Monday, July 27, 2009

Captain’s Log

Port Stanley, Ontario

July 17 2009

The Butt is back !! (home)

We arrived in Port Stanley last night on a 18:30 bridge. Our slip was ready and several members on hand to greet us. In our absence the clubhouse renovations have been completed and with the renovations a new sense of pride and enthusiasm among the members was evident. We always liked our little sailing squadron and now the facillity we have is second to none.

We were able to get underway from Lyons last Saturday morning (the 11th) and made it to Fairport before torrential rain started at noon. Fairport is a nice place to stop with town docks in the centre of town for I think it was $9. a night with electric and water. The rain stopped mid afternoon so we toured the town, bought some more books and had a nice meal in an authentic Mexican restaurant. Dessert was at the local ice cream parlour and Niki will be dismayed to learn the flavour of the day which she missed was called “Panda Paws”.(LOL). Sunday got us to Medina. Monday we reached Tonnawanda in the early afternoon and at 15:00 we were tied to a dock at Anchor Marine on Grand Island in the Niagara River. Our mast was waiting for us. By 14:00 Tuesday we were a fully rigged sailboat again and heading for the Blackrock canal and Lake Erie. Canal transit was very slow so when we reached Buffalo at 17:00 we found a dock for the night. Wednesday afternoon we sailed into Port Dover and enjoyed the Customs’ Officers’ “Welcome back” when we checked in. And of course Thursday we sailed from Dover to Port Stanley with 15 to 20 knots of wind out of the west. Why should our last day be any different than all the others?

So we are back home, our trip is complete and today is our 44th wedding anniversary. I’m glad we didn’t leave this adventure to do any later in life.

What are the most poignant memories? This is tough but surely the big one is the joy of sailing on the Bahama Banks. The clarity of the water and the wonderful shades of blue (from the deep blue of the Gulf Stream to the azure blues of the shallow banks) is simply undescribable.

And the Bahamian people were wonderful hosts. Being there with other sailors from home was great. Meeting so many new sailors that also became friends was equally great. The snorkling was incredible. The leisure to take one day at a time with few demands from society is a treat I must learn to practice back home.

For Niki the key to the trip was social for when asked for the one outstanding memory her response waivered. Was it Junkanoo in Georgetown, or happy hours on the disappearing beach at Cambridge, or the memorable lunch on Long Island prepared by the absent chef’s sister? Or the snorkleling at Rocky Dundas? Maybe the Bananaquites (sugar eating birds), the pigs at pig beach on Big Major. Or the stars that surround you when anchored on the Banks? For Niki it was definitely the people and the variety of social customs and, well, the people !!

Maxine agrees # 1 is definitely the water. Water defines the Bahamas. Hopefully Niki will find some time to post a few more pictures of our time in the Bahamas for pictures can speak so much more clearly than words.

In a nutshell, it was a wonderful year !!

Wayne

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Captain’s Log

Lyons, N.Y.

July 8, 2009

As planned, we left the Hudson River and entered the Erie Canal at Waterford, N.Y. a week ago today. The ‘free’ dock at Waterford was reserved for a steam boat festival so we simply carried on through the flight of 5 locks and tied up at a dock several miles west along the canal. We secured ourselves about 15:00 just before the heavens opened and poured for the rest of the night. The Macaulay’s’ arrived around 21:00 to drop Larry off.

We made good time each day since then till Saturday. We planned to cross Lake Oneida Saturday afternoon and stop in Brewerton to refuel and recharge. Ma Nature had different plans. The wind was blowing stink out of the west and Lake Oneida looked a lot like Lake Erie at its worst. At the entrance to the lake, Sylvan Beach, we sailed past Whippoorwill. One look at the Lake and we did a 180 and tied alongside the wall ahead of Whippoorwill. Abe and Karen were there to take our lines.

About 11:00 Sunday the lake had settled enough that we crossed and stopped in Brewerton 4 hours later at Ess-Kay Yards where we had stayed last fall heading south. Grace C had a new transmission installed there and we repaired our ignition and replaced a leaky hatch. They remembered us; called us by our first names, inquired about Niki and generally made us feel like it was only last week that we had been there. How nice is that !! We refuelled, filled water tanks, used their courtesy car to get groceries at Walmart, spent a relaxing night and got underway next morning, all for a dock fee of 95 cents a foot.

Whippoorwill chose to go on to Lock 23, three miles on for the night. We caught up to them Monday morning at Lock 24, Baldwinsville, to learn that the canal has been closed at Lock 28B at Newark, N.Y. A dredge had sunk in the canal ! With no idea how long the lock would be closed or how crowded the docking facilities would be Whippoorwill chose to stay at a comfortable dock with facilities in Baldwinsville and we chose to carry on the 50 odd miles we could still travel in hopes the lock would reopen by the time we reached lock 27, Lyons, the last practical place to stop before the closed lock 28B. We arrived at Lyons Tuesday mid morning to find the courtesy dock empty but lock 28B still closed for an indeterminate time. So here we sit. We have shore power and, courtesy of the Lyons Fire Department which we are beside, we have clean showers and fresh water as required.

We are hoping the canal will reopen in time for us to get Nice Butt back to Port Stanley before our family reunion in Huntsville on the 19th.

Wayne

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Captain’s Log

June 27 2009

As I type this log we are motor sailing up the Jersey coast. We expect to spend tonight in Great Kills Harbour by Staten Island in the Lower Bay of New York Harbour. It is a clear sunny day with what little breeze there is pretty much on the nose. We’re running just a little east of our rhum line so that we can carry our jib. The ocean is relatively calm, but undulating as oceans do . It is a feeling I always enjoy.

Yesterday was full of surprises. But I’m ahead of myself. We left Solomons Island and Banshee on Monday morning. The wind , the current and the waves were all out of the north bang on our bow and we got beat up pretty bad. Our best speed forward was 4 kts and when the bigger waves slammed our bow we stalled at 2.5 kts. Wisely we put in at the first available harbour which was Harrington Harbour South in Herring Bay, about 3 hours south of Anapolis.

This is probably the nicest marina we’ve ever stayed at, complete with several beaches and picnic areas, swimming pool, tiki bars and restaurant, manicured lawns and flower gardens. Several years ago when we helped Larry and Kathy bring Sinn Fein north they stayed at Harrington North but brought us to this restaurant for a meal. The laundry facility was good and so putting in at noon allowed us the luxury of doing laundry , having a walk about, a relaxing happy hour and a good night’s sleep.

