Monday, December 19, 2011

Jacksonville, FL

I left Southport, NC on what appeared to be a tight weather window and headed for the St. Mary's River on the Georgia Florida border.  The forecast was for 15 to 20 knot winds from the North and 3 to 5 foot waves.  I got the waves.  It was a good thing that I had fueled Reboot before I left because the winds were from 0 to 20 knots, mostly 0 knots.  I motored about 85% of the time.

As I went into the St. Mary's River the wind had already started to shift to the East and then the South.  I stopped at Fernandina Beach for fuel.  I was greatly tempted to rent a mooring ball for the night - get a shower, do the laundry, etc.  But I decided to press on to Jacksonville.  The wind had shifted to the South so the entire trip down the ICW was with 15 to 20 knots of wind in my face.  At least I did not go outside and have to deal with the confused seas.

Once again I arrived just in time to not be able to go under the Main Street Bridge so I hung out at the dock by the football stadium until "bridge hours" expired.  I then brought Reboot into the Landing for the night.  Tomorrow I will continue up (or down, the St. Johns is one of two rivers in the US that flow South to North) to NAS JAX.

Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Southport, NC

I am currently in Southport, NC waiting for a weather window.  I took one look at the 160 mile ICW route between here and Charlestown I decided I would rather wait a day or two than do the 4 to 5 day inside route. (I can only make about 40 miles inside per day since the daylight hours are so short.)

Door into Summer (Ed and Claudia) left from Morehead City with Reboot.  We putt putted our way down the ICW to Wrightsville Beach NC. I had done this trip in the past - Morehead to Mile Hammock Bay to Wrightsville and hated it (as H2OBO and HOBO II can attest - they didn't like it very much either.)  This time we were not being run over by other cruisers and the current at the Wrightsville Bridge was only 2.5 knots instead of 4 knots.  I also knew not to try the channel where I had run aground the last time,

We collected two Canadian single handers for cocktails in Mile Hammock Bay.  Marc then caught up to us in Wrightsville.  He missed one bridge so came in a full hour behind us - just as the sun was setting.  Ed, Claudia and I dinghied over to the seafood restaurant just south of the bridge and had all you can eat oysters.  OK, Ed and I had all you can eat oysters.  They were terrific but different.  Usually when you get oysters they are single, that is one oyster.  These were in clusters - two or three oysters whose shells had grown together.  It did not make them any less enjoyable to eat, but our guess was that they are not in demand in the shellfish market so the restaurant can get them for less.

When we were coming into the anchorage at Wrightsville Ed told me that his alternator had decided to stop charging.  We agreed that I would leave the next morning while Ed tried to sort out what was going on.  As of last evening the problem had not been resolved.

It looks like a very brief weather window tomorrow to get to Charleston on the outside.  My plan is to give it a shot.  If so I will be offshore for about 24 hours.  This will be my first offshore since my heart surgery - I am feeling pretty confident it will go OK but am hoping Door into Summer will catch up before I go offshore.

Fair winds and following seas...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mile Hammock Bay

Stopped for the night.  Cold transit today.  Hooked up with two Canadian single handers.  Great dinner thanks Claudia.

Continuning South tomorrow AM.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Looking for a weather window

With my unexpected heart surgery I am still in New Bern long after I had intended to depart.  Ed and Claudia (Door into Summer) took the run to Bock Marine to get their fuel tanks cleaned yesterday.  On the way down they discovered that their wind instrument was not longer working.  Since they had just replaced their radar they think that a wire got disconnected while pulling the new radar wire in the mast.

This brings us back to Reboot.  I would love to leave but the offshore weather has been terrible and the forecast for the next week is worse.  I hate the ICW.  It looks like hating the ICW is going to trump going offshore in 7 to 10 foot waves.  I am hoping to leave on Monday.  If all works out then I would meet up with Ed and Claudia sometime in the following couple of days.

I will keep you all informed.

Fair winds and following seas.

The Elder Scrolls - Skyrim

When I was up visiting Trevor and Spencer I got involved in the new "Elder Scrolls = Skyrim" game.  I have to admit that I have the heart of a gamer.  I find myself sitting on Reboot playing Skyrim when I probably should be getting ready to go South.  LOL

Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, December 9, 2011

West Marine Price Hike

Tis the season to be jolly and for West Marine to raise its prices before the new catalog comes out.  I expected a little bit of a price increase but $40 on a $159 tri-color (already grossly overpriced for a plastic light fixture) and $20 for a $70 starboard bow light (also grossly overpriced to start.)  I did not shop long, nor will I be fast to return without first checking out every other possible option.

By the way, the price increases have already taken place.  If you go out to the web site the new prices have been loaded even though the "2011" catalog still has several weeks to run.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tammy Baldwin - Credit where credit is due



I rarely write anything political in my blog but as a retired member of the US Military I wanted to share this. Tammy Baldwin is the Democrat representative for the 2nd district in Wisconsin (my legal address) which includes some of the most liberal neighborhoods in Wisconsin (the Madison and University of Wisconsin area.) I wrote her to complain about proposals to increase fees for Tricare and, given that she is a Democrat expected some "we need to give more to government spread the wealth around" response. My surprise when I received the following letter ...

.........................................................

December 2,2011

Dear Mr. Jones:

Thank you for contacting me regarding TRICARE coverage and fees. It is good to hear from you and I apologize for the delay in my response.

Like you, I strongly believe that the United States government has a responsibility to provide our servicemembers, retirees, veterans, and their families with access to affordable and comprehensive health care services and support. Created in 2002, TRICARE For Life supplements Medicare for military retirees and their family members eligible for Medicare, while TRICARE continues to cover servicemembers, their family members, and survivors.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540) allows the first increase in TRICARE enrollment fees in more than 15 years, including increased prescriptions and co-pay fees. On May 26, 2011, H.R. 1540 passed the House of Representatives, and is now pending in the Senate. You may be interested to know that I opposed the increases in TRICARE fees, and I voted against this legislation.

We call on servicemembers and veterans to sacrifice their safety, security, and, oftentimes, wellbeing and happiness, for the interests of national security and to fight in wars abroad, and the government has a responsibility to ensure that we give back. For this reason, I have and will continue to support increases in military wages, Veterans Administration disability compensation, and Survivor Benefit Plan payments. Rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to fight for full benefits for our nation's veterans and servicemembers.

Again, thank you for sharing your views. Your opinion matters to me. If I can be of service to you in any other way, please do not hesitate to let me know. As a security precaution, all mail sent to Congress is first irradiated. This process causes significant delays. To ensure the fastest response, I encourage all constituents who have access to the internet to contact me through my website at http://tammybaldwin.house.gov/.

Sincerely,

Tammy Baldwin
Member of Congress
........


Credit where credit is due...

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