April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015  Day 160 South for Winter
Barefoot Marina
North Myrtle Beach, SC       

Ft. Sumter, where it all began
After anchoring at Bull Island two nights and riding out some thunderstorms, which luckily had no wind, we departed early Sunday morning and traveled until 4:30 to another familiar anchorage at Church Creek.  We had a good day to travel and passed Port Royal, Beaufort, and Lady’s Island where we have stopped on previous trips.

Pretty sure we have taken this same picture before
with the turtles lined up on the Waccamaw River
On Monday we departed our anchorage at Church Creek at 0650 and prepared for another long day of travel.  When we reached Charleston Harbor at 0900, we passed by Fort Sumter and went offshore.  We were hoping for a good cruise but had to settle for an “ok” cruise, dealing with three foot rollers in the ocean for 70 miles.  We have had worse!  We finally arrived at Winyah Bay and followed it in just east of where it joins the ICW. We could see the smokestacks of Georgetown in the distance.  We dropped anchor and spent a peaceful night!

We left on a chilly Tuesday morning wearing jackets and headed north on the Waccamaw River. We had the current against us most of the way, but had a good cruise. There were not as many boats out as we have experienced on this river before when we came through on a weekend!  We stopped for fuel at Osprey Marina and immediately saw Gwen and Walter on S/V Saltshaker. They are the previous owners of our boat.  We seem to be their shadow at times.

We finally reached Barefoot Marina at 4:20 and were greeted by Rick and Margi (Journey).  It was so good to see them and also to be on land after anchoring for five nights!  After we got settled, we went out to dinner with them at a nearby restaurant and had a good evening. 

Joyce did laundry and provisioning Wednesday, which was a very rainy day.  We went to Rick and Margi’s boat for a shared dinner that evening.  On Thursday Joyce did more laundry and provisioning! 

We will depart on Friday morning and cruise to Carolina Beach where we plan to anchor. 

April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015  Day 155 South for Winter
At Anchor
Bull Creek off Bull Island, Awendaw, SC 

We departed Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville at 0700 Thursday to avoid shallow water we would soon face at low tide.  About an hour later as we approached the Jacksonville Inlet, we made a last minute decision to leave the ICW and run about five miles offshore. We had a great sunny day with calm seas and very few boats out there.  It was very relaxing not to worry about shallow areas or low bridges. We decided to come back in at Doboy Sound. We followed it a short distance to the Duplin River, Georgia, where we have anchored before.  We had traveled 11 hours when we reached the anchorage and we were ready to stop.

There is a ferry dock at the entrance to the river and we saw the ferry coming back in at a high speed. Bill radioed the ferry captain to tell him we would let slow down and let him pass us. The captain slowed down but before he was completely past us he sped up again and waked us violently. This caused the chart plotter remote control to fall which made the cord jam into the stop engine switch. Our starboard engine was shut off and would not restart.  We continued on to our anchorage on one engine.  After the engines cooled down Bill was able to bleed the air out of the system enough to get it started again.

When we pulled anchor Friday morning the engine stalled out, so we put the anchor back down again. After a few more bleeding exercises, it finally started!  This caused us over an hour delay so we decided to stay on the ICW rather than going the mile and a half it would take to get back off shore.  That was a good decision because the winds picked up and we had some rough seas when we passed two of the inlets. By afternoon the wind and water were calm again on the ICW.

We traveled 10 ½ hours to reach our anchorage on Bull Creek, just off Bull Island. We can see the lighthouse at Hilton Head Harbor from the entrance to our creek. We have stayed here at least twice before. Our plan is to stay two nights because thunderstorms are forecast for Saturday. Can’t believe we are in South Carolina already!


April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015  Day 152 South for Winter
Palm Cove Marina
Jacksonville Beach, FL 

Monday was a mixed day of resting and provisioning. We walked a half mile to Publix and then took a taxi back to the marina. It started raining just as we arrived. We had a light dinner on board that evening still feeling the need to unwind and relax.

Joyce had a follow up appointment with her doctor at the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday. She will return again next winter for another check-up, but we were pleased with the visit.  We treated ourselves to a very nice dinner at Marker 32, which just happens to be next to the marina.  Our salads, seafood, and dessert were perfect!

Today was a very busy day. We started with a visit to the dentist to fix Bill’s broken filling.  An hour later Joyce got her hair cut (so important!). Then we stopped at Panera’s for a quick lunch, even though Bill’s jaw was still numb.  Next we walked to Walmart to get a few boat supplies.  We took a taxi back to the marina, our fifth taxi ride here since we arrived.  After we got things put away, we drove to the fuel dock and filled the fuel tanks and got a pump out.  We came back to our dock and had another light dinner, did some reading, did the laundry, and generally prepared for our departure tomorrow. 

This is our last night in Florida! We arrived in December and cruised down the east coast, crossed the Okeechobee, spent wonderful days on the west coast, made our first trip to the Keys, and then came back up the east coast, perhaps making a Florida loop?  Tomorrow we will depart early to avoid low tide and then anchor in Georgia!


April 20, 2015

April 19, 2015  Day 149 South for Winter
Palm Cove Marina
Jacksonville Beach, FL 

We left Daytona Beach at 0800 Saturday and headed north again on the ICW. We had one bridge to time for an opening and since it was just past our marina, we were in perfect timing for it. The other low bridges opened on request, so that was good also.

Even though we were traveling on Saturday, the boat traffic was lighter than expected. We also had very calm water. 

Shortly before we reached St. Augustine, we heard S/V Salt Shaker on the radio and immediately knew this boat! We bought Carried Away from her owners. It is amazing that we have seen them on the water three times since we began cruising!

At anchor, Mile 769
watching the storm approach
We went to an anchorage called Mile 769 north of St. Augustine near the Guana Nature Preserve and our sailboat friends went there as well! We traveled eight miles that day and were glad to get anchored before the storm arrived. We did get rain, thunder and lightning, but no wind, so we had a good evening.

We left our anchorage at 0800 Sunday and once again continued north. We had a much shorter day, only 3 hours to reach our destination of Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville Beach. Rick and Margi (Journey) had stopped there for fuel, so after we got tied up we visited with them for a while. An hour later, Janet and Bob (Harmony) also arrived for fuel and we visited with them! They are both going farther today. After our visit, we returned to the boat to discover that Gwen and Walter on Salt Shaker had left their card. We did not realize they had stopped here too! We went over to visit them on their 42’ Island Packet, a lovely sailboat. They were just returning from a winter in the Bahamas. We had a nice time catching up with them!

We returned to Carried Away in time to close windows before another storm arrived. We have had storms almost daily for over a week. We had a light dinner onboard and then did some reading for a quiet evening.

We will stay here for a few days. Joyce has a doctor’s appointment and Bill will see a dentist. We have several provisioning errands to run also.

April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015  Day 147 South for Winter
Halifax Harbor Marina
Daytona Beach, FL     

We have had a very busy week here in Daytona Beach. The MTOA Southern Rendezvous officially began Tuesday but unofficially started with a social gathering Monday night with appetizers.  We attended seminars, meetings, meals, and social activities. There were over 200 in attendance and we were happy to have been part of it. In spite of rain and storms almost every day, we had a great time and reunited with many old friends and made new ones.

Rick, Bill, Bob, and David

David & Barbara; Margi & Rick
One of the off-site activities was a baseball game with the Daytona Tortugas (farm team for the Cincinnati Reds) and the Charlotte Stone Crabs. We had a catered barbecue dinner at the stadium before the game. However, the weather did not cooperate and the game was eventually called off due to thunderstorms. We still enjoyed being with friends.

Joyce spent Friday afternoon browsing through boutiques in New Smyrna Beach with Ann, Margi, and Janet – what a great way to spend our last day here.  

Ann & Margi

We will depart tomorrow and go to an anchorage either near Palm Coast or St. Augustine.
Joyce & Bill
Bob & Janet

April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015  Day 142 South for Winter
Halifax Harbor Marina
Daytona Beach, FL     

We departed our anchorage at Cocoa at 7:10 and headed north up the ICW.  We decided fairly quickly to go all the way to Daytona Beach rather than to an anchorage in New Smyrna Beach. We were concerned about the weather forecast of thunderstorms.
Sunrise at our anchorage at Cocoa

Our cruise took us past Titusville and then through the Haulover Canal. This narrow canal was lined with people fishing – some on the banks of the river and some from their boats.  Add to this the fact that there were several manatees and some dolphins in the water and we were going at a very slow pace.  That canal leads to Mosquito Lagoon which is much wider.  We reached New Smyrna Beach by 1:00.  Because we were traveling on Saturday there were many small boats on the water, and that continued to slow us down.

Approaching the Haulover Canal
We finally arrived in Daytona Beach at 3:30 and went first to the pumpout station and then to our slip. We heard thunder just as we arrived and we were happy to get secured in our slip.

We had a quick dinner on board and then went for a walk around the marina. This is one of the largest marinas we have been in and we are on the far south side.  We saw several boating friends that are also here to attend the three day MTOA rendezvous which begins on Tuesday. Shortly after we got back to the boat from our walk, the storm began with heavy rain, wind and lightning and lasted for a few hours.
Look at the large osprey nest
on top of this house
On Sunday morning Joyce went to Publix with one of the couples who also has a car here.  Bill washed the boat while she was gone. By late afternoon more of our friends arrived just before the thunderstorms developed and lasted into the evening!

Friends Rick & Margi arrived on Journey this afternoon

We had dinner onboard and read and watched television to relax.




April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015  Day 140 South for Winter
At Anchor,
Cocoa, FL      

The Jupiter Lighthouse

We got an early start on Thursday, leaving our anchorage at Lake Worth at 6:50, before sunrise. We had over 70 miles to travel, passing Ft. Pierce and Jupiter, but all the bridges were high enough for us to clear, and that saved time. We reached Loggerhead Marina in Vero Beach about 3:30 and went first to the fuel dock before going to our slip. We were happy to be reunited with friends Rick & Margi on Journey, and Bob & Janet on Harmony!  We had a nice visit with them onboard Journey before dinner. After dinner we all met at the poolside to continue our visit!

We left Vero Beach at 8:00 this morning and continued north on the ICW.  We had a nice cruise of over 50 miles, passing Melbourne and Palm Shores, but were tired at the end of the day when we reached our anchorage at Cocoa.  The weather today was mostly sunny and very warm, but the clouds started moving in this afternoon.  Thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next several days, so we will key an eye on the weather.  We will cruise to an anchorage near New Smyrna Beach tomorrow.

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015  Day 138 South for Winter
At Anchor, Lake Worth
Palm Beach, FL

We departed Ft. Lauderdale at 7:45 this morning and headed back down the New River and then north on the ICW.  We traveled for eight hours and over the course of the day had to time the scheduled opening of 15 bridges.  It went fairly well and we did not have to wait long for the openings.  We were pleased to find fairly light boat traffic today.

A mega yacht for the mega house!
Our trip took us past Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, and Palm Beach. The ICW is narrow on the first part of the trip and then widens into lakes.  Large estates sized homes line the water, many with mega yachts docked in front of them.  There are many canals that provide homes instant access to the water.
One of many canals that join the ICW
We arrived at our anchorage at Lake Worth at 3:45.  It is a huge anchorage and there were many boats anchored with us, including two mega yachts!

Barges go first

We will continue heading north tomorrow!


Last bridge of the day!

April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015  Day 137 South for Winter
New River Downtown City Marina
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

We left Miami on Thursday, April 2 and cruised 28 miles to Ft. Lauderdale. We had a very good cruising day – sunny, calm, and not too much boating traffic.  We also timed the bridges well so they were no problem.

We entered the New River in Ft. Lauderdale just after 12:00 and were soon tied up on the wall of the City Marina (more appropriately called City Docks!).  This is in the heart of downtown. Our view has been condos, high rise buildings, hotels, walking paths, parks, and bridges.  Oh and don’t forget the boats!  We have virtually been watching a boat parade since we arrived. Boats of all sizes (small runabouts to mega yachts) and all types (personal boats to tour boats and water taxis) pass us all day long and some continue after dark.  This is the place to be, and of course it was over Easter weekend and that added to the volume. There are also many people just out walking or riding Segways.

We took a walk after dinner on Friday and saw some of the area near us. Most of the shopping, museums, restaurants and parks are on the north side of the river. We are docked on the south side.  Free water taxis run back and forth though!

The New River in Ft. Lauderdale -
felt like we were heading up a one way canal!
On Saturday, Joyce’s childhood friend, Sally drove down from Boca Raton to visit. We had a delightful reunion after having not seen each other for over 50 years. Thank goodness for finding each other on Facebook!  We chatted quite a while on the sundeck of Carried Away.  Then we walked to a nearby restaurant, The Downtowner. It was so nice to sit outside and watch more boats go by as we ate dinner.  We decided to hop on one of the water taxis and see more of the River Walk area.   There are parks, museums, theaters, and restaurants on the north side and west of where we are docked. It is a wonderful place!  We went back to our boat and visited a little longer, took more pictures, and then said goodbye.  If we come back here next year, we will pick up where we left off!

On Easter Sunday, we went back to the same restaurant for brunch and were not disappointed with the choices of food. Again we ate outside and enjoyed the view of the water.

Our view from our dockside across the New River
We had planned to depart on Monday but Carried Away had other ideas.  Backing up to Friday night….we discovered a major leak in our forward hold.  Bill was able to fix the culprit, a broken pipe, but not before many of his power tools were destroyed.  He had to rent a car on Saturday to get materials to make the repairs.  Then he had to run over to Home Depot on Easter Sunday to replace a tool that had been destroyed.

We also had a new air conditioner delivered on Friday.  Bill installed it himself to save the $$$ labor costs.  He worked all weekend and finally completed it this afternoon. He was beyond exhausted and has many sore muscles. The unit is housed under a cabinet on the fly bridge but the wiring and hoses had to be funneled down through a raceway in the salon wall and then down into the engine room. What a job!  But, we are thrilled to have the new salon air conditioner.  

Other issues: our water hose broke this morning and was spraying water all over the side of the boat and the walkways. Fortunately, someone discovered it and turned it off for us before we got up.

Mega yachts over 100 ft. have to
be towed up this narrow river 
Joyce took the rental car back Monday and also did provisioning at Publix. By 7:30 this evening we had the boat cleaned and everything put away.  We had a light dinner and then studied all the bridges we have to encounter tomorrow as we head north to an anchorage in Lake Worth. We did not get to do the sightseeing we had planned on so it is not out of the question that we might come back here next winter!


Joyce and Sally

April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015  Day 131 South for Winter
At Anchor, Stadium Anchorage
Miami, FL

We left our anchorage near Key Largo about 7:30 this morning and headed back into the Hawk Channel. We had a calm ride most of the way with no more than 1 ½ foot waves, other than those created by a few boat wakes!  

Beautiful sunrise in Key Largo
Stilt houses dating back to 1930's in Key Biscayne
Stadium Anchorage
We arrived in Biscayne Bay admiring the Miami skyline.  This led us right to our anchorage at the Stadium Marina Anchorage.  We love the view of downtown off our back deck! The anchorage was pretty full so we anchored near the entrance.  We enjoyed watching several sculling boats in training.

Bill worked on charting our course for tomorrow which will take us to Ft. Lauderdale where we will spend a few days.  We have five bridges to time so we will leave early in the morning.


Love the sun setting between the buildings!