Daytona, Thanksgiving and a Surprise Trip

After being towed to Daytona Marina we had some decisions to work out. We had already planned to be off the boat for a couple of weeks in November and had secured a slip in Stuart, Florida for Wild Goat and thought we would be making a trip to Clearwater, Florida to make sure the condo was ready for our renters.

Making plans is always a good thing but sometimes even the good ones need to be changed. So to take advantage of the prop needing to be repaired we figured why not just leave the boat in Daytona and surprise my family in Arizona by coming our for Thanksgiving! Plan B was in place – rent a car drive to Clearwater, spend time finishing up some loose ends, fly to Arizona for Thanksgiving and when we return to Daytona in about 2-3 weeks repair would be done and we would be on our way.

It was a GREAT plan! Loose ends tied up, condo cleaned and ready for Bob and Nancy. Trip to Arizona was amazing and we really enjoyed being with the family at this special time of year. Lots of good food, Zoo Lights, laughs and lots of love! Made our way back to Daytona ready to finish the trip and get to the Bahamas.

We got back to the boat on December 12th and the great plan blew up. She was not repaired and we had lost power which meant everything in the fridge was spoiled. Not sure which was worse the smell or the fact that the prop was still not fixed!

Apparently there had been a lack of communication and nothing got done. Not what we wanted to hear but things got moving, parts ordered and diver secured to install new prop. Once again we felt like things were back on track and we would be moving in a few days. Sadly, this would not be the case. Once the replacement parts arrived it was clear something was missing and the only way to solve the mystery was to haul the boat out. Not a horrible thing but just more $$$$

Wild Goat was hauled out on December 19th and the mystery was solved. More parts ordered and now we had to wait since we were getting close to the holidays. We used our time to visit with our friend Cecilia, run errands, crash the boatyards’ staff Christmas Party, more Christmas Lights and fluff the marina kitties. On Christmas Eve we received the best gift! Our prop had arrived!!!

On Christmas Day we motored out of Daytona Marina after what was only supposed to be 2 weeks and turned into 5 weeks.

We are getting closer to making the jump to the Bahamas!!

New York City, ICW and Daytona Beach

After exiting the Erie Canal in Waterford, New York, the next step was to get to the Hudson River and getting the mast back up. We landed in Catskill, New York at Riverview Marine Services where we had the mast stepped but also spent a couple of days due to weather. Once the weather cleared we were on our way. I never realized how beautiful upstate New York is and the trip south on the Hudson River was filled with stunning landscapes and beautiful fall weather.

Sailing into the New York City harbor was crazy after spending so many weeks in the quiet of the Erie Canal but the excitement of checking another goal off our list was an awesome experience. We stayed on a mooring ball at the 79th Street Basin Marina and at $30.00 a night how could you go wrong. Where else are you going to stay on the Upper West Side for that price! We spent a couple of days running errands, doing a little sightseeing and taking in a show before we headed out of town. As we headed south on a beautiful day we sailed right by Lady Liberty and if you think she looks amazing form the city you should see her from the water.

After leaving NYC we sailed “outside” (in the Atlantic Ocean) bypassing New Jersey with an overnight sail and landed in Ocean City, Maryland just in time to spend a couple of days in a marina again due to bad weather. We were surprised with a visit from my Uncle Lee and his daughter Lorinda (who I had not seen for 25 years.) It was such a great visit and we are so very lucky that they made the 3 hour drive for the visit. With the weather clearing we left Ocean City and did another overnight hop on the “outside” to Norfolk, Virginia.

Weather once again had us on the dock for a couple of days in Norfolk so we used the time to visit the USS Wisconsin. Thankfully the weather only kept us in town for a day and we sailed out of Norfolk on the “inside” (via the Intracoastal Waterway or “ICW.”) The ICW was filled with bridges, more locks, lots of other cruisers heading south and the Dismal Swamp (actually the swamp was beautiful, not Dismal) and then eventually landing in Wilmington, South Carolina for a visit with the Donovan’s (Glen, Kerry, Reese and Andie). It was a short visit but Glen and Kerry went out of their way to make us feel welcome and even trusted Robin to drive their “extra” car to make our errands so easy. Thank you! Thank you!

By this time we had been on the boat close to 6 weeks and really thought we would have hit warm weather but sadly we found ourselves still so very happy for the little cabin heater that Robin had added before we left Michigan. We found ourselves once again seeking a dock for more bad weather and landed in Charleston, South Carolina.

We were once again lucky to be in a place to visit old friends and spent a couple days catching up with Todd and Michelle (Michelle is my old friend from 8th grade!) and we also enjoyed a dinner out with Sharon (we worked together at Henry Ford.) Three days on the dock and it was time to leave, we still needed to find the warm weather.

Finally – We found it! Warm Weather! After another overnight sail on the outside, bypassing the state of Georgia, we crossed the Florida line and the weather turned warm, we were wearing shorts, and could turn the heater off at night. We stayed two nights in St. Augustine, Florida just because the weather was beautiful and the town is stunning. But we wanted to make the jump to the Bahamas and had to keep moving.

On November 20th we made our way out of St. Augustine and had plans to make our way to Stuart, Florida to take a couple weeks of the boat for Thanksgiving. Seemed easy enough..Wild Goat sadly had another idea. Just north of Daytona Beach while attempting to anchor for the night she just stopped moving. Engine was running fine but we could not move forward or back. While we had a couple of options we decided to call for a tow (covered with our insurance), and ended up at Daytona Beach Marina.

The next morning we started trouble shooting and thankfully found that it would be a relatively easy and cheaper than most repairs. We had lost our Prop! While this was a set back it actually came at a good time, since we had planned to be off the boat for awhile anyways. Simple enough, leave the boat in Daytona instead of Stuart, parts were relativity cheap in boat part $$$ and it will all be fine. Right?

Of course things never go as easily as planned…

Erie Canal

We entered the Erie Canal on October 3rd in Tonawanda, New York after a yummy lunch of Beef on Weck.  Over the next twelve days we would visit some beautiful little towns, enjoy the fall colors and freeze.  Here are some facts and figures of our Erie Canal adventure –

Total miles in the Erie Canal – 362 miles (not nautical)

Total Number of Locks – 36 locks

Biggest “drop” Lock – 40 feet

Steepest Series of Locks – The Waterford Flight where we dropped 169 feet in less than two miles!

Craziest Thing – at one point the Erie Canal goes over a road

We exited the Erie Canal in Waterford, New York and along the way stopped in Brockport, Fairport, Lyons, Canajoharie, Amsterdam just to name a few.  The Eastern portion of the Erie Canal is stunning with the small towns all catering to the boating community.  Many of the towns we stopped in offered free wall space to tie up for the night along with showers, electricity and laundry.  It’s a shame we did not have more time to enjoy the towns but we were on a deadline since the Canal system shuts down Oct 15th.

We made it to the Waterford Flight (last locks) on October 13th just in time.  We were not the last boats to go thru – funny enough we watched a LARGE Catamaran “JAG” from Montréal go thru and we ran into them again at Highborne Cay Marina in the Bahamas.   

Below are some of my favorite pics from the trip thru the canals and if you’re looking for more information on our trip check my page on Facebook where I posted daily.  Next step is to get the mast back up so we can sail!

Up next New York City, ICW and Daytona