2020-03-26 Wow What Just Happened?? + Mark&Mary Visit, FL Keys, Disappointments….

I cannot believe it is only us, but I find myself asking, what the ….. just happened? Remember back, I mean way back like three weeks when those that did, went to work and life was normal…this last segment of our trip was filled with excitement and some great surprises for it all to end in disappointment. I imagine we all have been going through the same thing over the last couple of weeks.

We departed Palm Beach headed for Fort Lauderdale on the outside…we were having such a great passage we decided to press on to Miami and enable to miss a number of bridges on the inside.

Departing Palm Beach Lake Worth Inlet at dawn.

The Breakers from the otherside…for Dan and Lori

It was a marvelous day to be on the water as you can see entering Miami inlet…we did have the current against us but it beat bridges anyday!

We had not been to Miami in a number of years and never aboard Magnolia-M only the sailboat. Not planning to be in Miami today we reached out to friends on Kismet (Jim & Laurie) who we knew were recent visitors. In the course discussions Jim pointed out there was bridge we could not get under (no sailboat mast) which made our arrival literally 10 times easier!!! Thanks Jim!

We anchored in-between Hibiscus & Star Islands ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Island_(Miami_Beach) ) & ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_Island ) – note the Wikis are worth reading, couple fun facts in each. Also to note this location just across from Dodge Island Cruise Ship docks.

Homes on Star Island. There is a constant stream of tour boats….I mean like 20 a day so they must have the scoop on who owns what…

Downtown Miami with the cruise-ship terminal to left. It was interesting to me how many ships come and go…it really was amazing and surprised to see how many were still going out at this point.

Like I said this was the beginning of the Coronavirus so we went a shore but kept our distance. We did stop at the Publix Grocery store for a top…it was mobbed and that was our last social interaction for the duration! We did have a nice beach walk and no one can say Miami is NOT cool…even the fire stations!

In addition to the beach there was a stop at the Botanical Gardens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Beach_Botanical_Garden) which were quite lovely and a respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

A high school girlfriend of Annettes, Mary and her husband lived nearby in Coral Gables. Our current location was not conducive to a visit from non-boaters but and alternate plan was hatched.

If we went down and around to Key Biscayne and inside No-Name Harbor thought that might be a much safer alternative than a long dinghy ride. We had never been inside the harbor because its usually crowded that is not our thing but and opportunity not to be missed.

Magnolia arrived early and yes it was crowded but not for the settled conditions we were expecting.

While I did my thing aboard and Annette did some exploring ashore and found the beach t be quite nice!

As it turned out the park was closing because of the Coronavirus at 5pm that day and remain closed for the duration. Mark and Mary performed some heroics and made the cutoff time with moments to spare. The ladies had a lovely time catching up and comparing notes.

Mark and I shared a cigar on the back deck and that too was fun. Really nice people and looking forward to our next visit!

Our friends Jack & Kathy along with their friends Rich and Moe were planning to meet us in the Florida Keys for a week of non-sense….all were very much looking forward! As no one had a clear idea where this was all going Magnolia got underway for the couple day 100 mile trip south. There was also a couple days of bad weather forecast. None of which was crazy or weird just part of a plan. The problem with the Keys is there is VERY limited places to get good protection from east winds. Rodriguez Key near Key Largo is one so that was our first stop.

With the weather approaching we continued south to Channel 5 which would allow us to transit to the west side of the keys for the forecast winds.

We had never take the sailboat through here…cannot remember if it was a bridge height issue or a depth issue. Both of which we have a lesser issue than with the sailboat.

There is an R/V Park – Marina – Restaurant located ashore. We sensed where this virus thing was going so we took the opportunity to get a ashore. The dockmaster was not exceptionally nice but lucky the restaurant owns a couple of slips at the marina… we got our first sense of where this was all going with the wide table separations and distance the servers served from…all very wise for sure.

Magnolia was anchored out by herself until to the two vessels came in. They could have stayed a but further off but if Magnolia is anchored here it MUST be good so they came closer than I thought necessary.

