Monday, November 29, 2010

St. Augustine, FL

Monday, Nov 29
St. Augustine Municipal Marina
Mooring Ball M56
Distance Traveled:  12.4 nm
Total Distance:  1670.93nm

This morning we woke about 7am and started the engine at 8am.  It was a warm night last night and breezy.  I needed to have the hatch open to be cool enough to sleep.  I was covered with a sheet and Phil had the quilt on since he was in the breeze stream.  It was 72F outside, 75 F inside, and Winds were E 11-13 kts.  There are banks of clouds and it looks like maybe we'll get more sunshine later.  Shortly after we left the anchorage, the belt for the alternator squealed.  It stopped making noise and Phil will check it later.  The batteries were dead this morning even though the inverter was off and we really hadn't used them that much.

Phil took the helm and drove the how distance.  I took advantage of using the inverter while the engine was running and was on the computer.  Katie slept until about 9am.  We passed the St. Augustine Inlet at 955am and just made it through the 10am opening of the Bridge of Lions.  We stopped to get diesel and have a pumpout and then get a mooring ball.  That was a fiasco!  We were suppose to get M54 - but another boat took it.  Then they assigned us M46 after we requested something closer in that the first substitute mooring ball.  We motored over looking for it as an open mooring ball - couldn't find it.  Then we looked and another boat was using it.  I called out to them that it was assigned to us and they said that a man in a boat had told them to us it or M56.  So we took M56, but that wasn't pretty either.  The line was coiled so I couldn't get it with the boat hook.  Phil jumped to the rescue and picked it up when it was at the boarding gate and then after putting the line through the loop, we pulled the line so it came forward until I could cleat it off.  After we were settled, the husband and wife with their 3 kids (7yo boy, 5yo girl and 2yo boy) came over in their dinghy to talk and explained in more detail what happened.  It seems that the buy in the boat isn't communicating with the guy in the office about who has which balls. We exchanged boat carts and all is well now.

Phil checked the alternater belt and the SS bolt broke in half. Good thing that he had a replacement and it's all fixed.  It was his last one so will have to get another here.

As I'm writing this blog, the sun has come and Phil is searching for the lunch meat.  Time to get some more bread and other items at the store.  The dinghy is all set for us to go into town.

We see many boats that were at St. Marys GA.  S/V Haven is here and we heard S/V White Seal calling for a pump out.  S/V Glen Lyon has just arrived and we'll have to visit them as my sunglasses were left there yesterday.

Passage to St. Augustine

Saturday, Nov 27
Langs Marina East
St. Marys, GA

It’s hard to believe that this is the last Saturday in November and also the day that I pick up Katie at the airport.  We woke at 8am to a Blue sky though breezy and chilly.  It’s 50F outside and 65F inside the boat.  Since we’re at a marina with electricity, we turned on the heater.  It’s to get in the mid 60’s today.

After breakfast and cleaning up a little to make space for Katie’s gear, we went to the Nautical Flea Market in front of the cemetery.  Phil bought a chart book of Florida and I didn’t buy anything.  I saw fishing lures and a Mr. Heater Propane heater I was interested in but followed Phil’s wishes in not buying.  Christian of I-Wanda and Chuck from S/V Kiros and I were leaving early to go to West Marine in Jacksonville, FL and other places before we picked up Katie at the Airport about 1215pm.  She’s to call me when she lands so that we can coordinate.  While at West Marine, I bought a small step that goes on the side of the boat to make it easier to get on Changes from the dinghy and also rubber legs feet to cover the ends of the boarding ladder.  One had come off and both were in sad shape. 

While I was shopping, Phil had gone to the StMYC pancake breakfast on the houseboat and then started to work on seeing why the LP alarm continues to alarm.  He spent the morning checking the connections after he emptied out everything under the stove.  He couldn’t find why it was alarming, so bypassed the sensor and now we are turning off the stove at the electrical panel.  He’s pretty frustrated that he couldn’t find the problem.

Back to shopping – while we were out, I saw a Jo Ann Fabric Store – first in a long time, so bought some red fabric with 1/8” white stars to cover a couple small pillows we have and maybe enough to replace the jean fabric – we’ll see.  It turns out that Katie’s plane landed 15 min early, so we dropped Christian off at Best Buy and Chuck drove me to the airport.  I went in just as the baggage was finished and she couldn’t find hers.  I turned around and lucky for us, her bag was off the conveyor along the wall so we carried it out together to the van.  She did well keeping the weight down to 30 pounds.  We picked up Christian and went to Office Max and then Walmart.  Ken and Jean of Sail Away let us borrow a solar powdered garden stake light when we went back to the boat from their boat at night and the top of the light fell off and dropped into the water.  I got one to replace theirs and 3 more.   They work well holding it above my head for a light on the dinghy when we’re underway at night.

After lunch at Five Guys (a burger place), we went home and got Katie settled.  Then Katie and I worked together adding the food in the “L” locker of the starboard settee into the provision list since we put some of her extra cereal in that locker.  After that, Phil took Katie for a dinghy ride around the harbor at St. Marys.  By that time it was about 4pm, so we decided to go to the StMYC houseboat and have burgers and brats.  That worked good for me and gave us another chance to talk to the locals since the harbor has cleared out considerably since Thanksgiving.  We forgot to take one of the solar lights with us and after the sun set but still in twilight, we decided we better get home – good thing too as we saw an police vehicle at another boat at the beginning of the anchorage.  Katie searched and downloaded some pdf books to my Nook and made up her bed and went to sleep.  Phil and I read and were in bed by 10pm as we have an early start tomorrow morning.  It’s good to see Katie again, but we’re back to searching for a place to sit.

