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The Cruising Life

New Ports


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda & 2008 Panama Canal on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In 1997, my husband Bob and I chartered a sailboat in the Virgin Islands.
Bob jumping in to snorkel 1997

Bob jumping in to snorkel 1997


Bob liked it so much, that we bought a sailboat like the one we chartered.

After we retired, for three years we sailed the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) from the Chesapeake down to Florida and the Bahamas. But in spring of 2004 when we were on our way home, we ran aground in the middle of the channel south of Wrightsville Beach, and had to be towed.
TowBoat US as we motor slowly up the river - Wrightsville Beach

TowBoat US as we motor slowly up the river - Wrightsville Beach


After that Bob said that the ICW was too stressful and we should just sail in the Chesapeake from now on.

Bob's brother David convinced us to try cruise ship kind of cruise and our first voyage was in November 2004 to Bermuda. I found that fall repositioning cruises were much cheaper. These are cruises where the ship starts from a northern US port, sails down to Curacao and ends up in a southern port. In 2005, we went from Philadelphia to Miami (while dodging Hurricane Wilma). In 2006, we cruised from Norfolk to Ft. Lauderdale. In 2007, the trip was Baltimore to Tampa.
Bob in Fun Trivia

Bob in Fun Trivia

In 2008, I found a good price for a cruise that was going from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal to Lima Peru and back. This is the story of that cruise.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:37 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Leaving Home

Getting a Rental Car


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda & 2008 Panama Canal on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In the past when we took a repositioning cruise which ends up at a different port than where we started, we would rent a car to get to the cruise, and then rent another car to get home. This year our plan is to rent a car (because both of our daily drivers are old-1984 and 1985 diesel Mercedes')- drive down, and then to take the train back

The weather was of particular concern for this cruise-the 2008 hurricane season was the first such year to feature a major hurricane in every month from July to November. It was the fourth most active season in recorded history. The hurricane with the most impact on this trip was Hurricane Ike which was a huge Category 4 storm that caused death and damages from Haiti to Louisiana. It wiped out the island of Grand Turk which was on our itinerary and I wasn't sure if we would be able to dock there.
Hurricane Ike - September 1-15

Hurricane Ike - September 1-15


The last storm of the season (November 2-15) Hurricane Paloma was the third-strongest November Atlantic hurricane on record. It was the sixteenth tropical storm, eighth hurricane and fifth major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It was gaining strength as we drove down to Ft. Lauderdale

Yesterday (November 2 - Sunday)
Our house

Our house


We picked up the car from Hertz yesterday - they gave us a red Mazda Sport S which Bob said was a small SUV. We paid $42.00 - last year we only paid $20 for the same kind of rental. After I dropped Bob off, he went home and figured out how to set the trip odometer. There was an extra door opening device in the glove compartment- I guess for the pax to use so they could get back in if the driver wasn't there There was a full set of manuals too. We only have Hertz down here and they are more expensive, so we are going to BWI and turn the car in and get one from Budget which will be cheaper

I went and filled up my Mercedes 300D at Ridgells - diesel was down to $3.35/gal.
My Mercedes 1984 300D (last winter)

My Mercedes 1984 300D (last winter)

Since I was last outside, all the trees have turned color.

I wanted the paper stopped tomorrow (Monday), but they stopped it today (Sunday) instead. Oh well. We get the Sunday comics with the Saturday paper, which is all I really care about.

Monday: November 3, 2008

Today we turned off the water, water heater, TVs, satellite receivers, and the wi-fi. I set the phone to answer on two rings. We are expecting the shingles vaccine to come in and them to leave us a phone message, or I'd turn the answering machine off altogether and let it go to the fax.

Bob put a check out for the mailman to pick up and I'm afraid it will confuse the mail lady - I wanted the mail stopped today and they held it from last Friday. I called and the lady came by with it on Saturday, but I really wish that Bob would just mail the stupid check at the PO or take it to the bank instead of thinking that the post lady will pick it up and will still hold the mail.

We left home about 9:20, and after driving through the back woods of Charles County
x100_2051.jpgRoad with colorful trees

Road with colorful trees

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and up I-97, we get off at BWI and get gas at the Royal gas station near the airport (it is usually cheaper there) at 10:55.

I wanted the little pocketbook with the maps which also had the rental information in it. But I couldn't reach it and I couldn't open the sliding side door while Bob was getting gas. So he left the nozzle and went around to the back to get it and the gas filled up and gushed out all over the ground before the nozzle shut off. Bob was annoyed. It got 25 mpg (took 3 gal @ $2.299/gal). When we turned it in we had gone 89 miles total, of which about 5 was from the rental place to our house.

Bob insisted on turning in the car (11:07), unloading our stuff and walking over to Budget (instead of going to Budget and unloading our stuff and THEN turning in the car) He had three small carryon sized bags and a big garment bag on a luggage carrier and I had my big black suitcase, my computer bag, a very small black bag and a purse with maps. We got to the Budget place OK and they have given us a white KIA with NY plates. A no frills car for sure - no electronic door locks, no manuals, and no cruise control which Bob really misses.
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Since we didn't look at the little map of the terminal, at first Bob tried to find our car (which was in space H8) in the Hertz section space 8, but that was a Lincoln (although it was white). The Budget H8 turned out to be at the other end of the garage.

Even though he was carrying my computer bag, and my big black bag had wheels, I just couldn't drag it that far and I could see from the map that he would have to come by me on the way out, so I just waited there. At least 5 people stopped to ask if I was OK. Then Bob couldn't figure out how to set the trip odometer (he did set the clock) and we were sitting there blocking traffic until one of the Budget employees came by and showed him how to do it.

By the time we left the garage (which had a nasty metal barrier that had to go down into the floor, and which the signal that we could go was a yellow light and not a green light), it was 11:45 and getting close to lunch. It was overcast (so we couldn't see the sun) and Bob was disoriented and thought he ought to be driving the other way, but eventually we found our way back to I-97 and were on our way south. I-97 would take us down to Annapolis, but we get off on Maryland 3 which turns into US 301.

Charles County is having their 350th birthday, and they had big birthday cakes at the county entrances - I didn't get a photo of either cake. I did get a picture of a
tractor built out of hay bales

tractor built out of hay bales


painted green with a yellow stripe. And I took a picture of a
License plate

License plate


that I'm surprised that they allowed. It was a Virginia plate.

We stopped at 12:05 at Wendy's for lunch
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($9.50 because I had the new ).
BBQ chicken sandwich

BBQ chicken sandwich


By 13:41 we were at the
Governor Nice Bridge  ($3.00 toll)-spuds of the barge on the left

Governor Nice Bridge ($3.00 toll)-spuds of the barge on the left


I saw my hissing barge down by Swan's Point.

(What was my hissing barge? When we sailed up the Potomac on our boat last September, this is what I wrote about it:
We passed by the green 33 spider downstream of the bridge and also Dahlgren... The barge (which had a tug next to it and another one standing by) had the spuds up, and apparently this is the Albemarle Barge Boat Station. As we went up to the barge (which was not really under the bridge) it hissed at me several times - a compressor I guess. )
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Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:44 Archived in USA Comments (6)

Graving Stop in Henderson

Transiting Virginia


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2008 Panama Canal on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

At the other end of the bridge is
x100_2075.jpgVirginia

Virginia


The river belongs to Maryland.

It was a nice drive through Virginia to Henderson NC, and I occupied myself with trying to figure out which trees had turned which colors as we sped past. Red for dogwood, crepe myrtle and some maples and a shrub along the highway which I've forgotten the name of. Russet or reddish brown for the oaks. In Colorado the yellow would be aspen, but here it is beech, poplar, sweet gum, sassafras, walnut and locust. I like the contrast between the bright colors and the dark green of the pines, and I really prefer to have the tree not completely turned in color - I like the interior of the tree to still have some green. It gives greater depth to the colors, and most of the leaves are still on the trees.
x100_2083.jpgColorful trees

Colorful trees


100_2089.jpgHighway scenes

Highway scenes


We got to I-95 at 14:46 (114 miles) and unlike last time, we went straight through
Richmond

Richmond


with no problem. We did see a nasty accident on the other side of the road where someone had rolled a car and which tied up traffic on the other side of the road for some distance. We hit I-85 at 15:15 and were at the NC border at 16:15. We stopped at the
100_2103.jpgInformation Center

