Sunday, 28 June 2009
Day 15 June 28 Greenport to Freeport, ME
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Last night at dinner we got to know Michael and Lorna from Aberdeen, Scotland. They flew over for the weekend to attend TrawlerFest. They have purchased a 75 ft wooden fishing boat in Scotland and will either restore it and sail it across the Atlantic or buy an equivalent boat here. They want to do the Great Loop and attended my talk to learn more about it. Michael told us that there are hundreds of Duthies that live in Aberdeen. 

Today we drove 240 miles to Freeport Maine, the home of L.L. Bean. It seems the entire town has been turned into a monster outlet mall with quite a few high class brands represented in addition to Bean. It is very well done with lots of parking. The huge L.L. Bean store has lots of helpful clerks and we left a little poorer with new hiking boots.

Tonight the iPod is playing with our own tribute to Michael Jackson; 7 selections from Dangerous. Our next stop tomorrow is Acadia National Park.

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Posted on 06/28/2009 10:14 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 27 June 2009
Day 13 June 26 Mystic to Greenport, NY
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The ferry across Long Island Sound was booked for 1:00PM. We got there early and got lucky to be the last vehicle loaded on the 12:00 noon ferry.  This gave us an extra hour in Greenport. This is a beautiful old town on the eastern end of Long Island. We found a place to park downtown near TrawlerFest without too much trouble.

Mavis stayed aboard and I spent a couple of hours talking to folks on the docks and in the boats on display, drumming up business for my talk. I set up our banner in the presenters' booth. Dinner with butterflyed shrimps still in the shells with mushrooms was at the Loft Restaurant. It was very good.

About half way through dinner, an announcement was made that a severe thunderstorm was on the way. I left, got our banner from the booth, put it in the motorhome,  and was back to the restaurant just as the rain started. The wind blew at 50 mph and the rain came down in buckets. The roof leaked over Bob Smiths seat, and all the people on the outside second floor deck had to abandon their seats and come inside. The rain was 6" deep in the roadway out front (see photo). When the rain stopped we returned to the campground and had a quiet night.

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Posted on 06/27/2009 9:23 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 27 June 2009
Day 14 June 27 Greenport NY
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The seminars were held in an old movie theater that is still in use. There are at least 3 screens. The acoustics in our theater were very good and people had no trouble hearing without a microphone. About 50 people attended my talk which was very good considering the rather low turnout overall. My slides looked great on the huge movie screen. (see photo).  Mavis sold CDs at a table in the back of the theater.

My talk was at 8:30 so we were free to see the town by 10:30AM. We had lunch in a 1949 soda shop restaurant. There was a really great chandlery on the docks and for the first time ever I found a Greek seaman's hat that fits. They even had one that was too big for my head. Now I can look really cool at the helm of our boat or in Mavis' Miata. 

Tomorrow we are on the 8:00AM ferry to New London and continuing our trip to Newfoundland.

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Posted on 06/27/2009 9:24 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 26 June 2009
Day 12 June 25 Brooklyn to Mystic, CT
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We returned to the View parked beside the Brooklyn Bridge and found it in perfect condition. Once again the GPS found our way through Brooklyn and across the Whitestone Bridge. There was relatively little traffic on I-95 heading north.

At noon we arrived at Mystic Seaport. This museum must be the oldest and largest maritime museum in the country. It consists of a whaling village, boat yard, harbor, and several exhibit galleries. They were getting ready for a wooden boat show this weekend and several beautiful boats arrived while we toured the grounds. The last wooden whaleship in the world is being restored in the museum's shipyard. A three story staircase has been built to get visitors to the deck. The ship is immense and must have a draft of 15 ft.

Tonight we are at the Seaport Campground in Old Mystic.

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Posted on 06/26/2009 1:42 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Day 11 June 24 Cape May to Brooklyn, NY
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Amazingly everything worked out. We went north on the Garden State Parkway and the GPS led us directly to the building in Brooklyn between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. There was a parking lot almost beside the condo that for a mere $75 let us park for 24 hours. It was surrounded with a high chain link fence and topped with razor wire. On one side was the high wall beside the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge. Attendants were on duty for 24 hours.

