Winter 2014-15 Bahamas Trip 10 Dec 14 to ___



Florida and Bahamas Trip Winter 2016-2017 - 3-30 November 2016

3 November 2016

We were up before sunrise to ensure a first light departure for Reedville, VA. The "we" included Bob and Gail Mayer on Gailwinds with WYA friends and crew Mike and Vicky Enos, and Carey and I on Apolonia. The remaining two for our trip down the waterway, Diane and Peggy, will join us in Reedville. Underway around 7:30 AM we traveled an easy 8.5 knots to White Point Marina where we stopped to top off with fuel. Underway again we headed out into the Bay where the water was as flat as the Potomac. We pulled into Reedville, VA about 3:30 PM after a 52 NM total trip from Colonial Beach. We relaxed then joined Bob's sister and husband, Bill and Dory, for dinner at Tommy's Restaurant in Reedville. Nice first day of the trip.

Getting ready in the dark
Gailwinds at sunrise ready to go
Water like glass on River and Bay
Chart plotter keeping us straight
Carey does love driving
Apolonia tied up at Reedville
Tied up next to Crazy Crab
Gailwinds tied up at Reedville
Planning the evening
Bob and Mike chilling with a beer
Beautiful homes across the creek
The Ladies after dinner

4 November 2016

We were up and ready but the Chesapeake Bay was seeing 25 knots of wind and 4 foot seas. Not for us. We stayed at Reedville. A nice easy relaxing day. Bill Bowman and Charlie came down to finish up some work on Gailwinds. Diane and Peggy were driven down by Diane Dix Massa and they are now stowed aboard and part of the crew of Apolonia. Gail prepared Chili at lunch for the crowd and we planned our departure tomorrow -- hopefully we'll have a quiet trip down the Bay tomorrow -- but the forecast is not 100% positive. Wish us well. Bob's sister came back to visit and all of us except Mike and Vicky went out for dinner at the Crazy Crab, a very nice restaurant right where we are moored.

Bob finishing lunch
Phil and Carey finishing lunch
Hard to see but white
caps on Cockrell Creek
Beautiful 55 foot sailboat
Bob with sister Dory
and husband Bill
The group, less Mike and
Vicky, out for dinner

5 November 2016

We were worried about the weather but NOAA said we'd be ok with 2 to 3 foot seas and less than 15 knots of wind. Well, we got underway at 8:30 AM and the first hour was great, then it got bad! Winds came up and seas were at a minimum 3 feet. We continued to move down the Bay -- a bit rough -- and finally made it to Tidewater Yacht Marina about 3:30 pm. Carey recently connected with a college mate, Karen. Karen and her kids, Megin and Jesse, with Cas (Megan's partner) came for a visit at Tidewater Yacht Marina and we went to dinner at a German restaurant, The Bier Garden. Had a great time. Bob, Gail, Mike and Vicky ate aboard. We're off tomorrow for our trip through Great Bridge Lock and to Coin Jock Marina.

Tug pulling floating partitions
Coming into Norfolk
Carey, Peggy and Diane
with the dogs
Big Cruise Ship turning around
Carey's friends at dinner
Picture from past trips.
We're going again

6 November 2016

Up to great weather we left Tidewater Yacht Marina at 8:30 AM and headed down the Virginia cut to Coinjock, a 50 statue mile trip. The mileage on the ICW is recorded in statue miles vs Nautical miles. Easy run through Norfolk except we were caught by a railroad bridge down as a train had to pass a bridge on the waterway. We arrived at the Great Bridge Lock by 1030 AM and passed through with 11 other boats, a big crowd. This was mile 12 and we then traveled 38 more miles to Coinjock, a very scenic trip. We arrived at 3:00PM and had to raft up to Gailwinds as the 1,000 feet of bulkhead available at Coinjock marina was overbooked. 4 groups of boats were rafted together to put all the traveling boats at the Marina. The eight of us, 4 on each boat, enjoyed great food at the Coinjock restaurant.

