July 12 / 13 - Tuesday / Wednesday
Laid over at Kingston – a nice marina, well protected and lots to do in the area. Tuesday we used this layover to stock the boat for Canada. Good grocery stores here. We again made use of the pool and enjoyed talking with fellow travelers. Wednesday (another weather day) we made a screen for the companionway. It took both of us a good 8 hours to measure, cut and sew a screen so that we can keep the entrance door into the salon open so that breezes could blow through the boat. It turned out well, but we had to work with a door that wasn’t square – quite a task. Tomorrow will be the last day on the East Coast - Please visit our canal experiences for the next segment of our boating trip.
July 11 - Monday
West Point on a clear day
We are on the move again today, but not too early as we have to stop at another marina for a pump out. We traveled 56 miles north to Kingston, NY. Along the way we passed West Point – always a thrilling site (only 1 picture on the website, but I took a ton). We reminisced about our trip north in 2006 and passing this point in June. In Kingston we met up with the boat that was at Great Kihn Harbor – nice folks. We went swimming in the afternoon and decided due to weather that we would stay over, rent a car and do some errands.
July 9/10 - Saturday / Sunday
Half Moon Bay Anchorage
We found that information about this marina is over rated. We did get into town to a small grocery store – way over priced and not a huge selection of foods. Saturday we rode our bikes on a very short ride. There is a bay just south of the marina and it was filled with boats – the picture doesn’t do justice to the hundred or so boats out there. We sat out a storm Saturday night and were glad we weren’t at anchor in Half Moon Bay. We rocked most of the night. You really need a car to get around in this area. Even the train into NY City was a good mile walk. I had hoped to get into NY and see some sights or visit a museum, but that wasn’t possible as it rained most of Sunday. I also wanted to go to the culinary school and onto Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, but we didn’t get there either – the school was closed for the summer and again rain held us back. We did do some maintenance in the engine room hoping that we could clean up fuel in the tanks – but the transfer pump isn’t working now. Life as a boaterJ
July 8 - Friday
Our Lady - taken while driving by.
Today we will move north up the Hudson River to Half Moon Bay marina – a looper sponsor. This 55 mile trip took us through New York City. Unfortunately Dave didn’t see much as the port engine died as we were passing the Statue of Liberty. Dave ended up in the engine room changing fuel filters while I very slowly (about 4 knots) dodged ferries and ships using only one engine. He had to change both filters on both engines. Somewhere we picked up dirty fuel. The filters clogged very quickly. We would be staying at Half Moon Bay for 3 nights – we needed a rest and were told that this was a very good location.
July 7 - Thursday
We are up early and leaving the marina at 5:30 a.m. I mean we were really up early. We have a long run into Great Kilhs Harbor (New Jersey). We will be traveling 98 miles today so need all of daylight we can get. We found that the starboard engine is still not fixed! As we were leaving the harbor channel – we got into waves caused by opposing currents and wind. The starboard engine died in the Channel. Fortunately Dave was able to restart it from the fly bridge. But we had a heart stopping couple of minutes. We looked for whales all day, but didn’t see any – real bummer! We did have good current traveling north so made it to a mooring ball by 5:00 p.m. And crashed for the rest of the evening. We toasted good friends Paul and Helen Koch for the loan of their mooring ball and wrote a thank you note. There was one other boat with people aboard behind us, but we were too tired to get into dinghy and go say hi.
July 6 - Wednesday
UP early again – moving up the Atlantic to Atlantic City. While it is only 44 miles, we wanted to beat the ocean breezes while exiting this marina. Dave did a good job of backing out of the slip and making the tight corners and into the channel. We had a quiet day on the ocean and were looking forward to a night at anchor in Atlantic City. When we arrived we found that the anchorage was blocked off with dredging equipment so we had to pay high dockage at a marina. We tried walking around, but found that we were some distance from most of the casinos. We spent time today trying to find a pressure cap for the starboard engine. No such luck. Dave is on phone with American Diesel and ordering a new cap to be shipped to next marina.
