Winter 2014-15 Bahamas Trip 10 Dec 14 to ___



Bahamas Trip Winter 2015 -- 14 Dec 2014 to ...

14 Dec 2014 -- Colonial Beach to Pt Lookout Marina

Finally underway with pretty good weather and we are expecting smooth seas on the Chesapeake Bay tomorrow.  Had dinner last evening with Bob and Norma Blunt and Gary and Nancy Vineyard at Bayside, then up this morning, and with help from Gary, Nancy and Bill Bowman we loaded the final goods and were underway about 9 AM. We have installed a new Chart Plotter, finally putting the Northstar 951 in the recyle bin. What a shame as it was nicely designed. Nothing new compares but Northstar is out of buisness and we're on to something else. We traveled 35 miles to Point Lookout Marina today and have just finished our hot dog lunch and are watching some football. The marina had a single water hose laid out on the pier so we were able to fill the water tanks; unexpected as most marinas in Virginia have turned off the water.  We'll be underway early tomorrow and try to get to Norfolk before dark.

First Stop Pt Lookout Marina, MD
Deserted ... but a hose for water
Fishing Crew Returning from Bay

15 Dec 2014 -- Pt Lookout to Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina, Chesapeake, VA.

Up and away at 7:30 AM we pushed Apolonia to 15 Knots and traveled 108 statue miles (we use statue miles on the ICW). As we normally travel at 8-9 knots it felt like we were flying over the water, and more so as the Chesapeake Bay was like a mirror -- flat and beautiful. The boat ran great and we made Norfolk by 2:00 PM. So early and the weather was great (near 60 degrees) so we continued south, passing thru Norfolk and the Great Bridge Lock to moor at Atlantic Yacht Basic for the night. Amazing because their slip fees are $1 per foot and diesel price was $2.72. Could not help filling up with fuel. I've loving these lower fuel prices. Carey cooked a great roast in the Crock Pot and we're eating and relaxing tonight.  I'm a lucky person with a wife that loves to cook great food. Tomorrow we're heading further south.

Carey and Maddy
A Bridge in Norfolk, VA
Pretty Views
Into the Lock
In the Great Bridge Lock
More Water Views

16 Dec 2014 -- Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, VA to Coinjock, NC

Nice morning. We drank some coffeee until 8:00 AM when we had to leave to make the first bridge opening at Centerville Turnpike in Chesapeake, VA. Re checking the weather found that a cold front was going to be moving across Albermarle Sound just after lunch so we decided to stop for the night at Coinjock Marina just before the sound. That made for an easy 4 hour steaming day. We moored by noon and enjoyed a great lunch at the always fantastic Sandbar restaurant. Back aboard for some boat chores we stayed inside as the rain and thunder associated with the cold front moved through in the afternoon -- NOAA is getting better with their forecasts.

Beautiful water views
An old boat
Carey and Maddy

17 Dec 2014 -- Coinjock NC to Dowery Creek NC

Up at 7:00 AM but fog was too thick to move the boat. We enjoyed coffee and Maddy had an extra long walk. Finally underway at 7:45 we traveled 84 statute miles to Dowery Creek Marina. Absolutely beautiful day ... lots of sun ... low winds ... and temperatures in the 60s. Also impressive to us, we saw 7 boats during the day. Maybe we are not as crazy as we thought we were when we chose this scenario for moving south. Once at Dowery Creek we met up with the locals in the marina that we have become friends with over the years traveling the ICW. These locals plus the other transients had cocktails at the pool house and celebrated a birthday of one of the dockhands, who is also a live aboard with his wife at the marina.

Simply a beautiful day
A Navy LCE traveling
Following two boats
Carey and Maddy
Enjoying Happy Hour
Celebrating a Birthday

18 Dec 2014 --Dowry Creek to Moorhead City, NC

Carey had to go to the store so she took the courtesy car into town this morning. I took on a few boat chores. She returned by 9:00AM and we were off for Moorhead City. A nice easy 8 hour trip at 10 miles per hour we arrived at Sanitary Restaurant where they give you a slip for the night at $25 if you eat at their restaurant. The place closed early due lack of business so it appears we'll get a free night. We ate next door at Ruddy Duck and had an OK meal. My ribs were fantastic. Carey's steak and shrimp were just ok. We're off tomorrow for Wrightville's Beach, trying to get to Beaufort SC for Christmas. So far the weather has been good for us and we're pleased we put off the beginning of this trip until mid December.

A beautiful day!
Carey and Maddy enjoying the bow
A Shrimmp Boat enoute his slip.
Passing through a Bridge
A lonely Sailboat
Maddy enjoying Life

19 Dec 2014 --Morehead City, NC to Wrightsville Beach, NC

Weather still great! Sanitary Restaurant closed due no customers so we had a free stay at their dock. Underway at about 8 AM and headed for Wrightsville Beach. Good trip with boat running great --- knock on wood. The 3 blade props fixed right are getting Apolonia out of the hole easily and cruising at 16 knots is a piece of cake when we need to do it, as we did a couple times today to make bridge openings. Maddy appears to enjoy the boat --- she is behaving well. A 38 foot cruiser passed us early in the day. I had to call him and mention he was running out of the channel. Later in the afternoon we see him being towed by Tow Boat US after going aground because he did not follow the buoys in a shoal area. We came thru the Wrightsville Beach Bridge at 4 PM and tied up just after that at Bridge Tender Marina and watched a small boat carry a Christmas Tree around the area. It has been an amazing trip so far. Rain predicted for tomorrow and the next few days so we'll decide where to spent Christmas based on how pleasant it is to travel in the rain.

Small house on island
Boat being towed after going aground
Surf City Swing Bridge Opening
Christmas Tree
Wrightsville Beach Bridge
Bridge Tender Marina
Apolonia at Marina
Marina Restaurant
Real Decision -- Coffee or Manhattan

20 Dec 2014 -- Wrightsville Beach, NC to Barefoot Landing, SC

NOAA was right on and the rain started before we woke up Saturday. We filled the water tanks, emptied the trash and were underway by 9 AM in lite rain. It was a cloudy rainy day. Yuk! We motored south through 3 of the 4 worst shallow water trouble spots on the ICW; Lockwood Folleys, Shalotte Inlet and Little River Inlet. And we did it all at low low tide. Made it through all easily with the help of Active Captain (showing experiences of earlier boaters going through the same area) and careful navigation. We had an ebb tide going south on Cape Fear River of 2 knots so were not surprised that Apolonia was moving at more than 20 miles per hour going down the river. The boat is really handling well. She is answering all bells easily. We were at our high cruise speed of 2300 RPM while moving at 20 MPH. We needed to move fast on this section of todays route to get in to Barefooot Landing before dark, as we moved at slow speeds through the several shallow trouble spots. We ended the day after 70 miles at Barefoot Landing Marina. We have not stopped here in the last few trips --- our bad --- as the dockmaster was great and the price for a stay is very low. Our new favorite stop.

Really -- 20 miles per hour
Water Views
Little River Bridge SC

21 Dec 2014 -- Barefoot Landing, SC to Georgetown, SC

We slept in until 8:30 AM and slowly got ready to move further south. Underway about 9:30 AM we made the 48 statute mile trip to Georgetown. Pretty trip ... sorry we did not take more pictures. As we passed Osprey Marina we noted fuel was $2.80/gallon. We turned around and pulled in, filling every tank we had. Final price with BoatUS discount was $2.61/gallon. That is $0.70 less per gallon then we were expecting to pay at Georgetown. That will pay for dinner some where. Weather is now rainy but temperatures are in the mid 50s so it is comfortable traveling. We are on track for making Beaufort SC on the 23th where we will stay for several days to enjoy the Christmas Holidays. Christmas Day in Beaufort is expected to be sunny and in the mid 60s. We noted some beautiful homes along the way as well as two very nice and unique sailboats.

One of many nice homes in this area
The 3 master Steel Away ... beautiful
1960 reproduction Sailboat

22 Dec 2014 -- Georgetown, SC

For several reasons we have decided to spend Christmas in George Town SC. No pictures today as it was cloudy with rain, a dreary day to take pictures and to travel -- a reason we're staying put. Second, we really like the town. Additionally, I found a bit of water in the port main fuel tank. It did not get to the Racor for the main engines but water was evident a bit in the generator Racor. We had this problem in a Bahamas Trip in 2010 and thought we knew the reason -- water in the fuel delivered by a marina. We filled up with fuel yesterday and it could be the same issue but I want to make sure. This is a good place to investigate as we prepare for Christmas and there are fuel experts in the town. So decision made, we're here for a week.

23 Dec 2014 -- Still at Georgetown, SC

Carey is decorating the boat for Christmas as we'll be here for the holidays. Carey went out this morning to rent a car and do some shopping. Easy to do as there is no sun. It is in the mid 50s, cloudy and foggy with light rain. Not a good travel day. The "fuel specialist" came at 10 AM. We pulled 7 gallons of fluid out of the port tank, with almost 1.5 gallons of that water. Easy to get the water out of the tank but most important is to decide why it got there. We found no evidence of a leak/crack in the tank. No clear evidence that the marina where I last fueled had water in their tanks --- they sell lots of fuel. No evidence that rain water was entering the tanks from the fill caps (although we replaced all O-rings on the caps). No fuel cooler on the engine to leak water into the tank. What's left? The vent line which exits mid way up the side of the boat near the bow. We found the opening of the vent line exit was facing forward and I realized that while on plane, which we had done for several days, the sheer in the bow would push water very near the vent line exit. Could water be pushed in the vent line? Our conclusion --- that is most likely. We moved the vent cap orientation so it is facing aft, got all the water out of the port tank and are now ready to watch and see what happens. While I wished there was a definitive answer it just isn't going to be the case. I'm reasurred in that the last time I got water in the port tank in 2010 we were on plane for many hours. We generally travel at 8 knots so the "being on plain at a high speed" with the forward facing orientation of the vent line exit just may be the issue. Time will tell.

At the end of the evening we used the rental car to have dinner at River Walk, a favorite of ours. We then did a shopping trip to our favorite store, WALMART, and returned to the boat to settle in for the evening.

24 Dec 2014 -- Georgetown, SC

Up at 8 AM to fog and light rain. We had to go to the post office and mail my passport renewal appplication. Carey, checking our major papers, noted my passport expired in March 2015, which would not allow us to travel as long as we wanted. So a renewal is necessary. We mailed an expedited renewal application this morning and should have a new passsport in plenty of time. Back to the boat, after returning the rental car the rain really started to pour from the skies. It was a dreary day with lots of fog and rain, as you see in the pictures. But note we have a great Christmas Tree. Carey has a great day planned for tomorrow and we'll enjoy our Christmas together in Georgetown. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

A good start to the day -- the harbor
Then the fog came in with a vengance
Chrismas on Apolonia

25/26 Dec 2014 -- Georgetown, SC

Carey and I had a quiet and beautiful Christmas Day onboard Apolonia. Carey out did herself with a traditional dinner; two birds (Cornish Hens), mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean caserole. We opened Santa's presents ... he was good to us ... and watched Christmas and Hallmark movies, as well as had a video call with Lauren and our grand children. It can't get better. Up Friday, we walked to town for lunch and toured the town a bit. A recent fire destroyed an entire  block of Old Town.  They have cleaned up the area but have not rebuilt yet.  Carey is trying to get me to walk more. She succeeded today. Back on board we enjoyed the sunshine and 60 degree weather as Carey did laundry and I completed a few boat repairs/chores. It was good to see the clouds and rain finally end. We'll finally say goodbye to Georgetown in the morning and continue our trip south.

Clean up after old town fire
Beautiful Homes in George Town, SC
Sidewalks in Old Town

27 Dec 2014 -- Georgetown, SC to Stono River, SC

It was time to leave Georgetown, so we got underway at 9 AM after 5 relaxing days and headed for the Charleston area. The sun was out and the temperatures were in the high 60s. What a beautiful day on the water. We had high tides for the shallow areas so smiled all day. We traveled 70 easy miles at 10 mph and finally landed at St. John's Marina in the Stono River, which is just south of Charleston, SC. We really don't like Charleston that much so glad to be here. Some of the views along the way are shown below. Underway tomorrow for Beaufort, SC tomorrow. Carey is fixing meat loaf, pasta and a salad. My favorite.

