2021-08-30 — Dads Visit

Dad was with us last spring from Charleston to Norfolk. He is very easy to have aboard and he enjoyed himself…with Maine being one of the few states he and my mom had not visited another visit was in order!!! More on that in a minute!!!

A few days before dads visit the forecast was for a strong southerly blow so we made a stop up at Blue Hill Island follow by a stop into Swan Island. Now there is not a lot on Swan Island but somehow we always stumble into something. See our 2016 visit here (http://a2baker.com/magnoliablog/?p=6488). This time we found an easy access to the only store on the island. Of course its all about the ice cream!!!!!

I did manage to locate a Lobster Boat nearby and managed to buy off the tail-gate. Even off the boat not in-expensive!!!

Of course there is the evening news but that sky is the real attraction…throw in my beautiful Admiral and you can see heaven from here!!!

Next stop was over to Norteast Harbor to visit with SV Mandala (Ron & Nancy)

Being Sunday we needed Brunch…where else but over to Little Cranberry Island via Blossom the dinghy! It is about a 4-5 mile trip in some pretty open water but having both dinghy’s made things a lot safer with a lot less stress.

Time in the cockpit with friends is always time well spent!

Particularly when it includes freshly picked Lobster Mac & Cheese….it was delicious!

It was getting to be time for Dad to arrive so we popped over to Bar Harbor to meet his plane at the Trent Airport. Pro Tip: Airport Transportation does not exist on Mt Desert Island. Plan accordingly. Through shear luck and the Grace of God I managed a ride out to the airport and back!

The days start slowly aboard Magnolia when company is aboard. A little paperwork, a little coffee….its all good.

Beautiful Bar Harbor

The top of Mt Desert looking back towards the anchorage.

It was time to get out of Bar Harbor and head “down-east.” First stop was Mistake Island home of the Moose Peak Lighthouse. Doing a little research we discovered there was a movie made on the island and we were able to stream the movie (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4733228/ and then visit the set the very next day…a VERY cool experience.

The crew visiting the set of “To Keep The Light.”

I neglected to mention there was a plethora of Blue Berries and Raspberries. We had collected an entire quart in no time. Those are Fog Horns. They can be activated by passing mariners using there VHF Radio…thankfully no one did…probably make me drop my bag of berries!

Next stop was Roque Bluff

As with most choices this summer in Maine, Roque Bluff stop was centered on the pursuit of Sea Glass. Here the Admiral is hard at it along another beautiful Maine Shore.

With Dads departure Hurricaine Henri was heading our way. Magnolia along with Unforgettable headed well north away from the Ocean to hide in Morgans Harbor.

We got ourselves settled and then decided on a little dinghy adventure. We located a Lobster Shack (Shack is literal) about 10 miles away and decided to to treat ourselves to a lovely lunch before the forecast storm.

A fun afternoon with much laughter and high jinx!!

Yes and here is our Hurricaine and I think at the peak….turned out to be a non event which are the kinds we like! The goal is never to get caught with your pants down, mother nature is VERY unforgiving!

Its time to start a slow march for the door from Maine. The Admiral has a number of suggestions for the trip south so we will be keeping busy!

2021-08-03 Heading for Maine

Just as we were departing a US Navy was returning to port. Much more impressive than a photo can depict.

After meeting up with our friends Frank & Elaine in Onsett MA it was time to head through the Cape Cod Canal. Summer in New England can always be a little foggy as can be seen in the below. The radar and a sharp eye allowed us to safely complete the passage.

Stopping in Situate allowed Annette’s friend Debra to visit. We were able to catch up in Hyannis a couple years ago and always a pleasure.

Another lovely morning heading up the MA/NH coasts towards Portsmouth, NH.

As we were approaching Portsmouth, NH we noted a drip of engine coolant coming from the Fresh Water Coolant bearing. Knowing the leak was not going to get better we went ahead and got that taken care of. First was to find a pump that needed to be shipped from John Deere (overnight) and a mechanic to get it installed because this was one job pretty far outside my experience. Thankfully after a couple days and couple of boat units we were on our way.

