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Where is that heat???

To all who have continually encouraged me on whenever I have whined about the weather thanks but nothing has changed. ❄️🤔We are closing in on the Florida border, if all goes well it will be a days sail Thursday). Now I know we are not experiencing the (-)Degree weather but we are oh so close to the 0C that is considered the NB norm for the first of December. This morning we awoke to a 3C frosty cold morning. Now I am sticking with the Galley Wench role therefore not sitting out in the cold pushing the boat onward south. So, I gave Eric my scarf to wear and both of us wished we had hats!!!!! We have decided not to stop and visit but just go until we hit the pursued place of promised heat.

As I have been more ‘inside’ I have been trying to stay on track for Advent readings and for the past few days one of the reoccurring readings has been Psalm 90. In this psalm we see that God has been, is and will be around from the birth of the world to the end, that a day is a thousand years to Him,that he sees and knows everything about me including my secret sins, and He has never promised life to be easy. Yet still in His all knowing He has an unfailing love for us, for me, and that in the midst of my life he can walk with me and I can shout with joy and be glad all of my days.

This Christmas season will be very different for Eric and I. No family events, no bustling around attending events, preparing for services, no shopping so we are able to absorb the gift of the season. We are grateful for our gift of time to do this adventure, for our kids, family and our love for Jesus.

As you can see not much to report on regarding landmarks and places but much more on on the bigger things in life. Blessings everyone

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Back on the water

I think it has been a month since I have posted a rseport so I guess I am long overdue. Since Nov 13 I have been in Saskatchewan visiting with Kait, Justin, David, Nathalie and the girls. It was a great time going to Norahs hockey games, cooking and just enjoying family. I got to see a little of Cold Lake Alberta where Dave and Nathalie live. Needless to say my time flew by and it was time to head back. In Edmonton I got to visit with my brother Gerry for a few hours. Time is such a precious commodity that really one needs to cherish our moments with care. I left Canada with a thankful heart and looking forward to returning in the spring.
Eric and I returned on the same day within minutes of each other. We headed back to the boat and both were ready for a sleep. This flying is not a relaxing way to travel. In Toronto I sat in a loaded plane ready to go but had to wait for a new part to be put in the plane before we took off. Now I do appreciate the care they take in keeping us safe but I could feel myself getting anxious as we were more and more delayed. I knew I had about an hour (which I felt was great timing) to get to my connection for Charleston. Well we chewed that up in Toronto so when I got off the plane these old legs ran to the other end of the airport to see if I could catch the flight. As I was leaving the Air Canada guy had a voucher ready for me if I missed my plane. Well I made it!!!!!!!! I was the last one on with no minutes to spare.
So our first day we spent doing all the laundry we could and getting groceries so we could leave on Saturday. We decided to head out right away and not visit the plantation now and will wait until our return. We really did enjoy Charleston, the depth of history, the spirit of the place and the people. Eric went to a church there for the three Sunday’s he was there and we want to return when we come back in the spring.
I am writing as we are now on the Intra-Coastal Waterway heading to Beaufort SC (pronounced Būfort) not to be confused with Beaufort NC (pronounced Bōfort), you will be corrected if you get it wrong 😬. We have decided to push hard to Vero Beach where I have a cousin, provision the boat there and then wait for our weather window to go to the Bahamas and be there by Christmas.
So the adventure continues and we continue to search for the ever elusive warm weather. My cousin Stan tells me Vero Beach’s weather is beautiful. Let’s pray.

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Update or Maybe reflections

It’s been awhile since I have added my two cents to the blog. At Beaufort when we were getting the groceries I dropped my cell and broke it!!! So I was willing to sadly live with it. The problem was the broken screen caused a problem to type some of the letters. 😩 So off we went and had it repaired in Wrightsville Beach. The place was call CPR Cell Phone Rescue! I got a new battery and screen for $130 so Ms Galley Wench is very Happy.
The highlights for me in the last week have been:
The effects of Hurricane Florence has been significantly different as we have sailed down the Intracoastal Waterway. As we said last week Beaufort mostly suffered roof/water damage. Further down we can see how high the water was, docks twisted, huge parts of them missing, boats thrown on shore, houses damaged. We have been told that it was a result of all the water flowing down from North Carolina into the South Carolina waterways.
Since I last wrote some of the places we have anchored are Onslow Beach (Camp Lejeune)where it is like trying to pitch a tent at Camp Gagetown! As we came into the wee harbour you could hear the deep resounding BOOM of some really big explosives. Then in the early evening it was the sound of fireworks called automatic gunfire. It did settle down and all was quiet to sleep. I don’t think you could have fit many more boats in that harbour that night.
Next stop was Wrightsville/Wilmington. We did actually stop for a few days and did laundry got my phone fixed (yeah!) walked on the beautiful white sandy beach. We have actually started to say we are in the warm south and not in the winter weather (sorry you northern friends and family 😬) Lovely people, a warm, welcoming and relaxing time.
Myrtle Beach is a very long beach my friends, she is a mere 60 miles long of white sandy beaches,there seems to be no crowding here. I think the crowding comes in trying to find a parking place in order to go to the beach!
The Galley Wench was taken out to Ruth’s Steak house and mmmm was it good. I also made a lovely homemade guacamole and a mango salsa among other delicious meals. I don’t see the Captain hasn’t complained so I guess I’m here for another week.

