"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

October 31, 2012

"Powderhorn Lake"
Indianola, Texas

October 29, 2012

"Chesapeake City, MD"

October 28, 2012

Oct. 28 – Miss Liberty

Happy 126th Anniversary Miss Liberty! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip this summer was the sight of the Statue of Liberty standing tall in the harbor and being able to anchor just behind her in Liberty Park. Not too many people get to sit on the deck of their boat and have such an amazing view…it’s a memory we will enjoy for years to come. Miss Liberty was closed to the public last October so renovations could be made to the interior. Today the crown reopens for the public to enjoy…if you can get a ticket!
"Miss Liberty"
June 2012

October 27, 2012

"St. Augustine, FL"
May 2011

October 26, 2012

"Waterford, NY"
September 2012

October 25, 2012

"Cape May Lighthouse"
September 2012

October 24, 2012

"Saugerties Lighthouse"
The Hudson River 2012

October 21, 2012

Oct. 21 – Adjusting to Life on Land

There’s always an adjustment period when we leave the boat and move back into our home. It’s nice to have more room, I enjoy my larger tub, the convenience of the car and we definitely like relaxing in our lounge chairs. Everyone asks and I guess they think we sleep better at home in our own beds…well the beds on the boat ARE our own beds too, and we actually sleep much better on them. This summer we slept with the windows open most nights, with a cool breeze blowing through the cabin. The only nights we closed the windows were the nights that were too cold to have them open. The fresh air and the gentle rocking of the boat make sleeping very easy. I truly miss those two things.

Catching up with family and friends is the best part of being home; it's what we miss the most about being on the boat. We stay in touch daily with everyone, but hugs and kisses are a little hard to email! Stan loves to fish, so being on the coast in Texas in the fall is a great time of year. Stan plans to spend as much time as possible in his kayak fishing on the bay...but first, things around the house have to be done. There are seven months of little chores and maintenance projects to catch up on. We work as quickly as possible to get these things done, so we have time to have fun. We also have all winter to plan our next adventure.

2012 Travel Stats 2011 Travel Stats
2678 Miles traveled   3987 Miles traveled
808 Gallons of diesel purchased 1085 Gallons of diesel purchased
379 Engine hours 566 Engine hours
209 Days on board 211 Days on board
68 Days of travel 96 Days of travel
10 States or provinces 13 States visited
55 Towns visited 71 Towns visited
106 Locks traversed 8 Locks traversed
121 Days at a marina 146 Days at a marina
46 Nights at a dock 11 Nights at a dock
30 Nights at anchor 48 Nights at anchor
10 Nights on a mooring ball 4 Nights on a mooring ball
2 Days on the hard 2 Days on the hard

Some of our neighbors are very...very large, but they will move south when hurricane season is over.
She looks a little sad...all closed up for the winter

October 17, 2012

Oct. 16 - Charleston, SC

The Harborage at Ashley Marina

It's this time of year, as we pack up and get the boat ready for our absence, that we begin to reflect on all the wonderful places we've been during our cruising year. This year has been a great year, not only in our cruising life, but our family life as well. We've celebrated two wonderful milestones...Kyle and Brytanie graduated from Medical School and Eric and Courtney becaming parents to the newest member of our family, Mayven Raye. Although we've seen amazing places and done some incredible things while we've been cruising, they can never measure up to the great feeling of accomplishment we have in knowing our sons are doing so well and are so happy in their lives. These events were the true highlight of our year.

We've covered a lot of coastline in the last two summers.You can go to this map to find more information about each marina and anchorage we've been to.

October 15, 2012

Oct. 14 - Charleston, SC

The Harborage at Ashley Marina

Just a short post today and a few pictures. We spent the day relaxing and enjoying Charleston. It is one of our all time favorite stops...lots of history, beautiful scenery and incredible places to eat. We went to Magnolias for our 30th anniversary when we were here in July 2011, we enjoyed it so much we went there again this evening to celebrate the end of our wonderful cruising season.

A few of the things we saw today
Pearlz...one of the places we like in Charleston
Magnolias is our favorite place to eat in Charleston
A toast to a great cruising season.
Not exactly sure what they called this dish...lobster, scollops, shrimp and grits. It was wonderful.

October 14, 2012

Oct. 13 - Charleston, SC

The Harborage at Ashley Marina

The boat is finally in its winter home. What a marathon the last eleven days have been...670 miles from Baltimore to Charleston. We were lucky to be able to travel each day, not that every day was a perfect day on the water. Stan did have some fog, rain and a few days with high winds, but Stan felt the conditions were all doable. He enjoyed seeing a lot of wildlife on the way, including three bald eagles. Today the winds were 15-20 MPH making the trip across Charleston Harbor and docking at Ashley's a little more of a challenge, but Stan looked like a pro backing into the slip.

My drive from Georgetown was about an hour. I went down Hwy.17 into Mt Pleasant, part of the highway is called "Sweetgrass Corridor", because it is home to more than 60 sweetgrass basket stands that display the craft of the Gullah-Geechee people of the Sea Islands and Low Country. Sweetgrass baskets are hand-woven by local artists who follow a weaving practice that is over 300-years-old. The baskets were traditionally used in agriculture to transport goods and to separate grain, though today the baskets are primarily seen as artwork. Unfortunately I drove through this area before 9:00 and most of the stands were not open yet. 

Next I drove by Shem Creek that is full of fishing boats and seafood restaurants. This area is supposed to have the freshest seafood in the Charleston area. I then crossed the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge into Charleston and spent a few hours at the Farmers Market, which is one of our all time favorite markets...beautiful crafts, wonderful fresh vegetables, a wide variety of delicious food and entertainment. It's held in Marion Square and everyone brings their dogs...it's a great place to watch people. After the market I drove around historic Charleston (it's better on a bike) and stopped at White Point Gardens, it's at the end of Charleston (south of Broad) and I had a good view of the harbor. It was too early to see Stan, but I could definitely see his ride was going to be rough since it was so windy.

We'll spend the next 3-4 days relaxing, packing and getting the boat ready for winter. We don't have to winterize the boat this year, but there are things that need to be done before we leave it unattended.

Sweetgrass Basket Stands along the highway
Boats in Shem Creek
Peaceful street near Shem Creek
Marion Square and the Charleston Farmers Market
Sweetgrass Baskets
Beautiful home near White Point Gardens

October 13, 2012

Oct. 12 – Georgetown, SC

Sampit River – Anchorage

Today was a shorter day for each of us. I drove through Myrtle Beach…it goes on forever! Mostly stop and go traffic all the way. This area reminds me of Orlando…full of miniature golf courses, malls, go cart parks, themed entertainment centers and elaborate restaurants…decorated with all kinds of things to draw you in. It was nice to get close to Georgetown and have things calm down.

Georgetown was first settled in 1526 by the Spaniards, and was the first settlement in North America. The settlement failed because of a hurricane and Indian attacks and was later reestablished in 1726 in honor of King George II. This town was once an important international port, serving the area’s once-thriving rice plantations. Today, several marinas cater to traffic on the ICW and the old docks along the waterfront have been converted into Harborwalk, an array of restaurants and shops. Sixteen blocks of the downtown area are listed on the National Historic Register.

Stan’s trip was very uneventful…through the ditch all the way. When he arrived he tied up to the day dock and we explored the little town. We later moved into the harbor and anchored for the night. It was nice to have one last night on the hook.

The streets in Georgetown are lined with oak trees
and lots of old homes 
The clock tower was built in 1845 
Part of Front Street 
Harborwalk in Georgetown
A view of the harborwalk from the water...everything looks better from the water

October 12, 2012

Oct. 11 – North Myrtle Beach, SC

Barefoot Landing Resort

Another beautiful day…it started out cold, but by the time I got to Myrtle Beach it felt wonderful to walk on the beach. I start my days hanging out at McDonald's…drinking coffee and using their free wifi. It takes Stan 4-5 times longer to get to our destinations than it does me. That leaves me a lot of time to kill. Today I spent some of that time at the beach, the Myrtle Beach library, shopping at the Barefoot Landing and visiting with Dave and Barbara on Memory Maker…too. In fact Barbara made me a wonderful sandwich for lunch…it’s nice to have friends!

Stan’s day was a little more interesting…he saw a wonderful sunrise, an eagle and another buck crossing the ICW. Stan arrived around 1:30 and we spent the rest of the day relaxing and visiting with people on the dock. Our days start early, so we aren’t too interested in doing any exploring when we get docked. We're on a mission to get home…Mayven is calling

Stan's beautiful Sunrise
Our son, Eric, texted me a picture of his wonderful sunrise in Texas too.
Myrtle Beach
Looking across the ICW to Barefoot Landing
Our marina at Barefoot Landing Resort

October 11, 2012

Oct. 10 – Southport, NC

Fishy Fishy Café

We finally got a full sunny day, what a welcomed event. Both of our days were uneventful. Stan had another long day on the water, but his timing was perfect for the two bridges that he needed to have opened. He arrived just at the appropriate time and cruised right through. His entertainment this morning was watching a buck swim across the ICW. My first chore for the day was doing laundry…a necessity of life wherever you are. After lunch I checked out the docking available in Southport and then enjoyed looking through a few shops and walking in the sand by the waterfront park. It was a very busy place on such a beautiful day.

Southport is a quaint coastal seaport with tree lined streets featuring some of the largest live oaks in the South. It was established in the last 1700's and was originally called Smithville. The town first grew as a fishing village and military town, but it has become a popular summer resort because of the pleasant climate and healthful sea breezes. Southport is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The town has been observing Independence Day since 1795 and annually hosts the official North Carolina 4th of July celebration.

We are docked at the Fishy Fishy Café's dock. Not a bad dock to be at during the week, but I’m sure it gets very loud on the weekends. We enjoyed one of the best dinners of the season on the deck overlooking the water and our boat. I was finally able to get a few pictures today, so I will keep the blog short and include lots of photos.

Homes along the waterfront in Southport
An artist from Raleigh, NC
Fishy Fish Cafe...from the street
Fishy Fishy Cafe...from the dock
Shops in Southport
Fall is definitely here