Monday, November 28, 2011

Last Boat's final trip until the New Year

We were awake by 6:00 Saturday morning so we started getting the boat ready for our trip over to Marco Island. As Nelson was checking the oil, he noticed that all our engine coolant had leaked out and was in the bottom tray under the engine compartment. We begin checking and found that the hose to the radiator had rotted and had come off the engine. So, Nelson quickly repaired this problem and we pulled the anchor in Little Shark River around 6:45 with very little water depth and slowly moved out into the gulf for our day to Marco Island. Yea! We did find enough water and did not run agound. It was a much better day on the water as the winds were only blowing 10 knots most all the day until late afternoon. We had to go way out into the gulf because of shallow water so it took us longer to get into Marco than we expected. We did arrive around 3:00 and anchored at the Factory anchorage. It was a pleasant place to anchor and there were two other boats anchored there also. We had drinks and a snack, later had dinner, and watched two movies before going to bed.
Sunday, November 27, we pulled our anchor for the last time in a while and headed out into the gulf for Cape Coral, where we plan to leave the boat when we go home for Christmas. What a wonderful day on the water! The weather was perfect! I actually lay in the sun for two hours while we motor sailed most of the trip. We made it there in less time than we had expected. We were tied up to Nelson’s brother, Ike’s dock by 2:30. We are so thankful for the wonderful trip we have had coming south. We hope to be back in NC by the first of next week. Ike is letting us drive his car back home for Christmas. He and Babs are so kind to let us leave our boat at their house and then use their car to drive home. Plus, they are feeding us so well while we are here and we also are doing our laundry. Better than Marina life! Thank you, Ike and Babs! We are looking forward to seeing our friends and family when we get home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More pictures of Last Boat Journeys 2011

Susan Cole on SuzyQ riding in the hammock

Nelson & Ondra having dinner (outside, of course)

Oh no, smoke again! They were burning where they were clearing lots beside the ICW.

How would you like to live here? We see this boat here everytime we have been this route.

Even the captain likes a sweet treat every now and then.(candy)

One of the many Lighthouses we have seen on our trip

One of 20 bascule bridges we went under after having to wait for it to be raised. Sometimes we waited 30-40 minutes.

Nov.22-25 Last Boat Journeys

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 we pulled the anchor at 6:45 in Pumpkin Key and headed south continuing our trip through the Florida ICW. We had had enough of the ocean and decided to go through the Keys by ICW which we had not done before. The books say that a 5 foot draft boat can make it through the skinny waters of the ICW. Well, we had our doubts many times as we just knew we would be aground with 0 depths too many times. But, we had made the commitment to go the entire trip ICW so we decided to continue our journey even though we were not sure we would make it. But, we did! We don’t know how except that God was guiding us all the way. We arrived at Marathon Shores at sunset and decided to anchor there for the night and finish our trip to Boot Key Harbor the following morning. We anchored at 4:30 and had another peaceful night on the water.
Wednesday, we pulled anchor at 8:15 and headed under the Seven Mile bridge and over to Boot Key Harbor. We stopped at a fuel dock just before the Harbor called Ponchos and refueled and got our forward water tank filled. Then, we called Boot Key Marina and they told us to go to T9 mooring ball for the night. Nelson later rode the dinghy over to the Marina to check us in. Later, Nelson and I went for a ride through the mooring field and did not see any boats there that we had met in years past. We then rode over to some docks where our friends, Jeff & Ann were living on their boat, Sea Quest. Jeff was there and we enjoyed getting to talk with him again. He was leaving on his boat in two weeks for Texas. Hope you have a great trip, Jeff!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
We thought we would have Thanksgiving dinner with other people in boats there at the Marina, but we heard on the Cruisers Net the following morning that we visiting sail boaters were not invited. That was ok! We had a great meal by ourselves and then went to the beach for the afternoon.
Friday, November 25, 2011 is a special day for Nelson and me. Our first son, Will, was born on that day. Happy Birthday, Will! We love you!
We also departed Marathon and headed west and back under the Seven Mile Bridge. We are now anchored at Little Shark River for the night. We arrived here this afternoon around 2:30. We were not sure this was going to be a good day on the water as the winds were forecast to blow all day at least 20 knots. Well, they did and sometimes 28-30. It was a choppy ride most of the way here but we are thankful to be here and all in one piece. The crab pots were everywhere so we had to continuously watch for them the whole trip and deal with the high winds. We are here for the night and are thankful to have made it here in record time.

