In Elizabeth City, NC

by john Email

For those of you following our trek north, we survived Hurricane Earl quite comfortable. We'll be staying on in Elizabeth City for a few days or so. Come by and visit if you're down by the docks.

In Oriental, NC

by john Email

We are in Oriental, NC. We could make a lot of updates in this part of the blog, but it would be tedious, as they would all start with: "Ran aground today in the ICW - made 20 miles good!"

We're having fun, but sailing the ditch is slow going.

Oriental is a blast!

In South Carolina

by sarah hair Email

It has been a while, but we are currently are in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are headed North on the ICW. Check my personal blog for the actual details... for some reason we fell really behind updating the ship's log. I think we just need to teach Avalon to type for herself.

Headed to abaco, Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We are off this morning to sail to Abaco, Bahamas. We are expecting to sail straight through form Fort Lauderdale directly to Abaco, so expect it to take at least 40 hours.

We may have internet when we reach Marsh Harbour in Abaco, but do not know how long that will take. As of now, we are all caught up with shipping and everything, including posting tons of new sea glass and coral jewelry on the newly re-vamped web site.

If you place an order in the next few days, expect it to ship in a week or longer once we reach Marsh Harbour.

Still in Fort Lauderdale

by sarah hair Email

After a month, we are still in Fort Lauderdale. We got a cozy place right near the post office downtown. There are docks run by the city and they have fresh showers and an air-conditioned laundry room! It makes me want to do laundry very day...

Fort Lauderdale is wonderful, as always. So welcoming to cruisers and so easy to get everything nautical crossed off the to-do list. Today we go pick up our dinghy, hopefully with the valve fixed and the air staying on the inside of the chamber. THe inflatable dinghy repair shop (yes, that is what it is) is just a short bike ride across town!

Everything is going according to our plan and timeline, and we intend to make way for Bahamas in a couple weeks.

Sailing back to Florida

by john Email

After spending a month in George Town, we are sailing back to Ft. Lauderdale via Nassau. We spent yet more good times at Lee Stocking Island visiting the Perry Research Institute. Near there we weathered some particularly nasty fronts that blew through. When the wind improved enough to sail, we stopped off at Black Point, Staniel Cay and Norman's Cay. We expect to be in Nassau for a few days this week and will have access to email and post.

Made Georgetown

by john Email

We are now in Georgetown after visiting Little Farmers Cay and Lee Stocking Island, and will stay here until we are *sure* the trades have kicked in. They are late this year, as we are still getting nailed by cold fronts blasting off of Florida. We are happy to report the water is warm, the food is fresh, the internet is reasonable and the people are friendly.

We have access to Post here so we are able to ship. Now if the weather would just settle a bit...

In and around Staniel Cay in the Exumas

by john Email

The weather is finally getting warmer! After an overnight trip across the sound, we are now in the Exumas. We will probably be able to check emails and post orders every three or four days as we make our way south toward Georgetown.

Find us on Google Maps

Preparing to head south for Exumas

by john Email

We had a lovely time here in Eleuthera, the weather not withstanding. After the next cold front blows through, we're planning to make way for Eleuthera. We might be a couple weeks out before the next Post Office or Internet connection after today.

Made Rock Sound on Eleuthera Island

by john Email

We made Rock Sound, which is a lovely settlement in the south of Eleuthera Island. The trip from Nassau through Allen's and Highbourne Cays and across the Tongue of the Ocean was a wild, fast ride with plenty of wind.

We expect to be here for a few weeks exploring and enjoying. We have easy access to post office for shipping and Internet.

Our Location On Google Maps

Made Nassau Harbor

by john Email

We made Nassau Harbor yesterday after a fine day of sailing from Chubb Key. We will be in contact via internet and can post mail. We will probably be making way in three or four days, depending on those cold fronts coming through. Give us a shout if you are around.

We are leaving the dock

by sarah hair Email

As of now, our holiday orders are shipped, so we are untying from the dock and staging to get back to 'real life' as we make our way back out into the Caribbean.

We may be in Fort Lauderdale physically for the next couple days or may even head toward Miami or Biscayne Bay. We will probably not have internet though, so give us a few days o answer emails and ship orders.

