Sunday, April 17, 2011

A bit further south then return to Southport

Journeying south on Winyah Bay then the ICW to McLellanville we again enjoyed pristine cypress swamps and beautiful water views of osprey and eagle habitats, and experienced one of the most spectacular porpoise encounters (10 of them swimming around and under the boat, breaching the surface and rolling over – possible mating activities) right after sighting our first alligator of the trip at noneother than the intersection of the ICW with Alligator Creek inlet from the ocean. After overnighting along the Leland Oil dock with other venturers we began the three day journey to retrace our route back to Southport again witnessing several wildfires as we did in the Bahamas. Again we enjoyed wonderful food at Wacca Wache and at Snooky’s at Cricket Cove. After enjoying a most creative fried green tomato sandwich the first visit I devoured an equally amazing dish of potato skins topped with crab in a cream cheeselike base with a topping of fried onion and Key West lime sauce on the side. We departed yesterday literally at the crack of first light to beat out the approaching tornado laddened storms racing our way across Alabama, Miss and much of the plains. Today we will go out for a final sail to Bald Head Island and then load up the boat on the trailer and begin our 3 day drive home. It has been a wonderful week of learning more about tides, with their ebbs and flows, and the entire interaction of the tidal zone fish and wildlife, as well as movement coordination living in about 30 sq ft with your spouse. Now we know how the Gemini and Apollo astronauts must have felt. And just watching oysters spit as the water receded from their attached perch on a pier was enlightening.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ICW Waccamaw River and Georgetown

We arrived in Georgetown after another great intracoastal waterway marina overnight at Wacca Wache (Happy Waters) with some tremendous travels down the Waccamaw River and tributaries Prince Creek offering wonderful scenic respite generally from suburbia and vacation condoland. Each day we have been able to partially sail but mostly motor the waterway arriving at the day’s destination just in time for the Master’s Golf coverage on tv. Wacca Wache followed with an evening of Bluegrass Music by the Salty Dogs and a late night hail storm (which by the way is a very interesting sound on a sailboat foredeck).

Our first day in Georgetown we rented a car to take advantage of the most unique Brookgreen Gardens nearby (we actually passed right by it on the ICW but the entrance has been blocked for preservation purposes) which was absolutely azalea amazing and their new butterfly enclosure was smile invoking.

Then today with rain forecasted and occurring we headed to Charleston for the 150th celebration of the cannon firing on Ft. Sumter which officially kicked off the Civil War; after first touring the historic district of Georgetown (the third oldest city in the state) and it’s Rice Museum, of course buying a bag or two of heirloom golden rice.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back in the US we visited again with our friends Ann and Gary and had a terrific meal at Fishy Fishy in Southport (love those shrimp and grits with tasso ham!). Yesterday we began our trek south along the intracoastal waterway passing sometimes treacherous Shallotte Inlet and spent the night at Crickett Cove Marina enjoying one of the very best meals we truly have ever had (and there have been quite a number) at a grill named Snooky’s. Immensely creative menu by chef Rich, as Cindy had a sandwich that included fried green tomatoes (we are in the south after all) chevre chees, applewood bacon and arugula. WOW. Interesting day today passing thru several swing bridges and overnighting near Myrtle Beach at Osprey Marina.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Abacos Green Turtle and a Barefoot Man

Our second week in the Abacos has been as enjoyable as the first with friends Amy and Brad Wade joining us on Parrot Cay and another get together with Bill and Nina Collins. After 6 years of coming to the Bahamas we finally were in the vicinity on the date of the Barefoot Man concert on Guana Cay yesterday although a strong low front’s weather system brought a couple of downpours that threatened to postpone the event , but the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. And another first after several attempts was a visit to Green Turtle Cay, which was absolutely gorgeous and serene with our favorite spot being Gillam Bay that could have been the tv set for Gilligan’s Island. Today we are off again to kayak, snorkel, and visit Pete’s Pub at Little Harbor. While we will as usual regret to leave this paradise we are looking forward to our week on the intra-coastal in South Carolina

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Abacos again

Our first week back in the Abacos on Parrot Cay has been spent doing what we love here – snorkeling, relaxing and eating out at some of our favorite places like Captain Jack’s, the Abaco Inn and Pete’s Pub. We have enjoyed dinner at the Hopetown Lodge with Northport friends Nina and Bill, and their friends Rena and Mike from Charlotte; and made some new friends as we ventured out sailing on the authentic Bahamian sloop Abaco Rage (No pictures for this as we were too busy just holding on during this racing wild ride).

Hog Wild Days

While there are no frogs hopping across the landscape we find ourselves at Kermit’s airport lounge at the Exuma International airport arriving an hour and a half before departure by tour guide Jay’s, and admittedly the taxi driver’s predictions based on post music festival crowd departures, precise deadlines and now apparently faced with a one and a half hour delay (that would be in American departure standards but “on time” in Bahamaland lingo, like our 6:20 am flight the other day that had to wait 40 minutes for sunrise – thinking reschedule?). Our stay here has been wonderful and we look forward to returning on our, or someone else’s yacht , someday as there are more beautiful places to anchor here than anywhere else we have been. We enjoyed the most fantastic trip through the lower Exumas on Robert’s Adventures yesterday and thrilled to snorkeling Thunderball Grotto. Amazing with all the human presence abuse that there is even any corral left there at all. We also swam with sharks , watched swimming pigs, and walked the longest sand bar in this hemisphere (eat your heart out Johnny Depp –who does own a home here as does Nicholas Cage –where doesn’t he). We also stopped to see the indigenous iguanas.The day before we revised the movie “Wild Hogs” and rented scooters to go south to Little Exuma. This is only the second time in our 25 years together that Jay has been willing to Ride the wild machine. Good times rolled.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Exumas ahoy

We have arrived in the Exumas and staying at Regatta Point in Georgetown, a charming inn close to town but separated by a causeway for privacy. There’s a Heritage Music Festival in town that we hear each night, and last week a major sailing regatta from which many of the boats remain in this sailor’s paradise. After breakfast yesterday at Club Peace & Plenty we journeyed across Elizabeth Harbor to Stocking Island for some snorkeling at coral just yards off the beaches, and a conch stop at the Chat ‘n Chill. The Exumas are every bit as gorgeous as the Abacos to which we have often traveled with sand as white as that found on Treasure Island.

Beautiful coral strewn beaches and a yacht voyeurs paradise.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nassau Honks

Our stay at the quaint Arawak Inn has been convenient for the jitneys into downtown Nassau for walking up the Queen’s steps to Fort Fincastle, strolling the straw market with hors d’oeuvres at Graycliff and a terrific salmon Panini at the British Colonial hotel. Afer a second delicious breakfast at the Cricket Club this morning it’s off to Paradise Island’s Atlantis resort. We’ve decided in addition to cricket , and for our friends who aren’t aware the World Cup of Cricket is taking place in 2011, the national pastime is honking car and truck horns. A number of different tones for different purposes, mostly to let you know it’s okay to walk across the street in front of them in the virtually constant stream of traffic

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leaving the snow behind in Traverse City we arrived safely to our friends home in Southport, NC. After launching yesterday Gary , Ann , Jay and I took a terrific daysail at the mouth of the Cape Fear river past Bald Head Island.
Only to be boarded for inspection by the Coast Guard on our return.