Jekyll Island Georgia more new friends

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We do get up with the sun!

We needed fuel today so we called ahead to the Jekyll Island marina in Georgia.  They said they were only going to be open until 12:30 PM.  So we had to hurry and get started at 7AM to make sure we got there before 12:30.

When we arrived they offered to let us dock for free.  Usually it was $20 for a day dock.  We had issues with the fuel filter and needed to change it.  (One of those things we learned how to do for ourselves)  So we decided to stop for lunch out on Thanksgiving.

We met Randy Prentis at the dock helping us land the boat.  That is always an advantage.

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Randy Prentis

First we talked to Brian and Fran.  They are sort of thinking about a live aboard sailboat in the future and they had come out to sail there boat.  Unfortunately for it’s size it was to rough with 25 knot winds.  Interesting getting a chance to know them.

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Fran & Brian

When we went inside a couple from Atlanta GA were there for the holiday and started talking to us.  They were so friendly they are thinking of a motor home or a sailboat.  I’m sure they will find what they are looking for.

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Mark and Forest

As we were leaving I thought I should take a picture of the Christmas tree they had up.  Just to remind us of back home and how cold it is getting to be.

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sailing

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

 

 

 

Thanks

Thanks.

We wish to thank everyone who has been a part of our lives.  So many people have touched our lives.  Our parents gave us so much.  Our children whom we love with all of our hearts.  Their spouses and our grandchildren that we give thanks for everyday.  All of our friends at United Centenary Methodist church.  People that have touched us so closely and with open arms.

People that we have met in past years some for just moments.  People at the checkout a waitress or waiter.  They have all touched our lives and spread the joy of life and given us joy.

Thanks to everyone who has given us our happiness.

As we travel we meet so many new friends that keep giving to us.  What is the most important thing to me to give thanks for.  All of the people in my life.

The most important for me to give thanks for is the happiness my wife Tam gives to me.

I have a wonderful life.

Thanks to all my family and friends.

WE HOPE EVERYONE HAS A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!

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“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

New friends in Georgia

As we travel we have to introduce you to our new friends.  This is that time for our new friends in Georgia.

On Tuesday morning the 25th we were looking for a marina to get a pump out.  Not the coolest of things to have to worry about but a necessity.  So we also were looking for a marina that we could get a few groceries as well.   Unlike most of the other states Georgia is not lined with condo’s and marina for there length.

Tam went to Mark & Diane Doyle’s book to find somewhere.  We could only find a couple without going a long way out of our way.  But she did locate one at Delegal, GA.   As is our normal practice Tam called ahead to make sure of the facilities we were looking for.  She spoke with a gentleman named Billy.  He informed us that they did have the pump out but the grocery store was a 15 min drive by car from the marina so that would not be available we would do without.

We resolved to stop for the pump out anyway.  He had to give us special directions because it was a shallow approach and unless we came at high tide we would not make it in.

After we got there Billy said they had a car coming to pick us up to get our groceries.  After the pump out he said there was no charge for it.  Normally it is $5 to $10.  What awesome people there.  Lola was there with the truck to pick us up to take us to the grocery store.  What more could you ever expect from total strangers that opened the hospitality door to us.

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Billy, Tammy, and myself at Delegal

I only regret that we didn’t get Lola into the picture.  A special thank you to Billy and Lola at Delegal, GA.  If ever you are in the area stop in to see our dear friends at Delegal.  If ever we are traveling back that way you can be sure we will stop again.  The best Marina on the ICW.

A few side notes yet.  We have seen some awesome wildlife in the last few days.  I don’t think a day has passed when we haven’t seen dolphins.  Our problem with them is we are to busy watching them to take any pictures.  Also you never know where they are coming up next.  The Bald Eagles have been everywhere.

We saw this tree from a distance and it took us awhile to realize it was full of Egrets.

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Thanks again Billy, Lola, and everyone at Delegal, GA.

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“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

 

 

Where are we going? A change of plans.

Today Tam and I were discussing our destination of Marathon FL.

We wanted to go to Marathon because of the beautiful water, mild temperatures, and easy access to the coral reefs.

After a great deal of discussion we have changes our destination.  The new destination is Daytona Beach.

The first reason was the price.  A slip in Daytona Beach is 30% less than one located in Marathon.  The second was we have been traveling since July 30th and frankly would like to find a home.  The next reason is accessibility, we can get to almost anywhere in Florida from Daytona Beach.  Then lastly when we were traveling through Florida last in 2013 we found Daytona Beach was readily accessible  with everything we wanted.

