2010.04.18 Last one this for this trip.

2010.05.08 Montreal
I am finally getting around to posting David's epistle from...OMG, I will put lots of picture so he can forgive me!

Sunday , 18th April 2010. Thunderbolt Ga.

Well our 2009/2010 cruise is nearly over. We are once again moored, in what is becoming our habitual spot astern of “Blue Moon “ (my dream Feadship and at  http://www.yachting.nl/documentos/PressReleaseBlue%20Moon.pdf ) should you be interested.
The crew invited us for a "braai" South African BBQ and later the Captain invited us for a guided tour...I promised not to post any pics of the interior of  Blue Moon.

I have to say that however gorgeous Blue Moon is , I would not trade...well maybe some of the crew would be nice to have around!

Mr. Avis has once again given us the loan of one of his cars and so slowly we are getting back into land based mode

Our last entry left us still in St Augustine having various bits and pieces serviced and/or repaired . All was well except for our electrical refrigeration system which once again decided that it was not going to work leaving us solely dependant upon our engine driven system. Of course the electrical system only decided to pack up again the day before we were due to leave St Augustine not leaving sufficient time for the Sea Frost technician to come back and have another shot at fixing things. We decided to leave anyway using only the engine drive, not a major deal if we are motoring or motor sailing but annoying if we are not or if we are on a dock and have to run the engine for half an hour twice a day. This will be a top priority to get this fixed in time for our departure once again later this year.

The weather over this week was not ideal for an off shore passage direct from St. Augustine to Savannah as the winds were in the 20/25 knot range from dead ahead and we saw no sense in beating ourselves up needlessly, when we could make a leisurely cruise up the ICW, so this is what we did.

This little guy also left Comachee Cove that day, on his way to NOVA SCOTIA....no refrigeration issues for him!

We left Comachee Cove at 08.00 hrs on the 9th April heading for Fernandina Beach and had a stress free cruise north arriving at 16.30 hrs . A shower and some supper and then a walk up the main street to the ice cream and fudge shop to top things off…… delicious !!
The following morning we were not planning an early start as we wished to be at Jekyll Island Creek on top of the high tide. This creek has got decidedly skinny in the past years and we need high water to get through safely.

So another walk after breakfast up to the ice cream shop again and also into a bookstore where we found a book from my childhood and a beautiful illustrated copy of the Wind in the Willows, both of which we bought to entertain new grandchildren once they arrive in the summer.

Ice cream for breakfast and fudge for lunch...not wonder I am geting plump and I am sure my dentist would not approve!

Noon on the 10th saw us leave Fernandina Beach and head into the St Mary’s River, in a 20 odd knot NE’ly breeze. Once into the river we pulled out the genoa and had a very pleasant sail against the current up towards the submarine base . By the time that we got there the wind was too far ahead and we resumed motoring. carefully shadowed by a police boat as they don’t want anyone to get to close to the base. St Andrews Sound was rough , but not as bad as it might have been, the wind having abated, but it was still enough for us to take plenty of spray over the bow. Jekyll Creek was entered right on high tide and we passed through with no worries at all, staying in the middle of the channel. Then it was on down the entrance to Brunswick harbour and into Golden Isles Marina on Lanier Island, adjacent to St Simon’s Island.

We spent three days here awaiting a slightly earlier sunrise and a later high tide, as we wished to arrive at the Little Mud River on high tide. Our information was that there was only three feet of water in this “river” at MLW but with a rise of tide of six and a half to seven feet we would be fine. It was here that our long time travelling companions Steve and Sharon left to attend to family matters in Baltimore leaving “Indian Summer” alongside at Golden Isles Marina– we were sad to see them go but knew that they had to do so. After seeing them off we visited the chandlery and who should we meet but our friends from “MacGuffin” – Dennis and Gail . We had an excellent supper together at the marina restaurant and decided to travel on the next morning.

An early start today 14th, 06.40 hrs first light, a slight mist over the water and marshes with a nice sunrise just after 07.00 hrs. We hit the Little Mud River just about right some 30/40 minutes ahead of high water and although we saw the odd skinny spot did not see too much to concern us. We were lucky in that we had been overtaken by a power boat just before entering the river and he very kindly kept reporting back the depths that he was seeing and which marks to stay clear of or to stay close to. We cleared the Little Mud River at 10.25 and after that had a straight forward cruise north to our next pit stop, Kilkenny Creek Marina, arriving at 15.30 hrs . “MacGuffin” right behind us.

That evening we had drinks aboard “MacGuffin” and then walked the short walk to a local restaurant for a very delicious and most reasonable fish supper .

