The Haul-out

So its been a little over two years since our last haulout.No real surprises coming out of the water. We lost a little paint around the anodes (we are slightly over-protected with zincs), and the prop had quite a bit of calcified growth, and a nice col…

Shiant Islands and Loch Mariveg

A sailboat was visible through the Garbh Eilean arch as we arrived in the striking Shiant Islands. We gave serious considration to anchoring there for the night, but high winds were expected so we elected to take a more sheltered anchorage in beautiful Loch Mariveg instead. Trip highlights from September 6 and 7th in the…

San Juan Islands

Crossing Boundary Pass, we say goodbye to Canada’s Gulf Islands and enter US waters. We call Customs for our clearance back into the U.S.A. With our NEXUS card this is incredibly easy. In order to get this card, we underwent a background check and a face to face interview with both Canada and U.S. Customs […]

Loch Maddy

The CalMac ferry Hebrides runs from the Isle of Skye to Loch Maddy in the Outer Hebrides. We spent several nights anchored at Loch Maddy beneath dramatic North Lee, and enjoyed watching the Hebrides arrive and dock, particularly during a storm where we saw winds to 60 knots. We got the opposite perspective, with a…

8 October 2017 Newseum, US Botanic Garden, National Gallery of Art

     Our Austin, TX, son, Stephen, came for a long weekend (bike helmet in tow) and every moment was jam-packed being on the move. The Newseum had a special “free” day so we took advantage of that. When there are limitless Smithsonian mu…

Plans Change

Waking early and going up top to put together a cup of coffee, I take a look out the window and see the winds have indeed stopped blowing. The cool weather and the warm waters are working together to fashion this nice image of a foggy morning inside Solomons Island Harbor.

Our last couple of days at Solomons, we put together a plan to run down to Deltaville then on to York River to hang for a couple of weeks. Eventually, we’d motor down to Atlantic Yacht Basin where we’d officially put an end to the Bay and have a bit of work done before starting our return to S Florida.

Following that plan, we left and made way out to the Bay. It was another nice soft day and the forecasts predicted the weather to hold for a week.

After quietly running for a few hours the radio crackled and a nice Kiwi accent was heard; it was Southern Star. We asked about their time at Trawlerfest and they asked about our plans then told us they were about to turn and head up the Potomac to spend a few a days in Washington, D.C.; I could see on AIS they were just a few miles in front us.
I told them our intentions and said hopefully we’d all meet up somewhere soon, wished them safe travels, and signed off.

I guess it was somewhere around Point No Point Light when Mel and I went back to being quiet… then at about the same time we both said, WTF. We’d actually thought about DC a few weeks ago, but scrapped the idea due to business in N Carolina. However, the Hilton Head project had been rescheduled, so.
Quickly looking at charts of The Potomac, we did some calculations, discussed things a bit, then decided to forego the current plan, (typical for us), and like Southern Star,  head to DC.

A right turn at The Potomac was made.

For the sake of the pups, we found a little marina that wasn’t too far up the Potomac and made arrangements to stay for a night.

White Point Marina

This little marina reminds us of some of “off the beaten path” marinas we loved to visit while running the Tennessee River. I’d forgotten the sound of quiet.
As the sun set and the moon rose, not much was resonating other than geese honking in the distance, an occasional fish breaking the surface, and the ringing in my ears.

The next day we caught up to Southern Star and it was decided we’d both stop and anchor just up river from Quantico, VA. We set the anchor at a little state park where we dropped the dink and took the boys to shore for their biz. Leesylvania State Park.

Another nice night and another fat moon.

Rising early, we both left and made way toward DC.

Mel and I have been cruising rivers for many years and, while we do find The Potomac to be a pretty river, we’re just not too excited about it until we get closer to Washington. Then, we start to see things along the shore like the above pic. George Washington’s digs, Mount Vernon.

As we get closer, the Capitol building and the Washington Monument appear on the horizon. Now, we’re interested.

So we finally pull into Washington Channel, tie up at Gang Plank Marina, and wait for Southern Star to arrive. After much confusion we end up moving slips where we tied up next to Jenny and Ted.

Here’s another story: Istaboa and brand new Bellingham docks don’t seem to get along. After tying up and attaching our power cord to the pedestal at Gangplank, we kill the electrical for whole dock. Needless to say we weren’t very popular with the other boaters. A bit of a discussion ensues with the dockmaster and eventually we’re moved to the older section of the marina and just next to Southern Star; no problem there with power. This has happened to us before with these new Bellingham Docks and their new RDC breakers. I find it interesting that we don’t have the same issue with new Technomarine docks we tie up to. I also find it interesting the Harbormasters at the marinas with these new Bellingham docks are highly sensitive and overly defensive when discussing them.

RDC explanation here>

But I digress … We’ve had a nice time in DC but, Damn! It’s hard work being a tourist here. Averaging about 6 miles a day of walking amongst the swarms of sightseers has taken a toll on this old guy.
All in all, Washington is an amazing city and we’ve seen things that we always wanted to see. Maybe next time we’ll stay a month. DC’s worth a long stay.

 So we’re on the move again. The weather’s being weird so plans are in flux  — as they always are.


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

6 October 2017 Kennedy Center


     The Kennedy Center is a magnificent living memorial to President Kennedy and honors him with endless exhibitions of the performing arts. 

We’ve been fortunate to have attended 3 performances during our visit here, the most recent, a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, with a NSO tribute. 

To enhance that, we visited an exhibition with displays of more than 150 personal artifacts, including personal items, photographs, scores, correspondence, furniture, and films. Among the items is his first piano, the desk on which he composed West Side Story, handwritten score sheets for songs from WWS; his Harvard diploma, and so many more interesting artifacts.

     There are interactive displays with listening bars for private enjoyment of some of his most noted works. There’s a booth that allowed me to sing the lead in WWS w/o assaulting anyone’s auditory senses.

                 Extraordinary views from Kennedy Center’s roof top

                                               Potomac River

     One of our favorites was a video of him standing on the podium while the orchestra played without him conducting but close-ups reveal his expressions, facial twitches, smiles—he was conducting with his face.

  Arlington Memorial Bridge

Neoclassical stone arch bridge crosses Potomac near Lincoln Memorial

     There’s a clip of a young Asian boy about 6 and his sister, a couple years older, who played for Bernstein—she the piano and he, the cello. The surprise is that it was Yo Yo Ma.

     Bernstein entered Harvard in 1935 to study piano and pursue his dream of being a concert pianist. He accomplished that and more as a world renown pianist AND conductor, the composer of WWS, Candide, and On the Town. He was an educator and lifelong humanitarian who spoke out whenever he witnessed injustice. 22 honorary doctorate degrees were bestowed upon him during his lifetime in addition to numerous other honors.  Visit
Bill and Laura
Washington, DC


Preparing Dirona for the North Atlantic Crossing

Below is a 24-minute narrated video preparing Dirona for the 2,801 nautical-mile North Atlantic transit from Newport, Rhode Island to Kinsale Ireland. We first show storm plate (clear window protection covers) installation at the dock using the tender as a working platform on the port side. Then we move the SCUBA tanks below and secure…

Isle of Skye

The spectacular Isle of Skye scenery makes it one of Scotland’s top three tourist destinations, along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness. We had considered visiting Skye in Dirona, but instead opted to make a day trip by ferry from Loch Maddy. This gave us the added bonus riding one of the big CalMac ferries, something…

Flodday Sound

The anchorage at Flodday Sound is below 475ft (145m) Beinn na h-Aire and 1,140ft (347m) Eaval, both accessible to climb. At high tide, the complex islet-strewn waterway can be explored beyond the causeway that connects Benbecula to North Uist. And fresh seafood is available from the nearby fishing community at Kallin Harbour to the south….