Big Frisky

Kurt and Pamela are sold up and are sailing aboard SV Big Frisky, an Outbound 46 with the Kona Boys, Honu, Kona and Chico. Join us while we learn what it is to be Blue Water cruisers and see the world. Follow us on Instagram @big_frisky

29 November 2017 | Downtown Providence
11 November 2016 | Morehead City North Carolina
15 October 2016 | Annapolis Landing Marina
30 September 2016 | Two-Mile Landing Marina, Cape May NJ
03 August 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
01 July 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
30 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
29 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
28 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
19 May 2016 | Cape Canaveral
13 May 2016 | Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale FL USA
12 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 140 miles South of Fort Lauderdale
11 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 60 miles from Old Bahama Channel
10 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 50 miles north of Haiti
08 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 45 miles north of DR
06 May 2016 | Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI
04 May 2016 | Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI
28 April 2016 | Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI
27 April 2016 | Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI
15 March 2016 | Virgin Islands

Where is Big Frisky Now?

29 November 2017 | Downtown Providence
Pamela/Sunny and 51 degrees
After spending the summer on the Narragansett Bay and cruising the Long Island sound, Big Frisky found her way back to Cove Haven Marina in Barrington Rhode Island. We watched anxiously as one hurricane after another pummeled our beloved Caribbean cruising grounds. As photos began to come in we were saddened to see the devastation the storms wreaked, changing the landscape of our familiar haunts. Several of our friends lost their boats (homes) in the storms.

As we weighed our decision on whether to travel south or not, it became increasingly clear that Kurt's "referee knees" might not be up for the rigorous trip. Climbing, crouching and kneeling resulted in severe pain and downtime. Fortunately, we were able to see an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a knee replacement for Kurt.

So just like that, we decided to put Big Frisky on the hard and moved everything we owned into a 6th floor, 1 bedroom apartment in the historic Union Trust Bank Building in downtown Providence. We bought a couch, table and bed from Ikea, got a Zip Car membership and a daily subscription to the Providence Journal. With help from some friends we were able to assemble the furniture.

My biggest concern about city living was where we could safely take the dogs for a walk. They are used to long walks on the beach or hiking on trails. But they are also used to ocean passages and making do in a gravel parking lots. Our location in Providence provides a little of everything. But first, it starts with an elevator ride. After a few fits and starts including Chico sniffing out a tasty morsel and getting off the elevator as the door was closing, the Friskettes have it down (and up). Favorite walks include the campus of Johnson and Wales and strolling along the river in Memorial Park. A little yorkie lives on the fourth floor and we've made friends, or in Honu's case, a frenemy.

While we hadn't planned to spend the winter in southern New England, here we are! Already we've enjoyed being closer to family and friends: a surprise visit from my son Nick. lunch with my girlfriend Barb and Thanksgiving at Fishers Island with our friends Dave & Denise Cugini video and their family. We look forward to a great winter exploring Providence, concerts, visits with family and friends and a successful knee surgery for the captain. We plan to launch Big Frisky and move back aboard in March.

Surprised? Hell, Nothing Surprises Me Anymore.....

11 November 2016 | Morehead City North Carolina
So here we are 1 year after heading offshore for the Caribbean for the winter. We find ourselves just South of Hatteras in Morehead City NC just after the election. We made the jump from Washington DC over the course of the last 2 weeks and found ourselves white-lashed from the experience. On election night we were motor-sailing down the coast of Virginia racing to the famous cape hoping for calm seas and winds. We followed the returns as they came in as the broadband cell service was great all the way to the Cape. Our new homeland Florida let us down. Our old homeland, Indiana who we cheered when the then governor was drug into the cage so they didn't have to suffer him anymore, only to be saddled with him again. We can leave Indiana but Indiana apparently won't leave us.

