Archive | Istaboa RSS feed for this section

Picking It Back Up

Nope — haven’t written anything in a while, haven’t taken any pics to speak of either, however, we’ve made the best of our time and it was cool hangin’ on the boat up in Georgia. Mel’s been hankering for some fall weather and Brunswick/St Simons did serve that up from time to time.

St Simons Sound Sunset

We rode out the thankfully benign hurricane season at Brunswick Landing then moved over to St Simons Island and Morningstar Marina for their view and breeze. We like spending time in Glynn County, the local culture is comfortable and the local restaurants are good— especially after Labor Day post tourists.

Maggie Mae’s downtown Brunswick serves a blue-ribbon country style breakfast and the service is sincerely old school southern. Fox’s Pizza is good too, but never pass up Willy’s Wee-Nee Wagon and their Pork Chop Sandwich. It’s in the hood which gives it authenticity and street cred. (Some cruisers we spoke with scoffed at Willy’s but if you’re into geniune cultural experiences, you’ve got to go to Willy’s Wee-Nee Wagon.) Out on the isand is Southern Soul BBQ and it’s truly fine. At the marina is Coastal Kitchen serving their version of Shrimp and Grits. The Half Shell, Halyards, Barbara Jeans, and Benny’s Red Barn – All Good!

Though it’s 350 miles up the boring and sometimes treacherous I-95, we made the trip several times a month to check on the boat and boater buddies. It was a nice break from S Florida’s summer heat.
We took advantage of our time in Brunswick/St Simons and made a few interior changes. Nothing too major but the slight update made a surprising difference. The ladies at Overall Upholstery on the island did a good job of recovering our Salon bar stools.

We considered home-porting Istaboa at Morningstar Marina, and she will probably soon return, but we needed several maintenance jobs done and a place to stay if we decide to take on the house project in Jupiter, so we picked a good day and started the milk run back south.

Last year, on our trip north, we ran outside in the ocean. This year, on the way back down, we took the slower more complicated route and stopped at several marinas to take care of a little business. A stop in St Augustine, then a short run and a few days stay at Palm Coast Marina. (We really like little Palm Coast Marina, Rosey, the Harbormaster, is a kind person and a pleasure to be around. We watched the NFL playoffs there.) Then, with the purpose of finding warmer weather, we pushed rather quickly to Daytona, and Cocoa Village.
Leaving Cocoa was exciting. As was predicted, a nasty weather front pushed through and in the blink of an eye a nice day turned into a raging storm.
Off to the west we watched the blow heading our way with a vengeance, soon dark skies covered us and blacked out all sunlight, the wind started blowing crazy, and it was raining sideways; on board, our instruments were indicating gusts of 50+. Luckily we were in a wide area of the ICW and our electronics were working as they should — for an hour or so we couldn’t see much more than the bow of the boat and so we kept an eye on the radar and slowly followed our old track lines on the chart plotter. Then as quickly as it started, the storm passed and the sun came back out, though the harsh northwest wind remained all day.
Next up was Harbour Isle Marina – Ft Pierce, a quick bite at Chucks Seafood, and the following morning we cast off for home, Old Port Cove.
All in all, a nice, comfortable little run. Istaboa seemed to enjoy it, she hummed along, never missing a beat. It was a pleasure to be aboard, cocooned in her warm dry wheelhouse, during the bad weather we encountered leaving Cocoa Village. She heeled a bit during the big gusts but nothing more.

So now we’re home, Istaboa’s tied up at OPC, we’re diggin’ the Jupiter weather, happy, and as far as we know, healthy.

Boat Projects. A new venturi windshield, new lifelines, new dock lines, and a new spare anchor rode hatch. I feel carpet will be replaced soon and there’s a bottom job in our future.
Over the years, we’ve found that Istaboa treats us like we treat her – She’s been kind to us so we reciprocate.

