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
01 February 2018 | San Blas, Panama
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.
Back to Nova Scotia
23 August 2018 | Louse Harbor, Nova Scotia
Here we are back at Louse Harbor sitting out a SW gale out in the ocean. We pulled in here yesterday in a building SW breeze and got the anchor down just before the rain started and the wind started howling. It went on all night and this morning we were in thick fog. Now the fog has cleared but the wind has stayed up, but it is supposed to settle tomorrow. Here is how we got here. We had a pleasant stay at North Bay and left to go back west and explore more of the fiords. As we left the confines of the fiord, we were ensconced in the fog once again. It was thick as we motored around the headlands and into the ocean. The waterfalls we had seen when we came over here were not to be seen today. We entered steep sided Facheux Bay, the deepest of all. The sides are over 1,000 feet high and the depths are over 1,500 feet with some spots at 2,500 feet. Entering was an eerie experience under radar and in between those imposing rock walls. The fog disappeared as we moved into the fiord and we proceeded to the anchorage in clear weather. We have found each fiord to be slightly different and this one is unique for all the caves in the walls, some big enough to drive a dinghy into. After anchoring we had a visit with some local guys who were scallop fishing, but not having much luck. After a pleasant night we headed west to Hare Bay. This fiord was our favorite the last time we were here and it did not disappoint this time either. It is considered by many to be the prettiest although many consider Recontre for that honor. Imagine waterfalls tumbling down cliff faces and indescribable beauty and you have Hare Bay. The anchorage is very protected and gorgeous. The last time we found plentiful mussel beds, but found none this year. We think the water may be too fresh up in the head of the fiords because of all the rain. After Hare, we moved to Recontre Bay to compare. It is interesting and different in that it has an old deserted out port in it and also makes a right angle turn half way up its length. It also has towering granite cliffs and a spectacular waterfall at the head of the fiord. We anchored off the old out port where many of the old homes have been restored as cabins for folks from Ramea and Burgeo. There was no one around while we were there. The out ports are small fishing villages which used to be plentiful on Newfoundland's south coast. They were only accessible by boat and the Canadian government sponsored a resettlement of most of them in the 1960s so only a few remain. We were up early the next day to move over to the Ramea Islands in the fog once again. Ramea is a small fishing village in an island group just off the coast. There is a very progressive population there, with alternative energy (Wind) supplying their energy needs. They even have some windmills producing hydrogen from seawater to use in energy production with fuel cells when there is no wind. We got a spot on the town wharf for the night and had an enjoyable walk around the island and a great dinner at the one restaurant. We had a short weather window to cross the Cabot Straight and get back to Nova Scotia so we were off early the next day. A combination of motoring and sailing overnight put us off the mouth of the Great Brad 'or, the opening into the Bra d'Or Lake, the next morning. We were a little early for the tide so we had to fight an outgoing current for a while but it was not too bad. We worked our way up the channel to Baddeck and anchored just as the rain started. The next day we spent walking the town and getting groceries. We also booked a tour to see the Cabot Trail, the road that encircles the northern peninsula of Cape Breton Island. We had thought about renting a car, but the process is somewhat protracted, since the closest rental agency is in Sydney. As it turned out the tour was much better, as we got the advantage of the driver, Caroline, sharing much of her knowledge with us and seeing things we might have missed otherwise. There are beautiful seaside cliffs and valleys and all sorts of wildlife. If you come this way don't miss it. Then it was off to St Peter's at the south end of the lake. We fueled up and got propane but were too late to get through the bridge and lock, so we tied to the wall of the canal and waited for the morning. The locks start again at 8 AM so we were off again and motor sailed over here to Louse Harbor. With the wind down tomorrow we are off to Liscomb Harbor and then points west. I have a huge back log of pictures to put up when we get internet again. Until then please be patient.