SailHeritage – blog – part 11 , Dec 15, 2012 thru Jan 16, 2013

This segment of our adventure takes us all of the way from Northern Fl thru to Coconut Grove ( Miami ) where we enjoyed soem R & R and a visit from Tom and Judie.

The first port of call was Fernandina Beach, Fl, where we took a mooring bal for 1 nite and then went to a dock for a few. We were working on the dead fridge and waiting for a new electronic mudule for it. It wasn`t all work though and we enjoyed the town and spent a nice evening at an Irish Pub istening to a very good singer / guitar player, who reminded me a lot of Ronnie Fray. The module finally arrived in spite of the efforts of UPS mut it didn`t help. The compressor still wouldn`t work.

There are 2 paper mills here and they operate around the clock

11,26,2012 Fernandina paper mills

There were a few really nice yachts on the dock too

11,26,2012 Fernandina - lovely yacht 211,26,2012 Fernandina - lovely yacht 1

Motor sailing for 2 days brought into St Augustine , on Dec 1 where we took a mooring ball and then the rain hit just before lunch. Things cleared enough to go to the farmer`s market which was a much longer walk that any of us thought. Arriving a closing time we managed to get some great fresh goodies and caught a cab back to the marina. We stayed here for 3 days and really enjoyed ourselves. Founded in September 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States

We just had to visit the Castillo de San Marcos – Jackie insisted.

2- Soldiers at the fort</a

3- Cannons

We had a lot of fun touring the old town with Dennis and Christine and we actually found Jackie`s old school so we had to get her picture in front of it.

7- Original teacher at school

Leaving here in the predawn hour pfoved a bit of a problem and we proptly slid up onto a mud bank. Hmmmm. Backing off was easy and Dan helped by radioing info on deeper water. We anchored at Rockhouse Creek after a 65 mile day and then went 68 miles to Palm Shore and anchored just past a bridge.

Dec 6 we arrived at Vero Beach , where the weather was hot and the no-seeumes were really hungry. They sure liked me .

Friday , Dec 7, Kit drove us the the West Palm airport so Jackie could fly home for Joan and Gil`s 50th wedding anniversary. This was a last minute thing that worked out well. All it took was $85 and some points to go Buffalo and back on Dec 12.

We headed south again on the 14th and anchored at Jensen Beach so we could dinghy over to Conchy Joe`s for supper with Dan and Laurie. Dennis and Chris had already gone to Fort Pierce to leave the boat while they went back to Toronto for Christmas.

Along the way we anchored at Lake Worth , Boca Raton, where we had our first swim. This was a milestone of sorts and we very much enjoyed it

18-12,16,2012, 18 Boca Ratan Lake 1st swim
and saw a beautiful sunset

19-12,16,2012, 19 Boca Ratan sunset

The next day found us anchored at Sylvia Lake, Fort Lauderdale. It was a short dinghy ride to the Southport Raw Bar. We were able to tie here free if we ate and drank – darn.

We did some walking to get to West Marine and several other important stores and ate and drank at Southport several times.

Wed Dec 19 found Jackie and I at Keystone Marina in N Miami where they checked out our little Suzuki outboard and found it to be OK. Alahandro came to look at the fridge and determined that the keel cooler had failed and sea water had got into the compressor and evaporator ( the part that makes the ice box a fridge ) . These were are ruined now and must be replaced with new ones $$$$$.

We stayed one nite here and then motored through Miami and went out to No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne where we stayed 2 nites before going across Biscayne Bay to Coconut Grove, Miami on the 22nd . Dan and Laurie were waiting there for us and we had great fun touring around with them.

Christmas was quite unique for Dan , Laurie and us because we were the only family there that any of us had to share this special time with. Christmas dinner was aboard Glory Days and it was truly wonderful to be sharing this with our great friends, Dan and Laurie.

They sailed off for the Bahamaas on Dec 26 and we set up semi permanent residence at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club until after Tom and Judie flew down to spend a week with us.
We did a day sail south on Biscayne Bay, drove to Key Largo where Tom and I rented a 23′ boat to take Tom out free diving on the offshore reef, Drove down to Key West for an over nite stay at a nice B&B on Duval St and got them back to the Fort Lauderdale airport for their Jan 9 flight home. It was a whirlwind visit filled with lots of interesting things which we all enjoyed very much.

The days rolled on and Dennis and Chris caught up with us and before we knew it it was Jan 17 and we were on our way to Bimini Bahamas.



Sailheritage blog part 10 – Nov 23 – Dec 2, 2012

Sailheritage – Blog – Part 10

Nov 23 – Dec 2, 2012

Friday, Nov 23

It was a short , 1 hour , sail from st Mary`s, Ga to the anchorage, near the ferry dock at Cumberland Island. With an early start we were there ~ 08:00 , we enjoyed the entire day. We relaxed on the boat for a while and went ashore for a while too and wandered the old Carnegie mansion ruins named Dungeness.


The day went quickly and we enjoyed time with friends and in our little cocoon on board Heritage.

Our fridge decided to stop cooling yesterday so we were scrambling to fine freezer space on Glory Days and Chances. Our friends also managed to chill freezer packs for us and life went on.


This is Chris and Dennis, from Toronto, who sail on Chances. They helped out with some freezer space..

I remember, as a kid on Woodland Ave, the horse drawn wagons of the bread man the milk man and believe it or not the “ ice man “. This was the early 1950`s in Sarnia and with the fridge out of commission, here we were buying ice again. To complaints here though.

The feral horses are one of the big attractions on Cumberland Island



There are approximately 250 of these horses that run wild and fend for themselves. Mrs Carnegie requested in her will, that they be allowed to live this way.

