Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jekyll Island

We have had a great time exploring Jekyll Island.  Yesterday, we all took a bike ride around the island.  We saw lots of cool sights and did a little exploring off the beaten path.  It was fun but a little painful sitting on that small seat for such a long time!
Here are the pics from our explorations:
Last night, Jekyll had a "lighting of the Christmas Tree" festival.  There were so many things going on that it was pretty much like a fair or carnival.  They had live music, face painting, funnel cakes, Philly cheese steaks, inflatable jumping cages, candle making etc.  Caroline's favorite, however, was the snowball fight!  That's right, I said snowball!  They had a big square fenced off where they made snow so the kids could go play in it and make/throw snowballs.  It was quite unusual to be standing by in a t-shirt, perfectly comfortable, and watching snowballs fill the sky.  Even as a spectator, you had to keep a wary eye for the errant snowball hurled into the crowd.  Alyson learned that lesson the hard way :( !  Every so often they would have to replenish the snow.  They had a big chipper machine and ran large blocks of ice through it to make the snow.  While re snowing the square, the worker manning the tube that shoots the snow would let it "get away" from him, sending a great plume of snow into the unsuspecting crowd.  After the Christmas tree had been lit, everyone enjoyed a fireworks display and sang Christmas songs. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Georgia on my mind

We have made it to Jekyll Island GA!  This is our stopping point to travel back to NC for Thanksgiving.  It couln't have come too soon!  It has been unseasonable cold this past week as you may see in the photos.  Another cold front moved in last night and the winds are howling!  In keeping with the season, I'm "thankful"  to not be out in that bitter cold wind!
Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  In the next week, I hope you find a time to be mindful of all the Blessings in your life.  God is good!
Here are a few pics of this leg of our journey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Running Hard

Well, we've left Georgetown and put three long days under our keel.  From Georgetown, we went to Charleston and stayed at the City Marina.  There, we got to visit with Mackenzie Hutaff.  She's now married and I can't recall her married name (sorry Mackenzie).  She works for the marina there in Charleston and is doing well!  It was nice to see a familiar face.
The next day we ran from Charleston to Beaufort, SC.  Beaufort sure seems like a wonderful little town and we look forward to spending more time there on our way back north!  The ICW south of Charleston was the most scenic we have experienced!  It is simply beautiful!
Today, we journeyed to Thunderbolt, GA.  We are still looking for the warm weather!  I sure am tired of freezing my (insert descriptave explectitave here) off while we travel to paradise.  I long to siesta in the warm sun and swim in clear blue water.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Few Days to Relax

Well, the winds have piped up again and so we have spent a few days relaxing here in Georgetown, SC. We have seen some cool old buildings and walked through the graveyard behind the Episcopal Church. Georgetown is a charming southern town with deep roots to the past. Rice was the crop of choice in this area several centuries ago. Today, it is more oriented toward lumber and tourism. Lots of eclectic shops line Main St which adds to its charm. The harbor also has a boardwalk that allows for scenic strolls along the river's shore.

Here are the photos:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The trip south begins!

Monday, after a short day's journey from Topsail Beach, we arrived in the familiar waters of Carolina Beach. It sure was nice to see "home" again. We got to take hot showers in our own shower at the beach house. We washed clothes and watched news on TV - Caroline watched Disney (of course). We still, however, longed for warmer weather!

Tuesday, our attention was focused on reprovisioning. We had a great visit from the Boliek's and got to show them the boat and just catch up with what was happening back in Fayetteville.

Wednesday, we pulled out of Carolina Beach to begin the Southern leg (south of our home port in Carolina Beach) of our adventures. That first day we made it to Little River and stayed at Doc Holiday's. It was also a special day because it marked our first 1000 miles with just Alyson or I in charge. The first 1000 down, several more thousand to go! We are still looking for warmer weather. Yesterday, David Boliek bought Alyson and I, each a pair of gloves. We put them to use today! This evening, Terri Brownlee (Brian Watson's sister) and her daughter Peyton, and her son Trey, and her husband Mike all came to visit. Peyton has followed Caroline on her Blog (and ours) and just had to come and see it all for herself. I think she and Trey really enjoyed seeing the boat and trying out all the cool things (like the escape hatch in Caroline's bedroom).

Thursday, we left the dock with rain scattered skies. We only had a few hours of rain before it began to clear. Although we never saw clear skies, it did warm enough to shed most of the layers and enjoy the occasional sunbeam. By afternoon, we were well on our way to completing the Waccamaw river and by 5:00 were at the head of Winyah Bay. We turned west and headed in to tie up in Georgetown, SC (33°21.838'N 079°16.883'W). I've heard there is much to do and visit here, but we plan on leaving early tomorrow to put miles under the keel. We keep reminding ourselves that someday we will be under warm skies in a clear blue sea.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunset and Sunrise

Does it get much better?!?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here we are in Manteo, NC! We have seen so much in the past few days, so I guess I'll just start at the beginning. We are docked at the downtown waterfront. Most everything is within easy walking distance. Lots of cool little stores and tons of good restaurants. We spent an afternoon walking around and just getting a feel for this historic little town. The next day we walked to festival park where we took a tour aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. She is a full working example of the type sailing ship the English used to cross the Atlantic and begin colonization of the "new world". It was amazing to see how small a vessel she was, especially considering how many people she carried. The next exhibit was an encampment the English would have made the first few days here in Manteo. They were mostly tents with only a few more permanent type structures. The highlight, however, was talking to the people at the encampment. They spoke Elizabethan English and were extremely knowledgeable of the history of the era and area. We also watched a film giving a Native American perspective of the early settlement.

Soon, Chip and Lucas arrived. We were eager to get to Kill Devil Hills and see the Wright exhibit before the rain came. After a quick lunch, we were off. It was awesome to see the spot where such an important historical moment took place. It is truly a unique exhibit! The views from atop Kill Devil Hill were impressive, especially for being at the beach!

Next stop was Jockey's Ridge to blow off a little steam and roll/slide/jump off the edge. The sand dunes are massive. It is hard to gain a perspective of the enormous scale of the dunes without being there. It reminded me of being back in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.

The next morning we went to the aquarium amidst the sprinkling rain. It was fun, but nothing spectacular.

Lucas and Chip left on Tuesday afternoon and we have remained here in Manteo waiting out better weather. It has been terribly windy with gusts of 40 mph. Steady winds have been over 25. Right now it looks as if we'll be here until Friday morning.

In the meantime, enjoy some more pictures

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Here we are - Back in NC

Having left Leeds Creek, we spent nights in Deltaville VA and Norfolk on our journey south.  Norfolk on Halloween was interesting to say the least.  Everyone we saw walking in the downtown area was in full costume.  We saw zombies, ghosts, angels, clowns (scary not Ha Ha) old men, babies - you name it we saw it!  Leaving from Norfolk, we had lots of company beginning the ICW.  It was "bumper to bumper" all day long with numerous stops for bridge openings and one lock traverse.  But, it was a good day and Alyson had enough foresight to call ahead and secure a place for us to tie up among the throngs of Southbound traffic.  Yeah Alyson!!  We have another full day tomorrow which will lead to virgin territory!  Yes, Waters yet to be plied by the Aly Cat and her crew!  In the meantime, here are a few photos of the past few days.