Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today's Pic

And there was light... what a difference a day makes.

We tied up at Tidewater Marina. We like it here in Portsmouth, better than Norfolk, simply because the Norfolk skyline is so cool. A bit different than we've seen in a long time.

So, we have no idea where we may be tonight. If the weather is as good as it's been, we'll anchor... if not...?

Wow... the end of July already.

We need to get going.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Silas Rui Taylor

May you always be as happy as you were on this day.

Pop and GrandMel

One more AYB shot

Probably the coolest thing about Atlantic Yacht Basin is it's time worn patina — or funk as we'd admiringly describe it in Memphis. 
I've posted this shot before, but while having coffee this morning, I enhanced it a bit. The original's exposure was out of whack so I'll probably work on this shot for years. I love this photograph, I think AYB's funky old boat shed framed those I love quite nicely. (Sorry Mud, you weren't around then.)
Fall 2010

Today's Pics

Some old shots taken at Atlantic Yacht Basin.

Hopefully by the time this is posted we'll be movin on up the Chesapeake.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A nice surprise

A few days ago, we received a comment on the blog from Barefootman. He said he was from this area and asked if we had time for a visit.
Of course we have time. Time is in abundance aboard Istaboa
So Saturday; Jay, his wife Cathy, and their 2 1/2 year old twins, Nick and Sadie stopped by for a bit. They were very nice folks and we got along as if we'd known each other for years.
Beautiful kids.
We hope to stay in touch and someday run into them at their home on Elbow Cay, Abacos.

Jay shared a picture of a Solar Powered Fan Hat. Great idea.

 I need one of these.
The ultimate gear head hat.

So a big 'Thanks' to the Matthews for brightening up our day at sleepy old Atlantic Yacht Basin. It was fun.



Today's Pic

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Today's Pic

There's not a lot of things to take pictures of at Atlantic Yacht Basin, but if you look west towards the end of the day, you'll see the sun set behind something of interest... if you wait long enough.
This morning I woke early and walked up to the galley for a coffee. To my delight, looking in the other direction, I got a glimpse of the sunrise.
It was a pretty one. The water was still and reflecting the colorful sky like a mirror.
I sneaked out in my skivvies and snapped a pic, then watched for a moment while I drank my coffee.
Nice morning...

Sadly, the world lost J.J. Cale Friday. He was a great song writer.
Remember Magnolia, Call Me The Breeze, After Midnight, Cocaine, Crazy Mama? He wrote those great songs that were made classics by others.
Seems we're losing a lot of good ones all of a sudden.
Guess I'm just getting old.
RIP—J.J. Cale

JJ Cale Has Passed Away
JJ Cale passed away at 8:00 pm on Friday July 26
at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA.
The legendary singer / songwriter had suffered a heart attack.
There are no immediate plans for services.
His history is well documented at,,
and in the documentary, To Tulsa And Back.
Donations are not needed but he was a great lover of animals so, if you like,
you can remember him with a donation to your favorite local animal shelter.

Here's to a peaceful Sunday morning.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today's Pic


Showing the invisible to create liquid sculptures...

Friday, July 26, 2013

A 102-Year-Old Transport Ship Sprouts a Floating Forest

Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia is home to the remnants of a ship-breaking yard that operated during the mid 20th-century. Large watercraft that outlived their usefulness were towed to Homebush Bay and dismantled to salvage any components that could be reused or sold for scrap.

Reblogged: thisiscolossal

Today's Pic

The Great Bridge Bridge... story here

Yep... means we've arrived at AYB.

Yesterday's run was sloppy, windy, and cold. Yes, cold; the wind found a northerly direction to blow at us and it chilled things off while doing it.
We're sure normal late July conditions will be back later today and we'll miss this cool overcast day.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

I wish I could do that...

Today's Pic

When the light's not right...  go black and white.

Alligator River Marina
Outer Banks, North Carolina

Last night we were at Coinjock Marina... it rained like hell.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bridge To The Outer Banks

I know, I know...
It's raining and there's not much else to do than process and post a few photographs.

This was a nice night.
The wind stopped and the water became like glass. The full moon rising cast off the nice color.

Tomorrow will be Chesapeake, Va and Atlantic Yacht Basin. We need a few things and a few days to regroup so It's a good thing we want to lay low for a while. The Bay is pretty rough right now and predicted to stay that way for a week or so.
We're excited about coming back to the Chesapeake. It's been a few years and when we were last here we didn't do all we wanted. We'll be passing through pretty quickly on our way north, but we will stop at a couple of our favorite places on the way up.

Thanks for checkin' in.