Saturday, Nov 24th

We weren`t going anywhere so had a nice slow start to the day. Jackie elected to rest her knee after a slight spill in the dinghy yesterday so her power walk with Laurie was off for today and we worked on little projects and Jackie organized a dinner for 6 , featuring Amanda`s world famous “ Island Pork”. The day slipped by and before we knew it Dan, Laurie, Dennis and Chrisie were knocking on the boat, announcing their arrival. It was great fun visiting, sipping, and of course filling our bellies. The food was wonderful and we shared stories until the wee hours of somewhere around 20:00 or so. This was late for all of us. Full days in the sun and fresh air make for early nights.

Sunday, Nov 25th

We had booked seats on a van which toured the entire island to the north

11,25,2012 Coast 2- The Gang

Jackie, Christine, Dennis, Laurie and Dan

We thought it was scheduled for 09:00 but it was really 09:45. No worries though – the ranger on duty saw that we had time on our hands so sent us to the room where they show videos and started the “ history of the island ” which was a perfect introduction for our tour.

The roads were the epitome of “ washboard ”. Oh my goodness. We were all concerned about losing fillings or crowns but everything worked out just fine

It was about 12 miles or so to the north of the island and there were many interesting things to see along the way. One of our 1st stops was at a wee cemetery for the Stafford clan

11,25,2012 Cumberland Island Family Cemetary

Robert Stafford was one of the kinder slave owners and would let them work on a task oriented schedule so that when they were finished their task they could then tend to their small plot of land and their families. He is worth researching.

Further on up the road was the Plum Orchard Mansion, built by Mrs Lucy Carnegie around 1898 for one of her children. Has been and continues to be maintained so it can be appreciated by us all.


11,25,2012 Plum-1-Cumberland Plum Orchard Mansion

Jackie on the front porch

11,25,2012 Plum-4-Dinning Room

The dinning room is huge and quite stately

11,25,2012 Plum-3-Main living room at entrance

Laurie in the main living room

11,25,2012 Plum-6-Library

This is the library

11,25,2012 Plum-8-Apothecary


11,25,2012 Plum-9-Collectables

Quite a collection of interesting stuff. Gotta love it

11,25,2012 Plum-7-Bathroom 1

Great bathroom fixtures

11,25,2012 Plum-10-Men`s Gun Room

Grand piano in the ” Gun Room ”

11,25,2012 Plum-12-Master Bed-upstairs

Master Bedroom

11,25,2012 Plum-17-His Dressing Room-Dennis

His Dressing room

11,25,2012 Plum-19-Dennis on the pot

Dennis really had to go

11,25,2012 Plum-23-Linnen Closets

Linen closets ( both sides of this space )

11,25,2012 Plum-25-Wine Racks

What a wine rack

11,25,2012 Plum-26-Main Kitchen

Huge kitchen

11,25,2012 Plum-30-Main DC electrical switching

DC Electrical Pannel ( gennerated on site )

11,25,2012 Plum-36-Swimming Pool

Pool ( dry )

11,25,2012 Plum-38-Armadilo 2

This is the ” guard ” armadilo

11,25,2012 Cumberland church 2

This is the First African Baptist Church at the north end of Cumberland Island

11,25,2012 Cumberland church inside

Very simlpe on the inside

11,25,2012 Cumberland - G & J at church

George and Jackie on the steps

11,25,2012 Cumberland church corner stone

Corner Stone


This is where JFK Jr and Carolyn Bressette where married in a private ceremony.

The evening ceremony took place in the wood-frame Brack Chapel of the First African Baptist Church

11,25,2012 Cumberland Beach Wreck 2

Remains of a wooden ship on a west side beach

11,25,2012 Cumberland Beach wreck 1

Looking at it from the other end

This concludes our adventures through Georgia and takes us into early Dec 2012

What a ride it`s been

Sailheritage Blog – Part 9

Nov 11 – Nov 22, 2012

Nov 11, Sunday
We had a wonderful relaxed day walking through downtown old Charleston. Dan and Laurie were off with Dan`s cousin so Dennis, Chrisie, Jackie and I went exploring and quickly learned that this was “ 2nd Saturday “ where, on the 2nd Saturday of each month, they close off one of the streets and convert it to a pedestrian mall. It was very interesting with loads of people and the weather was perfect – Hot and sunny, just like in the brochures.
We spent hours wandering around , ending up at the Harris Teeter store for grocery shopping. The shuttle came to pick us up and gave us the guided tour back to the marina.

Charleston Harbour

Charleston from the water

Nov 12, Monday
The tidal current is so strong at the marina docks that we had to wait until 11:00 for low slack water to even leave the dock. We should have waited a bit longer because the current did catch us the wrong way but we managed to get straightened around and out of the marina OK.
Elliot Cut was just up the ICW after leaving Charleston and here we experienced the most extreme current against us that we had seen so far. It was 3.5 kts or so, but we got through and carried on to Toogoodoo Creek to anchor for the nite. Believe it or not , that is the name. There was a considerable tidal current running when we anchored and when the anchored grabbed it really through the boat around and stopped us up short. I was concerned that we may be snagged so brought the anchor up, thinking it better to sort it out now than in the morning. It came up fine so we reset and enjoyed the evening.

