I was sure that once I left South Carolina I must have also left any chance of swimming with alligators. So when I looked at The Alligator River on the charts and I noticed that it resembled the shape of an alligator (or so i think!) I just decided that must be why they call it that. Clearly I was just ready to be done with worrying about little Captain Louie (or I) becoming snack food so I just told myself what I wanted to believe. We anchored right off the shore of the Alligator River Preserve and the sound of the frogs and other critters all night was both deafening and peaceful. And, yes, we did enjoy a very nice swim off the boat that evening. We didn’t see any alligators but it turns out indeed there are plenty there. I know… it’s called the ALLIGATOR RIVER!
The best part is we got to do some great sailing on the river. It felt like it had been weeks since I’d been able to turn off the motor and zip along under sail and it was fantastic. We set ourselves up for the night right at the north end to get an early start across the Albemarle Sound since Predict Wind called for 30 knots of “breeze” from the north the later the next day.
Enjoy this 360 degree video of sailing on the Alligator River (no alligators were seen).
A couple weeks ago, Travis, self-proclaimed First Mate (a title he gives himself in this video and definitely has earned!), shows you the Bogue Sound from our bow. We had a really great day with some nice wind for sailing. We started off in Swansboro, NC after a night at Dudley’s Marina and were headed past Beaufort, NC to Sanitary Seafood because we were craving some delicious shrimp!
Unfortunately, I yet again had engine troubles once we started her back up. We were just a few miles from Morehead City, NC when the engine overheated. We dropped anchor and I tried to trouble shoot but everything that worked in the past did not work this time. As it was getting dark and we were in the ICW with no great place to anchor I called the tow boat and they quickly got us to Portside Marina in Morehead City. We stayed there a couple days and I got the engine fixed up (busted a hose clamp and had a badly leaking fresh water cooling hose). We also enjoyed some of the absolute best food I had in months at Floyd’s 1921. I will seriously go out of my way to stop here again just to eat at Floyds!
The wind noise is a little much in this video. Sorry! We were just so happy to have wind!!!
Crew member Monika, whom i connected with on the Facebook Group “Women Who Sail”, joined me for the trip from Brunswick, GA to Charleston, SC. We spent 30 hours at sea with little to no wind but had a beautiful night on the water. Storms were building all around us but we were right in the middle of a calm clear area. It was both eery and beautiful. This 360 degree video was shot about 15 miles off shore from Beaufort, SC.
Exactly 2 weeks after arriving in Florida I sailed (and motored) across the border into Georgia. Did I plan to be in Georgia? Well, no. But, storms and boat stuff change my plans just about every day… that’s all part of sailing. It’s great to have a plan but it’s vital to be ready to improvise!
Now, I am tucked into a great little marina in Brunswick, Georgia where I just enjoyed my first cruisers happy hour gathering at the marina lounge. Yes! And… to cruisers’ happy hours! OMG this marina has free beer on tap. Is it PBR? Yup. Is it free? Enjoy it. Met a great group of cruisers, most of whom have just made there way back here from a season in the Bahamas and many that have recently sold there houses and are just starting their new lives afloat. I plan to interview some of them soon and introduce you to them and their stories.
I’ll be here for a couple weeks to make some repairs and improvements to the boat and get ready for more visitors or a solo trip north. Will I make it to NY this summer? At this point I’d be pretty psyched to get to the Chesapeake Bay! Wherever I am it will be an adventure and I plan to always stay open to the possibilities each day presents.
Enjoy this 360 degree video of Becca, Kim, and I (and little Capt’ Lou) crossing over into Georgia and celebrating with a little St. Augustine Distillery bourbon. (remember, use your mouse to move the view anyway you want to look!)
After a night at sea, we tucked in at St. Augustine to check out the town and figure out our next move. We stayed at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, which is just south of the Bridge of Lions. This bridge was built in 1925 and is a bascule bridge (the spans lift up). It only opens on the hour and half hour and not during certain hours (like noon). The currents are also very strong here which we found out the hard way when we got pinned against the docks trying to back out of the slip! 😦
Enjoy looking around as we motor through the bridge on our way north up the ICW.
I have to say that the phrase “a plume of tropical moisture” does have a nice ring to it. But, when you are trying to sail a boat up the coast of Florida it makes for very tough going! “Persistent downpours douse Florida” and “The rainy season in Florida will continue indefinitely” is how Accuweather is describing what I am soaking up each day!
I don’t mind the rain so much as the very powerful storms with high winds and lightning. When I woke up this morning I was alerted that meteorologists were watching a tropical depression potentially forming that would affect Florida and the Bahamas. So… Although it was a beautiful sunny morning, there were some nasty looking clouds moving swiftly towards me. Taking precautions, I reserved a slip at a marina just about 12 nautical miles up the intracoastal from my really pleasant anchorage last night just off the coast guard station in Ft. Pierce (note: if you anchor in front of the coast guard it is likely that they will board and inspect your boat. If you have a cute little dog in a life vest that sits on their lap they will likely miss something, just saying. They talked of taking Louie with them… ummm, no.)
So, of course, after docking at the marina (which costs more money than i can be spending – and, after asking at the next door Vero Beach Yacht Club for reciprocal docking (no go!) – Louie and I did some boat work and laundry as we watched the skies produce the most beautiful sunny day yet. Ugh… better safe than sorry? Well, tomorrow I might just push on anyway.
I must say though that Louie had a great day getting a couple walks and sharing french fries at the burger stand in Vero Beach.
I have another crew coming tomorrow. We were supposed to scoop her up in St. Augustine but we are quite behind schedule so she is renting a car to drive down to meet us. Hopefully Sunday we will head off shore and aim for South Carolina!
Things to fix at this point in no particular order:
dinghy motor (no idea if it even works have yet to try)
water in starboard bilge and bilge pump not working (okay this is priority!)
fridge (works on 110v but not turning on off the grid)
oh my gosh i am boring both of us. enough.
I hope you enjoy the 2 minutes of 360 degree video I shot today while on motoring up the intracoastal waterway near Vero Beach. Also, I read that the 1,300 pound great white shark named Hilton is currently swimming near by. Sorry, no footage of that.
Super excited about my new GoPro Fusion camera that shoots 360 Degree videos! I took it out for a test run for the San Diego Yacht Club Opening Day Race. Hop aboard the J120 “Caper” with me and see what it’s like to race a sail boat. This is just one short clip… still working on combining clips and getting the best output resolution.
Excited to mount the camera on SV IMPROVISE and let viewers fully experience moments along the intracoastal waterway and Atlantic coast. I leave in ONE WEEK for Florida where the boat is currently!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
It’s almost time to start this wonderful voyage! I went to Ft. Myer’s, Florida a couple weeks ago to inspect the boat and she’ll be mine in just a few days! I will pick her up in Indiantown, Florida on May 12th. Flying from San Diego to Florida on May 11th, the day after my birthday!
Stay tuned for all the improvised adventures… just me, my little dog Captain Louie, and my “new-to-me” Gemini 105MC!