Log of "Our Joy" Norfolk, VA to Key Largo, FL to Stonington, CT
John and Betty McKinney

NOTE: Most pictures are near end of log.  [John McKinney's Sailing Pictures] | [Return to Rev Betty Home Page]

Monday, October 29, 2001 - Norfolk, VA

Betty and John arrived at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club where John had left "Our Joy" three weeks earlier.  We stocked up on groceries before returning the rental car.  We met John Philbrick that evening for dinner.  John is a friend from Poughkeepsie, now living in Newport News, VA.  John (McKinney) had shared bible study with the Philbricks in Poughkeepsie where the Philbricks were also members with John (McKinney) at First Presbyterian. ... We had a great meal sharing about family and friends and philosophy of life.

John at Our Joy's navigation station.

Tuesday, October 30th - Norfolk, VA to Great Bridge, VA

In the morning John did the dirty but must-do job of changing oil in the diesel engine.  We finally worked our way out of the pilings for the slip about 1:15 in the afternoon.  Within half an hour John had gone aground (backed off; thank God for the Autoprop which gives good thrust in reverse); and had run over a crab pot; had dragged the pot for a quarter hour wondering why our speed was so slow!  We dislodged the crab pot by backing and going forward several times. ... Betty steered magnificently in Norfolk harbor among the Navy ships, Coast Guard boats, tugs with tows, high speed motor boats, sailboats and even a helicopter.


We are in the process of learning how to go through the many bridges that open and more often are closed.  Tuesday afternoon we went through quite a few bridges and also one lock before mooring for the night just off the ICW in a small basin.  Someone on another boat told us that it was free dockage.  It was dark almost immediately.  A man showed up who said that we were on government property and that we had to leave.  We backed "Our Joy" out in the dark and went through another bridge and finally found the American Yacht Basin.  They were glad to put us up for the night.


Wednesday, October 31st - Great Bridge, VA to The Alligator River in North Carolina

Departed at 6:10 AM and traveled 70 miles (statute miles on the ICW) before anchoring in the mouth of the Alligator River.  For those of you who are not sailors, please realize that sailboats travel about 6 nautical miles per hour (knots).  Fifty nautical miles is a long day. 70 statute miles is the same as 61.5 nautical miles. ... We saw beautiful scenery, trees, grass and wildlife along the banks, some sandy beaches. ... We used both motor and sail to keep the speed up to as high as 7.2 knots so we could cross Albemarle Sound before dark.  Albemarle Sound was tranquil and did not live up to its reputation for being stormy (Thank God!).  As we came into the Alligator River, John believed the chart and tried to follow it instead of the navigation markers.  We ran aground for the second time in two days!  Again we simply backed off.  Two for two, two groundings in two days, we are on a roll! ...  Pulled off the ICW about 2 miles and anchored in the open.  Fortunately it was a very calm night.


Thursday, November 1st - Alligator River to Bellhaven, NC

0610 Up for the day, but very dense fog.  0710 Anchor up but still very dense fog.  Used radar and electronic charts to creap slowly to the Alligator River Bridge.  Blew fog horn occasionally, but I do not remember anyone doing that anymore.  The bridge tender (bridge keeper?) said on the radio that he had only 1/8th mile visibility and could not open the bridge.  About 9:30 AM the fog lifted enough for us to go through.  We motored down the Alligator River and the Alligator River Pungo River Canal and stopped at Robb's Marina in Bellhaven.  Very clean and friendly marina.  Free golf carts to go to town a block away; free Cable TV.  John purchased the correct cable to attach but could not get the TV to respond to more than a couple of channels.  Anyway, why have TV on a sailboat! ... Met Don and Liz Bunch for dinner.  They are friends from Poughkeepsie, former members of the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, participants in Cursillo and Tres Dias, and benefactors for our trip down the ICW.  They supplied us with many ideas and many things to make our trip easier, safer, and more fun.  Thank you Don and Liz.

Betty in golf cart that we drove to breakfast in Belhaven and picture of Our Joy, our Catalina 380 at Belhaven.


Friday, November 2nd

Beautiful warm, sunny, shirt-sleeve day.  Spent lazy morning in Bellhaven.  Used golf cart to go to breakfast (huge meal with grits) and shopping in several stores.  Did laundry! ... Did not leave Belhaven, NC until 1:20 PM… lazy day!  Went 20 miles and anchored in Goose Creek.  Beautiful scenery, clean fresh air and water, waterfowl, sunset and moonrise.  Wonderful!


Saturday, November 3rd

Up at 5:30 AM.  Anchor up at 6:10 AM and underway through rivers, bays, and canals past Moorhead City, NC.  Early morning the water is so quiet and still as glass that our speed has been 7 ½ statue miles per hour.  Shotguns cracked many times as we started the day from hunters in Duck blinds.  The Intracoastal Waterway is not just canals (or a ditch as some people say), it is also beautiful scenery, huge bodies of water (sounds as big as 12 miles or so wide), and a variety of birds and wildlife.  In the afternoon we stopped at Spooners Creek Yacht Basin.  There are beautiful homes in this little land-locked basin and beautiful boats at each home.  We walked a mile and a half to a shopping center for dinner at Ruby Tuesday and shopping at a Super Walmart.  Found stainless steel ratchet webbing straps for the dinghy.  Could not find them anywhere else!  During the mile and a half back, decided not to purchase heavy items in the future!


Sunday, November 4th

We motor-sailed further South past Morehead City, NC.  Porpoise broke the water in front of our boat.  Pelicans flew close to us.  We went past the U.S. Marine’s Camp LeJeune (spelling?) firing range without being stopped.  Sunday was a good day for getting past there.  We guess that they do not fire on Sunday. ... We raced for most of the day to reach Harbor Village Marina in Hampstead, NC before dark (dark at about 5:15 PM).  We were held up because we missed the 4:00 PM opening of a bridge about an hour from the marina.  The bridge-keeper (a lady) told us on the radio that she could not open for us until the scheduled time of 5:00 PM unless there was some commercial traffic.  John replied on the radio that we would be praying for commercial traffic.  About 4:30 PM a boat radioed that they had a commercial classification and asked if she would open the bridge.  She agreed to open.  John said on the radio that prayers are answered.  She replied: “I was just thinking that.” … We made it to the marina and were tied up just before it was too dark to navigate on the ICW.


Monday, November 5th

Today we decided to stay put, rest, and relax.  John is recuperating from a cold and Betty from a possible reaction to a flu shot.  Winds are gusting to 25 and the inlets must be rough with over 30 knot winds in the ocean. … This Harbor Village Marina is beautiful with clean modern showers (amazing what becomes important to one while on a long boat journey!).  There is rattle-trap Toyota pickup truck that we can use to go to a grocery store or the local Chinese or Pizza restaurants.  According to a young man on the dock there is nothing to do here, but I believe that young people always feel that way regardless of where they are. … There is a magnificent sunset tonight.  The artist is very good.  We have seen His handiwork all along the way. ...   We telephoned a Chinese restaurant for dinner.  It was delivered directly to our boat.  Great service!


