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I dream because I can't always be or do. And I always write to make people think and laugh and feel. I hope I succeed. I've been creating what I believe we're all in search of. Friendships and romance; communication and pure, simple fun. Throw in some misadventures and misunderstandings, not to mention a few not quite truths, and it should be a roller coaster of laughs, tears and thoughts.

They're building a community that's not greed based, but on the well-being of all. Yes, there's lots of romance - sometimes more than one per story. Yes, there's really sensual and sexy scenes. Devil Hills is a town between Seattle and Spokane, on the edge of the snow capped mountains on the Seattle side. It's a shifter town And of course, just like our world, there are those who believe they know what's best for everyone. Yep, lots of sex, arguments and laughter.

Typical human mistakes and misunderstandings - but with a little fur thrown in to complicate things. Independence: Bailey is the first entry into this series that should fascinate and intrigue Definitely NOT for the faint of heart While I haven't a series name - there is a follow-up to her coming out before the end of the year, Danea A Red Crystal Romance - well You live in a retirement home. You're alone.

The past in your memories and just fatigue in your bones. You visit a small metaphysical shop, buy some candles that smell good and are offered a chance to fish in a caldron of crystals. Free and for good luck. When you wake in the morning Yes, some of my stories have more than one romance in it. Gorgeous Puget Sound as our backyard, with snow capped mountains in almost all directions. I've been writing for over 20 years and in that time I have noticed how hard it is for certain people to embrace their sexuality, and very very few have the backbone to even discuss it!

I think sex is a very important attribute to our lives and is necessary in order to live a balanced, happy and healthy lifestyle. It exists for exploration and simulation; it exists for bonding and pure, simple happiness at the whirlwind of sensations that can overwhelm and take your breath away. I hope that my stories simply depict that, ignite the fires within and maybe even give some pointers on how to please your partner in some new exciting ways. Bottom line: they are here for enjoyment. So read, enjoy and live the happy healthy lives we are all meant to live.

Now - a dedication: I can't say I grew up with anyone encouraging me, and that's fine, they had things in their life they were dealing with. My parents and 1st husband and current in-law said it was 'a nice little hobby'. When you get that kind of reaction from people who matter, it has the effect that you no longer tell anyone.

So no one knew. Until I met and fell in love with my 2nd husband. He found the large file cabinet filled with thick manuscripts, filed in alphabetical order by lead female name. And he talked to me about writing. My writing. The single thing in my life aside from my two grown children, that I adored and cherished.

They became my community; my friends. It's an amazing thing what happens when someone believes in you. Maybe it rubs off and you begin to believe in yourself, too. So everything I've created and set free on the internet to share are thanks to him and his belief and love. He helps me with words I know but that are stuck in my head floating around somewhere; he helps me spot gaps in my stories and we bounce ideas off one another for covers for my girls. He encourages me and has also come to learn some interesting traits about himself that he'd submerged because of a bad relationship.

So we've grown together and continue to explore all that we can. He has my love and my heart and my gratitude for sharing a little of his courage and belief. Facebook: Facebook profile. Words: 88, Language: English. Published: August 28, Shane had sworn off the perky blonde types. He was scarred, big and had a tendency to snarl. Claire Woods was a blonde hidden beneath a bad wig and bulky clothing the first time he saw her.

The second time he saw her, all previous self-warnings flew out the window. Words: 93, Published: April 8, Bailey O'Connor was the first in the series. Words: 76, In the first entry, you met Breanna Cooper and her two mates. This is the second entry, Danea Polnari. Words: 86, Elise Winston was working her way to being a full fledged reporter. There was just that little detour through being a traffic reporter, first. It was a good idea. She had a plan. But while out on a routine report about maintenance and delays, a golden story fell into her lap.

Words: 71, A mystical red crystal covered in ancient writing lies waiting for those making a wish. A quiet, peaceful wish to end an existence when society deemed a life over. Words: , Published: April 1, Molly Fielding believed the past should remain there. She left it there on purpose and with a deliberate act that would brand her a delinquent. Then the past came calling in the form of two men wearing designer suits and asking questions of people from her previous life.

They asked enough questions to make it to the senior staff meeting at the WindSwept Narrows Casino and Resort. Words: 73, Published: June 10, Isabella wasn't looking for a mate. Let alone two. But when her wagon broke down near the peak crossing the pass into Devil Hills, she met them. At least, that was their answer to their behavior. Published: June 1, Bailey just wanted something a little different than a night with friends who drank too much and guys who were way too young for her.

When she arrived home from work Halloween weekend and found the large box wrapped in a bright red ribbon on her doorstep, she wasn't sure what to believe. But one thing was certain: it was going to be a very different kind of weekend for her. Published: May 26, Luna St. Germaine had always been the perfect daughter. Mainly because her father accepted nothing less. Even if that perfection was brought about because of drugs used to contain the nature side of her. Lydia Jones knew she was created in a dish and baked in an oven for nine months. Then she stumbled on a new path.

Published: May 21, Erika Vincent wanted nothing more than to work on setting up the best, most efficient pharmacy for the WindSwept Narrows Hospital. Vianne Summers is working at clearing years of work history as a journalist to become one of the two historians for the Resort. Words: 98, Published: March 25, Charlotte owns her coffee and pastry shop, Bell's Brews; Natalie is a police detective temporarily assigned to missing persons.

