Thursday, November 29, 2012


We arrived in Fernandina Beach, Fl after a long 25.5 hour sail(mostly with the motor) from Charleston, SC to Fernandina Beach.

Why you ask? Well by going over the ocean rather than the ICW we cut off 5 to 6 days of travelling through very shallow creeks in Georgia where you have to be respectful of the tide times. Since we
draw 5.5 feet we getting nervous when the water depth gets below 7 feet.

It was a long ride but worth it. After arriving we went to shore and just relaxed and later walked 2 miles to the movie theater to see Skyfall.  Joy was afraid she would fall asleep watching Lincoln so we decided to save Lincoln for another day another town.

I did want to mention two new friend from Montreal.  Michael and Monique.  They are sailing for a year.  They are still working as translators of documents from English into French and vice versa.
They work on their boat.  They just have to have good Wifi connections.

Today is going to be East 55th Street reunion day with the Fankos arriving today via boat and the Walkers driving over by car from Jacksonville. Should be a fund time.  We will be travelling with the Frankos for a while as we both work our ways south. They winter in Marathon, FL. The Walkers are down here visiting their kids and grandkids and are headed back to Cleveland on Saturday.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Georgetown means Aunny's Restaurant

Arrived in Georgetown yesterday afternoon and got the last space at Hazzard Marina, a short
15 minute walk from the center of Georgetown. All the marinas were sold out and some friends were not able to get a space and had to stop early.

Several interest sights on the ICW. On one recent leg we saw two large tub boats pulling a log of dredging equipment including about 500 feet of pipe.  Joy took a couple of pictures..

We had dinner at Aunny's Restaurant in Georgetown. It is a family run restaurant that we visited two years ago with Linda and Francis Mike, with Sophie.

I am pointing out a plate that previously had a great piece of cornbread on it.

So today, the front head(bathroom) pump stopped working.  Hopefully our spare pump can
be easily installed tomorrow.Joy is now thinking of leaving on Tuesday to go out to Florida avoiding about 5 days of travel through the rest of SC and Georgia. Have to see what the weather says tomorrow for Tuesday.  It changes all the time


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day: Mr. Turkey goes to the Beach

Guess what,  we went for a beach walk today and look who we found getting some RAYS!

He decided that it was a great day for working on his tan.  Weather is in the high 50s but brilliant sunshine here in Carolina Beach, NC.

We are in the mooring field.  There were six boats here last night and five of them left this morning to continue their journey south.  We decided to take a day off and rest.

Out for breakfast.  We bought some turkey and pie to go with the fixings we had on the boat. Joy was planning on cooking a turkey breast on the grill but it is windy and not sure how it would come out.
She cut off the meat for another day and the bones are cooking up for turkey soup.

This is a real beach town. Everything is closed today except the restaurant an one bar. People are out walking the beach.  Here are some more photos. They are getting for their Christmas lights, tomorrow at 7:30 pm


Joy and I are thankful for all our family and friends.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Swansboro, NC

We finally got out of River Dunes after spending 8 great days there.  The last four were because of the weather being so lousy.  Mostly high winds.

One last picture of River Dunes, sharing dinner with some other boaters. The second floor dining room was closed off for the Sail Club's annual Commodore's Ball.  So us regular boater types ate downstairs.

Left to right, Mary Ann from Thistle, Mary Snow and her husband Mike ?, they have their boat at River Dunes all year long, plus Joy

So today we left River Dunes and made it to Swansboro, easy ride with current behind us most of the way. We tried anchoring in the river but it would not grab so we got a slip at Casper's Marina for only $1.25/ft.  Tomorrow we plan on leaving at 6 am in the dark to catch the 8 am bridge opening about
11 miles away.

There are five boats here at Caspers, we are in the middle.

Casper's is mostly a pleasure craft facility with indoor storage. Here is a picture of  sunset

The sun is setting around 5 pm now so
it makes it hard to travel during the day unless you leave before 7 am.  Not going to be able to
do as much mileage compared to the summertime.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Great Stay at River Dunes

We are still at River Dunes. We were supposed to leave on Thursday, but due to some
medical issues with Joe, we were unable to leave with the rest of the group.  The weather is turning windy and rainy this weekend, so we will be here until most likely Tuesday.

There is plenty to do here. There is a courtesy car to take into Oriental. A Great clubhouse, great food and plenty of people to talk to. Along with hot tubs that are still open, steam showers, exercise equipment, and bikes to run around the property.

Active Captain web sites rates River Dunes the number one marina in the world on their websites based on over 30 five star ratings.

Anyway, we are all fine. Getting ready to depart on Tuesday, maybe Monday.

Here are some pictures.

Picture of High Spirits on the dock at River Dunes

Joy is sitting in the living room, doing some kniting.

Another picture of the living room.

Front view of the clubhouse


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

River Dunes

Well it is raining at River Dunes, which is on Broad Creek just north of Oriental, NC.

We have been here for two nights, paying $1.00 per ft per nights. This is a real value place as they have great showers and cheap laundry, $1/wash and $1/dry.

We came with a group of boats from Elizabeth City, five came in yesterday and three more came in tonight.

Have some pictures from our trip down which I hopefully can upload with the marina's wifi connection.

Sunrise at Elizabeth, NC.

Welcome to Eliazabeth, NC

Three guys fishing on the ICW. Nice life.

