December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013  Day 33  South for the Winter
The Marina at Ortega Landing
Jacksonville, FL

Today was spent cleaning the exterior of the boat, vacuuming, doing laundry, and packing for our trip to Louisiana and Texas.  We will leave in the morning and drive to Baton Rouge and spend a few days visiting family (Bill’s brother and our sister-in-law and their children and grandchildren!) and then drive to Texas to spend Christmas with our daughter and our four grandchildren.  We will stay a week and enjoy being with them!  Then back to Baton Rouge to spend a few more days including New Years!

We will return to Jacksonville and to Carried Away on January 2. We will not update the blog during our absence, but we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013  Day 32  South for the Winter
The Marina at Ortega Landing
Jacksonville, FL

Just a quick note tonight.  We did get some things accomplished today. Joyce made a few calls this morning to get a rental car.  She had to deal with sticker shock as rates seem to have escalated during the holidays!  We will pick up the car tomorrow for our trip to Louisiana and Texas.

We walked to the shopping area after lunch and got all our tasks done:  we both got overdue haircuts; we mailed Christmas packages at the UPS Store; and we bought the baby gift for our new grandniece.  (Glad we can deliver it in person in a few days!)

We had dinner on board and had a quiet evening.  Tomorrow we will finish the cleaning and pack for our trip.


December 15, 2013

December 15, 2013  Day 31 South for the Winter
The Marina at Ortega Landing
Jacksonville, FL

Today was a “stay on the boat” type of day. The rain that was forecast arrived last night and we only had a few light showers this morning.  However, we still only managed to do a few “light” things.

Joyce finished wrapping the last two gifts, addressed the Christmas cards, did several loads of laundry, cooked dinner, read, and continued the “lists” required to be ready for our trip on Wednesday.  Bill researched and studied wifi boosters and routers much of the day.

We have much to do tomorrow including cleaning the exterior of the boat, running errands, get haircuts, etc.

December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013  Day 30 South for the Winter
The Marina at Ortega Landing
Jacksonville, FL

At last, we are here for a month! We left the dock at Jacksonville Landing before lunch and made the six mile trip here in less than an hour.  It is so good to be here at the Marina at Ortega Landing. It is a beautiful marina with great facilities.  After we got checked in Joyce walked to Publix for a few groceries.  It is in a large shopping center that we will have to go back to on Monday and check some of the other stores!  It is so good to have this within walking distance.

We attended the marina’s Christmas party tonight which included a catered dinner and live entertainment.  We did not expect to know anyone when we arrived but we recognized Gold Loopers, Jack, Denise, and their 5 year old daughter Beatrice.  They are from Brazil and we first met them at Joe Wheeler last fall.  We enjoyed talking with them again!

We have rain forecast tomorrow so we will get some indoor chores done.  We plan to rent a car and leave Wednesday and drive to Louisiana and Texas to visit family for Christmas. We will be back on Carried Away the first week of January. 

December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013   Day 29  South for the winter
Jacksonville Landing
Jacksonville, FL

We got an early start and left St. Mary’s at 7:25 to maximize the tide we would encounter in shallow areas.  We had a good travel day but were surprised to see so few other boaters out today.  It was a beautiful Friday! 

We passed Fernandina Beach at 8:30 but could not stop. We were there last year and found it to be a wonderful town and will have to stop again next spring! 

The approach to Jacksonville on the St. John’s River is lined with shipyards and loading docks.  We watched container ships being loaded with the help of large cranes. We arrived in Jacksonville Landing at 2:15 and got ourselves tied up to the free wall. There is no one here to help but we managed fine by ourselves.

We walked around the Landing which has an outdoor amphitheater/ courtyard and many restaurants and shops. We decided to have pizza and sat outside enjoying the warm weather and a terrific Chicago style pizza.  We dropped off the leftovers on the boat and went back to the amphitheater to look at the Christmas tree filled with over 78,000 LED lights that are coordinated with music.  It is quite a sight!  Then we realized that live performances were scheduled! So for three hours we watched school children and one church group perform Christmas songs and dance!  It was quite a treat and we were glad we stayed!  
The beautiful tree at Jacksonville Landing

We will leave the Landing tomorrow morning and go to the Marina at Ortega Landing. It is on the St. John’s River about 6 miles from here. Carried Away will be there a month.  

December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013  Day 28 South for the Winter
Lang’s Marina
St. Mary’s, Georgia

We decided to spend another day here, and once a large boat left, we moved up to its spot on the face dock to get a 50 amp power connection.  We took a very nice walk around St. Mary’s after lunch and enjoyed the waterfront park, several small shops, and looking at many historical homes and buildings.  There are some very nice bed and breakfasts and inns here.  We even stopped for ice cream!
CuteB & B complete with pirate!

Lighted palm trees line
the main street in St. Mary's
Joyce got some laundry done and Bill worked on his bird carving this afternoon.  We went back out for dinner at a small cafĂ©.  When we returned, we called our grandson, David, to wish him a Happy 8th birthday!  We will see him in less than two weeks for Christmas!

We will leave tomorrow and go to Florida. We will either go to an anchorage or go to Jacksonville. 

December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013  Day 27 South for the Winter
Lang’s Marina
St. Mary’s, Georgia

An early phone call to a marina in St. Mary’s to check fuel price and available space resulted in the decision to go there.  We left our anchorage near St. Simon’s at 8:15. By the time we arrived at Jekyll Island, the tide was out and we were in some skinny water. 

We picked up waves that were about two feet in St. Andrews Sound. This is also home to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, home to six ballistic missile subs.  Their patrol boat kept an eye on all of us as we carefully kept a proper distance.  We also passed Cumberland Island where we anchored last year and toured the island.

We entered the winding St. Mary’s River and were soon at Lang’s Marina.  We went immediately to the fuel dock for fuel and a pump out. We then went to our assigned position on the face dock.  This is a fairly basic marina – no wifi, and the 50 amp breaker did not work so we had to contend with 30 amps. Joyce could not cook and do laundry at the same time!  The dock master is very friendly and helpful however.  The sailboat in front of us is also from Williamsburg – such a small world!

We may stay here another day and get some chores done or tour this little town.  If not we will enter the state of Florida!  We will check out all options in the morning!

December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013  Day 26 South for the Winter
At anchor
St. Simons, Georgia

No fog this morning! We departed our anchorage at 0800 under a cloudy sky and headed south. Our cloudy day became a rainy day and then a sunny day and then the cycle repeated itself.

The ICW is frequently narrow in this area and continues to be surrounded by marshland.  It also winds around a great deal which required monitoring the auto pilot constantly.  We provided a good air draft for seagulls that followed us for quite a while.  We also spotted several dolphins that played near the boat.

We arrived at our anchorage just north of the bridge at St. Simons at 3:30. We enjoyed appetizers and then had dinner. We watched television and read for the remainder of the evening. 

We are not sure where we are going tomorrow – perhaps Jekyll Island or Cumberland Island.  We will make that decision in the morning.

December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013  Day 25     South for the Winter
At anchor
Kilkenny Creek, Georgia

A fairly short post this evening… Our plans to leave our anchorage this morning and head to St. Simons were altered when we awoke to fog!  And at 10:30 when it was still foggy we decided to stay here another day.  The fog eventually lifted but we could only have gone half the distance, so it made sense to stay. We relaxed and read, wrapped more Christmas gifts, and did a few chores.  The sun came out and we opened the windows and enjoyed a warm afternoon! 

We are surrounded by marshland here and it is very peaceful.  We had dinner on board and spent the evening reading.  We hope to leave in the morning!

December 8, 2013

December 8, 2013  Day 24     South for the Winter
At anchor
Kilkenny Creek, Georgia

We reluctantly said goodbye to Kathy and Paul this morning as they drove home. We had a great visit with them and hope to see them again in February.  We cast off our lines shortly after they left. 

We had about 56 miles to travel today to reach our chosen anchorage in Kilkenny Creek.  We traveled under an overcast sky all day but at least the seas were calm.  There was very little boat traffic out today as this is obviously off season.  We timed the trouble spots such as Hells Gate, perfectly at high tide and had plenty of water under us.  We did see several dolphins playing today. And we also spotted a bald eagle.

We arrived at our peaceful anchorage around 3:30 and have it to ourselves.  We had dinner on board, did lots of reading, and watched some television.  Tomorrow’s destination is St. Simons, Georgia, but we will anchor there also. Hopefully it will be warmer!

December 6-7, 2013  Days 22-23    South for the Winter
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

We have been so busy we have not had time to write the blog!  We have been going non-stop visiting with family and friends.  On Friday we went back to Harbor Town for lunch with Kathy and Paul and also walked around some of the shops.  They convinced us to stay at the condo that evening so we could have more time to visit, so we agreed! We went back to the boat and packed a bag and then spent a fun evening with them. Rick also joined us for much of the evening.  Joyce had made a crab dip earlier in the day, so we enjoyed that with wine. Then we ordered a pizza and had it delivered. Great choice!  We finished our meal with pumpkin pie that Joyce also made that morning.

We returned to the boat on Saturday and moved Kathy and Paul’s things on the boat since they had to sign out of the condo that morning. We said goodbye to Rick and Marie as they planned to drive home that day.  At noon, we met Paul’s cousin Dottie and her husband Joe for lunch at Bistro 843. What a great restaurant!  After lunch everyone came back to our boat for an extended visit.  Then we all went to Dottie and Joe’s lovely home nearby at Shelter Cove. 

We finally returned to our boat and enjoyed dinner on board, followed by watching the Auburn–Missouri football game!  What a great game!  We also managed to open Christmas presents with Kathy and Paul during half time!  We stayed up and watched the Ohio State-Michigan State game but were so disappointed with that outcome!

We enjoyed watching this paddleboarder
and her dog in our marina!
Kathy and Paul will drive back to Atlanta tomorrow and we will depart for an anchorage about 56 miles south. We had a fabulous time here but we need to keep moving!

December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013  Day 21   South for the Winter
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

This was another great day in Hilton Head.  Joyce’s sister and brother-in-law, Kathy and Paul arrived at 12:30 and after getting them settled in the condo, we went out to lunch with them and Rick and Marie.

We came back to the boat for more visiting and then browsed through some of the shops in Shelter Cove.  Back out again to eat!  We had appetizers at Rick and Marie’s condo and then we all went to Okko’s for dinner. It is a wonderful, upscale Asian bistro. 
Bill, Joyce,Kathy, Paul enjoying the view at Sea Pines

It is so good to be with family and friends during our stay here. We never tire of talking and sharing memories.


December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013  Day 20   South for the Winter
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

We had a fun time taking Rick and Marie out for a boat ride today.  The weather was perfect with a bright blue sky and 70 degrees!  We left around 9:20 and headed back down Broad Creek and into the Calabogue Sound.  We dropped anchor at 11:00 at Buck Creek and had lunch there.  We saw several dolphins today and they were camera shy as always.  

As we left the anchorage we spotted Richard and Shannon on Esmeralda going by.  We bumped up our speed and caught up with them and had a side by side visit.  We traveled with them in Canada but had not seen since we were in Maine.  It was great to see them again!  We always enjoy seeing boating friends and love the surprise encounters!  
Bill and Rick at the helm

Bill entertained us at lunchtime

We returned to our marina at Shelter Cove at 1:30 and said goodbye to Rick and Marie.  We will see them tomorrow.  We had dinner onboard and had a quiet evening.  Joyce’s sister and brother-in-law, Kathy & Paul will arrive tomorrow and we look forward to their visit!

December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013  Day 19   South for the Winter
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Just a very short post tonight. This was another day of chores and running errands.  We did have a nice visit with Rick this afternoon which provided a good break in our schedule.

We had dinner on board and spent a quiet evening reading.

Tomorrow morning we will take Rick and Marie out for a boat ride on Carried Away! 

December 2, 2013  Day 18   South for the Winter
Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

We had a fun day today and spent time walking on the beach with Rick and Marie. Their condo has a beautiful view overlooking the ocean.  This was a great starting point!  Joyce and Marie added to her shell collection and Bill and Rick enjoyed their leisurely pace walking Rick’s dog, Heidi, along the shore.  

View from condo - doesn't get any better than this!
From there we went to the Crazy Crab Restaurant at Harbor Town and had a very nice lunch. We walked around the harbor and watched some of the dredging to increase the water depth. The dredging is taking place during most of this month. We would have docked our boat here this time if the marina had been open!  The boats that are here cannot get out yet so we assume they are not transients!
Joyce, Bill, Rick, Marie and Heidi

We returned to our boat in late afternoon and after a pasta dinner on board, spent the rest of the evening reading and watching some television.  

December 1, 2013

December 1, 2013  Day 17   South for the Winter

Shelter Cove Marina
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Today was a mixture of doing chores and visiting friends.  Joyce dusted and vacuumed, and Bill worked on plumbing.  Our friends, Rick and Marie, who are vacationing here, came over for a visit this morning.  Then Rick took us to run a few errands – primarily hardware stores. (They have plumbing supplies!)

We went out to dinner this evening with Rick and Marie and their family and had great seafood and enjoyed being with them.  We will meet them in the morning for a walk on the beach!