Myrtle Beach Yacht Club to St James Plantation Marina mile # 315

Would you cruise an area called the “Rock Pile” at high tide or low tide?   Our first instinct said wait for high tide to have plenty of water.   Kurt called a local marina for local knowledge and was told – “best to travel through this area at low tide- then  you can see the rock ledges”.  May 3rd could be a stressful day on the water!

First up, a swing bridge.   And a sign we haven’t seen before- Hurricane Procedures!  The day is getting better!


St James Plantation Marina NC

St James Plantation Marina NC


Occasionally we see warnings of “missing Buoys” on our chart.   I think we found someone hoarding them!!
St James Plantation Marina NC


Can anyone help identify these vessels?   They are unmarked, and have waked us a couple times over the past few days.   They zip up so quickly and roar past!!   They crew are in camo, and just give us a wave as they fly by.   Here they are passing Enterprise in front of us.

St James Plantation Marina NC



Our Active Captain app provides notes and reviews from other cruisers along with details on navigational warnings.   Today we are traversing the Rock Pile at mile 349.   It is a stretch of rock lined ICW canal.

St James Plantation Marina NC

St James Plantation Marina NC

Folk lore says that the government didn’t expect so much rock when they were blasting through this section- with funds being depleted, they chose to make it more narrow than planned.     Now we have a deep enough channel, but the sides are rock ledges.   Many boats have drifted off the marked channel and ran aground or onto the rocks.  You can see in the photo the rocks are just beyond the channel markers.!

St James Plantation Marina NC

At high tide, the water would be three feet higher and the rocks would be under water!     It worked well to pass them at low tide when they are visible above water.

St James Plantation Marina NC

Of course, the down side is that the channel is also more channel, so we were slow and steady through the 3 or 4 mile stretch, and glad we did not meet any oncoming vessels.


Myrtle Beach stretches along the coast here- we chose to stop at Myrtle Beach yacht Club after traveling 30 miles in 3.5 hours.    Located at mile marker 348, we  were disappointed when the dockmaster said we are no where near a beach.
St James Plantation Marina NC

This club is located about 25 minutes from the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk area, and 25 minutes from the entertainment area at North Myrtle Beach in the other direction.  By cruising along the ICW, we did not see any appealing portion of a tourism attraction.  There is a pool and nice restaurant so all is good.    When the guidebook says “remote Location” we will know what to expect.    One night stay and we are back on the water.


Yeah!   We just crossed over the border into North Carolina!

Our next stop is another “remote location”.    Located several miles before Southport, this is a planned retirement community with a marina.   No pool, one restaurant and stormy weather.   I bit of a sterile environment- many clusters of homes and condos for retirees. ICW

Located at mile marker 315,we had traveled 31.6 miles in 4.5 hours.   Thursday night the winds were howling and the rain was falling.   We stayed Friday night to wait for calmer winds and water before heading on.

After a rain day, it seems a good time to step up and put some miles behind us.    That means passing by Southport sadly, and aiming for points north.    Stay tuned for more adventures.




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1868 miles to go; Stormy Georgetown then Quiet Anchorage

Having cruised more than 4000 miles in 11 months on our trawler,  this is a good time to start mentally preparing for the final legs of our Great Loop adventure.

Take a look at this list breaking down the remaining segments we need to traverse to complete our Loop ( as of April 30).     Our loop started at the Mackinaw Bridge on June 10, 2016; we were in Charleston, NC on April 20th . 

This list shows the remaining  1868 miles in manageable subcategories:

  • Charleston to Norfolk Virginia *end of the Atlantic ICW*    473 miles
  • Chesapeake Bay:   Norfolk VA to C&D Canal                               185 miles
  • Delaware Bay:   C&D Canal to Cape May NJ                          60 miles
  • Atlantic Ocean:  Cape May to Manasquan NJ                        100 miles
  • Atlantic Ocean:   Manasquan NJ to NY.NY.                           35 miles
  • Hudson River:  NY NY to Erie Canal (Waterford NY)              155 miles
  • Erie Canal:  Waterford to 3 Rivers                                            160 miles
  • Oswego Canal: 3 Rivers NY to Oswego NY                             25 miles
  • Lake Ontario: Oswego NY to Kingston ON>                           50 miles
  • Lake Ontario:  Kingston to Trenton ON.                                 60 miles
  • Trent Severn Waterway:  Trenton ON. To Port Severn       240 miles
  • Georgian Bay:  Port Severn to Killarney ON                          175 miles
  • North Channel: Killarney to Drummond                                100 miles
  • Lake Huron:  Drummond to Mackinaw Bridge MI.                50 miles

Remaining miles from Charleston (in April)to finish line at Mackinaw Bridge Lake Michigan (estimated arrival July ):   1868 miles.  