Norfolk and Portsmouth
Tug pushing barge in waterway
Railroad bridge down
where we got stopped
Mike holding bow line on
Gailwinds at Great Bridge Lock
Boats coming into Great
Bridge Lock
Coinjock and how they
push boats together
One set of rafted
vessels ahead of us
Apolonia and Gailwinds
The gang at dinner

7 November 2016

Up this morning to 20 knots of wind. I called the Alligator River Bridge just south of Albemarle Sound, and 34 statue miles from Coinjock, and the Bridge Tender said the wind was 27 knots and the seas were 3 feet. We are pleasure boaters so we stayed put today. Relaxing, with Bob and Mike performing some chores on Gailwinds, the ladies relaxed and prepared great meals for us --- including a fantastic dinner that was hosted by Bob and Gail on Gailwinds. I relaxed and read during the afternoon. Tomorrow we're off for Dowry Creek.  During the dinner Mike Enos assumed the role of MC and got a story or two from several of us --- it was a fun fun evening.

Dinner getting started
A toast to the crew
Gail and Vicky

8 November 2016

Underway at 07:30 AM from Coinjock we started our 80 statue miles trip to Dowry Creek. We passed through Albermerle Sound, with 2-3 foot seas and entered the Alligator River at 10 AM and the waters calmed. The rest of the trip was an easy transit. We are now safe at Dowry Creek. The owner of Dowry Creek, Mary, held a happy hour at the Marina Lounge for boaters. We had a good time and met some sailors traveling south. We're now back aboard our respective boats, Apolonia and Gailwinds, watching the election results and having a quiet dinner. Tomorrow we're off to Beaufort, NC.

Following sailboats out of
Approaching Alligator
River Bridge
Cary and Maddy relaxing

Start of the Alligator-Pungo
River Canal -- 20 miles
Tied up at Dowry Creek

At the evening happy hour

More pictures of
the Happy Hour
And more

And we are on the water







9 November 2016

Left Dowry Creek this morning for a very pleasant trip to Beaufort, NC. Traveled the 72 miles at 10 mph and enjoyed the entire trip. Once moored at the Beaufort Docks we relaxed, cleaned ourselves and the boats then went for dinner to Clawson's, a nice restaurant in town directly across from where the boats were moored. The Baby Backed Ribs were fantastic!

Gailwinds waiting for the
bridge opening to Beaufort
Still Waiting

The Bridge Opens

Bob and Mike
The gang at Clawsons

10 November 2016

Beaufort was nice but got to move on. We have decided we are going to stay two days at George Town SC. so we are moving on to Wrightsville Beach, NC today, a 78 statue mile trip. Started out with 20+ knots of wind but we were in a very protected area so all was well. We moved thru one problem area in the water without issue then Phil (me!) missed a bridge opening in the travel planning which made us arrive at Wrightsville at 5 PM in stead of our planned 4 pm. Embarrassing for me but not a major issue. Apolonia also got stopped by the USCG for an official underway inspection. We passed and were treated very well by the USCG personnel who boarded and inspected us. We tied up at Bridge Tender Marina at 5 pm and each boat ate aboard their own boat after settling down and visiting for a bit. Nice day. Tomorrow we're off to South Port, a short 27 miles away to visit with Vicky's sister and family.

Result of Matthew that is not cleaned up
Bridge at Onslow Beach
Gailwinds Underway

11 November 2016

Easy day. We got underway at 8 AM and traveled 27 miles to Southport NC. It only took 2 hours as the Cape Fear River that we traveled had a 4 knot current in our direction. If I had put Apolonia at max RPM the GPS would have shown 26 mph. We tied up at 10:30 AM. The Gailwinds crew did laundry and then welcomed Vicky's sister Sandy and husband Marlow for a visit. They went to dinner in Southport at the restaurant "Fishy Fishy." Carey and I with Diane and Peggy had a late lunch at Provisions Restaurant. Walking around the town later we met "Jersey" on his Harley Davidson. A treat! Later, the majority of us went to a talk on the ICW and weather information sponsored by the marina. It was very informative.

