My Spring migration to Myrtle Beach is complete.

Lots to catch up on. I have been in Myrtle Beach since Monday, this is Thursday. I left Daytona on May 1st, stayed inside to St. Augustine. It rained real hard just as I entered St. Augustine harbor. Woke up on the 2nd to find a full day of rain and wind, so I remained in St. Augustine. Took a walk to the Sailors Exchange and picked up a rain slicker, the one I had was well worn out. The new one is a well known brand and very well made, Sailors Exchange price, $25.00.

Saturday, May 3rd started a week of really nice weather and I took off for Jacksonville. Got to Jacksonville Beach and stopped at Beach Marine for the night. Sunday I went up to Fernandina, the shrimp festival was in full swing, the harbor was jammed with boats and the docks with people.

Monday I was able to get away about 10 AM and stayed inside to Jekyll Island. Spent the night there to prepair for my first outside foray on this trip. I had originally planned to only go as far as St. Catherine’s Inlet and anchor in Big Tom Creek, but after looking at the charts I decided WTF I’ll go all the way to Port Royal. This would bypass most of Northern Georgia including Savannah. Went outside at Brunswick Harbor to 15 knt winds from the south west and 3 foot seas. Got the sails up and with the new Autopilot working well I set the course for 30 degrees Magnetic and didn’t have to touch a thing until Port Royal, over 100 miles. I met the Port Royal channel at midnight and set my anchor just before the McTeer Bridge 3 1/2 hours later. In the morning I motored up the waterway to Downtown Marina in Beaufort, where I stayed for two nights.

This brings me to May 9th, a Friday. I followed the Intracoastal through Southern South Carolina to Church Creek on Wadmalaw Island off the North Edisto River. At first I thought I would be in for a rocky night, but the wind died and it was as if I were in a marina.

Next day, Saturday, I sailed across the Charleston Harbor to Isle Of Palms, my last marina of the trip. Sunday I went up the ICW past McClellanville without a problem since I made sure I hit Jeremy Creek at high tide. This area is known for very low water at low tide. But I got through and continued on to Big Duck Creek between the North Santee Bay and the ICW, where I threw out the anchor for the last time.

Monday, May 12th dawned bright and windless as I lifted the anchor to head up the Waccamaw River to my summer home at Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach. Arrived at exactly 2:00 PM. Secured the boat and Ro picked me up to go to dinner and my first night in a real bed since the high wind at Cocoa forced me into a hotel back in January.

In St. Augustine, Sailing north again.

Sailed up to St. Aug from Daytona yesterday. Got cought in the afternoon “showers” . Need to get a little work done on the boat so I won’t be getting out of here till about 11. Only need to go about 25 miles so I should be OK (Unless the sky opens up again)……..(About 1 hr later)….I might be here till at least tomorrow. It is a perfectly miserable rainy day. Looked at the weather radar in the net and the rain streaches all the way to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

Flagler tower

The Nomad has a completly integrated navigation system

I completed installation of my new electronics suite today. I have two chartplotters, a Raymarine A75 MFD at the helm, and the old Lowrance HDS8m at the Navstation down below. Added into the mix is a new Raymarine EV-100 Autopilot. The autopilot is connected to the Multi Function Display as are the wind and depth/speed inputs. Everything is “talking” to each other via a SeatalkNG Backbone with some NEMA 2000 inputs.


Nomad Navionics Suite

New Chart Plotter (Multi Function Display) To be installed.

I will install a new MFD starting tomorrow. It is the Raymarine A75 to go with the new autopilot and GPS receiver. They will be interfaced to give me more control and easier long passage in the ocean. I have already moved the Lowrance MFD to the Nav station. The Lowrance will also be completly intigrated with the autopilot and the other instruments, but It will not control the autopilot. I have the Lowrance on right now as I am typing this and I am reminded of why I wanted a new one. It has blanked out and restarted three times since I turned it on a half hour ago.

The New A75 Multi Function Display (MFD)

Raymarine A75 MFD

I remember my days at Sperry, I worked this type of equipment on the BIG ships, oil tankers, container ships, large ferries. I will have more and better “Navionics” than any of them at that time. If the Exxon Valdeze had what I have they would not have gone aground. I still can’t understand how that Italian cruise ship did run aground.

Next year I will go for digital radar, viewable from the Raymarine MFD.

I’ll get the 18″ Radome.

Raymarine Radomes

Oh ya….Because I can.

Back at Daytona, again

Moved back to Daytona (Loggerhead Marina) to prepair for my trip north. I will depart on May 1st with my first stop in St. Augustine.

My brother-in-law just moved into a condo across the Halifax River from the marina. Went over for dinner yesterday and had a good time. George's Condo This is George’s Condo taken from Loggerhead Marina.

This morning I got out the kayak and paddled over to the condo. But I didn’t have a phone, and no way of getting in so I turned around and paddled back. I might do the same tomorrow, round trip is 1.5 miles so it’s a good workout. Got in and out of the kayak on my new ladder, worked as advertised, easier then getting in and out at a floating dock. Need to get some wet shoes though.

Two years before the mast.

It’s been two years since I left California and headed east to live on the boat. All I can say is there is no change in my feelings about living aboard. Far from getting boring it is getting better. The past two months I have been in Cocoa, Fl, and on the 1st of February I will head north to Titusville. Only about 20 miles but the harbor is better, less exposure to the waves.

Living aboard has different appeal to different people, I like the solitude in the middle of a crowd. I can be alone or with like minded people, my choice. And I meet new friends almost every day.

Next month will be hard again, Feb 5th is the worst day. The last year I had with Helen was a painful bliss. Horrible what was happening, but Helen and I were never so much in love as that last year. I hope she had that always in her mind, I know I carry it with me still.

In Cocoa, Fl

On my trip down from Daytona my auto pilot gave up the ghost. It is over 15 years old and not very good so I decided to sell some jewelry and get a new unit. I chose an EV-100 system from Raymarine. Raymarine is the most known company in the field of small boat autopilot. This system will interface with my Lowrance HDS-8 Chart plotter (GPS) and steer to my plotted course. I don’t know how tight it stays to course and it might not be useable in that mode on the ICW, but it will work good on the ocean. Installation is straight forward and the EV-1 heading sensor is not as susceptible to magnetic interference as the old flux gate compasses. The new control head shows desired course and is much nicer than the old +/- switch without any information shown. I started installation yesterday and am about 1/2 way done. High wind and cold weather will delay further work for about a week.

EV-100 Autopilot

Stewart, Florida

I came down to Stewart, Fl for a couple of days to see my daughter and the grandkids. I’ll have more pictures of them in the photo page soon. The trip down was marred by the bilge pump motor blowing fuses. And just to make it fun, the input pipe to the water pressure pump came off dumping all the water in both tanks into the bilge. Got that fixed while we were in Titusville. All is good now and we are safe in Stewart.

Stewart

Also, Best of luck to my sister, Angela, she had a little accident, but she’s OK.

Accident

Jekyll Island to Daytona

Ro left to go back to Myrtle Beach, she has a reunion with some high school friends in Cape May next week. I stayed in Jekyll Island one more night and took off in the morning. The twists and turns inside to Fernandina were not that hard and the depth was good all the way. Nice trip and got into Fernandina in time for supper. Fueled up. Total from Socastee to Fernandina island was a little over 25 gal. Not too bad.

I left Fernandina the next morning at dead low, If I ran aground It wouldn’t take long for the tide to get me off. Made it through Nassau Sound, where I ran aground last year. This year there was a dredge working on that spot. Into Arlington Marina, a good stop for the night.

I got to St. Augustine in time for a late lunch and watched the music fair in the city square for a while, then went to bed.

Made the last hop down to Daytona the next day and am now sitting in Loggerhead Marina. This will be my home for the next few weeks. Then it’s on to Port St. Lucie.