Saturday, November 27, 2010

St. Marys, Georgia and Pick up Katie

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 days since I last posted, but with the Thanksgiving Potluck and everything that goes along with it, we've been busy.  So here is the recount of the last 5 days.

Monday, Nov 22
St. Marys, GA

The Turkey Net has officially started run by Ann Barr of S/V Sea Tramp on channel 69 @ 9am on theVHF radio.  Outside it's 67F at 852am.  There are lots of Sand nats over the boat and these are NOT fun.  Both Phil and I washed up with water heated on the stove.  Today starts the van rides every hour on the hour from 9am to 1pm with Lynn Harden (man), Ann's other half, driving the van.  Tonight is the first Happy Hour at 530pm at Seagles Saloon where we bring the snacks and buy the drinks with Cindy at the bar serving.  I'm planning on making 7-layer dip to bring.  The weather is wind SE <10 knots and high temps to be 72F and lows to be 48F clear skies.  Today is the first day that only new arrivals do the check-in.  We had 6 new boats check in and our friends Ken and Jeanne on Sail Away have arrived!  Also Rob and Sue on S/V Mandate who was docked in Bucksport have arrived.

I spent most of the morning while the engine was running downloading pdf books and being on the computer.  We have found that we have been running the engine about 1.6 hr a day to keep the batteries charged and Phil has requested that we not have the inverter on too much except when the engine is running.

My Force 10 stove has been taking twice as long as recipes call for to bake in the oven.  I called Joselyn from Force 10 Co. and she recommended that we clean the right orifice on the oven burner and check to make sure that the heat disbursement plate is in the correct position.  We had left overs for lunch  - Phil having steak, veggies and rice and I had the red lentil spaghetti and broccoli.  We wanted to have a good meal for lunch since we'll be having snacks for supper.

I was tired so took a nap at 130pm for an hour.  There were 3 more boats that came in this afternoon. We usually keep the VHF radio on scanning between channels 16, 17, 22, 69 and 72 so that I can get all the dibs about what's going on in the area. A couple of the boats were trying to anchor close to us, but Phil yelled to them that they were too close and they moved further into the anchorage.

We went to Happy House at 530pm and had a good time meeting a lot of people.  It was packed and they had a good turnout for a Monday.  We came back to the boat  and played Canasta.

Tuesday, Nov 23
St. Marys, GA

There were 14 new boats that announced themselves on the Turkey net channel 69.   Today is the Women's Tea that Ann of S/V Steel Away at 100'+ schooner is hosting this afternoon at 3pm.   A local bookstore is having coffee and muffins from 9-11am.  I got a ride in the van with 5 other ladies to wash clothes at 10am and Phil is getting a ride at 12 noon  to Walmart.  The laundromat isn't very great, but in 2 weeks they will be moving down the plaza and having all new machine.  Sue Langford, on M/V Courage a Krogen 42 Trawler and I shared a 40# and 60# washing machines which worked out well for both of us.  We also started sharing dryers and there weren't enough to go around, but when other dryers became available, we separated our clothes.  We were all done with our clothes about 11am and then I called Lynn to let him know we were ready to go back and were picked up about 1210pm to get taken back to the docks.  There were some of us (me included) who did some shopping at the Dollar Tree next door while the clothes were in the washing machine.  I went to CVS across the street to get something to drink and other items.  Phil was still at the store and about to leave when I got back so I waited in the park for him.  Big mistake to wait there as the sand nats were very bad.  After Phil got back, he said that I should have gotten something to drink in the bar and wait for him there.  - Yes I should of - too bad I didn't think of it!!  We got home and got things put away and then it was time to got to the tea party.  I met Meg and her dtr, Mary in the park and since they rowed themselves in and the current was very strong going up river (away from their boat) I offered to pick them up in the dinghy.  Phil was the at the helm of the dinghy so that I didn't leave him on the boat with no  way to get somewhere while we were gone.  Of course I forgot something, so it took us 5 min to get back to the boat in the time that it too 1 min to get away from the boat because of the strong current.  I'm glad that I had the long sleeves, as just like clockwork, the winds were picking up and cooling things down a little.  There were many ladies at the tea and we had the opportunity to meet Ann and get a look at her boat.  I found out that her husband had built this boat from steel and that now it's for sale.  It is 103' long, has a 20' beam and draws 9.5 feet.  They have gone on the ICW but they had to go on a rising tide so the water was deep enough and then go under the bridges on a low tide as the tallest of the 3 masts is 66' high.  It's quite a boat but too much for us. We left about 4pm.

Phil and I decided not to go to tonight's happy house as we had both missed lunch d/t our errands and we wanted to have a good meal.  After supper Phil said that it would be ok for me to try using the iron on the inverter while the engine was running.  It' sure does overload the inverter after a while, but I was able to get the borders on and so have finished the quilt top.  Now to find a place to lay it our while I baste together the layers.  So what happens with the inverter gets overloaded - there is a beeping sound and the red lights are lit and it turns off.  After a little while, it will work again.  I did learn that I can't have the sewing turned on (not running) and have the iron running at the same time.  The inverter doesn't like that at ALL.   We had a quiet evening playing cards and reading.

Wednesday, Nov 24
Day before Thanksgiving

Phil and I decided that we weren't going to listen to the turkey net as we had errands that we wanted to do and ride our bike to get there.  We left the boat about 830am with our bikes secured.  We were to the Big A Chandlery so Phil could get some parts for the saltwater pump project.  They we looked around "Heavenly Treasures" which is a store that has lots of items you might get a garage stores.  They also have a large selection of used books $1/paperback and $2/hardback.  I bought an old Triple Yatzee game leaving the cardboard box there and having the pieces inside put in a plastic bag and put in my backpack.  Phil got some books to read.  We continued down the road to CVS Pharmacy and then just down the street to Harvey's Grocery Store.  On our way back, with turned right at the first stoplight past the Army/Navy Surplus store.  It was nice day with blue skies and temps in the low 70's.  Of course there were sand nats when there weren't any breezes, but they go away with the breezes that pick up in the afternoon.  Phil received a call and gave a glowing reference for one of his former software engineer that worked under him.  We were going to the Oyster Roast tonight and bringing snacks, so fixed  Blackbean and Egg Burritos for lunch.  There were very good and I'll have to fix this again.  As I hadn't slept well last night, I took a nap at 240pm asking Phil to wake me in 15 minutes for the "Painkiller" Party (It's a rum drink) that was taking place on the end of Langs West Marina at 3pm.  He didn't wake me up until 315pm but that's ok as I was refreshed and the party was in full force.  We took the dinghy over and stood in line for the mix and then added our rum.  I met Cindy from S/V Slip Away and found out that her daughter just had the first grandchild, a girl named Regan Rosalee.  She'll be flying home this weekend to visit her daughter and them come back so they can continue their trip south to visit West Florida.  We seemed to have a lot in common and hope to meet her again sometime.

I decided to try a new recipe and made Corny Cornbread in the oven with the new stoneground cornmeal.  The oven once again took twice as long to cook but this time I noticed that the heat disbursement plate buckeled from the heat.  I had noticed this before but forgot to mention while I was on the phone.  It did get cooked and we got to the Oyster Roast a little after.  They have a table set up outside that has a 12" +/- hole in the center.  There are stations set up around the perimeter with washcloths and knives.  They shovel on the oysters that have been steamed and then it's our job to use the knife to open the shells.  One of the women showed me how to do it.  I haven't had oysters since I lived in New Orleans and then I had them raw, so it was quite a stretch for me to try them.  But I found out that I liked them cook this way and had several.  I found Phil and he also had oyster, but not as much as I had.  We met up with Polly and Mo from S/V Serenity who we had met on the dismal swamp. After a while, we came back to the boat.  Phil relaxed and I started doing prep work for what I was going to bring to Thanksgiving Potluck.  I peel and cut up 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, mixed the dry ingredients for the topping and dry ingredients for what I mix with the sweet potatoes.  I'm going to be making a mixed vegetable dish of zucchini, yellow squash, onions and carrots so didn't do anything with them.  Afterward I read a book.

Thursday, Nov 25
Happy Thanksgiving!

We woke to thick fog in the river.  It was 66F outside and 73F in the boat.  Thankfully, I slept better last night.  The fog lifted about 9am and the skies were blue and they were predicting that the temps were going to be 79F.  We listened to the turkey net today and the van rides were on hold to resume tomorrow.  They are having a pancake breakfast 8-10am Saturday on the houseboat for $5 each.  Also a Nautical Exchange is taking place close to the cemetery from 9-11.  There were a couple more new boats that checked in this morning.  I started cooking the sweet potatoes early enough in case that I had too cook them twice as long but wouldn't you know, the heat disbursement plate worked ok at 350F so it was done early.  Then I lost track of time and started cooking the vegetables a little late so we didn't get into the Riverview hotel where it was being held, until 1230pm which is when everyone was suppose to arrive.  But when we got there - there was along line to sign in and get name tags and also a even longer line for those standing in line to get the food, which was to start at 1pm.  I had volunteer to assist during the meal at 130pm so Phil and I didn't get in line as we didn't think that we'd make it through before I had to work.  We met a couple, Art and Mary Jane from S/V Break Away a Endeavour 40 while we were sitting at our table.  They have been cruising for 20+ years and are ready to "swallow the anchor" (that is they are selling their boat and buying a house).  We are interested in the Endeavour 40's.  They are sturdy boats, large enough but not too large.  So while I had to work, Phil continued talking to them about antennas and ham radios and their boat.  They have it listed on  I'm not sure if it will come up, so if this comes to the home page, click on "search" at the top of the page and put in Endeavour for the Manufacturer, 38 - 45 for the length and hit "enter".  They are the one listed for $89,700.  We're not ready to buy at this time, and have to sell Changes, but this is the kind of boat that I like.

It turned out that the end of the line arrive about 10 min after I started working and there was still plenty of food left - even though it was still cold except for my sweet potato casserole (which I had wrapped in towels).  The food was good and we enjoyed the company at our table.  We estimate there were 200-300 people that attended.  Phil counted 80 boats at anchor.    Unfortunately, the captain on S/V Harmony II came down sick with what sounded like the flu so neither of them attended.   We came back to the boat about 415pm and then relaxed for a while.  We read again, played Yahtzee and Canasta and then had snacks late in the evening.  Phil won once again, but it was decided by the last round.  Before that, we were tied.

I chatted with Rachel, my sister, Robin, and my mother.  I had wanted to talk to Cheryl and Glenn, but was talked out - can you believe it???!!!  We are starting to think about when we will be moving on and so I got on the internet and looked at tides in St. Marys, Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine, FL.

I have been working on Calvin's quilt top this week and have finally got the quilt top sewed together!  Yeah!  I hope that I'll be able to find someplace where I can lay it out so that I can baste the layers together. I'm happy with how it looks. 

Friday, Nov 26
St Marys, GA

We woke about 7am to partly cloudy skies.  It was breezy (unusual for the past 2 weeks) 68F outside and 71F inside after 8am.  We listened to the weather radio to help us decide when to leave.  About 845am Phil took me to Lang's Marina East to meet Betsy of S/V Haven and Jage staying on I-Wanda with Mary and Christian.  I met Jage yesterday after someone suggest I talk to her about bug jackets that she had bought at the Crooked River State Park.  She didn't have any left but offered to me the use of her car to drive out this morning to buy some myself.  Betsy was interested.  I learned this week that the bugs are called sand nats, which love the kind of weather that we've been having.  The don't bite with teeth but spit acid on us (like flys).  I also learned that they like the CO2 we breath out and the moisture, which is why they fly around our heads alot.  Well for me they bite my arms and legs a lot too.  So Jage met us at the marina and I drove Betsy to the state park about 8 mi away.  When we got there they had only 2 smalls (up to 160#'s) to mediums (up to 200#'s) and 2 XLarge (i didn't pay attention to that sizin)  I got a small for myself, a medium for Deb on S/V Kajon and then 2 separate hoods for Phil and myself.  Betsy got the last small and medium and also bought a hood.  The jackets come with hood that zip off, but having a separate hood is nice as there is elastic and there may be times we don't want to wear the whole contraption.  We also did some shopping at Walmart before we got home.  While I was away, Phil was going to work on installing the foot pump so that we could use the water under the boat to wash dishes (rinsing with fresh water).

After I got home, I learned that there was some excitement with Changes.  Turns out with the high winds (some saw 30knots) from the SW - that Changes had been next to another boat.  Phil wanted to pick me up and for us to move Changes to the marina.  Jage had recommended that we walk to the Marina as they don't usually pick up the phone or answer the hail on the VHF radio.  yes they had a spot at Lang's West Marina that Phil told them about and so we could move there and they come down and pay.  We didn't have any problems getting up the anchor but we were going in reverse while the anchor was coming up.  There were other boats that were sailing on their anchor line also.  We motored over and the only open spot was inbetween 2 other boats, one being S/V Liberty VI.  I called out to them to see if they could help us dock and then Phil did a 360 so we could come up.  It was great to have Liberty VI's assistance as the wind was pushing on the dock, there were 1' waves and the current was strong.  We got Changes tied down and after pushing her away from the dock were able to insert 2 more fenders as the wind was pushing her on the dock.

After she was set, I gathered up the quilt with all that was needed so I could baste the layers together and walked to Lang's Marina East.  Unfortunately, the gentleman wasn't there, so I walked back to the boat (about half a mile when you include walking the entire dock), ate supper, transferred money to Katie for this trip, and then after Phil put a bike on the dock, went back to pay.  at $37 per night including electric, it's a bargain to have peace of mind.

I decided to talk to Gaila at Riverview Hotel to see if she knew of anyplace that I could lay out the quilt to baste.  She was kind and let be put 4 square tables together in the dinning room that was closed until 5pm and so I worked from about 230pm and was finished just before 5pm.  What a relief to be able to get that finished!! and I'm very grateful for the use of her facilities.  There were lot of people that came by to admire the quilt and everyone liked it.  I did take a photo and will have to add it later.  I arrived back at the marine a little after 5pm and was glad to see that the winds had calmed down and we were no longer up against the dock.  By the time that I got back, both Phil and I were hot and sweaty so we both took showers offered by the marina.  I have to say that these are the worse showers/bathrooms that we have experienced on this trip.  They are very dirty without toilet paper, paper towels or soap available, but there was also plenty of hot water.  We were warned, so I wore my flip flops in the shower.  It felt so nice to take a real shower with running water, which has been our first since Charleston when we stayed at Ashley Marina.  Neither of us wanted to cook, so we had dinner at Pauley's Cafe as my treat.  Phil had a hamburger and I had chicken Marsala.

We went back to the boat and after a while we received a call from Ken on Sail Away and an invitation for coffer on their boat.  The wind had calmed and the river was glassy as we rode the dinghy to their boat.  After we chatted, we played Canasta and Jeanne and I beat the guys.  Jeanne will be flying back to Canada on Dec 10 so I'm glad that she gave me her home address and phone number.  They hope to leave St. Marys tomorrow and get a  mooring ball at Fernandina Beach and then continue to St. Augustine FL.  The weather is to get cold tomorrow - in the 40's tonight and maybe the 30's tomorrow night.  Phil has agreed that we can stay here tomorrow night also so that we can have electric.  Katie is going to arrive about 1215pm tomorrow at Jacksonville Airport and we don't think we'll get back to the boat until about 130p - 2pm - a little late for leaving.  This way we'll be able to have electric heat and we'll try to get a very early start Sunday morning probably while it's still dark.

We have enjoyed our stay here in St. Marys but are looking forward to continuing on our trip.

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