Math Problem

Dear Cubs,

Today has been a much easier day…little wind and warmer so Mrs. Little decided it was time for my school lessons.  She started with math.  Here is the problem she made me work on today.  It is a real problem and now I am starting to understand why Mrs. Sayler and Mrs. Harrison think math is so important.  I was very proud that I knew how to work this problem.  See if you can:

  1. We need to know how many miles a motoring sailboat can travel in a day.  Our speeds have been 5.2 mph, 5.mph, 8 mph, 6.3 mph, and 7.1 mph.  What is our average speed?
  2. We can only travel in daylight hours when we are motoring in the intracoastal waterway (ICW).  Sunrise is at 7:30 am and sunset at 7:30 pm, but realistically we usually leave about 9 am and try to anchor no later than 6 pm.  How many hours can we travel in a day?
  3. It is about 600 miles to Key West, Florida from Charleston, SC.  How many days should it take for us to get there is maintain our average speed?

Mrs. Salyer, you would be pleased to know that I am reading every day.  Mrs. Little is reading Gone With the Wind and she lets me read over her shoulder and reads aloud to me sometimes.  I bet I am reading 1-2 hours every day!!!  And Mrs. Harrison, did you know that Gone With the Wind is set during the Civil War?  We are now in the part during Reconstruction.  It is really good but it has over 1000 pages!  I don’t know how long it will take to finish.

I’ve also had a vocabulary lesson today about boat parts.  I will share that later.  I am learning so much.  Thank you Mrs. Salyer for not being too angry with me.  Oh, and by the way, the reason I didn’t take my backpack was that it was a spur of the moment decision and I really thought I would get caught before Mrs. Little even left the building.

If I don’t talk to you again, I hope you all have a nice Easter and springbreak.  Maybe we will find a church somewhere along the water on Sunday.   I guess I am going to miss the egg hunt also.  I don’t believe the Easter bunny can swim.

Love,

Cubby

P.S.  Captain James is so impressed with my math ability, he is teaching me how to use the charts to navigate.

learning how to navigate

learning how to navigate

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Letter to 5th Graders @ Roosevelt

Dear Bear and Wolf Cubs,

I hope ya’ll had a restful springbreak because I didn’t.  On a sailboat there is always work to be done and learning even though I am not in school.  Is that how it is when you are grown up and no longer in school? Hmm?  I guess now I understand when Mrs. Salyer and Mrs. Harrison say you have to be a lifelong learner.

Every time we dock at a marina, we have to refuel, pump out our wastes, and get more water.  I often help Captain James with these chores.  Today I am helping fill the water tanks.  The marinas have a really big water hose and you remember that key I showed you several weeks ago??  That key opens the cover to the waters tanks, the waste tanks, and the fuel tanks.  After we fill the water tanks, we have to treat it for bacteria and stuff like that.  Remember when we learned about those little microorganisms in Science?  Anyway we had Clorox (or chlorine) to kill the bacteria and make it safe for us to drink.  Now Mrs. Little made me do some math.  Here’s the problem:

Each water tank holds 40 gallons of water.  To purify the water, we need to add 1 teaspoon of Clorox for every 10 gallons.  How many teaspoons do we have to add to each tank?  We have three tanks.  How many teaspoons do we need for the whole boat?

This is a much simpler math problem than the last one I sent you, but it just amazes me how much we use math every day!

filling water tanks

purifying water

purifying water

Here is another picture of me when they were pumping out the waste.  I don’t like that job.  EWW!

Pumping out waste

Pumping out waste

I will write again over the weekend.  Even though it is fun, I miss ya’ll !!!

Love,

Cubby

Florida…Here We Are!