There was exceptional water down there so we took advantage and made fresh water for our tanks during every generator run,

This referred to as Chill-Slacking!!!

We all finally came to the realization there was not going to be a Florida Keys Tennar/Dinn/Baker nonsense extravaganza. There was only one thing to do but break out a good bottle of wine and good steak and fire the barbie!!!

With the keys heading towards shut down there as no reason for Magnolia to continue south towards Marathon.

We saw a couple good weather windows coming and also our mentors Greg & Marie on Second Sally were getting ready to head from St Thomas to Lake Worth which meant we might be able to meet up with them as well.

We passed this mini-mega heading south. Not exactly sure where he was headed but seemed odd under the circumstances.

Under category of fun surprises we passed Joanne & George on SV Bristol Creme. It was great to chat on the radio even more so since missed them in the Bahamas this year. They were heading back to their home waters near New Orleans

As we approached Miami we could see the un-used cruise ships anchored off shore.

We again anchored near Key Biscayne in preparation for our pre-dawn departure.

Stiltsville (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiltsville) – its a real place not in a Carl Hiaaasen novel http://www.carlhiaasen.com/ which by the way are the best!!!!

Snug as a bug and ready to head for Palm Beach…

That though is the next episode..thanks again to Mary & Mark for coming out to Key Biscayne!!!

2020-03-15 — Friends, Family, Weddings (Detroit – Orlando).

We always try to stay in touch with friends and so enjoy visitors. Our friends Ron & Nancy (SV Mandala) were visiting in Stuart and took time to run to see us in Palm Beach Gardens. LONG time readers will remember us sharing our “freshen year – 2013” with them and SV EleanorQ. Mandala went on to sail to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. We learned ALOT from Ron & Nancy that first season and forever grateful.

It was a great visit with Ron & Nancy but we were off and on our way to Detroit well before sunrise the next morning. Awaiting our Uber at Palm Gardens

We did do well on the packing front!

We were off to Detroit to celebrate the wedding of my niece Janine & Rami. As you tell by the snow, we will do anything to support family….snow though????

Events started upon arrival with a mixer at a local place in Royal Oak. The wedding couple plus our whole family included.

My nephew-inlaw Adam is currently deployed so flat Adam stood in…his mother and though were representing and enjoying the festivities.

My beautiful niece and and nephew. Btw, the church is absolutely beautiful. Rami is from Iraq but Chaldean (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaldean_Catholics). He and Janine have been together for 8 years and the what I know, Rami is the hardest working person there is. There is much for him to be proud of yet he is the humblest among us. He make my niece smile so that is all there is needed.

My nephew Giacomo and Made of Honor

My Dad stood in for Adam and walked with my niece/his granddaughter Lori

Beautiful couple! Congratulations.

Baker Family (L-R) my brother Jimmy and Angie, my sister Kimberly and Jim, Janine/Rami, my mom and dad.

My mother enjoying the joyous evening.

Father daughter dance, just beautiful!

Brother Jimmy, sister Kimberly and me.

It was a short weekend in Detroit. We did slip in a breakfast with my friend Rosemary and another couple Mick & Denise who hope to be future cruisers. Hopefully you will see them again in this blog!

Returning from Detroit we only had 4 days till the next weekend and there were chores and errands to complete. I mounted my trusty “stead” and headed off.

Even boaters have to wait on bascule bridges though for us….seldom from this side!

My “man-cave” also known as the Pilothouse has been lacking a computer desk. An old barbecue mounting bracket and a trip to the welding shop and very INEXPENSIVE cutting board and poof here you go. Obviously the welding shop was once of the stops along with the required West Marine stop as well.

It was a short week with a few chores and then off to Orlando to attend fellow GevIV cousin Shannon to Colin. Speaking of GenIV, we started the afternoon off with lunch with GenIVs Liam & Carolyn….how many GenIVs you ask??? Too many to count!

