Here's a couple of pictures of Fair Winds, Catalina
36 MK II, with a staysail rig. Pictures are a little blurry -
they're pictures for
the race video taken of the March Wrecker's Race. The race is from
Key West to Sand Key - about 7 miles. The race commemorates
the old days when the first wreckers to reach the ship wreck on the reef
saved the people and claimed the cargo. Fair Winds
won 3rd place sailing with a staysail. The staysail is actually a
Catalina 25 genoa borrowed from a friend.
I though you might put the pictures on the Fleet 30
Everyone! We've been stuck in Swansboro, NC (see picture) since
Friday, and it looks like we'll be here a couple more days.
only 227 miles to go, it's frustrating to have to wait this long for
the wind to die down. But we have to travel the Neuse, the
Pamlico, the Pungo, the Alligator and the Albemarle to get there. And
we're determined to cruise in comfort.
Swansboro is a cute little town, and Dudley's Marina (MM-229,
$.75/foot) is a short walk from the restaurants and shops. After 3
days here, Denny has changed all the fluids and filters, cleaned the
bilge and learned how to get all kinds of weather info out of his
new DROID (Diane: Sorry about your I-Phone). It got really windy one
nite and ripped the water inlet off the boat, so Denny got to
do some makeshift plumbing. Fortunately, they have a courtesy van
available for our use.
move on up to Morehead City tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on the
forecast. From there we can make it to Southall in 3
days if all goes well.
Safe! Denny & Rhonda.
Finally getting around
to sending out an update of Adagio's return trip to good ole VA.
We are anchored in
Wappoo Creek (for at least the 7th time) at Charleston tonight after a
great four days on the ICW--well, that's four
days for Rhonda and
eleven for Denny.
Denny and his friend Raoul departed
Englewood on April 5 after a five day delay due to water tank
failure. New tank installed and off they went. Cut the old one out
with a sawsall. Rhonda stayed behind to do some house chores and shut
down for the summer.
The trip from Englewood to
Jacksonville was pretty uneventful. Crossing Lake Okeechobee was
really quiet. A stop in Vero Beach
(Loggerhead Marina) included having
dinner with Robbie and Joanne Bock (Christmas). Always fun to see them
Rhonda met the boat in Jacksonville
Beach on the 12th, Raoul headed for home, and off Denny and Rhonda
went. There are so many sounds
to cross after leaving Florida and we
are always hoping for good weather for them. We couldn't have asked
for any better than what we have
had so far. Calm waters, light winds,
currents mostly in our favor. (Stay WEST of R-32 in St. Andrews
Sound!). Only a few light sprinkles and
mostly overcast, which has kept the
temps comfortable. Worst problem we have had is the gnats/no see
ums/small, eensy teensy bugs with
steel jaws we experienced at Kilkenny
Creek marina. They were incredible. These bugs actually deposit a
small drop of hydrochloric acid on
the skin. Fortunately, we were
docked so we could close up and run the AC overnight. (See
Pictures. This IS South Carolina).
After Charleston we have no firm
plans for where we stop next or when we will be home. We'll be leaving
pretty quickly to go to the New Orleans
Jazz Festival (May 1st) and
continuing a driving trip out west. Should be home by mid-June. Until
we see you, hope you have great cruising with
great weather. We'll miss Harbor Fest
this year and it sounds like it is going to be awesome. Hope everyone
has a great time there.
Love to all, Rhonda and Denny.
I have returned to Florida and will be back in our slip in Sunny Isles
Beach on Saturday. You can read about our Bahamas adventures
on our blog at:
January 11, 2013
after waiting and waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf
Stream, it looks like we may finally have an opportunity. Next
the weather forecast looks like we will finally get a break from the
brisk east winds that have kept the Gulf Stream churned
up for over a
week. This weather pattern
has delayed our departure almost a week, but has not dampened our
enthusiasm to get underway.
below are two links for your use. The first is the link to the
satellite tracker SPOT. This is the same link that we have sent in
so you can get current
information on our whereabouts. The second link is to our travel blog.
This year we have decided to post our travelogue
in the form of a blog
that you can access at
any time. You will not be getting periodic emails, but can check in
at your leisure to see what we
have been up to. There are two entries
on the blog at this time.
Updates will be added as we have internet access in the islands.
you enjoy our adventures and feel free to add your comments on the
blog or send us an email. We love hearing from everyone.
send out an email when we actually depart next week.
southbound adventure started out as a 16 - 18 day passage with most of
the miles offshore. Well, 35 days later, 1019 nautical
miles and only
17 hours offshore,
we have safely arrived in Sunny Isles Beach. This trip has been named
the Odyssey due to the extended length.
Throughout the trip we rarely
had sails up and
never had both main and jib up at the same time. As our friend Jennings
aptly called these types
of trips as traveling on a sail assisted motor
we traveled from Palm Beach to our home port in Sunny Isles Beach, FL on
the ICW due to continuing poor conditions outside. It is a
we try to avoid, but since it was the 35th day we did not wait for
improved conditions. Armed with a speed and distance table
developed, we went through the
Flagler Memorial Bridge at 7:15 am and finished the day at the Sunny
Isles Beach Bridge at 3:45 pm, a total
of 26 bridges in 8.5 hrs and did
not miss a single opening!
Although there were a couple of close calls and friendly bridge tenders
that helped us to
keep moving. A following current most of the day was
also a help.
We tied up
to a temporary slip at 4 pm yesterday and were met shortly after by our
friends Donn and Charlotte who, after celebratory drinks, took
to the condo
to pick up our car. We will move to our "permanent" slip tomorrow.
We hope you
enjoyed our travelogue as much as we enjoyed our long trip down here.
Next adventure will be the Bahamas as we plan to leave around
We wish everyone a happy holiday season.
There are 3 things that make me feel at home in
So. Florida and they all appeared (magically) yesterday. We awoke
to warm weather
with a breeze out of the south. YES!! That meant shorts and
tee shirt time. After we left the marina, we passed thru Ft.
Pierce cut and
the water was the beautiful Carribbean blue green ( but just for the
short time we crossed the cut, but I know it is out there) and then,
as we neared Palm Beach, the over the top, and then some, opulence of
houses and boats.
We are heading to Sunny Isles Beach but will
probably stop one more time for the night because there are 26 bridges
we need opened.
Difficult to do with the limited daylight.
We did hear a few boats leaving last night for
the north end of the Bahamas. They had about 12 hours before the winds
shifted back to
the north. The other thing is the west wall of the Gulf Stream was
4 miles off Palm Beach and 2 miles off Ft. Lauderdale. That would
you pretty much in the Gulf Stream the whole way (wrong direction)
unless you wanted to surf the waves at the beaches. We'll opt for
quiet, scenic motor trip. This is one of the pretty house on Hobe
Sound as you come into Palm Beach. This may be the boat house for
Dave and Mary
After a week off the boat to visit with our two
sons and a portion of their families in Sunny Isles Beach, we drove back
Beach on Tuesday. Wednesday morning under clear skies and
continuing chilly temperatures we took a short journey to St Augustine
and captured a mooring ball in 15-20 knots of wind and 2 knots of current,
all out of the north. The admiral did her usual outstanding
job of snagging the ball on the first try. The marina staff even
complimented her as there was a boat that was struggling " to get a ball
on their 17th try" according to the dock master.
We spent time that afternoon wandering through the historic district and
enjoying happy hour at a pizza bar that not only had two for one
on everything, but also gave you a free slice of pizza. Since we had
had a very light lunch, that hit the spot. The wind continued
the night and the current shifted every six hours. Since the current
was stronger than the wind, we had an alternating six hours of waves
slapping the stern of the boat.
Thanksgiving morning was a bright, chilly and windy morning. We left
the boat early before the wind built any higher as we had to head into
the wind to get to the dinghy dock. We went to church to give
thanksgiving and then to a French bakery for breakfast. Several
open until 1 pm and we continued our walk through St Augustine. The
wind build back up to 20 knots and we sat by the fort and watched
boats fighting the current to get through the bridge and then grab a
mooring ball. Some boaters were more skilled than others.
Around 1 pm
we headed back to the boat and spent the afternoon on boat projects before
preparing our Thanksgiving feast of Costco steaks and all the fixin's.
This morning it was an early start as we headed for New Smyrna, just south
of Daytona Beach, still on the ICW as outside conditions are still
unwelcome. It was in the low 40's this morning (are we really in
Florida?), but the wind has finally settled down. We plan to spend
on an anchor in New Smyrna and get close to a place where we can take the
dinghy ashore tomorrow to watch the VA Tech-UVA football game.
It is obvious that weather conditions have improved as there are
significantly more boats underway today on the ICW.
Dave & Mary
We arrived in Jacksonville Beach yesterday
afternoon and put the boat to bed for a week as we take the "Enterprise"
to Sunny Isles Beach for the week. We will resume our sailing
adventure next Tuesday as we drive back for the rest of the trip.
Stay tuned and have a great Thanksgiving. We will be on a hook
somewhere, probably in St. Augustine. Sail safe wherever you are.
Dave and Mary
Tuesday night we anchored in Bass Creek, about 15
miles before Beaufort, SC. We shared the anchorage with Tehani and
boat that came in behind us. It is a deep anchorage with good
holding, but there was a steady current. Wednesday morning we
were off at first light to make the 9 am bridge opening in Beaufort.
The winds are settling down, but the temperature is not rising
much. There sure are a lot of twists, turns and crossovers on this
stretch of the ICW. You may have heard of the term "uphill, both
ways", well on the last two days it has been "uphill all day" as we have
had adverse current almost the entire time. The upside, as
Pat said, was we had high tides most of the way and did not have to deal
with shoaling and other depth issues.
Tehani was stopping in Harbor Town (Hilton Head) and planning to go
outside on Thursday. We continued on to Thunderbolt, GA and
stopped at Thunderbolt Marina. Very nice marina in a small town just
south of Savannah. They have a tradition of delivering hot
Krispie Kreme donuts and a newspaper to your boat every morning.
What a treat! We took Thursday off and did a few chores on the
boat and walked to the grocery store. We did talk to Tehani and they
reported favorable conditions outside as they were headed to
Today (Friday) we are leaving Thunderbolt and will head for Fernandina
Beach. We will exit the ICW on the Wilmington River and head
outside. Due to the relatively short distance (16-19 hours) we will
not leave until after lunch. We would like to leave about 3 or 4 pm
to catch the river tide, but that will be determined by the Marina's need
for our space. Weather conditions look good with 5-10 knot winds
and seas of 1 ft.
From Fernandina Beach we will really slow things down. Sunday night
we will stop somewhere between FB and Jacksonville Beach for the
night and then arrive at Jacksonville Beach on Monday. It is a short
30 mile trip on the ICW from FB to JB. We have made arrangements
to leave the boat in Jacksonville Beach for a week and drive to Sunny
Isles on Tuesday to meet family that will be arriving on the 14th and
Although it was 40 degrees last night (power at the marina means heat) it
was in the mid 60's yesterday and is supposed to warm up again
today. Hopefully it won't be too chilly offshore tonight. Thank
goodness for cockpit enclosures.
Dave and Mary
We left Southport for the second time and had a
leisurely drift down to Thoroughfare Creek which is about 10 miles from
Georgetown, SC. It was pretty, secluded and quiet, until the good
ole boys decided to have target practice somewhere close.
They were either shooting automatic weapons or there were many of them
shooting in exact order. That lasted until right
after dark and then it was quiet for the night. We pulled up anchor
before daybreak as the creek was not only wide, but also
very deep. We rounded Georgetown in time to see my brother who was
going out fishing in Wynnah Bay with a buddy. We
arrived in Charleston, SC by 4:30, got fuel and tied up in time for
showers and dinner in town. We decided to spend an
additional night in town to visit with friends who were arriving at noon
at the airport. After a fantastic lunch/dinner at Slightly
North of Broad, they dropped us off with our groceries and then we
continued to explore the City Market. They seem to have
cleaned it up and there were different things to buy.
Today, we are coasting along the ICW behind Tehani (Pat and Laura
Campbell). The weather was not real favorable but besides
a little nip in the air, the rain has stopped and there is even a small
break in the clouds. We will anchor tonight and then go onto
Thunderbolt, GA tomorrow. It looks like we may have a weather window
to go outside on Friday. You never know with this
weather. I don't feel comfortable with any of the forecasts.
They are usually off by quite a bit. Enjoying the scenery and the
Mary and Dave
All is well, and "SANDY" is gone. We had a nice layover
in Conway, SC, swapped cousin Joan and her husband Jim for
her brother Steve, and headed south. Had rough weather in Port Royal
Sound, but smooth cruising after that. There
are 10 "sounds" between Beaufort and Fernandina Beach, with names like "Altamaha
(ha-ha), Doboy (because that's
what it looks like on the chart) and St. Andrews, which goes out into
the ocean. All were relatively calm after Port Royal,
and we had a great day in St. Augustine. (Bought a whole case of "Dat'l
Do It" Mustard). We've seen lots of eagles,
porpoises and manatees.
Best wishes for safe cruising for Dave and Mary, and the
gang that just left Hampton. You know who you are. Somebody
please send us a blogspot address so we can follow along.
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda
We headed out as planned and it was rough but projected to have a wind
shift and the seas to settle by afternoon.
NOT!!!!!! After 4 1/2 hrs of getting the sh?# kicked out of us
because the winds were now at 23-25 with seas 5-8 ft,
we turned Sanity II around and headed back to Southport. I wanted to
kiss the ground but instead hugged the dock
master who stayed late to catch our lines. (He said that doesn't
happen too often). Pat and Laura Campbell were also
there to greet us. It was interesting because as we were coasting in
on 8 ft swells, the Coast Guard was still saying
the winds would be 10-15 with seas 2-3 ft. We are currently on the
ICW with hopes to make a seaward exit at either
Georgetown or Charleston but I want assurance that the winds and seas have
continued our journey on the inside on the ICW to Morehead City and
then to Wrightsville Beach. It was still a little
too rough to venture out into the ocean, but it was a normal trip down
the ICW. In Wrightsville Beach our friends Trish
and Don Boyd met us and took us to their house for a delicious home
cooked meal. This was unexpected as they were
expected to be in Charlotte enjoying their first grandchild. Grayson
was born early and they were back in Wilmington in
time to see us. What a treat.
Thursday morning we headed to Southport via the ICW/Cape Fear River
for a quick reunion with David's brother Bill and
his wife Charlotte. Again it was another pleasant visit and another
delicious home cooked meal. Wow, two home cooked
meals in a row. We also made a quick stop at a grocery to stock up
on a couple of fresh food items.
way, although we lost three days due to Sandy, our decision to leave
three days early has paid off and we are right
on schedule. Today's forecast will enable us to continue on schedule
as we have bright blue skies, 10-15 kt winds out of the
NW and seas reported at 2 ft. Based on our calculations, we will
leave Southport around noon and catch the outgoing tide
from the Cape Fear river and expect to take
20 hours to cover the 130 miles to Charleston and arrive there
finally downloaded some pictures we took in Hobucken just before the
storm. I have attached a picture taken from the
Hobucken bridge Saturday morning in the rain and fairly light wind.
If you look closely you will see Sanity II tucked between
the large fishing vessels Cap't Potter and God's Mercy.
It is now day 6 and we are on our way again.
We checked with the fishing boats and they said it would be choppy but
able to get to Morehead city with no problem. The Neuse River was
choppy as predicted but once we entered Adam's Creek all
was well. We hope everyone survived Sandy with little problem.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering in the NE
with the floods, fires, and cold temps, also. We hope to continue
our journey with no other unexpected visitors.
(Picture taken on Adam's Creek)
Dave & Mary
Toilet paper-check; milk-check; bread-check; ditch
bag-check; beer and liquor-check.
We are ready. Bring it on Hurricane Sandy!!!
Dave & Mary
Our adventure is reminding me of two very well
known stories. The first is the story of the first Christmas when
Mary and Joseph
(David) were looking for a place to spend the night. We decided to
seek a dock as opposed to an anchor so called Mayo Seafood
and marina (more seafood than marina) to see if they had "room in the
inn". They said we were welcome to tie up at their docks
and because of the storm, there would be no charge and we could stay as
long as needed. Sweet! We arrived at about 6 PM with
a strong current and winds projected to be from the NE to N to NW so we
opted to nose in to the port side. There was little room,
but these big fishing boats were very protecting so in we went.
