2014-10-30–Being Alone

I am not sure how these pictures will come out but thought the contents was worth the reisk.

As were walking the beach yesterday it struck me how many times Annette and I have been totally alone on this trip. In the days before we started this journey the only time we were really alone was locked up in our condo on the 11th floor and by its very description you know “how” alone we really were.  We have shared some amazing vistas with friends, the below with Tennars and Volpes recently in Southport, North Carolina.


This one in North-East Harbor, Maine with my cousins Tom & Judy


There are others though where Annette and I could see no one anywhere. Below is Hawksbill Cay, Exumas Bahamas. The Cay is un-inhabited and for the two days we were there, the ONLY living souls around.


Below is from a recent passage about 30 miles off the coast of Georgia. Granted but we had go offshore to get it but the view well speaks for itself.


The coast of Maine


An uninhabited island in Maine, yes Maine and NOT the moon.


An empty anchorage along the Intercostal Waterway


The image that really inspired the post from yesterday, Annette standing on the beach at Cumberland Island Georgia. In truth there were 4 other people on the beach, 2 were about 1.5 miles left of Annette and the other 2 about 1.5 miles right. Based on our previous lives, that’s almost alone.


I am not saying being alone is better or worse but I have to say in the world from where we came from it is weird to be “alone.” On this trip being “alone” are the moments when I feel the luckiest. Its just such an unusual “place” to be. 

2014-10-25 Charleston, SC

Magnolia had an excellent overnight sail down the coast from Southport, NC. We arrived just before dawn and made our way up to Harbor Marina where we were quickly settled in a slip and great knap!!


The marina was right next to the decommissioned aircraft carrier Yorktown.


We caught up to our friends from Exuberant and Facebook friends from Dos Libras. Dos Libras have been sailing aboard their Morgan about as long as we have. The big difference is they left from Texas and we have been “following” them since. It was just terrific to meet the people we had only previously “read.”


Later that evening we had made plans to meet our friends Mims & Vicki so Annette and I took the opportunity to walk some new streets in Charleston. We came across this very interesting display for the Hunley.



A little something for dear friend Caitlen!


Just a cool building I noted while sitting on a park bench. Later that evening we had a lovely dinner with our friends Mims and Vicki and of course through the gabbing I forgot to get a picture! I HAVE to get better!


The 23rd of October was Annette and I’s 10th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe we have been married 10 years. We were reminiscing about how much fun our wedding day was and as the discussion turned to today, well were are just feeling really lucky…. 



As the sunset on our anniversary day it was time to catch the water taxi back over to Magnolia. We were heading back a little early because we planned an over nightier Friday for St Mary’s GA.



2014-10-22–Southport, NC

Several months ago we made plans with the Tennars (from Tabernacle, NJ) and the Volpes (Southport, NC) to rendezvous here in Southport, NC. As Magnolia arrived at the marina we noted several Coast Guard and Southport Police standing around a vessel which apparently had some drugs onboard.  If one were ever moving drugs on the east coast, don’t use a vessel with a homeport of Miami FL. This was like an episode of “Stupid Criminals.”


After a delightful visit by Annette’s cousins from Durham in downtown Southport, we moved Magnolia down to St. James Plantation about 5 miles down the Intracoastal Waterway where Joe & Christine Volpe make their home. We invited the Volpes to make the short transit with us and they quickly joined us. Did I mention that Joe is a retired Navy Captain who has commanded several Navy ships all over the world? Yea, no pressure here! Magnolia was on her best behavior and helped her crew not embarrass themselves during the short trip. We apparently passed our “check ride.” Smile 


How many Navy references do you see in this photo? 


We were all invited over to Volpe Manor for a barbeque and the only thing I could offer was my semi-famous barbeque bread.


It was one of those exceptionally wonderful evenings you get to share with good friends!



After dinner we settled down and watched the movie “Safe Haven” which was filmed right here in Southport.



This was great because as many know Jack and I have been running around together for only about 30+ years and I have always been the short guy. Well….


in the visitor center one of the displays was the resident who was 7 feet 8 inches tall! Someone who could finally call Jack shorty!


In addition to Safe Haven there have been many movies and television shows made in the area. Since we have been in the area one of the hot topics has been the tax advantages NC gives to production companies. It seems those are about to be rolled back and people are really up in arms!


We took a tram ride around town which showed many movie and television production locations.


This is the church from the television show “Under The Dome.”


I forget this one but cool home….


This is the “guys” house from Safe Haven.


This little cottage caught my eye last year when we were here. Its just a cute place in a great neighborhood.


Southport water-front




Magnolia did not want to be left out so we had everyone over for a little happy hour on the way to dinner.