All cleaned up coordinated suits with cousin Dan, his wife Lori and my cousin Cathy….MOTHER OF THE BRIDE!!!!! Seems to be happy.

Julie, cousin George and cousin Sean whose wedding we attended last summer!

Cousins Jeanie, Carolyn and the Admiral

Shannon & Colin sure know how to make an entrance!!!

I love this wedding….

A burrito with the Penn Staters…

The Bride & Groom opened their home the day AFTER the wedding for an open-house…looking happy and refreshed!

Beautiful picture!

MaryAnn & Sean still on the honeymoon and looking happy!

Before we knew it was time to head home to Magnolia anf make preps to get underway!

2020-02-24 — Palm Beach Gardens (still)

We have some friends that suggested the best Key Lime Pie is actually at Publix Grocery Store. A quick google drove us to a two mile walk…each way to investigate the legendary Key Lime Pie. It was pretty darn good. A good start to our 5 week stay in Palm Beach Gardens.

Yes of course there is chores. A little epoxy filling required on the teak deck to feel a couple of cracks. On the list is replacement of a few teak plugs but that is for another day,

A winter without these two is just not as fun. Al & Michele from MV Kindred Spirit came to town for a visit. The Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hospital is very close to the Marina so a visit seemed in order. I am happy to report everyone (turtles) seemed to be on the mend. Magnolia and Kindred Spirit both going to Quebec this summer so there was much looking at charts guides. While Al was here it seemed appropriate to take on a small wood working chore. We recently upgraded Pots & Pans and then somewhere along the way it was decided we needed drawer in the cabinet to house said pan….hence the drawer! A visit will Als brother Bill was also on the plan. You might remember Bill who helped with the purchase of Magnolia.

With the sadness of Watsons departure there was but only chores to turn to. A fresh coat of varnish on the NavStation along with installing some additional hand holds eased the pain. Then we had a happy surprise to have Joe & Christine in town to visit his sister Donna & Jack. It was a wonderful couple hour catch up….and then to top it off Al & Michele stopped (I think for Ice Cream) on their way back from the keys!

Roses on Valentines and Head Maintenance for Anthony. The joys on living on a boat. The guy in the shell was showing off and passed me while I was on my bike! For Valentines I went with Annette to a beach cleanup. Sadly it was raining and it was the cleanest beach I have ever seen…I struggled to find a cigarette butt! My niece is getting married this weekend so trying to make myself look respectable…off to Detroit where the forecast high is 27 freaking degrees…

Will let you know if we survive! Be Safe, Vessel and Crew are well.

2020-02-01 Stuart & Palm Gardens

Coming back to Stuart always feels good. It is where our second act of cruising commenced. It is where we found and re-fit Magnolia and where we met lifelong friends who helped make Magnolia what she has become. As I write perhaps some wonder what the hell he is talking about…its a boat, its like a house on the water right? The truth be told she is nothing like that…well to us anyway. Magnolia is our home but she also shows takes us on these wonderful adventures and she keeps us safe and gives us shelter whether that is in a quiet anchorage or 150 miles off the Georgia coast….just feeling grateful…..

Many of our cruising friends pass thru Stuart so its always a great place to catch up. We were able to meet up with MV Unforgettable and MV Way-To-Go along with the bunch of others at the Korgen Breakfasts. We also were lucky enough to meet up with Annette’s Sister Rochelle and Robbins while we were here.

We also had two jobs to complete while in Stuart. One was to replace a solar panel that failed. We pulled the old one in preparation and then….

opened the packing of the replacement. This was not a pleasant sight. Highly unpleasant! Another replacement though arrived meeting us in Palm Beach Gardens.

The other job was to have a small repair made to the pilothouse sole and have two coats of varnish applied. This is Rebelsi giving the deck a good sanding in preparation of the varnish.

This is the result….and of course no shoes are allowed!!

Out last evening in Stuart we able to coordinate a visit with Ted & Lucy Seward from the Pentagon Sailing Club. Ted was Annette’s first “Close Quarters Maneuvering” instructor. Its where is got her start driving Magnolia around docks. Ted & Lucy “winter-over” about 30 min away and it was a real treat to meet up with them.