We are now in Georgetown SC at one point the rice capital of the world. Who new? They a rice museum and a maritime museum that we have visited. The most interesting fact about the rice is it was the idea as well as the enacted by black slaves. The coastal area of SC is referred to as the lowlands. There were slaves from Ghana and Senegal who has experience in growing rice in their homelands. They made it happen and they made their masters very very rich. Just prior to the Civil War they were exporting over 70% of all rice for the world. Eric and I were discussing this and we were saying that in school we heard of plantations and always thought cotton or tobacco but never was rice a crop ever discussed. The local history we have learned has been amazing and revelatory.

I have thought often how I am very much a lame duck when it comes sailing. I’m not a sailor, I can do very little when it comes to repairing or maintaining the motor or any of the many other things that makes this whole trip happen. The sad truth is I have no desire to do those things either, Eric will sit at night to plot out our next days journey. The bottom line is I truly am just along for the ride and will feed the Captain since I would be in such a pickle if anything happened to him. We have a lovely working relationship but Unless something changes in me this will be a one of retirement gift trip. If you recall way back I had spoke of the Jersey coast just about did me in, I have spoken to several wives and I am not the only one who felt like ‘never again’ one gal came out of that trip with a broken rib so I did ok. We will soon head to Charleston and then on to Saskatchewan for me.

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Beaufort Part II – Blackbeard

Off the coast of Beaufort Blackbeard the renowned pirate was grounded. There are all kinds of displays of the Queen Anne’s Revenge booty that underwater archeology has discovered. Chris Phinney it scuba diving and underwater archeology is big here. Anyway our understanding of Blackbeard was of a ruthless pirate like most other pirates not known for their social work. Here in Beaufort he is seen as the Robinhood of these parts. The story goes that Blackbeard (Captain Thatch) loyal to Queen Anne also robbed from some of the rich trading ships coming to some of the major cities but never stopped into North Carolina with molasses and other important basics. He would take the ships cargo to his hideout up the river to New Bern. From there he would sell ‘at a very reasonable price 😉’ to the people of North Carolina. The representative in Virginia got tired of being stolen from so he came into North Carolina, arrested Blackbeard brought him back to Virginia. He was tried and hanged for piracy by the local authorities there.  He still today seems to be admired in Beaufort and much information and stories are given to him in the museum. Interesting!!!!

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Beaufort NC

It has been a few days since we checked in. In some ways it has been a bit uneventful yet I guess there is always a bit of a story wherever we go. We left Elizabeth City and headed to the Alligator River and became wireless for a few days. Eric gets a bit better reception than me but still sketchy. The sailing has been quiet and we have anchored in a few places and docked up in others. The first community that we docked to was Belhaven NC. A tiny, once thriving community that is so welcoming and warm. I’m not sure what community I could even compare it to in NB. We walked the streets, had a coffee went to their museum and were amused by a few experiences. The museum was more of a collection of old and antique things that everyone in town has donated. There was a bit of organization to it but little. The gal there was hilarious telling us about the beginnings of the museum, which was a button collection and how it took off from there.

We then headed further south and docked in Beaufort NC. A quaint small city with a museum and her history was very much a fishing community and today more of a research area.  All the museums that we have been to have been free. There is a high value placed upon keeping the story and history of each place. We have learned much that never was printed in our history books and obviously couldn’t because of the volume of information and different events that took place over the last 400 years.

Hurricane Florence’s touch is still being felt in Beaufort. For them it wasn’t so much the rising waters, they were prepared for that but the rain and wind that caused the most significant damage.  The wind lifting the shingles and the rain coming through the roofs causing damage from top to bottom. One such building was One Harbour Church where they are having to strip down to the walls, deal with mould, insulation and all remodeling needs. As we walked the streets we saw all kinds of house junk on the sidewalks ready to be taken away. The are tenacious and ever positive about what life has to offer. It’s life!

May I just finish by saying we went to One Harbour Church yesterday and wow it was a great time of worship, teaching and fellowship. It was just what I needed and as we walked back to our boat both of us were saying how it sort of felt a little bit like our home church St James the Less and how good it was.

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Elizabeth City NC

So at the end of the Dismal Swamp we have spent 2 & ½ days here at the free dock in Elizabeth City. NC. We got to visit the Albermarle Museum yesterday and have got our steps in, in the last two days.
The nights have been cold and am glad that I brought winter leggings, warm socks and a fleece blanket that Nathanael made Eric several years ago as a Christmas gift. Each one of those items have become beloved gear in my bed.
The wind has been up so we did not sail out today.
This city is one that was smack in the middle of the Civil War. Families were split with some supporting the confederates and some the unionists. Today I saw churches of the same denomination with the black congregation in a smaller building on one side of the street and the white congregation in a much larger building across the street.
During our visit I came to meet two wonderful people, Miss Alice & Valerie. Miss Alice, on the first afternoon we were here asked if I was comfortable and did I get what I needed. So I asked her where the grocery store and laundromat was and she gave me the directions. She came back the next evening to make sure I got everything I needed. I hadn’t got the groceries yet so she offered to drive me. It was a couple of miles and we had a lovely time. So we hit two grocery stores and a post office. She was patient and always told me to ,’take ‘yo time, I’m not is a hurry.’ She felt the Lord had given her a car and she was to use it.
Now Valerie on the other hand is homeless, her mama had died in the spring and she became homeless not long after. A sad story. Valerie called me Miss Val and offered to do some cleaning for a little money. Now we are living on a boat, my square footage is at its minimum compared to Rothesay Road. So I asked Miss Alice what might I do and she thought about it. Between stores she said, ‘Miss Val I’s been thinking that a Bojangle Gift card will be the perfect thing for Valerie. She got two pieces of chicken, biscuits and a drink. That’ll fill her belly.’ I love Alice! A woman generous, thoughtful and such a warm woman full of joy. Again speaking of thankfulness she is a woman obviously living on very limited means yet wanted only to bless others. …. so that’s a little story from Elizabeth City.

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The Dismal Swamp

I was just finishing a novel called ‘Glory Over Everything ‘ by Kathleen Grissom as we entered the swamp and there were references to the Dismal Swamp. What a coincidence,hey? The book is about the south, post Civil War with the slaves being captured in the north and taken to the south as slaves. This story is a bit about how the Underground Railroad functioned using the swamp to get free. We are in the seat of where slavery was prolific and where a lot of the Civil War took place. Norfolk was considered a safe city for the run away slaves. Usually it was not the end of the long trek to freedom but a safe spot to then head further north. As I have read about the swamp it was not just a place for runaways to just pass through but for many people’s it was a place to live free, Indians, blacks created small obscure villages on island in the midst of the swamp. It was a hard life but one free from the European invasion. I could NOT imagine living among the muck, mire and mosquitoes of the swamp, the animals, poisonous snakes and extreme conditions of this place. I guess I have never had the horrid life of a slave and if this was the price of freedom I guess I might have to consider it.
The next city we will anchor in will be Elizabeth City. Elizabeth City waffled back and forth between the Unionists and the Confederates. At one point the local secessionists decided to burn the city down rather than have the unionists have it (Feb, 1862)They were ⅔ successful! Much of the city was burned but the Unionists were able to put the fire out. There was much violence during those years.

Often I have thought how pandered I am. Whether it be in Africa or here my life has been pretty sweet. Yes there has been challenges, heart ache and disappointment but I need to step back and give thanks for the good and bad. So 2C is nothing to  the hardships of these people’s. So our adventure continues and we continue to learn of what is and has been out there.

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Onward South!

Early Tuesday morning (October 16) we pushed off from the Carroll’s, waved goodbye to Melinda and started heading toward our destination. When we arrived in Easton it was so hot and sticky, humid and high 20’s or maybe low 30’s, we thought maybe we had arrived! Well hurricane Michael changed that from hot and humid to dry and down right chilly.

When we got  back on the water we noticed a significant increase in boats all doing the same thing as us. Boats of all shapes and sizes. As we were heading to our next anchorage we heard a local on the radio say it looked like Dunkirk going by! 😂 In each anchorage since we left Easton we have noticed a huge increase in sailing vessels and a few Canadian ones at that!

We have 2 days into our further trek south and we have been listening to CBC Saint John and hear of frost warnings and snow falling! We have not seen snow but it has been as cold as 9C here as we enter into the borders of Virginia. So on one hand I am thankful that we don’t have snow but I was expecting warmer temperatures in Virginia, so we will press on!!!! Today I wore a wool undershirt, a hoody, a fleece jacket and a raincoat windbreaker. Add to that a scarf and gloves to the attire and know northerly winds can impact as far south as here!!!

This morning I was reading in my daily readings that I need to rejoice in the creation that God has created. The sun, the seas, life itself! So I am working at being thankful for the opportunity for this adventure and the ability to do this. I am thankful for a family to encourage me, excited for what lies ahead and rejoice in all that God has done in our lives thus far. So I humbly am thankful for all that He has done, for what I see in the variety of birds for the wonderful people we have met and for Eric who does everything ‘sail’ wise. I continue to be the Galley Wench and have not taken on any other boat careers! Eric plots out our next voyage, decides on whether we moor, tie up or anchor. He sails the boat and I clean and cook and have read a few great books.  His one cooking responsibility is to make the first coffee of the day and heat up the boat if it’s 9C in the morning!!!! Sending you love in the pursuit of heat. ❤️⛵️

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Happy Thanksgiving 🇨🇦

Tomorrow October 6 will wrap up 4 weeks of sailing! Can you believe it?

Late Sunday afternoon we left Mystic Connecticut and headed down the coast. We pulled into a beautiful anchorage called the Norwalk Islands. It was beautiful, calm surrounded by small islands and the write up said sailors go there regularly for a good weekend anchorage and a favourite of the local sailing community. Well it has a few drawbacks may I say. It was quite shallow, really no place,cove, trees to protect you from wind or swells from the ocean. The wind DID come up and just picture Tommy’s little boat in the bathtub with him splashing around. Actually I slept quite well but the Captain didn’t seem to like the tossing and turning. He may have gotten 2-3 hours of sleep. As the sun was coming up he had the motor started and we were heading to New York City!!!! Eric says think of the Norwalk virus  😂.

We sailed through the city of New York and couldn’t get over the volume of noise coming from trains and vehicles on the bridges above us. Water taxis and ferries on the water around us and airplanes landing and taking off in front of us along with helicopters buzzing around. Wild! We got to our mooring around 4 in the afternoon, Eric went in to make the arrangements came back and he was asleep by 7 that night. It was one of the cheapest moorings that we have paid for since leaving home, it was all of $30.00 per night. Cheap way to stay in New York the down side is you have to make the sail down.

We celebrated our anniversary a day late by taking in some of the sights of New York and then going to an off Broadway show called Jersey Boys, what a show, what a night.

Thursday we sailed to Staten Island right past the Lady Liberty and into Great Kills Harbour. Friday we walked into town got some provisions and Eric did some maintenance on the boat. Here we watch and wait to make sure the weather is calm enough to sail down the Jersey shore.

It is the weekend to think about what we are thankful for and just to stop and appreciate the blessings we all have in our lives albeit different from one another. I thank God for my husband and kids, they bring me joy, a sense of the vastness of God’s creativity in how each one is so different and how life is so precious. I’m thankful for my extended family and how they are there and they love, support and rejoice with you. For friends who encourage, challenge, laugh and cry with you. I’m thankful for God who creates with such complex, unique creativity, creating  vastly different environments in this world and that Eric and I are blessed to be able to discover new things every day. Here we are on an adventure that many couldn’t do and I am very aware of my blessings. To each of you may this Thanksgiving, whether life seems good or rotten be aware that each day or year is full of small blessings and moments to be thankful for, don’t miss them, look for them they are there for each us.

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100 miles and a rolly anchorage later:NYC!

Well we have made it to New York.   I will let the pictures tell the story.    We left the dreamy harbour of Mystic Seaport and all of its history and have come now to the stark reality of of the modern age.

Here is the view this morning as we do laundry and get showers.
This is one of about a dozen fast ferry’s that were constantly buzzing around us. When they are coming straight at you they look like a Ti fighter (Star Wars). They are catamarans and have very tall top sides that look like vertical wings.

View up the Hudson. If you look closely you can see the radar on Tevah. It was a great mooring last night compared to the one at Norwalk, where I awoke to the swells and did not get back to sleep till about 4:30. Left at 6:30
First view of some iconic structures. Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Statue of Liberty way off in the background.
Here is something really Ironic. While in the historic Mystic Seaport, one of the displays was of an outhouse at the end of a pier. The notice went on to say that because of modern no discharge laws they could not make it completely authentic. This is because it was open at the bottom and everything just dropped into the sea below. Right now we are sitting in down town Manhattan, where everything is , guess what, dropped into the sea below us. You can see the light in the bottom of the shower, and when the washing machine empties you can hear it splash below.
I just flushed the toilet and guess what!💩
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