Home for the summer⛵️

So we’ve been home about 6 weeks now. It was cold and rainy a good part of May but we got a lot accomplished around the house. Our son, Erik and his fiancé, Kati will get married Aug. 3rd in Old Lyme. Time to get the house and yard whipped into shape!! And of course, the boat needed to come out of the water for a good sanding, painting and waxing. Today she went back in.

We’ve enjoyed catching up with family and friends and look forward now to some summer sailing fun!

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Uncle on the wind!!

Sailors are fickle when it comes to the wind.  We want some wind to get us going without using the engine but not so much that it overpowers us or kicks up the seas. We’d like it to be at an angle such that we’re flat enough to enjoy reading, making a cup of tea or doing chores down below.  I’m not fond of white knucklers- gripping the wheel or trying not to slide down the high side.  It’s not easy to get the perfect day and they seem to be few and far between as we enter New England.  Today, we sit for the second day on a mooring in Port Washington, Long Island, after a day of pouring rain and thunderstorms.  The winds are honking with gusts near 40 – not our kind of sailing day…  I’m so anxious to get home at this point.  Tomorrow the winds will be lighter and hopefully in a favorable direction to do the 84 mile, pre-dawn to dusk ride home.  Otherwise, we’ll stop somewhere on the Connecticut side and finish up on Monday.

Our perfect forecast for tomorrow-     Sunny, west wind 10-15, seas 1 foot.  Oh yeah, and could you make those temps in the 60’s??⛵️

Pics from this past week:

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Got to see Erik while in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Lower Manhattan

Our friend, Shelley, came down from her Williamsburg apartment to take some pics.  With a rushing current, we swept by closely and were able to yell hellos!

 

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NYC Governor’s mansion

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Island where they quarantined Thypoid Mary

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Our 161 million dollar prison barge off the East River, lovely…

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Our speed through Hell Gate – not our record but pretty darn fast!

 

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Earth Day⛵️

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Happy Earth Day!  Today is a good day to take a look at how we appreciate our world.  It is so much easier to be kind to the Earth while living aboard.  We take advantage of what nature gives us using our solar panels and wind (when we have it).  We conserve water, turning the tap on and off in short spurts.  We tear half size paper towels in half and multi purpose them.

I’m making efforts to only use my cloth grocery bags, avoiding one time use plastic containers, picking up trash on my beach walk and recycling whenever possible.  It’s not always easy or convenient but these are some small ways I can do my part.  I know that once we are back on land it will be even more difficult not to be a bigger consumer of our resources… But I’m going to keep trying!!

Enjoy your day on this beautiful Earth!

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Wind is our preferred means of travel

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Our solar panels provide almost all of our electrical needs on board

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Not our favorite scenery

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Springtime heading north⛵️

As much as we loved our family time in Virginia, I was glad to leave behind the thick coat of yellow pollen on the water, boat and my lungs.  I really don’t remember it being that bad in previous years.  Somehow we are beating it up the coast at this point.

We were  going to take our time heading up to Annapolis but once again, saw some weather and big winds headed our way.  So instead we blew up there in two days, literally.  We finally had some decent sailing.  Lots of crab pots and fish traps to avoid but I do love seeing the classic fishing boats out on the Chesapeake.

 

We have great former cruising buddies who settled in Annapolis and offer their friendship and dock to us on our way north.  We always have a good time and lots of laughs there.

 

My walk in Annapolis was filled with signs of spring – bunnies, flowers, fog and blooming trees

We left Annapolis for Chesapeake City in the C&D Canal again blessed with some decent sailing.

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We now sit in Cape May for at least three days awaiting lots of wind and rain.  We stay at a dock, off the beaten path, which is very protected and inexpensive.  This place is hopping in the summer but virtually empty besides us and the seagulls in early spring.

Here’s my morning walk in Wildwood/Cape May.  Just miles and miles of empty beach..

Cross your fingers, hopefully we’ll be on our way up to Atlantic City and Atlantic Highlands, NJ early this week!

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Loooong Days on the ICW!!

North of Charleston the “plan” was to sail outside for three long day trips, go up the Cape Fear River and arrive in Carolina Beach, NC.  Well, we left Charleston harbor and found ourselves in smooth waters and light breezes off the beam.  After a few hours we realized that if we were willing to sail slow, we could stay out all night and arrive at the bottom of the Cape Fear at sunrise and continue up to Carolina Beach that afternoon.  It was really a very nice night of all sailing.  Carolina Beach was FREEZING!!  Fortunately, fellow cruisers Jill & Dave on JillyQ, who have a home nearby, picked us up, brought us to their warm house and fed us a delicious homemade soup for dinner.  A couple days later we were on our way north outside to Beaufort, NC and  three more days to Hampton, VA on the ICW.  We passed mile zero of the ICW and are officially in the Chesapeake.  Dan’s sister, Beth & husband, Rich are kind enough to pick us up from this stop and bring us to their lovely home in Williamsburg.  This always feels like spa time after 7 months on the boat.  Great family catch up time, looong hot showers, sleeping in their beautiful guest room and of course, laundry…  They brought us back to the boat this afternoon and we had my cousin, John Lamb and wife, Michele for happy hour.  Love being able to connect with family along the way!!

