Cruising Aboard Tobias with Suzie and Kirby

After cruising from Maryland to Nova Scotia to Florida and then on to the Bahamas we returned to Maryland. Our wonderful TOBIAS is for sale and we are living on land in Charleston, SC. WHAT A WONDERFUL ADVENTURE WE HAD!!!

04 August 2007
22 July 2007
28 June 2007 | Deale, MD
28 June 2007
20 June 2007 | Deale, MD
12 June 2007 | Solomon's Island, MD
10 June 2007
04 June 2007
04 June 2007
01 June 2007
01 June 2007
23 May 2007 | Charleston, SC
16 May 2007 | Beaufort, SC
14 May 2007 | Jekyll Island, Georgia
14 May 2007
14 May 2007

Bill Baggs State Park, FL

04 January 2007 | Biscayne Bay, FL
We took a walk/bike ride around the park today. The beach on the Atlantic side was lovely. I have added a few pictures to the gallery titled South Florida.

Biscayne Bay, Florida

02 January 2007 | Blue, Blue Water!
As you can see by the picture, we have found beautiful water! I was so surprised to see it today as we are still in Florida! I thought I would have to go to the Bahamas to see it. I have not altered the color in any way - it was just yummy looking water.

We are settled into a small beautiful anchorage in Key Biscayne surrounded by mangroves growing out of the water. And of course quite a few other boats waiting to sail over to the Bahamas - as soon as the weather is right. We are hoping for Friday night. We will leave at night to arrive in Bimini during the afternoon. Hope this plan works. We really don't want to stay here any longer than we have to. At least this anchorage is in a state park and not surrounded by condos and mega yachts and homes. Maybe we will launch the dinghy tomorrow and go explore!

Biscayne Bay, Florida

02 January 2007 | Condos and Condos
As we left Ft Lauderdale I was amazed by all of the cruise ships and then as we got further offshore I couldn't believe the number of high rise condo buildings. They just go on and on.

Biscayne Bay, Florida

02 January 2007 | Condos and Crusie Ships
We left Ft. Lauderdale this morning at 6:30 and caught the 7:00 am opening of the 17th street bridge. From there it was just a short distance to the BIG WATER! It felt so strange to have the boat moving like that with no power boat zooming by and giving us the WAKE! But it felt GOOD! The sun came out of the clouds and warmed us and all was good with the world.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

01 January 2007 | Heading to Miami
Happy New Year to All!

We are still in Lake Sylvia, Ft. Lauderdale where we have really enjoyed the New Year's Holiday. The small anchorage has filled and emptied so many times in the past 48 hours as boats have come and gone. Some have come for a night or 2, some just to enjoy the fireworks or go for a swim and some have come only for lunch or a quick spin around to check out all the other boats.

We spent the first day of 2007 preparing TOBIAS for the Big Water! It has been almost 3 months since we have sailed. Tomorrow we will go outside and down to Miami. There is a bridge on the ICW that is just not really tall enough for us. Maybe we could make it under it but our blood pressure just can't take that close a call! And it will be really fun to be out on the ocean again. We have missed it so much!

So we hauled the dinghy on deck and cleaned the bottom. It hadn't been cleaned since we left Nova Scotia and there were a few little barnacles growing but it really wasn't too bad. We deflated it and tied it down good and tight. We took the sail covers off in hopes of sailing tomorrow. We have stowed things that could go flying around and attached the jack line - that is what you hook the harnass tether too when you go out on deck - it's purpose is to keep you on the boat should you fall or get knocked down by a wave.

We will leave here at first light and go on down to Biscayne Bay. We are hoping for a good weather window (that means good conditions for sailing) on Friday and we will scoot on over to Bimini - our first stop in the Bahamas.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

31 December 2006 | Low Bridges
We took a dinghy ride yesterday - and the only way out of the basin we are in without going back into the ICW was under a small bridge. The tide was coming in and the water was quite high as you can see in this picture of Rick and Tanya taken from our dinghy. But on the return trip the water was even higher and the space was even skinny-er. I wish I could have seen Kirby and I tucked down to get under it. Kirby's head had about 1/2 inch to an inch to spare. We were laughing so hard when we came out the other side! Life is always an adventure with Kirby!

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

31 December 2006
We are in Ft. Lauderdale with all the Mega Yachts. I have never seen such evidence of wealth in my life as I have seen here. The homes on the ICW are the largest and there are so many of them. I don't know why people would need a home that looks like it could be 4 or 5 homes all hooked together. And the yachts! Wow!

We are anchored in Lake Syliva with a few other cruisers and some lunch boats. The one in this picture just anchored for lunch and then was gone again.

Miami is our next stop in a day or two. Have to have New Year's first.

Pompano Beach, FL

29 December 2006 | Land of Condos, Fast Boats and Bridges
We are anchored in a small area off the Intracoastal Waterway in south Florida called Santa Barbara Lake in Pompano Beach. We traveled all of 21 miles today taking 7.5 hours to do it! We had 11 opening bridges to contend with. For quite a few of them we had to cool our heels for 25 minutes as we JUST missed the last opening! And, to add insult to injury, every power boater in Florida is out today showing off for visiting family and friends! The wakes of the passing fast boats are amazing! They knock us all over the place. But we are safe and we are warm and will go do some more tomorrow as more peaceful waters and quiet anchorages are calling to us! We don't know exactly when we will reach the Bahamas but hopefully it will be soon. We will probably go on to Miami and then head over from there. The Gulf Stream should give us a little push and we'll be there before we know it. It will be so strange to be out in the BIG WATER again after so long on the ICW. We'll need to spend some time getting all of our stuff secured. The ocean can be even worse than a passing power boat for knocking things around!

I didn't have the time at my last posting to say much about Christmas. I hated leaving Kirby home on the holiday but I wanted so much to have my children and my grandchildren all together with me. (Our friends Rick and Tanya on AURIGA invited Kirby to share Christmas Dinner with them aboard AURIGA) Ryan, Lisa and 9 month old Kevin flew out from California. They arrived just a few hours after I did and didn't have a clue that I would be there. It was so much fun surprising them at the airport!

I only had 3 days there but we packed a lot of love in! We packed a lot of food in also. Christie outdid herself with the goodies waiting for us and most of the meals already prepared so we didn't have to spend ALL of our time cooking. I enjoyed playing cards with Brendan (15 - almost 16 yrs.) and Casey (14yrs.) and watching them practice soccer which they both excel at! And I loved watching Kevin crawl around and explore the his environment. Socks the Lab didn't know what to make of Kevin or what he even was but after a day or so, decided he wasn't worth barking at any longer.

It was a miracle Christmas for me to have my family with me. I just missed my Kirby. We are together 24/7 and it is hard to be apart.

West Palm Beach

15 December 2006 | Lake Worth North Anchorage
We left Vero Beach yesterday and spent the night just north of Jensen Beach Bridge looking for some protection from the south wind blowing 25 - 30 Kts. The wind had died down this morning so we checked the weather and decided that it would be a good day to travel although there were showers predicted. We prepared to depart the anchorage, going through our checklist of things to do. Then it was time to start the engine and - no joy! This was not a good time for the engine to fail as we were not in an anchorage with a landing or stores or anything! Kirby went to work troubleshooting and finally got the beast to start. He suspected the starter and later, after more checking has confirmed and ordered a new one. He cleaned all the connections and it is working OK for now but it will be good to have a spare.

We had a lovely day traveling to West Palm Beach - Lake Worth Anchorage. We saw many new-to-us birds and that was really exciting to this old birdwatcher! I will have to find a source and see if I can identify some of them. We seemed to have finished the "big lake" traveling and re-entered canals which are so much prettier than the "big lakes". We passed Jupiter Island and marveled at the opulence of the homes there. That is where Celine Dion used to live.

Note: Kirby and I lived in this area back in 2000. It was fun seeing things from the water instead of from the streets. We sure never dreamed as we enjoyed watching boats in the ICW then that one day we would be one of them!

We then had bridge after bridge to pass under. We waited at one for another boat and that made us late for the next so we had to wait 25 minutes for the opening. Florida is the land of bridges, big fast powerboats and mansions on the water. The power boats here don't give at all. They rush past making as big a wake as possible and rolling us all over the place. Goes with the territory I guess.

15 December 2006 | West Palm Beach
We were approaching the PGA Bridge when I heard a funny sound behind us and lo and behold, there was a small seaplane coming up our stern. He finally caught up and passed us.

15 December 2006 | West Palm Beach
The seaplane passed under the bridge just before us and we were having such a good time watching him. He had smiled and waved as he passed us and looked so pleased with his air/watercraft.

Just after clearing the bridge he hit the throttle and quickly was airborne. But not for long. We watched in horror as he tipped to the left and headed straight down. He disappeared from view and within seconds the sound of the engine died.

15 December 2006 | West Palm Beach
As we passed by we could see the plane in the tree and the pilot on the ground. I could see him move and then someone approached him and I could see him talking. What a relief! He was OK!! We couldn't stay there in the canal and since we assumed he was OK we decided to proceed to our anchorage which was just a mile away. After getting the hook down I thought that possibly the media would like my pictures so I emailed them to Fox news in West Palm Beach. Later a reporter called and wanted to videotape an interview with us as eyewitnesses but it would have taken us too long to launch the dinghy and find the dinghy dock so I declined. He did tell me that the pilot had external injuries and possibly a broken leg. I think he faired quite well for the spill he took!

As seen in NOAA Weather for West Palm Beach: Tonight: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 79.

Now that is more like it!! 79 degrees at night!

Vero Beach, FL

14 December 2006 | 0600 - 75 Degrees in the Cabin
TOBIAS on the left and AURIGA on the right. The completion of the marriage of the Townsends and the Kidlarks. We are now the TOWNKIDS!

I think we have made it south. It is warm and there are bugs. We all got pretty chewed up last night but we will learn to put on "Bug Juice" before going out just like we did in Mexico.

We arrived in Vero Beach on Tuesday and were directed to mooring ball No. 3. No anchoring allowed. But the good part was that we got to raft up with Rick and Tanya on "Auriga". Shortly thereafter another boat joined us on the mooring. Linda and Steve aboard "Brass Dragon". We had never met them; all mooring balls have up to 3 boats on them and we were fortunate to get such nice people.

This is a very cruiser friendly place. Large dinghy dock with triple rows of dinghies tied up, 6 washers and 6 dryers, plenty of large showers and a shuttle bus that comes right to the customer lounge and goes to all the shopping one could want. It all makes it so easy and people get suck here because it is so nice.

Both nights we had dinner on Auriga and Rick barbequed for us. Last night Steve and Linda joined us. They have been to the Bahamas before so we picked their brains just a little.

We love it here and would love to stay but we have a date in Jupiter this weekend with really good friends Jim and MT and we are really looking forward to seeing them. We are leaving this morning - and it is raining! We will only go 20 miles or so and then the rest of the way tomorrow. The sad part is that Rick and Tanya have elected to stay and do some more shopping and getting ready to go to the Bahamas. They will catch up in a few day. We will miss them as we have traveled together every day for almost 4 months.

Have a good laugh!

11 December 2006
This is too funny. Sometimes I search Google with our names - Suzie and Kirby and get so delighted when our website comes up. This time I decided to try - Kirby and Suzie. If you can, click on this link and see a picture of us. If you can't, maybe you can copy and paste into your browser. If you need to laugh, this will provide it for you.

We are just north of Melbourne, FL and I am warm!

Cape Canaveral

09 December 2006 | Titusville, FL
Sometimes we are just lucky as we sure didn't plan to be here for the space shuttle launch.

We decided to travel today after all as the wind began to lay down. We headed out of the anchorage about 8:30 and didn't get too far when we looked back to check on Auriga and they seemed to not be moving. Sure enough, they were hard aground - suck in the mud. We went back to check on them, determined that there was nothing we could do and decided to continue on knowing that they would call for help and join us soon. But - Rick did some tricks with the boom and the throttle and before we knew it, there they were right behind us. Kirby always says that if you haven't gone aground, it just hasn't been your turn yet! Rick and Tanya have paid their dues.

And on we went towards Titusville and the Space Shuttle Launch which we couldn't have planned any better. It was thrilling to sit on the bow of the boat and watch the sky light up at lift off. It was especially fun for Kirby as he used to work on satellites and the shuttles and had never seen the BIG ONE lift off before. The light that it created was magnificent and lit the whole sky. Seconds later we finally heard the noise of the rocket motors roaring. I think this will be one of the highlights of our trip!
Vessel Make/Model: Freedom 35 - TOBIAS is named for a creek in the Sierras where we camped many times, Suzie proposed to Kirby and then spent our honeymoon. We love both the boat TOBIAS and the creek TOBIAS!
Hailing Port: Charleston, SC but we are really from Southern California
Crew: Suzie and Kirby Townsend
We are actually from Southern California and sold our last sailboat in Mexico. We decided to go east to purchase our next boat so we traveled to Maryland where we found Tobias. We spent the winter of 2006 living aboard and preparing Tobias to go cruising. In May we departed and headed north. We [...]
Album: Cruising Aboard TOBIAS with Suzie and Kirby (Main) | Cruising Aboard Tobias with Suzie and Kirby
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Suzie and Kirby

Who: Suzie and Kirby Townsend
Port: Charleston, SC but we are really from Southern California
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