13 May 2019 | Belhaven,NC
15 April 2019 | Titusville
19 March 2019 | Palm Beach
11 January 2019 | Anna Maria
18 November 2018 | Anna Maria
31 October 2018 | Palm Beach
10 October 2018 | Pungo River, NC
13 September 2018 | Galesville, MD
30 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
23 August 2018 | Louse Harbor, Nova Scotia
13 August 2018 | North Bay Newfoundland
02 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
21 July 2018 | Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, Maine
08 July 2018 | Gloucester, Mass
25 June 2018 | Cape May, NJ
07 April 2018 | Palm Beach
02 April 2018 | Palm Beach
19 March 2018 | Florida Straits
15 March 2018 | Grand Cayman
And we're off
13 May 2019 | Belhaven,NC
Allegria splashed back into the water after almost 5 weeks in the yard, but with a brand new paintjob on her topsides and bottom that has her looking really spiffy. We also accomplished all the routine maintenance items and a few other projects that had been languishing on the bottom of the list. One hold up was the new decal names for the sides of the boat. I had ordered them back before the end of the year and received them quickly, but didn’t check them . These are the third set we’ve ordered form this company over the years and all have been perfect. Putting these names on was one of the last things to do before our splash back into the water. When I dug them out and saw that we only had one name decal (we have Allegria on each side of the boat), I almost choked. I sent a quick email to the company and they quickly made a replacement set, but sent it by ground instead of by overnight as I requested. So that held us up a while, but did allow us to get to the bottom of the to do list.
At any rate, we are now back in the water and floating, so all in all a successful haul out. Our plan was to wait for a weather window to try to get as far north as possible, going out the Ponce inlet and around Hatteras, but the weather was not cooperating. So up the ICW we went. We spent a comfortable night in Daytona and then moved on up to St Augustine. We had the anchor up in time for the 7:30 opening at the Bridge of Lions and out the inlet we went and up to the St Mary’s River and Cumberland Island.
We spent a day boat bound with bad weather but had another good day following to walk the island and visit all the wildlife. We saw the wild horses, deer, turkeys, armadillos and had a great time walking through the oak forest. With all the old trees it seemed a perfect place for hobbits to be frolicking about.
We got a break in the weather and jumped out to head north and had a two night sail up to Cape Fear, and stopped at Wrightsville Beach for a day and a night. What a wonderful place with a great grocery, a wonderful beach and full of friendly people. From there it was an overnight sail up to the Beaufort Inlet and then back into the ICW and to anchor at Adam’s Creek. We wanted to stop again at Oriental but the docks were full so we passed it by and dropped anchor at Belhaven, where we are now. From here we move up to Norfolk over the next few days and then into the Chesapeake.
I have posted a few pictures in the Gallery so have a look if you have the time.
In the Boat Yard
15 April 2019 | Titusville
We had a good run from Lake Worth up to Port Canaveral and found ourselves at the entrance at daybreak. We let a couple of cruise ships in before us and then ran into the port and heard on the radio that the barge canal lock was closed and would only open at noon for one pass through. We got under the bridge and tied to the lock fenders to wait for the opening which gave us a chance to tidy up the boat and fix breakfast. The lock master called for the opening as we finished cleaning up and through we went and on west though the canal to the Indian River. Then in the ICW, we headed north to Titusville and our haul out date. We were a day or two early and we took a mooring in the city anchorage and began a couple of the maintenance projects while we waited.
The weather was forecast to be bad and bad it was with 40knot winds and that prevented us from hauling at our appointed time. Two boats drug anchor and hit the beach and rocks, a sorry sight as we hung on in the tempest. Finally the weather cleared and we came into the yard and hauled out uneventfully.
While waiting for the lift, I saw a turtle struggling in the marina. It was covered with a tremendous amount of grass and was floating with its rear end out of the water. It looked exhausted as it tried to lift its head to breathe and tried to submerge to only float back to the surface. I asked in the office if there was a turtle rescue here and they gave me a brochure with a phone number, so I called and sure enough, got a human on the other end of the line. She asked if I could capture the turtle and she would have a volunteer come pick it up. When I described the turtle and what it was doing, she diagnosed it as “bubble butt”. A pretty good description of what this looked like, and, I guess, what is a pretty common turtle ailment.
Anyway, I enlisted the boatyard skiff and was able to borrow a net and caught the little guy and called back to let the rescue person know we had him. She suggested keeping him in a box out of the sun and to wait for the volunteer, who did eventually show up and took him away. He said he would let us know how things worked out for the turtle, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for a successful outcome. No word yet, however.
