30 Days / 30 Nights

Our summer cruise to Block Island, RI was once again fantastic. We were gone 30 days and only took a dock at 2 locations. What a great summer! Here is a table of our adventures….






0700 – 1730

Rock Hall, MD to Engineer’s Cove C&D take free city dock!

Free City dock and walking the town.


0800 – 1700

Engineer’s Cove C&D to Cape May, NJ anchor off the Coast Guard Station. Take on 21 gallons fuel at Utsch’s $4.50/gal

The Coast Guard has expanded the NO WAKE zone to now include the anchorage, east of their station! About time.


0500 – 2400

Cape May NJ to Block Island, but obviously we are still offshore at midnight

20-25 knots of SW winds on the stern, full jib and motor all night doing 7+ knots. A record run for us of 160 miles in 24 hrs.


2401 – 1200

Round Montauk and arrive Block Island, RI, being BUZZED by IP420 Owner Jim and Craig & Debbie in Jim’s plane! That will scare you at sea!

Dropping anchor after 31 hrs, our fastest run in 6 years!

Seeing Jimmy Buffet aboard his motor yacht Continential Drifter III.


8 days on Block Island

Block Island RI, on the anchor. We moved into Payne’s dock after the madness of July 4th for fuel and water, then back out to the anchor.

Took on 20 gal of fuel @ $5.60/gal. Fireworks delayed due to fog!

The 4th of July Parade is one of a kind. The walk to town everyday is fantastic. The broadband is fast. The beaches are beautiful. The ferry dock is just a fun place to hang out. Meeting good friends who flew over: IP 420 Wind Runner Jim &Vanessa and IP440 Charmed Craig & Debbie! Lunch with islanders Norm & Shelly. The library.


0600 – 1300

Block Island to Greenport, NY, on the eastern end of Long Island. Stirling Harbor, mooring ball $25.00/night. Hot weather!

BLISS IP RENDEZVOUS Meeting all the wonderful IP owners. 30 boats! The Engine Seminar by Brewer’s. The Women’s seminar by Vanessa, Debbie & Radeen. The raffle and all the gifts and donations! Greenport and the town with our IP Battle flag raised in place of the town’s flag! Now that is a town. The BLISS TEAM who worked so hard for all of us. THANK YOU, Al, Bernie and Kem!


1200 – 1430

Greenport NY to Coecles Harbor on Shelter Island, NY, anchored out.

Took on 15 gal of fuel did not note price.

What a beautiful and peaceful anchorage!


0800 – 1350

Shelter Island, NY to Watch Hill, RI, anchored.

The Beach at Watch Hill, the town, the great harbor. But most of all, spending time with IP owners Jim and Craig. It was Jim’s birthday and he is a professional pilot, so we flew to Block Island for cheeseburgers. It took 8 minutes! Then we got to fly in his helicopter as well, since that is his job. This was the highlight of the summer. Thank you, Jim!


0530 – 1830

Watch Hill, RI to Northport NY,great fun using the currents, anchored.

Meeting up with IP 420 owner Conrad from our home marina. We had Conrad over for Breakfast as he was returning from BLISS as well.


0800 – 1200

Northport, NY to Port Washington, NY took free mooring balls

The great town of Port Washington. Celebrating our 28th at 415 Mian Street restaurant.


0900 – 1100

Port Washington to New Rochelle, NY, our first dock! OUCH $3.50/ft city marina. More hot weather.

Take on 16.5 gal of fuel @ $5.29/gal

Meeting great friend from college & family who were traveling south on I-95. We made dinner and drinks and laughed as we got caught up on all topics. Poor laundry and bath house facilities, nice people, interesting town – worth the 2 mile walk.


1200 – 1400

Return to Port Washington, NY. We decided due to weather, we would wait it out in Port Washington instead of NYC.

Working in the public library that is superb. Enjoying the Ayhan Mediterranean Market Place / Deli.

