Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Home and Missing the Boat!!

Here we are back in Hendersonville and living in a house.  The good parts include convenient washer and dryer, easy access to long, hot showers, a car to go to the grocery store when needed and the best is seeing some friends and sharing really good pizza.  But the bad parts come from leaving a house empty for a bit over 10 months.  Driving down the driveway and seeing weeds, no mulch where it used to always be and bushes desperate for trimming started the uneasy feelings.  Then walking into the house and seeing dead spiders and other exotic Tennessean bug critters all around heightened the worry.  But opening the closet downstairs where jackets and shoes are stored, all covered in a thick layer of mold sealed the deal!  Let's turn around and go back to the boat!!
This is the kitchen floor as seen by Erik when he came home in October.  He thought that sending me a picture of dead bugs on the floor would be helpful and I suppose it was good to know ahead of time just what I would be seeing!  But I was still shocked to see just how many thousands of the tiny beetles had infested our kitchen!  So we flew in on Saturday and I have done nothing but clean since arriving!  Every cupboard and drawer has been emptied in the kitchen and almost all food not in a can was pitched!  But as of today, only a few dead beetles exist in the kitchen.  Problem #1 managed!

And we do have a beautiful view of peaceful water from all the back windows in the house so that helps!  Yesterday was spent vacuuming bugs up in all the other rooms of the house so problem #2 is mostly contained.  

Had to look out again to enjoy the late afternoon view to keep from packing my bag and heading back to the boat!!  This morning was spent gratefully with my cleaning lady, wiping mold off every surface in the "racing room" where all of Al's gifts, awards and racing paraphernalia are nicely displayed in the open just to collect the mold that descended upon the room because we had turned off the dehumifier (didn't want a leak), turned down the air conditioning (didn't want to waste money on electricity) and didn't think to place "Damp Rid" refills where someone could refill the canisters.  Lesson learned the hard way.  Things will be different when we leave the house in a few weeks!  

So now I am remembering the losses so many endured because of hurricane Matthew and trying to count blessings and not feel sorry for myself that there is still much to do around this house.  This shot was taken as we passed Amelia Island in the Fernandina area.  Boats on shore that were once floating peacefully in the water!  We saw many boats washed ashore all along our way south through Georgia and northern Florida. 

We stopped for two nights just before flying home at this free marina that sits in front of the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium.  It is a lovely setting for fans to enjoy if they arrive to a football game by boat.  When there are no games, the marina is free to anyone to use and there is even electricity for a nominal charge.  Why can't Nashville improve its waterfront dockage?  So on Friday 11/11, we moved InSpeyered 2 from this marina into Lambs Marina further up the St. John's river in Jacksonville to have teak work done while we fly home for Thanksgiving. 
 Thanksgiving at home will be nice once all the work to get the house in order is finished! We are especially looking forward to having a week with Erik and hopefully some relaxing time!
Hope you all have a Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving.  No more blogs until we get back to the boat.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Jekyll Isand: A Nice Place to Visit and Maybe Live on!

We are in sunny but windy Georgia!  We left Charleston and South Carolina behind us as we continued cruising the ICW on Tuesday 11/1.  Actually we stayed in South Carolina two more days anchoring in Tom Point Creek and Bull Creek along the way.  The first was quiet but the second stop, unknown to us, was in a creek that tour boats use.  Much to my chagrin, one of the boats had live country music and they breezed by twice to share their very loud tunes!  Should have realized that Bull Creek is just past Hilton Head which is still enjoying tourists looking for a warm beach.
This is just to give perspective of what the ICW looks like on a calm Monday!  I took this from a causeway connecting Mt. Pleasant, SC with Sullivan's Island which was part of our daily walk to Sullivan's beach while we stayed at Toler's Cove Marina.  The few boats on the left side are in the canal that leads up into the marina.  This waterway is one of the "roads" to Charleston.  

The colors along the way are so beautiful with golden marsh grass and dark green low trees and bushes.  We have continued to have a lot of blue sky days and
 calm waters.

Then on Thurdsay we crossed the state line into Georgia and entered the Savannah River intending to take a sharp turn to port (left) to enter a narrow cut between rivers.  But dead ahead was this big cargo ship and since there are no traffic lights, the big boats get the right of way.  

So we patiently waited for her to pass and close by she came.  This is probably as close to a cargo ship we have been. Once she passed, we made our turn and went a few miles past Savannah to a marina in Thunderbolt, GA.  We stopped there for an over night to have a meet up with our friends on California Lady and their friends (our new friends) Kenny and Bill on Daybreak.  Another reason to stop on land was our need and desire to walk daily and those two creek anchorages had no place to walk nor did  the next anchorage on Crescent River. 
Sometimes we pass by homes just sitting on their own in a small hammock of trees amidst acres of marsh grass and wonder how did the house even get built and how can folks dwell in such a place with no evidence of a road access.  I think it could get lonely in a place like that but also peaceful and a bit scary when storms come by!  Interesting. 
So here we sit along the side of the ICW across from Jekyll Island Harbor Marina where we can take the dingy to shore and borrow bikes from the marina after paying a modest tie up fee.  Because we are across from a marina, most boats adhere to a no wake rule so it has been fairly calm here except for the wind.  But the strong current points us into the wind so we have hardly felt the rocking. 