April 11, 2013

The days seem to be flying by us.  We have now been on the water 17 days and will be in Daytona Beach this evening.  This is the first day in quite a while that I have had time to myself.  The guidebooks and sailors bemoan the low water in Georgia, but at least you know where those areas are unlike what we’ve experienced so far in Florida.  Leaving Ferdinanda was a nightmare.  We listened to the depth marker warning most of the trip with several bumps.  James stayed on the radio talking to other boaters-either asking for advice or giving it! I was constantly checking all our guidebooks and charts to decide where to go.  Entry into St. Augustine was a little tricky as well as leaving.  We saw two sailboats aground as we left yesterday.  This morning we left our anchorage at Fort Matanzas, and it’s been easy motoring.

Fort Matanzas...means slaughter in Spanish

Fort Matanzas…means slaughter in Spanish

oops, maybe we shouldn't have been there after hours?

oops, maybe we shouldn’t have been there after hours?

Last weekend Rob and Minta Fannon joined us for a few days on the boat while we were in Fernandina, FL.  We splurged with three days at the dock.  I washed clothes, took several showers, cleaned the boat, bought some groceries, and ate ashore for suppers.   We also had to make some adjustments to our battery system while we were here.  James plans to blog more about that at some time in the future. We did day sail in the Cumberland River on Saturday with the Fannons.  It was perfect sailing weather:  sunny, cool, and windy!  We had enough wind to stay reefed the whole afternoon.  Friday evening we had drinks with Bob and Lynn Sistco.  James knows Bob from a work project between Eastman and Rayonier (their plant is located in Fernandina).   They brought along a couple they know who are sail0rs so of course there was plenty of conversation.  The following evening we had cocktails onboard a sister J40 ship.   James was ecstatic meeting Mike and Polli Romey from Reedville, VA.  They have had their J40 for over 16 years.  It was enjoyable talking about what we like and dislike about our boats as well as touring each other’s vessels.  I picked up several tips of things I want to do on Ragtime.  Sadly Sunday rolled around too fast for Minta and Rob and us.  With a long face, we all hugged goodbye with Minta scheming as to how she can meet back with us before our trip is over!

Sunday night we anchored in the St. George River.  I think this has been my favorite anchorage so far because of Kingsley Plantation.  We anchored abeam of the plantation house and dinghed ashore.  It seemed it would be simple to just pull our dinghy up and walk to the house but once there we realized we would have to climb the seawall which was at least 8 feet tall!  James was able to get a toe hold and then hoist me up in a most unladylike fashion.  It brought back memories of me climbing on the Captain Table’s dock the day I couldn’t get back in Skip’s sailboat.  Some of you will know what I am talking about. J  The plantation house was closed but we were able to get a fairly good self-tour with the placards they have posted outside on the grounds.  Besides the plantation grounds, the most exciting thing I saw was an armadillo.  Rutting through the ground looking for insect food, he was oblivious to us.  They certainly are strange little creatures.  Kingsley Plantation was established in 1814 by Zephaniah Kingsley along with his wife and children.  Interestingly enough is the fact that his wife was purchased a slave but he married her and legitimized the children’s birth.  Law at the time forbade her from living in his house, so he built another one for her.   Kingsley owned four major plantations, 32,000 acres, and more than 200 slaves.  He was very progressive thinking regarding slavery for his time.  He eventually moved his family to Haiti in 1837.  Kingsley operated his slaves under a “task system” where slaves were assigned a specified amount of work for the day.  Once they completed their work, they were permitted to use the rest of the day as they chose.

