Cruising on Destiny

30 May 2014 | Cape May, NJ
15 May 2013 | Beaufort, NC to Hertford
08 May 2013 | Charleston, SC
03 May 2013 | various
03 May 2013 | Duck Key, FL
09 March 2013 | Hawks Cay Marina, Duck Key
07 March 2013 | Rodriguez Key
05 March 2013 | No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne
02 March 2013 | Palm Beach, FL
07 February 2013 | Stuart, FL
06 January 2013 | Stuart, FL
04 December 2012 | Stuart, FL
01 December 2012 | Port Canaveral
29 November 2012 | Titusville, FL
28 November 2012 | Daytona
25 November 2012 | St. Augustine, FL
21 November 2012 | Charleston, SC
18 November 2012 | Southport, NC
17 November 2012 | Southport, NC
16 November 2012 | Wrightsville Beach

a week at a glance

30 May 2014 | Cape May, NJ
Joannie / cloudy, windy and cool
We left Hertford last Thurs. (5/22) and went to Coinjock, NC for the night. Friday we arrived in Norfolk and tied up at Waterside Marina for 2 nights. Saturday we enjoyed time at the Chrysler Art Museum (highly recommended!) and a leisurely day walking around the waterfront. Sunday we moved to Old Point Comfort Marina in Hampton and toured Fort Monroe and the Casement Museum - very interesting!
Monday we left Hampton, VA at noon and headed offshore to make the 20-hour passage to Cape May. We had a chance to put the sails up for a few hours in the afternoon, but when the wind dropped so did the sails. The night passage was calm and we arrived here at 0800.
We've been enjoying some days here (more than planned) doing the tourist thing...trolley tour of the amazing Victorian houses and B&B's, tour of the Dr. Physic mansion built in 1879 and climbing to the top of the lighthouse, of course!
Our plan is to go back offshore and do another overnight to NYC once the northeasterly winds abate. That is taking longer than expected, but fortunately we are not on a schedule. The forecast for Sunday into Monday looks favorable. We'll see!

home stretch

15 May 2013 | Beaufort, NC to Hertford
Joannie - mix of sun/storms/emotions
Our overnight offshore from Charleston to Beaufort went smoothly. Leaving Charleston we had good winds and put the main and jenniker up for a delightful afternoon of sailing. As the sun set we doused the jenniker because it would not be advisable to try and take it down in the dark. The winds let up so we motored through the night and arrived in Beaufort by 1500Friday, May 10th. It was my birthday, so after showering and catnapping, we went out to dinner at our favorite Beaufort restaurant, "Beaufort Grocery Co." (Believe me, it is much more appealing than the name suggests!)
Normally we would have given ourselves a day to recharge after the overnight leg, but we had received word of the passing of a dear friend and wanted to be home in time for the funeral on Monday at 2. So we left the dock early Sat. and were under the near-by double bascule bridge by 0700. After 9 hours motoring up the ICW we arrived at the Bellhaven Waterway Marina. This small marina is a gem with a grassy lawn, gazebo and hot tub! We had made arrangements to meet friends who live in Little Washington for dinner and enjoyed the visit and a new, upscale restaurant in town.
Sunday was another early start (0700) and long day (11 hours) on the ICW. We encountered a thunderstorm along the way, but reached our home port of Hertford safely at 1815 and were greeted by familiar, friendly faces! Because we were too pooped to unload the boat or go out, we ate dinner on board, packed overnight bags and went home to bed.
Can it be we have been away (except for Christmas visits home) for 6 months? The time goes so fast with all the different adventures, ports, visitors...and we never seem to tire of being on the water. But for now, Destiny is getting a well-deserved rest!
Thanks for sharing our cruise!

offshore leg

08 May 2013 | Charleston, SC
Joannie/gorgeous: sunny and breezy
Our departure Monday from St. Augustine after the stormy weekend was very peaceful and sunny. The winds were nice at first but swung around to our stern and lightened up so we had to douse the sails and motor through the night. We logged 28 hours offshore and arrived in Charleston harbor Tuesday afternoon amid passing showers and a few thunderstorms. Since the City Marina we have used in the past was full, we got a slip at the Charleston Harbor Marina on Patriots' Point facing the USS Yorktown - permanently docked here as a military museum. We love our visits to Charleston and would stay longer if we could; but the weather is stable and we need to keep moving north.
Today is a day for resting and having dinner with our friend Cynthia (formerly a resident of Hertford, now living in Charleston); tomorrow we will leave in the morning for another offshore leg (28-30 hours) to Beaufort, NC.

