Saturday, December 24, 2011
Merry Christmas to all from Key West. We have been here since December 7th and have moved our anchorage at least 3 times.. in search of a protected area from wind and all of the boat traffic and one unexpected event with our anchor chain. Somehow at some time our anchor chain wrapped around someone's anchor that had broken free of it's chain and it somehow caused our Rocna to drag. We had a very serious situation Dwayne was trying to free our anchor and I was at the helm trying to keep the SeaVeyor from hitting all the surrounding boats and worrying about Dwayne's hands, fingers, and his back. He was fighting not only the weight of the anchor and chain, but the tide, current and wind. Finally, he managed to free our Rocna off the derelik anchor. This could have gone so wrong. Dwayne had at one point thought of just releasing our chain and come back later and try to retrieve it. (400' of chain and our 73lb anchor) He could have been severely injured. God Blessed us and protected him. We motored around a little looking for a new anchorage and found one just off of Christmas Tree Island. We dropped anchor and both just looked at each other. WOW.......
It's been beautiful and warm, windy, a few days of rain. The only thing to fuss about is the anchorage.. I'm sitting here trying to type and as stable as the SeaVeyor is, we are rolling from side to side.. I think we are getting used to it! Ha! time to leave..The last few weeks here have been nice but you also have to maintain your vessel... Crossing the channel here in your dinghy can be quite interesting..but you have to do the laundry, grocery shop, and refill your water jugs, etc... Speaking of the wind and chop here, have you ever tried to put on mascara ( you know, eye makeup) with the boat rolling from side to side?? Dwayne has had to be mindful in the shower not to hit his head. Ha!!!!! I asked him yesterday, what, do we have a sign on the SeaVeyor that says.. "Go ahead, Cross our Bow doing 35 knots.. " Some people just don't get it...
Today we plan on pulling up anchor and head to the Marquesa's and then possibly to the Dry Tortugas... All is weather dependent..
Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a great New Year....Dwayne, Linda and the Cats.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
After leaving the Lake Worth area, we continued our travel South. SO MANY BRIDGES! We are fortunate that we can lower our antennas, but there were lots that we could not get under and had to wait for the bridge tender to open... and the crazy boaters were still about!! Our next anchorage was in Fort Lauderdale area, very pretty and good holding... saw a beautiful rainbow just after lowering our anchor...Had a great evening after a stressful day.. Our next leg of the journey took us thru Miami and Key Biscayne Bay... not too bad,not as many bridges.. We made it to Sands Key and could see the Miami skyline in the distance... beautiful anchorage, we were the only boat there, probably due to how shallow the water was.. SeaVeyor only draws 3.5 foot, so we can anchor where some can not. Our next destination was Islamorda.. One of the issues both in the ICW and outside (Atlantic) are Crabpots... LOTS of CRABPOTS. It takes both of us to keep watch, especially when there is no rhyme nor reason to how these things are placed... After dodging these little critters all day, we made it to Islamorada and decided to dock at Lorelei's. At first it was a little confusing as to where there entrance was... I've attached a pic of the narrow channel between the mangrove trees.. Captain Dwayne docked the SeaVeyor with no problem.. although it looked impossible at first!!
Lorelei's was a great spot.. well protected and a great restaurant... Patches only jumped ship a few times ( she loved their dock) and loved watching the iguanas (lizards) in the mangrove trees. Nasty looking things!!
The next morning was beautiful, we decided to take the outside, just assuming there would not be as many crabpots and the wind was not as strong( less chop of the waves)
We found out there were almost as many outside as in the ICW.. We made our way to Marathon , Shea and Elizabeth(The Great Escape) met us in the back channel that led to the mooring field in Boot Key Harbor.. and also helped us attach the mooring ball to the SeaVeyor. Made it much easier with them in their dinghy.We had a great stay in Boot Key Harbor, very nice, protected anchorage. Had much fun with our friends on Rocking B, Ken and Margaret and Shea and Elizabeth on Great Escape. Ken and Shea came over one evening and helped Dwayne with some technical issues with the generator and invertor.. Thanks guys!! We had a great dinner on board the Great Escape and all of us on the SeaVeyor one nite.. Lots of fun and good dinner too.. Our friends from Lake Norman, Ric and Rose , were on their way down with their 28' BlackFin. They camped out a few nites at the Banana Bay Resort. Marathon was nice, but Key West was calling us..We left out with Ric and Rose to follow on their boat.. We made Bahia Honda Park and anchored between the two bridges. We used Ric's boat as a tender and made our way over to the park to scout it out.. Very nice. We were going to stay another day, but due to weather reports decided to head out for Key West the next morning... The weather is KEY to all you do and plan when cruising.. It's so important.
The main channel into the harbor at Key West was a washing machine.. so much traffic! We made our way thru it and scouted for the best possible anchorage . We decided on the Fleming Island area, just outside of Garrison Bight. The dinghy ride into town is not too long... That's important since you are using your dinghy as a taxi.... Ric and Rose tied the BlackFin along side the SeaVeyor... It was a beautiful afternoon, not much wind to speak of and very warm.. the guys napped and Rose and I read.. Beautiful sunset, great dinner.. wonderful evening... UNTIL!!!! Things can change in paradise in a heartbeat.. Around 11pm, the wind picked up, had some rain and then the wind really picked up. Had wind gusts up to 45mph and it continued thru the nite.At one point, Dwayne and Ric had to go to the bow to let out a little more chain to take the pressure off of the bridle, while I was motoring into the wind..What a nite.. Dwayne and Ric finally laid down in the cockpit to get a little rest.. NEVER A DULL MOMENT!
Today is Saturday,Dec.10th..Ric and Rose left out early to head back home. We had a great time...
We plan to hang out here for the rest of the month. Key West has changed (for the better) since we were here last.. It's much cleaner and lots of fun..Our anchorage is a little rough, but there are no good ones here.. So , take the good with the bad,and enjoying it all.... More news at 11.........Linda and Dwayne, Patches and MonkeyButt
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Catchy title.... I borrowed it from Diana and Ross aboard the One White Tree. Their boat name comes from the Lord of the Rings. They are on a Sailing Catamaran and are "wandering" as we are... It is a yearning to be out here, on the water and on the move and seeing things you normally would not get a chance to see.. We love it for the freedom and adventure, and meeting like minded people. It's not always easy, especially when you break one of your rules.....DO NOT TRAVEL ON THE ICW IN SOUTH FLORIDA ON A HOLIDAY OR WEEKEND... I will never understand why someone would like to try and go under a bridge with a 23'beam boat ( they are usually 8-11'beam )the current is wild, etc etc... I thought one little boat was going to go under the SeaVeyor!!! As stated, Never a Dull Moment!!
It has been extremely windy since we left Jacksonville.. The ICW is very choppy.. We anchored in a lovely spot in the Melborne area.. Once the anchor was down, Dwayne spotted a raccoon on a home's porch.. After he left, several peacocks came by.. Lots of birds and porpoises too... Closeby was Pelican Island, the first national wildlife refuge . It was set aside for pelicans and other birds by President Roosevelt..One of our anchorages was at Fort Matanzas.. Not much left of the fort which was an early Spanish outpost... This is where we heard the hooty owl..Finally spotted him atop a flag pole ..Had to keep Patches inside.. was afraid he might swoop down and have her for supper!!
We are getting ready to leave the Lake Worth area and head towards Miami.. More news at 11................
Monday, November 21, 2011
It's not just your daily destination, it's what you see along the way...There's lots of porpoises ( until you point your camera at them and they dive back under!)lots of coastal birds, and lots of shrimpers and cool looking boats... And of course the people in the little go fast boats that zoom by you and then just STOP in front of you!
.#*#**&^%$@ Go figure... and then the ones that want to beat you to the bridges to go thru first.. never mind that you are trying to get a 23' beam boat thru the rushing current.. Ah, never a dull moment!!
We made our way from Jekyll Island to Cumberland Island and were planning on hiking on Sunday, but woke up to millions of little knats/ no-see-ums and decided to travel on and hit Cumberland on the way back! So, we pushed on to Jacksonville...stopped at Beach Marine .. We spent two or more hours cleaning the SeaVeyor... she needed it!! We will be underway shortly.. Dwayne is picking up spare parts for the generator this morning and then off we go... I think it was 80 degrees here yesterday... ah, the sunshine state....
Friday, November 18, 2011
After making the decision to shove off again and head south for the winter, November FINALLY rolled around... Dwayne and I finished our jobs in Morehead and said our goodbyes to coworkers and bosses. Our plan was to shove off on Friday Nov.4th, just behind our friends on Great Escape and Rocking B... However, we were delayed by a front that came in with high winds.. The yacht basin had two foot rollers in it for several days..It delayed our shove off, but also allowed us to have dinner with some new friends Robin,Deb, Mike and Karen.. We talked boats and TALL TALES all evening and enjoyed an awesome dinner.. Shove off was Sunday morning November 6th.. Still windy.. Arrived in Carolina Beach around 4pm..
After anchoring, Soula and Barry picked us up in their Bladerunner and we had another awesome dinner of BBQ at their home.. When we are in Carolina Beach, Barry always lets us use his Bladerunner as a tender.. Doesn't get any better.