July 5 - Tuesday
We were up and about early again today. We left the marina at 6:30 a.m. to travel down the Delaware Bay to Cape May. WE did start out with the current and were traveling south at over 10 knots (this is fast!). But by 10:30 we were barely doing 7 knots – really slow. We have read about the currents in the Delaware Bay but didn’t expect to experience them. We were in Cape May in 2006. We were traveling with Muggins (42 Nordic Tug). We fondly remembered the three days we were here in layover due to ocean winds and storms. Barb rode her bike into town – in 2006 she walked the 2 miles. The heat is still much warmer than we would like. We did some boat maintenance, picked up packages that were shipped to this marina, and laundry. No pool here so we just took it easy in the evening.
July 4 - Monday
We again did a long day. We left South River and turned north to find we were with the current – Yeah! We did a long day – 72 miles but most of it was with current so we had a faster ride. As we passed Annapolis we also passed 7 ships at anchor waiting for docks to clear in Baltimore. We were in the C& D canal by 12:00 and at our dock in Summit North Marina by 2:40. We were at this marina in 2006 and found that in the years between the marina has deteriorated – the docks are in terrible shape. We did go swimming as the pool was good. Then we went to the restaurant on site for dinner (not so good). We have friends who stayed here month last year so not sure why or how the docks got so bad. We are checking our Guidebooks to see if there is somewhere else to stay in the area. We have heard there are some good anchorages around.
July 3 - Sunday
We did 50 miles today and were able to get a slip in South Annapolis area. Not a good marina as we were very exposed and the winds did pick up today. We did manage to get the boat docked and were just glad to have a spot. Interesting that we beat rain showers by minutes! We might have been better off on the hook, except we wouldn’t have air conditioning. The humid hot air is stifling.
July 2 - Saturday
We were up early and heading out by 7:00 a.m. No rest for the wicked! We moved north to the Solomon Islands. Finding dockage is hard this weekend – we should have had reservations much earlier. We stayed at a private marina and were lucky that they would do a one night stay. Unfortunately the pressure cap didn’t arrive. So we have now been two days with antifreeze spraying around the engine room (again!). Weather is hot with very little wind – which means very few waves. So while the ride was smooth, we kept fans blowing on us going up the Chesapeake.
July 1 - Friday
UP early today – moving to Deltaville, VA. Upon leaving Hampton Road we found ourselves passing naval vessels – unfortunately it is against the law to take pictures. But the two vessels that passed up close were very impressive. We know now that we are small! We waved to sailors on watch on deck. Think they were more interested in us than we were in them. We are meeting up with lifelong friends (at least Barb’s lifelong friend). Mary and Ken Stevens came aboard and we celebrated the end of the loop. We ran the gen all day so Barb could cook and keep the salon cool. We had a great afternoon and evening talking about family and old times. The weather continues to be very hot so we kept the air on. This is a former stop we both know. We enjoy coming to Doziers Regatta Point Yachting Center – home of the Waterway Guide Books that have been our faithful companions on our journeys. Unfortunately we can’t stay longer. We found another problem – the starboard engine antifreeze pressure cap leaked all day. Dave ordered a new one to be overnighted to our next marina.
June 30 - Thursday - We finish the loop today
Here is our gold looper flag.
We are up and ready to move north, well we moved to the gas dock for a pump out and a last goodbye to AYB. We took the first bridge and the Great Bridge Lock at 9:00. Went through Portsmouth and toasted each other with tea – this is the end of the Great Loop for Dave. He has now completed the entire circle aboard Hallelujah. It only took us 5 years and 1 month. But we were in Michigan from July 6, 2006 to June, 2010 so it really didn’t take that long in travel days. We proceeded into Hampton Road for the night. A total of 25 miles today. But we did test out all the repairs and new electronics completed by AYB. Everything seems to be running well. We went swimming in the afternoon – the weather is really hot and sunny.
June 29 - Wednesday
We did the last of the supply shopping and continued to clean the boat. AYB came aboard and reviewed all work completed. Dave had them do some work over due to sloppy work and add a couple of more items for safety purposes. Barb worked on items concerning Eloise so that while traveling she would have an easier time taking care of bills, etc. It was great to be back in our own bed and on the water.
June 28 - Tuesday
Returned to the boat by 3:00 – did some cleaning and then out to dinner and on to the grocery store. We start to restock the boat by making trips to various stores this evening.
June 27 - Monday
Started north after closing the Cape Coral house for the summer. Got as far a Brunswick, GA. We got stuck in Orlando rush hour which wasn’t good.
June 14 / 26
Dave cleaning the pool in Cape Coral, FL
We left Hallelujah today and headed to Grand Rapids MI where we were declared healthy. Then we made a stop in Chicago to see Dave’s sister and have a great Chicago meal. We continued on to FL to see Eloise and work on her health care. We found it difficult to sit in a car for long periods of time. Think we are used to being able to get up and move around – but we sure could travel a lot faster :) We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary while in Cape Coral. The years have passed very quickly. The picture is of Dave cleaning Eloise’s pool. We did enjoy swimming at the house.
June 11 / 13 - Sat / Mon
We worked hard to clean the boat, found more repairs that needed to be made, and packed cloths for two week car trip.
June 10 - Friday
The boatyard owner and maintenance manager came aboard to day to talk about all our repairs (engine, gel coat, lighting, and electronics). We traveled fast to get here and somehow our temporary fixes lasted. They were surprised that my antifreeze hose actually worked.
June 9 - Thursday
ICW south of Chesapeake, VA
The winds are up, but many of the boats are leaving Coinjock for Portsmouth VA. We have only 12 miles to go to the next marina, but we had to cross Coinjock Bay and Currituck Sound. We had a very lump ride across the sound as the winds continued to build from the NW but once we reached the Channel into Portsmouth we were pretty protected. We arrived at Atlantic Yacht Basin marina by noon and took time to rest. This is our destination for June as we have a number of repairs that need to be completed and we need to get back to MI for physicals. But today is a great day for us. We have now completed the loop. Dave came aboard Hallelujah in 2006 in Portsmouth and was aboard the rest of the way into the great lakes. I have only one section yet to complete but we will do that in July and Aug.
June 8 - Wednesday
Had to make a hard decision this a.m. The weather is coming in and if we don’t move, it may be days before we can get further north. We also had to decide if we were going to try and anchor or do 84 miles today. We decided to go for it and took off early. We would watch the weather but were hoping to get across the Albemarle Sound before the winds picked up in the afternoon. We made the Alligator Bridge for the 12:00 opening and headed across the sound. There was a smaller trawler in front of us who seemed to be going in and out of the channel. We radioed to see if he was ok, and found out that he didn’t really know where he was going. As I have been through this area and knew the new markers, had all the latest updated info marked on my charts, we took the lead and both boats safely got out into the sound and across in relatively calm seas. We arrived at CoinJock NC by 4:00 and were tied up before the winds picked up to much. This is another eat out night as the restaurant is highly recommended in cruise books. Food was ok, but my find of the day was a new hot jelly that I use for appetizer (put jelly over cream cheese).
June 7 - Tuesday
We did another long day today (73 mile in 9 hours) and stopped at Belhaven NC. We stayed outside of town in a small marina known for friendly people. As we got docked, we found that the welcome committee was waiting for us. We were invited to the 5:00 cocktail party and I didn’t have to bring a snack! We met a very different group of people from all over the country. They were in various stages of travel or retirement. We stayed for over 2 hours just talking about journeys – what a great life! While we had winds today they were mostly behind us so we didn’t have much trouble, but they kicked up overnight as started to swing around. We had some bouncing but not too bad.
