Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 21. We were anchored in Georgetown, SC for 2 nights. I know I’ve said it before, that the waterfront here is kind of depressing to see from the water, but it’s a different story once you’re on land. The waterfront has a nice boardwalk that runs for several blocks behind the businesses along Main Street. Walk around to the front of the shops and the town is a scene from a Norman Rockwell calendar.

While in town we walked around a bit and spent an evening with a guy from an internet sailing board that we had met there last year on our way south. So after spending a night near Georgetown and then 2 more nights actually there, it was time to move on.

We pulled anchor and got going around 0800. We had a full day of tidal flow alternating either for or against us. There’s a bridge just above Charleston that is closed from 1600 to 1800 hours. We were not pushing hard and if we didn’t get to the bridge before 1600 hours we were just going to drop the hook and arrive in Charleston the next morning.

It was a grey day with intermittent cloud bursts during the early part of the day. Some of the rain was hard enough to warrant the use of the radar as visibility was reduced to near nothing. With the stormy weather all around us it brought with it enough wind to make the bridge by 17 minutes. These clouds did have a silver lining.

So we were anchored in the Ashley River in Charleston on Thursday evening. The Ashley is a fast flowing tidal river. The anchorage was fairly empty as we are still well ahead of the bulk of the southbound cruisers.

We spent Friday and Saturday tooling around town on our bicycles. Saturday on our way back to the boat we stopped in to the local Coast Guard station.

You see there was a boat anchored next to us and in the morning it looked as if it was bow down. We hadn’t noticed this bow down attitude before that morning and it had even developed a slight list to starboard. We did notice that nobody had been to the boat since we’d gotten there so we were a little concerned.

So we stopped in to see if they’d run a small boat past to see if there was a problem. The guard at the gate told us that they don’t do that type of thing. I was astonished. I told him that we thought it would be an easier problem to address before it sank, rather than later. He advised us to stop at the marina office and tell them about our suspicions.

So off we went back to our boat, but we did stop at the marina office. We were not sure why the marina people would care since the boat wasn’t in their marina, but we gave it a try.

We rode our bikes out to the marina office and told them of our concerns. The girl looked at us and said “That’s really got nothing to do with us”. Alright now I’ve got to start lying, I told her that the Coast Guard sent me over to get them to start the ball rolling, that they’ve got to be the ones to call the Coast Guard. We gave a vessel description and name and left.

We were back on our boat for 10 minutes and guess who rolled up? That’s right, the Coast Guard Auxiliary. 3 retired guys in a private powerboat with temporary Coast Guard markings. At least it’s somebody.

These guys circled slowly while on the radio with headquarters. They could see that the boat was in trouble and after 5 minutes came over to our boat to ask if we had seen the owner. We told them no one had been around and that we reported the boat that morning. They told us that there’s a note on the companion way door but headquarters forbid them from boarding the vessel, so they were unable to read it. WTF? They asked if I could get in my dinghy and board the boat and read the note for them. If I ever say that I understand the Coast Guard, I’m at the point where my brains are Jell-O so please have me committed.

So I got in the dinghy, went over and climbed on the boat and the note said that in case of an emergency call such and such. They said thanks and went off to notify the owner that there may be a problem.

About 2 hours later there was a dinghy tied to the boat so we figured that the owner must be there. It wasn’t until the next morning that the water started pouring out of 2 separate bilge pumps.

Boat Name of the Day: Knot Say’n……..the bridges all want to get your name and hailing port before they’ll open the span. Can’t you just hear the exchange when they ask his name and hailing port and he replies….I’m Knot Say’n. Fine, then I’m not openin’. It’s got potential to turn into an Abbott & Costello routine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Since we're not moving I thought I'd post a few of the thousands of pictures that we've taken in the past year.

Christy and I with Phil and the Makeitso's at the Latts and Atts party in Annapolis.

The moonrise over Sandy Hook, NJ.

When you go in to dock and dine makes sure what the tide is doing.

Ummm, excuse me Captain, I think you might be dragging.

First light after the disasterous night in Block Island. Those boats in the center are all hanging from one anchor in a giant wad.

Homemade trimaran anyone?

Moorings in this Connecticut creek were so tightly spaced that the boats were tie fore and aft to moorings to keep them from swinging at all.

Thats me walking the dogs in the Fort Fredricka State Park, would you look at the size of those trees.

A friends Morgan 41 footer in the anchorage in Marathon, Fl. Could the water be anymore beautiful?

The fog awaits us as we turn the corner and head for Georgetown, SC.

Molly meets a Giant Schnauzer.

The anchorage at Saint Augustine as seen from the Bridge Of Lions.

A Bristol Channel Cutter that we passed while in the Hawks Channel off the coast of Florida.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16. We were up and underway from the Provision Company’s dock at 0630. We had planned a 0700 departure but the dogs were evidently eager to get going so they made the morning walk a record setter for speed.

Once underway we motored out the Cape Fear inlet that we had come in the day before. It’s about 67 miles from the Cape Fear Inlet to the inlet at Winyah Bay.

The winds were supposed to be from the north at 10 to 15 knots. Of course what we got was 6 or 7 knots at best so we were forced to motor sail the entire way. There was barely enough wind to keep the sail full in the smallish following seas. I even had to unveil the “Boathook of Speed”, patent pending, in an effort to keep the sail from getting the opportunity to flog closed as the boat rolled. The “Boathook of Speed”, patent pending, actually did the trick and was just enough to keep us moving along nicely. All you racers out there should keep an eye out for more of the Veranda Racing product line.

About 20 miles from Winyah Bay we had an amazing experience. I was on the foredeck and noticed a pair of fins slicing towards the boat. In an instant we were literally surrounded by dolphins. Christy grabbed a camera while I got the other one. Between us we snapped over 400 pictures, thank god for digital cameras. The dolphins put on a spectacular show that lasted a full hour as they played and competed with each other for space at our bow. There were even a couple of mothers with their babies. They were so close for so long you actually hear them “speaking” to each other, or us, I’m not sure. We were doing over 7 knots and they moved with us effortlessly and blasted ahead whenever they wanted.

Words fail me; let’s hope the pictures do the experience some justice.

We got to the Winyah Bay inlet and found out that this inlet is no joke. We had an easy time of it but the potential for a disastrous transit was very obvious. There’s a submerged jetty on either side extending out well over a mile from shore. The inlet is exceptionally wide allowing potentially large rollers to make your time between the jetties very uncomfortable to say the least.

In Jersey, you’re through the Manasquan inlet in 2 rollers, you’re through the Barnegat Inlet in 2 minutes, here you could be in a tough spot for better than half an hour.

Once inside the inlet we went far enough up the bay until we got cell phone coverage so Christy could check in with people. Once that was done we pulled off to the side and dropped the hook for the night.

This morning’s stop was the anchorage at Georgetown, SC. It was only an hour away from our anchorage last night. We wanted to stop just short of Georgetown as the anchorage in Georgetown is so small that we needed time for other boats to head out before we came in and snagged a prime spot, actually any spot.

We’ll be here for a few days as we’re only a day out of Charleston so we can finally slow down a bit. We’ve ended up with a week to spare so it’ll be nice to enjoy it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

October 12. We left the beautiful Pungo River anchorage at 0700. The wind was already up and blowing about 20 knots. After a quick 2 miles south we turned west and dead into the wind. We were only on the wind for 6 miles before turning due south again. Out came the sails and we were able to sail down the Pungo and across the Pamlico Sound at about 7 knots. It was perfect sailing for a few hours before the wind slowly petered out and died.

We motored through Goose Creek and headed for the Neuse River where the wind did pick up enough for some motor sailing. We made it to Oriental and were safely tied up behind Ken & Carol Small’s home by 1500 hours.

As usual, Ken & Carol were wonderful hosts. I spent most of Friday doing boat chores including replacing our tired water pump. Christy food shopped, bathed the dogs and did laundry, monopolizing Carol’s laundry machines for the better part of the day.

Our hosts made us dinner; we also attended a gathering with them and their friends and then went to dinner together on Saturday evening. Our good friends are eager to help anyway they can and do their best to make sure you don’t want for anything. I’m surprised they’re not listed in the Skipper Bob’s cruising guide as a great place to stop.

We’re still in “barreling south” mode. The weather reports for the near future are for light and variable winds. On Saturday morning we bid adieu to our hosts and left Oriental and headed for Beaufort NC. In Beaufort there’s a class “A” inlet, the tide was ebbing so we decided to head out into the ocean for a quick overnight to the Cape Fear inlet.

If we stayed in the ICW it would have been a 2 day trip of about 130 miles. The trip from inlet to inlet is about 90 miles but by the time you factor in traversing the inlets and going around Frying Pan Shoal it was pretty much a wash. We did save a day this way and avoided a lot of the shallow spots that gave us problems in the past due to low water levels so it was worth it.

Sunday the 14th. The overnighter from Beaufort to Cape Fear went off without a hitch. The ocean was alive with fish. We saw several schools of fish in feeding frenzies so I dropped in my lines and caught the biggest lumps of seaweed you’ve ever seen. Which is it, white or red with algae? We were able to sail until just after dark. The wind of course was from exactly where we wanted to go so we made a series of long tacks until the wind slowly faded. After dark we rolled in the genoa and started the engine so we could motor sail the rest of the way.

When it was time to put on the running lights we found that the bow light was out. It was only Mr. Corrosion, but it was invigorating disassembling and cleaning the fixture while plunging headlong into the darkness without dropping anything into the depths..

We were about 25 miles off shore as we headed out to round Frying Pan shoal which extends for more than 20 miles just before the Cape Fear inlet. There was no moon and the stars were spectacular. The horizon disappeared into a veil of fog providing us with no horizon to focus on. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time.

Christy and I take turns doing 4 hour shifts when we’ve had to sail through the night. It works out very well for us and gives Christy a chance to become more familiar with the radar and chartplotter. Christy doesn’t sleep as well as I do on the boat so I napped for an hour until sundown, she went below from 2100 to 0130 and then I was off from 0130 until 0600 and then she napped for a couple of hours in the cockpit when I came back up.

We saw several commercial fishing vessels, listened to several exchanges between boats that we never saw, but otherwise had a very easy night of it. The ocean off the Jersey shore was a lot more alive with boat traffic and monitoring the other boats positions does make the night go faster.

We’re now tied to a dock at the Provision Company. During docking the unthinkable happened. SPLINTER! I went to secure the spring lines and rammed a splinter about the size of a baseball bat up under the nail on my typing finger. I thought I was gonna die while removing it. There’s definitely alcohol in my immediate future since it’s got magical antiseptic qualities and I’ve heard that it may even dull the pain. We’ll see. The Provision Company is waterside restaurant that has a few slips where you can spend the night in exchange for coming in and having a meal. Works for us.

The food was really good and the bar was self serve. The place is pretty crowded with locals and it’s been a non stop parade of people walking out onto the dock to strike up conversations with us. Tucker was a little stressed at first as all these people kept coming close. He didn’t know whether to bark, bite or what. After a while he mellowed out and started to relax a bit.

It’s a bit noisy but we can barely hear it down inside the boat. We’re all dog tired so sleeping tonight should be wonderful.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

October 11. Making plans while you’re on a sailboat is just a waste of time.

I had planned on having a new bearing pressed into our water pump while in Elizabeth City. Then I got to thinking about it. The water pump is just a small bronze housing with a shaft running through it. The shaft has a bearing in the center with an impeller on the end. On the other end is the pulley for the engine driven belt.

So what keeps the water from passing from the impeller side to the pulley side? That’s right, a seal. Now I’m afraid that they might damage the seal while trying to replace the bearing. I’m not sure if that has to be replaced when servicing the bearing or maybe its even part of the bearing.

So we woke around 0800 and I explained my worry to Christy. We elected to press on towards Oriental and our new pump. So we walked the dogs and got underway around 0900.

Once underway we had 20 knots of wind and were making great time.
We crossed the Albemarle Sound and headed south into the Alligator River. If you’ve been following along you’ll remember that last year when we ran south into the Alligator River we ran into a submerged metal I-beam and had to have the boat hauled so we could check for hull damage. So naturally we were nervous about the approach this time.

This time went much better but was not without its butt clenching moments. The two different charts and the chart plotter all showed the same marks; greens 1, 3 and 5. We passed green 1 and when we arrived at green 3 it turned out to be green 1A, ut oh. It turned out that green 3 had been moved about 200 yards to the west and green 1A was placed in its spot. Once we had it all sorted out it went well, it was just disconcerting that this place where we’ve had “issues” in the past would be so different from what the charts showed.

As we sailed down the Alligator River we were again buzzed by fighter planes out screaming about. Christy saw the first one as it crossed our bow on its side with one wingtip down towards the water and the other skyward. He was moving so fast we never heard him until he was well past us.

At the south end of the Alligator River is the Pungo Canal. The wind had died and we were motoring into a slight current. It was just after 1500 hours and the canal is 22 miles long. The sun set tonight at 1837. The anchoring possibilities at this end of the canal are pretty slim and we’ve been to the anchorage at the other end of the canal so we decided to proceed. I figured that worst case we’d have to travel in the dark for 30 minutes or so.

The other thing about the canal is that it’s a major tug and barge route after dark. We encountered one tug pushing a barge just as the sun was setting and the passing went smoothly.

We ended up anchoring in a well protected spot about 20 minutes after dark. The water pump hasn’t gotten any worse and now we’re only a fifty mile hop from Oriental.

Friday, October 12, 2007

October 9. Today started well enough as the engine fired right up just like it was supposed to. There was one problem though. Every morning before we get underway I do a check of the fluid levels and I also check the general condition of the engine room. Today I discovered that the belt to the water pump was a little loose.

It wasn’t that the belt needed tightening it was the fact that there was some side play in the water pump shaft. We have spare impellers on board but not a new bearing or another complete water pump. We got underway and Christy phoned West Marine and ordered us another pump. It will be in Oriental on Thursday which will work for us as we won’t arrive before Friday.

Now the dilemma. If I let this water pump continue on as it is it might very well get us to Oriental where we can install the new one and have this one rebuilt. Although if it gets too bad it may become unrebuildable or worse yet it could fail completely, probably at the worst possible moment. On the other hand if I take it up to the local machine shop for a new bearing they could screw it up leaving us with nothing to get us to Oriental.

I’m gonna remove it and head up to NAPA in the morning to see if I can get a replacement bearing. If I walk into the machine shop with the bearing in hand I feel like things might go smoother for us, we’ll see.

So anyway we were anchored right in front of the lock to the Dismal Swamp. We locked through at 0900 and had 6 hours to cover the 22 miles to the next lock. It’s only a 3 and a half or 4 hour trip.

The water levels here are 2 feet below normal and if they drop another 6 inches the Dismal Swamp route will be closed until they get some substantial rain.

What this means for us is that the water level was ridiculously low. The depth sounder never showed less than 7 feet which is plenty for us except that the sounder doesn’t “see” trees lying on the bottom. The bottom of the swamp is littered with large portions of trees lurking beneath the surface. On several occasions we hit large branches that were 4 or 5 feet below the surface. You can’t see them at all and its just dumb luck as to who hits something big enough to damage their boat.

After hitting hard several times we elected to stop at the Welcome Center on the North Carolina / Virginia border. It’s the only Welcome Center in the country that can be reached by either car or boat. They have a nice dock and great facilities. We ran the dogs a bit, ate a leisurely lunch and set , timing it so we could reach the next lock just before it opened.

Locking went well and we were out and on our way to Elizabeth City, NC. There are several free slips maintained by the town for transient cruisers. We picked a spot and tied up for the night. We’ll probably stay here tomorrow to take care of the water pump and then we’ll hit the laundry mat as well.

Monday, October 8, 2007

October 8. We left the Annapolis Boat Show still in full swing and turned south early Sunday morning.

We ended putting in our longest day, distance wise. A twelve hour day that covered 87 miles. We had an excellent push for the first three hours of the day and finished with several hours of a beneficial tidal flow. We pulled into Indian Creek, Virginia for the night. The last time we had been here it was fairly crowded with other cruising boats and then we were forced to head very far upstream to anchor.

Since we left the boat show a day or 2 early we are ahead of most of the other cruisers and we practically had the place to ourselves, not to mention the fact that who else would be silly enough to try for an 87 mile day. So I figure that we’re a day or 3 ahead of the crowd. We had a prime spot adjacent to the YMCA camp for kids. They have an excellent dock which makes for easy dog walking on their huge grass fields.

We had such a long day that sleeping was easy for everyone in the crew in this absolutely calm anchorage. It was quite different than the rolly, exposed anchorage we had become used to in Annapolis.

This morning we arose and were underway at 0730 for our proposed 60ish mile day. We have an important party to attend in Charleston near the end of the month. Its about 550 miles to cover, in less than 17 days. I figure 11 50 mile days will do it for us and still give us 6 days to layover because of weather, or exhaustion. It would also be nice to get there with enough time to shower before dinner. We’re running as hard as we can while we have such nice weather so we won’t have to venture out when it all goes to hell.

