26 May 2019 | St Mary's, MD
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
11 June 2019 | Annapolis
We gunk holed our way up the Potomac going up some of the creeks and bays that are tributaries of this great river. One was Breton Bay and the town of Leonardtown. It was in the past an important shipping point for tobacco, but now is a sleepy historic town full of friendly people. There is a STS bus called the Leonardtown Loop that will take you to the grocery and shopping. 50 cents for seniors and $1.00 for whippersnappers.
We also stopped at Mattawoman Creek, just up from Quantico, a great place for a swim. Our next stop was Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. It was purchased from his heirs and restored by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and is available to see 365 days a year.
We anchored right in front of the mansion and dinghied over to the wharf. The plantation complex is a self contained unit of many buildings which enabled the inhabitants to produce and maintain anything they needed. It was an 8,000 acre farm at its height. Washington was interested in advancing agriculture and experimented with many innovative growing techniques and breeding programs. He had a heated greenhouse which enabled him to grow tropical plants and fruit.
All the buildings and gardens have been restored and are available to see. The mansion is very interesting. The exterior looks like stone, but is actually pine cut and finished to get that look. There are also several museums exhibitions and a learning center to get immersed in the culture of that time. If you get a chance to come, please do and plan most of a day to spend here. For those on boats, it’s really a treat.
We then traveled further up the Potomac to Washington. There is a small anchorage which is marked by 4 yellow buoys just south of the police pier and is the only anchorage now in Washington. We were the only boat there and it was very nice. After anchoring you should notify the harbor police of your presence on VHF 16 or at 202-727-4582. From the anchorage you can dinghy to the Gangplank marina or the Capitol Yacht Club to tie up for $10.00 per day which includes use of the facilities. Both are just a couple of blocks from the National Mall and all the museums and monuments. There is also a great new development on the waterfront called the Wharf, full of shops and restaurants.
We began a whirlwind tour of museums with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, new since our last visit here. It’s a very dramatic building and even more so inside. It’s a good idea to go to their website and get a pass to enter ahead of time. It’s all free but doing that ahead will save time. We spent most of the day exploring the museum and all its exhibits. We left with the hope that in our lifetimes, we all, when asked what our race is, that our response will be the Human Race. I also got a new quote that is my current fav.
“ If you don’t have it, you can’t show it.
If you do have it, you can’t hide it.”
Zora Neal Hurston
We continued with the Museum of the American Indian, National Art Gallery, American History, Natural History, Air and Space, Renwick Gallery, Hirshorn Gallery, and the Freer/ Sackler museum. As you can see, we are becoming very cultured. Highlights were the Native American cultures and learning the unspeakable treatment they received, the delightful Renwick Gallery, the precious stones and minerals exhibit at the Natural History Museum and the modern exhibit in the National Gallery.
We were surprised at the crowds, very many kids on tours from school and masses of humanity in all the major museums. Despite this the National Mall was clean and beautiful, thanks to the continuous efforts of the Park Service. We saw many things and learned much, but only scratched the surface of what is available.
The last museum we went to was the Museum of the Holocaust. As you might imagine, it was quite moving. There is no way to answer the question why, it’s just not humanly possible to understand why these atrocities could occur and still continue with other communities of people. When we look into the past and see the history of abuse of Native Americans, Africans, and Jews, there is no answer, no rationalization. Each of us must look into ourselves and accept all people as human beings and end hatred. We must be tolerant enough to accept that each person should be allowed to believe what they wish and have a good life. The miracle of the world and life should be open to all, and making that possible starts with each of us removing hate from our hearts.
We ended our stay in Washington with the reason we came, a wedding of our good friends, Megan and Michael, daughter of Bob and Marlene Perez, our very good friends from Tampa. It was a wonderful party and set us back on track to move north. So we are off down the Potomac racing the weather, as usual. Look for some pictures in the gallery.
Into the Chesapeake
26 May 2019 | St Mary's, MD
We left Belhaven after a front passed through and move just a couple of hours up the ICW to the anchorage in the headwaters of the Pungo River and at the entrance to the Alligator Pungo Canal. We have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time as far as thunderstorms. We dodged a big one at Belhaven and then another when we were at the Pungo anchorage that crossed right over where we were anchored in Belhaven. We need to keep recharging the Karma Bank.
After a pleasant night, we got an early start through the canal and down the Alligator River. The canal is always fun for spotting wildlife and we saw deer and turkeys grazing along the way. We sailed across the Albemarle Sound and then to anchor just south of Buck Island. Another early start saw us up the North River and across the Currituck Sound and into the North Landing River. There was bridge work going on at the North Landing bridge that we thought was going to hold us up but they finished just as we were approaching and through we went and then followed a Corp of Engineers Tug through the next two bridges without any wait. The good Karma continues.
We tied up for the night at the free wall in Great Bridge and did laundry and grocery shopping and had a burger out. The next morning we passed through the lock and into the Elizabeth River and down passed all the navy shipyards and came to anchor at the Navy Hospital in Norfolk. We stopped for fuel at the Top Rack Marina on the way, taking advantage of the cheapest fuel prices on the ICW.
We are calling this our Smell the Roses cruise because we are stopping at places along the way that we usually blow by. Norfolk is one of those. We have usually been in a rush to get further north and so we have not gotten off the boat here. There are a couple of free walls on the Portsmouth side of the river if not full and the anchorage at Hospital Point, where we were, is a good one. We spent a couple of days sightseeing. In Portsmouth there are good restaurants and the Commodore Theater. The Commodore is a restored Art Deco masterpiece. You can sit at a table and have dinner while you watch a movie. We had a blast watching the Avengers End Game. On the Norfolk side there is the Nauticus Museum and the Battleship Wisconsin, both highly recommended and also downtown a few blocks away is the MacArthur Museum, a must see. For those interested, if you on a boat, there is a dingy dock free for those going to Nauticus at their marina. There was a cruise ship in when we were there so we couldn’t use that but found a bulkhead to tie the dinghy to on the other side of the battleship, also free.
From Norfolk we went over to Hampton for a couple of nights. Molly had gotten a coupon for a free night at the city marina last year at the Annapolis Boat Show, so we took advantage of that. While there we visited the Air and Space Museum and took a boat tour of the harbor and Naval Base, as well as a visit to the Hampton Museum. All are available at a large discount with a Sea to Stars card available at the Visitors Center.
We sailed out of Hampton, and up the bay in company with a Boreal 55. We had a nice chat on the radio with the German owners and got a taste of what our new boat will be like. We pulled in to our usual anchorage at Deltaville and then an early start saw us heading north again and into the Potomac River. We sailed up the river a ways and into the St Mary’s River and up to St. Mary’s City, the site of St. Mary’s College and the 4th oldest English community in North America. It was established in the 1630’s and was an early experiment in religious freedom. All could worship how they chose and not worry about persecution. There was separation of church and state and also opportunity for free men to prosper and hold office no matter color or race. Unfortunately, eventually slavery was introduced and religious discrimination returned.
The city was the capital of Maryland, but the capital was moved to Annapolis and the town fell into oblivion and eventually was lost in time. Only with an extensive archeological exploration has the town been rediscovered and now a reproduction of many of the buildings are available to tour with townspeople dressed in period costume to explain what you see. We saw proprietors of an Ordinary(Bar, Hotel) and an early general store. We also met a printer and saw a reproduction of a local church, as well as the oldest barn in Maryland, formerly used as a tobacco drying house.
We plan to spend a couple of days here and then move on up the Potomac to Washington, DC. Check the gallery for some pictures.
Don’t forget Allegria is for sale and if anyone is interested, we’d be happy to show her if we are in your area.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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 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.