Wrightsville Bridge off
Gailwinds quarter
Shore line at Wrightsville Beach

Underway thru Snows Cut

Bridge at Snow's Cut
Work in Cape Fear River
Nice Hinckley at Southport
Meal at Provisions Restaurant

Jersey and his Harley
we met in Southport
Signage for Police Dept

Nice house

Another nice house

Bob, Carey and Mike
after ICW lecture

12 November 2016

Almost 100 miles today ... lots happening ... Underway at 7 AM ... transited two worst shoal areas in AM safely although there was one boat in each shoal hard aground ... traveled pretty spots in ICW yet saw some of the results of Hurricane Matthew ... found Diesel for $2.03 per gallon and filled up the tanks ... moored by 5 PM in George Town meeting Mike and Vicky's friends Gordon and Donna and our friends and WYA members Gary and Nancy Vineyard. All twelve of us went out to River Room for a fantastic meal. Later it was drinks and tall sories at the boats. Here are a few pictures of our day.

Carey driving

Someone loves purple

Barefoot Landing on ICW
More of Barefoot Landing
Lots of nice homes on waterway
They'll rename this boat Matthew
Getting close to the
Socastee Swing Bridge
Buying fuel at Bucksport
NC for $2.03 per gallon
Bob's left hand shows Matthew
high water mark

Another nice house

Doing 18 mph on the
Wacamaw River, close
to George Town
Part of the group at dinner
The other part of group at next table

13 November 2016

We relaxed today, our second in George Town, SC. Most of us slept in and once up relaxed and did a few chores. Gary and Nancy invited the 8 of us to their place for football and food. Nancy made Clam Chowder, Gumbo, Salad and her mother's pound cake. Absolutely delicious. We really appreciate the hospitality. Gary and Nancy picked us up and delivered us back to the boats, a 20 minute one way trip. It just can't get any better! They even put up with our 3 dogs. The first picture below is of a deer swimming across the waterway. I forgot to post earlier and want to get it in so here it is. The rest of the pictures come from today.

The deer swimming
Diane and Nancy
Carey and Peggy
Vicky and Gail washing dishes

The crowd enjoying the
Vineyard's hospitality

14 November 2016

Worried about some shallow spots we left the pier at George Town at 8:30 AM. We had to say goodbye to Peggy Saylor, returning for work, and Vicky Enos, going back to prepare her business for Thanksgiving. Mike stayed with Bob and Gale and Diane remained on Apolonia. We sailed off into medium fog but we could see well enough to travel safely. We made it through the shallow areas we were worried about by noon and relaxed and traveled on, arriving early in Isle of Palm Marina, just above Charleston, SC about 2:30 PM. We had cocktails on Apolonia and discussed plans for the trip for the next week. If all goes well we'll we travel to Beaufort SC, Isle of Hope GA, Sunbury Crab Company and Marina GA, Jekyll Island Marina GA, Palm Cove Marina FL, and last in Marine Land Marina, FL on Sunday. Mike, Carey and I will leave the boat in Marine Land, rent a car and return home for Thanksgiving. Bob and Gail will move south to the Cape Canaveral area. Gailwinds and Apolonia will rejoin in December for our trip to the Bahamas. Members of each boat ate on their boat and chilled out for the evening, getting ready for our 8 AM departure tomorrow for Beaufort, SC.

Mike and Bob watched
the Patriots/Seahawks game on
Apolonia as Maddy slept
Apolonia sailing into the fog

Peggy just before leaving

Roxy relaxing on
several pillows
Down the ICW
Apolonia and Gailwinds at
Isle of Palm Marina
Mike on a
beer run
Bob tasting some
red wine
Gail taking her turn
at the peanut bowl

15 November 2016

Up early and gathered for breakfast at the Isle of Palm Market. Very enjoyable! After breakfast we were underway shortly after 8 AM and headed for Beaufort, SC. A very pleasant cruise of 80 statue miles. We arrived 8 hours later at approximately 4 PM. Friends of Gail and Bob, Jack and Toni, came for a visit. We all went out for dinner to Luther's and met new friends -- having a good time.

Part of crew at breakfast

Charleston -- we passed by

Wahoo Bridge going
into Elliot's Cut
Beautiful home
in Elliot's Cut
Entire group at dinner

Maddy Asleep

16 November 2016

With only 44 miles to travel we were in no hurry to get underway. Everyone slept in and we got underway just after 10 AM and headed for Savannah Bend Marina in Georgia. Beautiful 70 degree weather with flat seas and light winds we traveled with turns for 10 mph getting help from the current, that often moved the boats at 13 mph. We arrived at Savannah Bend at 2:30 PM. Cocktails on Apolonia preceded all of us eating on our own boats. We've agreed to move out smartly at 8 AM tomorrow for Sunbury Crab and Marina Company, a 44 mile trip.