We were off again Tuesday morning shortly after six and made such good progress that Maxine continually updated our destination. We spent Tuesday night in Chesapeake City which took us out of the Bay and poised to enter the C & D canal at first light Wednesday morning. Skipper Bob (our guidebook and Bible) advised leaving one hour before high tide at Reedy Point which would have meant a noon departure and the impossibility of transiting the Delaware in daylight (this is to catch the currents in the Delaware River on a favourable basis. So against the best advice we left sharp at 6 am with a “damn the torpedoes’ attitude. Amazingly the currents still worked in our favour for about 2 3rds of the day . We were at our dock at Uuch`s Marina in Cape May fully fuelled at 18:00. Maxine however was too whipped to do anything. It was my turn to cook (read plastic card buys restaurant food) but not only did I have to cook, but I also had to fetch and deliver. The pizza I procured turned out to be excellent.

With the weather still on our side but threatening afternoon T storms for the next few days we decided to keep moving early each morning. So Thursday we moved north to Atlantic City and put in at noon at a dock ($1.50 foot can you believe). We toured Trump City, had a nice meal out and early to bed. Ditto Friday and we put into Barnaget Inlet around 13:00 Friday (yesterday). Well there is much debate about transiting this inlet at ANY TIME. We chose to do it on an ebbing tide with 3 to 5 foot rollers coming in from the ocean. The ebbing tide creates a rip with the waves and simply put one damned confused sea. The buoys marking the channel aren`t charted since they are moved regularly to deal with the shifting shoals. And, we were greeted in mid channel by 30+ cigar boats in a poker challenge race coming out the channel all at once at speeds that must have been 60+ mph. Holy shit !! And to add insult to injury with the ebbing tide they had the legal right of way over our upstream bound vessel. Every one of these 30 odd boats passed us in rapid succession within several boat length`s of us on both sides of us simultaneously. The noise sounded like being on the run way at Pearson International. The wake added to the already excited sea state in the narrow channel. Well, thinking back it was a one of a kind experience. (We really missed Niki here since she would have videographed this nightmare and possibly come up with award winning footage !! ). Again we took a dock because the forecast was for severe T storms and high winds. The forecast was right. It came about 20:00 hours and never have I seen such a black sky. Our dock cost $3.00 a ft (can you imagine !!) but when the wind hit I didn`t begrudge a single cent. And the swimming pool and showers were wonderful in the afternoon. And the early arrival allowed me to change fuel fitters, oil, and all that good stuff that keeps our Yanmar humming.

As I type this I have heard two reports from N Y sector US Coast Guard. One, expect 150 swimmers swimming across N Y harbour today plus 50 odd sailboats in a race plus a whole bunch of Kayaks traversing the harbour. Well after yesterdays cigar boat poker run, these slow moving obstacles should be a piece of cake. Two, there has just been a sighting in Long Island Sound of a pod of dolphins numbering over a hundred moving through the Sound. Wouldn’t that be something to see.

June 29 2009

We did take a mooring at the Richmond County Yacht club Saturday about 16:00 and were content to have our happy hour and supper on board. We had a relaxing night, turned in early and at 6:00 Sunday morning slipped our mooring. Up the Hudson from New York Harbour’s lower bay through the narrows, past the Stature of Liberty, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers. We left New York behind and finally settled for the evening 12 hours later at Newburgh. At Staniel Cay, Exumas, we saw a large yacht named “Le Grande Bleu”. She was so “Grand” she had a full size patio on her stern and both a sailboat and power boat on her mid decks. Both were likely in the 60’ range. We sailed past Le Grande Bleu in N Y Harbour.

Today we travelled to Catskills where we will dismast in the morning and become a power boat again. Tonight we have stripped sails and rigging and are ready to pop the stick fist thing tomorrow We will head to Troy Wednesday morning and enter the Erie Barge Canal for the trip home to Lake Erie.

June 30 2009

We moved into the crane dock at 8:00 this morning. The mast is down and ready for transport to Anchor Marine on Grand Island and we have the boat scrubbed, fuelled and ready to move first thing tomorrow. We will complete our transit of the Hudson and enter Lock # 1 Wednesday afternoon.. Larry McAulay will meet us in Waterford N Y to help us through the locks of the Erie canal. The tripm is close to over.
.
Wayne

Monday, June 22, 2009

Captains Log

Solomons Island, Maryland
June 20 2009

We have completed our first week on our own without Niki. It has takensome getting used to only 2 persons on board. We can only carp at eachother (LOL as Niki would say). We miss her but she is busy back homemaking school arrangements and catching up with family and friends.

We didn’t leave Hampton Roads last Sunday as planned. We got lazy (plusBay was fogged in) and stayed till Monday. Plan was to work up the westside of the Bay and perhaps stop at Deltaville, a relatively short day ofmaybe 40 knots. By noon Maxine didn’t think it was respectable to quit inthe early afternoon so we consulted the charts, and changed course forTangiers Island on the east side of the Bay. We got in a little after18:00 hours (another 70 Kt day) and tied up at Parks Marina, the onlyplace there and necessary since strong currents make anchoring unwise. Milton Parks took our lines and immediately offered us a golf cart tour ofthe island. “It’s part of the package” he said. His sign reads “Briefstays $5., Overnight, boats to 30’ $25., boats over 30’ $30. Plus $5. Forshore power. This is extremely reasonable. The washrooms and showerswere quite respectable, the docks in excellent condition and Milton’sconversation excellent!. There are only a few cars on the Island, mostlygolf carts and motor bikes. The habitable part comprises only a fewhundred acres, the rest being canals and marsh, although they have a nicebeach. Population is about 600 and life is slow paced, based on fishingfor the economy and a strong Christian ethic for morals and lifestyle. Wewanted to stay Tuesday and see the museum and walk about more. Wednesdayand Thursday the wind was blowing stink so we ended up staying tillFriday. Friday, I didn’t even check the weather, I just knew we had toslip our lines and move on no matter the weather.

Tuesday the troller Barbara arrived with Ken and Barb, (For all you dollfans this is the second “Ken and Barb” couple we have encounteredcruising). We met them in the Bahamas and again at Hampton Roads. Theyare returning home to New Jersey and are a delightful couple. They coaxedus to join them on Wednesday to visit the dock and buy soft shelled crabsfrom a local fisherman. Barb showed Max how to clean and cook them. Whata wonderful meal!! Between chatting with ‘Barbara’, chatting up MiltParks, reading and loafing the week went quickly. Parks Marina andTangiers Island are a definite ‘must do’ for anyone in the Chesapeake.

