Adventures of Adirondack

Adventures of Adirondack

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Town

Well, it's been a quiet time in Stillwater, our home town. The bridge to Wisconsin is closed for repairs and the Holiday Snowflake lights are lining Main Street.

I came home the end of October from Wilmington, NC, just before Sandy hit the area. I hosted the table full of Unitarians at the St Joan of Arc Cabaret. We had won a table at last year's event and sold seats at the White Bear UU Church auction. It was a grand night of music and we UUs fit right in with the liberal Catholics at St Joan's.

The next day, I went to church and the second reading was from the third act of "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder. I drove to Eau Claire afterwards to see David and was listening to "The Prairie Home Companion" on the radio. One bit was a take-off on "Our Town" with a Jimmy Stewart Narrator hitting on a Marilyn Monroe Emily. David is a Theater Tech major at UW-Eau Claire and one class this fall was in lighting. He worked on the lighting for the fall play, so I went to see the last performance of - "Our Town." Quite the Our Town Day.

In November, I flew to Vermont for my Dad's 90th birthday celebration. We vigiled in the morning and had a lovely afternoon open house with good visits from friends and neighbors. The next day, Joanna made yummy gingerbread for treats after Quaker Meeting and we had a good dinner at the Waybury Inn across the street from Riverbarn, where Dad shares the house with Winslow and family. It was wonderful to have Linda there from California and to have time with Dad, Win and his family. Wren, the Vermont Wonder Baby, has grown into an amazing, delightful 10 year old with a love of books (a genetic Colwell trait) and a great sense of humor.

After getting back to Minnesota, I have had time to clean the house - 5 months away, 3 of which the condo was occupied by two young men, left the place with a need for some thorough clean-up. But I also had time to see friends, take walks, knit, read, and enjoy washing up without worrying about using up the water supply. It is lovely to take a shower and not turn off the water while soaping up!

Holly, the cat, is back at home after spending time with our upstairs neighbor. Sadly, Tigger, David's cat who was in foster care in Eau Claire, developed liver failure and had to be put down. He was a great cat and we'll miss him.

Jeff arrived home safe and sound on November 19th. We were so lucky to have two good friends help him move Adirondack from Wilmington down to Jacksonville, Florida. It made his trip so much safer and more fun and allowed me to come home without leaving him in the lurch. Adirondack is now tucked in at a marina till we return to Florida on January 4th and continue the adventure.

The boys were both here for Thanksgiving. We made a turkey and all the fixings and had great left-overs. We saw many of the Janacek clan the next day up at Bruce and Joan's cabin on Lake Shamineau. David headed back to school, but Adam finished his fall trimester and is home till January. After a few very quiet weeks by myself, it is great to have the energy of the Captain and one of the Able Seamen here. Sally

Friday, November 23, 2012

We're HOME! For a while...

Sally came back from Wilmington, NC while I was on the hard waiting out the hurricane. This turned out to be a very good piece of timing, as we had scheduled our repairs there exactly when Sandy came roaring through. Adirondack was up on stands in the yard, about 25 miles from the action. All I ended up with was a lot of wind, rain and leaves all over the boat. Not too shabby.

I then ended up going down the ICW with Greg and Bob, two friends who graciously helped me move to Jacksonville. It is possible to pilot him alone, but it's somewhat nervewracking to stay in the center of a ditch that is sometimes very shallow. It was a great run.

Adirondack is now parked in Lamb's yacht Center, a cheap place in Jacksonville, FL where he will be safe and have a few very minor modifications which were brought out in the survey we had to have for the insurance company. We will be back on board on Jan. 4 when we plan to head south to catch up with Dennis and Mary somewhere in the Bahamas. And because no blog is truly complete without a photo, here's some gannets we saw on Ille de Bonaventure this summer. There were a lot more.

So nice to be back in Minnesota. The temperature dropped from 60 degrees at noon yesterday to 21 this morning with a wind chill right around 0. So nice to be back in Minnesota. Our friends in Ft. Lauderdale called yesterday to tell us it's 80 and sunny. So nice to be back in Minnesota. Capt. Jeff

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Across the North Atlantic!

