Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reconnecting and Catching Up

Brrrrrrr, it's cold.  We're tied up to the face dock at Fernandina Beach Marina. That's Florida folks.  But isn't it supposed to be warm in Florida?  Last night, just 30 miles north at Jekyll Island, GA,  it went down to 43F.  Tonight it'll be 39F here in FLORIDA.

We've had a great couple of weeks and guess what....  We're going to tell you about it. So, grab a beverage and relax.  We have a lot to tell you.  First, take a look at our cruise map.  Click on the following link to see it.  Don't forget, you can zoom in or out for a more detailed view; and you can click on the little balloons to see the name of that day's destination.  Enjoy, but don't forget to come back here and read the rest of the blog.

We met up with Sea Pearl at the Portsmouth (Norfolk) free dock.  Joe and Julia had arrived earlier.  We cruised together to Beaufort, NC.  There, Joe and Julia visited Joe's mom and we had the boat bottom painted at Bock Marine.  While being painted, we visited Rick and Lynnie. 

Tide Hiker and Sea Pearl tied up to the Portsmouth Free Dock

Tide Hiker (Bottom right--see Vicki?) and Sea Pearl (Top Left) at the Great Bridge Lock

When we last updated the blog, we were just leaving Bock Marine in Morehead City, NC.  We had a lovely time visiting Rick and Lynnie Tierney (Richshaw) at their home near Raleigh, NC.  They invited us to visit with them until Tide Hiker's bottom was repainted.  And what a great visit that was.  We had not seen Rick and Lynnie for a very long time and it was fun reconnecting and catching up.  We also saw a couple of movies and did the unmentionables--yes we drug Vicki to a KFC one day and to an Indian Restaurant on another night and sub sandwiches on another day.  Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.  Thanks guys for a great rest--it was wonderful spending time with you.
Rick and Lynnie at Jersey Mikes Sub Shop

Upon departing Morehead City, we hooked up again with Sea Pearl.  We cruised together to Charleston, SC.  In Charleston, we reconnected with Bart Franey.  We had a great lunch at the Fleet Club.  We missed Bart's wife, Ellie, who had to wo, wo, wo--I just can't say it!  Good seeing ya Bart.  Thanks for joining us.
Bart, Julia and Joe at Ashley Marina, Charleston, SC

Our reconnection theme did not stop there.  It was now on to GA to meet up with Joe and Julia (Sea Pearl), Todd and Brenda (Life's Too Short) and Bob and Stephanie (September Song).  But not before a couple hundred miles of fun and relaxing anchoring.

Tide Hiker at anchor in Thorofare Cr (Courtesy Joe Nekola)

The mini-rendezvous was held at Bob and Stephanie's dock at Midway, GA. And, Party it was.  First of all, congrats to Bob and Stephanie for acquiring a contract on their home.  Soon, they will be homeless.  That is, land-based homeless.  (Actually, they have been living aboard and cruising full-time for a few years.)  But, it is a great relief for them to be land-based free finally.  We dined at Sunbury Marina Restaurant amidst a fierce rainstorm and feasted on Bob-caught Bahamian Mahi Mahi aboard September Song while there.  Great laughs, great food and great memories.  We all reprovisioned in Savannah, GA while there.

A tight squeeze on Bob and Steph's dock

Did I say tight squeeze?

The whole gang at Sunbury Marina Restaurant

The "girls" aboard September Song

 The "boys"
This, of course, was just the appetizer to our mini-reunion.  We all departed together and cruised by caravan to Blackbeard Island Anchorage.  This was September Song's final departure from their dock of 11 years.  We all observed a moment of silence.  Blackbeard Creek anchorage is one of those best-kept-secret-anchorages.  Eight miles up Blackbeard Cr making hairpin turns over shallow shoals at high tide, we arrived at a widened area separated from the Atlantic Ocean and a nine-mile clean, deep and wide beach by a high sand dune.  Truly, a beautiful, protected location.  We also found Todd's friends Gale and Mo aboard Blue Heron here.  Of course, get us near a beach and a weenie roast is in the plans.  So, we all descended on the beach by dinghy carrying our coolers of food and beverages.  We collected driftwood for a fire and began enjoying our time together.  On the second night, we did community heavy apps and smores over the fire.

 September Song negotiating one of the hair-pin turns on Blackbeard Creek

 Getting ready for the weenie roast

Norm flying a kite on the beach

Vicki, Gale and Mo on the trail

Vicki roasting the weenies

Tide Hiker at anchor on Blackbeard Creek
From here it was on to Brunswick, GA, except for Life's Too Short.  They had to drop their guests Lisa and Steve off in Darian, GA.  While at Brunswick, we all fueled-up, taking advantage of the best fuel prices on the East Coast.  But the highlight here was Joe and Julia's dinner aboard Sea Pearl.  Joe cooked up his famous clams over linguine after a first course of cheese plate and shrimp.  Vicki's salad and Stephanie's desert rounded out this feast. Of course, the wine was plentiful.

Joe and Julia taking a break from the cooking

The next day, we all departed, albeit to different locations.  We have never been to Jekyll Island.  So, we broke away from the group 2-lbs heavier and headed to Jekyll Harbor Marina.  September Song and Sea Pearl headed for Fernandina Beach and south.  So, they will be a few days ahead of us.  Life's too Short dropped off their guests in Darian and showed up on the hook at Jekyll Is.  It was late and they were leaving in the morning.  We'll catch up to all of them soon.

Jekyll Island was great.  Twenty miles of bike paths, an historic district and a small shopping district.  The Jekyll Island Club was a summer home in the early 1900s to the industrialists holding one sixth of American wealth.  We're talking the Rockefellers, JP Morgan and folks of that ilk. They built a club house--now the hotel, the country's first condominium for six members not building a mansion, and living quarters for the over 200 servants working there.  It's all owned by the State of GA now who leases the land to the Jekyll Club Authority.  The old mansions are now museums, library, art gallery, etc.  Some are left as was for viewing tourists, like us.   We biked most of the island, took in lunch a couple of afternoons at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and did the tram tourist ride visiting some of the cottages (mansions).

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (Old Club House)

Hotel (Ckub House) Grand Dinning Room

Hotel (Club House) Reading Room

One "Cottage" on the grounds

Part of the 20-mile bike trail
We departed Jekyll today, crossed the St Andrews Sound and St Mary's inlet and are now docked at Fernandina Beach, as we mentioned up front. Guess who's here?  Gale and Mo aboard Blue Heron.  Unfortunately, they are departing in the a.m.   We'll be here for a couple of days then on to St Augustine, FL for a few days.  After that, it's on to Daytona to reconnect with our Milwaukee friends Wally and Karen Juzenas.