As expected the end of hurricane season brings you one last blow, Matthew and then the winter gales begin to set in and the juncture of South and North collide and make it hard to predict the outcomes. Sometimes it's rough and stormy, sometimes placid seas of Hope. One thing is for sure, you must travel the waters with your fellow travelers and are all in the same boat when things go unexpectedly. As we rounded the Cape the election had been called and we now faced headwinds as we fought our way off it heading southwest, motoring into growing seas of despair as the seas grew angry and built into blocky gray walls of water preventing our calm passage. As the night wore on our progress slowed as our girl pounds into steep seas making the entire world shutter around you. Kona was so upset he was shaking and nervous as a cat. If you were down below and crashed through the next 5-8' wave he would appear at your side and borough in hiding his head from the angry seas above.

My 0100-0400 watch mercifully ended and I passed it over to Pamela, I was able to relax and trust her to take us safely to the morning and I drifted off to sleep wishing it was just all a bad dream. As it always does the sun came up on her watch and me with it as well to relive her at 0700. The mood was somber as the break of day exposed all of the chaos that enveloped us with miles to go to safe harbour. 4 years and 100 miles seemed like the same eternity at the time. Cape Lookout is where Morehead City is, the first major Cape south of Hatteras and in between there and Cape Fear. It seems fitting to stop before we got to Cape Fear as really maybe all we have to fear is Fear itself.

And so life goes on. Today, Veterans Day is a great day for Pamela and I. Not only because we are so proud to be Americans and honor the memory of our Veterans who sacrificed to defend our liberties but because it's the birthday of our dear friend Michael Todd Harmon or Chef as he is known to all his friends. A veteran himself and a man who is a millionaire many time over with the wealth of friends he has accumulated over his 47 years on this earth. This includes his awesome daughter, Penelope our god-daughter and her fabulous mother Pam.

Today is sunny and warm here in North Carolina reminding us of the many walks through the woods with Chef and all our dogs talking, laughing and wishing for the happy times ahead. These times are always there we all just have to go out and find each other and enjoy them together.

Should I Go or should I Stay

15 October 2016 | Annapolis Landing Marina
Pamela, beautiful 70 degrees and sunny
I had just taken some Parmesan Monkey Bread from the oven, assembled a salad and packed a basket to take to a pitch in at a friends' boat. A fellow cruiser had stopped by to talk to the captain about our Lithium Ion batteries. I was heading to the bathhouse for a quick shower before our dinner outing. Our last get-together before our departure at first light in the morning.

The tide was high which means it's a pretty big step down and off the boat to reach the dock and I put my hand on top of a piling to steady myself. When I stepped down to the dock I felt blinding pain as my ring caught on an exposed nail on top of the piling behind me. At one point my entire body weight was suspended from the ring finger on my right hand. I was able to step up on a stool to free my hand and despite the pain I knew I had to get that ring off before it began to swell. My first thought was of the hundreds of times I asked soccer players to remove their rings before a match warning them of the dire consequences if they did not. And here I was, one big dire consequence.

Our battery curious guest beat a hasty retreat and the captain emerged to see what all the commotion was about. I immediately asked for ice. We keep several small bags of ice in the freezer and remarkably had just added an ice pack to Big Frisky the previous day. I climbed back on board for some triage and field dressing. Next we had to make a decision on whether to seek professional emergency care or not. The ring had gauged deeply into one side of the finger and peeled back an inch of skin on the other. The knuckle was swollen and bruised but nothing felt broken.

The go or stay debate didn't last long before we borrowed a car and figured out the closest urgent care in our network. I'm glad we did. Medical professionals cleaned and x-rayed the injury. While the doctor stitched up my finger, we chatted about cricket, reliving the last six balls at the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2016 and the Windies win. They sent me home with a finger splint and a stern admonition not to do anything for the next 48 hours and to return for a dressing change and assessment then.

The drive back home was a bummer. My finger didn't hurt that much, but now we couldn't leave for two days. Worse, we missed our dinner party. About that time, I heard from our hosts asking about my well-being and letting us know they were warming up the soup if we felt up to it.