If we don’t think ahead, might risk cruising by something important!!     Here is a random  list of sights to see and things to do.  If we don’t cross them all off our list, we just may have to come back for a repeat!  Any comments or suggestions welcome!

Things to do, see or stay on the Eastern portion of the Great Loop :

    • Support local Artists
    • Join in summer festivals
    • conquer Albemarle and Pamlico sounds
    • Light houses Of SC:  Roanoke River, Ocracoake, Cape Hatteras, Roanoke Marshes , Currituck light house, Bodie Island light house in Nags Head NC  / outer banks.
    • Lighthouses of Virginia  and the Chesapeake and New Jersey
    • Outdoor concerts
    • Visit a Maritime  museum
    • visit historic churches and cemeteries
    • Explore , fly a kite on the beach,
    • Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers
    • Revolutionary war sights
    • See the Wild Spanish Mustangs on the beach
    • Colonial History sights
    • tour a ship
    • Visit the Statue of Liberty
    • Take a  horse drawn carriage tour
    • Narrow down a New York List:   Empire  State Bldg, Central park, Metropolitan Museum, Times Square…..   Mmmmm….  Just thoughts!
    • 911 Memorial in New York
    • Visit America’s Culinary Institute in NY
    • visit National Parks
    • See family along the way
    • reconnect with loopers we have met
    • I borrowed this next picture from pinterest:

mt pleasant blessing fleet

To get things started we left St Johns Yacht Club marina south of Charleston on Monday May 1- timiqng for the slack tide to carry us through the rocky and narrow Elliot Cut.     Our hope had been to anchor off the point of Fort Sumter, however the high winds and waves prevented anchoring.  Plus it was early and the museum would not be open.


Location of the first shot of the Civil War

georgetown, sc

georgetown, sc


The review of Georgetown as an anchorage warned of muddy bottom and silting for poor holding.  We gave it a good try; it took three tries to get a good setting on our anchor.  Or so we thought-    several hours later we checked our location and could tell the anchor was dragging; the boats and docks appeared much closer!!
in the dark we hear a voice from the city “day Dock” offering a hand with lines moving in to the dock?

The dock was posted as “no overnight stays” but with the storm fast approaching we decided to pull anchor and move to tie up on the free dock.   Quickly secured our lines by 11:15 pm, and it started pouring and lightening!    Later Dave commented that one engine would not start making docking a bit tricky.   Earlier the generator stopped working- Dave will be trouble shooting for a fuel issue.
georgetown, sc



Next morning we walked around town and had breakfast with out having to drop our dinghy in the water! Bonus!!   The town is smaller than Charleston and Savanah, but proud of its history.  Disappointed that both the Rice Museum and Maritime Museum were with in walking distance, but did not open until 11 am.
georgetown, sc georgetown, sc       Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage


At the recommendation of a tour guide on the docks, we ate at Thomas Café – Dave ordered the  Shrimp and crab omelet with salsa and  grits.     Notice the vintage ice box, stools and tile floor!  This is not shabby chic- just hard working original café!

georgetown, sc

Cute- one patron left the dog on the bench while she went in for coffee- of course brought out water first!georgetown, sc


The weather cleared and made for a great day to head to our next anchorage with the rising tide.  There are a few shallow spots in the next few miles and the additional depth of high tide will be a benefit!      Head out across  Winyah Bay, north on the Waccamaw River, to our anchorage at Enterprise Creek Oxbow.  The scenery has changed dramatically- no longer the salt marshes of Georgia;   instead we have hard wood trees, grasses and Cyprus trees.
Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage The river water is littered with hyacinths just waiting to bloom.   With this change in trees, the osprey, eagles, turtles and other birds are more abundant. Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage

Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage

At night the vultures roosted near our boat. Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage

We took the dingy out to explore the dark waters- The tanic roots of the Cyprus give a dark color to the water. Great for reflection photos!
Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage      Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage
It was a very calm night, Clear sky with lots of stars. Also lots of noises in the night- a couple times we shined our powerful spot light into the shore to see if there were eyes shining in the dark. (yes, a few!)
In the morning pulled anchor and had to leave this lovely anchorage.  Thanks for taking  a few minutes and reading to the end of the post!     Hope you enjoyed, and may be planning your own trip along the ICW some day.
Georgetown, waccamaw river anchorage

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Angel Oak Tree, and Blessing of the Fleet-Charleston area

A 400 year old oak tree and a 300 year old garden and a blessing of the fleet- reasons to spend a weekend in Charleston!


We visited the Angel Live Oak tree- a 400 year old “Southern Live Oak” tree standing 66.5 feet tall, it measures 28 feet in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet.   Great effort is made to support the limbs, and protect the roots.   Its longest branch is 187 feet. (wikepedia)
Magnolia Plantation Magnolia Plantation

The Angel oak is named after the family descended from the original 1717 land grant.   Local  folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree.  A little research shows that the Angel Tree is the 210th Live Oak to be  registered with the “live Oak Society.’