Two more guys fishing on the ICW.

We had an 8 boat get together at River Dunes on Tuedayt night, Nov 13.

Joey Goodman and Joy at last's night dock part. It was held in the exercise room which was the only heated place open to us after 5 pm


Friday, November 9, 2012

Dismal Swamp to Elizabeth City, NC

Woke up at 6 am and got ready to leave at 7 am.  We stayed at the La Familia Restaurant dock, no really the restaurant's dock, but the dock is at the back of their parking lot.

Had a nice cruise down the swamp, two pictures of it, one looking forward so you can see how
straight it is, the other looks back.

We got to Elizabeth City around 2 pm, and were able to get a slip along the town wall. There are 14 slips that are free, plus a long wall that can hold 20 plus boats. You are allowed to stay 2 nights.

Ran into some boaters that we had met back up the river plus a bunch of new people at the boater's reception at 4:30pm that the Chamber of Commerce puts on almost every night.

We plan on staying here tomorrow, and then onto River Dunes arriving on Monday afternoon.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dismal Swamp

Tonight finds us at the Deep Creek Lock dock just south of the Deep Creek draw bridge which is just south of the Deep Creek lock.We are ready to go tomorrow at 7 am to get past the Visitors Center and through the South Mills lock and then onto Elizabeth City, NC.

We went through the second lock opening today with 6 other boats. A lot of boats went the other way through the Virginia Cut which is deeper and has no speed limits.  That is where the go fast boats and boats that need more than 6 feet of water.  We draw 5.5 so we should be okay unless we bump against logs laying on the bottom of the canal.

Here are a couple of pictures of today's adventure.

Joy was wearing a lot of clothes today because in the morning it was only in the 40s.  You have two
lines, one at the bow and one at the stern of the boat. The lines are to prevent the boat from drifting away from the lock wall.  There were 4 boats on our side, and three on the other side of the lock

The younger couple on this aluminum boat just completed year number 7 of living on this boat. It took the original owner 15 years to built here in France.

Official tablet at the Deep Creek Lock, the swamp canal was completed in 1805.

That is it for now.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Portsmouth, VA

We arrived in Portsmouth, VA on Sunday afternoon.  Staying at the High Street Boat Basin for four nights.  Leaving tomorrow for Elizabeth City, NC which is famous for Roses that they pass out to all the women sailing/motoring down the ICW.  Plus they have a nice wine and cheese party if they are enough boats around.  The dockage is free along side the city wall.
Joy spent Monday and Tuesday working on the Obama campaign at the local office right down the street. She did phone calls on Monday and went out door to door on Tues day.  These first two pictures are of Doug, the second one is of Victoria , Joy and Amy.

Doug was formerly a TV news person, then a Missouri high way patrol office and then twenty years in the FBI. Now he is acting in small indie movies.  Victoria works in a QVC call center and Amy is a ICU nurse

notice the photo effect on Joy's Blue Moon beer!!!

So today the storm is pushing up the water into High Street Boat Basin, in fact so high that on three sides of the basin, the dock is underwater and people have to use boots to get to their boat. The water is at least 12 inches deep.  On our side we are on a higher wall so we just have to climb up higher to get on High Spirits.

So tomorrow it is off to the Dismal Swamp.  The Dismal Swamp goes back to the 1740's or so, and in fact it was Colonel George Washington who was involved in the survey of the canal.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Portsmouth, VA

Arrived in Portsmouth, VA, across the river from Norfolk, VA.  Had a long 8.5 hour trip down the Chesapeake from Deltaville.  Left at 7 am, got here at 4:30 pm. 

We are at the High Street Dock, which is free.  However, there is no power, water, showers, etc.  It is
exactly like the East 9th St basin next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame building. We can stay here for a couple of nights if we want to and if our batteries hold up. 

There is a big storm coming on Wed and so we will not be heading down the Dismal Swamp until Thursday.

The pictures today are of ships in what is called the Hampton Roads Harbor,  it covers Hampton, Newport New, Norfolk and Portsmouth.

Tomorrow Joy is going out campaigning for President Obama.  I will probably take the water taxi across the river to see an afternoon movie.

We thought about moving across the river to Waterside Marina but that is $60 /night vs staying her for free until they kick us out.

There is a lot of ship repair work going on around here.  In fact there is a new Navy ship being built right across from where we are staying. Will try and find out what kind it is.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

In Virginia

Last night we arrived in Deltaville, VA after a long 50 plus mile trip from Solomons Island, MD.

Left about 8 am and got to Deltaville Marina around 4:30 pm.  Long day of sailing mostly.  Started off kind of small waves but crossing the Potomac River the waves kicked up to about 3 to 4 feet and were hitting the beam so there was a lot of rolling sideways.  In fact the Honda generator fell over on its side. 

The night before we spent having dinner with Linda and Francis Miko, our boating buddies from our first trip down the ICW.  They are off their boat for a while and back to work.  See pictures below

They live near Herrington North Marina in Deale, MD where we are thinking of keeping
High Spirits next summer while we are up in New London, NH enjoying warm .
 summer winds.

Today is a relax day here in Deltaville, doing a little boat work and using the free car to go to the store for a few items.

Then tomorrow it is down to Hospital Point in Norfolk and then two days down the ICW to Elizabeth City, NC.