Radeen taking the train to NYC to meet IP 32 Half Moon Al for a taping of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? as I stayed aboard sick.


0600 – 1100

Port Washington, NY, to 79th Street Boat Basin, New York City on a mooring ball.

$30/night in NYC. Living in NYC. Using the Metro Subways and Busses. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Heights via Big Onion tours guided by a PhD from Columbia! The ZABAR’s Deli on 80th and Broadway. 79th St. Boat Basin and dealing with the 3+ knot current. Spending the day with Bruce and Loretta, IP 32 owners at the Nyack Boat Club. What a great visit.


1100 – 1500

NYC, 79th Street to Atlantic Highlands, NJ, anchored.

Going to town and walking and enjoying the Memphis BBQ in town and a free movie. We were too tired for the movie, so we gave the tickets to a very happy young couple.


0600 – 1930

Atlantic Highlands NJ to Atlantic City, NJ

West winds in the AM till 1000, then be calmed, then 20 knots of SW winds right on the bow! BUT…1 foot waves, yahoo!


0900 – 1530

Atlantic City to Cape May NJ, dock at Utche’s Marina $2/ft free elec.

CMNJ is a wonderful town. The trolley ride to town. The Dock Mikes for Breakfast. The fishing boats. The beach.


0415 – 1830

Cape May, NJ to Rock Hall. MD



Rock Hall, MD


30 days, 30 nights, 3 docks for (1, 2, 2 nights) otherwise on the anchor.

Desert Rats Become Salty Sailors

Radeen’s niece-in-law from Phoenix and her 9 year old daughter joined us for 5 fun days aboard! Tammy and Taelor brought 100+ temperatures with them, so we stayed plugged in at Spring Cove Marina for the first day. With earnest supplications to Neptune and the Four Winds, we christened our new AB dinghy by sacrificing a can of Rolling Rock on the bow of “Buns II.” Taelor’s older brother, Colton, had helped us christen the original “Buns” in 1996. After dinner aboard “Surprise” with “CAVU,” we enjoyed the mandatory cruisers’ classic film, “Captain Ron.”

Then we set sail for Annapolis, where we took a mooring ball, toured the Naval Academy, saw the crypt of John Paul Jones and a had great view of the Wednesday night racers. The next morning, after early rowing practice for the schwabbie, we became pirates for a day aboard “Sea Gypsy VI, “ departing from Eastport in search of treasure. This was even more fun than anticipated – highly recommended adventure!

We had another great day sail and a tour of Rock Hall Harbor before dashing to the airport. We declared our crew well-seasoned and promoted Taelor Sailor from “Schwabbie” to “Dinghy Captain.”

Schwabbie becomes DINGHY CAPTAIN
after naming the new dinghy
(our old dinghy was named “BUNS” to go with “Cinnamon” our IP27, we had to stay with it…)

Verizon Broadband Data Usage

Verizon Broadband 5 GB/mo.

  • Now that I have used my Verizon broadband card from June 2007 to June 2008, I was wondering if I was getting close to the Verizon Limits on Data usage which is set at 5 GB per month.
  • The answer is NO, not yet!

What is 5 GB of data?

  • 5 GB of data is approximately 5,000 MB of data.
  • 1 MB of data is approximately 1,000 kilobytes of data.
  • Verizon reports data usage in kilobytes, so you simply need to move the decimal place to the left by six positions to arrive at GB.

For example:

  • The numbers below, from the Verizon web site, show my data usage in kilobytes.
  • The data for Nov 2007 is 2,619,915 kilobytes which equals approximately 2619 MB which equals approximately 2.6 GB.
  • That is about 50% of my allowance of 5 GB.

Actual numbers are: 2,619,915 kilobytes equals 2,558MB which equals 2.49 GB

1 Byte = 8 Bit
1 Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
1 Megabyte = 1048576 Bytes
1 Gigabyte = 1073741824 Bytes

Our Usage:

  • Remember, we are in Drexel Graduate school, online, we stream videos for lectures and I manage and work on web sites as well. I also upload YouTube videos, process and send email from several email addresses and I am subscribed to the Island Packet Discussion Board. I use the network 24/7, we have our laptops on 24/7 and still I am only using 50% of the 5 GB allowance. If I were using a Slingbox or watching live video then I guess I would be getting close to the 5 GB data limits.
  • As of for now, it works so well that I have canceled my Comcast Cable Internet in my house and I use the same set up in the home. All I do is move the Broadband card from the boat to home.

Our Verizon Broadband DATA USAGE:

November 2007

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage




December 2007

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage




January 2008

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage


es unlimit


February 2008

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage


es unlimit


March 2008

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage


es unlimit


April 2008

Data Usage





Unbilled Usage from Previous Months

Kilobyte Usage



Current Usage

Kilobyte Usage


es unlimite


May 2008

Data Usage





Kilobyte Usage


es unlimit


For FUN:


Rock Hall, MD; HOME

We arrived back home in Rock Hall, MD on Tue. 5/13/08. It is so great and yet so sad to finish this wonderful adventure. Our boat departed Rock Hall, MD on Oct. 29, 2007 via our delivery team of Ron & Paul. We boarded her in Fl on Dec 5, 2007 and have been living aboard since then. Now after 6 months aboard, we return to our home docks.

Upon arrival, we were meet by Ron and Mary Ann, our delivery captain (Ron), the one who made this all happen, and we celebrated with a fine bottle of Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial Champagne!

What a wonderful life….


Top 7 Places from Fl to MD:

  1. Wrightsville Beach, NC
  2. Vero Beach, FL
  3. Elizabeth City, NC
  4. Portsmouth, VA
  5. St. Augustine, FL
  6. Dismal Swamp
  7. Beaufort, SC

Things that Worked:

  1. The enclosure is essential for enjoying the cockpit in rain, cold winds, fog, at anchor or sailing. We could travel in t-shirts and vests and never had on foul weather gear unless heading out on deck.
  2. “Otto” is a must along with Chartplotter and GPS for navigation. No guessing where the ICW channel is. (Otto is out B&G autopilot)
  3. The AB 10VL Dinghy is fantastic! The bow is high, the tubes are large, and the fiberglass floor is flat. This is your car, and with a 4 hp outboard, it has serves us well. Sure a yamaha 15 would be nice, but for ICW work, this has worked out well.
  4. Lofrans Tigess Windlass is a powerhouse windlass with tons of pull and will nearly rip off the bow sprit before it will stop working! This windlass is $1,700 and worth 3 times that in the work it will perform.
  5. Adler Barber Super Cold Machine, 12 volt air cooled, refrigeration has work perfectly now for 14 years! This unit draws 6 amps when on and it runs 50% of the time which is 12 hrs * 6 = 72 Amp Hrs per day. We use 100 amp hrs per day, but motoring up the ICW, this does not matter. When we stop for days on anchor, the 220 watts of solar panels produce 75 amps hrs per day, so we can ride on anchor for days. The refrigerator is great!

Final Random Thoughts:

  1. The ICW is ten times EASIER than expected.
  2. The ICW is more beautiful and more interesting than expected.
  3. You motor 100% of the time with a jib out now and then.
  4. Well planned meals are a must and one highlight of living aboard.
  5. The ICW is less crowded than expected, where is everyone?
  6. The ICW is not “scary” even after running into a sandbar and grounding for 3 hrs.
  7. Taking a dock is nice but not necessary, we anchored most of the way.
  8. The Dismal Swamp is spectacular, breath taking, a must see section!
  9. Florida is NOT the best section of the ICW.
  10. The Waccamaw Rive is the best section, but as Norm P. noted, “Myrtle Beach is the price you pay for this beauty.”
  11. Verizon Broadband connects 99.9% of the places along the ICW. It is a digital world.
  12. We love living aboard.
  13. So many places yet to discover, I can see us doing this many more times.
The Dismal Swamp Heading North, 2008

Our MAP of Florida to Maryland
March 2008 to May 2008
Once looking at the map
ZOOM in to see the harbors close up.

