We arrived in Oswego on May 7th and had our mast put up at the Oswego Marina along with two other sailboats. The wind yesterday was gusting to 30 knots so we stayed on the wall in Fulton because it's not fun to lock through in high winds. A gale watch was in effect for Friday-Saturday with winds gusting to 55 knots and 8-10' waves on Lake Ontario. We motored back to Sodus Bay and arrived safely back at Katlynn Marine at 5:00 just 5 hours before the predicted storm hit. Praise God for another safe return home to our fresh water cruising grounds.
Last night we spent our last night with our buddy boat, Mystic, at the free docks in
Waterford. They bought the 10-day Erie Canal Pass and are going to slow down and enjoy themselves! We left this morning at 7:00 to start the Erie Canal. This is the first lock, but it's number is 2 as the Troy Lock used to be number 1 but is now a Federal Lock. We encountered great weather all day except for a downpour near Amsterdam. We locked thru 11 locks and went 50 miles. Ranger is exhausted.....
Ronnie and Dawn met us Sunday at Catskill Creek. They brought all of our wood for our mast which is being taken down at Hop O Nose Marina tomorrow morning at 8:00. We shared dinner together and then we hung out at the dock and enjoyed the 90 degree weather. What a treat!
It took us 31 hours to motor-sail down the Delaware, out past Jersey all night, and then up the Hudson to the Nyack Yacht Club where we anchored. Everything worked out right....the wind blew 15-18 knots off the beam, there was a beautiful full moon, the ocean was flat and when we entered NYC the current was with us! We were pretty tired however, and went to bed at 7:00. This is a photo of the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse.
The weather is improving and we have plans to do a run from Chesapeake City, across the C & D Canal, down the Delaware, into the Atlantic to NYC and then up the Hudson to the Nyack Yacht Club. We have a full moon tonight for the night sail on the ocean and west winds. Our buddy boat has radar and we'd both like to get home! We are estimating 30-35 hours of straight sailing.....which we think is awesome!
This is a photo of Bill and Jill just after they took their wedding vows. Plus I'm including a picture of the home-town ladies who are now all retired from teaching but managed to arrive in North Carolina for Jill's big day.
We took a mooring ball for four days at Tidewater Marina in Havre de Grace, MD so that we could rent a car and drive to Ocean Isle Beach to attend Jill Brewer's wedding. Ranger stayed with Lorrie and Gordon and we stayed at our time share in Atlantic Beach. The marina here at Tidewater is very nice but a bit off the main channel. Their specialty is Catalina and Hunter Yachts! This is a photo of the boats still on their cradles waiting for launch although the marina itself was almost full with 200 boats in their slips.
We welcomed friends, Sharon and Jerry Bricks, from Dansville aboard our anchored sailboat here in Back Creek, Annapolis. We visited the Naval Academy today and had lunch at Chick N Ruth's Cafe. The weather is a bit chilly and rainy here but when I checked the Dansville report it said sunny and 70....what the heck! We all had a great time anyway.
We had a delightful stay at Solomon's Landing Condo and Marina Resort this week-end. Matt and Marty, cruising friends of Lorrie and Gordon, retired here and usually sail the Bahamas on their 40' Catalina. We arrived in time for the opening celebrations for their spring sailing season complete with fireworks...that Ranger didn't really care for. We rode our bikes to the Calvert Marine Museum and toured the Drum Point Lighthouse that dates from 1883. The museum had a nice display of river otters who were very cute and playful. In addition they had a marine shop where we saw small wooden boats being hand-crafted.
We spent three days between the Great Bridge and Lock in Great Bridge and loved every minute of it. There is a town wall to tie up to for about 7 boats which is adjacent to a park with picnic tables. Stores, restaurants, ice cream, and a laundromat are all just a short walk from the waterfront. We cruisers even got together Monday night for a potluck dinner and a sing along with guitars.
We had a delightful visit with Bill and Mary White at their home in Merritt, NC which is north of Oriental just a tad off the ICW. Bill hosted both Waves of Grace and Mystic at his private docks located in front of his beautiful home...complete with water and electric! Mary cooked some delicious meals for us and we shared stories from our winter together in Marathon. We even found time to play Mexican Train Dominoes which was a favorite in Boot Key Harbor.
We had an eleven hour day today from Wrightsville Beach to Morehead City on the ICW. Our original plan was to travel the ocean today but the forecast was predicting high winds. They certainly were high this afternoon, blowing a constant 20 knots and gusting to 24. We wanted to anchor in Beaufort but the holding is not very good in gusty winds so we put in at the Sanitary Restaurant docks for $10.00 and slept well! Lorrie and Gordon were at the Yacht Basin Marina across the street which was beautiful.
We visited Nancy Weider at her "winter home" in Ocean Lakes for a big ham Easter Dinner. Jim and Linda shared the meal as well as Nancy's brother-in-law, Steve and his nephew. The weather was beautiful and the beach was filled with northerners on vacation.
When we pulled out of our anchorage on the Waccamaw River a few days ago this nice 34# danforth anchor with 30' of chain was wrapped around our own anchor chain. Walt hauled it aboard and is in the process of cleaning it up. Now we have four anchors and this one is a biggie!
We spent Easter week-end at Barefoot Landing with a $9.00 per day rental car! What a deal! Lorrie and Gordon joined us for a luncheon of wings, house chips, and beer at Buffalo Wild Wings and then we all headed for the boaters' super store-Walmart, of coarse. We spent the evening with Jim and Linda at the Calabash Restaurant for some delicious seafood.