June 6 - Monday
Bridge at south end of Camp Lasune
Didn’t travel too fast today as we had to go through Camp Lasune. We ended up waiting an hour for the bridge to open so we could proceed north through the firing range. Sorry no pictures are allowed but the scenery was of old tanks, jeeps and other vehicles that the marines shoot at. Very interesting place. As you can see by the picture it wasn’t a sunny day. We stayed in Morehead City NC. We were able to arrive early enough to get a car and drive to a West Marine store for parts. We also met a new DeFever owner of a 44+ called Escape. Nice couple who were very excited about their new used boat. They were in the process of rebuilding and adding new equipment so they could start the loop.
June 5 - Sunday
We stayed at Surf City today. Needed a rest, did laundry and walked the boardwalk and beach. Not much here but we were off the ICW and not bothered with winds.
June 4 - Saturday
Myrtle Beach Marina
Very interesting day. We started up the ICW but the hose patch didn’t work and the starboard engine started overheating – antifreeze was squirting all over the engine room. I tried to patch the leak while underway, but with 180° coolant it was a no go. We turned around and went into the nearest marina. Because it was a weekend there was no service available. After much discussion, I rigged up a temporary hose that looked like we had an ulcer on the engine, bought gallons of antifreeze and prayed that our temporary fix would work. We made it to Surf City (58 miles north) with me running to the engine room every 30 minutes to make sure we were not leaking again.
June 3 - Friday
Swing Bridge south of Myrtle Beach
Today was another long day (70 miles in 9 hours). Travel was slower due to lots of homes along the ICW, bridges that needed to open and speed restrictions. We stayed north of Myrtle Beach but didn’t get into town. We had another coolant hose break on the starboard engine so spent our evening doing what we could to tape up this hose. There wasn’t much walking around outside of this marina either as it was a private community.
June 2 - Thursday
Today the scenery changed from swamp grass to channel running though trees. We really enjoyed the second half of the day when we were out of the flat plains and into trees – it was also cooler when under foliage. We traveled 72 miles in 9 hours and stayed in a small marina that was out in the middle of nowhere. Wacca Wache Marina is south of Myrtle Beach. I stayed here in 2006 and had great French fries so we ate dinner at the marina restaurant. Wasn’t the same as 2006.
June 1 - Wednesday
Today was an interesting travel day. We would be traveling in narrow passages in shallow water. All charts and internet alerts were in effect for us. I spent the day navigating us through some tricky areas. But we never went aground! And we were able to manage running against currents so we did well today. The weather remains hot and there is some cross winds in the sounds but we did 68 miles in 8 hours so we did very well. We passed Charleston today without stopping. We continued north to Isle of Palms – a resort area. Very nice marina and close to beaches. It is definitely worth a longer visit than we were able to complete and the dockage rate was very reasonable.
May 31 - Tuesday
Daytaw Marina and Sweetgrass Restaurant
We continue north today, stopping at Dataw Island which is south of Charleston, SC. This is an upcoming Hilton Head with lots of private homes. It was hot again today so we didn’t venture outside of the marina very far. We did it at the Sweetgrass restaurant that was onsite – a great restaurant. Dave had scallops that were to die for. He got the last serving they had for the evening. This is a definite stop on the way south. Lovely setting and great service. The picture is of the restaurant set among the GA trees.
May 29, 30 - Sunday / Monday
Marina Lock on Hilton Head Island
Today was a very short travel day. We moved to Hilton Head Island for Memorial Day weekend. We were in a very residential area on Hilton Head in a private marina that had no tides as it was inside of a lock. So we had to lock in and out of the marina. We took our bikes ashore and road around within the residential area in the afternoon. We layed over on Monday and just rested. The heat brought many residents to the pool, so we didn’t even try to go there – way too many kids!
May 28 - Saturday
Today was really long – 93 miles to Savannah GA – this marina is just outside of Savannah on the intercostal. We arrived late in day so just relaxed and retired early. Today was hot going through the GA swamps! We didn’t have any difficulties with low water, sounds or meeting other boats in narrow areas.
May 27 - Friday
This is a layover day – winds are strong and there are showers in the area. So it isn’t a good day to travel. We did some house chores – laundry and oil changes to all engines.
May 26 - Thursday
We continue north and today crossed the Georgia state line. No exciting travels today. We had good currents running in the correct direction at various sounds so didn’t have to fight waves, current and winds. We were able to use the courtesy car and go into St. Simon Island to sight see and get a few items from various stores. We were glad we were docked by noon as the winds picked up in the afternoon and the sound got ugly.
May 25 - Wednesday
Spoonbills - rarely seen
Today we moved from St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach. We saw spoonbills today, very interesting wild life in northern Florida. Of course we had dauphins playing around the boat, but I’m not going out of the fly bridge for them – love bugs are down, but other flying insects are increasing. Fernandina Beach is an interesting little town. We walked around in the evening. Met a couple more loopers on the marina docks but they were moving faster than we are going.
May 24 - Tuesday
We traveled 55 miles north to St. Augustine today. It is still hot and humid. I still have the fly bridge closed up to keep love bugs out. I don’t like breathing them and there are now big flies to worry about. It took 7 hours because of currents running against us. We did go swimming in the afternoon to help reduce body temperature. Unfortunately we didn’t get any sightseeing in while here.
May 23 - Monday
This is a layover day. We rented a car and did shopping (first time back in the US so we loaded up as we would be moving north quickly in the next couple of weeks. We did celebrate our return by going to a Landrey’s for dinner – used my Landrey points and had a great dinner without worrying about the cost.
May 22 - Sunday
We left Titusville early this morning and to Daytona Beach – only 48 miles today. But we had to go through a manatee zone which slowed us down. While I was at the helm I literally had to stop the boat and take it out of gear because a manatee swam across our bow. You don’t want to hit a manatee for many reasons! We also had a small generator problem which luckily Dave was able to fix underway (the only reason I was steering). We arrived in Daytona by noon and sat back to rest. This is the last day we are traveling with Island Girl. Amy and Aspen are leaving the boat and Patrick has a new crew member coming aboard. We said our goodbyes tonight as they will be leaving early in the morning and we are staying an extra day.
May 21 - Saturday
We made 74 miles in 9.5 hours today – had some current to help push us along J We also had a ton of love bugs – but I solved the problem of having them in the fly bridge. I closed all windows and sealed all holes with tape, took up 2 fans and ran them all day. We had our own wind and no bugs – hey! But it was still very hot. We made it to Titusville today – I know this area as this is part of the East coast of FL that I did in 2006. We had to wash the boat again today but not inside and no clothes. It was so hot we ordered pizza for dinner. Our entertainment for the day was in the Titusville marina. There were manatee in the marina and they liked Island Girls hull. Amy tried to feed the manatee apples, but they didn’t want fruit, only fresh water from the hose. The pictures are of the snout of one manatee and also of Amy rubbing the manatee’s back – he loved the fresh water and a good back rub.
May 20 - Friday
We are traveling fast! We did over 60 miles today and went into Vero Beach, FL. We learned what love bugs were – we had the fly bridge open and they swarmed around us. We could not move without stepping on them or swat them without getting green stuff all over our clothes. The weather is very hot (90°’s) and humid with no breeze. Crossed two inlets today – these are places that have openings to the ocean. The waters can be dangerous with cross currents, winds and shoaling. We did well both times and didn’t go aground or loose control of the boat. But after 8 hours of love bugs, heat and having to navigate very carefully we called it a day and docked in Vero Beach. We had to wash the boat and do some laundry – cleaning love bugs isn’t fun!