About halfway through our day Christy screams out “look!” From past experience this can pretty much mean anything, submarine, floating debris, container ship bearing down, wildlife, who knows. Today it was a good “look!” Dolphins, a huge pod, probably fifty or sixty of them. This is as far north as we’ve ever seen them so it was pretty exciting. The boat was literally completely surrounded with them.

I had planned to anchor near Tidewater’s Marina which is about 7 miles short of the first lock in the Great Dismal Swamp. Christy had the great idea to keep going and anchor right in front of the lock. Nobody can transit the waterway because the lock doesn’t open until 0900 tomorrow, so why not. It was a stroke of genius.

I wanted to stop and top off both fuel tanks so we won’t have to stop again before we get to Charleston, so we turn off the ICW and into the Ocean Marine Yacht Basin. We tie up to the fuel dock, top off and more importantly, top off the water tank. After paying for our fuel I turn the key to restart the engine for the last 7 miles and 2 lift bridges of our day. Nothing. Shit. Crap. F**k. Arghh…..

A little recap. When we left Annapolis the engine turned over a little slowly so I figured that the batteries were a little undercharged as it was fairly cloudy every morning, so not enough solar power. It was only windy enough to make sleeping uncomfortable but not enough to produce any real wind power.

Then, this morning the engine again turned over very slowly. I was still thinking it must be a battery problem until we tried to leave the fuel dock this afternoon.

When nothing happened I went down and uncovered my old friend the “starter”. I grabbed a hold of the wires to the red hot starter and guess what? That’s right class, they were dead loose. So my starter has been trying to grab enough juice to start the engine through a shitty electrical connection.

How could this possibly happen you ask? That’s right, those of you who have been paying attention know that I had some electrical work done by a company that specializes in marine electrical system repair. That’s right, when they ran the new wires to the starter they didn’t tighten them properly and allowed Mr. Corrosion to creep in and make the semi shitty connection even worse. So now as a result of their ineptitude Mr. Starter is dead, it’s always the innocents. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. I'm definately getting a Voo Doo doll.

Now we have the dilemma of having to make it through the 2 bridges before they stay closed for 2 hours for the morning rush hour. That means a 0500 departure. Oh crap no. Unless, of course, I can change out the starter and have us underway with enough time to cover the 7 miles and 2 bridges before dusk at the Dismal Swamp. Because of water restrictions the locks are only opening twice a day, once at 0900 and again at 1500 hours. So we have to make the 0900 opening so we can leave the other end of canal at the 1500 opening. If not, we lose a day.

Christy and I are like a fine tuned pit crew when it comes to these intense gotta-get it done repairs. Since I can get a little, a very little testy, she pretty much gets as far away as she can. Since we were tied to the dock it made this much easier.

I can’t begin to explain how hot it was inside the engine compartment. The water was just running off my face as I bent over to start removing wires. The biggest problem was that the starter was red freaking hot. Luckily before we had left New Jersey Christy had remarked to a friend how neat his “Ove Glove” was. It’s a glove that is made of nomex and kevlar, it’s so heat resistant that you can put it on and lay your hand right on a hot grill. It’s crazy to see, as it looks like a soft woolly glove your grandmother might have knitted for you. Anyway, thanks to Nick’s generosity and the fact that I’ve had to remove the starter at least ten times I had the old one out and the engine running with the new one in less than forty minutes. I’ll clean up later.

Once back underway it went very well as we made the 2 bridges on time and are now comfortably anchored in front of the lock. Just after anchoring a small skiff came by with a husband and wife aboard along with their Miniature Schnauzer. I asked them if there was any public land nearby that I could land my dinghy at to walk the dogs, a boat ramp, anything. They both say “sorry, nothing like that around here” but there is a park just over there that you might be able to use. A park we might be able to use, hummm. No public land but there is a park. What did they think I was looking for? Anyway, it was beautiful, only fifty yards away, obscured by the lushness of the surrounding vegetation. Tomorrow the Dismal Swamp, if the engine starts.
October 6. It’s Saturday evening and the boat show is over for us. There’s actually still another day left in the show but we’re going to start heading south.

We attended the boat show on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday we pretty much spent most of our money and one of the vendors gave us some complimentary tickets for the next day so we went back on Saturday.

On Friday, Nell and Charlie called and said that they were in town for the day to attend the show. They met us in the center of town and drove us out to Chantler’s, a rustic waterside restaurant. It was a great evening that ended too quickly as Charlie still had a long drive back to Jersey ahead of him. Charlie and Nell just got back from a three month sail to Nova Scotia so it was fun to compare notes.

On Saturday we spent some time retracing our steps to see some things again. Then we went on several of the boats that were on display, attended a weather seminar and headed back to the boat early to relax a bit before heading to the Latts and Atts party in the evening.

During the show we ran into several cruisers we had met during the previous year. Then it turned into “old home week” as we ran into a multitude of former dockmates, yacht club members and various ner-do-wells from our home waters in New Jersey.

On Saturday evening we attended the Latts ands Atts party. The place was packed and we spent a good bit of time wandering through the crowd looking for familiar faces. The party was okay but the real enjoyment came from chatting with the people in the group. We’re hauling anchor around 0630 tomorrow so we were out of there by 2030 hours and headed back to the boat.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October 3. We left Solomon’s Island on Monday after waiting out a mild blow from the north. The winds weren’t half as bad as they were supposed to have been but they were from the north so since we were headed north we decided to wait it out.

We had the anchor up just before 0700 and were headed over to the pump out dock. Here at Solomon’s they have a very nice 2 slip pier with fresh water and a free pump out station. We got there just behind the Freedom’s and both of us pumped out, filled water tanks and washed off the topside grunge.

So with the boats now sparkling clean we headed for Annapolis. We were sailing northward by 0815 with 8 to 10 knots of breeze from the east. The wind of course sensed our pleasure and slowly petered out until we were only making 3 knots SOG by 1100 hours. After that we had to start the engine and motor the last 4 hours to Annapolis.

Back Creek and Spa Creek are both overcrowded with boats here to attend the sailboat show. These 2 creeks are both very convenient to Annapolis and very protected. There are other options but they’re just a little further away.

So we decide to anchor right in front of the Naval Academy. It’s just a short dinghy ride into town for both dog walking and the show. So it’s actually the most convenient of all possible choices. The only drawback is that it’s pretty open to winds from the east-southeast. We figure that if something big comes this way we’ll just run up the Severn River and pop back out when it’s passed.

We anchored in a dead calm anchorage and were happy with our choice. Later that night, not so much. I took the dogs to shore and returned to the boat just about sundown as the wind started to build noticeably. Soon the wind was up to 15 knots; of course straight out of the east and the water was starting to build into a nasty chop.

With our Mantra of always being the northernmost boat in any anchorage this has put us as also the closest boat to the seawall behind us. This put us in the awkward spot of being behind everyone as the wind blew unexpectedly hard from the east with the wall directly behind our boat. It all worked out well for us as the wind was just enough to churn things up and everyone stayed put for the night. It did make for an uncomfortable nights sleep for some of the crew though, so I hear.

We spent Tuesday doing a little walking around town before heading over to see our friends The Bedazzles. Actually they’re the former Bedazzles; since we’ve seen them last they’ve bought a new boat and are now the Makeitsos’.

We had traveled quite a bit with Rick, Linda & Kirby the Wonderdog when they were traveling on their Lagoon 41 foot catamaran. It’s only been about 5 months since we’ve seen them but they’ve been busy. Now they are living aboard the pride of the Lagoon fleet, a 42 foot Hybrid diesel electric model. Instead of diesel engines it has 2 electric motors to turn the propellers, once the battery level falls below a certain level the generator starts itself and recharges the battery bank all the while humming along. Ain’t technology grand? Actually several grand. You can’t imagine the room on this boat, there’s even a billiard room, holy crap.

They’re tied up at the dock over at the catamaran dealer while they get a few bugs worked out of their new boat. We spent the evening as their guests along with the Freedoms and another couple of new cruisers who will be setting out on the “Anything’s Pawsible”. It was a beautiful evening with great company. That is until we left, we pulled away from their boat and down the fairway and out into yet another blustery night.

It was calm as a mill pond while we were at their boat and only a couple of hundred yards away it’s blowing again. The water was so stirred up that spray was flying up over the dinghy and drenching us both as we head across the seas.

It was another uncomfortable night but the crew was able to sleep a little better, so I hear, thanks to 4 benadryls and ear plugs.
We spent today running around getting little jobs accomplished after going to breakfast at Chick & Ruth’s in town. It’s a nice little breakfast place frequented by cruisers. We caught up with several old friends and met some new people there as well.

Now all we really have to do is attend the boat show and then start to head south. Although in the mean time I’m sure the crew would appreciate one or two of those eerie, still nights that make sleeping so effortless.