Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Launch of newest rocket (by Jim)

Well, we hadn't been back in Titusville for a week yet when Paula nabbed a picture of the new SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was launched! The launch was by a private company owned by one of the founders of PayPal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our personal water taxi (by Paula)

We thought we should post a picture of our dinghy or "dink" as we call it. When we are at anchor or on a mooring this is our taxi. This is what we use to go to shore, pick up friends, get groceries or just to go exploring the waterways! We also use it to fish from and just play. It's also our lifeboat, although we will hopefully never use it for that purpose! Our dink is a RIB (rigid inflatable boat). It's 9'8" long, has a 15 hp motor, and will go up to 28 mph. This picture shows it tied behind the Sea Eagle. When not in use or when we're traveling, it's kept on an upper deck. It's raised and lowered on a davit with an electric winch.

Heading for Titusville our "Home" port (by Jim)

"New" Bridge of Lions

We left St Marys, GA on Thursday, December 2nd, and traveled 72 miles to St Augustine, FL. We had a beautiful day and an uneventful (meaning nothing bad happened) trip. We arrived in St. Augustine and picked up our mooring around 3pm. St Aug charges $20 per day for a mooring ball. That includes dink dockage, showers, laundry access, etc. We walked all over St Aug for several hours Friday and Saturday, including a trip to the St Aug Winery for a bottle of port and seeing the Christmas Parade on Saturday morning. We had planned to stay until Monday, but a cold weather front was about to move in so we decided to leave on Sunday for Daytona. We traveled 52 miles and were anchored just north of the Seabreeze Bridge in Daytona by 1pm. Heavy wind out of the north beat on us all night long. We left Daytona about 8:30 am, planning on being in Titusville by about 2 pm. Unfortunately, crews were working on the JayJay Rail Road Bridge (aka NASA R.R. Bridge). We were stuck on the north side of the bridge with 8 other boats for about an hour waiting for the repairs to finish.

Black Raven and Freedom (St Augustine) tour boats

Of course Paula spotted this Bald Eagle as we went by Ormond Beach!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunsets and Kingfishers

Another great sunset in St. Marys. We've had truly amazing sunrises and sunsets almost every day here!

This little Kingfisher is continually flying around the marina. Paula named it Eddie (for Eddie Fisher). Then one day she got a closer look and noticed the red band around the chest. So Eddie became Edwina!

Edwina stretching her wings.

Our time here is getting short. We will be leaving in the next few days, but we will definitely be back!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010, St Marys, Ga (by Jim)

This is a panning video of the anchorage in St Marys on Thanksgiving morning. We had a very heavy fog that had mostly cleared when this was taken. The day turned into a beautiful, sunny, 78 degree day. Cruisers are invited to St Marys for a Thanksgiving feast put on by volunteers at the local hotel. This is the 10th year of the tradition. 10 to 15 boats a day have been coming in all week. More have arrived since I took the video. The final count was 102 boats and over 300 people. If you figure that each boat brought a side dish and the town residents brought 15-20 hams and turkeys, you can imagine how much food we had! It gives new meaning to stuffing the turkey!!

Watch this cool video of one of the sailors playing the saxophone this evening for the people in the anchorage.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Otter Family (by Paula)

There is a family of river otters living here at Lang's Marina in St. Marys, GA.  We've been enjoying watching them fishing, diving for oysters, and endlessly playing.  Here's a short clip of three of them goofing around on the "playground"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back to St. Marys, GA (by Paula)

Here are a few shots from our last few days of travel. After leaving Jacksonville, we ended up stopping for a couple of days in Fernandina Beach. We headed back to St. Marys this morning. As we came into the dock a snap came undone on a fender and the fender fell off and started floating quickly away.  It's always something! Fortunately there was a USCG boat (like the ones in the picture below) getting ready to dock and they were kind enough to retrieve it for us, saving us $80 or more to replace it! We are now thinking we may stay here through Thanksgiving so that we can attend the huge dinner that volunteers from the town put on each year for all the cruisers. 

Beautiful sunset at Fernandina Beach

 Cool "string art" bridge.  Anybody remember doing that stuff as a kid?
Navy helicopter sneaking up from behind
 Obligatory Bald Eagle shot

We've become really adept at spotting these guys!

 Two Coasties playing tag

 An Osprey fishing for breakfast

Monday, October 25, 2010

On the move again Blue Angels air show (by Jim)

Left St Marys, Ga. early on Friday 10/22 heading for Jacksonville, Fl. We have slip reservations at the Naval Air Station who just happens to be hosting the Blue Angels for an air show!

Guess who showed up to welcome us to Jacksonville! Yep that's one of Paula's Bald Eagles!

Here are a couple of the hundreds of pictures and videos that we took on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

We were able to walk to the center of the air show from the marina, all the planes on the ground and booths were awesome. Seeing the Blue Angel pilots and crew up close was great also.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Salt Marsh Sunrise

Paula took this picture of the salt marsh behind the boat this morning. I thought the colors created by the mists coming off the marsh came out so neat that I wanted to share it!

