Boats & Traffic Nightmares In Naples, Florida
2 hours ago
We have no house, but we have a home -- a 33-foot sailboat!
|They say December is the darkest month ... not in our little town! (Nights of Lights photo from City of St Augustine)|
|All in good fun -- photobombing Mike and Lori at the St Augustine Cruisers Net Thanksgiving Day potluck (photo by Michelle Bennett)|
|Thanksgiving Day potluck had 50+ people!|
|Getting some swordfighting tips from Diego at the St Augustine Pirate Gathering (photo from here)|
|Tony proudly serving up some T-day yumminess (photo by Michelle Bennett)|
|For a $5 donation to parrot rescue group, I got the indescribable feeling of these intelligent, curious birds posing with me (photo by G. Elise Moloney)|
|I finally met Facebook friend "Pirate Cap'n Daniel Red" in person ... and he graciously let me experience his companion Morgan|
|Lovely day for a potluck!|
|With pirate friends Allison, Rick, and Aruna (photo by G. Elise Moloney)|
|and more pirates|
|Bringing my two St Augustine friend-groups together --- the Cruisers' Net moderators group posing with pirate tourguides Rick and Aruna. And that's really what home is ... the place where you can share your wild side!|
|The Anchor Dragon|
|Sunset at sea, about 15 miles off the coast of Georgia|
|Clouds over the Tolomato River, and the familiar vegetation of northeast Florida|
|Peter Pan and Tinkerbell came to the Galeon saying they were looking for Captain Hook...|
but Dangerous Dan would do. Classy and Southern to the core.
|Me with my new buddy Captain Morgan ... |
(or at least, the resin statue of him in front of Bill's Liquors.)
|Historic characters like Dangerous Dan |
have nothing to fear from historic steps, savvy?
|Street crafter Chris makes these roses from palm fronds.|
|El Galeon lit up as the "Haunted Pirate Ship" for Halloween night, |
complete with smoke machines and eerie noises,
|The corner of the boardwalk at high tide ...|
|... and the same spot at low tide.|
|An eight-foot tidal range makes a big difference!|
|El Galeon blue-lit for a special nighttime fundraising event.|
|Pirates galore that night!|
|I explain to visitors that the galleons were the cargo ships of the day. |
So, here's a juxtapostion: 21st century cargo ship,
viewed from the deck of a 17th-century one!
|Cooking class: Chef Victoria Frank checking if the apple cider glaze was reduced to the right consistency.|
|And don't be afraid to taste and add salt!|
|Plating up the finished foods.|
|My partner in "Team Pot Pie." I had never worked with puff pastry before.|
|Best part of the class -- eating our creations!|
|With Chef Victoria and assistant Blair.|
|Waiting for the fog to lift coincided perfectly|
with my desire for a second pot of coffee
and a lazy start to the morning, at Camp Lejeune
|We'd look at the hodgepodge of houses along the shore |
and try to imagine what it would be like to live in one of them.
"That one?" "Nah, too big." "How 'bout that other one?"
"Only if we could repaint it."
"This one's gigantic but their guest cabin looks about right for us"
|And sometimes all the houses along the water are HUGE, or |
downright pretentious (Wrightsville Beach)
|The Cape Fear River can be, well, fearsome, if strong winds |
oppose its current of up to six knots. Today, though, was sunny and calm.
We timed our run to get just a gentle push from the last of the ebbing tide,
and there was no fear. Don't the loading cranes on the shore look like goofy erector-set giraffes?
|They're even the right color for giraffes!|
|It's always scary to cross paths with big, fast-moving commercial traffic, |
but we were the attraction for this ferry-load of passengers crossing the river.
|Motoring along tree-lined canal and |
Waccamaw River reaches,
some days are hazy...
|...and some are sparkling|
|Intricate side-channels in the cypress swamps. |
I think it would be wonderful to explore these with a kayak or dinghy.
|Generally, the ICW is a motor trip for most of its length. |
Too many twists and turns, narrow cuts, bridges and shoals.
but sometimes, the forces align and we prove
sailing is sometimes possible on the ICW!
|We are, as I mentioned, rather ahead of the "pack" of migrating snowbirds, so several times we had normally popular anchorages to ourselves. Well, alone except for the duck perched on this dilapidated dock. And silent, except for the occasional bark of a small dog. I kept looking around for the dog until I figured it out. Every time the "dog" barked, the duck shook his head. He had something caught in his throat, I'm guessing, and every few minutes he'd shake his head and cough. But his cough sounded exactly like the bark of a small dog. I can see the writeup in the guidebooks now: Minim Creek -- so quiet, you can hear a duck bark.|
|This life takes us to lovely places. Anchorage sunrise ...|
|... and sunset.|
|It's five o'clock somewhere! |
Love this set of wall clocks we found in a bar we visited with Paul and Deb.
|Meeting up with former Annapolis dock neighbors|
Tom and Debbie at a restaurant they recommended.
Extra points for ambiance, and the portions were HUGE!
|Myrtle Beach boardwalk and Ferris wheel, photo from here|
|In the registration office of PirateLand. |
Who would've thought a brother and sister from landlocked Kansas
would both be drawn to the ocean as adults?
|They even had this life-size guy swinging from the ceiling|