In 2013 we went to Daytona Beach and spent a week.  Here are a few of the things we saw that made us want to return.

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Tam loves Manatees. It is difficult to see them in these pictures but they are there.

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Daytona Beach is one of the few that you can drive on.

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Pelicans cruising past our condo. They are so very graceful. They use the air currents like an Eagle and soar. We enjoy watching them skim the water as we travel. Then they climb up to about 100 feet and dive straight down to the water to grab a fish. Making a large splash as they enter the water. An interesting dive when you realize their mouth is open to catch the fish.

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Sandcastles on the beach.

We have already set up our reservations and will be arriving the first part of December.  We went to the parks, shore, and a flee market that was huge while we were there in 2013.

Full moon over the sea. Featured on BBL: http://beachblissliving.com/susan-branch-marthas-vineyard/

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

What are they catching

Through out our travels we have had to pass floats that are attached to some form of fishing.  Many times they have been so numerous as to be dangerous.  Especially in rough seas.

Today as we were getting ready to anchor out here north of Savannah, GA on the ICW.  A boat with 2 fishermen were going up the waterway pulling those floats up and emptying them.  We got anchored and I waited for them to approach a float that was next to our boat.

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When they stopped I asked them what they were catching.  They informed me it was crab’s.  I asked them how much they got for them.  They said $1.50 to $2.00 per pound.  They said that was a good price and very profitable.

I wished then for two things, cash in my my pocket (I only have credit cards), and a knowledge of and equipment to fix them.  When we get to our destination I plan on making friends of any local fisherman and try to purchase my seafood direct.  It is so good fresh.

One of the interesting things is the flocks of birds that follow them around.  They discard the bait back into the water and the birds fight over it.

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There are a lot of pelicans and seagulls chasing the fishermen.

It is a way of life and an interesting people study.

In high tide or in low tide I'll be by your side alpha Xi delta sorority craft big little reveal canvas

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

Tam’s daredevil act

It was one of those times were you are so scared you don’t know what to do but when it’s over you go “My God you did that”, and wished you had the video cam going so it could go viral.

I will try to give it Justice with only words.

I will start off after we finished the strut repair.  We asked for additional time at the slip so we could clean Adventure and ourselves up.  They said it was OK but they had a large group on there way in and would need the slip shortly.

After cleaning ourselves and Adventure up then putting everything away, we got ready to leave.  Before we left the Mark & Diane Doyle came in on their beautiful Power Catamaran, and parked next to us.

They authored five books that we have.  On The Water Chart Guides, (Cruising Guide, Anchor Guides, Electronic Charting, Managing the Waterway).  They are guides to sailing the ICW.  Very in depth information about anchoring, marina’s, facilities, and warnings on the ICW.  It is the ICW bible of what, were, and how on the ICW and we have used it every step of the way through the ICW.  It has been our guide.  We were so excited to actually meet them.

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Tammy is going over Diane & Mark Doyle’s books as I am writing this. She is planning the next legs of our journey down the ICW.

 

So we were preparing to leave and I started the engine.  Tammy got out to let the lines off and we planned to let the boat swing out with the current but didn’t realize how strong the current was.  1.5 knot current pushing an 11,000 pound boat is truly powerful.  So I got out to hold lines and told Tammy to get in.

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She hesitated just a bit and the boat started to get away from me.  I yelled to “GET ON”.  Unfortunately she did not have a good grip or position to get a hold of.  The boat moved away from the dock and I was trying with all my might to hold onto the dock line.  Tam only had hold of the safety line at the top.  She lost her footing with her right foot and it went into the water, but she managed to keep her left leg hooked over the ledge of the boat.

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I heard Mark exclaim “She’s going into the water”.

Then with super strength and agility she pulled herself up to get her right foot onto the bottom ledge and pulled herself out and up to the boat.  She then swung herself over the safety lines and into the boat.  After what I had witnessed from her I thought she would just leap them!  She ran to the cockpit and got the boat under control.  WOW was I impressed.

Kyle the dock hand came over and grabbed the dock lines and helped get the boat back under control.

Meanwhile Mark was on their boat giving us guidance on what to do.  Thank you Mark we do appreciate it and only the embarassmant could be more humiliating.

Tammy motored it back in so I could jump on.

We got everything clear and headed out.

