West Palm Beach Aground then onto Miami

We made ourselves leave Stuart, Florida, and that is a very difficult task to do! Down the ICW we went for two days to West Palm Beach, Florida. The ICW is a real dream as it is calm, easy, and very safe. Our first night we dropped the anchor where we usually do, at the south end of Hobe Sound right off Tiger Woods’ home. No call from Tiger, so we did not stop in. We simply enjoyed our first night on anchor since Nov 15th and it was now Jan 10th! Our boat was running great, which is always a concern after a yacht sits because the best thing for any boat is to keep it moving and to push it hard.  Island Spirit was back in action with all systems running well.

Hobe Sound, near Jupiter, Florida is a dream location

Arriving West Palm Beach, the 1%er area

We are always amazed at the enormous wealth of so many people as we arrive in the West Palm Beach area. Massive waterfront homes have even larger yachts that block the view from the house. These houses are probably second or third homes. The owners might only be here a few weeks a year. The rest of the time, the landscapers and property manager all take care of the estate.

Aviva – Yacht Length: 98 (323 ft) – Guests: 16 in 8 cabins (est) – Crew: 25 in 11 cabins (est) – Yacht Value: US$ 150 million: Joe Lewis a UK Billionaire with 200 companies!
Typical winter home with a little fishing boat.
Steve Wynn’s Yacht Name: Aquarius – Yacht Length: 92 m (302 ft) – Guests: 14 in 7 cabins (est.) – Crew: 30 in 15 cabins (est.) – Feadship – 2016 – Yacht Value: US$ 215 million

Yup, that is how the Billionaires roll with mega yachts, massive homes, tax write-offs, and wealth that they can’t even begin to spend.  Steve Wynn is worth 3 billion dollars and his yacht only cost him 215 million dollars. So let’s move some decimals around. $3,000,000,000 vs $215,000,000, what is that like to a normal person? Take off 5 zeros and you have $30,000 vs $2,150. So a person worth $30K buys a used car for $2K.  Or a person worth $300K buys a $21K car. NOT a big deal, right? It is all numbers. The super-rich should have much bigger toys, don’t you think?

Anchored in West Palm Beach, FL

We stopped in West Palm to hire a diver who would clean our prop and bottom before sailing off to Miami and then to the Bahamas. We had been sitting in Stuart for 2 months, so we expected the bottom to be dirty. The public dock at WPB is perfect for this. The diver walked down the dock, jumped in and an hour later he was finished. We left the dock to anchor out. What a great public day dock this is.

Waiting on the WPB dock for the diver, what a great town!

Martha and Robert connect

Boat Buddies from Massachusetts spend the winter in WPB and they drove over to the harbor to visit with us for the evening. Martha and Robert sail Island Packet 420 ENTROPY. Professor Rose is a Materials and Engineering Science expert at MIT. What an interesting couple and what lively conversations we always have, whenever and wherever we connect.

Martha and Robert Rose. Emeritus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

OH NO, We Found the OYSTER BAY

We were anchored a few days in West Palm with the winds blowing from the east the entire time. Of course, we were waiting for the front to arrive so we could sail south on the new wind from the Northwest. Well, that wind shift combined perfectly with the morning tidal change and poor Island Spirit spun 180 degrees around on her anchor and was pushed aground onto the well known OYSTER BAR. This shallow area is right off the Henry Flagler Museum home that we toured the day before and now we were nearly inside the building. This was the oddest experience as it was 0600 with the engine running, ready to pull up anchor and head out. Depth was showing 7 feet. Then all of a sudden, the new winds arrived and we swung 180 degrees on our anchor and onto this bar. When 20,000 lbs are moving sideways and slide onto a ledge that is sloped perfectly to let the boat lay over, it all happens very quickly. I nearly fell off as I was standing on the deck, wiping down the windshield and next we were leaning over 45 degrees. The side deck was nearly in the water. Here are a few photos.

On the WPB Oyster Bar in front of the Flagler Home
There was no way we were getting off of this until the tide came back up
Radeen on the side watching the tow boat

TowBoatUS to the rescue

We have paid for unlimited towing with TowBoat US for 18 years. This is the second time we have called for a tow. They knew the spot well, they told us to wait for the tide, but they would come out and see what they could do. With 600 hp they tried to budge us, but we would not move. Good thing as we were on hard surfaces. So they hooked up to our bow and they ran the engines “dredging” us out as the prop wash pushed material away from our bow. With my 55 lb Rocna and our strong Lofrans windlass, we tried to kedge and be pulled free. Not working. So, we agreed to simply wait. Deep water was 15 feet in front of us, 1/2 a boat length, but 20,000 lbs was aground. So we waited.

TowBoat US arrives on the scene, he knows this spot well
He hooked us and tried to budge us, but decided his best bet was to dredge and blow material away. They came back in 2 hrs and then pulled us off. Great job!

How did this happen?

We had East winds for days and all was fine, with the boat west of her anchor. That morning, new NW winds came in so the boat swung to the EAST and laid right up onto the bar. Now I see and it all makes sense to me.  Mitzi and Alane of the IP38 formerly named Holiday met us on the dock and warned us about that area, but we thought we were fine. The frustrating aspect is a local boat knew this would happen and said nothing UNTIL we were on the bar, THEN they dinghied over and said, “we wanted to warn you…but….” Oh well!

This is how wind and current swung us onto the bar

Free at Last, Off to Miami

Once we were pulled off the bar around noon, we moved down to the Lake Worth Inlet and decided that it was too late to set sail. So we dropped the anchor at the inlet and relaxed. We needed to start up the watermaker and this was a great place to do that. The next day we set sail for sea and made it to Miami and south to Biscayne Bay for sunset. Of course, we entered Government Cut at 1700 right when the cruise ships were coming out, how exciting. Then we passed a container ship and went into the ICW. After turning south passing Brickell Point, then motoring under the Rickenbacker Bridge , it was WELCOME to Biscayne Bay!  Anchor down, we watched the city lights come on and popped the bubbly. This is one of our happy places!.

A fun leg south using the Code Zero, sailing with Larry & Hera of IP32 THE DOVE
We entered Government Cut with several cruise ships going out
We also shared the channel with container ships, always so colorful
Welcome to Miami and Biscayne Bay, our happy place
Watching the city lights come on from anchor off Virginia Key
We popped some bubbly to celebrate -we love it here in Biscayne Bay!

 

Stuart FL Thanksgiving time

We arrived Stuart Florida on Nov 16th, 2018, planning to stay here thru Thanksgiving and then move south in prep for sailing back to the Caribbean Sea to resume out Caribbean adventures.  Sunset Bay Marina is our most favorite place to stay between Maine and Key West. Stuart is a dream town, the Marina is run with the best team, and the owners go far out of their way to make customer care #1.  We have never been anywhere where we feel more welcome. Add to this wonderful marina our good friends at Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services, makes it a perfect place for us. We call it HOME!

Our typical sunsets as seen from HOME!

What we like about Sunset Bay Marina

We count this location as “HOME” and there are many reasons for this. First of all, the owners of this marina, Pam and Jay. go so far over the top, doing everything they can to make their customers feel at home. They provide a fully catered dinner for Thanksgiving, they set up a large screen and projector for movie night twice a month complete with lots of pizza. They host cocktail parties.  They added a beautiful coffee bar complete with wine and local craft beers! They fully support their management staff and make sure they have all they need. Next is the terrific marina staff. Everyone is so kind and so focused on customer service and on maintaining the property.  Sam manages his outstanding team so well, and everyone works together:  Matt, Nichole, Jason, Edward, and Dennis each do an amazing job.

Another reason we like it here is because of our host Terri who lives on an IP38 SAILBATICAL. Terri makes everyone feel at home here and we all lean on for local help and support.  The final reason we like Stuart is because of Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services, Colin and Travis. These brothers and their parents have built a great business here and they have helped us refit our IP for Caribbean adventures and then they rebuilt our boat after hurricane damages. We really like working with Travis and Colin. This is our third year at Sunset Bay and we really feel it is the best run, best-built marina on the entire East Coast.

Sunset Set bay Marina at Sunset. Beautiful

Good Times at Sunset Bay with Friends

Delighted to share the good news that our host, Terri, has joined the Whiteaker Yacht Sales team. Terri holds a USCG 100-ton captain’s license and is an ASA sailing instructor, plus she is an English teacher at a public middle school.  Here we are with our “Welcome to the team, Terri!” photo with Ed and Debbie Whiteaker.

Our Stuart Fl team of Whiteaker Yacht Sales Brokers

Thanksgiving Day Reflection

Every day we take a walk around town via the Stuart boardwalk. Here is the Happy Thanksgiving Day photo we sent to Dr. Kevin Fox at the University of PA. Radeen and I owe her life to his breast cancer research. Dr. Fox cured Radeen of Stage 2B triple negative breast cancer in 2001.  It was during this very difficut time that we bought Island Spirit and set our sights on the dream of crusing. This is why we appreciate every single day to the fullest. Thank you, Dr. Kevin Fox!

Thanksgiving morning on our walk around the Stuart waterfront.

Thanksgiving at Sunset Bay

The owners, Pam and Jay, host a catered Thanksgiving Day meal for the marina guests. Black linen table cloths, hundreds of chairs and an endless buffet line had the staff working very hard to prepare for us.  What a joy to attend an event like this with our boat buddies at such a beautiful facility. I did not get many photos but here are two of the setup.


The guests bring all the side dishes and homemade desserts.[/caption

Island Packet 380 PLAN SEA transfer to new OWNERS!

While here at Sunset Bay Marina, we were fortunate that buyers discovered our listing of IP380 PLAN SEA. After promoting PLAN SEA for 18 months, a couple walked into the WYS office and almost immediately bought this MINT yacht without ever seeing one ad, one email, my photo album or even knowing much about Island Packet Yachts. Preston, the broker in the office that day, created the offer and we quickly negotiated the sale. We attended sea trial and survey in Palmetto, FL with the new owners, Kim and Charlene, and welcomed them to the Island Packet Yacht Owner’s community. Here are the happy photos of this day. It is never easy selling a yacht you love. We are happy as now everyone can move onto their next adventures. Jim and Loretta now have PLAN D, and have hit the roads for some southwest exploration and spring skiing in Utah. Congrats!

380 Plan Sea’s new owners, Kim and Charlene

Dear Friends in Florida

While at Stuart and while driving back and forth across the state of Florida for many reasons, we really enjoyed catching up with boating friends in each of the areas. We are so lucky to know so many diverse people and we treasure each and every friendship. Thank you all for making time to visit as we flew by…

We found dear friend WENDY to celebrate her birthday with Paul

Bob and Cast of IP370 SEA LION heading to the Caribbean

Super Star TINSLEY of YouTube fame IP27 Salty Abandon

At home with Tom and Lesa of IP35 PANACEA,

Yacht Broker Car

And finally, we had to rent cars during Nov and Dec as we drove back and forth to Whiteaker Yacht Sales looking at boats and working with customers. So, we rented this beautiful car which made driving much more fun.

That is a wrap

Our time here always flies by! Between yacht services, yacht sales, helping others and visiting with friends, we had lots to do and much to be thankful for as we live aboard in Stuart FL.

Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

Leaving Charleston Maritime Center, we usually run inside on the ICW to Beaufort SC. This takes two days and we will anchor our somewhere in the Stono Rover area and then make Beaufort SC the next day.  The tides in this area are 7 feet +/- 2 feet and you really have to watch the markers. Lucky for us, this was a calm peaceful run.

Welcome to Beaufort, South Carolina, another must stop town on the ICW.

Beaufort, SC

The main reason we stopped in this cute town was to visit with my cousin Randi who retired here since the last time we were here. We also wanted to catch up and see good friends Jeff and Marjorie, formerly of IP45 Far Niente. Like so many people say, cruising is all about the people you meet. We have kept in touch with many friends and family by stopping along our routes as we cruise. What a fun thing to do. (Apologies to those we missed by going offshore.)

Good friends Jeff and Marjorie connected with us for a fun night at the FISH CAMP

Look who we found? Randi and Chris, my cousin and his wife, who retired to Beaufort, SC to hunt and fish and golf 24/7. LOOK out deer, fish, and turf, Randi will clean UP!

It was really fun to show Randi and Chris our Island Packet 35 sailboat. Here is a selfie on the boat.

Beaufort SC Sunsets/Sunrises

When we are in Beaufort, SC,  I always see the most amazing sunrises lighting up this harbor. I take the best sunrise photos here every year. Take a look at these beautiful morning photos! WOW.

Beaufort SC sunrise on Island Spirit

Sunrise at Beaufort, SC

Sunrise on Island Spirit, Beaufort, SC

Beautiful Sunrise over Lady’s Island, SC as seen from Beaufort SC.

Offshore to Florida

Departing Beaufort SC we always run offshore. This requires running the Ebb current south 22 nm out Port Royal Sound to the sea buoy. Then turning south, we skip all of the Georgia ICW. At the GA/FL line we run in the St. Mary’s inlet and anchor off Fernandina. We were lucky to make this leg with great boat buddies. Laurie and Jim of IP350 KISMET….

Out to sea at Port Royal Sound and offshore to St. Mary’s inlet, FL.

Buddy boat IP350 KISMET sails out to sea at Port Royal with Island Spirit

This offshore run is always one of our favorites. It is a simple one-nighter where you make it to the sea buoy at late afternoon and then you arrive at the inlet in the morning. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises add to our enjoyment. Here is the sunset that night off Hilton Head, SC as we sailed south.

Offshore sailing sunsets are beautiful

ICW Fernandia to St. Augustine FL

We spent one quick day in Fernandina and then it was southbound on the ICW to Fort George National Park. Jim and Laurie told us about this really cool park, so we diverted up this side creek and anchored right off the park with them. What a fantastic place to take an audio tour and discover the fascinating history of The Kinglsley Plantation.

The Kingsley Plantation and Island Spirit as seen from our DJI Mavic Pro Drone

From Fort George, we next made St. Augustine, Florida, another wonderful city to stop and explore.  Heny Flagler made this one of his railroad stops and built a luxurious resort here in 1888. Now it is  Flagler College, a beautiful building to tour. There is more original Tiffany glass in this building than any where else in the world.

The Flagler College, St. Augustine

The Flagler College entrance, St. Augustine

The entrance foyer of the Flagler College, St. Augustine

St. Augustine Fun with Friends

While here in St. Augustine we had some amazing visits with dear friends. First off, one of my favorite students from my 34-year teaching career back on PA lives here and he wanted us to meet his son. What a joy this was! Thank you, Aaron, for making this happen!

We connected with Tina and Dr. Jon for a wonderful meal out on the town. Tina is the sister of our very dear friend back home, Anita.  They always make us feel so welcome when we visit.  Thank you, Tina and Jon!

Boat buddy Ceal linked up with at a local pub and we had time to catch up on all her happenings as she restores another yacht while living aboard. Ceal is an amazing sailor and we always enjoy our time with her. ( Sorry we missed mutual friends Bob and Jane of IP40 Voyaguer by only a few days.)

Our last day in St. Augustine we connected with our world traveling buddies on NEVERLAND, Cynthia and Jim. Here they are helping us with our scheme for a canal boat in Amsterdam and run it all thru Europe this upcoming summer. Look out, it may very well happen. We really admire these cruisers, they really know how to travel.

We also found our good friends on IP40 SAILIN SHOES, Tommy and Tracy as they arrived into town on their new to them IP 40. We helped Tommy and Tracy find their dream yacht and plan their retirement cruising dreams. What a joy now, after a year of work to be out here sailing and cruising with them. This is the best part of being a yacht broker with Whiteaker Yacht Sales. Radeen and I can help others buy their yacht and learn how to go off cruising. Tommy and Tracy are doing exactly that. Here we are together,  touring the National Park Castillo de San Marcos.

Vero Beach Buddies

After leaving St. Augustine, we made a required stop in Vero Beach where we toured the new home of Greg and Sharon. They are remodeling a really cool home in Vero Beach just a block off the beach. Sharon and Greg have the most creative and classiest taste when decorating. Their Island Packet 40 is the #1 most beautiful IP I have ever been on and their new home is turning out exactly the same way. Here is a picture of our pretty Ladies….

Sharon and Radeen out to dinner together is always fun with this team.

Our cruising mentor, Carey first took us south in 2011 and taught us how to enjoy Biscayne Bay and Coconut Grove. Then he taught us how to sail into the Bahamas and we all enjoyed the Abacos for several months. We caught up with Carie and Julie for a fun night out.

This is our mentor for cruising, Carey and Julie meet up in Vero

Off to Cocoa Village

Overall the years we have cruises south, our #1 best IP Friend and land support team has been Robert Wiley.  Every year we pass thru heading south or north, Bob is always there for us and he helps us with anything we need from moving cars north and south to picking up a new Samsung Tablet to sharing ice cream in the village.  Thank you Bob, we really appreciate your friendship and support:

Robert Wiley and Radeen and Hayden enjoy the ice cream parlor in Cocoa Village

The Final Push to Stuart FL

We departed Cocoa Village with our final push for STUART FLORIDA, our dream home away from home. This was another 4 day push down the ICW motoring in calm seas on the easy ICW. Here we are arriving OUR HAPPY PLACE…..STUART FLORIDA and Sunset Bay Marina.

Happy Hayden arriving his happy place Stuart, FL

Sunset Bay Marina at Sunset. So beautiful

Sunset Bay Marina, our Happy Place

This is our stopping point for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart Florida. WE LOVE THIS PLACE and we feel at home here. The marina is run so well. The facilities are perfect. The town is a dream, and our good friends of Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services are here. Colin and Travis make us feel home here as well.

This blog post is a catch-up post as we are currently in Turks and Caicos and waiting for the weather to move onto USVI. We have been using Facebook as our live updates and you can follow us there at: https://www.facebook.com/svIslandSpirit/

The Map of this Leg: Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

Departed Beaufort, SC Nov 3, 2018 and arrived Stuart, FL Nov 16, 2018

Annapolis to Charleston SC

NOTE: We are working on blog updates as we try to document our cruising adventures for the 2018-2019 season. Our most current postings are always on our Facebook PUBLIC page. You do not have to be on Facebook to look at a public web page, all you need to do is click here: https://www.facebook.com/svIslandSpirit/

We departed Annapolis MD in October, as we always do, on the Monday of the boat show. After a very fun time with our Island Packet Yacht Owners Association daily lunches at the Fleet Reserve, we sailed away. We enjoyed promoting the new Island Packet 349 as we shot hundreds of photos and published them to the internet for all to view. Turns out,  we helped to sell the first one and we are very proud of that fact. Congrats to Steve, we are very happy for you!

Our run down the Chesapeake Bay was fantastic with code zero sailing and making our normal harbors along the way. First, we stopped in Solomons to have a technician verify our latest radar problem. The result was that a new dome will be waiting for us in Hampton. This stop was made much more fun when Ron and MaryAnn of IP380 CAVU met us on the docks to help us and take us out to breakfast!

Next up was Virginina, with an anchorage in Deltaville and then Hampton City Docks. Unfortunately, we were running directly into Hurricane Michael. Lucky for us, we prepared for it in the water with the shelter of a 6 story parking garage upwind. While in Hampton, we were invited to attend  Rick and Jean’s wedding on the bow of their Island Packet Yacht, IP38 SPINDRIFT. This beautiful event was one of the highlights of the season. Notice the beautiful post-hurricane weather. Sooooo much fun and such a privilege to meet their families and to share in their joy!

Departing Hampton, we moved south to one of our favorite places, the South Ferry DockPortsmouthmouth, where we linked up with longtime buddy boat IP350 KISMET, Laurie and Jim. We went to the Commodore Dinner Theater and saw the movie A STAR IS BORN. What a great stop this was.

Next up was the world famous DISMAL SWAMP. This is one of our favorite sections on the ICW. It is a photographer’s dream. Here are a few of my favs.

That is Hayden standing by the anchors, with the tannin-colored water cresting in a little wave under our bow.

From the Dismal Swamp. we pushed hard for Oriental, NC, where we were invited to spend a few days at an IP owners dock. This was a great rest. Thank you so much John and Cyndi of IP380 CHARDONNAY.

We enjoyed a great surprise running into Dave and Kim of IP320 ANDIME while meeting Dave and Suzy of IP 37 CAY PARAISO. IPs are everywhere!

Now, it was time to hit the ocean at Cape Look Out and sail offshore for Charleston, SC. This is a 2-day passage and the winds were perfect and the moon was out, but WOW was it cold! We bundled up and set sail for sea. Here are a few photos pushing for Charleston, SC.

Those are red lights in headlamps for our night vision.

Safety harnesses are mandatory offshore.

Now we can take a break, as we ALWAYS spend a week in Charleston, SC. WHY? Because it is a dream city to sail into, especially if you dock at the Charleston Maritime Center. This places you nearly on East Bay Street in the heart of the action. We love staying in the Maritime Center. Charleston is a great American city. Here are a few photos:

The view of the Ravenel Bridge on the Cooper River never disappoints.

 

Fun with Dave and Kathi of IP40 Knee Deep.

 

Glad to meet Gerry and Nancy, our Italy trip friends, and their longtime pals.

 

So proud of my cousin Diane and Tim’s son, Chris, who is a Google security expert.

 

After a ghost tour at the Old City Jail, we went in search of beer with the crews of KISMET and KNEE DEEP.

 

Laughs and a great meal with Blaine and Janet, formerly of IP40 CHARBONNEAU.

 

Stylin’ on the waterfront in downtown Charleston, SC.

This concludes our update blog from Annapolis MD Oct 8th, 2018 to Charleston, SC Oct 30, 2018. Remember, we are posting live updates to our Facebook Page:  please use the link above to follow us.

We have been blogging for over ten years and this is a great way for us to archive what we have done have and where we sailed. It is also a way to share photos of our friends and our great sailing adventures. Thank you for sailing along! 

Hayden and Radeen in Turks and Caicos, waiting for the next weather window to move onto Puerto Rico.