Sunday, April 7, 2019

Time to Enjoy GOLD and Prepare to Go Home

Day 73-79; Mon-Sun, April 1-7, 2019

All settled at the marina, we will be here one week. Then? Home in a day!! 
View to the dock.

View to the very nice marina office, clubhouse facility
View out to the waterway

First up is picking up a rental car at the airport so Rip can go retrieve our truck and trailer from Punta Gorda Florida. Rip left early Monday morning, leaving Cally and I on the boat by ourselves. We didn't even get into much trouble. Rip drove straight to Punta Gorda and dopped off the one way rental at the airport. Doug, where we stored the truck and trailer, picked Rip up and took him to them. Rip turned right around and headed north. He got just south of Ocala, FL before stopping for the night. He was back at the boat by 1pm on Tuesday. 
Exhausted, but back on the boat with us. 
Someone was crazy excited to see her daddy...

We are at St Johns Yacht Harbour Marina. While Rip was away, I did a mountain of laundry. And, if you have to do laundry at a marina...this is my favorite place.

Only $1 per machine and commercial size!!

Not sure who would use an ironing board, but sure is nice to have the sink and lots of folding space!!
Now, Wed, it is time to start prepping the boat for going home on the trailer. The dinghy has to come off, be deflated and stowed in the truck bed. The antennas and radar mast must be lowered and secured. Many, many more things to be stowed. Lists will be made.

Radar mast and antennas in their down position ready to travel
Thursday was sight seeing day... We drove around Charleston SC. It was a beautiful day to be out. Rip drove Cally and I around Charleston so I could see some of the downtown Charleston area. We went to the Battery, White Point Park, the Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row and by the City Market. 

Lots of horse drawn tour carriages made travel slow through the narrow streets

Then out to Sullivan's Island where we found one of the most boring lighthouses ever. I didn't know there were ugly lighthouses. Worst yet, there was so much traffic and no parking, so I couldn't get to the beach easily.

Then out to Angel Tree Park - home of the famous, historic Angle Tree Oak. 
The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old, stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). From tip to tip Its longest branch distance is 187 ft.  There is considerable debate about the age of the Angel Oak.  Some contend that it is 1,500 years old.  Most believe that the more conservative estimates are more accurate.

Friday was more prep work, blog work and dinner out at the Tattooed Moose. I had the "Thanksgiving Sammy" (Roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayo, and crispy fried onions on toasted wheat served with a side of gravy for dippin'!) NOT Paleo and I ate the whole thing without taking a picture!!  Huge sandwiches, but they are famous for their Duck Fries. Skinny potato fries cooked in duck fat. Just tasted like reg fries to me. But, here is the funky restaurant.

Tomorrow looms large, as we'll haul the boat at a ramp about 6 miles from the marina and will be strapped down for towing home. Lots of work for Rip. I will play pet sitter with Cally while he tools away. It bugs me not to be able to help, but we cannot leave Cally in the car alone and there is light rain forecast. We will update on the progress home in the next post...after we have a bit of time to unpack and decompress. Oh, and to get my land legs back.

The Long, Wet Day to... Home Sweet Home

Day 80, Sunday, April 7, 2019
7 miles; 1 hour traveled by Boat
00 miles; 0 hours traveled over Land

Our view before leaving...

We are as prepared as we can be to head home. Last night rain was forecast for this morning, but gone from the forecast this morning. Reports seem to be just mostly cloudy. After breakfast Ron Widman of  High Cotton followed Rip, in the truck with empty trailer, to the boat ramp. Once the rig was parked, Ron brought Rip back to the boat. Meanwhile, Cally and I went for our morning walk.

Leaving our last marina of the Great Loop.
Now, it's time we head off for the seven mile run to the boat ramp, so we can head home.

Our view back to the marina...on our way home.

Just as we approached the boat ramp a little drizzle started. By the time we had the boat on the trailer and we're ready to pull out of the water the downpour started. Radar showed it wasn't stopping soon. So much for forecasts. There's a lot of work that  be done before we can start driving home. Do we wait it out in the truck and probably have to stop for the night? OR?? Yes, it's OR. Rip decides to work in the down pour while Cally and I stay dry in the truck. He has to put on and secure 3 straps to hold the boat down and put on the weight distribution hitch, among other things. It takes about an hour. At least he can get into the boat for a towel to dry off and dry clothes before getting under way.

Dirt parking lot is getting awfully muddy

Cally being a very good girl, waiting for the trip home to begin. Truth be told, she HATES rain so I knew she would be good and content not to leave the truck.

Rip working in the pouring rain

Less than 30 mins later we drive out of the rain, as we head north. But one of the straps is loose and fluttering. Rip finds a place on the highway to pull over. He jumps out and resecures that strap while I hold my breath no one hits him while he is working.

Safely on our way, we head north. It's already been a long day for Rip and we still have 5+ hour of driving to get home.. We stopped for lunch and to walk Cally at a rest stop. For some unknown reason there is a line outside of the women's bathroom. No problem, I can go on the boat. Not waiting in line, we need to get moving.

We stopped close to home (ok, 30 miles away but that is close here in rural Eastern NC) for eggs and sausage so we can have breakfast tomorrow. Our refrigerator at home is empty of food. Then pop over to Bojangles for dinner. They have 6 or so "truck" parking spaces. And at almost 60' Long that's the only way we can park. Two chicken dinners later and we are on our way the last stretch home!!

Last 2 chores, putting the boat on her parking pad and taking gear upstairs. Here Rip is backing her into her spot by the 2-story workshop/garage. The house is further down the driveway by the water.

Boat unhooked and now, time to load the gear up the steps to the house.

Going to feel good sleeping in a king size bed tonight!! 

We did it!!! We finished America's Great Loop!!! What a trip. An amazing experience. 

However, we are not done yet. This blog will most likely morph into a blog about some projects on the house as well as future boat trips. House project include new deck ratings, a lot of grading and landscaping, dock work, plus upgrades in the house and shop/loft. Future boat trips include going back to Canada, maybe Maine, some of the side trips of the Loop we didn't do like Nashville and Chattanooga  as well as.....the Pacific Northwest.

Stay tuned....

Good to be home

The next  day we have our first dock guests...Tadhana and her crew. Remember them from Sanford and St Augustine. 

Welcome Back!!

💕❤️🚢 Love having dock guests!!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

We Crossed Our Wake & Finish America’s Great Loop

Day 72: Sunday, March 31, 2019
Beaufort, SC to Johns Island, Charleston, SC 
62 miles   …   4:20 hours traveled

Shortly after going through this bridge we will cross our wake!!!

Heading out this morning, the last day we will fly the white AGLCA flag, which signifies a Looper in progress. i.e. Not crossed your wake and not finished The Great Loop.
At 8:35 am Lab Partners and crew crossed their wake completing The Great Loop. 
We were just 1.5 miles away from where we started. Marsh Harbor Marnia in Lady's Island, SC is where it all began.
Sight behind us as we left the marina. Cruise ship still in her berth.

We did stop to replace the flag, then continued on our way. I must say, GOLD looks great on the bow.

Rip had the exact spot marked on the chart from when we left Marsh Harbor Marina, oh so long ago. Maybe ddle right of the pic below has the word GOLD in a gold rectangle marking the spot.

We will count up all the stats once home and post. But for now...We are continuing on to Charleston SC to rest up, sight see and prepare to trailer the boat home. 

Some passes today were tight cuts. Recent dredging meant we had plenty of depth. Still of looking at those close banks of mud is unnerving. 

Passed a beautiful Buy Boat.