Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas in St. Augustine

While we love Charleston, as with all places there comes a “right time” to leave.  Upon leaving Charleston, we found the weather unfavorable for sailing on the “outside” and opted to use the Atlantic Inter-Coastal Waterway for sections of our journey.

Beaufort, SC Waterfront
We took a few days to reach Beaufort, SC where we anchored out for a few nights and explored a beautiful southern town with magnificent homes and a vibrant downtown.  After enjoying Beaufort we tucked in behind Hilton Head Island in Skull Creek where we were treated to a magnificent sunset at anchor in a little creek among the marshy wetland. 
Beaufort, SC

Georgia’s barrier islands protect it from the onslaught of Atlantic storms and hurricanes.  We tucked in behind St. Simon’s and Jekyll Island in the port of Brunswick for three days of marina living.  Here Sherrie, the dock master, skillfully guided us into a slip and took good care of us. The marina provided freebies including WiFi, laundry, bicycles, pumpout, and most importantly beer and wine!  Jason and our three-year-old grandson, Liam, joined us for a few days of touring the barrier islands and walking on the miles of beach. A three-year-old onboard added a new level of energy to the pace we are accustomed to but we love introducing him to our nautical lifestyle.

Due to more inclement weather, we navigated the ICW to the southernmost barrier island, Cumberland Island, part of the National Seashore.  Pristine maritime forests, Live Oaks dripping with Spanish moss, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes bring visitors close to nature. Aboriginal peoples, missionaries, slaves and wealthy industrialists all lived here at one time or another. In the early 1880s, Thomas Carnegie and his wife, Lucy, came to the island and established the family home, Dungeness. Only ruins remain but they offer a window into the way the elite lived at the turn of the century.  Lucy Carnegie was friendly with Thomas Edison
Dungenous Ruins
Cumberland I., Ga.
 and she had a DC power plant constructed to provide the estate with electricity and she also had a 600’ deep artesian well drilled bringing in ample fresh water. She was an interesting woman ahead of her time in many ways. Here’s a link to a PDF file for more information about Lucy and Dungeness:

Arriving in St. Augustine for the holidays feels wonderful.  Over 2.5 million Christmas lights 
Ponce De Leon Hotel
(now part of Flagler College)
St. Augustine, Fl.
transform the nation’s oldest city into a charming holiday destination. We were thrilled by a second visit from Jason, saw Star Wars in 3D at an IMAX, and were joined by Lois and Grant for a fun day.  Family visits make our travels much more meaningful and enjoyable. 

We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with friends just south of here and wish you all the best for the new year.

Richard & Kay

More Pics

At anchor on the ICW
St. Simon Island, Ga.
St. Simon Island, Ga.
Jackal Island -National Seashore
Cumberland Island, GA

Got Bourbon?
St. Augustine Distilleries
St. Augustine

Grant, Lois and Kay
St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Monday, December 7, 2015

Charleston and Points South

We arrived in Charleston after a two-day motor from Beaufort (pronounced boe-fort) NC. Never had we experienced the open ocean so flat and so calm.  Great for comfort, not so good for sailing.  Despite 38 hours of motoring and 2 hours of sailing, Atalanta only consumed 38 gallons of fuel.  Thick fog surrounded us as we neared Charleston and we entered the harbor as the sun rose.  We attached our lines to the “Megadock” at Charleston City Marina where we remained for a month.

Charleston is rich with history, culture, art and food. The coastline along the city side of the Ashley River boasts lovely colonial mansions lining “The Battery” – named during the long ago days when cannons protected the city.  We spent as much of our time as possible time visiting Jason and Liam, our 3-year-old grandson.  What a treat to be greeted with smiles and hugs when we picked him up at daycare and to get more hugs and kisses at bedtime.  We shared Thanksgiving at Jason’s house with friends from South Africa that we met in Grenada over a year ago.

Atalanta refused to be ignored and presented us with her Christmas list: new house batteries, a new anchor/tri-color light for the top of the mast (Richard was up there for 3 hours installing it), and lots of varnishing. 

Capt. Ed's ride
Cruising down the ICW
While docked, we had an opportunity to meet some of our neighbors including Captain Ed aboard a165-foot yacht.  We were impressed with what $50 million will buy and decided we shouldn’t really be complaining about the repairs and maintenance Atalanta requires. She would probably fit inside the engine room Capt. Ed is responsible for.

Beaufort, SC
On December 6th we unplugged the electric line, disconnected the cable tv, cast off the dock lines and meandered down the inter-coastal waterway.  Traveling 30-40 miles a day for two days, landed us in the charming town of Beaufort (pronounced bew-fort), SC which has a rich southern history and has been the locale for many Hollywood movies.  We picked up a mooring and will spend two days relaxing here before heading south in search of warmer weather and new destinations.

Thanks for following

Richard and Kay

More Pics

Beaufort, SC

Thalia (185 feet)

Kay and Jason

Kay at the helm

Beaufort, SC

Thursday, November 5, 2015

On to Charleston . . .

We have been picking our way south about one month behind our schedule of two years ago.  As a result, we have experienced
Saying goodbye to Richard and Martin
Sandy Hook, NJ
cooler weather and more rain - lots more rain.  It’s been a long time since our foul weather gear and fleece jackets have been taken out of the closet. Our time in NE and Rhode Island was extended to allow time for our friends on Argosea to have repairs done after a most unfortunate lightening strike that produced a great deal of damage to the electronics.  

Passing Norfolk
Our journey through the Chesapeake was marked with highlights and new adventures.  Not only did we visit new spectacular little towns like St. Michaels, but we also witnessed amazing sunsets and sunrises as we gunkholed in marshlands up narrow, shallow creeks.  While in St. Michael’s we thorouoghly enjoyed a visit from Jim, a sailor and friend we met while in Grenada. He’s looking to buy a boat but in the meantime, perhaps he’ll join in on an Atalanta adventure. A real pleasure was our time in Portsmouth at mile 0 of the intercoastal.  What a charming and lovely place.  Best of all, Joe and Jorene, friends from Richmond came down to share an evening with us.  After two nights of feasting and drinking bourbons at a great restaurant called “Still” we began our journey down the intercoastal waterway.

The ICW was constructed by the Army Core of Engineers to allow military and commercial traffic to move north and south by water without having to worry about attack by German U boats and the like.  Now there is some commercial traffic but mostly its used by private boat owners.  We opted to do the section between Norfolk, VA and Beaufort, NC to avoid traveling the open water outside Cape Hatteras where unusual weather conditions, the gulf stream, winds, and continental shelf can conspire to create  hazardous weather conditions and high seas.   

We leave Beaufort (pronounced Bow-fort) Thursday and arrive in Charleston on Saturday.  Our course will take us about 40-50 miles offshore where winds are predicted to be weak (5-10mph) and the seas relatively calm (2-4 feet).  While these are not idea conditions for sailing,  they’re  superior to the weather moving in early next week.  

Once in Charleston, we will dock at City Marina for a month, visit with family, and perhaps take a side trip or two. One never knows. That is the joy of this way of traveling...

Sunset in Deleware Bay
The Cohansey River

Salem Nuclear Plant
Feel the Glow

St. Michaels, MD
Eastern Shore

Add caption

Atalanta and Argosea
Continue the Journey South Together

A side Trip to DC

2901 F Street
Infamous residence of Richard Schattman


Great Bridge, VA

Made it to Beaufort, NC
Murray looking forward to the next port

Thanks for following and stay tuned for more.
Richard & Kay