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Steep Yourself in History Along the East Coast ICW

While cruising up the east coast you'll have plenty of chances to bask in history, from the James Olgethrope 1733 designed Savannah Squares, Charleston's charm and George Washington's Dismal Swamp, just to name a few. To read more and view photos click on the EAST COAST ICW icon above. Once there, if you don't see what you're looking for, use the search window in the sidebar at the top right of the page or scrawl down to access "older entries"…

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AGLCA’s Spring Rendezvous & Reunion SPECIAL

  NORFOLK, VA., MAY 7 - 10, 2012:  America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association will once again be holding its annual Spring Rendezvous & Reunion in the vibrant and exciting waterfront city of Norfolk, Va. This event, held at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel and the Waterside Marina, was attended by over 225 members last year. This year they are offering boaters in the surrounding area a unique opportunity: attend the Rendezvous and receive a free, one-year membership! AGLCA Spring Rendezvous &…

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Headed to the AGLCA Spring Rendezvous in Norfolk, Virginia?

If you’re heading to the AGLCA Rendezvous in Norfolk, Virginia you may be in North Carolina right now, you lucky dogs! You could spend a lot of time cruising all the sounds, creeks, rivers and enjoying some charming old southern towns, this is one of our favorite stretches of cruising. If your heading north, Southport’s a wonderful stop or you can go a little further up to Wilmington, hometown of Michael Jordon. For a well protected anchorage once you’re through…

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Rich in History – South Carolina

There’s a lot to see while on your northern migration through South Carolina so slow down and make sure to take it all in. These southern harbor towns have a lot of history surrounding them and food’s pretty good as well. Some of our favorite towns are Beaufort, Charleston (just voted one of the 50 best yachting towns in Yachting magazine) and Georgetown. The Thomas restaurant in Georgetown has some of the best shrimp and grits as well as Fried…

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Free Waterfront Dockage – Downtown Savannah, Georgia

We’ve been to Savannah three times by boat, staying twice at Thunderbolt and once at the free floating dock right downtown. Savannah is one of those cruising stops worthy of a two or three day layover. If your plans are to go up the Savannah River and dock at the city dock you’ll want to plan ahead.Before we headed up river we always check this website to get a live view of the dock.www.wtoc.com/global/story.asp?s=872506Because the city doen't reserve space for dockage you’ll…

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Getting the Most out of Cruising Georgia

Whether you’re starting your trek north into Georgia now or in the future there are several places you just don’t want to miss. Some of our favorite have been the anchorage at Cumberland Island mm 710. Once anchored you can dinghy to shore to walk the National Park Island, visit the Carnegie Mansion ruins and if lucky enough you can see the wild horses roaming the island.Cumberland Island 's salt marshes are a must see (above).Just north of Cumberland Island…

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Dinghy Rescue – Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Unfortunately, after our informative tour of Fort Matanzas, we had a little dinghy accident. As we were dragging the dinghy off the sand and into the water we suddenly heard a loud hissing sound coming from underneath one of the pontoons. A sharp shell embedded in the sand had sliced a six inch gash on one side of the dinghy. OPPS!!!After an initial moment of panic, we were wondering how we would get across the cold water, which had quite…

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Last Stop Before the St. Johns River – Jacksonville, Florida

We arrived in Jacksonville today after receiving some bad news from home yesterday while we were in St. Marys. Jim’s step-dad had passed away yesterday and now we are in a hurry to get our boat settled in Jacksonville so that we can fly home for the funeral and some family time. Our good friends Louis and Diane will keep an eye on Kismet for us while we are gone and have helped us in every way we could imagine.…

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Cumberland Island – Georgia

We arrived at Cumberland Island late in the afternoon but with time to relax and watch a "rookery" full of Great White Egrets and Wood Storks (see the tree, on shore to the right of Jim).Only one other boat anchored with us tonight. We all enjoyed an amazing sunset and a corned beef and cabbage dinner on Kismet.First thing in the morning we dropped our dinghy to go explore this part of the island which is just in front of…

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Two-Way Fish Camp – Brunswick, Georgia

One more stop together with Bella Luna, Foreign Exchange and Shore Thing, Two-Way Fish Camp in Brunswick, Georgia. This is a rather rustic marina located up the Medway River, north of Brunswick.Happy Hour was on Foreign Exchange tonight then we all had dinner in the restaurant on site, Mudcats Grill. This will be the last night we will all be together as Shore Thing and Foreign Exchange are stopping in the Brunswick area for the holidays. We will depart tomorrow…

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Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina

Bella Luna, Foreign Exchange, Shore Thing and Kismet all left Savannah together today and decended on a really neat stop up the Medway River @ mile 620 on the  AICW, The Sunbury Crab Company Restaurant and Marina.Elaine, (above right with Louis - and above left with her crew) and her husband, Barney,  the owners, have extended a discount rate for all AGLCA and MTOA members. All of us here can attest to the down home hospitality that Elaine and her crew…

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Down by the River – Savannah, Georgia

Bella Luna and Kismet arrived in Savannah, GA Friday afternoon and were delighted to find room at the city dock on the riverfront downtown right in the thick of all the action. Savannah is another southern town that is rich in history there is something to learn around every corner. The river is very busy with container ships, tugboats, old paddle wheel ships and water taxies.Also a wonderful walking town, we love to walk around Savannah but getting our exercise…

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Windy at Port Royal Landing Marina

Due to the remnants of hurricane Ida, it was too windy to anchor out tonight so we tied up at Port Royal Landing Marina in Port Royal, South Carolina. We got a pump out and tied up in some very rough seas. You can't really see the waves in the photo but even though we were tied up we felt like we were on a bronco buster. It did finally calm down at night and we were able to get…

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Let’s Do the Charleston!

The more time we spend in Charleston, South Carolina, the more we seem to see and learn. For example, during a carriage ride, we learned that there are over a hundred church’s in Charleston, that three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were from and are buried here, Charleston was the first state to secede form the Union before the Civil War and that the first shots of said war came within Charleston’s Harbor.No trip to Charleston would…

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Dropping Anchor – South Carolina Salt Marshes – DeWeese Creek

It’s nice to be back on the water visiting all of our favorite southern towns. In-between marina stops we have been anchoring in the breathtaking salt marshes where we find it pretty easy to feel at one with Mother Nature.Today found us dropping our anchor in DeWeese Creek for one night before we move on to Charleston, South Carolina for t least a five-day stop. Kismet dropped anchor first and Bella Luna tied up starboard to port.Cocktails tonight were on…

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Georgetown, South Carolina

After a long day on the water we arrived in Georgetown, SC for a two day stop. Georgetown is the third oldest town in South Carolina and therefore it has a rich history. Before the Revolutionary War, Georgetown was one of largest producers of indigo in the country. Before the Civil War it produced fifty percent of all the rice in the United States, in the early 1900s they were the largest lumber producer on the east coast. Today they’re…

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Good Stop – Southport, North Carolina

Southport, NC is where we... got our inverter fixed, shopped, ate well, celebrated Louis and Diane’s fortieth anniversary and relaxed in the warmth of Robert and Kay’s kind hospitality.Rick and Billy (above left) caught up to us on Sunday and we celebrated with a big dinner on Kismet.When we arrived in Southport, Robert (above left) was in the middle of a special sailing regatta which required pirate costumes. We think this is a good look for Robert.Sunday, mid-day, we gathered…

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Snow’s Cut to Cape Fear River

Snow’s Cut is a scenic channel, with beautiful sandy cliffs and a weedy marsh at the end, that cuts from Carolina Beach to Cape Fear River. This will take us to Southport today for a couple of night's while we get our inverter fixed.

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Meeting the Woody’s – Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Our second stop, after meeting up with the Wade’s in Morehead City was John and Judy Woody’s (above) house in Wrightsville Beach, NC. the Woody’s are friends of Louis and Diane and there was not one but two parties planned for this evening. John and Judy had three couples over for the weekend at their house and Louis and Diane had a multitude of friends over to our boats at dock for a going away party. We can tell you one thing…

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Scary Neighbor – Surf City, North Carolina

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!First night out brought us to Surf City Marina and found Bella Luna docked right next to the Halloween Party Boat where we met Dave and Sharon (above right) who were putting the final touches on the Belle of Topsail for a big Halloween party this weekend. Once we got settled Diane and I (Lisa) went over for a private tour. We have to tell you they had some neat decorations, many of them came alive with music, lights…

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Meeting Bella Luna to Head South

We arrived at Coral Bay Marina, in Morehead City today, and left the boat to spend a couple of nights at the Wade’s Beach House in Cape Coral before we all hop on our boats to start heading south to Florida where we will cruise the St. John’s River together.We enjoyed meeting Mary C. and Charles (above right) again, friends of Louis and Diane’s, we had met them a few months ago when we drove down to Morehead City to…

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Belhaven, North Carolina

After a one night anchorage just before Belhaven it was just a quick cruise over to Dowry Creek for one night. The weather was pretty dreary so we just worked on the boat and borrowed the marina’s loaner care for a quick trip into town where we passed this cotton field which was in full bloom.

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Weather Delay at Coinjock, North Carolina

We ended our day in Coinjock, North Carolina at Midway Marina. There are two marinas here right across from each other in the Virginia Cut. We wanted to get a slip at the Coinjock Marina but they were already fully reserved for the night when we called. There are an incredible number of boats heading south, normal migration activity this time of year. All day we passed by many slower sailboats and got passed by ourselves by fast, sport fishing…

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Dream Cruise

It just doesn’t get better than this for a boater (or a photographer). When the skies are deep blue with clouds that look like whispy cotton and fluid water that ripples more like jello just before it’s set. Reflections of sky and trees on the mirrow-like water reminded us why we love spending so much time on the water, traveling on a slow boat.

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Great Bridge – Free Dock

We had a lot of bridges today and one lock. It has been a while since we have had to go through a lock but this one was only three feet up and was located just before Great Bridge, our final destination for tonight. We were hoping that there would be room at the free dock, there are two of them by this bridge, one before and one just after. The one on the north side of the bridge was…

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Labor Day Weekend with Bella Luna

Lisa and I are crazy about being on our Kismet traveling, anchoring or sitting at the dock. Some might say we’re a little over the top! We never are at a loss for things to do, places to go or projects to work on, but every once in a while it’s nice to get off the water and onto land. So when we were extended an invitation from our boating friends Louis and Diane to join them at their beach…

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Even “Loopers” Get Dressed Up to Go Dancing Once in Awhile!

It was fun to dress up a little and put on our dancing shoes. Jim had to "borrow" a dinner jacket from the club's closet and I had to dig down deep in our little closet to pull out some un-boat-like shoes but it was well worth the extra effort and we had a great time. We especially enjoyed watching the couples doing the "Shag" en masse.The four of us shared the evening's festivities with the Wade's friends, Mary C…

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Day Two on the Lush and Peaceful Dismal Swamp

After a peaceful night tied up to the dock at the Visitor’s Center, along with Queen Ann’s Revenge, we depart at a reasonably slow pace this morning. We almost hated to leave since we were able to enjoy a very mellow night with just the sounds of the swamp to amuse us.We helped Hank and Ann untie and leave the dock, we were not too far behind them. When traveling through the Dismal Swamp you want to make sure that…

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Day One in the Hot and Steamy Dismal Swamp, NC

We left Elizabeth City this morning to go through the Elizabeth City Bridge and on to the Dismal Swamp State Park. There are locks at either side of the swamp with about an eight-foot elevation.Early mapmakers described the swamp as a dismal and forbidding place. Our experience is quite the opposite, however if it were dark, cloudy and raining I could see howit might live up to that name.The first reference to the Dismal Swamp appeared on a map in…

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The Rose Buddies – Elizabeth City, NC – Welcome Kismet Back

Elizabeth City......here’s a city that knows the definition of hospitality, they even state it in a full size waterside billboard that welcomes boaters to their town along with welcome flags lining the dock and they’ve been doing it this way for over 25 years.On days when enough new boaters come into port a city representative (some times the Mayor) sponsor a short wine and cheese get together and all the women get roses. During this welcome party they provide up-to-date…

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Dowry Creek Marina – Bellhaven, North Carolina

We were here three years ago with our son Skyler Nelles, who joined us for a week after his graduation. We only stayed one night but we knew that we wanted to come back again. This time we borrowed the loaner car to drive into town for a few food items and a quick tour of Bellhaven. Last time we got in late and didn’t have much time to explore.Shortly after we tied up we heard that there was a…

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Oriental Yacht Club – Oriental North Carolina

First time to Oriental, NC for us. We arrived today in very windy conditions and were relieved to have crossed the open spance of the Neuse River to get tied up before it got even worse. This is a cute little town, a favorite of the sailboat community.Our friends Wade and Susie Ehlen, on Miss Happ, drove over from their home in New Bern for a dinner out and a nice long visit. Our last time through this area by…

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A Little Taste of Southern Comfort

