Sunday, August 13, 2017


Charleston - City Marina

Currently, we're tied up in Charleston

Yes, I know— it's been a long time since anything's been posted on this blog. We've been somewhat busy, but really, that's no reason. Usually it's photographs that inspire me to write something and I really haven't taken any photos that have roused me to open the blog and post.

We're always flattered and somewhat surprised when along the way a stranger speaks fondly of Istaboa and the blog we've done for more than a decade; I really don't know what to say when asked why I've not been writing much. That's happened several times on this trip.

Once again, it's a lazy Sunday morning, I've ingested a sufficient amount of caffeine, and gone through several days of unprocessed pics.
It seems we're always catching up, so ~~~~
Because it's August and we're just now heading north up the coast, this year's cruise has been somewhat different from those of the past. Hoping to avoid the packs of yachtistas at the marinas along the way, we waited till late May to leave for the islands. This strategy worked as we figured it would and most of our favorite marinas have had slips available without reservations.

Our last post was at the beginning of our run up the East Coast so I'll pick up there.

Leaving Old Port Cove we made a short run out in the ocean to Ft Pierce where we waited out an almost continuous line of thunderstorms. Storms have been the daily deciding factor for this whole trip.

After Ft Pierce, the seas had picked up so we ran the ICW all the way to Vero Beach. 15 miles.

Then out of nowhere Tropical Storm Emily popped up. We had just left Vero Beach Municipal Marina in the rain, (not realizing it was the outter bands of a tropical disturbance), and made way to Titusville.

Happily, TS Emily was a flop, just rain. We had a peaceful night at Titusville Marina streaming movies and fell asleep to the sound of raindrops falling on the boat. The next day we shoved off and motored to Daytona.

We stayed at Daytona Marina and Boatworks. We like this little marina with it's easy in, side tie docks, plenty of water, and there's a Charthouse restaurant onsite that's excellent. Happy Hour is great; small plates of gourmet appetizers, happy hour prices, and all just feet away from the boat. 

Our next stop was Palm Coast Marina. A nice/quiet little marina where we always stop for a night and to buy fuel.  Best prices in Florida, easy in and out.

The next day was a short run to St Augustine and Camachee Cove Marina. We pulled into Camachee Cove on a low/low tide and had to try several slips before we found one deep enough for us.
As you see from the above picture, storms are following us pretty much all the time, however we keep on running the ICW and manage to avoid most of them.

I hate the ICW - Mel likes it. After a day of negotiating the ICW, I'm exhausted. It's not just shallow water, actually it's not that shallow in Florida, it's the constant attention one must maintain to successfully make it to your next stop.
At last we to make it to Jacksonville and back out to the ocean. St Augustine to St Simons was the day's leg. No storms and relatively flat seas.

 There's a reason they call this area, Golden Isles

Saint Simons/Brunswick is Mel's hometown and here she had family waiting. I took this time to do a little business and catch up with chores on the boat. Mel visited the farmers market and brought home a few pounds of Georgia shrimp and fresh vegetables.

Next stop: Hilton Head. We've never been into Hilton Head, always passing it by saying that someday we should stop and check it out. We'll, we did and it really is a nice place.
We choose Harbour Town Yacht Basin to tie up. It's a great marina, though last year's Hurricane did extensive damage that they are still working through. We took a few days off and explored the island a bit, though the storms were back in full force giving up only half days before running us back in the boat. Still, we liked the area and we'll be back.

After a few days we chose a time to run out Calibogue Sound with good tide and pointed north toward Charleston.
Another fairly easy run with calm seas ended where we are now. Charleston City Marina.
We couldn't have timed it better. We eased in and called the marina, they asked us to turn around in the basin and back down about 500 feet on the inside of the Megadock. Slack tide allowed this to happen without incident.

We've done a bit of sightseeing while here. Took a buggy ride through downtown to see all the historic sights, a young fellow narrated the tour, and did a nice job of it.

Of course, we passed by Ft Sumter on the way in.

As we entered Charleston Harbor, in my mind (as there often is), a song played over and over again.  I've heard Randy Newman's Sail Away many times and always liked the melody and the hook, but I never really listened to it until I heard Etta James bring it home, as only Etta James can do.

On this day, the lyrics are painfully ironic:

In America you'll get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You'll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It's great to be an American

Ain't no lions or tigers ain't no mamba snake
Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake
Everybody is as happy as a man can be
Climb aboard little wog sail away with me

In America every man is free
To take care of his home and his family
You'll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree
You're all gonna be an American

Sail away sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay
Sail away-sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

We'll be leaving soon, maybe tomorrow, depends on weather. We've realized that time aboard is good for us no matter where we are. We're still heading north, maybe the Chesapeake, maybe not. Point A and Point B is the same place to us and that would be Jupiter.

We'll be back when we get there.

One thing for sure, Istaboa is a happy boat.