Monday, June 30, 2014

Leaving Yorktown

By now, Dear Readers, you have noticed that I did not post a blog yesterday. I was having way too much fun. It was a busy day.

We started the morning waking up early as usual. It seems that once you get in the habit of getting up at 6 AM, your body will not take a vacation day! Since we were up with lots of time, Peggy made blueberry pancakes!

After breakfast, some of us did the laundry run. It wasn't totally necessary, but some of the clothes were dirty, and both washers were available. How could we resist!

Finally, the laundry finished. We took off for Yorktown. We started with a ride on the free trolley. It is a great route that takes you around town and up to the Yorktown Victory Center. Yes, the town is very small, but the ride gives you an overview of it all.

Next stop- the Watermen's Museum. This is a very small museum, but it is packed with artifacts and exhibits. As you can tell by the name, it honors the lives of those who work on the water. First thing we learned is that the term 'waterman' is only used here in America and in England- but only in the region of the Thames River! We also learned that William and Mary College was started with fines paid by three pirates! The house the museum is in was once on the other side of the river. It was delivered to the site by barge. And, it had a great gift shop. Quite a lot to be packed in one small house! The most incredible thing was the amount of ship models- all of the made and donated by volunteers. And, it is totally cared for by volunteers. That includes putting together the exhibits. They do a great job.

Next, it was back on the trolley to the Yorktown Victory Center. This is a much bigger museum, and it has staff. All the exhibits were beautiful. They have the prerequisite movie theater as well as an outdoor education area. During our visit, they had the army camp and the farm up and running with reenactors. The place was packed with great exhibits and things to do. We certainly needed more time, but it was getting late.

We headed back to town for my daily dose of ice cream. Just as the sign said in the islands, it's necessary!

I love that sign!!! BTW, during the time we were indulging in ice cream, we had quite the event. There was a wedding across the street in the waterfront park! Lots of (probably hot) people were sitting or standing in the sun when the biggest stretch limo we have ever seen arrived. Yes, the bride, the dad. A wagon, and two little children came out of that limo. But seriously, all the guests could have fit as well! This was our second wedding while on this trip. The first was at the waterside park at the Beaufort Docks. Weddings, rainbows, big boats, dolphins...this trip has been jam packed with sights to see!

After our visit to Ben and Jerry's, we wandered over to the wine shop where they sell tropical wines. No grapes anywhere! We indulged ourselves by purchasing peach, pineapple, and blueberry. 

And then, just before the pick up to go back to the boat, there was another treat. A fife and drum corps marched through town. They were all dressed in Revolutionary era uniforms. It was just great! Wow! What a way to end our day.

Finally, back to the boat. We took a break- some of us napping, and some of us watching the goings on in the area. Our favorite story of the day involves a group of people on the sandy beach across from the marina.

This picture was taken this morning. Yesterday evening, there were three boats and lots of people- and dogs! If you look at the picture, you can see that several of the crab pot floats are suspiciously close to that beach. Well, one of the dogs was a young black lab who decided that those floats just had to be toys that were thrown in the water just for him. So, he spent his afternoon trying to get them onto the beach. Yes, he was literally dragging around floats with crab pots attached. He actually got the two closest to the beach up on the beach! He even tried to bury one.

Now, we do not advocate nor do we support the practice of moving other people's crab pots around in the water. But, that dog was SO determined. It was hysterical to watch how persistent he could be in trying to get those floats to the beach!

After dinner, we all showered and went to bed. This morning was another early one- this time on purpose. We want to make time to get to Deltaville.

So, we said goodbye to Yorktown. We are off for another day of fun and adventure on the water. It is not even 8 AM, and we have already seen 5 dolphins. As usual, they appear to be in the witness protection program- they managed to evade all attempts to capture photos of them. For once,I decided not to give you yet another water picture with arrows. A short break- but the day is young.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Joy of the Silicon Pot Lid

We really enjoy having silicon pot lids on board. They take up less space than the traditional pot lid. And, they are so versatile. They can be used as trivets. And, our favorite....

This morning, for our Sunday special, Peggy made blueberry pancakes. Oh so yummy!

But, cooking a batch gives lots of time for them to cool. Enter the silicon pot lid.

Jus put the pancakes on a plate, and cover them with the silicon pot lid. Yes, they stay nice and hot until you are ready for the second helping! What an excellent breakfast! Thanks go out to Peggy and her silicon pot lid.