Beautiful Trumpy at Beaufort
Look at Beaufort Marina
Beaufort Water Front walk
More of the waterfront walkway
Dedicated to Veterans
Roxie relaxing
Nice antique boat underway
Gail on back deck of Apolonia
Gang at Happy Hour
Gail and Carey
Mike getting drink for Phil

17 November 2016

Underway at 8 AM from Savannah Bend we had a fantastic and easy trip of 44 miles to Sunbury Crab Company and Marina. Water was flat. Sun was shinning. Weather was warm. What more could you want. We turned for 10 mph and usually made 13 mph with current help. We arrived at Sunbury at 2:30 and were surprised wiith Gary and Pat Ralston walking down the pier to say hi. They had been watching the web site and there travels north to Colonial Beach got them close enough they stopped by. We loved it. Later we had cocktails on the boats then went to the restaurant at the marina for a fantastic meal. Elaine, the owner, joined us for early cocktails and stopped by during dinner. This is a fantastic stop. See pictures below that detail some more of our stop here.

Underway views
Views of Isle of Palm Marina
Views on the ICW
Pat and Gary with the group

Apolonia and Gailwinds at Sunbury

Elaine, owner, taking Bob
and Mike for beer
Elaine taking Bob on golf
cart ride for beer
Mike on back deck of Apolonia
Bob sitting on back
deck Apolonia
Gail sitting on back
deck of Apolonia
Mike on back cockpit of Gailwinds

Our servers at the Restaurant
The gang

18 November 2016

Up to fog -- ugly fog! We drank coffee and had breakfast as we waited for the fog to lift. It finally cleared at 9:30 AM and we were underway and due to tide issues had to made 72 statue miles in 6 hours. We got up on plane several times finally running the last hour on plane at 18 mph to make Jekyll Creek, a very shallow place on the ICW, by 3 pm at mid tide. We made our 72 miles in 5.5 hours. We smiled and tied up at 3:30 at Jekyll Island Marina. The marina was a big disappointment as the restaurant was closed and we planned on eating there. The dock hands were surely and the cost was $2.25 per foot, among the most expensive of the ICW. Last time here for sure. But we did enjoy getting their golf carts and drove into town for drinks and cocktails before we had to return the carts at 5:30 so they could lock them up. Customer service is really lacking here.

The gang and the golf carts in town
View of the Town at Jekyll
Golf Carts

19 November 2016

Underway just after 8 AM we headed out into the Ocean to pass a shoal then on up the Cumberland River. Beautiful quiet trip. We passed a difficult area where the chart plotters show we are going over an island as we pass a nasty curve in the waterway. We ignore the chart plotter and pay attention to the markers. Made it safely. We moved through the shoal at Fernandina Beach and noted the damage of Hurricane Matthew to the marina -- it is still closed and it promises to be a long time getting it back up. The damage, while significant, really did not look like a real long time to fix. It also appeared no work is being done to fix it now. It is a city marina so maybe the bureaurocary is causing a delay. We arrived safely at Palm Cove Marina just after 2 PM. Both of us topped off with fuel and went to slips that had a strong off setting wind. Lots of fun and it worked out very well. We're now settled in and will eat aboard our respective boats this evening before heading for Marine Land tomorrow. We'll leave Apolonia at Marina Land for a week as we rental car it back to Virginia for Thanksgiving. Mike will go back with us to home in Colonial Beach. Diane will go visit her mother in southern Florida. Bob and Gail will continue south on Gailwinds to the Cape Canaveral area to visit friends.

Fernandina Beach
Marina -- closed!
Three Sisters Bridge replaced
by 65 high rise bridge
Bob and Mike helping
us fuel at Palm Cove Marina
Gail visiting on Apolonia
Carey relaxing after trip
Fuel docks after marina shut down

20 November 2016

The water was low this morning and we decided to wait until 9:30 AM to get underway to ensure we could safely leave the marina by their shallow channel into the ICW. Safety out at 9:30 AM. We made an easy trip to Marine Land Marina thru the Matanzas's inlet, which is normally a problem area. Today we had a high tide that made the transit easy! We tied up at Marine Land Marina by 2:30 pm. We'll leave Apolonia here at least a week while we return to Colonial Beach for Thanksgiving. Mike Enos is returning with us in the rental car we've set up. Diane is going to see her mother in southern Florida. We'll see if we return at the same time to continue the trip. Bob and Gail, in Gailwinds, will continue south to the Cape Canaveral area to visit friends. On this last night together Carey fixed a great Spaghetti Dinner for all of us.

Waterway view as we head south

Nice homes on waterway

More of the nice places
on the ICW
One more nice place

Bridge of Lions opening
in St Augustine for us
Absolutely beautiful waterway

Damage to docks
from Mathew
Close to shore passing
Fort Matanzas
Tied up at Marine
Land Marina
Gailwinds tied up
at Marine Land Marina
Bob and Gail on Apolonia
for evening pasta dinner
The gang aboard Apolonia
for pasta dinner

21 November 2016

We rented a car and headed to Colonial Beach for the holidays. Diane also rented one and headed for her mother's place in southern Florida. Mike Enos, who was riding with Bob and Gail joined us for the transit home to Colonial Beach. No more updates until we return to the boat in late November.

27 November 2016

We had a great time with the kids and grandkids in Annapolis, MD and we are now back on the boat at Marine Land, FL. We drove our car down over the last two days from Virginia. Last night we stayed with our dear friends Gary and Nancy Vineyard in Paula's Island, SC. Tomorrow morning we'll decide how we feel and schedule our boat trip to Ft Pierce, FL where we'll then spend time until the 28th of December. No picutres.

28 November 2016

Up this morning we decided we are retired. We had a busy last week over Thanksgiving, driving to Annapolis, MD to visit with the kids and grandkids, then driving back after getting our house ready for the winter. Bottom line ... we took a day off and stayed put in Marine Land. We like the place and we took a down day. It was refreshing for both of us. I walked Maddy aground the marina and took a few pictures and did some chores. During the walk I met a sailor taking his 23' sailboat from Portsmouth, VA to Key West, FL.  His crew mate became sick and he thought the trip would be cancelled, but today he learned the crew mate was well and returning.  He was smiling.  Carey relaxed, did a cross word puzzle and made a trip to the grocery store. All in all ... a great day.

Boats at Marine Land
Apolonia in slip --- been here 8 days
23 foot sailboat from VA en route Key West
Another Marina Picture

29 November 2016

Up for coffee around 8 AM. We visited with boaters at the Marina then started the engines and headed out for Titusville, an 83 statue mile trip. We had a stop 1/2 there should we get tired but once started the trip was easy and we carried on, pulling in to our slip at 6 PM, just after sunset. Carey fixed a great meal of pork chops, salad and lima beans. We saw some beautiful homes, more Matthew damage and other boaters out for the day. A good day.

Home on ICW
Flags a flying
And some large homes
We see few boats heading
north like this one
Cloudy, cool and
windy today
Some pier
Modest but nice ICW home

And the one next door

Nice boat thrown
ashore by Matthew
And another thrown ashore
A couple out for an evening cruise

30 November 2016

Up early we needed fuel to move south. At 8:00 we moved to the fuel dock and filled up. Underway at 8:45 we moved smartly south to Ft Pierce. It is all Bill Bowman's and Cliff, his diesel mechanic's, fault. The boat is running so well after Cliff performed the major maintenance items ... clean heat exchangers, clean after coolers, and adjust all values ... that we easily moved the throttles up to 2300 rpm and enjoyed the 17-18 mph speed. It made the 90 miles to Ft Pierce a short haul. We tied up at 4 PM. Current was strong and winds were at 20+ mph, but we safely docked at our new home for the month of December. All is well. We have made contact with Diane McKie and Bonnie Scanlin and will be seeing them soon. We are ready to relax for the month and get some outside cleaning done on the boat.

Now we're seeing some homes
Some big ones
Wind driven chop on ICW
Slips at Ft Pierce Marina
Fuel dock at Ft Pierce Marina
More pics of piers