Friday, November 30, 2018

Hanging out in Venice

We're just hanging out in Venice for a few days with Buddy and Sharon....we avoided a couple of really chilly days on the boat.   Enjoying the nice relaxing  last stay in a "real bed" and lots of warm water for showers!  We'll get back to the boat and moving next week.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Jacksonville Boat Parade

What a fun time we had last night at the Jacksonville Boat Parade!!!

Now and Zen compiled a group of "hippies" to provide "enthusiasm" during the boat parade.

We got underway just before sunset so that we would be on the waterfront in downtown Jacksonville as it got dark.    Leslie and Ralph had, of course, attended a Captain's meeting earlier so that they would know the route an rules.

Robert provided a little "hippie music".

And right at dark the boat parade started it's rounds.  There were about 50 boats of various sizes and descriptions. 

These are someone else's great photos that I pulled from the web - their camera is much better than mine!!

We're getting the crowd on shore to sing along with "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles.  

There were some fantastic boat decorations!

 Some of the "hippies"

We circled the downtown waterfront 2 times - it took about 2 hours.

The waterfront area where the judges were stationed.  Great crowds lining the waterway.  Looked like a lot of family fun.  We found out this morning that Now and Zen won the Grand Prize overall!!!  

 And we got the absolute best seat in the house for the fireworks!

Between two bridges - they did this fabulous "waterfall" from both of the bridges.  It was truly unique!

Great fireworks - and before you knew it we were back at the dock, tired but happy!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Beach walk

Robert drove us over to Little Talbot Island State Park for a little hike.  There is a 4 mile loop trail that leads thru a "hammock".

Quiet and peaceful - and no bugs!

Saw this turtle (or tortoise?) "scampering away".  His shell was about a foot long.

And the trail lead out to the beach - called "driftwood beach".  The beach is being naturally eroded - so recently alive trees are still standing in the surf.

The ocean was a bit churned-up, but the temps were very pleasant.

Back at the marina, Now and Zen has their lights fully functional now.

All ready for the Saturday night boat parade!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a grand Thanksgiving.

We spent a good part of the day helping Ralph and Leslie put up the lights on their boat for the boat parade on Saturday.

They've done this several times before - so the basic light "mat" is complete.  But as usual with Christmas lights, some of them didn't work.  So we had to replace some of the red "rope" on the heart.  Leslie and Robert working on the "heart".

You'll see the finished product tomorrow - but it basically says "Peace (sign) on Earth  Love (heart) To All"

Robert, Duane and Ralph rigging the "heart" mat.

Raising the "heart" mat.

And before we knew it, it was time to get back to our boat to get ready for the 3 o'clock pot-luck for Thanksgiving.  The winds had picked up substantially while we were at the marina....and the ride back in the dinghy was WET!!

For the ride back to the marina for the pot-luck - we all put on "Foulies" - and we were nice and dry!

The pot-luck was fun - the usual fare.  All nicely done, of course!

A ridiculous amount of food and deserts.

A great way to spend Thanksgiving when you're away from home!  Thanks Ralph and Leslie for including us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jacksonville, Fl

Nothing picturesque to report today.  We spent the day doing a few boat chores and did some laundry.

Sojourn anchored near Ortega Landing. 

Robert is driving down tonight for the Thanksgiving weekend, so we'll retrieve him at about midnight tonight.  (Richard and Miranda couldn't come because they had previous plans.) 

The marina is throwing a pot-luck Thanksgiving meal - we're going as Ralph and Leslie's guests.  Should be fun and a LOT less work than cooking an entire meal!

Pretty sunset....

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Up the St. Johns River

We pulled up the anchor early this morning and motored about 3 hours up the river to visit with our friends on Now & Zen (Ralph and Leslie - you'll get to know them over the next few months!)

The St. Johns River is busy with barge and container ship traffic.

I love transiting these "industrial areas".  

We figured out that the blue/white ship is a car carrier.  We saw them unloading new cars.

 The Jacksonville skyline.

Many bridges on the trip.  Most were very high clearance so no worry for our 60 foot mast height.

We anchored near Ortega Landing and met up with our friends and future cruising partners.  They had a few "to-dos" - so we jumped in and assisted at little!  (Ralph and Duane making some bushings on the dock)

And we're here for the remainder of the week.  Robert is coming down to join us for the weekend so that will be fun!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Arrived Jacksonville

For 72 hours, we sailed and motored from Beaufort, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  I won't lie - it was not a particularly pleasant trip.   At times actually nasty feeling - not unsafe - just nauseating.  (For me, not Duane).  Oh well, it's over and we're all happy and safe!

Sunset one of the nights.  Almost always spectacular!

If you wonder what it looks like at night - here's the setup.  We have everything dimmed so that our night vision is not affected.

We did the 3 hour watch schedule again.  This seems to work well for us. We actually get 8+ hours of sleep since we each usually take a big nap during the day (at different times, obviously!)    By the third day though, I was just a zombie.   The weather forecast had been for 2 to 4 foot waves and 10-15 knots of wind.  It turned out to be more like 4-6 foot waves and 20+ knots of wind.   And the waves were hitting us broadside - so every 5-6 seconds we'd get a "slam" of a wave hitting the side of the boat.  This went on for most of the middle 36 hours.   We did have the sails up for the majority of the first and second days.  The wind changed to on our nose on Sunday so we took the sails down and motored the rest of the way.

Did I mention what I ate during the three days?  Almost nothing.  I managed to get down a half bowl of Ramen noodles down the first day.  That's it.  And lemonade and tea.   The second day I made myself half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich.  I took 1 bite.  Couldn't stomach it.  I eventually got some raw carrots out that I had sliced up before we left.  Those went down fine.   The third day I made some Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  I had half of it and felt a good bit better.  So not alot of calories.  Duane did much better. 

The boat was a mess though - the tossing around kept me from doing any normal "housework".  The dishes just piled up in the sinks.  A few things that we hadn't secured properly hit the floor.  Most notably the Kikoman's soy sauce carafe.    I'd gotten it out to "flavor" my ramen noodles.  I hadn't put it back in the cabinet, just left it on the counter since I'm sure I was in a hurry to get back on deck so that I could see the horizon.  That night I heard a crash - the soy sauce bottle was on the floor (unbroken, thank goodness!) but the soy sauce was all over the cabinet and floor.  So I had to bend down, holding on to the counter to keep my balance and mop it up.  Yuck!

OK, enough whining - I think it's like childbirth - you almost immediately forget the pain when it's over!

On Sunday we heard a VHF call to Towboat US from a boat that we could see was only about a mile ahead of us on the AIS receiver.   I called to him on our radio asking if there was anything we could do for him.  He said, no, he was just waiting for the towboat to get to him.   He didn't sound particularly happy - as you can see from the short video - he was obviously getting pitched around.  As we sailed past him, we saw the towboat crashing into the waves on his way.   That $169 we pay every year to Towboat US is good insurance!  We were probably 20 miles offshore - the tow would cost thousands of dollars if you don't have the insurance.

We actually slowed down a bit to arrive at the St. John's River Inlet in the morning rather than speed to it during the night.   We were greeted with a nice fog bank.   But the entrance is wide open and we had no difficulties.

This is Mayport Naval Base as we were traveling up the St. John's River.  There was a warship calling out his position behind us, but he was too far back for a good photo.  

On up the river there was a big dredge working in the middle of the channel.  Amazing that they scoop up sand off the bottom of such a huge space - one scoop at a time!

And that's it for today!  We're anchored at Sister's Creek just off the Intercoastal Waterway.  We'll travel on up the river tomorrow to meet up with friends.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


All is well again.

Just got a touch of Internet near Charleston. Last night was yucky, wind and waves at odds with each other makes for a washing machine ride inside the boat! It's not all rosy out here haha. But most of the time it is!

Under Full Sail tonight with one Reef in. Traveling about 7 knots.

Friday, November 16, 2018

All is well, southbound

We are on the way just a few miles offshore at Morehead City.  Fairly calm seas, just a 3or 4 foot swell. 

Followed the channel out far enough to get us on a good angle to bypass the notorious Frying Pan Shoals.  

Beautiful sunset!