Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 15,2009

We are enjoying being back in Rocky Mount. We returned to Jordan Creek on Wednesday, and had our children and their families with us for a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. Ondra has been visiting her parents in Hamlet since Tuesday and they are doing great! They are exercising every Mon., Wed., and Fri. at the First Health in Rockingham and we are so proud that they are going. Ondra also got to see Millie and Johnny while in Hamlet and also visited with her brother and wife, Oliver and Carol. Ondra had her niece, Angela, cut her hair while in Hamlet. She always does a good job. Angela has lost close to 50 pounds and is having bypass surgery in a couple of weeks. We wish her all the best. We both are going to Myrtle Beach today to see Justin and Lindsey and Nelson's mother, his sister, Brenda, and his brother Ike, and his wife Babs. We plan to stay there until the middle of next week and then we are going back to the boat where we will go to Morehead City and out to Cape Lookout with our son, Will, his wife Stacey, and our grandson, Jackson for Memorial Day Weekend. It is so nice getting to spend the extra time with our friends and family now that we are retired. We do not have a long boat trip planned until next fall. However, we will be using the boat for many short trips this summer. You all are welcome to join us for a trip. Just let us know when you can go. We love having others with us. We would like to go back south and to the Bahamas this fall.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Morehead City/Swansboro/Jordan Creek April 29 - May 6

