Nana is early this morning. While taking her walk this morning Nana came across a very entertaining sign - I will include the photo- and I don't think they are talking about the shoes! Anticipating a busy day. Preparing to return to home base means Nana has to do some house/ boat maintenance which is her least favorite thing to do. But excited to be heading home for Christmas. Enterprise will pick us up today with the rental car. Nana and Nandad will head to the beach side of St Augustine to check it out. No more blog until the New Year towards the end of January. Merry Christmas to all and a happy New Year. The pictures are to give you an idea of how pretty St Augustine is at night especially the Bridge of Lions. Sorry about the angle- beyond my technology skill!
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Nana is very late with the blog today. We found a marina that would take care of IE while we are away for a few weeks. So she is now at Rivers Edge Marina and will remain in the sunshine while Skipper and Firstmate return to their responsibilities in Franklin. The short 6 mile trip up the San Sebastián River was just beautiful. The Dolphins continued to play with IE's bow but would disappear as soon as Nana took out her camera. The blue herons hiding among the bushes along the marsh and the snowy egrets sneaking along the shore were just magnificent. As we tied up to the dock there was a turtle swimming along but almost impossible to see due to the brown color of the water. Brunch at the Tiki Martini Cafe/ delicious on both counts, trolley tour around town, cocktails at the Casa Monica/Hotel Cordova but best of all dinner on IE - no wonder Nana is late!The town of St Augustine is so pretty at night with Christmas lights sparkling everywhere.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Finally IE has arrived at St Augustine FL. You know the weather is warmer when the ladies are wearing bikini's! Another beautiful day meandering down the ICW through the Cabbage Swamp and Tolomato River. As IE approached the St Agustine Inlet there was a reenactment taking place between two pirate ships- lots of cannon noise and of course the Skipper had to change course. There is definitely a feel of vacation here so I think the next few days will be fun. Temporarily at Conch House Marina until we secure a more permanent base for IE as Nana and Nandad will be returning to home base for a few weeks. Tonite there is yet another parade of sail. We just met Reggie from Monaghan,who owns Meehan's an Irish pub downtown. He is getting his sail boat ready for the parade- it looks great. The first picture is the resident Peliquin at the dock before we left Palm Cove Marina. The second is the pirate ship and the third is the Castillo de San Marcus.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Day 11 and IE reaches Florida! We did it. What a beautiful day today. Leaving Jekyll Island by 7.30am meant we reached Fernandna Beach by 10.30 am so the Skipper decided we should continue up the Amelia River. While leaving Jekyll Nana noticed a family of Dolphins on our bow. They are so captivating to watch but it seems as soon as you get the camera they hide. Nana also spotted a group of six wild horses on the shoreline of Cumberland Island National Seashore and they also were too far away to catch on camera. Passing the Navy's King Bay Submarine base was very interesting. A lot of activity but no subs to be seen. I guess they come in from St Mary's entrance and are usually accompanied by the coastguard. At mm 720 IE entered Florida- what an accomplishment. We continued on to Jacksonville and will stay the night at Palm Cove Marina. In the morning we will reach our final destination before Christmas St Augustine. The first picture is a collection of white Peliquins on the shoreline at Cumberland River. The second is the Navy Kings Bay Submarine base. The third is a home on the Amelia River.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Now I know that y'all think Nana and Nandad are on vacation but the truth is we have been very busy taking IE south. So today we decided to have a vacation day. We travelled a total of 5 miles up the Jekyll Creek and took a slip at Jekyll Harbor Marina. Now boaters never know what they will see along the way and this morning we were lucky to have front seats watching the Coast Guard do a water drill. Very Cool. Jekyll Island was once the playground for the Rockefellers, Morgan's, Goodyears, and Vanderbilts. It is now a state park and Nana and Nandad could view the beautiful Millionaires Village on a golf cart. They then took the bikes and rode to the now luxurious Jekyl Island Club Hotel and had a cocktail on the porch. Life is good. A truly magnificent sunset at 5.23pm. IE will leave early tomorrow morning for Ferandina Beach Florida 75 nm - no more vacation.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Day 9 of our second leg on IE heading south Nana and Nandad left Kilkenny Creek early this morning to continue through the winding ICW of Georgia. Once again she came through many rivers and today travelled through 5 Sounds-St Catherine's, Sapelo, Dolby, Buttermilk and St Simons. IE is now in Brunswick and the Golden Isles. These barrier Islands include St Simons, Seas,Jekyll and Little St Simon. Brunswick Landing Marina is know as the Hurricane Hole - lots of boats wait it out here before heading to Florida or return in March/ April. They provide free beer daily - which could be dangerous-and free wine reception Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I guess IE picked a good stop. Nana took the loaner bike and rode around the pretty Historic Town in the warm sunshine. The sunsets are now around 5.20pm so our evenings are getting a little longer. Tomorrow IE intends to make it to Northern Florida. Yippee. The first photo is IE coming through North Newport River. The second is the Golden Islands and the third one is The City Hall in Brunswick. The last picture is Nana's attempt to show you on the map the Georgia coastline- sorry if it shifts you visual field. We are now at MM 680.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Today IE reached Georgia at MM 575. Nana and Nandad had a wonderful dinner with Vicky and Peter last night and once again are on their way. Leaving Hilton Head in thick fog - see the picture of the sail boat, if you could zoom you would find a bald eagle on the mast! We went through 9 rivers, multiple winding passages that includes the extremely narrow and shallow Hell Gate. The shipper was very calm today and really enjoyed the challenge of the waterways that this section brings. It is really beautiful with many porpoises playing around and the birds just seem to perch wherever they can. We decided to spent the night at a very quite Marina up the Kilkenny Creek. There are many restaurants but they only open from Wednesday to Sunday - just as well Nana and Nandad did some provisioning. It should be a lovely quite night with a wonderful sunset. The second picture is the Kilkenny Marina ( again if you could zoom in you would see it ).
Monday, December 7, 2015
Nana had a wonderful day today on Hilton Head. Now for those of you who have visited Hilton you will know that the island is 12 miles by 5 miles wide. It is devided into Plantations. IE is on a slip at Shelter Cove and they are very accommodating. It was raining this morning so our bike ride with Vicky and Peter got postponed so Nana decided to have a spa day at The Marriott which was wonderful. She rode her bike to the Spa and had three hours of wonderful relaxation which included a massage, sauna, long shower and the perfect walk along the beach. Nandad remained on IE to plan our trip to Georgia tomorrow. He also got to relax up on the bridge and did some reading. We are going to Vicky and Peters for dinner. Wonderful to have BWSC members as ambassadors. Nana has included a map of Hilton, a picture of the beach ( just a small section) and the bike at the bridge that goes under the highway - very cool.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
IE arrived by escort into Shelter Cove Marina at Hilton Head today. The marina is quite a distance up Broad Creek so it was very welcoming to have Jason assist us into the marina. Today on our ride over leaving Beaufort a trail of seagulls were in our wake ( picture to follow). Nana thinks they thought IE was a shrimp boat. A lovely fresh sunny day and we arrived just in time to have a delicious brunch at one of their many restaurants Ela's Blue Water Grille. Vicky and Peter Pasquale ( BWSC) live right next door so after lunch Peter picked us up and we went to see their condo and meet Vicky. We did some provisioning - thank you Vicky & Peter and had a wonderful walk along the beach. Tomorrow Nana & Nandad will have a layday.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Boating always has its stories to tell. Just as IE was preparing to set off for Beaufort SC the skipper went to turn on the engines and the starboard engine refused to start! Another call to Larry and by 9.15am we were ready to go. Larry thanks us for helping him out with his Christmas shopping! With expert help and the Skipper's skills IE left her slip without any difficulty. It was very windy and the current was strong. Today's journey took us along a beautiful more rugged section of the ICW. The Elliott Cut is very narrow but has beautiful homes all along its edge. Cruising down the Stono River was challenging and Nana and Nandad had to pay close attention. As IE was cruising down the South Ediston River she came across the sail boat again from Canada with its beautiful sails. We arrived into Beaufort where they are having a Festival of Lights taking place tonite so we will have the front row seats. Nana wishes she had her festive flags tonite so that IE would look the part. Tomorrow we may head for Hilton Head - who knows!
Friday, December 4, 2015
Nana had the perfect layday today. It started off with the most delicious breakfast. Traditional Southern style biscuits at Callie's Hot Little Biscuits were yummy. Y'all have a nice day has a whole new meaning. It was very windy and cold today but sunny. We returned to IE to do some boat maintenance and then had a wonderful lunch at Victoria's on King St. Nandad had to return to IE to meet Larry who is going to hopefully fix the shower pump! Nana took a stroll down the historic district and did a tour of Calhoun Mansion. Tonite we are going to the Footlight Players to see Miracle on 34th Street. Nandad is very excited. The first picture is Nathaniel House Museum, the second is the Hibernian Club- very stylish for the Irish, and the third is IE looking very snug in Charlston Maritime Centre - actually we bounced around all night due to the high winds!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Well yesterday Nandad almost left Nana on the dock and today Nana booked the wrong marina but all turns our well- a story for another time. IE arrived into Charleston Maritime Center at 1.15pm. Actually Nana thought she had made a reservation however it turned out to be a different place. George was incredibly helpful and found us a slip for two nights - off the hook this time! Our journey today brought us through a floating bridge called The Tom Yawkey Wildelife floating bridge. Along the side edge perched on a dead branch was the largest blue heron I have ever seen. When it stretched its neck it was as tall as Nandad. The ICW turns southwest into the Estherville Minim Creek. There is a 20 mile long barrier island that is called the Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Nana spotted a bald eagle along the edge simply perched on a tree branch. When you see these birds initially you think they are fake but when you take out the binoculars you can see them move. Absolutely beautiful. The dolphins also had fun chasing IE on the bow. These are the special events that are impossible to catch on camera. There were more boats today and although the sun was shining it was colder. As IE was approaching the Ben Sawyer Swing bridge there was a dredging project taking place which made passage a little tricky. Nana and Nandad are looking forward to a lay day exploring Charleston tomorrow. The second picture is the Charleston Bridge from the marina.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
The second day of Leg 2. Leaving Myrtle Beach area this morning with a thin film of fog all along the ICW with the Cataraman ahead of us was a little unsettling. The Cataraman had to go under the Robert Grisson bridge which is 65 feet and her mast is 64 plus her antannae- barely made it!!!Lambay would not! The area along this section is called the Rockpile - mm 347 to 365 - due to the many rock ledges abutting the deep portions- the shipper would rather not have any incidences with IE so we go nice and slow. Some of the homes are very decorative for Christmas which is fun to see. We fill with diesel once again at Osprey Marina which is a very quite spot and had great price for diesel. After that the weather picks up, there is no more fog and it's nice and sunny - for a while. We join the Waccaman River at mm 375 with its windy stretches of swamp, creeks , cypress and oak with its trailing Spanish moss that has a very creepy look. Coastal Carolina is called the Palmetto State and I can see why - the palm like trees are all along the ICW. The rain is schedules for late afternoon and this evening so IE heads into Georgetown which turns out to be a very pretty town. We went through two bridges today Seaboard Coast Line at mile 365.4 Bascule and Socastee which is a swing that is on demand. Hoping to get to Charleston tomorrow which is about 65miles. The skipper was given a bottle of Gorilla glue free by the very nice gentleman in this store. Nana would like her yard to look like this on in the picture!
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Continuing our journey after a wonderful Thanksgiving. Nana and Nandad travelled yesterday by train,bus,plane and car to arrive back onboard IE. We have appointed Janet and Bill Brown as ambassadors for visiting BWSC members in Southport. Once again they picked us up for dinner and pointed out the best places to eat and grocery shop. IE was waiting for our return after a great makeover ( bottom painted, hull waxed and some repairs). We took our time heading towards Myrtle Beach and through Lockwoods Folly Inlet where the ICW meets the ocean and the shoreline is lined with Pelicans. So pretty. We decided to stay at Marina at Grande Dunes. In 2009 Nana and Nandad stayed here over Feburaury vacation to check out the ICW and here we are! I guess putting those plans into writing does help. We are now officially in SC. The houses seem more glamorous with infinity pools overlooking the ICW. We also came across some fishing boats that did not quite make it. Today we came through two swing bridges that opened on demand, Little River and Barefoot Landing.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Today is the day that Nana hit exhaustion but IE made it to Southport NC. While gathering our thoughts and preparing dinner last night at Swansboro, Nana saw very bright lights coming towards IE stern. Now keep in mind we are tied up at the dock. So Nana thought she should go and assist - like a good boater would do. However it turned out that the big boat coming towards IE was the Coast Guard so of course they did not need assistance. In fact they gave us assistance in the morning when we wanted to leave early to catch the opening of the Onslow bridge. Today IE came through four bridges. The ride today was the prettiest so far passing the New River Inlet, Topsail Island, Rich Inlet, Wrightsville and Carolina Beach. The Atlantic Ocean could be seen on our port side. The Dolphins dancing on our bow, the Pelicans playing on our wake, the snowy egrets gracefully appearing from nowhere in the marshes, and the blue herons perched high on the trees were truly a magnificent sight. Nana and Nandad are now in Southport Marina where IE will stay until December 1st. We will return to friends and family for Thanksgiving. No more blog until then. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Not a great picture but you can see the ICW from Norfolk all the way to Key West. The second picture is the Coast Guard boat behind IE. The third picture is a small example of the homes all along the canal.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Day 16 of our adventure and IE continues to go strong. Nana saw Dolphins today which was very cool. One was as we were leaving Beaufort NC and heading out into the Atlantic Ocean ( which by the way was a navigational error very quickly picked up by the Skipper) and the other was right across our bow as we were entering Swansboro NC. IE did another marathon day covering 100 miles. The journey through the rivers, canals, creeks and inlets was just picture perfect. As we passed Oriental NC Nana was able to view all those beautiful homes that she would read about in The Soundings. The waterfront homes along the shoreline with their attached docks are truly magnificent. IE passed the ICW MM 200 while doing 13 knots on the Adams Creek. Now the wonderful thing about being on the ICW is Nana baked delicious scones this morning for brunch ( with our early starts it gets confusing what meal we are eating) so Nandad was very happy. We are spending the evening at Swansboro which is a very pretty town all ready for the Christmas Stroll. The coast guard have just pulled in behind us so we are feeling very safe. Tomorrow IE will attempt to get to Southport where we will leave her until after Thanksgiving. I think we might catch up with the Pattons who have also been full steam ahead. The first picture is IE come Nguyen into Dowry Creek last night. The second picture is IE coming through the Bascule bridge in Beaufort NC
Monday, November 16, 2015
Nana and Nandad went down memory lane this morning as we went through our first lock at Great Bridge. In 1986 when our wonderful four children were 5,4,3 and 18 mths old we took a barge down the canal in Ireland for a week. We were crazy then and I guess still are - a little! A long day today from sunset to sundown covering a total of 123 ICW miles. A very gracious welcome at Upper Downy Marina which is close to Belhaven in NC. So now IE can add NC to her list. Moving along the cypress swamp on the Alligator Canal was quite the scene. Overtaking the tug boats in the middle of the canal challenged the Shipper but on the bridge he had full view. Nana found a new use for the fender line and was actually able to skip rope for a short while- certainly not doing that on the ocean ( Nandad took a picture from the camera on the bridge). The third picture shows IE approaching the fixed bridge Wilkerson Bridge heading into the Pungo River. The last photo shows IE approaching the lock at sunrise. Tomorrow we might reach Beaufort NC.