Sunday, 6/1/08 Day 120
We were gone all day. We had to walk in the hot sun a lot. There was no wind and it was in the 80's. We got a lot accomplished, though.
We started by taking a really long dinghy ride to try to get to Sears. We saw a lot of cool stuff in the shallow water, like mullet, catfish, puffer fish, stingrays, skates, horseshoe crabs, and even a dolphin. It took us a long time to find a place to tie up, but finally we found a dock just across the road from Sears. At Sears, Dad got a new drill, and I got some shirts that I needed. We ate lunch at Arby's. It tasted good. We then planed all the way home.
We weren't home 5 minutes before we raced back out to run more errands. This time, we went to the marina. We got the manatees to come by spraying the hose, like we did on 5/30/08. This time there were 2 huge ones and 2 babies. Mom got a lot of pictures. Dad also filled the water jugs.
We walked down the road towards West Marine, but stopped at a pond where people were sailing remote-controlled sailboats. The wind actually powers them. You control the sails and rudder with the remote. Dad went on to West Marine, but we stayed to watch. One man let us try and we raced everybody else. It was really fun and Josh wants to get one when we get home in 3 years. I'm not so sure because the people told us that the sailboats cost $600+. It was fun anyway!!
We joined Dad at West Marine and then went to Save a Lot to do some more grocery shopping. Back at the dinghy dock, we "watered" the manatees once more. Then we went home. It was 7:00pm!!
The dinner conversation was about space travel. We talked all about the Space Race, yesterday's launch, all the shuttles we could think of that crashed, the Apollo 13 mission, etc. It is a very interesting subject. I'm glad we saw the launch yesterday. Today was great.
Monday, 6/2/08 Day 121
Today was completely boring! After breakfast, because the weatherman Chris Parker said it would be bad to go offshore to Charleston, SC like planned, we did laundry. We haven't done laundry since Marsh Harbor at Great Abaco Island, Abacos, Bahamas (See 4/30/08), so we did 7 loads all day! The marina where we did the laundry has only 3 washers and 3 dryers, so it took forever! We did school most of the time and worked with Mom on the computer (we have internet here). By the time we got home, it was almost dinner time. We still have 3 more loads for tomorrow. I'm sure looking forward to that!
Tuesday 6/3/08 Day 122
Today was close to being as boring as yesterday, but not quite. As soon as breakfast was finished, we dinghied in to the marina to do our last laundry. You would never guess who we met on the dock: Pat & Jo from s/v Jubilee, a boat with 3 kids that we briefly met in Marsh Harbor on Great Abaco Island, Abaco, Bahamas. But, they weren't here on their boat. They are selling their boat and it is on the hard in North Carolina, but they drove here last night to pick up an RV they are buying. They had to wait until 2:00pm, so we hung out and played chess, cards, and their Gameboys. We did that instead of school, but still did laundry. They left for lunch and to get their RV, but we stayed and hung out at the marina all afternoon. There we could get internet better than on the boat. Once again, it was dinner time by the time we got home. I read a whole book this evening. I'm tired now.
Wednesday, 6/4/08 Day 123
We actually did leave Titusville, FL today to go offshore to Charleston, SC. Most of the day, though, was spend in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) going to Ponce Inlet near New Smyrna Beach, FL where we went offshore.
We all spent all morning doing a project with Dad. He was mounting a new solar panel setup that he had put together. In the end, we had to go in to the marina to use the docks. That was okay because we needed to refuel as well. While we were helping Dad rivet the solar panel setup onto the top of the dinghy davits, it was really hot. Mom was wearing a bikini and Josh and I were shirtless. We also emptied 3 full bottles of water while working on that.
Around 12:45pm, we were eating sandwiches we bought at the marina and motoring up the ICW. Our sail was very peaceful and beautiful as we traveled up the Indian River, into Mosquito Lagoon, and even further up the ICW. As we were going into the Mosquito Lagoon from the Indian River, we put on a little show for some of the fisherman out enjoying the weather. I was out on deck and my baseball cap flew off my head into the water. Mom raced for a boathook while Dad spun the boat around. We retrieved the hat on the first try. It must have been funny to watch!
Another nice thing was that you couldn't go 5 minutes without sighting dolphins. They were everywhere! Sometimes we'd see 6 at a time even! That was cool.
To try to stay up later with Mom, I'm going to take a nap. We are already offshore making 7+ knots because of a current. This should be a great passage.
The Night of 6/4/08
I awoke from my nap around 8:30pm. I stayed up with Dad until 10:00pm because he wasn't very tired. Then he switched off with Mom. I stayed up with her until about 1:00am. We played Backgammon and worked with pictures to keep awake. Then, when I couldn't stay up any more, I forced myself to go to bed.