A Side Note: I ordered the least expensive ones I could find on Amazon. Now that I have tried them, I really want one that you can see through. The most dangerous part of using the lid is lifting it off the pan to see if the water is boiling. The lid more or less seals to the pot. When you lift the lid, the steam comes right at you if you do not plan ahead and open from the point furthest away from you. It will be nice to just be able to glance into the pot.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday on the Water

We left Atlantic Yacht Basin early this morning with the intent of making it to Yorktown.

Just for Linda, we have one last look at Chanticleer. It certainly is a beautiful boat. 

We made good time so that we could make it through the first bridge and the lock.

We made good time, and we soon found ourselves in Norfolk.

And then the fun began. As we got closer and closer to the Chesapeake, it got rougher and rougher. Alas, Dear Readers, I was forced to take to my bed to sleep through it all. According to the rest of the crew, they saw four dolphins. There were also lots of boats out enjoying the day. According to some of the crew, we had a great sail today. I don't know. I was asleep. But, for others, it was a great day.

We are now at the York River Yacht Basin. It is a lovely marina with new docks. The marine store has great supplies as well as some food and jewelry.

After checking in, we decided to have a drink at the York River Oyster Company. One look at the menu, and we decided to have an early dinner. After all, some of us missed lunch! Great food. Great drinks. The only bad thing was that they did not have cake for dessert. Oh well. Maybe at the next place....

We also had visitors from the boat behind us. They really wanted to see the inside of LUX. As always, we are happy to have visitors. We love showing off our boat. We think she is beautiful. It's nice to have others agree with us.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Just for Linda

Tonight, we are docked at Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge, VA. It is actually more of a working boat yard than a marina. In fact, a really large cabin cruiser from Baltimore is in the yard right now because it hit something that bent a shaft. At about 30 degrees according to Mike. Ouch!

But, the real reason this blog is for Linda is that there is a rooster here with us:

This small boat's name is Chanticleer. A chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster that dominates the barnyard. This boat certainly dominates Atlantic Yacht Basin! 

Dear Readers, you may remember that Linda's favorite photo subject (after dolphins, of course) is a chicken. I have been trying to capture a really good chicken for her during this trip. I think I succeeded with this one.

Yes, indeed, a superior yacht. And quite the chanticleer in this marina!

Meanwhile, back to our adventures. We really like this marina because you can easily walk to a great shopping center. It has a wonderful grocery, a Dollar Tree, and a Panera's. Best of all, there is a Hancock's Fabric! Yay! We walked into town, and we had a good time shopping.

Back at LUX, we prepared a lovely dinner of stroganoff and salad. It all turned out to be very tasty. Now, we are having a discussion about tomorrow's destination. It will be interesting to see where we end up.

Some Last Looks at Coinjock

We've left the dock at Coinjock's, and we are on our way to Great Bridge. Yes. Today we cross over into Virginia. Here is a last look at Coinjock.

As you can see from the dock in the center picture, we waited until the large powerboats had all left. We really didn't want to spend our day dancing with powerboats in small passageways!

Although it is gray outside, we are not complaining. The latest look at the weather has the rain going south of us. We are just getting the benefits of the clouds. As a result, it is nice and cool right now. It is great traveling weather. And, just now, we saw a bald eagle sitting on a branch having breakfast. 

Morning at Coinjock

Well, it is not another beautiful day today.

The forecast for today is chance of thunderstorms. The weather radar shows rain heading for us. Hmmm. Even worse, the restaurant here in Coinjock does NOT have breakfast. Oh well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finally! We stop at Coinjock!

If you know Terry, you might have seen his tee shirt from Coinjock. He has stopped here several times. But, every time LUX got here, it was too early to stop. So, we would press on. This time, we said we HAD to stop. 

We arrived around 2:30, and got settled in. As we were walking toward the restaurant, someone called our names out!

Yes, it was Judy and Ralph from ASPS! It was lovely to see folks from home. We had a nice chat.

Later on, we went to dinner at Coinjock's Restaurant. 

It may look like a hole in the wall, but it is THE place to eat around here. The specialty is the 32 ounce prime rib. Since Carol loves prime rib, we got it for her. No, the plan was NOT for her to eat it all. She could have what she wanted, we would get a picture of a ginormous prime rib, and tomorrow we would have stroganoff. 

BTW, it really is true that this is the place to stop. The marina only has one long face dock, but it is packed tonight. And LUX is one of the smaller boats. So is Ralph and Judy's boat!

Even though the dock is full, it is still a pretty place to stop.

And Mike got a tee shirt. All in all, not a bad day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alligator River Marina

Well, we are here at one of our favorite stops on the ICW- the Alligator River Marina. Yes, we are at the Shell Gas Station/marina/truck stop/restaurant. We were followed all day by Adagio:

Adagio's owners are actually fron Indiana, but they keep their boat in West River. They love sailing the Chesapeake! We invited them for cocktails before dinner. They came, and they brought wine. Just for you, Linda- I took a picture of the wine bottle:

Finally, I get a good picture of a chicken!

We all went over to the restaurant in the gas station. Everyone tried something different tonight, is I can report that all the food was good. I must confess that some people stuck to the traditional fried shrimp platter- but they did try different sides.

Tomorrow, we will head off once again. The destination is Coinjock.

The Promised Pictures

In a past blog, I mentioned that Terry had the good camera out when the recreational shrimpers were working. So here is a great shot showing how frenzied the seagull activity was.

After a bit, there were two boats out shrimping- which made the seagulls even happier.

And, we did have a nice storm the next day on the way to Belhaven. Here you can see the ominous clouds.

But, the sky behind us was beautiful. This was a great shot of the rainbow with a sailboat passing under it.

Finally, just for the weather loving group- yes, it is a waterspout. Yes, it is the one Carol was trying to get us to photograph. Luckily, Terry did get his camera out. Even luckier, we did not meet up with this weather phenomenon. 

You Can Tell You're Traveling With True Sailors When....

Tuesday morning. Mike and Carol are at the helm. The skies are gray. Rain spits now and again. At 8:31 AM, Carol throws open the screen door and yelled, "Quick! Grab your camera! There is a funnel cloud up ahead." Alas, Dear Readers, the non-sailor in this motley crew did NOT see this as a Kodak© Moment! Terry did caution the navigator to NOT sail directly for it. The Coast Guard did issue a bulletin to watch for two funnel clouds sighted on the Neuse River headed for Pamlico Sound. My crew? We're just motor sailing along. Today's good news? There is a rainbow following us. We hope that is a good sign.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Earlier Today- Before the Cookies!

Yes, we did leave Beaufort early this morning, but not super early. We were just headed up to Oriental. We wanted a short day, and Oriental was just the right distance. It was a great day to be on the water. The wind kicked up, and the sailors were able to sail! Yes, they even turned off the engines.

We also saw some shrimpers hard at work- followed by large flocks of seagulls. And all kinds of boats from small fishing boats to sailboats to BIG yachts were all out on the Neuse River.

We made it into Oriental just around lunchtime. We enjoyed a lunch of Beaufort leftovers, and then we set off to explore town. The interesting thing about the South is that many stores are still closed on Sunday - even in seaside tourist towns. But, even more interesting- they are also closed on Monday. So, we did not get to do laundry in Beaufort because the laundry was closed on Sunday. We did not get to check out the art gallery in downtown Oriental because it is closed on Mondays. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind- we really don't need to shop( but laundry....that's another issue). It's just that coming from an area where everything is practically open all the time to an area that is just the opposite takes some adjusting! Still, it is all fun, no matter what. We can look in shop windows and have just as much fun. And, we just wait until the next town to do laundry. Luckily, we all still had some clean (or mostly clean) clothes! And, the marina here at Oriental had two washers and two dryers.

The other interesting thing is that once again we are in a seafood town that does not sell its seafood locally. It gets frozen and shipped out. No fresh shrimp for us, darn it.

The evening ended with a water show.

This is not the best picture. Terry took ones with a better camera that we will post later. But, two small boats were out shrimping. You can barely see them, but all the white dots around them are gulls! It was wild to watch the boats circling, and the gulls trying to take the shrimp. A great ending to another great day on the water.


Yes, tonight I experimented on the crew. We started with my Ginger Chicken Cashew over rice. They all seemed to like that. Then, on to the big experiment of the night.

Yes, I made cookies. In The Microwave!! I bought a package of pre-made pecan turtle chocolate chip cookies.  I cooked them two at a time in a silicon pan. The time was 1 minute and 45 seconds. I turned the pan after one minute because this microwave is not only low powered, but it does not have a turntable! Then, I tried to let them cool.

When they cool, they are really good and crunchy. But they are good hot as well. We all enjoyed them. Another good experiment.

Happenings in Beaufort

There have been some comments on the dearth of news during the last two days. Well, Dear Readers, we were having an adventure! Mike's nephew lives in North Carolina. So, he decided to bring his family out to the coast to visit us. They really wanted to join us in Beaufort because the museum has a pirate section! And, they would be near a beach. Almost a perfect vacation, right? Especially when your three children are under the age of ten.

Let me start by saying that they are a delightful family. We enjoy having them around whenever we get to see them. We invited all of them to spend the night on board LUX. Now LUX really is a good size for a boat. But 7 adults and 3 children? That is a lot of people all in one small place. The kids and Mom slept in the starboard forward cabin- with one in the vee berth. Dad slept on the settee. It appears he got the better part of the deal. We heard lots of tales of feet stuck in other people's faces, space stealers, wigglers, etc. the next morning!

We all went out to dinner Saturday night. We had pancakes on the boat Sunday morning. Then Mom and Dad spent time planning the rest of their day- a trip to a beach. While we were waiting, Carol (yes, Dear Readers, I am talking about our own Carol who claims she is not good with little children) entertained the children by playing Go Fish with them. Here is the proof:

The children asked me to play as well. Peggy served as our most excellent referee and moderator- the toughest job of all. She got to use probably her entire stock of Grandmother phrases- Use your inside voice, Don't look at other people's cards, Let me help you with that.....I am sure you can continue this list without my help!

At the end of the game, it was time for the family to catch the ferry to the beach. We were sorry to see them leave. However, some of us were quite worn out. Children that age have incredible energy! It was like being around three perpetual motion machines. We were quite impressed, though, by how well behaved they were. Peggy had to use more Grandmother sayings like- No, Do not step on That, etc. but, they always stopped and did what they were asked to do. It was a lovely visit, all in all.

Yesterday afternoon, we all mosied around the shops looking for treasures to bring home. We ended our day at the Dockside restaurant and bar. Great view. Okay food. Then, it was back to the boat for an early bedtime!

Monday Morning in Beaufort, NC

Our time here is quickly coming to an end. It is a lovely morning.

We will be heading off to Oriental this morning.

We have had a great time here in Beaufort. It is one of our favorite spots.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Leaving Swan Point

We took off from Swan Point Marina at 6:25 AM. It was a nice place to spend the night. But, it is a little tricky getting in and out. As the boat people on board like to say, "The water is a little thin here."

This morning, we get to go through one of our favorite spots on the ICW. It's the area where you are reminded that it might be shut down due to firing range practice. Hmmm.... Another good reason to have your radio on while boating. You would hate to miss those types of messages.

Friday, June 20, 2014

At Swan Point Marina

At 7:30, we found ourselves at the friendliest little marina on the ICW- that's what they say about themselves. And, for once, the advertising is true. It is a small marina, and the amenities are minimal. But, they are friendly and helpful. And everything is clean.

So, it turned out to be a nice place to stop. Tomorrow, we'll be on our way bright and early. We'll be in Beaufort by late afternoon or so. As you know, there is no way to exactly predict boat travel time!

Friday- Some Touring, Some Traveling

We decided to take advantage of the rest of our car time by going back to Wilmington first thing this morning. We caught the very first trolley tour of the day, and it was a winner. Our guide/driver was fantastic. He had his route memorized, but he did not deliver it as though he were just reciting. He was not one of those guides who has to tell a joke every minute. Instead, he was pleasant and professional. We really enjoyed our 45 minute tour through historical Wilmington.

In honor of Linda, we tried to get some shots of one of the church steeples. This church has a rooster on top of its spire! We thought that we finally could take a chicken picture for Linda. No such luck. Every time the trolley got close, trees blocked the view. So, I am forced to drop back to my standard photo. In this case, I had to take a picture of a postcard. Oh well....

Not our best chicken shot. But, what can you do if Linda is not with you to capture those moments?

We then went off to the Cape Fear Science and Arts Museum. It was another gem. The exhibits took you on a tour of the history of the area. You could guess at some of the exhibits-- wildlife of the area, climate, industry. But, there were some surprises, too. My favorite was a little display of handbags! They had handbags dating back to the early 1900s. And, the explanation of the exhibit had some great old photos of women with their handbags. There was also a Michael Jordan Discovery Room! It seems that he was born and raised in Wilmington. An interesting factoid for all you sports fans-- Michael Jordan did not make his high school team the first time he tried out. According to our trolley driver, he is an example of the power of perseverance. The Discovery Room, BTW, was actually a large hands-on science area. There were lots of fun things to do. I personally spent some time with the exhibit that let you hear the sounds of animals in the area. There was also a great display on hurricanes. My favorite part of it was a large wall photo of the eastern seaboard from space. It showed the run off from the land into the ocean after a major hurricane. I had never thought about that aspect of a hurricane. So often, we only focus on the devastation to man made structures.

But, finally it was time to go. We first had to return the car to Enterprise. We just keep finding out that it takes forever to do anything with those people! We finally got taken back to the boat just in time to make the 2:00 bridge opening. Talk about timing. We had 7 minutes to get on the boat, off the dock, and moving toward the bridge. Lucky for us that it was really close, huh?

Now, we are back on the ICW. There has been lots to see on the water. This area is full of recreational boaters, so we have been swarmed by jet skis. We've also had our share of small powerboats pulling floats with children or adults on them. But, the best for me was the pirate ship.

It looked like one of those tourist pirate ships. But, this one only had ONE boy on it! What a great day to be the only one! You get to do everything. I was suitably jealous!

So, we are just cruising along. We'll stop somewhere soon for the night. Then, it is on to Beaufort in the morning.

Still in Wrightsville Beach

When I last left you, Dear Readers, we were trying to figure out what to do about Wilmington. This town had come up as a stopping place for us on this trip because we had never been there. However, our research was giving us limited options on where to stay once we reached the town. Our best bet was the city docks- a marina run by Wilmington right in the heart of the historical district. Further research turned up tales by other mariners that were not inspiring. Several captains complained about their boats being robbed. Some captains said it was a nice place, but you had to pay attention to the logs in the river. Yes, Dear Readers, NOT debris but LOGS! Added to that, there was talk about the swift current at the city docks. All in all, some of the crew just were not in favor of the Wilmington docks.

As you could tell from the lovely dinner drink posting, we did end up in Wrightsville Beach. The plan was to rent a car to go into the city. But, we did not count on the lack of cooperation from Enterprise. Yes, they will pick you up. But, in Wilmington, that appears to be whenever the mood strikes them. We asked for a 2:00 pick up. When we called at 2:10 to ask where they were, they said the driver was just leaving. When we called at 2:30 to ask where the driver was, we found out that he was stuck in bridge traffic because he had a drop off in Wrightsville Beach. BTW, Wrightsville Beach is across the bridge from us. So, it was after 3 before we actually got the car. 

Now, here in the south, everything except restaurants closes at 5:00. Not much to do as tourists if  most everything is closing. So, we started with the top of our list- the Cotton Exchange. The write up made it sound like an eclectic collection of shops. It was, but the shops really didn't have that much to offer. The big excitement was the collection of buildings that housed the shops. There actually was a cotton exchange in one of the buildings - a place to buy and sell cotton. Some of the buildings date back to the 1860s. And, they had done a nice job of documenting the history with photos and displays.

We did make some interesting purchases. One of the shops had kitchen goods and foodstuffs. We got three collapsible bowls- better for storing here on LUX! Mike bought pickled peanuts because it was a local product that seemed rather unusual. The rest of us have already made enough weird faces that he has had to remind us that we are supposed to be open to trying new and different things. Hmmm... We will try these things, but not many of us seem hopeful about Mike's food experiment this time.

We also found a bookstore that stayed open later than 5. Of course we had to spend some time wandering the big collection of both new and used books. It was an interesting old place with stacks of books everywhere. It also had a quasi-snack bar that sold beer, sodas, wine, and dried kale chips. Yes, that is an unusual collection of offerings,isn't it? This place also rents books by the yard to movies being made in the area. The proprietress had just rented 65 feet of books to the set designers of Under the Dome. Yes, they are shooting that show here locally!

After that, we just rode around Wilmington to see what we could see. We then headed back to Wrightsville Beach. We decided to go out to dinner, so we ended up at the restaurant with the really pretty drinks. And, the food was very tasty. 

Unfortunately, we were all pretty tired by this time. We managed a short foray to the shopping center. The guys went to West Marine, and we went off the Harris Teeter. We had just enough energy to get back to the boat. It wasn't long before we were all in bed. Another great day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Dinner at the Bluewater Waterfront Grill here in Wrightsville Beach. First, the tasty drink.

About the Bananas!

Recently, I read on the web that you could keep bananas longer by wrapping the stem end with plastic wrap! Initially, I wasn't too sure about such a plan. But, hey, what did I have to lose? After all, the bananas could ripen too fast in this heat anyway, right? And, we can always have banana pancakes. So, I decided to give it a whirl.

It was certainly unusual for the crew. One of them even tried to remove the plastic wrap thinking that someone had put it there by mistake. We replaced the wrap. And, I can now tell you that we think this idea has real merit.

Let's take a look at our second trial.

You can see in the top photo that just the stems are wrapped. In this case, the bananas have now been on the boat for two days. They were green when we bought them. Notice that the backs are still greener. Due to lighting, the fronts actually look more yellow than they actually are. Success! We can recommend wrapping banana stems - no matter how weird it looks.

What If...

We started the morning with a game of What If. What if we rented a car to go to Wilmington? What if we went to Wrightsville Beach and rented a car? Yes, the possibilities were endless- until we found out the only rental car game in town did not have a car. 

So, we have decided to push on to Wrightsville Beach. We have made a reservation for a car there for this afternoon. We will eventually see Wilmington- just not until after lunch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Southport- What a Lovely Day

We had a great trip up to Southport today. In fact, we found ourselves in Southport soon after lunch.

We immediately got ourselves organized and strolled on in to town. Once there, we caught the city trolley ($2 lets you ride all day) to get an idea of everything available in town. 

We ended up at the local maritime museum. What a little gem. There were great exhibits telling all about the history of the area- including information on pirates! A little something for everyone. They even had a periscope so that you could get a bird's eye view of the area. Very cool!

An interesting factoid about Southport- the city has three rather interestingly named streets. The first is Howe Street. The second is Dry Street. The third is I Am Street. Yes, it truly is Howe Dry I Am. Peggy's theory is that they ran out of names for the streets, but got lucky when they came across a bunch of drunks singing away!

Another interesting factoid- they will be filming for Under the Dome in a garage on I Am Street. Mike found about that in the local press.

After that, we ended up across the street at the thrift store run by volunteers for the local hospital. It was actually a funny visit because we got there 15 minutes before their closing time. Now, I must tell you that I am used to our own hospice volunteer-run thrift shop at home. There, if five customers came in and started collecting stuff, they actually would wait for you to finish shopping. Here, they couldn't wait to get rid of us. One volunteer even turned out the lights in one of the sections in the store! Okay- we got the message. But, we still managed to find good things to buy at amazing prices. Mike even got a pair of shorts for $.50. Great bargains. If only we would have had more time....

We continued walking from downtown toward the harbor. Along the way, we checked out a few antique shops before we decided we really wanted to go to dinner. So we started off toward Fishy Fishy.

Now, we have to tell you that the last time we were in Southport was when we were bringing the boat back from Tortola. Terry had gotten off earlier for business, so he was not with us when we visited Fishy Fishy. We loved that restaurant! It had great food. It had cute artsy fish all over the walls. We were looking forward to sharing that with Terry.

Well, two years is a long time in restaurant time. The art work was gone. The food was not as good. They gave us a table right next to the manager- who was busy talking to waitstaff about schedules. The other table near us have the prerequisite crying child. They also put us at the very first table- near the wait station and the bar. So, Terry was not impressed. Unfortunately, neither were we.

However, Fishy Fishy is just across from Flavas- the ice cream store. We did love dessert!

After dessert, we walked on back to the boat. There, we saw the Dockmaster. 

You can see from the dingy in the shot that the heron was right next to us. He is so used to people, I guess, that it didn't even bother him that I was taking pictures. He just kept on fishing.

Tomorrow we will leave early for Wilmington.

Terry And the T.P. Adventure

As anyone on a boat knows, heads are mostly VERY small. They also have minimal storage. So, Terry was thinking.... Those of us who know Terry understand that it means he has thought of something we could do to improve LUX. In this case, he was thinking about toilet paper- specifically, how we could store it on LUX.

Most homes have space under the sink to store the extra toilet paper rolls. This is not the case on our boat. The only storage is on top of the towel bar.

As you can see, the towels do not like to share. Plus, you hang them on the rack to dry- meaning that they are not going to be friendly to toilet paper! We needed a better solution. 