Words: 52, Published: March 16, Fleur Delacort was a chef who loved her job and enjoyed her new adventure: working with her cousin in the newly flourishing WindSwept Narrows Resort and Casino. Hiding in the bushes to avoid a younger man who wouldn't take no for an answer was something she'd never imagined she'd be doing. Liliana believed in happy ever after when she fell, literally, over Oliver Kensington.

Words: 24, Published: March 13, Lacie Barton always believed she had an open-mind. But when the wolf, yes a real wolf, began watching her just on the other side of the fence at the outskirts of the WindSwept Narrows property, she finally admitted to herself that was a little odd. But not nearly as odd as the man who appeared out of nowhere with hair as dark as the wolf's pelt and just as smooth. Words: 66, Published: March 12, Paige can honestly admit to have seriously better days than the one she was having that had her holding a gun on her new boss.

Add to that the Harley he rode, and he was a seriously intelligent bad-boy who was convinced she was a danger to herself and much too helpless to investigate the lights flickering around the old grainary at night. Words: 34, Pepper Ambrose had spent most of life trying to understand why her father hated her. He was a minister. It never made sense. Nothing she did made a difference so she left. Blended and vanished, running from the anger and meanness that had been the first few years of her life.

But there were family secrets no one had bothered to mention, especially her father. Words: 79, Genius twins who were reading and writing at the age of four. That summer, their parents were taken to prison for drug distribution and their grandparents moved them to a new home. Our next stop was just down the road to the actual historic site maintained by the US National Park Service where archeological work continues. It is a picturesque mile drive. The films at both venues brought to life the Battle of Yorktown and what happened on the bloody battlefields that today are quiet.

Rochambeau had urged the French admiral, de Grasse, to undertake this gamble. Plans for New York were abandoned, and Washington executed a swift concentration of every available soldier before the little tobacco port on the Chesapeake. A trapped Cornwallis asked the British fleet and army in New York for help. The fleet sortied to clash with French ships of the line off the Virginia Capes in one of the most important least-known naval battles of history.

De Grasse battered several British ships in a two-and-a-half-hour clash, and Graves, after two more days of fruitless maneuvers for advantage, abandoned Cornwallis and returned to New York. On October 14, two key redoubts were carried in a night assault. Three days later, Cornwallis surrendered. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. It was a full day. We had been guests in a beautiful community.

We had experienced the bookend events of two centuries by driving just 23 miles. This is a place where we could spend some time. It is nice to have time ashore to take care of essentials such as getting hair cut; Great Clips was our first stop this morning. Action Marine is a family business, operated out of a very unassuming building, but they understand Volvos and their inventory is impressive.

As the Action Marine service book was full, Art contacted Western Branch Diesel, another certified Volvo dealer to see if they could complete the Vodia computer tests for our engines. They can be aboard Tuesday morning at It carries nearly three million vehicles each month; more than , vehicles a day during the tourist season. Although we were a bit late, Dave met us at the gate to their community with a great big smile, and a welcoming handshake and hug.

They had come down for a short respite and were walking the pier, enjoying looking at the boats in the marina. They did, and we spent some time getting acquainted and comparing notes. It was the start of a marvelous relationship. By happenstance, after playing golf that afternoon, we bumped into them at the Sunset Beach Bar where they too were enjoying the setting sun. Fortunately, the East Coast weather chased us up from Florida and we arrived in Norfolk a week early. Carol and Dave had not yet departed for their home in New York state. Such was not the case this evening.

Our goal for today: arriving in Norfolk early in the afternoon. Accordingly, we wanted to be at the Deep Creek Lock for the opening. Cormorant II and Tortuga shared that same goal. The visitor center is located on Highway 17 which parallels the Dismal Swamp Cut.

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Individuals arriving by car, enjoy walking the wharf to view the canal and the boats moored to the wall. Apparently, they aspired to have a boat like LOOFAH someday, so Sue welcomed them aboard where they enjoyed taking pictures of each other posing on the aft deck. At the time the land for the State Park was acquired, there was a farmer who retained property on both sides of the canal. He had a bridge that could be rolled out, so his cattle could cross the canal. One of the cruising guides suggested that if the bridge was closed, boaters be polite and patient. The advice seemed to be a bit out dated as it appeared unlikely the bridge had not moved for years.

With Tortuga in the lead and Cormorant II following, we made good time, arriving at the Deep Creek bridge with 45 minutes to spare. They were returning from Guatemala! Promptly at a lockmaster stopped traffic and opened the bridge. We proceeded through and on to the lock about a half mile away.

The lock crew operates both the bridge and the lock. As we departed Deep Creek and entered the south branch of the Elizabeth River, the contrast with the canal through which we had traveled just hours before, was striking! We had such a good time barbequing bratwurst and talking, we forgot to take a picture for the blog.

But we will gather again this weekend so stay tuned! A person walks on a pier or wharf to get to a boat located in a particular space called a dock. The vessel is floated in and carefully positioned and blocked according to the docking plan. The dry dock gates then close and the water is pumped out, leaving the boat high and dry, supported by the blocks. Once work has been completed the dock floods again, the gates open and the renovated vessel floats out. The drydock pictured is sunk by filling the chambers in the walls with water, which is then pumped out.