Good Music
On long beach walks, a favorite diversion, this guy has been in my ears lately. Michael Franti. Very positive, very kind, good reggae mixed with a taste of jazz/funk/folk and hip-hop.
Feel good music with a cause.

Cut from Wikipedia…
Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock. He is also an outspoken supporter for a wide spectrum of peace and social justice issues.

Worth a listen

So what’s next for Crew Istaboa? We’re not sure yet… surprised? After finishing a couple more boat projects, we sense a good stiff boat trip is in our future. In the meantime though… we’re content.

Good beach, good music, good food, life’s good.


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Greenland – Land of Unending Ice

Link: Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Brunswick, GA – Revisited

Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Georgetown, South Carolina

Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Short Legs – Easy Days – Long Post

This year we’ve not felt the urge to push ourselves or the boat. There’s no specific plan other than to be north of Florida and we’ve accomplished that already. Hoping to resist complication and just be, we’re patiently allowing opportunity to be our inspiration. It’s said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”: We’re prepared and opportunity will appear sooner or later … so maybe we’ll get lucky — maybe we already are.

No, we’ll not put a lot of distance behind us this way, but we’re not sure where we’re going anyway so it really doesn’t matter.

On this day we’re tied up at Harborwalk Marina in Georgetown, SC.

We’ve spent time here before and found the town to be a genuinely friendly little place. Just off the beaten path and very quiet, there’s a beautiful little harbor. On the other side of Front St the neighborhood is covered up in history, many of the homes were built in the 1700s and they’re kept historically correct. Down the street we’ve found a number of bonafide low country restaurants, clothing stores, a barber, and almost anything one might need. Reckoning the whole might be better than the sum of it’s parts, chances are, Georgetown may offer us an opportunity to get acquainted.

The getting here has been good. We’re enjoying the trip and the boat seems to be happy as well. The long run up the Florida coast was a good idea, but for now we’ll do a few short legs and take it easy. We’ve jokingly tagged this portion of our cruise, The Shrimp and Grits Run — and for good reason.

Sunset over marsh grass at high tide – Brunswick Landing Marina

catching up

Done with Florida and arrived Georgia, we stay in the Brunswick area for a few days. Having been Mel’s hometown and much time spent here in the past, it’s familiar to us.

Over the years there were many rich memories formed in Brunswick. Mostly simple pleasures like shelling peas or heading shrimp and cleaning crabs; our best memories are from the many Christmases we spent here. These big holiday get-togethers always ended with the traditional Oyster Roast. On a cold night family and friends would gather around a hot oak fire and drink a lot of beer as we shucked and devoured bushels of fire roasted oysters. Mel’s Dad loved putting all of this together and he worked hard at it: Sourcing the oysters, building the fire, even cleaning up the aftermath was a task he thoroughly enjoyed.
We all miss Mr. Ralph. Yes, Brunswick is familiar to us.

Like many times before, we shopped the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning to buy fresh peas and  boiled peanuts. Local Georgia Cracker gourmet delights.

Next, we motored over to St Simons Island and Golden Isles Marina. Borrowing the marina courtesy car, we had lunch at Barbara Jeans – Shrimp and Grits and Crab Cakes.
A St Simons tradition, a fine little southern style family restaurant. 

A little work was done for the marina then a quick weather check showed the seas were gonna be favorable. It was decided to move on to Hilton Head.

Leaving St Simons at sunrise on a falling tide we caught a nice ride with the current all the way out the long ship channel.

A few hours into the trip our favorable seas started changing as did the wind. Now a head sea, but not bad, just sloppy enough to make sure I washed the boat once we arrived at Harbour Town Yacht Basin. 
By the end of the day the waves had turned fairly chunky and we butted our way round Savannah into Hilton Head. 
Being the 4th of July, Harbour Town and Sea Pines Resort was swarming with lots of folks doing what lots folks do on Independence Day. That night, much to our young pup Muddy’s dismay, there was a world class fireworks show.
We always enjoy our time here and particularly like the resort’s restaurants. (Yes, Shrimp and Grits and a bowl of Gumbo.) This is a very well managed, award winning, marina. Harbormaster Nancy Cappelmann makes sure everything is top-notch.
A few days later we moved over to Shelter Cove Marina. Still on Hilton Head island, just further inland and up a creek.  Shelter Cove is pretty cool. many places to eat (Shrimp and Grits), a coffee shop, a French bakery, and other businesses that cater to tourist. At one time there were two different bands playing at two different restaurants and both singing different Jimmy Buffett tunes. Cheeseburger in Paradise on one side, Margaritaville on the other… – I guess some things never change. 
There was a strange weather anomaly, that soon became Hurricane Chris, sitting off the Carolina Coast and it wouldn’t leave. At first we thought it prudent to hang out at Hilton Head and keep and eye on the storm, so we moved back to Harbour Town. Waking the next morning and checking the latest weather info things looked much better so we decided to take off and head North. Charleston was our next stop and we needed to be there at 4PM for slack tide. (if you’ve ever boated in this area you understand the slack tide thing.) 
All day long the winds were calm and the ocean was slick, but as we got within 10 miles of Charleston the breeze picked up. Still nothing harsh, however off to the west dark clouds were building up over land. By the time we reach the ship channel everything changed. Wind gusts of 25/30 were turning our nice slick ocean into angry gray seas; a full blown thunderstorm was hovering over the entrance. 
Weighing the options of circling around out in the ocean and waiting for the storm to pass or pounding our way up the channel, straight into a threatening squall — we chose the latter – hoping for the best when we arrive on time with slack water. Damn the lightning, full speed ahead.
And… that worked out well. In drizzling rain we eased into the marina at exactly 4:00 and tied up. Then the skies cleared.            Yes, all’s well that ends well.  ☺︎
It was interesting tying up at a marina with an Aircraft Carrier – Patriot’s Point

Charleston Harbor was full so they put us out on the far edge. It was rough. All night the boat would rock and heel over from the wakes of big ships passing by. We woke the next morning, finished doing what we came for, made the necessary calls, and moved a few miles up the ICW to Isle of Palms Marina.

Isle of Palms Marina isn’t really anything exceptional, however on a sunny Saturday afternoon it’s the center of the universe. Hundreds of small boats use the ramp to load and unload. There was a band playing outside and 2 restaurants (one serving Shrimp and Grits with Alligator Gravy) and a nicely stocked tackle/grocery/deli. It was incredibly busy, but not in a bad way. Everyone was friendly and courteous and a good time was being had in bulk. It was fun to watch.
I put the double finger slip to good use. It allowed me to get to Istaboa’s port side and easily do a badly needed cleaning. It’s disturbing to find what happens to the forsaken side of an asymmetrical salon boat. Out of sight, out of mind.
13 years and we still love this boat 
We stayed here for 2 nights then left mid-day to run the skinny ICW to Georgetown. McClellanville is the snag on this stretch with a reported 4′ water depths at low tide, however I  believe this is falsely reported. (Boat geek stuff) We went through 2 hours after low tide and never saw less than 3.5′ under our keel — (which by my calculations would make it 7′ MLLW.)  We were fortunate to be leaving on a rising tide; the current pushing us all the way to Georgetown. When we hit Winyah Bay, we were clocking 12 knots. Got in at 6:30.

So here we are, Georgetown – livin’ easy.  It’s a cool little town and we’re thinking we should to get to know it better.
So far every restaurant has been better than the last. (wonder if they have a gym)
The best to date— Shrimp and Grits with Pork Sauce — The River Room.