Some additional information:

"Our Joy" is a one year old Catalina 380 (38 ft) sailboat.  It is a great boat for us; comfortable for two.  We use a combination of motor and sails to maneuver the waterway.  John has been sailing since he was a child of 11 years.  He learned to sail in the Virgin Islands when he father had a U.S. Government position there. … We plan to dock our boat in Florida; leave it on Thanksgiving Day; and fly back to daughter Kathy’s.  We will return to it after the holidays and spend some winter time in Florida.  In the spring, probably the end of April, we will fly back to Florida and begin our trip back up the Intracoastal Waterway.  We are hoping to make it a more leisurely trip back, stopping to enjoy some of the historic and interesting places along the way.


Tuesday, November 6, 2001 – 266 to 335 (ICW Mile Markers)

Today we ran down the Cape Fear River.  Betty steered all the way in strong wind and swift currents. ... Later with John steering and both looking for the channel, we sailed out toward the Atlantic Ocean.  John finally realized that all that open water could not be the ICW!  We turned around, went back and found were we had not turned correctly.  At dusk we tied up at the Pelican Point Marina.  Paul at the marina drove us and “Tesh” and his friend from “Lay Over” to dinner at Victoria’s restaurant.  Good dinner with two new acquaintances.  The restaurant provided transportation back to the marina.


Wednesday, November 7, 2001 – 335 to 402 Georgetown, SC

Our Joy in Sunrise on the Intracoastal Waterway


Crossed into South Carolina about 7:30 AM.  Beautiful home just across the line, plantation style, with raised walkway and dock out to the ICW (some walkways are two hundred yards long, ending with large gazebos at the ICW). ... John steered close to buoy 24B just behind Myrtle Beach, SC.  Suddenly the bow rose up and the boat stopped.  This time we could not back her off.  We were hard aground.  A young couple from Canada with children on board their sailboat, “Priority”, saw our dilemma.  They turned around, came back and passed us a line.  With a little pull from them and some engine we were broken free.  John is working on creating a record for groundings on the ICW.  Betty has not gone aground once!  She is doing great. ... We saw 60 pelicans all close together in a sandy area looking like they were having their afternoon cocktail party. ... Later in the day we went down the Waccamaw River.  The water is the color of Coca Cola.  There were cypress swamps on each side, and some Spanish moss. ... We anchored in quaint old Georgetown, SC; lowered the dinghy; and motored ashore.  In the River Room restaurant we saw a picture of the magnificent schooner, “City of Georgetown.”  BRIAN SLOCUM, Please note that this schooner was captained for its entire career by A.J. Slocum, your ancestor.


Thursday, November 8, 2001 – 402 to 448 Price Creek

Had a lazy morning.  Moved to fuel dock and loaded fuel and water at about 10:00 AM.  Moved down the Waccamaw River and entered a canal leading to the Santee River area... miles and miles of grass growing in the water as far as you can see... Beautiful!

Occasionally we saw a pelican taking a nap, flopped like a bean bag over a triangular channel marker.  At dusk, we anchored in Price Creek in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.  Rushed inside and closed up to avoid the biting bugs.


Friday November 9, 2001 – 448 to 469 Charleston, SC

John again went aground during a very low tide while exiting Price Creek.  Again we simply backed off. ... In the ICW we were joined by porpoise surfacing and diving gracefully around our boat.  At times they were so close that we could have reached out and touched them.  They seemed to escort us for part of the way. ... We passed Fort Sumpter and motored up to the City Marina at Charleston, SC (320 slips).  The current runs swiftly through the marina.  It was a little scary putting “Our Joy” into a line of boats and then into a slip (No mishap! John is moving up on the learning curve; it has taken only 50 years of sailing. J).  We plan to stay here for two nights and enjoy Charleston.


Betty on Our Joy in Charleston City Marina.

Saturday, Nov. 10th, we toured Charleston; walked through the “market”; enjoyed the “Doin the Charleston” bus tour; had dinner in the famous Hyman Seafood restaurant (dozen raw oysters for John).


On Sunday the 11th the marina drove us in a van to refill our propane gas bottle and pick up groceries.  We left Charleston midday and anchored that evening in the South Edisto River.  During that afternoon porpoise played around our boat and we noticed more of the Spanish moss hanging on the few trees near the channels.  This area is very flat with water wandering through grass as far as you can see. ... We had lots of good laughs that afternoon after a large motorboat came from behind us at very high speed.  John was steering and Betty was seated in the cockpit wearing shorts, sunglasses, and a fancy straw hat.  John slowed down to let the motorboat pass us slowly without a wake.  As he started to pass, John waved to the helmsman, thanking him for slowing down.  Just as his boat came alongside, the young man at the helm ran to the cockpit and standing like a soldier he saluted John and said: “I did it for the blonde, Sir.”  John saluted back and said “Thank you.  Carry on.”  Betty’s ego was significantly enhanced.


Monday the 12th was extremely windy with 20 to 25 knot winds and gusts to 30.  Many times during the day we seemed to be on a collision course with fishing boats dragging their nets.  In Port Royal Sound we were so busy maneuvering to get around one of them that we missed our turn and once again found ourselves heading toward the Atlantic.  We turned around and worked our way back into the wind with spray coming over the boat.  We were glad to set our anchor in the New River.  By the time we anchored at 5:00 PM we had traveled another 66 miles that day.  The strong wind continued all night.  John went to the bow several times to check the anchor.


Today, Tuesday, Nov. 13th, we had a short trip to Savannah, GA, (actually Thunderbolt, GA) only 13 miles and are safely secured at the marina.  John is learning how to handle “Our Joy.”  He was able to dock safely while strong currents and winds were pushing the boat about. ... We will stay here for a couple of days.  According to weather reports this strong wind is to last through Thursday.  In the meantime, we will explore Savannah and are scheduled to have the boat’s refrigerator fixed tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it has not been cooling and freezing.  We have put food on ice until we get it repaired. ... This marina is filled with very large mega-yachts and is a well known repair facility.  Our Catalina 380 is a miniature compared to these yachts. ... This evening we explored shops and dined on “River” street in Savannah.  The shops and restaurants are in wonderful old buildings facing the Savannah River.


Wednesday, November 14, 2001, Thunderbolt, GA (Palmer Johnson)

The strong winds continue, gusting to 30 knots out of the Northeast.  Our refrigerator was fixed.  Hallelujah, we have a cold spot for food.  One of the project managers asked why we need a refrigerator when it is so cold. ... We taxied into Savannah and toured with Grayline by Savannah’s beautiful squares and many historic buildings and mansions. ... Betty believes that shops are God’s gift for her enjoyment.  We spent hours “shopping” (mostly looking).  Actually, we did find a few Christmas presents.  Now we have the problem of how to get them home! ...  We had John’s birthday dinner early at the well-known “The Lady and Sons” restaurant.  See picture of John and Betty at dinner.  After dinner we were peddled by a young lady in a pedicarriage to a convenience store for needed supplies and then taxied back to the boat.  Wonderful evening!


