The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

27 May 2017 | Port Royal SC
26 May 2017 | Anchorage at Broad Creek Hilton Head
25 May 2017 | Sap Elon Island, New Tea Kettle Creek
24 May 2017 | Fernandina, FL
23 May 2017 | Fernandina Beach Marina Morring Field
22 May 2017 | Saint Augustine FL
21 May 2017 | Saint Augustine FL
20 May 2017 | Daytona, Seven Seas Marina
19 May 2017 | Anchorage Cocoa Fl
19 May 2017 | Cocoa FL
18 May 2017 | Eau Gallie Yacht Basin
17 May 2017 | Eau Gallie Yacht Centre
16 May 2017 | Mooring field at Stuart
15 May 2017 | Sunset Bay Marina, mooring ball 53, Stuart FL
14 May 2017 | Sunset Bay Marina Stuart FL
13 May 2017 | Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart FL
12 May 2017 | Sunset Bay Marina Stuart, FL
11 May 2017 | Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart, FL
10 May 2017 | Stuart Fl

Port Royal Landing Marina

27 May 2017 | Port Royal SC
Mike/hot and sticky again
It's always an adventure when you anchor, isn't it?

I'm not referring to the actual act of dropping and setting the hook, but rather in finding out if you've done a good job of it or not. Such are the things that dreams are not made of. This is especially true of those places where there is a significant tidal current. In those instances you arrive, drop anchor, set it in by backing down on it, and then for as long as the current runs in the same direction all is well. But what happens when the tide changes and the flood current ebbs? Have you done a great job and the anchor merely twists in the mud and corkscrews itself in deeper? Or does it pop out and bounce along the bottom without resetting itself? Yesterday, after we got in from the yuck trying to get to Southport the anchor set perfectly but that doesn't means it would again last night. We have had two horrible experiences with a dragging anchor: one in Ketch Harbour at home where we were saved by our friend Vince who rowed his dingy over and pounded on our hull to wake us up so we could reset the anchor and the other in North Lake Worth when Barb happened to look up from reading and wondered why that boat was passing us so quickly and wasn't making any noise and didn't leave a wake. Of course, it was us who was moving and she quickly roused me from slumber so, again, we could re-anchor. I didn't get much sleep after that as you can imagine. Notice a common theme here? In both cases I was asleep. We were saved by luck and by friends. So, now I am a little paranoid. I mean, how much can you rely on luck, and a friend who, first will notice, and second, is prepared to launch his dingy and row over to warn you. It's nerve wracking!

So, I stayed up to watch the current shift from flow to ebb and see what happened and to get new points of reference that I can check the anchor set by and see if we're dragging and, whew. We're not! The only other thing that I would have to worry about would be if there was any strong wind blowing which, fortunately, there wasn't.

Huzzah! Funny, isn't it? How sometimes, apparently small things can make us happiest?

Anyway, by 1130 we we tied up alongside at Port Royal Municipal Marina again. I think this is the second time that we stayed here - a really nice spot with great facilities within easy walking distance from groceries, hardware, machine parts, and the all important alcohol. Not that we had to walk anywhere since Bill and Ann Robertson, folks we met here in 2012 at our last stop, were kind and gracious enough to not only host us to dinner but also to drive us about to buy various provisions. They have recently moved here from Atlanta and have a magnificent new home with an astounding view of a salt water marsh from their dining room, living room, guest bedroom and master bedroom. I would never have thought that a marsh view would be an asset until we saw this place - birds, deer, raccoons, etc in abundance all by just looking out their window. They BBQed us a wonderful dinner and as an extra attraction we met their daughter, Christine, who lives just south of Saint Augustine and among other things works taking care of nesting turtles. A fascinating woman to speak to and to learn about what that entails.

One issue on the boat is that the cranking bank wasn't doing its thing this morning and I had to jump start it from the house bank. This is the second time that this has happened. As some of you may know, when we bought the Yanmar to replace the Perkins it came with a 12V starter. Instead of waiting the week or so to get a 24v starter I chose to simply patch into the lower 12V of the cranking bank and still charge the overall 24V cranking bank from the 24V alternator. In theory this should work but this is the second time that the lower battery has failed. I spoke to a local diesel mechanic and learned that he had seen this before and advised me to check to see if the solenoid was also keyed by 12V or 24V. I seem to remember that when they installed the engine back in Deltaville they used the existing wiring that was in place for the keyed system that came with the boat. If that is the case then the solenoid is activated by the 24V system which the mechanic said is what caused similar problems in the past in his experience.