One bit of information leads to another, and I wondered, what is the Live Oak Society? Wikepedia provided the following information: The Live Oak Society was founded in 1934 to register large trees of the Southern Live Oak variety.  In the society bylaws, the only human member permitted in the Society is the honorary Chairman, who is responsible for registering and recording live oak members.   To become a member, a Live Oak Tree must have a girth of 8 feet or greater, (measured 4.5 feet above the ground.)  In 2013, the society had 7114 registered members dating from 1934.   (noting that many are labeled as deceased).   The live oak with the largest girth serves as President of the Society.   Some Southern Trivia for my arborist friends.

mt pleasant blessing fleet


The Magnolia Plantation has been in the Drayton family since 1676;- now owned by 13th generation of the founding family of Charleston.    The plantation’s 300 year old garden is beautiful in any season. Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation The Cyprus Trees roots  cause tannic that makes the water black; and very reflective Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation There were a few alligators near the paths! Magnolia Plantation With over 500 acres to explore, there is something for everyone- tour the gardens, the plantation, the slave quarters, Ride the nature train or take Nature boat tours.  There is a maze, a petting zoo and walking trails around the Audubon Swamp garden (watch for alligators) We stopped at the petting zoo and saw a beautiful peacock  strut its colors! Magnolia Plantation GULLAH SWEETGRASS BASKETS A low country tradition   ; an African Art Form. The beautiful traditional sweet grass baskets are hand made and sold in stands through out the area.  We first saw them a the City Market. Charleston Market Charleston Market Representing a 300 year tradition of lowcountry African American Art form – the hand woven baskets are a work of art.    One of the skills brought to America by slaves transported from West Africa and the Sierra Leone area was basketry.  Originally use to make tools for winnowing rice, the technique has been passed down through the generations.  West Africa resembles South Carolina in both climate and landscape, and rice had long been cultivated there.  In slaves, plantation owners gained not only the labor force, but also a wealth of knowledge and skill as they began to develop the rice industry in the colonies.      The slave trade is part of the Charleston fabric of history; and is represented in tours and museums to educate and preserve the memories of those who lived and worked in that era. BLESSING OF THE FLEET Sunday May 2nd, we visited Mt Pleasant to attend the 30th annual Blessing of the Fleet.   This annual event recognizes the shrimping industry; and the parade of shrimp boats each receive a blessing as the pass by the pier. mt pleasant blessing fleet           mt pleasant blessing fleet

Several shrimp boats had multiple generations in the parade- a father captained one; and a son captained the next boat.

mt pleasant blessing fleet  mt pleasant blessing fleet

The festival also provided a variety of seafood stands and music, and an arts and crafts area.  Can you tell by the menus that we are not in Minnesota ?

mt pleasant blessing fleet            mt pleasant blessing fleet mt pleasant blessing fleet


Back in the day when we had cable tv- the Food Network was a favorite.    The Glass Onion serves local food .   I will close today with a few shots of the Glass Onion.

mt pleasant blessing fleet     mt pleasant blessing fleet
mt pleasant blessing fleet

. So ends a great stay in Charleston- one more city we highly recommend for anyone planning a trip!


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Charleston, SC at St Johns Yacht Harbor Marina

Weather report via Facebook friends (loopers just north of us ) –warnings of us severe wind and rain storms!   Quick decision to stay an extra night on the mooring ball in Beaufort, SC.  Hoping the storms move out of the area before we approach Charleston.

Heading out in a swift tidal current April 25 at 7:15 am, we made good time and arrived at the Church Creek anchorage by 3pm.  having logged 49.4 miles.  With light winds, intermittent showers and only 60 degrees;  it was with heavy hearts that the sweatshirts , jeans and “gasp”….  Shoes were dug out for the day.
An indication we are traveling due east- the makeshift sun shade in the early morning!
Charleston Stomo river  The river was calm and so quiet that we woke up during the night to make sure the boat was still floating (and not sitting on the bottom).     Typically with the waves and currents slapping against our hull, we get used to the constant sound of water.     Overall it was a quiet and peaceful anchorage, according to plan, we were up with the sun to take advantage of the tide to give us a boost of current and depth as we head for Charleston South Carolina.

The tide and current charts for this area indicated a 8 foot tide swing.  That much water movement brings swirling fast moving currents as the waters switch directions from ebb to flood.  We want to dock the boat at slack tide.   This is the half hour of lull in water movement between the water coming in and when it starts to recede.  With 17.5 miles to our destination, we expect to travel about 7 mph and need to arrive at 9:15 according to the marina contact.    We arrived right on time; however the information given to us was for the previous day.  The tides change about an hour each day with the moon cycle….    It was a bit turbulent in the marina, so we tied up to the end T dock for 40 minutes before actually maneuvering into the assigned slip.    Just to be on the safe side and it paid off.     Over the next few days, we watched boaters struggle to get into slips- throwing dock lines wildly;  banging into pillars or being swept sideways with too much current.   Better safe than sorry
If you live in a tide zone your dock may look like this- long enough to span the mudflats at low tide!

Charleston Stomo river Charleston Stomo river

This marina is about 15 minutes from downtown Charleston and kind of middle of no where.   We liked the price, the good reviews and free courtesy car.    It is quiet and also has a swimming pool!
charleston SC by boat It also has the tides- here you can see high tide on the pillars then low tide.  The ramps and floating docks slide up and down  the pillars.  At high tide you might hit your head on the fuel dock sign; at low tide it towers over the dock!  charleston SC by boat

St Johns Yacht Harbor tides                  St Johns Yacht Harbor tides St Johns Yacht Harbor tides



The first day we signed up for the courtesy car and went to the visitor center to get brochures.  I have never seen so many marketing brochures- this town had tours for every interest.

This is not a complete list, just a sampling of the tours:

  •   pub tours
  • architecture tours
  • garden tours
  • plantation tours
  • walking tours
  • food tours
  • ghost tours
  • horse drawn tours
  • bus tours
  • There is even a free bus servicing the downtown area, plus a water taxi and uber drivers.    

 With all these choices, we went the budget route and walked the city.   Every corner had tourists with a camera and a map in hand, so we fit right in.   The historic district is quite compact- think about the early settlers and how they would have constructed the roads and shops with in a short distance of the water front.     Much has been added over the years, and I wont try to give a history lesson, but suffice to say there is a lot of interesting things to see and do in Charleston!


A sign of hospitality is to display the pineapple.    They are used often as a motif in the gates, fences or art.    Here is the Pineapple Water Fountain near the water front park.  The signs invite you to wade ankle deep, but no swimming or climbing!

charleston SC by boat



Steeped in history, Charleston provides a glimpse into its past- preserving buildings and monuments and museums.    The early settlers, the  American Revolution and Civil War.      The prosperous years  of cotton and Rice made Charleston one of the main colonial ports of the 18th century, dealing in rice, indigo and slave trade.   It must be a challenge to strive for any balance in representing such a varied history- providing a public display of any understanding of that American past and its legacy.


The city of Charleston has abundant examples of ornate wrought iron gates, fences and balcony railings.    According to the history movie at the visitor center, much of  the iron was done by Slave Craftsmen.   Owners would have the slaves work at various trades in the off season of the plantations.     While fires destroyed many buildings over the years, much of the old iron work was saved and reused during the rebuilding of Charleston.

charleston SC by boat       charleston SC by boat charleston SC by boat charleston SC by boat

This town is perfect for practicing photography- every nook and cranny offers a glimps of something to compose a photo.

Charleston Iron Gates       Charleston Iron Gates


Continuing on our self guided tour, we took a peak through garden gates to get a glimpse of what was hidden beyond.    There are walking tours dedicated to the passages, alleys and hidden corners of the city to view courtyards and gardens barely visible from the sidewalks….    mmmm….  sounds intriguing.

charleston SC by boat     charleston SC by boat
charleston SC by boat     Charleston Iron Gates Charleston Iron Gates


The self guided walking tour booklet we purchased at the visitor center was helpful as we wandered up and down the cobblestone streets.    Opting for a self guided tour worked out well.     While at the Market, Colleen noticed several paintings and photos of “Rainbow Row” and “the Pink House”.    These were two addresses we searched out to get our own photos!      Each are historical buildings and easily recognizable landmarks.

charleston SC by boat      charleston SC by boat

Its early spring in Charleston, with the magnolia trees just starting to bloom, the streets often have the aroma of jasmine wafting toward the sidewalks, and many of the window boxes are in full bloom.   Very inviting, and a very “walkable” city.

Charleston Iron Gates

At risk of overload on the photos, I will stop here for now- check back as we continued to explore the city for two more days- learning the history of slavery at the Slave Mart museum,  visiting the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and more.   Thanks for reading and stay tuned!




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Beaufort South Carolina (Byoo-fert)

GOODBYE GEORGIA Hello South Carolina

Leaving Savanah, Georgia, it wasn’t long and we crossed into South Carolina. Heading toward Beaufort SC. (Pronounced Byoo-fert as in Beaufitul) later we will pass Beaufort NC (pronounced Boh-fert as in BOW).

Visiting state number 12 on our list of states visited.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee ,Alabama, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina  and Mississippi.

Is this the end of the salt marshes?   Miles with barely a bird, and the mud smell at low tide is distinct.    We expected to see more wildlife, but considering the brackish water, it is not appealing to many animals other than dolphins or the occasional alligator (we didn’t see any alligators)

We meet the occasional Shrimping boat- they have a lot of rigging.  It would be interesting to know more about this industry.  Our only knowledge  came from watching the Forest Gump Movie!

Beaufort SC ICW      Beaufort SC ICW

The landscape is evolving to include a few more trees!

Beaufort SC ICW


Beaufort is a historical town- the ‘historic district’ is within blocks of the marina.  The city marina is on the Beaufort river just before the  Ladies Island swing bridge.
south carolina


What is an Antebellum house you ask?  Inquiring minds want to know, Wikipedia has the answer.   Ante means before; Bellum means war.    So we are looking at prewar homes- in this case neoclassical style architecture built before the Civil War.   The Antebellum era or Plantation Era is between 1800 to 1850.

The stately mansions line the streets of Beaufort.  Some are renovated, others in disrepair.  You may find a Bed and Breakfast, or private homes.    Once designated as a Historical home, they are regulated for renovations, and upkeep.    Colors, original character and materials may all be subject to approval if you choose to live in a “historical home”.

Beaufort SC ICW   Beaufort SC ICW


It may seem odd to see photos of cemetery’s-  The southern cities and churches take great pride in the history of the cemetery.   The wrought iron gates, brick paths ,and welcome signs invite you in to pay respects to those who passed.

Beaufort SC ICW       Beaufort SC ICW

Beaufort SC ICW      Beaufort SC ICW

Beaufort SC ICW Beaufort SC ICW

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Savanah GA, Minnesota Namesakes?

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.  We got a nice surprise- a chance to visit the filming sight of the Forrest Gump movie bench scene while in Savanah.

The trolley bus tour guide pointed out the area near Calhoun Square. Later we walked back and did our version of a reenactment- how did we do?
more Savanah GA Savanah GA Tours


The city was planned by General Oglethorpe in 1733.  There are 22 squares around town.   Each is unique- A few of special interest  were Franklin Square (Colleen grew up in Franklin MN);  Calhoun Square, Lafayette Square,

As we walked around the various squares of Savanah, and visited numerous bronze statues honoring military leaders.     This made us wonder what connection Minneapolis, Minnesota might have had with famous names from Savanah history .

There is a statue honoring Casimir Pulaski- He has a statue and a square named after him.  /  also the namesake for Lake Pulaski in our home town of Buffalo Minnesota

Savanah GA Tours Savanah GA Tours

Chatham county Savanah- we live in Chatham township in Buffalo.
more Savanah GA

Calhoun Square Savanah- Calhoun is a common name in Minneapolis for a park and lake .  Chippewa square-  namesake in  Chippewa Falls Wisconsin SAVANAH BY BOATXXSavanah GA Tours

Savanah GA Tours We chose to stay at Isle of Hope Marina just outside Savanah . The offer of a courtesy car helped our decision.  The car is available free in 2 hour stretches- with two boats you get it four hours. If we needed to tour town for longer, it was easier to call for an Uber rider (about $16 one way) Savanah- known for horse drawn carriages, antebellum architecture and its historic district. more Savanah GA The hop on hop off trolley is a good way to see the sights-  We visited cobblestoned squares and parks and saw numerous oak trees filled with hanging Spanish moss.


As a city rich in history- military history for Revolutionary war, Civil War and World wars; Civil Rights history, and Slave history to name a few.  The  city has chosen a wide variety of symbols to honor its history.



Erected on July 27, 2002, the African-American Monument depicts a family of four embracing after emancipation while chains representing slavery lie at their feet. Standing near the river walk, this beautiful monument is the first in Savannah to recognize the contributions made by African Americans. SAVANAH BY BOAT

The inscription, by poet Maya Angelou, reads:

“We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.

Another monument recognizes service in the revolutionary war:



Savanah GA Tours Savanah GA Tours


The historical district is lined with buildings dating back to the cotton is king era.

The Many homes along the Forsythe Park area are now bed and breakfasts, or in many instances still single family homes.  Most of the buildings that rose from the edge o the sidewalk had stairs rising up to the first floor.

more Savanah GA more Savanah GA Savanah GA Tours


more Savanah GA              more Savanah GA
Savanah GA Tours       Savanah GA Tours


A narrated tour on the trolley was very informative and entertaining.

The cobble stone streets and rugged stone steps are a challenge.         SAVANAH BY BOAT SAVANAH BY BOAT

A visit to Savanah is highly recommended.   This town goes on the favorite list to be revisited at some time in the future.

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Daytona to St Augustine Oldest City

Where were you 40 years ago?    Spring break, Daytona Beach 1977 on a bus tour  from Stout Menomonie WI to Daytona Beach. Fast Forward: Daytona area 2017 .  Cruising the ICW on a Mainship Trawler!

Who knew all the adventures those 40 years would bring.

Our route kept us on the ICW side of the beaches; quiet, no traffic, empty hotels and piers.   We didn’t cross to the Atlantic beach side, but the area  brought back memories as we cruised through.

April 16 and we are cruising toward northern Florida.


This ICW winds through connecting rivers- Indian River, Ponce De Leon River, Haulover canal, and Halifax River.  Occasionally a straight cut connects two rivers and we cruise through a narrow ditch with docks and homes on both sides.  The route requires all eyes on the buoys to avoid leaving the channel and going aground.   Occasionally we hear a radio call to Sea Tow from a boat that did just that.

With the no wake zones, it is slow going.  Gives plenty of time to observe the scenery and brush up on tides.   When traveling on a weekend, the scenery includes other pleasure boaters.
St Augustine area St Augustine area


One spot was particularly interesting-   so nice to see folks enjoying the water- fishing, kayaking, families boating. The canal that connected  two rivers as moved further east was called Haulover Canal.     It went under a lift bridge and gave us multiple sightings of dolphins and manatee.


The laundry is typically the spot for marina book exchanges.  Its hard to resist a random summer read.   A few books read along the way… The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton,    The Bourne Enigma by Robert Ludlum; Nora Roberts books and even Lee Child’s Jack Reacher – Never Go Back.   The book shelf is full, plus a few downloaded from our local library keeps the supply going.

St Augustine Easter Weekend

Visit our “Historical district” is becoming the common theme at towns along the coast.  We have noticed that grocery stores are usually not located in “historical districts”.     It was about 1.5 miles  hike to a Publix, with the bonus of a West Marine next door.   After shopping, we called for an Uber ride to get back to the marina. St Augustine is the nations oldest city. The historical notes reflect the Spanish settlers,  Pirates, the Revolutionary war, colonial times , civil war, and more.


The oldest wooden school house is on display here. It was hard to determine if it was original or replica- very good condition!
St Augustine area   Despite a fire that destroyed many buildings years ago , St Augustine has been able preserve or replicate a colonial era downtown district.   Dinner at O.C . Whites we met a few other boaters  at the next table who recruited us to join the MTOC (Marine Trawler Owners Association) – a boating club that provides resources and discounts for cruisers all along the coast.

The building OC White’s occupies  dates back to 1790.  It was moved to its current location and restored as a historic building.   . St Augustine area

Too many historic sights to choose from; we found just walking around and people watching was a good choice.    Many attractions have ticket prices of $12 to $40;  at risk of sounding cheap – we need to pick and choose what museum, sight or tour gives the most bang for the buck. The pirate cruise looked very popular- The crew put on a colorful and entertaining pirate show prior to departure. If we weren’t on our own boat, I would be buying a ticket to the Pirate boat!
St Augustine area


The south loves their monuments and statues! Here is Henry Flagler in front of his building. He built the railroad to Key West and was instrumental in development of the area in the early 1900’s.

St Augustine flagler    St Augustine area

Bricks must have been big business ; and today recycled bricks would be valuable.    Many bricks have the mfg imprinted on them.  Bricks make up streets and buildings on every block.    Even new buildings are being faced to look old.  And old buildings are being repaired with red bricks to match the old.

We could easily spend more time in St Augustine.  Moving along and taking advantage of cruising the rivers with perfect weather makes more sense.  There is a long list of historical cities to visit over the next few months!

As usual, we will follow this stay at a marina with a few nights at anchor.   Hoping to get a better feel for anchoring with tides-    and knowing how much rode to lay out in anticipation of the 7 foot tide swing.   Stay tuned!

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Space Coast- Melbourne To Cocoa Village

A visit to the public library involves anchoring the boat, dinghy to the public dock and walk the path to the library.   You need to be creative when living on a boat and the library is a sure spot for strong wi-fi!   Paying bills, updating the blog, making copies, working on taxes, and printing some paperwork that needed to be notarized.  We have a copier on board, but it crashed to the floor recently when we were “waked” by a passing speed boat!    (Good news, Dave later pieced the copier back together and it works!! )  As you read this we are further north, I am always behind on our posts due to too much fun.


Who names a restaurant Squid Lips?   It caught our attention and was a nice beach bar for snacks after the brain strain at the library!  Bonus – we saw dolphins playing in the water from our table on the beach!
melbourne to cocoa

Returning to our boats, we realized the wind had picked up from the east and felt it would be a calmer night at anchor if we moved to the east shore for protection.    The navigation app we use is called Blue Chart Navionics on our I-pad= it indicates locations of recommended anchorages and also has reviews from other boaters under an app called “Active Captain” (kind of like trip advisor for boaters).      Today we just moved to the other side of the causeway and anchored next to the bridge.     The tradeoff is a bit of highway noise from the bridge; but there is good protection from the wind so we are not rocking and rolling.     Sometimes the local boat traffic causes wakes, but this tends to diminish once the sun goes down.    Good enough for one night.


Did I mention that our refrigerator/freezer started acting up just as we had guests aboard.  The freezer was filled for meals on board when we noticed the ice was melted!!    With the help of a hot line 800# on the back of the unit; Dave connected with a tech that helped trouble shoot.  It worked a couple days, then failed again.     Parts have been ordered and will be delivered to the next marina we have reservations at.

icw full moon       icw full moon

Added to another part from West Marine ordered for shore power means Dave will be busy. Good thing he is happiest when busiest!

icw full moon   icw full moon


Our next destination was Cocoa Village to anchor for the day on April 12.  We took the dingy to the Riverfront marina and tied to a public dock.  As we were leaving the dinghy dock, we noticed a sign on the free dock that gave permission to ICW cruisers to stay free for up to 2 nights.  Good info in case we return to the area.

Cocoa Village is very trendy town. Mixing tourism, with art shops and gift or specialty shops.   Even the shop names seem to show a sense of humor!   The Lazy Pirate  or Village Idiot Pub are two examples.      Looked forward to walking around the area, first  we had some business to take care of.
melbourne to cocoa    melbourne to cocoa      cocoa village      melbourne to cocoa


As follow up to our recent Library visit; we needed to visit a notary public.    The nearest bank was Bank of America- (one that we do not have an account and didn’t realize this might be an issue).   We walked in and found one banker sitting at her desk with no customers. (Dave noticed by the screen on her phone she had been playing a game).      She informed us we would need to make an appointment to meet with a notary public.     We explained we were just passing through; she reluctantly said they close at 5 but she could fit us in.  (it was 3:30!!).    She announced that she was the only person that does the notarizing- so we were glad she took the time to see us on short notice…. The paperwork was provided and Colleen was instructed where to sign.  The banker verified the driver’s license and passport – then said she would need to look up our account number.    Oops; she was not happy to learn we were not bank customers, although she never asked first!     She said it would have to be allowed this time as we already signed, but that’s not how it works any longer.      Boy we were glad to get out of there with the notarized copy in hand!!       Sorry for the long vent!


This area is known as space coast- with all the NASA related industry in the area.   We will not be seeing any space launches.   Our plans to take a car or bus to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center fell by the way side as it didn’t quite fit our budget.   Between car rental and tickets we decided to leave that side trip for another day and time.
melbourne to cocoa       melbourne to cocoa Today we anchored next to the Hubert Humphry Causeway and I wondered about the connection to Minnesota’s own Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey? A quick search of Wikipedia provided the following-  Vice President Hubert Humphrey initiated action for a new bridge in the 1960s to resolve traffic problems stemming from the thousands of NASA workers traveling between Merritt Island and Cocoa.  Humphrey was instrumental in getting NASA and the U.S. Air Force to agree to help fund the new bridge.  In 1968 the bridge was named Hubert Humphrey Causeway. We had an unexpected guest on board admiring our AGLCA flag .  The looper flag always draws attention to our boat! melbourne to cocoa FULL MOON APRIL Once again, the wind was not in favor of anchoring on the west side of the river.  Once our shopping was done, we left the anchorage, cruised under the Hubert Humphrey bridge and found a spot to anchor near Tropio on the east shore of the Halifax river.    Another good choice; we enjoyed a lovely sunset and Dave got pictures of the full moon. icw full moon melbourne to cocoa       icw full moon

April’s full moon in 2017 is nicknamed  ‘Pink Moon”.   It is not pink- rather it is named for the pink phlox that bloom in early spring this time year.   Naming the full moons may be derived from native American traditions.  The April full moon is the first full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.


Signs of Hurricane Matthew from last October still linger thru out the area.  Derelict boats are sunk, sinking or sitting on the shore.  A few marinas are still closed or just partially open.   Such a sad sight and hoping the best for boaters for in the area.

  melbourne to cocoa melbourne to cocoa melbourne to cocoa

Each morning it seems we get an early start and head under a bridge.  This bridge opened one side for a sailboat and we scooted through.  The bridge tender started lowering the bridge just as Kurt and Patty were following us through.  Good thing they would have cleared even a closed bridge .     Many more bridges and waterways ahead.  Check back or sign up to follow via email… Stay tuned.





cocoa village

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Vero Beach & Melbourne Florida with guests aboard

The prevailing joke about Vero Beach by cruisers- is to call it Velcro Beach.  Once you visit its hard leave.    We aim to test the theory.   With a rental car, we were able to traverse around town and see what trouble we could find.


The marina is a stop for the free city bus that offers rides to the beach and to various other stops around the city.  Uber is another option- less than $10 gets a ride across town.


Driftwood Inn was opened in 1937, conceived and constructed by local Vero Beach eccentric and businessman Waldo Sextan. It may not be the “highlight” of the city, but it is very photogenic!

Waldo Sextan built the two buildings which comprise the Driftwood Inn and Restaurant in 1935.    Timber used to build the Driftwood was salvaged by Waldo from a barn blown down in a hurricane. Waldo was especially fond of bells and amassed a collection of 250 of various types and sizes, collecting them from churches, trains, ships and schools, just to mention a few. They dominate the exterior of the buildings and have always been a special part of the Driftwood Inn tradition.

vero beach old resort        vero beach vero beach old resort        vero beach old resort

To continue a rustic beachcomber ambience, there are many artifacts decorating the premises, and he brought in old fish shacks to create rental cabins.  its all pieced together and creates a resort and hotel.vero beach      vero beach

the breeze way displays a large dining table- it has seen hundreds of diners over the years and is well worn.  Its neat to see that it has a place of honor.   I think part of the appeal, is the rustic eclectic nature of the place in an otherwise upscale resort area!

vero beach old resort vero beach

vero beach

Thrift stores are one of the favorite pastimes when shopping with Al and Deb .    Next would be cooking on the boat, farmers markets, and of course boating!


We took the early morning bus to the farmers market near the beach.   I think everyone found something to purchase- jewelry, gifts, bread, dips, coffee, vegetables, fruits;  – a variety of arts , crafts to entertain.

vero beach old resort    vero farmers market   MELBOURNE FLORIDA  APRIL 9

Once we talked Dave’s brother Al and his wife Deb to join us for a couple days cruising on the ICW, it was no holds barred.   We left Vero Beach on a warm and sunny day heading for Melbourne.  As avid sailors, our goal was to initiate them to the brighter sides of trawler life.      I think they enjoyed the lifestyle, but may not be giving up the sailboat  or RV just yet.     Its amazing to share the sights and sounds along the ICW with guests- the view from the waterside is unsurpassed! Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW The Melbourne flea market was a hoot, boasting 2.5 miles of indoor shopping; it requires power shopping to move from booth to booth. Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW Downtown Melbourne has upscale shops and looked interesting, being a Sunday many were closed. The walk back to the marina found art work and murals were painted on buildings and under the bridge!

.Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW

The marina was convenient, great staff and the Ichabod’s restaurant served a great meals- we ate there twice!

Melbourne FL ICW

next up- bid goodbye to our guests and we meet up with the crew from Enterprise ready to head up the ICW towards Georgia.   The stretch of ICW from St Lucie to Norfolk Virginia is 987 miles, plus another 279 to the mouth of the Hudson River for a total along the Atlantic of 1266 miles.  At that point we take a left and head west towards the great Lakes.     Stay tuned for more mis-adventures!

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Lake Worth, Manatee Pocket to Vero Beach

Its March 2nd, and we crossed the Gulf Stream to Florida.  More adventures to share…


Left at West End Bahamas 7:30  arrived Lake Worth Florida 4:15.

With the 4 mph current pushing toward the north from the gulf stream, we decided to angle a bit south and head to Lake Worth inlet.  This is the shortest route across. According to our chart plotter; all tracks lead to Lake Worth Inlet!  Once we entered the channel ,  the weekend pleasure craft traffic and jet skis became the obstacles to share the waterway!

lake worth to st lucie lake worth to st lucie

We cleared customs by phone.  Our BR numbers that were obtained in Duluth satisfied the custom agent and qualified us for remote entry- no need to go in to the customs office for an re entry interview.

It was another beautiful sunset at anchor in Lake Worth.    It is great to be back in the USA; and we are ready to begin the next leg of the Atlantic ICW.
lake worth to st lucie


Workers were doing maintenance on the cruise ship in the harbor as we passed by.

The picture shows how large the ship is! lake worth to st lucie

A few hours later we motored past the Jupiter light house.   We laughed as we had driven to the light house a month ago with a rental car; it was about a 20 minute drive!!    A good example of life at 8 mph.

lake worth to st lucie

Port Solerno  in Manatee pocket is our destination; we chose Mariner Cay Marina to stop at for the night after traveling 33 miles.  One reason?   It is pool time !   (and the pool is right next to the laundry, so it made that chore a bit more pleasant).

lake worth to st lucie

To ease back into the ICW travel, we enjoyed easy navigating and a short day.   Next day it was an Uber ride to Walmart for provisioning after the month in the Bahamas.   Much of Tuesday was cleaning the boat of all the salt- no wash downs had been done in the Bahamas due to water shortage.


As usual, Colleen hailed the marina for instructions on docking.  The dockmaster said to turn after the Nina and Pinta on the end of the dock.  We expected a sign or some marker representing the ships- in fact; we entered the marina and were greeted by the replica ships in port ready for tours!

vero beach old resort vero beach old resort

vero beach old resort vero beach old resort

A bonus surprise at the dock- we were greeted by Dave’s brother and sister in law visiting the area in their rv from Thunder Bay Canada!     We had arranged to have them join us onboard along the way.    Vero Beach will be a great spot to explore.

vero beach old resort vero beach old resort

Stay tuned for more on Vero Beach, Guests aboard and traveling by bus, rv, and rental car!

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