Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've heard about the St Marys' Boaters Thanksgiving in Georgia for years but it has never worked into our plans. So this year we decided to make an effort to be there. If you are not familiar with the event, residents of the town of St Marys cook turkeys and hams, the local restaurant/hotel opens its doors, boaters bring side dishes and desserts, and a huge Thanksgiving dinner is served. We're told that as many as 200 boats have shown up in the past. This year there was about 50 boats with 103 people.

We dropped off our food and began lining up to go in around 12:30 pm. There was a long line of boaters waiting by the time the doors opened at 1:00 pm.

The line moves quickly as plates are filled and everyone finds a place in the hotel restaurant, bar, or lobby. As usually happens at potlucks, everyone brings one of their best dishes. No one went hungry. Unfortunately, the canine crew was not allowed so they had to wait patiently onboard for their Thanksgiving dinner. But by about 3:30 pm we were back on aboard with the crew.

They started lining up for their Thanksgiving dinner around 4:30 pm.

By 4:32 pm dinner was served. Mommy served one of her best dishes - well, Dylan and Dee Dee thought so anyway. By 4:33 pm dinner was complete. Now we can relax and think about the things we are really thankful for.

The whole aCappella crew wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

On The Move

Dylan and Dee Dee wish to apologize for the neglect of their blog these past couple of weeks. It has been a busy time as they help move the boat south in search of warmer climes. Unfortunately, they were not to be found. The whole crew watched in dismay as the weather map showed freezing temperatures all the way down to Florida. One morning in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Dylan and Dee Dee awoke to a temperature of 25 degrees F which is bad enough in itself, but a Google search revealed it was 23 degrees in their homeport of Castine, Maine. It was so wrong.

But true to form they managed to make the best of it and visit several new stops. After leaving Charleston Harbor Marina - mutiny adverted by pulling out some of the special treats - they had an offshore run to Lady's Island Marina in South Carolina where every boat seemed to have a dog onboard.

We decided to move 4 nm south to Port Royal Landing Marina in search of 70 degrees. We found a friendly marina in a beautiful neighborhood perfect for walking the crew but still cold.  A 13 nm hop south to Skull Creek Marina is where we awoke to 20 degree temperatures and high winds. We were all getting a bit discouraged.

Nine more nm to Harbour Town Yacht Basin meant a day at an amazing resort marina where we were able to shed our coats but forced to keep our sweaters. aCappella looked pretty good at the dock and we even snuck away for a fabulous meal overlooking the water and a gorgeous sunset.

After several more travel days we find ourselves anchored off Cumberland Island - a big hit with the four and two-legged crew. The temperatures have finally risen but that brought rain and fog. Thanksgiving will happen for us at the St Marys, Georgia cruiser's dinner, our first time attending. We're all hoping for sunshine and warm weather. But ultimately we're happiest when we're all together.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mutiny in Charleston?

We love to visit new places on our boat. Every season is a mix of our favorite stops and locations we've never been before, or haven't been to in a while. One stop that always makes it on our itinerary is Charleston, SC. We love the city and the food and all there is to do, plus we have very dear friends who live here. In the past, we've stayed a few days to a few months.

It's not a bad place for the the kids either - they've always managed to to have a good time. But this stop turned into something quite extraordinary for Dylan and Dee Dee.

If I've failed to mention it before, Dylan loves dolphins. No, I'm serious - read the blog...

Dee Dee generally follows Dylan's lead and runs to the bow when he gets excited but we've never had the feeling that she fully understood what the fuss was all about. All that changed this week at the Charleston Harbor Marina.

We requested to be placed out on the A-dock extension this time because that's typically where the other transients are and we wanted to be close to our peeps. In the past we've been in one of the A-docks slips and know that the dolphins like to feed along the edge of the docks there. What we didn't realize was that they also like to feed along the extension but there, the docks are narrower, there's no fence in the way, and it's close the the breakwater opening where dolphins can come into the basin. You can see a satellite image of the marina at the link below. We are along the long side dock on the western side of the marina on the bottom half.

Charleston Harbor Marina

During our first afternoon here, two dolphins were chasing a fish back and forth between the dock and our bow. That got Dee Dee's attention!

Since then it has been pandemonium. The second the crew is finished with breakfast, they're out. The day is filled with the sound of eight paws roaring from the bow down the side to the cockpit and back again as they follow the dolphins' movements. Even the fail-safe method of calling "treats" doesn't always get them in. Getting them in for bedtime is a chore but then they crash for the night.

Needless to say, this past week or so in Charleston has been a good time for our canine crew. The problem, it's time to go...

The weather window is lining up for us to hop offshore to Hilton Head. The crew doesn't know it yet and we're concerned that when the engines start there may be a mutiny. They've threatened once or twice in the past but this time could be for real.

We're thinking of maybe sneaking out under the cover of darkness. Of course, that would mean we'd have to get out of bed without waking them, start the engines without a sound, hope their food clock malfunctions, and pray that no dolphin makes a snorting noise. That could be doable, except for the dolphin part.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ripped Off Again!

Just in case you have never seen Dylan and Dee Dee's blog before, Dylan loves dolphins. To make sure you fully understand, Dylan LOVES dolphins. On good days he spends most of his time underway running between port and starboard just hoping for a glimpse. However, we have a rule on aCappella that no dog is allowed outside the pilothouse alone when it is rough weather or dark out.

We left Wilmington, NC to head offshore overnight to Charleston, SC mid-afternoon. The plan was to head out the Cape Fear Inlet before dark. The sun was setting as we neared the inlet so we switched on our navigation lights and found that the stern light was not lit.

With Jeff leaning over the edge of the flybridge replacing the bulb, Dylan sleeping in his first mate position at my feet, and darkness quickly falling, a dozen or more dolphins appeared off our port quarter leaping high out of the water playing in our wake. What to do! Should I wake him and let him out to greet his buddies? There was just barely enough light to see them so is that really considered dark? Did I want two of my guys out there leaning over the side of the boat in darkness?

In the end I simply enjoyed the sight and let Dylan sleep. I ask you, is he really being ripped off if he doesn't even know it????