing several things wrong; you have to change the engine fuel filter at the same time as you change the pre-filter. Don't put tape on the engine zincs or they could be insulated and won't do their job which is to be a sacrificial anode preventing your engine from disintegrating in salt water. Water makers are to be avoided unless you are going to the Caribbean islands or South America. You don't need them on the rivers and lakes. There is still no inexpensive but reliable way to get high speed internet on a boat that is cruising in US waters. The scheme I use is the most cost effective solution for the time being. There was a dinghy race with different classes. I won the slow class by default without even having to launch the dinghy as no one else entered. Tonight was a great party. Tomorrow Mavis gets some hands-on at the wheel in a large trawler in the woman's boat handling class.

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Posted on 04/02/2004 9:24 PM by Bob Duthie
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