Nov 13, Tuesday

Another day begins

Red sky in the morning —-
We carried on to Beaufort, SC and tied to Alan and Cathy Rae`s dock. They live on Brickyard Creek at the north end of it , about 5 miles or so north of Beaufort downtown. Cathy and Allan had some boat parts for us and once we were all organized they invited us all up to their home for a social hour so we could exchange cruising stories . They had cruised with Goldie ,Nancy , Michael and Amelia back in 1995 and they had much to share with us .
There were so many snacks that supper wasn`t necessary so snacks at bedtime was all that we needed. The cold weather was still with us so the power at the dock was great to keep warm.

Nov 14, Wednesday
We were off the dock by 08:00 and heading down to the Downtown Marina in Beaufort, SC. Our timing was good for the 09:00 swing bridge and the dock was right there waiting for us . The tides a quite extreme here too so we were careful approaching and then did a swing around to make departing easier the next day.
We had all day to enjoy the town and provision etc. There was a loaner car to help with this too.
The showers were great and the town was marvelous. There are many beautiful old homes and Dan, Dennis and I tagged along with an organized walking tour for a while.
Laurie and Dan had dinner planned but the rest of us walked up to Luther`s Pharmacy for their ½ price burger and beer special which was really good. We all ate too much but enjoyed every bite.
The nite was cozy warm with the heater on and the sleep was sound.

Nov 15, Thursday
The plan was to leave the dock around 11:00 to catch the tide right so we all get ready to go . Sometimes things happen for a good reason.
Dennis couldn`t get Chances engine going so we all decided to stay and help if we could. Eventually Dennis brought in a mechanic who was able to figure it out and get things back in order. Dennis had inadvertently swung a fuel valve to the wrong position and then ran the engine empty of fuel thus creating air locks in the system. Each cylinder was bled to remove the air and Mike the mechanic gave us a tutorial at the same time. He was a great guy with a marvelous sense of humor. He was telling us about some of his history and explained how one of his girl friends had left him for one of his good friends. When we felt badly for him he explained that it was all right. Around Beaufort, SC, you don`t lose your girlfriend – you just lose your turn. What a guy.
While we were all on the dock we were totally surprised to see Brian and Kathy Marsh walking along with Meindert Wolff. They were actually looking for us.
We walked up to the parking lot to say hi to Gail too and they invited us to join them for happy hour later which we did. Meindert picked Jackie and I up and we went to the Wolff`s home and enjoyed a nice evening visiting with them all.

Nov 16, Friday
The lines were cast off the Beaufort Downtown Marina at around noon and we made our way down the waterway , past Hilton Head Island to an anchorage in Bull Creek at the north end of Daufuskie Island, that Meindert and the Marshes had recommended.

Hilton Head Island
Daufuskie Island is named in the Gullah language or dialect. It means “ The first Key “ . The African slaves developed the Gullah language from their varied African languages combined with the English they heard in America.

Chances and Glory Days in Bull Creek

Nov 17, Saturday
Our next stop along the way was an anchorage in the Wahoo River, at mile 629 of the ICW. This was another long day but it was nice to make the miles south. We`ve been told that at some point it should get warmer. We are not sure about this though.

Our friend Ed on board Freedom Trail which he built and sails himself.

Nov 18, Sunday
We decided to make for Fort Fredrica on St Simons Island and we are all glad that we did. This is a national park area and they have done a great job of excavating the old fort and preserving this historical site. Here were learned of a building material named “ Tabby “ which resembles concrete. True tabby is made of equal parts lime, water, sand, oyster shells, and ash. The ash is a byproduct of preparing the lime, but its presence contributes to the hardening of the end product. Tabby can be poured into molds for foundations, walls, floors, roofs, columns, and other structural elements

18,11,2012 Fort Frederica, St Simon`s Island, Ga

Approaching the Fort

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica Bakery

The Bakery

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica, British Flag

British Flag Flying

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica, G & J at the cannon

George and Jackie

18,11,2012 Dan and Laurie-looking out

Dan and Laurie ( Glory Days )

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica Amo Bunker

Ammunition Bunker

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica, info 2

Background Info

18,11,2012 Ft Frederica sunset

Sunset at Fort Frederica

The anchorage dance with winds and tidal currents , made for an interesting evening but we all managed well and had a good nite`s sleep.

Nov 19, Monday
The day started at a leisurely pace with Jekyll Island being our next destination. We opted for a dock at the Jekyll Harbor Marina.

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island heron

One of the locals

They had hot, clean showers, laundry and it was an easy walk to the historic district , known also as “ The Millionaires Village “ which was comprised of marvelous mansions, owned by families like the Cranes, Morgans, Pulitzers and several other wealthy, influential Americans.

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island - Moss Cottage

A modest Cottage owned by the Moss Family

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island mansion

Notice the Christmas Wreath

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island mansion 2

Another lovely winter retreat

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island live oaks

Some of the many ” Live Oaks”
It is here that a group of these “ Club Era “ influential men met secretly in 1908 to form what would become a modern monetary system for the USA that led to the formation of the Federal Reserve System.

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island - The Club

The Jekyll Island ” Club”

19,11,2012 Jekyll Island  - The Club 2

Another view of ” The Club”



19,11,2012 Jekyll Island - The Club Dinning Room

Meeting Room in ” The Club”
Movies such as Glory, The Legend of Bagger Vance and The View from Pompey`s Head were filmed here over the years using the historic area as the back drop.
Nov 20, Tuesday
We waved goodbye to Jekyll Island at around 10:00 and set sail ( and motor ) for St Marys. Being there for the huge “ Cruisers Thanksgiving “ had been on our “ hope to “ list since reading about it on Amelia and Grant Howerton`s blog a year ago.

Along the way—————-

20,11,2012 Sub Base 3

US Nave Sub Base

20,11,2012 Sub Base 4

From a different angle

Subs must be demagnetized before going out to sea so they go through this de-magnetizer below.

20,11,2012 Sub Demagnatizer 4

20,11,2012 Sub Demagnatizer 1
Dock space at St Mary`s was available for us so we opted for the convenience of just stepping off the boat rather than dinghy ride in to all of the festivities. We are glad we did but must comment that the docks were filthy with copious quantities of bird droppings and the washroom/showers were not much better. It was only $ 1 per foot and maybe not even worth that.
The parties started this evening with a happy hour / pot luck supper which was fortified with several large pots of chili and soup. What a great way to meet and mingle with fellow cruisers and local folks as well. The local residents are a very large part of making this all happen and we are most grateful to them.
We returned to Heritage feeling full and content and were early to bed.

Nov 21, Wednesday
Shopping and boat jobs were the order of the day and that all went quite nicely. There was an oyster roast/boil along with another pot luck that evening and once again, a great time was had by all. We even tried our hand at shucking the oysters and nobody got hurt.

Nov 22, Thursday – Thanksgiving Day
We sure feel that we have lots to be thankful for. Dinner was served at ~ 13:00 and it was amazing. Local folks cooked several turkeys, made large quantities of gravy and offered the entire main floor Seagle`s Restaurant to the hungry throng. Again, everyone brought a dish to pass and there was food enough to feed the proverbial “ Chinese Army” and then some. We ate, watched football ( the Lions got robbed again ) and generally enjoyed a marvelous day.

Sailheritage Blog – Part 8

Sailheritage -Blog – part 8
Oct 31 – Nov 10

Oct 31, Wednesday
We spent today stocking up, bending the sails back on and generally getting ready to start sailing again.
We had supper well under way when we realized that the others were going to a sea food place for supper. We ate and then joined them for a deep fried small apple pie for desert. It wasn`t bad at all.
There were a few trick or treaters to be seen as the sun went down but it was a quiet nite .

Nov 1, Thursday
We were off the dock and headed down the Pasquotank River by 07:00. It was a pleasant ride until we entered the Albemarle Sound which has a reputation for being rough if the wind is up. It was up by the time we arrived so we had a robust sail across the sound. Striking sail, before entering the Alligator River was interesting, but we managed and motored up to the bridge and made a right – taking us to the Alligator River Marina for fuel and a warm nite at the dock.
We treated ourselves to dinner at the restaurant that evening and it was good and plentiful.


Nov 2, Friday
Up early ( of course ) and off we were.

Beautiful Sunrise over the Alligator River

There were several other boats ready for the bridge opening so there was no delay and we were soon making our way down the Alligator River.

Looking back at the Alligator River Swing Bridge after going through

It was an interesting ride which took us through Alligator River – Pungo River Canal , at the south end of the Alligator River.

The canal emptied into the Pungo River, which would carry us on to Bellhaven, which was on our list of places to stop because of a wonder old inn with a great dinning room. Sadly, the Inn was closed so we passed on stopping here
We sailed past Bellhaven and on to an exquisite anchorage at Slade Creek.


Late afternoon arrival at Slade Creek – “Glory Days” with Dan and Laurie



Sunset beyond Glory Days and Groovin`


Nov 3, Saturday
We set off for Oriental, NC but once under way we realized that we could easily make it to Morehead City


Along the way


We pressed on and stopped at a nice little marina in Morehead City with showers and laundry and of course – the Sanitary Fish Market for dinner with Dan and Laurie. The girls had a couple of good power walks and we enjoyed this spot through Saturday morning.


Nov 4, Sunday



Dolphins playing in the harbour at Morehead City


We cast off at mid day for a short trip to Swansboro. It was cool and windy so the dock with electrical supply was welcomed. The girls went to do laundry and shop and the guys kept the boats ready to go.


Nov 5, Monday
An early start helped us to make it all the way to Wrightsville Beach . Jackie managed to get some great dolphin photos along the way









Upon arriving at Wrightsville, we dropped the hook in the large anchorage.  It was a very interesting adventure setting the anchor this time.
As we looked for a place to set the hook Jackie saw a man fall into the water, out of his dinghy. He had heavy foul weather gear on because it was cold and he was in trouble . I saw him too when he bobbed up at the side of the dinghy and then – he was gone. We hailed a passing dinghy to help us and we all went over close to his boat. The folks in the dinghy boarded his boat looking between it and his dinghy but he was not to be seen. Oh my goodness – we had just witnessed a drowning! Two guys fishing near by motioned that he was under their boat so the other couple went over toward them . When they were close enough the fishermen were able to tell them that the drowning victim was actually wearing diving gear and was doing something under his boat. There was no one else around nor was there a diving flag in the water and it was near sundown so we never would have guessed that someone was diving .
This spooked me enough that we had quite a time finding a spot to anchor and the sun was going down just as we finally did.

It was at least a happy ending.
The wind blew hard and it was cold but we managed the night


Nov 6, Tuesday
We had already decided to stay another day because we were waiting for parts for the propane system so we opted for a dock at the Seapath Yacht Club. It was raining off and on and cold too so we were glad to be warm again and have the use of a car for shopping etc. We found a West Marine and a great hardware store too as well as our first Harris Teeter grocery store and they were all close to each other and the dock we were at too.
I changed the engine oil on this rainy day and all was well.


Nov 7, Wednesday
Dan and Laurie headed out early , heading for the Carolina Beach State Park which was a short jaunt down the waterway. We were still waiting for our parts which did arrive shortly after noon so off we went to catch up.

