We arrived back in Melbourne towards the end of March. We celebrated both Brian and Jacobs birthdays while there.
We anchored in a couple new places; Dragon's Point, a couple nights north of the Point in the Banana River, but ended up spending most of our time back near Indialantic. It was closer for Mom to pick us up and drop us off. We also walked to her place a few times. It was about three miles to her house.
The boys and Brian built her a ramp to the new shed one afternoon.
Most days the boys would do school in the mornings on the boat, then in the afternoons, mom would pick us up or we would walk and I would make dinner for everyone. The boys are each great about pitching in and helping.
One night I made my friend, Geri's, cabbage, bacon, noodle dinner.
Another night I did copy cat Long John Silvers fish and fries. There was leftover batter, so Caleb made onion rings.
A week or so after the ramp build, the boys and Brian replaced the wobbly back rail with a sturdy wooden one.
I know Dad would have been so proud of the boys' hard work on these projects, making things a little safer for mom.
One day while Brian was reading the news online, he saw that it was free ice cream cone day at Ben and Jerry's. There is a store close to mom's, so she took us by.
A day or two before we left, the boys were in the cockpit and saw fish near the surface. Caleb threw in a line and caught this catfish. Brian got two nice fillets out of it. Caleb wanted to give them to Grandma.
The day we left Melbourne, we took the Intracoastal Water Way, (ICW) up just past New Smryna, FL and anchored in Rockhouse Creek. This picture shows the ocean in the background. It was beautiful, be we realized too late, it was a popular place for noseeums, pesky little biting bugs.
Our next stop was St. Augustine, FL.
The next day we continued on, and ended up in between Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach. Our anchorage happened to be near this plantation.
We learned it was free, but the current was so strong, we didn't want to take the time to unlaod the dinghy and fight to get to shore.
The next morning we set out for Fernandina and meeting up with my cousin, Megan and two of her three boys. We couldn't anchor because of the strong current, so we went on up a couple miles to St. Mary's GA.
That afternoon, Megan drove over and we had a great time catching up. A three masted schooner was tied up and offering free tours that day, so we walked over and explored it.
We spent a couple days in St. Mary's. It is a beautiful little town.
Nearby is the famous Cumberland Island. Both Megan and my friend, Paige, told us we just had to go see it! We did and they were both right. We happened to go during the National Parks Free week. We spent several hours exploring, looking at ruins, wild horses, and even an armadillo!
We had a good weather window, according to the weather report, but then the wind died. To conserve fuel,we made super slow progress sailing at only 1-2 knots. At one point on the second night we even started to drift back south! Brian caught it, and we started the engine and motorsailed the rest of the way into Charleston, SC.
Once up the inlet, we saw Ft. Sumter.
We got to Charleston on a Thursday. On Friday we played tourist and walked around the historic district.
We found a quaint hardware store where Brian picked up a few things for small repairs. They told us about a free movie in the park that night. We planned to go, but when we got to the dinghy to go back to the boat, the winds had kicked up and we decided to just stay in for the evening.
The cobblestone in this street is said to have been balast in English boats coming to America for goods to take back. The colonist used it to make roads. Some say if a woman was about to go into labor, she would take a ride in the carriage up and down the street to help get things started.
On Saturday, we met up with an old coworker and friend of mine. We had worked together 20 some years ago at Better Book Room in downtown Wichita,KS.
Our families met at Battery Park for a pizza picnic.
The kids had fun playing ultimate frisbee.
Brian and Norman enjoyed visiting.
The next day, they picked us up to join them for church. Afterward, we went to their house for a delicious lunch, four square, and chatting on the front porch with Kim's parents.
Early in the evening we went to the boat and took them for a sunset cruise.
On Monday, Brian and I spent the day making treks back and forth from the gas station to the boat and doing water runs to top off the tanks.
The boys were at the house doing laundry and watching movies.
That evening, Kim picked up Brian and I and we went back to the house for a cookout.
The kids had a great time at prom. Luke is continuing to stay in SC until mid May. While there he is volunteering at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and working on his independent studies with IT software.
The rest of us headed out to sea.
This weekend was spent with a former coworker of Brian's and her husband.
Saturday morning they treated Brian and I to breakfast at Yani's.
The boys joined us on shore and we went to their house.
They have a closet size elevator!
View from the back deck
Steve is the owner of Salon Steven in downtown Kinston. He also has a shop in the lower level of their house for Swansboro customers. He offered to trim up the boys. This was their first time EVER in a salon chair. Pretty cool to have such a pro work on them.
They wanted to go sailing, so we all went back to Grace and spent a couple hours on the ICW.
The house on the far left in this picture is theirs.
After re-anchoring, they treated us to lunch at the Ice House Restaurant.
Regina and I had some fun with the Blackbeard statue.
After lunch,we looked at some fishing boats and stopped at a farm stand for fresh strawberries, corn and avocados. The guys went to the store and got the rest of the dinner supplies.
That night, they offered us one of their cars to drive back to the boat and then come back to the house in the morning for breakfast.
After an amazing breakfast, they said they wanted to take us out in their boat and go fishing. The guys got the trailer hooked up to the truck, we packed a cooler of sandwiches, chips and waters and headed down to Morehead.
After dinner, their younger daughter, Erica, sang for us. Then Steve got out his guitar and sang us a few of the songs he has written. Regina joined in. Such a talented family!
The next morning, we were hoping for a very early start, but were fogged in for an hour. A little after 7, we were able to pull the anchor and head for Morehead, Adams Creek and Oriental,NC
We had great wind and were able to go with the current.
We made it to Oriental about 3pm. We looked at a custom built catamaran and had a nice visit with the owners.
Originally we were going to overnight there, but after looking at the forecast, which called for storms the next day, we went ahead and made for New Bern and Blackbeard Sailing Club. We arrived at 11pm, tied up and went to bed.
It is so good to be back home among friends!