“Please, we just want y’all to RELAX!” This was the refrain we heard from the moment we set foot in the Wade’s beautiful beach house which faces north, northwest on the ICW in Morehead City, North Carolina. As you can see, Jim and Charlie really took their instructions to heart.No sooner had we left the boat at Coral Bay Marina, we were off to eat (a favorite pastime of Loopers it seems). The Wade’s decided that we needed to go to…

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Arriving at Coral Bay Marina, Morehead City, NC

We arrived in Morehead City, North Carolina today for a much anticipated visit with our friends Louis and Diane Wade on Bella Luna (bottom-left). We have traveled with them on and off during our trip and some of our fondest Loop memories involve these two amazing people. They had graciously invited us to stop for a visit at their beach house in Morehead City, when we were traveling through, for some R & R off the boat and we knew that…

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Mile Hammock Anchorage – Camp LeJeune, North Carolina

Helicopters, and other assorted aircraft, practice landings, bombs heard in the distance... it’s all a part of anchoring near Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. This is a popular spot for boaters to anchor as there are not a lot of options in this stretch between Carolina Beach and Morehead City.

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Carolina Beach, NC – Anchorage

Cruising this morning to an anchorage in Carolina Beach and saw this tug pulling a LONG load southbound on the ICW. It just kept going and going. At the end there must have been about a block long of dredging pipe dragging in the water. The things you see while traveling by water.

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Calabash Creek, SC – Anchorage

We remember traveling through this idyllic stretch in 2006 and today we just could not get enough of it. Lisa kept running outside to take photos of the mirror-like water reflecting the clouds and shoreline. Today, for the most part, was mostly uninhabited territory with dreamy fields and woods lining the ICW.Tonight we sat on the flybridge in our anchorage on Calabash Creek, off of Little River, watching the tide go up with our Kismet now  almost hugging the state…

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Saturday Farmer’s Market

We always love to go to Farmer's Markets. and today Pam and I arranged to meet and spend the day at the market as we still had more catching up to do. I picked up a lot of good looking produce and found some cilantro to replenish batch I had that was looking kind of sad.

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Almost Thirty Years and Still the Same

Lisa has not seen her friend Pam Baugh Trudeau for almost thirty years. That's a long time but when you live on different sides of the country, Pam lived in Washington State until a few years ago, time just kind of slips by. As always is the case with good friends, we seemed to pick up right where we left off after catching up on the general details of the years in between.Pam and her partner, Mike met us at…

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Charleston Maritime Center Marina

We arrived mid-day to tie up at the Maritime Center which is within walking distance of downtown. We cleaned up the boat and went for a walk downtown. We like this marina because it is convenient walking to town, grocery store and the Farmer's Market on Saturdays.

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Tom Point Creek Anchorage

The Low Country of the South is made up of marshlands and swamps along the ICW and for us it is most beautiful from Beaufort north. Bull Spit, Parrot Creek, Alligator Creek, Oyster House Creek and our favorite for an amazing anchorage is Tom Point Creek. Tom Point Creek meanders back off the ICW about 2 miles or so and is surrounded by marshland grasses and some trees for wind protection. From the vantage point of the anchorage you can…

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Beaufort (Bewfort), South Carolina

We left Savannah, Ga., with 576 miles to travel before we make it to the Chesapeake Bay, our home for the summer. Next stop is Beaufort (pronounced Bewfort), South Carolina, a real gem of a small Southern town. There is also a Beaufort (pronounced Bowfort) in North Carolina and it’s wise to pronounce each correctly when you’re visiting. We had a nice walk through this one which is the second oldest town in South Carolina, founded in 1711, almost 300…

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Last Day Savannah and a Visit to Polk’s Fresh Market

Just before we took Ross to the airport we made a final trip to downtown Savannah. We walked around a little more looking at houses and wondering what it would be like to live here. Came across this precious dog and I guess he gets a lot of unwanted attention.Just as we were becoming hungry, which seems like all the time lately, we came across this market which has a little of everything it seemed. Flowers, herbs, produce, nuts, james…

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Tybee Island

We rented a care this morning to explore some of the surrounding areas, revisit downtown Savannah and to take Ross to the airport later today.We thought Tybee island would be THE place to go but unless you just want to visit the beach it was pretty forgettable. But we did come across this little jewel of a spot on the way, Ralph Douglas Jones - Fish Art. This guy has quite the imagination and can make marine life out of…

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