Annapolis, MD

Overnight from Portsmouth, VA…23 hrs later we arrived Annapolis on Sun 5/11/08.

Report and photos, and video of “Bashing into 20 knots” to follow…

Portsmouth. VA

We arrived Portsmouth, VA on Wed, 5/7/08- departed Sat 5/10/08 for Annapolis, MD overnight.

….Report and photos to follow…v

Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City certainly lives up to its slogan, see photo…. The city welcomes boats to tie up for free at their 14 slips and seawall. The mayor walks the waterfront, talking to residents and cruisers alike. The Rose Buddies tradition, begun in 1984, continues to provide wine and snacks to cruisers several nights a week on the waterfront, with a representative from the Visitors’ Center. Farm Fresh Foods, a fantastic supermarket, offers free shuttle service to and from the docks. Within easy walking distance are several coffee shops, a quaint diner, many nicer restaurants, a great deli with eclectic decor, the new Museum of the Albemarle, two drugstores, an art center, and an upscale chocolate shop. Elizabeth City is the county seat and boasts a community college, a state university and a bible college, plus a great public library. We also enjoyed the downtown movie theatre, with an interesting twist. Dinner is served nightly beginning at 0600, with the movie showing at 0700. The menu offers burgers, sandwiches, ice cream sundaes and other desserts. Tables for 4 are spaciously arranged with comfortable swivel chairs and pleasant lighting from table lamps, plus a phone for ordering food throughout the evening. What a novel idea, in a prospering downtown! We told the mayor we will be back!

Oriental, NC

We arrived Oriental, NC and had a gift from a wonderful Island Packet friend…his slip was empty and we could stay a few days! So we pulled into Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor and used this time for some major Island Spirit services and cleaning. Jobs accomplished were…

  1. Wash the entire hull with soap and water from the dinghy.
  2. Scrub and wash the entire deck and canvas.
  3. Used Woody Wax to seal and wax the diamond decks, fantastic product!
  4. Compounded and waxed the cabin tops.
  5. Changed engine oil and filter after 120 hours from Vero Beach, FL
  6. Changed the fuel filters, red, 30 micron primary and Yanmar secondary.

The boat looks great, like usual and we are happy with the work accomplished.

We also had a call from some local IP friends Tom & Linda of IP40 SURPRISE, who stopped down for a visit and we had dinner aboard Island Spirit. The next day Tom & Linda drove us back to Swansboro, NC where we picked up our car and moved it back up to Oriental, NC. We used the car to tour the area, see some developments, and get a general feel for the area. The Oriental Area has 800 residents and 3,000 boats! It is a boater’s paridise with the creeks and the sailing out on Pamlico Sound and the Nuese River. New Bern, NC is up the road about 30 miles and half way there is Fairfield harbor another boating community with new homes and lots for sale.

Everything in this area is for sale. Real estate seems much cheaper than other areas, and waterfront lots sell for 200K to 400K. Docks sell for 50K to 130K in the Oriental area! This place is difficult to figure out with only a short visit. Radeen and I have been touring this area since 1996 looking at property to buy, not we which we would have. Back then we could have bought waterfront for about 30K-50K, not this place has been discovered and prices reflect that discovery.

We left the Oriental area after 3 days, and we need to return here and explore the New Bern to Oriental area in more depth. I will say, the hot spot seems to be WHITTAKER CREEK!

NEED A SLIP TO RENT, see this on on WHITTAKER CREEK? (see this)

Beaufort, NC

Departing Dudley’s Marina we traveled across Bogue Sound and past Moorehead City arriving downtown Beaufort, NC around Noon. We motored up and down Taylor Creek in front of the beautiful town looking for a place to anchor. The current flows about 1- 1.5 knots through this harbor and many anchored yachts were on mooring balls or had two anchors set. We found a nice spot just off the town docks and dropped one anchor on a short 3:1 scope. After secured, we launched the dinghy and explored the town. When we returned to the boat, we were swinging into a boat with two anchors and we were too close for the forecast of 20-25 knot winds. So we pulled up anchor and decided to move around to Town Creek on the back side of Beaufort where we would anchor.

As it turned out we ended up taking a dock at Town Creek Marina due to shallow water in the harbor and the fact that we did not figure out where to anchor as the winds were building. We docked in 25 knots of cross winds with no issues.

This ended up to be a great decision as the local area has poor Verizon Broadband coverages but this marina had FREE WiFi high speed and we tapped in and accomplished our work for grad school. Spending two days here, we were lucky enough to meet up with another Island Packet Owner, Greg K. who owns an IP 350 in the area. Greg stopped over and we visited and chatted for a while. IP people are always so friendly and so helpful and that is one of the great aspects about this cruising life.


  1. Next time I would keep trying to anchor in Taylor Creek off the town. I would run into the creek a greater distance since it is deep a long way in past the town.
  2. If Taylor Creek off the town is too full, then I would move around back and anchor off Town Creek Marina between the marina and the bridge, just west of the marina. (see my google map)
  3. I would NOT take a slip at Town Creek Marina again, it is really for the sport fishing fleet with fuel lines running on all docks for fuel IN THE SLIPS! The bathrooms are OK, but not really. You are way out of town despite the name…So next time if I had to anchor here it would be off the marina and take the dinghy around to town.

Swansboro, NC & Dudley’s

Swansboro, NC and Dudley’s Marina are great places to anchor or take a slip. We anchored just before the bridge in 10 feet of water and just off the great town. This is a town that also wants the cruising boater to stop, drop anchor and come on in and visit. There is a FREE dinghy dock (something St. Augustine FL needs to learn) and plenty of wonderful little shops right off the docks. Coffee shops, cigar shops, ice cream shops, news stands, dinners, and a fantastic pizza shop all within a block of the dinghy dock. A bit up the hill and about a mile down the road is the grocery store, drug store and laundry. Swansboro is a nice anchorage and we will stop again.

For a dock, DUDLEY’S is the best deal on the ICW offering docks for $0.75 per foot with free 30 or 50 amp electricity! We pulled up anchor at Swansboro due to high winds and moved to the docks once we found out what a fair price they offered. We ended up spending 5 days there as we shuffled our car from Charleston, SC, back up to here. Dudley’s offers a free car for up to an hour. They have a great mechanical shop and a ship’s store nearly as good as a West Marine but with better prices.

We were lucky enough to visit with a local shrimper who has run the LADY ELLEN for the past 30 years. Sadly this shrimper is being hurt by the imported shrimp arriving at our docks from China and Vietnam. He used to be able to sell his shrimp for $4.00/pound when diesel fuel cost $0.55/gal, now he has to sell his shrimp for $1.25/pound and his diesel fuel is $4.00/gallon. He will catch and sell $2,500/week of shrimp but his fuel bill is $1,800/week. The $700.00 profit he has to split with his two daughters who also work the shrimp boat. It has been a family business for over 30 years and now he is in trouble.

He shared the story of a China ship from with one million pounds of farm raised shrimp attempting to off load in New Orleans. The off loading was halted by US Inspections due to the steroids found in the shrimp. The China ship left the docks and sailed their product up to Canada where they could ship it into the US without being inspected. His point is that the US is not protecting the consumer from these imported farm raised shrimp that are loaded with chemicals. He has to compete and has to sell his shrimp at the same low prices. All in all, Swansboro and Dudley’s Marina are very interesting places on the ICW that would be easy to simply pass on by.