This is an early morning photo as we continue north on the Waccamaw River towards Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach where we will spend Easter. We spent the night in an oxbow just off the ICW with three other sailboats.
Charleston is one of our favorite cities and we stayed at the Maritime Center for a night which is located on the Cooper River very close to the straw market, great restaurants and the historic waterfront. We also stopped here on the way south in October. Actually we were in Charleston for Halloween, 2009. Walt and I took a Polo Carriage Tour through the city this afternoon. We also got a great photo of a rainbow over the Cooper River.
We had a wild ride on the ocean from Fernandina Beach to St. Catherine's with winds blowing to 28 knots at 90 degrees so we did made great time. The next day was blowing hard as well so we did the ICW but found lots of shallow water. We made it to Beaufort, SC and anchored north of Lady Island's Bridge. Actually it is a spot we will visit again as there is a nice park and free dinghy dock. We attended Mass for Palm Sunday and then headed north to anchor just south of Charleston.
Today was a beautiful warm and sunny day. We left our mooring balls at Fernandina and headed to Cumberland Island for the afternoon. Marilynn joined us for the motor/sail.
Cumberland Island is breath-taking with beautiful beaches, sand dunes, marshes, oak trees draped in Spanish moss and wild horses. We shared a picnic lunch near the ocean and then collected some nice sea shells. Tonight we docked at Marilynn's shrimp docks and are waiting for a weather window to sail to Charleston.
We took the ICW today and amidst some clouds and rain showers made it through the Lion's Bridge in St. Augustine. The new bridge is operational, small and slow but it fits right in with the decor of St. Augustine. The big, fast lift bridge in the foreground is being dismantled in the next two weeks and the only bridge openings will be on the week-ends. Tomorrow we go to Amelia Island to visit with my cousin, Marilynn.
We slowed down a bit and spent March 17-18 in Vero Beach on a mooring ball at the city marina. Since we a rafted to our buddy boat, Mystic, we decided to B-B-Que steaks for dinner. No need to use the dingy to visit, just step over the lifelines...how convenient. Friday night we'll be in Titusville via the ICW.
The weather has been great and we have been sailing in Hawk Channel for the last two days. Today we stayed just outside NO Name Harbor in Biscayne Bay. There were just too many boats in the basin for us to anchor and the wind is building. We took the dinghy into shore and toured Bill Baggs State Park. The Cape Florida Lighthouse is 95' high and was originally built in 1825. It is now used as only a private aid to navigation and its light is visible seven miles out. This photo is looking down at the lightkeeper's home.
We left Boot Key Harbor this morning at sunrise. This shot is looking back past Burdines, the Boot Key Lift Bridge, and then the mooring field way in the distance. It's hard to believe that we've spent three months here already and the new friends that we've made have become dear to us. Hopefully cell phones and e-mail will enable us to stay in touch. We'll anchor tonight behind Rodriguez Key in Key largo with Lorrie and Gordon from Mystic.
The Marathon City Marina just recently opened new bath/ shower houses for the Boot Key Mooring Field. They don't look new anymore as they are used around the clock. We are leaving Marathon and heading north so it will be 3-minute showers on the boat for us until Vero Beach.
We attended the Marathon Seafood Festival this Saturday and it was a huge event with music, craft booths, rides for the kiddies, and lots of seafood. We enjoyed lobster, fish, ribbon fries and cokes under the big tent since it was a hot and sunny day. Walt looks pretty happy with this platter of fishy treats.
We took the bus to Key Largo Tuesday, 3/9/2010, to visit friends from Marina del Mar. Walt played tennis with Gary, then we had lunch with Annette & Gary at Mrs. Macs Kitchen-a local dive. I also shared some time with Yalina and Dalgis, ladies I tutored in December. In the afternoon we chatted with Diana and Howard on the marina patio.
We attended the Gospel Explosion here at the Community Park this Saturday. There were music groups from the various churches that sang all afternoon. It was great to hear such a variety of music praising God. The classics: Lord I lift your Name on High, Our God is an Awesome God, and many more from our Kingdom Bound days were sung. It was great!
Bob, Greta, and Bob's sister, Marie, arrived in the Washer RV all the way from Mexico, NY with side trips to North Carolina and Tampa. It was so great to see Walt's parents here in Marathon at the City Marina. They were really brave and decided to ride the Keys Shuttle bus with us to visit Key West for the day. We rode the Conch Train, lunched at the Hog's Breath, and walked up Duval Street to catch the bus back to Marathon. It was spring break for some colleges so we all got an eyeful on Duval Street and it wasn't even dark yet!
These shots are of the Gulf Waters of Florida Bay. Bahia Honda has beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico which is way cool. The waves on the ocean side are never very high as the reef keeps the big breakers away. The channel between the Florida Keys and the reefs is called Hawk Channel. It's quite shallow and filled with crab pots but it usually is easy to sail. Steve and Evie are in front of the old bridge and standing on the jetty.
Walt and I have been avid sailors for 38 years. Our retirement dream was to sail to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter months which we did for the first time last year, 2007-2008. We decided that we loved the cruising life
and four days after our return to Lake Ontario we traded our Catalina 320, Eagle's Wings, in for a Catalina 42 which we named Waves of Grace. We hope to continue to cruise in the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas for many years to come