Sunday, Nov 28
St. Marys, GA to Pine Island
Distance Traveled:  49.5 nm
Total Distance:  1658.53 nm

We woke at 6am to clear skies and 42F outside and 58F inside the boat.  I had woken at 2am cold and put another quilt on Katie and another quilt on our bed as it was 58 inside.  Sure glad that we have the heater to turn on this morning and it warmed up the boat to 65F by 630am just before we left.  We started the engine in twilight at 640am and left the dock 5 min later.  As we were motoring down the river, S/V Sea Tramp was also leaving as we called hello and safe travels to each other.  They are going to Brunswick, GA which I told them was the wrong way J Winds are NE 10-11kts.  We ate breakfast of cold cereal while we were still on the St. Marys river and today is another day of many rivers.  We’ll be starting on the St. Mary R. to Amelia R by Fernandina Beach to Kingsley Creek, S. Amelia River to Sawpit Creek, Sisters Creek and crossing St. Johns River to Ablo Creek, Pablo Creek through the Cabbage Swamp.  Then we’ll take the Tolomato River and either anchor off this river or if we’re doing well with the currents, go on the Matanzas River to St. Augustine, Florida. 

When we got to Fernandina River, we saw some of the boats that had been at St. Marys for Thanksgiving, some of which are Sail Away, Mandate, and Glen Lyon.  We were able to catch Ken’s attention and waved to each other.  We chatted a couple minutes on the radio so know they were going to leave a little later after getting showers.

My first watch started at 845am just after going through the Kingsley Creek RR Bridge at MM 720.7.  It was up to 55F outside and winds are N 6 knots.  Katie continued to sleep this morning while it was cold and she woke about 930am.  Phil resumed his watch at 1045am and we let out the head sail getting a .5 knots pick up in speed. We had some turns, so there were frequent adjustments to the sail, but that was ok.  After awhile I went down below to make apple crisp and Phil rolled in the head sail before going through another bridge.  While it was in the oven I decided now that we had the saltwater pump, to wash the baskets in the refrigerator as there is still some fishy smell.  I really like the pump so I had plenty of the outside water to wash and it makes washing dishes so much easier.  After that, I fixed sandwiches for lunch. 

Katie took her 1st watch after we explained the GPS and the finer points of steering on the ICW.  She is doing well.  Glen Lyon is now behind us and passed us at 217pm.  It’s 73F outside, Winds are NE 2-4 knot with gusts to 8-9 knots.  We are now in the part of the ICW that have very nice houses – looks to be $1-2 million with huge 2 story screened rooms. Interspersed with ranch houses with docks on the east side.  The West side of the ICW is all vegetation.

My friend of HWR called and it was decided that we’ll anchor a little before St. Augustine so that she can go out to dinner with her sister and new friends.  We’ll be able to get together tomorrow evening after work.  We are looking to anchor at MM 765 just south of Booth landing and 13 miles before St. Augustine. 

We anchored at MM 765, ICW G25 at 335pm.  The water in the Sun Shower felt warm, so Lorraine took a shower.  Turns out that the water wasn’t warm.  Phil shaved and then we were invited for wine on S/V Glen Lyon anchored behind us.  We went to Rodney and Sue’s boat at about 415pm and had chardonnay box wine and brie cheese and crackers.  They have a dog, Muffy – a Havenese and a black cat named Cat.  Both pets are very friendly.  Cat was next to Phil for petting and he let Phil know with a tap of his paw –to continue petting him.  The dog does his business on the deck.  They made reservations on a mooring ball in St. Augustine for tomorrow. For $20 plus tax so Phil called and made a reservation for a mooring ball for us also.  Will give us piece of mind as the current is to be strong there.  It cost $10/day to be able to use the dinghy dock so $10 more wasn’t too much for our budget.  Rodney rushed us home after the sun set as we had rowed over and he wanted to make sure he could find us if he had to go after us as we were rowing against the current and the wind.  Turns out that we made it home with strong rowing with Rodney and Sue cheering us on.  I’m sure that we’ll see them again over the next couple days.  They are such nice people and we had a wonderful time.  BTW, Katie stayed home to take a shower and when we got back she said “the water was cold!”  We know!  I told her and offered to warm up water in the morning.  But her hair is washed and hopefully the showers will be good with the mooring ball.

I made spaghetti for supper and had the apple crisp that I had baked this afternoon for dessert.  For some reason the oven isn’t cooking right.  Phil thinks that it’s the stainless cookware being too thick that’s the problem.  I’ll have to get some thinner pans for baking.  When I used the thin foil disposable pans, the dish cooked in the proper time so maybe he’s right.

We spent the evening reading and I went to bed at 830am.  Don’t know why I was tired, but there you go.