When you find it...

Alligator River Marina.
Tucked away next to the Alligator River Bridge is one of those rare little places that... if you weren't looking for it... you would never stop.

This is our second time to spend a night here and this time the restaurant, that's behind the gas station, that's also a convenience store, was open.
The food was good and served on a plastic plate. Didn't matter, it was very good and the lady who cooked it and served us was very sweet and accommodating.

Not much in the way of pics for the Shell Station and Restaurant, but did get a couple of Istaboa and the bridge that crosses over to the Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Hatteras National Park, and all the other stuff the Outer Banks has to offer.

Outer Banks, North Carolina is also a very quiet place. The marina was empty except for one other boat.
Logan, the Dock Master was there waiting and quick to help us tie up. The Marina is neat as a pin and tucked away enough to keep you safe from almost any weather.

Good food, quiet, clean, not crowded...  our kinda Marina.



Today's Pic

Evening skies over Dowrey Creek...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Boys In Blue

The USCG boarded us again... As usual, they turned out to be quite courteous and helpful. One young fellow pointed out that my engine room Fireboy fire extinguisher system needed charging... he was right.
The other Coastie kept Radar company while they went about their inspection.
Very nice young men.
These guys are really underfunded and an incredibly valuable asset to our country's defense. It's a shame we don't provide the support this branch of our Dept of Homeland Security requires to do it's job as well as it could be done.
Just in Morehead City alone on a sunny Saturday, these guys were in multiple emergencies at one time.

Then they left, we never slowed so the boarding didn't cost us any time.



Today's Pic

Monday, July 22, 2013

WInd Horse

When we pulled into Morehead City Yacht Basin, the first thing that caught my eye was this boat.

I've seen 'Wind Horse' in many magazines and read Mr. Dashew's blog on occasion. Knowing it was at the same marina, just walking distance away, was exciting.

This is not your father's long range cruiser.

We had to walk over to take a closer look and, of course, take a few photographs.

Not sure what to say about this boat, other than it's like no other we've ever seen. It's specs on the Windhorse site are incredibly interesting if you're into boats, no matter what kind of boater you are, you'll find this boat fascinating.

Rumor is, she's been sold and Mr. Dashew is building an 83' version of the same design.

Tonight we're in Belhaven, NC at Dowery Creek Marina. There's a beautiful full moon that just lit up the creek.

Today's run was a wet and rainy one. Uneventful, though we were boarded by the USCG.
Nice Kids.


Morning skies over Dowrey Creek 
 (shot taken Nov/2010)

Today's destination.

Weather appears to have moved offshore and we're ready to be places we haven't been.
Realizing we'd best get moving, we cast off and now making way to Belhaven, NC.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Da Boyz

Little Mud has adapted well to the boat life. 
Radar, as always, loves the docks,the folks, and life on the boat; but crank up and hit the thrusters, ... he's in the bed.

and down the dock was another nice fellow.

Boat neighbors

Always wanted to see this boat.

It's on the next dock here at Morehead Yacht Basin.

Today's Pic

With high winds and more of the above, we may get to know Morehead City better than we'd previously planned.

Dinner at Floyd's last night was as good as described by the folks at the marina.
Saturday night had the place jammed so we sat at the bar and enjoyed the company of locals. The bartender was a pro and the food was good. Very friendly folks here at Morehead City.

Thanks for checkin' in on us.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Today's Pic

A short day with a lot of bridges...  that only open at specific times...  created a long day... that was capped off with a cluster f*#k.
A crazy night that ended with TowBoat US pulling us out of Casper's Marina at 0600 this AM. Aground at a marina and not the easy way. Swansboro, NC was not fun.
Our first time to use TowBoat and Captain Andrew was not only a good guy, he was very resourceful. 
Thankfully we put our heads together and devised a plan or we'd still be at Casper's and fused to the dock by now. The winds that kept us in the mud and up against that walkway of a dock have only gotten worse.

While we were running the boat in the comfort of the pilothouse, the weather changed. Unbeknownst to us, the wind switched direction and was blowing quite hard.
Istaboa's so stable we never noticed anything except the chop became small rollers.

Today's run to Morehead City was much less eventful. Looks like a neat little town and Morehead Yacht Basin appears to be equally as interesting. 

Thanks for checkin' in.



Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's Pics

Not much in the way of pics when trying to describe our night run up the Carolina coast.
The sunset was a non-event, a half moon doesn't spread much light -though any light is a gift when operating a boat in the dark- and the stars that flashed across the sky couldn't be photographed due to lack of light and the instability of a moving boat.
The trip was pretty much uneventful, excluding an encounter with a cargo ship coming out of Charleston and that wasn't much either... except at night we hate to deviate from our course... even for a cargo ship. But in the end, size matters and we did a zig-zag maneuver. The cargo ship received the right of way and we safely passed each other. The night's drama was over.
AIS is a wonderful thing.

The moon left us in the dark around 1 AM.

Running a boat in total darkness, without even the horizon to use as a point of reference, is a trip.
You feel like your falling or being hurled through the darkness, but we only do 9 or 10 knots. (yes, we were doing 10.5 for half the 20hrs)
You can't see anything.
This initially makes us feel powerless and out of control, but after a while we get past it and blind faith takes over... if it's not on radar or AIS, it's simply not there is the justification we use to cast off our anxiety and good judgement.

When the moon dropped below the horizon, the stars lit up.
The Milky Way was painted across the sky in all it's glory on this pitch black morning. I walked out to the bridge and just sat and stared for an hour. At around 4 AM, I woke Mel and convinced her to join me. Of course, she resisted, but once she looked up, she stopped talking, and together we sat... silently staring at this massive galaxy till our necks hurt. Even the boys joined us.
The whole crew under the stars.

A short time later, the sun finally started it's way up.

It was a welcomed sight and a beautiful one.

Finally enough light to take a few photos.

After snapping off an ample amount of photographs, I went back into the pilothouse.

There I saw the silhouette of old Don Quixote riding Rocinante. They're always at the helm, seemingly tilting at windmills somewhere out the pilothouse window.
(My old wooden Don Quixote statuette is another story completely.)
This is our favorite shot from the morning.

I love days like this.

So, all in all, it was a good run that ended better. This offshore leg of trip took 25 hrs and we traveled more than 250 miles from Savannah to Cape Fear, NC. The seas were very kind and the heavens put on quite a show for us.

We tied up at Southport, NC to get some rest and we did.

Now it's time to move north.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

When The Universe Gives You A Picnic Table

Make a boat.

Hmm... I think I went to high school with these guys

What A Night

But I'm too damned tired to write about it so I'll just post a pretty pic done with my phone from the pilothouse. A great sunrise.
Got some real camera pics, but, again, I'm too tired to process them. I hope they turn out half as good as the view.

Kinda blurry... kinda like it looked to us after an all-night run up the Carolina coast.

Today's Pic — Sunrise

If things have gone accordingly, we saw one of these this morning.

Again, if you would like to see where we are this morning...



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Today's Pic — Sunset

Bout to see some of this.
By the time most of you see this pic, we'll be underway and pointed toward Cape Fear, NC
One all-nighter an we'll have caught up with our earlier schedule. The seas are predicted to be okay and we'll have clear skies and half a moon till after midnight. 
I love these runs... A mixture of apprehension, a tad of anxiety, and a low level hum of excitement. Then after a while — The fizz is gone, it flattens out, and turns to boredom.
We hope.
If you want, you can follow us via this link to see our progress.  link



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

There's Always One

Life Of Pi... In a Bottle

Today's Pic

Was taken a few years ago. Low tide in Hope Town Harbour.
Next to the ferry dock, a sun bleached frond had washed up on the sandy bottom and was laying next to the bulkhead; it caught my eye. The light was good and the colors looked interesting so I took a photograph. It didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped, but I kept it anyway.
Last night while playing with photoshop, I used an artistic effect on that old shot to make it more appealing.

I think it did...

No, we didn't leave Thunderbolt as planned.
We'd prepared to shove off, polished fuel, took on some water, then I went to check out. Josh, the office dude, informed me it would be cheaper to stay another couple of days and take the weekly rate. Essentially the next two nights are free.

Free at last...

Got things we need to do that requires time and internet so a week in Thunderbolt it is.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Today's Pics

No, we're not back in Memphis... just been thinking about home and processed some pics. I may have put these up before.

If weather permits, we'll leave Thunderbolt tomorrow and head for somewhere in South Carolina.
Not a long trip. 30 to 40 miles, but we'll have to wait for a rising tide which will be after noon.
Guess we'll have to sleep in again.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today's Pic

is it real or is it photoshop?
not mine so I don't know

Today's Thought

With the current weather conditions, winging it seems to be the plan.
Another big thunderstorm with a flashy light show last night and more predicted for today.
Last evening, our cell phones made sounds we'd never heard before... It's an alert system that works via text; flash flood warning.
Wonder if this is new or we're just in an area that offers such a service?
That's one form of weather we're not too concerned about.

Thanks for checking in.