There are also floating dry docks can be moved to remote areas where ship repair is required. The Elizabeth City bascule bridges open on request except during the — AM rush hour, during which they only open at and Cormorant II took advantage of the opening with the intention of making the bridge and lock openings at South Mills. We followed Tortuga through the bridges at Before the days of refrigeration, water from the Swamp was a highly prized commodity on sailing ships. It was stored in kegs and stayed fresh for extended periods.

Some folks believed in the magical qualities of the tea-colored water, which was believed to prevent illness and promote long life if consumed on a daily basis. The South Mills Lock at mile 33, raises the boats 8 feet and normally opens at , , and We arrived about As the opening time approached, we heard Cormorant II hail the lockmaster and then we saw them coming around the bend. They had missed the opening by just minutes and found a bulkhead just in a small estuary concealed from the canal.

After getting secured, we registered at the Visitors Center and walked across the swinging pontoon bridge open on our arrival to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The Manteo Waterfront Marina was a delightful place to stop. Carl, the harbor master; Mr. Shortly before sunrise, a squadron of geese, in tight formation, with a white one flanking, made their way up the river. Across from the waterfront, is the Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of , that celebrates the first English settlement in America.

There is no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colonists. Many a prudent skipper has holed up on either side of Albemarle Sound for days, waiting for the weather and seas to calm down before making a crossing. Our luck continues: we started with a moderate chop that dissipated as we proceeded.

Again, our biggest issue was dodging the myriad crab pot buoys. Our obligation was met. They vary in size from 11 to 18 feet in width, the width of each slip being painted on the sea wall. No electricity or water is available. Subsequently we saw them at Paris Landing and Grand Harbor. We were greeted, and assisted with our lines, by a volunteer from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is a tradition that was started in by Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer.

It is likely we will all go through the Dismal Swamp tomorrow. Ruth and Al had located the Cypress Creek Grill just down the street and wondered if we would like to join Corinne, Marshall, and them for dinner. It was another enjoyable evening of reconnecting with Loopers previously met, and meeting new individuals also doing the circuit. Under the influence of the others, tonight we strayed and had dessert — a marvelous slice of carrot cake. Kramer clipped roses from his yard, and Fearing collected wine, cheese, chips and cups.

That reception at the Pasquotank River waterfront in for 17 boats was the start of a popular local tradition that continues today. If there were more than five boats, he would host the party at the waterfront — fewer than five, and he would invite the boaters to his house on Fearing Street.

Kramer died in March Fearing, a retired mail carrier, died near the end of the fall boating season in He was The simple answer: air, land, and sea. For us there is magic in the way they all wrestle with each other on the Outer Banks, like no other place in the United States. We drove to the Cape Hatteras Light Station to climb the tallest brick lighthouse in North America and second in the world, standing feet high.

Built in , the lighthouse has steps and a landing every 31 steps from the ground to the balcony level, equal to climbing a story building. Nearby, the warm Gulf Stream ocean current collides with the colder Labrador Current, creating ideal conditions for powerful ocean storms and sea swells. When we stepped out on the balcony, just under the light, Art noticed the Ranger monitoring wind speeds. When it reaches a steady 35 mph, or gusts to 40 mph, we close the balcony, as we had to yesterday. As we stood on that windy balcony just under the light, we could see the shifting sands of the treacherous Diamond Shoals.

We thought of the natives who came and went from these shores, to the explorers, the English pirate Edward Teach alias Blackbeard , the maritime battles and blockades of four major wars. The shifting sand of Diamond Shoals threatened not only the ship offshore, they threatened the lighthouse itself. In it was moved 2, feet from the spot on which it had stood since so as not to become another casualty. In addition to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, from to the Lighthouse Service and later the Coast Guard maintained light ships to mark the shoals. The light was automated in and permanently turned off in On our way back north, it was impossible to count the windsurfers and kiteboarders that had taken over the inland waters of the Outer Banks.

It was quite a colorful and dynamic sight. What a contrast in speed and size to the ships buried on the other side of the Banks! At the time of the flight, the town of Kill Devil Hills did not exist, and it did not receive its municipal charter until Kitty Hawk, popularly noted as the site of the famous flights, is approximately four miles to the north, and was the nearest settlement at the time of the flight. The Wright brothers started their research by constructing gliders that were trudged, with the assistance of volunteers from the US Life Saving-Service, to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill, just a tall sand dune at the time.

The takeoff point is indicated by a big boulder and the 4 landing locations are market by smaller stone markers. Through these shared traits, the Wrights and their Outer Banks neighbors developed mutual respect and life long friendships. With time available, we returned south to the Bodie Island Light Station. The Ranger who was selling the tickets to climb the lighthouse informed us that the balcony was closed due to high winds.

We could still climb and see through four windows just below the balcony, as well as the Fresnel lens itself, but we could not go outside. We got tickets for the climb, the last of the day. It stands feet tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of the first island that is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The lighthouse is just south of Nags Head, a few miles before Oregon Inlet. It was renovated from August to March , and was made climbable by the public. There are steps that spiral to the top. The foot structure is one of only a dozen remaining tall, brick tower lighthouses in the United States — and one of the few with an original first-order Fresnel lens to cast its light. That is just 9 mph short of hurricane force!

