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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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….
“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
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.
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!
For the life of me I have no idea why the a boatyard period has to end in the “rush rush, last minute frenzy.” Evidently there is a secret hidden rule that is documented no-where but most certainly exists…at least in my experience! We went back in the water as expected.
…but of course there was that last one more thing that needed to be completed on a Saturday afternoon…did I mention we were departing on Sunday Morning? Arghh!
Annette did manage some lady friends…I think they call themselves…”Kady Ladys”
After departing the yard we went to a friends dock and had 72 glorious peace and quiet…just me and my boat wax…it was then time to head for the Krogen Rendezvous someone thinks its a great idea to stuff 50 boats as close as they can get…perhaps it came through I am not a fan of this part of the Rendezvous?
Arleen (Arion), Annette (Magnolia) and Michele (Kindred Spirit)
Husband Bragging Moment: Annette came up with a “small” idea of having and “small” auction to raise money for the Abaco relief effort. It was suppose to be small until some sponsors got word and others started contributing some pretty major items to the auction.
Perhaps not the most photogenic of moments but she did and absolutely fabulous job speaking on the subject in front of the entire community. She knocked it out of the park. She and Arleen (Arion) worked on it together and they raised over $7000.00 in under a week. An amazing accomplishment in such a short time.
Out friends Al & Michele came all the way from Connecticut to Maryland for the rendezvous. Since they were coming on this way, they took advantage of the opportunity to view a Krogen 39 that was for sale in the Northern Neck of Virginia a couple more hours south. After viewing and assembling an offer they can be seen below sending said offer off.
So after the offer was sent off, Al won a Krogen Burgee…we knew then the offer was going to go through….the universe is always talking….we just have to listen
Of course there was much dining and dancing and I even managed a couple of rounds on the dance floor.
The closing of the rendezvous when 50 boats get underway at the same time….what could possibly go wrong.
Departing the Patuxent River bound for the Chesapeake Bay.
Car carrier. I think this is similar to the ship that recently rolled over in Brunswick GA
MV Largo southbound on the Chesapeake Bay
We made an overnight stop in Kilmarnock VA where Al & Michele were preparing for the survey of their new to them Kadey Krogen 39.
We arrived Hampton VA to pick up my dad who was going to ride with us for a couple days. It was also my mother’s first visit to to Magnolia so she was able to finally see what we have doing.
It was a pleasant surprise to find Magnolia blossoms were still blooming in Hampton.
Getting my dad right into the cruiser life we walked downtown Hampton for a bite to each. We headed for Venture, home of the best Tater-Tots anywhere.
I am not sure dad has fully embraced the simplicity of our lives….yes, its about the Tater-Tots.
Magnolia continued down to the top of Currituck Sound to one of our favorite northern anchorages.
Unfortunately Hurricane Nestor decided to make a hard north turn from the Gulf of Mexico which cut my dads trip a little short. Rather than going on to Manteo as planned we were forced to spend an extra day at Coinjock, NC
After departing Coinjock Magnolia we crossed the Abermarle Sound and headed down to Campbell Creek for a visit with Mike/Kathy Orr & Beth/Rip Tyler.
If you want a picturesque view in North Carolina look no further than Campbell Creek. We are always welcomed here with open arms…and multiple docks to choose from!
We always have a wonderful time catching up with this gang. There is always a great exchange of information and generally catching up! We always depart with a full heart and lots to think about.
Sun sets on Magnolia at the “Orr Dock.”
A few hours later Magnolia prepares to get underway at first light.
We are on the move at first light heading for New Bern, NC and the start of our next adventure!
Next stop, New Bern NC for Waterway Radio Cruising Club Meeting
Departing Galesville we headed at best speed to get into Washburns Boatyard at Solomons Island, MD The view from the bow of Magnolia. It is for me not overly attractive but its part of the “gig.”
The same view from the port-side stern is a bit more attractive…thankfully!!!
The first job was to repair a leaky coolant line that feeds the hot-water heater. Hot water is made via the main engine as well as electricity via shore power or the generator. Installing an extension allowed for a more secure valve installation.
Our friends on MV Confetti (Mack & Vicki) arrived Solomons shortly after we did. Our first outing was to Cove Point Lighthouse.
The evening we were there was a blustery day. I can only imagine the conditions of the point during a formidable NE/E/SE weather front.
Back to the boatyard Magnolia was hauled out of the water…always a nerve racking moment to see how the bottom hidden underwater for the last 12 months and 6000 miles.
Once installed ashore, a view from Magnolia looking out to Solomons “Back Creek.”
One memorable weekend we had was a trip to Cleveland to witness the wedding of my cousin and fellow GenIV Sean and MaryAnn. We were invited to ride with my cousin George and Julie. We had gabbed and gabbed the entire trip and it was a blessing that I did not have to drive!!!!
Maryrose cheated and caught a flight to Cleveland!
My cousin AnnMarie and Jonathon came from Newport, RI…we TRIED to visit this summer in Newport!
Sean and MaryAnn wedding was held at Squires Castle, location detailed below. Just know the location was exceptionally beautiful and romantic,
As you can see the bottom has been painted, sacrificial zincs replaced.
One of several hull attached zincs
The Admirals FAVORITE onboard luxury. A 25hp hydraulic bow thruster that allows her to move the bow right to where she wants it! Note the zinc on the propeller center.
On the inside we had a number of items addressed. Thankfully none critical, just things that were left undone during the original refit in 2017. There was the stabilizer locking valve that locks the stabilizer wings when not in use. That could make a very annoying clunk when at anchor….not good for good Captain Admiral relations….
When it comes to industrial strength recreational vessels Magnolia is pretty high on the list. Whomever initially spec’d her at construction specified some VERY robust systems. Below is the Hydraulic Pump on the main engine and there is a fully redundant pump mounted on the generator.
Hydraulic Fluid is kind of like electricity. It i simply a means of moving energy to a device that requires it. Whether it is a motor or ram this oil/energy is distributed by this block and solenoid system. Note the blue cased filter which was also changed during this period.
All that energy generates a fair amount of heat which brings us to the biggest reason we came to the yard. This is a hydraulic cooling jacket. Before the hydraulic fluid is returned to the tank/reservoir it needs to be cooled. That is done by the cooling jacket, hot oil is cooled by a flow of ocean water. My experience over the last 7 years is that after 20 years in hot saltwater you are going to fail. Does not matter what you are made of. This jacket developed a pin hole that was a nuisance for now but only going to get worse. Replacement was the right way to go. This is not an everyday piece of hardware so it needed to be fabricated. After much searching a shop in Louisiana was contracted to manufacture. There is also one of these units on the generator so we went ahead and had two made for when that one does finally fail….at it will.
We were FINALLY ready to get back in the water
Next up was the Kadey Krogen Rendezvous also held at Solomons Island. Part of the “gig” is they moor the boats “Boat Show Style.” I am NOT a fan because I believe there is more risk than reward…imho
Arleen (Arion), Annette (Magnolia) and Michele (Kindred Spirit)
Boat Show Style
Annette took on and in a VERY short period of time arranged a silent auction to support the Dorian damaged Bahamas. The Krogen Community raised over $7000 dollars for the effort. I am very proud of my wife and her friend Arlene who put this effort together in such a short time.
As any long time reader will recognize these are frends Al & Michele of Kindred Spirit. There is a story here but I am unable to provide details at this time!
Al won a Kadey Krogen flag……hmmm
and then it was time to break this raft out. We had never met new friends Joe & Kim on Largo. Largo is a similar vintage Krogen as Magnolia so there are many technical similarities.
Patuxent River heading out…btw, this is the same river the British used to burn Washington in the War of 1812….today’s trivia
Some of the “fleet” heading south on the Chesapeake Bay, not overly nice day, but any day underway is not a bad day!
Magnolia wil be making her way south over the next month arriving in Jacksonville in the middle of November. Stay tuned!
Yes I am behind once again but here we go. After arriving in the Chesapeake we arrived Hartges Yacht Harbor in Galesville, MD. We had a couple of weeks, a couple of trips, a few chores and as much visiting as we could slip in!
