Friday, November 25, 2005

Life with family

When we left house and jobs to live on the boat it seemed that we would also be leaving family and friends. One of the best discoveries about this life on the east coast is that they have joined us. Here are Maria's brother Joe, his wife Angie, and the amazing Karl and Katherine in Baltimore. We look back through our pictures and remember visits with people we love.

Dolphin olympics

We hosted 4 episodes of the dolphin Olymics just off the bow of our boat. 4 or 5 dolphins would charge towards the boat and then race just ahead, diving down and braiding back and forth, sometimes making 360 degree rolls. They could have been challenging us or competing against each other. We managed to stay on the boat and politely decline their invitations to come in a play.

Sabin took a photograph of Vinnie and I on the bow for the first dolphin event. The boat was left to steer itself and we were the fans in the bleachers.

The fleet

We left Beaufort in a fleet of three for the all night sail to Fernandina Beach. Micheal on Pagan Chant and Sabin on Kayess also wanted to miss the long and winding waterway of Georgia. It was great to have company through the night.

Back In Beaufort SC

We had a long sail off shore from Georgetown to Port Royal sound inlet and then up the river to Beaufort. It has become one of family favorite meeting places and Maria's parents and her Aunt Suzanne from Oregon came to enjoy gracious Southern living and some good meals.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Too many sunsets

It seems that there are too many pictures of sunsets and sunrises, water and clouds. But these things are the focus of our attention now, especially since TV, movies, and other entertainments are gone. They are the pictures of our life.

Our wake in the Dismal swamp

Ocean sunrise after an all night sail. "I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night."


At Beaufort NC we again attempt to sail off shore. After leaving the channel before the sun came up, we found that large waves and strong winds were against us and we turned back to plod down the ICW. Fortunately, this included a return to the Waccamaw River which is isolated, peaceful, and lovely.

The river winds past small, mysterious inlets and forested banks. It has a beauty that can't be captured in a photograph but it surrounds you in strange other world.

Sunset on the Alligator

The nasty weather on the Alligator river was redeemed by a beautiful sunset.

Alligator River

Unfortunately, despite all our travel, the winter weather hounded us. The cold and storms discouraged night sailing off shore and we plodded along on the winding shoaled ICW. Travel down the Alligator River was cursed by cold, constant rain, and strong winds. The land was desolate and undeveloped, but lovely in its own way.

The Dismal trip

We love the Dismal swamp. Its water is darker than chocolate milk and very still. It is a very peaceful place and only one or two other boats are seen in a days travel.

Small stumps and even old pilings sprout impromptu ornamental plantings of small trees, ferns, and wild flowers.

Dismal Locks

After Vinnie and Maria's Dad fixed the transmission cable, we headed off to the Dismal swamp.
At the locks early in the morning, we enjoyed coffee with the lock master.

The lockmasters office is decorated with shells and other gifts from the tropics which have been given by passing cruisers. These are attractively arranged around some banana trees in front of the office.


It is wonderful to share time with family on the boat and we met Maria's parents in Crisfield.

An afternoon sail on the Chesapeake

Crisfield is in waterman territory, where people have crabbed and oystered for generations. We were inspired by the sight of men working the trot lines in the early haze of morning and did some chicken necking on the boat, catching 6 crabs.

When family, especially parents, are visiting it is alway pleasant to have things go smoothly. Unfortunately, on their last day, the transmission cable broke at a crucial moment. A crowd of horrified watermen witnessed yet another example of the foolishness of those crazy sailboat people. Maria's parents took it very well.

Ahhh, the Chesapeake

It was a joy to return to the osprey and waters of the Chesapeake. We anchored in St Micheals as the Alberg 30 Association arrived for their annual rendezvous. Amante is an Alberg design and they kindly invited us to their soup pot luck at a local park for great food, beautiful boats, and visiting with other sailors.

Maria's sister and her family picked us up and portaged us to their home in DC so we got to enjoy another visit with Liza, Nat, Devin and Lexie. It is wonderful that in some ways we have been able to see them more since moving on to the boat.

Running from winter

The weather turned cold and ugly so we stopped our relaxed mosey down the coast. In several long day / night sails we hurried through Long Island Sound and New York City, down the New Jersey coast, up the Delaware River, and into the C&D canal.

Back with the Stacks

Ginny and Peter (and their lovely cat Tip) welcomed us back to their home and treated us to a wonderful time. We went canoeing and surf fishing. Thanks to Peter's catch we had 2 dinners of Vinnie's favorite, blue fish.


Newport Rhode Island is the land of beautiful boats and grand living. We walked for miles taking it in and thought the cliff path especially impressive. On one side the rocky coast lay far below and on the other were the grand buildings used as seasonal cottages by the rich and famous of past generations.

The breakers

Gates to a cottage.

In Newport, like many other places, there are the strang quirky things that appear without explanation or historical marker. This statue in a public park may be the national poodle memorial.

Heading South

After the excitment of Cape Cod and the islands, we returned to Rhode Island and for several weeks explored small towns and lovely anchorages. Ophelia the dreaded storm threatened but never appeared. All our work preparing for her arrival gave us practice for the stormy weather of the next several weeks, including Wilma.