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November 29, 2003

Thanksgiving in Melbourne, FL

We left Daytona Beach last Monday and went out the Ponce deLeon Inlet to the Atlantic for the trip south to Cape Canaveral/Kennedy and then to Coco Florida. We had wind on the nose to start and motored. It then it shifted to the southwest so we could sail and we arrived at the entrance to Cape Canaveral channel while it was still dark and navigated our way in using the lighted bouys. Another new experience that went well.
We transited the Canaeral canal and lock to reach the Indan River and the ICW. A left turn and a short motor brought us to Coco. After a nap and shower to clean up, we took the dinghy into town.
Coco is another nice town to visit and for me the highlight is the SF Travis & Co hardware store - their claim is that they are the best hardware store on the east coast and I believe it! In the same location since 1890, it goes on forever and has very knowledgable friendly staff. LOTS of stuff!
We also got icecream cones and a USA Today for Sue.
We left Coco and made the short (18 mile) trip to Melbourne Thnaksgiving AM and anchored north of the causeway bridge in beautiful sunny weather.
Our Thanksgiving was quiet with a nice turkey breast cooked on the new propane grill I found used and a boat junk store. Today we went into town and bought some fishing gear and wet suits for scuba and snorkling. Had lunch and a pleasant restaurant in Melburne and hot turkey sandwiches for dinner.
Tonight it is blowing stink from the north - gusts to 30+ so we moved the boat to the south side of the causeway where it is more sheltered from the chop built up by the wind. The north wind has brought cold so we are in sweat shirts and jeans instead of shorts and T shirts. We will stay here through next Wednesday for Sue to make her trip back to NJ Monday for doctors visits on Tuesday. She will return to Omega Wednesday PM and then we will continue south Thursday - at least that is the no plan plan.

Posted by Dick at 02:02 AM

November 17, 2003

St. Augustine again

We're back in St. Augustine again. Last year we were here for New Years Eve and Sue had a bad throat infection and it was cold so it wasn't much fun. This year it is warm and sunny and we are both feeling great so it is a big difference.
We took the tour of the old fort Saturday. Sunday Sue got together with her brother in laws sister Joanne and a neighbor of Joannes and went to lunch and shoppig. I did boat projects! We now have a hatch in the walk through companionway that lets in light and some air. A nice improvement to Omega. Tomorrow we will move south to Daytona Beach to visit with friend Chuck Elenwood for a few days. We will go down the ICW rather than outside because of the weather forecast for wind from the south at 25 knots.
A remider to all of you reading the Ship's Log: You can send us emails by clicking on the comments button at the bottom of this page. Your message will come to us as a normal email. This is a hint - we like hearing from you!

Posted by Dick at 10:02 PM

November 10, 2003

Our One Year Anversary

It is 6 AM on Sunday November 9th and I have been awake since 3 AM. The reason is that we did another overnight leg from Charleston SC to our present location in the Brickhill River on the west side of Cumberland Island GA.
We left the marina in Charleston (actually Mount Pleasant) mid morning Friday and went offshore along the coast. We had good weather and picked up enough wind from the northeast to sail most of that day. By evening the wind had almost died so we cranked up the engine and motored. This allowed us to be off the entrance to St. Andrews Sound and the north end of Cumberland Island by mid morning Saturday. The wind picked up as forecasted as were approaching the channel but did not present any navigation problems getting in and rejoining the Intercoastal down the west side of the island to the Brickhill River.
This is another beautiful and isolated spot. Cumberland Island is part of the National Park Service and relatively undeveloped. We hope to go ashore and explore some of the island before we move south. We also want to visit St. Marys GA – up the St. Marys River. It is a very old town with lots of interesting architecture and history. We may also stop at Fernandina Beach which other boaters have told us is also a nice place to visit.
Our three “outside” hops have really made the trip south much faster and easier and more relaxing this year compared to last year when it was all so new, exciting and stressful from navigating all the twists and turns of the ICW. The trick is to get good weather information and only go offshore when you know that conditions will be favorable.
So far, all our overnight trips have been good and we have not experienced any bad weather. Some day we will but in the mean time we are building our confidence and skills under good conditions. As I mentioned the wind picked up as we were coming in yesterday and it has been blowing 20+ with gusts to 30 from the northeast since then. This was predicted and we timed our trip to get here ahead of it. We also had “escape” points along the way if it started to deteriorate and get nasty. We are in a very sheltered anchorage with no wave action so the wind is no problem for us.
We are in good shape now in terms of being south and can take our time getting to Lake Worth (just north of West Palm Beach) that is our planned jump-off point for the Bahamas. The next key timing event will be waiting for a weather widow for the crossing so we can meet Louisa and Chris in Marsh Harbor in the Abacos December 24th.
We have now formally been on board for one year. This time last year we left Baltimore and were no longer landlubbers. All the “stuff” was in storage, no car, no house, etc – free at last. It has been a wonderful year filled with excitement and a real sense of adventure and exploration. We have met so many nice fellow boaters (sail and power) and seen so many wonderful places it is hard for me to believe that it has been real. Our boating skills have improved and we continue to work well as a team. Sue continues to keep me out of trouble (boat wise) and is very patient with my sometimes sharp tongue.
Omega is in better shape than she was when we started as a result of numerous upgrades and repairs. These never seem to end and I have concluded that they won’t ever end. A boat is a nasty combination of a house and a car from the standpoint of things that can (and do) break down and need repair. The marine environment just makes it many times worse.
Our finances are in good shape thanks to the stock market recovery and my option trading strategy so we can continue to afford this life style. Actually when you add it all up, it is cheaper than living in a house and having cars, etc., as long as we do a lot of the work ourselves and don’t spend too much time in marinas.
Life is good and we are both healthy for which we are thankful.

Posted by Dick at 08:35 PM

November 06, 2003

Charleston SC again!

We are back in Charleston after a beautiful overight trip where we actually got to do a lot of sailing. The weather for most of the trip was perfect with the wind on the beam at 10-12 knots. We had a nice moon so the visibility was good as well as being pretty. A perfect "10" fo me.
Towards morning the wind died so we cranked up the diesel and motored in the last few hours. We will go into downtown Charleston this afternoon for a late seafood lunch and to wander around. It is a wonderful town to visit with the great architecture and history.
Depending on weather we will go offshore again tomorrow. These offshore hops are tiring but save a lot of time and aggrivation doing the Intercoastal with all the navigation to do and waiting for bridges to open, etc.

Posted by Dick at 10:23 AM