Kurt dropped me off at their boat and retrieved the bread and salad from Big Frisky I packed hours earlier. Undiminished by the delay, the dinner party was a huge success, filled with sailing stories, weather speculation and a number of gruesome tales about everyone else's injuries.

A word about our hosts, Shannon and Mike. We first met them in Virgin Gorda BVI where they where they were hauled, painting the bottom of their boat Silver Heels a beautiful 1965 Pearson Alberg 35. We instantly became friends with many common interests like reading, cooking and sailing. They have a lot of experience as professional boat captain and first mate. Mike offers Kurt both encouragement and sound advice. And while Shannon and I share recipes and book titles, she also taught me how to use the winch to hoist Kurt up the mast. The last time we saw them in Tortola BVI, when they were leaving for Tahiti to double hand a catamaran delivery.

With the doc's permission we will leave tomorrow for a three day hop down the Chesapeake and up the Potomac to Washington DC. We leave Annapolis with fond memories and maybe a few scabs and bruises, but we realize how lucky we are to have a cruising life where we can meet new friends and take up with old ones right where we left off.

Life is Good in New England

30 September 2016 | Two-Mile Landing Marina, Cape May NJ
Captain Kurt, Blowing like snot
Our summer plans had included an earlier arrival in New England than August but we finally arrived.

We had a trip to Colorado planned to see Nick, Cliff and Curtis before our youngest had to return to graduate school in Indiana at Purdue. I think the phrase man plans, God laughs is appropriate here. Curtis had a summer internship in Colorado with Digital Globe that ran till just before fall classes and we had hoped to see the brothers all together before he had to return but our schedule slipped and we missed him. That didn't stop us from having an absolute blast with Nick and Cliff and his new girlfriend, Kat for a week last month. The picture on the post is a selfie in front of Cliff's 7 foot sailfish that he caught last spring when he and some buddies went deep sea fishing in Florida. Those who have been to the mountains in the summer know what I'm talking about but it was absolutely beautiful. We split our time between Littleton and Steamboat Springs enjoying both the city slicker lifestyle as well as the more granola mountain scene in the Boat. Let me say we couldn't be more proud of Nick, Cliff and Curtis. All pursuing life's path with vigor and enjoyment. So fun to pop into their busy schedules and just hang out. We hope they join us south again this WEST for the holidays - November through January followed by a trip up the gulf coast, Cuba if the stars align and the Bahamas working our way North for next summer.

Our landing point in New England was Cove Haven Marina in Barrington RI, home of friends of ours and three other Outbound 46's, sister-ships of Big Frisky. We arrived from Charleston SC via Cape May New Jersey with a weather diversion. When we arrived in Jersey I began playing Bruce Springsteen as we tied up. It was absolutely the most welcoming beach community we have been too, a pleasant change from SC where we felt and were total outsiders. I've never been to the Jersey shore but I can well recommend it. Beautiful beach shoreline with intact giant sand dunes separating the boardwalk from the ocean. Low rise beach hotels and condos not more than 4 stories, many small hotels built in the 50s and 60s with retro styling from the day called do-oop. We met a local boater at the marina we were staying at, 2 Mile Marina who gave us a ride to the store and told us he installed many of the elevators. A community of summer that rolls up the carpet once the winter sets in earnest only to roll it back out next summer. It's a place of songs about summer love. The marina was described by the harbormaster as 4 bars and two restaurants with a marina for the customers to look at. Small and convenient with deep water that seems to be scarce around Cape May.