Turned out Magnolia was the latest addition to the Portsmouth Harbor Tour….kinda like being in a zoo.

We were able to dinghy over to a most tourist Lobster Pound for dinner one night. This side of the river is actually Kittery Maine

We were tied up to a floating dock which gave us a wonderful view of the harbor.

Vic the mechanic get’nr done!

Maine sure offers many dramatic sky scapes!

We made a stop in Boothbay Maine and neither of us could initially remember being here. Google Maps reminded us were here 6 years ago!! I think the marina had the same courtesy car.

Playing the Blues Brothers Sound Track!!

One more day while this front passes!!!

2021-07-09 — Heading for Long Island NY

Before heading up the bay one thing we HAD to do was to get introduced to this little sweetie!!! What a beauty!! Jimmy / Kaitlyn, ya done good!!!!


There is a strange man holding me and I am not really sure…..

Hotties on the back deck!!!

We managed a meetup with SV Bootlegger whom also hail from the Pentagon Sailing Club. Great couple figuring it out just like we do!!!

You know its departure day when Magnolia gets a short-haul Spa treatment.

A short haul is not the least expensive way to get the bottom cleaned and zincs checked but it is the most thorough way to see what’s happening under the water.

That peace of mind is worth the expense!

Heading up the bay we our first stop was a visit to Camp Quigley. We met Frank and MaryMarie our freshen year and look forward to many times in the future! Its been a heck of a ride. We also stopped into Rockhall MD for a visit with MV Arion. Enjoyed a cigar and Rum tasting with my friend Al Mauger!

On Wednesdays I host the Waterway Radio and Cruising Club net. When possible have a video chat for the Net Controllers and relays to keep things moving smoothly.

The upper Chesapeake and Delaware Bay have a fair amount of ship traffic but we found the transit to be unusually busy.

Reedy Point Anchorage in northern Delaware Bay. Many people we talk to do not care for it but we find it to be EXTREMELY convenient for transiting the bay . It wins no beauty contests but we favor reliability more.

Delaware Bay Traffic

Cape Henlopen at the mouth of the Delaware Bay is the most underrated anchorages on the east coast. The level of protection and convenience cannot be beat. Not too mention it scores high on the beauty scale as well !!!

Never busy and plenty of room no matter the forecast.

Speaking of forecasts. we expect chance of thunderstorms as we ran up the coast of New Jersey and not disappointed. When we ended up in two DIFFERENT warning areas I thought was a but much but we got a some showers and that was it….THANKFULLY

We are off the New Jersey Coast far enough to have a pleasant open water sunset.

Never have we had this many birds catch a ride before. It was VERY unusual so in-spite of the fact they crapped on my deck, I did not chase them off. Figure they must have been tired.

Speaking of ship traffic. Crossing the New York shipping lanes we saw very LITTLE traffic. Annette does not like the midwatch but that causes her to be on watch for the channel crossing but tonight she had an easy go of it.

Hurricaine Elsa was only a couple days behind us. We were not anticipating a MAJOR event but none the less have to give these events the respect they deserve. We selected 3 mile harbor as our “Fort Apache.” It is large and never crowded and that is what we are looking for in a safe anchorage! Once we rounded Montauk we headed due west and had the anchor down well before sunset. That gave us a full day to rest up and prepare Magnolia before the blow arrived. It also gave a us a day to visit Beverly-S before they departed for their Fort Apache in Connecticut.

As expected and as far as hurricane’s go it was a very benign event. We only saw 34 knots and so that was really not a bad nor dangerous situation. Just a good storm!

During our last visit we did not make time to visit the town of East Hampton. As expected it was quite beautiful and filled with beautiful people. We enjoyed a walk around town and lunch off the boat.

It was time to haul the anchor and head for Groton CT where we will rendezvous’ with Kindred Spirit for the trip north to Maine.

2021-06-20 — Making Memories

As we look to wind down this adventure and ponder the future we want to make and remember as many of these as we can. Not planned but the below really strikes the right note. Our friends and mentor Ty & Suzanne Giesseman (Its Your Boat Too) gave us this set of A2 glasses back aboard Magnolia-S. Everytime we break them out it takes us right back to those early days of just getting started!

In regards to making memories, cant say enough how much fun it was to have my dad aboard on the Charleston to Norfolk leg. In Norfolk we picked up my sister and brother in-law for the hop to Galesville, MD. First day out it was starting to get pretty warm so a stop in Mill Creek near Reedsville was righ in order. The Admiral was able to get to her happy place. A easy swim off the boat.

Sadly my brother in-law is still working but was able to set up a comfortable office in the Saloon.

No trip up the bay is complete without a stop into Solomons to visit with friends Matt & Marti (SV Runaway). We always have a wonderful visit!

It was a great couple of days to share. Hopefully they will always fondly remember the mini adventure.

Arriving back in the Annapolis area is always a homecoming to be shared with our Freshmen Class (2013) SV Mandala and SV Elanor Q. For the record it seems to me every picture I post of Nancy is sitting between two good looking men! Its a gift she has!!! 🙂

SV Exuberant (Burt and Prue) were also in town as well. It was a wonderful evening to be spent at the beautiful Casa de Hames.

Next up was a trip to NJ and visit to Jack & Kathy Tennar. For the new readers, Jack and I have been friends since Navy Days in 1982. Tabernacle NJ has become a second home watching the Tennar girls and the neighborhood kids grow up. It was been wonderful to be part of this community for so many years. It is always been where I have come for sanctuary and rest.

There is always a chore to be done. Today was rust removal from an old rusty block.

The process of choice was electrolysis.(In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a technique that uses direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction. … The word “lysis” means to separate or break, so in terms, electrolysis would mean either “breakdown of electricity” or “breakdown via electricity”.)

Its seems the process worked pretty darn good!

Luckily I have the same gift as Nancy Hames!

If you have never ridden in a Checker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_Motors_Corporation) make sure you bring ALL and I mean ALL your friends. There is PLENTY of room, trust me!

A visit to Tonewwod Brewing in Collingswood was a perfect capstone to the visit. We were able to catch up with Merle and Neil who have been friends more years than I can possbly remember!

Cannot forget one of great Magnolia supporters, Kathy Hoban, Kathy’s sister inlaw!

Christina works at Tonewood occasionally so it was a great place to catchup!

Magnolia was able to welcome our newest ang youngest crew-member. Maeve joined us for a cruise around the West and Rhode Rivers

We spotted SV Journey.

We managed a quick dinner with SV Bootlegger (Laurie & Sean) SV Bootlegger sails with the Pentagon Sailing Club where we met them. Always fun!!!!

Magnolia is in Galesville for another week. We currently plan to short haul on Monday the 28th and start out trek north immediately following. We are goin to try and do a open house in the fall because there are many people we have not seen that we really want too!!! Be safe

2021-05-26 New Crew (Pops onboard)

We had an opportunity to finally get my dad onboard for an extended transit on Magnolia. He rode a couple days with us last year but this year we were able to get him to fly into Charleston and ride from there to Norfolk…465 miles.

Arriving in Charleston though he was not aboard but his boat was there, was my Doctors boat. I was sure happy to see those fees are going to a good cause! For the record, Dr Sandy has been a huge medical asset to me and cannot thank him enough….just wanted to be clear!

We had a couple days before dad arrived so as I was wrapping up work one afternoon I found Annette had laid us out snacks and drinks to take a break and enjoy a little time just being on the water.