During our time on the Outer Banks, we have grown to know people from Blackbeard, to English sailors who gave their lives to protect American shores from German U-Boats — the very shores off which they lost ancestors during the Revolutionary War. It was a pretty sight, the red lights on the channel markers blinking and the running lights on the boats lined up in the channel. It was a moment able to be captured by the eye, but not our camera. It looks like some BIG fish have already been taken!

Having walked many of the streets, and visited Windsor Castle and the Long Walk, it was particularly enjoyable viewing. But it was time to get underway. As we prepared to do so, about , two Coast Guard vessels came into the harbor. As you might imagine, there is a large U. Coast Guard facility on Cape Hatteras. We thought of the fleet of sport fishermen! At the time we requested transient dockage, the harbor master suggested we review a link on their website.

It was a video on how to properly approach the marina given recent shoaling.

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Carl, the harbor master, directed us to the end T on the first pier and said he would be there with some extra line handlers from a visiting yacht club. It was a good thing! With the spring line secured, the line handlers, with the assistance of the high mode docking function, pulled us easily into the pier.

We arrived about having traveled 60 miles. As Sue checked in at the marina office she asked Carl about car rentals. Some cruising guides mentioned rental cars were available from the local Ford dealer. Carl knew the number of the top of his head. But if they were closed, he could make a call and they would probably bring a car for us to church tomorrow. Sue called R. When would you like it? Sawyer could be there to pick you up in a few minutes. Sawyer will be in a black Ford Focus. Within minutes, Mr.

Sawyer pulled up and Sue was off to the dealership. Along the way Mr. He was a true gentleman, interested in our journey as well. Sue and Mr. Sawyer immediately hit it off. At the dealership, Robin Sawyer completed the paperwork. After it was completed, Robin gave Sue her personal cell phone number if we had any problems or questions! Sue asked about arrangements to return the car on Monday. As the words of Mr. Sue truly felt like family.

Karen Nichols

If we are any where close, and need to buy a car? Sawyer Ford! As time passed, the service gradually gained missions either voluntarily or by legislation, including those of a military nature. It was generally referred to as the Revenue-Marine until July , when it was officially renamed the Revenue Cutter Service. It began with volunteer lifesaving services, spearheaded by the Massachusetts Humane Society.

It was recognized that only small boats stood a chance in assisting those close to the beach. A sailing ship trying to help near to the shore stood a good chance of also running aground, especially if there were heavy onshore winds. The Massachusetts Humane Society founded the first lifeboat station at Cohasset, Massachusetts in Between and other stations were built and loosely managed including 19 along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

In , the network of life saving stations were formally organized as a separate agency of the United States Department of the Treasury, called the Live-Saving Service. On 25 February it became part of the Department of Homeland Security. However, under the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of , upon the declaration of war and when Congress so directs in the declaration, or when the President directs, the Coast Guard operates as a service in the Department of the Navy. The mess that overtook us yesterday, has passed on north. Our float plan for today is to cruise 27 miles north to Cape Hatteras.

To do so requires us to exit and enter the harbors through narrow channels to deeper water in the sound. Given the depths of these inlets,we like to have tides on our side. Meeting this ferry in a narrow channel reminded us of our time on the rivers. On the ones, port to port. Well out into the sound, buoys and associated crab pot lines to be dodged, reappeared. Other than watching diligently for the crap pots, our run up the sound was uneventful: small following seas. The homes on this hurricane prone spit of land ranged from bungalows to several very lovely, four story homes.

Many were available for rent. The 2. Bonner Bridge carries N. It is a 1-hour, mile free ferry ride. Today the three ques were nearly empty. The shoaling and dangers of navigating the Cape Hatteras Inlet are well depicted in this Google earth shot! Visitors can catch a glimpse of the First Order Fresnel Light that originally topped the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, or learn about the first all-African American lifesaving crew in history that rose to fame after their courageous rescue of the E. We cycled to the Atlantic beach and passed the U. Weather Bureau, Cape Hatteras on our way back to the boat.

For the past 10 days unsettled weather chased us up the coast as a stationary Bermuda high brought rich Gulf moisture north. Today it finally caught us. No severe weather like other portions of the nation have been experiencing, just rain. Coming out to Ocracoke opened a new set of options, all of which had to be considered and investigated. And once we arrive there, do we want to go to Norfolk through via the Dismal Swamp or the Virginia Cut? Norfolk is an important stop for us. Where will we be? The balance of the day was spent reviewing each possible leg to Norfolk.

In addition to the cruising guides, electronic and paper charts, AAA travel guides, and marina websites, we needed to confirm that the Dismal Swamp route was even open. It provides meterological and marine data for the next several days in graphical form. The grey color in Pamlico Sound indicates waves of 2 feet. The colors outside the outer banks indicate seas of 6 to 8 feet. In addition to the nautical stuff, there was laundry, correspondence, bill paying, and other routine evolutions to be accomplished.

After coming down the rivers about the same time in the Fall, Loopers spread out in Florida and the Bahamas during the winter months, and then migrate north up the AICW about the same time in Spring. The day flew by. Rope Yarn is a tradition that the Navy has where the commanding officer can give time off. It started during the times when Navy ships used sails. The Sailors would break out rope yarn to mend sails, hammocks, and anything canvas. Short on resources, they also used it as thread to mend clothes. It requires dredging, debris and tree removal, and an investigation into reports of shoaling at various locations in the canal.