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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stay in St. Marys, GA

Thursday, Nov 18
St. Marys, GA

The start of the mornings are about the same while we're here.  We find ourselves when we aren't traveling waking up about 730am +/- 15 min.  Phil puts away any dishes cleaned from the night before and makes coffee and I usually have hot tea.  We listen to the St. Marys Basin Net that is currently on channel 68 at 8am.  We were on the boat in the morning and then went to town at 145pm to take the town history tour @ 2pm for $5 each.  They usually have a bigger trolley, but as it's broken they have a 6-passenger golf cart.  Phil and I were on the back seat facing backwards but the since we had a 7-total including the tour guide, 3 ladies with wider hips (from the same family or friends) shared the 2nd bench seat.  They were laughing as they squeezed in so glad they didn't seem to mind.  BTW, this is a very good tour a I would recommend anyone who visits here to take the tour.  They run at 11am and 2pm.  Afterwards, we went to St. Marys Submarine Museum  but since it closed in 45 min, we thought that we would save it for tomorrow afternoon after the morning breakfast scheduled.  

Here are some photos taken during the tour:
Phil and I love this front porch
Part of Church of Christ

Catholic Church

tree that fell over 100 years ago

Live Oak Tree growing into fence

I fixed Pork chops with sweet potatoes and apples in the pressure cooker and had fresh broccoli.  We played Canasta which Phil soundly won both times.  I need to get the strategy of playing!!!

Friday, Nov 19
St. Marys, GA

Our morning started as other typical mornings here but today was the St. Marys Yacht Club (StMYC) coffee get together at Cedar Oak Cafe & Java Joe's at 930am. 
Cedar Oak Cafe

We noticed that Ed and Betsy on S/V Haven whom we met in Elizabeth City, NC had arrived early and dinghied over to them about 9am to let them know of the get together.  We started chatting and didn't get away  for 20 min to arrived late, but there were plenty of people still at the breakfast and I was able to exchange some boat cards and get contact info in my little black notebook for those that didn't have them.  We were able to confirm a ride to go to Michael's Craft Store by Jacksonville Airport for Saturday morning.  I wanted to get some larger knitting needles to make an afghan.  Turns out there will be 2 other women going, so looks to be a good time getting out.

The coffee get together lasted until about 1130am.  We decided to visit the Submarine Museum for $4.00 each.  It's very interesting.  My Uncle Dale had been in the navy on a submarine.  I tried to reach him on the phone to see which one he had been on, but unfortunately he wasn't at home.

We went to Lang's Seafood Restaurant for lunch.  Phil and I each had the Grouper which was spicy and very good.  Lang's commercially fishes here so they have local fish at the restaurant.  It's on the edge of the river and marsh grass and we could see Changes from where we sat even though she's a dot on the photos.   

Lorraine and Phil in restaurant ready to eat.

View of Marsh Grass from restaurant window.

We also went to Orange Hall, which was built in 1820 and is the grandest house in town.  Our tour guide was very good, but unfortunately doesn't like to be photographed. But here are some photos I took of Orange Hall.
Orange Hall

Lorraine with Old Sewing Machine
Phil looking at how they fixed walls original way

 We also went to the local Cemetery which is very old.  They have Revolutionary War soldiers buried there and continue bury people to this day.  Below is the Resurrection Angle which is the largest monument. Her two husbands are buried on each side of her and she may have helped them to put them there.

Resurrection Angle guarding over her husbands

On our way back to the dock, we stopped at the Cumberland Island Museum run by the park service and which is free.  It was very interesting, but by that time our feet and bodies were tired as we went back to the boat.  We had leftover Meatloaf, potatoes and carrots with cookies for dessert.  We spent the evening reading before going to bed.  It has been warmer here, but as the evening goes on, it's starts to get really chilly for me and I finished the evening wrapping myself up in a quilt to stay warm.

Saturday, November 20
St. Mary, GA

We had a light dew this morning instead of the normal heavy dew, it was partly cloudy and we could see rain coming down south of here.  I wonder if the rain will come up here or not.  Better take my wind breaker this morning.

We listened to the St. Marys Boaters Net and then Phil took me into the dinghy dock to meet the ladies at 9am for our shopping trip.  Mary, our driver, was there at the end of the dock and Allie showed up soon.  We were waiting for the last person to arrive and wasn't able to reach her by phone or radio but by 925am in she came on a dinghy and we were off.  Jacksonville FL was the destination for our shopping close to the airport.  We got to Michaels and we made our purchases.  Then we went to Walmart and I picked up some food and some other purchases I needed which included a couple more skeins of yarn for a special project.  Then we went to Office Max and had a chance to chat at tables and chair by the entrance while others shopped. We ended our trip at Starbucks with tea/coffee and a treat.  I had a slice of pumpkin bread. It was great for me to be with other women and we got back early afternoon.  I made sandwiches for lunch and started knitting Henry's hat.  Of course, it's going easier than when I made Calvin's hat which is done except for making the pom poms.

After talking with Mary and Janice, we have decided to stay here at St. Marys through Saturday.  Mary has offered to take me to the Jacksonville Airport and pick up Katie.  She said it would be a lot cheaper and easier than moving the boat to Jacksonville and staying at a marina.  I called Katie and told her and she sounded relieved.  I also talked to my friend Liz and she's fine with that.  We'll try to leave immediately after we get Katie to the boat and go 20mi on the ICW to anchor.  Then we hope to leave Sun, Nov 28 early am and try to get to St. Augustine before dark so that we can see Liz but she understands if plans have to change at the last minute. 