Kingsley Plantation

Kingsley Plantation

slave quarters in the distance

slave quarters in the distance

armadillo

armadillo

We arrived in St. Augustine on Monday, the 4th and stayed on a mooring ball for two nights.  The mooring balls are $20 and allow you to tie up at the dinghy dock, free pump out, free showers and use of laundry.  It seems to be a good deal.  We had a beautiful view of the waterfront, the Castille de San Marcos, and the Bridge of Lions.  We also could see our boat often from shore…just to keep an eye on it!  We decided to do a trolley tour to get an overview of the city.  The trolley bus also took us across the bridge to the St. Augustine lighthouse.  I love lighthouses and this one was especially nice. We walked all 219 steps to the top.  I cannot imagine in the “old days” having to carry the heavy bucket of kerosene up all those steps!  Talk about being in shape!!!  We also toured the old Ponce de Leon hotel which is now Flagler College.  The hotel was built by Henry Flagler in 1882 and had over 450 rooms.  It sports Tiffany stained glass windows, oak carved doors, marble floors, and beautiful gold painted murals.  Flagler continued to expand into Florida with the building of the railroads that led down the eastern coast all the way to Key West.   Of course a visit to St. Augustine would be incomplete without touring the Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish fort build in the late 1600’s.  And for a sailor, the visit would not be complete without a visit to the Sailor’s Exchange Consignment Shop on 222 King Street.  Thanks to the Murdoch’s, we ended our stay in St. Augustine with a quick trip there.  James was looking for a back-up block for our traveler; I just love prowling in these stores.  I found a couple of small treasures for decorating.

Ponce de Leon hotel now Flager College

Ponce de Leon hotel now Flagler College

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse

James trying to get full length photo of lighthouse!

James trying to get full length photo of lighthouse!

219 steps

219 steps

posing at the Castillo de San Marcos

posing at the Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos

Bridge of Lions

Bridge of Lions

We are now anchored in Daytona just past the Memorial Bascule Bridge.  It is very windy which made anchoring a little tricky.  We seem to be holding but have no desire to dinghy in the choppy water and wind.  Plus it looks like we might have a thunderstorm.  Summer weather is approaching quickly.

Last Day in Georgia (April 3)

We motored to Saint Marys today and anchored in the harbor. Today was sunny but a little cool with the wind. I was thankful I wore my fleece jacket for the dinghy ride because it was choppy and chilly. Saint Marys is a delightfully quaint little town. After talking with the lady at the visitors center, we had a map and a walking plan. First we went to the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum. The museum is free and small…my kind of museums. It was very informative and explained many of the things we saw on Cumberland Island yesterday. I was especially interested in the Dungeness mansion and how the Carnegie family lived. After just finishing Downton Abbey, my interest was piqued since it was close to the same time period. As part of our “tour”, we visited the Presbyterian and the Episcopal churches. The Baptist and the Methodist must not be as trusting, because they were locked! We had planned to eat a seafood supper, but the weather became threatening, and I didn’t relish a ride back in choppier seas and rain. Settling for dessert and coffee, we had mac and cheese and hotdogs for supper instead.

Christ Church Episcopal Church, Saint Marys, GA

Christ Church Episcopal Church, Saint Marys, GA

First Presbyterian Church 1808

First Presbyterian Church 1808

Tonight has been our first bad weather since we left Charleston. Along with the rain came 10-15 knots of wind. I pulled my winter pjs back out and am comfy. Of course I took the socks out of the dorads earlier today; it feels like fans blowing through them. Tomorrow we motor less than 10 miles to Fernandina Beach, Florida. Wow! Florida! Our friends, Rob and Minta Fannon are coming Friday for a short visit. They are in Hilton Head for Rob’s conference today and tomorrow. We hope to sail Saturday. Haven’t had the sails up yet!

Update on my AFLAC duck….I think he was a Cattle Egret. According to my field book, it says they feed on the insects around livestock. That looks like what he was doing. I guess the horses like him taking care of bothersome insects, so this would be mutualism in symbiotic relationships. I know my fifth grade science curriculum.:-)

Day 1 Week 2 Cumberland Island

We left Jekyll Harbor Marina about 10:30 am after a leisurely shower and coffee.  We had a short distance today so no need to hurry plus we needed to wait until the tide began to rise again.  As soon as we could see the shores of Cumberland Island, I had the binoculars scouring the shore for the famous wild horses.  I had always hoped to see these feral horses when we had sailed in the Beaufort, NC /Cape Lookout area but never did…well I think I saw one far away but it could have been a dog or a wild pig for all I could tell!  Part way down the island we spotted a couple of horses.  I was happy even though they were so far away to really get decent pictures, but still there they were.