We were departing the restaurant heading back to Magnolia when we find this guy perched on Blossom, our dinghy. He would not depart until I got in the the dink with him….he left no “presents” thankfully.

We got underway and made the short trip down to Peck Lake which actually nothing more than a wide section of the ICW with a small sit of land between it and the ocean. Beyond the mostly quiet setting you hear the roar of the breaking waves all through the night which is just very cool!

We had a visit from Beverly-S while at Peck Lake. Larry & Sue started their adventure on the west coast in California. What an amazing journey.

Beverly-S at anchor

Sunset on the lake, just beautiful.

After a long weekend visit it was time to head down to Palm Beach Gardens. There is a lot of consternation regarding Florida attempting to crack down on anchored boats in FL. Part of me agrees because this is often what happens when boat get anchored too long.

Annette went to a cooking demonstration at Williams & Sonoma where Ellie Krieger from PBS’s Create Channel was doing book signing…I think she really enjoyed herself.

We will be in Palm Beach Gardens through early March so if you are in the area be sure to let us know. That’s all for now from Magnolia

2020-01-11 — Cocoa Christmas to Stuart, FL

Departing Palm Coast we were on a bit o a weather rush…Annette was heading to Virginia to visit family over Christmas and we needed to be down to Cocoa Village. Mother nature can be a tough task master. Do not cross her, or get underway when she sends you a warning. But somehow on this day the tides, currents and weather all aligned to give us a remarkable passage. We managed 76 miles in one day and we did not even have to work that hard. An amazing day, just when we needed on! Leaving Jeanies house we headed down the coast through New Smyrna, Daytona and into Titusville.

The overnight winds were forecast from the North East so to give us the most comfortable night we anchored to the south of the NASA Causeway providing a terrific wind and wave break.

The next morning as I was doing the morning HAM Radio net I noted a sad thing on shore….

..someone late for work and in a bit of a rush???? Yea, do not miss that! Thankfully Magnolia MIGHT be able to make 15mph….going over Niagara Falls!!!

After my sadness for the car driver abated we got underway and headed the short few miles down to Cocoa where the first couple of days we were expecting strong South East winds. We had never anchored here before so you can see we took a couple of laps around to see find the spot we liked!

We planned to meet our friends Jim & Laurie board SV Kismet. With inclement weather approaching Jim and I decided to take a hike to the grocery store while the ladies stayed dry and did their own thing. Arriving back to the dinghy dock we came a across a highly questionable “Bait & Tackle” shop which really appeared be a dive bar camouflaged as a bait shop…..we were in heaven! A couple of beers, a couple of cigars and toss in the local cast of characters and we were headed for and epic afternoon. Very reminiscent of an afternoon spent in Old San Juan many many years ago!

Notice we could only get in so much trouble with Magnolia and Kismet anchored in a line and the eagle eyed Admirals perhaps on the lookout!

While Jim & Laurie moved on to Vero and Annette jumped a plane to Virginia I was left to my own devices. First up a small lighting upgrade in the galley. The forward end of the galley always struck me as a bit dark.

Next up was a bit of laundry. We have a washer/dryer onboard. I can run the washer off the inverter (no running generator) but do need the generator for the dryer…hence laundry hanging in the Florida sun!

After I got my chores done it was geek-time. I have been experimenting with various sensors aboard Magnolia. I have settled on the Arduino based EPS32 microprocessor. It has low power consumption and built in WIFI. This particular device is measuring the current and voltage of the solar and house battery system. The time is received from a NTP server I run aboard, the temperature and humidity, The current flow from the solar panels and the current flow in/out of the battery followed by voltage and solar production in watts.

A stop in Cocoa is NEVER complete without a stop at Travis Hardware. I don’t know about you but there are few hardware stores that rate a historical marker!!! It is an amazing place and I have never not found what I was looking for….in today’s case some metric speciality screws…crazy, they have EVERYTHING!!!!

