Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let's get out of here!!!!!

The one thing you will hear from all cruisers is that plans can change!!!!
Brunswick Landing wasn't everything we had hoped for. We tried to settle in, but after three nights decided it just wasn't for us. Unfortunatley the decision to move was made after the kid's bikes were stolen!! So we woke up Monday morning at Brunswick Landing, thinking this was it for the month, and by Monday afternoon we were settled into Jekyll Harbour Marina. To tell the truth, we just couldn't get out of Brunswick quick enough (hence the 8 knots on the GPS).

We were fortunate that Jekyll had room for us. Momments after arriving the kids were once again away playing with the Schlump's (Corwin and Chantelle), whom we met up with at Olverson's. Here's a video of them entertaining (or being entertained by) Charlie, who also performed tricks for them.

Jekyll Island is a beautiful hidden treasure with alot of history. Within the first hour of arriving, while Mark was busy storing the outboards, the kid's and I took the courtsey car and headed for the beach. We knew at this point that we were going to love it here. Miles of beach in either direction (much like our favorite place Cape Hatteras).
After returning to the boat (and not trying to sound too excited in front of Daddy), we cleaned up and sat down to enjoy an amazing sunset and dinner at Sea Jay's, the restaurant located on the marina property. After dinner, and a couple of drinks we headed back to the boat to enjoy some family time.

After we got the kid's to bed Mark and I sat outside with a couple of drinks and both agreed we made the right decision to move.
Tuesday morning was met with mixed emotions as Mark had to leave, but we were all greatfull to be in such a beautiful place. Sasha (Chantell and Corwin's mom) was kind enough to take our minds off of Daddly leaving and took us to a beautiful spot (five minutes away) where we got to play on a tree rope, walk on the beach, climb trees and have a picnic. What a gorgeous day!!!!

This month we need to focus on school work again, so we got right back into full days of learning (along with a little history lesson about Jekyll Island from a guided tour).

Yesterday, after lesson's we headed to Walmart to get some groceries and buy new bikes for the kid's. Jekyll Island has miles of bike paths, so we couldn't see not having them for the month.

We woke up this morning to another beautiful day, and were treated to a dolphin tour from Randy (a fellow cruiser that works at the marina, and lives on his sailboat with his wife). Although we did not see any dolphin's we were treated to some wild horses on Cumberland Island, and a beautiful day on the water (Thank's Randy)!!!

Yes, I do believe the kids and I (and any visitor's that want to join us) will be very happy here!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

810 Miles, 17 Days, 2 Stops, Sanity Intact!!

So we continued to push South, planning to stay on the "inside" unless a lengthy weather window opened up and we could do a run offshore. It's been nice having a boat that draws less than 3'. The ICW has alot more shallow spots than it did the last time we came down it in 1998. Any boats drawing 5' or more spend alot of time bouncing off the bottom. The weather continued to be nice and we settled into our daily routines of an early departure from the anchorage (pulling the anchor at sunrise, usually 0700hrs). School continued for the kids, although, as the next video shows, it's not always a very formal affair!!

October 26th was Delaney's 9th Birthday. We pulled anchor and made our way to Beaufort, SC,-91.933594&sspn=34.075391,86.396484&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Beaufort,+South+Carolina,+United+States&ll=32.431581,-80.669829&spn=0.072879,0.168743&t=h&z=13 (Bew-fort, not to be confused with Bo-fort in NC) under grey skies, but that didn't dampen Delaney's mood. If she looks a little red-eyed it's because she got a little emotional over a necklace I bought her.

We planned to spend a day and a half in Beaufort, our second stop (on land) since leaving Virginia. We had real showers at the marina, then walked downtown for lunch.

Is it just me, or is Mitchell starting to look alot like Kurt Cobain???

We played tourist, wandering the streets and then taking a historical carriage tour of the town. The tour was actually very interesting, there is alot of history around Beaufort. The old houses and Spanish Moss really added to the southern feel of the place. By the way, "Forrest Gump", "The Big Chill" and "Prince of Tides" were all filmed in Beaufort.