As we were being driven home by Bill and Ann I was giving this much thought and have decided that tomorrow, instead of charging off, we will fix this problem once and for all. First I will make sure that is the issue with my VOM, then I will figure out how to re-wire the whole starter circuit. Hopefully it won't be too hard to trace.

This marina has a deal that if you stay here for 2 days the 3rd is free so unless I can get it fixed tomorrow AM we might end up here for a couple of days. I keep having to remind myself that we are retired and what is the rush? The answer, of course, is that we miss our family, we miss Canada, and we miss our friends in Shelburne.

Hilton Head with the rich and famous

26 May 2017 | Anchorage at Broad Creek Hilton Head
Mike/ nice weather
Well, didn't spend last night as I had imagined. Instead of watch shifts at sea we were swatting horseflies and lighting insect coils.

Oh well.

All was not a total disaster. Barb made some cornbread in a frypan. One of my favourites. We are out of bread and had planned to be in Southport and to a grocery store tomorrow night so this is our carb substitute.

As for the day, we were up and did all the normal first of the day stuff and then we were off. Up the ditch. In retrospect we could have made the same trip in half the time by simply squeezing out on the outside and motoring in more or less a straight line up the coast. As it was we did the Georgia zig zag which is not a bad thing since very little of the Georgia ICW is developed and it is mostly wild marshlands and barrier islands. The Georgia State Bird has to be the horsefly, and if it isn't, based only on numbers, it should be. Barb developed a new hunting pastime - stalking and killing the State Bird. Stalk sneak creep quiver and then whack whack whack followed, if successful, by a happy dance in the cockpit.

Everything was going well until we got to a spot called, aptly, Hell Gate. There, if we were to believe them, the guide books all talked about 2-3' of water at mid to low tide which was where we were. We called TowBoatUS and they said the same thing, so, we took the nearest Inlet which happened to be right there and by great skill and courage on my part, for which I really mean a great deal of luck, we squeezed out a shallow Inlet. Next step was to dodge a dozen shrimp trawlers and then fly down the coast to the Inlet between Tybee Island and Hilton Head and around the corner back into the ICW where Barb had researched a nice little anchorage in a place called Broad Creek.

But, before we got there we had one more adventure.

For the last two days we had been hearing this "Pan, Pan" message from the Coast Guard about a reported overturned boat and possible people in the water. They were asking everyone who saw it to report in and help if possible. Guess what?! We were coming up on R2 on our way into the harbour and when I came abreast of what I thought was the buoy until we saw that it was a deployed life raft attached to a sunken boat, the only part of which could be seen was the port corner transom.

We reported in to the Coast Guard and they thanked us for the updated position report but said that we didn't have to hang around. I gleaned that it was a shrimper and that it was part of an ongoing search and rescue op but that was all. They didn't want us to hang around although we volunteered so off we went and arrived at Broad Creek around 1915. Snug and comfy, ready to head out tomorrow for Port Royal to fuel and water and go grocery and liquid sustenance shopping and visit with some friends we had met on one of our previous trips.

For Sunday we have a number of options:

1. Weather permitting we head out for Southport again. A day and a half trip.

2. Weather permitting even more, we go offshore, bypass Cape Fear, and head for Beaufort NC.

3. Weather not permitting we go on up the ditch some more. Sigh.

Time will tell which we have available.

Still I need GA

25 May 2017 | Sap Elon Island, New Tea Kettle Creek
Mike/ windy
Let's just say that today didn't work out as planned, shall we?

The plan was for a simple two days and a night at sea and we were to have been in Southport for Friday night. We had even booked into a marina so we could get fuel, groceries etc. and be there when our friends aboard Iolanthe arrive on Saturday.

That didn't and will not happen.

When we set off we had already checked the weather and had a bit of excitement as we exited St Mary's River. One of the US nuclear subs was coming back into harbour and the flock of mother hens, Coast Guard and Navy, were bustling around her and shooed us off to one side of the channel. Still, we were within a stone's throw and to see one of them that close was very exciting. A sleek, glistening, underwater arrow!