Thursday, November 15, 2001, Thunderbolt, GA (Palmer Johnson)

The wind continues to blow, gusting to 30... small craft advisory for rough seas, high surf at the inlets, and flooding.  We decided to stay here an extra day. ... Today is John’s birthday.  See picture of John at the navigation station with his new Palmer Johnson logo sweater, a birthday present from Betty. ... We hope that we can continue South tomorrow even though the weather forecast is the same through Saturday.  We will check the weather forecast tonight and tomorrow.


Friday, November 16, 2001, Thunderbolt, GA (Palmer Johnson)

The weather continues to be very windy with high surf and small craft advisory.  We decided to stay another day and have the drawers in the forward cabin fixed so we could open them. ... The boat next to us is “Flyway” owned by Phyllis and David Carroll.  David is the author of “Snowbird Pilot” a book about the Intracoastal Waterway.  They have made the trip South in the Fall and North in the Spring for over 20 years.  Across the dock from us is “Narnia” owned by “Jo.”  She told us that she quit her job and started sailing years ago.  She single-hands her 36 foot sailboat.


Saturday, November 17, 2001  583 to Crescent River 643

We were finally tired of waiting and even though the forecast was a little threatening, we left Thunderbolt.  The sounds (exits to the Atlantic Ocean) were not terribly bad... some bouncing around but not bad. ... We anchored in Crescent River about 4:30 PM.  It was a pleasant day and evening.  60 mile day.


Sunday, November 18, 2001  643 to Cumberland Island 710

7:15 Anchor up and underway.  We went through Doboy Sound, St. Simon Sound, then for a couple of hours it was very rough and windy in St. Andrew Sound... surfing off of breaking and white-capped waves.  The constant wind out of the North for the past days keeps us bundled up against the cold. ... About 5:00 PM we anchored near the dock for the Visitor Center of the Cumberland Island National Seashore.  Today was a 67 mile day.  We are now only 38 miles from our “Thanksgiving-Christmas break” destination in Florida. ... We have come 127 miles along the ICW from Savannah, but the ICW twists and winds around and about.  Tonight we are listening to a Savannah FM radio station.


Monday, November 19, 2001  710 to Beach Marine, Jacksonville Beach, FL 748

There was very dense fog in the morning.  We could see less than an eighth of a mile.  We were not able to start until about 11:00 AM.  We entered Cumberland Sound and at about 11:30 AM we crossed the line into Florida.  Vegetation is slightly different here in North Florida.  Trees that are sometimes near the banks are mostly evergreens with some palmettos.  The channel continues to serpent through miles and miles of grass in the water.  ... The channel markers in the St. Johns River for the entrance to the southbound ICW are among many other markers so it is very confusing.  We missed the ICW markers and were moving out the St. Johns River a short distance when “Chantacleer,” a sailboat following us, pulled alongside and after a discussion, we turned back and led the way into the proper channel. ... By 5:00 PM we were in our slip at Beach Marine our final destination for this part of our adventure.  We leave Thanksgiving Day to fly to John’s daughter Kathy’s for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We will resume our adventure late in January. ... We celebrated our voyage with a great dinner in the restaurant here at the marina.  There we met an interesting couple who sailed overnight outside from Savannah, making the trip in two days compared to our three days.  Of course we stopped each night.  They gave us some interesting information about sailing to the Bahamas.


Tuesday, November 20, 2001 Beach Marine, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Today is a balmy warm day.  We were lazy about getting up this morning but we have chores to do to get the boat ready for its two months here and for our trip home on Thursday. 

Betty is polishing the stainless rails and stanchions.  John will change the oil and the fuel filters.


John has traveled about 1,250 miles from Stonington, CT.  Betty traveled about 750 of those miles.  Betty did the navigation for most of those 750 miles.


This is the final email for this part of the adventure.  We will continue to have you on the mailing list when we pick up in January.  Please let us know if you would like to be removed from the list. ... We will be at home in Poughkeepsie for the holidays.


Please have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. ... Praise God for the blessings he has showered upon us in these United States.


===========  To Kathy’s & Poughkeepsie for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Poughkeepsie.  Did income tax and left Poughkeepsie. ===========


Thursday, February 21, 2002 Beach Marine, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Greetings from Our Joy.  We drove here, arriving two weeks ago.  It is great to have a car.  We found the boat in pretty good shape; a few rain leaks but they cleaned up nicely. ... Last weekend we were in Winter Park, FL for a meeting of the leaders of the 4th-Day Movements (Cursillo, The Walk to Emmaus, etc.). ... Then we spent two days seeing the Disney Magic Kingdom and Disney/MGM Studios.  John is a kid at heart.  Betty braved the roller coaster in the dark in Space Mountain.  During the experience she came closer to her Lord.  John is really proud of this lady.  Tell the grandchildren that we blasted into space with Buzz Lightyear to save the galaxy.  John had a score of 101,800 on his laser gun. ... We scouted marinas in Ft. Lauderdale and returned here yesterday.  The pressure water pump was running and pumping air when we came on board.  John discovered a leak.  The pump had emptied the middle water tank through the slow leak while we were gone.  Nothing is easy.  Hours were required to find the right fitting and try to fix the leak. ... Today we are preparing the boat and stocking supplies for the trip further south.  We hope to be underway tomorrow morning.


Saturday, February 23, 2002 Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine, FL

Everything takes longer than expected.  We finally departed Jacksonville Beach at 11:00 AM.  There is raw cold wind driving the rain.  We are wearing foul-weather pants and jackets with a sweater or a sweatshirt underneath.  Gloves are required.  Everything is wet and cold. ... We stop early at St. Augustine Municipal Marina after only 31 miles. ...

Betty and John at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine

Jack and Anne Isenberg (from
Poughkeepsie) graciously meet us for dinner at the A1A Restaurant right across from the marina and at the Bridge of Lions.  It was a fun evening with old friends in a high energy café.  Thank you Jack and Anne.


Sunday, February 24, 2002 St. Augustine to Mosquito Lagoon

Another cold windy day, but we make 83 miles (a record for us).  We anchor in the open in Mosquito Lagoon.  Fortunately the heavy wind keeps the mosquitoes away.  The boat moves and pitches during the night.  The anchor line makes a snapping sound.  There is other noise like voices, probably produced by the wind.  We sleep anyway.