On the way to RI we saw huge pods of dolphins hunting, using our boat as a foil. We got beautiful weather, albeit not too windy and even saw a surfaced submarine! Our schedule was an awkward 38 hours and found us rounding Block Island around 2200 and then Newport around 0200 where we needed gas. God as my witness I have no idea how at that time of the morning on a moonless night we didn't hit any of the moored boats in Newport Harbor. We arrived at Goat Island gas dock with about a $20 million super yacht at the stern and a $2.5 million classic sailboat at the bow with about 50 feet to squeeze our 46 foot Outbound into. Pamela hit the cleat on the first toss and then disembarked, tied off the stern, grabbed the bow line at the gate where she had it staged and tied us off perfectly. Money in the bank she is and I couldn't be luckier to have a mate as her.

Our trip continued to Barrington RI where we stayed at the end of a bay off the providence river at a Brewer marina, Cove Haven. We discovered the Brewer group when we were in Long Island Sound last fall in Stratford. High standards for a marina and a yard with the most friendly and helpful staff. As a bonus the residents of the marina were all cool and interesting people including a Swan SV Chaucer who we met in the Caribbean last winter and three other Outbound 46 sister-ships, Pratique, Pneumatic and Hippocampus. Our main draw to Barrington however is our friends from a 52' carbon fiber racing catamaran Occam's Razor who spent the winter in the Caribbean and hosted us for Christmas and our birthdays. The captain is a professional sailor and is president of Anchor Yachts who represents Outbound as well as a wide array of high performance sail and powerboats. He and his wife and intrepid sailing mutt, Jacques have been so supportive of us as we begin to learn what it is to be blue water cruisers we can't thank them enough. If you or anyone you know is looking for a blue water sail or powerboat, I can say that visiting their site is a great way to Find your Boat of dreams and make it a reality like they did for us.

We were able to fly in and out of Providence to CO easily and also found a great kennel for our pups to stay and play at while we were away. We did some work on the boat, canned local fruits, attended and hosted fellow boaters get togethers, saw the world record longest back-flip on a BMX bicycle held by K-Rob, Kevin Robinson of X Games fame and native of Providence RI, ate at great restaurants and also saw a great deal of the Olympics in the evenings.

We laid plans for our trip to the islands in Nantucket Sound, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Just before we left we were able to attend the Newport Boat show. The newest delivery in the Northeast for Outbound was at the show with all the latest improvements along with the President who has been nothing but spectacularly supportive of our ownership of Big Frisky. He even got a chance to come on-board and see what his handiwork looks like 8 years after manufacture. We love our girl and he was very complementary.

Martha's vineyard brought us our first visit with Pamela's life long friend from Hanover College and her BF. We saw them last October and vowed to see them again this fall. This time they met us on his powerboat, Get the Order in Oaks Bluff Harbor on the Vineyard. What a blast we had. The harbor is tiny and so they have to ask people to raft up, 4 boats max to a mooring and run a tender to transport folks back and forth to the town dock.We met them on the way and rafted up for the night, taking a tender to shore to have dinner and drinks. The night ended around 0200 with all of us with sore stomachs from laughing so hard but fat heads in the morning. Thankfully we were going to hang out for a few days exploring and maybe we'd see them at Nantucket our next stop. We took the bus around the island on the next rainy day visting Bad Martha's brewery and saw the colts play the next night before setting off for Nantucket.

I would describe the waters of Nantucket Sound as hair raising when it comes to navigation. The entire eastern shore of the island has shoals so dangerous there is a shipwreck museum on the island. Pair that with 4 foot tides and the currents can run 3-4 knots through narrow openings and you have to be paying close attention as the bottom is mostly rock. When we cut through Woods Hole on the way to Martha's vineyard the jagged rocks jutted up nearer to the boat that is comfortable but outside the channel as the current rushed through this crooked dogleg of a passage.

The trip to Nantucket was no different with close attention paid to our route and the time of day with respect to the winds, tides and currents. We arrived to Nantucket on an overcast day with light winds and passed the Brant Point lighthouse as the inner harbor that has welcomed seafarers for hundreds of years came into view. Fixed docks with narrow fairways and tiny little cottages in and among them leading up to a picturesque harbor front. The streets are paved with the pavers from the ships ballasts brought in from all over the world. The movie Heart of the Sea was based on the whaling economy of the late 19th century of Nantucket. The names of the families still adorn the storefronts and buildings. To say it was expensive real estate was an understatement. We splurged for a slip for 4 days as they were running off season rates and it was still twice as much as we normally expect. We rented a scooter for a day and raced all over the island sightseeing and stopping at the local brewery, Cisco Brewers and whiled an afternoon away. It was lovely and warm. Pamela's roommate was able to take a ferry over to join us for a dinner and an overnight on Big Frisky. We were so excited for her arrival but sad to see her go the next day. I with substantially more sleep than Pamela and she. When I hugged her goodbye I asked her is someone and snuck into her cabin overnight and roughed her up a bit. Still all in good fun where you have good friends.

We bid her and New England farewell on the next outgoing tide after a front passed through that gave us a sleigh ride down the eastern coast to our current location, Cape May New Jersey. We'll stage here for the run up Delaware Bay and hang a left before Philadelphia through the C&D canal to enter the famed Chesapeake Bay.

The Best of Charleston

03 August 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, hot, humid
We have now been in Charleston for over two months, completing repairs after Big Frisky was stuck by another boat in the Charleston Harbor Marina. Our misfortune did not prevent us from taking full advantage of living in the Best City in the World (according to Travel & Leisure Magazine). We are leaving in the morning and as a farewell to the Holy City, we offer our Best of Charleston review.

Best place to visit: Mt Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Pier. We walked the dogs every day at this park and enjoyed our coffee while watching the tides come in and river traffic go by. You can buy a fishing pass for the day for $7 and you are almost guaranteed to catch something if not bring home dinner.

Best Dining Experience: 167 Raw. This tiny hole in the wall not only is the freshest raw bar in town, it also has the best servers. But you have to be patient. The raw bar only seats about 40 people and while the wait can be long, when you sit down it's as if you were the only one there; your every desire, anticipated and fulfilled. The atmosphere is festive and the all-male crew works hard to maintain traffic flow by ensuring there is a drink in the hand of every waiting patron.

Best Landmark: The Angel Tree on Johns Island. The oldest living thing in the US is this Live Oak tree, estimated to be over 500 years old. Visitors milling about the ancient tree speak in hushed tones as if in the presence of something sacred.

Best Mexican Restaurant: Agave Cantina on Daniel Island. Great Mexican food and excellent service made this place worth a second visit. The lunch crowd was equal parts office workers and construction workers, no doubt attracted like we were to delicious food at good prices.

Best Show: Improv Riot: Perfect for Friday night date night, especially when paired with dinner at 167 Raw, the improv team at Theater 99, had us laughing our ass off. The theater sports a concession with beer, wine, sodas and snacks.

Best Local Tip: Edmunds Oast: Hip and Loftlike according to google, this amazing place has an unadvertised happy hour with a $4 menu. Order craft beers and small batch cocktails with creative small plate appetizers until you are full and leave having spent less than $50.

Best Place to Hang out Getting Local Tips: House of Brews in Mt Pleasant. Knowledgeable bartender at House of Brews told us about great food and beer deals throughout the county.

Best Handcrafted Cocktails: The Americano. Fresh mixers are prepared on site with indigenous ingredients. I had the Mexican Mule and Kurt had the Pisco Sour. Cuban cuisine served in a cool art deco setting was fresh, light and well portioned.

Best Charcuterie Program: Ok, so first, what is a charcuterie program? Charcuterie is cured meats and having a program indicates that the restaurant does their own curing, often employing a "nose to tail" philosophy in preparing meat. Artisan Meat Share is a small shop sharing delicious charcuterie from Cypress as well as sandwiches, cheeses, and condiments. And of course several taps of local craft beer.