We checked the weather with the USCG and NOAA and heard a small craft advisory with 15-20 mph winds gusting to 30, which, at home, if we let that put us off we would never leave the dock. Please note that this, being the US, the forecast was given in mph. So off we went. Until noon everything was going fine and I was in the process of congratulating ourselves and trying to figure out if we were going to get to Southport in the open hours for the marina staff. We were motor sailing downwind with only our No4 Jib deployed and were bombing along at 7-8 knots. Everyone knows the big problem with downwind sailing is that you don't really know how strong the wind is until you fall off. In our case the problem was further exacerbated by the fact that I had completely forgotten or overlooked or whatever the effect that the shallow water south of Cape Fear has on wave build up. Any sort of a wind at all and the was become very confused and that's what happened today. At around 1100 the over stressed autohelm popped the circuit breaker on the 24-12V transformer and we quickly rounded up into the wind. Simple fix but it happens again shortly thereafter. Clearly Able Seaman Auto wasn't happy with what we were asking of him. Also when we rounded up it was very obvious that the winds were considerably more than 30 mph. Our alarm is set for 30 KNOTS and it was pinging off constantly. The idea of trying to get through a night at sea in those conditions with the autohelm shutting down regularly had no appeal at all. Neither of us would have gotten any sleep. So, port turn, left face, whatever and we headed back towards shore. Of course that meant motor sailing almost directly into those 30 kn winds so it took us 3-4 hours to get there. The inlets in GA are notorious for shoaling but once again Captain Joe from TowBoatUS rescued us with some good Intel and directed us into Dolby Inlet. We are at anchor in a little back creek, 68 miles further north which is what we would have done if we had decided to stay in the ICW and simply motor our way here.

Poor Barb had he worst of it with a very queezy stomach. It must have seemed like hours. It was, but I mean more.

I had been wondering what that metallic taste in my mouth was and why I was having trouble swallowing. Turns out I have horseshoes stuck firmly and deeply, you know where. The special swivel anchor fastener for our secondary anchor, the Davis had come undone and the anchor was no longer attached to the boat. In spite of all the pitching, rolling, yawing and pounding the anchor was still aboard when we stopped. The cap screw was missing. It had come out and allowed the main fastening to back out.


Grateful we are both ok. Grateful Nelleke is ok. And grateful we still have two anchors on the bow.

We will stay in the ICW until we come across a marina where we can top up the fuel and water tanks and until we get a much better weather forecast. Then we shall try again.
Vessel Name: Nelleke
Vessel Make/Model: Moody 42 PH Ketch
Hailing Port: SHYC, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
Crew: Mike and Barb
Mike is a retired Candian Forces Army officer who has been dreaming of the cruising lifestyle and visiting new and distant places for years. We started in 2008 with a real shakedown trip to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the ICW. [...]
Extra: free counters
Free counters
Nelleke's Photos - S/V NELLEKE (Main)
1 Photo
Top Album for the trip to bring Nelleke home.
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 April 2017
Main Album for our winter cruise
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 11 September 2014
An album of photos to keep our spirits up during our enforced tenure on dry and hard bits
1 Photo | 10 Sub-Albums
Created 9 August 2011
A photographic account of our reclamation of Nelleke and trip north to Halifax
1 Photo | 15 Sub-Albums
Created 15 March 2011
Photos from our cruise over the 2009 - 2010 period
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 16 October 2009
Gallery of Photos of our summer stay in Halifax
23 Photos | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 3 June 2009
A Holding Album for Arts and Crafts folders
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 15 January 2009
A General Cover Album for Our Trip South in 2008/09
1 Photo | 10 Sub-Albums
Created 8 September 2008
Photos from Dave Ireland, Marc Cayouette, Amy Mulnix and Mike and Barb Turney
25 Photos
Created 25 July 2008
Photos of NELLEKE;s crew training at sea for the race.
15 Photos
Created 13 June 2008
Liferaft and Abondon Ship Training for Offshore Survival
9 Photos
Created 3 June 2008
A few photos of 5 May and NELLEKE's launch
3 Photos
Created 7 May 2008
A few of the photos taken during NELLEKE's participation in MHOR 2007
8 Photos
Created 7 December 2007
This album contins selected photos of our cruise to the Maggies with side trips to Wolfe Island, Liscomb, Port Hawksbury, Cheticamp, Canso and Sherbrooke
13 Photos
Created 7 December 2007
An introduction to the crew of SV NELLEKE
10 Photos
Created 3 December 2007
I include these photos to give the reader a flavour of what life is like aboard Nelleke
3 Photos
Created 3 December 2007
Photos form the successfull RHSP race
9 Photos
Created 30 November 2007
Some pictures from our sharedown cruise to the South Shore of Nova Scotia
8 Photos
Created 26 November 2007