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

Tobias for Sale

04 August 2007
I have added a link on the right if you want to see the listing for Tobias. Maybe you know someone who is looking for a well equipped cruising boat. Tobias is ready to go!! (She really liked being out on the water!)

New Life - New Blog

22 July 2007
Since we are no longer cruising and are living on land in a real home it didn't seem appropriate to continue with our Sailing Blog. But I have enjoyed doing it so much that I wanted to continue. I have found the "sister" blogsite to Sailblogs called LightBlog and started a new blog there. You can continue to follow our adventures of a different kind at the following address -
(copy and paste in your browser)
Or you can find it under "Townsend Tales" in our list of links on the right hand side of this page. (just click and go)


Goodbye to TOBIAS

28 June 2007 | Deale, MD
We managed to get it all in our "new to us" van and are driving to Charleston to begin our new life!

After 2 weeks of cleaning, polishing and waxing TOBIAS is more beautiful than ever.

Of course we did this during the heat of summer and I have never "glowed" quit this much before but we got the van packed to the gills and headed out.

We are currently holed up in a nice cool motel room in NC with "Pirates of the Caribbean" on the TV and cool AC blowing on us!

It was really sad to leave our TOBIAS but a new chapter calls to us and TOBIAS will find a new owner to have more adventures with.

Thanks to all of you who have written your words of encouragement, love and support for us as we lived our dream. It was a wonderful experience that has enriched our lives and I will never ever forget.

To you who are thinking of cruising - DO IT! You won't regret one minute! And the clock is ticking........don't put it off too long.

28 June 2007
Here is our wonderful TOBIAS after being hauled out of the water and placed in a "strategic" location for the best exposure to potential buyers. Our good friend Orhan helped us get the bottom all spruced up so that we could get out of town on time - and on to the next adventure.

Laundry Memories

20 June 2007 | Deale, MD
I went to the Laundromat today - the one that I used for 6 months while we were getting TOBIAS ready to go cruising. More than a year has passed since we left here and I was reflecting on different places that I have done my laundry in that time.

Greenwich, RI - At the marina - we were the last boat on the last dock (a really, really long walk) and as I was walking back to the boat carrying all the laundry (all the dock carts were being used) it started to rain. Wet laundry.

Newburyport, MA - A large facility very near the public dock where we were tied. Kirby found a nearby Bagel place for breakfast.

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - No one told us there was laundry next to the marina. They only told us about the one 1 ˝ miles away. We strapped all the bags onto the hand truck and walked down the highway, feeling like street bums with all our bags, and then spent $6.00 a load to wash and dry. We would become accustomed to the price.

Mahone Bay - Nova Scotia - Kirby would drop me at the dock with the hand truck and I would walk to the other end of town. The Laundromat was really nice although small. To pay I had to knock on the door of the antique shop next door and tell them how many loads I was doing.

Scituate, MA - A favorite stop for many reasons, Scituate has a Laundromat very near the water taxi landing (no dinghies here). I had to buy a card to operate the machines - guessing at how much it would cost to wash and dry. I still have the card - with about $6.00 credit on it!

Onset, MA - One of my favorites - easy to get to and lots of machines.

Newport, RI - This one was a long walk with Kirby and I both trudging along. At least it was near the liquor store and the grocery. After all the washing and shopping we had to hire a taxi back to the dinghy dock.

Sandy Hook, NJ - Not too far to walk and not too nice a place but it worked. Clean clothes again!

Elizabeth City, NC - A long walk and the worst place of them all. Strange people coming and going and most machines didn't work. I would NEVER go back there!

Jekyll Island, GA - Two nice machines at the marina, near the showers and the café. So easy!

No Name Harbor, FL - You have to know where the machines are as the information is not made public. Almost free and so easy to get too. A real treat.

Bimini, Bahamas - This is where I started doing most of my wash by hand. For almost 4 months I went to a Laundromat about 2-3 times. Just call me the Washerwoman!

Georgetown, Bahamas - A very nice Laundromat but very expensive! As were all things in the Bahamas.

Alligator River Marina - Great facility and not too many quarters. Put your wash in and go to the shower. Great stop.