First stop of interest was Holden Beach, NC. We were hoping to connect with my cousins on the McAdnrews side of the family but they were not in town this weekend. So we took a little break for some shore leave and ice cream….there is always Ice Cream!

Dad seems to be enjoying himself!

Now, about that Ice Cream. We love the Carolina Beach Communities…you can always find ice cream!

Next stop was in Southport, NC. Our friends Joe and Christine had just arrived home that day from Florida yet still made the effort to come meet us for dinner. A wonderful introduction for pops and a wonderful evening!

Though we stopped I neglected to get pictures from Swansboro and we also had a lovely dinner with Annettes Cousin Beth and Bob…I have to get back into the picture habit.

Speaking of Ice Cream….ever since Al Watson introduced us to Dove Bars it has been a guilty affliction.

Dad doing some of that “Crew Stuff” under the Admirals guidance.

More crew stuff, relaxing…we work very hard to relax well. I think dad is getting the hang of it.

After arriving in Hampton VA the first stop is Venture for their homemade Tater-Tots. Thanks to Mack & Vicki McGhee for the tip on this spot….it is always each and great to be back in Hampton. We will be picking up my sister and brother in law for the trip to Annapolis.

2021-05-15 — Beaufort/Charleston SC

Last picture in St Augustine at the ever Elegant Bridge of Lions (and of course my beautiful wife).

Magnolia made a over-nigh offshore hop from St Augustine to Port Royal Sound. Conditions were not perfect but were as expected so we were prepared.

After entering the sound we continued up to Beaufort, SC and moored at Lady’s Island Marina.

We have been to Beaufort, SC several times but not since Confetti (Mack & Vicki) settled here. They have a lovely home in the only neighborhood where I said I could live here! (Kinda freaked Annette out, and perhaps scared Mack & Vicki!!!!)

Annette’s jewelry shop was in full production mode. While in Beaufort a shop owner asked to sell her sea-glass jewelry. The lady bought her entire inventory so was for the latest “THING” in Beaufort, Magnolia Sea Glass.

We did enjoy some time out relaxing in the Cockpit, aft patio before heading on to Charleston

The Low Country of South Carolina is very beautiful and peaceful. We took a couple days to complete a one day trip just to slow down and relax!!! We will have my dad onboard from Charleston up to Norfolk

2021-04-24 – Saint Augustine Pause

Yes, we are still alive and well. We have been docked at our friends Greg & Nancy’s home while boat chores were wrapped up and Anthony fully recovered from surgery. Both Anthony and Magnolia are fit as a fiddle and though little could be done for Anthony’s appearance a great deal has been to make Magnolia look and operate beautifully! As you saw in a previous post we had a water leak in the keel that damaged a bulkhead in the engine room. That was an unusual challenge but thank you to the hard work of our friends Mark and Ray at Grandbanks Yacht the repair was completed and the engine-room is completely dry for the first time in many many years! So happy you have that problem resolved!!!

All of the exterior doors on Magnolia are very well built teak doors. The down side is even well built they were not overly well maintained over the years and it has taken us 3 years to make time to make them right…let me re-phrase…brothers Rabelsi and Pablo are the craftsman that fixed and painted out exterior doors. The exterior appearance of Magnolia has been so brightened up…we are beyond ecstatic of the final outcome! We cannot thank them enough!!

Magnolia’s Engine Room – you can’t expect a mechanic to care more about your boat than you do. We were able to get on Alex Graham scheduled to come out and inspect and repair any short coming. he identified. He recommended that we replace a couple of gaskets on the engine cooling system. and recommended I replace the raw water feed hose which is something we can do.

While things were happening on the outside and in the engine room Annette was busy making out home more beautiful and welcoming. Out friend Jennifer made some shadow boxes for Annette to mount her sea-glass collection in. I am very fond of how the displays came out. Very very nice. My wife also got tired of finding my “readers” glasses scattered around the boat so she made me a pine needle basket in an attempt to keep me organized…so far so good.

Annette had been looking at the Scandinavian made chairs for sometime. Being Annette, she wanted it in red and that was not one of the offerings. God bless she set out and found a used one that was in good shape and she had it recoverd to her specifications. I was a little worried that our Saloon might have too much red but I have to say the outcome is fabulous. Looks great and so very comfortable that I am sitting there now composing this post.

We so much enjoyed out stay in Stuart FL but it was time to get moving. We got underway this last monday and made a stop in Loggerhead Vero so visit with Pegasus (Rod and Mary). Always much fun! We had planned to stop for the space launch right at Cocoa which is only 8 miles from the launch pad.

The launch was delayed a day which put us up Daytona. I had limited expectations for our viewing opportunity since we would be in a Urban well lit environment and well has being 60 miles to the north. Before they even got off the pad we could see the bright light on the horizon. Most amazing was the brightness of the second stage engine. Litlle did i ever imagine we would be able to see that!!!

We arrived in St Augustine on Friday and will visit my “great Aunt” here this afternoon before we head off-shore on Monday for a 150 mile hop to Port Royal and Beaufort SC. If anyone is in the area we will be at Lady’s Island till Saturday!!! Come on by!

2021-02-12 The Keel Is Working

“The keel is basically a flat blade sticking down into the water from a sailboat’s bottom. It has two functions: it prevents the boat from being blown sideways by the wind, and it holds the ballast that keeps the boat right-side up.” There had been a lot of side winds and rocking of the crew recently. It seems though our way is now clearing and we are beginning to make way. After three weeks we have moved back aboard Magnolia while she was having some home-improvement jobs done. We did have two different AirBnbs that were very comfortable but definitely not our own bed! As further evidence of the “righting of the ship” I received my surgery date of 11 March to have this Prostate fixed up. We are definitely making “way!”

I received a very kind note this week from a blog reader that I did not even know I had! The gentleman from Queensland Australia has been a follower for sometime…I have to admit I was flattered. I really have little insight to whom actually reads our posts…to all those known and unknown, thank you for taking time to read.

As for home improvements we could not be happier with the accomplishments! Though we do have a couple more things. The first task & most importantly was joining 4 drawers to 2 larger ones…

The most complicated repair and at the beginning least understood was a leak in our keel. Most leaks on boats are from the deck where rain finds its way inside the boat. This time though was a leak from the keel…we were slowly sinking…not to worry it was very slow! The “slots” were where water was leaking up from the keel.

After repair and restoration the same location looks like this. A 17 gallon hydraulic reservoir normally sits here and will be re-installed.

Magnolia’s hull is a “full-displacement” design which makes her VERY efficient to move through the water which is why we can go nearly 3000 miles on a tank of fuel. The downside is the hull allows her to be really rolly…to counteract that undesirable characteristic most full displacement vessels are equipped with stabilizer fins which counteract that tendency.

Deep in the bowels of Magnolia are the actuators which drive the external fins.

Between the fin and the actuators are two seals that keep water out of the hull. These seals need to be replaced every three years and our time was due!

Just like a house, sometimes you need to replace the water-heater. Note the shiny, pretty and very expensive box in the middle!!!

Last but least the outboard engine on “Blossom” was misbehaving and I have never rebuilt a carburetor before. I have always been too chicken because there all these itsy-bitsy little parts and I never imagined I would get back in place. Having “Nurse Cleck” assist we managed to get it apart, reassembled and the most amazing thing happened….it worked!

We are blessed and the above proves my point!

This week in all about getting the water maker re-installed and then we start working down the list…a long long list! Be safe and thanks for reading, thank you Bruce!

2020-02-06 Not Sure Where To Start

I have been procrastinating on writing because I just simply do not know what to write. I have said for a long time the life we lead aboard both Magnolias is so calm I knew it would leave us ill prepared to deal with those inevitable bumps that arise in life. Please do not get me wrong, our life is not always easy. Magnolia is a very demanding task master and if you if you do not take care of her she will inevitably make you regret your laziness. We always know where we stand with her. If you listen to mother nature our life is actually pretty darn idyllic until….real life comes a knocking.

