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

March 31, 2013

Mar. 31 - Happy Easter

We've missed celebrating Easter with our family the last two years. I wasn't going to let that happen again. This is the best time of year to be in Texas...great weather and the wildflowers are blooming. We had a wonderful weekend catching up with everyone. Good food and great company...it just doesn't get much better.

Saturday we spent time with our youngest son Eric and his wonderful family, which includes our precious grand daughter, Mayven Raye. It's amazing how a grandchild can steal your heart so quickly. She's almost nine months old and changing so much every day. We miss everyone when we're gone, but she definitely makes being so far away the hardest. I would love to include a few pictures of her (of course she is the prettiest baby ever), but her parents don't want her picture posted online. So you'll just have to take my word for it...she is amazing!

Sunday we went to Stan's sister's home in Lockhart to enjoy more family time, food and to watch our great nieces hunt eggs. Our oldest son Kyle and his wife, Brytanie were able to join us. It was wonderful having time to visit with them and catch up with what's going on in their busy lives. It was a great weekend, I'm so glad we were here to enjoy our family.

Brytanie and Kyle
Just part of the food we had...so many good things to eat. 
Jenna Clare hunting eggs
Emma Elizabeth finding a few eggs 
Emma, Jenna and Hannah 

March 29, 2013

Mar. 29 - Friends

Ashley Marina (Charleston)

The people we meet and the friends we make as we cruise are definitely some of the highlights of our adventure. We've met a lot of people and call many of them friends, but sometimes you meet special people who feel like family. That's exactly how the crew of Gallivant feels to us. We met them in 2011 and became instant friends. We've met up with them many times...even spent some time last summer cruising together. We spent the last two months as neighbors in Charleston and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It’s going to be lonesome there without them, but that's just the way it is when you're cruising. Everyone has their own agenda for the cruising season and our paths will cross again. Until that time we stay in touch with emails, texts and phone calls. We look forward to seeing them on the water again very soon. Safe travels to our "family" on Gallivant.

Ashley Marina in Charleston (Gallivant & The Pearl)
Chesapeake City, MD

March 28, 2013

Mar. 27 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

Pam and I have been waiting for a nice day to ride our bikes across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. We've been here for seven weeks and the weather has been too cold, too windy or too wet for us to go. Today was our last day in Charleston together, so we made the best of the day we had...beautiful sunshine and lighter winds (12 MPH), but still a little chilly. The bridge spans the Cooper River between Charleston and Mount Pleasant. It’s the second longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the largest in North America (2 ½ miles). The bridge has a wonderful bicycle pedestrian path, which is very popular with the locals. We've seen people walking, jogging and biking on it in all kinds of weather. Pam and I rode from the marina here in Charleston to Patriots Point, about 6 miles, and felt like it was a pretty easy ride…that was the easy direction. We enjoyed looking around the waterfront and had a nice lunch sitting outside (out of the wind) at The Reel Bar, located at The Charleston Harbor Resort. We talked some about taking the water taxi back to Charleston, but we didn't want to wimp out, so we bundled back up and started our trek home. Getting to the top of the bridge from the Mount Pleasant side is MUCH harder. The incline is twice that of the other side and we had a strong head wind adding to the challenge. We made it and were pretty proud of ourselves. I actually laughed when Pam suggested this outing a few months ago…I said no way, but I’m glad we did it.

We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying Charleston, we both love riding through the streets soaking in all the charm of this wonderful city. It’s been fun having such great friends to share our time with here in Charleston.

A look at the bridge from East Bay in Charleston 

Looking up at the cables...what a view we had from the top.
Taking a brake...had to have a picture to prove we were there. 
Looking towards Mount Pleasant
Views of the bridge from Patriots Point 
The women had their last happy hour on Gallivant
While the guys enjoyed theirs on The Pearl 

March 22, 2013

Mar. 21 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

The first wave of spring projects are about completed. Stan has finished repairing the aft deck and has it painted and a new layer of Sharkgrip applied. All the new electronics have been wired up and the mast has a fresh coat of paint. Stan has also completed the brightwork on the flybridge. It looks amazing...so shiny, at least when it isn't covered in pollen. Spring is definitely here; everything is blooming, even though the temperatures are lower than normal. There are always things to work on around here, but we're feeling good about the projects that are completed.We'll work on the rest of the brightwork and wax the boat a little at a time later this spring.

While Stan worked on projects outside I ran a few errands and then baked a loaf of Honey Oat Bread. It was a cool day so having the oven on felt nice and the aroma from the bread cooking was fantastic.

Let the kneading process begin
The bread is ready for the oven. Can you see the stuffed chicken breast on the back burner, we had a nice dinner too.
The finished product...umm so good!

March 16, 2013

Mar. 15 - Charleston Sights

Ashley Marina

Just a few pictures of a beautiful day in Charleston.
One of my favorite houses...located on Broad St.
Battery Park (White Point Gardens) 
Fulton V - A wonderful small restaurant off of King Street. We were treated to a great meal here with a local couple we met a few weeks ago.

March 14, 2013

Mar. 13 - Sight Seeing

Ashley Marina (Charleston)

Today was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. Stan put another coat of Cetol on the teak on the flybridge and then we decided to take the rest of the day off.  We drove over to Johns Island to see the Angle Oak. The Angel Oak Tree has come to symbolize Charleston. It's a southern live oak estimated to be in excess of 1500 years old, stands 66.5 ft. tall,measures 28 ft. in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. From tip to tip its longest branch distance is 187 ft.

We then drove to Folly Beach; a cute little beach town located about ten miles south of Charleston. We enjoyed walking on the beach, visiting with a few locals and wandering through the basic beach shops. The main drag is full of unique looking restaurants, pubs and shops. 

The Angel Tree
Folly Beach
A few of the unique restaurants in Folly Beach

March 12, 2013

Mar. 11 - Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We're still here in Charleston. Last week was pretty windy all week (30-40 MPH), but Stan was still able to strip the old Cetol off the teak on the flybridge and get it ready to be refinished. It now has four new layers of Cetol and is ready for four coats of gloss, it's looking great. Stan has also worked a little on the stern port deck.It's been soft (moisture) under the fiberglass. Stan repaired the starboard deck last spring. He drilled holes in the deck to allow the wood to dry out and has now filled them with epoxy. The next steps are to fill the holes with filler, sand and then paint.

I spent most of last week sick...sleepy, watching TV and finally visiting an urgent care center for antibiotic. It's definitely not fun being sick on the boat, but with the nasty weather we had I really didn't miss out on much. By Sunday I was feeling back to normal and finally got to be back in the land of the living. I started the day by getting sticky buns at Wildflour Pastry...so good. Then I painted the chairs we use on the flybridge and did work on some interior wood...a little sanding and varnishing. We’re beginning to see the end of our project list.

The deck before Stan drilled the holes
The deck ready to be filled with epoxy (180 holes) 
Before...in the need of a little TLC 
After a new layer of paint
The neighbors got new furniture delivered last weekend.

March 5, 2013

Mar. 4 - Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We have a great view of the Ashley River from the dock; we’re on the T- head with no one across from us at the moment. I can look out my galley window while I'm cooking dinner and see wonderful sunsets. We can also see the dolphins playing in the river. We've really enjoyed watching them everyday. They come close to the dock and even swim between the boats sometimes. There must be a lot of smaller fish around,because they seem to love this area. We've also seen an otter swimming across the river and coming up around the boats. He comes across the river to Charleston in the morning and returns to James Island in the evening (maybe he's going to work). I finally got a few pictures of one of the dolphins today...still working on getting one of the otter!