Category: Destinations


We’re way behind on blogging (obviously), but it’s been an interesting month or two.  As of writing this, the boat is sitting in the Erie Canal due to lock closures: and we jetted to Cleveland then South Carolina.  Caitie’s sister is visiting for the July 1st/4th week, and the girls are running off to Charleston this morning for a quick getaway.


Ahhh Charleston – the unfortunate location for a very recent/disappointing/heart-wrenching shooting event, is still one of our favourite cities.  Since the girls are going, I figured the least I could do was post the photos from our LAST Charleston visit…wayyyyy back in May.


Checking out the parks in North Charleston

Checking out the parks in North Charleston



ESpanish Moss

ESpanish Moss

Park Cafe for happy hour # 1

Park Cafe for happy hour # 1



LEONS Oysters AKA Happy hour 2

LEONS Oysters AKA Happy hour 2

Tuesday night jazz @ the Black Sheep in Mt. Pleasant

Tuesday night jazz @ the Black Sheep in Mt. Pleasant

I'm sure this is some sort of historical building.  Caitie looks cute.

I’m sure this is some sort of historical building. Caitie looks cute.

Day 2 Happy hour part 1

Day 2 Happy hour part 1

Happy hour asian style

Happy hour asian style

Budweisers are CHEEP

Budweisers are CHEEP

$2 bucks a pop!

$2 bucks a pop!

Folly beach pier

Folly beach pier

OK, I'm definitely going surfing tomorrow

OK, I’m definitely going surfing tomorrow

We’re BACK! First week in the ICW!

On the road again!  We love being back.  We loved being “gone” too, but being back has its perks.  Full fridge (including BEER, the most expensive commodity in the Bahamas allegedly), calm water, cell phone service and familiar scenery.  We are making great time up the coast, flying through Florida, Georgia and part of South Carolina already.  Loving doing the ICW better this time – warm weather, local knowledge, and a few more months of boating experience are making this trip up way more fun than our route down.  Here are some road-trippin highlights so far:

Slightly less beardish

Slightly less beardish

The Big Mainland

On the road again (this time, red to PORT)

le journal

le journal



Still one of our favourite places

Still one of our favourite places

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#streetstyle in Beaufort, SC

#streetstyle in Beaufort, SC

Happy hours and free BBQ?  Southern Hospitality!

Happy hours and free BBQ? Southern Hospitality!

Beautiful Beaufort, SC ("Bew-fort")

Beautiful Beaufort, SC (“Bew-fort”)

Forrest Gump celebrity spottings.

Forrest Gump celebrity spottings.

Schwing bridge / full moon

Schwing bridge / full moon




Rough winter for this guy


Fort Matanzas, Florida. The black and white makes it look kind of epic…but it was about the size of a garage.


BBQ in the Georgia marshlands (Wally’s leg, GA)


Beers in Beaufort, SC


Navigation. “Easy in. Weird current vs wind but quite scenic (for FLA)” – anchorage reviews by CL


Love dees manatees


The land of 1000 bridges


Wow – wasn’t expecting to wear this guy again. Frig!


This guy gets us every time. Hard to tell whose hair it might have been…


Classic ICW anchorage morning on the Herb River, GA

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Family Visit & Assorted Bahamas Memories

SO, we’re back in Florida, and are trying to get caught up on photos/etc. now that we have Wifi again (the irony is that the Wifi at this marina sucks)


Here are a few photos from the last month or two in the Bahamas, including an awesome family visit!


Storm front approaching, anchored at Big Majors (with no engine)

Storm front approaching, anchored at Big Majors (with no engine)


“The night is dark and full of terrors”


Still adorable, even as the front approaches



Might as well have a good laugh




Rich neighbors with toys.


Anticipating the arrival of my broski


Lil’ lady


BROOOOTHERRRRR! Slash Jetsetter slash private plane


So pumped he’s here!


First beer behind Ida’s laundromat…Andrew seemed pretty stoked (and surprised by how nice the water was). SUCCESS!


Various modes of transportation to pick up guests at the airport


…annnnnd and empty waiting room.


Parents arrival! Victory #2!


Mom n’ pops going for their first beach walk in Black Point


Caitie n’ a Kalik


View from the cottage with our busted golf cart in the foreground


Look at that smile, m-I-right?


Wally’s lovin’ it.


Scorpio’s happy hour – watch out for those 2-for-1 rum punches!


The rum punches take effect :)


I think Dad’s beard got longer during the visit


Saying goodbyes at the Black Point airport (yes, that yellow building is the airport)


White Point

We’ve been doing short hops up and down the Exuma bank now that the weather has started to cooperate.  It’s been blowing 10-20 from the east/southeast every day for the past two weeks, which has allowed us to stay in the lee of Great Guana Cay as we jump from anchorage to anchorage (no more than 5 miles a day).  It’s great!  We’re finally settling in :)

White Point beach

White Point beach

Caitie was smart to pick up this dinghy anchor in Ft. Lauderdale.  We use it every day!

Caitie was smart to pick up this dinghy anchor in Ft. Lauderdale. We use it every day!


Scruffy Captain

Scruffy Captain

Amazing rock formations along the beach

Amazing rock formations along the beach

Here's a screensaver

Here’s a screensaver


One month in the Bahamas!

Ok we haven’t posted for a month! Sooooooo lets get caught up.

First of all – we’re doing this post on an iPad, using data, on a SIM card that we bought during the THREE hours per WEEK that the Bahamas telecom employee is available in black point, Exumas, since our other one expired two months earlier than we had expected.  Oh yea, did we mention that was the day we had a serious engine breakdown and also the day Caitie’s parents arrived?  More on that later…but please excuse the horrible editing, typos and general quality decline compared to our usual attempts at blogging…

Week 1 – the Berry Islands.

Our main man JWay came to visit (Jeff money)!  We picked him up on a beach with lotsa swell – not a great decision as I fell out of the dinghy and got soaked en route to pick him up from the airport, and he got soaked on the way back to the boat.  Welcome to Tara Jeff!

we spent the week exploring the relatively empty Berrys and had a blast snorkexploring including a cool visit to hoffman’s blue hole (undoubtably filled with deep sea monsters)



We caught a few fish (mackerel, amberjack, and a couple barracuda) but…the crowning achievement was the Mahi-Mahi en route to Nassau :)

imageimageJeff with a sweet gaff job.  Mark with a sweet filet job. Caitie taking the photos and navigating the per.




Eye See Dubya (ICW) – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Don’t worry – Bahamas photos aplenty are coming your way soon!

But in the mean time, before we totally let the turquoise waters wash away our memories of the past couple of months, here are a few highlights and lowlights of our trip from Norfolk, Virginia to Miami, Florida.

Most deceiving waterway name:  Dismal Swamp Canal, Virginia

This short stretch right after Norfolk was some of the most picturesque waterway we saw the whole way down.  It captured the feeling of autumn more than the Hudson and Erie Canal combined.

Least serene anchorage: Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina

100% humidity, tornardo warnings in the SE, rainbows amongt torrential downpours, army helicopters and black ops officers doing dinghy drills on the “don’t even think about going to land” restricted zone, and the circus show of too many snowbirds learning to set anchors with strong wind in bad holding.

Best site for sore eyes (/cold bones):  Saint John’s Yacht Harbor, South Carolina

After a long and cold stretch through North Carolina, the spectacular shower facilities at St John’s, coupled with the timing of a Thanksgiving break with family, warmed us up both physically and in spirits, which were low and needing some warmth.

Best reason to slog through the marshes of Georgia: Cumberland Island, GA

Easily one of our most cherished memories is this nature preserve and all round magical place.  We hope it will stay undeveloped and preserved for future generations.

Best place to learn the art of keeping a sailboat in one place without an anchor: Southern Florida 

Paraphrasing a sailing quote, anybody can make a boat move, but it takes some skill to keep one in the same spot.  Try doing that with a couple knots of current pushing you towards a bascule bridge that doesn’t open for 15 minutes, coupled with the hoards of motor boats and jet skis that blast by you, and then do it every few miles for a couple of days.  OR sail outside and skip it!