November 18-21 Last Boat Journeys

On Friday, Nov. 18, we decided to stay one more night at Vero and get some boat projects done. We changed the oil, and cleaned the raw water filter. Both jobs were needed and the weather was not a good traveling day as the winds were up and the skies were very overcast.
Saturday, Nov. 19, we departed Vero at 7:00 and traveled 62 miles to North Lake Worth anchorage. Great place to anchor with many other boats. Weather was beautiful all day and temperatures were in the mid seventies.
Sunday, November 20 at 7:00, we departed our anchorage with two Canadian sailboats and headed south for Ft. Lauderdale. What a beautiful day on the water! The temp was probably in the eighties. We had a tiring day as we had to wait for bridges with many other boats all day. Most of the bascule bridges have certain times they open and if you are not right there, you have to wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour for the next opening. We had to go through 20 of these bridges today. What a pain! We made it to Ft. Lauderdale at 4:15 pm and anchored in the Middle River anchorage. What a nice place to anchor. We followed the Canadian boats there and we were impressed. We will definitely stay there again.
Monday, November, 21, we pulled anchor at 7:15 am and headed out the Inlet at Ft. Lauderdale for the ocean voyage to Miami. We were by ourselves as the other couples had to go to the bank before leaving that morning and they were staying in Miami until they could get a weather window to the Bahamas. Boy! We had a rocky, rolling time on the big open seas. The winds were up and it was a rocky ride all 59 miles to Miami. We were moving along the coastline and were about 10 miles out so we still could see the big Condos on the beaches. We decided we had had enough and went into the Governments Cut at 12:30 and continued our journey down south through Florida’s Biscayne Bay. This was a much better ride for the both of us. We arrived inside Pumpkin Key at 5: oo pm and anchored for the night in front of some nice homes along the waters edge. We had a very nice quiet night and got some much needed rest. Nelson and I are traveling alone now and are still enjoying our trip together.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jackson carving his jack-o-lantern at Justin & Lindsey's house with a little help from his dad, Will.

Vero Beach -Nov.16-18

Monday, November 14 we left the mooring field and headed south. We were not sure just how far we were going to travel but we ended up going passed New Smyrna Beach and anchoring south of the New Smyrna Beach Yacht Club just to the left of the ICW with three other boats. We arrived there around 5:15 after traveling 59 miles on the water. Again, the weather was wonderful and we were in short pants and short sleeve shirts. Robert and Susan on SuzyQ radioed that they wanted us to come to their boat for spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Boy! They were great! And, to top it off, Susan had made another delicious key lime pie and we all had a piece before we returned to our boat for the night. We missed the first of Dancing with the Stars but watched the last half.
Tuesday, November 15, we pulled the anchors and started our last travels together with Robert & Susan for Titusville, FL. We only traveled 31 miles on the ICW before getting there. The weather was good but we did have some overcast weather at times. We arrived at Titusville at 2:30 in the afternoon. Nelson and I decided to wash our boat as it had gotten a yellow residue on it when we were in Fernandina Beach. After a long afternoon of cleaning we were tired and ready to get cleaned up and go for a walk to find a neat place to eat dinner. Robert, Susan, Nelson, and I walked to a restaurant under the bridge not too far from the marlna. The food was good. After a walk back, we went to their boat for the last of the key lime pie. It was great! It was sad to say our goodbyes to Robert and Susan. We enjoyed traveling with them.
We will miss them.
We departed the Titusville Marina on Wednesday morning at 6:45 by ourselves headed for Vero Beach.
We had a long day on the water with the sky looking like rain most of the day. But, we did not get the rain and had a good 72 mile day on the water. We arrived at Vero Beach Marina at 5:30, just before the sunset. We were very low on fuel and were happy that we made it to the dock where we refueled, got a pump out, and filled the water tanks before going to the mooring ball. After the marina trip, we went to find our mooring in the dark. We found the boat that we were on the mooring ball with and yelled “Hello” so they would know we were getting ready to hook up with their boat. Eric came out of his boat and helped us hook up beside his sailboat. He is alone at the time as his wife went to see her grandson in a play in MO.
Today, we slept in and later went into town on a bus and did some shopping at West Marine and then grocery shopping. When we returned to the boat, I did laundry at the marina while Nelson connected speakers outside the boat. Tonight, we are going to our favorite River Café here to have a shrimp Po Boy and I will just have fried shrimp. Later we plan to change the oil and if we get that done, we may travel further south tomorrow. We are watching the weather before we make the decision. Take care; Nelson says it is time to go eat!

St. Augustine FL- Nov. 12-14

Thursday, November 17, 2011 and we are at Vero Beach! We have been having so much fun, that I have not taken time to update my blog lately.
We arrived at St. Augustine, FL on Saturday, November 12th on a beautiful, sunny and warm day. We traveled 57 miles on the ICW and made it there by 3:15 in the afternoon. What a neat place to be! We caught a mooring ball in the mooring field after stopping by the marina for fuel, a pump out and refilling our water tanks. Nelson asked everyone if we could find a pizza place to eat as he was passed ready for pizza. I don’t make pizza on the boat! Guess I should!
Too much trouble! We found a great Italian Place on St. George St. and we all had salad and then two different kinds of pizza. We had pepperoni of course, and then Garbage Pizza (black olives, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions and lots of cheese). We all ate and still had pizza leftovers.
A great place to eat! Robert stopped at a fudge shop and bought us a slice of fudge. Wow! It was great chocolate with walnuts! Yes, I did eat too much of it! It did not last long.
Sunday morning, we invited Robert & Susan to our boat for a country breakfast. We had country sausage in the links, grits, eggs, bread, and fruit! They ate as if they enjoyed it. We also had plenty of coffee. We ate outside as the weather was beautiful!
Sunday afternoon, we all went back into town for a long walk and over to O’Malley’s to watch the ballgame and talk with other boaters that we had met earlier. We spent the afternoon and had a roast beef sandwich before we left there. We also went by Rick & Linda’s boat before going back to our boat. What a nice boat they have! It is a 43 foot catamaran and has four sleeping berths.
Monday morning, we left St. Augustine and headed south. We did enjoy our time there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

From Cumberland Isloand, GA to St. Augustine, FL

Thursday, November 10, we departed our anchorage and headed over to Cumberland Island, GA. We got there around 2:30 and the winds were beginning to blow hard bringing in the dreaded colder weather. Robert and Susan came over with their dog, Abbey, picked me up and we went for a long walk through Cumberland Island. Wow! What a beautiful place. There are trails for walking and the Island is covered with very old large oaks covered in Spanish moss and the ground is covered with small palms. We saw many wild horses, wild turkeys and a deer. We came to a large frame of a mansion which had been destroyed by fire. It was a fine place in its time.
Later that night, we had a delicious steak /salad dinner with our friends; Robert & Susan on Last Boat .They make some delicious scalloped potatoes and more key lime pie. We enjoyed having them over for dinner together!
Friday morning, the weather had turned very cold and we chose not to leave our anchorage until 10:00. We were only going to Amelia Island Marina where we chose to get a boat slip and have electricity so we could use our heater. What a nice place to stop! We enjoyed getting here by 12:00 and had the remainder of the afternoon to rest and take a break from the cold and windy weather. We called a cab and went to the Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie for needed supplies and groceries. Later, we took a cab to a nice restaurant, here on Amelia Island, called Sliders Grill. We had a delicious cup of seafood chowder and also a crab cake.
We want to thank all the veterans for their services to help our country have the freedom that we enjoy here in the USA. We wish them all a Happy Veterans Day!
Tomorrow, we plan to travel 60 miles to St. Augustine, FL where we will stay two days. Hope the weather will get warmer and the wind will not blow as strong as it has for the past two days.

Travels of Last Boat Nov-6-9, 2011

November 6, 2011 after anchoring in South Edisto River, we departed Mon., Nov 7 headed to Beaufort, SC. We were making great time on a beautiful sunny morning. When we got to the Lady Island Swing Bridge, we found out we had to wait from 11:00 am to 1:00pm before the bridge would open due to excess traffic on road going into Beaufort. So, we threw out an anchor, and had lunch and just rested until 12:45. By then, there were 8-10 other sailboats waiting to go through the bridge. Of course, it was exactly one o’clock before it opened. What a waste of time for our travels! That night, we anchored at Bull Creek anchorage around 5:30 just before dark. The new time keeps us from traveling late in the day. We had a beautiful sunny day on the water and a peaceful anchorage for the night. Since Nelson was feeling poorly, we opted to stay on our boat and get some needed rest.
Tues., Nov 8, we pulled anchor at 7:00 am and headed south down the ICW. The weather was sunny and we even motor sailed since we had some wide water to travel. We keep hoping to go out in the ocean but the big waves keep us in the ICW. At 5:00 pm, we anchored in Cattle Pen Creek. A nice anchorage! We went over to the SuzyQ for cocktails and later a delicious piece of Key lime pie. Wow! It was great!
Later, back at our boat, we watched the end of Dancing with the Stars and saw Nancy Grace get voted off! I knew it had to be her time.
On Wed., Nov 9, we pulled anchor and motor sailed down the ICW on a sunny beautiful warm day. We actually had shorts and short sleeves on today. Wish all the days were like this one! About 4:00 in the afternoon, we pulled into Morning Star Marine at St. Simons Island for a pump out, fuel refill, and added water to one of our water tanks. Afterwards, we motored over to an anchorage close to the marina for the night. The winds picked up and by morning, we had temps close to the 30s. Robert and Susan on SuzyQ came over to our boat, and had cocktails and she brought the remainder of her key lime pie for desert. Wow! It was wonderful! I can’t wait to get to the grocery store to get ingredients to make another one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

My typing skills are not what they used to be. I have started this blog twice and lost everything that I typed before I saved it. Now, I will type in word and transfer so I do not lose it again.
We enjoyed our stay in Isle of Palm. The weather was cold, some rain, but mostly very windy which made it even seem colder than it was. We stayed on the boat most all day Sat. morning doing odds and ends jobs that needed our attention. We fixed broken parts, replenished batteries, and just cleaned and organized the boat. Saturday afternoon, after a short walk, Susan and I did laundry and enjoyed talking while we waited for our things to finish drying.
At 5:30 Saturday afternoon, we went to an oyster roast given by the marina restaurant right beside our boat. They had a live band which played great music! They had oysters, chili, and trimmings for $15 for all you could eat. It was very good and there were many people there from all around even in the windy cold weather. At 8:00, we had enough to eat and decided to go inside the restaurant for coffee, and dessert and most of all, to get warm. We shared a crème Brule and key lime pie. It was delicious! Our night ended with decaf coffee with baileys & crème. We were back on the boat at 9:00. I must have eaten too much or what I ate did not agree with me as I turned very sick with a terrible stomach virus until I finally went to bed around 11:30. Not a good thing on a sailboat but I survived! I was very weak yesterday, but we did leave the docks and continued on down the ICW on our trip south. It was a good day on the water even though it was still a little cool. We are now used to changing clothes quite frequently to accommodate the weather. We anchored just beside the ICW last night north of Beaufort, SC. We stayed on our boat and just rested and of course, watched the football game. We both are feeling better today and the weather is beautiful out here. We hope to get close to GA this afternoon. We are eager to get further south to get warmer weather.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nov 2- Nov 4, 2011

When we returned to the boat Sunday afternoon to take the pictures, another boat across the dock from us was from Kansas City, MO and Lindsey was asking if we had met the people on the boat from her home town. We had not seen they until we started to leave that day and they came down the dock returning to their boast after a road trip to Charleston and we met them briefly. They were also leaving Tuesday morning and were interested in leaving with us going south also. So, we talked to them Tuesday morning and we decided to travel together. We have a 35 ft. Catalina and they have a 36 ft. Benateau called SuzyQ. Their names are Robert and Susan Cole. We appreciate them wanting to hang along with us older folks as they are much younger than us. They also have their dog, Abby who travels with them. They live on their boat and have been traveling since May of this year. We have really enjoyed their company and their cute Boykin spaniel, Abby.
Tuesday, we traveled the ICW as the ocean was 4-5 ft waves.
We did not leave Wilmington until lunch time so we only got just past Southport, NC and anchored in Dutchman’s Creek for the night. Robert & Susan joined us on our boat for afternoon snacks and drinks where we got to know more about each other. What a nice and fun evening with getting to know them and of course, Abby. They too are planning to go to the Bahamas this trip. But, they are leaving before Christmas so maybe we will see them again after the holidays as they plan to stay there until April.
Wednesday, we departed our anchorage at 8:15 and continued our journey south followed by our friends Robert, Susan, and Abby on sailboat, SuzyQ. We had a great day on the ICW again with the sun shining and the temperature in the high 70s. We decided to travel through the good day while we had it and anchored in the Waccamaw River after Myrtle Beach, SC in a small Creek to the left of the ICW which looked like dinosaur land. There was one other boat there when we arrived. Reminded me of dinosaur land. Lots of Cyprus trees and water.
We went over to SuzyQ and had drinks and snacks with them until 9:00. Next morning, we pulled anchor and headed down the ICW south with cooler weather and more wind. ICW is not wide so we do very little sailing while traveling ICW. But, the sun did come out and the weather was good for another day to travel long distance. We motored all day and anchored in Awendaw Creek around 5:00 for the night. This is a wonderful Creek to anchor as the water id plenty deep and there is lots of room for many boats. There were probably at least ten boats anchored there last night. We saw dolphins playing in the waters there also.
We had anchored there on our trip home in June and liked it then.
Friday, Nov. 4 we pulled into Isle of Palm Marina near Charleston, SC. We had rain last night and the weather has gotten cold. Back to coats and more clothing this weekend. We were glad to get to the Marina and get hooked up to electricity so we could use our heat for the weekend as we will probably stay here for the weekend. The weather is supposed to be rainy tomorrow and also very windy. We may take a water taxi into Charleston while we are here. It is nice to be here and getting my blog started again for this trip. Sorry I talk so much but hope you will enjoy keeping up with our travels on our boat south. Take care and let us hear from you. Nelson & Ondra

