Not only is the golf tournament completed (very successfully thanks to volunteers, sponsors, donors and players) but so is our 6 year relationship with paws4vets and paws4people. We have separated due to ‘irreconcilable differences’. It was a good run and we are proud to have played a major role in bringing in close to one million dollars in funding during that time. They have a great mission and we wish them the best.
So Saturday after the event we hit the road on a new adventure in our 5th wheel. We have lots of ideas and maybes, but really we are just headed westward. Slowly. Faster than the boat’s 7 mph as we travel more like 60mph, but instead of pulling anchor up at dawn and moving 10 or more hours to get 70 miles in, we unplug from water and electric, roll up the awning, put everything away, back the truck up to hook up, and we are out of camp by at least 10am! And we travel back roads to arrive somewhere else in a few hours that looks interesting.
So far, in 4 days we made it all the way from Beaufort SC to Andersonville Ga! Four campgrounds and a lot of decompressing.
We have passed through very small, very quiet towns like Waldorf, and Roberta, and Millen. These places seem forgotten by time and we love driving very slowly through them.
We now know State Parks are fairly expensive to camp, with US Forestry camps much less. Tonight we are in the town of Andersonville Ga in their small RV park by ourselves and it is only $17. Cool. The last time I visited this solemn ground was in the mid 1960’s when we lived nearby in Americus and saw the 60 ft + deep well hand dug by Federal prisoner of war soldiers trying to get water for the 33,000 civil war prisoners here in 1864. They have now filled those in and just placed a marker there instead.
It certainly does not come close to telling the story anywhere near as well. I still vividly remember that day long ago and my dad telling me they never found the water… Over 16,000 soldiers died here. War is awful for everyone no matter where it is fought.
Our shakedown of our new home continues – literally.
One of the surprises is that the RV gets bounced around WAY more than the boat ever did. We have had bags of rice explode, the tempered glass shelf with the tall items like milk etc shattered and the shards were driven deep into the produce below, and the best mess of all when the pickle jar shared its juice with everything in the refrigerator.
Yesterday I built an acrylic replacement shelf, screwed in the door shelves so they couldn’t jump off, and made a full piece of acrylic that holds everything in while we are moving.
A couple of cabinets have been tinkered with to strengthen latches, locks and shelves.
Next is to figure out the batteries and charging system and bring it up to ‘cruising’ standards. I think we will need new deep cycle batteries, solar panels and an inverter/charger. There goes a bunch of money!
All in all though, both of us are thrilled with our setup. The ability to move quickly, comfortably, safely in a fairly new rig is something we have not experienced before.
We can pull in and have the RV set up, level, truck unhitched and ready for living in 10 minutes. The ability to wash and dry clothes in your own home is an awesome thing! And to have a vehicle to run around in separately opens up a whole world we did not have without finding a rental car before.
This next week we help Ian move into storage as he is deploying for 4 months, then down to see Ryan in St Pete before we pick a road to start meandering towards the Rocky Mountains.
We are having a blast with our new Atlas, and Google looking at ski places we can stay for free in the parking lot this winter. 😉
All while having nightly discussions about what we want to “do” next. Someday we might decide on something fun and rewarding.
If you have been following the storyline, the plan was to fix up the Land Yacht so we had a place to live for a few months while we organized the 2nd Annual Step Up to the Tee for Veterans golfing fundraiser in Beaufort SC. (BTW we still need players, donors and sponsors to make this work! Please check out http://paws4vets.org/golf)
The next step in the plan was to sell Yume and find a truck and 5th wheel RV to travel westward after the fundraiser.
We found a truck on Craigslist in Sarasota and picked it up this week. While down there we put a deposit on a 5th wheel as well. It is a 32ft 2007 Newmar Cypress. (See image above.) So now we have a vehicle for the first time since we left the horse farm three and half years ago.
Next Friday we meet the new owner of Yume in Brunswick, hopefully collect a check to pay for these recent purchases, and take one last trip north on the waterway to help them get Yume to her new home in northern Maryland.
Two weeks ago we rented a car to visit the boys at Ryan’s place in St Pete. Ian was driving in from Valdosta for the weekend. We were both looking forward to visiting the boys.
We decided to stop by and visit our sailing friends Dave and Cathy for lunch in Jacksonville, then Joe and Sue in Ft Pierce for dinner, stay the night and drive over to St Pete on Sat. Easy.
Dave was showing us around the church where they park their RV and do mission work (all kinds of stuff needing doing with a group called Nomads) and casually pointed out a motor home, laughed and said “you could probably get that cheap” or something to that effect. We looked inside and Shelly said “don’t touch anything”.
The RV had been sitting there for 5 years under the trees, the interior was pretty bad – moldy, dirty, smelly etc. Half the 8 tires were flat, and the body was a lovely shade of green and black to match the trees it sat under. No thanks.
Lunch was nice, and we got on down the road toward Ft Pierce, but I was still thinking about that RV. I did some research and found that a 33′ Airstream motor home was called a Land Yacht by the manufacturer and was known as top of the line for its time in 1990. I also found one for sale in Texas for $5700. Land Yacht? Hmmm.
I sent Dave a text and told him that and that it probably wasn’t worth $2- 3,000 and forgot about it.
We had a great night with Joe and Sue reminiscing about Bahamas sailing days over Guiness and fish n chips in an Irish pub.
On the way across the Okeefenoke we stopped at an RV place to check out 5th wheel rvs, and actually found one we liked. Right about then we get a text from Dave that the Pastor at the church would sell the Land Yacht for $3000. Oops.
That sure started a conversation while driving the rest of the way!
Aside from the $106 towing fee from parking in the Publix lot my so smart son directed us to, we had a great time attending a beer and bacon festival, walking through the (opinion withheld here) women’s march route, and then a super nice Italian meal out on the street downtown late at night.
In the morning we got on the road early (the day of the tornados in Ga) as we wanted to go back and check out the Airstream, and have time to get back to the boat in Brunswick before the storm hit.
In Jacksonville, a closer look at the MH ( motor home ) showed the original quality that might be able to be restored, but two hours of work would not start the motor to see if it ran. We made plans to come back the next day and try again.
To, cut the story short, we own a Land Yacht and have a contract on Yume. We have everything pretty much packed on the boat, and have spent 4 hard days commuting from Brunswick to Jacksonville getting the Land Yacht ready to drive.
The plan is to go to Ian’s house in Valdosta for some serious repair work, then take it to Beaufort SC in March to get ready for the golf fundraiser in May. Then who knows?
I have agreed to help the new owners of Yume (if all goes well with the survey!) sail her back towards Maryland sometime in the next four months so they can learn from my vast experience how to properly behave when running aground and in storms. 😉
Life sure is a funny thing isn’t it? We are sad to be leaving our sailing home but excited to see why lies ahead on the road.
Maybe we will see you there? How long is your driveway and does your homeowners association let you park nice motor homes overnight there? 😉
Well first off we sure could use some help figuring this golf fundraiser thing. We might have stepped in it this time!
If you know anyone in Beaufort – or anyone who might be interested in helping wounded veterans, or service dogs, check out this page and all the sponsor opportunities! (Hint – suggest your friends and family give the gift of a donation in your name to paws4vets this year!)
Check it out at http://paws4people.org/golf or click here…
We took a bunch of videos on the trip down.
Roll the film!
First we were pleasantly surprised by a Christmas Boat Parade when we anchored for the night in Morehead City NC.
Then here we are coming down the Waccamaw River in the morning headed for Georgetown SC.
And visiting a really cool island just north of Charleston…
And last – coming into the Coosaw River just north of Beaufort earlier today!
We will hang around Beaufort iuntil Tuesday or Wednesday, then move on down to Savanna Ga to leave the boat, rent a car and go to Asheville for Christmas with the boys and Sally (Grammy) – then back to the boat with the boys for a week of sailing
After a year and a half of always seeming to have a goal – get here, finish this, get there – we sit on a mooring in St Augustine Fl and read books, and walk the town and the dog.
Maybe visit a cell or two…
In some ways, sitting is a difficult thing to do! I even find it challenging to write a blog post!
The mooring field here in St Augustine is very busy, very crowded and fairly uncomfortable as there a many moving boats to churn the waters all day, combined with a few windy days, and fast moving large tidal currents all conspiring to rock us from morning to night.
We passed through here last week on the way to Jacksonville to pick up Ryan from his trip to Atlanta… So let me catch up on that.
When last we were together, we were in Miami Beach with Ian, and calling a cab to take him to the airport and back to Air Force Combat Control School in San Antonio. We had a great short visit with him. It is so cool to see your little boy all grown up (and paying for the drinks and dinner!)
Then there was Shelly and I all alone again, for one of the few times in the last 23 years… What in the world do we do? (Besides walk Goose twice a day!)
We were supposed to head to West Palm Beach and pick up Ryan but the word came down via text that he was extending his stay for a week and we should pick him up in Jacksonville instead. We had 10 days!
Nice! We headed north, moving very slowly, and getting used to stopping after only 20 or 30 miles a day.
From Miami we only made it to Ft Lauderdale. This is not our favorite place unless we need something fixed. They do not like sailboats here at all…
We jumped outside the next morning for the short hop up to Palm Beach and the visit with Shelly’s buddies from when we lived here in Naiad and Ian was two! While Shelly was out with Kathy, I dug out the hookah (not what you are thinking. It is a small electric air compressor, 40 foot hose and a mouthpiece for diving!) and cleaned the whole bottom of Yume from the growth that comes from sitting for two months in Marathon. The water in Palm Beach around Peanut Island is crystal clear to 25 feet and a nice strong current washes the stuff away as you clean.
West Palm to Hobe Sound was a half day sail up the waterway with a nice wind at our backs. We had not been anchored long when another Irwin 41 pulls in right next to us and anchors! Since only 45 were built ( we are hull #44) it was exciting stuff. The owners were from Jacksonville and had the bought built for then (#2) 32 years previously and had taken extremely good care of her. It’s fascinating to go aboard a boat just like yours and see the differences owning for that long can make!
The beach here was stunning and we had it much to ourselves – and took full advantage.
Hobe Sound to Vero Beach was another lovely short sail. We begin to get into a slower mode, walking for miles with Goose to see things we have sailed by before. Out to the little beach village and back to the anchorage is quite a hike, but the weather is perfect and the neighborhood is super peaceful and pretty.
The strong SW breeze continues in our favor the next day as we head towards Cape Canaveral. We don’t go there as it is out on the coast and the waterway swings inland following the Indian River. (This used to be where all the oranges came from but now it is mostly houses!)
We have to stop at 430 and wait until 530 for the bridge at Addisons Point. They hold up boat traffic for 1 1/2 hours for the Canaveral workers to get across the bridge and go home. Jerks.
As we waited we watched huge thunderstorms north of us building and building with huge bolts of lightning in the distance. That is always fun when you remember we have a 54 foot high metal pole stuck up in the air!
No worries though as we get through the bridge, hoist sail and haul butt the 5 miles to Titusvile where we grab a mooring just before the 30 knot cold rain filled wind howls down on the slower boats who came straggling in behind us. It’s nice to be one of the fastest (cruising) sailboats out there!
The next night it is Rockhouse Creek at Ponce De Leon Inlet. This is really cool place, with a very old lighthouse, (not needed any more as the inlet is all silted up) and one of the best places to run Goose ever as the big tidal range leaves a great big sandbar at low tide with really nice sand and lots of tidal pools where he can run his heart out (and no wild hogs anywhere).
There is price for everything though, and here it is noseemums at first light. The anchor was up and we were gone without even getting Goose off at first light! Man those things can bite!
In St Augustine we stayed a day or two, then moved on to
Jacksonville to figure out how to get Ryan from the airport to the boat. We also had talked Deka Battery into warrantying all the batteries bought last May and that had to be done there as well.
We ended up at the free dock just inside a Sisters Creek, renting a car for a day and getting everything done, including a much needed grocery run.
With new batteries, a restored son in the foreberth, and plenty of food, the question was what to do?
If you remember, Shannon, Ryan’s girl friend from Marathon was going to be in St Augustine for the summer starting May 1, so we decided there was time for a last week together before we headed towards DC.
But first, we turned north to visit Fernadina Beach and Cumberland Island. Both places were very cool, with many more miles walked on beautiful beaches and forests on Cumberland, and more spent peeking in and around the old town of Fernadina.
I did not know that Nathaniel Greene from Revolutionary War fame had been given land on Cumberland and had built a house there in the early 1800’s. Then the Carnegies came, bought it all up and built mansions. Too cool.
Walking around Cumberland was awesome…
Goose could care less how long ago the Indians lived here!
We visited another old fort on Amelia Island, Ft Clinch, that guarded the mouth of the St Mary’s River. Now the old fort just watches nuclear submarines go in and out from the sub base up the river.
Which brings us back South to St Augustine, reading books, and taking strolls around the old town watching tourists and glad we aren’t one. Hehe
We will hang around for two weeks, try not to go crazy, then start making our way up the coast again. Next extended stop is Beaufort SC to do our best to set up a fundraising golf tournament for spring 2016.
Ryan and I are getting ready for Thanksgiving aboard Yume
We started out making hand-print Turkeys and then went on to aluminum boats for our center piece. The Turkeys are in place but the boats are floating somewhere down the Ogeechee river. 🙂
Miami finished up the bathroom (head) and it is just awesome! Especially the lighting above the sink, these old eyes can finally see what they are doing.
The sun came out a few minutes and we brought out the new cast net. It has been a long time since either Miami or I have thrown one and Ryan never has! But he caught on quickly! Now, we can go shrimping for ourselves.
Miami decided it was a good time to test out the anchor! It worked!! It seems like one of the few things on the boat that has so probably a good thing we tested it while we were still at the dock.
Happy Thanksgiving Day to all! Be blessed and safe!