Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Mixture of Old and New

CAVU as the sun sets.
We stopped in Beaufort, SC for a night with some anchorages in between.  These stops always give us some lovely pictures.
Al raising anchor earlier morn.

Samson and the Lion

We made it to one of our favorite places, Georgetown, SC where we went into a marina for two days. CAVU and us rented a car and spent the day at the wonderful Brookgreen Gardens near Murrell's Inlet.


We had been there twice before but always in the fall, so I wanted to see the spring flowers. Unfortunately, we were in between the seasons. The daffodils and tulips were definitely on their way out, and the summer flowers were just coming up and being planted. It is not to say that we did not get to see flowers. There were flowers around, just not as plentiful as expected. In another two weeks it will probably be magnificent.
The Fountain of the Muses

The Rainey Sculpture Pavilion

What color!

The Night Herons were not afraid of people!
However, it was still beautiful with the lovely sculptures and gardens which we did all before lunch. After lunch we walked the path which explained about the rice plantations and then went to the zoo, aviary and butterfly house. 

Even though we have been there before, it is always fun to watch the creatures. This time we got a good look at two alligators.  The one looked like a statue until he turned his head!
Real alligators, the "biggie" is in back.

One just gave us his rear view but the other accommodated us for a few minutes with a great view. They also were having a Lego exhibit which was amazing which is there until Sept.. They were all out in nature. Some of them used as many as 85,00 legos in them. It was hard to pick my favorite, so I am showing you my three favorite.

Galapagos Tortoise with Finch
Dragonfly.  Hard to believe they can do that with Legos!
How would you like to be the person paid to play with Legos to come up with these creations!

After Georgetown we moved onto Thoroughfare Creek off the Wacamaw River. Unfortunately it was a sunny Sunday, so that brought out all the small power boaters to the creek because there is a large sand bank that draws them there. 
The locals enjoying the sand bank.
 There were many young families earlier in the afternoon, and then the single men and women came to enjoy happy hour there. For the most part they were courteous so it did not ruin this gorgeous spot. 
The rising sun with the glassy water relections.
 The sun on the mist in the morning was magical as well as the glass-like water with reflections.
The mist coming off the water as we leave the creek.

We tried another new spot, tying up at the dock at Barefoot Landing.
Barefoot Landing dock.

 Such a contrast to the natural Wacamaw River. Maryann and I took advantage of the shopping opportunities and enjoyed ourselves while the men spent a leisurely afternoon watching the world go by.
What a life!

I love those reflections skewed by our passing boat.
The gorgeous sunny weather continued as we travel through what they call “The Rock Pile.” You can see how it got its name. The tide was coming up so we did not come through at it's lowest. 

Rocks sticking up!

St. James Plantation Marina
We pulled into St. James Plantation marina, recommended by CAVU.  Another first for us! It was a very nice quiet and clean marina. Enjoyed dinner at their restaurant looking out over the marina on the outside deck.
The view from the deck.

Wrightsville Beach
The next day we got into Wrightsville Beach at lunch time. Put the dinghy in and went ashore to show Maryann and Ron what was here. They have anchored here but never came ashore. We of course, took them to the beach where it was quite crowded for being midweek.

 Maryann and I walked the shoreline while the men took a seat on the bench. 
Al and Ron enjoying the scenery.

They were enjoying the scenery as you can see!
Maryann and I don't think they were looking at the water!!!

We are headed for Mile Hammock anchorage today and will be going into River Dune Marina for two the end of the week We are going to catch up with Harry and Finola from Escape Velocity, whom we met in the Exumas and who have a home in Oriental, NC. We also hope to meet up with Dave and Toni Mershon at the lower end of the bay if all works out.  We hope to be home around the 13th or 14th of May. But that all depends on the weather, because some of the most vigorous sailing is on the Chesapeake Bay.

This might be my last blog. I am getting burned out. It is much easier to post on Facebook as we go, so all of you who don't do Facebook, you have 1 ½ years until we do this again to get on it!  You will only have to "friend" me and I could be the only person with whom you use Facebook.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Out of Florida On To Georgia

We had quite a chilly week with lots of grey skies and wind. However, we were able to enjoy some blue skies and sunshine for a few days which were our saving grace after pounding in 20-28k winds out of the north and in our face on several sounds that we had to cross.
Walking the inland trail on Cumberland.
The first place in Georgia that we visited, one of Al's and my favorite, was Cumberland Island. (Once again, Facebook followers, you have seen most of these pics for which I apologize.) We saw the southern tip in the fall, but the mosquitoes were nasty because of all the rain so we did not explore as much as we would have liked, so came back and got our fill now. We did not get to see the wild horses this time but the beach and trails were great. I am reading the book, Cumberland Island – Strong Women, Wild Horses by Charles Seabrook that Maryann on CAVU with whom we are traveling gave me. I wish I would have read it before we got there because it would have opened my eyes to pay attention to certain details of the past history. I am finding it fascinating the controversy that this island provokes between the National Park Service of which the island is currently under the purview and the descendants, some of whom still live on the island.
Carol Ruckdeschel a gifted naturalist who has lived on the island since 1973.  Found this out in the book! She is a fascinating woman.

Walking the trails with the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks, palmettos, pines, magnolias, bay berries, resurrection ferns and much more is just beautiful.
Can you find the cardinal?

I love the canopy of trees.

As beautiful as inland is, the dunes and beach are spectacular as well.
Walking the boardwalk out to the beach to preserve the dunes.

No it is not a snow bank, but sparkling white fine sand!

Eighteen mile long stupendous beach!

We shared the beach with the Oyster Catchers.

The view of Blue Heaven and CAVU from Cumberland.

