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!!!