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IATO
Dominican Republic
Capt. Rick
12/11/2008, Luperon

Luperon Dominican Republic

As I write we are crossing the channel between the Turks and Cacos Islands. We have 150 miles to go to reach Luperon in the Dominican Republic. We left George Town in the Exumas about a week ago and headed to Rum Cay to wait for a weather window in hopes to head direct to the BVI. Unfortunately between the cold fronts and the trade winds we could wait for a month for that weather window. So, traveling with 3 other boats we headed out for the Turks and Cacos. That trip took us about 36 hours in very light winds but nice calm seas. We never checked into the Turks and Cacos but decided to just anchor off the islands for the night to get ready for today's trip.

It looks like we will arrive tomorrow morning sometime around 8 or nine am. We are looking forward to seeing the sights and working on the boat for a couple of weeks. I hope to learn some Spanish, but if you know me you know that is impossible.

The weather is warm and the water is getting warmer as we go. Right now it's about 80 degrees. Yesterday Linda pulled in our first Mahi-Mahi and about an hour later I got one. We some up for dinner and it was fresh and fantastic. Our Freezer is packed full now that we added the Mahi.

Before we left the US, we got a blackberry and an AT&T international plan. That has worked out for us very well. Every place we have gone except two over the past month we have had internet and email on our phone. It makes it real easy to check in on the kids and family. If you have a blackberry and would like to contact us, it is set up on email address: landhooo@hotmail.com or sailiato@gmail.com.
Check out our picture galleries and don't be afraid to leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.

George Town
RicK
11/24/2008, In the Exumas Bahamas

I'm writing from George Town Exumas in the Bahamas. We have been here for about 4 days now and plan on staying about a month. We have come a long way since the last blog entry. After arriving in West Palm Beach we spent a week in the yard painting the bottom of the boat and cleaning and waxing the rest of the boat. Ken and Pat McConahay arrived on the 7th of November and we headed out that night for the Bahamas. It went as smooth as you can hope for and we arrived in Freeport the next morning. That was the easiest leg of our trip. The whole time we were watching Hurricane Puloma over Cuba. Luckily we were right and the hurricane fell apart.

The rest of the trip to George Town was as rough as I've seen. It wasn't the Hurricane that got us, it was a high pressure system over the South Eastern US and the following 3 cold fronts that came through. While the US was freezing from the cold fronts our weather was nice and warm but very, very windy. As a cruiser when this happens you find a nice spot to hide and enjoy life. But we had travelers with us with a date to be back to work and they were to fly out of George Town. So with that in mind we kept going. We left Freeport and sailed to the Berry Islands, through the islands and on to Nassau. We rested a day and then sailed to the northern end of the Exuma islands and then on to George Town about 90 miles south.

At one time leaving the Berry Islands we had to go through a passage between two islands. The seas were the roughest I've ever sailed in with short steep 10 foot waves. The action for about 5 minutes was so rough that our 1 inch tubing that holds up our hard top broke in 4 different places. We just got that fixed today. We have learned our lesson about having to get to someplace on a certain date. Future travelers with us will have to be more flexible. Come be with us when we are going to be in one area for a while and all that will be a non issue. But, with that said we enjoyed having Ken and Pat with us. Ken/McGiver is a lot of help in bad situations.

George Town is like a cruisers trailer park. Right now there are only 12 boats with us in the anchorage. They say within about a month there will be about 300. The water is unbelievable gorgeous and the beaches are nice. The gang here spends lots of time hanging around the beach playing games and just visiting. They say there are a lot of pot luck dinners that we look forward to.

That's all for now. Hope everyone stateside can stay warm this winter. I think I'll go for a swim.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Off the coast of Georgia
Rick
10/15/2008, Near Jeckyl Island

I am currently cruising down the coast of Georgia about ten miles off shore. The seas are pretty calm and there isn't much to do so I have time to catch up the blog. I rarely stay on the dock and usually anchor out, but tonight I'm going to dock at Jeckyl Island GA. because the marina has a low country boil dinner that I'm not going to miss. Then tomorrow is off for a day in Cumblerland Island. What a great quiet place. I look forward to a long walk on the beach with Max.


We left New York City about the 15th of September after riding out the tropical storm. With just a few hops we were back in the Norfolk VA area and stayed for another storm anchored in Hampton VA. Harbor. This Nor Easter was worse then the tropical storms. Even though we saw 45 to 50 knot winds we rode it out fine in the very protected harbor.

After leaving New York we went about 20 miles to stage for an overnighter in Sandy Hook NJ. Then we went non stop to Cape May NJ about 150 miles south of there. We stayed a couple of days waiting for the next weather window. After about 4 days we took off for Norfolk VA about 170 miles away. It took us exactly 24 hours so you can see we were making good time. The winds were about 10 knots fast then they had predicted.

After a week in Hampton we headed South down the inter coastal waterway with a date of October 11th to be in Charleston. Linda made plans to fly home to visit family on that date. We felt it important for her to be with her mom because we are leaving for the Carribean and will be gone for atleast 8 months. Our goal is to sail all the way to Trinidad down by South America by June of next year. At that time we will fly home for a visit during the hurricane season. Most sailors insurance policies require boats to be south of the 10th parrell latitude or North of North Carolina during hurricane season. Trinidad meets that stipulation.

For the first time we stopped in Kitty Hawk NC to visit one of linda's old girl friends. By old I don't mean she was old, just they have known each other since grade school. Mary and Tom were very gracious and invited us into their wonderful home on the water with an award winning view both out front and out back. For my 51'st birthday we sat out on their dock and ate fresh, just pulled out of the water crabs that Tom caught. After that we had a wonder full second meal followed by a home made birthday cake. It doesn't get any better then that.

One funny story to tell. On our way down the ICW in SC about 12 miles outside of Charleston, mind you we are out in the middle of e in the morning that we had dragged the length of a foot ball field
no where with not a house to be seen. We pulled off the ICW in the mud flats. It was very dark when we anchored and we had a hell of a time getting the anchor to hold. Well I went to be thinking we were good only to find out in the morning that we had dragged the length of a football field and we were stuck real bad in the mud with an out going tide. I foolishly tried to drive the boat out of the mud but she was 6 inches out of the water and would not budge. About this time a saint came down the ICW in the form of a big shrimp boat. I called the Laura Anne on the radio and they volunteered to help. So I tied some really heavy rope together and they tried to come over to me but it was too shallow. So I jumped in the cold water at 7:30am and took the rope to them. Talk about a strong boat. They dragged us out with no problem. It was a father and son team on the boat and I'm Thankful they came along. Just another experience. Any cruiser who says that they have never been stuck aground in the ICW is lying to you.

Hope everyone's well. Don't be afraid to write.

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Who: Rick and Linda Wilson
Port: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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