Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making Tracks

After St. Augustine, Florida, we left the ICW, went outside and headed north to Cumberland Island, just inside Georgia.  There we spent a couple of days exploring the island.  To be good eco-tourists, we broke out the kayaks to get to shore.

Once on shore we hiked the “River Trail.”
Yes, it was hot!

But, the hike was worth it.  The ruins of Dungeness, once the Carnegie residence are incredible.

One really gets the sense of the opulence of the Gilded Age.
The Recreation House

The Recreation House included an indoor pool, sauna, exercise room, billiards room, and apartments.  The gardens had to be incredible, but today they are used by Cumberland Island’s numerous feral horses for grazing.

Even the Carnegie stable of automobiles are rusting away. 

After Cumberland Island, we popped back out on the Atlantic Ocean and made good time as we bypassed Georgia’s notorious shoals on the ICW.  We did come back in at night and anchored in Walburg Creek (Georgia) and St. Pierre Creek (South Carolina).  On our fourth day on the ocean, the waves got a little large and confused.  MOTIVATOR did great, but we had been lulled into a smooth ride and were not really rigged for sea.  The only casualty was wine glass that jumped off of the rack.  At the Charleston inlet, we pulled in and once again joined the ICW.

This portion of the ICW consists mainly of low lying grass islands, making for very serene landscape and anchorages.

This prompted Pollie to say, “once again we are anchored in the middle of stinking nowhere!”  But, I thought it was great.

We are now in Georgetown, SC for a few days. Georgetown is the home of the best breakfast place we have found on the East Coast.
The Coffee Break Café, Georgetown, SC

And, dinner at the Rice Paddy was great (!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dinghy Tourism

In the Bahamas we met a delightful couple on Valkyrie a 65’ Fleming - remarkable vessel.   They seeded the idea of having the “Mother Ship” and a tender capable of getting you to the fun.  After purchasing MOTIVATOR, we went on the hunt for the dinghy we have always wanted.  We wanted it to be fast, stable, comfortable, dry, and provide Pollie with relief from the sun.  Ken and Jeff at Inflatable Boat Pros built us the perfect dinghy.

Yesterday, we took it on a boat parts trip and re-provisioning.  Today, we went and visited St. Augustine’s Lighthouse.
She waited patiently for us while we played tourist.

The smile says it all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Skipper Bob

One of the publications we use for navigating the ICW is Anchorages Along the Intracoastal Waterway, by Skipper Bob Publications.   It gives us a heads-up on bridges we have to open.

Of course, there are obstructions you do not find in the guide books.

It also provides interesting local color:  “A local landmark, a 100’ long green dragon weighing an estimated 20 tons and know as Annie, collapsed in July 2002.  After more than 30 years of providing a landmark at the entrance to the Banana River it remains only a sad symbol of its former self lying half in and half out of the water.”

Most of the anchorage information is very specific;  “Mile 914.2, Indian Harbor Beach.  Also known as “Dragon Point.”  Proceed east from ICW towards G1 at the mouth of Banana River.  Stay close (100’) to “1” on rounding point.  Anchor in 10’ in mouth of Banana River in front of white house with green roof.”

I bet the people with the white house with green roof wonder why all of these boats anchor in front of their house.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Leaving Hollywood

The Bimini top, cover and chocks for the dinghy arrived, so we hoisted her up.

Now she is ready to travel.

While we were waiting, I refinished the teak furniture,

And Pollie planted a window garden.

Then it was time to say goodbye to marina staff and friends.

Since we began cruising, Slip 103, Loggerhead Club & Marina in Hollywood, Florida has been our address for the longest period of time (3 weeks).

But, it was definitely time to leave.

And, all systems are working.

Then we come to the nemesis of the ICW, a bridge.

But, with MOTIVATOR, we only need 19 feet clearance, so we are good to go.

It worked!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Upon acquiring our DeFever 49, we found that the name Eagle’s Nest held no significance for us, and therefore needed to be changed.  We did not move into this endeavor carelessly, however because we had been warned by friends to ensure we did a “proper” renaming ceremony, and “don’t get cheap on the Champagne.”  Taking shortcuts just invites bad ju-ju.  But first, one must do a proper de-naming.

First order of business is the removable of the retired name.  This includes remove all physical traces of the boat's old name.  Take the old log book ashore, along with any other papers that bear the old name.  Check for offending books and charts with the name inscribed.  Sand away the old name from the lifebuoys, transom, top-side, dinghy, and oars.  Painting over is not good enough.

Don't place the new name anywhere on the boat before the de-naming ceremony is carried out.
“In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.
We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.
Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known Eagle’s Nest be struck and removed from your records."
Then one must allow a reasonable time before renaming (at least 24 hours).  This was not a problem for us because we were at the mercy of the sign company.

Of course, I had to do a little touchup.

The final part of the ceremony, the libation, must be performed on the bow.

In a naming ceremony, there are two things to watch out for here.  Don't use cheap-cheap champagne, and don't try to keep any for yourself.  Buy a second bottle if you want some.  For my Scottish wife, pouring a whole bottle of expensive champagne over the boat presented a challenge...
 'I name this ship MOTIVATOR and may she bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail on her.'

We survived the challenge, and now we present (drum roll) MOTIVATOR.

Monday, July 4, 2011


After moving on to our new boat, we started outfitting.  Fortunately, the previous owners had her pretty well ready to go including a long list of spare parts for the engines and generators.  But we did have to add a few items, starting with a BBQ grill.
Our old Magnum Grill was still going strong even though it was on its third boat, but we wanted a larger one with a secondary raised rack.  Luckily, we caught a 4th of July sale at West Marine.

We also added a dock box on the stern cockpit for grill and boat washing supplies storage.

Next on our agenda was a new dinghy.  MOTIVATOR came with a lifting crane rated at 1,000 pounds, and a well designed cradle on top of the sun roof.

The new 12’ AB dinghy with 40 HP outboard weighs in at 850 pounds.  It is a little more complicated than our old dinghy with a 3.3 HP engine.

Jeff, one of the owners of Inflatable Boat Pros is giving me a checkout on the systems.  Soon, it is time to take her for the inaugural spin.

While we have been doing a lot of work getting MOTIVATOR ready, we did take a break for “date night” and use the new dinghy to find a restaurant/tiki bar along the ICW that had a descent Santana/Stones cover band.

We both enjoyed the food and music.