Hot, Hot, Hot

I knew there must be a down side to life aboard and I think I have found it. Hot summer in Florida!! No air conditioning!! Can’t swim in ICW!!

Well, we are heading north as fast as we can go, but have temperatures above 95 every day.

The last letter left us in Cape Canaveral. We headed off shore there and sailed 175 miles to Fernandina Beach coming in the St Mary’s River. That took about 28 hours. There was a dolphin show just as the sunset. A group of about eight spotted dolphins dove and zoomed under the boat and rode our bow wave for about 45 minutes. It was wonderful. There were thunderstorms all around us and a heavy weather warning called for our area, but we lucked out and had nothing close to us.

We anchored for a day or two at Cumberland Island and explored the ruins there and walked for miles on the beaches and in the woods. We saw many of the feral horses and got quite close to one of them.

The weather was not favourable for the next few days, so we continued in the ICW through Georgia. I had forgotten how yucky the water was in the ICW – it looks more like mud than water. No more swimming for me. The sounds allowed us to do some motorsailing and we made good time, arriving near Savannah in 2 days. The plan had been to stay and tour but due to the heat, we pushed on. Before we left, we had our first sighting of alligators! Definitely, no swimming for me!!

At Hilton Head, we spent our first night at a dock in many months ( March in Spanish Wells ). There was a pool at the marina, and I soaked for several hours in it as my laundry washed and dried. That night we had a pot-luck dinner with Tundra ( Brian and Kathy Marsh ) and Passages ( Ian & Betty ).

The next day took us to Beaufort SC for a re-stocking of groceries. Up early again and pushing for Charleston. But, due to a couple of close encounters with the bottom ( Tundra and us were both aground – we got off but they had to wait an hour for rising tide ), we didn’t quite make it. We anchored just a few miles short, but it good position for the bridges in the morning.

We arose early and headed for Charleston & bridges. While waiting for the second bridge, we heard a radio call from Silent Running. Doug & Rose are spending the summer there at Ashley Marina.and her sister lives nearby.

That night we anchored in Minum Creek just as a violent thunderstorm was crashing around us. The wind howled for a while but the anchor held just fine.

We arose early again and motorsailed against current all day. We past Georgetown and anchored just south of Myrtle Beach. The boat traffic was terrible as it was a weekend. The same thing happened the next day as we passed through Myrtle Beach. We met boats with waterskiers, tubers, high speed bass boats, and many PWC’s ( sea maggots ). Even canoes and kayaks. People that weren’t on the water, were in the water and very close to the narrow channel. We were very glad to finally stop for the night on a free dock space in Southport NC . Tundra anchored closeby. The next morning we ran into some friends from Grand Harbour, Marilyn & Bruce from Reflection. They have just moved to Southport and they kindly took us to the grocery store as it was five miles away.

We left late that day trying to play the currents correctly for the trip up the Fear River. And it worked – at times we were traveling at 9 kns. We anchored in Carolina Beach for the night.

The next day we had 3 bridges that were on restricted time schedules but we still managed to make 60 miles and anchored in Mile Hammock Bay. This bay is on the army base and we could hear shooting of automatic weapons in the distance. Another violent thunderstorm hit us at dark. One of the other boats dragged their anchor but we held fine.

Another early morning and off again – towards Beaufort NC and beyond. This time it was our turn to be aground – twice in one day but we got off each time. We anchored for the night just below Oriental. As Tundra was later arriving than us due to a fuel stop, we offered drinks, snacks and dinner. We pooled our resources and had a lovely evening.The next day, June 25 th, we sailed to a spot north of Oriental where friends of Brian and Kathy live. I think a few days of rest are in order. We will utilize their phone to send our e-mail finally.

We entered the ICW at mile 965 on June 7th and are now at mile 160. That’s 800 miles. We have taken a couple of days off but have mostly kept moving.

Here we will telephone a few yards to find somewhere to store Windswept IV for a month or two. We should be in the Chesapeake by early July and home soon after that. Mid-July at the latest.

Hope to see y’all soon

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA


Hi everyone

I saw a copy of this poem and found it very true and funny. It was written for a power boat, so I have modified it to reflect sailing.

They Sailed Away

Mother and Father go sailing you know
August ’97 they just pack up and go
Far from the winds and the cold and the snow
South to the sun and the sea;

I love to think of them sailing there
The blue of the water, the gold of the air
Skimming the white caps without a care
Imagine a life so free;

I build up a picture of sea and sky
Of lazy harbours and bays drifting by
I build up this image of pie-in-the-sky
Till their first letter reaches me.

It says..
Oh!, the propeller shaft is knocking
and the main sail is flogged.
There’s mildew in the lockers
and the hull is waterlogged.
The heat exchange is bunged up
and it won’t exchange it’s heat,
when the tide went down at the dock last night
we lost another cleat.