St Marys, Ga. Anchorage (by Jim)

This is an interesting picture. This steel boat, which is being built by the owners, is at the east end of the anchorage in St Marys. One of the interesting things about this picture is the mooring, it is sticking about 8ft above the water. to put it in proportion, the boat is 103ft long! There are actually 2 of these moorings in the anchorage. Most moorings are about 18 inches in diameter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

St Marys, Georgia (by Jim)

What a neat little town this is! So peaceful and quiet, no traffic, no trains, no loud factories. A large part of the travel around town is done by golf cart. We have done a lot of walking already, beautiful old homes everywhere, most with signs in the yard giving the original name and year built. The main street is heavily decorated with hundreds of scarecrows for the Halloween celebration. Tuesday night (10/12/10) the young kids were all out on the main street in their costumes. Candy and treats were plentiful, plus a hay ride, what a treat!

The Cumberland Island Ferry is docked about 200 yards from us. There is a beautiful city park just past that, and then Langs Marina West. (We are in Langs Marina East.) On Friday we took the ferry to Cumberland Island. Another treat! Wild horses all over the island, Lots of Carnagie historic houses and buildings and just an all around beautiful place.

Monday, October 11, 2010

On the move again (by Jim)


Tow Boat US to the rescue

One of Paula's dolphins chasing the boat

St Augustine lighthouse

One of Paula's eagles having lunch

We left Titusville on Monday, October 4th, after about a 4 month stay and headed north. Our destination at this time was St Marys, Ga. We spent our first night anchored behind our friends Jim and Judy's condo in Daytona Beach. We took the dink over to their condo and spent a great evening eating lobster and chatting. Jim does a lot of off shore diving and has a freezer packed with lobster, grouper and about everything you can imagine!

We left the next morning heading for a mooring in St Augustine, Fl. We spent the day fighting a 25 to 30 mph wind right on the nose. After Jim docked at the Municiple Marina and picked up our mooring assignment Paula piloted us through the mooring field to our mooring and did a great job of holding the boat up to the mooring so Jim could grab it. The wind was scheduled to drop off over the next couple of days so we decided to spend an extra night on the mooring and dinked into town for the day.

We left St Augustine on Thursday, Oct 7th at 7:30 am with beautiful weather. Paula saw her fifth Bald Eagle of the trip. When we crossed the St Johns River in Jacksonville, Fl, we started traveling in a "new to us" territory. Beautiful tall pine forest, huge areas of salt marsh, and so many creeks, oxbows and channels it is hard to tell where you are supposed to be going.

And then while running in 20 ft of water, within sight of Langs Marina (where we have reservations) we hit a sand bar just off the center of the channel. 30 minutes later Tow Boat US had us off and traveling again.

The weather has been fantastic. The people are extremely friendly. Lots of good places to eat. Unfortunately there are at least 3 ice cream places within a block of the marina. Not to mention home made candy, cookies, pastries, cake and everything else we should not be eating!

More updates to come . . .

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What a week for animal encounters

This was a great week for animal encounters. A Florida White Tail Deer, a beautiful Red Shouldered Hawk and a Mute Swan. It doesn't get much better than this! Hope you enjoy!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

We took a trip today to Fox Lake Park, a really nice county park that we recently discovered. Paula, of course, had her peanuts along in case we found any hungry squirrels while on our walk. Paula spotted these three Sandhill Cranes and could not resist seeing if they would like something to eat. I managed to catch the result with the camera. This is a family group. The taller of the three is the male. The next taller with slightly more brown in the feathers is the female. The smallest is, of course, is this year's chick. The chick's head is just starting to get the red feathers of the older birds. What a great day. Paula is still walking around with a huge smile!! Turn your sound on and enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sammiiy and Terri visit

While here in Titusville, Fl., we thought it would be a great time for our grand daughters to come for a visit. We had Sammiiy and Terri for a week and what a great time we had. We took the dink and spent one day fishing and snorkeling at Spider Island. Another day we took the boat to Cocoa Village and anchored out overnight. We took the dink into the Village, did some shopping and of course happened to find a nice little ice cream shop. . . The week went by way too quickly and we were so sad to have to take the girls back home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Titusville Dock Party

One of the joys of life aboard - a Saturday night dock party with old friends and new friends! Everybody brings their own favorite adult beverage and a dish to share. Our more talented friends bring their guitar play and sing!! And then the story telling starts!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Space Shuttle Launches and Landings

I've wanted to post these two pictures for months now, but every time I think about writing about them I start to cry. It breaks my heart to see the shuttle program coming to an end. Jim and I were lucky enough to be "stuck" in Titusville, FL for fourteen months and to receive the gift of seeing at least six launches (including two at night) and a few landings. Jim took both of these beautiful pictures. The daylight shot was taken on June 2, 2009, when Atlantis was flown back from California on NASA's modified 747. Amazingly, it came right over our boat and was fairly low since they were landing just a few miles away. The other shot was the night launch of Discovery on August 28, 2009. We were anchored out in the Indian River just a few miles from the launchpad. Not only was the launch incredibly beautiful to see, the roar that came across the water vibrated the whole boat. I've always loved to watch the launches on tv but to see them "up close and personal" has been something to remember and appreciate forever. God bless the astronauts - past, present and future.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Two Pots of Gold?

At 7:30 this morning we had a very light sprinkle of rain here in Vero Beach, followed by an incredible rainbow. We could see the whole arch end to end. Unfortunately it was too big to get all of it in one shot but it was a lovely way to start our day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just another day at the beach

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect beach day so we went. You can get there by catching the free (my favorite word) bus at the marina, or walk to it in about 15 minutes like we did. These pictures were taken today. The waves yesterday were actually much bigger and the rip currents were pretty bad so we played it safe and didn't get into the water past our ankles. Took a nice walk along the beach and just sat back and enjoyed the sound of the crashing surf. What a treat!

Royal Poinciana Tree

This is just one of the prettiest trees you'll ever see! We saw this while walking to the beach yesterday and had to go back today with the camera. The homeowner, Dan, just happened to be outside and we chatted for a while. What a nice guy! This tree is about 50 years old. The Royal Poinciana tree is frequently seen in paintings done by the Florida Highwaymen, a group of black artists from the l950's who traveled around selling their paintings for next to nothing. They are known for their use of vivid colors. Today these paintings are famous. We went to a showing at the Backus Museum in Fort Pierce and saw some for sale for $500 or more.

Dolphin Orgy

We had about 10 Dolphin show up in front of the boat yesterday. After watching their antics for a few minutes we finally figured out what was going on. Several of them were mating. We have heard of this and have seen Manatees mating but this is the first time we have seen Dolphins mating. A little trivia: Dolphin and humans are the only two animals that have sex for fun! Enjoy the video!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meet Bob

We meet a lot of people who travel with their pets on board. This weekend we met Bob, the Great Dane. I have no idea what his master's name is because as usual, I was only interested in the guy's dog. Bob is three years old, weighs in at 165 lbs and looks like a small horse. The guy on the boat has had eleven Great Danes. I just love the way he names them. This one is Bob, Bob's dad was named Mike, and Bob's grandfather's name was Arnie - what great dog names!

And if you think this guy's crazy to travel with one Great Dane, we met a couple last year that had three Great Danes cruising with them to the Bahamas. Hope none of them got seasick!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fishing Dolphin (by Jim)

These two dolphin visit us almost every day between 5:15 and 5:30pm. They spend at least two hours chasing the mullet and getting dinner. These guys move so fast that it is almost impossible to keep up with them, this video is actually 4 video's edited and put together. Hope you like it!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There goes the neighborhood!

Yep, that's the Sea Eagle tucked in behind that little 100' boat. Boat's name is "khakiblue". The captain is very nice. That's an 18ft dink up top and a 32' Boston Whaler alongside that it tows. It is a 100' Hatteras and is really a beautiful boat.

When we arrived here in Vero Beach the marina had to figure out how to get extra power to the dock because the big boat uses 200 amps (vs. our 50 amps) and they were using all the available power poles.

Wild Parrots

There are 358 species of parrots. These guys are Blue Crowned Conures. There are apparently tons of wild ones in the southern half of Florida, but this was the first time we've seen any. These two, along with several others just like them, are hanging out in the trees on the grounds of Vero Beach City Marina. They can make a racket, but what a treat!

A little side story - this particular species was featured in the 1998 film "Paulie", which was always my dad's nickname for me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Type of Warning Sign

At a glance this picture may not mean much but take a closer look. It's actually an old overturned boat in the north Lake Worth anchorage. Someone has "decorated" it with pink plastic lawn flamingos and a plastic Halloween pumpkin. We always appreciate someone making the effort to mark obstructions and just loved the sense of whimsy in this.

Look Who We Ran Into Today!

This is Tiger Woods yacht, "Privacy." It's 155 feet long and cost $20 million dollars!! We saw it leaving the North Palm Beach area and heading out to sea, but we don't know if it turned north or south. According to the news he's getting in some practice at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, right now, so it's probably just the captain and crew taking it up there. (Maybe Tiger should be taking some time on board to mentally regroup after missing the cut at Quail Hollow last week :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the move again

We are on the move again, headed south. We left Stuart this morning at about 11:30 am. We got a late start because we had both the tide and a 15 mph wind pinning us against the dock. By waiting until 10 am at least the tide changed. We had to have the Dock Master pull us off the dock with one of the Marina work boats, what a real pain that was. Then we had to go to the fuel dock, dock again and top off the fuel tanks. It took 250 gallons to get us back to our normal 800 gallons.
We left the fuel dock only to find that the bridge couldn't open because the rail road bridge right next to it was fixing to close. This caused another 30 minute wait before we could finally actually leave!

Paula took this picture of the Jupiter light house as we passed it. We are currently anchored at the north end of Lake Worth (North Palm Beach). We are planning on leaving early in the morning and head out of Lake Worth inlet then south towards Miami.