Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We made it!

Sitting in Fernandina Beach, resting, relaxing, reflecting. The trip from Charleston was interesting. We were close hauled for half a day, and making seven and a half knots, then the Coast Guard relayed a special weather statement. Heavy storm off of Hilton Head heading East slightly. Any boats in the area are advised to seek safe harbor, and any sailboats to drop sails and run under motor. Damn! We dropped sails and powered along in rolling seas. The storm got close enough for us to wince at the lightning hitting the water, but then it started moving south, closer to shore. We were about five to seven miles out, and we followed that damn storm all the way to Florida. So we had lightning every few minutes, which lit up the horizon nicely. The waves were lifting the bow, and slamming us down for hours, until day break, when we finally had some following seas. The weird part of the night was the stars above us shining brightly, and then lightning arcing overhead as well. Veins of lightning spreading out across the sky. Mother nature really put on a display for us that night, and I hope we never experience that again.

Entering the St Mary's river we were contacted by the USCG, and were requested to hold our position until a naval escort proceeded before us. There were several mean looking small warships coming in, and they were escorting a Nuclear Submarine. Pretty awesome, but it delayed our arrival by an hour, and more storms were coming in. We rolled in behind them, and proceeded on a flood tide, with heavy current. When we arrived at the marina the current was only about half a knot, and we docked for fuel. I just got done filling the tank when a squall hit. It was on and off squalls for the rest of the evening.

We are all tied up and safe and looking forward to more adventures. Unfortunately it's time to go back to work, and earn some cash. I am not looking forward to that. Manufacturing car parts just seems so meaningless now, but it is what I do, and so it goes.

I'll be back with more reflections on the last five weeks of travel. There are some issues with the boat, that need to be addressed. Most systems worked well, and fuel issues aside, the Yanmar kept performing, but I sense some overhaul is needed. Yesterday the starter did not kick at the fuel dock. It took several attempts to get her to turn over. Oy.

Thanks to everyone who followed along, and we appreciate the advice along the way. It really did help.

SV Kelly Nicole


  1. Sounds like quite the trip! We don't get lightning like that up where we are, but we do get Nuclear Subs. They are mean looking, for sure. Nothing like sailing along when one comes up, escorted by its small bully-looking ships. On some level, you have to know you are on their radar.
    I feel your pain having to go back to work. It somehow seems just wrong. Still, you got 5 weeks? That's pretty awesome. Three is the most we've ever had.

  2. Well, I didn't really have 5 weeks left. I will be taking some days without pay. Worth it though. I'm sure when I get back, there will be some explaining, and it will be a little lonely at the coffee pot.

  3. Well done Paul [and Deb]

    I have been watching your progress with much interest.
    This trip must have prepared you both well for the cruising life down the road.

    Now get back up to NY and get some work done .... lol


    PS Whisper III got sold and unfortunately the new [total idiot] owner put her on the rocks in Sandusky bay and she is a write off. Say goodbye to your old friend !

    1. That was very sad news. Actually shed a tear over her loss. Whisper III was our weekend getaway for the family, and carried us on some real adventures. Very sorry to hear.

    2. Yes Paul,

      Yes, really sad.
      We went to see it last weekend and all the inside had been torn out to do the Insurance survey.
      We are trying, right now to buy it back, and if we succeed she will be back in the water fully repaired.

      Regards to you both


    3. Paul, an update on Whisper III.

      A "friend" based in Florida, with my help, has managed to buy the Hunter 34 from the insurance company.
      Today she was moved to Erie, and will be fully repaired and back in the water by the Spring.

      The inside will be totally redone and hopefully she will live on, based in the Great Lakes for many years.


  4. Deb and I have been following your trip, nice work guys! We hope to follow in April.

    1. Thanks! We look forward to meeting you guys someday soon. Before you know it you'll be heading out, and you're going to love it. We just got a taste of the cruising life, and I wish we could just keep going. This whole work thing has to stop.

  5. Welcome to Florida!
    Glad you made it.