Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Melbourne, FL

The Stardusters arrived in Melbourne tired but happy after a brutal sail from St. Augustine to Port Canaveral. We're anchored in Cocoa, and will move to a marina tomorrow for the holiday season. I'll report on our latest adventures within a couple of days.

Friday, December 14, 2007

St. Augustine

Stardust is back in Florida, anchored in front of the fort in St. Augustine. Whitefoot and I just returned from a jaunt around the fort since she hasn’t been getting much land time lately. Jay and Barb are anchored nearby on Jupiter’s Smile. There are about 20 sailboats anchored on the north side of the Bridge of Lions with us, and another 50 boats anchored on the south side. With all of the traveling this past week, it’s good to be in one spot for a couple of days. The weather has been very nice with record warm temps (welcome to Florida!) but a strong cold front is approaching bringing thunderstorms on Saturday night and colder temps.

We’ll spend today motoring the ICW towards Daytona as soon as the fog lifts.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Kitty Hawk to Beaufort

Motoring with Jupiter's Smile against the wind towards Kitty Hawk
Steve McNulty at the Wright Memorial

Wright glider replica in the museum

Back aboard Stardust

We spent a week in our time share condo in Kitty Hawk with Jay and Barb from Jupiter’s Smile, and our old friend from college, Steve McNulty. Steve took us on a tour of Kitty Hawk in his car (nice to have friends with wheels) and we had a fun time at the Wright Brothers Memorial where there were replicas of their first glider and powered plane and plenty of artifacts, photos, and the monument of top of the hill. In addition, there was a walkway with stone markers to show the flight path and distance of the first flights.

We visited Kitty Hawk Kites which has a large store that sells hanggliding lessons and rides, and other adventure sports, along with a huge supply of items every tourist can’t live without. The weather was not conducive to flying while we were there, but we saw the famous dunes which have started many pilots on their hanggliding afflictions.

Steve, Jay, and Barb left after a couple of days, which was too soon, but Steve had his job (assisting foreign countries with alternative energy sources) and Jay wanted to spend time with his brother in Wrightsville Beach. We hadn’t seen Steve since a ski trip to Breckenridge, CO some five years ago, so it was great to reconnect. He has also put together an online radio station at:

The condo was strange to us at first, after living on the boat for so long, without being off of it overnight. The best part was being in a warm room all night. The temperatures have been dropping to around 40 during the night so we usually run the generator and the heat before going to bed, and again when we get up. But it cools down to around 50 during the night inside the boat. Kathy and I are fine, but Rachel has been cold so we bought her a sleeping bag and warmer pajamas, so she’s warm now during the night on the boat. Other nice amenities included endless hot showers, cable TV with a hundred channels, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and a refrigerator with room to find what you are after without unloading half of it. In other words, all of the “normal” things we take for granted in our land lives. We watched movies, swam, hot tubbed, played tennis and ping pong, walked to the beach, and Kathy ran every morning, just like in the old days. Dogs weren’t allowed, so Whitefoot got the raw end of the deal, staying in a nearby kennel.

I went back to the boat a couple of times to run the generator and fridge, and recharge the batteries. The second time was at sunset the day before getting back on Stardust, and it was a beautiful sunset, reminding me of how special it is to live on a boat, and enjoy the world at close range. Since the Earth is about 70% water, some pundit has said it should be called Water; therefore we are experiencing the planet from the proper angle.

Two days of motoring with a little sailing brought us back down the ICW to Beaufort, NC. A cold front is going through, bringing rain and 30kt winds so we will stay here today. The ocean will remain rough with adverse winds for the forecasted future so we’ll continue south in the ICW tomorrow to join up with Jupiter’s Smile in Wrightsville Beach in two days. It’s nice to be back in the green water of the Atlantic Ocean with dolphin and pelicans about.