Brunswick to Annapolis from Bob with Images!

Trip Log from Bob:

Mystic Log May 2016

4/22/16 0710 Underway from Brunswick Ga, approx ICW mile marker (MM) 680.  Clear skies, 1kt flood, winds SSE 10

1000 St Simons Sound entrance R4.   Altered heading for Cape Fear, making 7.9 kts motorsailing with M&G.  Winds SSE 12, seas 2’.  Cape Fear 051M/423km.

1400 Reefed main (had to rerun reefing lines), replaced Genoa w/Yankee to balance boat.

1800 31-48.2N/080-28.5W. Heading 054M/7.2 kts.  Mostly cloudy, wind SSE 15, seas 3’.

1900 Thunderstorms, gusts to 30k.  Took 2nd reef in main, reefed Yankee.

4/23/16 0300 32-25.7N/079-38.4W.  Heading 048M/5.5 kts.  Winds L/V, seas 3’.

0900 32-55.3N/079-08.0W.  Heading 052M, 6.2 kts.  Beautiful morning, winds  NW 8, motorsailing with full main & genoa.  Decision made to head into Winyah Bay and up ICW instead of continuing to Cape Fear to avoid getting into Cape Fear at midnight.

1300 33-11.6N/079-08.2W (Sea bouy to Winyah Bay).  Winds N7, seas 1’.  Beautiful weather, but strong ebb current, only making 5 kts SOG.  Essentially rejoining ICW at MM 415; by going offshore and bypassing Savannah, Beaufort, Charleston, we saved 3 days compared to staying on ICW.

1640 Docked at Georgetown Landing Marina, ICW MM 402 (made 278 SM in 2 days).  Took on 37 gal diesel.

4/24/16 0730 Underway up Waccamaw River.  Beautiful, sunny, winds NE10.

1445 Docked Barefoot Landing Resort Marina, Myrtle Beach SC, MM 353 (49 SM day).  Sunny, winds NW10.

4/25/16 0705 Underway without Mike, who was out of time and had to fly home.  Sunny, winds L/V.

0755 Little River Bridge, MM 347.

1130 Lockwoods Folly inlet.

1315 Southport, entered Cape Fear River.  Motorsailing 6 kts with M&G.

1510 Snows Cut, MM 295.

1700 Left ICW at MM 285 to hop offshore via Masonborough inlet (essentially a 68 SM day).  Winds SSW 10-12, heading 078m under Yankee.  ETA Beaufort NC (MM205) 0700.

4/26/16 0800 Entering Beaufort ship channel, winds L/V.

0915 Engine quit just north of Core Creek bridge (MM 194) after shifting from Stbd to port fuel tank.  Would restart, but quit within a minute.  Rolled out Yankee to maintain steerage in tight channel.

1120 Adams Creek R8 (MM 187) Taken under tow by BoatUS (Captain Ralph) towards Oriental.  Managed to sail down Adams Creek for 7 miles under yankee while waiting for tow.

1230 Docked at Deatons on Whittaker Creek, Oriental (MM 182) for fuel/engine repair.  Essentially 23 SM day.

4/27/16 0700 Underway, winds 230/12, seas 2’.  Partly Cloudy.

1000 Hobocken Bridge, made good time motorsailing with Genoa or yankee most of the morning.

1200 Pungo River G3 (MM 143).  Winds W12, motorsailing with Genoa.

1430 MM 125, just past Wilkerson Bridge on Alligator-Pungo Canal. Winds E5

1710 MM 105, entering Alligator River at R54.

2000 MM 84, Docked Alligator River Marina..  Had a great motorsail with genoa down Alligator Pungo Canal and Alligator River at up to 7.3 kts until wind shifter from S10 to NNE 15 around 1900.  This was a 98 SM day!

4/28/16 0800 Underway in rainshowers, winds W/SW 5 entering Albemarle Sound

1040 MM 66, entering North Landing River.  Winds NE 10-12

1310 MM 50, Coinjock NC

1545 Just short of Pungo Ferry, engine started making a very loud clattering with increased exhaust smoke.  Discussion & phone calls resulted in guess it was sticking injector and to continue on.

1900 MM 12, docked at Atlantic Yacht Service in Chesapeake Va (Great Bridge).  72 SM day.  Took on xxx gal diesel.  Tim left for Norfolk airport after dinner to fly home, he too out of time. 

4/29/16 0830 Underway aftr mech looked at engine and found nothing amiss…..sounds normal.  Overcast, winds L/V.

