Friday, October 20, 2006

Hilton Head

This place is the opposite of what we expected. The anchorage is free, the dinghy dockage is free, use of the marina is free, and all the necessary stores are nearby. The beach is very nice, I rode 19 miles on it today on the bike.

We'll do some work on the boat and get to know this place for a week or so. Mom and Dad will arrive on Tuesday the 24th for 3 days.

Now, back by popular demand, is Rachel's Corner:

*Rachel’s Corner*
Tips + Info.

How to adjust to boat life:

What most kids think happens when you move is the exact opposite of moving onto a boat. First, what a regular person thinks is you decorate your house and room. Then, you make some friends around the block. When school starts you get new school supplies, get excited about meeting a new teacher, and you wonder what this school will be like. You make friends when you move, and you don’t have to worry about your new lamp breaking because the house rocked from a wave. You're usually not too worried, and you know life is not a straight road. So, this move isn’t the end of your life. Hey, you don’t have to learn the different parts of your home. You don’t have to worry about getting seasick, or anything like that. Life just moves on, you miss your friends, you might cry, be sad about it, get frustrated, but you get pretty much new everything.
Well, when we moved on Stardust, I knew that it wasn’t going to be the typical move. But, life is just a little more complicated than I thought. WHAM! Here I am, stuck (well, not really stuck) on a boat with my parents. Yes, I knew this would happen; but, I had no clue that we would be talking, eating, laughing, singing, sleeping, joking, telling, and hearing each other for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 months a year, and etc. I thought there would be at least 20 other girls my age living on boats. So far though, I have only met 1 other girl (Hayley, a really nice girl that I loved meeting), and have seen 2.
Okay, okay I’m making it sound awful, and horrid. Well, the truth is that living on a boat is one of the most magical, different, neat things that I have ever done, and possibly will ever do. I actually love it. Really, I do! The little drawbacks and hassles are only a quarter of all of the fun we have. Living with My parents 24/7 is more fun than it sounds. So, I just grit my teeth and bare through the bad stuff.
My advise to other 12 year old girls who move on a sail boat is that you just have to: 1.) trust every one on board 2.) you can still decorate your room (mine’s tropical themed) 3.) ignore all of the annoying stuff and 4.) get a regular routine going. I’m not trying to sound like I mastered this whole living-on-a-boat thing, but I’ve managed to survive. Also, I guess I should point out that this is so much fun. I enjoy every day of it. So, if you get the chance, you should try living on a boat.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The Coast Guard chased us out of our anchorage this afternoon. Funny thing was, this was one of the rare times we followed the advice of the travel guide for the anchorage. Usually we see a nice spot and just pull over and anchor. The problem with this one just off the ICW on a narrow creek was that a casino boat uses it and comes through at night. There wouldn’t have been room for the two of us, so we thanked the Coast Guard for the heads up and motored north past the Tybee Cut into Savannah, and on north a mile to another side creek off the ICW.

Tomorrow, we’ll arrive in Hilton Head, South Carolina. That’s right, we’ve covered an entire state since my last post. Sorry about that. The weather has been just windy enough to keep us out of the ocean. We did try once, but it was just too windy (20kts) and rough, so we turned back and continued up the ICW. The cold fronts are rolling through with regularity, so at least the temps are very comfortable. The boat has been running great.

Rachel took her first series of exams for Calvert, and Kathy rode her bike to the Golden Isles post office to mail them. For a school assignment she wrote an essay which is posted below:

*Rachel’s Corner*
Tips + Info.

A Descriptive Essay on Amelia Island:

A gust of cold, salty air rushed into my face, and down my shirt, sending a chill down my spine. The merry slap of the never ending, tiny, dark blue/black waves made clapping sounds against the boat.
My family and I were traveling down the long, narrow, shallow Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The engine roared in my ears and we charged on.
We silently glided between two markers. The red one read 17, the green read 18. Stardust, our sailboat, motored along a sandy riverbank covered with black seaweed and knee-high grass. A big, rather ugly paper mill stood ahead of Stardust. The huge grey mass loomed far above the green, luscious trees. White foaming bubbles were carried passed us in the inky black water. Brown chunks of sawdust flew out one tube of the paper mill. White smoke tumbled out two ugly smoke stacks, filling the light blue sky with steamy smoke.
We saw a marina, and went past it with almost no sound. Blue, red, and white hulled (or
bottomed) sailboats were anchored close by the now rocky riverbank surrounding the marina. A little island with thick green and yellowish brown trees was across the shore.
A flock of little brownish black birds twittered to and fro around the magnificent Stardust. We flew by large shrimp boats of various colors. The fishy smell of the pink shrimp hung in the air.
A little shop was now in view on shore, with a large silver truck, a little red car, and a gold truck in the parking lot. A white water tower peeked up above the trees. Trains tooted in the brisk air.
The sun was just beginning to poke its big, fiery gold face out from behind the dark clouds. Sunshine began to sparkle over the dark water, making it appear to be liquid gold. Another set of red and green markers passed by us. Now, a bright sandy shore surrounded yet another luscious mini-forest. Fishermen in black tops sped past in their little skiff, a tiny powerboat.
Stardust seemed to glide through the air on magnificent angel wings as I settled down to read my book. I felt peaceful and serene in the cold brisk air.


Friday, October 06, 2006


Photo: Mom, Dad, and Schooner Liberty.

The intrepid voyagers finally made it out of the state of Florida (temporarily). We’re anchored on the southwest end of Cumberland Island after a combination of ICW motoring and Atlantic sailing.

We saw most of the sights in St. Augustine, and really enjoyed being anchored there. It was an easy dinghy ride into the marina, where we purchased a “dinghy pass” which included marina privileges for 50 bucks a week. We’ve found that one of the problems of cruising is that once you arrive somewhere, how do you go ashore? With the ever-increasing private ownership of land, virtually all the free places to land a dinghy are gone.

Dad and I toured the Hunter factory. It is a large facility, clean and organized, with about 25 boats in various stages of construction. Dad has been in several boat factories, some overseas, and was impressed with what he saw. I told our tour guide how much we love our boat, and also wrote down a few items I would change based on our “extensive” use of a Hunter. Rachel, Kathy, and Mom took a buggy ride around town while we were at the factory.

We had a nice day sail in the Atlantic. Conditions were perfect with light wind and smooth seas

We hated to leave St. Augustine because we had just made new friends with another cruising family, the Stancils. Jason, Cindy, Hayley, and Jack, live part-time on a Pearson 32, and have just sailed north from the Keys, same as us. Jason is a captain on a huge cargo ship, working for Maersk. We all took in some sights together, enjoyed a lunch at Harry’s, and shared cocktail hour on Stardust. Rachel and Hayley had fun playing together, with young Jack joining in too.

Cumberland Island is scenic, with pine forests, and wild horses roaming around. The fish nibble at my lures, but won’t be hooked.

I said “temporarily” at the beginning of this piece, because we’ll go south across Cumberland Sound back into Florida at Fernandina Beach. We’ll probably be here a couple of days before heading north some more.

The weather is turning cool. We watched the sunrise this morning with sweaters on, and a cold front is due tonight with even cooler temps. Feels good!