Parade of boats after the bridge opened for us.
We arrived in good time and found our way into this great spot. The charts showed very little water but we had insights that dredging had been done and we were fine. Glory Days and Chances were already there and we had a great little gathering in our cockpit where we planned our next days travel and recounted the last couple of days adventures.


Nov 8, Thursday
We left the park early and headed for Myrtle Beach, SC.


He definitely had the right of way.



Looks like it#s on the beach


We crossed the border and sailed into South Carolina around mid day, thus reaching another mile stone.


Seen better days

We had all called various marinas and decided on Barefoot Yacht Club because they had HOT showers and shopping nearby. The showers were great but the shopping was really stupid tourist trap stuff but we had fun walking around anyway.

We had another group sit down, with snacks and refreshments, to organize the next day`s adventure. This concept worked out really well because we all brought our research and insights and shared them and there was no trouble reaching a consensus on what to do. We all clicked together.

Nov 9, Friday
We pushed on to Minim Creek which was a bit past Georgetown and anchored in the middle of the marsh, on Minim Creek. It was a very peaceful spot.


Entrance to Osprey Marina, just south of Myrtle Beach. Right in the middle of the swamp.


Some hard working watermen looking for shrimp

Serious dredging equipment



Nov 10, Saturday
We were off to Charleston which was high on our list of places to stop and enjoy. It just so happened that this is our grandson Dylan`s birthday today not to mention that it`s his grandpa`s B day too.
We arrived around 16:00 and were off on the shuttle van by 17:00 or so , headed for the Fleet Landing sea food restaurant to celebrate out big days. Dylan was the best gift ever for my 65th and he is now one year old. How quickly the time flies.
We had a great meal and a wonderful slow walk back to the Marina

From serenity to the Frankenstorm Sandy

Oct 22, 2012 through Oct 30, 2012

Monday – Oct 22 – Hampton, Va

We were up early again because there was laundry to do , showers to be had and groceries to get.

The office opens at 08:00 and we were there at 7:50 but we were 30 seconds behind another lady who also wanted to do laundry.  Darn.

You`ve got to be flexible

Showers were the order of the day and while Jackie did the laundry I borrowed a bike and road the 3 miles or so to get groceries and our 1st venture into boxed wines.

The groceries were put away and the laundry was done and by 11:00 or so we weighed anchor and headed back down the river and crossed over the last stretch of the Chesapeake Bay. This took us through Norfolk, Va which is home to a very large US naval base.

Navy Ship

2 0r 3 more




We cruised on by the Navy and commercial ships and at ~ 14:15 officially entered the Intracoastal Waterway, ( ICW )

There is a swing bridge about 5 miles up the ICW and we were able to catch the last opening before rush hour when they won`t open for boats.

At some point along the way here we decided to take a chance and go through the Dismal Swamp Canal. Advice from Goldie and Nancy and friends of Guy and Louise was that there are a lot of dead heads ( partially submerged logs ) and other debris in the DSC and the potential for damaging propellers etc was too high to chance it. I`ve been thinking about going through it for years and in the end that won out.

Pointing the way


We made the turn up the DSC passage and we went as far as we could before reaching the 1st lock which was closed for the day. We anchored in a very peaceful area, just below the lock and dinghied ashore for a look around with Dan and Laurie and Chris and Elizabeth. It was a wonderful area and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Night shots



Checking the anchor


Tuesday, Oct 23 – Dismal Swamp


We were up early for the 1st lock opening and off we went. The lock master was a very friendly chap and he made the whole thing a lot of fun. We went up about 8 feet and then we were off to the Welcome  Center. We arrived there about mid day and had already decided to stay there for the night. It turns out that this is also a highway rest /welcome center so there was an interesting mix of sailors and truckers and tourists of all types.

Jackie, holding lines at the 1st lock

Laurie and Jackie led the way on a very brisk walk and Dan and I followed a short distance behind , exchanging recipes and gossiping as we men often do. It was a really good workout and we had worked up a fair appetite.

After a great supper, Chris and I did a little pickin` and grinin` in Heritage`s cockpit but it was still an early night. The boats were rafted, 3 & 4 deep at the dock so everyone who wanted, could stay the night.

” Old ” Supervisor`s House


Part of the big Raft up





Wednesday Oct 24 – welcome centre on the Dismal Swamp

Glory Days – lined up for the 2nd lock



We were off at first light so we could catch the next  lock when it opened for business.  There ended up being 10 or so boats in the lock which was a first for us . It all went well and we had a nice little social time while we got everyone in and secured.

A full lock


Dan and Laurie on Glory Days

Down stream from lock 2



There was an 8 – 9 foot drop in this lock and then we were off through the 2nd half and we noticed quite a difference from the 1st half. Things opened up into the Pasquotank River that meandered it`s way through the countryside. During this portion Jackie found enough Verizon cell phone signal to skype with Paul and Liam and they were able to see exactly what we were seeing, through the Ipad. The technology is truly amazing.

Day 2 on the Dismal Swamp Canal

Barge full of wood chips


We are all very happy that we chose to go through the ” Dismal Swamp ” . It is a very special place and it`s so nice that the $ have been provided to keep it open.

We arrived at Elizabeth city and found the free town docks on the right immediately after the bridge tender let us through.   Elizabeth City hosts a welcome, wine, beer and cheese party every time there are 5 or more new visitors at their free docks. Things started at ~ 5pm and it was a great opportunity to meet some of our fellow sailors as well as the people of the town. We had a great time gaining some valuable local knowledge  and socializing in general.

Elizabeth City is a wonderful town /city of ~ 20,000 people and last night we took in a live musical . It was none other than  ” The Sound of Music  ” . It was a free evening because it was their dress rehearsal so we can still afford some groceries. We all quite enjoyed ourselves and made some more memories.


Thursday Oct 25, Elizabeth City

We made good use of our time here getting groceries and working on the prop shaft /coupler to secure it a bit better. A local machine shop was very helpful and so was the Ace hardware staff.  Jackie gut restocked and George carried on with his projects. We worked away in some nice heat but we were also paying close attention to ” Sandy ” and our plan is to move back up the Pasquotank River tomorrow and anchor around Goat Island . Below are the co-ordinates around Goat Island

Latitude,                             Longitude 36.343061 North                 76.222801 West

We are getting lots of input from many locals and other experienced mariners in the area and this seems to be the # 1 suggestion. We will be with at least 4 other boats and our guess is that there will probably be others too. We should have internet and phone also through Jackie`s  “  I Pad “.

We are all very happy that we chose to go through the ” Dismal Swamp ” . It is a very special place and it`s so nice that the $ have been provided to keep it open.

Friday Oct 26, Elizabeth City – Hiding from Sandy at the Goat Island anchorage

We woke up early again and continued with our chores.

In thinking about riding out the storm another thought occurred to us and that was to reduce windage as much as possible so — off came the sails. It was a great team effort and we all worked together on this project and soon it was time to slip the lines and head back up the Pasquotank River to Goat Island.

We were all secured there by mid afternoon and felt good about our decision. Time will tell of course.   The forecast is better for us than it was. We will still start to see wind and rain tomorrow thru` Mon or Tues but we should be fine in our little hurricane hole.

It was a relatively quiet nite and all was well.

Saturday Oct 27, 2012

Saturday was good and we did some visiting in the dinghy and discussed various ways we were prepared ( or not ) and sat waiting for Sandy to make her grand entrance.

This started to deteriorate later in the day and the rain set in and the wind picked up.

The temperature dropped and the chill set in with all the moisture so we ran the generator to both charge the batteries and to run the electric heater. Things were under control but getting a bit wilder.

Another day came and went .

Sunday Oct 28, Goat Island riding it out

The winds and the rain kept on coming and the dinghy filled up with water 3 times so we kept busy checking anchor rodes and bailing the dinghy and tracking barometric pressures and staying in touch with our friends in the anchorage.

At one point the wheel went hard over for no apparent reason. After looking carefully Jackie spotted a deadhead a short distance from the boat. This was a problem and it could cause damage to us or others if something wasn`t done. I thought it through and got into the dinghy with a tow line to lasso the thing and drag it out of harm`s way. Not so easy. The wind was howling and it was raining hard and the darn thing was slippery. The wind was keeping me off but eventually I managed to snag it and then started rowing over to shore and downwind. What a ride !! I ended up getting to close to shore and then the line wouldn`t come free. Oh boy! There I was getting driven into the tree roots and brush along the shore and still towing this deadhead. I dragged it back out a bit and finally shook it free and got back to Heritage, rowing as hard as I could, with a full load of adrenalin coursing through my tired body. I never could   have done this with an inflatable dinghy and was glad for the Fatty Knees.

We didn`t get a direct hit and we`re glad of that . We definitely feel for all of the people who were in the path of this storm and wish them well.

The winds and rain continued for us through Sunday night but all was well

Monday Oct 29

We remained anchored with both anchors deployed. They had become entangled with each other but they were still holding well so we let them be. The wind and rain continued for yet another day and night and we had settled into this surreal routine. It was starting to feel like Groundhog Day.

All was well but definitely wet outside. Heritage stayed dry but condensation was an issue because it was cold out.

The wind was starting to swing to the NW and then West. The end just might be in sight.

It was still windy and rainy all through the night but all was well.

Tuesday Oct 30

The wind finally swung to the SSW and only 5 – 10 knts. We  actually saw the sun and the sky was clearing. We felt it possible that we may well be on the move today , probably back to Elizabeth city.

Mid day or so we weighed anchors and that went fairly well considering everything and we headed to Elizabeth City. As we got somewhat close to the bridge  Dan and Laurie called on the radio to alert us that the Elizabeth City bridge was not functioning due to an electrical problem. What to do.

We spotted a small marina close by and called them only to learn that they were so full that a canoe couldn`t be squeezed in. They were all apologies but we certainly understood. We considered turning around but eventually word came that they may get it working so we headed towards it and sure enough, they got it working and through we went.

There was a nice spot on the wall so we opted for that instead of a dock and it worked out very well.

We were tied up and had survived the storm unscathed. We were truly grateful for our good fortune.

Sailheritage – Blog – Part 6

Sailheritage – Blog – Part 6

Week of Oct 15, 2012

Entering Ewell harbour

Monday – Oct 15 – It turned out to be an all day rainy one so we stayed aboard and worked on projects ( yes , we still have lots of those ).  Jackie made a wonderful pot of chilli and Dan and Laurie dinghied over in the rain and joined us for supper. We really didn`t see any of the town but that was OK too.