Best reward for making the 1095 mile trek: Key Biscayne

Although we were obviously keen to go to the Bahamas, I’ll admit it:  it was really nice in Key Biscayne (just south of Miami).  It was hot.  The water was beautiful and turquoise.  We had a great anchor spot in well-protected No Name Harbour, and the town of Key Biscayne has all the upscale amenities you could want, plus hilarious golf carts driving on roads beside luxury vehicles.



It’s crazy, but we’re here!!

We had waited for over a week for a weather window (I know, not that long, but you try with 4 months of anticipation building behind you!), and when it finally came we were excited.  UNFORTUNATELY, I (Caitie) woke up to rather aggressive lightning and rain around 2am before our planned 5am departure.  4:30am came and it was raining harder than we had seen this entire trip, with consistent lightning strikes to the south.  Frustrations were high – we had already “staged” (prepped and moved anchor to be closer to the sea) and were ready to GO.

When the US Coast Guard came on the radio at 4:30am and announced a Small Craft Advisory and high winds, which completely contrasted the JUST released NOAA forecast online, I was pissed.  Having spent a lot of the past week reading Bruce Van Sant’s “Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South“, I was adamant not to take any “third party” weather at face value, so I called the Coast Guard to verify their radio announcement.

And, can you believe it – they had made an error.  It was yesterday’s forecast.  I knew that it didn’t match what was posted but wasn’t willing to cancel our planned crossing just yet, and when they confirmed that there was NO small craft advisory, we decided to give it a go.

And although it was a higher risk crossing, given the thunderstorms still looming nearby, we had a safe and easy passage.  Frankly, it was easier than the average shallow draft day on the ICW.

So, 120 nautical miles later, here we are in the Berry Islands, eating conch fritters, drinking rum punches, and celebrating a hard earned destination:  Bahamas.

1/4 of the boats packed into No Name Harbour

1/4 of the boats packed into No Name Harbour



Last sunset in the USA!

Last sunset in the USA!

click this pic. you’re welcome.

Cumberland Island

Look, if you have the opportunity to check out Cumberland Island – do it.  I can’t believed I lived in ATL for as long as I did, and never made it out.  The island is only accessible by ferry, there are no cars allowed except for the few private land owners who were grandfathered in (the whole island is basically a natural park)…the beach is pristine, the campsites are well maintained, they have bikes to rent, and wild horses to admire.  We loved it, and stayed a second day to make sure we got the full experience.  Sigh.  we just kept telling ourselves that there would be more beaches in Florida and beyond…

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Thinking of Opa while beach combing. He loved the beach and I will always think of him when I see seashells

Of course Mark went swimming

Swimming in December


Jekyll Island (& Mr. Hyde)

Today, we had an ideal cruising day – the type where you sleep in a bit, and still get to your destination by noon.  In this case, we were headed to Jekyll Island, Georgia.  This island piqued our interest, with tales of riches during it’s former years as a private refuge for the extremely wealthy (think Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, etc.).  Back in the late 1800s/early 1900s, they built massive cottages with 22+ bedrooms, which interestingly did not feature kitchens as the families all ate at the communal private yacht club dining hall.  Who knew?!  We were keen to check it out…

It took us over an hour to get the dinghy unpacked/pumped up/organized and OF COURSE, the outboard wouldn’t start (since we’ve barely used it this fall).  After a quick call to pops, we deduced that it was probably bad fuel (thanks Wally!  haha), and I siphoned out the old to make room for the new.  BOOM!  She fired up almost instantly.

<I should say the outboard behaved VERY erratically during the trips back and forth from the dock, gaining it the moniker “Wild Willy”.  I am confident there will be more stories to come of WW taking us for a “ride”…>

Once we got ashore, we basically said “Screw the mansions, let’s go to the beach!”.  So we did.  And it was spectacular.  It’s easy to forget that we are so close to the ocean as we travel through marshes and narrow rivers in the ICW just inland, so to see the wide expanse of the Atlantic again was a refreshing break, and beautiful reminder of where we are headed in the (hopefully) not so distant future.

Wild WIlly n’ Tara


Caitie loves marine mammals


“Stop looking at me swan”


Jurassic Park II: The Lost World

Gettin’ beach ready

Horseshoe crab (deceased) – prehistoric animal!