We learned a few interesting things including 1. the reason for the 2 large sweeping stairs you see on southern homes (men would use one side because of dirt on their boots, women used the other side to keep the tails of their dresses clean), 2. why the ceilings of all the porches are painted blue (evil spirits will think they are underwater so will stay away and hornets will not build nests because they think there is only blue sky above them).

That night we went to a local restaurant to continue the celebration of Delaney's birthday.

While we were stopped the kids spent some of their money on a pair of "Yo Baby's", small boards that can be used for practicing boardsports (ie: skateboarding, wakeboarding).
Although we have been on the boat alot lately, the kids have continued to do a great job getting along and keeping entertained. We are all looking forward to getting to the Bahamas, warm weather and water. Here the kids are getting some practice in for wakeboarding.

We stopped in a nice anchorage just south of Hilton Head Island. We were sharing an off shoot of the main channel with 2 other Canadian boats, one from Kingston and the other from Midland. We were watching a movie when Delaney noticed some lights approaching us. We all got up to see a shrimp boat heading our way. We were expecting it to turn to starboard at any moment, sending it towards the main channel, but it kept heading our way.

All of us had our anchor lights on, but as it continued to head straight for us I figured I would pull out our 1,000,000 candle power spotlight just to give him a litle more information. We could see his radar was spinning so were "pretty" confident he could see us.

The next day we entered Georgia, passing through Thunderbolt.

Once again we stopped in an isolated anchorage for the night (Queen Bess River) and decided to take advantage of the location and do a little wakeboarding. Both kids did fantastic, really liking the new board. For a change, Lisa drove the dinghy for this session doing a great job of boat handling and pulling the kids

As we have mentioned, wildlife is pretty abundant along sections of the ICW. Dolphins have been a regular sighting for the past 10 days. Unfortunately they always disappear as soon as a camera is brought out! Here is a little video we managed to capture just to prove they are actually around us.

In addition to dolphins there are plenty of pelicans, cormorants, osprey's, bald eagles, egrettes and blue heron's. We are also now in manatee areas's but have yet to see one.

Butterflies=Good Insect

No-Seeums=Bad Insect
While in Beaufort we made sure to pick-up some pumpkins.
As you can imagine, with us spending as much time at anchor as we do, the kids have to be creative when it comes to passing the time. Yes they have books and video games, as well as the internet (just like at home, right!), and we have movie nights, but just playing around is something else. One really nice thing about our catamaran is that she is very stable on the water, so the wakes of passing boats don't bounce us around too much.. The kids really enjoy playing up on the boom and swinging from the rigging.
The kids each have a digital camera and every once in awhile they will capture a beautiful image.

This past Friday we arrived at our destination, Brunswick Landing Marina in Brunswick, GA.

It was very warm, around 32C, kinda a strange feeling knowing it was Halloween!!

The kids spent a few hours at the clubhouse, watching regular TV for the first time in quite awhile.

I spent the day getting our new wind generator installed. Charlotte-Ann is really looking like a crusing boat now!!
Lisa hid cannot throughout the boat last night and we let the kids go hunting for it. No, contrary to what they think, they won't get to eat everything they found (some is coming back to Newfoundland next week).

So after leaving Virginia almost 3 weeks ago, here we are at the end of the 3rd leg of the trip. It was a push, but it was also a great experience. We spent between 8-10 hrs underway everyday (except for day and a half stops in Morehead City and Beaufort) but the days didn't feel very long. It was nice once it warmed up, but that cold weather at the start of the leg meant strong north winds and plenty of sailing.

Also, thanks for the suggestions, we have decided on "Barefoot" for our wind chime idol (we bought him at Barefoot Landing, SC) .

Lisa will keep you up to speed on activities here in Georgia. I return to Newfoundland on Tuesday for my last trip to work before our next leg which will see us in the Bahamas!!!!