Best of All: The People! While every community has a few jerks, the many gracious, friendly and hospitable people we have met in Charleston have more than offset one bad experience. Like our neighbors Timm and Martie on Goat's Boat who warmly welcomed us for evening cocktails and introduced us to their many friends. It is easy to see why our nieces and their families have made Charleston their home. We look forward to coming back to see them all again and find out what Charleston has on tap next time.

Next stop, Barrington Rhode Island!

Gone Fishin'

01 July 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, hot, humid
I am all smiles here after catching a sea trout off of the Mt Pleasant Pier, but just a few days ago we were left shaking our heads and surveying damage when a large trawler being towed by Tow Boat US plowed into our dingy and nearly tore the davits off Big Frisky's stern.

The drama started at 0730 when our neighbor left his slip and lost control of his boat. The current carried him down the fairway where he lodged amid the bows and sterns of a number of boats. Pinned against the boats by the current, he was advised to wait until the slack tide and just motor out. Unfortunately, he called Tow Boat US instead. About 1000 we watched as the small tow boat arrived and attached to the aft port quarter of the substantially larger trawler.

We were below decks when we heard commotion outside. The trawler had snagged on the bowsprit and anchor of the boat two slips away and her bow now aimed directly at our dinghy and davits. Then the boat accelerated to push away, but could not avoid snagging our dinghy and bending the davits until the boat pulled free, an agonizingly long time. If I knew how strong those davits really are I would have worried a lot less during big following seas from passages past.

Read about how we got these davits in the first place.

I am not gonna lie; we took it hard. Big Frisky is not just our boat. She is our home, our transportation, our life, our dream. We know every part of her and it is almost impossible to describe our attachment. We spent few days nursing our wounds, making insurance calls, entertaining adjustors, filing DNR reports, etc. We questioned whether this cruising life was for us after all.

As days go by its clear that we will be in Charleston another week or two. We've decided we are going to enjoy all of the things we normally don't have time for. Yesterday we spent the whole day pier fishing at the Mt Pleasant Pier. This morning we made ice cream with the ice cream maker we brought all the way from Indiana. Next week I'm going blueberry picking. And that's just the beginning!

Never underestimate what a day of fishing can do for your outlook.

Holed up in Charleston

30 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
Cappy KJ / Overcast and humid
Well, Tropical Storm Bonnie turned out to be a little less menacing than expected. Partly because the protection of Charleston Harbor with Fort Sumter giving it the evil eye and partly because the winds just never developed inland as they were blowing at the weather buoy 30 miles offshore. Floating docks muzzled the tidal surge associated with the storm. We did get a chance to see every blue water cruiser within 200 miles pull into Charleston for a few days and drink coffee and exchange stories. Hard to believe it’s just been a year and we were among that group.

We pull up stakes in the morning and head inland for a few weeks stopping in Atlanta, Stanford KY, Cincinnati and ultimately Indianapolis, where yesterday an American kid the age of our kids won the 100th running of the Indy 500. We look forward to catching up with friends and our family and God Daughter Penelope. Find us at your local watering holes, we can't wait to see you.

Safe and Sound in Charleston

29 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, no wind
The rain poured for hours and the wind kicked up a little, but overall the impact we felt was negligible. When we came out for our dog walk this morning in light rain and literally saw the storm pass to the north of us.

But we didn't really come to Charleston for the weather. We came to see our beautiful nieces and their families! And they welcomed us with true southern hospitality. Bethany and Doug, newlyweds dwelling in historic downtown Charleston arranged a luncheon at a cool slow food café in the old Cigar Factory and Grace and Richard came with their children. We laughed and told stories while the rain poured outside. They helped us speculate on the storm with their local knowledge. We made tentative arrangements for today, providing the authorities didn't close The Bridge, isolating us at Mt. Pleasant.

As the weather cleared this morning we made good on a lunch invitation. Grace and Richard invited us for hand crafted, deconstructed bacon cheese burgers in their lovely Sommerville, South Carolina home. The food was fantastic and the conversation even better! Jonathan retired for a nap (we were a little envious) and Lilly kept us entertained with stories, dancing and a little picture book reading. We feel so blessed to spend time with this remarkable young family and the opportunity to watch them grow.