Another beautiful sunset on a Saturday night in Georgia. 
This is probably the last night to grill because the time changes and we loose the evening light. The master chef is hard at work while enjoying the sunset.

We have stayed 2 nights and will stay tonight (Monday 11/7) to enjoy the beauty of Jekyll Island and the great bike trails.  Yesterday we visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center which serves as an educational facility and a rescue hospital/rehab center for turtles found injured or ill.  This one is just barely raising its head out of the water to take a breath.  One of the "patients" was found with a deep laceration of a leg due to fishing line tightly wrapped around it and will likely suffer a complete amputation.  I was interested to read that the turtle receives physical therapy as part of its rehab.  Perhaps if we choose to live near a turtle rescue facility, I could find my calling as a volunteer for turtle therapy!  

We biked to all the beaches on the island but found Driftwood beach to be the most interesting. 

This was yesterday which was cooler and windy so I had to put on my fall clothing!

Wind whipped trees make for interesting pictures!  Jekyll Island is a beautiful place with cute shops, good eats and great beaches.  We biked past two condo places we could easily buy into.  Who knows where we will land after this boating adventure! 
So tomorrow we head south to an anchorage further into Georgia.  We wanted to return to that cool island with feral horses, Cumberland, but access is limited because of the damage from hurricane Matthew.  Our plan is to travel 3 more days to get to Jacksonville, FL and put InSpeyered 2 into a one month rental slip while we head home for Thanksgiving.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sunny South Carolina!

I shouldn't say this but it was almost worth sitting through a hurricane to have this glorious weather.  One day after another of blue skies, mild breeze and cooler nights.  We have been cruising along doing 30-40 mile days and enjoying quiet anchorages.
This was our quiet night at Bird Island which is on the very south side of North Carolina.
 Along the way, we have passed through areas that had the double whammy of hurricane force winds followed by horrific river flooding as the waters poured down from inland Carolina.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 On 10/27, we chose to get an earlier start to the day knowing we would pass through some shallow areas that we need extra water to pass so we had to time our day by the high tide.  We entered an area badly flooded and followed the No Wake zone for 10 miles of slow gliding so as not to push more water into people's yards.  We could see the water had risen several feet into the first level of the homes positioned lower toward the water, leaving them with stinky river water and mud to clean up.
I empathized with the owners of many of these homes, remembering our own cleaning out process after the Nashville 2010 flood.  We covered a bit under 40 miles in 6 hours because of the flood and also shallow areas that require slow going.  We stopped at a new anchorage for us, Cow House Creek.  Just the name deserved a look into the creek!  But we also chose it because it is right across from the country club where my niece was married 2 years ago.  We decided it would be fun to walk the grounds but of course it was all fenced off so we had to be happy with neighborhood walking in the afternoon and next morning.
This ship appears to be permanently on anchor just at the entrance to our creek anchorage.  Al liked the fact that is has a black, daytime anchorage ball which is rare to see.  We have one and get all kinds of questions as to what it is used for.  Guess that means it is not an effective communication tool to inform other boaters that we are on anchor.                                                                                                                                                                           
Right up in that sunny grassy spot is where Becky and Jackson were married and now they are expecting my first grand niece!  Yeah! 

Look at the glassy water in Cow House Creek; it couldn't be more lovely!
On we went, stopping in Minim Creek to enjoy another quiet night.  It was chilly so we went inside early.
And just popped our heads out to see the sunset and snap a photo only to be attacked by tiny gnats! 

And look at what the boat looked like in the morning! This shot is looking down from the flybridge to the mid-deck behind the dingy at a pile of dead and half dead gnats.

And this gives you an idea of what every surface looked like on the boat!  We are still finding a few here and there despite thorough cleaning.
And as always, we can find those anchorages with a nearby beach to walk and explore.  This is Bull Island on Saturday 10/29.   

We were here last May in Price Creek which is an inlet between Bull and Capers Islands.  Capers Island is the location of the "Bone Yard" which I blogged about already.  This time we just walked on Bull both in the afternoon at low tide and again on Sunday morning at high tide.  The beach on Bull goes on forever and has only a handful of visitors this time of year.

This is looking out at the inlet to the Atlantic.

This is looking out across our anchorage creek lined with marsh grass that looked like a prairie field. 
Leaving here was hard; I could live on our boat in this spot for a long time!  But we did leave and cruised 14 more miles to a marina in Mount Pleasant which is across the river from Charleston.  Time to stop for 2 nights, do laundry and hit up Publix to restock! Oh and clean the decks again to wash off more dead bugs! Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!