After tying up lines and putting out bumpers and fender boards,
David went to say thanks and found out they had plenty of seafood for
sale. Dinner was already planned so we decided to get some
on Sat. AM before the storm really decided to let loose. We awoke to wind
gusts and spitting rain so decided to take a walk over the
bridge for a view of the area. Water, water everywhere and no place
to go but inland!! After seeing that we decided to change our
lines since we may need to take in or let out lines should the water rise
over the docks. We did buy plenty of seafood since they had
pound bags that stowed in my freezer. Now we waited, like The Three Little
Pigs for the wind to blow, and blow it did. Luckily we made
our "house" of fiberglass with a heavy keel. Being between "God's
Mercy" and "Cap't Potter" (the fishing boats) has helped mitigate
the wind. It is projected to linger all thru Monday so we will not
even think of moving south until at least Tuesday. Let's hope the
"big bad hurricane" doesn't damage our house. Hope all was safe where ever
you endured her wrath. Stay tuned.
Dave & Mary
Sanity II is safe and sound. We have been tied up at Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, NC at ICW mile marker 157 since late Friday
afternoon. Unfortunately we do not have cell service or internet connectivity here so have not been able to send out any updates.
We have been sending out "Check Ins" on SPOT.
It is well protected here and we have only seen winds sustained at 23-25 and the highest gust was 39 knots. There has been no
tidal surge. The good news is we have unlimited access to free dockage and all the seafood and ice you want to buy. There is a
convenience store 2 miles away that we walked to on Saturday, but there is nothing else here.
We plan to head to Morehead City tomorrow (Tuesday) and will send more details of our non adventure when we pick up service.
There are a lot of emails that are in our in box, but will have to respond to them when we have better access to the internet.
Dave & Mary
Greetings, All. ADAGIO is holed up in
Conway, SC, which is about 12 miles UP the Waccamaw River from
Enterprise Landing, which
is just south of the Socastee Bridge. This section of the river is
un-charted, but well-marked. My GPS has "Street Mode" which actually
shows us on the river, but not as a chart. It was a beautiful trip!
We're tied to a floating dock adjacent to the "Riverwalk".
Conway has the best restaurants ANYWHERE.
Everything is in walking distance, and the kayaking is unbelievable,
with marked trails and
plenty of water. Rhonda and Cousin Joanie were out for several hours.
While "Sandy" is pounding the coast, we're
having light rain and some moderate breezes.
Love to ALL, Denny & Rhonda
Friends. Well, we've had a great Winter at our new digs in Englewood,
Florida. We topped it off this past weekend by attending
the New Orleans Jazz Festival. We partied so hard we had to stop off at
Mexico Beach for a little R&R on the way back to Englewood
(see picture). This place is in an area referred to as "The Forgotten
Coast", and we hope it stays that way. So don't tell anyone about it...
We'll take a day or so to pack, then head to Yankee Point to pick up
ADAGIO for a summer of cruising fun on the Bay. We hope to see
all of our boating friends at the Memorial Day Cruise to Mobjack Bay, and
then at OPSAIL 2012 and Harborfest in Norfolk.
Love to All, Denny & Rhonda
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell *<|:o)>
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs FL 32043
February 27' 2012
Because Mary's eye was still recovering, we stayed put for another day
(plus the winds were still very brisk) so we explored all
the beaches of Sampsons Cay. Most are very secluded and because they were
on the west coast with predominate wind being
east, there was very little wind or wave action. It was nice to be off the
boat and doing some physical exercise.
Tuesday, February 28,2012
We sailed down to Shroud Cay which was not that far, but we just enjoyed
the sail. After getting the anchor down, we launched
the dinghy and headed for the shallows. There is a creek that goes thru
the whole island and ends on the Exuma Sound side, but
the beach there is one of a kind. There is a large blue water hole right
at the entrance with cliffs on each side and then a white
sandy shallow beach on the sound side. Usually the beaches on the sound
side are very rough and rocky and not conducive for
swimming. We could only enjoy it for a short period of time because the
tide was going out rapidly and the shallow areas were
going to be too shallow even for the dinghy. We had an enjoyable evening
but about 4 AM the rolling started and we couldn't get
out of there fast enough. Next stop Nassau!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Remember those winds, they were perfect for a long sail so after getting
out of the anchorage, we set the sails and didn't turn the
motor back on until we entered Nassau Harbor. We were docked beside an old
boat that seriously resembled the "cleaned up" boat
in the movie Capt Ron. We got to talking with the owners of Bella, Jerry
and Lee Ann and they retired, sold their house and set sail.
Jerry said that the real "trashed" Capt. Ron boat was the first boat he
looked at. They were from Houston, TX and that is where the
old boat is anchored. Of course after seeing the boat, the extreme need
for repairs and the jacked up price, he declined, but the
salesman doing his job, had another boat for them to see. Over the past 9
years, he has redone the boat and it is in primo condition.
We also realized that Lee Ann and I worked at the same hospital in Houston
at the same time and knew many of the same people.
Thursday/Friday March 1-2, 2012
With mixed emotions, we departed Nassau for our home port. The winds and
sea were favorable, but we caught nary a fish (if you
don't include the fish that jumped on the boat during the night). It was a
very pleasant crossing with low seas, but you definitely know
when you enter the gulf stream. We are currently motoring down the ICW to
our home port. It has been a great trip with lots of
adventures, misadventures, visits with old and new friends, but it is time
to return to our normal (???) lifestyle. Thanks for all of you
who have watched over us as we sailed the beautiful Bahamian waters. God
really did outdo him/herself when he made the Bahamas
and because they haven't been developed, they remain pretty and pristine.
Sanity II signing out.
Dave and Mary
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We left Little Farmer's and headed north to White Point. The wind was
fabulous. For those watching us on SPOT, you probably
figured we got lost. No, we took advantage of the wind and just sailed,
covering over 20 miles to get the required five miles to
White Point. This was a new stop for us. The beach was different as it was
all sand and had a large dune with vegetation growing
all over it and a very large osprey nest at the north end of the beach. We
spent the afternoon walking the beach and dinghying
around the point to find snorkeling spots for the next day. It was a quiet
night and only one other boat was anchored there.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
We returned to the area we had scoped out the day before for snorkeling.
Several large slabs of rock had broken off and fallen in
the water. It was neat swimming around the rocks and through the passages.
There was a cave that David went into, but Mary is
not into caves. Unfortunately there were few fish and little coral. We
returned to our beach anchorage and checked out the osprey
nest, shelled, and swam. Mary returned to the beach after lunch for more
exploring. That night we were the only boat anchored
there. Due to a wind shift in the middle of the night, it got a little
Thursday, February 23, 2012
We continued our journey north. The first stop today was at Black Point to
do laundry. Then we pulled up anchor and stopped at
Staniel Cay for lunch and to top off the water tank. While walking down
the dock to the restaurant Mary got something in her eye
and it continued to bother her all afternoon and evening. After we left
Staniel Cay we hopped over to Big Majors Spot and dropped
the hook for a couple of days. There are about eight mega mega yachts
here. Some are over 200' long and have to anchor about a
mile offshore. Not sure why they are here. Mary speculated that they had
been to the Miami Boat Show and took advantage of the
proximity to Miami.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Mary had a fitful night with her eye. So, after breakfast we pumped up the
dinghy and headed to the clinic in Staniel Cay. Nurse
Karen checked her out and could not find anything and put a patch on the
eye. Sanity II now has her own "Captain Ronnette"
and David is known as "Swabbie". With ointment and orders to rest, we
returned to the boat for a day of relaxation (is that
different than any other day down here?)
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Mary's eye is slightly better today, but she is still in pain. Due to an
approaching front we moved the boat from Big Majors Spot
to Sampson Cay which is very protected. It was already raining when we
weighed anchor for the five mile journey to Sampson
Cay but didn't last. It ended being a beautiful sunny day with almost no
wind so our area looked like a huge swimming pool.
Unfortunately, Mary could not enjoy much because the sun hurt her eye so
she stayed down below.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
The winds built as expected and although they are blowing at 20, we are
quite comfortable with about 7 other boats. Mary's eye
is a bit better, but still not right. We may need to head to Nassau
tomorrow if it doesn't improve. We plan on going ashore for a
bit after cleaning the refrig and defrosting the freezer, something you
have to do about every 2 weeks. They are predicting rain
also, which will be heartily received as the boat is coated in salt. A
wash down would be good. We definitely won't have Internet
service until we return to Nassau.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Well, the patch has held, but we go nowhere without our air pump as it
needs a few pumps before we can go anywhere. We went
out scouting snorkeling spots and then stopped at The St. Francis resort
for a late lunch. That night a group got together for
sunset on Sand Dollar beach. We saw no sand dollars but did reconnect with
several people we have met previously on this trip
and also in other years. For those in Fleet 30, we talked with Beverly and
Dave on Cloverleaf. They are both getting up in age, but
they love to go and don't miss anything.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
After beach yoga with a really great instructor and about 40 other people
seeking some sort of exercise, we pumped the dinghy
again and found our snorkeling spot. The one cave/shelf supposedly
connects from the east side of the island to the west and
some big fish hang out there. There were many fish, but it was cloudy,
maybe from the current from the ocean. We headed over
to some other coral heads and hung out there. When we landed on shore
there were 5 people coming out to the beach from the
path. Because there was a for sale sign on the beach, I asked them if they
were going to buy it, kiddingly. After a short time,
they noticed David's Eagle transport hat and we noticed the shirt printed
Seapath marina. The one guy was very good friends with
David's boss at Eagle. Talk about small worlds. They were staying on the
other side of the harbor in a house. Speaking of houses-
there is a 54 ft houseboat sitting in a hidey hole on Stocking island for
$60,000. We saw it and it looks in good shape with many
upgrades. Could be a great winter home. In the afternoon, while David was
putting water in the tank, we saw a huge turtle. It
was just sunning itself right off the boat. That evening, we had sunset
with Van and Lauren and their family for our last night
together until they return as we are going to be heading north in the AM.
Friday, February 17,2012
We sailed out of Elizabeth Harbor with a light wind behind us and our
trusty fishing pole out looking for dinner. We were actually
heading for Little Farmers Cay but in looking at other options, we decided
to stop at Cave Cay because it had a marina in a very
protected hole. We looked at the entrance and decided that we would anchor
outside as it was very calm with almost no wind.
We then put the dinghy in the water, and yes, pumped it up again. Do you
see a pattern here? We took our portable depth sounder
and found there was enough water at high tide so we went in to look
around. It is a beautiful marina with floating docks, but
except for what I assume to be the owner's 2 boats, there were no other
boats. It was interesting that someone appeared from up
in the operations part of the complex. After asking about rates (quite
high) we asked if we could walk around and get some
exercise. David and I both thought we were told yes, so after sitting on
the front porch for a few minutes, we started up the hill,
checked out the bathrooms (really dirty) and headed out for our walk. We
didn't even get 300 yards and he was on us like flies.
No, we were not allowed to walk-only if we are guests. We got back in the
dinghy and decided that something wasn't quite right
and it would not be a place we would stay. Then we rode over to Musha Cay
which is a beautiful private island and resort owned by
David Copperfield. He had "disappeared" so we headed back to boat for
dinner. After dinner, we were playing on the computer and
found that you could buy Cave Cay with all the buildings, infrastructure,
heavy equipment, etc for a mere $110 mill. Considering
all that has been done to it, that may not be too bad. We also found where
you can rent Musha Cay for $37,500 per day with a
minimum of 4 days. It includes all you eat and drink, including alcohol.
Now that houseboat at $60K doesn't seem so bad.
Saturday, February 18,2012
After a leisurely breakfast, we pulled anchor and headed about 6 miles
south to Little Farms Cay. We went on the outside because
the weather was calm in the cut, it was about twice as long by motor if we
had taken the inside, and we wanted to try to catch fish
again in the deep water. I knew if we caught something, we could have one
of the locals filet it for us....but that was not to be. We
only snagged sea weed. After getting a mooring ball and getting the dinghy
back in the water and pumped up, we headed to shore
for some walking and Internet access. There is almost no one here now. I
don't know if they are all finally in George Town or just
not stopping here. It is a very pretty anchorage and the people are
delightful and very helpful. After having a Kalik and getting
emails, we headed out and after walking down the airstrip ( looking all
ways to make sure we didn't get mowed down) we found a
new beach bar with steel band music, really cold beer and comfortable
chairs in the shade. We will plan on coming back for lunch on
Monday and spend some time on the beach deck. We walked into town and went
to the fish cleaning dock to see what they caught and
get some tips on cleaning fish, but the young kids had already finished.
They did not have any mahi mahi but we were told the reason
we didn't catch anything was because we were not out far enough. We were
probably in 600 ft of water and they like over 800 ft, but
why we can't figure because they hang out on the top of the water. Maybe
Sunday, February 19, 2012
After a leisurely breakfast and reading time, we packed a lunch and headed
into the beautiful beaches for a walk, shell collecting
and lunch. The beaches were deserted and we just wandered... On our
return, we showered and watched the sunset at Little
Farmers and then went into the yacht club (or slight rendition of a yacht
club) and had a delicious lobster dinner. It was great
because we were the only customers so we brought Whitney Houston music and
relaxed with the owner and his wife to get some
of the history of the cay. Funnight!!!!
Monday, February 20' 2012
Being Monday we needed to clean up the "house". After that was done, we
headed into town for a walk and relaxing at this beach
bar we found on Saturday. Again, we were almost the only customers so sat
in the shade and read until it was time for lunch. The
restaurant/bar is on the side of the airstrip which is very convenient for
passersby. This is a small community of islands. The
bartender asked me how the dinghy was holding up after the accident at
George Town? Don't know how he knew about that since
GT is about 45 miles south of here. After lunch we headed on down the
airstrip back to the boat. Another day in God's paradise.
Tomorrow we will creep a bit farther north to White Point.
Dave & Mary
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Our first full day back in George Town was spent doing errands as the
expected weather will likely prevent us from crossing
the harbor for a day or two. We picked up a few groceries and filled our
portable water tanks, checked Internet and then
headed back to the boat, none too early as the winds were already picking
up. It was interesting as the winds clocked around
as predicted. At one point, we were so close to shore, I could have let
out my painter for the dinghy and ended up on shore.
We were still in 12-14 ft of water so we were comfortable, but very
Sunday, February 12, 2012
By morning, we had turned as predicted with 20-25 knot winds out of the
north. Despite the windy conditions, we donned
our foul weather gear to go the very short distance to volleyball beach
for beach church. They have it under the cassarina trees
complete with music and a choir. It was quite moving and made us realize
how very much we had to thank God for. He definitely
outdid himself when he created this place. It was windy all day, but we
went ashore with Van and Lauren and walked the trails
and up to the monument which gave us a beautiful view of all the different
anchorages. Luckily we had only about 200 yards to
go back to the boat.
Monday, February 13, 2012
The winds have died (or so we think) so after baking a cake and cleaning
the boat we head to town in the dinghy for water and
Internet service. The cake was for Lauren's birthday. Van asked me at
church if there was a bakery in town that he could get a
birthday cake. I said, probably not but I would be happy to bake a cake
for him. He actually thought of doing it himself but
couldn't figure how to do it without Lauren figuring it out. After a great
lunch at the little roadside cafe, we headed back to the
boat to prepare dinner and relax. Well, the wind that had settled in the
morning reared it's angry head on our return trip and
we were soaked to the skin by the time we returned. It takes around 20
minutes to make it across the harbor. I went right to the
showers and showered with my clothes to get the salt out of the material.
If you don't, they will never dry. The salt keeps
grabbing the moisture and stays wet forever. We had a great dinner and
Lauren was quite surprised by her dinner and cake.