We anchored in the river near the Sea Camp Ranger Station dock.  Today would be our first day to use our NEW dinghy and motor.  I was a little apprehensive about getting the dinghy in the water along with lifting the motor down to the dinghy.  James rigged a system with pvc pipe that stores in our boom but slides our when we need it.  The pipe has rigging with a block to help us lift the motor.  The dinghy and the motor each weigh about 70 lbs.  Maybe I should have been weight lifting at the gym instead of doing yoga and pilates!  Thanks to engineering and the old simple block and pulley, we were able to put the motor on the dinghy without any mishap.   It was a quick nice ride to the park service dock.  It is $4 each to tour the island, but we only had $7 in change…fortunately it’s an honor system.  Oh well , I’ll pay the extra dollar next time we come.  What an almost magical place is Cumberland Island.  The Georgia Live Oaks form this wonder canopy with moss hanging from every gnarled tree branch along with a forest floor of palms.  We walked through this forest on the half mile path to the beach.  The sand was pristine white except for the occasional horse droppings.  I collected sand for my sand collection and a few shells. After a short walk in the ocean, we headed back to visit the Dungeness Ruins.  I’m glad I didn’t realize how far the walk was to Dungeness because I might have balked.  It was another 1.3 miles through sandy paths, but it was worth the walk.  Besides the wonderful ruins, there were more horses on the grounds.  We were able to get close enough to take some great photos.  There was also this white bird that kept following them.  He reminded me of the AFLAC duck.  The horses ignored him as well as us.  By the time we walked back to the dock, my joints were hurting.  When we sat down to shake the sand out of shoes, I was afraid I was going to be so stiff I wouldn’t be able to get back up!  After the many miles of biking around Jekyll yesterday and now all the walking today, I am really tired.  It’s only 9 pm and James is already in bed, and I am headed that way directly…after I take my ibuprofen. 🙂

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island

Dungeness Ruins

Dungeness Ruins

 

horses

horses

P.S.  If you want to know more about Cumberland Island National Seashore and Dungeness Ruins go to Google.  It is all very interesting.   Also a tidbit John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married on Cumberland Island in the First African Baptist Church.   It is on the northern end of the island…at least 10 miles away from where we were 😦

Week 1

We have been gone a week, and I have been negligent about posting.  I am amazed at how fast the days pass and how tired we are at night.  Wifi coverage hasn’t been great even when we’ve been at a marina with free wifi.  Charleston Harbor Marina’s is so slow and non-existent at times.  Supposedly they have spent many thousands of dollars to upgrade but Lakeshore Marina’s” wifi on a stick” by our slip surpasses them all!  Anyway we have decent coverage tonight.

leavingdock

We finally left our slip on Tuesday morning, March 26th to bracing cold wind.  To think I almost didn’t pack my down filled jacket!  Thanks to assistance from the marina guys leaving port was uneventful.  We motored across Charleston Harbor and headed for the ICW and our first bridge opening at Wapoo.  We timed it fairly well and had little wait time.  Of course this part of the ICW is familiar to us which was nice since being terribly cold hinders my alertness and thinking.  James was kind and did the majority of the steering.  I fixed food, hot drinks, navigated, and trekked up and down the steps while trying to keep as much warmth in the cabin as possible.  The cabin cooled quicker than I would have liked once we had anchored in South Edisto River.  After eating supper and washing dishes, we quickly got ready for bed so we could snuggle under our down comforter.  The next morning it was 48 degrees.  It’s amazing how fast one can dress, put something in the oven and get ready to be underway when you are wanting the engine on to warm you up.  I know in a few weeks, we will be reversing this process!!! Each day has gotten gradually warmer with today topping in the low 80’s…not quite ready for that yet.

My face hurt and my eyes watered from the cold wind.

My face hurt and my eyes watered from the cold wind.

 

I was thankful I had packed James' face mask.

I was thankful I had packed James’ face mask.

 

I stuffed old socks in the dorads to keep the cold wind out of the cabin.

