Monday, March 30, 2015

We Love Southport

We made it to Southport around 3 this afternoon- just in time for some of the crew to get in some shopping. But, like any small town, most storsmclose before 5. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we need to plan a full day stay in Southport. Next time....

We ended the day by trying a new (for us) restaurant on the waterfront. We have wanted to try the Yacht Basin Eatery, but the line to get in during the season is really unbelievable, so we never tried. But, today we are definitely way before the season starts. So, no lines! 

The menu for this little place is really quite varied. Not only can you get lots of seafood options, but there are many other offerings. For example, I had the French Riviera- a turkey sandwich on a croissant with cranberries and melted Brie. It was very yummy.

The other food picture is Peggy's hamburger. She asked for it to be well done, and it was just perfect.

Even better were the desserts. They make the desserts in house, so it is worth the stop. A warning though- the desserts are super rich. So, don't plan on a large meal AND a dessert. You will not be happy!

Tomorrow we head to Carolina Beach.

Grand Dunes is the Place to Be

Yes, Dear Reader, we are visiting Gee's favorite place in Myrtle Beach. I do so love the fancy marina. And, they drive you all the way across the street to the Lowe's grocery store. Yes, Terry did keep saying, "Are you talking about the grocery store that is right over there? The one I walked to? In a few minutes?" Yes, it is that close. BUT, it is quite the distance if you buy lots of groceries. And Lowe's is just that kind of tempting grocery store! cross buns. Ah...scones. Ah...wonderful bread. Halfway through our shopping adventure, Mike said that he would have gotten the bigger cart, but he thought we said we only had a few things to pick up! Now some crew members are complaining about all the food in the refrigerator. 

Meanwhile, we had a great breakfast. Peggy made one of her signature dishes- crunchy french toast.

We also had leftover fruit compote from dinner last night. All in all, it was quite the gourmet breakfast.

Now everyone is prepping to leave Myrtle Beach. As usual, we will be heading north. We hope to end up at either Southport or Oriental. It's cloudy out, but it's warmer than it's been.

Saturday Evening in Georgetown

We made great progress headed north today. As a result, we were in Georgetown by 4:30. Yay! We got to walk through downtown, and a few shops were still open. We were especially happy to see that Tomlinson's was still open. We love that store. We always find something we like.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Morning outside Charleston

It was not hard to get moving this morning - it was COLD! As you might guess, cold weather is muffin time on board LUX. Get that oven cranking! Get some heat in this cabin! Mike's desire to have LUX home in time for spring sailing weather means that it can be a trifle chilly out here - even in the south. Right now it's 36 degrees. Brrrr! As usual, the rest of us felt the need to tell Mike to at least put some shoes on!

Anyway, back to breakfast. There was a scurry of activity to get all the breakfast choices started.

Today's muffins were apple cinnamon. Carol decided to cut up an apple to add to the mix, and it was a great idea. Peggy was busy making hot drinks. And the sun was steadily rising.

Finally, everything came together. Breakfast was served.

Some folks had oatmeal. Some folks had eggs and muffins. Everyone enjoyed breakfast!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Evening- It's Fajita Night!

We've made it far enough north to be anchored just south of Charleston. We managed to get the anchor down before it rained again, so everyone was happy.

The crew was even happier when they found out that it was fajita night!

We fried up chicken, peppers, and onions. We had white wine sangria. For dessert, we had brownies! Yummy.

Meanwhile, today's tale of sailing along is thankfully without drama. We saw pelicans. We saw jets- the Marines were busy today doing touch and goes. We saw lots of low country. We were followed by a Lagoon called Dreamcatcher for a bit. And Peggy beat Gee in Yachtzee yet again. Luckily, she did not get to her best score of 606 again. Believe me, it's hard to take when someone gets four yahtzees in one game!

Friday Morning in Beaufort

We're up and about for another fine day on the water. The forecast for rain all day did not happen...yet. We hope it skips us totally. In the meantime, we have been enjoying breakfast.

Breakfast on LUX has become an interesting business. When we first started sailing together, we offered a main dish for breakfast. But, through time, we have all regressed to our at home breakfast choices. So, most days, breakfast on LUX is a buffet. Today, some people had yogurt and fruit. There was an egg sandwich. And most of the crew had a piece of pecan roll as well.

One interesting problem that we are working on is coffee. When we first started, we LOVED coffee bags. Yes, just like tea bags! They were easy to use and easy to throw away. No messing with loose coffee grounds. But now the prevalence of the coffee makers using pods is squeezing out the shelf space in stores. As a consequence, we have noticed that it's harder to find the coffee bags. So, we are experimenting. Currently, we are trying the Melitta single serve. It's the red funnel-like thing in the middle picture. I think it works well-as long as the weather is nice. We haven't yet had to make coffee in rough weather. That trial is yet to come. But, we can skip that one in favor of continual nice weather. I don't think anyone will complain!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Long Day on the Water

Today was an 8 hour day of steady motor sailing. Yes, you read that correctly. We actually did put up a sail. With good current, strong motors, and support from our sail, we made it to Beaufort, SC in time to go out for dinner followed by ice cream.

For entertainment today, I tried taking photos every hour so that you can see what we saw. As I keep pointing out, it all looks like water to me. But it was a great day on the water. There was some sun. There were clouds. And, although I did not get any great shots, there were lots of pelicans.

After a long day on the water, it was nice to get off the boat and stretch our legs. We ate at Panini's on the Waterfront. We then went across the street for some excellent ice cream.

Tomorrow we will be up early to continue heading north.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Day in A Marina

LUX spent her last full day in her winter home- our secret location in Georgia. Yes, we are still not telling where because we really love this place. They are so nice. The marina is just lovely. It would have been perfect today except for one little problem. There were just way too many gnats! Billy, the marina manager, assured us that these particular gnats really only last for a couple of weeks. We were just lucky enough to be back here at the height of the gnat issue.

We did get all the laundry done. We made a grocery store run up to Publix. We even managed to get showers in the lovingly maintained bathrooms.

It was just a slow, easy day taking care of things that needed to be done for most of us. Terry, on the other hand, had quite the busy day. He had to take everything out of the forecastle in Carol's cabin. We thought we had a leak. It turned out to be lots of condensation. Everything had to be taken out and cleaned as mold and mildew had attacked viciously! Terry worked hard to get it back in good shape. And we learned a valuable lesson. We need enough dehumidifiers for BOTH sides of the boat for next winter. The good news was th at it was NOT a leak! Yay.

For dinner, we decided to take it easy. So, we had a green salad with shrimp. 

Peggy was yet again a super person. Mike had purchased a cucumber, but we kept forgetting to serve it. Peggy took that poor miserable cucumber, and she saved every bit that she could. Mike was so happy to have cucumber with his salad.

After dinner, three of us player rummy. Peggy beat the socks off us. 

Wednesday Morning on Lincoln Creek

Our goal for today is to make a marina stop for groceries and laundry. Since we are only a couple of hours from the nearest marina, we took the opportunity to have a leisurely breakfast. Peggy made one of our favorites-sweet potato pancakes. 

Yes, Peggy even had time to decorate them. They were so delicious. Now we're taking care of business. Dishes are washed. Meds are taken. Boat is getting ready to move along. It's still dreary out, so it's the perfect day for a visit to land.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dinner on Lincoln Creek

We have settled for the night here on Lincoln Creek. It's a quiet anchorage well off the ICW. Tonight's dinner special was our own version of coq Au vin! No, we did not braise chicken in red wine for hours. Instead, we blended several quick recipes to make a fast and easy chicken stewed in red wine!

And was it ever good.

We started with carrots sliced thin. We sautéed them in some butter. We added a cut up onion. We continued sautéing until the onions were clear. Then, we added cut up chicken. But not just any chicken. We bought frozen pre-grilled chicken. Drop it in. Add chicken broth, canned mushrooms, and red wine. Et voilà! With a little thickening, we had a lovely chicken stew. And it was ready in just about 30 minutes! Perfect boat food for the end of a long day on the water- especially when that day was chilly!

The crew all said they really liked it. So, this recipe will make it into the LUX favorites cookbook for future journeys!

Tuesday- A Cloudy Day in Georgia

Today was a travel day for LUX. We started early. We pushed on north. It's been a gray day. Occasionally we have had a shower. If you weren't at the helm, you were reading or doing something to keep busy.

The biggest entertainment of the day so far is the gull show. It seems we are being followed. By gulls. By lots of gulls.