Upon Annettes return we made the day trip to Vero Beach where we hoped to meet up with Dan and Marica (SV Cutting Class). Long term readers will undoubtedly recognize the names. We have known them since our very first year underway.

We had a swell evening aboard Magnolia with Jim, Laurie, Marcia and Dan.

We then headed down to Stuart, FL on New Year Day in order to make the scheduled yearly doctor visits.

Once the doctor appointments were complete we headed up river 6 miles to our friends dock.

Magnolia feeling at home on the South Fork of the St Lucie River.

The rest of the story…Greg and Nancy owned Stuart Yachts for I think about 40 years. Greg and Nancy guided us through, and their crew did much of the work restoring Magnolia to a proper yacht. Jenifer, their daughter owned the home we rented during the restoration work. Once again Magnolia made helped us make great friends. Even though Greg is retired, he is still my go-to when it comes to questions regarding the care of this fine vessel. We are blessed to call them friends!

A stop in Stuart is never complete without a visit with Ticonderoga shipmate Mike Camacho and his lovely wife Michele. We commissioned Ticonderoga together back in 1983 and there was much high jinx through the years. See the reference to “an afternoon in Old San Juan” above. I am hoping we can do a boating meet up before we depart the area!!!

We hope everyone had a safe and prosperous holiday. We are keeping all those who are having challenges, health and otherwise in our prayers…we are thinking of all you! Be Safe From Magnolia.

2019-12-25 — St Augustine – Palm Coast

We sure enjoyed our stay in Jacksonville but it was time to move and what better place to visit in the holiday season than St Augustine ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine,_Florida ). You might be able to see the shoaling around the inlet from the ocean, always and area that deserves a little extra attention.

St Augustine Light is always a welcome site. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine_Light )

Though we have walked through before we have never taken the guided tour of Flagler College. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagler_College ) previously known as the Pnce Hotel ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponce_de_Leon_Hotel ) . Sitting in the peaceful courtyard was just a perfect moment of relaxation….HIGHLY recommended.

The building and grounds are the former Ponce Hotel and are decorated beyond description! Yes those are Tiffany glass windows and chandeliers!

As always the highpoint of any port visit is the opportunity to meet up with family. Though my Great Uncle Wayne passed away last year we did get to see (L-R) Larry, Barbara, Annette, Anthony, JY, Pam

Carmen slaved in the kitchen for desert so how could we decline?????

We also had a lovely evening with the crew of S/V SeaSprite ( https://www.facebook.com/SeaSprite30/ ). Yes I missed that picture too!!! Obviously we departed St Augustine on the low tide, hence the channel mark laying on its side!!!

We have been dealing with an intermittent issue with out HAM/SSB Radio and two members of the Waterway Radio and Cruising Club ( https://www.waterwayradio.net/ ) stepped forward to help, one with a dock and another with technical assistance. Ridge was quick to determine I had installed a connector incorrectly. With that we were repaired and enjoyed a lovely evening with our dock hosts Jeanie and Bill telling sea stores well past cruisers mid-night!

We were in Palm Coast about 80,miles from Cape Canaveral but had a perfect view of watch the Boeing Atlas launch.

Jeanie came out to see us off! Thank you so much for the hospitality. We much appreciated!

As we headed north we knew we were going to have a good passage with a view like that!

I think the sunshine put everyone (thing) in a good mood because it was not long until the dolphins came out in force to play in our wake!

Ok, and the birds were singing too….I told you it was a great day!

Next time on up to the Cape and Cocoa Village!

2019-12-17 — Jacksonville Wrap – Off To St Augustine

I was expecting a low key wind down to our departure from Jacksonville but that was not to be the case. We kept busy, had a great movie night with Tim & Diane (MV Acadia). Ford vs Ferrari I thought was really really good!

There was also Boys Day over to the Naval Air Station. Tim flew for the Navy and was a great guide! We the boys dont get out and do this enough!

Diane (Acadia), Annette & Ellen (Sea Dweller) enjoy the Avondale Christmas street fair.

Diane (Acadia), Ellen & Jeff (Sea Dweller) Annette

Trying my hand at some gelcoat repair

Ok that is enough work….now for the Tree Trimming & “Toys for Tots” collection

Vicki & Annette enjoying the festivities

Two more fenders, covers and a couple coats of varnish.

A moment of celebration aboard Confetti

After a month in Jacksonville it was time head out. It was a lovely morning making passage down the St Johns River.

Arriving St Augustine and St Augustine Light ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine_Light )

Looking forward to our visit to St Augustine !!!

2019-12-01 — Brunswick GA, Jacksonville FL, Ortega Landing — Thanksgiving Edition

Magnolia departed Brunswick on a cool wet morning with a stretch goal to get down near Jacksonville on the St Johns River so off we went.

We had a pretty good run down to the St Johns River. The one caveat “we” need to remember is the small section in ST Catherines Sound that is kind of (really exposed) in the midst of a north-east wind! Note to self….

In the end we made the trip fine and spent an evening at anchor behind Blount Island off the St Johns River.

The following day we had an easy trip over to Ortega River and Ortega Landing Marina. Our friends on Confetti had made arrangements for us and several other crews to volunteer at a local homeless shelter / soup kitchen. A humbling experience for sure…

Back aboard Magnolia I always have a “big” project I accomplish when we are at the dock for a length of time. This stops project is a lite sanding and a couple coats of varnish on the teak cap-rail.

I did a major job on the cap-rail last year but just wanted to add a maintenance and at the same time improve my application skill. Bottom line, I need more practice though I did better than last year!

Next up was celebrating Thanksgiving. Ortega Landing Marina catered Turkey & Hams and the boats provided the side dishes. Below is our friends Mack & Vicki (Confetti) with their daughter Lucy.

On “Black Friday’ we went back to work at the soup kitchen again. I have to say I “hear” how some people assert the less fortunate are just living off the dole or living off the system etc.I will tell you straight out there was only one person out of about 150 I met that I “felt’ was really working the systems and projected a entitlement attitude. Only one, everyone else was as appreciative as you could be believe. For me this opportunity was a good and humbling experience. This idea people generally want to live off the government I feel is complete BS but thats just my opinion.

We will be heading for St Augustine and then further down the coast next week. We really don’t know where we will be for Christmas yet. Just have to play by ear. Hope this finds everyone safe and well!

2019-11-23 — Myrtle Beach and Beyond, Family & Friends!!

After a fun trip with guests aboard from Southport, we were excited to welcome the arrival of my cousins Jim & Patty!!! We had a really wonderful relaxing evening. We started with a visit aboard Magnolia followed by a terrific dinner! THANK YOU Jim & Patty for sharing your weekend with us!

There is a couple mile stretch of the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) called the rock pile. This short distance cuts through solid granite rather than the usual mud/sand etc that is found along the coast. The goal is to transit this section of the ICW at low tide so the rocks are actually exposed! We departed early and as can be seen we entered at low tide.

What a beautiful beautiful morning!

One of the several troublespots along this section of the ICW. Note the narrowing of the channel between the red mark and the dock ruins.

After a quick fuel top-up at Osprey we entered one of the most beautiful sections of the ICW, the Waccamaw River ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waccamaw_River ).

A surprisingly quiet Saturday afternoon on the river!

A lovely anchorage at the south end of the Waccamaw.

Scored a second beautiful anchorage in a row on near Charleston.

We spent a couple days visiting with our friends Mims and Vicki…of course more yacking than picture taking! While in Charleston we also picked up our friends Jerry and Winnie. They too were Pentagon Sailing Club members before relocating to Beaufort SC.

The plan was for Jerry and Winnie to ride the 90 miles down to Beaufort on the inside with us. We would have the pleasure of anchoring out and enjoying a peaceful barbeque.

Jerry btw was one our “sailing 101” instructors back on the Potomac River.

We had a great time and think Jerry and Winnie did too. We dropped them off midday in Beaufort and then continued on to just north of the Savannah River…close enough to watch the ships pass by into and out of Savannah.

Up early with the birds working to into Georgia before some approaching bad weather arrived.

Seeing a tug and barge is not uncommon in our world…this one though we passed way out in the middle of no-where…frankly never expected to this….

Sapelo Light – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapelo_Island_Light

Car Carrier — https://www.freightwaves.com/news/golden-ray-ship-that-capsized-at-port-of-brunswick-to-be-cut-up

Sidney Lanier Bridge — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Lanier_Bridge

“Beverly S” — We met Larry & Sue last winter in Palm Beach and we hop-scotched around, past each other ever since. It was finally in Brunswick that we finally were able to catch up face to face…granted it was only long enough to get them fueled up and on there way but thats really what makes me happiest about this life. You may not see “that person” or “those people” for a year. The moment you are together your shared moments start again.

I have been keeping this blog since we started this journey…even before we left actually. Someday when I am old a grey and have nothing better going on I am going to come back and relive each of these moments we shared and just maybe I might fix the spelling and grammar too….the moments though, those are what I will be longing for….thanks for following. Be Safe A**2

2019-11-07 — HAM Fest – Southport, NC – Sharing With Friends

We departed Campbell Creek and made a long day passage around the peninsula to New Bern NC.

Annette (KK4YVJ) and I (KK4YVL) are both licenced Amatuer Radio Operators licensed at the “General” level. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_licensing_in_the_United_States ). We belong and are part of the Waterway Radio and Cruising Club which meets daily via our HAM Radio. Members are located far west Texas, Nassau Bahamas, Maine and the entire east coast. There is a yearly picnic previously held in Melbourne FL but this year in New Bern NC. Annette actually has a family history of Amatuer Radio, her father David (W8YBF).

We arrived in time to take part in a small pre-picnic happy hour hosted by Jeannie (N4WFM ) and Bill (KE4VUF).

Returning to the marina where Magnolia was moored we were gifted with a spectacular sunset.

It was a fun day of seeing and many cases meeting people we have only spoken to over the radio. Many former cruisers are now rv’ers so the location was the local KOA Campground. Lunch was a catered affair and was some of the best fried chicken I have ever tasted!!!

Our friends Tom & Sandy (SV Anania)

After a wonderful day ashore Magnolia was underway racing cooling temperatures.

The day started off beautifully!

How beautiful? Beautiful enough that required the “super good looking” over the top sunglasses. Ugly, but very effective again on the water glare.

A brief overnight stop at the Marine Corps Camp Lejeune

Heading for Carolina Beach, NC. This is one of those stops that was WAY overdue…it is one one those “you must stop” stops which we often bypass. Finally though it was time. Sadly, Britts Donuts was closed for the season…:-(

Next stop up was Southport NC and a visit with our friends Joe and Christine.

(http://www.oakislandlighthouse.org/) — (http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Island_Light) — First up was a private tour of the Oak Island Lighthouse.

While we climbed the 170ft to the top of the light, Christine opted for the quiet walk along the beach!

We definitely scored the perfect afternoon for the visit. The views of Oak Island, Cape Fear and Southport were amazing! Looking east towards Cape Fear.

Looking SW towards South Carolina.

Next two are view from the lighthouse towards downtown Southport.

Drinks for the crew after that climb!!!

Speaking of crews! As you can see Christine is a longtime crew since her passage aboard sailboat Magnolia. We finally put together an opportunity for Joe & Christine as well as out lighthouse tour guide Harry & Joanne to get underway to Myrtle Beach.

A little side note….our friend Joe use to have his own “boat” too. Which added no stress to the days underway period…

Yes, his last “boat” was the USS Mobile Bay! Yea, no stress….kidding actually none, which is why Joe is a great leader. None the less here is the Pilothouse Crew underway on the ICW.

All successful passages need to be celebrated with a bit of “Grog”.

Next up our visit to Myrtle Beach and family reunion!