Florida

Hello everyone,

When last I wrote we were still in SC. We enjoyed a great visit there with the Wolffs and finally tore ourselves away from the dock Nov 14th after 4 days!

Do you remember the song ” Moon River” ? Well, that was our next anchorage, just below Savannah. It was lovely and wide and the sunset was gorgeous. One more day of traveling and we were in Florida at Fernandina Beach. The stench of the paper mills and the clouds no-seeums kept us moving along after a brief exploration of town. One day later we anchored in St Augustine. It is such a pretty town and as the Christmas lights were to be turned on in 4 days, we decided to stay. The captains were happy to find a sailor’s consignment store within about a two mile walk. That walk became very familiar and also the winery was down there too. The pause that refreshes!!

From St Augustine, we made a quick passage to Dayton Beach and on to Titusville the next day. There we hit the Dollar stores and got lots of canned goods for the islands. The water-line gets lower and lower! We also introduced the Vertigo crew to the manatees. Drifting in the dinghies in the harbour, we had 5 manatee surfacing around us. In was very easy then to convince the Lesaks that we must depart from the ICW and visit the Canaveral Barge Canal. The wild life there is amazing.

We anchored just outside of the lock and took the dinghies through the lock. There were manatee, dolphins, white pelicans, brown pelicans, wood storks, egrets of 2 sizes, and many blue herons. And that was just on one trip! I really enjoy the passage in the dinghy, as you see so much more from the water level. A little island exploration was next on the agenda and some shell collection. We hated to leave, but wanted to reach Vero before Thanksgiving (Nov 26).

It was a very long day – 66 miles from the anchorage to Vero Beach, but we did make it. There were rain storms all around us but we only got a few sprinkles. The dolphins kept playing in the bow wave and racing us. One leapt in the air right beside the cockpit! So, even though the day was long, it was very enjoyable. We arrived in Vero just in time to sign up for the Thanksgiving Day dinner that the trawler group had organized. Turkey and all the fixings for $7/person plus bring a dish to share. What a feast! Luckily, we walked and then had to walk back to wear off some of the great food. Before dinner, a sailors flea market was held and Murray was in his element. He sold some stuff, but I think he brought more stuff home. How come these Canadians went to the dinner, you ask? Well, we are always up for a party!! It was lots of fun and we met more cruisers as well.

We will be stopped here in Vero for a short while – stocking the boat for the islands. My frig was almost bare. It was the perfect time for Murray to re- insulate it with the foil stuff that we got from Brian & Kathy Marsh. By the way, the last we heard, Tundra was in St Augustine and heading our way.

The immediate plans are – head to Ft Pierce and anchor ( probably Wed or Thurs) and then sail on the outside to West Palm Beach and anchor in Lake Worth for a few days. If we see a weather window coming, we will cross from there. Otherwise, we will head on to Miami and anchor there awaiting weather to cross to the islands. Hopefully, before Christmas.

Also, we won’t send the Christmas newsletter to all of our e-mail recipients this year. Sorry but you already know all the news. I may just import it and send it as a e-mail message. Remember, we can’t read attachments – so don’t send you message with one, please. Take care all, and best wishes for the holiday season.

Murray & Heather

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA

Beaufort SC

We are enjoying the hospitality of Gail and Meindert Wolff here in Beaufort SC. We are ensconced on their dock and enjoying power, water and showers! The temperature here is in the low 70’s and we are back into shorts.

Halloween was spent in Beaufort NC with lots of trick-or-treaters going boat to boat. As it had turned cold, everyone was eager to press on southward.

We spent a few days in Carolina Beach on another “free” dock that we found out about from the crew of Sturdy Beggar. They have a condo in Carolina Beach but enjoyed the cruising life so much, that they are heading out again soon. Also in Carolina Beach, we had dinner with Mike, Laura, Erin & Shawna Perry. We met Mike and Erin while at anchor there on the way north. We spent a lovely evening with them in their home. Hurricane Bonnie had hit their area fairly hard. They had roof and water damage, but have repaired it already.

The adventures of the Canadian fleet continued into South Carolina with us no longer showing ” how”. Vertigo had learned quite well – they awoke one night on their side when the tide dropped, then dragged when the water came back and then picked up a crab pot when they started the engine! All in one go!! After the TowboatUS guy dove on the prop ( 4 hours later ) and we got underway, we decided a short day was in order and stayed at Barefoot Landing. It is a free dock at an outlet mall. Lots of cruisers there to talk to and share stories with. And even laugh at the morning woes.

We bypassed Georgetown and pressed on to Charleston. Here we paid for our first dock since being re-launched this September. We stayed at the Municipal Marina for one night and managed to see some sights, do laundry, wash the boats, fill all the water tanks, and purchase some grouper for a great dinner for both boats.

We left late the next morning, caught the bridges and carried the current for a while. Even leaving at eleven, we managed to make thirty plus miles before we anchored.

We arrived in Beaufort by noon the next day. Meindert & Gail were out, so Diane and I went to the store and got enough burgers and salad stuff for dinner for everyone. We received the mail pouch that Jeremy had forwarded. Now, I guess I have to balance my checkbook! We will stay here a few days and perhaps meet up with the Tundra crew.

Then, on to Georgia and Florida. We definitely will not make Melbourne for the Seven Seas get-together. Oh well – another year, maybe.

Yesterday was the ” big wind ” back home. I hope everyone survived it well and had minimal damage to their homes. It sounds as though winds reached 100 mph ! That’s hurricane strength!

Take care all. And keep warm.

Love Heather
Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA