It’s impossible to believe that a month ago today we closed and began the arduous task of moving in. In that month we’ve received furniture ONLY for our guest suite and that’s where we’re sleeping for lack of our own completed bedro…
Tag Archives | Grand Banks
Today was my inaugural swim in one of our beautiful pools. This one is just a five minute stroll up the street. My swim was puny but it’s been so long since I’ve had the opportunity and I intend to get stronger every day. I have eagerly anticipated the day that I could swim at the slightest whim. 🏊♀️🏊♀️🏊♀️ Not in any of the pools have I had to clamber for a lane to myself.
So much for Keto. A bit of rug shopping at a fabulous shop whose owner knows more about wool rugs than I ever knew there was to know. Then, again, boating friends, Bill and Barb, came and fetched us for lunch. Now it’s happy hour and I am in my most happy place for the first time in quite a while. We’re on the fly bridge relishing a nice breeze. It has been in the upper 90s here and just too hot to stick our heads outside. In an effort to keep our galley clean, I’m sure we will find a place where someone cooks but not me. Donna and Mary, you are acquainted with that concept, aren’t you?
It was such a good feeling of “coming home” today when we sat on the 3rd row from the front at the church we plan to join. Then off again to enhance the local economy of Ocala.
Our closing is in the morning at 11:15! So excited I’m about to jump out of my skin! It will be like Christmas when we open boxes and bins whose contents that we haven’t seen in over a decade. Our ragged bodies will collapse on a brand new air mattress tomorrow night.
Stay tuned for a new book—not just a chapter–that book’s closed—but a totally different adventure.
Bill and Laura
16 September 2018 – Great Bridge, VA – North River, NC – Belhaven, NC – Morehead City, NC – Snead’s Ferry, NC, Oxbow/Waccamaw, NC, Johns Island, SC – Cumberland Island, GA – Ortega Landing, FL
Coincidentally, our sailing friends, Robert and Tracy were sailing back home in Oriental and we passed each other “like ships in the night.” They took a photo of us and we of them, however they did a much better job for us than we did.
3 – Labor Day morning, we saw this 42 foot Grady White sporting four 425 HP outboards. Would love to see that at full throttle. Seems like he could become airborne. That will make for some pretty expensive fish.
We went into Morehead City Yacht Basin to scrub the boat inside and out. Wish I’d taken a photo of our bridge enclosure and our dingy cover. There wasn’t a spot as big as a pencil point not covered by those things. We’d put in a long, hot day and boat washing was the last thing we had any inclination of doing but there wasn’t any other choice. I multi-tasked by also doing laundry. Someone told me once that multi-tasking is the result of being scatter-brained. Could be!
What a lovely surprise to see old boating buds, Diane and Louis, walking down the dock to welcome us. They wanted to take us to dinner but laundry was still in the process of becoming clean again and we were in dire need of showers so weren’t able to accept their sweet offer.
4 – This morning we went to breakfast with Louis and Diane to an old family owned restaurant in Morehead City. We love going to dives–not that this was one but it was definitely immensely local. All the servers know our friends–’twas like one big family. We had an enormous breakfast.
On Tuesdays they serve chicken livers which Diane and I both love so after a brief “rest” from breakfast, we were back for lunch and had to hurry before they ran out. They’ve lived in that area for eons so gave us a wonderful tour of the city and of their home. Exquisite is the only word to describe their home. Wish I’d taken a photo.
5 – We left Morehead and cruised to Snead’s Ferry. Don’t know what it is about us and sinking boats but this one, with two Yamahas, sank just before we arrived.
6 – Sunrise as we leaving little Swan Point Marina, we headed toward Southport to visit and have dinner with our boating friends (believe it or not, we DO have friends who aren’t nor have ever been boaters) Kay, Robert, Patsy, and Rick.
What delightful hosts are Kay and Robert. They are unquestionably, awesome, friendly, welcoming, and hospitable friends.
7 – Good morning, Baby Moon.
Southport City Marina
We decided that we need to make tracks so are abandoning our usual cruising style of leaving at 10 AM and anchoring by 3 PM to putting in 12-13 hour days to get south of Florence’s cone.
8 – We left before first light and thankfully the current is with us. Jim Cantore just arrived Wilmington, NC. NOT a good sign!
9 – After 8 ½ hours of bucking the current almost all the way, we’re in one of our favorite anchorages.
This is the Oxbow, just off the beautiful tannic Waccamaw River, whose shores are lined with graceful, moss-draped cypress trees. Their bases are punctuated with diminutive cypress knees. One of the loveliest areas of the waterway.
We planned to stop in Little River to visit boating friends, Mary and Larry but those plans were aborted so Mary, came out to wave as we passed and took this photo. Thanks, Mary.
Anchored John’s Island, SC, south of Charleston. 12 hours. 103 miles. We’re exhausted. 3 more days just like this till we get to Jacksonville.
I just love the beguiling marshes and the wonderful balm they emit.
10 – Today we had several magic dolphin shows with them riding our bow wave and our wake. They would turn on their sides and smile up at us. After all these years, we’ve never grown tired of the dolphin performances.
12 – Mission accomplished! In 5 days we traveled 450 miles and those sweet Ford Lehman engines purred all the way with nary a hiccoup. We pulled into Ortega Landing Marina just off the St. John’s River on the Ortega River in Jacksonville, totally fried! We did absolutely nothing the first two days but sleep. Again, that was not our way of cruising but “you do whatcha gotta do” and we had to get Kindred Spirit III out of Flo’s fury. Prolly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Could never get cool. Couldn’t take enough cold showers. But that’s behind us now and we’re enjoying our time here and are working on choreographing our move to Ocala to our new home. We will close and move in a week from this Friday.
Bill and Laura
31 August 2018 Solomons, MD – Slaughter Creek Marina – Cambridge Marina – Oxford Yacht Yard – St. Michaels Marina – Solomons – Hills Bay, VA
members for cocktails. We followed our whetted appetites across the street for dinner at The Pier. Mother Nature treated us to a wonderful Patuxent River sunset.
The rising moon was red, huge, and beautiful! My photos never do nature justice.
In the evening we were at the yacht club for happy hour where we met a couple on their way to their home port in NC aboard their 28′ Rosborough. That’s such a cute little boat. The Larsens, another couple, and Bill and I went to a new Thai restaurant for a delicious dinner. I expect Thai Seacoast to do well.
Judy and Curt kindly loaned us their car to provision, do laundry, and run umpteen errands which took us 7 hours. We were pooped after that spree and getting everything stowed. We enjoyed a glass of wine with them then headed to a pizza joint. Think I was in bed and asleep before 8:30. We were toast!
T’was sad to say goodbye to Judy and Curt, other friends there, and Solomons itself, but it’s time to head south. We fueled at Calvert Marina and are loving every second of our cruise across the bay.
We cruised about 50 miles which is a long day for us. The bay can sometimes be nasty and then it’s called the Chesapuke but it has been most wonderful for us each time we’re on the bay. We anchored in Hills Bay right off the Piankatank. We had a little wind and a nice rain shower which enhances sleeping on the water.
We weighed anchor at first light this morning in hopes of visiting with our granddaughter in Norfolk then making it to Great Bridge—both of which remain to be seen.
Today marks the end of a most wonderful month of cruising as we head to FL.
Bill and Laura Bender
Cruising the Chesapeake Bay
August 2018 Cape May, NJ, Chesapeake City, VA – Severna Park, MD – Herrington Harbor Marina and Resort – Solomons Island Yacht Club, MD – Slaughter Creek, MD –
We thought it would be much much more. The boat owner told us that this morning. He’s young and a trooper. He’s been working on that tub all day by himself. No wonder he’s thin and toned and fit….
Our cruise today took us to Severna Park and to our Marathon, FL, sailing friends’ dock. We met Tom and Elinor years ago when we were next slip neighbors. Tom’s an avid cyclist and we rode with him in the Keys as well as on the B and A Trail while visiting them in MD. They’re always wonderful hosts and enjoyable company.
Their Meridian and our Kindred Spirit III as seen from their deck
This morning we had a 6:30 AM ride with Tom and enjoyed a coffee at The Big Bean situated along the trail.
While at Tom and Elinor’s, Mike, a friend with whom I used to work, was in the area to celebrate his mom’s 92nd birthday. He came over for a boat visit. T’was fun catching up on our lives in the decade plus since we were both gainfully employed.
Our last full day in Severna and a wonderful one. I went with Tom on the best ride I’ve ever done since we’ve been riding our Bike Fridays 13 years ago. I felt wonderful, it was fun, and there was NO whining. The route was a new one—on the B&A Trail and through some historic neighborhoods. I came home on an endorphin high.
Since the ocean was unfriendly to us couple weeks ago causing us to abort our trip to LI, we were left with loose ends for a few weeks. We connected with the Chesapeake Bay Cruisers for a 2 week cruise of 8-10 boats and we’re havng a ball! The organizers have done an incredible job of lining up marinas and restaurants. We knew just a few couples since we’re rarely in this area but have met new friends and are having the time of our lives. Definitely the best group cruise we’ve ever taken. We departed Solomons today and are cruising the bay.
Our first 2 nights are in Herrington Harbor Marina and Resort and what a spectacular place with approximately 700 slips.
Cocktails this evening on the cusp of Herring Bay while docked at Herrington Harbor South. Foremost is a great pool with designated lap lanes. I was using fins and kick board and “they” deemed my kick board, a ‘flotation device’ which is outlawed! Was expecting them to call my fins a ‘pool toy’. Whatever! Just for a day and more than happy to have a pool with lane lines. No T but flip turns weren’t a prob. Joined a group at 7:30 for a walk. Was so accustomed to Tom’s 6:30 launch that we felt like we were sleeping in. Fun place and a fun buncha boat people.
Bill and Laura
31 July 2018 Callao, VA – Washington, DC – Lusby, MD – Baltimore, MD – Sassafras River Anchorage – Chesapeake City – Cape May, NJ
I am absolutely just biting my tongue to keep from having a fit and falling in it. Was just getting ready to publish blog with I mistakenly hit Command Z and it is GONE!!!!! Tons of pictures and tales of your g…
30 June 2018 Solomons, MD, – Washington, DC, – Greenville, SC, – Ocala, FL, Calleo, VA, St. Mary’s, VA
31 May 2018 Ocala, FL, – Brunswick, GA, – Richmond, VA, – Solomons, MD, – Chesapeake Beach, MD, – Indian Head Trail, Waldorf, MD, – Solomons, MD
1 May. Bill and I had our own private bon voyage dinner of filet mignons, at Cody’s Steakhouse; our Ocala Swan Song. Prior to pointing our noses northward, we slept well after making sure we left the coach spic-n-span.
6 May. Somehow, an overcast day, freezing, dressed in sweats, last night we slept under an electric blanket and with the heat on —–none of this goes together. Didn’t know we were going to the north pole.
8 May. Yippee! Thanks to our future Larkhill neighbor, Diligent Donna and her photographic skills, she sent a photo of our slab that was poured today!
Lo and behold, it’s finally warming here. We enjoyed spring flowers when we were “down south” and now we have another opportunity to take pleasure in these.
12 May. We took a break from our scrubbing, polishing, waxing, repairing…and met Charmaine, our cycling guru and friend from DC, in Chesapeake City, for lunch and a stroll around town. She isn’t a boater but a extremely strong cyclist. Years ago when we were in DC by boat, (it’s a very long story—as most of mine are) the 3 of us met and we consider her one of our best friends. She takes her bike and rides all over the world. She’s got to have the strongest pistons of any woman I know. She works on The Hill and rides her bike to work during rain, sleet, or snow, with the caveat of—if the snow’s deeper than 3”, she’ll take the train. We see her often and it’s always a fun time spent. She even came to Ocala to see us—and ride— during the winter when we were down there “feeling out the area.” Lunch with Charmaine and Bill at Traders, Chesapeake Beach, MD.
Before Curt and Judy took off on another adventure, we got together with them for cocktails at the Yacht Club and a tastebud tantalizing dinner at the Brassiere.
LOOK!!! That concrete slab is about to grow some walls! There are stacks of CMU’s and by noon that day, we had a semblance of a house.
21 May. We took a Sunday morning stroll around the island ending at a cute little coffee shop over looking the Patuxent River.