Friday the wind was northwest 15+ and that’s where we headed. Naturally. We crossed the Bay and moved north to Solomons Island. We went back to theHoliday Inn Marina since it was very close to a gourmet food store and aWest Marine store. And the Happy Hour is cheap and serves great snacks. We had planned to move today (Saturday) but decided again to slow down. We got some cleaning done on the boat, inside and out, and about 13:00hours Banshee arrived and docked right next to us. We met Jan and Bob onBanshee right here last fall and travelled with them a bit. We stayed intouch over the winter by email since they wintered in Florida. It’s greatto renew acquaintances. Home for Banshee is Tighman Is. so she is but 30kts from home.

June 21 2009

We finished our chores, got cleaned up and spent the afternoon chattingwith Bob and Jan, catching up on our respective journeys (both waterwayand life). We had happy hour with them, dinner with them, andconversation after on Banshee. Suddenly it was past midnight. Ascruisers, midnight only exists as a middle of the night timeline when youget up to check the anchor or the head. Bedtime is always hours sooner. Bob and Jan are one of the couples we took to immediately and hooking upafter 6 months seemed more like it was only last week since we saw them.

The realization is starting to set in that in a few short weeks thisodyssey will end and we may never again see some of our many new friends. We have decided to stay here with Banshee another day. Perhaps we’ll movenorth again tomorrow.

Wayne

Day 281

Captain’s Log

June 14 2009

Niki is gone !! They say when the rats jump overboard the ship issinking. Well relax. Niki isn’t a rat and the ship’s not sinking. Besides she didn’t jump overboard. She stepped gracefully from the boatto the dock, a well seasoned (and tanned) sailor. She’s back in St.Thomas to have a long overdue adjustment from her orthodontist on thosebraces. She has been in pain for some time now since the usual 6 – 8 weekadjustments haven’t happened since Christmas.

Like all other things for ship captains (and housewives) I get to pick upany unfinished tasks which in this case is her Blog. I’m not much of ablogger. More a factual reporter of events (slanted perhaps toward myperspective). So I won’t be giving you a daily play by play but I willendeavour to keep you abreast of our whereabouts and wellbeing till wecomplete the voyage.

We arrived at Hampton Roads Public Piers across from Norfolk VA onThursday. Saturday we rented a car and drove to I95 to meet up with Kathyand Larry MacAulay and Maria. Niki is driving home to St. Thomas withthem. They have opted to leave their boat in Florida and return for moresailing in the fall.

We planned to leave early this morning to head up the Bay but the Bay wastotally fogged in. By the time it clears it makes for a very late startso we decided to relax one more day.

As we move around we are continually bumping into boats we’ve seen before.Last night a dinghy stopped by our dock to say hi. They are from theHudson River in a trawler and we last saw them in Georgetown, the Bahamas.

On the trip down I expressed wonderment at the number and size of riversin America. So at fort Pierce I thought i would start listing the riverswe travel on. Although the odd one is called a creek it is a river by anystandard we might have in Canada. These are only the rivers we actuallytravelled in the past month and do not include ditches that are simplylabelled on the chart as ‘Intra coastal waterway’. For the most part theyare wide and long but often shallow. I have also omitted the vast‘sounds’ we cross. These are bodies of water that lie between mainlandAmerica and the barrier islands, reefs and sand dunes that separate thesound from the north Atlantic Ocean. Here’s the list as far north asNorfolk/Hampton Roads.

Indian River
Halifax R
Matanza R
Tolomato R
St John’s R
Sisters Creek
Sawpit Creek
Nassau R
South Amelia R
Amelia R
St Mary’s R
Cumberland R
Jekyll Creek
MacKay R
Frederica R
Altamaha R
Little Mud R
Darien R
North R
Old Teakette Creek
Front R
Sapelo R
South Newport R
Johnson Creek
North Newport R
Bear R
Ogeechee R
Burnside R
Skidaway R
Wilmington R
Savannah R
Wright R
New R
Ramshorn Creek
Skull Creek
Chechesseer R
Beaufort R
Coosaw R
Rock Creek
Ashepoo R
South Edisto R
North Creek
Dawho R
North Edisto R
Stono R
Cooper R
Ashley R
Harbor R
Winyaw R
Waccawmaw R
Little R
Cape Fear R
New River
Newport R
Core Creek
Adams Creek
Neuse R
Pamlico R
Goose R
Pungo R
Alligator R
Pasquotank R
North R
North Landing R
Elizabeth R
Hampton R

And the sounds
Cumberland, St. Andrews, Jekyll, St. Simons, Buttermilk, Doboy, Sapelo,St. Catharines, Calibogue, Port Royal, Myrtle Grove, Masonboro, Topsail,Bogue, Albemarle, Currituck,

Wayne

Wayne Kentner
wkentner@amtelecom.net

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 280

It was so nice to wake up on my own rather than waking up to the roar of the engine or any of the ways Grama attempts to wake me up in the mornings. Once up and outa bed i had a ton of things to do. I cleaned out my berth and organized and we went out for lunch and we relaxed =]. It was such a busy day.

Niki

Day 279

I feel bad that lately all I seem to be able to do is navigate for a while and then sleep some more...but my mouth has been really bugging me... Grama and Papa made it from our anchorage, through 5 bridges and a lock to Hampton Roads. It was a long day from around 6am to about 6pm so we decided Papa was cooking dinner. He went out and came back with pizza.

Niki

Day 278

Again we had an early start leaving around 6am and heading north. We pressed as far north as we could...well i guess I should say ‘they’ meaning Grama and Papa... As the light started to fade we anchored south of Buck Island. We are now only 57.8 miles from the top of the ICW at Norfolk VA. We hope to make it to Hampton Roads tomorrow but it’ll be another long day.

Niki

Day 277

We left this morning at the crack of dawn, moving out the creek and trying not to run over any crab pots. Again i slept most of the day...the Tylenol 3s make me soo tired and I’ve had trouble sleeping at night =[. Grama and Papa piloted up through narrow sections of the path and up the alligator river past Belhaven to Dowry Creek and its Marina. Here they have a pool, nice showers and nice people, and it’s not very far to Belhaven. Grama and Papa went with the couple docked next to us and headed to town for groceries. I stayed on the boat trying to update the blog but internet wasn’t strong enough and I only got a few posts done before a storm hit and I lost the internet connection.

Niki

Day 276

We didn’t have as early a start as we had planned but were underway before 7:30. It didn’t take us long before we were passing Oriental. We decided to keep going until we were too tired to go any further but then Papa got worried panning for the next few days. We decided to pull in early into Broad Creek...now there were a few navigational errors that I would be embarrassed to go into detail about but it took a little bit longer to get in and settled. All in all it was a nice night. A quiet anchorage and I got to just crawl into bed. It was nice.