The Admiral was back to the sewing machine producing some great items for Magnolia. First up was a screen door for the Saloon Entrance. The edge pieces are secured with snaps while the center is a couple of magnetic strips.
In addition to the above the anchor windlass needed a cover made as well. This poor hunk of metal is tasked with bring our hundred pound anchor and hundreds of pounds of 3/8 in anchor chain.
Last but no least was an apron for my Barbeque Grill to prevent any splatter onto the woodwork below.
On the visitor front Annette’s brother, wife and friend came for a visit along with a lovely lunch. (names withheld) Always great to catch up!
We also had a lovely evening with Pentagon Sailing Members Laurie and Sean of SV Bootlegger. They recently complete a trip up to NJ and back which was great to hear about.
Labor Day Weekend we headed for New Jersey to celebrate my friend Jacks Birthday and retirement. To get the weekend started we were invited to dinner at Caitln and Andrews new home. What a wonderful evening and so much pride for these two!
Jack and “Brother Ted” discussing game rules associated the “60 in 2019” game..Dont ask!
Jack and Annette enjoying lunch….see clock
It was a great trip but always nice to enjoy the back porch at home…
We were able to get a Sunday afternoon open to welcome the GenIVs and out token GenIII (James). Always a wonderful afternoon of visiting and catching up. Thank you all for making time to come out. Jim, Kyle and Jeannie
Claire, MaryRose Kaitlyn
Bill & Jimmy4
A visit “home” is never long enough but we got a lot accomplished and managed some great visits. Next a fuel stop in Deale MD and then on to Solomons Island
As was the passage north, the passage south was nearly as perfect! From Port Washington to Galesville is right at 270 nm.
First section, from Port Washington down to the Battery in Lower Manhattan does take some planning. The currents through this section are wicked so you have to think it through. On the recommendation of our friends SV Cutting Class we use the method outlined here: https://www.offshoreblue.com/cruising/east-river-planning.php
The anchorage is fully protected by a sometimes submerged sea-wall. The swift currents and the somewhat narrow entrance requires close attention.
After a good nights sleep it was a leisurely 20 mile passage through the C&D Canal to the Bohemia River ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemia_River ) to catch with SV Kismet ( Jim & Laurie). We last crossed paths in Montauk, NY. Since then we of course went to New England and they made a trip up the Hudson River. Of course there was more talking than picture taking…have to get better!!
As the title suggests, Magnolia has definitely been on the move but at a leisurely pace! After a lovely visit to Newport, meeting up with MV Privateer and delebrating Al & MIcheles Anniversary our hearts were certainly full. We still though were blessed to have dear friends in the area…and we were off to Block Island.
A short hop down to Block and we rafted up with MV Amici. We visited just the one evening but glad to know they will be bringing Amici south this winter so we are sure we will connect!
It was a brief visit which as I write is our “modus-operandi” this entire trip! Next stop was down to Shennecossett Yacht Club where we met up with Al & Michele along with Dean and MaryJo.
We have met Dean and MaryJo several times over the years. They are members at Schenny as well so the details are all a little fuzzy! Friendly, kind and always fun. We had some leftover Anniversary Celebrating to do so we just continued on!
It was a lovely evening as always. Hanging on the Watson Mooring Ball is a prime relaxation location!
After a night of celebrating and a reprovision run Magnolia was off to Port Jefferson. We had fair current the whole way down Long Island Sound.
In addition to the fair current we had some expected thunderstorms coming in at sunset.
Unknown to us that fellow Pentagon Sailing Club PSC) Members SV The Norm (Rhonda & Bruce) but not only that, another PSC Member, Ross was skippering a Naval Academy Sailboat which also was making a port visit.
First though we had to get through the approaching thunderstorms.
As it turned out much more a rain event…and there was a LOT of rain!
The next morning we stopped by marina where the Academy Boat Captains were and we managed to get Ross off to lunch
We did not find Port Jefferson an overly friendly place for visiting yachtsman but we muddled through.
It really was a fun afternoon catching up and how we all ended up doing what we are doing. I guess self validation we were not completely nuts! (L-R Ross, Bruce, Annette, Rhona, Anthony)