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
04 March 2018 | Georgetown, Grand Cayman
28 February 2018 | Caribbean Sea
25 February 2018 | Linton Bay
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Boat Shows, Gams and Storms, Oh My
10 October 2018 | Pungo River, NC
Well Florence turned out to be a non-event for us, although terrible for the poor folks in the Carolinas. We sat out a little wind and rain in a favorite hidey hole and did well. Since we had the boat all secured, we decided to rent a car and go to Cleveland to see Molly's Mom and had a nice visit with her and Molly's brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Laurie. Then back to the boat and after a few boat chores we visited a few old favorite spots, St. Michael's, the Wye River and Harness Creek. We spent some time wandering around Annapolis and spent a day visiting the Naval Academy, always a favorite. As always, we are constantly looking at boats, and Annapolis is the place to do it. Although we are always looking, we haven't found one that checks all the boxes like Allegria. We attended the Whitby- Brewer Gam, a get together for owners of these fine boats. Although not as well attended this year as usual, it was a lot of fun. Then we went to the Annapolis Boat Show, supposedly, the largest. One day we looked used boats and the next day we went to the main show and saw a few new boats, checked on some new equipment and bought a few things. We saw some beautiful new boats, but with the prices being what they are, not our cup of tea. After the show, we left Annapolis and bounced down the bay with our usual stops at Solomon's and Deltaville. We had been watching the weather that has become Michael for a while, but thought it unlikely to affect us, but on the way from Deltaville down to Great Bridge we heard it was likely to come right at us. We sat at Great Bridge deciding what to do, either head back up into the bay and find a hideout or continue on down into North Carolina and find a hideout there. Well, we decided to press on, so we fueled up a Great Bridge and headed down the way, across the Albemarle Sound yesterday and now we are in the headwaters of the Pungo River in a protected spot with three anchors out and the boat all battened down for the storm. We are currently in the early stages with 25-30 knot winds and expecting 40-50 later tonight. A bit of good news is that the last report we heard had the storm moving a bit north of the original track and further away from us. Unfortunately we don't have any phone service here so we can't get weather info as easily and I also can't post this as usual. I'll post it by radio and add pictures later. Fingers crossed everyone. I'll post a short update tomorrow or Saturday to let you know how things turned out.
Well, we made out fine. We saw winds of 50 knots and it knocked us around a bit but everything is OK. We spent 2 hours this morning digging the anchors out, they were so buried in the mud. We decided to move down the way a bit to Belhaven and now we have to put the sails back on and store the anchors and line away. At least we have internet now and maybe we can get ashore to celebrate with a dinner out. By the way, the picture is the graph of the pressure drop as Michael came calling.
Back to the US
13 September 2018 | Galesville, MD
We got an early start and let go of the mooring before dawn. It was light by the time we cleared the mouth of the bay and we headed west to clear Cape Sable at the tip of Nova Scotia. We enjoyed a fair tide that helped us along cleared the islands before noon. Despite the fore cast the wind was light so we were motor sailing along. Even on the track to Cape Cod we experienced a lot of current going into and out of the Bay of Fundy. There were many upwellings and eddies which made the sea surface rough for the first 24 hours. The wind filled in a bit and we were able to sail for a good bit until we closed in on the cape and the wind died. We hit the Cape Cod Canal at around 5 AM and had a fair tide so in we went and by the time we were at Onset the sun was up and we pulled in for a rest.
I called the number we usually use for checking in with Customs and Immigration and found out that it now only works for Florida. The guy I spoke with also told me that we must use the ROAM ap now for check in. I downloaded the ap and went through the process, but found that it doesn’t work north of the Chesapeake at this time. So I found another number to call and got in touch with a local officer and after a lot of wrangling finally got cleared in. It seems that with all the changes going on in the clearance procedures, no one knows what is going on. Hopefully as time goes on and the new procedures get fully implemented the process will be much easier.
After all that (3-4 hours of fooling around) I was too tired to do anything else so we went to sleep and the next day headed out for Block Island. We got an early start to beat the wind but it was up before us, so we beat our brains out getting over there, but did make it in one piece. The place was still crowded from Labor Day so we anchored right before sundown and were up and out early the next day.
We headed over to Greenport NY on the northern peninsula of eastern Long Island, an area we have always wanted to explore. We also had friends, Diane and JP, who were there as well. We had a nice visit and dinner and strolled the town a bit, sightseeing. This area is close to Sag Harbor and it is a place where all the beautiful people spend their summers, so we fit right in.
We were up early again the next day to catch a fair tide through Plum Gut and into Long Island Sound. Then it was west to Port Jefferson and a visit with Lisa. It was good to see her again, although she is very busy finishing her dissertation for her PhD in Art History. We had been watching hurricane Florence and it was fore cast to head toward the US east coast and looked as though the New England area might be a target. The last place I would want to be in a hurricane is New York and the weather was such that we needed to leave or be stuck there until after Florence did her thing. So, with heavy hearts, we bid Lisa goodbye and headed early up the sound and through the city, then down the NY harbor and past Sandy Hook. We had a fast sail south and found ourselves off Cape May and rounding it at sunrise. We had a reach up the Delaware Bay in 25- 30 knots of breeze and hit the C&D Canal at the end of the flood and got through in record time. The weather was rapidly deteriorating as we pulled into the Bohemia River and got anchored, back in the Chesapeake. We sat the next day as the weather was blowing and raining. Then, the day following, we had a nice sail down passed Baltimore to Harness Creek near Annapolis. By now it had become evident the Florence was, in fact, heading towards the Carolinas and could mess with us in the Chesapeake Bay. Now I was really aggravated after leaving Lisa and sailing all the way down here to get in the way of a hurricane. We made plans to get the boat secured in a place we know and enjoyed a couple of days walking around Annapolis, getting groceries, and boat parts. Today we moved to Galesville and pickup a mooring, but now it seems the storm is playing with us again and plans to take a southerly turn so we will hopefully not get any weather. Since we are on a mooring and we have time we are now planning to rent a car and run over to Cleveland to visit Molly’s Mom, who we haven’t seen in a couple of years.
We’ll see how the weather develops over the next couple of days and then go. When we return, we plan to knock around the Chesapeake a bit and then go to our Whitby Owners Gam and then the Annapolis Boat Show.
Down the coast
30 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
We got an early start out of Louse, headed for Liscomb Harbor. The wind is light in the morning, but as the sea breeze builds, it gets vigorous, and right out of the SW. That seems to be the rule most of the time here and you must be resigned to taking small jumps to the west or larger ones overnight. We did that last time and wanted to see more anchorages this time. We didn’t get to Liscomb in time and wound up banging into 25 knots before it was done, but get there we did.
After a peaceful night, we had another early start to Shelter Cove, a beautiful place we had visited last time in the fog. We were looking forward to seeing it in the clear this time. We weren’t disappointed, although the place looked very different in the clear. There were seals and osprey to entertain us and we had another peaceful night.
Another early start had us off to the Mahone Bay area and we wound up in Terence Basin and Grover Cove for the night. Entering this basin requires passage of a narrow natural passage which was very cool and it opens into a basin and cove which is gorgeous.
The next day we were off to Lunenburg and spent a couple of days revisiting the place, one of our favorite places in the world. The anchorage was much more crowded than last time but the town was as we remembered, with multicolored buildings and the ambiance of a seafaring community. We enjoyed walking the streets and soaking up the vibe. We had a great fish dinner with ice cream cones to top it off.
We have a travel window coming to head back to Cape Cod , so we were off at 12 AM to get to Shelburn before the wind came up. We wound up banging into it for a while but got in without problems and fueled up and got our groceries. Now we are prepped to head back to the Cape tomorrow morning, about a 48 hour run. We have a good wind behind us for a change, so it should be a good ride.
I put a lot of photos in the gallery for your viewing pleasure, so enjoy.