Dylan and Dee Dee’s Ride

Dylan and Dee Dee love dinghy rides. It is the perfect example of both the journey and the destination being the reward. While a dinghy ride means they’re going someplace fun – beach for a swim, to shore for a walk, or just a visit on the dock – they a…


Charleston – City Marina

Currently, we’re tied up in Charleston

Yes, I know— a long time since anything has been posted on this blog. We’ve been somewhat busy, but really, that’s no reason. Usually it’s photographs that inspire me to write something and I really haven’t taken any photos that have roused me to open the blog and post. But, make no mistake, we’re loving life on the boat and have no thoughts to stop floating anytime soon. For personal reasons, we feel a freedom we haven’t experienced for a long time.

We’re always flattered and a somewhat surprised when along the way a stranger speaks fondly of Istaboa and the blog we’ve done for more than a decade; I really don’t know what to say when asked why I’ve not been writing much. Sorry? That’s happened several times on this trip.

So once again, it’s a lazy Sunday morning, I’ve ingested a sufficient amount of caffeine, and gone through several days of unprocessed pics.
It seems we’re always catching up, so ~~~~
This year’s cruise has been different than those of the past. Hoping to avoid the crowds of yachtistas at the marinas along the way, we waited till late May to leave for the islands. This strategy worked as we figured it would and most of our favorite marinas have had slips available without reservations.

Our last post was at the beginning of our run up the East Coast so I’ll pick up there.

Leaving Old Port Cove we made a short run out in the ocean to Ft Pierce where we waited out an almost continuous line of thunderstorms. Storms have been the daily deciding factor for this whole trip.
The seas had picked up so we ran the ICW all the way to Vero Beach. 15 miles.

Out of nowhere Tropical Storm Emily popped up. We had just left Vero Beach Municipal Marina in the rain, (not realizing it was the outter bands of a tropical disturbance), and made way to Titusville.

Happily, TS Emily was a flop, just rain. We had a peaceful night at Titusville Marina and enjoyed the sound of raindrops falling on the boat. The next day we shoved off and motored to Daytona.

We stayed at Daytona Marina and Boatworks. There’s a Charthouse restaurant onsite that is excellent. Happy Hour was enjoyed; small plates of excellent appetizers, happy hour prices, and all just feet away from the boat. 

Our next stop was Palm Coast Marina. A nice/quiet little marina where we always stop for a night and to buy fuel.  Best prices in Florida, easy in and out.

The next day was a short easy run to St Augustine and Camachee Cove Marina. We pulled into Camachee Cove on a low/low tide and had to try several slips before we found one deep enough for us.
As you see from the above picture, storms are following us pretty much all the time, however we keep on running the ICW and manage to avoid most of them.

I hate the ICW – Mel likes it. After a day of negotiating the ICW, I’m exhausted. It’s not just shallow water, actually it’s not that shallow in Florida, it’s the constant attention one must maintain to successfully make it to your next stop.
At last we to make it to Jacksonville and back out to the ocean. St Augustine to St Simons was the next day’s leg. No storms and relatively flat seas.

 There’s a reason they call this area, Golden Isles

Saint Simons/Brunswick is Mel’s hometown where she had family waiting. I took this time to do a little business and catch up with chores on the boat. Mel visited the farmers market and acquired a few pounds of Georgia shrimp and fresh vegetables.

Next stop: Hilton Head. We’ve never been into Hilton Head, always passing it by saying that someday we should stop and check it out. We’ll, we did and it really is a nice place.
We choose Harbour Town Yacht Basin to tie up. It’s a great marina, though last year’s Hurricane did damage that they are still working through. We took a few days off and explored the island a bit, though the storms were back in full force giving only half days before driving us back in the boat. Still, we liked the area and we’ll be back.

After a few days we chose a time to run out Calibogue Sound with good tide and pointed north toward Charleston.
Another fairly easy run with calm seas ended where we are now. Charleston City Marina.
We couldn’t have timed it better if we had tried. We eased in and called the marina, they asked if we’d turn around and back down about 500 feet on the inside of the Mega Dock. Slack tide allowed this to happen without incident.

We’ve done a bit of sightseeing while here. Took a buggy ride through downtown to see all the historic sights, a young fellow narrated the tour, and did a nice job of it.

Of course we passed by Ft Sumpter on the way in.

As we entered Charleston Harbor, in my head, a song was being played over and over again.  I’ve heard Randy Newman’s Sail Away many times and always liked the melody and the hook, but I never really listened to it until I heard Etta James bring it home. And, boy she did.

On this day, the lyrics are painfully ironic:

In America you’ll get food to eat
Won’t have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You’ll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It’s great to be an American
Ain’t no lions or tigers ain’t no mamba snake
Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake
Everybody is as happy as a man can be
Climb aboard little wog sail away with me

In America every man is free
To take care of his home and his family
You’ll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree
You’re all gonna be an American
Sail away sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay
Sail away-sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

We’ll be leaving soon, maybe tomorrow, depends on weather. We’ve realized that time aboard is good no matter where we are. We’re still heading north, maybe the Chesapeake, maybe not. Point A and Point B is the same place to us and that would be Jupiter.

We’ll be back when we get there.

One thing is for sure, Istaboa is a happy boat.


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Over Half a Million Hits now?

I’ve been reliving our cruise on Drift Away by rereading this old blog, and I have to say that it was an incredible adventure.  Plus Pam and I met some amazing people.  This post from a few years ago was about reaching 100,000 hits.   It…

West Highland Line

The West Highland Line was voted the world’s best train journey by Wanderlust Magazine. The trip runs through the scenic Scottish highlands and across the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig on the coast north of Oban. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the dramatic span crossed by the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies. We had wonderfully…

Aug. 9 – Saratoga Springs, NY

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” —Henry Van Dyke

Our friends in Oneonta called us Sunday to tell us they were going to the races in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday…they wanted to know if we’d like to join them. Of course we wanted to! We’re always up for a new adventure. We drove over to Oneonta on Tuesday and enjoyed an evening in Cooperstown. We wandered around town, look at a few of the famous baseball places, did a tasting at Cooperstown Distillery and had a wonderful dinner at the Hawkeye Bar & Grill in the Otesaga Hotel. On Wednesday we spent a great day at the races in Saratoga Springs. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.


Impressive Glasgow Cathedral is one of the few cathedrals in Scotland to survive the 16th-century Protestant Reformation mobs nearly intact. The building is huge and seems to go on forever. On a day-trip to Glasgow from Greenock, we toured the cathedral, took in the city views from the adjacent Necropolis, and spent several hours walking…

Lower Falls at Treman State Park

“It’s the simple things in life that bring us the most pleasure—warm sand, wispy clouds, and the sound of waves and seagulls.” —Author Unknown

One of the best places to swim around Ithaca is in Robert H. Treman State Park. Although when we first saw it in April it was hard to believe this was a favorite summer time hangout. The falls were pretty but the water and surround grounds left a lot to be desired. We visited again about a month after we arrived in Ithaca…and it still didn’t look like one of the best swimming holes in America to me!



We are now in full-time cruising mode… …and we cannot begin to express how good this feels… …to be back …Read More

Campbell River

Change of plans……you never know what will happen next when you are on a boat. We left Gorge Harbor on our way to Surge Narrows and the Octopus Islands timing everything to arrive at the rapids at slack tide. A glance at our windlass, which worked perfectly earlier this morning, and we saw oil dripping […]

Why is the Head a Head?

“When I forget how talented God is, I look to the sea.” —Whoopi Goldberg

We’ve had our grandson come stay with us on The Pearl several times this summer. He’s very inquisitive…”why” is his favorite word. He wants to know everything about the boat, how things work and why certain things on a boat are called what they’re called. You know the head, the galley, stateroom, berth…so it got me thinking the same thing, why do we call it the head? What’s the history of these words and where did they originate?