The Norfolk District derrick boat Elizabeth has been working since October to clear debris from the waterway. The floodwater also swamped residential neighborhoods including Culpepper Landing in Deep Creek. The storm also damaged Lake Drummond Reservation facilities, which are also closed and need repairs. The water had bypassed control structures, flowed into a feeder ditch to the canal and coated the swamp. Previously scheduled work to refurbish the Deep Creek Lock river gates will begin in the first week of January and will last 75 days.

The gate work is regularly scheduled maintenance and occurs about every 15 years. During gate refurbishment, the crew of the Elizabeth will continue to remove debris from the canal. The Dismal Swamp Canal was completed in and is the oldest continually operating, hand-dug waterway in the United States.

The weather forecast was not too encouraging, but we were not going offshore. It was a grey day as we got underway about , passing classic homes on the Beaufort waterfront. We approached the Newport River and the Intercoastal Waterway. It was a pleasant cruise, through a pleasant area. As the clouds started to part, we were pleased that we had made the decision to get underway. We passed a house being constructed by someone who apparently commutes by air and stays in an RV.

How about a helicopter? Add it to the list! About we left Adams Creek and entered the Neuse River. First-timers should run compass courses and use radar or GPS whenever possible. With easterly or westerly, you can be shaken up, and a southwester can make the mile run to Oriental very wet goin g. Seventeen miles, and 45 minutes later, we had another decision. As we approached the island, we watched depths and markers closely. We could see the lighthouse and carefully watched a ferry winding its way out of the harbor. The Anchorage Inn and Marina was booked due a fishing tournament, so we headed to the first come, first serve, Ocracoke Public Dock operated by the National Park Service.

What a deal! After a great day on the water and exploration, we grilled steaks and discussed the history of this little, but strategically located island. It was a favorite anchorage of Edward Teach, better known as the pirate Blackbeard. He was killed in a fierce battle with troops from Virginia on November 22, During the first three months of , U-boats sank 39 vessels off Ocracoke. All thirty-seven members of the English crew perished. National Park Service, U. It appears that we may have one more day to cruise offshore. After the ferry came cleared the harbor, we got underway shortly after As we were approaching the Masonboro Inlet, we saw a sight that is always of concern: a boat being towed by TowBoatUS.

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This was doubly disturbing as it was a sister ship, a Prestige Fly. With every mile and engine hour, we become more confident with her abilities.

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But seeing this, just before we are heading offshore on a boat without sail, was mildly unnerving. As the waves roll into an inlet where there is a significant tidal current flowing the opposite direction steep, confused, and angary seas develop. Fortunately, the anchor and bow roller broke the wave. We quickly backed off and from the on, made sure to ride the back of the waves, keeping our bow up as the incoming and outgoing waves merged. The rage only lasted a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. They are a real convenience and are greatly appreciated. In most cases, their odometers are turning well into 6 digits.

We introduced ourselves and offered to take them on errands, but they had already made arrangements with the McKinley Marina Harbor Host. Although we had not seen them, face to face, in the intervening months, we had followed them, and they us, on Facebook and blogs. When we came into the marina, there was Rambunctious! We ran our errands and met Walt and Midge for a libation at the Dockhouse Restaurant. There were many notes to compare. We discussed going home and being away from family.

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Midge did admit that although she has enjoyed the Looping experience, she is starting to feel like a horse heading fondly for the barn. Hopefully, our wakes will cross again in the near future, not 9 months! We live for the daily weather reports and by the reports, both short term and long term.

So far, we have been well served. Our Canadian friends had mention the same in their texts to us. By the time the recent rains moved in, we had moved out. We have moved up through Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina with some dispatch, in a band of good weather between fronts to the south and the north. But now it appears our luck may be running out. Later in the week, things start to look wet, windy, and wavy. How should we spend the day?

Make a dash north or check out this beautiful Bald Head Island? We stayed. We are growing to like this place. No jet skis! Instead there were racks full of canoes and kayaks. As soon as we stepped on the boardwalk, the alligator came to greet us. The pros of this place are numerous. The drawbacks we could find numbered just two: only beer and wine sold on the island, no spirits; and the septic situation. It was used to stop the pumper truck. After having to watch, and deal with the holding tank on LOOFAH, we have grown fond of municipal sanitary sewer systems. As it turned out, we met the three of them at the marina on Bimini, and then again in Great Harbour where we enjoyed docktails at a picnic table. We enjoyed swapping our experiences on the Loop, possible float plans, and post-Loop alternatives. As the four of them hail from Ludington, Michigan one of our favorite ports on Lake Michigan , we look forward to staying in touch long after Looping.

Shortly after getting way, a beautiful Prestige 62S could be seen to starboard, coming from the Georgetown City Marina. The old Baldy lighthouse came into view about noon. Coming into the channel at Cape Fear can be rough due to tidal currents, but as we arrived about slack tide we had no problem and could enjoy looking at the beach homes.

Another option? The journey continues…. The ferry was leaving as we approached the basin. Posts on the Prestige website indicated they were just ahead of us in the Bahamas. Finally, months and miles later, we met John and Carolyn. A beautiful boat! John retired in September and they are going through the same stage we are, evaluating options for the future.

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  7. The similarities were striking, and we enjoyed our time with them immensely. After dinner, back on the boat as we watched the Stanley Cup playoffs, we checked the Prestige website and found the follow post:. Thank you for the gracious post, John! We look forward to following you and Carolyn as well. God speed until we again meet! Wonderful weather has blessed us. Heavy weather has been south of us since leaving the Bahamas and traveling up Florida, and we have been spared the recent storms from North Carolina on up the East Coast.

    We got underway at Construction was started in , and it was first lit on June 15, It is feet tall. Its slim, triangular structure was built to withstand winds of miles per hour, and the focal plane of the light is feet above mean sea level. Originally, it was painted white and red-orange, but was later repainted white and black after citizens complained about the distracting color of the upper half. It is the only U.

    As the light was actually too dazzling, the power was lowered to 1. An opposing current was immediately noticeable. Due to the deep-water bay and harbor, Georgetown was an important port during the mid th century for the shipment of the great Carolina Gold rice empire. Although that industry no longer exists, the aids to navigation in channel, bay, and AICW continue to be well maintained. There are at least three tour boats operating out of Georgetown, a major tourist opportunity in which we have little interest. We were greeted at the fuel dock by friendly dock hands, but who were unable to get the diesel pump going.

    We could wait no longer, we needed to see Georgetown! Early settlers began growing rice as early as and many extensive rice plantations were developed in the area. The city became very prosperous as Georgetown was a major food supplier as well as a major source for indigo dye and lumber and was said to be one of the wealthiest cities in the Colonies before the Civil War.

    Georgetown is now a quiet and slumbering southern town. We walked to the Georgetown Historic District. We stopped there for refreshment. A band was getting set up for their evening gig on the patio overlooking the river. It appeared that their amplification system was going to be sufficient. Gladly, when they started playing we were 2 miles away, up wind!

    Returning to the marina, we walked passed beautiful historic homes on the oak tree lined Prince Street. At the marina, we inquired if the electrician had shown. Much to our surprise, some diesel fuel did come into a test bucket! Forecasts of the offshore winds and seas looked favorable, so we headed back south through the Tybee Roads inlet and out into the Atlantic. The difference in distance is relatively small but the difference in time is significant as we can average mph offshore and just mph on the intercoastal waterway.

    There appeared to be an opening in the south jetty. Was it real, or another trick like that we experienced going into Marsh Harbor that laid us up for a week? We cautiously pressed on. The opening looked to be clearly marked and the buoys indicated on the charts were all present. No problem. Confederate forces fire upon Fort Sumter, demanding that Union troops vacate the island. Over 4, mortar shells destroy the fort upon their refusal. Danger aside, they row cheering into a boat-packed harbor, not knowing that their jubilation will turn to despair as the war wages on.

    Though this first battle was largely bloodless, it began the deadliest conflict in American history. As we proceeded past Battery Park, we could see some of the roof tops like those from which the genteel Charlestonians watched. It is easy to imagine a bygone era, with fashionably dressed ladies carrying their parasols, arm-in-arm with well-healed gents, promenading along The Battery past gracious homes. There are no sightseeing trolley tours available in Charleston, just carriage and walking tours.

    The marina also has a courtesy shuttle that makes hourly trips downtown. Our first stop was the Waterfront Park opened in , with its harbor views, gardens, fountains, and walking paths. The area entered a long period of decline, capped in June by a fire at a steamship terminal at the site. Riley, Jr. Acquisition of land began in , and after more than a decade of planning, fund-raising and clearing environmental hurdles, the parks department and Ruscon Construction Co.

    Nevertheless, the park opened on May 11, just one week past the pre-hurricane projection. The street was a perfect area for commerce, to serve the wharfs and docks that surrounded Charleston Harbor. Merchants often worked in the first floor shops, and lived with their families on the second floor, and the homes themselves, though distinctively different, were built side by side, often sharing an exterior wall and with no space in between. Dorothy Haskell Porcher Legge purchased an addition three homes in , painting them a bright pastel pink, and soon other owners were stepping in to purchase ramshackle homes, and start the long process of renovation, including a heavy application of paint in the distinct rainbow colors.

    By , the neighborhood was complete, and Charleston had a new reason to return once again to this remarkable historical merchant district. Feeling a bit guilty, we hoofed it 11 blocks to the Harris Teeter grocery store. We passed a number of homes that had formal entry doors on the street leading to open verandas on the other side that faced the back of the adjacent house over a narrow garden.

    When we got to the marina, he took us in a golf cart out to, and down the Mega Dock to our boat. That is South Carolina hospitality! This cruising life is tough; not a minute of rest! The mark of a great marina is having a half-dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts show up on the transom just about the time morning coffee is being poured.

    Thank you, Rob, and Thunderbolt Marine! Having traded days cruising the East Coast south of Norfolk , to cruise the Exumas, we need to keep moving along on this leg of the Loop. Recently we have been doing miles a day. Our slip assignment was 24, in the middle of the circular basin. One of the marina crew would get in a boat and escort us to the slip and assist with lines.

    We like this place. The sand sculptures crafted on the beach were splendid. On the way back to the harbor, we stopped at the Shops at Sea Pines Center to browse and stop into the fitness center were Art ventured to step on a scale. It lied, so he rejected the result. Next, a stop at the Clubhouse. In addition to being featured on travel sites, the red and white light house and harbor have become well known through the RBC event. We have sent many Sunday afternoon watching TV as the foursomes play the 18 th.

    It was fun to see from the top of the lighthouse. We cruised the shops and grounds around the harbor, watching the marina fill in the late afternoon. Dinner this evening was on the second floor of the Quarterdeck restaurant, overlooking the entrance to the harbor. Watching the dinner and sunset cruises return, and the ferries come and go with their running lights ablaze was great entertainment. As others watched, we felt pretty lucky as we removed and replaced the rope limiting access to the piers.

    But we will share with you a few observations in this post. Chippewa Square is one of the most known squares in all of Savannah, right in the center of everything. Forrest Gump made Chippewa Square famous with its bench scenes, where Forrest waited for the bus and a feather dropped. The bench was located on the north side of the square facing Bull Street, where there is now a garden. This square has been around long before Forrest visited — it was laid out in to honor the Battle of Chippewa in the War of The centerpiece for this beautiful square is a Statue of General James Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia.

    As we circled the square a police presence was noticed, and then camera crews and lighting reflectors. Another film being made in Chippewa Square? The production has been moving around the Thunderbolt area over the past month with sightings at Thunderbolt Elementary among others. Smith has been a popular figure during his time in Savannah, taking time to talk to fans and pose for photos.

    Factors Row was also home to the original Cotton Exchange, where cotton factors, or brokers, set prices worldwide. The topside contained the offices of the cotton brokers and the building on the lower River Street side were used as warehouses. A series of iron and concrete walkways, known as Factors Walk, connected the buildings to the bluff. Ramps leading from Bay Street down the bluff to River Street are paved with cobblestones, brought as ballast and abandoned on the riverbanks by departing sailing ships. A few years after she began waving at passing sailors, she moved in with her brother, a light keeper, at his small white cottage about five miles up the river from Fort Pulaski.

    From her rustic home on Elba Island, a tiny piece of land in the Savannah River near the Atlantic Ocean, Martus would wave a handkerchief by day and a lantern by night. According to legend, not a ship was missed in her forty-four years on watch. A statue of Martus by the sculptor Felix de Weldon has been erected in Morrell Park on the historic riverfront of Savannah. Savannah is so far from Atlanta that it was decided that it could hold its own opening and closing ceremonies. This morning we had a Marine veteran who was receiving a VA disability benefit as a result of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The VA benefit, augmented by driving, allowed him to work, without pay, on setting up a facility for veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD. He and his volunteer board set one up in Michigan that provides physical, psychological and job training support. The young man and his wife moved down here to set up facility 2, with the goal of having similar facilities in every state of the Union.

    Founded in , today SCAD has nearly 13, students from 50 states and countries. Approximately 25 percent of the student body is international. In addition to driving hours a week, the young man also works finishing specialty items for aircraft interiors. Upon graduation he would like to work for a film producer he mentioned Netflix doing digital animations and special effects. It was a young crowd. It was a short three tenths of a mile walk from the marina. There is a very extensive menu with mostly everything available to go, if you need to get back to your boat.

    However, I recommend a few hours as there was a bingo game and quite a few people of ALL ages having a great time. A very good place to mingle and meet the opposite sex. Downtown Savannah largely retains the original town plan prescribed by founder James Oglethorpe a design now known as the Oglethorpe Plan. Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta. Due to this generous size and excellent proportions, Hyperion boasts ample deck space for relaxation, a large pilothouse and a luxuriously spacious modern salon.

    On board, guests dine on gourmet meals customized to suit their dietary requirements paired with wine stored in a bottle temperature controlled wine cooler. On board Hyperion, Charter guests have the opportunity to enjoy the fusion of modern luxuries and high performance sailing to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience. At the time of design and construction, she was the largest sloop ever built with her 59 meter carbon-fiber mast being the tallest.

    This morning, just before sunrise, a TowBoatUS craft was departing the marina with a catamaran under tow. The catamaran had limped into the Jekyll Harbor Marina yesterday with engine problems. Where they were going was unknown; no boat yards were in the immediate area. As the offshore winds and seas seemed favorable, we cruised back out the St.

    Seven miles out the channel we turned north and set a direct course to the Tybee Roads inlet and the Savannah River. The seas were steeper than anticipated. Then they calmed. Then they steepened. It was not dangerous, just uncomfortable. During our evening chart sessions, we always consider a Plan B. The balance of the miles for the day was in the serpentine intercoastal waterway, arriving at Thunderbolt Marine at PM.

    As we fueled up and later got secured to the floating pier, a large tidal variation was evident by the marine growth on the seawalls and pile. Here the tides are the largest on the East Coast, south of the Gulf of Maine. The spring tides, which occur on full and new moons, can exceed seven feet. These exceedingly large tides are caused by the wide continental shelf which extends for almost miles offshore here, more than twice the average along the East Coast. The big tides mean that currents are particularly swift at inlets and other places where the flow is constricted.

    Thunderbolt Marine Inc is a full-service yacht repair and refit facility serving vessels of all sizes, on the Wilmington River, just outside Savannah GA. It was evident that the facility can haul and service mega yachts. As we were having dinner a TowBoatUS boat, lights flashing, came to the pier. They made the miles in 14 hours, at just under 8 mph which is just about the hull speed of the cat. In addition to towing, they provide jump starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings.