Tuesday, February 14,2012
Happy Valentines day! This a great place to celebrate such a romantic
holiday. We had a busy day planned with yoga class on the
beach at 8:45, class on sailing to Cuba at 10:00 and then bible study at
12:30. Well......just one rather large problem!!!! David
was giving Mary a brief lesson on how to start the dinghy as she planned
on going to bible study with Lauren. There were lots of
dinghies tied up on the beach with their motors up because they were
beached. The start up was uneventful-started on the 3rd
pull. Everyone climbed in the boat and Mary put the motor in forward-we
were point out. At the same time she put the boat in
forward, another boat entered the picture and trying to avoid that boat,
she went round (out of control) and clipped the side of
the dinghy with another boats prop which made about a 3 inch hole in the
side-shades of Titanic or cruise ship in the Adriatic
sea!! Luckily we were back at the shore so we pulled it up on shore. Now
what to do? We "phoned a friend" on our VHF radio and
he came and towed us back to our boat. I failed to say that we had 15
gallons of water in portable containers in the boat also.
Now David had a project-not one he wanted but all the same, something to
keep him busy. The patch is on and curing and with
any luck and a pump always in the dinghy, we will have "wheels" again
tomorrow. You are really stuck if you can't get to shore.
I have decided that the early pioneers have nothing over us. I will say
that George Town is really a great place. They call it elder
day care and I believe it. There is something for everyone.
Wednesday, February 15,2012
Well the patch holds and there are a few bubbles when soap tested but we
have working wheels again! We plan on moving the
boat closer to the action (volleyball beach) for a few days and then pull
out on Friday as there is another weather front predicted
for late Sunday, early Monday and that would keep us here for several days
after. There are many places on the Bahamas banks
side we haven't explored yet and this will give us time.
Dave and Mary
I thought you might like a few pictures of life around here in Vero
Beach. I hope to be off to the Bahamas shortly.
let me apologize for the multiple copies of the last update. We had some
Internet connection problems
in George Town.
Sunday evening, February 5, 2012
After arriving George Town we chose to forego the Super Bowl game and have
a quiet evening. We invited our
travel companions Herb and Linda on Utopia and with Larry on the Dove to
have cocktails with us and then had
an early evening.
Monday, February 6, 2012
This morning we transferred our extra water to our storage tank so that we
could take our containers ashore for
free water replenishment. We loaded up the dinghy and headed across the
harbor for a tour of George Town. It
is about a mile and a half ride to the other side and we did get a little
damp on the dinghy ride. This is a relatively
large settlement with 600 residents and a number of shops. We did buy
produce and a few other souvenirs. We
had lunch at Peace and Plenty and walked the town. The ride back to the
boat was a lot drier since we were headed
downwind. Herb and Linda joined us for a home made soup dinner.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Today we are going to explore the beaches and hopefully find a nice place
for a swim. We are planning on sailing
over to Conception island tomorrow as the winds are going to be favorable
until Sunday. We plan on returning to
George Town on Friday and rejoin with our friends who finally make it to
George Town. Will write more later.
Wednesday, February 8,2012
We departed thru the south end of George Town harbor at about 8:30 and
headed to Conception island which is a
dot in the middle of the ocean. About 3 or 4 miles outside the entrance,
we hooked about a 24 inch barracuda. Since
he had more teeth than I did, we quickly (after a picture) and sent him
scurrying on his way. There were about 6 boats
out with us and each was reporting hits on their lures but nobody had
anything to show for it. We at least had the
barracuda. About an hour or so later, while we were peacefully sailing, we
heard the line go off and knew we had
something big. The fish took the lure and was heading away from us at a
rather quick pace. David put the brakes on
the reel and then it took him about 20 minutes to get her close enough to
realize that our dreams had come true. A
big beautiful mahi mahi. We measured her at 43 inches. After she took a
few swigs of our cheap vodka, she gave up
fighting. Now the dilemma-how do we clean and filet the darn thing. I only
wish we had paid closer attention to
dissections in biology many years ago. Anyway, we spread paper bags on the
sole of the boat, put the boat on auto
pilot and started "the process". I am sure that we left way too much fish
on the bone, but we have enough for several
delicious dinners. After that, we had to clean up the boat and crew. The
fishing hook stayed put after that. We needed
no more fish, nor giant mess. We did announce our success with fishing to
the fleet out there. One other boat caught a
barracuda and was planning on eating it. We finally have a fish story that
is true and delicious.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
We awoke and after a leisurely breakfast we took our dinghy to the end of
the island where there is a wide creek
with many sea turtles. They weren't very big, but once they knew we were
approaching, the took off like a flash.
Who ever said a turtle was slow. It was beautiful back there with the
different shades of blue for the different depths
of the water. We also saw 2 birds- surprisingly a rarity here in the
Bahamas. After that, we went to the other end to
check out snorkeling spots and enjoy the beach. I truly believe this is
the prettiest beach so far. We have said that
over and over, but this is definitely one of them. The entire island is a
park so no shelling, fishing or otherwise
destruction of its beauty can occur. We headed back to the boat for lunch
and while relaxing, noted about a 10 ft
shark passing by the boat with 2 smaller fish hanging on as they swam
together. Mary really wanted to go out and
enjoy the snorkeling right off the back of the boat. David was not so
inclined. Now I know that everyone says they
are relatively harmless but.... Anyway, it was decided that Mary would
snorkel while David sat watch in the dinghy.
To say that the reef was breath taking would be an underestimate. And nary
a shark was spotted. About 5:30, while
enjoying a cold drink, guess who returned? Yes, the shark but this time
with a friend and both sharks swam around
the boat and dinghy for about 20 minutes. At one point a very large
stingray also showed up. It was interesting because
the stingray was perfectly still when the shark passed. I felt like I was
in a sea aquarium and didn't have to pay admission.
After they left, we noticed quite a commotion in the water about 100 yards
off the side of our boat. I figured the sharks
finally found their local "seafood stand" and had dinner.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Because of an approaching front with winds increasing and shifting out of
every direction, we decided to scoot back to
George Town for a bit more protection. Winds remain calm and out of the
southeast so it has been a comfortable sail back.
With the front, it will be difficult to traverse the harbor because you
would get soaked and probably swamp the dinghy.
Hopefully we are near friends and can short hop from one boat to another.
Dave and Mary
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Today was a day for chores and limited travel. We topped off
the boat with water, fuel and gas for the dinghy
before leaving Staniel Cay. Then it was a short twelve mile
run south to Black Point to make use of the nicest
laundromat in the Exumas. The wind had picked up some and we
had a nice sail to Black Point. After anchoring,
we launched the dinghy and made our way to the dinghy dock
at the laundry. After depositing the clothes in the
machine we went to Lorraine's Cafe (where we watched the
Super Bowl last year) and relaxed with a cold Kalik.
Then it was back to the boat for an early night.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
We got an early start based on the weather forecast and had
two plans. Plan A was to go all the way to George
Town if the wind was right (about 50 miles), and Plan B was
to stop at Lee Stocking Island, about half way.
We headed out of Dothan Cut to Exuma Sound and the 3000 -
5000 ft depths. Wind was okay the first two hours
but shifted slightly after that so we motor sailed to Lee
Stocking Island. We had our line out for a Mahi mahi, but
no bites despite one other boat landing a mahi. Now as
experienced sailors we have picked up many a mooring ball,
but at the Caribbean Marine Research Center we were slightly
humbled. On the first pass we missed the short float
line. On the second attempt we could have made a movie on
what not to do when picking up a mooring ball. Mary
snagged the float, but it was tangled on the pennant and as
the wind pushed us away from the ball she lost the
boat hook overboard. She decided to jump in to retrieve it
as the boat drifted back over the mooring ball wedging
the ball between the rudder and the prop. Needless to say,
there was no concern about Mary getting back to the
boat. At this point we changed places and I entered the
water to dislodge the mooring ball. We were successful on
the next attempt. The two root causes were a tangled float
line and an extremely short pennant loop that we could
not even get from midship. Add to that the captain's
insistence to not be thwarted by that mooring ball (there
several others that we could have gotten). Tomorrow we will
probably stay here as the wind is predicted to be in the
upper teens and from the south.
Friday, February 3, 2012
The wind was as strong as predicted so we had a leisurely
day on the mooring ball. We dinghied ashore to visit the
research center, but no one was there so we hiked the
island. On the way back to the boat we were hailed by a boat
that had just arrived. They had caught a nice mahi and
invited us over for a conch blowing contest and fresh fish
During the afternoon David spent time in the dinghy helping
three other boats retrieve their mooring balls, saving them
the embarrassment we experienced the day before. We had a
delightful fish dinner aboard Utopia with Herb and Linda
as our hosts.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Still too windy to leave so we spent the morning reading.
After lunch we headed south in the dinghy to explore the
the island. Mary found a large sand dollar and a beautiful
conch shell. Tomorrow the winds are supposed to moderate and
we plan to leave late morning and head to George Town, the
Caribbean boaters Mecca.
Sunday , February 5, 2012
It was pretty windy, but 3 of the boats decided to make a
dash for George Town and made it thru Adderly Cut with just
small bit of rock and rolling. The wind was on the nose so
we tacked, with only our mainsail, back and forth on our rum
so we could keep some wind in our sail. It really wasn't a
bad sail considering. There are about 200+ boats all around
anchorage, but we found a space near our sailing buddies
from Lee Stocking Island and will see how comfortable this
We immediately spotted Larry and invited him and our mahi
mahi chef and crew for cocktails. Since it is Super Bowl,
could get pretty wild later on, but there are many
foreigners here who dont appreciate American football. We
plan on staying
for a week and enjoy all there is to do here. Our friends,
Van and Lauren should be here later this week if the weather
Thursday, January 26
We were up early this morning to get our anchor up and head
over to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club Marina
where we would pick up Wayne at the local airport. While
Mary made a stop at the local market to get
produce and then to the airport, I stayed with the boat and
filled our water tanks, deposited garbage and
made an Internet connection. Wayne arrived almost on time
and they headed back to the marina in a
local cab. I finished up with the Internet, paid the bill
for the water and garbage and we got underway. Our
first stop would be Cambridge Cay where we took a mooring
ball because the wind and current were pretty
strong. The access to Cambridge is a little tricky and we
made one wrong turn, but no harm as we backed
out before going hard aground. We went ashore and took a
hike across the island to see Bell Rock and Exuma
Sound. We walked the beach and then came back to the other
side to find the dinghy we had anchored in
about two feet of water on dry ground. We had to drag it
about fifty yards to get it to enough water to float it.
Due to the high winds and current we did not go to Honeymoon
Beach or to the Sea Aquarium.. It is a shame
we missed the aquarium. We did talk to the couple on the
only other boat in the anchorage and invited them
over for cocktails. They were a nice couple from Michigan
and we swapped stories for a couple of hours.
Friday January 27
We got out of Cambridge Cay without incident and headed to
Warderick wells. We were at the far end of the
anchorage which was beautiful. Wayne and Mary swam over to
the sandbar and walked the sand bar. We enjoyed
a beautiful evening on the boat and went to bed early as we
had much to do the next day. We also ran into friends
from our days in Rock Hall, MD. They have retired and after
several years of work on their boat, they headed
off to the Exumas. It was fun catching up with them.
Saturday , January 28
After breakfast, we went over to the snorkeling area in the
dinghy and had a great snorkeling trip with many small
colorful fish and 2 huge sting rays. We saw about a 5 lb.
lobster hiding in the rocks, but since no one can fish for
lobster, he knew he was safe. After lunch, we hiked to the
top of Boo Boo hill and left our offering to the sea god
and also to take in the beautiful view of the anchorage and
the Exuma sound. As one tee shirt said, "these colors
are not in my crayon box". We sat on the top deck and
enjoyed the view, breeze and also visited with the newcomers
as they came to check in. Because there was a party on the
beach that night, we had to have a rest period but then
headed out at 5:30 to meet all the cruisers. As darkness
increased, the Hutia (small rodents like guinea pigs)
increased so we went off to another boat to continue our
party. We mentioned the movie Captain Ron and Lisa and
Patrick had it on board so we all enjoyed the movie. It was
an "island drive in movie". We arrived back at the boat
with Mary at the helm of the dinghy and went right to bed.
Sunday, January 29
The guys survived their "fun" and we made our way south back
to big majors spot where we took Wayne in to feed
the pigs. This year there is a mother pig with 9 babies.
They come running out of the brush and Mother pig gathers
all of the babies around and tells them to stay put while
she swims out to the boats for her dinner. They were not
into the table scraps we had to offer, so we took off and
went on a tour of the island, landing on a deserted beach
with sand dollars under the sand. We also saw the large
orange/brown starfish on the bottom. Wayne kept reminding
us that we were so very lucky to be able to do this. I
readily agreed. For anyone who has seen this area, they can
Monday, January 30
We brought the boat over to the marina and after getting
tied up, loaded all our snorkeling gear up and
headed to Thunderball cave. The number and variety of fish
were incredible. The were looking for food,
but we were in such a hurry, we forgot it, but they followed
us around as if maybe it would appear. We
swam into the cave and it was so beautiful, with the blue
sky thru the hole, clear water, stalagmites
hanging from the ceiling toward the water and all the fish.
We returned to the boat and prepared shrimp
(it had thawed from the freezer so needed to eat) and rum
punch in anticipation of our friends Van and
Lauren's arrival. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the
Staniel Cay club, compliments of Wayne, who again
reminded us that we're so lucky to be able to do this. More
Tuesday January. 31
Wayne left on the 9:00 flight to Nassau. After some
cleaning on the boat, we retired to the pool for a swim
as there are way to many nurse sharks in the water by the
marina. They say they are harmless, but I don't
want to chance it. We plan on going to Blackpoint tomorrow
and then on to Georgetown to explore parts of
the area we missed last year. We will have sporadic internet
coverage, but will update as we can. We will
have Spot activated so you can at least see where we are
located. We love to hear from all of you.
Dave and Mary
Key West Wrecker's Race Jan 2012
The Fair Winds Team sailed to a third place! I had lots of
help - there were six of us on-board. So I had some
local knowledge help. Everyone found something they could
do as part of the team. We sailed from the Naval
Air Station marina on Boca Chica to Key West early enough to
take a practice run on the heading for finish line
at Sand Key. It was dead down run. One crew member, Dan,
brought along a genoa from his Catalina 25 and
we flew it as a second head-sail. (I have the light weight
spinnaker from Decision here but I thought 15 knots of
wind was a little too much for a .5 oz spinnaker.) We had
a good start with another crew member, Richard, giving
me help on the timing - we ran the engine up to the starting
line as allowed by the rules. Fair Winds took the
straight to the mark course while some boats with spinnakers
took a hotter angle - some on port gybe and some
starboard. We actually finished before some of the
spinnaker boats. There was a record turn out with 54 boats
entered so they divided the fleet into a couple more classes
then originally planned. We were in the 30-40 ft class
of 13 boats. At the awards party we'd watched the race
video 5 or 6 time and the 8:30 awards ceremony still hadn't
happened so we were about to leave at 9:30 and of course the
ceremony started. Our award was a Wrecker's Race Pusser's
Rum cup, a Wrecker's Race tee shirt, and $10 gift
certificate for Schooner's Wharf Bar. Maybe they'll have
from the race on the web site by the time you get read
Dave ArnoldFair WindsCatalina 36 #1674
Thursday, January 19,
After our arrival and clearance through customs we spent the
rest of the day taking care of a few minor
repairs. We headed to the Poop Deck restaurant for happy
hour and an early dinner. Bedtime called early
Friday, January 20,
After a late breakfast Mary started washing the boat while
David changed the oil and the oil and fuel
filters. Then it was off to the old city for lunch and a
visit to the new straw market that has opened
since last year. A couple of stops at the marine store and
fishing center were required to finalize a
few last minute purchases. After a late lunch we returned
to the boat for a game of Rook and another
early night to bed.