In a few months I will have my own washer and dryer again. What a luxury! When we were living in Mexico and finally got a washing machine (I didn't have a dryer so I was hanging things outdoors), I was so enthusiastic that our neighbor asked Kirby if I was taking in laundry! After doing without, you really appreciate having your own. I will forever appreciate having my own and forever remember my "Laundromat Days!" as some of my best days!

Full Circle

12 June 2007 | Solomon's Island, MD
We are almost back to Deale, Maryland where our adventure with TOBIAS began about 19 months ago. We spent 6 months living on the boat getting it ready to go cruising. Living on a boat in Maryland in the winter was not a fun thing to do. But we managed and on May 16th 2006 TOBIAS was as ready to go as it was going to get and we untied the dock lines and headed out.

We sailed north to New England, then on to Nova Scotia and back to the Chesapeake. After a brief haulout we went on south to Florida and the Bahamas. We have traveled over 5,000 waterway miles in 13 months. We've been in storms, been crashed into a couple of time at anchorages, seen the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world, met some really wonderful people - some of whom became the very best of friends. We've seen places that I never dreamed I would ever go to, gone aground a couple of times and "touched bottom" more times than I can count.

We have been soaked going ashore in the dinghy, watched starfish as we sailed by, been almost frozen on cold overnight passages, praised our refrigeration for it's ice on long hot days, blown conch shells at sunset, visited with locals, rescued a drowning victim, eaten fresh fish with new friends, marveled at the wonderful fall foliage, visited as many pubs as possible and enjoyed the most beautiful water in the world.

And now it is time for this adventure to come to an end and a new chapter to begin.

TOBIAS will be offered for sale in Maryland. We will return to Charleston, SC and set up housekeeping. I will be looking for the "perfect" job and Kirby the "perfect" golf course as we enjoy being near family. I look forward to spending time with my daughter, Christie, her husband Michael and my two almost grown-up grandsons, Brendan and Casey.

I haven't decided if I will keep the BLOG up or not. Sailblogs is about sailing and we won't have a boat anymore. But I know our lives will continue to have adventure because you can't live with Kirby and not have adventures!

We've Made It to Norfolk, VA!

10 June 2007
We arrived in Norfolk, VA today and were surprised to find a couple of old friends. There at the City Docks sat our friend from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the Bluenose II. We last saw this beautiful schooner in September in Gloucester, Mass where we watched the Gloucester Schooner Festival and Races. What a thrill to see it again as it has been almost a year since first seeing it in Lunenburg.

Our second surprise of the day is to arrive at our anchorage and see Janet and Geoff Warren on Pegusus - whom we also met in Lunenburg! Last we saw of them was in April in the Bahamas. It is certainly a small ocean!

This is our 10th day of travel since we left the Charleston area on June 1st. We have been on the go each day with different challenges and different rewards each day. We have waited and waited bridges, been "waked" by more speeding boats than I can count, seen 3 alligators in one day (one of them swimming right across our path!), seen many, many beautiful Osprey guarding their nests, and anchored in just the most beautiful little places with everything so green and fresh.

We spent one night at a marina - Alligator River Marina. We were able to get long hot showers, do the laundry, wash the boat and fuel up. The folks there were very friendly and helpful with very reasonable rates. We even had the paper delivered to us in the morning. I would certainly recommend them.

We arrived at Elizabeth City, NC with the intension of scurrying on past in order to make the scheduled lock opening in the Dismal Swamp. As you will recall, Elizabeth City was one of our favorite stops on the way south. Not this time! We arrived only to find out that the ICW was closed and we could not proceed - because there was a jet boat race going on blocking the channel. We really couldn't believe it! After an hour and a half of waiting around (there were 3 of us waiting), they finally stopped long enough for us to get through. Then we had to run our engine much faster than we ever had before just to make the lock opening. The lock tender held the opening for us and we just made it by 3:45! It was really nice of him to hold it for us.

So we made it to the N.C. Welcome Center for the evening. The Welcome Center has a 150' dock that is free to boating visitors. We tied up with our new best friends - Barry and Joyce on "Serena", enjoyed cocktails on the beautiful grounds and then were up and off the dock at 5:30 this morning.