Leaving Hawks Cay for home

03 May 2013 | various
Keys/beautiful; northern FL/deteriorating
We said our good-byes to the wonderful staff at Hawks Cay and cast off on Thurs. April 25th in sunshine! While we were motor-sailing (light winds) up Hawks Channel, John dropped the fishing line in and caught 3 fish! The first, a Spanish mackerel, was dinner Thurs. evening and the third, yellow-tailed snapper was dinner Friday night! (The second was small and we threw it back.) In addition to sailing and fishing, we managed to pick up a mooring ball on “Grecian Rocks” reef in the late afternoon for one last hour of snorkeling before leaving these turquoise waters. We ended the day anchored in the lee of Pumpkin Key – just inside Key Largo – with a gorgeous full moon shining down on us!
Friday, April 26th, we made our way up the intercoastal to Key Biscayne. We had intended to go “outside” and sail in Hawks Channel to Fort Lauderdale, but the wind was right in our face. We reached Key Biscayne by early afternoon and then treated ourselves to an afternoon of sailing in Biscayne Bay. We dropped the anchor by 5 outside “No-Name Harbor” in Bill Baggs State Park, the southern end of Key Biscayne and took a dip off the boat. It was a real treat just to sail wherever the winds took us and it reminded me of something that a woman said to me as she was admiring our boat on the dock one day. She and her husband had been sailors in the past. She said, “When you are on a power boat, you are always going somewhere; when you are on a sailboat, you have reached your destination!” Amen!
Saturday, April 27th we had a lively sail up Hawks Channel to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) and arrived in time to get a good spot in Lake Sylvia – a picturesque anchorage away from the cruise ships in this busy port. At this point we needed to do some provisioning, so on Sunday we weighed anchor and left the anchorage for a marina within walking distance of a grocery store. In retrospect I wish we had stayed in Lake Sylvia! The marina that had room for us (“Pier 66 Marina and Resort”) was in poor shape and the currents made the approach to the docks tricky! However, we did get our groceries, had cable hook-up for “The Good Wife” and had a good night’s sleep at the dock.
Monday, we raised the sails and went offshore for a long day of sailing in strong winds and 4-6’ seas, covering 90 miles and reaching Fort Pierce Inlet at sunset. Just inside the inlet, we dropped anchor in calm waters, had a light dinner and fell in bed!
Tuesday, we stayed inside (ICW) and motored up the Indian River until we reached Kennedy Space Center area. We tried a new marina, Cocoa Village Marina, and were pleasantly surprised. This one was terrific. The conditions, the helpful staff, the quaint town, the roomy lounge, immaculate restrooms and showers and the laundry facility were so nice; we could easily have stayed on here for a few days, but we need to keep moving north!
Wednesday, May 1st was another day of motoring on the ICW as the weather deteriorated. By the end of the day we dropped anchor in Daytona in rain showers.
Yesterday we logged more hours on the ICW and arrived in St. Augustine in torrential rain and heavy winds. At this point, we are pinned down! Because of local flooding, we cannot get under the fixed bridges on the ICW going north. Because of the high winds, we do not want to venture offshore. So we will wait out the stormy weather in the marina – doing our best to stay dry!

Wonderful stay at Hawks Cay

03 May 2013 | Duck Key, FL
Joannie - all good!
We enjoyed this "home base" for 7 weeks! During that time, daughter Trish, son-in-law Ben, Katie (13) and Andrew (11) visited us for a week in March. The weather was gorgeous and we did every imaginable water sport! The highlight of the visit was the dolphin encounter we treated the kids to at the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key.
Sue and Ralph, my sister and brother-in-law, joined us for a few days during Easter week. Again the weather cooperated and we were able to get in a couple of days of sailing and swimming.
Then in April, daughter Jen, son-in-law Henryk, Julia (11) and James (7) joined us for their spring school vacation. As in March, the weather was perfect and we were able to do many water activities and another dolphin encounter! Before leaving, Jen called Trish and they agreed to treat us to a Dolphin Encounter as a thank-you! What an experience! Although we had seen the kids in the water with the dolphins, it just wasn't the same as doing it ourselves! To be in the water and swim with these wonderful creatures is thrilling!

Staying for a while

09 March 2013 | Hawks Cay Marina, Duck Key
Joannie/sunny and warm!
Greetings from Hawks Cay Marina, Duck Key

As planned, we weighed anchor yesterday and continued south from Rodriquez Key. The northerly wind was not very strong, so we mostly motored-sailed, arriving at Duck Key at 1700. This marina is part of an extensive resort with 5 pools, all sorts of water sports activities, restaurants and snack bars. We will stay here for the rest of March and most of April so our kids and grandkids can visit during their respective school breaks. They were here with us 2 years ago and one of the highlights of that trip was visiting the Dolphin Research Center a few miles away on Grassy Key. We will definitely go back there this year! As an added treat for the grandkids, we have made reservations for them to have a “dolphin encounter” (swimming with the dolphins) this time. We will most likely take a side trip to Key West for parasailing, too. There are no bad options!
Vessel Name: DESTINY
Vessel Make/Model: FREEDOM 45
Hailing Port: HERTFORD, NC
Crew: JOHN AND JOAN ERNST
About:
Joan, a retired music teacher, grew up sailing on Long Island Sound, NY. John, a retired dentist, grew up outside Buffalo, NY in East Aurora, and learned to sail as a teenager. We have been married 47 years and have two grown daughters, two great sons-in-law and four precious grandchildren. [...]
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DESTINY's Photos -

LIVING OUR DREAM

Who: JOHN AND JOAN ERNST
Port: HERTFORD, NC