Sailing South

9 Dec

By Diana Doyle

The final official event of the SAIL Magazine ICW Rally was the “Sailing South Seminar,” a full day of seminars on destinations south, including continental breakfast, lunch, one-on-one with the speakers, and a Q&A session. This all-day event was open to the public for registration, capped at 108 participants, for $125/couple. Rallyers received free admission as part of the Rally. We were at capacity with a waiting list, filling seats as a few registrants canceled at the last minute.

The event was held at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe, the oldest brick building in ...

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St. Augustine Cruisers Net

4 Dec

By Diana Doyle
Throughout our several days in St. Augustine, there has been a powerful presence behind the scenes. No, not ghosts, although St. Augustine boasts many haunted locations, including the site of two of our gatherings: the “ghost bar” in the loft of Scarlett O’Hara’s restaurant.

The presence was St. Augustine Cruisers Net or SACN, an all-volunteer organization of cruisers who provide welcome and support to visiting boaters. It is kept going by a rotating group of boaters, depending on who is moored in the home port while others are off cruising. For starters, every morning at 0800 hrs ...

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Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles

24 Nov

By Diana Doyle

The fleet is really enjoying the stay at Morningstar Marina at Golden Isles (aka Golden Isles Marina). While some of us were lucky enough to arrive at slack current, that was impossible for all. The Georgia current runs up to three knots on the ebb, but this is just part of the daily cycle of docking for this marina’s staff. Dockmaster Chick Candler hustled back and forth between boats, advising them on how to work with the current while docking. Luckily he had a bike to keep up with us—we came with a collective total of 650 ...

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Farewell Providence

22 Nov

By Diana Doyle
Golden Isles Marina Paul Lang

Today the entire fleet arrived at St. Simons Island, one of the “Golden Isles” of Georgia’s coast. In fact, we’re docked at Golden Isles Marina, along the western side of the island. Here is a view of the marina, taken by Paul Lang on s/v Enough, as the last of the fleet made it in just before sunset.

Jeanne and Peter Krawetzky

We were greeted at St. Simons by our harbor hosts, Peter and Jeanne Krawetzky on m/v Lady Jean. They were busy this afternoon offering rides to the grocery store and West Marine. Their daughter Kate took care of ...

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Georgia’s Tides and Currents

21 Nov

By Diana Doyle
Today was one of our trickiest days. Georgia has about eight feet of tide so that translates into some serious current at the docks. Obviously, it’s best to extricate yourself from your slip, and turn in a narrow fairway, at slack current. Georgia also has the most troublesome of the shoaled trouble spots, most notably Little Mud River. It is best to transit those pinch-points with some extra water—in fact, most sailboats can’t get through without tidal help. Add to our wish-list a rising tide, just in case you draw 6 feet and try to go through ...

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The Dog Trolley

20 Nov

By Diana Doyle

Today was set aside for touring Savannah’s historic district. Since most ICW travelers stay in the village of Thunderbolt, transportation into downtown Savannah takes some planning. You can take the public transit system, but that involves a fairly long walk along a busy service road and then a long bus ride. It’s cheap, but it’s an excursion. Or you can take a cab or Uber ride, which takes 30 minutes and costs about $25 one-way.

For the Rally, we chartered one of the trolleys with Old Savannah Trolley Tours, cheaper per person than a one-way cab ...

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A Day in Beaufort

17 Nov

By Diana Doyle

Downtown Marina

Today was a busy day, with all day set aside for the Rally fleet to tour Beaufort and experience Lowcountry culture, history, and cuisine. Thank goodness it was a glorious fall day – seventy degrees and sunny, and with a good breeze coming in over the sea islands! This panoramic shot of the fleet at the Downtown Marina of Beaufort was taken early this morning from the old Whitehall Plantation site across the Beaufort River.

The morning started with the option of a movie history tour. We had two vans for our fleet — at the ...

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It Isn’t All Sunshine

10 Nov

By Diana Doyle

Last year’s fall season was one of the coldest we’ve seen on the ICW, with morning ice on the decks as far south as South Carolina. This fall is balmy and warm — but is it ever wet! You may have heard about all the rain and flooding in Charleston where we’re heading in the next couple of days. So, today is a rainy-day portrait, introducing another intrepid Rally crew, with some bright colors and smiles…

Maureen Judd

Stephen and Maureen Judd on s/v Minuet

The Judds are on a beautiful Crealock-designed Pacific Seacraft 37, which they admit purchasing ...

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Southport Welcome

7 Nov

Southport Reception Group
By Diana Doyle

The fleet arrived at Southport, North Carolina, to a welcome reception by the town and Zimmerman Marine. The Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Ellen Poole (right of proclamation) and Alderman Todd Coring (behind right of proclamation) kicked off the wine-and-cheese deck party with a formal proclamation signed by the mayor himself:

Southport Resolution and Welcome

A big thank-you to Hank Whitley and his staff at Southport Marina, for doing the impossible and fitting 20 boats into their marina during peak season. They did a great job of flight control, bringing the Rally boats in one-by-one as the fleet turned off ...

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Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

6 Nov

Britanya and Winsome

By Diana Doyle

There was a bit of delay getting underway this morning … fog. The downside of these balmy temperatures (overnight was 68 degrees and perfectly calm) is that fog forms. The advance part of the fleet, ahead at Topsail Sound, could move, but those boats anchored in Mile Hammock Bay, or docked at New River Marina, had to wait until mid-morning.

This stretch of North Carolina is notorious for a string of low-clearance bridges that only open every half-hour, or in some cases, only every hour. You do everything you can to time your arrival, but the ...

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