And then there is Mr. Murphy (you know, Murphy's Law) First day at anchor in Carolina Beach we lost the head pump... hmmm.. not a way to start this voyage... Dwayne changed it out.. I think that made number 6 ! My captain is not happy with the Head Hunter company... These are $1200 pumps ( at least the last 4 have been under warranty)
Tuesday Nov. 8th.. borrowed Soula's car and made trip back to Morehead for the dinghy motor that was being repaired and to do a few more last minute errands, etc.. Also picked up Barry's Cape Fear Cat (boat) that was at the yacht basin.. Made it back to Carolina Beach around 8:30 pm.. Next morning Barry and Soula came by SeaVeyor and dropped off 20lbs of 12count greentail shrimp for the freezer.. YUMMY....Anchor up at 10:30 and off we go..
Our first anchorage was Calabash Creek in Little River, S.C. the next day we made Georgetown,SC and ran into Cruisers we met in the Bahamas in 2010 Billy and Linda from the Bonnie Christine.. had sundowners with them and caught up with news...
Friday Nov. 11th... anchor up at 8:30 and Dwayne realized we had lost yet another pump.. words just don't describe what we think about this company's pumps!!!!!!!!!!!!
We made Charleston and docked at the Mega Dock.. all the way at the end.. again..I think it's like 4 city blocks to the main office and facilities!! Great exercise!
We met Dwayne's family at the Farmer's Market and had lunch and shopped at the Straw market... We borrowed Danny's car and made another grocery and West Marine run... then back to their home for a pre Thanksgiving dinner.. Darlene made a Tur-duc-in.. It's the turkey stuffed with duck, chicken and sausage.. and all the side fixins.. It was great.. The next morning we went back to Danny and Darlene's for yet another awesome meal.. before shoving off... It was great to see the kids.. especially little Connor, who is three, and has the brains of a 16 year old!!!!!!!!!
After replacing the head pump, number 7, we shoved off and made South Edisto River for anchorage..This anchorage was huge.... lots of room.. we had a sailboat come in behind us (Canadian) and they anchored 50 ft. from us... GO FIGURE!!!!! The sunset was beautiful and the morning sunrise too.... lots of birds and porpoises!!
We got underway and headed to Beaufort,SC... We were just outside of Beaufort, with Dr. Harden and Susan's house in sight, and we lost radio and the voltage dropped...
Never a dull moment... Made it to TP's dock and tied up next to his sailboat... Had a great evening with them and then back to the boat and slept well. Next morning, I got up early and made my way thru their beautiful yard, lots of natural grasses, a waterfall, etc... But... did not count on the sprinkler system coming on... I still think TP was watching for me and turned it on!!! Ha... had two showers that morning!! Susan ran me into town for a few errands and then back to the boat.. The fog was lifting so we got underway around noon....
The fog may have been lifting in Beaufort, but when we were halfway into the Port Royal Sound it became pea soup.. you could only see about 50-100 foot in front of us.. That was not fun..that made your cheeks tight.. and not your upper ones!! Ha!! The fog broke and we headed pass Hilton Head Island.. made anchor in the New River , along with several others that were tired of the fog... one of the vessels there was an aluminum catamaran (power) that looked like a little battleship.. come to find out, she was also a Crowther design, and built in Nova Scotia...( we saw her two years ago on our first journey, and have been wanting to catch up with her again)
Wednesday Nov. 16th... anchor up, Dwayne spoke briefly with the Captain on the Dyad, the aluminum power cat and hope to see them along the way.. We had a good day and made Wahoo River for our next anchorage.. All was well until Dwayne decided to adjust the chain on the anchor.. The winch went into a free fall, with the risk of losing 400 foot of chain... After reversing it...it finally tripped the circuit breaker and stopped, but Dwayne cut the wires to be safe.. He thinks it is the brain box...as I stated before, NEVER A DULL MOMENT...
Thursday Nov.17th.... Dwayne had to manually pull up 125ft of the chain, took about 15-20minutes... so, underway around 8:45 am.. Made our way to Jekyll Island , docked at the Jekyll Harbor Marina and called West Marine for parts and they were nice enough to deliver the celanoid part for the windlass . Also, a retired Navy Electrician,Lester, that we met two years ago in Brunswick,came by the boat and he and Dwayne had a good chat...
New News!! Dwayne and I are embracing this lifestyle and have come up with our wish list for the future.. As you know, boats are a compromise..Mamma wants a room of her own, an office, room for a set of puppies, and Daddy wants a Pilothouse and room for a workshop..So, with that being said, we have found a vessel that will meet our needs. She is substantially bigger than the SeaVeyor and she is long enough to carry a 20' Bladerunner on deck, as our tender...... So, the SeaVeyor is on the market!!! If anyone is interested, just email Dwayne.. email@example.com
We are taking a break today (after repairs) and are going to see Jekyll Island.. Can't wait... More news at 11.....