2016-08 Back to the USA

August 1, 2016

We departed from Staniel Cay (Bahamas) on June 9, spending a night at anchor off Norman’s Cay before heading on to Morgan’s Bluff on the island of Andros where we again anchored for a night to prepare for the 2-day crossing to St. Augustine. After setting the anchor we went for a snorkel and, as we usually do, swam out to take a look at the anchor. The crystal clear water gave us a great view but we didn’t like what we saw! The anchor was lodged beneath a steel beam lying on the bottom. We anticipated some challenges in getting it raised in the morning!

Anchor wedged under steel beam at Morgan's Bluff

Anchor wedged under steel beam at Morgan’s Bluff

After a good night’s sleep, we got ready for departure and developed our plan for raising the anchor. Austin would get into the water to direct, with Bradley at the anchor controls on the bow and me using engines and bow and stern thrusters to position the boat. We would try to maneuver in order to be able to pull the anchor free. With a bit of current adding to the challenge, it took us nearly an hour to get the anchor freed and up, but patience and teamwork did the trick.

Sunrise approaching St. Augustine

Sunrise approaching St. Augustine

We had a very pleasant crossing to St. Augustine with great weather. We had tried to time our arrival to coincide with high tide as we could only enter the Conch House Marina at high tide. But once we got into the Gulf Stream, we made excellent time, so we arrived just at sunrise, several hours too early to attempt an entry to the marina. This was due both to the lack of depth at less than high tide as well as the serious currents and very narrow channel we had to traverse. We did a bit of a tour of the St. Augustine Harbor, finally choosing a spot near the Vilano Beach bridge where we napped for a couple hours. When the time was right we made it to the marina without incident.

The famous cross at St. Augustine

The famous cross at St. Augustine

This was our first visit to St. Augustine and we greatly enjoyed America’s oldest city. We took in plenty of the local sights and activities, enjoying early morning runs, walks, and bike rides throughout the area. We also met up with some old friends and made some new ones. We took a few land trips to visit friends and family. I even got the chance to play several rounds of golf. (see photos for details).

Watching my sister play tennis in Vero Beach

Watching my sister play tennis in Vero Beach

After six relaxing weeks, it was time to head a bit further north, to Morehead City, NC. Aboard for this 2-day trip was our new friend Tony, who we had met in St. Augustine (because he had an adorable new puppy). We had a great passage with perfect weather and calm seas. The only disappointment was the fishing. We caught one barracuda and several bonitas, all of which we released in the hopes we would get something better. We did lose 2 lures to fish which must have been big, but never landed a keeper!

Finally, I’m pleased to report that we have received Nordhavn’s newest pennant awarded for High Latitude cruising which we earned with our trip to Greenland two years ago, reaching a latitude of 69º23”N.

Extreme Latitudes Pennant earned for our trip to Greenland in 2014

Extreme Latitudes Pennant earned for our trip to Greenland in 2014

We will be here in NC for the next few months, doing some boat projects, taking some more land trips, and catching up with friends.

  1. #1 by Butch David on September 12, 2016 - 8:18 am

    Thank you for all the stories. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living the trawling life vicariously through your posts, and wish you all the best!


  2. #2 by Donald Fader on August 2, 2016 - 10:37 am

    Welcome back to Morehead! We took a lunch cruise on Saturday and spotted your AIS signal on the MFD. Sounds like you guys had a great trip. Bit of a bummer on the fishing though. Tell Bradley that the mahi are close enough in that he can take the tender out to catch some but be careful with the gaff. Had a friend that gaffed his RIB trying to land a wahoo. I’ll email you to see when you are receiving guests so I can come by and say hello.



  3. #3 by Barb on August 2, 2016 - 10:29 am

    Chip and I just bought a place in St. Augustine! On Anastasia Is., Butler Beach. Love it there.

    Sent from my iPad



  4. #4 by Neil Spencer on August 1, 2016 - 6:47 pm


    Nice to see all the pictures especially of the anchor! At least you had good holding for the night. I guess the days of trip lines are not yet over.

    All good here in Kyneton. I haven’t seen the ocean now for a good three weeks; not good. We had some snow the other week; yes snow in Australia! We could have skied on it up on the hill. I’m slowly adjusting to life in the Aussie bush; very friendly people that’s for sure. I still don’t have much street cred here though. I need to have a Toyota Hilux truck with a roo bar, big antenna & spot light out the front and a snorkel for the engine air intake; get it very dirty & park it in the pub carpark. That should do the trick. If you have ever watched the TV show “Outback Truckers” (the Aussie version of “Ice Road Truckers”) you will know what I mean!

    Suzy is still flying LA & Dubai. I’m doing the odd Town Planning project and also now a Census Field Officer! for the coming Australia wide Census. I have a large area to cover and it’s lots of fun meeting a lot of interesting people doing their own thing in the bush. Lots of sustainable living types (not quite Preppers!) in some amazing houses. Solar panels & Tesla batteries abound, not that they are working that well this time of year. I’ve also met the odd drop kick; I always thought the human race was one specie but now I’m not so sure. I did meet a fellow sailor out in the bush; he was rebuilding a sail boat in his yard. We talked spinnakers & gennakers and how to best re rig the boat for hours; I’ll have to go back and give him a hand; very good therapy; I will need it soon. Should be back sailing on the Bay in Melbourne soon but hope to be able to get back to Auckland and do the Coastal Classic to Russell; that will be better therapy.

    Not sure what to do with the house in Auckland. I do miss living there but if we sold it we could travel the world forever; even come & see you guys! Maybe even buy a boat! It’s worth too much to sell at the moment; a nice position to be in.

    Kim still has two boats; not good. I guess he’s told you about his trip across to the Galapagos from Panama and of Marijke’s brother bring the boat back across the Pacific to NZ; quite a ride apparently.

    Recent photos attached. Yeah I know I need a shave. Not sure if I sent these to you a while ago.

    Take care you guys.

    Neil & Suzy



  5. #5 by Bobbie Kilberg on August 1, 2016 - 3:59 pm

    Kathy: Your new posting says that you will be in NC for the next few months. I hope that a land trip still will include our former Chairs lunch on August 25th. Bobbie


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