Monday, December 18, 2017

Confessions of a Lapsed Blogger – The Trip South

We left Maine in late August and sailed into Southern New England with stops in New Bedford, Newport, South Hampton, and Stonington where we had a nice visit with our family. The passage to Annapolis took two days, rounding the eastern tip of Long Island and going directly to Delaware Bay and ultimately the Chesapeake. 

Almost a month in Annapolis allowed us to do some maintenance and provisioning along with socializing with all the cruisers who tend to congregate there every fall.  We spent one day at the Annapolis Boat Show and then left the following day to travel overnight down the length of the Chesapeake, as weather was beginning to control our plans.  We dawdled in Hampton, Portsmouth, and Great Bridge, waiting for friends to catch up, and took our time traveling the sounds inside of the Outer Banks.  We finally got the weather window we wanted and went offshore from Beaufort (Cape Lookout), NC to Charleston, SC where we had an extended stay awaiting the first of November when our insurance allows us to enter Florida.  An overnight passage took us to St. Augustine where we stayed a week. Then, it was back to the ICW for stops in Marineland, Vero, and now our current location, Stuart, Florida. It has been a wild fall, hurricane-wise, but we were fortunately never in the path of these storms which ravaged other cruising grounds. While physically safe, we were with other cruisers in spirit and morn all the loss destruction we have seen.  We will be staying in Stuart for almost two months as we do more maintenance and provision for our trip to the Bahamas, hopefully departing mid-January.  Meanwhile, we are enjoying Stuart and looking forward to spending Christmas with some of our family and greeting friends arriving by land in January.

So here’s a collection of pictures Burt took this fall on our way south. (Note, if you double click the pictures they blow up to full screen for better viewing.) And, he joins me in wishing you a very Merry Christmas, wonderful holiday season, and all the best in the coming year. 

Stonington, Ct.

Sunset at Stonington anchorage

Pride of Baltimore visiting Annapolis

Local favorite, Bear, in the Classic Boat Race in Annapolis

British boat in the Classic Boat Race

Looking out from our dock in Galesville (Hartge Yacht Harbor), just south of Annapolis.  We even had a pair of eagles across the way from our dock.

Hartge Yacht Harbor - sunset and moon rise

USS Gerald Ford returning to Norfolk Naval Station - starting to fly the colors and assemble crew on deck for the formal return to the naval base.

Large naval vessel in dry dock at Norfolk.

Cape Lookout, NC - our staging point for the passage to Charleston.

One of the sand bars at Cape Lookout

Mother ocean treating us nicely on the passage to Charleston

Ravenel Bridge spanning the Cooper River in Charleston

Harbor traffic

One of Charleston's famous fountains

Angel Oak just outside Charleston - thought to be the Oldest Live Oak in North America

Exploring Castilllo de San Marco in St. Augustine

Decorative Spanish cannons

Castillo de San Marco

Spanish influenced architecture at Flagler College, St. Augustine

Interesting fountain

Quaint streets in St. Augustine

Bird of Paradise along the way

A stormy day in Marineland, just south of St. Augustine.  Notice the beach is virtually non-existent.  Hurricane Irma decimated the coastline here, even taking out a road that accessed shoreline million dollar homes.

A year old dolphin makes friendly gesture through the glass windows of the tank at Marineland.  This was an otherwise disappointing facility that has fallen on hard times.  The marina across the street was lovely, though.

A dolphin in the wild as it should be - probably somewhere off the Carolinas - and entertaining us as it plays in our wake. Even in the wild, they try to connect with us, making eye contact and staying with us as long as we pay attention to them (or until a tasty meal swims by).

Exuberant on a mooring at Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart, Florida.  The picture was taken by our good friend and photographer extraordinaire, Jim Austin.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Confessions of a Lapsed Blogger - Maine Gardens

There is something special about summer in Maine.  It is definitely short and thus gaardens must display their glory in a matter of weeks instead of months. Flowers growing amidst the rocks, window boxes, and formal gardens are everywhere as gardeners celebrate the short growing season.  Most of these pictures were taken in the Thuya Gardens outside of Northeast Harbor, but others came from Camden, The Abby Rockefelleer Gardens in Acadia National Park, and the botanical gardens outside Boothbay. Please enjoy as no comments are necessary.