Monday, February 25, 2002 Mosquito Lagoon to Vero Beach, FL

We are up at 5:45 AM and raise the anchor.  We cruise down the Indian River.  We are approaching 200 miles from Jacksonville Beach without refueling.  There is no place to refuel late in the day.  We reduce the speed from 2200 RPM to 2000 to conserve fuel at a more economical speed.  The boat slows.  The fuel gauge continues to drop toward Empty.  We reduce to 1700 RPM.  Betty is praying that we do not run out.  The sun is setting.  The fuel gauge is just touching the “E” when we reduce to 1200 RPM and turn into the channel for the Vero Beach Municipal Marina.  We make it!  We also make 91 miles this day (a new record).  On the way in we see beautiful grand homes along the ICW.  We enjoyed looking at their manicured homes and yards right down to the waters edge.  Many have huge screened areas attached to their homes enclosing porches and a swimming pool.  The bugs must be terrible in the summer.


Tuesday, February 26, 2002 Vero Beach to Palm Beach

Today we continue southward.  The weather is pleasant; sunny and warm.  We contact marinas by cell phone and pick one in West Palm Beach.  There are so many marinas and so many boats that we go past it.  John is talking on the VHF radio to the marina and not minding where he is pointing the boat when suddenly he increases his record of going aground once again.  Fortunately, “Our Joy” backs off OK even though we went aground at full speed.  The attendant at the marina talks us in on the VHF radio.  The docking is easy and we are exhausted from so many hours and miles but we are 45 miles from our southern destination of Ft. Lauderdale.  Shore power permits use of the TV with a news report and weather.  Tomorrow promises a cold front with high winds and record cold temperatures.  We shall see.


Wednesday, February 27, 2002 Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale Beach

We ask the dock master to help us turn the boat around so it will be easy to get out of the marina in high winds.  The dock master hauls on the bow line while it is wrapped around the port running light.  The port running light is ripped off.  Suddenly we are in a situation where we may not make our schedule.  The marina has a repair facility and they order a new light and promise that it will be installed by 2:00 PM.  For a while that seems OK but the possibility of further delay gets us moving.  We tape plastic around the protruding wires to protect them from salt spray.  By a little after 10:00 AM we are underway. ... Little do we know that there were 20 bridges that have to be opened between us and Ft. Lauderdale.  Some open on demand and some are scheduled, requiring us to hold the boat in a narrow channel against the current. ... Betty is holding the boat in a narrow channel with a swift current running.  We are waiting for a bridge to open.  Finally it happens.  The boat goes aground with Betty at the helm.  John is delighted.  He is not the only one to go aground!  Also, his record of groundings is still intact.  The swift current swings the boat around and the boat backs off easily. ... As the sun is starting to go down we arrive at Ft. Lauderdale and must put in at a marina near the beach.  They charge twice the rate we normally pay and the showers are dirty!  In any event we are thankful that we are in Ft. Lauderdale on schedule.


Thursday, February 28, 2002 Ft. Lauderdale Beach, New River

We leave in the morning at high tide when the current is running out of New River.  Our destination is up the South Fork of the New River through 5 opening bridges.  The current is running against us which makes it easier to hold the boat in the very narrow channel of the river.  The bridges open quickly, as needed, except for one.  Before noon we are at Lauderdale Marine Center at a floating dock.  The place is beautiful.  Our boat is very small compared to the many huge motor yachts with crews. ... We secure the boat, rent a car, and drive to Jacksonville Beach where we spend the night in a motel.


Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 3, 2002, Savannah, GA – Tres Dias

We pick up our car and turn in our rental car in Jacksonville Beach and drive to Savannah, GA.  We stay at the “17 Hundred 90 Restaurant and Inn.”  Our room is antique style and fun.  We are in the historic district. ... Saturday is a good day with all of our friends at the Tres Dias International Secretariat meeting.  John has many opportunities to serve the people in the meeting.  Betty goes shopping during the afternoon. ... Sunday we have a delightful breakfast with Tres Dias friends staying at the “17 Hundred 90.”  We drive all the way across Georgia and down the Florida peninsular to Ft. Lauderdale.


Monday and Tuesday, March 4 & 5, 2002, Ft. Lauderdale

These are provisioning days and preparing the boat days for a planned crossing of the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.  John’s brother Bill is scheduled to arrive from California today.  He graciously agreed to come to help crew for the night time crossings (and to enjoy the Bahamas). ... Unfortunately, the wind is very strong out of the North and is forecasted to be the same for several days.  When the wind is out of the North opposing the Gulf Stream, it creates “square” waves of 10 feet high or more.  We do not want to be out there at night with that kind of waves.  An alternative is to sail further south to the Keys.  We shall see.


Wednesday, March 6, 2002, Ft. Lauderdale

John’s brother Bill arrived yesterday from California.  The weather has deteriorated.  There is a strong wind out of the north and there is drenching rain.  We spend the day driving down the beach highway, A1A through Hollywood, Miami Beach and Key Largo... then a delightful movie in the evening, “I Am Sam”.  We are waiting for wind out of the south.


Thursday, March 7, 2002, Ft. Lauderdale

Today there is drenching rain again.  We drive our car to Miami to U.S. Customs and obtain a sticker for “Our Joy”.  We drive in the rain north of Ft. Lauderdale to Butterfly World only to find that we can not come in because they are closing due to the bad weather.  Exhausted we return to the boat for the evening.  The weather report sounds maybe OK with wind out of the east and 3 to 5 foot seas tomorrow night and less on Saturday.


Friday, March 8, 2002, Ft. Lauderdale

We leave Lauderdale Marine Center late in the morning and maneuver the narrow South Fork of the New River through 5 opening bridges; beautiful homes along the banks, almost all with boats tied up in front. ... Miracle of miracles we find a place to anchor just south of the Los Olas bridge at Ft. Lauderdale Beach.  We prepare and also rest.  One or two of us actually sleep in the afternoon, preparing for the night-time crossing. ... We prepare safety harnesses and life preservers with strobe lights and whistles.  Finally about 10:00 PM we raise the anchor and move down the ICW to the entrance to the Atlantic.  As we start out the mile long entrance, “Our Joy” begins to pitch from the waves created by the East wind.  A series of green lights on buoys on our right and red on our left, stretch out into the darkness.  “Our Joy pitches more and more in the darkness.  As we leave the lights the bow is now almost burying itself in the waves.  Spray is coming across the boat in the darkness.  The course is hard to steer as “Our Joy” is moved by the waves back and forth, left and right. ... John decides that this is crazy and that we could not possible have the energy to fight the wheel all night to attempt to hold a course to the Bahamas.  All the cruising books say do not attempt the crossing except with a southerly wind.  He turns back.  We are anchored before midnight.


Saturday, March 9, 2002, Ft. Lauderdale to Miami

Saturday is a beautiful day but Sunday is forecasted to be windy out of the northeast.  We decide to sail south to the Keys.  We leave Ft. Lauderdale and sail outside in the Atlantic to Miami.  We anchor in Marine Stadium (abandoned) amid personal water craft and water skiers who keep the boat rocking until sunset.  The colors of the sunset over the skyscrapers of Miami are spectacular.  Later, we sit in the cockpit and enjoy music from the stereo and the lights of the Miami skyline.  We hear heavy breathing, snorting sounds near us in the semi-darkness.  A porpoise breaks the water about 15 feet away and breathes in air.  Bill brings out his night vision binoculars and we see stars that can not be seen by the naked eye.


Sunday, March 10, 2002, Miami to Key Largo

Before we leave, Betty decides that she must have a shower and unloads the multitude of items stored in Our Joy's shower stall.  We have a warm shower (a real luxury for sailors!).  We sail down shallow and placid Biscayne Bay and through various sounds; most of the time with only one to two feet of water below the keel; and once with only inches.  We pass a 39 foot ketch exactly like brother Bill’s in California.  We converse with them by VHF radio.  They tell us that they waited for several weeks to make the passage to the Bahamas and finally gave up and are also sailing to the Keys.  By 3:45 PM we are tied up at Gilbert’s Family Paradise Resort and Marina at Key Largo.  Remembering the famous Key Largo movie, we looked around for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall but do not see them.  Do not let the words “Paradise Resort” fool you.  They are just marketing terms!  Betty fixes an excellent dinner of chicken, rice, salad, vegetables, and fruit for dessert.


Monday, March 11, 2002, Key Largo to Key West (by rental car)

Brother Bill and Betty at Heminghway Home

Just for fun, John rents a Cadillac deVille and we drive to Key West along the over-the-sea highway (southern most part of U.S. 1).  We tour the Ernest Hemingway home where he wrote 70% of his work; a marvelous old mansion with many antiques and 61 cats.  All the cats are descendents of Hemingway’s multitude of cats.  We do the Key West thing and join the hundreds maybe over a thousand people (including Spring Break “kids”) congregating at the waterfront to view the sunset.  Jugglers, Houdini-style escape artists, acrobats, Jesus preachers, artists, incense vendors, tight-rope walkers, etc. are all through the crowd. 

Afterward we have a fun dinner at Billie’s in the waterfront area.  Tonight we are in the historic district in a delightful bed and breakfast.  [Note not included in original: Betty and John stayed in the Margaret Truman room at Authors bed and breakfast.]


Tuesday, March 12, 2002, Key West

A beautiful sunny and warm day started with breakfast with John’s brother Bill in the patio of Authors bed and breakfast.  Bill, Thank you for treating us to the bed and breakfast. ... We did most of the key tourist things.  Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum was the most fascinating. 

Betty and brother Bill with canon from treasure ship.  We all lifted a bar of gold weighing about 4 pounds.  The description of life at sea hundreds of years ago made us glad that we were in this century.  The rats, food, and sanitary conditions were beyond what any of us would tolerate

We climbed the 88 spiral steps of the Key West lighthouse museum.

Betty had a discussion with a cigar store pirate. ... The Harry Truman Little White House was an interesting look at our history. ... We all enjoyed dinner at Hemingway’s haunt, Sloppy Joe’s.


March 13 to 17, 2002, Key Largo to Vero Beach, FL

In warm, sunny weather, we motored up the sounds and bays to anchor again at the Marine Stadium opposite Miami. 

The next day we motor-sailed outside to Ft. Lauderdale and up the New River back to our same berth at Lauderdale Marine Center.  Friday, we reluctantly drove Bill to the airport for his flight home.  Bill, Thank you for your help on the trip. ... Saturday, John and Betty motor-sailed outside to the Lake Worth inlet at Palm Beach where we anchored for the night.  The wind had been out of the east and was perfect for the run along the shore.  We made excellent time. ... The next day with an east wind 10 to 15 knots, John finally put up both sails and we motor-sailed at up to almost 8 knots.  The sailing was so pleasant that we turned off the motor for lunch. ... The roughest part of the trip was the Fort Pierce Inlet.  The water was boiling out of the inlet.  Large power boats smash through close by throwing wakes that rolled us side to side pitching things to the deck in our cabins.  Inside in the ICW we had a tranquil ride with the jib assisting the motor for the 12 miles to Vero Beach.  We were on a mooring for the night.


Monday, March 18, 2002, Vero Beach to Port Canaveral, FL

The wind was out of the east again, giving us a steady sail with the genoa jib and the motor. ... We decided to visit the Kennedy Space Center.  We were hoping to get through a drawbridge on the Port Canaveral Barge Canal when a large tow caused it to be open during its restricted time.  On the radio we heard that an ambulance would arrive at the bridge in 4 minutes and it must be closed.  Fortunately the tow came through and we sneaked through right after it, in time for the ambulance. ...  The next obstacle was the lock on the canal.  Other than scraping the outboard motor and the dinghy on the side of the lock we did OK.  Then in pushing off, one of Betty’s shoes went in the water in the lock.  John lay on the side of the boat and put his body over to reach it.  He decided that a shoe was not worth falling in the water in the lock.  Then we backed Our Joy close to the shoe and Betty retrieved it with a boat hook.  This sounds tame but there was much adrenalin rushing on board Our Joy.  ...  We anchored for the night in a bight just inside Port Canaveral.  The sunset was spectacular (See picture.).


Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20, 2002, Port Canaveral, FL

Landing at the marina’s dock was a circus.  John hates those slips at fixed piers with short finger piers and piles at the end of the slip.  They are hard to enter, especially in a cross wind.  The problem is to avoid the other boats while not smashing up your boat.  The dinghy on stern davits, the dinghy motor, and the toss line bag all were pressed hard against the piles at some point.  Finally all was settled and she was tied up.  It was hard to tell if the dock attendant learned any new words from John!  Betty was embarrassed as a proper Methodist Minister should be. ... After we were tied up we discovered that the fancy ad for this marina which had promised good transportation to the Space Center was an advertising man’s dream.   It was necessary to rent a car!  This is Spring Break time.  Cars were hard to get.  We walked about 3/4ths of a mile to a restaurant for lunch.  John finally found a “Budget” car at twice the usual rate. ... Our luck changed, the afternoon ticket to the Space Center permitted us to enter and to return the next day.  We enjoyed a talk by an astronaut and visiting a mockup of the shuttle.


Wednesday, March 20, 2002, Port Canaveral, FL

Bright and early we entered the Space Center.  We decided to go on the “NASA Up Close” tour. 

We were transported to a site a mile or so from where Atlantis is already on the pad for the next launch, scheduled for April 4.  A simulation of the count-down and blast off of an Apollo was a thrill.  The room contained the actual consoles and some of the equipment used for Apollo.


Thursday, March 21, 2002, Port Canaveral, FL to New Smyrna Beach, FL

Back through lock.  NASA Assembly Bldg visible for many miles.  Through automated railroad bridge.  Motor-sailed with jib.  Good east wind.  Through Mosquito Lagoon.  Anchored at New Smyrna


Friday, March 22, 2002, Daytona Beach, FL

Wind blowing out of North strong.  Waves and current.  Narrow channel into marina.  Had to make quick turn and land with the strong wind and current pushing us into the slip with fixed pilings. ... Saw Thea and Bob Bense.  Helped them set up their booth for a weekend of selling Thea’s  shell-flower arrangements.  The previous weekend she sold over a thousand dollars of her arrangements.


Saturday, March 23, 2002, Daytona Beach, FL

Rented car and drove to Ft. Lauderdale.  Picked up our car.  Returned rental car.  Drove back to Ormond Beach to see Benses.  Our car is now in Ormond Beach.  That will save us about 7 hours when we have to go get it to return home. ... Changed the oil in the engine in the evening.  Discovered leak in the engine’s saltwater pump.  Finally to bed at 1:30 AM.


Sunday, March 24, 2002, Daytona Beach to St. Augustine, FL

Had breakfast in the restaurant at the marina, eggs, ham, coffee, grits!  Departed without scratching up the boat!  At Noon.  Motor sailed 78 miles North and anchored just north of the Bridge of the Lions in St. Augustine.


Sunday, March 24, 2002 (Addenda)

A mother and daughter porpoise hitched a ride on our stern wave for about 20 minutes.  We can not describe the joy of being with these beautiful creatures as they flowed smoothly through the water and looked up at us from a few feet away.


There are many beautiful homes along the Intracoastal Waterway.


Monday, March 25, 2002, St. Augustine, FL

Sunday night we anchored north of the
Bridge of Lions near the Castillo de San Marcos (fort) so we could leave early this morning.  The bridge will not open in the morning and afternoon during rush hour.  It is so pleasant here that we decided to stay for awhile. ... We put the dinghy in the water and miracle of miracles, the outboard motor started after sitting for months.  Ashore, Betty finally had the opportunity to do one of her favorite pastimes, “shopping”.  We decided to walk across the Bridge of Lions to a restaurant on the other side.  After about 5 blocks we wondered why the map showed the restaurant just across the bridge.  After another 5 blocks we wondered if it existed.  After another 10 blocks we found it.  It was closed on Monday!  We went into the first seafood restaurant and enjoyed a good meal.  It was a long walk but we need the walking exercise after two months on the boat.


REVISION:  The previous "Adventure #13" incorrectly labeled a dolphin as a porpoise.  Thank you Jack Isenberg. ... John thought that porpoise, dolphin, and Mahi Mahi were all the same thing.


Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, March 26-27-28, 2002, St Augustine, FL

This is such a pleasant and interesting town that we continued to stay in St. Augustine.  We toured the town on a trolley-train.

We drank from the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon drank from in 1513.  See how much younger Betty looks. ... We visited the site of the first Christian worship service on this continent.  That is Betty at the foot of the cross.  This stainless steel cross is the tallest cross in America.

Granddaddy John admired baby girl dresses in anticipation of the birth of Kathy and Brian’s daughter at any time now. ... We had intended to leave about Noon on Wednesday but we were enjoying ourselves so much that we stayed until after dark.  We motored the dinghy in the dark out to “Our Joy” but there was a different boat where we thought she should be.  We motored around all the anchored boats looking for her but could not find her.  We became concerned that she was stolen.  A couple on an anchored boat told us that she had been dragging her anchor and the Florida Marine Patrol had come on board and tried to anchor her but to no avail.  “Our Joy” had drug up against the couple’s boat but they were able to push her off with little effort.  They said that SeaTow had come and towed “Our Joy” away.  The City Marina helped us call SeaTow.  SeaTow very kindly picked us up in their pickup truck and delivered us to our boat which was safe and unharmed in a marina (Thank God!).  The next morning we retrieved our dinghy at the City Marina and motored north to Jacksonville. ... We arrived early enough to rent a car and retrieve our car from Ormond Beach.


Friday, March 29, 2002, Jacksonville, FL

“Our Joy” was hauled at Pablo Creek Marina.  She will stay on land for the month of April and have her bottom painted with antifouling paint.  The antifouling helps prevent barnacles and other marine growth on the bottom. ... We discovered that a piece had been knocked out of one of the blades of our Autoprop.  It is amazing that the prop continued to work very well and did not vibrate excessively. ... We are writing this while driving north on I95 to the cold north country.  We plan to be back on “Our Joy” in May and hope to find Spring in the Intracoastal Waterway as we sail north through the Carolinas and the Chesapeake.


Wishing you a Happy and a Blessed Easter.


April 30 to May 2, 2002, Jacksonville, FL

When we arrived in Jacksonville, the city was without power.  Our hotel room was on the 5th floor.  Nothing was working: elevators, lights, phones, etc.  We drove to St. Augustine for dinner and a hotel.  Monday and Tuesday we worked on launching, stocking and preparing “Our Joy.”  Our AutoProp did not arrive from England in time for the launching, so we installed our spare 3-blade propeller.  The 3-blade proved to be much less powerful in reverse and less powerful in forward; requiring a much higher RPM than the AutoProp.


May 3, 2002, Jacksonville to Little Cumberland Island, GA

True to form we were underway just a few minutes away from the dock when John drove “Our Joy” hard aground.  Tug boats were a few feet away but there was a shoal between us and them.  This time we could not back off.  TowBoat/US came and towed us off.  Later in the day we went aground two other times but were able to back off.  We are keeping our record of groundings intact! ... In the afternoon we were in Cumberland Sound when a U.S. Coast Guard cutter approached us and told us to move outside the channel and stay 500 yards from a U.S. Navy ship that was coming down the channel.

Here is the Coast Guard stopping another boat.  Later two large sea-going tugs appeared, apparently as escorts.  Two small fast gun-boats appeared with men in battle gear including helmets.  They were manning machine guns.  Finally the ship appeared.

It was an atomic submarine.  We were delayed, but the show was worth it.  Later in the day we anchored beside Little Cumberland Island.


May 4, 2002, Little Cumberland Island to Wahoo River

Today was the first day of droves of horseflies.  We swatted literally hundreds.  Betty was bitten many places on her ankles and legs.  They seemed to start swarming on us about 10:00 AM and were less active about 3:00 or 4:00 PM. .. We continued our grounding record but could go aground only once this day. ... We pulled off the ICW and motored up the Wahoo River to anchor.  We could not see another human being for miles.  The place was beautiful with pines along one side of the river and grass and water as far as the eye could see.  A bald eagle soared in the sky.  An egret flew by skimming across the river and settling on the far shore.  We ate dinner sitting on the forward deck just enjoying the Lord’s creation of this beautiful earth.


May 5, 2002, Wahoo River to Hilton Head Island, SC

The weather which had been very hot moderated and was cooler in the morning but again hot in the afternoon.  Horseflies swarmed with the heat.  Again we swatted hundreds.  As we were crossing the Savannah River, an enormous container ship was bearing down on us.  John turned directly across the river and moved along close to shore.  We were dwarfed as she passed. ... We saw many large bird nests built on the navigation markers.  Baby bird heads were sticking up with a mother bird along side.  It must be the season for hatching of new babies. ... We anchored just south of Windmill Harbor at Hilton Head Island.


May 6, 2002, Hilton Head Island to Wadmalaw Sound

Today we again fought off the horseflies in the heat of the day as we moved north.  After three days we have determined that the horseflies have banker’s hours and seem to work from 10 AM to 3 PM.   We anchored in Wadmalaw Sound, south of Charleston, SC. ... Today was John’s grandson, Christopher’s birthday.  We called on the cell phone and sang happy birthday to Heather and Willie’s answering machine! ... We ate our dinner sitting on the cabin and again enjoyed the beauty of God’s world (water, creatures, growing things, life teeming all around us.


Tuesday, May 7,2002, Wadmalaw River to Charleston, SC

Arrived midday at Charleston City Marina; cleaned boat of dirt and horsefly bodies. ... John’s cousin, Adelaide Gantt and her husband, Richard Gantt, arrived with a bottle of Champagne.  We all enjoyed dinner in a gourmet Italian restaurant under the stars on the patio.  Adelaide and Dick very graciously invited us to leave the boat for a bed at their house in Charleston.  We eagerly accepted the change.  They live near Easley, SC, but Adelaide owns the house in Charleston.


Wednesday, May 8, 2002, Charleston, SC

The day started with a delightful breakfast prepared by Adelaide.  We spent the day walking through historic Charleston; viewing antique homes and beautiful gardens.

This inn is a few houses down the street from the house used in the “Gone With The Wind” movie.



John and Betty                                                 John, Adelaide, and Dick Gantt


Lunch was at A. W. Shucks, seafood restaurant; Ice Cream at Ben and Jerry’s; dinner excellently prepared at a small French restaurant. 


Thursday, May 9, 2002, Charleston to Santee River, SC

Dick graciously drove us to pick up laundry and groceries and delivered us to the boat.  After doing the necessary fueling and taking on of water, we departed about 3:00 PM.  We decided to go until dark to make as much mileage as possible.  We arrived at the Santee River just as dusk was fading.  There were fish pot buoys everywhere.  We used our spotlight to find the pots but could only see one at a time in the spotlight.  After about 20 frustrating minutes we picked what might be the best place and dropped the anchor.  We decided to leave it up to God.  We were just too tired.


Friday, May 10, 2002, Santee River to Myrtle Beach, SC

A miracle occurred!  We did not foul any of the pots during the night.  Happily we continued north. ... The Waccama River had small trees growing in the water that looked like they had been place in large pots and planted there.  The ICW was very shallow at Myrtle Beach.  We passed large barges with machines dredging the waterway.  We stopped at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club for the night.  As we docked a thunderstorm hit with torrential rain and high winds.  The dock boy and John were drenched but we landed the boat OK.


Saturday, May 11, 2002, Myrtle Beach

The weather was still rainy and windy so we rented a Jeep.  After driving for miles past hotels and cheap trinket stores we spent the afternoon in a Wal-Mart buying all kinds of “could not live without items”.  Betty received roses for Mother’s Day.  Lunch and dinner were ashore, a treat for a change.

John and "Our Joy" at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club.


Sunday, May 12, 2002, Myrtle Beach to Carolina Beach, NC (51 miles)

Today was Mother’s Day and Kathy McKinney’s birthday.  We called all our children to wish them a happy Mother’s Day and sang Happy Birthday to Kathy. ... Betty was treated to Mother’s Day breakfast ashore, her favorite meal out. ... We motored to a protected anchorage at Carolina Beach with houses all around; had munchies and wine in the cockpit and enjoyed the setting sun.


Monday, May 13, 2002, Carolina Beach to Bogue Inlet, NC (67 miles)

Motor sailed up the coast past the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejune firing range.  There were personnel carriers on the beach beside the ICW.  They appeared to be there for target practice, judging by the bullet and shell damage. ... The wind was very strong.  About 4:00 PM we arrived at Dudley’s Marina, told them that we had 5 ½ foot draft, and asked for a berth for the night.  They directed us to a berth.  We went aground about 50 feet from the berth.  When I asked them why the directed us there if there was not enough water, they said that this was the only place they had for us.  I still do not understand the logic unless they simply wanted the revenue.  The wind was gusting up to 30 and we were aground off the dock.  John was able to slowly force the boat through the mud to the dock.  The wind and waves were smashing the boat against the dock’s pilings.  The rub rail was damaged before we could get proper fenders in place.  Betty came up with good ideas about the fenders that protected us during the night.


Tuesday, May 14, 2002, Bogue Inlet to Oriental, NC (47 miles)

This morning Dudley’s Marine graciously repaired the damaged rubrail as best they could. ... We motor-sailed to Oriental, NC, advertised as the boating capital of North Carolina; anchored in the harbor; lowered the dinghy; and rowed ashore for dinner.


Wednesday, May 15, 2002, Oriental to Pungo River, NC (54 miles)

Again spent a lovely evening in the cockpit enjoying the Lord’s creation.

Betty with her Mother’s Day roses, Pungo River, NC


Thursday, May 16, 2002, Pungo River, NC to Pungo Ferry, VA (100 Miles!)

Motor-sailed the Alligator River, crossed Albemarle Sound in strong winds and spray across the bow; ditto across the North River and Currituck Sound and through the North Landing River.  Anchored just below the bridge at Pungo Ferry, VA.  Strong winds all night.


Friday, May 17, 2002, Pungo Ferry, VA to Norfolk, VA (34 miles)

Worked our way through all the opening bridges at Norfolk; past the massive U.S. Navy ships, to the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.  Fortunately the wind was only moderately strong as we landed ourselves at the dock.  The wind increased during the afternoon such that it was smashing the boat against the pilings of the dock.  We put out fenders and our fender board along with spring lines. ... John and Linda Philbrick, friends formerly of Poughkeepsie and bible study group, joined us for dinner at the Club.  Dinner was beautifully prepared and served.  We enjoyed ourselves. ... The wind continued smashing the boat against the dock during the night.


Saturday, May 18, 2002, Norfolk Yacht and Country Club

The weather broadcast said that at 9:00 AM the wind in Norfolk was 36 knots with gusts to 43.  Unfortunately the wind direction was directly up the Lafayette River several miles creating waves that pitched us up and down against the dock.  About noon a thunderstorm struck with intense wind and rain.  Notice the limited visibility in these pictures of the storm taken from Our Joy’s companionway.



As the storm passed the wind came around more to the north and pushed us out from the dock, Thank God!  As we are writing this there is the sound of strong wind but we are riding comfortably out from the dock.


Sunday, May 19, 2002, Norfolk Yacht and Country Club to Deltaville, VA


We motored out of Norfolk Harbor past a vast array of U.S. Navy ships. ... There were three foot seas in the Chesapeake Bay as we motored into the cold wind.  At times the bow of the boat buried in the waves and green water washed over the boat and up onto the dodger at the front of the cockpit.  At times, from inside the boat, you could see the windows (portholes) covered with cascading water as if she were under water. ...  Inside the harbor at Deltaville all was calm as we settled in for the night with our electric heaters against the temperature in the forties.  We thought that the South was supposed to be warm!