Well, it didn't really feel like the North Atlantic, but that's what it says on the charts and it's an exciting title, so that's what I used. We left our anchorage at the Kilkenny River early this morning to catch the tide out because the nine foot tides create quite the flow. We anchored there just off the Intracoastal Waterway because we had gone far enough already. It's kind of stressful zigzagging back and forth through these creeks and rivers in the tidal currents and shallow water. We are constantly hearing about boats running aground and have to watch so that we don't join them. Bob looks at the iPad with its software and I look at my chartplotter and the daymarks as we try to figure it all out so far so good. And we got through Hells Gate, the worst spot in the ICW yesterday on a minus tide, quite the accomplishment.

So today we started to cruise down the ICW with the same itinerary in mind and came to an inlet, where the waterway joins the ocean and we turn back inland. On a whim, I checked the forecast for the outside (the North Atlantic Ocean side) and found it to be much better than it was yesterday. We turned outside, thinking we would try it out and chicken right back inside if we didn't like it. Well, we did as we encountered one foot swells which got smaller as we trundled south about 29 miles to the inlet to St. Simon. We saved lots of time, fuel and it was so relaxing, compared to the inside. All we had to watch for was a few other boats. I even made a hot lunch!

So tonight we are anchored behind St. Simon in a quiet spot and will hit Brunswick tomorrow for laundry, food, fuel and some walking. This is a photo of Adirondack back at that fancy South Carolina Yacht Club we stayed at. This fancy area had to be entered through a lock and was surrounded by homes, all cost over $1M, I'm sure. I'm sure everyone there shared our politics.

And here's the view from Bob, my navigator and able crewmember. Remember if his version differs from mine, always go with mine!
 Capt. Jeff

Day 7 anchored outside St. Simons Island, GA.

We spent last night, Day 6, anchored in Kilkenny Creek between the ICW and the Kilkenny Marina. A nice calm river in the middle of nowhere - really, this part of GA is lightly populated. We had hoped to dine at the only restaurant in town but it is only open Wednesday to Sunday - Not a major metropolitan area.

We talked to a couple of shrimpers as we passed by in the dinghy - shrimping was bad and they were hoping for a change in the wind (?). Then a stop ashore to get some extra oil for Adirondack. We met 2 more of the locals - have you seen the movie "Deliverance?" I don't mean to be unkind but communication was difficult and I thought about that "...squealing like a pig" scene.

Adirondack was due for an oil change (every 300 hours whether it needs it or not) and 2 (countem 2) new filters. A large diesel engine lies just below the salon deck. Just enough room to crawl around on your hands,knees then put you in traction. Jeff fit perfectly, but he needs to get large shoehorn. So, 5 gallons of used oil came out and 5 gallons of fresh oil went in...very carefully.

We took off early this morning continuing on the ICW until we reached Sapelo Sound where the ICW passes the Atlantic ocean. The weather forecast was good so We agreed to leave the ICW, for awhile, to make better time, save a little gas, and most of all, take a break from the constant navigation needed to keep from going aground in the shallow passages of the ICW. This was the first time in the ocean since Charleston and probably our only opportunity before Jacksonville.

We were surprised to find it so shallow and had to go to the 3 mile limit to get to safer waters.
The sea was gentle - Rolling along with easy swells for the 30 miles it took to reach the south end of St. Simon Island. Fishing trawlers, pelicans, dolphins and sunshine. Set a straight course, watch for deadheads, then listen to classic rock on a Sirius channel. You could also have been seasick for 30 miles.

Tomorrow, Day 8, it's a short trip to Brunswick, GA where we'll gas up, take out the trash, do the laundry and the town.

Storing good memories,


Sunday, November 11, 2012


This isn't our boat, but one that was parked right next to us at the spot we picked up our crab pot.

Tonight we are moored at the Westin in Savannah, just across the river from the expensive side, so we have to take a free ferry over there for the sights and sounds of one of the great southern cities. Last night we were at the Windmill Marina on Hilton Head Island, which turned out to be even more snazzy than it sounds. We were able to use our Bayfield Yacht Club membership (and it really doesn't seem much like a yacht club compared the the South Carolina Yacht Club we stayed at!) to get a very cheap rate. The place had a set of locks to enter it so the poor yachties don't have to deal with the tides.

Here is a blog entry from Bob Meyenburg, my latest crew guy. Disregard anything he says that conflicts with anything I say in my blog.

Day 5, 120 miles from Charleston, SC traveling south on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). Jeff and I are docked in front of the Westin hotel on the Savannah river across from downtown Savannah, Ga. 

We had a fine day touring the historic district in a trolley car bus driven by our guide Rueben - a very funny guy. A little overcast today and light rain but no big deal. Savannah is a great tourist town with a busy waterfront and a free ferry to take us back across when we were ready. Chocolate chip ice cream and pizza. Live it up fat boy!