On Wednesday, Susan brought Jackson over to the docks to stay with us until Will came after work to pick us up and take us to Swansboro where we stayed until Sunday night.
Yes, we slept in a king size bed and took real showers for the first time in quite a while.
We do shower on the boat but it has to be quick and the only way the water runs is if you are pushing a button. “Happy Birthday”, Jackson! We woke Jackson on Thursday morning by singing Happy Birthday to him. He sat up in the bed with a big smile on his face. I cannot believe he is now six years old. Nelson and I went with Stacey to take him to school. Afterwards, Stacey and I took Nelson to the boat and we went shopping for items for Jackson’s birthday. We bought cupcakes for Jackson’s class and carried them for lunch. Jackson was so excited to see us all there to have lunch with him. His teacher had made him a birthday crown and the entire lunchroom sing the birthday song to him. We then checked him out for the remainder of the day and we went to the boat where Jackson caught a small fish and we played games until Will returned from work. We had a birthday celebration there at the boat and Jackson opened his gifts and we all ate an alligator cake. It was mostly icing. We had a fun day. On Friday, Nelson and I borrowed Will’s Car and drove beyond Santee Cooper to meet Loretta and Mac who had driven our car to meet us on their way to Greenville, SC to see their family. We were so thankful that they drove our car so we did not have to drive all the way to Florida to get it. We got back to Will’s around dinner time. We went to the Red Barn for a seafood dinner. Stacey met us there after work. On Saturday morning, we went to see Jackson’s soccer game at his school. After going by the boat, we all met Will and Stacey’s friends Sammy and Lois for late afternoon lunch at Ruddy Ducks on the waterfront in Morehead City. We ate there several times while our boat was in Morehead. They had a good shrimp sandwich which Nelson can’t get enough. I enjoyed a flounder Reuben. We played many games of Uno Attack with Jackson. On Sunday, Nelson borrowed Will’s car again and he and I drove to Jordan Creek to take our car so we would have it when we got there on our boat the following week. It took us about three hours to drive there and back. I spent the remainder of the day, playing with Jackson outside as it was a beautiful day to be outside. Nelson and I kept Jackson Sunday and Stacey and Will went out for a dinner with just the two of them. When they returned, I had already explained to Jackson that we would be going back to the boat that night so we could leave Morehead the following morning and head back to Jordan Creek. On Monday morning after taking Jackson to school, Will came by the boat to help us get the boat out of the slip. The wind was blowing twenty plus knots and the currents were pushing us against the docks. We had Will and four other men trying to get us away from the dock but we were all unsuccessful. The winds and current were stronger than we could handle. We bent the cooking grill on the rail of the boat and broke out the green running light. The bow rail is a little bit out of line but not bad. We decided to stay until the currents and winds changed. We did not want to do further damage to the boat. Susan brought Jackson by the boat after school and Will came to pick him up after work. When he got there, the winds were not blowing as bad and the current had changed. Will said that he thought he could help us get out of the slip now and he did. We departed Morehead about 5:00 that afternoon and headed north to Oriental. We stopped at Cedar Creek and anchored for the night. Tuesday morning, we pulled the anchor and headed across the Neuse River with six sailboats in front of us and four sailboats behind us. We got almost across when the light rains started. The river was very calm and we were inside the ICW and out of the rain for about an hour. When we entered the Pamlico River, we had heavy rains, winds, thunder and lightning. Nelson said the river was the roughest he had ever seen it. We had rains for the remainder of our trip. When we got to Jordan Creek, it was still raining so we just went bow first into our slip. What a day on the water! We were excited to be at the end of our trip. We started getting things packed and ready to pack the car for our trip to Rocky Mount. We had a break in the rain so we loaded the things we had ready in the car sand finished packing the car this morning. Today, Wednesday, May 6 we put the last touches on the boat and loaded the remainder of the bags and drove away from the docks around 11:45. We stopped at Hardees for a LittleThickburger and returned to Rocky Mount at 1:30 today. Our first stop was at Keith and Jane Abbotts to fetch our mail and then on to 3402 Brookview Drive. Home again, Home again, jiggidy jig! We had a wonderful trip and we enjoyed sharing it with you through our blog. Last Boat will be resting for the next few weeks while we get caught up on visiting with friends and families.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Hello Everyone
We are now in Morehead City, NC and very excited to be back in NC and with Will,
Stacey & Jackson. I will Back up and let you know how we arrived here so soon and ahead of schedule.
On Friday, April 24, we motored out of St. Catherine’s sound and sailed the ocean from 6:15 am till coming back inside at St. Helena Sound and anchored at 8:15 pm which is beyond Beaufort, SC. The day on the ocean was wonderful. The weather was perfect. We had winds to motor sail and the temperature got up to 90 degrees. If we had been in the ICW, we would have covered 103 miles. But, traveling the ICW we could have not been as far because there are too many turns and curves and we might have gone aground as the tides get very low in Georgia. The ocean is a straight shot and when it is calm, you can really make good travel time.
On Saturday, April 25, at 6:30, we ran the ICW to Charleston, SC. We had a great day of motoring. There was no good outlet into the ocean. We had another beautiful weather day. We arrived in Charleston about 3:00 in the afternoon. We found an anchorage right beside the City docks and there we met our friends, Chris & Marie on “Spirit”. They had returned from the Bahamas and we finally caught up with them on their return trip up north. We had dinner together on Last Boat and heard all about their adventures on their trip to the Bahamas and them on our trip to Western Florida.
After one night in Charleston, we all decided to leave the next morning and go the ICW to Georgetown, SC for a night. On our way out on Sunday morning around 6:30am, Chris called us and said they had decided if we agreed to enter the ocean instead of ICW. We agreed so out to the inlet we go. The oceans were so calm, we could not even sail.
Later, we got another call from Chris saying that they thought we should try to make up some time and stay in the ocean and travel all the way to Beaufort, NC. We were shocked but he said that we could make it in 40 hours which meant we would be in the ocean all night and not get to Beaufort until the following night around 9:00. I was not exactly excited about this but liked the idea of getting here sooner. The unknown can make you very uncomfortable and nervous. Well, we did it and did make good time and did arrive in Beaufort by 8:30 pm on Monday night. I was so glad to see land again. We were about 40 miles out in the ocean and saw nothing but a few fishing boats during the day. On Sunday during the day, we tried to sail but we had very little wind and it was on our nose most all day. We did motor sail all day and all night. Nelson and I both stayed outside on the deck all night and took turns steering the boat to keep Chris and Marie’s boat lights in sight as we were following them. Their lights were the only lights we saw until early morning when we saw the lights of a large freighter further out on the ocean than we. It appeared to be going the same direction as we were. Thank goodness, it was not close to us. We took turns napping; however, I do not think me or Nelson slept very much at all. I was very glad to see the sun rising the next morning around 6:30am. We had to motor sail all day as the winds were not blowing and the ocean was very calm. I prayed to God to keep us safe and keep the waters calm and my prayers were answered. The ocean was just like a lake. Everyone else said they were too calm because we could not sail. I didn’t mind. On Monday, our last day on the ocean, we ran into a pod of dolphin and they stayed at the bow of our boat for at least thirty minutes. I got some neat pictures of them swimming with the boat bow. Sometimes, there would be five of them at the same time. We enjoyed watching them from the boat. I told Nelson, they made being in the ocean worth while. They were really fun to watch and did not seem to mind that we were standing right over them on the boat talking, laughing and just being excited about seeing so many of them at the same time. We have really seen many of them on our trip but never that many at one time. We also saw several turtles and two sunfish. Boy, are they weird looking fish and very big. Someone told us they eat jellyfish. What an adventure on the ocean! Nelson thought he did not have enough fuel to make Beaufort, so we hooked up with Chris’s boat just long enough to get his five gallon fuel tank. Just as we were passing it, our boat got too close to his and Chris dropped the tank into the ocean. Lucky for us, Nelson was able to retrieve it with the boat hook before it got too far away from the boat. Yes, it was floating as the fuel was lighter than the water and also in a plastic bottle. Also, we were glad we did not do any damage to their boat when we ran together. What a day! We went over 160 miles in the ocean before arriving in Beaufort, NC.
On Monday, April 27th, we had the pleasure of meeting Jackson at the docks on our dinghy. Susan, his babysitter, brought him to us after school and he stayed with us until he and Will went back to their house around 8:30 that night after having dinner with us at Clawson’s here in Beaufort. Chris and Marie also joined us. We loved seeing that sweet little boy come running to us with open arms. We were as glad to see him. It was a wonderful reunion for us all.
On Tuesday, April 27, we moved our boat over to the city docks in Morehead City. We also went to spend the remainder of our time in Morehead with Will, Stacey, and Jackson in Swansboro, NC. We like having the boat at docks when we are not on it. The winds have been awfully strong every since we have been here. You know we are having a great time with our son and his family this week. We hope to get back to Jordan Creek next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Saturday morning, April 18, Nelson’s sister Loretta joined us for our trip to Jacksonville. What a beautiful day for traveling on the water. It was a bit windy and a little cool due to the wind. But, we had a great trip. Loretta is the only person who has joined us on our trip thus far. We loved having her with us. We made a sailor our of her. She loved the peace and quiet of the sailboat. We did a lot of talking all day. She enjoyed seeing the beautiful homes and birds and ducks all along the ICW. We arrived in Jacksonville at Beach Marina around 2:00. After getting the boat in the slip and secured, we met her husband, Mac at the Marina Café for sandwiches for lunch. Nelson had his usual shrimp and I enjoyed a hamburger for the first time in quite a while.
We then packed some clothes and headed to their house to stay until Tuesday after the thunderstorms. We helped Loretta celebrate her birthday Friday night with her son, Danny, his wife, Heather, and two girls, Carolina and Erin. We went to the Longhorn Steak house. A very good steak meal for most of us. We had the waiters sing Happy Birthday to Loretta. She was surprised! They served her a chocolate sundae. We all enjoyed a taste. Danny and Heather let the girls spend the night with us at Mac and Loretta’s house. We enjoyed listening to Caroline read a very difficult book about Manatees. She reads with lots of expression and does great being that she is only in First grade. We watched Erin draw great pictures of herself. You should have seen those large, long eye lashes.
. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Loretta!” Today is Sunday and it is really her birthday. This morning, Loretta and Danny went with Nelson and me to the Jacksonville Boat Show. It was not very big like Miami, but we managed to find several things to buy Danny said it reminded him of a Flea Market with boats in the background. Nelson and I am suckers, we can always be persuaded into buying something. We only looked at the 350 Catalina sail boat like ours. There were very few changes since we got ours.
That night, Loretta, Mac, Nelson, and I went out for dinner at the Piccadilly Café. We had fried chicken since we never have it on the boat. It was very good.
We had planned to leave on Monday morning but the weather was not very good and they were forecasting thunderstorms with high winds so we decided to stay one more day. Loretta and I went to the Mall shopping just to get out of the house. I did not buy anything but she found a pretty green shirt and pants and another pretty top to wear with navy pants. Later, we all went to Outback for steaks to celebrate our leaving. They took us back to the boat Tuesday morning after breakfast and we soon got underway again heading north. Our first day back on the water was a very nice one. We had the sun out and some winds to keep us cool. We traveled about 50 miles and anchored south of Jekyll Island and north from Cumberland Island. We had strong winds and a light rain during the night but we were so tried that we slept right through it. On Wednesday morning, we pulled our anchor and motor sailed to Brunswick, GA. We arrived at the Brunswick City Marina by 1:00 and pulled into the slip where we met our friends Ed and Connie Dooley. Their boat is also docked here for the winter but they live in Washington, DC. They come as often as possible to enjoy playing golf and staying on their boat. They did not know it until they arrived recently but their boat had been hit by lightning and it knocked out all their electrical equipment. Talking about stress, they really do have it. We are so sorry that this has happened and hope they can get it all fixed and again get to enjoy their boat. They wanted to take it back up north, but will have to wait until they can get the repairs done before leaving. After getting our boat secure, they took us over to St. Simons Island for dinner. We had delicious seafood right on the water front and also enjoyed seeing the big ship come by carrying new cars the states port authority. It was so big. It looked like a condo on the water. We enjoyed spending time with Connie and Ed and said our Goodbyes this morning at breakfast downtown Brunswick. We left going north about 10:00am. After coming through the Brunswick Bridge, we saw a helicopter hovering over a boat out in the water. As we got closer, we realized it was the Coast Guard practicing lowering a basket to the boat and then pulling it back up to the helicopter. It was quite interesting. We were aground at the mouth of Mud Creek today but managed to get ourselves off. The water was very shallow all the way through as the tide was low. We were glad to see the tide come in around 2:00 as we had several other shallow creeks to come through. We touched bottom several times but kept on going. We traveled until 7:30 tonight. We are now anchored just off the ICW in Cattle Pen Creek. It is very dark out here but the winds have died down and it is very quiet. We plan to get up early in the morning and continue our journey north.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday April 17, 2009

Pictures along the ICW
Hey All,
Today is Friday, April 17 and we are anchored at St. Augustine, Florida. We have been on the water early mornings and late afternoons. We did not stay in Stuart, but continued on up north until we stopped and anchored at Ft. Pierce which was the same place we had anchored when we were going south.
The next morning, we pulled anchor and headed north for Vero Beach Marina. We only had fifteen miles to travel on the water today. We arrived at Vero at 11:15 and stopped by the marina for fuel and water before going to our mooring. We were on the same mooring ball with a 35 foot C & C boat called Blue Blazer. A nice Canadian couple, Don, canadain and Maj-Lis, who is Swedish, are the owners of We ended up traveling together for several days when we left Vero. After getting showers and getting the boat tied to their boat, Nelson and I went to the River Café on the dinghy where Nelson ordered his favorite sandwich, Shrimp O Boy and I had fish and chips. We had enjoyed eating there when we were in Vero before. We went there again the following day for dinner and he got the same but I enjoyed fried shrimp.
We untied from our buddy boat and both boats left heading north on Wednesday, April 15, “Tax Day”. We traveled all day and arrived in Titusville around 7:15 that afternoon for the night. We found a nice anchorage right across the water from the large building where they store the space shuttle. We ate dinner while motoring and were exhausted from our 70 mile travel. After watching American Idol, we went to bed.
The next morning, we motor sailed north with 15-20 knot winds and a sunny day, but cool. We arrived at Daytona Beach anchorage around 4:00. We invited our friends over to our boat for dinner. We cooked steaks on the grill and had potatoes and vegetables. They brought a salad and a pudding dessert. We enjoyed hearing about their family, two boys and of course, we told them about family and our grandson, Jackson. We have enjoyed getting to know them. They are very nice people and are very interesting to know. She has a great accent being from Sweden.
This morning, we pulled anchors and motored in heavy winds and cool weather to St. Augustine. We arrived about 4:00 and went over to the Santa Maria restaurant for a delicious seafood dinner with our friends. They will be staying here for several days and we are leaving in the morning for Jacksonville. Nelson’s sister, Loretta and maybe Mac will be joining us for our trip to Jacksonville tomorrow. They are driving their car over here in the morning and we will drive back over later to pick it up if Mac decides to ride with us on the boat. We are looking forward to having company for the trip to Jacksonville. We are hoping for better weather tomorrow with fewer winds. We are seeing that our return trip is going to be much faster than our trip going south. I guess we are anxious to get home. We are looking forward to seeing our friends and family soon.
Nelson & Ondra

Friday, April 17 2009

These pictures were taken when we were at the 49 ft. railroad bridge before coming out of the Lake Okeechobee canal where we had Billy put 8 drums of water on the side of our boat to bend us over to get our mast under the bridge. We decided we had our mast bent over about 45 degrees when going under the bridge. You can see, we just made it! There is also a picture of us coming out of Clewiston lock which was not being flooded at the time so we could motor right through. Boy was it a narrow passage for us. This return trip was quite exciting das we experienced many things we had never before on our boat. Everyone needs to go across Lake Okeechobee once!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday, April 13,2009

Check out the alligator Going into lock Alligator swimming

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I need to back up and tell you about our trip yesterday afternoon coming up the Lake Okeechobee Canal. We saw over one hundred alligators in the water, and on the banks. Some of them were very large. No, they did not seem to care that we were in the boat and looking at them. I also took quite a few pictures when I thought we could get a good one. Several crossed the canal in front of the boat. We also saw some beautiful birds and ducks. Some were making some unusual sounds. It was definitely like nothing we had seen before on our trip. It was much like dinosaur land as the trees had no tops and their branches were missing from fires last year while the lake was dried up. Sounded like the rain forest with all the bird and duck noises. We did not see manatee or otters as we had hope. Thank goodness, no alligators tried to come aboard. And we never even wanted to get in the water. We had some very shallow water most of the trip; therefore, we had to keep watch of the water level all the way down until we docked at Roland and Martin Marina.

Hey, we made it across the Okeechobee Lake today with out any problems. We did not get to leave as early as we planned because of the heavy fog this morning. We left the Roland and Martin Marina around 8:30, but it was still quite foggy. By the time we reached the Lake entrance, the fog was beginning to lift some. We used our running lights all morning. The sun popped out about 10:30 and boy did it get hot in a hurry. We had a beautiful day to be on the water. We had some shallow water but most all day it was at least six feet. Only when larger boats had to pass us did we worry about the
shallow water.

We came through only two locks today that had to be locked before we could go through. There were two others that were open and we motored right through. After the last lock, we had to have our boat bent over to make it through a railroad bridge that was only 49 feet tall. A man named Billy, takes his motor boat and carries blue plastic water drums that he sits on the port side of the boat and then fills them with creek water to heel the boat over enough to carry lit under the bridge. He used eight barrels on our boat to get us heeled over enough to get us through the bridge. He did a good job, but we had to pay him $175.00 for his services. We could not have gone across the lake if he had not been there to help us and the other boat with us. Another interesting obstacle!
We did not see many alligators on the lake this morning, but saw a very large water moccasin right beside the boat just as we come into the large Lake. Naturally, I did not have my camera ready and did not get his picture. We saw only one or two alligators after we left the railroad bridge this afternoon. We motored only nine more miles down the canal until we arrived at Indiantown Marina where we are spending the night. They had a pot luck dinner so, I cooked some green beans and we went to the dinner. They had cooked some hams on the grill and others like us took a bowl of something to go with the ham. We enjoyed the dinner and also getting to know our buddy boat for the day friends, Russ and Callie. Billy bent their boat first and then ours. We took pictures of their boat and then they waited and took pictures of our boat being bent over to go under the bridge.
I will post the pictures when I get the pictures of today’s adventure from them. I am tried of typing and it is my bedtime. I will try to do a better job of posting our adventures further up north. We plan to get to Stuart tomorrow. Take care.
Nelson & Ondra