The Swamp Grass of SC
Maddy resting
Views along the waterway
Beautiful waterway home
We're looking for a new boat?
Love those smiling faces

28 Dec 2014 -- Stono River, SC to Lady's Island Marina Beauford, SC.

Left Stono River at 9 AM and headed south. What a beautiful day. It was warm!!! We loved it. We traveled 60 miles through some pretty waterways and finally ended up at Beaufort, SC and moored at Lady's Island Marina. We got a courtesy car to go the supermarket and walked only one block to a great restaurant where I had Frogmoor Stew and Carey had the seafood platter. We are enjoying life, and now on board watching the Steelers play some football. It is tough to make it a better day. And to announce the best part of the day we had to start the air conditioner to get us comfortable. We love it.

An Osprey Nest
A Full Marina
Just a Pleasant Place

29 Dec 2014 -- Lady's Island Marina Beauford, SC to Thunderbolt Marina, Savannah, GA

No picutures today. It was rainy and dreary, but a pleasant enough travel day with temperatures in the mid 60s. We moved about 50 miles and moored at Thunderbolt Marina just after crossing the Savannah River that takes you to the heart of Old Town Savannah; Thunderbolt is on the outskirts of Savannah. We are in Georgia with its 8 foot tides -- so much fun. We had planned to anchor out and use the dinghy but there is a cold front coming through with heavy rain expected. I just did not want to be working the dinghy for the first time in 2 months on a rainy day. We have another anchorage possibility tomorrow, at Duplin River. We'll see how the weather shakes out. Using Active Captain we located a marina in South Carolina that was selling Diesel for $2.92 -- we stopped and filled up about noon, as we passed the place. This was $.70 less than the price at the marina we stopped at for the night. Worth paying attention to prices. Thanks Active Captain.

30 Dec 2014 -- Thunderbolt Marina, GA kto Sunbury Crab Company and Marina, GA

We could not make Jekyll Island because the tides did not give us the water we needed at the right time in some shallow spots, specifically Hell's Gate. We had to wait until 10 AM to get started to have sufficient water in the shallow spots and decided to stop at Sunbury Crab Company and Marina, recommended to us by George and Polly. Great Place. It is run by Barny and Elaine. Elaine met us as her husband was away. She opened the bar of the restaurant for us (normally closed in the winter on Tuesday) and the three of us had a few drinks and enjoyed swapping stories. She had a house full of family members but invited us to dinner anyway. We declined but were very appreciative of the invite. The facility is a bit dated but appears to be one we'd enjoy. Elaine is a great person. We will be back.

Aproach to Isle of Hope
Clouds and rain
Restaurant at Sunbury Crab Company
View from Restaurant at Sunbury
Apolonia from Restaurant
Revisiting Maddy Relaxing

31 Dec 2014 -- Sunbury Crab Company and Marina, GA to Jekyll Harbor Marina, GA

We got underway at 9:30 AM to avoid low water at a particular bad shoaling spot and traveled an easy 70 statue miles to Jekyll Islarnd Harbor Marina. It was cloudy and dreary but no rain. Temperatures were in the mid 50s and travel was easy. We enjoyed the local restaurant after arrival and found great food and music as the locals prepared for the new year. We both had a Seared Tuna Dinner. We enjoyed dinner and the locals getting ready for the New Year. We headed back to the boat where Carey prepared some coffee and Baileys to bring in the new year. Thanks Ann and Jack as we are drinking the Baileys you gave us. Earlier, moving to Jekyll Island, we passed under the Lanier Birdge, also known as the Shannon Ritter Memorian Bridge ... more on that when you buy me a drink.

Hope this never happens
Maddy keeping warm
Boats moving thru a shallow area
Another Vista Motor Yacht
Shannon Ritter Memorial Bridge
A couple enjoying dinner