St. Marys Yacht Club House Boat
The social event today was on the St.MYC houseboat attached to a mooring ball not too far from where we are anchored.   They use this boat as their club house.  They bought it for $3000.00 as it had been sunk and have been working to fix it up.
They  cooked and sold burgers and brauts, red and white wine and sodas during the get together to raise money for the club.  I brought some of my home made salsa and a bag on Tortilla chips to share.  We had a nice time meeting other boaters, 2 couples from Nova Scotia, and some locals.  We got a few more boat cards and gave some away too.  As we were chatting about renovating boats, we talked about the Force 10 stoves.  I commented how it take twice as long as the recipe calls for to bake something and Alain on M/V Ramha said they had a problem with the thermostat on their oven.  They had called the Force 10 company and the thermostat needs to be further away from the wall of the oven.  The company sent them clips to have the thermostat 1" away.  Phil will check it out later.  It would be great if we could get that fixed as I like to bake food and have been not doing that to save propane fuel.  Ramha is a rebuilt 42' fishing vessel with lots of room so they bought a regular cooking stove/oven and use that instead of a marine version.

Since we ate well on the boat, after we got home just after sundown we played cards and Phil made some popcorn later.  First we played 10-Penny, but it's not as much fun with 2 players.  Then we played Canasta (I tried it again) and even though Phil won both games, I was close behind.  We read some more and once again I had to wrap up in a quilt by the end of the evening.  This being cold is getting old!  I told Phil that we need to light the kerosene lantern early in the evening so that we had warmed the cabin by the end of the evening.  When we wake up in the morning, it's not that cold as it usually gets down to the mid-50's at night.

Phil has been keeping a close eye on the batteries - their voltage and has now decided that we shouldn't use the computers or sewing machine unless the engine is running.  We have been discussing about whether to buy a Honda 2000 generator.  There is the expense, but we also would have to store it on deck and have a gas can jerry jug.  At this time Phil wants to run the engine.  I'm inclined to get the generator as even with the engine running, we can't run the electric heater thru the inverter.  It would also be quieter and I could sew more if I wanted.  Time will tell.

Another thing that is getting old for me is taking showers with lukewarm water and being cold during the shower.  There are not public showers here so we have to use the Sun Shower which we hang from the green halyard and have the tubing go through the open head hatch.  Ok if the water is really warm and there isn't that much wind, but that event hasn't happened too often here.  I've decided that's it, and have started warming up water on the stove for my showers.  I feel that I need to have a shower/clean hair and wash up every other day with hot water for me not to feel that we're camping all the time.  So this morning I warmed up extra water with the coffee water and mixed the extra with cold in the blue bucket.  I was able to wash my hair and warmed up even more to wash my body.  Most people are really surprised when I say that Phil threw out the hot water heater years ago and doesn't plan to replace it.  Stay tuned for more in the future on this and the electric issue.

Sunday, Nov 21
St Marys, GA

We woke to blue skies and heavy dew.  As I got a new outdoor thermometer yesterday, the outside temp was 59F and 65F inside.  I’m fine with jeans or cuddle duds long underwear and my convertible pants bottoms and long sleeve shirt on top.

We tried to listen to the Waterway Net, but got in late and had a hard time hearing.  I hope that the sound improves as we get south.  Then we listened to Channel 69 to the St Marys Basin Net and today is the first day that Ann on S/V Sea Tramp has taken over for planning and activities for Thanksgiving week.  We had 7 new boats check in.  Ann and her husband have a van that holds 6 people and starting tomorrow morning is offering rides every hour on the hour to take boaters to the shopping and to the Laundromat.  She started taking reservations for tomorrow.  

The social event today is a spaghetti dinner at the Boat Yard at 330pm.  There were a few people that offered to bring people there in vehicles as it's 7mi by road to get there.  We need to cook some sirloin steak today, so will have to have for lunch, which Phil is working on.  Today I wanted to sew together Calvin's quilt top, but not sure if that will happen as it's already 12noon.  Mary suggested someone whom I could reach so I could have a flat clean surface to sandwich the quilt together  in town so I want to try to get it done today if possible.
Tomorrow starts the Happy Hours at Seagles Saloon at Riverview Hotel.  Buy the drink there and bring snack to share.  It will also be on Tuesday night and Ann expects more people to come and Wednesday is the Oyster Roast.  These all start at 530pm.  Thursday morning set up starts at 830am and Ann will be accepting volunteers for set up.  1230pm we bring the food and 1pm we start to eat.

S/V Steal Way will be hosting a Woman's Tea Break on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm, bring your own mug.  Tuesday morning the Read them Again Bookstore is hosting a muffin a coffee at 9-11am.  Bring a book to exchange or buy.

More later,  Lorraine

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

St. Marys, Georgia

Monday, Nov 15
St. Marys, GA

This morning we listened on the Ham radio to the Waterway Net at frequency 7.268 MHz for about 15 minutes. Rick Butler had suggested we starting listing to the Waterway Net to get a feel for the weather fronts, and we've are trying to follow this advice. Yhen we listened starting at 8am to the St Marys Basin Net hosted by Ken of S/V Sparrow.  They have some standard announcements at the beginning and then everyone who is listening can hail in on the VHF radio.  We also get information about who is using a truck and if people are going places and if anyone needs any help or information.  There is a brief weather forecast, tides for the basin and then a scripture from the bible is read by Captain Bob of S/V Maverick.  It’s nice and he keeps it brief.  I hear that Ken came here about 3 years ago and has lived since then on his ’59 Rhodes Bounty II sailboat.

After listening, we took the dinghy into town and walked around a little.  We stopped by the Café and had breakfast, visited the tourist Welcome Center.  There are a few museums for us to visit sometime in the future.  We got back at 1033am and put up the Farouck as it was sunny and warm.  I worked on Calvin’s quilt and got the buttonhole stitch done on the appliqué part.  Now I need to rip off the paper I used to stabilize the fabric for this step.  

We had leftover Mexican Bean dish for supper  and then we read in the evening.

Tuesday, Nov 16
St. Marys, GA

We woke in time for us to listen to the St. Marys Basin Net except this morning it was interrupted by S/V Black Velvet’s chain dragging and the boat moving with the current towards us, the town and other boats.  We were lucky that Black Velvet missed us by 20 feet on our starboard side going between us and S/V Dragon Lady.  Four other owners of boats came out in their dinghies and they eventually got the runaway boat tied up to the town’s huge mooring ball without other vessels being hit.  The current can get pretty strong when the tide is going out (ebbing) – 4 knots I’ve been told and that's what was happening at this time.
S/V Black Velvet passing Changes

Try to guide her movement
Connected to mooring ball

Town mooring balls for cruise ships
After the excitement, we decided to go for a bike ride in town and to see what’s on the main road which is Osborne Ave.  Phil was able to visit the chandlery and see something for his next project on Changes which is installing a foot pump so that we can have sea water come in at the galley sink to use for cleaning dishes and then we’d use a fresh water to rinse them.  Saves a lot of water.  We got back to the boat late morning just before it started to rain. It rained for most of the afternoon.  I worked on pulling the paper off the back of Calvin’s quilt and Phil read.  I made another new dish (think experiment) of Spaghetti with Red Lentils.  I didn’t have any more canned tomatoes, so used a jar of salsa and a small can of tomato sauce.  Even so, this wasn’t a favorite meal of Phil’s.  It does need a little more flavor, I have to agree, but I don’t think it was that bad.  Oh well.  Of course we have enough for leftovers for a meal each, so I’ll have to see what I can add to it to make it have more flavor. Phil says that next time he's going to drown it in ketchup.

Near the end of supper I got a call from my brother Glenn and his wife Pat.  They had great news that she’s expecting …. Triplets in April!  We’re thrilled and they are trying to get adjusted to the idea of having an instant family.  My daughter Rachel is also pregnant and due in March so spring will be a busy time of the year in 2011.

Last night Phil and I started a project of creating a spreadsheet listing what we have in the various lockers on the boat. We decided to start on the food lockers. I did the typing and Phil emptied out each locker and then re-packed.  Since I do most of the cooking, I definitely had ideas where things should go, but overall we agreed on most decisions.  We got the lockers above the Port and Starboard settees done, so that is a good start.

Wednesday, Nov 17
St. Marys, GA

We woke to blue skies and light breezes.  It was 67F inside the boat.  We once again started listening to the Waterway net, but once it went to weather in Bahamas, which we can’t hear because it's too far away and someone in our anchorage noisy serious interference on the radio - read an annoying noise.  Then it was time for the St. Marys Basin Net.  There have been a few of us that are interested in getting seafood from some loca fisherman, so we seem to be getting closer to getting that worked out. We also requested the use of a truck that is available for boater's use.

Right after the net was finished, we stopped over at S/V Sparrow so I was able to meet Ken and his visitor Janice from a 28’ trawler.  Janice likes to quilt so will give me a hail and come over when the current from the tide is slack and show me what her projects are.  We also met Captain Bob on S/V Maverick and learned that Friday morning and Saturday afternoons are when the boaters get together.  You should have seen all the dingies around Ken's boat!  He's one popular guy.   Sunday is when the activities leading up to Thanksgiving Dinner start. 

1990 Isuzu Cruiser's truck
 Phil and I decided to go grocery shopping – see what happens when we really find out what we don’t have??? – so we were able to borrow the local boater’s truck to go about 7 mi to the grocery store.  This 20 year old truck is unique – starting with a strap holding down the hood.  It’s a standard transmission and reminds Phil of the first junker that you got as a senior in high school or freshman in college that barely runs.  But it did better after the engine had warmed up and we were very glad to have it to use.  Ken has plans to work on it soon, so maybe Phil will be able to help.

We went to Lowes and I got a PUR 3-stage vertical water filter for the galley sink.  I don’t like the chlorine taste in the water and I hope this will help not having to buy gallon jugs of spring water and so I increase my fluid intake.  We looked for a fabric store, but when we found it, it was out of business.  I can tell that the economy has really hurts the local businesses as there are many empty stores for lease or for sale.  We made a trip to Walmart and then went grocery shopping at Publix, where we were glad to find out we didn’t need a shopper’s card.  After we got back about 130pm I put away provisions and then worked on the Provision List project this time on the port settee aft locker.  Who knew we had so many sheets and pillow cases.  I got rid of a LOT of plastic bags and had room to put some of the newly purchased can goods in there. I found out that if I laid the cans on their side, they fit in better and I was able to fit more in the space.  Yees!  I liked it so much, that I changed the cans in the port upper forward locker and made some more room.
Port upper locker
Port settee locker
While I was working on the provision list project, Phil was trying to remove the hot water faucet that’s not connected to hot water from the galley sink to no avail.  He can’t reach the nut to remove it.  He did connect the PUR water filter so now we have to let the water run for 5 min to flush the filter.  Since we are not going to waste water, we’ll use the water filter for all non-drinking water until it’s flushed good and think it will be enough.  Hope the water tastes good.  I got the 3-stage which has one of the stages run the water through minerals to make the water taste better.

I made meatloaf, potatoes and we had left over vegetables for supper today.  Of course there is left over meatloaf, but Phil will make sandwiches of some of it and we’ll have the rest for another meal.  Phil washed dishes and then we spent the evening doing computer stuff as we ran the engine for 2.5 hours to charge the batteries well.  

Tonight it's to get cooler (49F outside) , as it's already cooling off in the boat.  Time to get into bed and warmed up.  Tomorrow we want to take the bikes into town and look at the museums.  There is a Submarine, Cumberland Island, and Orange Hall museums.  There is a corner market that has a washer and dryer which I hope to be able to use.  I hear they are large and only $1/load. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Stone River to Beaufort, SC to St. Mary's, GA

Wed, Nov 10
Distance Traveled:  58.88 nm

Total Distance: 1463.37 nm
Stone River to Beaufort, SC
Post with tide going out Ashley Marina

Changes at Ashley Marina

The alarm went off at 6am (so early because of the time change, sunrise is earlier now) and Phil started the engine at 640am.  By 645am the anchor was up and we were on our way.  It’s 58F inside and colder outside.  We need to get another thermometer so that we can measure the outside temperature.  Today will be the day of traveling along multiple rivers on the ICW.  We will be going on the Stone R., Wadmalaw R., Dawho R., North Creek, S. Edisto River, Fenwick Cut to Ashepoo River, the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut to the Coosaw River to Brickyard Creek to get to Rick and Carol Butler’s dock 6 mi before Beaufort, SC.  We had an uneventful passage today and docked at Rick and Carol’s by 356pm.   
Rick and Carol Butler's Dock Patio

Changes docked at the Butler's Lady's Island, SC
The water in the sun showers was warm and the sun was still up, so Phil and I both took showers in the head.  It felt good to be clean and it wasn’t too cold in the boat.  We started walking down their long pier and in the middle we met Carol Butler and her next door neighbor, Allen Rae who is an Ocean Cruising Club Port Captain. 
Pier to dock - about half the length at high tide
View from the Butler's front door
We went to Carol’s home (it’s beautiful) and had wine while we chatted.  Allen’s wife Cathy joined us and we had an enjoyable time getting to know each other. Rick was on his way home from delivering a boat to Florida.  Both Rick and Carol and Allen and Cathy have cruised on sailboats before.  Rick and Carol cruised for about 10 years starting 1984 in a 42’ Pearson 424.  Then they traded in for a trawler and did the circle route going the long way.  By that I mean if there was a different route to take, they took it going through the Great Lakes, the north Channel and other water ways.  They would cruise and then in the fall take the boat out at a good marina recommended by the locals, go home and start again in the spring.  It took them about 7 years to go to all the places they wanted to travel.  About 6pm we went back to the boat to fix supper and have a quiet evening.

Thursday, Nov 11
Beaufort, SC

Happy 68th Birthday Phil!

We spent the day at Rick and Carol's dock.  Phil fixed pancakes for breakfast.  Then we went  up to their garage and picked up the rest of our boxes (we gotten the small ones last night).  Thankfully, they have a dock cart so getting the large boxes down the 300+ foot long pier to the dock was easy.  Phil put together the other folding bike using the one that currently is together as a model especially for attaching the derailleur.  We also put together the Froli bed system.  The hard part for that was pushing the button down to slide the bases into place as there were many to do.  Tamure (tam ur {rhymes with pure} long A), a 40' Valient owned by Scott and Kitty Kuhner, pulled into Allen and Cathy's dock.   It turns out that we met them at the Sailors Potluck in Oriental, NC!   In the afternoon, Rick and Carol let us borrow their Nissan Frontier Truck for us to go to West Marine and the Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  We got hoses and other necessary items to install the salt water foot pump into the galley sink.  On the way back we saw a local seafood market - the kind that has the seafood in large coolers.  We bought a pound of jumbo shrimp to have for supper with the steak we got for Phil's birthday dinner.  I also made from scratch Charleston Chocolate Cake for him.  Late in the afternoon, Rick came aboard and we talked about traveling the ICW in Florida and the opportune places for crossing over to the Bahamas starting with Fort Pierce and ending in south Florida with Key Biscayne.  He discussed the optimum weather window for crossing in regards to wind direction and speed to ensure a smooth crossing and encouraged me not to worry about the horror stories I'm likely to hear about other boat's crossing the Gulf Stream. I'm sure that if we follow his advice that we too will have an easy crossing.

Per Phil's request we had steak, baked potatoes and broccoli for supper with the chocolate cake for dessert.  We spent the evening reading.

Friday, Nov 12
Beaufort, SC

Friday morning we were trying to decide whether to put away the folding bikes or not. It also was the day to go through the boat and see what we were going to send home.  We sent home a box of books, my star quilt and other items.  Allen is a UPS shipping agent so he'll be able to send them for us.  It was a little cooler and breezy today.  Phil went up to the house to get rid of trash and was enlisted to take his trash and Rick's trash to the dump.  He also took the diesel jerry jugs and bought 19+ gallon of diesel and got packaging tape.  After he returned, we went immediately to wash clothes.  As Rick and Carol needed their truck at 3pm to drive down to visit their daughter, we were able to mostly dry the clothes and then I hung them up all over the boat to dry the rest of the way.