Thursday, 6/5/08 Day 124
I woke up about the same time as everybody else. We were in the Gulf Stream making amazing time. We made approx. 100nm in 12 hours. That's our fastest time ever! Basically, nothing interesting but fishing happened.
The first cool fishing thing was this: Dad was about to pull in a hand line w/ 2 squid skirts because the first one had seaweed on it. I yelled to him not to because there was big billfish checking out the lure. Unfortunately, it didn't hit.
The second thing wasn't cool, but annoying. We caught 3 Great Barracudas. The first bit a Ballyhoo and we thought it was a tuna or big mackerel because it was silver, but not jumping. It also bit/snagged another hand line and tangled up and broke the line of another Ballyhoo. It took a while to untangle the mess. The second 'cuda took our last rigged Ballyhoo. We kept him to eat. The third ended up being drug along a hand line without enough fight to make us notice.
The last cool fishing thing was a whole expedition. We stopped at a fish haven 74 nm east of Altamaha Sound, GA while Mom was resting. We wanted to try to deep jig. As we were getting ready, I saw a billfish jump right by our boat! That was cool. I dropped a diamond jig down and "caught" something. I had snagged a little snakefish, a type of lizardfish that lives on the bottom at those depths. The whole time, though, Dad was saying how much of a disaster this was (he was correct) and that we were a sailboat, not a fishing boat! It was still really fun!
We got an email from s/v Eira's (see 5/6/08) satellite phone that they are on their way to Charleston, SC from the Bahamas. I can't wait to see them again. I'm too tired to stay up with Mom tonight. I'm sorry for that.
Friday, 6/6/08 Day 125
We arrived in Charleston, SC today. We had to go through a big ship channel into the harbor. We also passed the famous Fort Sumter! We anchored on the Ashley River outside the City Marina.
We dinghied into the dinghy dock, right past the Megadock, a dock specifically for megayachts. We have to pay $5 a day to use the dock, but we get to use the service of a van that will take you anywhere in Charleston and pick you up and bring you back to the marina. We used the service to go to Marion Square. We walked around a little and then went to the Visitor Center and read all about the stuff to do in Charleston. We also picked up as many brochures as we could get. We found out about Piccolo Spoleto, an arts festival that ends tomorrow. It all looks cool - from the plantations to Forts Sumter and Moultrie to the Piccolo Spoleto concerts. We also ran into Gale and Sheldon from s/v Seas the Day in the Visitor's Center. We met them in West End on Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas. Charleston, SC really looks great!!!
On our way home, we saw s/v Eira's crew in their dinghy. It was a great reunion right in the middle of the Ashley River! We invited them over for cocktails and we all had a really great time. We're going to get together more some other time. Today was awesome!
Saturday, 6/7/08 Day 126
Today was great, great, great!! There was nothing that wasn't great today. Today was our Spoleto day. We planned a good amount of free concerts, but didn't get to do all of them. We went to the Charleston Farmer's Market first to buy produce and just look. There was a stand that sold crepes of all types, another that sold fresh blueberries and blackberries; there were ½ dozen stands where farmers sold their vegetables that were picked yesterday; one stand was a man with a little donut making machine and we bought fresh mini-donuts. Because of Spoleto, there was a lot of art for sale as well.
From there we went to an 11:00am choral performance. The Chancel Choir from Trinity United Methodist Church in Sumter, SC performed at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion. We listened to a whole hour of church-type songs in that beautiful church. My favorite song was "Promised Land." I liked the fast paced songs and the a cappella ones (they mostly sang a cappella). I liked it and could tell that Dad simply loved it.
After we stopped by the market again to pick up lunch, we went to the Second Presbyterian Church for a handbell concert. Mom and I played handbells back home at Faith Lutheran Church, so we were interested in watching the Atlanta Concert Ringers from Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, GA. I really enjoyed the concert. Luckily, they weren't all church songs again. Two of the songs the co-director wrote. I thought it was cool how they used the same number of people (13) as we did back at Faith, but rang 2 more octaves plus handchimes, and how they played 2 bells in a hand which looks hard.
We next caught a bus to go see some Tibetan monks make a Sand Mandala painting at the City Gallery. Unfortunately, the program was incorrectly written and the closing ceremony, where all the sand was thrown into the sea, was at 10:00am and we missed it all. I was disappointed.
We had dinner plans with our cousins Craig and Angie Bauer and their kids Hailey and Adam. After dinner, we took them back to our boat to watch the fireworks for Piccolo Spoleto's finale. We invited s/v Eira over as well. We all had an excellent night, but rough-housed a bit much. In the end, we were all (the kids) a bit disappointed that we stayed up until 11:00pm for a tiny display. We had fun none the less. We are going to go to s/v Eira for dinner tomorrow. That should be fun. I've never seen their boat.
Tonight was really late. Josh and I are going to try and say, "Good Morning," to each other and then go to sleep. Today was awesome!