"No matter where you go... there you are." Buckeroo Banzai

01 January 2011 | Stuart Florida Cruisers BBQ
30 October 2009 | Annapolis Boat Show
01 October 2009 | Dinghy Raft Up
20 September 2009 | Lucky Bird at Anchor Cacaway Island, MD
18 September 2009 | Riding the Flood Tide, Delaware Bay
18 September 2009 | TigerLily and Gramps on a Maine Lake
08 August 2009 | Rounding Small Point, Maine.
22 July 2009 | Roseate Spoonbill
04 July 2009 | The New Rudder Quadrant
18 May 2009 | Repaired Rudder!
18 April 2009 | Jacksonville, FL
17 February 2009 | Chart of Boot Key Harbor
07 February 2009 | "Brilliant" hard aground, Lake Sylvia, Ft. Lauderdale
29 December 2008 | Jewell Island, Maine
02 July 2008 | At sea off the New Jersey coast
23 June 2008 | Horn Harbor, VA "Painted Skies" dock
14 May 2008 | "Brilliant" Pasquatank River, NC
27 April 2008 | Cape Fear River
24 April 2008 | "Brilliant" at sea off South Carolina
24 December 2007 | Falmouth, Maine. Grandchildren TigerLily and Lion on the foredeck

2010 Year Summary

01 January 2011 | Stuart Florida Cruisers BBQ
Brilliant's Log 1-10.

Various boat and health issue made for a rather dismal year of cruising for Brilliant's crew. But we did manage to get away from the dock a couple of times. It was certainly not what we had planned on for 2010 season. After spending the winter at NAS Jacksonville, we got away on March 7th and headed south.

Here is a summary.

7 March, NAS Jacksonville to Pine Island

Departed NAS Jacksonville 0745. Finally away from the dock! Stopped for fuel at the River City Brewery Marina. 45 Gal diesel @2.80 and 5 Gal gas @3.20 (no ethanol). Very light wind motored down the St. Johns to the ICW then motored to Pine Island (about 10 NM north of St. Augustine).

Log 46 NM

8 March 2010, Pine Island to Daytona Beach

Long day of motoring in very calm conditions. Anchored just north of Daytona Beach at the Seabreeze Bridge.

Log 56 NM

9 March 2010; Daytona Beach to Titusville.

Another zero wind day. Had trouble near Mantanzas inlet. Hard bump on a shoal at full speed with the jib up... ouch! Took a bit of maneuvering to work our way around the shoal. We had a great passage through the Mesquito Lagoon. 20 miles of amazing bird life and views of Cape Canaveral. Arrived at Titusville and anchored north of the bridge. Good spot to anchor after a long day. We did not get ashore.

Log 43 NM

9 March 2010, Titusville to Melbourne

Beautiful morning zero wind. Lots of birds and dolphins along the way. Wind from the south started picking up in the afternoon. On the nose of course. We motored 5 NM south of the Melbourne causeway hoping to anchor behind a small island, but it was a bit too shallow for us. So we turned back to the north and had a super sail for the hour it took to return to the Melbourne causeway where we anchored for the night.

Log 47 NM

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Sea Gulls in our wake south of Melbourne

10 March 2010, Melbourne to Vero Beach

The winds came up during the night. In the morning we discovered our anchor had dragged during maybe 50'. With that news we quickly got underway at a bit after 0800. Boy are we tired of the Delta anchor dragging. Wind was forecast for 10-15 knots with gusts to 20 kts from the south (on the nose) with thunderstorms in the coming through in the afternoon. What we got was steady wind on the nose that increased to a steady 20 with gusts to 30 kts. Along the way we passed "Curiuse" and "Cats Cradle" two boats we know heading in the opposite direction. We waved, then chatted on the VHF as we continued on our way. About an hour and a half out of Vero Beach USCG reported a severe thunderstorm warning with a high wind alert from Melbourne down to Sebastian Inlet. We were just passing by Sebastian so decided the press on for Vero Beach. The winds were getting serious and the storm was threatening as we arrived at the Vero Beach City Marina and took a mooring. We were safe and secure when the storm arrived. One of the strongest cells hit us around 1700 very with heavy rain (we filled our water tanks in 15 minutes) and wind gusts up to 43 kts by our indicator. Our mooring held fine; and we rode the storm well. Our main concern were the boats that were heading north into the worst of the storm. We hoped our friends going north were OK. The only casualty was our wind generator, in a strong gust we hear it make a funny noise. It turned out an over speed had fried its circuit board. Nothing money won't fix. Basically a very nasty weather day.

Log 30NM

11-15 March 2010 Vero Beach

Spent almost a week at Vero Beach. Walking on the beach, taking care of minor boat projects and just catching our breaths as we relaxed in on a safe mooring.

Log 0NM

16 March 2010 Vero Beach to Stuart Florida. Easy motor with the current to Stuart Florida. Took a mooring at the Sunset Bay Marina.

Log 38 NM

16-23 March 2010 Stuart Florida

Image and video hosting by TinyPic A Cruisers BBQ, Pete & Stephanie with Bill, s/v "Myosotis"; Jage, s/v "Simplicity"; Don and Maryann, s/v "Straight from the Heart"

We had a very good week in Stuart. Met up with some cruisers we hadn't seen in quite awhile. It was a good week that reminded us of why we are full time cruisers.

Log 0 NM

24 March 2010, Stuart to Vero

Uneventful motor to Vero Beach. Greeted by Barbara Ann and Harry from s/v"Our Dream" and George and Kim s/v"Adagio". Filled the diesel; 45 gals at $3.33 per, OUCH.

Log 38 NM

25 March 2010, Vero Beach

Spent two nights on a municipal marina mooring. Had a lovely SSCA Cruisers Breakfast at a local restaurant that's on the free bus route.

Log 0 NM

26 March 2010 Vero Beach to Eau Galle

Motored to Eau Galle and anchored north of the Mathers Bridge, just past Dragon Point.

Log 34 NM

Image and video hosting by TinyPicTern AICW

27 March 2010 Eau Galle to Titusville

Motored for two hours then set the sails as the wind filled in. Hoorah! Wind veered NE to ESE finished on a broad reach with 15-20kts. Had a good sail once comfortably reefed. Anchored north of the Titusville causeway and enjoyed a quiet night. Still didn't get ashore in Titusville... maybe next time.

Log 32 NM

28 March 2010, Titusville to Daytona Beach.

Another blustery day, but following winds helped us make good time with a reefed jib. Arrived at Seabreeze moments before threatened thunderstorms arrived.

Log 44 NM

29 March 2010, Daytona Beach to St. Augustine

A nasty morning greeted us, with rain and thunderstorms. We hauled the anchor and got underway at first light with VERY low visibility. Slowly the weather cleared through the morning. It seemed that we manage to catch all the tides right and the currents were working for us; we made very good time. Our concerns about going past Mantanzas Inlet again (where we grounded coming south) were unwarned as we made our way safely around the shoals at G81C. We made it to St. Augustine in time for the 1430 Bridge of Lions opening and anchored north of the bridge. Bridge is closing for the next week, so really needed to make it though today.

Log 44 NM

30 March 2010, St. Augustine

We spent a lovely day in St. Augustine, one of our favorite cities. Found a great little Cuban restaurant off the main street for lunch.

Log 0 NM

31 March 2010, St. Augustine to Blount Island

An unevent motor over a very familiar ICW water. We decide to anchor at Blount Island, just off the main channel on the St. Johns river for the night.

Log 45 NM

1 April 2010, Blount Island to Jacksonville Landing

We rode the flood tide to Jax Landing and decided tie up to a free docks in downtown Jacksonville. It's kind of fun talking to people walking along the waterfront and answering their questions about cruising.

Log 14 NM

2 April 2010, Jacksonville Landing to the Ortega River

Waited for the flood tide and motored to the Ortega River. We made our way to Sadler's Point Marina where we'll leave the boat while we take our annual trip to the west coast to visit family.

Log 4 NM

Annapolis Boat Show 28 September - 25 October 2009

30 October 2009 | Annapolis Boat Show
View from Brilliant's mooring!
Brilliant's Log 11-09

Annapolis Boat Show 28 September - 25 October 2009

We spent the next month working the boat show for the second time. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. BUT we have such a great time being involved in something that is so much a part of the American sailing scene.

As you can see from the picture our commute to work was a very short dinghy ride. Once again during the set up, Pete worked on the crew that built the temporary flooring for the vendors, Stephanie worked as Security and traffic control. During the show Pete worked at the gates taking tickets while Stephanie worked in the ticket booth selling them. For some reason both the crews of "Equinox" and "Lucky Bird" decided to give it a try and were also hired. Surprisingly, both crews were still talking to us at the end of the show!

The weather was beautiful for the Sailboat Show, but turned cold, wet and nasty for the Powerboat Show. We had to wear four layers under our foul weather gear to try and stay warm as we took care of the gates.

One of the bonus' of working the show is that during set up, turn over, and take down we are given free meals at a local Italian restaurant. The food is excellent and Pete figures that if he's working like an 18 year old, he can eat like one... and does. During the shows we have to fend for ourselves and grab a quick bite at one of the vendors or charity food booths that surround the show. That hot Jumbo on the cold, wet days was a very big hit.

On the bright side we did make a few good purchases at the show. They included new charts, an electronic chartplotter (that lets us see electronic charts for navigation at the helm) and an Automatic Identification System (AIS). Here is the Wikipedia explanation of AIS:

AIS is an automated tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating Vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transportation. An AIS equipped system onboard a ship presents the bearing and distance of nearby vessels in a radar-like display format. Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course, and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist a vessel's watchstanding officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements. AIS integrates a standardized VHF transceiver with a positioning system such as a LORAN-C or GPS receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator. Ships outside AIS radio range can be tracked with the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system with less frequent transmission.

That said, what it really does is keep us safer at sea and help us avoid collisions. We see the signals from the other ships that are transmitting AIS and they can see our signals. All good and it makes night passages much less stressful!

Working the show is fun for a known limited time and we'll probably do it again if the opportunity presents itself.

Log 0 NM

Annapolis to Rhode River and Back

01 October 2009 | Dinghy Raft Up
Photo by
Brilliant's Log 10-09

18- 28 September 2009 Annapolis to Rhode River and Back

We spent a week enjoying Annapolis. It was a chance to do some shopping and taking care of some boat projects. We picked up our old dinghy, that we'd left with Fawcett's on consignment last October. It hadn't sold, so Pete spent several days cleaning it up and patching leaks. It worked out well having the second dinghy to hold our mooring ball while we left for the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Gam (gathering) on the Rhode River.

We sailed down to the Rhode River and met up with upwards of 90 SSCA cruising boats all anchored for the Gam. Our good friends Peter & Annette "Two Loose" were there as well as Dick & Moira "Equinox." Since we were there a couple of days before the start, Pete decided to run Treasures of the Bilge on the VHF radio. Pete has fun doing it and his banter goes something like this:

"For those that weren't here yesterday, Treasures of the Bilge, is basically a radio swap meet. If you have an item to sell or are looking for something, here is your opportunity. Unlike eBay, you don't have to wait 3 days to see if it sold; there are no insertion fees; no listing fees; no shipping charges and heck I don't even get a cut.

This is also the time to take care of those nagging problems we just can't seem to get fixed or understand; there are well over 50 cruising boats in this anchorage, someone here probably has the answer and would be willing to help. So don't be shy call it in and ask for assistance.

OK, Here's your chance to once again see your boat's original waterline, so dive into those lazerettes and the bilges and find those treasures. If you had an item that didn't sell yesterday, we have a whole new crowd here today so do try again.

When you call in your items, please give a good description and price your items to sell, remember we're all friends here."

He did succeed in selling more items then he bought so it was a good time with lots of participation from all the boats there.

The start of official Gam was to be a dinghy raft up. This is where all the dinghies tie up together bring their cocktails and snacks are passed from one boat to the next. No one seemed to be in charge of this evolution so Pete asked on the radio net who was running it. The answer back was, "Sounds like a volunteer!" Soooo, we ended up organizing the first official event.

Not being fond of the limitations of a dinghy raft up (you are somewhat limited to chatting with the dinghies you are next to) we decided to have the gathering on the little island in the middle of the anchorage. At low tide there is a substantial beach and the timing was right for the event. After spreading the word over the radio and then visiting most of the boats in the anchorage, we met on the beach at 5PM. It was a huge success with dinghies lining the shore of the island, wonderful hors d'oeuvres and the chance to renew acquaintances and make new friends. The party lasted until the high tide forced us all back to our boats.

The official Gam included lectures, forums, happy hours, meals, etc. with over 300 people coming by either boat or land. The weather was mild and we had a very good time with cruising friends. The best was that over dinner the last night Pete sold our old dinghy!

After four days of fun at the Gam we said our farewells and returned to Annapolis, our secured mooring and getting ready for "workin' the show."

Log 24 NM

Chesapeake City, DE to Annapolis, Md

20 September 2009 | Lucky Bird at Anchor Cacaway Island, MD
Brilliant's Log 09-09

8 September 2009 Chesapeake City to Sassafras River, MD

We left with the tide saying good-bye to Equinox and our other new friends and motored to Back Creek Sassafras River MD. Now that we are safely in the Chesapeake Bay, we plan to slow down and explore some of the beautiful Maryland rivers on the eastern shore.

Log 21 NM

9 -17 September 2009 Gunk-holing in Maryland

For the next week we did little but enjoy a much slower pace. We spent two days anchored on the Sassafras River. We visited Georgetown and spent a couple of days exploring the sights of the city. Then moved to Worton Creek for a night on our way to the Chester River.

While anchored off Cacaway Island on the Chester, Bob and Alice aboard "Lucky Bird" joined us. Pete had been corresponding with Bob for a couple of years as they prepared their Moody 425 (sister ship to Brilliant) for cruising, so it was fun to finally meet them and share the differences between the two 425's.

A 32 NM trip further up the Chester River brought us to the quaint college town of Chestertown. From there it was a night on the Corsica River to find shelter from a September storm.

Our plans to attend the Seven Seas Cruising Association Annapolis Gam and also to work the Annapolis Boat Show ment it was time to make our way to Annapolis. We had a great sail on a blustery day and found an open mooring near the town dock.

Log 117 NM

Casco Bay, Maine to Chesapeake City, Delaware

18 September 2009 | Riding the Flood Tide, Delaware Bay
Brilliant's Log 08-09

1 - 4 September 2009 The Goslings, Casco Bay, Maine to Cape May, NJ

Sadly we departed The Goslings at 0900 on Tuesday, heading for the Chesapeake Bay. Our month in Maine was much too short, but it was time to go and with plans for a Seven Seas Cruising Association GAM (gathering) near Annapolis, MD we needed to get moving..

With calm seas and very light southerly winds we motor-sailed until dawn on Wednesday. Then manage to sail for about 2 hours off of Boston until we again then the wind in the shadow of Cape Cod. We caught the ebb tide and ebb easily carried through the Cape Cod Canal and into Buzzard's Bay. We had planned on stopping at Onset, MA, but a good forecast convinced us to continue on to Cape May without stopping. Clear of the canal the wind filled in and we had a few hours of good sailing that lasted until we left Narragansett Bay at around 2100. During the night we motor-sailed with a 2-3' swell from the south and with barely enough wind to keep the sails full as we dodged the shipping traffic going and coming from New York City.

Thursday morning after checking in with SSB net the wind finally started filling in from the NE as forecast. We secured the engine around 0900 and set the sails wing and wing for downwind sailing. For the next 23 hours we did very little sail trimming as the 10-15kt NE wind held. Finally sailing again we averaged speeds of 6-7 knots. By the time we arrived at Cape May the winds were starting to gust up to 23 kts.

Entering Cape May harbor we found plenty of room to Anchor at the USCG station and had no problems anchoring there for a change.

Log 390 NM

5 - 6 September 2009 Cape May, NJ

Strong winds forecast for several days kept us in Cape May. We spent time doing a bit of sightseeing ashore and were able to catch the local tourist bus and enjoyed our time there. Most of our time was spent looking for a weather window to head up Delaware Bay.

On the second day "Equinox" sailed into the anchorage. Aboard were Moira and Dick, friends we met in Culebria, Puerto Rico. We had a good time visiting and renewing our friendship.

Log 0 NM

7 September 2009 Cape May to Chesapeake City, Delaware

We had a very short weather window to match the incoming tide and departed the anchorage at first light. Because our mast is too high to allow us the short cut out the western end of the harbor via the Cape May Canal we are forced to take the 10 mile trip back out into the Atlantic and then thread our way though the shoals that surround around Cape May.

The seas were still very high after four days of strong winds and it made for an interesting ride as we made our way into the Delaware Bay. Once clear of Cape May the seas calmed and with a lovely wind on the beam we flew up the Bay under full sail. With the help of the strong flood tide we were seeing our speed over the ground reaching 9-10 knots.

We carried the flood tide all the way into the C & D canal that connects Delaware Bay with the Chesapeake Bay. We arrived at Chesapeake City (mid point on the canal) late afternoon and squeezed into the small safe anchorage where we found "Equinox" already anchored.

As we settled in for the evening another boat, "Curiuse" invited all four of the cuising boats in the anchorage over to share cocktail hour. I will say long about 10 PM it wasn't too pretty as we all made our way back to our boats.

Off to the Sassafras River tomorrow.

Log 72 NM

Richmond to The Goslings

18 September 2009 | TigerLily and Gramps on a Maine Lake
Brilliant's Log 07-09

7 - 21 August 2009 Richmond, Maine to The Goslings

We spent two glorious weeks in and around, Richmond, Maine. Our daughter Arwen and grandchildren live in Bowdoinham, about a ten minute drive to the Richmond town dock where we tied "Brilliant" up. It was great to see them almost everyday.

The town of Richmond once again amazed us with their hospitality. This time, we were invited to tie up to the town dock with no charge for mooring or electricity.

Maine in the summer time can be truly wonderful and we were blessed with many sunny warm days. When the grandchildren came to visit we were able swim off the stern of our boat in warm Kennebec River. This quality time with our grandchildren was the reason we'd rushed to Maine.

Our refrigerator continued to plague us. After arriving in Maine we gave up on getting the new (broken) evaporator fixed and just ordered the replacement. It arrived and Pete carefully installed it. We had refrigeration again and life was grand for a little over a week. That was when we discovered that refrigerator wasn't working again. *%#@!!!!!! Finding a marine refrigeration technician can be a real challenge at the height of the sailing season. As I was calling all over Maine to find a tech, a clerk at the Portland West Marine hooked us up with the only marine refrigeration repairman in Maine. The tech agreed to come by and check out our refrigeration unit the very next day on his way to another job up the coast. His only stipulation was that we move "Brilliant" two hours back down the river to Bath to make it easier for him to visit between two jobs he already had. To make the long story short, our new unit was toast; Defender had mercy on us and agreed to send another evaporator free of charge and the refrig-man said he would be glad to purge, vacuum test, and charge the reassembled unit. Bad news, the earliest we could get another appointment was over two weeks away. Before he left he recharged the refrigeration unit and it lasted about five days before we were back to daily trips to the local store for ice.

Finishing our time in Richmond we experienced the thrill, once again of thick Maine fog as we left Richmond for the Atlantic. We reached the ocean on a fast ebb tide with fog so thick we couldn't see much past our bow. The challenge of navigating by radar, GPS, and sound was pretty exciting, but the six-foot standing waves that met us at the mouth of the river totally surprised us. These waves form as the river's outbound flow meets the incoming tide and are pushed up into a series of 4-6' very steep waves. Only after we had slammed into the first two waves and had taken water over our bow, did we realize that the forward overhead hatches weren't dogged (tightly closed). Now seawater isn't something you want flooding your living room, but that's what happened. As we continued to slam into the line of waves in the narrow channel, Stephanie went below and managed to get the hatches dogged tight. The remainder to the trip was spent trying to swab out the salon. Sometimes cruising isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Once clear of the river, the fog lifted and we actually ended up having a very fast sail back to Casco Bay. We noticed dark clouds forming as we approached Eagle Island and raced to make it to our destination before the storm hit. It was close, but we made into the protection of The Goslings just as the squall hit. There was quite a selection of moorings at the anchorage and we had no problem finding a free mooring to pick up.

The Goslings are actually a small group of rocky pine covered islands in the heart of Casco Bay. It is another very beautiful and quiet place on the coast of Maine.

As we were settling in for the evening we noticed a man rowing over from one of the other boats. At first we thought he was going tell us that we were on a private mooring, so we were preparing ourselves to move. Instead it turned out to be a Fireman/ParaMedic we'd met last summer on the dock in downtown Bath, ME. It took us a minute, but we finally remembered the conversation we'd had with Doug about cruising. He lives on his sailboat during the summers in Maine and is looking forward to retirement and sailing to distant shores. He had guests aboard for the weekend, a young couple and wanted us to meet them. So as things go in cruising, next thing we knew, we were invited over for cocktails. We brought wine and some snacks to share and had a wonder evening of good conversation. We ended up staying until late. As we were leaving Doug, the ParaMedic, embarrassed earlier in the evening when he cut is hand opening a bottle of and couldn't find a band-aid aboard, offered to give us some stuff he did have in his first aid kit. Let's just say he gave us no band-aids but did give us an excellent upgrade to our emergency supplies.

On the way back to our boat we listened to the noisy seals that were resting on the rocks surrounding the moorings.

Log 32 NM

22 August - 1 September 2009 The Goslings/Freeport/Maine Departure

We spent three quiet nights on the mooring at The Goslings and never managed to get ashore.

Departing The Goslings, we made the short trip to South Freeport. Where we spent a lovely week on a mooring. We had more time with the grandchildren, ashore and aboard; we had a refrigerator tech take care of our refrigeration (again); visited with John and Cheryl from "Windrifter" who we'd buddy sailed with last year (now ashore again); and best of all took a weekend vacation from the boat and went to a Maine summer cabin on a beautiful lake (note the above photo), with our daughter, her partner and Lion and TigerLily.

It was hard to go after such a short time in It was another lovely evening with good company.

Log 5NM

Vessel Name: Brilliant
Vessel Make/Model: Brilliant is a 1989 Moody 425.
Hailing Port: Pensacola
Crew: Stephanie & Pete Peterson
We found "Brilliant" in Marmaris, Turkey in May 2001 while working on the Island of Crete. After Pete retired in April 2002 we moved aboard and began full time cruising. [...]
Extra: Brilliant's Log was and is written as a record of our travels. We started the e-mail logs in 2002 so that our family and friends could keep up with where we were and to share a bit of what the cruising life is all about. Hope you enjoy reading of our adventures!
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Brilliant's Photos -

The Crew

Who: Stephanie & Pete Peterson
Port: Pensacola