2019-05-31 Chesapeake Bay, Solomons, Wye River & Magnolia Heading For The Barn In Galesville, MD

Passing near by Thimble Shoal Lighthouse near Hampton, VA (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thimble_Shoal_Light )

Typical spring weather on the Chesapeake…afternoon thunderstorm threat. Magnolia made the passage from Hampton to Reedsville, VA and then following day onto Solomons Island. MD.

Solomons Island is on the Patuxent River just north of the Potomac River. Test question: What historic role does the Patuxent River play in US history? (Answer at end of post)

We stopped in Solomons to attend some medical appointments in DC. The upside of the schedule was visiting with relatives. We had a terrific evening with cousin George and GenIV MaryRose along with cousins Dan & Lori.

Annette also had the time to visit with the ladies as well. Meg, Carol, Lori and Annette. We are so blessed to have friends that have stayed with us despite the crazy life style.

We were also able to connect with Chris and Melody. Though our crusing paths have not crossed outside of Solomons and each of our travels have been distant….it is still nice to connect once again.

In addition they were speaking at the Pentagon Sailing Club so it was great to share in that event as well!

Though somehow the picture escaped us…we were blessed to share time with Sail-Runaway. Matt & Marty took us in off the street. We always have a great time!

Annette kept busy in the sewing room. This is the fabric that Annette made during our visit to Andros Bahamas.

There were sail bags to produce as well. These are the much sought after ‘Bowline Bag!”

Annette is the only person I know who can make a bowl with a sewing machine. Granted it is interlaced with Andros Fabrics.

Departing Solomon Island we traveled north to Deale MD to top up the fuel tanks before heading for New England later next month. After taking on 175 gallons we headed east to the Wye River.

The Wye River is is located on Marylands Eastern Shore and rather remote. A lovely place to get away from it all. Well almost all. Our second day this sail boat came in and anchored near us rather than where one might expect a 1/4 mile to the east!!! Oh well, he must have been lonely.

The one bad thing about the Chesapeake Bay is the how little access there is since so much of the land is privately owned. Here in the Wye there are a couple place to go ashore for a walk,

A lovely loop around the park with plenty of green.

The big reason were in the Wye was to participate in the Pentagon Sailing Club Memorial Day Raft-up . We actually do not raft -up but anchor nearby and dinghy to the raft.

It was a great turn out as you can see….

Our friends on SV Bootlegger were obviously awake long before we were….thank you Sean & Laurie

Sean & Laurie

Mike & Tina

Anthony & Annette

We had a wonderful weekend and it was great to catch up with friends. It was time to head into Galesville for a few chores, visit friends and a few appointments. Life is pretty darn good and grateful to be living it.

2019-05-29 Ocracoke, Manteo, Norfolk & Hampton

We have never taken the coastal route…we just got stuck doing the Belhaven / Alligator River thing. In this year of mixing it up…it was time for a change. After departing Oriental, NC the next stop was Ocracoke Island. The channel coming into the island can get a bit narrow to share with one of the many ferries coming and going but that was easily worked out on the VHF.

One of the Ferries….not small

First stop, Ice Cream…check

The real treat of the visit was meeting up with fellow 2013 Freshmen Class Members JR and Drena. They have a house in Ocracoke and it was perfect timing to see them here.

Since their cruising days they have added a new crew-person who is the most adorable little lady.

Though she is a sailor at heart, she found the characteristics of a trawler very interesting….particularly the perfect height look-outs scattered about the decks.

A terrific couple of days and so happy to spend time with the crew of SV Journey again.

Traveling along the outer banks was really cool. Every place we go has a slightly different feel and this area is no different.

The trip up to Manteo on Roanoke Island is a long one for a single day but the limited anchorages along the way tells your right up front, get it done!

Manteo has a free city dock y9ou can tie up to for a couple days with a lovely view of the small museum.

Not much better nautical view to be found for sure

and would you look at that…now for a little history humor….my favorite T-Shirt in this town was “Never ask a resident for directions, they lost an entire settlement”

Continuing north we whisked by the eastern edge of the Albemarle Sound and found a lovely little anchorage at the top of Currituck Sound. We also lucked out in that the inside route was experiencing a huge hatch of midges which were just covering the boats. Thankfully our route saved us from that mess!

50 miles from Portsmouth VA…note miles on the ICW are measured in Statute Miles as oppose to Nautical Miles.

The final leg of the ICW

Definitely getting into goose country….messy and noisy

and the turtles are taking a little sun too.

as well as traffic gets heavier the closer to Norfolk we get.

We were arriving the Norfolk area we found that two other Krogens, our friends on Confetti and Privateer were near by. A plan to meet at the Norfolk Yacht Club was worked out.

Magnolia was the first to arrive and Privateer was not far behind.

Confetti taking a loop…

Confetti on final approach with Anthony catching lines

The ladies celebrating with a night cap. Some how I did not get a groupl picture with all six of us….hmm

Heading onto Hampton, Confetti would be a long in a day or two

Acadia, Confetti and Magnolia celebrating in Hampton

A Magnolia Blossom making her entrance

and two days later, a full flower. In between we got bunches of shores caught up on Magnolia.

And of course Niece and Nephew-In-Law came for visit and our youngest crew-member is being recruited,

I definitely have my hands full….out of my area of expertise…

The legendary Barking Dog is still making terrific sandwiches and

and serving name appropriate cans of wine!

One more dinner with Acadia and it was time to head for the Chesapeake!

2019-05-19 Camp Lejeune, Swansboro, Oriental

Magnolia departed Southport and transited the Cape Fear River under a fare current arriving Mile Hamock Bay at Camp Lejeune later in the afternoon.

More dredges operating in the ICW than we have seen before.

We often are treated to an “air-show” in this anchorage. This time I am pretty sure this is a CH-53E Super Stallion.

Please dont drop that on Magnolia
Ath dock were a Army bridge building unit or a secret invasion of a Marine Corp Base by the Army!

Next was a stop Swansboro NC where Annettes cousin live. Always great to catch up.

Magnolia departed Swansboro and nice passage, across Bogue Sound, up Adams Creek, across the Neuse River to Oriental.

Arriving Oriental we were able to schedule our visit in the middle of a few rainy days. That did not slow us down from getting a couple of lifelines sized and mounted as well as some visiting.

We were able to bring some friends together all from the same town who did not know each other. Across from Annette is out friend Pat who was a distant work colleague and thankfully not such a distant mariner friend. Next the new owners of Magnolia-S. Yes we are at dinner with the new owners of our last vessel. Most would suggest very brave…but they really love her. A proud testament to how well we tried to take care of her if I ever knew one. Last but not least is Roger and Leslie from the Pentagon Sailing Club. Roger was one of our early sailing instructors! It was great to spend time together and maybe help make some new friendships.

Well time to head for Ocracoke!

2019-05-07 Beaufort, Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach SC, Southport NC

Departing Bluffton we stopped at Beaufort, SC. The new manager at Ladys Island Marina has been terrific the last couple of visits so we try and give them business as schedule permits. Also of note the “Fill’n Station Bar” are back to doing their Wednesday and Friday Specials. Moving on from Beaufort we anchored one night before arriving in Charleston.

Construction continues in the ever expanding Charleston downtown.!

Of course the week we can visit Charleston is the same week of the yearly sail boat races. Can you say obstacle course to avoid following a race! We did make an overnight stop in Mt Pleasant to visit our friend Vicki. A visit was over due and great to catch up….stupid me no pictures.

Historic Fort Sumter

Continue on we made a two day trip to Georgetown SC. It has been a number of years since we have been here and coincidentally another Kadey-Krogen followed us into port….we did not know them.

That Admiral Dahlgren shows up again! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Dahlgren

With a view like this out the portside window sure helped the place grow on us.

MV Acadia with Tim & Diane aboard arrived the day after we did. We had not seen them since the winter in Palm Beach. It was a great visit.

They were celebrating their anniversary on a cool and rainy day so we invited them to come to dinner where for their anniversary dinner they had homemade chicken soup and engine room bread….not that’s living!

As I said, definitely a wet day in Georgetown!

Next stop was an overnight stop in the Waccamaw River just south of Myrtle Beach. One of the prettiest sections of the ICW to be found.

Thank you Diane for this one!!!

Our friends Joe and Christine who live in Southport could be around for our visit to Southport so they drove down to Myrtle Beach shared Easter Dinner with us. A real treat and really appreciate their effort!

Arriving in Southport we were greeted with a lovely weather though a bit on the windy side. None the less, enjoyed and afternoon stroll around town and maybe an ice cream.

Early evening we participate in retired USN Meteorologist Hank Pomeranz discussion on conditions and upcoming weather along the ICW.

There might have been some post seminar fun and high-jinx with Hank & Lisa aboard Magnolia. Always great time catching up.

2019-05-05 Solar Panel Install

I have been getting some information requests about our solar system so I decided provide an update about our current system. I have been a long time proponent of solar energy on boats. The biggest reason is I hate noise and running the generator makes noise. We try and do that as little as possible. On SV Magnolia, a 1990 Nelson Merrick Morgan we ran the generator for 1 hour a day. We needed the the generator to make hot water and to make make fresh water using our water maker. In addition we did the initial “bulk charge” on our battery bank.

I really cut my teeth on the installation aboard Sailboat Magnolia. I learned a lot and really in the end very happy with the outcome. A review of that installation is documented here:

On MV Magnolia, a 1997 Kadey-Krogen 42, I basically recreated the installation as I did not the sailboat. The solar panels selected were different but the overall design is very similar. One thing I wanted was to minimize the visibility of the panels. That was partially the reason for the installation of the weather cloths along the fly deck rails. As you can see from the picture you can hardly see the installed Pilothouse Solar Panels.

The second set of panels are located on fly-bridge level are mostly hidden as well.

The panels I selected were “200 +25% Watt 12 Volt Battery Charger Solar Panel Off Grid RV Boat ” which were purchased from via Ebay at:



With a lot of time spent with a tape measure I was able to determine that we could comfortable accomodate 5 panels for a total of 1000 watts. Luckily the same panel comes in two physical shapes which worked out PERFECTLY. The initial installation was made on the cabin top of the Pilothouse. Note one of the panels needed to be be offset to maximize exposure. As can be seen above the second set of panels is located on the rail of the of the flybridge deck,

The pilothouse cabin top is canted slightly aft so I wanted the aft edge of the panels to be slightly higher in than the front edge To achieve this I was utilized two different mounts. On the front edge of the panels I used:

Solar Panel Mounting Z Bracket Mount Supporting for RV, Roof, Boat


On the aft edge I used a slightly taller Bracket: ” NEW TEMCo Solar Panel Mounting Z Bracket Stainless Steel Kit Mount Set Roof RV “


To secure the brackets to the cabin top I used 3M Scotch 5952 VHB Tape available at most hardware stores. This stuff is terrific and no hole drilling required!

All of the panels are wired in parallel with the power being delivered to a OutBack Power FM60-150VDC FLEXMax 60 Charge Controller . The panels from are Ebay and not top of the line name brand. The Outback Controller though is the very top of the line controller.


The Outback in mounted in the engine room next to the rest of the 12 Volt DC distribution network. Note the output of the controller is fully fused.

Bottom line is we have been extremely happy with the current solar set-up.

2019-04-28 Brunswick, GA — Bluffton, SC

This winter has been all about “different” places! Two of those are Brunswick and Bluffton as well. Brunswick struck us as town that has struggled and it SLOWLY finding its footing.

I have not seen a store front like this since way way back! Something familiar here…

Our visit coincided with MV Arion ( Al & Arleen) . It was great to catch up. Their boat hull number and Magnolia are very close, making them very close relatives. One of the fun things was a visit to Richland Distillery (
https://www.richlandrum.com/ )

Similar to other southern towns…Brunswick comes with it share of park squares.

This is one I definitely did not know

Our next stop was Bluffton, SC, again a new port of call for Magnolia. The trip to Bluffton is a 8 mile trip up the May River and as we found well worth it. We have a number of friends that live here so look forward to more visits.

The anchorage at Bluffton is very nice with the town on one shore and a lovely marsh land to the other shore. Granted upon our arrival we were greeted with this “little” thunderstorm.

Silly me did not take more pictures of town. But a lovely town for sure!

In a surprise, our friend Debra from SV Kelly-Nicole was back in the US from Grenada. It was great to catch up. We also had the opportunity have dinner with Winnie & Jerry from the Pentagon Sailing Club. Silly me yapping and no pictures! Arghh

As we departed the May River we passed Hilton Head island and gave SV Exuberant a hady wave!