Bunny even managed to get out of the hutch for the visit.






Sadly next morning it was time to get underway. Magnolia went offshore heading for Charleston. We were gifted with the below about 30 miles off the NC/SC border.


Joe/Christine thank you so much for hosting all of us. Jack/Kathy thanks for driving all the way down. Weekends like these are why we really feel so lucky…ok sunsets like the above are pretty cool too! Be safe my friends!

2014-10-14–Another LATE Blog….SORRY

Magnolia has been on a real tear for the first 434 miles of our trip south. We have had great weather,  fabulous visits with family and friends and Magnolia has performed flawlessly! After departing Hampton we went just a few miles up the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth. On the ay we pass by the Navy Piers on the Norfolk water-front. Below is USS Eisenhower getting a little dockside tune-up.


Below the Cruiser & Destroyer piers.



As we arrived in Portsmouth a sailing friend following us on Marine Traffic messaged us a friend of theirs was nearby and we should go by for a visit…we walked over but think we cruise in different circles! A very lovely couple though! 


We had a wonderful dinner and evening with my niece Lori and her husband Adam. I have to admit after our third visit, we still do not have a picture! We start yacking and the evening flies by!

Magnolia slept in since the Gilmerton Bridge does not open till 9:00 to make sure people get to work on time….can you believe it.


A couple miles further we follow right along I-64. It makes me sad seeing those people rushing to work!


We chose to take the Dismal Swamp route which required Magnolia to go through a lock on the the north end and another on the south end. In between the two locks, Magnolia was raised 8 feet.


This is the south lock before being emptied to lower Magnolia.


After a long day on the Dismal we anchored behind Goat Island, lit the barbeque and enjoyed a beautiful evening.


We found Belhaven on the recommendation of an old friend Ty Giesemann. On our return one of the first thing I saw was a Marine Corp flag. I am sure my friend was saying hi!


We visited a new port on this trip, Oriental, NC. In spite of the fact there seems to be a good size fishing fleet it is called the sailing capital of NC.



As we were passing through Morehead City we came right through more fishing boats than we have ever encountered before. The funny thing it was NOT the weekend. Does no one work in NC?


As you can see it has been a wonderful trip this far!


We arrived in Southport NC and welcomed Annette’s cousin Val and her husband for a couple day visit. Jack & Kathy Tennar are coming to town this weekend to visit mutual friends Joe and Christine Volpe which will translate to come great camaraderie and plenty of high-jinx! Looking forward, just have to get past this little front passing through tonight and tomorrow first! 

2014-10-01 Feeling Optimistic

More about the title later but Magnolia had a great visit “home” but it was entirely too short to get the visiting in we would have liked to have done. We missed seeing many people and that we are sorry. We are still figuring out this lifestyle and obviously have a bit more work to do. We will keep working it. On the upside Magnolia returned in really good shape so from a maintenance perspective we were really in good shape.

On the way “out of town” Magnolia enjoyed the Seven Seas Cruising Association “get-together” near Galesville, MD. It is getting to be our tradition to participate in the SSCA Gam and then immediately start our trip south. Last years departure was filled with excitement and a lot of anxiety. Thankfully A LOT less anxiety this year but with a little sadness. Two of the boats we spent the most time with last year will not be heading south this year. Sad smile Our spirits were lifted as we departed Galesville in company some of the boats migrating south this fall.

Out first stop was Solomon’s Island, MD where we had the opportunity to visit SV Vacilando (http://www.mondovacilando.com/). We have only met a couple times over the last couple of years but we really connected with them. Chris and Melody are fabulously talented artistic people. Chris in music, Melody in Web Development and Jewelry making. We had a very enjoyable evening and always great to see them.

Feeling Optimistic: I “feel” like I am always hearing how bad the world is for those starting out though all of our nieces, nephews and the rest of the GenIVs seem to be getting it done. None the less it still sounds “bad” out there. As we arrived in Hampton, VA the Admiral wanted to do some sewing so that was my que to head for the hardware store and generally disappear! After walking to the hardware store I got a line on Hair Style School where you can get a haircut for $6. I got a great haircut and heard how excited this young man was and how he wanted to teach his son how to save a little money. Music to my ears! After the “cost avoidance” on the haircut I figured I could slip in an ice cream cone. The young lady there was working two jobs, saving for college and excited she was going to be made a manager at her other job. Did I mention she JUST graduated from high school and here she seems to have a plan and working it. I sure wish I was half, stet a quarter on the ball as she at that age. The bottom line, think what you like but I am feeling pretty optimistic the world is not in fact ending nor are “things” all that bad. Life may not be good for all but not the end either.