    No reimbursement was received for this commercial! Instead of reviewing charts and guides this evening, the time was spent reading about Savannah and preparing for tomorrows outing. This was the first day since we crossed the Gulf Stream from the Bahamas just a week ago, that the Atlantic was fit for enjoyable cruising. So instead of cruising the sheltered Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway we decided to go offshore. We hailed a dredge cleaning out the sand Irma deposited in the 3. All vessels are advised to stand clear. With 19 ships homeported at Mayport, it is not unusual to encounter one of them.

    We headed on North. Feeling relatively confident and well prepared from studying the charts, our plan was to approach Jekyll Island from the south, through St. Andrew Sound. Also, the southern entrance the better of the two has shoaled to 4 feet. Because of this, this inlet in not recommended for cruising vessels. You are far wiser to use the big ship entrance of St.

    Simons Sound just a few miles north. At we turned into St Andrews Sound. At , 9. Simons Sound, as recommended. This excursion added So much for trying to save some time! We learned our lesson in the Bahamas…. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt, Marshall Field, and William Rockefeller. Requiring late afternoon refreshment, we stopped at the Tortuga Jacks overlooking the beautiful Atlantic beaches before returning to the boat for chartwork and a light, late dinner, and bed.

    When French explorers first arrived in the area in , tens of thousands of Native Americans are thought to have inhabited present-day Coastal Georgia. General James Edward Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia in He gave Jekyll Island its present name in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, a financial backer of the young colony.

    Simons Island. After his death in , the island went through a series of owners before finally being purchased by Christophe Poulain DuBignon in Club Members included such prominent figures as J. In , the island was sold to the State of Georgia for use as a State Park, offering opportunities for recreation and pleasure along the Georgia Coast to everyone. Today, the Jekyll Island Authority manages the island for the State of Georgia and the enjoyment of its citizens.

    The State tried operating the club as a resort, but this was not financially successful, and the entire complex was closed by The complex was designated a historic landmark in and was restored and reopened as a luxury resort hotel in It was time to take advantage of this metropolitan area. The St. Augustine Light Station was built in and is now owned and operated by the St. The site is also a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather station. It has an interesting history. In , after many experiments with different types of oils, the lamp was converted from lard oil to kerosene.

    The light was electrified in , and automated in Augustine, and used the lighthouse as a lookout post for enemy ships and submarines which frequented the coastline. Falling into disrepair and replaced by other aids to navigation, the light station was heading for demolition. Shortly after the JSL adopted the restoration, the League signed a year lease with the Coast Guard to begin a restoration effort on the lighthouse tower itself.

    The lighthouse was subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places in The first, on October 7, , Hurricane Matthew caused widespread flooding in downtown St. The marinas suffered extensive damage. Today there is little evidence of residual damage downtown, but the marinas were just getting rebuilt when Hurricane Irma hit them again last year in September. The center section of our marina is still missing.

    The other two venues on the wharf were similarly packed. Initially slips were hard to find as a fishing tournament, hosted by area marinas, had been rescheduled for this weekend due to a rough Atlantic. Nevertheless, as we walked back down the pier, it was obvious some boats went out and that fish were caught! Later in the evening the beam of a flashlight hit our salon window and then the aft deck doors. When Art went out to check, he was greeted by an officer inquiring what time the Viking sport fisherman docked behind us came in.

    Art responded prior to when we returned from the lighthouse. Apparently, a boat of similar description had swamped a small boat just about sunset and the officer was trying to locate it. We have been amazed by the boaters who throw huge wakes without regard for others.

    They feel that if the posted speed is 25 mph in the AICW, they can go that fast — others beware. We have come to know that when Flagler likes a place, generally a railroad follows, large ornate hotels are constructed, and the place becomes THE winter resort of American high society for a few years. Flagler, and those he employed, were smart individuals, but they missed a detail with selection of the site for the Ponce de Leon hotel. There was a jail across the street. The new facility, used until , was designed to look like anything but a jail!

    At years old, the oak tree has made it through invasions, battles, hurricanes, and town fires, so the lore is that kissing under it ensures a long and happy marriage. We looked pretty funny as we tried to keep them under control as we bicycled back to the boat. After a little hot chocolate and warm showers, we were ready to meet Bob and Sandy for dinner at the Conch House restaurant, part of the marina resort. You may recall that Bob and Sandy also have a Prestige s and we last dined with them at Marco Island.

    It was great to get see them and to swap experiences. Our original plan for the day was to cruise from Titusville to Daytona Beach 48 miles. Adjacent to our slip was a dilapidated sailboat, complete with a residential air-conditioning unit sitting on deck. As always, we were going to wash the salt off the boat.

    And, painting a boat is done in a boat yard, not allowed in a legitimate marinas. Being leeward of the boat in winds of mph, it was easy to keep water from their boat, unless one aimed for it. Nevertheless, as soon as we carefully started on the leeward side of our boat, she got off her boat, turned off our water and got the Marina Manager.

    The Marina Manager came, and left shortly after he observed that we could safely wash our boat without imperiling her new paint job. Although you are strongly discouraged from doing so, someone was feeding them fresh water through a hose with a rag tied around it. The sun was out and it was a pleasant cruise.

    We again saw manatees, frolicking in their natural environment, as we passed through the Haulover Canal. This stretch of the AICW continued to be littered with vessels that lost their battles with recent hurricanes. Who is responsible for clearing these wrecks? On this side of Florida, the sun rises are more beautiful than the sunsets.