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Sailing the Atlantic
11/10/2012, Georgia Coast

When sailing a long day on the ocean you have to take turns at the helm. Photo is of Martha taking her turn.

11/10/2012 | Daisy
Oh it's such a tough job...but SOMEBODY has to do it! BTW Aunt Martha, that's the way I like to sail or motorsail! Hope to see you soon!
11/11/2012 | Wayne & Wendy
Martha's doing a great job. She's so good she can sail with her eyes closed!!
11/11/2012 | David and Hallie
Is that what you mean by an autopilot??
David and Hallie
11/20/2012 | Jan V
Hey, that's how I do my watch as well. I think Jane has a similar picture.
Way to go Martha.

Cheers, Jan
Sunny and Cool

After leaving Savannah we have been working our way south on the ICW. A friend of ours, Jim Gardner who has done this trip many times, warned us that Georgia may get a little boring. The ICW in this area is made of many interconnected rivers and with that comes endless bends and turns. You need to travel over 15 miles to go 10 miles as the crow flies. I didn't think we would be longing for the straight stretches of the Dismal Swamp. To avoid any more rivers and turns we decided to head out into the ocean for an outside passage as they call it. The picture of the chart plotter shows our path from Savannah to Sapelo Sound where we went out into the Atlantic. One problem with going outside, besides any weather concerns, is that you have to go out over 5 miles to avoid the shoals before you can turn south. Then you have to come in another 5 miles to a find a marina or anchorage for the night. Another problem is that many inlets and sounds are very prone to shoaling and can be navigated with local knowledge only. We chose 2 inlets that we were quite certain were safe. We were also able to go out and in at high tide to lessen any risk. The end result is we made it to the boarder of Florida in one long day, sunrise to sunset, and saved 2 days travel on the ICW. It was also nice to put all the sails up and just run on autopilot all day. Nice and relaxing and we felt like a sailboat again.

Sunny but cool

Savannah is another of our favourite cities. We got a spot at the city dock for the night that is right down town. A lot of tourists looking at the boat and asking questions. Two guys from Niagara on the Lake who own a bed and breakfast there saw our Canadian Flag and stopped by to talk. Diane and Al from Always $umthing followed us in so we had happy hour on Eagle's Wings and could listen to the local entertainment from the boat. We continued our search for the famous place that serves the Beignet, a fried pastry covered in icing sugar that is consumed with coffee. We looked all over Charleston but no luck. If not there then we thought is must be Savannah. We asked lots of locals but no one new what we were talking about. We settled on a regular coffee shop and then it hit me. New Orleans, that's where it was. The old grey matter is not what it used to be. Speaking of old and grey - we tried to get into a bar where live music was going to start in 20 minutes but the guy on the door ID'd us. As Martha did not have her purse with her he refused to let us in. I explained that we were both over 60 and Martha showed him a good length of her newly grown out natural grey hair but he refused to let us in. Somehow being rejected made us feel good. It continues to be unseasonably cool. Today I broke down and bought a jacket and light sweater. I am tired of wearing my only fleece everywhere. Now that I have another change of warm cloths I'm sure the weather will improve. Lets see.

11/08/2012 | Jan Varkevisser
Hi Bill and Martha,

It's good to see some news from your trip. I didn't know you were running a blog. Excellent. Better get to the warmer weather soon :-)

Take care, fairwinds.


11/08/2012 | Helena Allan
Jack and I are glad are you enjoying your trip. We are a bit jealous and wish we were doing same.

Jack busy putting new diesel engine. He is also now "Captain" Jack and so is Brian & Andrew. The next step is going to be captaining the little tour boat a few hours each week next summer. Then they can move onto the next license and bigger boats. We will miss you at the Commodore's Ball at the club. Safe sailing!

Helena and Jack Allan
11/08/2012 | Chris&Ivor
Great to read fo your adventure, brings back old, old memories(1982-3). Thinking of you during Sandy and wondering how you were doing, glad the worst missed you. Safe and warm wishes. Chris &Ivor
11/08/2012 | mike
We just wanted to write and say hello. We recently started following your blog and love it. You two are on the trip of our dreams and we hope to follow in your foot steps some day soon.

Mike and Marcela
11/08/2012 | Jean Thomson
I love Savannah, gorgeous old buildings set around a park square. Hope you have time to enjoy the sights.
Skull Creek Marina
11/05/2012, Hilton Head Island

We left Beaufort and made our way to the north entrance to Hilton Head Island looking for a safe anchorage. With a lot of care we explored a couple of spots until we could find just the right depth and swing room. A little nerve wracking, but ended with a very comfortable and quiet night. We pulled into Skull Creek Marina mid morning and true to Bills nature we bounded off the dock, onto loaner bicycles and without any available map we wound and wound our way around the "plantation" as they call these gated communities. We understood that the nearest shops were four or five miles away. We seemed to find our way and enjoyed a coffee and fresh baked cinnamon bun, then decided to take advantage of the close by Wallmart and pick up needed milk, eggs, wine... etc. It was a challenge to then load too many purchases into 2 bike baskets and 2 back packs. It's always a problem not to load up when the opportunity presents itself. Now weighted down, we had to find our way home. The houses all began to look the same and not only that, we also started to pass the same people a second time as we wound our way. Bill kept remarking that it was funny we hadn't found the same bike trail on the way out of the plantation. Following my fearless Skipper (or Captain as they all say down here) we must have covered at least 15 miles and with aching legs (and butts) we finally found ourselves back at the boat. Not much else done today.

11/07/2012 | Di and Al
What? No Happy Hour??? That's reason to walk the plank, mateys!

Where are you or where are you going today? We are headed out this morning...maybe we'll catch you...NOT! :)
Always $umthing
Sunny cooler
11/05/2012, Hilton Head Island

One of the boats we met in Elizabeth City and have spent time with in several other ports along the way is named Always $umthing. Al and Diane are from New Jersey but keep their Tartan 37 sailboat on the Chesapeake. On our way into Oriental we heard them on the radio saying they were going into port to have some suspected problems with the engine checked out. Next we heard them calling tow boat US for help. On there way into port they ran aground and needed a tow to get off. On this day they certainly lived up to their name. A friend of ours, David Groves, says that the definition of cruising is "fixing your boat in exotic places" In preparation for the trip I had our water pump for the diesel engine rebuilt. It was leaking a tiny little bit. Well now it is leaking even more. I called the shop and they agreed to rebuild it again when we return home in December. Well it is now leaking so bad I can't wait until December so I ordered a new $300.00 pump and had it shipped to a marina on Hilton Head Island. We booked two nights at the marina and hope the part comes in tomorrow. The good news is that it is an easy part to replace and having a spare on board is not a bad idea. The photo was taken the night before Sandy hit when the sky's were magical.

A tale of two Beauforts
Warm and Sunny
11/04/2012, Beaufort SC

Two of our favorite small towns on our trip so far are Beaufort. Earlier I wrote about our visit to Beaufort, North Carolina, pronounced BO-fort. We are now in Beaufort, South Carolina, pronounced BEW-fort. Both have wonderful waterfronts lined with stores, pubs and restaurants. Both have a place to anchor your boat close to the downtown and provide a dingy dock. Locals in both cities are fiercely loyal to their home town and say they are privileged to live there. We enjoyed both Beauforts a lot and spent two great days in each. For us though, we have to give the thumbs up to BEW-fort for its lovely moss covered tree lined streets, extensive waterfront, and the many swing benches overlooking the water. They also have $1.00 draft beer served in a tall glass on a waterfront patio.

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Who: Bill and Martha Newman
Port: Hamilton, Ontario
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