Information Center

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and I got maps of Vance and Granville Co. I really wanted to look for some of the tiny family cemeteries, but it is supposed to be an 80% chance of rain tomorrow.
100_2097.jpgRed and yellow leaves at the Information Center

Red and yellow leaves at the Information Center


We will see. We got to the Sleep Inn at 16:46 after 260 miles. The Sleep Inn has a much easier wi-fi network to access than the Hampton Inn does.
Bob at the Sleep Inn with the TV controller

Bob at the Sleep Inn with the TV controller


We asked the girl about a place to eat and she said the Mayflower restaurant, but we couldn't find it. We both thought she said to turn right at the light, but she later said it was straight at the light. We did get gas - $18.27 for 7.6 gals ($2.389/gal) having gone 268 miles (although Bob said it wasn't quite full when we got it). At least that is 35 mpg.

We finally had dinner at the Western Sizzlin for $19.50. Bob left a $4.00 tip, which I thought was a bit much, although the girl did bring us extra lemonade.
my steak - 10 oz rib eye medium rare $9.99

my steak - 10 oz rib eye medium rare $9.99


He's asleep now, and I'm sort of watching the football game. I wrote:
I'm sitting here in the Sleep Inn in Henderson NC trying to figure out why I can NOT get my pictures from today to download.
* Is it a problem with the camera? No I don't think so - I tried both cameras and neither one worked.
* Is it a problem with the software? Maybe. It was really slow to come up.
* Is it a problem with the computer? Maybe. Sometimes the USB ports don't work right, but I rebooted the computer and it didn't help and the trackball still works.
* Is it a problem with the attachment cord? Maybe. I did get one message that there was an unrecognized USB device. So I've ordered another cord to be sent to my son's ASAP, and sometime during the time when we are in Charleston I will have to get this fixed.

When I finished writing that, I asked around and someone suggested that I order a card reader from Amazon just in case the cord wasn't the problem. So I did. Then, after poking around the Kodak site, I decided to download the new Kodak Easyshare software (which I hate, but I can't seem to use anything else with the Kodak cameras, and it is free). So I did that and Yeah Voila - now the pictures download.

Tuesday November 4 - Graving in the Rain

This morning, we had a somewhat wimpy breakfast about 8.
Breakfast

Breakfast


It was raining or drizzling and not conducive to poking around graveyards (I do photo documentation of graveyards for an on-line genealogy site. We call this Graving and we call ourselves Gravers), so I cut the list down. I decided not to visit Mother's grave, but instead to try again to find the cemetery with William and Abner Hicks in it. Someone had told me that it was opposite the Harris Meeting House historic marker, and I hadn't ever seen that marker. It turned out that we had not gone far enough.
Sign on the road

Sign on the road


When we got to the right place (and looked in the right direction), there it was. I got out and stomped around through the woods taking pictures (getting some sticktights or beggars ticks on my trousers in the process).
Graves in the woods

Graves in the woods


Big obelisk to William, Abner and Benj. Hicks

Big obelisk to William, Abner and Benj. Hicks


31132150_122583127926.jpg31132093_122583107271.jpgIndividual stones -Benj. Hicks children

Individual stones -Benj. Hicks children

We left there a little before nine and tried to find the cemetery on Ed Harris road - without any luck. Then we went to Kittrell, and looked for Plank Chapel. Here again, we turned the wrong direction on Bobbitt Road, but this time I had an actual address to go by and we found it.
Plank Chapel

Plank Chapel

23799887_122592385160.jpgPlank Chapel Cemetery

Plank Chapel Cemetery


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There was even a W.O.W stone (Woodmen of the World is a non-profit insurance company)
W.O.W (Woodmen of the World) gravestone

W.O.W (Woodmen of the World) gravestone


It was raining lightly off and on, so I took some pictures, and then about 9:40, we went back to US Route 1 and headed south - skipping the last cemetery on my list
Gas station

Gas station


We stopped in Dillon SC for gas and lunch - $12.50 for gas (5.6 gals at $2.23/gal) for 184 miles = 33 mpg.

Bob's lunch bag

Bob's lunch bag


We ate at Burger King - Bob got a Junior Whopper and a Senior Drink ($1.25 total) and I ate the sandwich I made of my steak last night, and had mac and cheese and drank water. Total $3.00 and we were on our way by 12:30
Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:20 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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