0900 Great Bridge lock.

1300 Crossed over Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel into Chesapeake Bay.  Winds N 5-10, seas 2’.  Decided to head across bay to Cape Charles since we couldn’t make it up bay to Deltaville before dark.

1655 Docked Cape Charles Town Marina.  Nobody home.

4/30/16 0640 Underway, winds NE 5.  Winds and bay flat calm by mouth of Potomac. 

1900 Docked Zahnizers Marina, Solomons MD.

5/1/16 0730 Underway in moderate rain, winds SE 10-12.  Vis < 1 mile.

1400 Docked Annapolis Landing Marina, Eastport MD.

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Mystic’s Leg 3 Brunswick to Annapolis

When I work, I work very hard. When I don’t work, I have to do something where my endeavor can totally take me off what I do professionally, like sailing. It takes all your attention. Helmut Jahn (he’s a Chicagoan, you know)

Don here: (A couple of weeks late!) April 22…Mystic’s ready. Shiny brightwork, gleaming topsides and deck, engine purring, tanks full….

Crew arrived yesterday…Bob Smith salty from years at sea; Tim McKenna, getting salty, but that’s hard to do in Lake Michigan; and Mike Geitner, former foredeck crew on Cruachan (NY36) in Chicago, who with Katrina, his wife, just bought their own boat ( a Jeanneau)  in Milwaukee! Great sailors all!

The weather forecast, however, was iffy…nice winds out of the South for a couple of days but switching to a gale out of the North by early in the week. So prudence prevailed and we chose to try the Intracoastal  sailing up to Winyah, SC and headed for Georgetown, SC.

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 Early History of the Intracoastal

The concept for an Intracoastal Waterway dates back to Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, who in 1808 proposed a system of canals that would link Boston Harbor with Brownsville Harbor. Congress rejected the full plan, but throughout the following decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carried out a series of surveys, and construction began on various sections. Private investment also played its part.

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According to Florida historian William Crawford, construction of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway can be traced back to 1885, when the Florida Canal Co. began to dredge a canal between Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River. Robert L. Lippson and Alice Jane Lippson, authors of “Life Along the Inner Coast,” suggest the origin of the waterway dates back earlier to 1805, when a shallow canal was dug linking Deep Creek near Norfolk with the Pasquotank River.

Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway officially begins at Mile Marker Zero at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, between the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. The first section follows two routes across Virginia and North Carolina to Albemarle Sound. The Dismal Swamp Canal navigates the eastern boundary of the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge, while the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal travels through Currituck Sound and into Albemarle Sound. The entire journey south to Florida is a distance of 1,090 miles, viewed as a single north-south aquatic interstate. But the waterway features many tributaries and diversions along the way. The historic town of Beaufort, home to Blackbeard’s shipwreck, marks the start of a 1912 proposal by the Corps of Engineers for a 10-foot-deep waterway extending 925 miles south to Key West. In the event, the waterway was constructed in fits and starts. It encompasses such bodies of water as the Harlowe Canal in North Carolina and the estuary of the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, North Carolina. Crossing into Florida, it hugs the Atlantic seaboard through Cape Canaveral, Palm Beach and on to Miami. 

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Back to the Trip. It was an easy passage! Most bridges had 65 feet of clearance, although a few let us through by lifting, or turning. From Georgetown, to Myrtle Beach (dropped Mike off) and on to Mason Borough inlet and up Beouford for the night. Then on to Adams Creek where the engine quit! Called Boats US and got towed to Oriental, where two mechanics found nothing wrong. So next morning, we did a 100 miles (motorsailing) day to Alligator River Marina & Truck stop.

Have to note here, there is a vast amount of water inland in Georga and North Carolina, and flying fish, dolphins, and bald eagles, deer, turtles, hawks, flies, and zero alligators. Although we had a chance to sample alligator bits, we passed.

Winds have been strong, so we’ve been sailing up the “ditch” at up to 7 knots a times. Other times it’s just a long straight channel through cyprus swamps. All in all, hours of boredom and moments of interest, But the “super crew” makes all the difference. 

Today, we’ll make the Virginia Border (out here is the marsh lands!) and stop in Norfolk to let Tim catch a flight back to Chicago (something about work) and Bob and I will go on on to Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay. Much to my surprise, it takes over two days (with stops over night) to motor-sail from Norfolk to Annapolis.

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Navy ships to the right of us, Navy ships to the left of us…one would think this was a military base! Even targets out in the Bay…just for practice. In the next issue, Bob Smith is going to share his log of our remarkable journey.

Hang in there…We’ll be back!

Now, Bob Smith (yes “The Bob Smith,” now one of the Bob Smith candidates for President)  You can tell he was a Navy Pilot! 

