Friday, November 18, 2016

Three Practically Perfect Days

Boaters often talk about the folly of keeping schedules. The discussions typically involve delays waiting for weather windows, bailout points when offshore, and tales about times when weather limits were pushed a bit too far. They focus on how bad weather affects our cruising plans.

Then there are those times when the weather is so good that it changes plans. Why does it seem so rare?

Pulling anchor in the Charleston Harbor

This past week we had plans to leave Charleston and hop through the Georgia ICW stopping at a couple of marinas and staying in some isolated anchorages we'd never tried before. Our departure was delayed a day as we saw the offshore weather leaving Charleston going from so-so to pretty-darn-nice.

Dylan on dolphin patrol leaving Charleston Harbor

We pulled off the docks at Charleston Harbor Marina on Monday afternoon to anchor that night at a familiar anchorage in the harbor. That set us up for an early departure Tuesday morning to head offshore to Hilton Head. The day was spectacular.

Anchoring in the marshes of Georgia

Leaving St Catherines Sound at sunrise

After some weather delays in Charleston, this perfect offshore weather changed our plans to go to Thunderbolt Marina on Wednesday and instead go offshore to anchor inside St Catherines Sound in the Georgia marshes. It allowed us to make up a day we "lost" in Charleston. Wednesday's weather was even better than Tuesday's.

Offshore St Catherine's Sound to St Simons Sound

Dylan and Dee Dee on watch offshore

Thursday we headed offshore again from St Catherine's Sound to St Simons Sound. The water looked like a mill pond.

Dylan and Dee Dee relaxing offshore

There are so many advantages to traveling offshore, when the weather is good, verses the ICW. It's like being on a quiet country road verses the DC Beltway at rush hour. No wakes, no incessant radio traffic, no hazards.

Pelican on the bow

Just the occasional pelican who decides to take up residence on the bow. He couldn't figure out how to take off in the confined space and tried repeatedly to spread his wings.

Pelican checking out the side exit.

The captain finally snuck down and opened the side door. We slowed to idle and he took off.

Sunset at the St Simons Sound anchorage

It's easy to focus in on the bad weather and look for alternatives to your cruising plans. But don't forget that sometimes the weather can be better than expected. And those change of plans can be pure joy.

Dylan and Dee Dee heading to land

The kids were the perfect offshore crew. But after 3 days they are looking forward to a nice long walk on land at Brunswick Landing Marina.

Dylan and Dee Dee wish all of their followers a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels on land and at sea.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Zeus and the Dog Park


Today Dylan and Dee Dee made a new dog friend, Zeus, a one year old Golden. We met Zeus's mom and dad while doing the Loop in 2013 when Dee Dee was just a small pup. We've run into them here and there since then but had yet to meet Zeus.

Janet and Bob were driving home from a weekend on their boat coming past Charleston, so Janet emailed to ask if we were up for a trip to a dog park. We didn't have to ask the kids twice.

We met them out front of the Charleston Harbor Marina a 11 am, loaded the three of them into their van, and set off.


The James Island County Dog Park is a huge park with plenty of spaces to run and play. Dylan and Dee Dee were desperately in need of a good romp.



Zeus and Dee Dee put themselves in charge of retrieving any tennis ball they could find.


Dee Dee was a tad protective of hers...


Dylan's favorite part was when he got Zeus to give chase. Dylan loves being chased, always has.


Dylan and Dee Dee say that any day that includes a dog park is a good day.


Mom and Dad agree. We're all hoping to see Zeus and his people again real soon.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Offshore Again


The whole crew enjoys a nice offshore passage. We were finally able to do our first offshore passage since leaving the Chesapeake Bay. And it was perfect!


Dylan wants to be out in the open air watching for dolphins. The rail outside the pilothouse is just the right height. Dee Dee tends to hop on the pilothouse settee and stay for the duration.


That is until Daddy calls for both of them to assist with the traditional ATB - "Around the Block," a trip around the deck to ensure all is well.


Who wouldn't feel safe knowing they had such a dedicated crew on watch?


Then Dylan goes back to dolphin watching.


While Dee Dee cuddles back on the settee.


Of course, both of them are ready to heed the call and be back on duty when needed. My faithful crew!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hawse Holes


In harmony with her size, Red Head has numerous nice, large hawse holes. If you don't happen to be familiar with boats and don't know what a hawse hole is, the Champman Piloting book defines them as "an opening in the hull, through which mooring lines run." Like most boaters, we use ours for hoses and electrical cords and anything else we need to bring onboard.