Next stop Beaufort, SC!!!

2019-04-24 — Jacksonville Northbound

After catching our breath in Jacksonville, technically Mayport we headed up the ICW to Cumberland Island GA. One of our top stops along the ICW.

Lots of work being done on Navy Ships along the St Johns River
First time I have had a good view of a Littoral Combat Ship. Actually has nice lines.

Many people speak poorly of the ICW even referring to it as a mud-puddle. We enjoy the relaxed pace and have the patience to successfully transit without a lot of stress. We just pull over and drop the anchor. An example is the notoriously bad shoaling near Fernandina Beach. We knew would have high tide the next morning so we just pulled over, fired the BBQ and spent a lovely evening. The next morning we transited the area with no fuss or musss. The most dangerous thing on a boat???? A schedule….

We have for years gotten in the habit of anchoring near the south end of Cumberland Island also known as “SeaCamp.” Keeping with this years mantra of trying new things we went up to the north end of the island to an area known as Plumb Orchard.

As we dropped the hook the welcoming committee came out to greet us. I was extra careful to stay on the boat while I was dropping the anchor.

We had a lovely visit and met up with a volunteer docent who came all the way from Washington State to volunteer there.

Magnolia keeping watch anchored off the Plum Orchard Estate. If you wish to learn more about the estate visit:

Next stop, Brunswick GA

2019-04-19 – Heading Home – Bahamas Adventure

Returning from the Bahamas is always bittersweet but the passage planning usually forces us to ignore the sting of departing. A trip across the gulf stream is not something we take lightly no matter what the forecast is. We are little greedy as well. See we dont just want to cross it….we want to ride it! There is always a little trepidation.

The below image show the temperature difference of the surrounding water. The section we want to ride is that deepest darkest red. I am always in awe of the shear amount of energy contained in that flowing water. We are able to track the temperature of the water we are in and we can clearly see a 4 or 5 degree temperature increase as we enter the strongest part of th stream. In addition the stream flows at 3-4 knots so every hour you are in we pick that as extra. When you consider we only travel at about 6 knots that is nearly a 40% increase in our “speed over ground.” That is HUGE. The ride though does not come free. That amount of energy is definitely going to churn the water we are traveling in ALOT! Not to mention all that warm water turns into warm humid air which can turn into a really fierce thunderstorm in short order! When we do these kind of passages we really do need to have our head in the game.

First though we have to get out of the Bahamas. Part of our ritual is to ALWAYS spend the night before in a quiet anchorage where we can have extra time to take a good look over Magnolia and make sure she and we are ready to go. It also gives us the opportunity to enjoy a Bahamas farewell sunset.

We awoke about 4am and headed out across the banks. The trip across the banks is about 50 miles of 15 foot deep crystal clear water with a sandy bottom. On a moonlit night you can easily see the bottom passing underneath Magnolia.

55 Mile Crossing of the Banks

We departed the banks in the early afternoon and by sunset had entered the gulf stream proper.

Note the Speed-Over-Ground (SOG) is indicating over 10 knots! “Please keep your arms and legs inside the vessel at all times. Remain in your seats and keep your seat-belt safely secured…thank you” Though it was a lovely sunset you can see curtains of rain falling on the edges. Just a little warning from mother nature.

An no, we are not alone. Here is a cruise ship probably heading for Nassau from Florida. Range about 8 or 9 miles.

And here he is crossing our bow at about 3 miles after kindly adjusting his course to further avoid us.

Reality always sets in when you depart the gulfstream and your vessels speed significantly decreases. In addition there is always an hour of extra turbulence when departing the stream. There is a huge amount of friction between the two masses water which stirs things up.

As were approaching MOA (the buoy marking the beginning of the channel) Jacksonville I throttled up for some reason…and…nothing happened…no increase in RPMs. No decrease either but unnerving nonetheless. The obvious problem would be a fuel filter clogged. We have three and easy to check two, but the third is a bit more involved and not something I wanted to be doing at the end of a 40 hour passage. With the exception of not being able to go faster we seemed fine. I called our TowBoat service, made them aware of the situation and they sent a boat out to meet us JUST in case.

There was the other complication as we were coming into Jacksonville. Though the picture is rather dramatic to look at…we were pretty confident none of the bad stuff would get us before arriving at the dock…which was indeed the case. You can see the towboat ahead of us. My friend Al saw the picture and immediately wanted to know why a dock line was out when were supposed to be anchoring (had not at this point shared the complications) but we have some very wise mariner friends!!!

We had called Morning Star Marina Fuel dock just inside the inlet at Mayport and they could have not been nicer. They got us settled knowing we had just had a long passage and were beat.

We quickly got the “third” fuel filter changed and ready to go. The dock this close to the main St Johns River shipping channel did make for some interesting moments!

It was nice to be “home.’ Mentally it is just a lot easier to be here than in the Bahamas. We have all the support systems we need here. While we are in the Bahamas we just do not have access to emergency medical or the parts supplies. The Admiral enjoys her time in the Bahamas and I, well I don’t mind a dock along the St Johns river…next, heading up the coast.

2019-04-12 — Abacos

Departing Eleuthera we woke up very early (03:00) in the morning so we went a ahead and got underway. Crossing the Northeast Providence Channel is no small thing. We consider it the “biggest” water we operate on. We have crossed the 50 miles of open ocean in swells so large the entire mast of companion boats disappeared. It is really something to experience. There is nothing to break the waves between here and the coast of Portugal. Note also the depth here can get to 15,000 feet…yes 15. No matter how small the waves are, when water depth goes from that deep to sea level, rest assured “stuff” is going to happen.

Before heading for the open ocean though there was the little matter of extracting ourselves from out anchorage off Royal Island transiting the cut between Egg and Little Egg Island. We had a little moon and been through here in the daylight before so extra attention brought us out in no drama.

The passage to the Abacos was one our best through here and our early departure meant we were not racing the sun to the other side. The passage was actually so good we made the decision to enter the Abacos via a different inlet than normal just to widen our experience a bit. Rather than enter the traditional Little Harbor Inlet at Lynyard Cay we continued up to North Bar and entered there. It was a non event which is just the way we like new experiences. Some day in a BAD situation we may need an alternative inlet and so now we have that in out back pocket.

We actually left Eleuthera sooner than we had wanted because of some approaching weather so after passing by Hope Town we continued on to Marsh Harbor to top up provisions before finding a quiet anchorage to ride out the next days storm.

We found the perfect little spot about 5 miles to the north-east off Man-O-War Cay. We expected to have good protection from the strongest winds from the NE and most important no other boat anchored near by!

We even arrived Man-O-War with time to head to shore and have some lunch, a little walk and of source and ice cream cone. While we were in town we saw a Moorings Charter Boat circling and looking for a mooring ball. (Mooring is a charter boat company where people rent the boat for a weeks vacation — sometime a little scary because of inexperience yet where most of us started) . As we headed back to Magnolia in Blossom (dinghy) we saw they we outside circling trying to figure out where to anchor. A bit later they found their way over towards us…we waved them over, got them anchored so where in the forcast biggest storm of the year we were anchored and ready to ride it out. As anticipated we were well out of any waves, lite swell wrapping in from the north during tide changes and a maximum of 35 knots though 50 was reported in Marsh Harbor…well boats drug at anchor and why we got out of there.

We were able to score a mooring ball in Hope Town (thank you Jay & Will). Annette quickly connected with her “boat ladies” and they set off on a walk around the island and catching up.

Meanwhile back aboard i made some “engine room dough” for grill pizza. We were happy to host the gang from Exuberant, Pegasus, Ilar, Renaissance Woman, aboard Magnolia . It was a fun evening and always good to spend time together.

A “neighbor” caught some lovely pictures of Magnolia on the ball in Hope Town Harbor.

Historic Hope Town Lighthouse is the singular iconic image of Elbow Cay

We met a lovely couple our first season here. J&C were looking to buy a house on the island. One thing lead to another and 2 years ago I was able to help for a few hours lifting and setting some heavy beams. They now have the beautiful cottage with an amazing view. Good people, who worked extremely hard to attain their goals. People who really inspire….so happy for them

Magnolia is the closest boat in the picture.

…and there was ice cream

and walks on the beach

Rod from Pegasus had a BIG birthday while in Hope Town and Mary organized a surprise party. It was a fun evening a great time to catch up.

It was time for Magnolia to get moving and we had one more challenging area before taking on the Gulf Stream. The cut around Whale Cay is very exposed to the ocean and can be very shall we say “rambunctious.” We picked a good day and had no problem.

We always get through the Whale and start looking for the next window to cross the gulf stream. This trip we did make time for a stop at Manjack which is known for the shear numbers of Sea Turtles and HUGE Sea Rays

One thing people do not appreciate about the Bahamas is the variety of “climates” they have…in the south Exumas the country is arid and desert like. Here in the north Abacos there trees and a totally different feel.

There in the middle of the harbour is our trusty steed….and home. Magnolia.

From here we will stop out to Great Sale Cay and depart for the United States from there.

2019-03-27 – Georgetown, Cat & Eleuthera Islands

After having a wonderful trip down the Exuma chain we arrived Great Exuma, aka Georgetown, aka “Adult Daycare.”

Great Exuma – Georgetown — Track to Cat

We caught up with Exuberant and enjoyed hanging out with Burt & Prue

After a couple days in “daycare” and topping up on provisions we were off to Cat Island, about 50 miles to the north east.

First stop is one of our favorites in the Bahamas, Fernandez Bay (
https://www.fernandezbayvillage.com ). The anchorage is protected except from the west, there is no west protection on Cat Island! We always meet interesting people and have a great meal…whats not to love?

Prue reminded us it was Fish Fry night in New Bight and also it was Junior Junkanoo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkanoo ) night. It was also brought to our attention there were 3 Hylas sailing yachts in the anchorage and only one Krogen….which is completely backwards from normal

In the next couple of days we were expecting a lengthy blow, no significant west winds forecast but plenty of east. We also wanted to get away from the crowds so we would have plenty of anchor room. Bennetts Harbor was the perfect fit. A beautiful beach and easy access to a protected dock. What was not to love and it worked out perfect.

We even made it to the famous Yardies (
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g147427-d2092220-Reviews-Yardie_s_Restaurant_Bar_and_Conch_Stand-Cat_Island_Out_Islands_Bahamas.html )

After nearly a weeks slow down in it was off to Eleuthera Island. The trip from Bennetts Harbor Cat Island to Rock Sound CAN be done in one LONG day but why do that? We are suppose to be slowing down. We stopped Little San Salvador Island…known as Half Moon Cay to the Cruise Ship Community.

This particular anchorage is very complicated for me….not to anchor…no not at all super easy, stay out of the way of the ships and get in as close as you can to avoid the North Atlantic swell that is wrapping around the island. First, what they do here is amazing….these ships arrive about dawn…between the two of them what, maybe 10,000 people? They take them all to shore, give them a beach fantasy day to include beach horse back riding and then pile them all back aboard and be underway by supper. An amazing dance in my mind…then I am so very grateful. We get to explore this beautiful island environment for months on end…most of these passenger will be back in hectic world in the next couple days. What we do is not for everyone….but it is not wasted on us…I assure you.

The next morning we departed at first light to be sure we were out of the way of the next arriving ship and sure enough, Carnival Cruise lines was on the horizon….

After that we were off to round the Cape of Eleuthera and up to Rock Sound.

The Cape Of Eleuthera I think has the most beautiful water we have seen.

We arrived in Rock Sound just ahead of the next cold front which was expected to be “sporty” so it was good to be in a secure harbor. Additionally our Bahamian WIFI Hotspot needed a replacement SIM card which was being flown in. We anchored up near the airport and of course the flight arrived as the front was too. I jumped in the dink and beached it a couple hundred yards from the airport, walked into the airport with its typical
Bahamian chaos and a hundred arriving tourists. The whole thing was a bit of out of body experience. I picked up my package, raced back to Magnolia and was back on-board to finish my coffee to watch the rain and a rainbow. It made us chuckle about our life a little asking, “I wonder how others day started out?”

Our next and last stop in Eleuthera was Governors Harbor. We had never made time to stop and enjoy and this was our opportunity. What a wonderful stop. We just wish it could have been a couple weeks later so we could have enjoyed a day or two with Stan and Suzie from the The Pearl (
https://sscruisingadventure.blogspot.com ). Schedules seldom align but we keep trying!

Next stop, the Abacos.