Short Version for shipping info

by sarah hair Email

We are in Fort Lauderdale today and will be here for at least two weeks. All orders during this time will be shipped every couple days and emails will be answered in 24-48 hours.

Yay civilization!

Change of plans again! We're at West End.

by john Email

Changing plans can be fun!

We are now at West End on GBI, preparing to sail for Palm Beach this weekend. Early next week we should be back in Ft. Lauderdale for a short visit before sailing out for the Bahamas and points south again. We will be able to ship next week.

shipping and email from Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We are still in Grand Bahama Island, but are staging to sail South to the Berry Island chain. Expect it to take about 2 weeks for us to get emails and to see your order. I have been told that the shipping takes about 2-3 weeks from most islands in the Bahamas to most areas in the USA. We shipped everything today so are starting with a fresh slate and will ship again once in the Berry Islands or elsewhere.

Just Recovered from Arriving, Ready to Depart

by john Email

11/2/09

We are heading out to the Berry Islands, a remote chain about 50 miles south of Grand Bahama Island. We will be there for a couple weeks, out of contact by email or snail mail. We will not be shipping again until we reach Nassau.

10/25/09

Departed Gun Cay 3:00 pm for Grand Bahama Island.

We thought it was going to be easy. The radio weather forcast claimed it would be easy. They lie!!!

We sailed north past Bimini enjoying ourselves in the light wind, steering with one toe. After nightfall, the wind picked up past thirty knots on our quarter (in of itself not too bad a thing). But then we got the snot knocked out of us by waves breaking on all sides. We made it into Bell Channel just before sunrise.

in Grand Bahama

by sarah hair Email

We arrived in Grand Bahama, and will be here for the next couple days. We will do a shipping trip early this week, probably on Monday or Tuesday, so all orders that we have now or receive by then will ship at that time. We will update more on the crossing, which was a pretty exciting one!

First Week in The Bahamas

by john Email

10/20/09

Where to Next?

If the wind shifts a bit East tonight, we will leave tomorrow morning for Grand Bahama Island, about sixty miles to the North of us. There are postal facilities and internet there, however it is unclear when we might catch up to them.

10/16/09

We had a lovely sail today from South Cat Key anchorage up to Bimini. We heard that the wind was going to change to a heavy Norther, so we decided to get into better shelter.

Malia opted not to dose out with Dramamine, so she and I sailed with the wind on our quarter for the ten or so miles up.

When we came up to the Bimini channel range markers, we turned on the motor and cautiously jibed, being very eager not to repeat my experience of being aground at this very spot 2 years ago.

We sailed right up to a couple boat lengths of the beach, jibed again and sailed almost up until we anchored outside the channel near the docks.

10/12/09

We made Honeymoon Harbor at Gunn Key after a long night of sailing upwind, with some frustrating gear failure, but nothing I can't fix swinging at anchor.

10/11/09

Left No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne for Gunn Key. 15 knot winds out of the East. We managed to use the Gulf Stream and a lucky shift in the wind to turn our SE tack into Dead East. Neat trick that. Seas are low, 2-3' - especially fine sailing on a clear night.

Made port in Key Biscayne

by sarah hair Email

Winds were coming from the South East as we headed from Fort Lauderdale, making it impossible for us to head straight to Bahamas. We opted to sail to Florida Keys and wait for a change in the winds.

We made port in Key Biscayne early Monday morning (10/5) and slept peacefully through the following night. We were unable to find Internet access until today, 10/7, so no updates until now.

Our generator is not working, so John is trying to find a service station before we get started out again.

Because we are so far from internet access, expect shipping delays of about 2 weeks still, but if we get into town to fix the generator, I will ship the orders we have now before we head out again to get to Bahamas.

Made port in Key Biscayne

by sarah hair Email

Winds were coming from the South East as we headed from Fort Lauderdale, making it impossible for us to head straight to Bahamas. We opted to sail to Florida Keys and wait for a change in the winds.

We made port in Key Biscayne early Monday morning (10/5) and slept peacefully through the following night. We were unable to find Internet access until today, 10/7, so no updates until now.

Our generator is not working, so John is trying to find a service station before we get started out again.

Because we are so far from internet access, expect shipping delays of about 2 weeks still, but if we get into town to fix the generator, I will ship the orders we have now before we head out again to get to Bahamas.

Headed to Bahamas

by sarah hair Email

We spent the night last night in Lake Sylvia preparing the boat for an extended sail around Bahamas and into the Caribbean.

If all goes well, we will be heading to Bahamas in about an hour.

If we have internet connectivity while lounging the isles, I will upload pictures and post our plans.

If you place an order on the web site at http://martialartsandcraftsjewelry.com Expect delays of about 2 weeks for orders to ship. They will probably ship form Bahamas for the next month or so. After that, we will be exploring more of the Caribbean.

family upon leaving

Here we are just before leaving our dock. Boat is all dressed up and we are ready for adventure!

Pulled our masts

by sarah hair Email

We pulled our masts off the boat at Playboy Marine on September 10th. The event on the whole, went fairly smoothly with only a couple gotchas popping up during the extraction process.

Bobbie, our rigger, arrived right on time and performed along with his assistant, the confusing task of loosening the rigging. The girls and I watched form a safe distance while the three men (John included) finished with the preparation work.

The first difficulty came when the crane operator had to stop and suspend the main mast as everyone realized the yard had forgotten to prepare us a space to land our masts. They were having construction work done in the area where masts are usually laid, and in the confusion of the machinery and workers, had forgotten about our lift this morning. It did take about 30 minutes of men running around finding saw horses and making a temporary landing space while the mast hung from the tip of the machine.

The second difficulty came when the mizzen mast proved to be almost balanced in weight between the top half and bottom half when hung from a harness about the spreaders. This is terrifying when watching from afar and seeing the mast raise from the deck and kick sideways, nearly falling out from the harness and landing in the canal. I can not imagine what it would be like from close up, especially for Nate, who was kicked in the head and received a decent blow with the marks to prove it.

In the end we were finished removing the masts and ready to begin working on the wiring and various fix-ups they were needing. They were laid down so hastily that the main was protruding rudely several feet over the canal, which also rendered our tasks impossible, since the access point into the mast was beyond our reach. We decided this was nothing that a six pack of beer placed in the able hands of hot and sweaty thirsty men around closing time could not fix, and we added that item to our tool list for the following day.

Avalon is now safely at Cooley's Landing again, though a little naked without her masts.

Still in Fort Lauderdale

by sarah hair Email

We are still in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We have enjoyed our stay at Cooley's Landing, and now regret not signing up for the monthly rate when we first arrived, as we will likely be here for a full month.

Our plans to go to Cape Hatteras are on hold pending the weather changes we are watching very closely. We have changed out multiple systems on the boat and intend to do a proper sea trial later this week. If all goes well, we may begin heading North with a slight detour into around Cape Canaveral to do some additional work on our masts.

Cooleys Landing - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

by sarah hair Email

We arrived August 9, 2009 in Cooley's Landing in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

We left the dock on Isle of Venice around noon and arrived right on time at Cooley's Landing at slack tide. Perfect landing with no major events whatsoever, a remarkable feat at Cooley's, where we have witnessed so many catastrophes with people docking or launching since the tides are so odd and the current and wind so strong.

We did have some trouble with the engine leaking oil (gushing oil) but John rigged it up for the duration of the trip and it behaved during that time.

Upon landing, we met the wonderful neighbors and Richard helped us with our engine and the guys were able to fix it altogether!

We intend to stay here until next week, then head off toward Cape Hatteras around the 20th or so of August.

Getting Ready

by sarah hair Email

We have been getting ready to go now for several years, but have been working day and night at the dock for the past several months.

Well, it is coming together. Today marks the first day of our clearance sale on our Jewelry web site. So far we have sold several items, so it is looking promising!

We anticipate being in Fort Lauderdale for the next three weeks, so everything is shipping from Fort Lauderdale for the time being. I will update when it looks like things will change and we have an intended departure date.

Our next intended destination is Cape Hatteras!