Late in the afternoon, we helped carry Allen's dinghy down his pier to the dock, get Tamure's dinghy up on deck and then went back to our boat to get ready for going outside tomorrow (go out Port Royal Sound to the Atlantic Ocean).  This entailed packing the 2 folding bikes, and the cruising shute into the sail locker and getting the dinghy up on the fore deck.  Actually, it worked out pretty good getting the dinghy up on deck.  Phil used the main sheet halyard winch to lift up the dinghy then Phil and I turned it upside down and used the rachet straps to hold the dinghy down on deck.  We got done just as the sun was setting.    I fixed curry shrimp over rice with green beans for supper.  I need to spice up this recipe a little next time I make it. We tried to get to bed early for tomorrow's long day.

Saturday, Nov 13 to Sunday, Nov 14
Passage on the Atlantic Ocean to St. Mary's, GA
Distance Traveled:  145.66 nm
Total Distance:  1609.03 nm

We woke at 7am to frost advisories in the area.  I had turned on the heater at 430am since we had electricity  so it wasn't that cold on the boat.  We still had a lot of chocolate cake left over, so I dodged the sprinklers in Allen and Cathy's back yard to drop off some with Kitty and Scott on Tamure.  I hurried back to our boat not having to dodge the sprinklers as Allen turned them off for me.  By 745am we had left the dock with blue skies and N winds 4-7 knots.  We went under the Lady's Island Swing Bridge along with 6 other boats.  About 921am we went under the Lady's Island high bridge and took photos of the new bridge that is being built.  By 930am the winds had increased to 10 knots.  While we were on the Beaufort River, I made sandwiches for lunch and Mexican Beans and Pasta bake for supper as who knows how bad the wind and waves were going to be on the ocean.  Just to play it safe, I took to Marezine to ward off any seasickness that may arise. Tamure also went out on the outside the same time and it was about 1215pm that we crossed the demarcation line indicating that we were officially in the Atlantic Ocean.   We had 2 hour watches that started at 2pm and then starting at 6pm we started 3 hours watches to help the off watch person get a little more sleep.  I took the first 3 hr watch  and Phil's first watch started at 9pm.  It was a good thing that I was prepared with the meals as the waves and swells were just bad enough that I'm glad that I didn't have to do all the cooking on the ocean.  We had 3-5 foot swells coming the east-north east and the 1-2 foot waves coming from the north.  After getting supper ready, I needed to take some more seasickness medication and was on the irritable side until my stomach settled down.  I had bought a pair of gloves that had the tip as a mitten that folded back so you had bare fingers.  We gave them a try and they worked really well - just enough warmth but also quick access to bare fingers when pushing buttons on the GPS.

The crossing outside went fairly well.  As the night progressed, the swells and waves calmed down.  It wasn't too cold so that was a blessing until the wind clocked to the west and was upwind coming into Cumberland Sound (St. Mary's Channel) starting 545am.  We started in the channel at about 3.5 knots going slowly until the light increased enough for us to see the markers.  The sun did rise at 648am and at 650am the instruments went on daytime lights.  It was cold with the wind blowing on the nose and I was glad when we dropped anchor in St. Mary's River in front of the town at 924am.  I was cold when we anchored, so quickly got into my flannel pajamas and went to bed with 3 quilts on me.  Phil ate breakfast and then went to bed.  We didn't get up until mid afternoon.

As I looked outside, I noticed that we had swung on the anchor and that we're a little too close to the boat next to  us.  Once Phil got up and got dressed, we raised anchor and moved over a little bit.  There are 25 boats anchored here or on mooring balls.  I heated up the Mexican Pasta Bake dish and made cornbread for an early supper.  We can have cheese and crackers later if we get hungry.

We took the dinghy off the foredeck this time using the main sheet self-tailing winch on the port side, which made it much easier.  Phil took the dinghy into town dropping off the trash we had stored in the sail locker.  While in there he met the owner of S/V Sparrow who is on a mooring ball here.  He runs the St. Marys Cruising net on channel 68 at 8am.  He came into St. Marys 3 years ago and is still here on his sailboat ever since. We'll listen tomorrow and see how it goes.

We got into St. Marys 11 days before the Thanksgiving Dinner Day.  We're not sure if we'll make a side trip to Cumberland Island this week or what.  They also have a ferry that goes to Cumberland Island, which is a National Seashore of the National Park system.  I would like to start working on recovering the cushions using the same foam at this time until we can replace some of the foam.  We spoke to Ken and Jeanne on Sail Away.  They are at MM 670 anchored on the Federica River with a few other boats we have met along the way about 35 miles north of us.  We will see Katie in less than 2 weeks so we are trying to decide what to do in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Charleston, SC to Stone River

Monday, Nov 8
Charleston, SC

We woke up to warmer weather and another day staying at Ashley Marina.  In the morning, we did boat chores.  Lucky for us, the sky was blue and it was in the mid 60's. We used up the 2nd 10# propane tank (it went out when Phil was making coffee), so after Phil switched the propane tanks, he was taken in the marina courtesy van to get it refilled for about $8.  Phil laid out the anchor chain first thing in the morning so it could dry, and I spent a while applying yellow Rescue Tape to the links, wrapping them around one side so that it could still go in the anchor windlass.  I started at 30 feet and wrapped one link of chain for each 10 feet on anchor chain (ie 3 links for 30 feet, 4 links for 40 feet).  We'll see if this tape stays attached. The yellow paint we did originally is almost off and the black permanent marker is worse.
dock at Harborage at Ashley Marine
After I finished the anchor chain, Jeanne and Ken asked if I wanted to walk with them to the liquor store.  Being that my knees were stiff from kneeling on the docks, I said yes hoping that a walk would limber them up.  Phil went to the lumber yard to get a 8' foot board so that he can attach the jerry jugs of diesel on the starboard side.  I was surprised to find that the liquor store was at the Charleston City Marina just next store on the other side of the bridge.  The walk there and back of was just enough to have my knees feeling back to normal. 