Friday, April 10, 2009

Babs in front of their house Eric, Diane & Maggie
Nelson working up the mast

Friday April 10, 2009
Hello Everyone,
I cannot believe that it has taken me so long to get started back on my blog. I have only the excuse that I have been too lazy to take the time to sit down long enough to get started.
We returned to Cape Coral on Tuesday, March 31 after spending one night in Jacksonville with Loretta and Mac, Nelson’s sister and her husband. We stayed in Cape Coral until Thursday, April 9th. We had a man from the Universal Engines Shop out of Fort Myers meet us at the boat Wed., Apr. 1 to go over our engine and make sure it was functioning properly. He had to replace a solenoid which was necessary but we can’t really tell anything different about the way the boat runs. It is just a slow boat. But, we are retired and in no hurry. And that’s a good thing as every boat we travel with always goes faster than us. Nelson had many projects to complete before we made our return trip back to NC. He changed the oil and filters, changed the transmission fluid, cleaned the raw water filter, added stainless steel side rails on either side of the dodger, built a shelf to a cabinet where I store my food and, he and I washed the boat outside and inside. More like spring cleaning. I wish I could get him to help me do this in the house. We also filled fuel and water tanks for the trip across Lake Okeechobee.
We enjoyed our stay with Ike and Babs. They were much help in getting us places to re supply our food and other things we needed to replace on the boat. The best was that Babs cooked us so many delicious meals and we both think we gained extra pounds while there. Also, their son, Eric and daughter in law, Diane fed us at their house. We had a delicious Mexican meal with them. We went out for seafood one night and the night before we left, we had the best baby back ribs from a place called, Rib City. A big “thank you” Ike and Babs for letting us keep our boat at your dock from March 12- April 9. It saved us a lot of money and it was great getting to spend the time with you while we were there. We have loved getting to see more of Loretta and Mac in their home in Jacksonville and Ike and Babs in Cape Coral. We will stop in Jacksonville one more time before leaving Florida.
When we left Ike and Bab’s house, we had to go back under the electric wire again to get out of the main canal to their house. Ike drove his car to where the power lines were and watched from under the wire to make sure we could get back under it. Yes, we did it again, but it was still very scary. We were glad to be back out into the big water again.
Our first day, we went up north through the Caloosahatchee River and docked for the night at a Regional Park off the River. A nice dock and it was free! We left early Friday
morning and spent the night in Clewiston, Florida at the Roland and Martin Marina. There were mostly fishermen there as this is the place where they have the large mouth bass tournaments. They had a tiki bar which played music until 1:00 in the morning and also a café where we enjoyed a nice fish sandwich and cheese/steak sandwich. The music did not keep us from sleeping as we were both sound asleep by 10:30. We went through two locks and one raised our boat 10 feet. It was not difficult but very interesting seeing the water rising so quickly. They opened the west side gates and the water was half way up to the top of the door and came rushing in. It was a quick process and very organized. Thank goodness! While there, we met a nice couple who were also going the next morning across Lake Okeechobee in their 36 foot sailboat. We decided to cross the lake together leaving at 7:30 am.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, March 20,2009

We have finally seen a pretty day! It has rained every day since we arrived in Rocky Mount. Ondra left on Wednesday afternoon headed to Atlantic Beach for the remainder of the week. Will had a work trip to California and Stacey was working 7-7 Thursday- Saturday. GG is taking Jackson to school and picking him up and enjoying spending time with him in the afternoons and evenings until he goes to bed. On Thursday, Ondra went to see Gray Marrow who had her new grandbaby, Brad's son Jack with her and Rose Marie Wallace there also. It was good to see them also. The baby looks just like Brad. Brad was there also. It was good to see him again as it had been quite a while. He is recovering from the same back surgery as Nelson. He is hoping to get back to work soon. He is doing a great job of taking care of Jack while he is home with his back.
Justin and Lindsey are coming tonight for the remainder of the weekend. Today is Lindsey's birthday. We are all looking forward to seeing them. Nelson is also coming down this afternoon. Jackson keeps asking me how soon will they get here?
Will returns tomorrow night around 8:00. Jackson has really missed him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello Everyone,
We arrived in Rocky Mount , NC on Thursday around 6:00. Boy, we were glad to see home. We spent the night, unpacking the car, opening mail and just enjoying a house for a change. We had tons of mail, mostly junk as usual. Yes, we did have a few items that needed our attention also.
Will, Stacey, and Jackson came Saturday and stayed the remainder of the weekend with us. It was great to see them all together and doing good. Jackson had grown so much and he is as sweet as ever. He is doing so well in school and seems to enjoy his class. Chase, their dog, also came to see us. He looks so good. They do not let him eat all the time like we did. He had lost 12 pounds since being with them. Jackson and he have become best of friends. We are happy that he has his dog now and Chase is not here by himself . We will be here visiting friends and family until the end of next week. We are going to need to be back at the boat by April 1 as we have someone coming to inspect the engine and give it a 1000 mile tune up. We have put over 1300 miles on it thus far this trip. We are still saying the trip was great and we are looking forward to more of the same as we begin our return trip to NC in April. We told Ike that we would spend a week with them when we get back to their house. Hope to see you while we are home. If not, we'll see you in June.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday March10, 2009

On Friday, March 6, after two weeks of enjoying our stay at Boot Key Harbor mooring field in Marathon, FL, we motor sailed and sometimes just sailed north on the west coast headed to Cape Coral. We entered Shark River around 4:00 to anchor for our first night with several other boats. We had six other boats going the same place and anchoring also in Shark River. No, I did not see any sharks, but they say that is why it is named shark because there are lots of sharks there. It was a good place to anchor but, the trees were all dead and there was not much to see. Our friend on Intransition said he thinks he saw an alligator the next morning but we did not see it. Randy and Kathy joined us on Last Boat for a pork chop dinner. They did salad and a baked potato. I baked some sugar cookies for our dessert. Together, we had a delicious meal.Saturday morning we set sails for Indian Key. We anchored around 4:00 and ate dinner with Randy and Kathy on their boat. We had chicken, rice and slaw. I baked a lemon pound cake and carried green beans. We were at their boat around six o’clock when two men came by on kayaks who said they were with others and got away and were lost and it was beginning to get late. Nelson, being the nice guy as he is volunteered to pull them on our dinghy back to Tiger Key where they were suppose to be. He and Randy found it on the charts and knew it was several keys up from where we were anchored. Well, we thought we were going to never see Nelson again. It got dark and there was no Nelson. He was two hours getting back. He did not have his cell phone to call us nor did he carry his hand held radio. We finally reported him missing with the Coast Guard. They asked us to wait one more hour and call them back. He showed up one hour later and we let them know he had returned. We finished dinner at 10:00. What a night! We all slept well.
The next morning, Nelson and I left on our boat. We sailed all day from 7:00 until 8:00.
We made it to Sanibel Island and anchored right across from the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day. The winds were blowing 10-15 knots which made for a good motor sail day. We like it when the winds are not so strong and that the boat is not rocking and rolling like it did the last day we were on the ocean. The waters were such a beautiful aqua green and sometimes, we could see the bottom. There were many dolphins on the water. They always look so neat jumping and swimming right beside the boat. We were having such a good day. We could have almost made it to Ft. Myers if we had had more daylight time. After getting anchored and eating a late dinner, we were very tired. We have not had any good television in so long that we forget to turn it on sometimes. But, we were too tired to even try that night.
Monday morning, we pulled anchor and motored under the bridge where we were suppose to pick up Eric and Leah to ride back to Cape Coral with us. As we went up toward the docks, the water became too shallow in a hurry and we came hard aground.
This was our first time ever that we could not get the boat to move at all. We called Eric to let them know that we were stuck. He asked one of the fishermen at the dock who had a big motor if he could come out and pull us back out to deeper water and one of them did. But, he got his finger caught between his boat and our anchor and almost pulled his fingernail off by getting it caught between the two boats. I felt so sorry for him. It was hurting him so bad and then he still had to pull us off the bottom. We paid him for his trouble and hated that he got hurt doing it. Another boat brought Eric and Leah out to meet Nelson in the dinghy. We should have taken the dinghy down and not tried to make it in such shallow water and everyone would have been happy. Too late no!
We were finally ready to get to Ike and Babs house with Eric and Leah on the boat with us. Eric was the captain as he knew the way and we had no idea which canal we needed to take to get us there. It was nice having him and Leah with us. The first canal we took after going slowly through the shallow waters had another obstacle for us. There were power lines and we were not sure whether our mast would clear them or not. So, we motored close while Eric stood right beside the mast and tried see if he thought we could make it without hitting the lines. Boy was this scary! Nelson told us not to touch any metal while we were going under the wire. Everyone was outside looking from their yards and shaking their heads letting us know that they too were not sure that we could make it. Well, we did! We were four excited people once we cleared the wires. The remainder of our trip was short and uneventful. However; Nelson and I were so excited because this was our goal for the whole trip, getting to Ike’s dock in his backyard and we have made it. They had a wonderful seafood dinner for us last night. Ike, Babs, Nelson’s brother and wife, Eric and Diane, Ike’s youngest son and his wife, and their daughter from South Dakota, Leah and us enjoyed eating dinner together out on the screened porch. It was delicious! And the weather was just great also!
We are getting the boat ready to leave it while we drive back to NC to do taxes (ugh). We are planning to leave early in the morning so we will be seeing Jackson, our grandson, our sons and their spouses, our friends and families soon. Yes, we have had a wonderful trip and have made some great friends, but we are also ready to get back to see you all too! We will continue our blog when we get back to Florida and back on Last Boat to continue our trip on the waters back to Jordan Creek, NC.
Nelson & Ondra

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday, MARCH 5, 2009

We did not leave Marathon as we had planned. The northeast winds were 20 knots for the last two days and we were advised to stay here until they came from the east. We are hoping to leave at 7:00 in the morning if the winds and weather don't change from what they are forecasting. We had paid for the mooring through Friday so we are already paid up anyway. Now, we are not going to lose any money. We like it here and don't mind staying until we can get the correct weather window.