The bugs or no see’ums were awful in the morning and thus after a hurried goodbye to Dennis and Gail we left Kilkenny Creek at 08.00 hrs heading for home. Hell’s Gate, which used to be one of the worst spots on the ICW has now been cleared by the U S Corps of Engineers and we came through with plenty of water beneath the keel, then it was up the Burnside River, into the Wilmington River, and at Noon we tied up to Thunderbolt Marina, another winter cruise soon to be a thing of the past.

Since arriving the sails are off the boat, our car is semi deflated ready to be put back on deck for the summer. We still have lists of things to do….. attend to the engine needs, polish all the stainless steel, I would like to scrub the teak rails etc etc etc…. the list goes on and on.

Cindy and Toby taking patterns for the new canvas.

It looks as if it is unlikely that the boat will be hauled before we leave for Montreal, which we are not too happy about , but can only hope that the staff here will do the various jobs that we would normally do after haulout.
The 2009/2010 cruise has been good, restful and fun, making new friends, renewing old friendships but has not been very adventurous. We have stuck to what we know and where we have been before. We are already talking about a slightly different cruise for next fall, perhaps continuing on to the Florida Keys and from there using the Gulf Stream to head across to Bimini, Eleuthera and so back to Hope Town through the back door rather than the usual way. Who knows, time will tell but what we do know is that we have a mooring booked in Hope Town from the 1st December onwards!!

Now it is time to get adjusted to shore life again, but this time without the need to go to the office . I have the feeling that it is in Montreal that the full effect of not having a job any longer will seem the most odd, on the boat it has not really sunk in . That said we are hoping for a full and enjoyable summer. We are talking of a nice road trip for a change …will see where that get us then we have New York cruising friends visiting on their way to do a little loop, that’s up the Hudson River, Erie Canal to Lake Ontario, over to Kingston and through the Thousand Islands, down the St Lawrence to Montreal, then into the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain, into the Champlain Canal, Hudson river and so back to New York.

Then in late August and early/mid September my daughter and daughter in law are set to give birth to their first children, so undoubtedly that will keep us busy as well. In addition to all this we will be spending time our family and friends in Montreal. Our usual trip to the U K and Europe may fall victim to all these goings on, but maybe that will induce our English and European family to visit us …..?? Somehow it doesn’t sound as if not working will impact too much!!!!

No, before we know it, it will be time to start a new blog, start getting the boat ready and setting off for the south again.

We hope we will see you then, in the meantime au revoir until we meet again

Catherine here...
I need to add that we took our time driving North this year a visited a lttle bit of Virginia...unfortunately our friends MAry Helene and Harvey (Gone Away) were in the Abacos so we could not meet up with them.

We went to C-ville (Charlotteville VA) to find the drugstore where our daughter in law Elizabeth worked when she was 15....found her old boss who called her and proudly showed us her picture!!!

We loved Virginia and wished we had more time...there is so much to see. Next trip I would love to see the Skyline Highway and the Blue Ridge mountains...wonder if Jed Clampett still lives there?

We did manage to visit Monticello, President Thomas Jefferson's residence...what a brilliant and fascinating man he was!

We then drove to wonderful Williamsburg...they have done a fabulous job in Colonial Williamsburg with the help of the Rockerfeller family. We especially enjoyed its "inhabitants" they were not only entertaining but so knowledgeable....we left a lot smarter about American history...I especially enjoyed meeting Le Marquis de Lafayette...he even spoke French! He was later not quite as popular as Benedict Arnold!

We also visited the beautiful college of William and Mary whose design was credited to Christopher Wren...The brick work was extraordinary, red & grey...and amongst its illustrious alumni...you guessed it.... Thomas Jefferson!

Then on to Jamestown and the valiant little ships that braved the mighty Atlantic to bring the first  British immigrants to the coast of Virginia. How very brave they were!

Then we were in serious Northerly mode but did take the route through the Chesapeake Tunnels and Bridges. We got a glimpse of Manhattan Island lost in fog from the New Jersey coast .

I guess we did not have enough boating as we embarked on the ferry from Essex to Charlotte across Lake Champlain, to make it to our friend Diane’s house for sups and a good night sleep.

The next morning, onward to Burlington to return Mr. Avis's Chevy and transfer all our gear to Jamie's truck. He was kind enough to pick us up two years in a row.

I had been complaining (not really) of missing snow as I had not seen any in four years....somebody heard me and here we had a lovely storm on APRIL 26th!

We made it to the kids’ birthdays, Alec, Julia and Jack!!!!! WHOOOHOOOO!!!!

Until we sail again...have a wonderful summer!