They say you never foul it up when you are alone but when people are watching that’s when you really foul it up.

The absolute worst departure from a dock we have ever made.  A wife with unknown super abilities that saved the day and we do it in front of Mark & Diane Doyle, whom we think so much of and didn’t want to look like totally incompetant boaters.

Mark & Diane I want to copyright this story so every time you tell it or if ever you print it you must pay us a royalty.  What else would you do with the “worst launch ever”.

“Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.” –

      Brooks Atkinson

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

 

 

 

 

Patching Adventure

Late for the blog, sorry.

It has been a very crazy few days.  When someone says do you get a “sinking feeling” that would apply to the last several days.  We felt some serious vibrations and the bilge started pumping every minute for about 5 seconds.  That equates to taking on water at about 50 gallons per hour.  Doesn’t sound like much but enough to fill most tubs about 1/2 full.  But more importantly was the vibrations caused when we increased RPM to 2000.  For a boat they are real issues.  We thought we would have to pull the boat out of the water then repair the strut then put it back in.

 

When we started contacting marinas we found out how much trouble we were in.  First the minimum they wanted to take it out was $300 then they would not let us DIY the boat, then we would have to go to a hotel while they fixed it because we couldn’t live on the boat.  So the cheapest repair was going to be at least $1000 with everything.  We don’t have $1000 or a way of getting it.  So what next?

I thought about it overnight and thought if I could swim under the boat and poke new bolts in and Tam was down below and put the nuts on we could get it fixed well enough to get to were we are going then work on it later.

We stopped at the next marina Beauford, SC and got a slip so we could work on it.  As were walking past from registering we saw a fellow getting on a wetsuit.  I asked him who he was and what he was doing. He said his name was Peter and he cleaned the bottom of boats in the marina.  Most marinas require it every month.  I told him of the issue we had and asked how much he would charge.  He said, “He would ask his boss”.  His boss was Robert and they said they could do it for $125.  That was reasonable but outside of our bank account.  He told us while he was in the water doing some bottoms that he would look at it and tell us what the condition was.

We went to the store to pick up the bolts and nuts for the job in stainless steel.  When we got back he told us that the bolts were doable and wished us luck and said if we needed help to give him a call.

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The drive shaft strut is the part that had broken the bolts. In Mackinaw MI it broke the bolts, bent the shaft, and pushed the strut up through the bottom of the boat.

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We replaced all four bolts for the strut with the boat in the water.

 

I proceeded to get into a swimsuit and dive under the boat.  When I went in the current was so strong it nearly swept me away.  So I got a rope and tried hanging onto it while I pushed the bolts threw.  No go I couldn’t hold my breath long enough to get the bolts in place.  So we called Robert and asked him if he would take a post dated check?  He said he would and that he would dive the next day.

When he came by Saturday morning we had everything ready for him.  We discovered that not only the forward 2 bolts were broken off but the back 2 were bent and ready to fall out as well.  With Roberts help we replaced all four of the bolts and covered them with 3M 5200 seal caulk.

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The view from inside the boat of the top plate. I pushed a couple of temporary bolts in to slow the water down.

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This is the plate after we replaced the bolts and I generously applied 3M 5200.

When I got out of the hold it took me two hours to get everything cleaned of that caulk and a 40 min shower getting myself sorta clean.

So total cost came out at $155.00 to include Robert’s dive the stainless steel bolts and the 3M 5200 caulk.  At least we can continue.  We ran “Adventure” 2 1/2 hours yesterday after the job was done and the vibrations are gone and the leaking has stopped.  We are hoping that will do the job until we can get to our destination marina.

But getting out of the marina is another story.

“Sailing, the most expensive way to travel 3rd class.”

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

A Day of issues Charleston SC Wildlife and issues

Start with the issues.  We ran into a low tide and couldn’t get through.  We had to wait 2 1/2 hours for the tide to rise so we could continues.  We had hoped to get a long way today but between waiting for the tide and waiting for a swing bridge to open for us we only got 40 miles.  Not good distance however we saw some awesome wildlife.

First while we were waiting for the tide Tam saw this bald eagle.  Very majestic.

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Then came the dolphins.  We actually saw several of them but finally got some pictures.

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Then when we anchored the boat we saw another bald eagle sitting on top of the mast of a boat next to us.  This was a young adult and he was up there preening himself.

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So an interesting wildlife day.

Then comes the bad news.  Yesterday while going through Charleston the boat started vibrating badly.  It happened while we were in gear.  The sump pump started running frequently.  We checked the drive train area and saw water coming from the place were the strut hand been repaired last year.

The issue was manageable with the sump operating so we motored down the ICW 2 miles,until we located an anchorage and threw the hook.  After we anchored I went below and checked the strut repair.  When I grabbed the 2 forward bolts they came out.  I believe they sheared from when we had issues with the line going through the prop the other day.  So now we had water shooting up 3 inches, like a fountain, out of those holes then running to the bilge.  The first good news was the sump pump was keeping up with the flow of water.  Well the other day when we went into Georgetown to get the new alternator belt we also picked up a couple of 3/8″ hex cap bolts.  I thought I would replace the alternator bolts as well.  However they did not fit so I set them aside.   Well yesterday they were over sized for the hole but they cross threaded and created a very tight fitting bolt.  I used both of them and the leak stopped.  The water stopped running and the sump pump did not go off all night long.  Some one was looking after us because what were the chances of buying just the right bolts the day before I needed them.   Thank you Lord.

We will test out the bolts and see if that they continue working and hopefully we will be able to find stainless steel ones and replace them with stainless.   For now we will continue our journey.  I wish we were close to Point Judith because Don could get us what we need.  Hi Don, Ann, and Tim.

Well we had better get going next blog will Saturday.

“Living The Dream”

   “Sometimes the Nightmare”

      Tammy & Steve

 

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We have now traveled 3000 miles on Adventure and arrived in Georgetown SC on the ICW

Ho ray we have now traveled 3000 miles on Adventure.  I mentioned 2981 miles yesterday so I thought I should make a  current status that we have now arrived at 3000 miles.

I asked Tam whether she would do it again knowing what we have been through to get here.  Her answer was a definite yes.  I would say the same thing.  We have grown closer over those 3000 miles and gotten to know each other better than through anything else we might have done.  We love being together every moment we share.  That alone has made the trip a huge success.  But to reach this level of sharing is awesome.   Would I recommend it to everyone would be a no.  There are a lot of reasons to consider before taking this step but we are so happy we made it.

Tam I love you.

Now for a general rundown of the last few days.

We took a picture of the last bridge we had to pass in North Carolina.  We are now in South Carolina.

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The fishing trawlers were out early as usual and most of them take real pride in maintaining there vessels.

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As we were traveling past this boat we felt required to take pictures of the skull and crossbones this morning.  This to our grandsons Will, Brandon, and Cooper.  In the spirit of their adventures.

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Tam and I felt the color scheme was a little bright for us.

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Every house seems required to have a rooftop deck (at least the expensive ones), We were trying to figure id there was an elevator up to the deck or just stairs.

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This one had a cascading waterfall in front. A little extra zing.

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Finally we have the one with the sprinklers running, in November. Eat your hearts out Minnesota.

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The ICW doesn’t have a lot of light houses because it is a canal, but we did see this one when we arrived in South Carolina.

Short today as the canal is sort of repetitious.  Lots of Golf courses with golfers still swinging away.

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve

 

 

 

 

From There to Here A look back

We are looking at the final leg of our journey to the Florida Keys.

So we did some calculating and came up with some interesting statistics.

We left Minnesota on July 30th 2014 with a destination of the Florida Keys in our sites.  Thus far we have been on the road 109 days.  Most of them travel days but a couple of great stops to see family but a few down days for weather, but also some serious maintenance days.

We have traveled a total of 2981 miles.  For an average of 27.35 miles per day.  Doesn’t seem like a lot per day until you see that 2981 mile total.  Today we will pass 3000 miles.  How awesome is that in a boat that does 6 knots on the high end.

We have traveled through or by 15 states.

We have lived on Adventure for over 100 days.  Our only needs have been fuel, a grocery store every week or so and a laundromat every 2 weeks.  It is hard to realize how far we have come, how much we have seen, and how much we have done.  I realize now how much of an “Adventure” it has been and how we truly are Living The Dream.

Today I made 2 wrong turns and we had to backtrack but as usual we found our way.

Tam realized one of her dreams today when she saw her second pod of Dolphins swimming past us.

We had the sails up again for almost half of the day.  The wind was favorable and it gave us extra distance and speed.

Simple look back blog today.  We celebrate this opportunity and wish to share it with our family, friends, and new friends.  Thank you for joining us on this blog to travel “Adventure” with us.

“Living The Dream”

   Tammy & Steve