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May 24, 2010

We arrive back in NC

We arrived at Spooners Creek today (just south of Morehead City, NC) and anchored out. It is one of our regular stops going north and south and is a very sheltered cove surrounded by beautiful homes. We will probably spend several days here before moving to Beaufort Friday to meet up with my daughter KAT and her family for the Memorial Day weekend.
The trip from St. Augustine to here was fast and uneventful with very pleasant weather the whole time. Unusually favorable tides made our speed over the ground higher than normal so we were able to stop early in the day to relax – and of course do boat chores! Coming up the Cape Fear River last Saturday with the incoming tide, at times we were doing 10-11 knots over the ground! Our normal speed is about 7.5 knots.
My current big boat project is refinishing the exterior teak. I am down to applying the final finish coats of clear gloss Cetol (like a varnish) and it does look Bristol if I do say so myself.
We have been able to eat our breakfast and dinner meals on the “back porch” almost every day except for a few when the green headed flies were too bad.
We had a nice visit and dinner with Ginny and Jerry at Fernandina Beach and enjoyed a day in Charleston walking through the market and browsing. I bought myself three new Charleston T shirts to replace the ones I bought back in ’02 on our first trip south. Time flies! We ate lunch at Sue’s favorite café – Joseph’s - and she ordered her usual filet minion open-faced sandwich which is one of their specialties. I tried their shrimp and grits – good but not as good as the ones I got in Savannah several years ago.
We stayed at the Charleston Maritime Center which is the marina run by the city. Lowest dockage rates in the area ($1.50 per foot), free laundry included, and a short walk from the downtown area. A very nice facility but they have limited transient slips so reservations are a good idea.
We did our first “outside” hops in Courage on this trip. The first was from Fernandina to St Simons Sound. A little rock and roll on the way out of the channel but it smoothed out as the day progressed and is was a lot easier than winding through the SC ICW at low tide! We did it again the next day to St Catherine’s sound where we went to the commercial fuel dock for 300 gallons of diesel at $2.67/gallon including all the taxes. It’s not a very pretty facility but they were helpful and friendly and seemed to really appreciate our business – and we got fuel about $.40 per gallon cheaper than any other spot in that part of the country.

Posted by Dick at 04:52 PM

May 10, 2010

We reach Daytona Beach

On April 6th I flew from Ft Myers to Philadelphia and spent the night at Liz’s and had another nice visit. I got to meet her two now puppies Skyler and Megan who are going to be fairly bid dogs! They are nice dogs, but are full of energy, mostly house broken but not yet trained not to jump up on you, sit, etc. so they are a real handful.
The Fresh Creek board meeting went well and I returned to Liz’s Thursday night. Friday I drove to Brecksville, Ohio and visited with Rich and Deb that weekend. Justin is in college at U of Cincinnati so he wasn’t home and Lauren was at the NC beach with my daughter KAT and her family for spring break so I didn’t get to see either of these grandchildren.
On Monday I left Brecksville and drove to Copake Falls, NY to visit with sister Milbrey and her husband Walt. Again a nice visit with lots of good conversation.
Tuesday, I drove to Jamaica Plain (Boston) to visit with daughter Louisa, husband Chris and granddaughter Neva. They were busy getting organized for a big adventure – a move to Bucharest, Romania for a year as a result of Chris’ company offering him this promotion opportunity. Chris was only home the first night and then was off to California but we had a relaxing evening at home. The next three days, I got to “help” Louisa walk Neva to and from school and play with her. Chris reports to work in Bucharest May 10th and Louisa and Neva will follow several weeks later. I’ve been thinking of trading in some of my frequent flyer miles so we can visit with them sometime while they are there but there are the usual issues of what to do with Courage while we are away and of course, money!
I left Boston Friday morning and was back at Liz’s late afternoon – uneventful trip – just saddle sore!
Liz took me with her Saturday morning to the first obedience school for the new puppies and it was amazing to see how quickly they learn to obey to earn “treats”. We had another nice visit and did a few “peeps” projects for her. The return flight to Ft Myers Sunday was uneventful.
The big news while I was away was the birth of Jet Ryder Langford on Sue’s birthday April 8th. Caroline’s doctor decided to deliver him early because she had low blood pressure and the baby was nearly full term. Jet had some lung problems when he was born but a week on antibiotics cleared it up and he is now home and doing well. Sue helped out and I tried to stay out of the way - especially since I picked up a sinus infection on my trip and didn’t want to infect any of them.
We took Courage from Ft Myers to Mark Richter’s dock on Saturday the 24th. They organized a nice get together with John and Nan Weston whom we met cruising years ago. Sue returned to Ft Myers to help with Jet and I stayed on Courage where Mark and I did several days of boat projects. She rejoined me on Friday the 30th and we started the trek north.
The trip across Lake Okeechobee was uneventful and we were in Stuart May1st where we anchored out. The next day we made the short trip to Manatee Pocked to Crain Callahan’s dock. He has a really nice property there and has added a loft apartment in his boat house that is decorated appropriately in a very nautical theme.
Our next stop was in Ft Pierce where we got together with the Lunds at their house for dinner and had another pleasant evening talking and enjoying their company.
The weather was nice as we made our way up the ICW to Daytona Beach where we anchored out to save a few bucks. We went to the beach to surf fish with Chuck and Denny. Chuck is a strong believer in “hook hours” and had five poles out with shrimp on them. I got to reel in a couple of small fish. It was a beautiful evening on the beach with a warm southeast breeze.
We also enjoyed a sunset in his hot tub and several nice meals. Chuck let us borrow his car and we did a major provisioning run to the local Publix. Yesterday we did a day trip south to Ponce Inlet and “Disappearing Island” which is a very large sand bar that is covered with water at high tide. Chuck and Denny and their friend Korin and her two children joined us and we had an informal lunch aboard after going ashore and walking on the island. Being a nice Sunday, there were lots of people, dogs and boats there enjoying the beautiful sun, sand and water.
Today we head to St Augustine and continue the trek north. We are still on the “no plan” plan to be in NC for the Memorial Day weekend with KAT and her family and have a few extra days to stop along the way.

Posted by Dick at 07:20 AM