I stuffed old socks in the dorads to keep the cold wind out of the cabi

Wednesday night we docked at Downtown Beaufort Marina in order to visit our friend, Anne Mitchell who lives in Beaufort.  We had originally planned to anchor outside the marina and dinghy in, but it was so cold, we dreaded getting the dinghy in the water.  We splurged for heat!  I thought we would be splurging for A/C on this trip.  As always, visits with Anne are delightful.  Anne is an interior designer.  She took us on a tour of a 20,000 square foot home on the water that she has been working on.  We had a wine and appetizer tour of the home and a delicious home cooked meal at her house where we watched American Idol since a local Beaufort girl is on the show.  It was strange to watch TV after seeing nothing for almost two weeks.

Continuing south we anchored in the Herb River, Wahoo River and South River.  As it got a little warmer each day and we became more adept with anchoring and navigating, we fell into a comfortable routine until Thursday afternoon when we ran aground.  Fortunately there was a man in a boat associated with  BoatU.S.  riding up and down this section of the ICW looking for poor suckers like us.  Even more important, thank goodness we have insurance with BoatU.S.  or it would have cost us at least $800! Yikes…that $75 a year sure is worth it.  But as you may know in boating, nothing is ever simple and “comfortable”.  Sunday morning (Easter) our engine would not turn over.  It didn’t seem to be the battery although it did sound a little sluggish.  After a couple of phone calls to our mechanic, Aaron and Bill “the wise one” Murdoch, we tried a few other things along with me praying!  We were out in the middle of NOWHERE!  James tried again to crank the engine, and it turned over!!!!  Sunday evening we docked in Brunswick, GA at their marina.  The Brunswick Landing Marina has really nice showers and laundry facilities (free) with a small Captain’s lounge with television.  I was able to fold clothes and watch an old episode of  NCIS.  We also had our Sunday “bath”.  I was beginning to feel a little grimy.

BoatUS pulling us

BoatUS pulling us

Today was a short day because of timing our trip to pass through Jekyll Creek which is one of shallow areas on the ICW.  We went through on a rising tide and didn’t set off the depth alarm one time.  We are docked again at Jekyll Harbor Marina.  I was very excited about seeing Jekyll Island.   I had always heard about Jekyll as a child but never went.  A Georgia girl should at least go one time.  Riding the bikes the marina provided, we toured the whole island.  What a gorgeous day and beautiful place it is!  Tomorrow we leave for Cumberland Island.  I sure hope we see the horses.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Countdown to Leaving

Wave coming over the breaker at the marina

Waves coming over the breaker at the marina

My friend, Adair, says untying from the dock is the hardest part of beginning a cruise. Come tomorrow morning, I will probably concur but at the moment waiting to leave has been tedious.  We’ve been in Charleston over a week now and have almost forgotten that the plan is to leave!  Friends keep asking why we’ve not left and to explain is not simple.  The list is long and varied:

  • an assortment of last minute repairs and maintenance on the boat (everything from the sails, engine, hardware,canvas, etc.)
  • provisioning (food, toiletries, and assorted sundries)
  • organizing, cleaning, purging, and storing items on boat
  • purchasing dinghy motor, and too many items from West Marine
  • registering dinghy and motor (in South Carolina is no easy feat)
  • sorting out issues with our new computer
  • rigging a system for lifting the dinghy motor from the dinghy Ragtime (along with testing-fortunately works well)
  • watching for leaks (Sunday was the perfect day for this activity.)
  • fixing leaks (today)

We might could have left today if we had pushed it but with winds howling at a constant 20-25 knots at the marina and gusts up to 35 and 40, the matter was settled!  The plan is to leave in the morning.  It will be cold and still breezy, so we’ll be motoring down the ICW and wearing our long underwear. 😦  Thanks to all of you who convinced James we needed to go south and not north!!!

Installing water filter which led to needing a new line

Installing water filter which led to needing a new line

New courtesy lights...yay!

New courtesy lights…yay!

Numbers for our dinghy at last

Numbers for our dinghy at last