Harborwalk Marina is new (still being built) with floating docks; a nice clean little marina and Harbormaster Chris Carroll’s intent is to make it even better. 
Taking a walk across town looking for a pharmacy, I took the scenic route. This old town is lovely.  
Old Antebellum, Low Country Charm

No, we’re not sure when or where we’ll be heading next. Mel would like to visit Bald Head Island at Cape Fear, she has a knack for picking good places to go – so that seems likely.

In the meantime, life’s pretty good.

Something worth reading: What’s the hurry?


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Bypassing Florida

 It’s been a while since we’ve done an all-nighter. Several reasons why, but 2 in particular stand out.
Number one: Radar, our senior pup, has apparently developed sea-sickness in his old age. He’s a smart dog so this all could be a show of protest, however he becomes distressed and his old heart does race; that’s not good.
2. My old ass. I once pulled all-nighters for a living and was quite good at it, but that was long-long ago and I was a different person then.

Mel and I enjoy running our boat alone; no crew, no friends aboard, just two dogs and two folks on a boat. This way our unplanned/wishy-washy cruising lifestyle inconveniences no one. While this tack does indulge our desire for independence, it also means we must do it all and that can sometimes be tiresome.
 So, yes, running all night will wear us out, but after adding up the pros and cons; bypassing the Florida ICW and running outside in the ocean with a well timed full moon under clear skies and fairly flat/following seas seemed the best option.

Leaving Ft Pierce was easy. Out the inlet, the forecast flat seas were as predicted so we turned north and stayed close to shore. We caught a happy current and enjoyed 10+ knots all the way up to Brunswick.

As we round Cape Canaveral there’s Chester Shoal. One can either stay offshore or run in toward the beach and Kennedy Space Center to get around it. This time we chose the latter. It was cool to see the Space Center from this perspective.

Obviously no rockets were teed up for launch, but the historic significance of the place whetted my imagination.

Once past the Space Center, other than a another stunning sunset, there wasn’t much remarkable.
We stayed within a few miles of shore in order to use cell phones and internet; both worked well almost all the way. Almost zero traffic once darkness fell, though there was a tug out a couple of mile making about the same speed, he was heading north as well so we paralleled almost all the way to Jacksonville.

Somewhere out from St Augustine at around 4AM we did encounter a fleet of Shrimpers. I tried to get a photograph but the darkness won and the below pic was the best I got.

With their bright lights against the dark night the visual was surreal, otherworldly; it would have been an interesting photo.

Then that fat moon we’d been enjoying dropped below the horizon and everything went dark. It took a bit to acclimate to the black night – which brought about a renewed interest in the radar screen – , but after a couple of hours the sun made an appearance and all was well once again.

The comfort that sunrise brings is always soothing after a long night

Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

After a while, we made the long approach to St Simons, turned, and motored under The Lanier Bridge to Brunswick Landing Marina. Ralph was waiting at our slip and after tying up, we shut down, Mel made one of her famous celebratory Bloodies, and my tired old ass caught some Zzzzsss while Mel took the boys for their well deserved walk.

Just before falling asleep I was contemplating my weariness after the long night and calculating where we’d be if we had run the ICW.
Our Florida ICW Milk Run – Ft Pierce, then Daytona… then St Augustine… then a long day just to be where we are now. 3 days – Long, winding, skinny water — not to mention the fuel and marina costs.

So in hindsight; yes, we’re fortunate to have long range capabilities and there is no rest better than this.

Radar? He did alright, though he’ll never let on.


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

North –

To?  -As I’m writing this we’re tied up at Ft Pierce enjoying the company of those darn Kiwis aboard ‘Southern Star’.It’s always fun to catch up with Jenny and Ted. They’ve just finished a pretty extensive run of the Bahamas so plenty of island st…


Beirut – 2006Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Peep Show

Marina Cam at Herrington Harbour South Marina. One of the many cams the good folks at HHS had onSpot install. Watching these birds build their nest is fascinating.Thanks Herrington Harbour – Very Cool Link to other onSpot wifi Marina Cams  http:…

Happy Holidays

Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa