Alexi and Bob Sail Away

10 April 2022
24 February 2022
12 January 2022
20 October 2021 | Moving South
23 September 2021
02 August 2021
02 June 2021
08 April 2021
08 April 2021
15 February 2021
19 January 2021 | Marathon
02 January 2021
19 November 2020
17 November 2020
31 August 2020 | Deltaville
13 July 2020
20 June 2020 | Portsmouth, VA

Heading South!!!!

19 November 2020
Robert Malkin
We are on our way south again! Finally, the long hurricane season is over - we hope - and it is safe to head south.

This year we are headed to Marathon Key, just before the long causeway leading out to Key West, in Florida. We move slowly, so it will take us about 2 months to get there, with a short side trip to New York to visit our families during Thanksgiving.

Our stay in the lower Chesapeake was longer than expected (waiting for a boat part) but it was a lot of fun to visit the small towns on the eastern shore of Virginia and remote anchorages up the Piankatank and Rappahannock rivers. The York river was also a great chance to learn more about the decisive battle at Yorktown, where Lafayette and the French helped the US win independence.

But, I am really glad to be moving south again. We are mostly taking the canals and rivers of the eastern states. Going this way, as opposed to out in the ocean, we get to see so much history and nature. When we left the Chesapeake, we first passed the huge naval shipyards in Norfolk, passing multiple aircraft carriers and destroyers and the USS Comfort, the hospital ship sent to New York in the early days of the COVID Pandemic.

Then, we passed through the Great Bridge Bridge (that's a bridge in the city of Great Bridge) and the Great Bridge Lock. Great Bridge is the site where Billy Flora was (unofficially) proclaimed the first African-American "patriot hero" in 1775, when, under a flurry of musket balls, he dismantled the bridge to prevent the British from crossing. He would be proud to know that the lock and bridge still serve an important commercial function. We had to wait for two "red flags" meaning barges that had higher priority for the lock than recreational traffic.

Almost as soon as we left Great Bridge, we entered North Carolina. The weather was perfect with light winds, smooth water and warm temperatures. The canals and rivers run through a rural part of the state. We saw many bald eagles and dolphin. We also got to spend the night at a fish factory. The docks were a bit rustic but we were able to load up the freezer with some great fish.

South Carolina is different than North Carolina for boating. The tides increase as you go south, probably a funnel effect as we are also moving west until we reach Florida. Typical tides in North Carolina are a couple of feet. Here we are experiencing six feet of tidal change in the water level. When we reach Georgia, we'll start seeing nine feet! These big tidal changes can make the canals tricky, especially near inlets. At one point I called out on the radio to another boat to warn them that they were approaching a spot that is known to be shallow. They answered and slowed down but just a few seconds later, they were aground. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But, they may have damaged their boat and they were certainly stuck there for many hours waiting for the tide to come back in.

The currents in South Carolina can also be tricky. At one point Alexi was at the helm and we hit a spot with a lot of cross current. The autopilot went crazy and we nearly hit a dock! Fortunately, Alexi is an experienced helmsman and was able to get us out of trouble quickly.

We are now in the interesting city of Charleston. We are going to stay here for two weeks. That gives us enough time to provision, enjoy some of what the city has to offer and visit Alexi's parents in New York.

I really enjoyed our time in the Southern Chesapeake but I am happy to be moving again. Being on the water is (mostly) relaxing and interesting. Most of the time I can sit on the foredeck or at the helm and enjoy the towns, animals, sounds and smells of the American waterways. We are really lucky to be able to spend a few years living like this on our boat.
Vessel Name: Lamantin
Vessel Make/Model: Silverton 372
Hailing Port: Wilmington, NC
Crew: Alexi and Bob
About: We are taking a few years to live aboard our boat and visit some amazing places.
Extra: Let us know if you want to come visit!
Lamantin's Photos - Main
Our time in Florida in the winter of 2021-22
13 Photos
Created 12 January 2022
Sights of us moving from the upper Chesapeake to FL in the fall of 2021
4 Photos
Created 20 October 2021
Summer 2021 spent in the Chesapeake
8 Photos
Created 23 September 2021
It is a huge job to replace the fuel tanks on a boat. Fortunately, they last about 20-25 years. So, we are not likely to ever do this again.
6 Photos
Created 2 August 2021
Photos from our trip from Florida to Rhode Island in the spring of 2021
2 Photos
Created 19 May 2021
We spent Dec/Jan 20/21 in the Florida Keys
23 Photos
Created 21 December 2020
Sights of the east coast of the US in the fall of 2020
4 Photos
Created 19 November 2020
Photos from our week in Utah
5 Photos
Created 16 October 2020
We spent a few summer months sailing around the southern Chesapeake
12 Photos
Created 20 June 2020
We sailed from West Palm Beach to Portsmouth VA in early 2020
20 Photos
Created 6 June 2020
We had two great weeks of friends and family visiting us on the boat on Great Exuma Island
18 Photos
Created 8 March 2020
The Exumas is a long chain of islands with many remote and beautiful spots to drop an anchor
39 Photos
Created 19 January 2020
We had a great New Year's vacation with our children and friends in the Bahamas
27 Photos
Created 10 January 2020
Photos of the trip from Georgia to The Bahamas
13 Photos
Created 15 December 2019
It was a lot of work and a lot of good byes ...
6 Photos
Created 6 December 2019
Trip down the ICW from Georgetown, SC to Brunswick, GA
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2019
Photos to get you oriented to the boat
11 Photos
Created 10 June 2019