Monday, April 20, 2009

After once last long look at the Atlantic we headed home to Michigan via golf with friend Marilyn Wolcott in Johnson City, TN and Bazbeau pizza with the Parrins and a short stay with the Savianos in Indy. Our first look at home waters occurred in New Buffalo, MI as we stopped for a burger at our favorite place for that fare, Redamak's. The view of Lake Michigan was a welcome sight after our travels and we again appreciated what a beautiful area of the world we live in. Along the way we had varying tastes to the drinking/bathing water and none was so sweet as that from our well Up North. The marshlands of the south all gave a slight smell and taste of sulfur, while a few place in South Carolina and Georgia were almost undrinkable due to an earthy onion taste and smell. As Dorothy said "There's no place like home".

Monday, April 13, 2009

An ending to Remember with new beginnings

As we wind down our odyssey we returned to Southport NC in the same weather we left it - 30 degrees. But within a day it was back into the high 60s and we ended our journey as it began, with project days of work on the Balia, painting the trailer and cleaning and waxing the boat. As always we enjoyed a terrific stay with creative Gary and Ann with one highlight being evening cocktail hour on one of the public docks where we set up another version of camp and came up with ideas for a new restaurant. Even though we were out of town for the Masters, we did a new version of the annual Mini-Masters at the Oak Island golf club with Ann and Gary slicing balls around alligators and turtles amidst the blooming Azaleas. Today we head back to Michigan with stops again in Tennessee and Indianapolis.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Dream Come True

On our return to North Carolina from Florida we stopped in Augusta and were able to secure at some fairly great expense two tickets to the Monday practice round of the Masters Golf Tournament. The beauty of Augusta National did not disappoint and we were amazed at the elevation changes to which television cannot do justice. While not many players were out due to the wind and cold we luckily were able to hook up with Chicago Golf acquaintance Ben Crenshaw for a few minutes. While we have put on a Mini-Masters Golf Party every year for the past 15 years or so, it has always been a dream to get to actually see this historic course. Cross that one off the Bucket List!!

Up a not so lazy river

After traveling the St. John's downriver we then journeyed upriver to the Acosta River Marina just short of Welaka, with the most scenic portion being the smaller creek along Murphy Island. There were several sightings of alligator, turtle, osprey nests on navigational markers and herons along the way. We anchored for lunch and each day reorganized our little cabin from nightime sleeping to breakfast and other daytime uses.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Up the St. Johns river to Palatka

Our search for a marina to not only launch, but dock the Balia and store the trailer somewhere up the St. Johns River from Jacksonville, laborously brought us to historic Palatka and the Boathouse Marina where we instantly encountered the owner of a beautiful Trawler who was traveling the Great Loop from , can you believe it, Traverse City; named John Mater.
We motorsailed one day downriver 29 miles to Cove Springs past the local nuclear power plant to tie up at the Crab Shack restaurant, a local treasure and fine example of true southern hospitality and Po Boys with a quarter mile long dock that I am sure is packed in the summer but which we had pretty much to ourselves for a quiet night aboard. Then a terrific sail back to Palatka to weather out some storms, taking advantage of the weather by going to the PGA Golf Hall of Fame and a lunch rendezvous with Jay's U of Chicago Executive Program buddy Jack Frestel and wife Diane who were driving that same day from their home in Sarasota to Nags Head North Carolina where Jack is opening another Dirty Dicks Crab House restaurant.

A few final tourings

At the end of the Talbot/Amelia Island segment of our journey we revisited Fort Clinch from the land side, and toured Kingsley Plantation where Cindy picked up a book on catching and preparing shrimp; after which we again relaxed with Hinsdale grade school friend Jim Stocker and his wife Annette.