Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Life in Fort Pierce

Arrived in Fort Pierce today after a nice visit with Melody and Bob.   They are in the process of selling Melody's house and moving to her condo.  There are piles of stuff that they are trying to sell through a couple of garage sales.

On the way south today to Fort Pierce from Vero Beach we have a picture of a sail boat in front of us and a power boat being towed by Tow Boat US. 

Wanted everybody to see how blue the sky was today after several days of overcast.

Unlucky power boat guy heading north.  Hope he has insurance as getting a tow costs several hundreds of dollars.  That is why the word  BOAT spells Break Out Another Thousand.

Speaking of another thousand we still have not solved our dinghy engine problem.  Starts but stutters to a stop in 10 seconds of so.  Have now replaced the fuel hose, fuel tank and brand new gas yesterday.  We think the problem is in the carb or the fuel pump.

Fort Pierce has a great Christmas display,  Joy took some pictures of the lighted trees.

Leaving on Friday for Stuart, then north on Wed Dec 17 by plane and car


Friday, December 5, 2014


Today was the Orion launch.  It had been postponed from yesterday due to technical issues and there was a rumor that a boat was out in the range safety area where it should not have been.  The official reason is weather, high winds, and some valve issues on of the engines.

Anyway, we watched it from the second floor of the Cocoa Village Marina along with about 8 other boaters.  We all got up at 6:30 am or so, some people even had coffee with them.  Joy waited until afterwards to brew her own.

You only could see it for about 30 seconds, then up in the clouds.  The noise was loud just like a shuttle launch. Here in Cocoa the cable company carries the NASA cable channel so that was on in the clubhouse and you could watch the flight longer from the ground and also from the camera on the rocket looking down.  Saw the stage separations.

Then on to Travis Hardware where we bought a new lock for the dinghy cable and some wire to create tie downs for our Y valves in the heads.  Going to put locks on them so that we will not get in trouble if stopped.  Friends got stopped two days ago up in New Smyrna  Beach.

Still having dinghy engine problems. Followed Manny's suggestion and got some starter fluid to spray in the engine air intake.  Engine ran fine with the spray then died out.  Figure we have a fuel problem, not getting gas to the engine.  Possible source of trouble is leak in fuel line so that air is getting into the line and stopping the flow of fuel.  Also bad gas could be a source, but gas is only 4 weeks old.

Tomorrow is Christmas holiday here in CV.(Cocoa Village) with an arts festival all day, Christmas singing and Christmas movies in the park. Bring you Popcorn and chair and watch "The Grinch that Stole Christmas".  Should be fun

More later.  Leaving for Vero Beach on Sunday


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

on free dock - New Smyrna Beach,FL

Today and tonight we are tied up at the free dock at New Smyrna Beach, FL.  The dock is round so it makes for an interesting landing and tie up.. We are closest to the dock at the center of the boat so just the ends stick out.

We had an easy two hour trip, 2 hour trip as we only had to do 11 miles today.  Last night we stayed at Seven Seas Marina, a nice older marina/boat yard just a short walk to the beach, drug store, miniature goal, and supermarket, in Daytona Beach Shores.  Hit all of the above places, plus Joy walked out on their long fishing pier to chat with the locals.  Going to try her hand fishing this afternoon.

On the way to Daytona Beach Shores we passed by this large tug boat that looks like people are living on it as they had all their laundry strung out on the starboard side.

The weather has turned much warmer, in fact it is now in the 60s at nights instead of the 40s or 50s.

We continue to move south, aiming for Stuart, Fl to tie up for the holiday season.  Since we did the overnight from Charleston, we have now time to enjoy the small cities along the east coast of FL.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Marineland, FL

Here we are in Marineland, FL.  Probably the small town in FL, recent population is a count of 10.

This is an actual town that was really big a long time ago when Marineland was started in the 30's by the movie picture industry to shoot underwater films.  Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges also was shot here.  The were dolphin shows and other attractions. In fact, 300,000 people a year stopped in, the second largest attraction on the east Coast of Fl after Miami

We are in the marina, has about docks for 20 boats. Be here until tomorrow, have to go out at half tide as the water is a little skinny at low tide,

that is Joy on High Spirits.  Washing down the deck. We are going on a beach walk shortly

They also have a Farmer's Market here every Sunday from 10-2 pm.  Plus live music

About a dozen stands selling everything from fresh fruit to dog matts.

The hat shop

Friday, November 28, 2014

Last night in St. Augustine

We returned to St. Augustine after a four day vacation from High Spirits visiting Sally and Manny at their home in Stuart.  Had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Melody's house(she is Joy and Sally's stepmother. Married to their father, Robert for 20 years).