And now we are in Norfolk and - weather permitting - we will be in the Chesapeake tomorrow!

The Dismal Swamp on the Intracoastal Waterway

10 June 2007
I love the Dismal Swamp so much. It is my favorite part of the whole ICW experience. Pictures do not do it justice. And I can't decide if I like the bright green of summer or the golds of fall best. They are both so perfect!

The Carolinas

10 June 2007
I took the picture of the long dock in South Carolina. The picture does not do it justice. You can see the dock is falling over but you can't see that the little gazebo is also leaning over. I think it needs a little work!

The dunes are in North Carolina. I was just so surprised to see them after all the lush green trees and marshlands.

Underway in North Carolina

06 June 2007
Picture of Carolina Beach, NC at sunrise Tuesday morning.

We are anchored in Mile Hammock Bay where last fall we watched the golfers hit balls off the top of the powerboat. There are only 6 boats in here now rather than the 15 or 20 then. The wind was blowing pretty good last night - gusting to 30 knots but is calm now.

We have had a really good trip and have made good time even if the bridges do try to foil all our progress! Sometimes we have to cool our heels for almost an hour. Such a waste of time.

We are going to pass by Beaufort, NC today and find a little anchorage in the trees. We may not have internet and/or phone for a few days as we work our way north and east through the boondocks.

Carolina Beach, NC

04 June 2007
We are anchored at Carolina Beach in North Carolina. We began the day in South Carolina at Calabash Creek intending to only go to Southport at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. But when we got there it was only 1:30 pm, we didn't like the looks of the anchorage and we weren't ready to quit for the day. The tide would be against us if we continued and the wind was blowing hard but what the heck - let's go for it. So we had the wind pushing us up the river and the tide pushing us out but the wind won and we did just great with only the headsail up. We arrived at 4:15 and so far are the only boat in the anchorage, but - that is not saying much as we are surrounded by homes and condo buildings. The wind seems to be dying down for the evening - well a little anyway. We should be on our way again tomorrow morning making another 40 - 60 miles. Rain and wind is predicted all week - wish we could have left with Rick and Tanya - they had great weather for most all of 10 days.

Internet and phone coverage are hard to predict. Tonight is the first evening we have had internet on the boat while anchored in a couple weeks at least - before Charleston anyway.

Casey Gets a New "Do"!

04 June 2007
Here are a couple of pictures from Suzie's Barber Shop! I think Casey is handsome whether he has long hair or "no hair". What do you think???? Is he not "one good-looking dude"?

01 June 2007
We had a great time at Bill's Birthday Party!
Kellie, Sarah, Almeda, Lydia, Garrett (in the back), Katlyn and Amanda.

01 June 2007
Grammy and 1 year old Kevin

Underway North of Charleston

01 June 2007

After a wonderful but fast and furious trip to California we are back aboard TOBIAS and heading north.

We flew to San Diego where we visited with Ryan, Lisa, Kevin and Blackjack. It was wonderful getting to know my 1 year old grandson. Of course he is the smartest and cutest ever! Mostly I enjoyed just watching him explore his world and delight in his own achievements.

Then it was on to Tehachapi and a visit with all of Kirby's family. Lee flew in from Hawaii and it was such a treat to get to spend some time with him! We hadn't been there in almost 2 years so it was really fun to see how much all the kids had grown. Our main reason for the trip was Bill's 70th Birthday Party and it was a great occasion. I have never seen so much picture taking!

We arrived back at the boat about 10 pm on Wednesday. Christie was kind enough to let us use her car yesterday so we provisioned up with lots of food and drink, returned to their house and had a great family dinner.

After dinner Casey announced that he wanted his Grammy to give him a buzz cut! Wow - was that ever fun! There was hair all over the place. I wanted to give him a mohawk but he resisted!

As I sit in the cockpit writing Kirby is at the wheel waging a personal battle against all the Deer Flies! They are VERY thick and very annoying. I guess he has killed about 50 or 60 this morning and for each one he kills they send in 10 more!

We talked to Rick and Tanya yesterday and they are already to Elizabeth City - leaving today for the Dismal Swamp. We miss having them with us so much. Maybe - just maybe we will catch them!
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 [...]

Suzie and Kirby

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