Since we've been in New Bern, NC at the Galley Stores and Marina, the kids have discovered another use for hawse holes. Many of them are at just the right spot for some cute faces to look out. Dee Dee can spy on what's happening on the dock.


Dylan thinks he should get a peek as well.


There's some pretty cool things to see out there, so they both want to take a look.


Unfortunately, even Red Head's rather large hawse holes have trouble handling both of those snoots at the same time.


Guess it's time to head back to the side door and see what kind of attention they can rustle up. After all, who could resist those faces?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Uptown Girl at the Downtown Public Piers


Dylan and Dee Dee just finished attending the Hampton, VA Snowbird Rendezvous and have started their official cruise south as snowbirds. There were far too many times they were left alone while Mom and Dad gave their talks and attended events. Let's be honest, even once is too much for this crew.


But they did have the great advantage of being docked directly in front of the Downtown Hampton Public Piers office. And it was homecoming weekend for the local university. There was a steady stream of visitors on the docks all weekend long.


Dylan and Dee Dee quickly took up residence at the side door to watch the world go by. When the tide was right, Dee Dee did once or twice step onto the dock, one time even enticing Dylan to follow. But they both quickly came back when called. What good kids!


With the rendezvous behind us, the mission of the crew is now to find warm climes and clear water. We're heading south now and this crew is definitely up for it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rendezvous

Red Head moved from Deltaville, VA to Solomons, MD last week to attend the Krogen and the DeFever rendezvous. Hurricane Matthew had everyone on edge as organizers and boaters had to make "go, no go" decisions.  It's one of those things that you never know if you've made the right decision until it is over.

The DeFever rendezvous was canceled while the Krogen one slipped through as Hurricane Matthew turned out to be mainly a non-event here at Solomons.

Rendezvous are generally not fun times for Dylan and Dee Dee. Sure, there are plenty of people coming up to the boat to say "Hello".  But mainly they spend a lot of time alone on the boat while Mom and Dad spend day and night giving talks and attending events. They are such mistreated crew members...

But this year had a little excitement. Mom and Dad agreed to open up Red Head for tours to Krogen rendezvous attendees. Saturday afternoon there were approximately 100 people who came to see Red Head - I mean, to see Dylan and Dee Dee.


The crew pitched right in and helped tidy up for their visitors - which they mainly did by staying out of the way.


Daddy gave tours while Mommy was in charge of "dog handling." Notice the spray bottle at the ready.


Dylan was allowed to be the official greeter and he did a fine job.


Dee Dee remained tethered until she learns to pay attention to "No, jump!" Possibly sometime around 2022...


The kids had a great time and didn't want it to end.


When it was over, they were so tired.


The crew didn't even care when Mom and Dad went off for the closing party Saturday night.


And it was a good thing they rested up. The next day, they were visited by a group of DeFever owners. Oh, and they also took a little tour around Red Head but Dylan and Dee Dee knew who they were really there to see.

Dylan and Dee Dee have safely dodged Hurricane Matthew, they've entertained hordes of guests aboard their new home, and now they are ready for their next big adventure.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bob, Caleb, and Chad...


It's been 3 months since Dylan and Dee Dee pulled into Zimmerman Marine on their new boat Red Head. That's a long time for this crew to stay in one place, especially when you can't walk to a beach for a swim!

It hasn't been the most exciting time for Dylan and Dee Dee with Mom and Dad busy every day doing boat projects. The good part has been a near constant stream of people coming and going during the week.


They've learned to watch out the back window when they hear someone coming down the ramp.


When it's cool enough to keep the doors open, they wait at the side door for a buddy to come onboard.


Sometimes, they have to wait for an arrival.


But eventually their patience is rewarded.

There have been so many who have visited Dylan and Dee Dee. After all, why else would people be coming to the boat except to greet the kids? While they show great enthusiasm for all visitors, there are three that are their favorites.  They have come to the boat every day (well, every weekday, at least) to see Dylan and Dee Dee.


While Bob spends most of the day down in the engine room, he still has to pass through the security team to get there. Pay the toll!


Chad is fun because sometimes he works up in the pilothouse and lets Dylan and Dee Dee give a hand. We're sure he couldn't have gotten things done without them.


Dee Dee managed to flirt her way into Caleb's heart, pushing Dylan aside to receive her much deserved special attention. She's the heart-breaker with one in every port...

The kids will certainly miss the daily excitement of being here at Zimmerman's. Fortunately, there's lots of projects left to do on Red Head - we'll be back. So listen up Bob, Caleb, and Chad, "We'll be watching for you!"