Mystic Log May 2016
4/22/16 0710 Underway from Brunswick Ga, approx ICW mile marker (MM) 680. Clear skies, 1kt flood, winds SSE 10
1000 St Simons Sound entrance R4. Altered heading for Cape Fear, making 7.9 kts motorsailing with M&G. Winds SSE 12, seas 2’. Cape Fear 051M/423km.
1400 Reefed main (had to rerun reefing lines), replaced Genoa w/Yankee to balance boat.
1800 31-48.2N/080-28.5W. Heading 054M/7.2 kts. Mostly cloudy, wind SSE 15, seas 3’.
1900 Thunderstorms, gusts to 30k. Took 2nd reef in main, reefed Yankee.
4/23/16 0300 32-25.7N/079-38.4W. Heading 048M/5.5 kts. Winds L/V, seas 3’.
0900 32-55.3N/079-08.0W. Heading 052M, 6.2 kts. Beautiful morning, winds NW 8, motorsailing with full main & genoa. Decision made to head into Winyah Bay and up ICW instead of continuing to Cape Fear to avoid getting into Cape Fear at midnight.
1300 33-11.6N/079-08.2W (Sea bouy to Winyah Bay). Winds N7, seas 1’. Beautiful weather, but strong ebb current, only making 5 kts SOG. Essentially rejoining ICW at MM 415; by going offshore and bypassing Savannah, Beaufort, Charleston, we saved 3 days compared to staying on ICW.
1640 Docked at Georgetown Landing Marina, ICW MM 402 (made 278 SM in 2 days). Took on 37 gal diesel.
4/24/16 0730 Underway up Waccamaw River. Beautiful, sunny, winds NE10.
1445 Docked Barefoot Landing Resort Marina, Myrtle Beach SC, MM 353 (49 SM day). Sunny, winds NW10.
4/25/16 0705 Underway without Mike, who was out of time and had to fly home. Sunny, winds L/V.
0755 Little River Bridge, MM 347.
1130 Lockwoods Folly inlet.
1315 Southport, entered Cape Fear River. Motorsailing 6 kts with M&G.
1510 Snows Cut, MM 295.
1700 Left ICW at MM 285 to hop offshore via Masonborough inlet (essentially a 68 SM day). Winds SSW 10-12, heading 078m under Yankee. ETA Beaufort NC (MM205) 0700.
4/26/16 0800 Entering Beaufort ship channel, winds L/V.
0915 Engine quit just north of Core Creek bridge (MM 194) after shifting from Stbd to port fuel tank. Would restart, but quit within a minute. Rolled out Yankee to maintain steerage in tight channel.
1120 Adams Creek R8 (MM 187) Taken under tow by BoatUS (Captain Ralph) towards Oriental. Managed to sail down Adams Creek for 7 miles under yankee while waiting for tow.
1230 Docked at Deatons on Whittaker Creek, Oriental (MM 182) for fuel/engine repair. Essentially 23 SM day.
4/27/16 0700 Underway, winds 230/12, seas 2’. Partly Cloudy.
1000 Hobocken Bridge, made good time motorsailing with Genoa or yankee most of the morning.
1200 Pungo River G3 (MM 143). Winds W12, motorsailing with Genoa.
1430 MM 125, just past Wilkerson Bridge on Alligator-Pungo Canal. Winds E5
1710 MM 105, entering Alligator River at R54.
2000 MM 84, Docked Alligator River Marina.. Had a great motorsail with genoa down Alligator Pungo Canal and Alligator River at up to 7.3 kts until wind shifted from S10 to NNE 15 around 1900. This was a 98 SM day!
4/28/16 0800 Underway in rainshowers, winds W/SW 5 entering Albemarle Sound
1040 MM 66, entering North Landing River. Winds NE 10-12
1310 MM 50, Coinjock NC
1545 Just short of Pungo Ferry, engine started making a very loud clattering with increased exhaust smoke. Discussion & phone calls resulted in guess it was sticking injector and to continue on.
1900 MM 12, docked at Atlantic Yacht Service in Chesapeake Va (Great Bridge). 72 SM day. Took on xxx gal diesel. Tim left for Norfolk airport after dinner to fly home, he too out of time.
4/29/16 0830 Underway aftr mech looked at engine and found nothing amiss…..sounds normal. Overcast, winds L/V.
0900 Great Bridge lock.
1300 Crossed over Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel into Chesapeake Bay. Winds N 5-10, seas 2’. Decided to head across bay to Cape Charles since we couldn’t make it up bay to Deltaville before dark.
1655 Docked Cape Charles Town Marina. Nobody home.
4/30/16 0640 Underway, winds NE 5. Winds and bay flat calm by mouth of Potomac.
1900 Docked Zahnizers Marina, Solomons MD.
5/1/16 0730 Underway in moderate rain, winds SE 10-12. Vis < 1 mile.
1400 Docked Annapolis Landing Marina, Eastport MD.

Bob: Fun trip, fun experience……thanks to all.

Don: What a difference a good crew makes!  I’m grateful to you all!

Captain Chris’ Perspective

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Chris’ final entry: This all started because I randomly replied to a posting on Loren’s Facebook page about 3 week’s before that described what he was about to embark on by joining The Mystic Crew for leg 2 of the trip down the Atlantic Coast and me saying if there was ever an opportunity,  I would love to be considered.

As the saying goes “Be careful what you wish for”!! I had no idea what lay ahead of me and it showed as I started preparing for the trip. Talk about overpacking and letting a little lack of knowledge make a person paranoid. I have never been scared to get on a boat in my life, nor have I have doubted my abilities, but this was certainly going to be the test of my life. My first impression of the boat was “she’s kinda small to be out on the ocean”, but after talking with Don about what he had done aboard her, I decided to trust that we were good to go. Between Don, Loren and Tim there could not have been a more welcoming and understanding crew put together to welcome this “Stinkpotter” to the sailing family. They explained everything we were doing (more then once when needed) and why we were doing it. When I made a mistake, they helped me rectify it and there was no judgement, just teaching. I thank all of you and you will never know just how much you impressed me with your knowledge and camaraderie. The fact that you also welcomed my input and trusted me when considering options made me feel like a real member of The Team.
Although we ended up “playing” in wind and waves that I would never attempt to take a powerboat out in, there was never a time that I wasn’t confident that we were cruising along just fine. There are many things from the trip that I will never forget:
Cruising with tons of Dolphins for 3-4 hours in 10-12 foot waves
Mystic heeling over so far that I was standing on the vertical side of the cockpit seat
Watching Don, Loren and Tim sail Mystic with ease, but getting as excited as I did when we would hit a new top speed or we would hit an extremely large wave or swell.
Don showing the confidence in my abilities that he let me take Mystic into the harbor from the ocean and dock her at Amelia Island.
I feel so blessed to have been a part of this trip and I thank my crew for allowing me to be a part of it. My final quotes of the day
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ship’s are built for” – John A. Shedd
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover” – Mark Twain

Chris Connor
(773)230-9173

And Don’s observations: No one could have evolved into a sailor more quickly than did Chris. (He may have spoiled himself!).  As a Charter Boat Captain in Chicago, Chris’ brought a boat-load of talent aboard:  helmsmanship; seamanship; navigation; confidence; great attitude, eagerness to learn; calmness in rough times; fearlessness of the sea and a team spirit.

And he was like a sponge when it came to learning the art of sailing:  proper sail trim for the conditions (or how to reduce power when Mystic was overpowered); reefing and hoisting the main;  furling and unfurling the genoa and yankee;  untangling lines the waves had twisted; how important a tether is when going forward as waves roll over the bow; cooking in a galley while healing 20 degrees and leaping off waves; how to sleep wedged against a bunk-board; and how eat without everything ending up on the floor!

I can’t wrap this page up without complimenting all the crew:  Loren Thompson, a fine gentleman and a talented sailor.  (Thank you for bringing Chris, Loren);  Tim McKenna, whose focus,  talent, ambition, and eagerness can not be overstated (Thanks, Mark).  And all perfect companions for an arduous heavy air journey down the East Coast.

I know I will be forever grateful for the collegiality, competence and intense commitment Team I and Team II made to this trip.  Thank you all for joining this adventure!

We won’t soon forget!

Signed: Mystic At Sea, Shannon 43/47 PH, truly a blue-water yacht!

 

 

Brunswick Landing Marina

“Life begins where your comfort zone ends”—Anonymous

Today did not challenge one’s comfort zone.  We did that a few days ago.  Today was a leisurely trip up the intracoastal from Amelia Island (boy, what a nice town!), Florida to Brunswick, Ga.  Yes, one had to pay strict attention to the shallow navigable centers of the little tributaries that make up the “ditch” but it was fun seeing dolphins inside and we were always on the lookout for manatees, which are supposedly prevalent here.

As I think we mentioned before, Brunswick Landings marina is an old hurricane hole used by the Navy years ago.  Today, it’s one of the few real four star marina’s with some 500 plus yachts here, and free everything (except dockage) which is very reasonable.  Even beer and wine, laundry, bicycles and frequent pot luck dinners (there’s one tonight!) are free.  There’s  whole town living on their boats here, year around!

A big advantage is that there are considerable marine services here…nice not to have to hunt for knowledgeable  people!

It’s impossible to express my real gratitude for the crew who helped make this trip for Mystic and me from Portsmouth, RI to Brunswick:  Bob Smith, Bill Derrah, Kate Campion, (Team I) and Loren Thompson, Tim McKenna, and Chris Connor (Team II).  And I want to thank all who referred these accomplished sailors and now, good friends to me.  Terrific people, all.  I’m honored to have your collective skill on board.

And thank you, Kim, for receiving the pictures and videos of Mystic and crew underway and on shore.  Almost as tough sailing as the gale we encountered on the ARC USA.  When all pics are received and posted it will recall an exciting trip, well executed.

What’s next?  Not sure, yet.  Trip to Sarasota; Christmas in Chicago; Sailing around the area for New Year’s; trip to Sedona and the Classic Car Auction by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale late in January, and then who knows…maybe to the Bahamas.  Another ARC Rally?  Any advice?

As my friend, Janet would say…”Don’t sit down too soon!”

On the move….Don

 

River Rats a Running!

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”George William Curtis, Writer

Don here:  Haven’t travelled the intracoastal waterway since the late 70’s…not much has changed.  Landscape is taller, boats are different, but the currents are the same, and you can’t have any lapses in attention!  “It doesn’t get any shallower that shore.” even in the intracoastal!

Why are we moving again?  We were underway at daybreak leaving Amelia Island, Florida, to Brunswick, Georgia (our original destination, but as you recall, the winds were too strong to go into Brunswick).  So were backtracking up the rivers to our hurricane hole called Brunswick Landing where I’ll keep the boat for a while.  There are advantages:  Registration fees (assuming we need to register the boat is Georgia) are less; insurance is less, and we’ll be close to town.  Nice advantages.

But the sun is coming up (haven’t seen that for days!) Chris went out and got coffee (thank you Chris) the crew is spirited (hangover?), and we’re practicing “red right returning” on a little channel with big tankers and tugs towing barges.

But let’s let the crew talk about the trip…that’s more interesting!

According to Chris: Riddle me this Batman, “How do you take a bunch of well seasoned Racing Sailors with tons of experience and make them a little uncomfortable on a 43′ Sailboat?” Put ’em on the river!!! Making great time while turning 2500 rpm and running against the tide. I am sure none of these guys have ever spent 10 straight hours underway by engine. Sun is shining, Dolphins are playing and they are learning that even while on the same “river” the Navigation lights can go from “Red right return” to Keep the green on your right until we cross the next Ocean inlet. Been a great morning with scrambled eggs, 4 blend Mexican cheese and Salsa. It was fun to not be pitching and rolling, and to have to hold on with one hand while trying to cook. Looks like it is going to be a great day to end an adventure of a lifetime, but more on that later in my final trip wrap up.

And now a word from Loren: did our own pub crawl  last night. started with our breakfast restaurant, the bar portion and had a Mermaid Slap to start(lots of booze), then went next door for a dark and stormy, saw the biggest lab around, went down to the old corner bar for another dark and stormy, ended up at a restaurant for last stop for food and drinks, had to send our d&s back because of bad rum. and our crawl was over. And our start was at the cuban deli to have some GREAT cuban coffee made by the lady from cuba, yup it was great cuban coffee, like what i used to buy in the little cuban joints by the miami airport. been a long time since i had good cuban coffee.

And bought a 6 pack of real ginger beer(alcohol) for our trip north. Will give evaluation later after sampling(drinking) it.

by the way, at least where we are the icw is very wide.

Tim here: Enjoying the Florida sunshine for sure! Of all the places to get randomly sent to, Amelia Island was quite pleasant! The town was having a Victorian era Christmas celebration with folks dressed up in period garb and carolers and a dog costume contest. There were a number of artsy vendors and a lively group of tourists walked the streets and sidewalks also enjoying the day.

The trip down from Norfolk was a bit of a wild ride as we got a little closer to the gulf stream than I anticipated.  But the pilot house kept us dry or gave us a nice place to dry off if we did go outside and get wet. Chris and I did a number of trips outside for sail changes and reefing that always ended with me saying “let’s get out of here” as we went for the door.

Cruising this ICW is actually more demanding than it sounds. The driver has to pay attention to the markers and also keep an eye out for traffic as we wind around through what looks like pretty swampy tidal basin terrain.

Closing out for now.  One more Trip Blog to come.  Thanks for staying with us!