Tuesday – Oct 16 – Smith Island
We were up at getting ready to head for Smith Island, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. We have been interested in stopping there for quite some time and the Smith Island Cake
(world famous ) that we shared with Guy and Louise back in Annapolis only wetted our appetites.
The wind was on our port quarter all the way down so we rolled out the genoa and motor-sailed the whole way down.  Smith Island is very low lying and is being threatened by rising water levels as is NYC and many other coastal communities. We came in on the marks and slowed right down because the whole area is quite shallow. Thoughts of the cake were already causing us to be preoccupied and before we knew it we were aground, even though we were in the channel. Oh Oh !
After making a couple of radio calls for local knowledge and hearing no reply, we managed to find enough water to float again and managed to make our way to the little marina that we had reserved a dock at.
Problem – It was high tide and we ran aground trying to get into their deepest slip. With 2 feet  less water at low tide there would be a real problem. With the help of the lady who owned it and a young couple on a catamaran we figured out that our only option was to go back to a rugged wharf that the ferry uses and tie there. No power or water or showers but there was only the 1 choice. The owner told us to come back and shower there which we eventually did.
The dock was rough  but solid and walked up to the general store to pay for it. The store was also a dinner and the lady asked if we were going to eat there because if we were, the dock was free. This was early afternoon but they were closing soon so we ordered lunch to go. While waiting, we made small talk with some ladies who were eating and they revealed that they were nurses, from the mainland, offering flu shots at the church. When they realized that we hadn`t had ours we were offered flu shots for $ 10 each so that is what we did. Only on Smith Island. They didn`t mind at all, that we were Canucks and over to the church we went.
We were then off to the Smith Island Cake Factory and we caught them just as they were leaving for the day ( 3 pm ). This is the 1st and probably only $50 cake that we will ever buy .

Worthy of note – We finished that cake on Nov 2. We had tea time after we anchored in Slades Creek, just south of Belhaven, NC. IT was still quite delicious
So here is our late lunch / supper


It is as good as it looks

This one tried to get away

Smith Island is a very interesting place indeed. They say that the residents still speak with the Welsh / English that they brought with them hundreds of years ago. It is definitely different.
There are no licence plates on vehicles, no police, no booze ( to buy ). We arrived in off season so it was very quiet.

Here are a few pics from that evening


Wednesday – Oct 17 –  The next morning we were putting in time when a tug and barge arrived behind us. It had a few  “ newer “ vehicles on board which were driven off the barge and onto the dock and up the street. Then the fun began.

New arrivals
The line up of wrecks that were parked along the street were dragged out and pushed down the street and onto the barge with a big old wrecker of sorts. Loud as heck. They used the 2nd one to push the 1st one further on and so on and so on until the barge was full of dead ones which were heading back to the mainland, destined for the junk yard, on the mainland.

Several  local gentlemen joined in the fun and it was obvious that this event was high on their lists of “ great things to do”. It was great fun to watch and when all was done there wasn`t a single injury or unhappy person to be found.

I found time to go to the post office where the “ post mistress “ and I had a few giggles of our own.
We had to stuff a jacket into a special mail envelope that was never intended to hold such a thing.
Gary McRae had forgotten this jacket when he returned to Sarnia , after doing some sailing with me and enjoying Annapolis . Winter was on it`s way and Ginette told him that he couldn`t go out to play without his jacket on.
We taped it up and pushed and pulled , removed it and tried again and luckily , before she started swearing – in it went and with big smiles we marked it with a “ G “ and it was then on it`s way back to Gary. I do hope that if made it OK. As of Nov 2 he hasn`t mentioned it so hopefully – no news is good news.

Below is the barge full of wrecks .

Junkers loading up

The tide was in enough for us to leave Smith Island by 11:00 am or so we cast off .

Along the way , on a very pleasant day we encountered some fishing boats and  a schooner that had likely participated in the Great Schooner Race a few days earlier.

This was our first east to west crossing of the Bay and it felt like we were making the most of the limited time that we could afford to spend on the Chesapeake.

There are so many towns and harbours that one could easily spend the better part of a sailing season here and barely scratch the surface of all that there is to see and do.

One of the really great parts of it all is the opportunity to observe the “ watermen” doing what they have done here for hundreds of years.

In many ways it is a timeless place and one worth seeing in even more depth that we could this time around.

Small fishing boat

This little boat and her skipper were out on the water harvesting crabs, for which the bay is famous and they are delicious.

Below is the schooner , mentioned earlier

Small Schooner on the way to Deltaville

We headed for Deltaville, where Dan and Laurie had been heading the day before. This was confirmed by phone text and we set our course.

As we approached Deltaville , Dan was coaching us in to the harbour at Broad Creek so we made it in safely but couldn`t find them so call them back on the marine radio and suddenly another, deeper , voice came on and told us that we couldn`t get to where they were from here. It was around 18:00 and we were tired enough and the “ voice”  told us that we could anchor right there , in the middle of the little harbour area. “ Go back just a little – yes , right about there will be fine. It is low tide and you still have about 6 feet of water and you are well protected “.
We followed his directions and eventually he walked out of his screened porch and waved so we could see him.
It turns out that we assumed Dan and Laurie were going to Broad Creek and they assumed we knew that they were at Jackson Creek, on the other side (south ) of Deltaville. We all had quite a laugh.
We slept well at the anchorage , that really wasn`t an anchorage

Thursday – Oct 18

We were up early and after breakfast we rowed the dinghy over to our new friend Jeff`s dock because he offered to drive us to the grocery and West Marine stores. We finally met and what a very nice chap he is.
After provisioning again we left Broad Creek and went around Stingray Point and back up into Jackson Creek where Dan and Laurie had arranged a dock for us at the Fishing Bay Yacht Club. What a marvelous place it is . They offer one night`s free dockage, they have a wonderful clubhouse , smaller little gathering facility with kitchen and several shower areas.
At this point we met their new friends, Chris and Elizabeth, on “Groovin`” and Dennis and Chris on “ Chances”. The boats are both Catalina 34s and they are both from Toronto. Small World.
We had big fun getting to know them all and later that evening the guitars came out and Chris from Groovin` and I tried to remember a few tunes and learn what the other knew too. It was good to play a bit.
It was a relatively early nite and we all slept well.

Friday – Oct 19

We just hung around the dock all day and  Jackie walked to the grocery store with Dan and Laurie and at the end of the day we went out to anchor .

This was a real gem of a place and we couldn`t have been luckier

Saturday – Oct 20

We weighed anchor at sunrise and were off for our next stop , which was up Chisman Creek, off the Poquoson River .

On the way in we passed a fishing trawler out earning his daily bread .

This was one of the first trawlers of this type that we had seen

It was a picture perfect day and there was lots of activity on the water

There was a sailboat race without any wind which must have been terrible for them but the wind surfers were out in force and had a decent breeze inside the mouth of the river

We passed by this lovely old vessel on the way in as we weaved along the creek.

It was truly peaceful with several local folks out for a Friday evening boat ride

This was a really interesting boat and unique in our travels on the Chesapeake so far

We were all in by early evening and had another very peaceful night.

Sunday – Oct 21

Sunrise in Chisman Creek


We were all off early and headed south.

This was a really interesting light on the southern Chesapeake

We passed this just before going into Hampton, Va

Glory Days, Groovin` and ourselves pulled in to pay a visit at Hampton and anchored up the river across from the city marina. Dennis and Chris headed further south,  past Norfolk, for the night.

That afternoon we did a bit of walking around and took a quick look at the Carousel Horses in Hampton. Seeing them was like stepping back in time



Hampton was a very nice place to visit by boat with lot of interesting things to see and do if we only had

more time. So many places and only so much time.

Annapolis _ Week 2

Sailheritage – Blog – Part 5

Week of Oct 8, 2012

We spent the next few days enjoying downtown Annapolis, while being tethered to mooring ball # 41, up Spa Creek in St Mary`s Cove. Having the use of Glodwin`s van was  truly a godsend and we were able to  get around town and look after a million little things. On Wed, Grant told about the Schooner Race which would start under the Bay Bridge , Friday around noon. We planned to take Heritage out for the start with Guy and Louise and Amy, if she wanted ( Grant had to work ). We were in Bacon Sails store Thursday morning and Grant gave us the update that the race was actually not Friday but was starting in 2 hours , on Thursday.
The stars were starting to line up.

We couldn`t get Heritage organized that quickly so left with the thought of seeing it from  somewhere on shore. Grant phoned us shortly after we left the store to tell us of a nice restaurant on the other side of the Bay Bridge, where we would have a perfect view of the start. Great.

The stars were lining up even further.

Somehow , we found the Bay Bridge and over we went and sure enough , there was Hemingway`s . It was pretty quiet and hardly anyone around but it appeared to be open and we noticed a raised deck with a few people on it.

The stars were really lining up now !

Up we went and then we kind of slowed down because it looked like there was a private party going on and Jackie asked them if that was the case. They looked over and said that actually it was, and they thought that we were a couple they were expecting. Then they invited us to join them at their picnic that they had brought with them.
We were a bit hesitant to crash their picnic but they all insisted so over we went and sat down at the long table and joined them
There was Steve and Lorrie , Ham and his wife, Bj and Liz, Martha, Nancy and one other couple. We hope that they read the blog and email us so we can record all of their names. We do have trouble with names – but there were 9 of them.
What a wonderful group of people they were – very kind and generous. We all chatted about what we used to do for work, kids and grandkids and the hours flew by.
The race started so far across the bay that we really couldn`t tell what was going on but it didn`t matter because we were having too much fun getting to know everyone.
It turns out that they had booked passage on a boat to go out to watch the start of the schooner race but because of a weather forcast for wind the boat cancelled only 15 minutes before if was supposed to head out.
The stars continued to line up.

We bid farewell at around 3:30 pm or so and headed back to the boat. We had planned to move it over to Goldie and Nancy`s dock , up Mill Creek. We started to get things ready and quickly realized that we had much more to do than we thought so decided to take our time and stay one last night on ball # 41 .

We dinghied over to the shore and walked to the harbourmasters office for a shower and caught the 1 set at Middleton`s Pub and then called it a night.

Thursday was the day – we would leave ball 41 and catch the 10: 30 Spa Creek Bridge opening.
We stopped immediately and got fuel and water and then headed to Mill Creek and the dock at Goldie, Nancy, Amelia and Grant`s place. We have visualized this day for many years and today was the day.
We arrived at 12:00 or so and we got straight into Amelia`s car so she could drop us off at the power boat  show.  We had to go over there anyway to pick up Goldie`s van , which he had so kindly let us use and the show was interesting too. We`ve never been to this one and found it both interesting and also much smaller that the sailboat show.
The show was fun, and there were no lineups for anything including lunch. There wasn`t any live entertainment either which there always is for the sailors. Interesting.

We had a quiet evening on board Heritage and we were back on our way south by late morning . Amelia helped us off the dock and took some pictures. There was little wind and we had a gentle motorboat ride to Rhode River.  Here we were greeted on the VHF radio by someone who went to school in Ontario and recognized our Canadian flag. People have been very friendly and helpful.
There is a great anchorage just a short way up the river and we enjoyed a great supper , sunset and just relaxing.

Sunday, Oct 14 and we were away from the anchorage with the sunrise and headed down to Solomons Island. It was a motor sail day and we arrived in the late afternoon and did the usual fuel stop so we would be ready for the next leg of our adventure. We had made radio contact with Dan and Laurie on Glory Days and they invited us to join them and a nice spot to anchor in Old House Cove in Mill Creek
( yes – another one ).

 Our New Friends