We went to the Marina yesterday afternoon for the meet & greet session. We carried a hamburger helper dinner to share with others and we enjoyed getting to enjoy their cooking and also meet new people whom we had not met on our last pot luck dinner. There is always a lot of new people coming and going around here. We got invited to a desert tonight with another boat at 7:00. I think she said strawberry short cake. They did not make it to the dinner and had to get some help in eating the desert she had mad to carry. Sounds delicious. We just met them last night through some other friends who we will be traveling with tomorrow to the West side of Florida. Nice people! Hope the next thing I post will be from Cape Coral on the west coast at Ike and Babs house. We are looking forward to seeing them land their family.

Nelson & Ondra

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday March 3, 2009
Hello Everyone,
I understand some of you are having snow. I really do not misss the cold weather and especially the snow. We are still in Marathon, Florida and the weather here is a bit cool also. We had to wear jackets most all day yesterday because of the winds and cooler weather. Sunday night, the winds blew about 30 plus knots all night. Ondra got very little sleep as the boat was constantly moving and the noise from the mooring ball was too loud hitting the side of the boat which was also due to the winds.
We had a good day yesterday. Andrew & April Neville spent the day with us. They are here on vacation. Justin gave them our telephone numbers so they called us and spent their first day here in the keys with us. We rode around the area in their car and showed them places to enjoy while they were here. We ate lunch at The Fishery, one of our favorite places here at Marathon to eat. They were also nice enough to carry us several places as we have to walk most times. It was great riding in a car for the first time in quite a while. They rode the dinghy out to our boat where we visited and later went for a long dinghy ride out to the beach area. On our way back, there were five people in another dinghy in the channel who were oaring back and not making much progress as the winds were still blowing them further out. Evidently their motor had quit working. We tied a rope to their boat and pulled them for a rather long distance back to their dock across the bay from where we were moored. We then, rode around to another seafood restaurant on the water and ate our dinner. Andrew got his bottom soaked as the water was splashing us and we were all a bit wet, but not like Andrew. He was very cold so we found a table by a gas heater and we were much warmer while eating. We did not get as wet coming back to the sailboat. They stayed until later and then Nelson took them back to the Marina docks where they had parked their car. We loved having their company.
We are planning to leave here in the morning and head to Cape Coral on the west coast of Florida where Nelson’s brother lives. We will be there for several days and then leave our boat there and ride back to NC to do our taxes (Ugh!). While there, we will plan to see family and friends before coming back to Florida. After visiting with Ike and Babs, we are planning to bring the boat back north. We are thinking we should be back in Rocky Mount by the first of June. Thus far, we have had a wonderful trip and hope the remainder will be just as enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
Nelson & Ondra

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We went to National Pig Day this afternoon here in Marathon. The stuffed Pig restaurant here across the road from the Marina had it and we went around 12:00 today with our friend, Ray who has the same sailboat as us and is moored just in front of us here in Boot Key Harbor. We had met him when we were in St. Marys, Georgia. They had delicious pork barbecue and hot dogs and hamburgers for sale there. All you wanted to eat for $15.00. The most fun was watching the pig races. They had three races. First the little white piglets raced, then, the black small pigs and the funniest was the huge pot belly pigs. They did not do anything but try to make it walking around the track. It was exciting and the crowd were cheering the pigs on.
Nelson and I left about 2:30 after the second race and walked about a mile down the road to the Home Depot. Nelson needed to get some straps for the dinghy. Yes, we got our exercise for today. We started out with beautiful weather this morning with 85 degrees, but the winds started blowing 30 plus knots and now it is 58 degrees and much cooler. We may not get to leave and head west until Wednesday.
Nelson & Ondra

Wed-Sun. March 1, 2009

Some friends of ours from our Jordan Creek dock are on their sailboat in Boca Chita which is near Key West. We went to their boat Wed. night and spent the night. The next morning, we drove to Key West and boarded a Cat boat at 7:30 and the four of us rode over to the Dry Tortuga's for the day. We toured Fort Jefferson which is the largest Fort I have ever visited. It was very interesting. The boys wanted to dive but the wind was blowing and it was too cold. Nelson said there was not very much to see there anyway. The trip back, was one I will never forget. The waves were gigantic and we were up and down for about 1 and 1/2 hours. There were many people who were sick and the staff ushered them outside to vomit outside off the back of the boat. No, we did not get sick, but we did take some sea sickness pills before we left for our trip back to Key West. It was a good trip but we were glad we were not on a sailboat. The cat boat went 35 miles an hour and only slowed down to jump the waves.We spent the night again with our friends and the next day, he and Nelson exchanged dinghies. Nelson wanted a smaller one with smaller motor and Bud wanted a larger one.
At Bud and Brenda's docks in Boca Chita, they are practicing for a conch blowing contest in Key West on March 7th. The girls are also dancing, blowing conchs and singing. It is really neat!
Everyone blows the conchs even at our Marathon, Boot Harbor at sunset. I have got to bring one of my conchs back when we go home in March.
It worked out good for them both.We spent yesterday doing errands. Nelson walked 5 miles to the hardware store and I walked a small journey to the Kmart and Grocery store. We rode our dinghy for several miles and left it at a dock for $5.00 while we did our shopping. Last night, we went up to the Marina and sat around and listened to many men play their guitars and we sang along. There was also a guy who had a small bongo drum and he was really good. There were a lot of people just standing around talking quietly and listening to the music.Our friends Marie and Chris left on Friday for the Bahamas with four other boats. We miss having them around. We are budding up with another boat for our trip sometime this week to the West Florida coast to Nelson's brother Ike's house on Cape Coral. We are waiting for a good weather window. Then we will continue our journey to Ike's. Hope that happens soon as this is our second week here.
We are ready for a change. But, we do like it here. Nelson is getting eager to get home and get the taxes completed
Hope to see you all soon!
Nelson & Ondra.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

We arrived in Marathon on Wednesday, February18th. We anchored in Boot Key Harbor for two days before we were given a mooring ball for our stay here. There are so many boats (sail & trawlers) here. It is a pretty sight at night with all the anchor lights on. It looks like stars in the sky. There are probably more than 300 boats on moorings, not counting the ones that are anchored. Nelson went to the Marina to check us in after we got anchored and found out that they were having a potluck dinner that night. I quickly threw a salad together to carry and we went in on the dinghy. There were dinghies everywhere. However, they are equipped to handle them here. They have many floating dinghy docks here. We had a delicious dinner and met a lot of nice and friendly people. Some of whom we had seen before in St. Mary’s at Thanksgiving. Thursday and Friday, we spent time getting laundry done and bringing water back to the boat as our tanks were getting very low. Nelson has bought several five gallon water jugs and we already had an eight gallon one on the boat. He takes the empty ones to the marina fills them and brings them back to the boat and then we pour them into our water tanks. This is much easier when you can steer the sailboat to the docks and fill the tanks with a hose. With all the traffic of dinghies here, it is almost impossible to get to the water hose with the sailboat. But, we did do it Saturday. Our sewage tank was full and we had to take the boat over to have a pump out as they will not come to your boat on the weekends. Our regular pump out date is not until Wednesdays and we could not make it until then. They have two pump out boats that come to your boat and pump out your tank once a week. We had to have a lot of help to get the boat out of the small area and back into the regular harbor as the wind was not in our favor. But, we made it without hitting another boat or dock.
Saturday, we and several others from our harbor walked a mile down to the Publix bus stop and caught a bus to take us to the Boaters Flea market in Islamorada which was about a 45 minute ride from here. We had a great time and yes, spent some money, but not a lot. On Sunday, we took the bus south to the government base near Key West to visit our friends Bud & Brenda from Jordan Creek, NC. They are keeping their sailboat here for a year and drive down very often. We enjoyed getting to see them. We drove their car to Key West where we found a neat little Bar & Grill, called, Hog Fish and had a delicious shrimp lunch. There was a chartered fishing boat that came in as we were leaving the grill and they had caught about 12 large containers of red snapper. Boy, did they look good!
Today, Nelson and Ray, a friend who has the same boat as we, are putting new mast lights on both boats. Nelson is smaller, so he is getting a ride up the mast. Ray is doing the hard labor by wrenching Nelson up to the top of the mast. Ours is done, and now Nelson is at the top of Ray’s mast. I know he will be glad to get finished as the wind is blowing about l0 knots here today. The winds makes it a bit chilly but not cold here today. We are really enjoying our stay here and do not know just when we will leave to go west. We are planning a dive trip with Bud and Brenda one day this week to the Dry Tortugas on a Catamaran sailing vessel. We haven’t made our reservations yet because we are waiting to see which day the wind will not be blowing very hard. This will cost us extra money, but Bud can get us a reduce rate since he is retired military. We are excited to do this as we had talked about going there with our boat but time would not allow it.
Take care and know that we are still enjoying our trip very much and also like keeping you informed of our adventures but sometimes, we are just too busy to stop and use the computer. We are looking forward to seeing everyone when we return.
Nelson & Ondra

Pictures of our Trip in Miami

1- Chris & Marie's boat, Spirit undersail on our ocean voyage
2-Holocaust Memorial in Miami
3-Cape Florida Lighthouse on No Name Harbor where we anchored one night-Nelson, Chris and Marie went up to the top but my legs asked me not to do it
4-This picture is what you see all around Miami, buildings everywhere and very tall
5-This snake man was everywhere we went-always on the streets and at the beach trying to get people to hold the snake or scaring someone with his snake-no, we did not hold it
6-On Lincoln Street, there is shops and outside cafes up and down the street-no through traffic and people everywhere-a nice place to visit and eat
7-Venetian Causeway-where we were anchored while in Miami-this little bridge was only for dinghy entry-we went to the grocery store under it and to enter the Collins canal which lead out toward the ocean-we traveled through here daily
Being on boat we have decided is the best way to see Miami-11days is too long to stay there-we were glad to move on to another area
Hope you enjoy the pictures!