Monday, April 23, 2018

B & B Shrimp to Charleston, SC.

Today:    45 miles, 8.9 hours, ICW
Total:     2162.4 miles, 337.1 hours

B & B Shrimp Co
Our view this morning to the East
     Pete saw Elijah as while walking Bailey this morning and said “Thanks and looking forward to seeing you in the fall!”  I took advantage of the time to wash down the Isinglass as it was coated in salt from the winds yesterday.
Views up and down Mosquito Creek


A dredge train heading south
SV FATE passing
close  on our starboard!
    We were underway by 8:40 am. It is a pretty ride, but I opted to get more written for the blog and if possible process the current photos.  While we traveled, there were a number of interesting vessels that Pete pointed out.  One was a dredging train.  For this one, the load was split between two tugs.  I don’t know why there are no “Securite’s” announced for these large floats.  We also saw a barge with cement pipe exchanges and a beautiful old Trumphy, MV WISHING STAR. We were passed midway in our day by a SV FATE, a Benteau 53, which passed quite close to our starboard.  He then called to us to suggest we change out our engine impeller, as our engine was emitting steam. Rather than be annoyed at his close pass, we were thankful for his concern.

Marker with a
gauge, but it
doesn't match
PEKABU's readings!
    Sometime during today's trip, Pete decided to check the depth finder as the readings under PEKABU are different than the Navionics Sonar Charts.  He was surprised and concerned.  Today we went through some very skinny waters at dead low. Our off set on the depth finder, usually off-set about 4+ feet so we know the water depth beneath our keel.  Somehow is reset to "0" feet.  It probably means we just about touched bottom or grounded in a lot of places for who knows how long!  YIKES!!!  
Approaching Elliott Cut
     Being a Saturday, there were lots of people in small boats out enjoying the water.  There were also people in SUPs (paddle boards) and a few in kayaks. The 3 in kayaks were traversing back and forth in Elliott Cut.  With all the traffic and strong current, I think they were a bit deranged and dangerous to boats coming though the cut.
Homes along the ICW
     After coming through the Wapoo Creek Bridge, I started rigging the dock line for a starboard tie and set the fenders.  I had finished before getting into the windier and more rocky waters of the river.  That’s when Pete started to suggest I need to rig the port side due to the wind.  Thankfully, we called in for a slip assignment and was told, due to the current, we should rig for a starboard tie. Whew! That was lucky.  We were placed stern to stern of that beautiful Trumphy, Wishing Star.  I’ll bet you, Pete will find a way to talk to the owner before we leave.
     There is a private yacht that must be close to 250 feet, one of the American Cruise Line ships, a large red sloop that was here when we passed last time and hundreds of other boats.
Cruise Liner AMERICAN STAR departing at sunset
from City Marina Megadock

Heading back at the end of a beautiful day
     My after-dinner plan is to process as many photos as possible.  Tomorrow, we have the rental car, so we can drive down to Brunswick, retrieve our car, and stage it at River Dunes. We will retrieve it once we are back in Maryland.  Monday, after a small provision run, I hope to get everything posted to the blog and hopefully, be current.  At least that is my plan.