In the afternoon I went with Jeanne from Sail Away to the straw market. This is an open air market that is an upscale flea market.  The locals also sell the famous sweetgrass baskets which are beautiful, but also pricey.   I bought a cookbook of Charleston recipes (will send my cookbook for sauces back) and some other items.  After I had made my last purchase, I turned around and couldn't find Jeanne, so after looking for a while, I called the van and came home.  She made it home later.  After returning home I cooked the shrimp with rice, mushroom and peas for a late lunch.  It tasted good and we had enough left over for another meal.  I really wanted a light meal, but had to cook the shrimp or they would go bad. 

We met up with John and Karen Gaag, friends Phil knew from the Grand River Sailing Club and who he saw recently when he visited Dave and Deanne Hoops in Charleston.  They have lived in Charleston for 10 years now and love it.  They met us at the dock, saw Changes and we drove to Vickery Restaurant on a Creek in Mt. Pleasant, just across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge that crosses the Cooper River.  The food was very good there, the company was even better.  Karen was kind enough to offer to take us to a grocery store (Phil thought NO) and after we ate, we went to Harris Teeter.  It's kind of like a Heinens, so I was able to stock up on the cereals I like and get almond milk in both half gal and quart boxes that I haven't been able to find for awhile.  Now the cubby under the L shape settee cushion is once again full.  We also visited the Charleston Yacht Club, (John and Karen are members) which is next door to the Ashley Marina that we're staying in.  Karen is an artist and also likes to quilt so you can imagine we had plenty to talk about.  John races sailboats so the guys had plenty to discuss themselves.  We understand that with the different currents in Charleston Harbor, racing is quite challenging.   We had such a nice time and thank them for the great evening.
John and Karen Gaag's sailboat

Tuesday, Nov 9
Distance Traveled:  10. 22nm
Total Distance:   1414.71 nm
Tourist day in Charleston 
Leave for Stone River

Today we woke up a little later than usual to blue skies and a day that promised to warm up to the lower 70's.  After a breakfast of cereal we went to see John and Karen's racing sailboat docked here at the Ashley Marina (F5).  We called the courtesy van and asked them to drive us to downtown Charleston so that we could walk around to see the older homes and buildings.  It started out in the upper 50's and quickly got to the lower 70's with calm winds.  We started on East Bay St and Wentworth so that we could pick up a Best of Resorts map of Charleston to help us decided where to walk.  We quickly got off East Bay St (very busy street) and walked down Church Street to St. Philip's Episcopal Church.  It's a very big imposing place.

We walked through their old cemetary, got crackers by Washington Square Park, and walked down Chisiolm Street to the Old Slave Mart Museum.  We walked through this very interesting museum and then had lunch at the Blind Tiger Pub.  After giving our feet a well deserved rest, we walked down Broad Street to East Bay Street down through the Rainbow Row houses to the waterfront at the tip of the peninsula.  The houses are big, beautiful and old.
Charleston houses by Battery Park on tip of penisula
Looking down the other way on East Bay Street.

Battery Park
After we walked through part of Battery Park, we called the courtesy van and asked them to pick us up at Tradd St and Meeting St.  Charleston has a unique type of houses here called single and double homes.  Check out this web site for more information that explains what they are and has photos.
Charleston "single" home
Iron grating on windows

There are also a lot of black iron fences, gates, and balconies and the doors have their own unique flavor.  It reminds me a lot of some of the homes when I live in New Orleans years ago.
design carried through on gates
We returned to the marina about 150pm and quickly filled the water tank, gallon jugs, and the sun shower and even though there was a hefty current pushing the bow of Changes towards the dock, we got off without a hitch by 230pm.

We wanted to get through the Wappoo Creek Bridge as it doesn't start to open until 9am in the morning and having a long day tomorrow, that's too late to start.  The current in front of the Bridge was 2 knots which stressed Phil, but being the good helmsman that he is, we went through without a hitch at the 3pm opening.  It also helped that there was only a trawler waiting to go through at the same time.  We anchored past the bridge on the left until 350pm hoping that we were timing it correctly for the current to be around 1 knot in the Elliott Cut.  This is a 1/2 mile narrow canal connecting the Wappoo Creek to the Stone River.  We went online and checked a couple web sites for tides and current predictions, but once we got into the cut, we found the current was 4 knots.  We had a low speed at 412pm of moving 2.1 mph per GPS/6.34 knots on the boat meter.  Every 2 minutes we would pick up between 0.6 to 0.7 mph until we were going 3.8mph/6.12 knots at the end of the cut.  We dropped anchor in the Stone River about 1/2 mile south of the end of the cut at 428pm and then I warmed up yesterday's left over lunch of shrimp, rice cooked with mushrooms and peas.  We've been reading or on the computer ever since.

Tomorrow morning we'll have to leave extra early as the sun rises about 630am.  We hope to get to Beaufort, SC to Rick and Carol Butler's home by the end of the travel day.  It will almost be like Christmas for us with all the packages and mail that will be waiting for us. 

Katie is near the end of her quarter in college trying to wrap up all her assignments and prepare for finals. We are looking forward to seeing her after Thanksgiving during her holiday vacation.  I know too she looks forward to seeing us.