After two long, rough, windy grey days heading north, we treated ourselves to two days at a new marina we had never been to before, Isle of Hope Marina near Savannah. It was definitely what the doctor ordered! The southern hospitality there was great. It is a small marina so not loads of amenities but enough to keep us happy. One thing that was very beneficial were there 2 courtesy cars which you could check out for 2 hrs. at a time. However, since we had two boats, that meant we could take one car for 4 hours. That gave us plenty of time to do some needed shopping, dinner out and even an afternoon in Savannah.
Savannah's River Walk with vendors galore.

Paddle boats- a definite southern icon

An interesting World War II Memorial

Ron, Maryann and Al enjoying the shade.
Don't see a fountain like this in many places!

We all had a special treat.  I could not pass up the Nutty Coconut ice cream.  Delicious!

Both couples had been to Savannah before but we enjoyed our time revisiting the river walk area, especially because it was such a gorgeous day to walk around.

Bluff Street at Isle of Hope
Back at Isle of Hope Marina the road next to the marina called Bluff Street is the most charming southern street with some magnificent homes and some quaint homes. It was a perfect place for Maryann and I to get our walks in. I just had to share this wonderful street with you.

Looking toward the marina.

One of the magnificent homes.
One of the quaint homes.

Can't you just see someone sitting there sipping lemonade?

What a lovely view and we got to enjoy it.

So we are moving on to Beaufort, SC and hoping the temperatures get out of the sixties and low seventies because it is feeling cold to us with our thin blood from the Bahamas. I think Pennsylvania has had warmer weather the past few days than we have!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Pleasures of St. Augustine

Waiting for bridge openings, lots of fun.
We finally broke away from Vero Beach after a week and headed to Cocoa. Now that we are on the move we get to experience lots of bridges again.

The next morning we were headed to New Smyrna near Daytona. We went into the municipal marina there for the first time. They do not have many transient slips so we had called two days ahead for a slip. It was a nice small marina and only a block from the main street of town where there were shops and a few restaurants.
The marina office at New Symrna
We were told you can walk across the bridge to more shore shops and a beach but we did not plan on staying the next day, so something to do on our next trip. We did go in for a great country breakfast at the “Golden Biscuit” Restaurant. I can't remember the last time we had breakfast out, so it was a real treat.
Al's favorite breakfast.
We were the last of the transients to leave and the wind had picked up and blowing us into the slip. I could tell Al was concerned about reversing out of the slip, but with the help of marina staff and other boaters we made it out without incidence. We headed on to Halifax Marina where we picked up fuel at a reasonable cost, and just anchored on the other side of the most northern bridge at Daytona for a different view rather than our usual across from Halifax Marina.  We did get a nice sunrise over the tree tops as we left.
Sunrise at Daytona.

Next, we headed to St. Augustine to a mooring for four nights. We caught up with our friends whom we traveled down the waterway with, Ron and Maryann on CAVU. We also met up with people who spent the winter in George Town, and the other two boats from Rock Hall, Bob and Carol on Pepromenon and Cherie and Dave on Blue Sky. It was a like a reunion running in to all these people at the marina or on the streets of St. Augustine.

We experienced three new restaurants while in St. Augustine. One called Casa Maya with a nice courtyard and live music and very good food. Pizza Alley that all the cruisers said should not be missed. They have Happy Hour from 3-6pm where drinks are buy one get one free and a free slice of pizza. Then if you are still hungry, you get $5 off any size pizza. And the pizza was delicious! Cruisers were right. It is a great find! Finally, we went for “linner” (lunch and dinner) to the Columbia Restaurant which I had recommended to friends, but never gone. It was excellent, so we are glad we went and definitely will go again.
With Ron and Maryann enjoying our meal at the Columbia.
Outside the Columbia Restaurant

You can see the bar inside the vault.
One night after going for pizza we stopped at a new venue called "The Vault".  It is often used as a wedding reception spot, but when they don't have a wedding, they open it to the public.  It was an interesting building once being a bank and the bar was in the vault.  We stopped for a look and should have stayed for the music.  

The Vault- felt  like I was in New York!
They were going to video tape the band and we thought they might not want us "oldies" there.  However, Carol and Bob stayed and the band was more like a wedding band and played music we would have liked!  Live and learn!

I also used the Port of Call shuttle to go for a “pampering day” for a manicure and pedicure and to pick up groceries at Publix. It worked well and I feel like a new woman, since it has been six months since my last self-indulgence day.

Bob, Carol, Ron, Maryann, Al and I headed out for a walk along the water front on a beautiful day.  We got to the fort and they were getting ready to shoot the canons so we stayed to watch.  The resulting smoke ring was fun to watch.
The largest smoke ring of I seen!

We continued on up a street with some lovely waterfront properties, as well as interesting decors.  
Can't say I have seen a door like this before!
Now we have an idea what to do with all the shells cruisers collect.
The famous St. Augustine landmark.

We made it as far as the well known giant cross we see from the water and the park around it.  It could not have been any nicer of a day.
Our Lady of La Leche Chapel-destroyed 4 times by war

Our last day at St. Augustine, we had our friends over for a veggie lasagna dinner. Everyone brought something and a great time was had.
Cherie, Carol and Maryann enjoying dinner.

The ladies sat below 

while the men ate in the cockpit since it is difficult to get 8 around the table. 

Ron, Dave, Bob and Al enjoying dinner and man talk!
I could not resist taking a picture of our bare feet while we were all in the cockpit enjoying our drink and appetizers.. How many other places do people go for dinner and come barefoot? It happens all the time on a boat while cruising!
The cruiser's way for going to other boats.

We are moving onto Cumberland Island and have decided to go through Georgia. The main reason is for the unseasonably cold weather further north. We want to take our time so we are not freezing and so we can stay in bare feet!