Charleston is known for its outstanding cuisine and Doug and Bethany live just blocks away from some of the best of it. We ended up at Hall's Chop House. Between trading stories and sharing photos, wonderful food started showing up at our table. Conversation was soon replaced by the low moans of divine culinary satisfaction. I very well may have eaten the most delicious dish I've ever tasted. Creamed Corn, Halls Chop House Style.

After dinner we strolled the streets of Charleston with Doug as our tour guide. Here, history isn't dusty old thing to be trundled out in a dull recitation of dates and treaties, but a living knowledge of what was before, what is now and what might be. Doug and Bethany live at the corner of Meeting and Calhoun just down the street from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. At their doorstep the city of Charleston came together as one to mourn, connect and forgive.

We have been looking forward to this visit since before we left on our trip. Maybe even before we had our boat. Sometimes on long passages when we needed something to cheer us up and look forward to, one of us would ask the other, "What do you think it will be like when we come sailing up into Charleston Harbor to see Grace and Bethany, Richard and Doug? The babies?? As it turns out, we feel so welcomed, so loved and so fortunate to enjoy this amazing family!

A Tropical Storm Predicted

28 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, heavy rain, low visibility
We spent three fabulous days exploring St. Augustine, drinking from the fountain youth, touring the local distillery, and learning about Henry Flagler and the Ponce de Leon Hotel. I flopped open the guidebook to look at our next destination and the captain checked out the weather for our short hop up the Florida coast. "Ah oh," exclaimed the captain in a tone I have come to recognize is serious. "What is it," I replied setting aside the cruising guide.

The National Hurricane Center had identified tropical disturbance a few hundred miles east of the Bahamas with conditions suitable for a hurricane and a trajectory for the southeastern US. The storm was still far enough out that we had time to make a move, but not long to make a decision.

We had planned a couple stops in Georgia including an anchorage off of Cumberland Island, but those destinations will wait another time. We now wanted to get to Charleston where the marinas are well equipped and prepared for tropical storms. Further, our beloved nieces Bethany and Grace and their families are in and around Charleston and we savored the opportunity to spend time with them.

We calculated the distance to Charleston, a thirty hour trip, checked the weather, sunny with light winds just ahead of the beam for 200 miles. We couldn't resist one more delicious meal ashore in St. Augustine but an early morning departure was now in order and much to be done for an overnight offshore passage running ahead of a hurricane.

The captain got up at 4am to plot the course, disconnect shore power and water. He removed the sail covers and attached the halyards. I took the photo you see here from our slip. We were able to make the 7:30am bridge opening and headed out the channel into the Atlantic, our trip taking us forty-five miles or so off shore.

Despite the change up in plans and anxiety about the storm potential, the mood on Big Frisky was good. We had just stocked up on fresh fruit, nuts and assorted snacks. The weather was gorgeous and over the course of our sail dolphins played in our bow wake. They kept us company in our solitary overnight watches, entertaining us with their sleek speed and agility.

Over the course of the night we encountered a bit of marine traffic, some we could see on AIS (Automatic Identification System) which displays the heading and speed of approaching vessels and provides the same info about our boat. Others, we could tell naught about other than that they were there and we didn't hit them. Sometimes standing watch for three hours by yourself in the deep dark night is a little boring, but a lot of times it is plenty exciting.

As we approached Charleston it was evident we were not the only boat coming in for refuge. The Charleston Harbor Marina in Mt Pleasant has 400 slips and I daresay they are almost all full. Talk around the dock house is all "what do you think she'll do?" This afternoon the tropical disturbance has been upgraded to a named storm: Bonny and she's headed to South Carolina.

We are safely in our slip, our lines are doubled. We are amongst fellow sailors in a safe harbor and just across the bridge from our family. We do got plenty liquor and food to wait it out if need be.