Cousin Hugh's condo is in a restored factory with high ceilings and lots of windows. The building has been restored with first class quality materials. As Hugh had to work in his advertising business we walked around nearby Brooklyn Heights, a high class very old neighborhood. Then we walked on a path to the first tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. This bridge was built just after the Civil War and is still very much in use. Hundreds of people were walking, running, and riding over the bridge. Hugh not only purchased his condo but also a roof garden on the top of the building above the penthouse floor. See the photo for the spectacular view from the roof garden. The view ranges from the Statue of Liberty to the Manhattan Bridge. We drank wine while the sun went down and then went to a nearby Tapas restaurant for dinner.

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Posted on 06/24/2009 3:38 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Day 10 June 23 Kiptopeke State Park to Cape May
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It's a nice trip north on the Eastern Shore to Lewes. In Virginia there are gas stations with diesel every few miles. Crossing into Delaware there are almost no stations with gas or diesel. Worrying that we would run out we went into Snow Hill and drove around with no luck. Finally we asked at a gas station and were told to just stay on the main road and there was a service center about 8 miles north. Sure enough and we got the best price we saw anywhere on the Eastern Shore.

At Lewes we boarded the ferry for Cape May. Delaware Bay can get pretty rough if the wind is meeting the current. However, today there were some big rollers but only 1-2 foot waves. The photo shows our arrival at Cape May. This is one of the tretcherous places on the Great Loop. The ferry wash causes shoaling on the right side of the Cape May Canal.

Today there was a dredge working on the channel. I decided to stay in Cape May instead of heading farther up the New Jersey coast. I picked the Beachcomber Camping Resort because it has 750 sites. It turns out 734 are seasonal with mostly permanent installations. We dug our way through 8 inch deep mud in the first site and switched to a second site. They have had a lot of rain here. Tonight we are going to the Lobster House for dinner. It has become a tradition to eat there. We eat there on the Great Loop and again when I helped move a boat from Rhode Island to Baltimore in November 2007.

Tomorrow we are going to Brooklyn and will stay at my cousin Hugh's condo overlooking the East Rive provided we can find a place to safely park the View. Incidentally, you can leave comments  now if you wish without having to register.

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Posted on 06/23/2009 9:29 PM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 22 June 2009
Day 9 June 22 Rodanthe to Kiptopeke State Park, VA
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We left the KOA at Rodanthe at about 8:30AM. Our first stop was at Nags Head where the headquarters of the Kitty Hawk Kite Shop is located. Kites have come a long way since we were kids with prices from $10 to $250. We splurged on a $50 model that we hope to fly in Woodbury with our grandkids.

Next we parked at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. We watched a volunteer tell the story in front of a full scale reproduction of the actual plane used by Wilbur and Orville to make the first flight in December 1903. Then a ranger took us outside and repeated much of the story at the site where the flight took place. It is all very well done and dramatic to see how the first flight of 120 ft grew to 852 ft in the same day. Shortly after the first flights the plane was wrecked by the wind. The Wrights spent the next 5 years patenting their invention. Only after that did they make any money by licensing a British firm to make copies.

This afternoon we crossed over the Chesapeake on the bridge-tunnel and stopped at Kiptopeke State Park for the night. The photo shows a large thunderstorm over the Chesapeake which is heading south and will soon arrive where we are camped.

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Posted on 06/22/2009 8:14 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 21 June 2009
Day 8 June 21 Ocracoke to Rodanthe
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We had quite a pleasant night with the ocean air blowing through the View. Generators have to be shut down before 10:00PM. It was a 10 mile drive north to the Ocracoke-Hatteras Island ferry. It is a free ferry and runs every 30 minutes. Since the trip takes 40 minutes they have at least 4 ferries running at all times.

The shoals in the area require a round about route. Our next stop was the Cape Point Campground at Cape Hatteras. It is the largest in this National Seashore but was almost uninhabited compared to the Ocracoke campground. There were dead pine trees all around the campground. We asked the ranger at the famous Hatteras lighthouse (see photo) about the dead trees. He said they were not native and were planted to hold the sand dunes in place.  A hurricane covered them with salt water and they all died. Another example of man trying to be smarter than nature. We decided to keep going.

We had lunch at the Diamond Shoals Restaurant in Avon and stopped a Food Lion for groceries. The grocery was wild with people shopping for the week. Changeover day must be Sunday for the thousands of  rental units here. The checkout line was at least 20 people deep. Continuing north we stopped for the night at a KOA in Rodanthe (of "Nights In Rodanthe" 2008 movie fame).  This KOA charges as much for one night as the the government charges for 6 nights in the National Parks. It is the most expensive RV Park since Key West. After a walk on the beach it clouded over, rained for few minutes and cooled down so now we don't need the air conditioning.