I turned to my trusty advisor- the web. I searched for toilet paper holders. Wow! There are LOTS of them out there. One of my favorites was toilet paper hung on a string with a stick at the end. But, it dawned on me that there was a much easier way to do it. All I had to do was think about the storage bags people make to keep those pesky grocery bags at hand. Same idea. Different contents.

I got busy measuring toilet paper. Here is a picture of my worksheet. 

I agree that it is not the best diagram ever, but it was my working diagram. The toilet paper had a circumference of 16 inches. 17 inches gave me room to sew. Four rolls of toilet paper needed about 19 inches. 1 extra inch was added for differences in brands. An extra 6 inches was added for the top and bottom. For fabric, I used the material left over from making the fish curtains for the portals in the heads! Yes, matching fabric! Not only did I get cute fish fabric, but the fabric is actually a fabric shower curtain. That gives the project some protection against moisture, mold and mildew. Clever, huh?

Just like those grocery bag holders, I was making a tube open on the top and the bottom. The top could remain open. The bottom would need a drawstring and a toggle. On a grocery bag holder, you just need enough room to pull out the bags- and those bags can really be squished down. That is so not a good plan with toilet paper on a boat. You really want to make sure the toilet paper stays where it belongs and in its original shape! There is no place on a boat for free range or squished t.p. So, I decided the best plan would be to make a casing on the bottom with a toggle. To do this, I fell back on an old standard- grosgrain ribbon.

I finished each end of the ribbon with Fray Check. And, I sewed them down- leaving room for the final seam on the side. As you can see in the picture, I also folded over the hems twice, and sewed them down. Both times, I used quarter inch seams. The final sewing step was to serge the long side.

When it came to the pull strings, I went for recycling. We have a collection of badge holders from various conferences. All of them were the kind with a string to hang the badge around your neck- meaning the ends were finished. I saved the bage holders that were still in good shape, and I took the strings for this project!

The final step in the assembly was to put two grommets it the top section so I could hang the bags in the heads.

The picture clearly shows the grommets and the shower curtain rings that I am using to attach the bag to the rails of the towel holders in the heads. I could have just used one ring through both grommets, but I wanted to try it like this the first time.

And now- a look at the completed project in action.

I had originally thought to put the toilet paper in at the top and take it out the bottom. However, once it was installed, it was just easier to do both through the cinched bottom.

You just loosen the toggle, and toilet paper easily goes in or out! This is a fun, easy, and fast project that really does solve a storage problem on our boat. And, if you keep up with it, no one need wonder where the extra toilet paper is in the middle of the night!!😉

Leaving Grande Dune Marina

We are on the ICW again before 7 AM- trying to beat the heat. This voyage home has been harder than the others because we left so late in May. We all knew that would mean it would be hotter. I don't think we thought about how much hotter that would be!

Yesterday, we arrived at Grande Dune Marina around 2:30. We chose this marina because it offers a shuttle to the grocery store. It turned out to be an even better choice when we found out they do not charge for the laundromat. Yay! Of course, it was only one washer and one dryer. 😱 so, it took a little longer for all of us to get our laundry loads done.

We did have dinner on the boat. Mike had gone to the shrimp dock in Georgetown, where he bought two pounds of shrimp right off the boat! That meant dinner was steamed shrimp, salad, and corn on the cob. The corn was purchased on our foray to the grocery store- a new one for us called Lowe's. It was a great store- somewhat like a Harris Teeter with lots of great produce and many choices for groceries. We had fun browsing for additions to our larder.

Peggy and Terry, meanwhile, stayed at the boat to get their laundry started. Once everything was in the washer, they tried out the tiki bar. They reported back that it was worth the visit - great frozen drinks and some yummy nachos.

So, after a great night at Grande Dune, we are back on the water. There is not a breath of breeze out here today. You can see from the photo below just how still and calm it is out today. The pilots already have the fan hooked up by the ship's wheel. We hope to be in Southport early in the afternoon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It Is 7AM, And We Are On Our Way

It's early morning, and there is just a little bit of fog lying on the water. We are up and about, and headed off toward Myrtle Beach.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dinner in Georgetown

We are at our favorite restaurant in Georgetown- Wildfish Grill.


We've already had adventure this morning, and it isn't even 7 AM. First, the tide is out. As a result, we have very thin water. We did hit a nice lump. We had a few minutes of twirling, and then we were on our way.

The second excitement of the day was a dolphin sighting. The dolphins must have found a whole school of fish. They were splashing and flipping about. As usual, here is the picture that I took.

Where is Linda when I need her?