Niki

Day 275

Today was painfully long and for most of the day I tried to sleep and lay down because my mouth was so sore I had migraines and felt like crap. We made it to Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro. Here the people are friendly and they charge $0.75/foot which is ridiculously cheap considering they provide a courtesy car, showers and hydro..wait no its called electric in the states. If you say hydro they look at you as if your speaking Chinese. Grama and Papa took the car and went grocery shopping and then the marina drove them out to a restaurant for supper.

Niki

Day 274

This morning we departed Barefoot Landing. We headed up the ICW in hopes of making it to South Port NC. We made good time and just before we were in South Port we made a quick decision that since the timing with the tides were right we’d carry on up the Cape Fear River. We made it to Masonboro and luckily called ahead to a marina and were given directions into a slip. By the time we got there everyone had gone home. They had a cheap laundry mat and Grama and I...even though we felt dead and wanted to go to bed...went up to do several loads of laundry. As soon as the office opens tomorrow we’re going to pay for the night on the dock and head out for another day of travel.

Niki

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 273

This morning we started cleaning up the boat....and that turned into hard manual labour and we scrubbed the boat clean. After we were done we decided not to move for the day and to have fun. Grama and Papa went shopping and since my braces have been bugging me and really starting to pain today i stayed onboard and watched tv, tried to chat to friends online and read. We went out to supper and Grams and I went shopping afterwards. Grama got a new wardrobe! Lmao.

Niki

Day 272

We had a good run Barefoot Landing. It was another long day but we were in and docked before suppertime. Grama decided that Papa was cooking tonight so he went off in search of a place to eat. When he came back he informed us that we were to cook supper and we needed to be done eating by 7 lol. He got us tickets to the Alabama Theater and their show called ‘One’. When we asked him what it was he told us that it was a 3 hour event...ok but what’s it about? He didn’t know lol it was going to be a surprise.

At 7 we headed up to the theatre. It was a good show with a variety of different acts but my favourite was the comedian. He had everyone in the audience laughing so hard that we were all almost crying. After the show I headed back to the boat to try and get internet while Grama and Papa went for a walk. When they got back to the boat they were both holding a few shopping bags lol.

Niki

Day 271

This morning was beautiful. We were in a quiet secluded anchorage and I missed the morning swims we had off the back end in the Bahamas. Today’s section of the ICW was very shallow and narrow and we had to constantly be on our toes. Unfortunately we had the current against us for the whole day and everyone was a little crabby. We saw the normal amounts of dolphins, pelicans, turtles, and for the first time on this trip we saw alligators. We planned to go as far as Georgetown SC but when we looked at the tides for tomorrow we thought we would carry on for another hour or two. We called two marinas and inquired about a third due to the lack of good anchorages but no one could accomidate us so we reverted back to the original plan and are in Georgetown for the night. At the moment Grama and Papa have gone over to a shrimp boat to get some fresh shrimp for the night and we plan to start tomorrow at first light in hopes of having the tide with us for part of the day.

Niki

Day 270

We left early this morning and headed north. We planned to make it to Charleston and thought it would be a long day. Luckily we had the current with us for most of the day. When we arrived at the Wappoo Creek Bridge we needed to anchor for an hour to wait for an opening. In that time I cooked supper while Papa and Grama debated whether or not to move on and try and make the next bridge whos restricted hours would make tomorrows travels difficult.
We decided to try for it and attempt to make the 8pm bridge. The current was flowing in our favour and when we rolled out the jib we flew across the Inlet at about 9 knots. We made the bridge with time to spare and kept pressing on until we reached Dewy Creek. By the time we made it into the anchorage the sun had set and the last little bit of light was fading quickly. We sat in the cockpit enjoying taking a break after a long day. Then we heard several splashes and dolphins exhaling. We could hardly see them because the moon hadn’t risen yet but for a good hour they played around the boat.

Niki

Day 269

We got an early start and flew up the ICW. We had the current with us for most of the day and made great time. A few parts of the ICW had uncharted shoaling and for the first time on this trip I was at the helm when the boat went aground. I backed her off easily but quickly handed over the helm to Papa lol. We attempted to navigated the cut 3 more time and went aground each time. Luckily a local tug came by and agreed to lead us through. The tug went aground twice and ended up dredging an 8’ ditch by forcing his way through.

We made it to Beaufort, SC (thats Be-Ewww-Fort not Bo-Fort). When we were here before we stayed on the dock at Gail and Meindert Wolff’s home on Ladies Island and they invited us to stay there again when we were on our way home. So we docked out on their floating dock and were disappointed that they were not home but left a note for them. It was a nice quiet night and we did practically nothing.

Niki

Day 268

It was sooo nice to have a lazy lay day where we didn’t have to do anything! At 8:30 we got the courtesy car and headed to a Wallmart. By 11 Papa had his hair cut and Grama and I had bought all the food we had ever had a craving for when we were down south and we headed back to the marina.

In the afternoon Papa and Grama went back to Savannah to tour around and I did absolutely nothing! Lol. It was a good day =].

Niki

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some More Pics

Shuttle Launch Station


Light house...obv


In a little Creek


Sub


Dolphin


Eagle


Savannah




Suicide Stairs
(thats seriously what they're called)



A Fireman Got Married


Day 266

Today was a short 30mile stint. We left the creek and headed north although most of the time we were heading east or west. Georgia’s section of the waterway twists and turns and most of the time we’re either heading east or west. We were at Isle Of Hope around 1ish but had to stand off for quite a while before entering the marina. We chose to stop early today because while in Fort Pierce Papa ordered a new chart plotter and had it shipped here.
Once we were in and settled we decided to head into Savannah to tour around. We got on an Ole Savannah tour bus and actually had a nice tour...now I enjoy some history but I’ve been on some really boring tours... but it was fun. We got off the bus by the river and looked through shops, had a great supper and shopped some more =]. By the time we were back onboard we were tired and flaked out in front of the tv! lol

Niki

266

We saw soo many dolphins. More than we’ve seen on this whole trip and many of the pods had a few babies. We traveled all day and anchored in Kilkenny Creek for the night. Not long after we anchored a storm moved in and we had a nice lightening show...all night -_-.

Niki

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 265

We were going to get an early start today but it was foggy so we were forced to stay put. Papa worked on the engine, changing the oil and fuel filters. By the time we were underway it was noon. On the way we had to pass a government navy dock and saw patrol boat circling for quite a while before we saw a submarine tied alongside the wall. We crossed into Georgia and went past Cumberland Island. Papa was the first to notice a small herd of the wild horses. We pulled in at the Jekyll Island marina for the night and made good use of the facilities. It was such a hot day so it didn’t take long before we were up enjoying the pool. Tomorrow we’re hoping to be able to get an early start and get several miles behind us.

Niki

Day 264

I wanted to get internet in the morn as soon as the office was open so even though we weren’t leaving early I didn’t get to sleep in. We were underway before noon and made it to Fernandina Beach by 4. We picked up a mooring just before it started to pour. When the rain cleared we headed into town and walked about the little shops and picked up some grocery items. Travelling the ICW doesn’t really give me many good blog topics =[.

Niki

Day 263

It was another long day. We made it to Jacksonville Beach and took a dock for the night. Umm I can’t really think of anything eventful that happened today =/. We got in just before it started it rain and Papa decided he was cooking tonight so we went to a restaurant not very far away for supper.

Niki

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 262

..Ok maybe we weren’t as spry and ready to get moving in the morning as we though... we planned on leaving at first light, but who needs plans? At 7am Grama woke up and was hollering for me to get my...butt... out of bed and by 7:15 we were well underway.

It was a long day and there were a few stressful moments with the amount of traffic since it was the last day of the holiday weekend. And you can’t have a long day on the ICW without going hard aground. Those are just rules. If you travel the ICW you need to be prepared for:
1) Power-boaters who think it’s funny to see how fast they can pass you and how much wake they can create.
2) You need to be ready to dodge tons of crab pots.
3) You need to be ready for the invasion of a million freaken horse flies that cover every inch of canvas onboard.
4) And most of all you need patience. This is for when you think you’re done for the night after more than 10 hours underway and are looking for an anchorage... then you go so hard aground that there is nothing you can do to get off. You try lowering the dingy off the foredeck and putting the motor on and trying to pull the boat off...and push the boat off...and then call Tow Boat US to come save the day. Then when all that is done and your finally free you get to travel another hour to find the narrowest anchorage that unless desperate (since the sun was setting and a storm fast approaching we qualified for desperate) it is said no one anchors there anymore. It is now that everyone onboard needs extreme patience to get the hook down without killing each other.

Traveling the Inter Coastal Waterway is not for the faint of heart lmao. I’m alive to type this out at 10:31pm so I think all in all it was an ok day. We travelled 70miles (statured not nautical unfortunately) so now we only have 809.2miles left in the ICW (Norfolk, VA is the end of the ICW).

Just reading over this I realize how sarcastic and pissy it makes me sound lol. I would never say I’m not sarcastic or pissy (Grama calls me pissy all the time) but tonight’s turned out to be a nice night, hot as hell, but nice. We’re all in good moods and feel like we’ve accomplished something today, but looking back...well when I think about all the things I ‘endured’ it really amounts to nothing other than constant annoyances, mainly due to the amount of people and I don’t remember it driving me so over the edge on our way down. The Bahamas had been isolated...the exumas atleast... and now the constant buzz of people is exciting yes but there is no more peaceful nights with no unnatural noise, there is no more turquoise water, no more watching for starfish and sharks, no more Bahamas time and (don’t let papa read this or he will be dancing around saying ‘I told you so!’ lol) I kinda miss it. I feel like a horse that’s headed back for the barn, pulling at the bit and traveling as fast as we can, and I’m dying to get home...but I’ve made up my mind that at some point I have to go back to the Bahamas, step back out of the busy rush north Americans live for and get back on Island time =]

Niki

Day 261

This morning started out slow with coffee in the club house/ Mike’s workshop. Eventually after several goodbyes we headed out with Southern Cross. It was a nice day up the ICW and uneventful. I think from now on my posts are going to be short and basically just stating from where to where every day. Sinn Fein has made it as far north as they are going and today as we pulled into Titus Ville it really hit home that this is the end of the road for Southern Cross. We have been told that Ab and Karen might be in Belhaven NC (the place with the human foetuses in formaldehyde and we had our first crab dinner). Vertigo is thought to be a bit north of there. So we have a few lone days ahead of us. We toyed with the idea of staying, borrowing a car from friends we made in the Bahamas, and checking out the Cape Canaveral Space Center. I thought it would be fun but we’re itching to get north and hopefully catch Wipp or Vert before they make it back to Port Stanley. Tomorrow we depart at first light and we plan to go till dusk...the long trek home has begun.

Niki

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 260

Well last night after the blog I headed out to the camp fire and then headed back to Sinn Fein for a movie night with Maria.

This morning Maria and I were lazy. The boys were off to marine stores and the ladies were off shoping so we laid in bed watching movies. By the time we got up it was into the afternoon and Grams told me I needed to clean up my berth...lately I have just been spending the least amount of time I can on the boat and...well it looks like a hurricane went through the V berth...

At 6 we headed up for a dinner/club party and had sooooo much food! We talked and Maria convinced me to play ping pong with her and then it was time for smores!

Niki

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 259

Today we had some nice weather and made it to Melbourne. Just as we were heading in the channel a big black storm cloud hovered overhead and we were worried about a big storm just as we were going to dock. Luckily the storm blew over and we got only a few drops of rain.

Melbourne is where Sinn Fein is being left for the summer and Kathy has continually told us how great it is...we weren’t too excited and planned to move tomorrow but now that we’re here and enjoying the people we’re going to stay another day if not a week lol.

We got off the boat and we’re invited to have a happy hour. It’s been fun and at the moment there’s a camp fire going that maria wants to drag me off to. It looks like it will be a late night with lots of laughs.

Niki

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 258

We were suppose to leave this morning but with it down pouring and a ton of wind we decided to stay put on the dock. I can’t say we did anything of significance today but I hung out with Karen and Maria. Grama, Papa, Kathy and Larry took the car and went to Walmart and Kmart and Denis...I didn’t really see Denis today. We plan to leave tomorrow morn and hopefully the weather will be a little nicer.

Niki

Day 257

Sinn Fein made it here this morning! They have been down in Miami and are going to travel with us as far as Melbourne (a day away) where they will be leaving their boat. We hung out and got caught up and Maria and I did laundry lol. It was an uneventful day but we went out for pizza and this time the pizza place was open. It was fun and our group was loud and rowdy and we had a great time =].

Niki

Day 256

We’ve been in need of a girls day out so today Grama, Karen and I went shopping and to get haircuts! I have been dying for a haircut! We got our haircut in the morning and then headed to a very good Tai restaurant we went to back in Jan. It was great and once the rain cleared up a bit we headed from little shop to little shop.

I couldn’t tell you what the boys did all day but when we got back to the boat Papa was sitting down below playing with his Blackberry. I can’t wait to get back to Canada and to get my cell turned on! We watched tv tonight for the first time in I don’t know how long and enjoyed the free wifi =]. As much as I miss the natural beauty of the islands civilization feels nice!

Niki

Day 255

Today we had to deal with immigration and I was nervous about it. Who enjoys government offices? We rented a car and headed over. Surprisingly it painless and didn’t take very long. On the way back to the boat Grama and I went into a Publix... We aren’t use to the huge grocery stores anymore and kinda went overboard buying things we couldn’t get in the islands. Chips and fresh fruit and pop and non sweet bread and milk!

When we got back to the boat we had lunch and then Denis, Karen, Grama, Papa and I headed out shopping. We went to West Marine and got looking at condos all afternoon. We decided to go out for pizza tonight and at suppertime we headed to the Italian place we had seen. It was closed =[ but we went next door to a Greek restaurant =].

Niki

Day 254

We pulled out of the anchorage and were underway at 2am as we said. The moon was beautiful in the sky with Venus next to it. I couldn’t help but to think about Wendy from Say Yes =] Venus is her star. It was a long night and day.

We arrived and were docked in Fort Pierce Florida at 5:45pm...we got off the boats and Southern Cross and ourselves went out for dinner, had showers and headed to bed.

Niki

Day 253

It was a nice calm day. We once had a bit of rain but other than that I laid around reading. We saw fish muds, where the fish stir up the sand and it looks like a huge several hundred foot sandbar and in a little over 10 hours we were in and anchored. We talked to the other boats and agreed to leave at 2am to head across the Gulf stream... I put my bikini on and went for a swim. By the time we had supper and started to try to fall asleep it was maybe 4h before we were suppose to haul anchor and be leaving. I watched the clock and counted down the mins until we had to be up.

Niki

Day 252

This morning Toucan Dream came by after looking at the weather and called a weather meeting. It looks like the front will allow us a crossing very shortly but if we miss it we may be stuck for a few weeks. Lol stuck in paradise some might say... This trip has been amazing and an incredible experience and i wouldn’t trade it for the world...but it’s lonely and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family again. Physically this is paradise but you need the people you care about to truly make it paradise.

That said we headed out to Allens-Pensacola, a day sail and one day away from what will be our jump off point. We could be 2 days away from our destination I thought... I was soo excited...but then you think about all the responsibility and work back home lol...I’m going to miss the colour of the water, the amount of stars, the sea life, the little towns and times like Black Point and the mac and cheese!! I knew I would probably have only one more time to snorkel because we were suppose to have a layday tomorrow and then start to cross.

We made it to Pensacola and were anchored and invited over to Confluence. It was nice and we talked for a while before supper. When we got back to the boat we ate and then Grama and Papa headed over to after dinner martinis on Toucan Dream while I decided to skip and stay onboard and read.

When they came back I was told we’re doing a 10h sail to Mangrove Cay tomorrow and then crossing the next day so we should get to bed.

To be honest (as I’m typing this out after the fact) I really didn’t believe I would be in the states in 2 days... I thought we would get storm stead and I’d have more time to snorkel and explore and escape reality lol. Living in a world with limited news and isolated islands has its ups and downs but as much as I wanted to see people I enjoyed the beauty of the islands and had trouble leaving them.

Niki

Day 251

Today is some sort of deal day at a marina here where any food or drinks you buy will be credited to your dockage and they advertise you drinking your dockage away. So quite a few of us decided to head into the dock and do just that lol. Ourselves, Southern Cross, Sea Dancer and Toucan Dream decided to lay by the pool for the day and later have supper at the marina restaurant. It was fun and soo nice to lay by the pool (although I burnt =[. I was doing so well and I’m more tanned then I’ve ever been!). We talked about weather windows and when we might be able to cross to the states and what this tropical wave might do... We’re going to have quite a crossing party as boats began to talk and agree about crossing times. So far we have ourselves (obviously) and southern Cross, and then Sea Dancer, Southern Estate, Confluence, Toucan Dream and possibly another cat to make up our flotilla.

Niki

Day 250

We slept in this morning and eventually decided to go tour New Plymouth, the settlement on Green Turtle. We headed over in the dingy and on the way looked at a boat Bob asked Denis to check out. When we arrived we checked out several little shops and walked some of the town. The towns in the Abaco are huge cities compared to the towns farther south in the Exumas. It’s like trying to compare Shedden to London. The town was very cute and surprisingly there were no dirt roads. They had a museam and a memorial sculpture garden. We scouted out places to have lunch and went to 3 recommended places to find they were closed and eventually made it to a place called Macintosh. The food was incrediable and we were soo stuffed we didn’t even eat dinner when we finally got back to the boat. We agreed to go into a bar to hear a local musician around 9 but we could hear him from the boat and decided to stay onboard.

Niki
Hope Town





Me climbing the mast






And Climbing





Still Climbing





Woot finally at the top




taking pics x]





Green Turtle Cay

Well I've been up the mast and got pics so we had to get me sitting on the Keel

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 249

We were up in good time to have showers and get ready to head over to Green Turtle Cay. Once underway we only part way out the channel before Southern Cross’s engine died and they started to head back under sail. We turned around in case they needed assistance and once we were in the lee of the land there was too little wind to give them steerage and we towed them into the anchorage.

In no time we were underway again, Denis having patched up a leak in his diesel hose. The trip was short and we made it into the anchorage in good time...although we had some trouble getting the anchor to set. 1) the anchor doesn’t set well in weed, 2) no one was really communicating 3) our anchor caught a 6’ loose pipe on the bottom that we were unaware of until we pulled up the anchor after dragging it across the anchorage. Needless to say we were happy when we finally got it to set.

It was such a hot night and Grama made up some great stir fry but the cooking almost made the cabin unbearably hot! We went to sleep with the hatches open so of course it had to rain lol.

Niki

Day 248

This morning we felt lazy. Running the genny (a.k.a the generator or Grama’s red baby) and we had some light rain. Unfortunately the hatches in both the head and the aft cabin were open and we had a bit of water to clean up.

After lunch we headed into land and I had some more online time before talking to a guy I met and went spear fishing...now I was nervous, someone being as accident prone as I shouldn’t swim with a spear! But it was fun. We went to a sunken barge and really didn’t see anything edible. We gave up on that location and headed towards a cove... not realizing that a large shallow patch ran quite a ways out before we could get back in and when the bottom came abruptly up we had to get the motor up and had a time using the oars to push against the waves and into deeper water (neither of us had shoes and the coral was too sharp to just get out and push it). Oh well we called it an adventure. Back in deeper water we still didn’t see any game fish and started to head back. We checked out a little island and found some creepy stuff (a stuffed duck and jars of god knows what). We decided to try one last spot (well he did because he had bragged that we would catch a few fish at the barge and had nothing) just outside of the channel he got out and looked around and when he said there were fish I got in. There were fish but here the water was murky and after a few boats came flying in the no wake channel we decided it was too dangerous to be in the water there and headed back.

Southern Cross invited us to supper and at 6 we were ready to head over when it started to rain. We thought oh well rain lasts like 5 mins so we waited...and waited and waited some more lol. Finally we got over there a half an hour later and Denis cooked up some great pork tenderloin and Karen did some sides and it was delicious.

I went to Blue Runner at 730ish and had to show Nick how to use a vacuum sealer lol and he tried to teach me to prepare the ballyhoo (a type of fish) to be used as bait. You had to poke the eyes out and literally squeeze the crap out of them and I told him he was nuts and went to post some stuff to the blog haha. When I got back we went to one of his friend’s boats and watched hockey! Lol I haven’t watched hockey since I was home for Christmas and went to a Knights game with my dad.

Niki

Day 247

Today started out great! I went and sat online for most of the morning lol. I miss talking to everyone and hearing about prom and my cousin was telling me about the dress she got...
In the afternoon the internet died and I had two guys come try to help me. We talked for quite a while and I was invited back to the Blue Runner for dinner. Grama and Papa liked the idea and quickly made plans for a romantic dinner alone lol. I couldn’t have giving her a better mothers day present.

Grams and I laid by the pool and kinda napped on and off until dinner time. They headed to the restaurant and I headed for dinner and we both had a fun evening.

When I got back onboard that evening I had to tell Grams and Papa about the Blue Runner. It’s a 61’ sport fisher that is quite impressive. When I first got onboard I think the first thing I noticed was a HUGE flat screen tv that at the push of a button disappeared into the cabinet below it. It had a large kitchen that i was completely jealous of, it had several rooms and 3 heads with glass showers. When you’re in the stern and open a door to go below there were two of the largest engines I have ever seen and was immediately thankful of our motor. These are probably more than 30x the size of ours and looking at one of the filters that weighs a little more than 40lbs ours seems simple. I mean on our motor Papa can easily change the oil and do most repairs on his own, on these it takes 2 people and quite a few hours to change the oil. I have a new appreciation for the Butt and if I were ever to get a large power boat it will be large enough to have mechanics to take care of any of that crap!

Niki

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 246

Arrived in Treasure Cay. It was a short trip like all the others and we were nicely anchored in the afternoon. Tomorrows Mothers Day so when I found there was good internet here I quickly made use of it and made several skype calls home =]. At 9pm there was a band playing at a local bar and Grama and Papa went... I had alot to catch up on online =]

Niki

Day 245

We lazed around in the morning. Papa and Denis headed into town to go to the bank and pick up a few things at the grocery store. Grama and I sat in the cockpit and did nothing. We did see a turtle and when Grama started to throw bread crumbs overboard we had several schools of fish and one large mutton snapper swimming around the boat.

In the early afternoon we hauled up anchor and headed over to Man-O-War Cay. It was a very short trip (only 8 or 9 miles) and within no time we were in the harbour and tied to a mooring ball. We went ashore and did a walk about the island, had ice cream and Grams, Pops and Southern Cross enjoyed the pool.

Niki

Day 244

This morning the mechanic came aboard and confirmed our alternator was toast from the start. He said it was definitely faulty from the factory. So we called up the supplier we got the alternator from and he called the factory several times for us and then told us that he was getting nowhere with them and we should call the factory ourselves. We called and the manager answered right away and would not listen to the situation and cut papa short and told him to look in his warranty manual on pg25 and it clearly states that we would have to send our alternator back to them and wait for the factory to determine that it was faulty (although regardless of whether it was faulty from the start or not it’s less than 3 months old and is covered under warranty anyways!). They refused to even send an alternator, give us a time frame to send our alternator back and if they find its fine they could charge it to papas credit card.

We tried to explain that the belt that runs the alternator is also the belt that runs the cooling system in our engine and to remove it would make us immobile. The manager commented back that if we were any kind of sailors we would have spares. We said we did have a spare, we have two Power line alternators and they both died on us! Needless to say we did not get a new alternator shipped to us and looking at the weather forecast we can’t stay put here or else it will be several more weeks before we get a good window to cross back to the states. Grama and I wanted off of the boat. We took the dingy and headed over to Southern Cross, picked up Karen and headed into town lol.

When we got back to the boat we decided to have Karen and Denis over for dinner and we had a nice night. They only condition was no one was allowed to say alternator >_>

Niki

Day 243

This morning we decided it was calm enough and the fact that we haven’t had a wind instrument (tells wind speed and direction) since we left Nassau on day 156... basicaly that day Grama was mad and said she didn’t want to see any more 30 knot winds and the wind instrument quite working and we haven’t had it since. So I was going to go up the mast and see if there was any obstructions blocking the instrument from spinning and working and I took up some corrosion lock to try and see if that would help.

In going up the mast I have the bosun’s chair but it would be hard for papa to grind me all the way to the top so I have to literally climb the mast. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted! I played with the wind instrument for a while and applied a ton of corrosion block but it was still stiff and we think it has permanently seized and we’ll need to replace it when we get home. When we determined that I stopped and just looked around at the view. From here I could see over to the ocean, all of hope town and alot of boats lol. I said to Grama that I should have brought the camera up and she agreed so I told her to attach it to the spinnaker halyard and send it up...well there was another little problem with that, the spinnaker halyard doesn’t come to the top of the mast it goes to about 4’ down from the top. So I had to stretch and struggle mostly out of the bosun’s chair and grab it with my toes and hoist it up...in doing so the straps on the bosun’s chair were moved to awkward spots and I no longer think I have a right boob but I did get some nice pictures.

By the time I was back on the deck we had to get ready to move to marsh harbour. We got everything ready to quickly go into the fuel dock before we were to head out and then we found out there was a long line up for the fuel dock and we had to sit and wait for quite a while. So we decided to run the engine so we would be ready to slip our lines and go...and the engine over heated and the alternator started to smell...like it did when we first put it on. Papa played with the engine but couldn’t find anything wrong or different but the alternator wouldn’t do its third step up and was making a squealing noise =/.

We finally got to the fuel dock and filled our diesel, gas and water tanks and then we headed to Marsh Harbour. It was an easy sail and we were in and anchored and off the boat in no time. We went looking for a mechanic and booked a guy to come out tomorrow morning.

Niki

Day 242

We walked Hope Town and shopped =]. We hit an ice cream place and when we decided that it was too hot going around town we headed over to the marina pool.

For supper it was dinner movie night at an inns bar. We sat outside under the stars and watched Australia. It was a good movie and with the blowing wind we had real sound effects.

Niki

Day 241

We sailed almost all the way to Hope Town. Today’s sail was how I envisioned the Bahamas. We only did about 3-4 knots but it was nice. We had several tacks and jibes but the boat was perfectly still and the water was a mill pond.

Getting into Hope Town we picked up a mooring ball and though wow this is crowded. It was getting later so we stayed onboard... Im not sure how I’m going to do when we get home because there was a bit of traffic noise and it bugged me..

Niki

Day 240

At slack tide we went snorkelling. The snorkelling was right out in the open by a large cut. The waves were rolling in and I decided to stay in the dingy and lay in the sun. The ride home we were beating into the swells and by the time we got to the beach we looked like drown rats.

At the beach we collected shells and once we were back onboard we showered off, got in dry clothes and put on our wet gear to go to town. We wanted to see the art gallery and we heard of a fish fry. When we got there the gallery was closed (it was suppose to be open till 4 and it was 1) and we were told the fish fry wasn’t happening. We decided to make the best of it and walked to the ocean side beach and got drinks at the bar.

Niki

Day 239

I was up early to have a last LONG hot shower... mainly just to prove Grama wrong that i could get up early :P. We slipped our dock lines at 7:15 and headed over to the
It was a looonnnnggg day but i managed to only get seasick once and only for a short time.

Got into the Abaco and nicely anchored behind Lynyard Cay. It was calm and nice. But it took a few tries to get the fortress to set. We had a lazy night and stayed aboard making plans for tomorrow

Niki

Day 237

We’re possibly leaving tomorrow so I went up to the golf cart rental place where I can get free internet and spent from 10:30am to 4:30pm downloading the blog and putting up pics and videos. When I got back to the boat we left for southern cross who had invited us over to dinner. It was delicious and we had a great time.

Now today I would like to point out that things do go on and I have to omit them from the blog as to be politically correct. Today was interesting sitting at the golf cart place and when I’m not posting it online it’s a funny story...

Niki

Captain’s Log

Spanish Wells
The Bahamas

April 25 2009

I last wrote on February 5 in Nassau. From Nassau we made our way downthe Exuma chain to Georgetown on Great Exuma Island, southeast to LongIsland, back to Georgetown and retraced our steps up the Exuma Chain. Last week we crossed the banks back to New Providence, but rather thanentering Nassau harbour we chose to anchor off Rose Island, just minutesfrom downtown Nassau, yet a tranquil beach (except when the cruise shipsoff loaded passengers to the beach in their bum boats) with reefs tosnorkel right off the stern of the boat. We have been with SouthernCross, Windswept and Sinn Fein. Windswept and Sinn Fein are enteringNassau harbour and heading back to Bimini and then Miami. We have crossedthe North East Providence Channel to Spanish Wells, just north ofEleuthera and are waiting out yet another cold front before we move northto Great Abaco. We have just extended our visas enabling us to remain inthe Bahamas till May 24 2009.

Let me elaborate on the ‘cold fronts’ we have experienced down here. Acold front does bring cooler but also more stable air. That means aslight dip in temperature from the mid 80’s to mid 70’s if you are on theboat. On land it’s still typically much warmer. I haven’t worn longpants since Miami and only seldom do you add a sweater over a shortsleeved T shirt. The ‘cold front’ problem is the high winds that comefrom the North to East quadrant (00 – 90 degrees). Depending where youare it’s difficult to impossible to move a boat to a new destination inthese conditions. Consequently we spent a lot more time in Georgetownbecause we couldn’t get out. Right now in Spanish Wells the weatherforecast suggests it will be next weekend before we can head north to theAbacos. We plan to spend perhaps two weeks in the Abacos and then crossback to Florida mid May.

Over Easter David and Karen Kentner flew in to join us at Staniel Cay. Wehad a great time snorkelling the Thunderball Cave (as in 007 movies) aswell as great reefs in Cambridge Cay which is part of the Exuma Cays Landand Sea Park, My favourite was the reef and two caves at Rocky Dundas. Their visit was a great boost for us and a chance to share our Bahamasexperience with family.

Several nights ago in Spanish Wells we enjoyed ‘the hour of the swallow’(actually it was a pleasant two hours) at the home of Tom and JeanGoldson, with our hosts and locals Jock and Hawk and their wives and ofcourse Dennis and Karen from Southern Cross. The get together was theresult of a chance meeting between Southern Cross and Tom and Jean. Assoon as Port Stanley was mentioned they wanted to know if we knew Marv andMary Nethercott. Of course we do. Well they cruised with them over 10years ago on their first cruise south. Since them they bought a differentboat, sold their home in Rhode Island and bought property in SpanishWells. Although its been a long while since they cruised together theyremember Marv and Mary with great fondness. Being from Port Stanley andknowing those that have cruised before us (Nethercotts, Rands, Don Wilson,Lesaks) has become a badge of honour to be worn proudly. It has been thepassport to many memorable encounters with long term cruisers.

We have been cruising now some eight months and I sense my crew is readyfor a vacation from the vacation. They are ready to step back into theold familiar life. “The sea faring rat”, a character from one of myfavourite books “Wind in the Willows” talks about going to sea, steppingout of the old life and into the new as a simple transitory action that ina moment of time changes you forever. Not so for my crew. The odyssey iswinding down. When we hit the Florida coast it will be a hurried treknorth and this passage will become but a warm memory.

Luckily for me it will be a part of me forever. ‘Though it has been farmore enjoyable for me I couldn’t have experienced this on my own. I willalways be grateful to Maxine and Niki for living my dream and making it areality.


Wayne
S/V Nice Butt

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pics!

The Sand Castle in Blackpoint






Blackpoint Group Pic








Bitter Guana Cay



video



Staniel- Dave and Karen!!








Papa in da Dink





Thunderball












Pig Beach







Cambridge






video



video

video


Back to Staniel- Dave and Karen's Last Day






The Clock




The Sharks







video





:'(





Easter






Our Fire on Pig Beach











Warderick Wells








Papa's Birthday










The Lobster Quasadilla!!




sweet nothings :P