Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Quick Visit to Jacksonville

June brought a quick trip to Jacksonville to check on the boat at Lamb's Yacht Center.  The boat was fine and we spent our time exploring by car.  We went to two well known restaurants in the area.  Breakfast at Metro Diner was so large we couldn't eat it.  I got the stuffed french toast.  It wasn't cooked all the way through and the filling was not warm.  Steve enjoyed his meal and it looked yummy.  I should have stuck with an omelet as I don't usually like sweets for breakfast anyway.  

The locals at the marina told us we had to go to Clark's Fish Camp "The People's Place" for dinner.  We took their advice and were impressed with the food and with the numerous examples of exotic taxidermy on display.  Items on the menu are not items of which we  normally partake or that we typically see. 

Frog Legs--Yum Yum!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

May Days

The month of May was filled with reuniting with family and friends and getting the yard back into shape.  At our Mother's Day Celebration we also wished Steve, Katy and Eve the happiest of birthdays and enjoyed a most delicious meal.   Steve and I were excited to visit Katy's new home for the first time since she moved to Decatur in March while we were in the Bahamas.  She has a large (if slightly overgrown by ivy) yard which Steve sprayed with weed killer, a large two level deck which is perfect for outdoor entertaining in a great location..  We agreed to help her with some house projects--pictures coming soon!

Celebrating Memorial Day in Blairsville on Lake Nottely has been a long standing tradition for us.  This year was no different.  Katy & Lainey and several of their friends joined us for the weekend.  (Caroline was stuck in Utah) Steve enjoyed skiing barefoot and is dang proud of himself.   he taught many of our  guests how to wake board and was proud of Katy & Lainey who still wake board with the best of them.

It seems as if May slipped right through our fingers as quickly as trying to hold water in our hands.  


Monday, July 27, 2015

April 25, 2015

After our long trip to Jacksonville on Friday, we had to clean the boat and pack on Saturday. Friends from home, Greg and Patti, were going to pick us up and take us home.  They were in the area purchasing a new ski boat and were able to swing by on their way back.  We cleaned and packed all day.  Loading everything up early Sunday morning, we took off for Lake Sinclair in Georgia to try out Greg's boat.   Greg treated us to lunch at Dairy Queen
 ($5 including an ice cream sundae) before we got to the lake.  The boat ran perfectly. After some fun it was time once again to pack everything up and head home. 

There's no place like home.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Palm Coast to Jacksonville

April 24, 2014

Palm Coast to Jacksonville

We walked around a little before leaving Palm Coast and had an enjoyable conversation with the dock master who encouraged us to return in the fall.  No problems getting out of this marina with no current and no significant tides.  We waved at Marineland, Fort Matanzas and St. Augustine on our way north toward Jacksonville.  We stopped just after the the St. Augustine Inlet to get fuel at the Inlet Marina which hails the lowest price on fuel int he area.  Refueling takes a while on our boat that holds approximately 1020 gallons.

The marina is right on the ICW and right next to a fishing pier.  We had no trouble getting in but we were a little wary as we had never been before.  The dock hands were terrific!  
The marina owner came out to meet and greet us.   After telling him I wanted to order some lunch to take along with us, he walked me inside to a waitress who took my order.  Our food was ready long before we had finished filing the boat with about 700 gallons of fuel.  

The day was beautiful as we traveled along the Tolamato River, the Pablo Creek &  into the St. John's River Inlet.  Mayport is a town on the south bank of St. Johns River, 3 miles inside the entrance jetties.   There is a US Naval Station in Mayport and there are large ships bringing containers in to Jacksonville traversing these waters.  Caution is advised in the area for a number of reasons including current.

We followed this boat above into Jacksonville. 

 Whew--the big ship made it under the bridge headed to the loading dock.

Great view of the loading or unloading of a container ship.

One more big boat we had to pass on our way  into Jacksonville and up the St. John's River.  After requesting and receiving an opening of the Ortega River Bridge, passing under the 45ft  Roosevelt Boulevard Bridge and CSX Railroad Bridge--it was time to tie off at our destination--Lamb's Yacht Center.  


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Melbourne to Palm Coast

April 22, 2015

Melbourne to Palm Coast.  Today was a very long day.  We hit every bridge opening delay.  Our goal was to make it to Palm Coast.  We did, but we came in after sunset to the Palm Coast Marina.  Two boaters came out to meet us as the dockmaster had left for the day.  They were very helpful.  This place is great.  It is a no frills marina but very well laid out and easy in and out.  Since we were coming in so late we got the slip at the fuel dock.  We walked to dinner at Burrito 101 which is located in the European Village.  There are several restaurants, bars and boutiques in this town center.  A group of musicians were providing entertainment as we walked around stretching our legs after a long day on the boat.  We could see that this complex is mutli-use with condominiums above the shops on the main level.  

Palm Coast receives the "places we need to re-visit" award.  Love the marina and the town.  There are multiple walking trails along the ICW and places to kayak and paddle board and ride bikes.  Maybe a return visit in the fall. 


Photos from the marina stock photos!



Friday, July 17, 2015

Lake Worth to Melbourne

April 22 2015

We were more than ready to leave Riviera Municipal Marina.  There were no issues getting out of the slip or the marina. This marina gets a -we won't go here again.  We met several other boaters at the marina who told of multiple times they had seen or had issues with the current and minor crashes just like ours.  It would have been better if they had forewarned us of the current and if they had not tried to put us in a slip so close to another boat.  We too should have declined that slip and requested another--but we were tired from a long day and didn't think about that until afterward.

After a long day, we chose an anchorage in Melbourne.  It is a 5 star anchorage as rated by Active Captain.  It is near a dinghy dock and a lovely park and just a should walk to Melbourne Beach.

We saw some interesting sites along the way.

On this work boat above we saw day shapes.  (Look for the circle-diamond-circle configuration in the center of the photo)  Day Shapes are signals to visually share the status of a vessel on navigable waters during daylight.  These signals apply whether the vessel is moving, anchored, or aground.  There are 4 shapes: ball, cylinder, cone, and diamond and are hung from the mast is a prescribed sequence is defined by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.  The Day Shapes above designate that the vessel is restricted in ability to maneuver.  

Love that we learn something new almost every day when boating!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bimini to Lake Worth

April 21, 2015  

We left Bimini at first light headed home (YIPPEE!)  We encountered a few scattered rain showers and we could see some storms on the horizon but fortunately--we did not have any problems.  We arrived at Lake Worth around 2:30.  We found our way to the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina.  We chose this marina because of its proximity to the Custom's office where we needed to check in with our passports.  

The dockmaster assured us that the current wasn't bad in this marina but he was mistaken.  We had a close encounter with another boat--a catamaran -- which resulted in a crunch and a decision to move to another slip.  The damage was minimal (about $300) but the feeling was still bad.  We now chalk up running aground, hitting a coral head and gently tapping another boat.  I suppose we are experienced boaters now as we hear that until you have some of these experiences you have not been boating long enough or you are a bit frugal with the truth!  

The dockmaster took us to the entrance to the Customs office which was filled with the crew from a mega yacht who were checking into the U.S.  We were told we needed a number before we could check in and were given a telephone number to call for this number.  After getting the number and waiting in line again--we were finally cleared.  A sailor from Spain couldn't believe it took us so long to be admitted since we are Americans.  He had alot of trouble because he had Cuba stamped in his passport.  

We walked back to the boat, showered and had dinner at the cruising dinner boat which was docked at the marina.  Still disappointed by our unfortunate encounter with the catamaran we headed to bed for a much needed rest to complete our journey home.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chubb to Bimini

History of the home and restaurant on the menu
Chubb to Bimini on Monday, April 20.  We stayed at the Bimini Blue Water Resort at the fuel dock.  The prices are good here but the slips are small.  The location is about at the center of Alicetown in Bimini.  

We decided to try the Anchorage restaurant which is located in the old Lerner family home.  Lerner and his brothers started the Lerner shops that were popular when I was growing up.  These dress shops were scattered across the U.S.  Michael Lerner and his wife, Helen both loved to fish.  The came to Bimini to fish and were so impressed that they bought land and built a home here that they named The Anchorage in the 1930's.  

We enjoyed the simple fare and the step back into the past.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Nassau to Chubb

At this point in our travels-We were both ready to be home.  Having spent most of November & December in St. Petersburg, January and February in Marathon, March and April in the Bahamas, we were homesick.  The trip from Nassau to Chubb Cay was easy. Anchoring there was not.  There were 5 or 6 boats at the small anchorage making tight quarters for me.  We set the anchor once, not satisfied.  Re-set the anchor--felt the rollers--waves that roll the boat side to side.   Talked to the boat next to us who advised us that they were leaving early--but not to worry  it looked like we were not in their way or over their anchor.  

Steve typically lets me choose our anchorage or anchoring spot.  (the one who complains the loudest...)  I was not happy with the location.  I don't like rollers and I don't like to be close to other boats.  We pulled up the anchor again after deciding we would travel a few more hours to another anchorage.    I thought Steve meant he would move around to another side of Chubb where there was better protection.  He meant that we would go on to the Bahama Bank and anchor in 12 foot water--no land in sight.  I politely reminded him about Piper, our dog,  who was on board and asked where he planned to walk her.  OOPS--he forgot she was aboard.  

Begrudgingly he turned the boat around, took some pretty strong waves on the side, rolled around a bit and got back into Chubb Cay when I insisted we stay at the marina.  Steve huffed and puffed about staying there.  Not because it isn't nice but because they charge more than Atlantis and don't have a water park to throw into the deal.  In my opinion, it is worth every penny to stay at Chubb for a good night's sleep and peace of mind.  

We got into the slip just fine and headed to the pool to settle down.  We met a nice couple who were heading to the Exumas.  After chatting with them for a while, we realized they needed a set of snorkels and fins so we invited them over and gave them a set we had on board.  Chubb Cay marina is int he process of rebuilding since the economic downturn.  The homes there are beautiful as are the beaches.  


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday April 19--The Long Trip Home

On Sunday, April 19- we began our long trip home while our friends hopped on planes to Georgia and North Caroline.  Our destination--Chubb Cay--is only a few hours away.  We left about 10:30 after hugs and good wishes to our dear friends.

The short ride through the Nassau Harbor is a humbling experience.  I said my prayers for safe travels as we cruised by enormous ships feeling a bit like an ant when a human stomps through the grass.

 The picture above is one of the reasons we enjoy cruising--we never, never, never know what we may see while exploring the waters.  This looks like a floating office/home--who knows? 
Goodbye Nassau Harbor, Bahamas--Got our sights on Georgia!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Atlantis Aquaventure

Aquaventure the Atlantis Paradise Island water park is an 141 acre water park with free admission to overnight guests at the Atlantis hotel or marina.  The park includes several high speed water slides, 11 swimming pools, a mile long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges as well as a kids water play fort.  

We made good use of the complimentary tickets to the water park.  The tickets are about $150 each if not staying at the hotel.  All six of us received a ticket so slip rental was well worth the cost!.

The guys finally convinced us to get out of the lazy river and take the plunge down a water slide.  We were not entirely convinced that they were telling us the truth when they said "it's no big deal" referring to the speed and twists of the slide.  

As it turns out--the ride was a bit more thrilling than we were expecting but a splashingly good time was had by all!