We’ll be back underway tomorrow and hope to be up Annapolis way on the weekend.  We’re making really good time but don’t want to get home before it warms up a bit – did I mention that we picked up a heater????

Good times in Virginia – had to have crab cake sandwiches!

Traveling the ICW

Springtime in Hampton

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Hopefully my last freezing picture!!

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On the move!!

Once we rip ourselves away from Vero (Velcro) Beach, our goal is to just get as far north as we can each day. I know, I know, we should be smelling the roses but we’ve been up and down this coast so many times now….

The weather has been decent for traveling both inside on the ICW and out on the ocean. We moved each day up through Florida and then did an overnight to Charleston (167 miles and about 26 hours) skipping a Georgia and it’s shallow waters before we put on the breaks. In Charleston we went to a marina where we did laundry (free vs 11.00/load in the Bahamas) and took sinfully long hot showers. Dan had plenty of boat chores to catch up on and I took advantage of being a short walk from a good grocery store to stock up for the next couple weeks. Charleston is a great city to take walks in historic neighborhoods and eat our favorite southern dish, Shrimp n Grits.

Dan had, of course, been watching the weather sites and saw a good opportunity for us to travel outside 60 miles up to Winyah Bay. We headed out to smooth rollers and light winds. We put out the sails and realized that if we wanted to go slow and take advantage of the conditions, we could stay out all night and go all the way to the Cape Fear and Carolina Beach. After an uneventful night of sailing, here we are, another 136 miles further north! It’s supposed to be rainy and blowy for the next few days so we’ll visit with some cruising friends and take a few beach walks.

I also know of a local place that sells fresh shrimp that I can get to buy dinghy. What should it be? Shrimp cocktail? Shrimp Fajitas? Shrimp & Asian noodles? We’ve got three nights, why not all three!

Anyway, we’ll be moving when the weather’s good and stopped when it’s not. Happy spring y’all!!

The streets of Charleston

Shrimp n Grits at SNOB (Slightly North of Broad). We didn’t like it……

Sorry! Just can’t ever get over the beauty of sunrises and sunsets on our passages!

Florida birds – the bottom ones are spoonbills. They’re pink!!

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Hello USA!!

Leaving the Bahamas to head across the Gulfstream requires a lot of preparation.  We needed about 30 hours of settled weather.  Dan had been following weather forecasts for a couple of weeks to determine when we should take off and was able to see a window. We left Manjack Cay at 7:30 am on Dan’s Birthday, March 10th.  The winds were astern most of the trip but we were able to sail a bit overnight.  We watched the depth go from 12 feet in the Bahama banks to well over 1000 as we left to head into the Gulfstream.  The seas were 2-3 feet and a little bouncy but not a bad crossing at all!  Our turquoise waters gradually turned back to dark bluish green as we entered the Ft. Pierce inlet to anchor and check in with Customs.  It’s a new process that uses an app on your phone and only took a few minutes.  Hurrah!  We’re back and legal!  We continued a couple hours north and took a mooring in Vero Beach.  We thought we had done pretty well with taking turns with watches and sleeping for our 30 hour trip but come 8pm that night, we were in bed and slept like the dead!

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Must have been time to go.  Our courtesy flag has had it!

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Sunset on the crossing

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Sunrise in the Gulfstream

 

Back in the land of plenty – and treats!!

Family, yeahhh!!!  Bob Auwood came up from Palm City for lunch.  Took a road show to Plant City and had lunch and catch up time with Dan’s sister, Gail and Clint.  Caught up with Jeri, Dan’s dad’s wife and her family over in Tampa.  Stayed with Linda who does the ultimate friend chore – helps us provision at Walmart (on a Saturday no less).  We spent two nights in her beautiful condo eating her delicious home cooking, sleeping on a nice, dry bed and having sinfully long hot showers – no spa could beat it!

We are now back in Vero Beach on the mooring where it’s pouring rain and windy.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day that we begin the trip north.  Dan’s still on his weather sites all the time and now we just have to look at what’s ahead each day for navigation, opening bridges and shallows.

In case you’re wondering, it will take us about 5-6 weeks to hopefully be home around the first week of May.  Could you warm it up for us??  ⛵️🇺🇸

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