Oct 24-25, 2011

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2011, we pulled the anchor and headed out of Spooners Creek going south again down the ICW. We were headed to Wilmington but knew we could not get there today, so decided to stop early at Mile Hammock Bay, the military training area which is a wonderful place to anchor after leaving Swansboro area. There were helicopters flying over the anchorage until late afternoon so it was very noisy when we arrived. There were also some marines on the shoreline doing some other training but we could not decide just what they were doing but it did not look dangerous to us. One cannot leave his boat when anchoring there because it is military owned. There were many other boats to join us there by late afternoon.
We enjoyed turkey and gravy over rice for dinner along with green beans. Watched Grey & Private Practice and went to bed after the news.
Friday, Oct 25, we pulled anchor around 7:30 and headed over to Wrightsville Beach to SeaPath Marina as we were leaving the boat to stay the weekend with our other son, Justin and his family for the weekend. We arrived there around 2:30 in the afternoon and were pleasantly helped by the dock masters, Chris and Adam. They were very helpful in helping us with fueling and getting our boat secure before leaving it there over the weekend.
Justin, Lindsey, and Mya met us at the boat around 5:00 and we stopped long enough for some takeout dinner and headed to their house. We loved getting to see them and spending several nights with them. I had gotten a cold and was beginning to cough much so planned to see a doctor while there. On Saturday, we went to a soccer game in Leland to see Mya’s babysitter’s two children play. They were so excited to see us there. Mya was also excited to see them and them her also. We are so glad they found Olga and her family for Mya as they are a very sweet and loving family and we could tell they loved Mya as much as we do. Olga has three children, ages, 5, 9 & ll. Sorry we did not get to meet her husband. It started raining so we did not stay long. We stopped for breakfast and went shopping for new rugs for our boat. We went by to see if they fit and they were the perfect fit and color. Sunday, Lindsey and I took Mya to the doctor to check to see if she had an ear infection as she also had a cold. She only had the cold and was given some meds to clear it up.On Monday, I went to an Urgent Care and also saw a doctor as my cold was turning into asthma. I am now taking prednisone and hopefully will be well soon. Sunday afternoon, Will, Stacey, and Jackson came to Wilmington. We enjoyed eating burgers at PT’s and later went to the boat and took family pictures. They turned out great! I had copies made so I could have them on my trip. I will try to get them on the blog one day. Nelson and I had the pleasure of keeping Mya on Monday while Lindsey was at school. We also got to spend extra time with Justin after he came home from work. Monday night was Halloween and we loved being there to see Mya dressed as a cute little cupcake! We gave out candy to the other kids while Justin & Lindsey took Mya around their neighborhood to some of their friends. Jackson was in Wilmington dressed as a skeleton! He was really neat! We drove back to the boat late Monday night so we would be ready to pull out from the Marina Tuesday morning. We loved getting to see our family one more time before leaving any further south!

Tuesday, October 23, 2011 Departed Jordan Creek heade4d south for warmer weather

Tuesday, October 23, 2011 at 11:00 am, Last Boat departed Jordan Creek Marina with captains Nelson and Ondra Gainey headed south to warmer weather, Florida bound.
We went to the boat on Monday but it took us a day and a half to get the boat packed with warm, cool and cold weather clothing as well as food for the first few weeks of traveling the ICW. Our first night, we anchored just outside of Oriental in Adams Creek. After a shrimp Alfredo dinner and some TV watching, we retired early and slept until 7:00 the following morning.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, we pulled anchor at Adams Creek around 8:15am heading further south toward Morehead City. We had a beautiful day on the waterway and stopped just below Morehead City at Sooners Creek for the night. We arrived there early afternoon, around 1:00pm. What a neat little creek to anchor for the night. There was a small marina and many beautiful houses surrounding the waters edge. It was well protected from the open waters. Several other boaters came in as the time became later in the day. Around 4:30, our son, Will called and said he and Jackson were headed over to see us. We were delighted to take our small dinghy off the back of the boat and Nelson motored over to the docks to meet them. Jackson had to have me tell him exactly how I had fallen when I had my accident while traveling to Edenton three weeks before on our boat. If you were not aware, we were in the ICW Alligator Canal and we hit something which caused the boat to come to an abrupt stop and I was thrown down into the main salon of the boat. I was a lucky girl as I only had a broken nose, seven stitches to my forehead and a swollen right knee from tissue damage and a hairline fracture on my wrist. Thank you, God for looking out for me! Nelson was fixing something in the head and was not hurt and did not know I was until he came out the door and found me lying on the floor bleeding from the head and nose. Anyway, I am fine now and we were so glad to have Jackson land Will on our boat. Jackson and I fished for awhile until we caught an eel. Then we played a few games and made some soda with our soda machine. Later, we went to Walmart to get several things we had forgotten to bring. Stacey then met us at Snapperz for a delicious seafood dinner. Later, we said our goodbyes to Jackson & Stacey and Will returned us to Spooners Creek where we dingied back to our sailboat. We loved getting to see them on our way south!

2011 Last Boat - Nelson & Ondra Gainey Journey South