They work hard at flying to keep up with LUX. Every now and then they dive into the water to try to catch a fish that we might have churned up. We keep waiting for them to actually fly into LUX. So far, they are just keeping up with us.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Day Well Spent was just too tempting. We were here. Jekyll Island was here. And we had never taken the opportunity to just play tourist. So we started with the idea that maybe we would just look around a bit for half a day before taking off. That was before we got started.

We began by taking the tram around the historic district. Our tour guide did a great job of telling us about the history of this playground for the rich and famous in the early 1900s. We even had the chance to tour two of the "cottages"- small places to escape the harsh northern winters. Of course, their definition of small starts around 5000 square feet!

After our tour, we decided to enjoy lunch in the formal dining room of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. It was founded in 1886. Today, they work hard to let you enjoy a fine dining experience. And we did enjoy lunch. Check out Peggy's lovely salad platter.

We had a lovely time. And it took longer than half a day. We'll definitely add another stop here on a future voyage. In the meantime, we'll be spending another night here at the Jekyll Island marina. Tomorrow, when the weather is nicer, will be soon enough to continue heading north.

Rainy day in Georgia

Yesterday afternoon just kept getting grayer, so we decided to stop over at the Jeckyll Island Marina. 

We had hoped to enjoy the Low Country Shrimp Boil at the marina restaurant as well as the very nice amenities of the marina. The amenities are still great. But, the restaurant is under new management. No shrimp boil for us. The food was good, and the service was great. So, we still had a wonderful evening.

We made it back to LUX well in advance of the rain. This morning, we did the regular boat check for wet spots. Oh no. We found some. Now we have to have the search for the sources hunt. Never a dull day on a boat.

We are also discussing field trips for the day. Jeckyll Island has some wonderful tourist stops. The marina has a courtesy golf cart that they will let you use for 90 minutes. It will be a fun way to start our day!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday Night Behind Amelia Island

We made it to the Amelia River last night just before it got really foggy. Even though we did not leave St. Augustine until noon, we still managed to go 52 statute miles. We ended the day with a dolphin show! Yes, a dolphin swam around LUX just to make sure we had our daily sighting.

As many of you probably know, yesterday was National Alien Abductions Day. Of course, we had to celebrate with a special dinner. We started with aliens in cocoons. 

(Yes, they really are pigs in blankets. But, of course, they are not just any pigs in blankets. These are mini Rueben pigs in blankets. I had not really thought they would be such a hit. In fact, I planned to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Silly me, huh? My crew started with them as appetizers, and finished them with dinner.)

For dinner, we planned to eat alien brains - otherwise known as seafood macaroni and cheese. I had done research on Mac and cheese. These were rated very highly.

So we mixed them up for dinner.

To accompany this fine feast, some of the crew indulged in one of our favorite drinks- our version of Alien Brains. It's peach juice and peach schnapps mixed together. Then, you pour in a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream. The original recipe did not use peach juice. That's fine if you are in the mood to drink shooters. We always prefer something closer to a punch drink. Our version worked great as an accompaniment to the meal. And, Denise, you were right. Looza peach juice is excellent.

We ended our evening with pie for dessert and a review of methods to avoid alien abductions. No worries. We haven't seen any aliens. That could be because we've seen quite a lot of the border patrol boats. So we are all safe and sound. Today, we continue heading north.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday in St. Augustine

Yesterday, Terry and Peggy were kind enough to take a walk to one of our favorite places here in St. Augustine- The Bunnery. No, they do not sell Easter stuff. This is what they offer: 

Yes, they sell the best and the most decadent baked goods on the ICW. And, they have such a variety. Terry and Peggy were hard pressed to make decisions. So, they chose what we always love best. And, they bought enough so that we could have two full days of yumminess! I know that is not a word, but nothing else will suffice for such tasty treasures.

So, now it is back to the real world. Terry is returning the rental car. Mike is scrubbing down the boat exterior. Carol is wiping down the ceiling on the veranda. And Peggy is reorganizing our provisions for me. This afternoon, we plan to leave St. Augustine and start north. The fog is finally breaking up somewhat, so we should be able to move along.

The interesting news for the day is that the swing bridge over the Alligator River has suffered from a broken gear. The gear has to be manufactured and replaced before the swing bridge can go back into operation. We'll be watching that closely as we head north.

Friday Morning in St. Augustine

It's 8 AM here in St. Augustine. It's supposed to hit 77 degrees today. Yes, Dear Readers in Maryland. I am pointing out that it is NOT snowing here! But, it is very foggy today so far.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19th- We're in St. Augustine

We got up bright and early this morning in order to pull into the marina at slack tide. The tide here in St. Augustine can be incredibly strong, and trying to battle it to get into the marina is just more work than it is worth! Our timing allowed Carol to perfectly pilot LUX right up to the fuel dock. LUX literally glided on in right behind the American Cruiseline boat, American Glory!

After getting fuel and ice, Mike continued our show of masterful boat handling by bringing LUX down the aisle, turning her around, and putting the stern right in the slip! The other boaters, hoping for a display of poor boatsmanship, were sadly disappointed. They wandered off looking for other excitement.

So, we are here for a day or two. There are always wonderful things to do in St. Augustine. We'll see what we can find.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday on the ICW

Today we motored on toward St. Augustine. The day was mostly sunny and warm. And not much happened until this afternoon 

Yes! What a blast from the past. We were passed by the Niña and the Pinta. They are headed north to Brunswick, GA. The Niña is a full scale replica of the original. The two of them make up a floating historical museum about Christopher Columbus and his voyages to the New World! The two ships are visiting ports along the eastern seaboard this spring and summer.

Of course, they were going a little faster than the originals. They were fully under power- not a sail one, as you can see. But, it still made for a great sighting today.

St. Patrick's Day

Anchor Is Up

It's 1005, and the anchor is up. We are preparing to leave our lovely anchorage here in the South River. No, Dear Readers, not the South River in Maryland. We are in Georgia. For all our friends who thought we were bringing LUX back to Annapolis, yes we are not going north. We are headed south right now. Since we are this close to St. Augustine, we cannot resist. We are headed there first. We plan to spend a few days here in the south in order to let the north warm up a bit! Besides that, who doesn't love visiting St. Augustine?

So we spent a long day motoring on the water. It was a little tricky getting by Jeckyll Island. It's rather shallow, and one needs to be very careful. Mike and Carol did an excellent job of creeping down the waterway. We did not even scrape along the way.

The anchor went down at 5:25 PM. We anchored in Delarouche Creek. For dinner, we had corned beef and cabbage. No, Dear Reader, we did not cook for 3 hours. We used the quick recipe! You start some spices boiling in 8 cups of water. You add cut up potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. Lower the temperature, and cook the veggies for about 5 minutes. And now the secret! You use thickly sliced corned beef from the deli. After cooking the veggies for 5 minutes, you place the corned beef slices on top and cook for 15 minutes- or until the potatoes are done. It's just enough time to heat up the corned beef. And, yes, Dear Reader, it was very tasty indeed.

After that, it was an early night for all of us.

On the ICW Again....

Gee, it's great to be back on the ICW again. Yes, it is time for LUX to come home to Annapolis. LUX has spent the worst part of the winter in Georgia.

While we were blanketed in snow, LUX was living the good life in a gated golf course community. We knew we wanted to take LUX south for the winter, and we had lots of discussions about the perfect place. Our final choice had just about everything we could want. It is just below the freeze line (although it did drop below freezing several times during this terribly cold winter). It has lovely floating docks. It has an immaculate bathroom and a nice laundry room. It does not have a tiki bar- thereby eliminating the worry of party people visiting LUX without us. The Dockmaster volunteered to drop by LUX and check on her for us. And, the community members who came down to the dock for the scenery? They kept telling the Dockmaster that LUX was such a pretty boat. We LOVE people who share our admiration of our LUX!

Now you are probably wondering where this amazing marina can be found. Seriously, we have given enough hints here and in past blogs for any inquiring mind to figure it out. But we won't make it easy for you. We plan to be back there again, and they have a limited number of catamaran slips! And, we can't fault the maintenance and upkeep at this marina either. After all, the Dockmaster told us just before we got ready to leave that they are planning on redoing the marina this year. After all, the floating docks are supposedly rated for 20 years. And this marina is 20 years old. No, the docks did not look in need of replacement to us. But, they just no longer meet the standards of this community! Works for us!

We did meet someone from the community who was walking on the docks. We offered him the opportunity of a tour of LUX. He accepted with alacrity. He started with how beautiful LUX was. Once inside, he just kept saying how he would have to practically live aboard because it was so wonderful inside. At this point, I should warn you that he came aboard just as we returned from provisioning. We were not at our neatest! And he still thought we were wonderful. We love this place.

However, we could not stay if we want LUX to be in Annapolis. So, we started up the engines and headed south.