We have been hard at it in the yard, and my two week estimate is past and we are in the third and will likely be in the forth before being done. I should have learned my lesson a long time ago. Molly always doubles my time estimates and is usually right on, but she doesn’t gloat too much. We are giving Allegria new clothes and so far we have finished painting the bottom, did some glass work on the rubrail, and have done the prep and have one coat of paint on the topsides. Its funny how little that sounds, but how long it takes to accomplish. A couple more coats of paint and replacing the striker on the rubrail, replacing the name decals, and several small jobs are left to do.
One other benefit of being in Titusville is that we are in the center of activity for the space center. We got to see a launch the other day. It was a Space X Falcon Heavy launch of a Saudi communications satellite. We had a good vista to watch from, just across from where we are working on the boat. The launch was impressive. The rocket was three big boosters strapped together, but what was really incredible was that the boosters came back and landed, two at the space center and one on a drone ship out in the Atlantic. The technology to accomplish that is mind blowing and had all the spectators cheering. It was quite a moment. Check out the gallery for photos.
Don’t forget, Allegria is for sale. She will be all spiffy and beautiful with her new clothes. This summer we will be going to New England and Maine and back and she will be able to be seen anywhere on the eastern seaboard. If you have interest and would like a spec sheet and photos, let us know at email@example.com.
Back on the Boat
19 March 2019 | Palm Beach
We had a great stay at the house and with Allegria close by, we were able to get quite a bit of work done on her. Mostly inside, like varnishing and painting, but we also redid the nonskid paint on deck. At the end of January, we had renters for the house, so we moved back aboard the boat and decided to stay at the marina for a couple of weeks to finish a few jobs and go to the Miami Boat Show.
We stripped down the teak in the cockpit and on the toerail and applied new Cetol everywhere. I have to say with all the work, Allegria is looking pretty spiffy. She'll be even more so after we haul out in April, and paint the topsides. We also joined brother Denny and Shannon along with friends John and Sharon to go to the Miami Boat Show. We had a lot of fun but were surprised at the small showing of sailboats. There were tons of power boats, especially open fishermen center console type boats. The trend seemed to be to see how many outboard motors you could get on one boat. We saw one with six 400 HP outboards on the back and several with five. It makes me think some people have more money than brains. Check the gallery for some pictures.
We finally got away from the dock and headed down to Boca Grande and our favorite anchorage for a few days of peace and quiet. We finished the Cetol and cleaned the bottom of the boat and managed to get in a couple of good walks on the beach. We then headed down to Fort Meyers Beach and picked up a mooring in the city anchorage and had a great visit with Mark and Karen of the great Jumento's broken shaft caper. They saved our bacon with a tow back to Georgetown in the Bahamas back in 2014. Read about it in post #68, Water Cay. It was great to catch up with them and friends Bill and Cathy. Unfortunately they are out of the boating business now due to Mark's respiratory problems, but they are wishing they were still on the water. It gets in your blood.
We broke loose and went down to Key West to see what the crazy side was doing and spent a couple of days wandering around and visiting old haunts. We were lucky to get a mooring in the city anchorage as it was crowded. Our wandering took us by El Siboney restaurant for a good dinner as always. We also hit some of the old spots, walked by the southernmost point and were amazed that people were actually standing in line to get their pictures taken. I couldn't believe it. We also went to Mallory Square for the sundown celebration and watched some of the performers but it was so crowded it wasn't as much fun as we remembered. Check out some pictures in the gallery.
We decided a couple of days was enough and headed east and got into the bight at Channel 5 on the north end of Long Key just as the wind shifted north with a small front. For the last few miles we had a dark line of clouds approaching and I noticed a few whirl winds kicking up around us. Then I looked back and saw several funnels dropping down out of the clouds. Thankfully, none of them got too close. That all blew away as fast as it appeared and we had a comfortable night.
We got an early start the next day to Rodriguez Key to beat the North wind and sat there a couple of days to let it blow itself out. As the wind went east we headed north to Miami and had a good night all to ourselves in the bight at Key Biscayne with the lights of Miami for entertainment that night. The next day (Friday) the anchorage began filling up for the weekend partiers so we were happy to head out once again after getting some fuel at Crandon Park and passing though the Port Of Miami and out Government Cut just before dark.
We had a fast, but bouncy, overnight sail up to Palm Beach. We were at the Lake Worth Inlet at 4 AM after a close encounter with the Coasties running interference off Mar Lago, as Mr. Trump was in the building. We were anchored in Old Port Cove at the north end of Lake Worth by 5 AM and settled in to catch some sleep.
We are here for a week or two to visit with Denny and Shannon and continue the never ending list of boat projects and maintenance. We are scheduled to haul out at Titusville on the second of April to paint the topsides, bottom and complete all the annual maintenance and hopefully put an end to the boat work for a while.
The metal has been ordered for the new boat and it is scheduled to begin construction in May. We are anxiously awaiting the start of a new era for us. Also, a reminder that Allegria is for sale, and will be on the east coast of the U.S. this year up to New England. A full spec sheet and photos are available by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A full price offer of $110,000.00 would include delivery anywhere on the east coast and consulting/coaching on boat systems and the cruising lifestyle.
Happy New Year
11 January 2019 | Anna Maria
Happy New Year from Allegria!
We are still in Anna Maria enjoying some wonderful weather and we had a great Holiday and hope the same for you. We have pretty much finished the interior paint and varnish on Allegria and are in the process of loading things back aboard. We are being very selective this time and hope to keep the weight down a bit from previous. We’ve decided to hold off on the haulout in February and will plan to do that later for reasons I’ll explain in a bit. We need to be out of the house at the end of January and will move back on to the boat , but stay in Cortez until the middle of February and after the Miami boat show. Then we’ll meander south and back over to the Bahamas.
The big news for us is that we have decided to buy a new boat. Before you think we are completely insane, let me tell you the story. As many already know, we have owned Allegria since 1994 and she and we have a long history. She has taken us many places, allowed us to experience wonderful things and has become part of the family. The past couple of years though, Molly and I have dreamed of going farther and faster with a few more amenities, so we began a list of wants and desires and started checking other boats. We never did come across one that checked all the boxes until we saw the Boreal 47. The first time we saw one was several years ago as we were exiting the C&D canal into the Chesapeake, one followed us out and I remarked on what beautiful boat it was. We then saw another in the Bahamas a year or so later. We checked one out at the Annapolis Boat Show this past year. We never really thought that we’d ever really get a new boat much less have one built, but the seed was planted and it began to grow as Molly and I talked about it all the way back to Florida. We really didn’t get to dive into the boat the way we wanted at the boat show, so we decided to go to France and see them up close and personal. They are built in a small yard in Tregieur, in Brittany, on the north coast of France. We scrambled and put together a last minute trip over that included a couple of days in Paris and then a trip to Tregieur to check out the boats. We had a great time and got to see the boats in all phases of construction and configuration. They are built to order and they have 12-14 under construction all the time. The design and construction is very innovative and very well thought out. The designer is Jean-Francois Delvoy and the design is a product of his experience sailing around the world and to the Antarctic with his family. The other principal in the company is Jean-Francois Eeman, also a very experienced sailor who has sailed with his family in the Patagonia area and to Antarctica. The two JFs met down in the south of Argentina and decided to build boats together.
The 47 is a radically different boat from Allegria, but the more we got into it the more we realized that it was what we were looking for. There were a couple of things it didn’t have, but with more conversation the JFs figured out a way to give us everything we wanted and more. Upon our return, we felt ready to take the plunge and so now the process is getting started. It will take approximately 1.5 years to build, so we should have it in June of 2020.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to sail Allegria this winter and next summer. She is for sale so if you or someone you know is interested in an experienced, but up to date boat that is a comfortable sailor and liveaboard, let us know. I am getting a complete list of systems and equipment together and will be happy to forward it to you. We will be available to deliver it to any place on the east coast and will also offer consulting for orientation to her equipment and systems as well and also advice on the cruising lifestyle included in the purchase price if desired. If she doesn’t sell by next fall, we plan to bring her back to the west coast of Florida and list her with a broker. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
So times are very exciting for us, but also bittersweet as it means the end of a beautiful relationship. We will especially enjoy this next year on Allegria, as we strive to find someone who will love her as much as we do and let her give them the joy she has for us. Check out some new photos in the gallery.
Home Sweet Home
18 November 2018 | Anna Maria
We spent an enjoyable week in the Palm Beach area with Denny and Shannon, but also caught up on some boat maintenance. When we fired up the engine coming into the Lake Worth Inlet, I noticed the alternator was not charging so I replaced it with the spare. We also had developed a leak in the oil heat exchanger so that had to be replaced. Thank goodness we had spares for everything so we didn’t have to chase anything down.
It was time to head out so Molly and I delivered our truck from Denny’s over to Anna Maria and took a rental back to the boat in time to get the anchor up just before dark. We were out the Lake Worth Inlet by 8:00 and heading south. Daybreak found us off Government Cut in Miami and we continued south into the Hawk Channel and down to Rodriguez Key. We spent a pleasant night and were off the next morning down to Channel Five at the north end of Long Key and the anchorage at the Jewfish Hole.
After another great night, we headed across Florida Bay, just south of the Everglades Park boundary, dodging trap markers all the way. It was dead low tide and we saw plenty of shallow water but didn’t touch with our 5.5 draft. We rounded Cape Sable and were off the upper glades at dark.
Sunrise saw us off Sanibel and we were entering the pass at Boca Grande at 9 AM. We anchored in our favorite spot just west of Mondongo Island and had it to ourselves. The red tide was in evidence but not too bad there. We spent a few days walking the beach, swimming and collecting shells. There were pockets of dark water and a few dead fish, but it looks like the red tide problem is waning.
We left at midnight and had a great sail up the coast to Longboat Pass and then found the dock at the Seafood Shack in Cortez. We got Allegria tied up and she gets to rest for a couple of months after a couple of years of hard traveling. She’ll get some TLC while we’re here. We have already started offloading almost everything aboard and we plan to clean and varnish the interior. Then it’s back down to Charlotte Harbor for a haul out and more refit.
We are getting ready for Thanksgiving and wish everyone a great Holiday. We are so thankful for our freedom to explore this wonderful world and for the miracle of life. All the best to each of you.
Back to the Sunshine State
31 October 2018 | Palm Beach
While at Belhaven we cleaned and stowed the lines and anchors we used in the storm and put the sails back on. We also enjoyed a night out at Georgies place for some good seafood. The next day we were off to Oriental and found a spot on the free dock there. We walked around town and enjoyed beer and music at a new brewery. The music was from two guys we have known but not seen in a long while. One is a ER physician and the other a photographer, and both are excellent musicians. It was a night of good beer and Irish Shanties. We were taken aback by the damage to the town with all sorts of debris and trash lying at the roadside, but everyone seemed fairly upbeat and ready to move on to rebuild.
After a couple of days we headed on down the ICW to Morehead City and out the Beaufort inlet to Cape Lookout and anchored behind the dunes to wait for weather to head on south. We saw some of the horses on Shackleford Island on the way in, so they managed OK in the storm. We had a couple of days to roam around and visit the lighthouse and beach and even jumped in for a swim. We got the green light to leave and pulled anchor at midnight to head for Charleston. The first hour or so were fine but soon after the wind began to build as expected but then even more than expected. Soon we were sailing downwind in 35 knots with gusts to 40 and only a scrap of jib out to keep the boat in the water. We were fairly flying and had to work to get things balanced so the wind vane would steer the boat, but after a while we were good. The next evening things began to lie down and we started adding sail until by the time we hit Charleston in the morning, we had a full main and jib.
We anchored off the battery and then spent a couple of days exploring the neighborhoods of Charleston and revisiting old favorites. We ate at Jestine’s Kitchen and Fleet’s Landing, two of our favorites. Fleet’s Landing has the best Shrimp and Grits I’ve ever had.
We then got an early 4 AM start to head down to Beaufort ,SC and the home of old cruising friends Alan and Cathy Rae. They are Ocean Cruising Club Station Hosts for Beaufort and very generously offer their dock and help/advice to cruisers who stop by for a visit. We see them in Maine every year we are up there. We came in via St. Helena Sound and all the marks were on position and the soundings unchanged by all the storms. We had a nice visit and restocked the larder, and were off to take advantage of a short window to Fernandina Beach.
So it was out Port Royal Sound after topping off the tanks with some cheap(er) SC fuel. We had a sleigh ride down to St Mary’s Inlet, with gusts to 35, but all behind us. It made for a quick but exciting ride. We entered the inlet in the predawn hours and anchored at the Cumberland anchorage for a couple hours of sleep before moving over to a mooring at the Fernandina Marina. We stayed a couple of days to wait out weather and have a visit with old cruising friends Eileen and Larry, circumnavigators and sailors extraordinaire. After the cold front passed we had a couple of days for sailing so we were off again heading south.
We had another wild ride for about 30 hours before the wind died and we fired up the engine to get into Lake Worth Inlet at daybreak of the second day. Now we’re anchored in Old Port Cove in our favorite spot and have already started the festivities with brother Denny and wife Shannon. We plan to be here for several days with a list of repairs needed after pressing hard to get back down here. After we plan to head back to the west coast and spend the Holidays in Anna Maria and a few months working on Allegria to give her some much needed TLC.
Look for some new pictures in the gallery. The picture above is the light at Cape Lookout.