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.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Beaufort, SC - From Here, Only 1.5 Miles to Crossing Our Wake

Day 70 & 71: Fri-Sat, March 29-30, 2019
Thunderbolt, GA to Beaufort, SC 
46 miles   …   5 hours traveled

Bad news... We woke to pea soup fog. I, Beth, do NOT like fog. 
Great news... We also woke to Krispy Kreme Donuts delivered to the boat!!  
It is tradition here at Thunderbolt Marina!! Think it had anything to do with why we stopped here??
It's a slow morning waiting for the fog to lift. The fog starts to lift and then settles back in. Supposed to lift by 8:30 but only started to lift by 9:30. 

We thought the huge yacht by us was ready to get underway. Engines running... We didn't want to leave when she was leaving. Finally, we saw the Captain walk off the boat so we made our escape at 10:10am. 

Georgia has been pretty, but it is a tad boring. Today we cross into SC. The last state we will enter before trailering home. 

Several boat were catching up to us  so Rip decided to run faster for a while and put distance between us. Once again the dang engine oil change alarm went off. Rip remembered the sequence of buttons to hit. However, it requires cutting off the engine. Rip does the reset quickly but we still drift into shallower water. Plenty deep enough for us to restart, move back to the channel and get back on our way. Pretty sure Rip is going to disable that alarm when we get home.

FINALLY...Dolphin play in our wake!!! 

I may never take a other picture of dolphin...after this I will always be disappointed.

Several Loopers are here, including the infamous Herb of MV Phanthom. We first saw MV Phanthom in Dempolis, MS in 2017, but never saw Herb. We finally meet Herb in person. 

Tadhana and crew took a mooring in the marina. Soon they were ashore and we all went for ice cream. Afterwards the dogs, and people, were rewarded with a wonderful long walk. Sights from the walk...

Tadhana left the next morning, much to Cally's disapproval. She gets the best walks when when Cristina, Tom and HRH Aurora, the Warrior Princess of Tadhana are in town. We last saw them in Sanford and will likely next see them at our home dock.

Hanging out at the dock is bad for boats and crew, but wow. When do you think they last left dock? Can you see the parrot on the shoulder?

We are 1.5 miles south of where we will "cross our wake". That is the spot in the water where we started The Great Loop and will, therefore, close our Loop; finishing The Great Loop.  

We stayed at Beaufort, SC for two nights of resting up. Next up crossing our wake and then time to prep the boat and crew to trailer home.  
The second night we were not sure where this cruise ship was going...looked like he was coming up by us. Cruise Ship got a little closer, then slide sideways  into her berth along the wall of the park.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Kilkenny, GA to Wait Out the Winds

Day 67 & 68: Tues-Wed, March 26-27, 2019
St Simmons Island GA to Kilkenny, Ga
66 miles   …   7:25 hours traveled

Leaving St Simmons Island, GA

Started as a beautiful calm morning. With a long day of 62 miles ahead of us, we were off the dock by 8:15. After breakfast under way, we picked up the pace to 14-16 mph. High winds are due to set in late in the day. We hope to be docked before it gets crazy. It won't be as bad here as predicted closer to the coast, as we are a bit inland. Loopers up and down the southern east coast are all headed to some place to wait out the winds.

We have seen a pretty Kady Krogen several times including on the St John's River. Today we passed her. Then spotted two vessels on AIS. Herb on Phantom and Serenity. Both Loopers.

The day turned gray for a while. The high will only be in the high 60's. Before 11am it started to clear again, by 1pm sky's were cloudy again.

Not a swanky marina, but a good safe place to hang out while the winds blow. Lots of places to walk Cally. 
Marker found near marina and historic looking building

There is a popular restaurant next door, but too $$ when we have so much food on board. 

And, at this point, it is time to eat down our supply of refrigerated and frozen food. Once the boat is on the trailer the refrigerator will not be running. We will have the portable unit in the truck with us, but it will only hold what we need to travel.
At the dock 

Beautiful Marshland abounds

Our view for two days. We are facing out looking at how we will leave

Not much to look at and showers/bath are out back and not air conditioned 

Cute area to walk Cally around the marina and a few homes.

Today was the day. The day I (Beth) was ready to be off the boat and home. 67 days is enough on a small boat. The trip has been great, the boat has worked well and we have pretty much figured out things work, where things get stored and generally how to live in a small space. But, I am ready to go home!!

We had have docktails with fellow Loopers. Twice...once on their boat and once on ours.  They are on a boat smaller and less appointed then ours. They make it work and they love it.

Tomorrow is Thunderbolt Marina...home of fresh Krispy Kreme donut delivery, right to the boat!!!
Off to Thunderbolt Marina

Monday, March 25, 2019

St Simmons Island, GA

Day 66: Monday, March 25, 2019
Amelia Island GA to St Simmons, GA 
44 miles   …   5 hours traveled

Leaving Amelia Island Marina 

Chinese fire drill as the gas cooktop wouldn't light. Rip solved the problem temporarily so we could have breakfast and get under way. He will work on it later. Probably a bad solenoid.

Sad sight at the marina. Looks like a center console sunk over nightDidn't get a pic as we did not see it until we were leaving.
Lots of tide here. Looks very shallow as we leave the marina this morning. Many Loopers don't dare come into this marina as they can only come and go on a high or rising tide. Timing isn't always when you want, or can, travel. Another positive about being on the Rossi, we can leave here on our own schedule and at low tide, if needed.

Look at the difference from yesterday 
We passed Fernandina Beach. A popular stop for Loopers until a hurricane took out their docks. Heard it was under construction, but I didn't see signs of work 

Cool research vessel 
We leave Florida today and enter into Georgia. We passed Cumberland Island, a National Park and home to a herd of wild horses. 
I would love to stop and see the wild horses but also want to move on to our marina for tonight and see Looper friends Vic and Bette. Maybe this summer I will go see the wild horses at Corolla in NC, instead.

Passed 3 inlets (boat access from the ICW to the ocean) where the sea conditions can get quite confused.  The weather and current cooperated and we had a relativity easy passage through all 3. 
The first was easy. The second, notorious St Andrew's Sound, required Rip's full attention. All was fine. In the photo below, that is the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Once settled in the marina we connected with Looper friends, Vic & Bette. Plans were quickly hatched for a tour of the island then a stop at their favorite BBQ joint. This is quite a beautiful place. My tour and guides were amazing!! No wonder they love this island, their winter home, so much. We first met Vic & Better in Little Current, Ontario, Canada in 2017. 

Vic, Bette and Red Dog!!
Pics from the island tour....

Then dinner from Southern Soul with Vic, Better and Red Dog,  at a covered Pavillion by the dock.

This is a popular place. Food was very good.

Red Dog was a great companion ... on the tour and at dinner!
All in all a great day - Easy cruising, island tour and BBQ!!