Sunday 4/22 – Pete went up to meet the Uber driver at 8:40 so he could be at Enterprise when they opened at 9.  As they were opening, Pete commented “The early worm gets the Vet, right?”  They enjoyed the laugh, but we still received our Ford Fusion, a basic, noisy and not very comfortable rental that meets our needs. Bailey and I met him in the parking lot and we were off to Brunswick to retrieve the car. 
       Deb and Hugh asked that we stop by once we get down there.  With the storm predicted for tomorrow, they decided to bike ride over and tour Jekyll Island.  We are sorry we missed them, but I know we will be seeing them soon.  A quick glance at the marina and we saw that the motor cat, BONEFISH, had returned Brunswick.  I hope the return was planned and not necessary. With stops at Firehouse Subs for lunch and Pet Smart for dog food, we were on our way back to Charleston.
     This road trip, thankfully, was uneventful, with only one traffic delay on our return trip.  Our detour enabled us to fill up and rejoin into the same group of cars, who continued through the delay.  
     Once approaching Charleston, Pete continued on, in the rental, back to the boat. I stopped at West Marine and Harris Teeter for last minute provisions. Once back at the boat, I pulled apart my food locker and reorganized.  About a month ago I reorganized, thinking I had a better system.  The new system turned out to be a disaster. I could not find certain items, hence I now have extras of those.  That is not usually a problem, EXCEPT when space is very limited.  I have used the KEEP App on my phone. It has a list function which enables me to check off things, but maintains them, greyed-out at the bottom of the list.  It is super for grocery and now inventory lists.
     Pete took the time to replace the impeller for the engine.  He had recently bought the tool to expedite the procedure. It worked perfectly and once he started the engine, viola! No more excess steam from the engine exhaust!  He also checked the antifreeze.  Unfortunately, it is once again slightly lower than desired.  He will check the new water heater to make sure a leak is not coming from any of the connections. As he was replacing the engine cover in the main salon, Pete lost his balance, and fell backwards about a foot. No damage to his head or torso, but in the process, he twisted his right knee and saw stars.  This is the knee that needs replacement and does not flex as it did during the fall. The immediate Advil, no weight, elevation and ice pack made a big difference, but it will be sore for a while.
     On a fun note, Pete sent info to the kids on our rather large dock mate, MY ELYSIAN. She is a 253-foot Feadship yacht, worth about $90 million. She has 6 guest suits, a gym, as massage room with sauna and steam room, pool with cascading water fall, helipad, and 5 crew quarters for 20 crew members.  She is owned by the owner of the Red Sox's.  We have seen members of the crew dressed in official, black, cruise uniforms walking on the dock.  It is amazing the information that can be found on the web.  There was even a photo of the owner, who I had earlier passed on the dock and said, “Good morning!”
     After dinner, I got things ready for a 4 am departure so we can continue to stage our car to River Dunes, NC, tomorrow.
     About the same time, the boat started to rock. The winds are increasing to about 15-18 E-ESE, in front of the storm.  Bailey was walked before any of the rain arrived. It has skirted around us for most of the evening, but we won’t be that lucky for long.
     3:30 am comes quickly so I’ll say, “good night!”

Monday, 4/23 – We were in bed by 9:40 last night.  Unfortunately, the winds continued to build, and we were hobby-horsing well past 2 am.  Bailey could not find a comfortable spot and kept walking around the cabin in search of one. I kept hearing the water slosh/bang in the water tanks as well as the stern and bow slam into the waves. Around 2:30 am, Pete commented that the winds were gusting to 35 mph.  Though they are supposed to lessen somewhat over the next hour, winds for tomorrow will continue in the low 20s though most of the day with higher gusts.  With the boat on the Megadock, there is little protection.  We will be staying on board for today and moving the car on Tuesday instead. The winds must have shifted and lessened shortly thereafter.  I finally got to sleep until after 3.  We had the foresight to turn off the alarms scheduled for 3:30 am! 

     Pete woke around 8:10 this morning, checked the weather radar and managed to get most of Bailey’s walk in before the rains started again. As the morning progressed, the winds began to build again, the boat began to rock, but Bailey appeared OK for the moment.
     Pete was busy for a most of the day with work, while I worked on posting to the blog.  The internet has been undependable, but I am determined.
      Gusts increased around 2 pm to 36 mph and fog began to roll in. How can it when there are such strong winds!?!  We are back to experiencing lots of hobby-horsing. When Pete stuck his head up to check, he noticed that the Northwestern Trawler in front of us has broken its swim platform.  With each wave, it is flapping as the supports have pulled out and the swim ladder was eventually lost.  Pete donned his rain gear and went over to help.  She was all for Pete coming aboard and helping as they now have water coming in down below from where things have torn off the transom, but he stated dangers of trying to board in these waves (1-2 feet here at the dock) and damaging his side door for boarding.  He was even opposed to Pete’s suggestion for securing the platform.  Pete eventually returned, soaked to the skin, while the platform on the other boat continues to disintegrate. He had hoped to get into the starboard aft locker to check the heater connections, however, with the wave actions in the gusts that increased to 40 mph, the waves are washing into the cockpit from the transom.  With any luck, there will be time once we return from River Dunes tomorrow
    Well, I need to prepare dinner and reorganize again for our 4 am departure tomorrow morning.  Thankfully, the car rental and the marina allowed the one-day extension.
    At least temporarily, I am all caught up!!!   Hopefully, I will be more current for the rest of the cruise.  We’ll see. . . .

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~  K & P

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hilton Head to B & B Shrimp, Mosquito Creek, Green Pond, GA

Today:    46 miles, 7.9 hours, ICW
Total:     2117.4 miles, 328.2 hours

     The winds really picked up overnight.  Even in this protected harbor surrounded by 3-storied buildings and tall trees, the boat healed at the dock.  The wind also blew the enclosure, making the chain, that weighs it down the bottom of the enclosure, clang onto the seats periodically through the night.  It was loud enough to wake me each time it clanged.
     We were ready for departure around 8 am, but needed transfer to fuel dock for a fill-up before entering the lock. By 8:30 we were once again heading north.
     Pete has another work project that will take all morning, so I spent it at the wheel.  The current and wind were against us for most of the day. Crossing the Port Royal Sound was messy and slow.  Once we were heading up the Beaufort River, the current was in our favor.
     Our instruments on the pedestal are giving us problems.  The RPM needle no longer works. Pete pulled it apart and cleaned the contacts. It worked for about 5 minutes then quit again. We set the engine speed by what sound about right. The volt meter seems to be misrepresenting the readings, but we have confirmed that we are indeed charging the batteries while motoring.  We also have to watch the engine temperature.  It seems to vary a few degrees up and down when we are cruising. This is concern and Pete plans to change the engine impeller once we are in Charleston. We constantly have steam coming out the exhaust and when the engine is straining, we see black smoke.  We probably need to have the rings checked/replaced on the engine once we are home.
     I mentioned this because as we approached Beaufort, I needed to increase the RPMs to make the noon opening of the Ladies Island Bridge.  Instead, I slowed down to time the 12:30 opening.  As I was slowly making my way north, a tug came up behind me. I asked him to pass, explaining that I was trying to time my arrival with the 12:30 opening.  Once he passed and put about 1000 feet in front of me, he called to let me know that he was going through the bridge and I could follow him.  I called the bridge tender, who said I could pass as long as I was right behind the tug. I increased speed, but there was no way I could close the distance. I backed it down and told the bridge tender I would wait for the 12:30 opening.  Looking at all the traffic backed up on the bridge once it was closed again, she probably should have let me pass a minute behind the tug rather than 14 minutes later, stop current bumper-to bumper traffic again for another 5 minutes for me to pass, backing traffic up even further. I know, I know…there are rules to follow.
     The skinny areas were not a problem this afternoon as the tide was up. Green marker 177 on the Ashepoo Cut still looks like it will be high and dry at low tide.  We made sure that we gave it a wide berth.
     As we approached B & B, Elijah was waiting for us on the dock. Once secure, Pete took Bailey for her walk and I went in to pay up and buy 3 pounds of fresh, off-the-boat this morning, shrimp and Texas Pete’s Cocktail Sauce.  Pete wanted some shrimp cocktail for dinner tonight and I didn’t have horse radish to make the cocktail sauce.
     I pealed all the shrimp and put 1/3 in to boil, and two other packages into the freezer.  The cocktail sauce was really good and dinner … YUM!
     B & B is not a marina. It is a working dock for shrimpers. Hence, it has no facilities, water, electric, or wifi, but a great deal for fresh shrimp!  With the changes in Garmin and Active Captain, there are no recommendations anymore for here.  It is a shame, as it is a great place to stop, especially with a dog.  Just yesterday, Garmin/Active Captain set out an email stating that starting May 23 will launch their new site.  We will make sure that our recommendation for B & B will get entered.
     After dinner we read, Bailey was walked, and we called it a night.

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~ K & P

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Brunswick to Hilton Head, GA

Today:    105 miles, 17.1 hours, ICW
Total:     2071.4 miles, 320.3 hours

     “O-Dark-30” came very quickly.  The alarm went off at 2 am. Dog was walked, fed and lines cast off. By 2:45, we were heading to the Brunswick River.  Winds were light, current was ebbing and giving us a 2+-mph push, and the ambient light made traveling downriver a bit easier. The channel meanders and there are lots of lit markers; unfortunately, some of them are on Jekyll Creek.  Without the GPS it would be very confusing.
     Towards the mouth of the river, there were lights that were a bit confusing.  They turned out to be an inbound ship.  Pete had called out to him on 16, but he only responded with 1-whistle toot on his horn as he got closer.  Thankfully, we were able to give him plenty of room.
Sunrise over the Atlantic
     We continued in the channel for about 4 miles past the mouth of the river before we were able to turn to the north. Twilight was upon us, so Pete set the main sail, which added a good 0.8 mile to our travels.  It was helpful for all but about an hour, when the winds lessened while shifting.  It was a great day for a sail. The skies were clear, the temperature mild, the seas pretty calm; 1-3 feet from the S and SW, as were the winds from the same direction and between 10 and 18 during the day.
Savannah River Traffic
     As we entered the Savannah River, we had to once again make way for an outbound container ship.  Thankfully, there was some room outside the channel before the water got skinny.
Outside Windmill Harbour Marina
enjoying an evening sail
     We had reservations at Windmill Harbour for the night, but called ahead to verify hours. It was then that we were told no problem as they are open until 7, BUT super low tide (-2 feet) was at 4 pm.  There might be some problem entering the lock.  He suggested that we wait until after 6 to make sure there is sufficient water at the entrance.  We had been making great time, but spent about 90 minutes traveling at idle from Harbortown Marina up to Windmill; about 6 miles. We had the current and the wind increasing our speed!
     Bailey was so good for all that time.  She knows that while underway, it is best not to eat or drink.  She waits until I start to set the lines for docking before drinking, then she drinks the bowl dry.
     We entered the lock at 6:30  with plenty of water under our keel and was secure at our slip by 7 pm. Bailey was very happy to see grass.  Once back on board, we had dinner. I love cooking larger meals and freezing them for later use. It is very helpful for long travel days, especially like today.
     Once the galley was cleaned, we read for a short while.  Pete laid on the bed and was asleep by 7:30, I managed to stay awake to walk Bailey at 9. We showered and went to sleep knowing they was no departure time in the morning. Pete has priority/rush work for a good part of day, so we are staying here tomorrow.
     Night All!

Thursday, 4/19 Pete woke, walked and fed Bailey, and was working on his computer by 8:30.  I slept soundly until 9.
Very scenic enclave
     After breakfast, I walked around the harbor and the community.  This is really a beautiful spot.  The harbor is about a ½ mile long and holds a couple of hundred boats.  Large townhouses surround the harbor and single homes of varying sizes extend out into the community.  I only walked about 2 blocks out, but it is obvious that the enclave is well thought out.  Streets are canopied by large trees, walkways and roads meander through the homes.  There are benches placed invitingly along the walkways. Each home is unique from the outside and the grounds are beautifully gardened and maintained.  It was no hardship getting my 3 miles in!

Colorful assortment of floral blooms

Beauty with every step!
The various shells the are used
 in the walkways  surrounding the harbor
   The free laundry facility is located by the pool and lockers. “Visiting Yachtsmen” are welcome to use the washer and 2 driers after 1 pm with the key provided by the harbor master.  The staff uses it in the mornings.  It is in a small, airless room, but thankfully, the pool has comfortable seating and there are wonderful breezes today! Located on the harbor is the South Carolina Yacht Club.  Miles River Yacht Club has reciprocity; perhaps we will use it in the future.
     Pete called ahead for reservations at B & B Shrimp for tomorrow and tried to get reservations at St. John’s for the following 4 days, but they had no room. We snagged one of the last slips at Charleston City Marina. That will enable us to shuttle the car from Brunswick to River Dunes.
     I processed a lot of photos and was able to post some of the backlog and photos to the blog on the web. I still have more photos for weeding and processing, along with some entries for future posting.  I really hope I will be caught up soon.  I have the entries for most days written, but I need to refine wording and process/size the photos.  Travel days, boat chores and a couple of headaches have delayed the postings, but I am getting there.
    With laundry done and supper completed, we called Pete’s Mom. She is home! Back in her apartment and feeling good.  YEA!!!
    We watched Big Bang and Young Sheldon, two programs we really enjoy, finished up a few boat things, walked the dog and called it a night.

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~ K & P  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Back in Brunswick, GA

     Monday, 4/16 – The storm might have passed last night, but the winds that remained through the night and, for most of the day, were substantial.  The Weather App said 22 mph, but our hand-held Windex read 33 mph.
     I defrosted the refrigerator and reorganized and inventoried the freezer. Then I stopped at Walmart Express for provisioning.
      Periodically, through out the day, we were checking the Passage Weather website for our window.  Tuesday's evening departure is looking promising, but we will continue to monitor tomorrow.
     We  were invited to share dinner with Deb and Hugh aboard SIMPLICITY. Each supplied their preferred meat. Deb made a delicious salad and String Beans Almond-ding along with mushrooms for the meat.  I added a large fresh fruit salad that could be garnished with frozen, mini chocolate morsels. Dinner was wonderful and the company great!
     Tuesday, 4/17 - We monitored Passage Weather off and on all day for wind, waves and Gulf Stream eddies. There is a window for us to jump from here to Hilton Head, 107 miles over about 14 hours, late tomorrow afternoon and through most of Wednesday. The predicted winds are fairly light from the W-WSW, waves 1-3 feet, and no gulf stream eddies to slow us down.  After a lot of discussion between us and suggestions from Hugh, we decided to leave early Wednesday morning around 2, rather than Tuesday evening around 5. It would be better to travel most of the time in daylight, rather than traveling at night.
     I picked up a few things I forgot while shopping yesterday, then reorganized the aft cabin.  When we returned from our road trip north, a lot of things were just tossed into the aft cabin and it really isn’t secure for traveling. Pete found time to get a much needed haircut.
St. Simon's Lighthouse
     When he returned, he suggested a ride over to St. Simon's Island.  It was beautiful with it's typical southern canopied winding roads, white beaches, a quaint downtown with various shops, restaurants, B&Bs and hotels.  I imagine that this place is hopping in the summer months.  We also treated ourselves to ice cream - The perfect complement to a beautiful day at the shore.
Canopied picnic area by the river
River walk
Oyster shells on the rocks
Art and Climbing
Ariel Gardening

Footprints in the Sand
Ride along water's edge
Water's mark
Quaint shops
Hotel downtown
Canopied road
Early 1900 home
undergoing renovations

    Donna, from SV DEEGEE V, stopped by.  They, too, just returned from a road trip north to, also, take care of grandkids.  She thanked us for the offer to buddy with us on the ocean jump, but with no radar, they would be more comfortable staying inside. They will continue traveling through Georgia on Wednesday.
    Deb and Hugh, SV SIMPLICITY, also stopped by to say good-by.  They are enjoying their stay here in Brunswick, but are waiting for a window to jump up to Charleston.
    Thankfully, the winds began to abate. The boat was checked, prepped, and readied to leave.  We made it an early night as 2 am will come quickly.

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~ P & K

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Road Trip North

Not a great photo, but all those dark "dashes" on the horizon
are really 29 freight and container ships at anchor
on the Lower Chesapeake in Port Charles, VA

     Thursday, 4/5 - On the road again!  We left about 6:30 am for about a 12-hour drive ahead of us.  Thankfully, traffic was light we arrived at Mom’s, in Delaware, around 6:30 pm. 
     She had informed the staff of our arrival, so it was no problem getting access to her apartment. We needed to leave Bailey in the apartment while we visited.  She is currently in the Health Center and improving daily.   During our visit we made plans for tomorrow. 
A Google Driver-less Car
at the Rt.273 and Rt. 1 north exit
     Friday, 4/6 – While Pete was working, I did her laundry and straightened the apartment. Then I took Mom to the hairdresser, who is on site. Afterwards, we returned to her apartment and had lunch with Pete.  Our visit continued until about 4, when it was time to head up to Chris and Kel’s.

     Our week in PA, 4/6 – 4/15 - When we arrived, Chris and Rubble, their new 14-month old puppy, came out to meet us and Bailey. Rubble is built like a tank and must weight about 90 pounds, but he is gentle and and loves to snuggle.  We just had to keep Bailey and Rubble’s play limited as he had surgery on his rear leg, which is healing beautifully, but has some more to go.
Riley and PopPop
      We haven’t seen them since Christmas. Even in 4 months, we can see how they have grown.  Hadi, at 5, is a “lean machine” with a mind that is always engaged, while Riley, at 22 months, is curious, and loves being (interfering) with her big sister. Unlike Hadi, Riley is fearless and gives everyone a run for their money. Needless to say, these girls hold a special place in our hearts.
      The purpose of our visit is to watch the kids and dog while Chris and Kel take a long overdue vacation. Last summer, they spent a week in Duck, NC; 5 couples and 9 kids.  With 7 kids under 6, and 4 of them about 18 months old, there was little relaxation or sleep. Hence, they and another couple arranged for a week in the Caribbean… without kids!
     Saturday, we spent with the girls while their parents got things ready.  After dinner, Chris and Kel gave them their baths and put them down for the night, then bid us farewell.  They had a hotel room by the airport so it will be much easier to make the early flight in the morning.
     Kel’s mom took the girls Sunday through Tuesday.  I had planned to update the blog and organize/clean/discard some of the stuff we have at the house. Unfortunately, I dealt with a reoccurring migraine that zapped my energy for most of the week.  So, Pete got us hooked on the Netflix series, Stranger Things. We proceeded to watch both seasons (20 1-hour episodes) over two days. We have never binged watched like that before, but it was worth it.  What a great program! It deserves the accolades it has been receiving.
8 bucket trucks lined up and all
extending their buckets in an
 almost synchronized move!
Majestic tree and pump house in a meadow
 along the back roads of PA
     During the week, Pete worked. We had also scheduled a couple of appointments while the girls were in daycare. I saw my G.P., while Bailey saw the specialist up at UPenn.  She still has the sores on her ears and other lesions.  The doctor believes it is vasculitis. We are now on another type of medicine with a possible biopsy in the future.  Pete was supposed to see the orthopedist on Friday.  We arrived to find only the receptionist in the office.  Somehow, they scheduled the appointment for the wrong month and we were a “no show” for the March 13th appointment.  When the appointment was made, Pete informed them that we were traveling and would only be here for this specific week in April.  This definitely delays plans for Pete’s knee replacement surgery, but more importantly, he didn’t get the torn meniscus examined and possible treated in the near future on the other knee.  Bummer!!!  I was able to visit with Carolyn, spending lunch and a couple of hours catching up and enjoying the friendship while Pete and George arranged for a business lunch.
Nana getting an earful from
her great granddaughters
     We kept the kids out of daycare one day so that we could take them to see their Nana.  Needless to say, Mom was delighted to spend a few hours with them.  She continues to improve and, hopefully, will return to her apartment in a week or so.  Fingers crossed!
Chiilin' in front of the TV
    We had a great routine getting the kids ready in the morning for school, dealing with meals, and bedtime schedules. Kel and Chris faced-timed with the girls each night; technology at its best! We really enjoyed our time with the girls, and our quiet time, too!
Swing time: round-n-round
and up-n-down!
     Chris and Kel returned late Saturday, exhausted, relaxed and couldn’t wait to hug the girls.
     Once everyone was up on Sunday, we gave our goodbye hugs and headed back to Brunswick.  The drive wasn’t bad, but a very strong cold front came though with its wind and heavy rain.  There were a couple of downpours, where we hoped for an exit ramp so we could get off and wait for the storm to pass.  3 times the rains lessened before we got to the ramps or rest stops. 12 hours after leaving Pennsylvania, we pulled into Brunswick Landing Marina. The rains had passed, and the sky was beginning to clear.
RV-ing with mud-covered toys!
PROOF! Spring is finally coming north!
It has arrived in Virginia
Returning to Brunswick just as the storm was breaking.
Dramatic and stunning skies!