We left Charleston on Day 2 and went 50+ miles anchoring off the ICW near the mouth of the Bull River. A sunny day, although it was cool, the night on the boat was calm and uneventful, that is, until morning. We were distracted just long enough after pulling up the anchor and drifted towards shore and caught a "crab pot" around the prop. This is not good as it has a tendency to strangle your forward motion. Har Har. Jeff thought he might have to don his diving gear and cut the Adirondack free. I volunteered to watch the boat. Fortunately the new line cutter just installed on the shaft (?) did the job. Jeff was quite relieved.

Day 3 we spent anchored ( for free) outside the marina in Beaufort, SC. We took the dinghy into town and did some touring in their historic district in a one-eyed horse drawn carriage. 26 year old Charlotte was our driver and guide. Seems the horse had cancer in his 3rd eyelid and survived and now pulls tourists 2-3 days a week. Beaufort is a very pleasant community. We crossed the river to find a restaurant we heard of and met some marina people who shared their beer right off with Jeff, who couldn't say enough about southern hospitality. Seems they were California transplants though - HA. Then we went to the Filling Station (bar) and had a 10 dollar steak meal.

Day 4 we left Beaufort for Hilton Head Island. A real special place noted for boating and golfing. We passed Parris Island where young Marines to be train. So, Jeff starts calling marinas and gets a reciprocity deal with the South Carolina Yacht Club. This marina had a lock we had to pass through, the inside of the marina is protected from tides and weather, so this is a pretty big deal. So we tie up right in front of like...a dockside mansion. If all the boats in this marina were sold and applied to the national debt we could tell the Chinese to take a hike. The MAN at the lobby door reminded Jeff to remove his hat (can't take him anyplace). 

So, Day 5 we arrive in Savannah, GA. What a wonderful place to include on a vacation in the south.

I have to mention that the ICW is near but a safe distance from the ocean. It is salt water, dolphins, cormorants, pelicans, and huge marshlands ranging out from shore. The elite build large beautiful homes on shore with walkways and docks that stretch out extremely long distances to reach the ICW. Like I could build one too if Susan and I sold our house to finance it. Of course we would have live in a tent on the beach. HA.

Tomorrow we'll leave Savannah and continue our trip to  Jacksonville, FL. The plan is to return before Thanksgiving, around Nov. 18-20.

Avast ye landlubbers,


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crew Change

We got to Charleston just after a violent thunderstorm and before more rain. Greg and i spent the night at anchor in a place called Whiteside Creek, just a few miles NE of Charleston. A bunch of bad stuff showed up on the radar and we appeared to be right in the zone. Many of us picture an anchorage as a protected spot, hiding in the trees sheltered from the wind. Well, this was sort of like being anchored out in the middle of an airport and we were definitely the tallest items in sight. It boomed and crackled and was bad enough to call Sally and have her check up on us, but really wasn't that bad.

We then pulled in to Charleston, one of the world's best boating cities. Greg and I did the Maritime Museum which features an aircraft carrier, destroyer and a submarine. Talk about a serious commitment to war. I just wonder if we could have health care someday instaed of battleships. Oh, well.

On the 7th, Greg flew out and Bob Meyenburg flew in. We pulled out of town the next day in terrific, but a little cold, weather and headed for Beaufort, SC, another of our favorites. We anchored along the way in Bull River and found that Sally and the boys and I had anchored in that very spot in 2007. Except that time we didn't back into a crab pot and wrap it around the prop like we did this time. Our new line cutter did its job. I was not looking forward to scuba diving in the murky, fast current.

Today we are on the hook out in front of Beaufort trying to figure out what we are going to do in Hilton Head, a complicated place. Here's one of the boats that is out here with us, a boat I find that hurts my eyes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Moving south

Tonight we're anchored right out in front of Georgetown, SC, one of my favorite stops on the ICW. We just happened along here today into a festival of sorts featuring all kinds of great foods and music. She-crab soup, BBQ, southern rice, various desserts and more. We walked the streets and thought about Sally's yarn store, but passed by them.

Last night we stayed at the Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach. This is one of the best and friendliest places I've been at, and only $1 a foot! Sally and I remember being close to here in 2007 when a tropical storm went through.

We've had some terrific weather so far, highs on the 70's, lows in the 40's and 50's, sun every day. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow but starting to look like rain for when we get to Charleston.