Saturday, January 21,
We departed Nassau to begin our island adventure. It was an
uneventful motor sail to Highbourne Cay as
the wind was almost on our nose. Since we did not leave
Nassau until 10:30, we did not get to Highbourne
in time to go ashore since cocktail hour took precedent over
Sunday, January 22,
This morning we unpacked and inflated our local mode of
transportation for the next five or six weeks. The
dinghy had been stowed down below so it was out of the way
during the crossing. Now it was time to get
mobile while at anchor. Our first dinghy ride took us
ashore on the beach at Highbourne so we could look
for a decent piece of driftwood. For those of you who have
never been to the Exumas, it is tradition to
appease King Neptune with a piece of personalized driftwood
placed at the top of Boo Boo Hill on Warderick Wells.
We found a couple of acceptable pieces and then were back in
the dinghy to visit the marina and it's newly
opened restaurant, Xuma. We checked out the bar/restaurant
and then took a walk around the island to see what
new construction had been completed since last year. During
our walk we did find a much better piece of driftwood
to carve for King Neptune. Then it was back to the bar to
quench our thirst after the walk. The restaurant is a
very, very nice open air affair and has only been open a
week. The drinks were inexpensive, but a $12 hot dog and
an $18 hamburger were a bit pricey. We stuck with the
drinks. On the dinghy ride back to the boat a giant ray
jumped out of the water abut twenty feet in front of us.
What a surprise! We pulled up our anchor and were off
to Shroud Cay for a couple of days. It is a short two and a
half hour sail and we had great wind, typically we
were traveling over six knots and approached eight knots
toward the end of the trip. Anchor is down and drinks
have been served. Mary is enjoying her drink floating on a
noodle tethered to the boat.
Monday, January 23,
We woke to partly cloudy skies and a warm easterly breeze.
After a leisurely morning of breakfast and "book
club", we loaded up the dinghy for an exploration of Shroud
Cay. Last year we traveled through the mangroves
of Sanctuary Creek so this year we chose to tour another
estuary that was slightly further south. Unfortunately
we were dealing with a falling tide since high tide was at
7:30 this morning. This limited us to not quite
getting to the other side of the island due to low water.
We did see two giant sea turtles back in the mangroves.
The outgoing tide did provide for a quick return to the
anchorage. We then anchored the dinghy near the coastal
rocks and snorkeled the area. Several things were learned
from last Year's travels: wet suits are a must, a
good dinghy anchor is important, a good underwater camera is
needed and for those who are upper body strength
challenged, a dinghy ladder is quite helpful. Today we took
all of the toys with us, except for the camera which
we forgot and left on the boat. I am happy to report that
all of the new toys worked very well. The snorkeling
was decent. We did see our first lion fish, very pretty,
but poisonous and a threat to the ecosystem. After a
late lunch back on the boat we spent the afternoon
relaxing. The personalized driftwood for King Neptune was
whittled on and no injuries were sustained as a result of
the effort. Tomorrow we plan a short sail to Hawksbill
Cay, an island we did not visit last year.
Tuesday, January 24,
Yesterday we had issues with electrical power. Most
significantly the refrigeration compressor would not shut
unless you turned off the breaker. Coupled with a partly
cloudy day that hampered the solar panels, our batteries
were being drained quickly. We resorted to running the
Honda generator for a couple of hours, but that did not make
a major impact on the battery supply. Finally, late at
night we had to shut down the refrigeration as the battery
levels were getting critically low. Early this morning we
turned the refrigeration back on at higher thermostat
settings and cranked the diesel up with the 100 amp
alternator and started to gain on both the batteries and the
refrigeration. Not sure what the problem was with the
refrigeration, but it seems to have corrected itself and
we have turned the temperatures down to their normal levels
and all of the frozen food is still solid. We had a
brief shower this morning and then the skies cleared
providing us with excellent solar energy to help rebuild the
battery levels. We are happy to report that the beer was
again cold by the time we finished our dinghy tour and
swim at Hawksbill Cay. The trip over from Shroud Cay to
Hawksbill was a short five mile run. In fact we can still
see the boats at Shroud. We dinghied up the creek on the
island, but like yesterday, the tide was low and we did not
get far. Then we visited a cave that was only accessible by
dinghy and then climbed to the top of the hill to visit
the ruins of ten houses that dated back to the 1700's. On
the way back to the boat we looked for places to snorkel,
but had to settle for a swim on a beautiful, isolated beach.
Wednesday, January 25,
We departed Hawksbill Cay with a 15-20 knot wind on a close
hauled tack to head for Staniel Cay and a rendezvous with
our friend Wayne who was flying in from Sc to spend five
days with us. It was a fantastic 24 mile sail. Enroute we
were contacted by our friends on Gratitude and diverted to
the anchorage at Big Majors. There we met Lauren and Van
as well as Larry on The Dove. We had a great dinner on
board Gratitude. Lauren's culinary skills have remained
Tomorrow morning we will motor over to the marina and meet
Wayne at the airport and then depart for Cambridge Cay.
Dave and Mary
What a great motor sail! We left
Sunset lake at 6:25 and made it just in time for the west
Venetian causeway bridge
opening. From there we scooted out government cut and hit
the open ocean. The winds were light with only a faint
chop so very comfortable for being in the gulf stream. We
made it to north rock (outside Bimini) and sailed onto the
Bahamas banks. For anyone who has never been there it is a
giant plateau of water. You go from 1200 ft of water to
17-20 ft in a matter of several yards. The water settles
down no matter how much wind you have. We actually sailed
for a short while but the winds reduced and were pretty much
on the nose, so we needed to restart the engine. It was
so calm that we were able to eat our spaghetti and not have
any slide away. Of course, large bowls do help . From
it was across the Tongue of the Ocean (again depths of
7000-8000 ft). We were heeled over and luckily in the
so the person off shift could get some sleep. We passed
thru Nassau harbor at around 9:00, just behind the Carnival
ship. We have some chores to do (replace running lights
which were working in the AM, but were not fixable in the
Luckily there is no one out there so our steaming lights
were adequate. We plan to stay here for 2 nights and head
south on Saturday. We will have very limited access to
email after that but will send updates as available. Oh
yes, for those
interested in the fishing report, one big one got away about
8 miles off Miami beach and not another nibble after that.
Maybe better luck in the Bahamas.
Dave and Mary
The weather forecast is holding true to the prediction and
we got underway this afternoon from Sunny Isles Beach.
We left at 3:15 and traveled to Miami Beach and anchored in
Sunset Lake just off the Venetian Causeway. That
will put us in position to leave through Government Cut in
the Port of Miami with only one bridge to contend with.
We were joined by our friends Donn and Charlotte who sailed
(motored) down here in their boat and joined us for dinner
and a bon voyage party. The anchorage here is beautiful
with the Miami skyline lit up in the background and not a
in the water. Lights from the houses on the shore are
reflecting beautifully on the water.
We plan to make the 7 am or 7:30 am bridge opening in the
morning, depending on how light it is when we pull the
a half hour before the bridge schedule. We will cross the
Gulf Stream and head right to Nassau. We are planning a 25
hour crossing with light winds forecasted from the southeast
and clocking around to the west.
You can follow us on the SPOT link sent to you earlier.
Dave & Mary
Sanity II is straining at its
docklines, ready to head east to the Bahamas. We had
planned to leave tomorrow (Sunday),
but the winds say otherwise. It looks like a Tuesday
afternoon move to get us down to Miami and a Wednesday
departure will be the soonest we can leave. Meanwhile we
are dealing with a couple of last minute details. The SPOT
below will allow you to keep up with our travels as we plan
to go to Nassau, the Exumas and then up the Eluthera chain
before heading back in early March. I will send out a
notice when we get underway and will periodically update you
I'm off on the first "offshore" leg this year.
100 miles from Thunderbolt inlet at Savannah Ga to St Johns
river at Jacksonville Fl.
There are two other boats. Another P365 "Lady Ella" with tom and
June O'Brien and the third boat is Far Away from Hampton
with Dave and Petra. We should have NE winds at 15 knots or so.
Wish us luck. I will enable the Spot locator from time to
time to show progress. We should be in tomorrow morning.
We are safely tied up in Sunny Isles Beach for
the next two months.
We left Jacksonville on Saturday morning under clear, bright
skies and headed out the St John's River.
It is a long 20 miles when you fight the current the first 15
miles, but the trip through Mayport to the ocean was fast
and event free. The motor sail to Port Canaveral was also
uneventful. We had light E, then SE winds so not a lot of
Seas started to get lumpy toward the end of the trip on Sunday
morning. We stayed at a marina that is just inside
the Port, near the cruise ship docks. That way we did not have
to wait on the bridge and the locks.
Monday morning we left Canaveral with a marginal forecast that
included SE to S winds of up to 16 knots and seas of 3-4 feet.
NOAA underestimated! We had 3 - 5 ft seas and winds to 20 knots
along with heavy rain through the night. Needless to say
it was a lousy ride for the home stretch. We entered Port
Everglades (Ft Lauderdale) after 25 rough hours of seas and
on the bow. Hats off to the admiral who hung in there and did
her time at the helm despite little sleep. The highlight of our
arrival in Port Everglades was the aerial coverage we received
from one of American Airlines finest pilots, Tim Leighton.
He flew in on a stop enroute to Los Angeles and gave us a call
to report on how good we looked coming in. Then it was down
the ICW and five bridges to get to our final destination. A
solid meal was also enjoyed on the 1.5 hour trip on the inside.
Our hope was that we would be docking Sanity II at a slip in a
nearby condo that was offered to us by one of Mary's yoga
friends. It would have been very convenient (6 blocks from the
condo) and very inexpensive. As we feared, depth was
a problem. We came in right after an "exceptionaly" high tide
and were seeing under six feet on the approach. With alarms
sounding we backed out and proceeded to the marina where we had
a reservation for the first few days so we could easily
unload the boat and check out the aforementioned slip. We
negotiated a two month lease that will take us to mid January
when we plan to head to the Bahamas. They put us in a transient
slip that was not conducive to spending a lot of time on
the boat over the next two months. So tomorrow we are moving to
a better slip where we have enough depth to back the
boat in and it also has a full length finger pier. The marina is
11 blocks from our condo (a bike ride away) and much more
convenient than the slip we had in Ft Lauderdale the past two
years. The downside is it is a longer run to open water. This
will be much better for our grandkids since we don't take them
out in the "big water" anyway.
Our neighbors Donn and Charlotte waved to us as we passed our
condo and then came over to have a celebratory beer and
a ride back to our condo for a nap and then dinner at our son
and daughter in law"s, complete with entertainment from our
I haven't totaled up the trip stats, but estimate that we went
nearly a 1,000 miles during the 17 day journey. The boat and
crew performed magnificently, including the crew we picked up in
Wrightsville Beach. Thanks to everyone that entertained us
along the way or took time to join us for drinks and meals. It
is always a great social trip.
Dave & Mary
And I am off on my way. I am off
to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter on the boat. Today for
a few days I am in Oriental NC.
The weather turned cold and we are in a nice marina for the cold
to go by. Our next big stop will Charleston SC. So far the
boat is working well.
Happy Veteran's Day!
Great game Hokies!! The
beer was cold at Chicago Pizza and TV reception was
As you can see from the
SPOT tracker we are still in Jacksonville. The front did not
move through fast enough and Sean is still kicking
up big seas. So after a check of the weather this morning we
pushed our schedule back another day and are enjoying
sunshine and mild temperatures.Free dockage with Wi-Fi is
also a plus. It is the second day we have donned shorts (the
in Charleston). We know we are moving south as the days and
nights are getting warmer.
We had a late breakfast at
Jacksonville Landing and then enjoyed the Veteran's Day
parade that was held one block over on Water St.
It was a large parade and there was a big local turnout,
especially due to the fine weather. After the parade we
walked across the Main St
bridge to the south side of Jacksonville and got some decent
pictures of the boat and Jacksonville Landing. Upon
returning from our walk
our friend Larry from Detroit arrived by car. Larry was one
of the people that went to the Bahamas with us last year and
has his boat in
Jacksonville Beach while he visits friends in Orlando and
then flies to Detroit for Thanksgiving. We had a late lunch
with him and confirmed
our plans to meet in Ft Lauderdale before Christmas. Tonight
it will be back to Chicago Pizza for the UNC-Michigan St
basketball game as
well as a number of football games.
Hopefully we can make our
exit from Jacksonville in the morning and get to Port
Canaveral before a wind shift out of the southeast arrives.
Mary & Dave
Wednesday morning was a
gorgeous day. The weather forecast was promising and we left
just before 9 am with expectations
of 4-6 seas, that would diminish as the day went on. We left
Charleston Harbor on a falling tide and got a push out to
The forecast was correct. It was a bit lumpy to begin the
journey, but by noon they were down to 2-3 and by 6 pm down
There were five boats headed south and kept fairly close
together, although the two Canadians zig zagged all the way
Beach. We had the main sail up, mostly for stability, but by
10:30 pm the wind shifted slightly and increased to 10 - 12
of the NE so we rolled out the Genny and increased our speed
by a knot. It was a full moon and delightful motor sail.
We arrived in Fernandina
Beach at 8 am today to get fuel and a place for the night.
Due to dredging in the marina, there was no
space there and mooring balls were at a premium so we went
to Plan B. Most people try to stop and smell the roses along
way. We decided to continue on to Jacksonville and smell the
pigskin. We are tied up at the Jacksonville Landing (their
of Waterside) which is free for 72 hours. We are right in
front of a pizza restaurant/bar and can actually watch the
VA Tech-GA Tech
game from our boat. We will go inside to get beer and their
internet connection. Today's journey covered 203 nautical
Tomorrow we will leave late
morning and head back outside. Same forecast as yesterday
with lumpy seas to begin and then
diminishing. That journey should land us in Port Canaveral
on Saturday afternoon and within striking distance of Sunny
Mary & Dave
It is Tuesday afternoon and a few changes have been made to
Saturday morning we left
Murrell's Inlet with bright sunshine and light wind. We even
had the current with us for the short run
to Georgetown, making it in 2.5 hours. After fueling and
getting tied up for the weekend the four of us headed off to
and explore the town. Every sailing trip needs to be turned
into and adventure. To make our trip interesting Mary and I
a rather large picture in Georgetown and then had the
challenge of getting it aboard the boat and securing a 40" x
picture. We considered mounting it over the solar panels,
but that would be counter productive to making power. We
considered mounting it as a stay sail, but could not furl
it. The final solution was to put it in our "garage" (the
and to drape the cargo net over it to keep it in place. So
far, so good, no glass splinters yet, of course we have not
We spent Saturday and
Sunday at the Hinman's in De Bordeau, SC, near Georgetown.
Mary's brother and his wife cut their
fishing trip short and went home before we got there so we
did not see them. Sunday we had a nice walk on the beach and
enjoyed an alligator tour of the community. The afternoon
was spent playing a trivial pursuit game involving wine. The
Monday we left Georgetown
with just the two of us on board. We planned to go outside
to Fernandina Beach,but there were large
waves forecasted for Monday night. So we decided to go
inside on the ICW to Charleston and spent two nights there
a weather window to go outside to Fernandina or further. Pat
C.,the inside route to Charleston is about 30 miles shorter
outside. Right now it looks like tomorrow morning will be
okay. We spent today cleaning up the boat and preparing for
run. This afternoon we walked the docks and talked to
various people we had seen along they way. Tonight our
Robbie & Joanne Bock met us for dinner. They are living on
their trawler and are spending the next month here in
Not sure when we will have
internet connectivity again, but will give you an update
when we get there.
Mary & Dave
We are making good progress
on our journey south and are back on schedule after the one
day delay in getting underway
due to the weather last Saturday.
Sunday was a beautiful day
with light winds and sunny skies. We made it through the
bridges and the Great Bridge locks
without incident and proceeded past Coinjock to anchor south
of Buck Island with six other boats. It was chilly in the
with 49 degrees inside the cabin. Monday we headed for the
Belle Haven area with wind out of the north and we were able
motor sail with the the headsail a good portion of the day.
We anchored in the very protected Slade Creek with two other
During the night the wind came up and it started to rain. We
felt very little of the wind and our anchor held firm. The
subsided after a couple of hours and we had a restful night.
Tuesday morning was a bit
warmer and we had clear skies. We were underway as daylight
was making an appearance.