We had learned to tolerate Donald Trump trusting that, as for the last 244 years the political pendulum will continue to swing. I have great confidence in our democracy as long as the pendulum continues to swing venting the pressure that inevitably builds up in the current minority party. We need that pendulum to swing, both ways.

We as most of the world have learned to live in a “Covid World.” I honestly INITIALLY welcomed the isolation. We spend a fair amount of time living socially isolated simply because of our lifestyle. Little could I have imagined that even I long for the normalcy of social interactions. We have been PERHAPS over-doing the isolation thing, but we have managed to stay virus free so far and actually know only one in our circle who has become infected. Thankfully she is young and strong! Here in Florida they seem to be getting vaccines out with good progress for the most vulnerable. I am sure they will get to us, I just hope it is BEFORE hurricane season!

So as far as medical goes, that has been a goat rope. In spite of the fact that we supposedly have great insurance (Blue Cross) I have yet to get to resolution of my prostate cancer. I cannot not imagine how people in our society of lesser means can begin to even cope. Thankfully we we have time and finances (and a very SLOW growing cancer) that should allow for a successful outcome. Though with as slow as things are going, I am wondering how slow is slow when it comes to cancer!!!!

So as many know we lost my mother Patrica Ann Baker a couple of weeks ago. She was only 80 years old so most definitely we wish she could have had a better quality of life for a little longer. In the end though she was tired and ready to rest. It is a hard time for my pops to be sure. My mom and sister Kimberly were exceptionally close. Kimberly very much carried the water for my brother and me. Mom is definitely missed each and every moment. In life we all struggle from time to time. But I think the one thing I will definitely hold onto is that she taught me to just TRY and do the best you can. We will all sometimes fall short…what we do tomorrow is really what counts.

Magnolia is currently in Stuart FL, actually we are hauled out for a couple weeks as we take care of some maintenance issues. We are safe and comfortable and just working through the bureaucracy on our way to getting this surgery out of the way. Vessel, Crew and Family will be well, thank you again for the prayers.

2020-12-27 — Non-Original Thoughts

I know it has been 3 months since my last update here and the reason like the rest of the world just trying to finish 2020 in one piece. I wish I had something original to share and even my humor is not original, “Just wait until 2020 turns 21 and starts drinking!”

That said like the rest of the world Magnolia has been carry’n on in 2020 the best we can while doing what we can to stay and keep those around us and ourselves safe.

Those who follow us on Facebook are probably aware of my Public Service Announcements regarding retirement saving and mental health care and the support for others to those facing that challenge. Well it seems I need to add a somewhat personal topic to those PSA announcements. Though a bit confusing, this PSA Topic, “The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate, a small gland that sits below the bladder in men.” (Mayo Clinic). My long term physician never ordered the test and it was not until after I changed physicians that the test was ordered. Thankfully my issue was detected and I am confident we will get the situation resolved but if I had not changed physicians the outcome could have ended up ALOT more serious. Please no matter your age ask the question “Do I need a PSA test and if not, why not!!!” Just do it!! PLEASE.

Dealing with the above delayed Magnolia’s departure from Maryland way too late. How late, I had to wear long pants for the first time in 8 years while not attending a wedding or a funeral. Our trip south was cold but we with the exception of temperature we had good weather. Magnolia is a comfortable vessel and well found so we hoped we would be a bit warmer getting to Jacksonville Florida. After spending more than one night with 28 degree temperatures we are moving right along heading out for south Florida on Tuesday.

We will be heading for Stuart where Magnolia and myself will get some maintenance. We hope you all were able to have a decent but safe holiday. If there is one thing I hold closest and hope the same for you….just how blessed and grateful we are it. Please be safe…Anthony & Annette