A short 3+hour car ride back to St. Augustine, and a shopping trip to the grocery left us with 10 bags plus all our clothes to load into the 4 pm tender run out to Mooring #1.  We moved from the last mooring ball in the field to the closest one before we left.

Got the dinghy put together, went back to shore to see the lights and have dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. It is interesting here as all the tourist are at one side of town, with 45 minute waits to eat, while there are 4 very nice restaurants at the oldest part of town near the marina with no waiting lines.

Picture of  Cathedral Square with all the lights on.

Leave tomorrow at 11 am to ride the tide into Marineland.  One of Yesterday's Dream(Steve and Linda Franko's) favorite places.

Trying to make Titusville or Cocoa Beach for the Dec 4 launch of the Orion spacecraft.

Probably  need to make a reservation.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

St Augustine - Mooring Field

After several days of travelling including a 31 hour overnight we have arrived in the St. Augustine Mooring Field, at the very last mooring ball.  Tonight is the Christmas lighting, over 3 million lights in the downtown area.  Should be something

So a couple of things that happened over the last week.  First of all we ended up getting a new hot water heater installed.  See picture below of where it sits, empty waiting for new heater

It was installed in Charleston, SC by a plumber that we met the previous day in Georgetown.  He works in the town next to Charleston, Mt Pleasant so it was an easy ride for him
Also in Charleston, four of us, Joe, Joy, Charlie and Jane( they are on Ibis- a Tartan 40) went to see Interstellar in IMAX format at the local movie mall.  Almost got lost in the fog, but Jane had her Iphone to guide us there
Before leaving Charleston, we had some more work done on the boat by Matt, from Superior Diesel, a VOLVO dealer. We have had a persistent fuel leak as well as antifreeze leaking.  He found the leaks and pointed out that we need to replace the two antifreeze lines coming off the engine that go to the hot water heater.

We finally left Charleston at 8 am, got a big push going out of the harbor, see picture of speed

9.2 knots is one of our faster speeds.

The overnight conditions were great, not much waves, 2 feet or so, and winds about 10 mph.  We got about 4 hours of sailing without the motor but the remaining 27 hours were under power.  Joy got a good shot of sunset.  The farthest we were off shore was 22 miles.

So today in St Augustine is wash clothes day, eat at the local Polish-Greek restaurant for lunch, to go church at the oldest Catholic church in North America, 1565, see the Christmas lighting and head back to the boat for dinner.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

It is Cold Outside

Last night in Georgetown, SC the temperature got down to 31 degrees F. and it was cold in the boat.
We even ran the diesel heater as well as the electric heater.

This morning we left Georgetown and headed to Isle of Palms Marina, about 15 miles from Charleston.  We and our travelling boat, Merlin, decided not to risk having to dock after the dock hands had gone home and in the dark.

So tomorrow will be an easier travel but we still have to watch the tide times as we are in a part of the country where at low tide you might only have 3 feet of water.

It was cold today and here is an example of what we were wearing.  I had on long johns, tops and bottoms, two sweaters and my rain jacket.  Joy was dressed in even more layers

Had a drink before dinner on Merlin, boat travelling with us.  Sue and Mark are on the right side of the picture.  The other couple is also on a boat named Merlin. 

Tomorrow it off to Charleston for three nights and even more repair work.  More later


Friday, November 14, 2014

Return to Aunny's Restaurant, Georgetown, SC

It is going to hit 31 degrees F tonight, one of the colder nights in this part of the country.

We are in Georgetown, SC staying at Harbor Walk Marina, It is very cold today

The highlight of this place was our visit to Aunny's Restaurant, she makes great fried chicken.  Aunny's mother, Mama Jane, takes the orders and Aunny cooks them up.
Picture of Joy and Mama Jane

Tonight we had a visit from Mary on Nature's Call, the local pump out boat.  Mary operates under a grant to pump out boats all over this part of South Carolina.  She had her dog, Coco, showed up about 5 pm, did they stuff and then Mary stayed for dinner.  Picture of one of her two pump out boats

This is also a place where the shrimp boats hang out and bring their catches back to the wholesaler. Estimated that there were 20 shrimpers in port tonight.
Going to bed early tonight. Getting up at 5:45 am so we can leave around 6:15 am to get all the way to Charleston, a trip of about 65 miles.  Should take us about 10 hours unless we get a bad tide.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Old and New Friends

We are the ICW near Camp Lejune listening to the exercises in the distance. The Marines are having live fire exercises, and in fact the ICW was closed for 5 hours today, 12 noon to 5 pm. Because of that we got up early, left early and got to our stopping place by 9:30 am this morning.
Stopped at Swans Point Marina in Snead's Ferry, NC.  Sneads is a little fishing village where a lot of enlisted Marines live because it is cheaper than other towns.

But last night we were in Swansboro, NC in the midst of two big celebrations. The first one was a fishing tournament hosted by the high school boosters group that was centered around the marina we were staying at;  Casper's Marina.  There must have been 40 fishing boats pulling in with their catches.

A short 5 minute walk to the center of town was the annual Christmas lighting at 6 pm. Walked down with some new friends,  Mark and Sue on Merlin, and Herb and Nancy on Still Crazy.  Here is a picture of the downtown party.

So this morning we all left, they all went to Wrightsville Beach but we stopped early at Swans Point Marina in Snead's Ferry to visit with Paul and Carol Cook, old friends from our Bahama venture of 4 year ago.  We met in Feb 2011 in Black Point Settlement and having been keeping in touch.

First a picture of a guy who lives on board at the marina. He has a unique assortment of stuff outside his point on his dock

Paul and Carol are working on their boat to head to the Caribbean Island this December. Here is a selfie that Joy took of us tonight at dinner at the house in Topsail Beach, NC,  town next to Snead's Ferry

And finally here is a picture of the two pairs of gloves that Joy bought today in Topsail Beach, NC for the grand total of $4.86 for both pairs.  She forgot her gloves in New London.

Well, time to get some sleep, up tomorrow at 6 am as we have 50+miles to go to Carolina Beach State mooring field.


Thursday, November 6, 2014


We are at River Dunes Marina, just north of Oriental, NC

This is where we are having some repair work done, picture of Josh Plank working on our electrical system.  We lost the use of the deck washing pump and he is exploring the jungle of wiring that keep High Spirits functioning.

We may be faced with replacing some of our batteries as they are 4 years old.
Josh is working on some other projects, like repairing our Yamaha outboard engine as they crapped out when Jen and family came to Solomon's Island for the day.  He raised his rates this year from $25 to $35/hour.  He is still the best value we have found for quality of repairs at a great price.
More later
Joe and Joy

Monday, November 3, 2014


Hello Everybody,

We are at the Alligator River Marina, just at the Alligator River Bridge, and I had great fried chicken tonight from Ms. Wanda's restaurant.  Actually it is a grill at a Shell Gas station on the way to the outer bank of North Carolina, Nag's Head.

We spent a couple of extra days at Elizabeth City while we went back to Deale, MD to get Joy's cap installed.  She chipped a tooth and had to get a cap.  Got to visit with Linda and Francis Miko, dinner with Vergie and Doug, and a overnight with Jen and family.

Here us a picture of Erin and Joy, Erin will be 8 in January

On the way south you pass the blimp station at the Coast Guard Base in Elizabeth.  It is the largest Coast Guard base as they do all the repairs on all the boats here in NC.
The final picture is of the catamaran that is docked next to us,  it is Miss Piggy,

Tomorrow we are heading to Belhaven, NC and then on to River Dunes for a couple of days of rest and repairs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Hello Everybody,

High Spirits is back on the water and we are off and heading south again. Our plans are to be on High Spirits from now until the middle of May 2015.  Then head up to New Hampshire for Summer 2015

A lot has happened over the last year.  High Spirits was on the hard for a year. We thought we were going to be able to tour the Chesapeake in the Spring of 2014 but some medical issues for Joy made it necessary to cancel.

So we are back on the water after some major repairs:

1)  new steering system
2) replaced two broken motor mounts and an alignment of the prop shaft
3) new solar panel frame
4)grind out on the keel and repaint the bottom
5) recut the main sail as it was getting hard to pull out
6) redo the front head door and some woodwork in the cockpit.
7) wax the hull and the deck
8) minor engine issues like leaky heat exchanger

So now that our wallet is a little lighter we are off and travelling.  Right now we are in Elizabeth City, NC staying at the FREE  town docks.  However Joy chipped a tooth, has a temp cap and we have to go back to Deale , MD sometime in the future to get the permanent cap that has been ordered

Here are some pictures

Rafting boats at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center the other day, 9 boats tied up.
Cleaning out the propane locker as we had to replace both rusty 11 pound cans.  They are expensive but aluminum cans cost over $200 a piece, so we went with steel and repainted them lime green Rustoleum paint
We were escorting Warship 33 as we both entered Hampton Roads harbor the other day.

By for now

Joe and Joy