The trip to Morehead City through the Pamlico Sound and
Neuse River was enhanced by the north wind that once again
us take advantage of our headsail. We were in the marina by
mid afternoon and completed all of the necessary boat tasks
time for an evening dinner in town. Wednesday morning the
winds were perfect for an outside run to Wrightsville Beach.
had 10 - 15 kt winds out of the north with 1 - 2 ft seas.
Conditions held until around 1 pm when the wind died. We
sailing all morning doing 8+ knots. We ended up motoring
into Wrightsville Beach around 5 pm in time for happy hour
our friends the Boyd's. We spent Wednesday night at their
Thursday morning the Boyd's
got on board for the next few days of the journey. We left
at a reasonable hour for a change
and headed for Southport to visit my brother Bill and his
wife Charlotte. In Southport the ladies shopped while the
a comfortable place to relax. We met another couple from
Norfolk who keep their boat at Norfolk Yacht and Country
were headed south. They joined us for happy hour and dinner,
but were staying for a while longer in Southport. During the
night we had rain, but it let up by the time we were
departing. Friday we had a long day of motoring to get from
Murrells Inlet. During the day we heard several weather
alerts about storms in the Wilmington, NC area. We were
The sun finally came out in late morning and it warmed up.
By mid-afternoon the clouds returned and the wind picked up
12-15 kts. The temperature dropped and it got a bit chilly,
but no rain. We did experience a little drizzle as we
marina at Wacha Wache. That evening we had dinner at the
home one of Mary's college classmates and her husband and
we were joined by another of her classmates. What a
It is Saturday morning and
we are headed for the next stop on our social circuit. We
have a short run today to Georgetown,
SC to stay with our friends the Hinman's for two days. We
also plan to see Mary's brother and wife who are there
the week. Our plan is to leave Monday with just the two of
us and hope to make a couple of long offshore runs to get us
Florida. Hope the weather cooperates. Will send the next
update in a few days.
Dave & Mary
be spending this winter in the frozen Northern Neck waters of
the Corrotoman River!
Yes, we have abandoned her for better climes in Sunny
Florida, where we have recently acquired a residence
in our favorite small Florida town, Englewood.
We have a little dock on a salt water canal that leads
to Lemon Bay and the Gulf, where all our favorite beaches and
Tiki Bars await. Not to worry, we will be
next summer to cruise the Bay with our Fleet 30 friends, and
hope to take ADAGIO back to Florida the following winter.
a couple pics of our new abode.....
Love, Denny &
1393 Kingfisher Drive, Englewood, FL 34234
Many of you will remember Connie
and Dodge Hickman (Tejas) along with their loyal companion
Max. I had the pleasure
of visiting with these HRF30 members at their beautiful
treetop home in Oriental, NC. The Hickman's are doing very
enjoying the waters of the Pamlico sound aboard Tejas, the
open roads of the wild American west with their camper and
the rural byways of eastern North Carolina with their police
model Harley. On and off the water the
by HRF30 remain enduring. We wish Connie, Dodge and Max
continued happiness and good health.
s/v big E
Hello, fellow boaters. Well, WE
MADE IT (again)! We arrived in Hampton (Southall Landings
Marina) this morning
after a wonderful trip up the ditch from Florida. We took the
Dismal Swamp route this time, and were able to dinghy
into Lake Drummond with friends Bob and Jayne (Lady Jayne).
We're excited about the Fleet 30 cruise schedule,
and looking forward to seeing all our cruising friends, some
of which we saw last nite at the Harborfest (not Octoberfest)
meeting at Waterside.
Love to All, Denny and Rhonda
As my friend Kerry May once said: "We go outside and miss all
that". Well, we just spent the last two weeks going thru
"all that", and it was wonderful! Get yourself a slow boat
with no mast and a shallow draft, and see what going thru the
Mud River at low tide is all about. Talk about excitement!
We are at the Dismal Visitor
Center with five other boats in a big raft. We plan to dinghy
into Lake Drummond tomorrow, on
our way to the Captain's meeting for Octoberfest on Thursday.
We'll be at Waterside, so come on by and see us.
Denny & Rhonda, M/V ADAGIO
Mary & I are
heading north tomorrow. The weather looks good for the next
few days and we are planning to head to Cape
Canaveral in the first 24 hours via the Atlantic Ocean. We
plan to be on the outside in the Atlantic for most of the
and will not have the ability to send daily updates. From
Morehead City/Beaufort we will transit the ICW into Norfolk.
you can track our progress on SPOT, the satellite tracker. I
have included the link below. We plan to be in Norfolk on or
after May 21.
January 12, 2011
To all friends
The boat is
ready, we still have some provisioning to finish and the
weather forecast needs to improve. Otherwise we are ready
to head to the Bahamas. We are planning to sail with another
boat on Sunday to Key Biscayne to meet a third boat.
weather forecast says we should have a weather window for
the crossing of the gulf stream on Monday. We will keep our
eye on that .
Tentative plan is to go to Bimini, Nassau, and Chubb Key the
first few days and then work our way south to George Town in
Exhumas before heading back to FL for a scheduled March 1
I have attached
a link to our SPOT satelite tracker so you can follow us and
hope to send e-mail updates back periodically as we get
internet access and the enthusiasm to write up our
Mary & Dave
We are well, and loving the Florida Winter, especially as we
watch the news of what's happening up North. ADAGIO is
well protected from the winds, and the temperatures, although
a little cool, are much warmer than last year. A cold front
through today, and we might see lows in the 40's for the first
time this year, but it will be back to highs in the seventies
by mid week.
The marina owner provided us with a free storage bin, so your
"stateroom" (vee berth) is always ready. Please come for a
when you can. Just let us know. Merry Christmas!
Love to All,
Denny & Rhonda
Cayo Costa Stopover
Chadwick Cove Home
Knotts Island Schoolbus
Family and Friends;
Where does the time go? Here it is, the 1st of December and we
have not updated anyone since November 17 - not that
there is a lot to update BUT. We did finally leave the Space
Coast area after sharing a dinner evening aboard Slow Dancing
- our cruising friends Richard and Beth's vessel - at anchor
just off Dragon Point. They will be remaining there on a mooring
while Richard completes a hard bimini for the boat before
continuing southward. We had a really great time exploring their
vessel and the various modifications and additions they have
made to suit their 'cruising activities' (we always enjoy
deas from other folks for future Casual Class updates) - and we
shared some 'boat recipes' as well. As we were leaving the
Dragon Point area, we talked with a power boat who was
over-taking us as we left the harbor - they indicated that they
from Portsmouth, VA (we guess since our hailing port indicates
Norfolk, VA) - as they passed we recognized the boat as one
who had been in our marina for several years before we left -
the world is getting smaller and smaller. Our next stop was Vero
Beach where we picked up a mooring buoy (actually we were
assigned to raft to another boat already on a buoy - the
in this welcoming cruiser town is that so as not to turn folks
away when all of the moorings are full, you must agree to have
vessels raft to you - it is a great practice and there were
moorings with 3 and 4 boats rafted together - what a great way
folks. The boat we rafted with was a 1977 Gulf Star 50 that the
current owner (Jonathan) had rescued from the soon-to-be scrap
yard and had totally refitted her - the boat was absolutely
beautiful - the scariest part was rafting to them without
damage (Stew is known for sometimes 'bouncing off of docks,
piers, etc.). Once we got tied up to Calypso and met Jonathan
and his son Alexander, we looked down the fairway and saw what
we believed to be another boat we knew from the Tidewater
area - it was indeed Ed & Sandy Mitchell aboard Genesis on their
every other year sojourn southward - again, the world is
getting smaller and smaller. We stayed two days - long enough to
share a cocktail session aboard both Calypso and Genesis -
emptying a bottle of our rum sangria on both occasions - even
though Vero Beach is gaining the nickname of Velcro Beach
since it is so welcoming to cruisers with nice facilities and
good rates that many cruisers spend weeks or even months there.
We anchored one night in Fort Pierce and then moved on to Stuart
- again picking up a mooring buoy at Sunset Bay Marina &
Anchorage - a recently updated facility with fabulous amenities
AND affordable rates. We spent several days with Stew's sister
(Carolyn) and brother-in-law (Steve) over Thanksgiving (great
meals - they have been restaurateurs for many years and Steve
is a CAI chef - they have been most helpful in the area of
transportation and the location of needed services for boat
- imagine needing to fix anything on a boat - who would have guessed. Then
our friends who were instrumental in getting us
involved with sailing in the first place back in the early 70's
picked us up and took us to their place for a two day visit -
Anne Lyons relocated from Portsmouth to Jupiter about four years
ago so Anne could become the Assistant City Manager -
we had a great visit. We have now been here 8 days with at least
several more to go - Ed & Sandy have also arrived here and
we ran into another Portsmouth friend, Larry Bryant - who is
just two moorings away - who had guests in town today from Fort
Lauderdale who knew the father of one of Diana's students from
15 or so years ago who had been pulled from school to sail
the world with her family - the world is getting smaller and
smaller. Adding to the boat 'fix-it' list was the little dinghy
yesterday - while arriving at the dinghy dock at a lower tide
than normal, we felt the dinghy bounce a little just before a
of bubbles exhausted from the starboard pontoon - yes we cut the
hull and were sinking fast - we got everyone and everything
ashore (including the engine) as fast as possible and got the
dinghy onto the floating dock - with very wet feet and shoes I
add - and discovered a 5 inch cut. We were able to take it to a
place for professional repair and the marina folks have been
cooperative in assisting us - even lending us a pickup for
transporting the wounded dinghy - we will be picking the
repaired dinghy up
sometime tomorrow so we can stop depending on others to
transport us to and from land - although Larry has been 'Mr.
on the Spot' in this regard. There is the Stuart Annual Holiday
Parade this weekend and the weather has taken a turn for a while
(now low to mid-70's daytime and upper 50's nightime) so we may
be here for a while longer - nowhere we have to be - no
We wish all of our family and friends the best for the upcoming
Holiday Season and New Year - we will be updating at a later
Hugs & Kisses from Diana / A hearty ORZA from Stew
MORE EXCITING DETAILS TO FOLLOW IN 2011 !!
AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
TO ALL OUR FAMILY OF FLEET 30 !!
Hi to family and
Yes - we still are afloat. We spent four
days on a mooring buoy in St. Augustine FL. What an
interesting and beautiful town.
We took care of business one day (grocery store, West Marine,
etc.), toured the fascinating fort Castillo de San Marcos and
happened upon a music festival another. We have gotten into the
habit of searching out local bakeries for fresh bread like the
Cuban bread we found here. We also like to pick up homemade
sweets especially breakfast kinds (scones, croissants) that we
have with our coffee and hot tea in the morning while we are
underway - they provide a yummy break from the cereal! Of
we did the tourist walking tour of the town. Between this stop
and our next extended stay we continued south, did boat repairs
"house-cleaned" (Diana) at a couple of different anchorages.
Then we decide to SLOW WAY DOWN! We got to Cocoa FL ,
dropped the anchor, and stayed for nearly a week! Our Brother
of the Coast, Gary lives in Cocoa Beach and he insisted that
we stay long enough to enjoy the flavors of this area. A
typical day went like this: we dinghy in to a pier at the
Waterfront Park, Gary picks us up, takes us across the bridge to
Cocoa Beach, I put a couple of loads of laundry in at a local
laundromat, we walk across to a Tiki Bar on the beach and have a
refreshing adult beverage, we go back to put the clothes in the
and walk to a shop owned by a sculptor friend of Garys - he
creates Tiki Totems, wonderfully creative sculptures from drift
paintings, etc. - interesting character - very nice! Then we go
back to finish up the laundry, take a quick tour of his house
on to the Cape Canaveral area for another Tiki adventure, more
adult beverages (only 1 per stop), some dinner, live reggae
music, and back home to the pier, dinghy, and boat. Everyday we
met more interesting friends of Gary, saw more local color,
listened to more fantastic live music! Whew - it'll wear one
out but someone has to do it - or else the local economy would
We finally decided to move on southward a bit today. We don't
need to be in Stuart FL until next Tuesday where we'll meet up
with Stew's sister, Carolyn and her husband Steve for
Thanksgiving - yum! yum! We also want to stay in this area to
long time cruiser friends, Richard and Beth, who we met in
Portsmouth just before we left. They have been cruising for
more than a
decade and were a great help to us before we left. So that
about updates our adventures for the past couple of weeks. Oh,
wondering if there have been any more "Diana mishaps"? Yes,
trying to do a good deed of cleaning the deck of the boat, I
bucket and our only long handled boat brush overboard - they
floated long enough for me to get the boat hook and then floated
and sank. No more good deeds for this chickie!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hugs and kisses, Diana and Stew
Brothers And All,
It has been a while since I've brought you up to date on our
adventures - time really flies when you're having fun. We
Charleston (what's not to like) and proceeded slowly down the
ICW making our way to the Savannah/Thunderbolt area - arriving
around noon on 10/26. This was a great place to enjoy the
company of the Savannah Table which we did on Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday - the entire Table made our stay very enjoyable and
they went above and beyond in helping us celebrate Diana's
Upon departing Thunderbolt on Friday, 10/28, everything revolved
around timing of the tides in order to deal with the many areas
southern GA that have thin water issues at low tide - we took it
slow and were successful in getting through areas like Hell
Little Mud River (literally), Jekyll Creek and Cumberland
Dividings. We thought we were home-free when we crossed the St.
River and entered FL - think again - our timing here was not the
best and the trip from Fernandina Beach (very little water here
tide - we found the bottom) and the entire day was slow and in
search of at least 6' of water - very taxing and nerve racking.
at the beginning of this adventure that we would do the
entire ICW through to Ft Lauderdale this first time, but after
the last week or so,
the offshore route from Savannah to St. Augustine makes a lot of
Speaking of St. Augustine, we arrived here yesterday, 11/4, and
secured a mooring buoy just south of the Bridge of Lions
by the Municipal Marina - $20 per night which includes use of
the dinghy dock, laundry and shower facilities). We will be
here through Sunday night taking care of the laundry, grocery
shopping, West Marine, and 'tourista-ing'. A front rolled
last evening and night with heavy rains and wind and, as
predicted, brought cooler temperatures and windy conditions -
mid 60's with
clear skies and sun - still some wind.
I do want to thank everyone who voiced an opinion in discussions
I've held over the past several months with regard to battery
capabilities. The upgraded alternator certainly does its job
when motoring along but, Brother Cruz & others appear to be
correct in that
a combination of solar and wind are the way to go. We are on
day 8 since being last plugged in to shore power and all is
going well in
the battery charge arena - even when at anchor for several days
without moving or sitting here 4 days on a mooring buoy (only
the engine for enough to heat water when needed), we are holding
Once we leave here on Monday or Tuesday, our next stop is in the
Titusville / Cocoa Beach area for the Swedish Navigator Tiki Bar
Trek Tour - we have allowed several days for this comaraderie
event and are looking forward to it.
On a much more depressing note, we are sorry to hear of the
events surrounding Brother Piper and Shanty. We know he is in
hands with Brother Lookout & Company assisting him but it is
really a sad time - we hope for a successful repair and that we
up with him down the 'highway'.
ORZA For Now,
Blue Stache - that's Stew for you non-Brotherhood types - and
Diana sends hugs &
October 31, 2010
ya'll - Happy Halloween to young and old! We are anchored off of
St. Simon's Island, GA. The older of the Martin Clan
will remember our six months that the family spent here when
daddy was getting commissioned. We lived in a summer house
near the beach. That winter was the coldest on record and the
pipes froze. They came in with blow torches to unfreeze the
pipes and the house caught on fire - memories - ah! sweet
memories! We had a wonderful 3 days in Savannah, GA.
The Brothers of the Coast from the Savannah Table rolled out the
welcome mats for us big time! At the get together on Diana's
b-day we were treated to homemade Savannah soup, fresh bread,
and the most delicious cake - Karen's mom visiting from
England made it - orange cake with butternut frosting topped
with coconut and candied orange rind - yum! We stayed at a
in Thunderbolt (nearby Savannah) and one day Diana decided to
walk to the historic Bonaventure Cemetery - about a mile off.
On the way one of our friends passed by and gave her a ride the
rest of the way. Diana spent several hours walkingthe cemetery
grounds taking pictures of the angel statues, lost track of time
and the darkening skies. When she went to walk home, the skies
opened up - no big deal - but she walked and walked and soon
realized she had taken the wrong turn onto Bonaventure Rd. and
was in a not so nice neighborhood - her sense of direction has
never been that hot! She called Stew, who called Karen, who came
and rescued a soaking wet Diana from a McDonald's in that not so
nice neighborhood - good news is that Diana got a McD's sweet
tea!!! Always an adventure and we're loving it! Tomorrow we
continue to head south and will stop
again once we get to St. Augustine, FL - can't believe we've
come this far already!!
Love and hugs! Diana & Stew
Greetings, All. Rhonda & Denny are
in Florida......Temperatures Plummet!
The cold front caught us in Lake
Okeechobee with 20 knot winds and 4-foot seas abeam. We headed
for the rim route and
had a pleasant trip once we got into the protected water.
Rhonda got this picture of the manual (we mean it!) bridge
at Slim's Fish Camp on the Okeechobee Rim Route. This route has
lots of birds and other wildlife (including gators), and
foliage, like this cypress tree with the bird up in the top. We
spent last nite at the Moore Haven City Dock, where I took this
of Rhonda under a humongous Cypress Tree in the nearby park.
We plan to stop today at Franklin
Lock, which has a nice RV campground and large docks with water
and electric for $12.00
(if you have a Golden Age Pass). Then on to Cayo Costa, our
favorite island retreat. We should be in Chadwick Cove
later in the week.
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda.
CASUAL CLASS HEADS SOUTH
October 1, 2010
We left our home slip as scheduled on Oct.1 and got as far as
Great Bridge in Chesapeake. We were stuck there an extra
day because of bridges stuck in the closed position - can't get
our boat's mast under closed bridges! Woke up Sunday to
wind, rain and general gloom but decided to head south to
Coinjock Marina in North Carolina. Saw 3 magnificent eagles
and as many osprey along the waterway. Had a wonderful dinner
out at the marina restaurant here. Rain, near gale force winds,
and more general gloom made us decide to wait a day in Coinjock
til the Albemarle Sound calmed down a bit. Slept late (Diana -
all Martin), did some laundry, Stew did some boat maintenance,
and there is no more rain, less wind, and the general gloom
was actually lightened some by the sun and bits of blue sky
trying to poke through the clouds. We are looking forward to
across the Albemarle Sound tomorrow/Tuesday and will be
anchoring for the next couple of days. Love to all! Diana and
October 8, 2010
It's been a week today that we have been moving southward.
Tuesday made it across the Albemarle Sound, lost some time when
we ran aground entering the Alligator River, had a chilly but
very fall-like anchorage with another eagle! Wed. transited the
River-Pungo River Canal - would probably be outstanding in a
couple of weeks when the leaves change, and anchored near
Bellhaven. Thurs. traveled up the Pamlico River to NC first
town, Bath. We were planning on staying here 2 days leaving Fri.
some engine repair and general down below boat cleaning. Much to
our surprise upon pulling up to the pier we noticed we had
arrived at a crime scene. Just like CSI - yellow crime scene
tape everywhere, dozens of law enforcement people with guns
thorough search of the grounds - it looked like law officers
came from all the surrounding counties- never seen so many
types of uniforms and police vehicles. It turns out that on
Tues./Wed. a 51 yr. old community college prof in a wheel chair
murdered. They had just found him about 3 hrs. before we showed
up - welcome to Bath! Of course that was just the excuse that
we needed to go check out the pizza place up the street. The
cops helped us figure a route to the street around the crime
had a tasty Italian meal, and Diana found a sweet tea source!
The weather just gets better and better (70's,blue skies, and
We're off to another small quiet river town tomorrow called
Washington. Taking our time, staying ahead of the cold weather,
cruising. Love, Stew and Diana
October 9/10, 2010
Took some more time to stop and smell the roses - stayed Sat/Sun
Oct. 9/10th in Washington, NC - absolutely delightful town with
a wonderful waterfront that provides free dockage for 48 hrs.
incl. showers - YES! Hit the bank machine, West Marine, auto
store, and WalMart for some groceries. Went to dinner to
celebrate Stew's birthday - it's a big one - #60. Mon. we topped
water and then left Washington to head south to Goose Creek to
anchor out - huge mosquitoes - thank goodness for our screens
and netting for the companionway! Tues. 12th motored (no wind
but delightful temps) to Oriental, NC - again we are tied up to
dockage on the waterfront (no water, elec., showers etc) and had
another chance to walk around and see the sights - very
small, clean, artsy kind of town. When we aren't touristing we
read (both have been enjoying Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum
series, Stew the new Anthony Bourdain book) and Diana continues
her Suduko and crossword puzzles. Naps and general relaxing
also take up our time - we are adjusting well to this
lifestyle!!! Love, Diana and Stew
October 17, 2010
We're in South Carolina! Anchored just over the border last
night and will spend our first full day in SC today, Sun., Oct.
or other. It's a little before noon (we've been underway for
about four hours) and Stew just fixed us a delicious brunch of
sausage and sweet potato pancakes - yum!yum! We are heading
southward down the ICW along a portion called "the rocks"
(don't wander off to the side of the channel or else - you know
what - yes, rocks!) and "The Strand" - a 60 mile stretch of
restaurants, shopping, and miles of golf courses. The scenery
has changed from NC: the sides of the ICW has higher cliffs, the
foliage is lusher (and the further into Oct. we get the more
color change in the trees) BUT the temps are still cool during
and downright cold at night - great cuddling weather! The
wildlife has been great even though we have seen no mammals or
but lots of different kinds of birds - all varieties of heron,
egrets, osprey, etc. Oh yes, we have seen dolphin too from time
Thanks to all who have mailed to send good wishes and safe
voyage. Happy Fall, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. that we have
missed along the way. Love and hugs to all, Diana and Stew
October 23, 2010 – CASUAL CLASS HEADS SOUTH
Hi ya'll (pronounce the ya'll with a Paula Deen accent)!
It's Sat. Oct. 23 and nearly a week since our last update so
this one might go on for awhile. We anchored in very poor
ground in Georgetown, SC for two days - even did an all night
anchor watch to make sure we were holding. When Monday
we were still at anchor so we put the dinghy in the water and
the outboard engine fired right up! Went into town, took a
tour, arranged for mail to be shipped to the local Chamber of
Commerce, and had a late lunch. Tuesday found us still in
Georgetown: did some boat projects, ate lunch at Thomas Cafe
(real old time and the grits are great!), picked up our mail,
bread and other supplies at a local specialty shop. Got back to
the boat, dinghy on board, and prepared for the 2 days til
Charleston. Wed. continued to motor south, extremely low tides
so had to keep alert, lots of bird watching, some more very
dolphins, anchored in Inlet Creek, Diana wished she had night
vision binoculars so she could see the birds making the racket.
Thurs. tied up to the Charleston City Marina at noon, cleaned
the boat, engine chores, did laundry, took showers, read all of
tourist propaganda that the marina provided. Fri. took off for
downtown on foot to do the tourist thing. Absolutely great
have been so lucky), beautifully restored old Southern homes and
gardens, lots of young folks as we passed through the College of
Charleston, houses starting to decorate for Halloween - lots of
spiders -eek- even saw a huge real one - freaked Diana out!
Along the way we saw an older gentleman fall as he was crossing
the street onto the curb. We assisted a young mother who stopped
her car when she saw what happened - Stanley had gashed his head
in the fall so she called 911, Diana kept pressure on the head
wound with Kleenex, we kept him calmed and talking, called his
ex-wife (he was taking a pizza to her - it was squashed - they
in the same bldg.) to come, the EMT's arrived as did his ex, so
we moved on. We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the
handicrafts like sweetgrass baskets - very pretty but expensive
- Diana got a purple tee shirt - our first souvenir, stopped for
sweets - iced coffee, sweet tea and snicker doodle cookies -
what a sugar high!, went to Harris Teeter for groceries and got
a ride back to the marina via their courtesy shuttle van. Later
went to dinner at a restaurant near the marina - had some great
beer bread with honey butter - yum, yum! So it's Sat. and we
continue southward - will anchor for a couple of days and plan
to be in
Savannah Tues. We'll link up with some Brothers of the Coast
there - sounds like a party ready to happen! Take care and love
Diana and Stew
Hello, All! We are anchored in
Crescent River, GA, hoping to cross into Florida tomorrow
afternoon. We have not seen
a wave bigger than a ripple the whole trip. We spent a
couple nice evenings with Bob and Lynn (Traveller) at Dudleys
and the Federal Point Yacht Club in Carolina Beach.
Thunderstorms held us up for a day in Southport, and that was
Since then we've been logging 11 hour days, taking advantage
of the great weather.
We have lots of sunrise and sunset pictures, but this one was
a little unusual.
As the sun rose, fog rolled in and totally enshrouded us just
after we raised anchor. A small fishing boat in front of us
and almost T-Boned us as he was trying to get off the shoal.
We didn't see him until the last second. No harm done, but a
Your chart-plotter sees in the fog, but it can't see things
Denny & Rhonda
We are sorry we missed everyone at
The diving is great, the food is
great; 3-4 dives per day, lots of fish and other creatures and
lots of new friends.
you all at Harborfest.
Jay, Robin, Larry, & Sandy
Escapade and the O'Kanes are home!
Final Day Return Dismal Swamp
Bye-Bye Chadwick Cove
Hello, everyone. Well, we finally
got some good Florida weather, and it could not have come at a
better time and place.
Chadwick Cove (see picture) is just a wonderful place, and the
friends we found there are already more like family.
We are now sitting in a Corps of Engineers dock at the Franklin
Lock on the Caloosahatchee River, on our way to Lake
Okeechobee. Today we went on a dinghy excursion with Gary and Mick
Wiggins (Little Mick, formerly of Southall Landings
Marina). They took us up a small (but LONG) creek through the
everglades, where we saw all kinds of wildlife, including
many turtles, alligators and birds. At the end was a waterfall
We plan to spend a few days in Stuart (again), then head north,
with a week on the beach in Daytona along the way.
Maybe we'll see some of our fellow cruisers on the trip up the
ditch. We hope to make the Harborfest skippers' meeting
in Norfolk on May 13th.
Love, Denny & Rhonda
here are some photos from the
most recent leg of our journey back to hampton. i hope you
icw oriental to elizabeth city, nc
i also want to take a moment to
give a special thanks to my friend, johnny. he has made the
return trip home such a
pleasure and ease for me.
go sailing. have fun.
this old boat is on the move again.
i really appreciate your sincere
interest in my travels. sharing the
stories with friends is
virtually as fun as experiencing the
voyage first hand.
friend johnny and his rv deliverd me
to the "big e" last friday in
oriental nc. for some unknown
reason, you gain
alot of undeserved respect when you
arrive at a marina in a 50ft rv!
not sure i will be able to drive my
little pick-up again to the dock.
refreshing dip to clean her bottom,
i departed oriental at 6 knots,
flags flying, sails hoisted, warm
winds abeam, sunny skies,
jeans and a t-shirt. too bad i did
not coin the phrase "life is good".
at the southern plantation, river
forest, in belhaven nc in record
time. with the canopy out, lawn
chairs positioned just right
and tom's grill adorned with
steaks/onions/potatoes cindy, johnny
and i prepared to watch the another
under the stars with the hatch wide
open (hello, its only april) is just
too cool. i rest really well after
a day of peace
enjoying only nature's beauty and
the company of friends.
mention that johnny can cook! with
a full belly from breakfast i am
heading to the alligator river
really it is a gas station disguised
as a marina...ed mitchell is the
best cruising guide to the icw
anybody needs to know!
reality, my old friend is going to
rest for a few weeks in elizabeth
city nc. after going almost 1000
miles over 7 months,
she is a very good old friend.
we both look forward to eventually
finally coming home to hampton with
mixed emotions. a little boat and a
little man with a big
story to tale as the result of
casting their docklines free.
go sailing. have fun.
6:21 AM Launch of last
Discovery Shuttle; from the cockpit of Escapade - Awesome!!!
JJ and Anne
Hello from the West Indies:
I am fortunate and blessed to be
writing to my friends and “family” of Fleet 30 from the ports of
beautiful St. Lucia, (Soufaire,
Canaries, Castries and St. Vincent, (Wallibou and Curtons)
and The Grenadines – Baquia. Wow, what a
experience. My gratitude goes to my friend,
and yours, Trisha Birdsell aboard s/v ‘Restless’ a beautifully
equipped 40’ Cape Dory
owned by friend, Ted Vander-Weiden. My
gratitude also goes to Michael who picked up my slack, took care
of the “children” Salty
Dawg, Chessie and Schooner and afforded me the two week trip.
Captain Trish, myself and another
friend, Dodie from British Columbia, sailed into ports made famous
in films such as Dr. Doolittle
and Pirates of the Caribbean. We enjoyed the perpetual trade
winds, the awesome water depths and swells and the flavor of the
islands and islanders – shopping, sunning, sailing and self
awareness. Thank you Trish for your awesome insights to wellness –
and body. You are an awesome Captain!
I appreciate Eric Fee, Jim Dombey and
Melissa Francois for ‘running the show’ for the last two winter
educational series classes during
my absence. Our classes conclude March 3 with
Dr. Robin Garelick’s emergency suturing class.
I thank all educators – Dave Wilbar
(Sailtime Sailing), Chandler Clark (Signature Canvas) Jim Dombey,
Don Gulliver (Yacht Systems Services), Dr. Robin Garelick, and
who participated in our winter educational series.
March 6th, Fleet 30 will be
visiting the home of Eric Fee to review and finalize the 2010
Cruising Schedule. Bring an appetizer to share
and any special beverage of choice to this cruising party…I
mean….planning meeting. Onward into March,
we’re looking for a location to
hold our annual “Sock Burning Cruise/Party”.
This and all other cruising destinations will be discussed.
See you all on March 6th!
Please check your address book and
change your email address for William Edelstein. My address is
That is a zero. My old email is supposed to close on 8 March.
Life in George Town Exumas Bahamas
is good here. this is the highth of the season. There is about
300 cruising boats here.
The winter is a little rough with winds into the 30 MPH range
and lows in the mid to high 60's. Most days it is normally
71 and 79 degrees and sunny.
Hello, Everyone. We've been here in
Chadwick Cove Marina in Englewood for 3 weeks now, and we really
like it. It would be
better if the weather were warmer (we know, don't even go there
with friends enduring the snowiest winter in VA in YEARS!),
since the beach is right across the street. But this has been
by far the coldest winter we've ever had in Florida. After we
Boot Key Harbor in Marathon (Jan. 13), we made our way back
north to Stuart, where we reunited with some of the Southall
From there we crossed Lake Okeechobee and spent 1 nite in Ft.
Myers Yacht Haven, a nice place to visit. Then on to Ft. Myers
Beach mooring field and a few really nice days at the beach (see
picture). There we ran into Gary and Mickey Wiggins (Little
formerly of Southall Landings.
We then headed for the Charlotte
Harbor Boat Yard for 2 weeks to do the bottom. It was good to
be able to live on the boat while
doing the work. Getting into the boat yard is an interesting
experience because you pass through a manually operated-one boat
Took a few minutes to figure that one out, but it was truly
exciting. While staying at the boat yard, we were visited by
Mary Alexander (Sanity II) via their "land yacht". We enjoyed a
day in and around Englewood with them. Then, we drove back down
Ft. Myers Beach to meet Steve and Emily Struck (Sea Struck at
Southall) to enjoy a great lunch at Doc Ford's Rum Bar
and Grille --
that's right, THE Doc Ford, hero in many of Randy Wayne White's
Florida based action novels. It was a short day trip from Ft.
Beach to Chadwick Cove. Being here is great because we are so
close to Denny's daughter, Holly.
Denny goes to Santa Fe March 9-16
for a grand-kids "fix", and Rhonda has a friend coming to the
boat from Virginia at the same time.
We plan to leave Chadwick Cove April 1st and take a lazy 3 weeks
to get to Daytona, where we have booked a timeshare week on the
beach. Then a leisurely trip up the ditch to Hampton in time
for the Mobjack cruise.
Love to All, Denny & Rhonda
Today appears to be another good
day in the Bahamas. I am still in George Town, Exumas, Bahamas.
The normal morning
temperature is about 70. Most activities are on one of the several
beachfronts on Stocking Island. Yesterday I attended a lunch talk
on boat wireless communications, then I went into town to do some
shopping, then an evening sundown get together. In the
evenings they hold a poker tournament or trivial pursuit game.
Nothing much is breaking on the boat so most of the day is a
house cleaning, cooking and little things like that. Email and
telephone communications are still spotty. This morning appears to
have good WIFI connection and email. That's the news. I will be
here for another 2 or 3 weeks.
well you may have thought i forgot about you. but as the
great republican governor of california said
yes, no itsy bitsy storm could stop this sailor from
returning to his soulmate. we met for the first time in 3
months in southport nc.
and it was like we had never missed a
she was clean as a whistle after being drenched by several
inches of rain. inside she welcomed the return of freshly
and goldy the engine climaxed with the first
push of her button!
we departed southport to begin the first leg of the journey
back home. it was lonely on the icw this time of year but the
BIG e did
7.5 knots with the help of current, a freshly painted
bottom and a new stainless steel shaft.
as you will see in the photos below, i suspected foul
play...but was pleasantly surprised to find a prop as smooth as
a baby's bottom!
needless to say, i experienced significant,
although reversible, shrinkage.
i was prohibited to travel by car into the state of nc. home
state of john edwards - go figure. no worries. my friend
to the rescue with his "BOUNDER". i could fit my
miata in the front seat of this monster!
expecting to make oriental on tuesday. and after a friendly
blast of the horn from a coast guard cutter as i made my way up
fear river today i am certain of my destiny.
go sailing. have fun.
View Eric's pictures :
ICW Return Southport, NC
City to Oriental
Wrightsville Beach to Swansboro
day in paradise. I spent my first whole day in George Town,
Exumas. During the night the boat bobbed all
I woke up at 6:30 am to listen to the weather forecast out
of Lakeland, Florida. Chris Parker was barely readable. There is
weather coming this weekend so the harbor will be more rough for a
few days. Next was the amateur Radio network to tell them
that I am here safely before they call for me to be found. This
runs into the local what’s going on net on the Marine radio. Now
comes time to fix breakfast. I get out the pancake mix to find it
lumpy. By lumpy I mean one or two major lumps all stuck together.
After the radio net, we all meet on the beach
for the dogs to run and play. Laddie may want to be there but she
does not play.
She just goes around in circles guarding me from the other dogs.
After breakfast I started the engine to run the refrigerator
and charge the battery. While doing that I decided to move the
boat to a more peaceful anchor place. The big outing today was
a trip to town. After a 20 minute dingy ride across the harbor I
found that I had forgotten my glasses and I did not take the
to avoid getting it wet. I wear swimsuit and bring dry clothes in
a plastic bag. I shopped for food, filled the dingy gas tank,
to use the public pay phone that did not work and paid for harbor
internet service. The dingy ride back was 5
times wetter than
the trip over. After drying off I went to the volleyball beach
near the boat for a beer and a hamburger. I finished sifting the
flour. I will find out how well it makes pancakes. I expect that
getting it wet then breaking it up again does not make great
That is a full day in the cruising experience. It is now sundown
and tomorrow will start again.
........a picture of my new toy... a
2004 HD 883 with 2100 miles. Looking forward to warmer weather
to ride more.
Dodge, Connie & Max
i hope all is going well for you.
i just returned from Belize, Central
America, for some pleasure and medical work. interesting place.
working to send the
eldest daughter of a family we have adopted to high school -
then hopefully college.
my real job is going along fine. we are still in the honeymoon
phase of this marriage so who knows. working at 2 offices
now as one doctor married and went to pennsylvania. i like
bouncing around a bit.
home on the beach is more than
anyone could ask for. what a pleasure to wake each morning to
the sunrise and surf.
then go to bed after a relaxing soak under the moon and stars on
the beach, still exercising though. did a 10 k yesterday.
and have a half-marathon each month for the next 3 months now.
got some more weight to shed.
family is all well. dad just had
hip surgery and that went well. this will be the first year of
the harry c fee scholarship award
that i begun at my high school. i like education.
niece and nephews are growing up fast. their parents are trying
to keep up with them.
my boat is still in southport, nc.
hope to start to bring her home the first week of february.
then when the waters warm i am
looking forward to giving the "little e" (my hobie cat) a
still enjoy riding my scooter when i
can too. i am a biker dude in all leather now. and plan to
attend bike week on the obx
with friends this year.
ok, so this brings you up to date
some with my goings on. your turn.
your friend, eric
I made it to Bimini in
the Bahamas. The Gulf Stream crossing was uneventful. We cleared
customs and I will go on to
Chubb Key through Nassau and on to the Exumas. I am out of cell
phone range. Email will be sporadic. Wish me luck.
Hello, everybody. We decided to
head North and try to get warm. It worked! The temps have gotten
as we've moved north. We're headed back up the east coast of
Florida, and plan to cross Lake Okeechobee next week.
We just couldn't face the Gulf of Mexico with all this unsettled
weather. And besides, we heard JJ and Anne were in Stuart.
Not to mention friends of ours from Richmond. And Where's
Kokomo? And Morada? And Traveler? Maybe we'll have a
big rendezvous in Stuart.
This picture is sunset on our last
night in Boot Key Harbor-Marathon.
Love to all, Denny And Rhonda
January 5, 2010
Hey there MY FRIEND!
Just got your message - please say a
great big Texas "howdy" to all of our Fleet 30 friends. We will be
there "in thought"
with all of you this coming Satuday night.
We are still at Brunswick Landing Marina
in Brunswick, Georgia - been here since 2 days before Thanksgiving.
only staying through Thanksgiving, but then, given the lack of a
"weather window", we decided to stay here through Christmas
and New Years, so we could be with people we knew rather than just
"out there somewhere" by ourselves. Now, the problem
is the COLD weather!! It is everywhere! There were several boats,
including MORADA, that were going to leave heading farther
south yesterday, we are "socked in" with frigid temperatures until
at least the middle of next week. But, hey, it's not a bad place
to be! In fact, it is pretty nice here! This is a wonderful marina
with concrete, floating docks, "free" washers and dryers, two
Captain's lounges, cable t.v., a friendly staff who keep the marina
really nice and lots of friendly cruisers! The big thing is that
they do not turn the water off during the winter!!!
We had a really nice Thanksgiving and
Christmas dinner, in which the marina provided ham, turkey and prime
rib, and each of
the boats brought a dish to share. Then, we had a great New Year's
Eve Party in the lounge, and also, we have a regular
"happy hour" in there every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. We even went to
a wedding on board a boat here in the marina on
New Year's Eve day. So, life is good even though it is cold!
Happy New Year to everyone and stay
Sherri and Clyde
I split from my friends and went it
alone when I did the coastal hop to Fernandina Fl. The overnight was
cold, dark, and lonely. I was not too tired when I arrived and I got
in OK and secured about 1:00 PM. I spent 2 days
hanging around there then went across the river (5 miles ) to St.
Mary's where there is a large Thanksgiving
celebration for the boat cruisers. There was about 200 boaters
there. I spent 4 days there then moved on in a fast
manner to St Augustine and New Smyrna Beach where I have friends.
This is where I am now and will stay through
Christmas. My friend Peter ferried me around yesterday where I did
shopping. I have done some upgrade projects
that showed up on the way down. There include larger batteries and
an electrical monitoring system to help me manage
my usage. I also need to change the engine oil and filters. After I
was here for 5 days my other two friends passed
by on their way to Vero Beach Fl. They will leave their boats there
and to home for Christmas. I will see them after
1 January. So far the coastal hop to Fernandina was one of my best
decisions. While they have been working every
day running the boat like a automobile on a highway down the ICW, I
did my one night at sea and have been playing
around relaxing since then. From my point of view my vacation
started when I got to Fernandina.
Greetings, one and all. Sorry to hear
about your inclement weather. We’ve had high humidity, and
a little rain, and with the temps in the low 80’s, it gets
uncomfortable. We sometimes turn the A/C
on while the generator is running. Please no sympathy cards.
In our last missive, we failed to
report our exciting rendezvous with Casa Galla and Chuck and Susan
Westmoreland. Chuck and his crew of one (Jesse) were bringing the
boat to their new home near
Port Canaveral, and they detoured to Stuart to see us. Susan drove
down for dinner, and it was really
great to re-connect with former Southall-ers. Chuck: I’m still
waiting to find out if you got under those
bridges (see picture).
Yesterday we took the dinghy exploring
and discovered Sombrero Beach (Atlantic side) only 10 minutes
away, at the end of Sister Creek. It just keeps getting better.
(See Picture). To top it off, the TV hadn’t
found a station for the last 3 days. I just turned it on and
scanned again, and got 45 channels. The first
thing we saw was the Muppet Christmas Special.
That’s it for now. Will write again
when something exciting happens, or when we get some visitors
Love to all, Denny and Rhonda.
December 2, 2009
These two pictures were taken within 10
seconds of each other. This was yesterday, Dec. 1st, at 5:26PM,
an hour after we arrived in Boot Key Harbour (Marathon) and picked
up our mooring ball for the next month.
It was kinda like the sun and moon joined together to welcome us.
This is such a great place, we might be tempted
to stay longer. Today, Fred Olverson gave us a nice car tour of
Marathon and it's side streets.
Sorry we'll miss the Phoebus celebration
this weekend. Phoebus Rio--Break a Leg!
Love to all, Denny and Rhonda
November 14, 2009
last we wrote, we have been to:
Beaufort (Bew-fort) SC at
anchor. Went into the
city courtesy dock for a couple of hours
before anchoring and took
advantage of the southern hospitality.
Walked around town looking for
Did you know that there isn’t even a convenience
store within an easy walk from the docks?
We finally found a deli that would sell us a loaf of bread.
As it turned out, that was one
GREAT loaf of bread.
had it for breakfast, lunch (as a makeshift pizza - yum) and dinner
Walburg Creek anchor.
Traveling here we saw a dead shark (about 12 feet long)
floating in the
Chechessee R near
Port Royal Sound. When
you see something like that, don’t you wonder if there are MO-O-RE
of them around, maybe not so dead?
Something to think about.
Fernandina Beach Moorings.
Ok, this one was a challenge.
One of Rhonda’s fav spots ever and what
an entrance we
made. The seas were 3-4 feet and we were fighting to keep a
straight course when THE ENGINE
ALARM GOES OFF.
What to do? All
instrumentsshowed everything was A-ok, but the alarm wouldn’t stop.
We kept heading for the mooring balls with the alarm
screaming at us and Denny
trying to figure out what was causing it.
Now, many of you may not know that on our very first attempt
to travel on the ICW in 2000, that
alarm went off and
it meant the end of our engine.
Oil leak caused it to seize up.
This time we got off much easier (and cheaper) - the alarm
worked on it and got it to calm down, but it still chirped as we
(Oyster Ck Marina) was uneventful (yay), and we could easily walk to
Mosquito Lagoon anchor.
Just as we got settled into one of our fav spots (you can see
the NASA VAB
(vehicle assembly building)
we heard an announcement by the Coast Guard that the area would be
secured early the next
day in anticipation of a shuttle launch. BUT, they also announced that the Titusville (swing) Bridge was
stuck in the closed
position, and that is our only way south (we did
NOT want to retreat north). We
rose early the next a.m. and headed toward
It was still not repaired (this has been an ongoing
problem, but they are building a new high rise expected to be
two years) but we chugged onward.
When we got there, the bridge tender told us the east span had a 15’
We thought we needed 16’.
We did some measurements and decided it was worth a try. Slowly we approach,
Rhonda driving, Denny spotting.
Then we switch, Denny drives, Rhonda spots.
We cleared by less than six inches.
From what we heard, the bridge didn’t get repaired that day, so a
lot of cruisers were anchored on the north side for a long time.
Melbourne Beach anchor.
Made one final stop to visit friends in Melbourne Beach.
Anchored off the city dock
and dinghied in with winds howling. Had
a great visit with Dave and Dan and spent the night bobbing in the
Arrived in Stuart, FL yesterday
afternoon and picked up a mooring ball to hold us until after
low 70’s. This place has really changed since we stayed here two years ago.
The new Sunset Bay Marina appears
to be about full, with
quite a few mega-yachts. The
restaurant opened this week, and there were hundreds of people
out the outdoor bars and huge dining patio. We walked into town along the riverwalk and had dinner.
We were really fortunate
to miss most of the weather from
Ida, and the nor'easter that followed. Steve
and Emy Struck and Ron Charlton sent us pictures
(Thanks!) of the
marina and some of the flooding over on 1st St. Our tenant had 3 feet of water in the garage, and is dealing
with the clean-up.
feels good to be in one spot for awhile. After Thanksgiving in VA,
we’ll return here and continue on down to Marathon for
weeks. After a trip back home for Christmas, we’ll likely move up the
west coast of Florida to our winter hangout in Englewood.
spoke to JJ and Anne (Escapade), and they are in Charleston and
doing fine. Have not
heard from Traveler or Kokomo.
Hope everybody made it thru the weather OK.
Thanksgiving to everyone and smooth Cruising.
Denny and Rhonda
Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
November 12, 2009
We hope you and your
boats are safely tucked in for the next few days, we are. We are at the Isle of
Marina, 10 miles north of Charleston waiting for calm winds
(down from 35mph) and less rain
(pounded the boat)
so we can continue on to Charleston for the
weekend. Charleston is one of
our favorite places to visit whether
on land or sea and we are looking
forward to it.
So far our trip has
been great. We have seen the sun, no sun, warm days, cold days, rain, no
rain and of course
wind, no wind and too much wind; beautiful sunsets
and great sunrises all of which makes you look forward
around the bend.
We have seen 1
alligator and believe it or not 2 deer
that crossed within 10 feet of the boat.
I was at the wheel
for both deer and I know if I would have hit
one I would surly take way the “Crash Award” for the year (sorry
but luckily they were quick and got to the shore and ran
So far we met Denny
and Rhonda at a beautiful anchorage call Mile Hammock and enjoyed a
happy hour on
It was great!
Thanks for the phone
calls and e-mails that we have received; we enjoy hearing from you and
the latest news from home.
We wish you a great
winter – keep in touch-we will.
November 6, 2009
Howdy, Folks. Sorry we missed the Halloween party, but we
decided to get ahead of the storm.
We made it all the way to the Alligator River Marina Halloween nite
(10:00 PM, and yes, we crossed the
Albemarle Sound at nite), and the wind hit the next morning.
From there, after a one day layover, we made
it to Oriental (Pierce Creek), where we had a fantastic dinner and
domino contest with Dodge and Connie Hickman.
What a beautiful place they have! But going into that creek at
night is a real challenge, especially with the fog and mist.
The subject line refers to two bridges that will soon be replaced
with progress. In one picture, the Sunset Beach
pontoon bridge can be seen with giant concrete pillars in the
background being erected for the new bridge that will
finally replace it. You'll no longer have to wait for the
"cable to drop" to get thru there. The second
picture shows the
topic of much discussion before we left Hampton. The Ben
Sawyer bridge at the entrance to Charleston Harbor can
be seen with a new 4-lane highway approaching the old 2-lane pivot
span. A new 4-lane pivot is on order, and this will
close the waterway for 10 days after Thanksgiving. We passed
under this bridge today, and are anchored in Wappoo
Creek just south of Charleston. ADAGIO is performing well, if
I would just leave her alone! I replaced some stuffing in
the stuffing box last nite, and cross-threaded it when I put it back
together. Then I couldn't get it apart, but finally
was able to get two pipe wrenches on it and loosen it again.
Fortunately, it didn't break, and it re-threaded easily,
and I had no further problems. But it could have been ugly.
(I almost called Kerry!)
Have a great Winter! We'll be thinking of you often.
Love, Denny and Rhonda
April 5, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello Everyone. We spent today
anchored in Peck Lake (one of the pictures), a beautiful ICW
south of the St. Lucie Inlet. It looks like a
lake, but just over the dune is a nice Atlantic Ocean beach.
We left Englewood Monday and crossed Lake Okeechobee via the
"Rim Route" (the other picture).
We missed running
aground by 3 inches, so we do NOT recommend this route for anyone
needing more than
feet depth. Most of the Okeechobee
Waterway will be closed this summer for lock maintenance.
We detoured south to North Palm Beach to
work on Rhonda's condo. Denny fixed just about everything on
the list in one afternoon, so we headed back north this morning and
stopped here for a nice break. We decided
not to go to Key
West, since we couldn't go straight from Englewood due to high winds
in the Gulf.
Sorry Wayne & Millie; maybe next year.
We're ready to get back to Hampton and
start cruising the Bay.
Love to all. Denny & Rhonda
I forgot to mention, the picture of
the Okeechobee Waterway has an alligator in it. Rhonda
stopped counting them at 20!
March 8, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello, Everyone! Well, Winter is
winding down, and we're making plans to cruise northward soon,
hopefully by way of Key West.
Denny has been having fun
playing and singing at a local watering hole (they love John
Denver!), and we enjoyed visits from several
more Fleet 30 friends
after Jay and Robin (see pics). The picture with several
people on the beach at Cayo Costa includes Dave
and Mary Alexander,
Rhonda, and our boating friends from Illinois, Paul, Tari and Sam
(the Black Lab). This place just gets better and better.
See you all in a month or so.
Denny & Rhonda.
January 15, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello everyone. Remember the
"Banana Song" (Daylight come and me no wanna go home)?
it's unanimous! "Cayo Costa Me
No Wanna Go Home" is the new hit of Southwest Florida. Come
visit us on
ADAGIO and you'll get to sing it with us...
Jay & Robin got to write their own verses to this timeless melody
as we spent a wonderful interlude on this
beautiful island, complete with a visit to the Manatee Hole, where we
saw an alligator! Maybe that's why we
didn't see any Manatees.... But we DID see Bev and Mark MacMahon
on Calypso anchored in the very same
lagoon. Small world! The
pictures don't come close to the experience we had and the sights we
saw. Even the
vultures were interesting, if not all that picturesque.
Love to all. Denny & Rhonda
PS: Jay: I'm trying a new
e-mail technique using BCC's so everyone's name doesn't appear in the
list. Let me
know if you got this twice, which is the intent.
If you only got it once, then probably nobody else got it. So
let me know. Thanks.
Everyone else: In keeping with the
above, feel free to let me know that you got this.
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
November 21, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello, everyone. We made the move to
Englewood yesterday, after 10 glorious days at the anchorage in
We loved being right in the city, but the dinghy landing area is
all shell and rocks, and one of us had to get his/her
feet wet every time we came in (guess who!). Now we're back
"home" in our favorite marina. The eagles are still here,
and all is well.
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda.
November 8, From Denny and Rhonda
Well, we made it to Stuart (again), but
this time just for one night. We've
had a great trip so far, with near perfect
weather after we got
out of the
Carolinas. Pictures are from the ocean beach on Cumberland
Island, just before
you enter the Cumberland Sound to the St. Marys River and Fernandina
beach. It's a great place to stop over.
The anchorage is behind Drum Pt. Island after you pass Kings Bay.
Tomorrow we cross Lake Okeechobee on our
way to Sarasota, where we plan to anchor for a few weeks before
settling in Englewood for the winter.
Picture from Cumberland Island.
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda.
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
October 31, From Fred Drummond
Hello All! Pat and I (Fred) are in
Beaufort, SC aboard Royal Serf! We are running south as fast as
possible to get ahead of high winds
and this darn cold weather. Plans are to cross from Lake Worth
to the Abacos as early in November as possible. Royal Serf has a
for the winter season at Boat Harbor in Marsh Harbor. Pat will
be fly back to visit with family over christmas so that's why the rush
over to the Abacos. If we cannot get over before December 1, I
will have to try to find someone to help me take Royal Serf across
Dec 1 when a suitable weather window develops.
For Al and Ramona: Please give me a
call or email. Pat and I will be floating around the Abacos this
winter (for the 3rd winter I might add).
Hopefully we can connect. My cell phone is 757-652-0616.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 30, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello, All. We left Salt Ponds last
Sunday, and made it to Dowry Creek near Belhaven before the wind
stopped us. After a day there, we
headed to Oriental for a visit with Dodge and Connie Hickman in Pierce
Creek. They fed us and we had a very nice visit. After
(and the World Series finale), Rhonda and I went back to the
boat, and I decided to fill the water tank. It was late, cold
and very dark. I had to
walk a plank over to Dodge's boat, then jump over to the dock. I
realized as I hit the water that it was much further from the boat to
than I reckoned. After clinging to the piling for awhile, Rhonda
came out and rescued me. Of course, my cell phone was attached
to my jeans.
It no longer functions, although it looks fine. This little
accident had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that Dodge has a
tapper keg with a
virtually unlimited supply of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
We are now in MIle Hammock Bay, N.C.,
where we had a nice visit with Al and Ramona Cameron of Third Star.
They are on their way to the
Abacos. Pictures will follow in the next update.
Meanwhile, if anyone needs to contact me, please call Rhonda at
Thanks again to Dodge and Connie for a
very memorable evening........
Denny and Rhonda
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
May 23, From Wayne and Millie Morris
Hello family Friends and Fellow Sailors--
Living in Key West has brought many
changes in our lifestyle.
Someone gave Millie a bike at work the
other day, a men's bike 3 speed.
Millie decided that we should start riding
bikes together, for good exercise.
Well, we went to the used bike shop and
she got a used bike the color of a bright YELLOW canary, an old bike
like a beach cruiser,
with fat tires and a fat seat. She
named it The Yellow Canary. She was a little jealous because my bike
has a basket and hers does
not, however, now I have to carry everything.
Well, yesterday at about 4:30PM she wants to go bike riding. Mind you
now, Millie has never exercised in her ENTIRE life, hates to
sweat, and has not ridden a bike in at least 30 years.Also, let me
remind you, we are in Key West, it is 90 degrees outside, traffic is
starting to get heavy, and she wants to go bike riding.
The first block went well, no problems.
Then we had to cross a major intersection
on A1A and US1 with traffic coming in all directions. Unsure
of which button to push for the
crosswalk, she pushes them all, and all traffic stops, and we proceed
to cross the street.There is no bike path so we are riding in
the street with the traffic, and she is having a hard time
keeping The Yellow Canary to the right of the road, so we decide to
street, and get on the sidewalk. Unable to judge distance and speed,
she gets off of The Yellow Canary and walks it across the
I am now quite a ways ahead of her.
We continue to peddle our bikes and she is
getting farther and farther behind me, so that I had to stop and wait
for her and The Yellow Canary.
She catches up to me and said she is hot
and tired and needs something to drink. We
did not bring any water with us.
Her face is fire engine RED! Hoping that
there would be a store/restaurant ahead, we peddled on.
After about 100 more yards, she stops gets
off of The Yellow Canary, and sits on the wall gasping for air, saying
she is nauseous
and feels like she is going to faint. The next thing I see is Millie
laying down flat on her back on the sidewalk.
She said she is trying not to faint or
What kind of nurse is this that I am
After five minutes of this we decide
to turn around and go back to the marina.She gets on The Yellow
Canary and pedals about 100 feet
this time, and gets off and lays down again. I
was quite concerned as people were stopping and asking if we needed
any help. I told them no.
A few minutes later we continue our
Another 100 feet and Millie stops again
and decides to walk The Yellow Canary as she can no longer
peddle, saying she feels like she
is going to faint or throw up.
Again we cross A1A and US 1. We
are now in front of the Hyatt Resort and there are lots of shade
trees. She gets off The Yellow Canary
and lays down, sprawls out flat on her back under the trees. If
you have ever been to Key West, you probably all ready know there is a
large homeless population. The homeless hang out near the Hyatt and
are frequently being hauled off to jail for loitering. The police were
driving by and I told her to get up and let's go home. Again walking,
we managed to cross the bridge and now we are on College Road
where Sunset Marina is located.
Well, Millie can go no further, she has
given up completely.She sits down where the homeless people sit and
tells me to go and get
the truck, and come back and pick her up. I proceeded to bike to the
marina and get the truck. When I come back, Millie sitting with
the homeless people, and The Yellow Canary waiting for me. We put The
Yellow Canary in the truck, and I take her back to the boat.
She immediately jumps in the shower, cold
water only, and is feeling much better.
I made her drink about a quart of water
and take an aspirin, in case she had a heart attack or stroke.Feeling
much better now, she is
sure she must have rode her bike at least 8 miles.To prove to her we
had not, we get into the truck, and follow the route we had taken.
It was only 2 miles each way.
She was very discouraged because she
thought for sure we had gone about 8-10 miles.
We decided to go get pizza and beer and
celebrate our first biking experience and also her new bike, The
She is keeping it in the back of her truck
so it doesn't get stolen, even though she has a bike lock that I
I told her no one wants a bike that looks
like a bright Yellow Canary.
She actually looks like Big Bird coming
down the street.
I think I hurt her feelings.
We plan to continue our biking but only
after the sun goes down, and we will remember to put in my
basket, plenty of water for Millie
and The Yellow Canary, aka Big Bird.
s/v Irish Fever
May 8, From Denny and Rhonda
I Made It!!!!!
ADAGIO is a marvel of 1972 technology.
Without a whimper she took me from Englewood, on the west coast of
to Indian Key (in the Everglades), Tarpon Basin (Key Largo), Lake Boca
Raton, Grant Farm Island (friend with a mooring ball),
Daytona, Drum Point, Georgia (went "outside" at St.
Augustine and back "inside" at Jacksonville, then thru
Beach and up to Drum Point all in one day), Moon river (Ga.),
John's Island SC, Barefoot Landing (Myrtle Beach-glad there
was room to tie up), Mile Hammock Bay, Pungo River (south entrance to
Pungo/Alligator River Canal), Great Bridge, Saltponds.
Special thanks to Rhonda for staying with
her Dad and taking care of things at home after the death of her
mother, and Kerry
May for technical and moral support by phone along the way. Have
not unloaded the camera yet, but I took sunrise and sunset
pictures every day. Will send some pics to the Fleet 30 website
when I get a chance. I saw Wayne & Mille Morris (Irish
in Ft. Pierce as we passed each other. They are now in Key West
at the Sunset Marina.
We will be in the Salt Ponds Marina for
the next month, then on up to Yankee Point for the summer, and more
adventures with Fleet 30.
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda.
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
From Wayne and Millie Morris, May 2008
Hello Family, Friends, and Fellow Sailors,
We are tied up at the dock in Key West.
Wayne and Nonne left Hampton April 21 at 0830
taking the ICW down to the Cape Fear River, and out into the ocean,
in at Fernandina, FL leaving the next morning, taking the ICW to Lake
Worth due to weather. From Lake Worth,
outside in the ocean to Key West, arriving Friday, May 2nd.
TOTAL DAYS 11 ... Amazing....time considering it took us 6 weeks in
November 2006 to get to Lake Worth, before
crossing to the Bahamas.
Wayne said leaving Lake Worth he had a VERY
difficult time steering to starboard to continue south as the boat wanted
to go to port back to the Abacos, to Great Sale, treasure Key, Green
Turtle, and MOST of all to Great Guana to go to
NIPPERS, my favorite bar in all of the Bahamas.
Millie "officially" assumes her
position tomorrow morning as she has been in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale,
Philidelphia, for training and nursing conferences.
The weather is BEAUTIFUL and finally Millie is
not complaining about being cold.
IT'S WARM 85 degrees today, winds 10-15 from
The marina is very nice and quite protected,
with Condos surrounding us.
There is also a huge mountain landfill like Mt
Trashmore for those of you in Virginia, that offers protection also.
Please continue to keep in touch and come
visit any time.
We have a forward berth that is a full size
bed for guests, with their own separate head/shower.
Here is our new address:
Wayne & Millie Morris
s/v IRISH FEVER
c/o Sunset Marina
5555 College Drive
Key West, FL 33040
s/v Irish Fever
March, 2008, From Denny and Rhonda
Greetings friends and fellow boaters.
This picture shows the view from our new marina, the Royal Palm.
It's still in Englewood,
just a little further north.
marina, Cape Haze, had an issue with "live-aboards", or
"long-term cruisers". So we came here, and we love it!
The view of Lemon Bay and the ICW is great, shops and restaurants are
nearby, we can walk to the 93 acre bayside park,
and the new Tiki Bar
opens tonight. This dock is more exposed, so when the wind blows, we
get rocked to sleep.
We plan to head for the Keys mid-April, and
should be back in the Bay by mid-May in plenty of time for the Memorial
cruise. We might even make the Mother's Day weekend in
Portsmouth. ADAGIO is out getting a bottom job, but will be back
the water tomorrow for more local cruising before we leave. We've
been staying on the dockmaster's 40' Silverton, which
is very nice.
Happy Cruising. Denny & Rhonda.
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
January 2008, From Denny and Rhonda
Hello, All. We made it up to Cape Haze in one day after leaving Marco Island. The Gulf was so flat, we went all
the way to Boca Grande Pass on the "outside". Cape Haze is a few miles south of Englewood, which is south
of Venice. Except for the occasional "cold front" (lows in the upper 40's, highs in the upper 60's), the weather
has been wonderful (lows around 60-65, highs in the mid 70's to low 80's). Today we took the dinghy to a very
secluded beach on Don Pedro Island, a state park accessible only by boat. But they still have a large pavillion,
picnic tables and "facilities". It's amazing how Florida has carved out so many state parks in areas dominated
by multi-million dollar homes and condos. The picture attached shows Rhonda in her element, searching for shells
on a nearly deserted beach. Looking forward to a visit from a Baltimore friend in early February. Anyone else
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda
PS: Please forward to anyone I missed. Also, let me know if you got this more than once. Thanx.
Denny Botkin & Rhonda Burrell
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
From Denny and Rhonda
Everyone. We had a great New Years celebration with cousins in
Miami. Watched the fireworks from the rooftop pool of a
Marriott in South Beach. We got there by anchoring at the entrance
to Collins Canal, taking the dinghy up the canal and walking
the 8 blocks to South Beach. Coming back to ADAGIO that
night was scary, going under bridges a foot higher than our heads,
with local homeless people sleeping on the banks. Then, on to the
Keys, and a 5 day wait for winds to die down. We spent 3 nights
in tarpon Basin, and 2 at Islamorada. By then at least we could dinghy
ashore and enjoy the fun at Lor-e-lei's. Denny even got to
play a few songs at one of the local pubs. We left Sunday and
followed the West Coast up to the Little Shark River in the Everglades.
This picture was taken near sunset, but hardly captures the serene beauty
of this place. Dolphins could be heard breathing all night
long. Today we had a nice ride up to Marco Island, on emerald
green gulf waters that were remarkably flat. We hope to be in
tomorrow, and Cape Haze (Englewood) by Wednesday for a couple months of
R&R at the marina of the same name. We'll be close
to Holly and some old friends in Sarasota, and hope to receive guests from
up North (hint...).
Denny & Rhonda
Denny Botkin & Rhonda
411 Walnut St #4189
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
From Denny and Rhonda
Well, we finally left Stuart this morning, after a wonderful Christmas in
King George with Rhonda's parents. We are anchored in
Raton about 40 miles north of Miami. We hope to hook up with cousins
in Miami tomorrow who are in town for the
Orange Bowl (yes, they're Hokies).
Then on to the Keys, and up to Englewood on the west coast, if all goes
well. Here's another
sunset picture. When we got here at 4:30,
this place was full of boats rafted up and partying. Now all is
Love to all, Denny & Rhonda
December, 2007, From
Denny and Rhonda
Hi, Folks. Not much to report.
We love it here. Low 80's during the day, and upper 60's at night.
Very little rain. Great little
town with lots of shops and
restaurants. We now have Florida drivers licenses and tags.
Here's a snapshot of the anchorage
(mooring field). Can you spot
Love to all. Denny & Rhonda