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Posted on 06/21/2009 8:42 PM by Bob Duthie
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Sunday, 21 June 2009
Special Request for Photo of the View
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A reader asked to see what the View looks like. This is a January 2009 photo taken at the Jumbo Rocks Campground at Joshua Tree National Park in California.

The View is 23 feet long and built on the Dodge Sprinter chassis. It has a Mercedes Benz 5 cylinder diesel engine and is equipped with dinette, couch, galley, bathroom, and bunk beds at the back. We average around 18.5 mpg. 

Because it is short we can park almost anywhere and don't need to tow a car. We bought it to tour the continent and not to sit for months in a campground like most RVs.

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Posted on 06/21/2009 8:45 PM by Bob Duthie
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Saturday, 20 June 2009
Day 7 June 20 Cedar Island to Ocracroke, NC
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The ferry across to the Outer Banks took 2.25 hours. The water is shallow in the sound with large shoals so the the route is not direct. Ocracoke is a tiny town with lots of gift shops. It has been settled for a long time and even had a battle in the civil war. There is an old British Cemetery.  We got a good site at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The temperature was in the mid 80's but there was a 10MPH breeze that kept us cool. We walked for 1.5 miles along the beach in the morning, took a trip to town in the afternoon and just sat around reading for much of the day.  Tonight we have the generator going to get hot water and some cool air.
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Posted on 06/20/2009 11:54 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 19 June 2009
Day 5 June 18 Charleston Harbor Marina
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Wednesday evening we had dinner at one of the Shem Creek restaurants. The shimp and grits were great. When one group got up to leave about 50 seagulls swooped into eat the left overs; it was wild and I got the scene on vide right out of Hitchcock's famous movie the "The Birds".

We had a great sleep that night aboard Dewlap. The tide tables were checked so we could leave for a cruise at slack tide and return at slack tide. We had to be ready to go at 10:00AM. It takes about an hour to get Dewlap ready with its hinged boarding ladder, fenders, engines, 50 amp power, water line, charts, computer navigator, etc.

At 10:00AM there was no current and no wind so it was pretty easy moving out into the Cooper River. We cruised up the Cooper to the Navy Yard, and then wend over to the Wando River. We had to wait for a container ship to pass that was docking with assistance from a tug. It was a Maersk Sealand ship, the largest container shipping company in the world. As a result of the dock worker union that could not agree to a competitive wage, Maersk will be leaving Charleston soon and taking its business to another port. 

We anchored for lunch the mouth of Nowell Creek and relaxed. On the way back we passed Ft.Sumter (where the civil war began). We docked safely at 5:00PM with no current and little wind. That evening we had a very good dinner at Oscar's Restaurant in Summerville and camped at Bart & Ellie's new house in a Del Webb development.

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Posted on 06/19/2009 10:54 AM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 19 June 2009
Day 6 June 19 Summerville SC to Cedar Island, NC
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This was a 350 mile day retracing some of the ports we visited on the Great Loop; Georgetown,  Myrtle Beach,  Bald Head Island, Snead Ferry, and Beaufort. What took 6 days by boat, we did in 8 hours. In spite of the fact that the road maps show US 192 as a scenic route through Camp Lejeune we were refused entry by the guard and had to retrace our steps and go around the base.

At Beaufort we took US 70 and followed a string of islands out to Cedar Island.  This is a bird sanctuary and very beautiful with vast marshes.

Tonight we at the Driftwood Motel & RV Park about 100 yards from the Outer Banks ferry dock. We leave at 7:30AM on the ferry.

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Posted on 06/19/2009 10:56 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Day 3 June 16 Roebuck to Charleston, SC
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It was a short 200 miles to Charleston. Along the way we stopped at a truck stop and had the View weighed. It is exactly 10,000 lb some 900 lb under the maximum. This is good as there is less wear and tear on the tires and transmission. The left side is 360 lb heavier than the right.  How to move 180 lb from the left to the right to balance things up we can't figure out.  

We arrived at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina at 2:00PM. The marina is at Patriot Point beside the Yorktown aircraft carrier. We crossed the spectacular new Ravenel suspension bridge to get to the marina.