Monday, May 20, 2002, Deltaville to Crisfield, MD

The wind was still out of the cold North as we motored into it across the Chesapeake to Crisfield, MD to meet friends, Don and Liz Bunch on Misty.  They graciously helped us tie up.  We all enjoyed an evening of good talk and dinner of lump crab concoctions.  Crisfield claims to be the crab capital of the world.


Tuesday, May 21, 2002, Crisfield to Solomon’s Island, MD

The weather continued cold as you can see from this picture of the Bunches, Betty, Misty, and Our Joy in the background. ... We again motored into the cold wind to Solomon’s Island, MD.


Wednesday, May 22, 2002, Solomon’s Island to Annapolis, MD

 Betty feeding swan at Solomon’s Island.

As we neared Annapolis we saw 4 Navy fighter jets doing acrobatics over the Naval Academy.  When the show ended a couple of hundred boats started coming out of Annapolis in our direction.  We then wove our way through the harbor where another couple of hundred boats were still anchored.  They had all been there for the aerial show put on by the Navy’s Blue Angels.  Luckily we did not collide with anyone. ... We discovered that this is Commencement Week at the Naval Academy.  The town is crowded with parents and family of midshipmen.


Thursday, May 23, 2002, Annapolis, MD

The day started with a healthy breakfast at the Marriott.


We toured the Naval Academy taking in the last parade of this academic year.



We toured the William Paca House and Garden and had our picture taken in the doorway of the Hammond Harwood House.  They claim that it is the most beautiful doorway in America.  William Paca was one of four signers of the Declaration of Independence who lived within a few blocks of each other here in Annapolis.  Both of these homes were built by these men when they were in their twenties.


Ken and Pat Kessler drove over from the Washington, DC area to go to dinner with us at O’Leary’s.


Friday, May 24, 2002, Annapolis to just south of the C&D Canal

After a healthy breakfast at the Marriott (Betty’s favorite meal out) we left about 11:00 AM. 

Picture is of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and ship that had been heading straight at us.  We quickly moved out of the way.

Other than avoiding massive ships, the day was uneventful.  Thank God! ... We pulled over out of the channel and anchored just south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.


Saturday, May 25, 2002, C&D Canal to Cape May (Est. 80 Nautical Miles)

The day started off calmly.  We transited the canal with no problems.  We had intended to anchor in the Chossay River in Delaware Bay but we were making such good time that we decided to push for Cape May, almost 100 nautical miles by our intended route, the ship channel. 


Again we were avoiding ships in the channel.  Part way down the Bay we decided to cut across and use the computer to take us through the Cape May Channel which does not have any buoys.  By this time we heard that there were “Small Craft Warnings” for the mouth of the Bay.  The waves were coming over the bow and at times washing up to the windows on the dodger.  The boat was rolling and pitching.  We tried a cut through the shoals as shown on the computer but the water quickly shoaled faster than the computer showed.  We turned and luckily (Betty was praying, so maybe it was not luck) we found deeper water.  We rolled and pitched into Cape May.  At the marina we expected calm and rest but there was a swift current running through the marina.  The stern was slammed against an opposing dock.  Three people were pulling our lines and finally had us alongside the dock. ... We gratefully went to dinner at the Lobster Shack.  They must seat several hundred people.  It was good.


Sunday, May 26, 2002, Cape May to Atlantic City


We encountered dense fog shortly after we started.  We used the radar to “see” other boats and avoid collision.  The wind was light but the waves were still 3 to 4 feet.  The pictures do not reveal the rolling and pitching or the visibility for maybe a hundred yards.  Notice Betty’s wide stance to keep from being pitched about.  The left picture shows her intently watching the radar.  The right picture was a forced smile for the camera!  A cabinet door came loose and everything fell onto the cabin floor. ... Finally we rolled and pitched in the fog into Atlantic City to the State Marina. ... Betty announced that she was not going out tomorrow.  She had had enough!  She insisted on waiting for a better day.  She spent a couple of hours cleaning up the mess and cleaning the accumulated salt off the boat. ... After dinner we walked the boardwalk and the Steel Pier.  The size of the casinos is almost unbelievable.  The massive number of people pouring money into them is really unbelievable.  “People-watching” was the most fun.  There appeared to be every race and nationality, all ages, many physically challenged, and many caloric challenged.  The kids on the rides were a joy to watch.


Monday, May 27, 2002, Atlantic City


Marina                                                   Walking the Boardwalk



John captures escaping dinosaur on Steel Pier while Betty window shops.


Tuesday, May 28, 2002, Atlantic City to Sandy Hook, NJ

The ocean was placid compared to previous days.  We made excellent time and arrived at Sandy Hook by mid-afternoon and anchored behind a breakwater.

Sandy Hook was alive with fish.  We saw a man in a small boat throw a seine net and pull it on board with up to 40 fish; many were 24 to 30 inches long.


Wednesday, May 29, 2002, Sandy Hook to Port Washington, NY via NY Harbor


U.S. Navy Cruiser under Verazanno Narrows Bridge ... Manhattan Skyline at Battery



High-speed Ferry                                            Circle-Line around Manhattan


Betty steered the entire way from the Verazanno Narrows Bridge, around Manhattan, up the East River and into Hell’s Gate.


United Nations from the East River


Thursday and Friday, May 30 & 31, 2002, Port Washington to Port Jefferson, LI, NY

We had a leisurely sail in the afternoon to Port Jeff and anchored in the outer part of the harbor.  The weather forecast for the next day was for thunderstorms so we moved to the Setauket Yacht Club and stayed an extra day.  Port Jeff was a delightful quaint village with interesting shops and restaurants, not at all what we expected for Long Island.  The Port Jefferson ferry seems to always enter or leave the harbor while we are also in the entrance.


We were on a mooring at the yacht club and used the launch to go back and forth to shore. ... During the evening a thunderstorm hit with 40 knot winds.  We were tossed around and pelted with rain, but we felt secure at the mooring.


Friday, June 1, 2002, Port Jeff to Stonington, CT

Betty was delighted that this was our last day!  We were both ready to go home after a total of 4 and ½ months on the boat during the period from October to June 1st.  Betty has traveled 3,000 miles on “Our Joy” and John 3,400 since July when we purchased the boat.


Betty baked biscuits while underway at 7 knots in the middle of Long Island Sound.  ... We arrived early in the afternoon at our mooring in Stonington, CT.  We rented a car and drove to our daughter, Heather’s and Son-in-law Will’s in Sudbury, MA.  Their 5-year-old son, Jamie, had just been diagnosed with diabetes.  Please pray for the family. ... We were glad to be home the next day.  Our kitty was even more glad, thanks to our daughter, Susan, who kept her healthy and well fed.


Sending our love from “Our Joy”, John and Betty

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