Saturday, April 25, 2009

Norfolk to Charleston

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We left Norfolk on Saturday and went outside around Cape Hateras. On the nose for the first night with a bang bang here and a bang bang there.... The waves would go between the hulls and up hitting the underside of the boat and slaming under the table in the salon. Cleared the papers, etc off the table quite quickly. Not a fun night but then it swung around some and we had some pleasant motor sailing. Had some enging problems on Friday night so we hove to and rested for a few hours to regroup just off Cape Fear. I figured it out while asleep and during my 12-3 watch fixed the engine and we were on our way. Winds on the quarter and speeds down the waves up to 11 knots. Got into Charleston about 7PM, after dark trying to find the correct lights among the hunbdreds of distracting lights. Finally a good nights sleep.

Look what we missed by going outside

SC: Myrtle Beach - ICW Closure - Mile 347.3 to Mile 365.4

Due to the wildfires we reported on earlier this morning, the Coast Guard is shutting down the ICW between Miles 347.3 and 365.4.

The Captain of the Port of Charleston is establishing a Safety Zone between the U.S. Highway 501 Bridge (Mile 365.4, 65-foot fixed vertical clearance) and the Little River Swing Bridge (Mile 347.3, 7-foot closed vertical clearance).

No vessels my enter this area without permission of the Captain of the Port of Charleston, but vessels already on the water are allowed to exit this zone.

We will publish more updates as they become available.

Gary Reich, Managing Editor

Monday, April 20, 2009

catamaran Harmony update

When last we left our intrepid adventurers they were at anchor at Treasure Cay, Abacos, Bahamas. They moved onto a dock at the marina to stage the next event. That night a thundersotrm came through with the most spactacular display of lightning ever seen. This lasted for about an hour. The boats still at anchor did a few deck dances with boats dragging and resetting anchors in the middle of the night. We slept soundly at the dock. The next day we got supplies and had our last Grouper sandwiches. Florrie left the next morning as did Patty McGraw so Emery McGraw joined me to bring Harmony home. We left on Thursday and motor sailed 5 hours to Allan/Pensicola Cays where we found a totally deserted island with a large anchorage protected from the north. That night we did the deck dance as our anchor dragged. Nextg morning we sailed to Great Sail Cay with anothe large anchorage. Lots of people there going different places in Florida. We left about 7AM and went along the northern banks. While on the way we joined two other boats: Kokamo and Los Gatos, also cats who were going where we were going...Cape Canaveral. We left the banks about 7PM and headed across for the Gulf Stream. Seas were confused with NE and SE Rollers. About midnight, we were in the GulF Stream when the wind swung to the South and built to 25knots. At one point we were surfing down the small (2 to 3 feet) at 13 knots. For those who don't know boats, that is really moving...our cruising speed is about 7. We brought in the jib and slowed ourselves down. When I came on watch, the wind had died and we were down to below 4 knots. We motor sailed into Cape Canaveral where we went to a dock for $10, I called custome and checked in, Emery got a cab and check himself into the country/ He is a Canadian so he couldn't use the Boater's Option (a must for all US cruisers leaving and entering from Florida. After getting checked in and becoming legal, we motored across the lock to the Indian River and up to Titusville before the thunderstorm came thrugh. Just befor it hit, we anchored on the South side of the Titusville Bridge and decided not to push any farther. So we are hear for the night with stuffed Spanish Mackeral (caught yesterday)for dinner. Gotta eat something with our dark and stormies (rum and ginger beer) then quick to bed cause I only got 3 hours sleep last night.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Urgent Message from Theresa and Rai

Rai and Theresa,
   Thanks for your concern.  My wife will be flying back on Thursday and I will be joined by a friend who is an excellent sailor for the trip north.  It looks like a front will pass over us Thursday night and there will be a weather window on Friday afternoon (at least that is what 3 out of 4 weather models predict).  If so we will go across the banks between Treasure Cay to a spot (Memory Rock) about 15 miles north of West End, Abacos and ride the Gulf Stream as far north as possible.  Sat and Sun are predicted to be mild winds from the right direction so we will continues sailing until it looks like we should get into port for a frontal passage.  Once we are within 8 miles of shore, we will have internet for weather.  Within 20 miles, or so, we can pick up the NOAA weather predictions. 
  All these places can be found on Google Earth, if you have it.  If not they are probably on Mapquest.
  If you want to see the kind of weather information we rely on check out , or Http://  In addition, we have XM radio and can get the local weather reports from all the major cities in the US and we can listen to Chris Parker (4045), weather guru and Herb (12359) on the Single Sideband (short wave)radio. Both of them provide weather information for cruisers.  We will also check in daily with the Cruisheimers net on the SSB (6227). In case anyone else is worried, I am putting a copy of this email on the blog.
S/V Harmony

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dragging the anchor

So there we were...(this is the way boaters start a story)...talking with some friends on their boat at the dock when Gary, whom we had met two days ago, saw me and called: "Lew, your boat is dragging." The boat was out in the anchor field. He assured me that two other boats had dinghyed over and had reset the anchor. (A really good reason to have the motor controls in the cockpit) Anyway, we called on the VHF and all was ok so we got some ice and left for the boat. We thanked the other boats while a very large turtle swam around us, and checked the anchor. They had reset one anchor and set a second which had been accessible on the deck. Then along came Siggi 2, a trawler that we haven't seen since the Dismal Canal in Virginia. They recognized our boat and are now anchored nearby. We are all getting together later this afternoon for cocktails on Harmony. Such is the way of cruisers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A day out on Catamaran Harmony.

Today we went for a dinghy ride about two miles south to a small cove. While there we fished for about a dozen for dinner..and watched the hammerhead sharks and rays. Went ashore to clean the fish and back for a nap. It is a tough life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Great Guana to Treasure Cay

It was Friday and the first front had come and gone.  We went up to the dock for fuel and water and then went off to Great Guana (home of Nippers beach bar) for Saturday and Sunday lunch.  Brown tip was playing at Grabbers. We left and went to the dock at Treasure Cay to sit out another frontal boundry.  It came on Monday night.  First the wind came out of the South at 30+knots.  Then, about 3AM it switched to the West with rain.  It is now 10 to 15 degrees colder with the wind still out of the West at 30.  AND, we are in one of the most protected harbors in the Abacos.

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