As a caution to other sailors, do not read "Last Train to Paradise" cheerfully purchased at the former Ponce de Leon Hotel now Flagler College gift shop and reading the opening chapter about the hurricane of 1935.

Old Bahama Passage to Ft Lauderdale

19 May 2016 | Cape Canaveral
Pamela, Warm and Sunny, light winds
Our return trip to the United States from the British Virgin Islands was marked by gorgeous sailing weather, day and night, with a sprinkling of thunderstorms to keep it interesting. I took this photo at dawn at the end of my stormy rain-soaked 4am to 7am watch. Mornings are the best time on Big Frisky passages, when I wake up the Captain to tell him I got the sun up for him and it's time for his watch.

Next, the dogs come up to the cockpit after keeping us company all night during our off watches. It never ceases to amaze us how adaptable they are. As long as they are with us. they are happy. Comfort stations again were very effective for passage making poochie potties.

Our six day trip gave us plenty of time to think about our winter in the Virgin Islands and all the things we would miss.
1. Easygoing West Indian attitude and love for fun.
2. Being met and greeting EVERYONE with "good morning" or "good afternoon."
3. Snorkeling off the back of the boat
4. BBQ ribs out the food truck
5. Mooring balls
6. Friendly island dogs (and chickens, goats and donkeys)
7. Anegada Lobster
8. Sunday morning gospel singalong in line at the grocery store.
9. White sand beaches and turquoise water
10. Making life-long friends

We also thought a lot about the many things we were looking forward to when we got back to the states:
1. Fountain diet coke! They do not serve fountain drinks in the islands.
2. Knowing where to find stuff the grocery store.
3. Easy and inexpensive access to boat maintenance and repair goods
4. Driving on the right side of the road.
5. And specific to Indianapolis: an Arni's Junior Salad.

Most of all we look forward to seeing old and new friends and family in the US, visiting up and down the east coast with road trips to Indiana and Colorado. I feel like we have accomplished another goal, having been to the Caribbean and back. Can't wait to see what the next big adventure has in store for us.
Vessel Name: Big Frisky
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46
Hailing Port: Carmel Indiana
Crew: Kurt and Pamela
About: Kurt and Pamela have been together for sixteen years and recently married. Kona, Honu and Chico are avid sailing companions and are committed to keeping all ducks off docks wherever they may go. Kurt is a retired editor for a publishing company and Pamela is a retired college librarian.
Extra: After travelling through the Great Lakes and out the St. Lawrence Seaway, Big Frisky and her crew are ready to start the next leg of their adventure, a passage to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Home Page:
Big Frisky's Photos - Main
Wintering over in Providence
7 Photos
Created 29 November 2017
4 Photos
Created 3 August 2016
6 day passage from Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI to Ft Lauderdale Florida
5 Photos
Created 19 May 2016
The four days of Kurt and Pamela's Birthdays April 18-April 22.
10 Photos
Created 30 April 2016
2 Photos
Created 8 January 2016
5 Photos
Created 16 December 2015
1 Photo
Created 7 November 2015
4 Photos
Created 20 October 2015
No Photos
Created 15 October 2015
6 Photos
Created 5 October 2015
5 Photos
Created 2 October 2015
17 Photos
Created 24 September 2015
Sights around QC
11 Photos
Created 18 September 2015
Cliff's hospitalization at Cleveland Clinic
5 Photos
Created 31 August 2015
What we are reading
2 Photos
Created 21 July 2015
Pictures of the people we meet along the way
4 Photos
Created 14 July 2015
We love entertaining guests aboard Big Frisky!
9 Photos
Created 30 June 2015
16 Photos
Created 26 June 2015
Photos of the destinations we have been
25 Photos
Created 24 June 2015
24 Photos
Created 24 May 2015
Photos our our new ride
9 Photos
Created 28 January 2015