Our friends Bart and Elie recently acquired a 49 ft Defever named Dewlap. We spent the afternoon on the boat watching thunderstorms over downtown Charleston and a lot of heavy rain and wind. Dinner was at the resort and tonight we are sleeping on the boat with its air-conditioning as there is no shore power in the resort parking lot.

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Posted on 06/17/2009 1:46 AM by Bob Duthie
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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Day 4 June 17 Charleston Harbor Marina
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We took the View to breakfast at the Boulevard Diner , a small 50's style place about a mile from the Resort. The building looks like it was once a DQ. 

Next we took the ferry across the harbor to the Maritime Center and walked around town. The market was mobbed with people.

We finished the tour in the relatively new South Carolina Aquarium. It has many of the features of the Tennessee Aquarium but all on a smaller scale. 

The ferry took us back to the Marina.  I talked to the owner of a 57 ft Marlow Explorer on the next dock over. He told horror stories of coming in with the wind and very strong current you find in all the Charleston river marinas.  He is still getting used to his first big boat.  Bart told me a horror story about a man that had just bought a Defever 43. He was in a big hurry to head north. He had little experience with boating and had recruited an equally inexperienced crew member.  He was going through the Rockpile at night and decided it was time to anchor. The Rockpile is notorious feature of the Intracoastal Waterway near Myrtle Beach. There are rock ledges on both sides of a narrow canal that are underwater at high tide. This is not a place to anchor ever but he did. Overnight as the tide dropped, the boat tipped backwards on the rock ledge and water came over the stern and drowned the engine room.  The boat is still being restored.

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Posted on 06/17/2009 9:32 PM by Bob Duthie
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Day 2 June 15 Nashville to Roebuck, SC.
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We were underway at 6:15AM and drove 359 miles to a small campground at Roebuck arriving at 3:00PM EDT. Crossing the Clinch River, the site of the TVA's massive fly ash storage pond spill, we could see floating dams but overall the water looked pretty clean and there were boats running about.

We were going to stop at Asheville, NC but got there so early we decided to keep going and save time tomorrow getting to Charleston.  I-40 is spectacular going through the Smoky Mountains. With relatively few trucks, no landslides, and no rain, it was pretty easy going.

Roebuck is a small town near Spartanburg. The campsite is small but well equipped. Most of the campers here are in 5th wheel trailers which are probably permanent homes. One has two red Chrysler Crossfire sports cars out front in their own tent; one is a convertable the other a hard top.

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Posted on 06/16/2009 12:00 AM by Bob Duthie
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Monday, 15 June 2009
Day 1 June 14 Kenlake to Nashville
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We started the day right with a 20 mile cruise on the Nautica RIB with friends on jet skis to Moors Marina on Kentucky Lake for their buffet breakfast. I have concluded they have the best breakfast on the lake. We got back at 11:00AM and started packing and putting the Katy Leigh away for 6 weeks.

At Murray where we keep the View in a storage shed, I checked the tire pressures, and put some distilled water in the house batteries. The View started right up after 4 months in storage and we headed for Nashville via the backroads. That evening we packed everything we would need from the house into the View and slept on the View to get an early start on Monday.

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Posted on 06/15/2009 11:55 PM by Bob Duthie
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Friday, 12 June 2009
Introduction to Newfoundland Loop 2009
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We pick up the View on Sunday June 14 in Murray KY at Papa Smurfs storage. The map shows our route. We?l stay in Nashville at the house Sunday night, then leave early morning for Asheville, NC. Our next stop is Charleston, SC where we will spend a couple of days at a marina with a friend that bought a 49 ft Defever trawler named ?ewlap? Then we follow the Atlantic coastline covering the Outer Banks, Lewes, Cape May and Liberty Landing, NJ across the Hudson from Manhattan. On Friday June 26th we drive across Manhattan and the length of Long Island to Greenport, NY. I am giving a talk there at TrawlerFest on Cruising the Great Loop. Sunday we take a ferry to Connecticut and head for Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. Another ferry takes us to Nova Scotia, and yet another ferry gets us to Newfoundland. Our trip back will be across Canada via Ottawa to Ste Saint Marie and on to Forest City, Iowa for a week at the Winnebago Grand National Rally. We will head for Murray, KY via Woodbury MN (grandkids) Brainerd MN (friends) and the Indiana Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan. We expect to be back to Nashville to resume work on August 3rd.
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Posted on 06/12/2009 10:30 PM by Bob Duthie
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