( But, in spite of all these small incidents,
when all is said and done,
it’s great to spend our retirement
cruising in the sun. )

Mother and Father are sailing you know
Down in the south were the fair winds blow
Basking all day in the warm sun’s glow
While the sea birds circle and dive;

I think of them strolling the silver shore
Small dinghy bobbing, the flash of an oar;
Sleek hull shadowing the oceans floor;
Then a second letter arrives;

It says ..
Oh! We lost both anchors overboard
and now the jib has blown
A connecting rod is broken
And the dinghy motor’s gone.
Some moron ran aground last night
and blocked the harbour mouth;
But we couldn’t leave here anyway
the winds not from the south.

( But, in spite of all these small incidents,
when all is said and done,
it’s great to spend our retirement
cruising in the sun. )

Yes!! Mother and Father are sailing today
Crisp bow cutting a fine salt spray
White sails set as they cruise their way
Through crystal waters clear.

I’d like to think of them browned by the sun
Enjoying the speed of a long clear run
To a still, small bay when the day is done,
But now a third letter is here.

It says ..
Oh! The captain gets quite anxious
When the depth of the water drops,
The head pump is seized up solid
And the bow lines are all in knots.
We hit a small reef yesterday
So now the bilge is full
And he says the blasted bilge pump
Is clogged with knitting wool.

( But, in spite of all these small incidents,
when all is said and done,
it’s great to spend our retirement
cruising in the sun. )


Author – clever but unknown

Shared by Mary Walters, who has been there, done that.

Too true. Hope all is well.

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA

Back to USA

Hi everyone

When I wrote last, we were leaving Marsh Harbour to work our way towards the US, hopefully arriving before June 1st.

In Baker’s Bay we met Two Grand from Vero Beach with Tom & Cheryl and her parents aboard. We shared drinks and jokes one evening.

In Green Turtle, we had two days of rain and filled all our tanks. One night, the group of us went to a club to see The Gully Roosters play. Just as the band came to the stage, all the lights went out. We thought it was a dramatic opening but it wasn’t. Every light on the island was out! We waited for a half hour or so, and stumbled our way back to the anchored boats. When the sun came out the next day, we were off on land adventures. A floating cocktail party was even held one afternoon and I became the “monkey in the middle” in a water fight! What fun!

There were six boats that departed from Green Turtle heading north. Lo ‘n Slo with Dave and Brenda. Tundra with Kathy & Brian. Mar-Nel IV with Peter & Lani. Heron’s Wing with Ike & Carol. Shivaree with John & Kristen. And us. Lo ‘ n Slo had to turn back with engine problems.

! It is now Thursday, June 4th and we are anchored at Great Sale Cay and about 160 miles yet to go. The weather has not co-operated, but what is new. This time, it is a lack of wind that holds us here, or rather wind from a useable direction. We spent two days in Green Turtle Cay getting rained on but managed to fill all our water tanks and every container that we could find.

We left Green Turtle for Allans-Pensacola Cay where we spent two nights bouncing in the waves. From there, we motorsailed to Great Sale where we will await weather to cross the Gulf stream to Cape Canaveral. At least, that is the plan.

The water here is cloudy. It is from the bonefish stirring up the fine sand on the bottom as they lay their eggs. But it is strange to swim in cloudy water. It is also very warm – about 85. Near the beaches. it is 95!! Hardly refreshing.

Well, we got up on Friday the 5th, and said ” we could wait forever here. Let’s move closer to the jump off point”. So, we upped anchor at 9:30 and started motoring into the waves. We got a little lift from the main but not much. We headed towards Mangrove Cay ( 22 miles away ) or perhaps Memory Rock ( 27 miles past that ). We stopped on-route to repair a buddy boat. They had fuel problems and Murray helped change fuel filters. And on we went. Arriving at Mangrove by 4 pm, we decided to go to Memory Rock and maybe anchor on the banks and head across the gulf stream in daylight. We got to Memory Rocks at 9 pm and the wind was building. The captain says ” Let’s go for it!” So, on we went. It was 72 miles to Ft Pierce. We decided that was far enough. We arrived and anchored by 9:30 am. Then checked in with customs etc. We then ran around re-fueling diesel and propane and filling water tanks. Even bought some cheap beer!! Soon it will be time to sleep – we only cat napped last night. But, it is extremely HOT and HUMID here. I hope we can sleep.

Tomorrow, I think we will sail up the coast to Cape Canaveral ( 55 miles buoy to buoy ). We plan to coastal sail as much as possible. Depending on the weather, of course. But, it is cooler out on the ocean.

Arrived at Cape Canaveral late last night. Thunderstorms all around us but we missed them. The waves were building because of the NE wind and we had to power into them. It took 13 hours to travel approx 75 miles. Time to rest for a few days and re-stock.

All the best to everyone and we will be in touch.

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA