May 1-14 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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May 2 - Sunday, the day before we departed St. Augustine, we went to the Cathedral Basilica. This church was founded in 1565 and like the St. Louis Basilica, they have a great music program with their choir and of course you can see the pipes for the organ in the pictures to the right and below. If you ever go to visit, you can see some of the history of Saint Augustine in the paintings on the rear wall and also depicted in the stained glass windows.

I think next time we go to St. Augustine we will do a tour of many of the churches in the area. I am sure they will be impressive too.


After lunch, we spent the rest of the day doing a few chores. We had taken the laundry in on the dinghy so Deb stayed ashore and did the laundry while I went back, put on my wetsuit and then went for a swim. What a dirty job! I needed to clean the bottom of the hull and it needed it. If this is my chance to say I paid the most money for bottom paint and I don't think it works then this is my point. I will never by Interlux Ultra again!!!! It was supposed to be the best and I don't think it has worked at all. Now that is off my chest, I scrapped the bottom and had junk growing but no barnacles. The scum was yuck and it ended up all over me and my wetsuit so once done I sprayed off my wetsuit and me which took quite a bit of water. It felt like I had things crawling all over me. Next I went back to the dock with our shower items and we both took showers before returning to the boat with the laundry.

As you can see to the left, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset over the Fort.

We started hauling our anchors at about 8 am on Monday morning. The lines, chain and anchor were all very dirty from a week at anchor. This shouldn't have surprised me after cleaning the bottom but it did. I don't know what grows in these waters but it grows very well. Since the lines all needed to be washed, we didn't make the 8:30 bridge opening so we could get fuel before going to sea. We did make the 9 am opening and picked up 19 gallons of diesel and then went back through the bridge at 9:30 heading to sea. I was looking forward to the crossing because I really didn't want to go through the marshes of Georgia with the intercoastal waterway silting in, the bugs and of course now the fires which are creating smoke across the region. Also, we had a wonderful weather forecast and the winds were to be cooperative and the seas low. As we were leaving the pass, it appeared all was well and this would one of our least eventful crossings.

After reaching the entrance buoy, we turned north east on course for Savannah. Since I connected the GPS to the autohelm, this is the first time we will have been able to use the interconnected system on a crossing. I have to tell you it is cool. While interconnected we never got off course by more than 45 feet.

Hitchhikers - We were fairly close to the coast as you consider crossings although we were at times 20 or so miles off shore. We lost sight of land quicker than I thought we would have and it was from the fires in Georgia. At one point, I estimated the visibility at 5 miles and that was a concern because of potential shipping traffic entering or leaving Jacksonville, FL. We found it may have also been a problem for one particular bird. We have had birds land on our boat before offshore but they really didn't stay long. On this trip, one particular bird decided he needed a rest and I guess was hoping we were going back to shore. The bird on the lower right may be the same one which made his way onto the sail cover earlier in the day. This guy stayed with us on our lifelines even as I raised and lowered the sails throughout the night. He stayed even though we were only 3 feet away from him and would regularly check on him. Throughout the night he slept and the next morning he would take off for a short flight but come right back to the boat and land on a different spot. Regardless, he just stuck with us until we entered our pass and were close enough to land where he had an easy flight back to shore. I think he was disoriented from all of the smoke but perhaps he just needed a nap and felt secure.

DUMPSTER! - I was laying down while Deb took an afternoon watch and I heard - DUMPSTER! Now we have to take you back to a time when we were chartering Gemini's to understand the humor and seriousness of the word dumpster.

Deb and I had been chartering a Gemini 3400 out of Pensacola, FL and enjoyed it so much we wanted to share the experience with my cousin Julie and her husband, and great friend, John Gerwitz. We had sailed to Destin and were returning when a big thunderstorm approached. We were in the bay sailing towards a narrow channel when the storm was almost upon us. I had dropped the sails and started the motor in preparation for what I knew could be low visibilities and high wind. In addition, I worked out all the times and headings we had to achieve before the turn into the narrow channel. Since these were the days before moving map GPS, we were using the traditional navigation techniques. If we reached a point one half mile before the channel before the storm passed, then I would turn left for 3 minutes and anchor outside the channel to ride out the rest of the storm. Sounded like a great plan, however, there was also barge traffic in the area and I didn't like the idea of running into one of them. I positioned John in the front bedroom to keep constant watch in front of the boat. In the middle of the storm, rain coming at us sideways with the 35 knot winds blowing, John yelled DUMPSTER. I guess he forgot the term "barge" or ship but being a city boy, he knew the term dumpster. I guess he had to avoid a few runaway dumpster's in the alleys of St. Louis. It ended up being a small boat pulling another boat but all of our hearts were pumping thinking there was a Dumpster coming right at us.

On the day of our crossing to Savannah, the visibility was about 5 miles or so and Deb had gone below for 1 minute and when she came out, she saw a tow pulling the boat you see to the left. She yelled, DUMPSTER. I was up in a flash and quickly called the tow to determine his speed and went around behind them. In the end we were laughing about John and the DUMPSTER.

Although John is now sailing in the afterlife, he makes us laugh almost every day. I think he was sailing with us on this crossing.

We left St. Augustine Bridge of Lions at 9:30 am on Monday and we were at the #2 Red entrance buoy for Wassaw Sound at 7:45 am. I had to slow down throughout the night because the adverse current in the pilot charts never materialized. We anchored up the Wilmington River on the Herb River at about 11 am. We are now in an area that has 8 foot tides so the grass you see at the waterline to the right will be about 8 feet out of water at low tide and then you see a muddy bank. We put in two anchors and went below and took a nap.

We have reservations at Thunderbolt Marina Wednesday for three days to explore Savannah although we don't know if we will stay for two or three days at this time.

May 7 - We stayed at Thunderbolt Marina for two days and took the bus into town each day. We found Savannah to be a much bigger town and therefore found you really needed transportation to really enjoy it. We looked around the first day in the historic area and River Street and decided to take a tour the next day. Great decision because we were able to get a much better feel for the area and were able to see all of the squares which are very notable for this city.

We found that the cobblestone streets were made from the ballast from the ships which came to America to take back cotton. Of course the ships needed to be loaded so they put the stones in the bottom of the ships for the trip over. Then they unloaded the stone and loaded it up with the goods to go back to England. The colonist quickly figured out this rock could be used for streets. Once the King found out, they began to charge for the stone. I guess the price of cotton went up accordingly too.


 It seems the government buildings were adorned with gold leafing in the days this was built. I understand at one time this was the capital of Georgia. I also understood that there have been a number of capitals before it settled into the current location.

We went on a 90 minute non-stop tour of Savannah and as I mentioned was well worth it. Here the tour only costs $10 while in Key West it would have cost $25 per person. I'm not sure why the cost difference but can tell you the $20 for the two of us was well spent.

Below you can see one of the homes we saw on the tour. On the right you can see the hitching post and the stairs so people could board the carriages. In those days, the typical male grew to 5' 6" or 8" and everyone needed a little help to get into the carriage. This was the only original step and post we saw on the tour.


We were going past The Six Pence Pub and were reminded it was in the film with Julia Roberts. This is where Julia found out here husband was having an affair. Of course, Deb and I had to go back later to look inside and sample the wares. You will probably remember that Savannah is also where Forest, Forest Gump was filmed. We saw the square and also found the bench he sat on was removed and taken to the museum. I kept thinking we were waiting on the same bus to get our ride back to the marina each night.

We also saw a number of great houses and have tried to show a few below. Parts of Savannah are very true to their history and evidently the city had a problem back in the 60's of people trying to put up modern buildings including the federal government encroaching on the historic architecture of the day. I was taken back by the apparent lack of historical preservation on the first day we were in Savannah compared to St. Augustine. We found out on our tour this has changed and they are not allowing the more modern design in these areas today. Don't get me wrong, I love modern design but I also believe strongly in architectural preservation so we can experience our history when walking and viewing these historical towns.

The Pirate's House was a "watering hole" and place for pirates to hang out when they were out "making money." Evidently many people thought the house was haunted. People would go in and disappear leaving the people of the day to believe it was haunted. What really was happening was the pirates would kidnap a person and take them out through the secret tunnels that had been dug between the house and the Savannah river where they would take them aboard a boat and take them to sea. There is even a certificate hanging in the restaurant showing the house has been investigated by paranormal investigators.

I included a number of pictures of the inside of the restraint which has some of the original structure still in use along with many additions.

We saw this Cathedral on the bus tour and went back to see the inside. It is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen and they have recently restored the church. I found it to be as impressive as the Cathedral we attended in St. Louis even though it was different, it is a place to visit if you happen to like the architecture of churches.

You can see from the volume of pictures below that I really thought this was an impressive structure. With the beautiful lines of the church, paintings, stained glass windows, pipe organ, various chapels and desire to maintain the original structure, I found this to be extremely inspiring.

I found it interesting that even though they had replaced the pews, like our plan for the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, they maintained the historic lines. You can also see they left the original wood floor beneath the pews. Overall, it was a wonderful restoration project and they person I talked to hoped their efforts would last another hundred years.

The picture to the right is the statue of the Waving Girl. It is told this girl ultimately ran the light house and never missed a day on the job. The dog was trained to wake her when a boat was near. She would then go out and wave at every ship that was coming or going from Savannah giving the town a very good reputation. When she passed away, they closed the lighthouse and created the statue you see to the right.

Each morning at Thunderbolt Marina they would deliver doughnuts and a paper to the boat. This was a great marina and we would use it again. We took our last morning and washed the boat, pumped out, took on diesel and all those things you have to do to keep you boat in shape.

We departed mid day and anchored that evening preparing to go on to Beaufort, SC.

As we were moving north, we passed the Marine training base on our port. Since it was the weekend we didn't hear them working out or the sound of gunshots which are sounds of their training.

We also went past many more marshes and began to see the landscape changing. Now we are seeing more hills and trees in addition to the marshes. I figured if every blade of marsh grass had 2 bugs on them that it is no wonder when the sun starts going down you MUST have your screens in all the windows or your boat will be filled with blood hungry bugs.

 When we arrived at Beaufort, SC we saw the swing bridge and then the anchorage. We decided to anchor out and go to the party they were holding for us. It was a surprise to us and we were happy they didn't make a big deal of us arriving so we could walk around without really being recognized. Ha Ha.

They were having the Taste of Beaufort and it just happed we arrived for the last day. It was a nice festival and food was everywhere. We walked around the town and then made arrangements to move to the marina the next day and hopefully for a few more days as long as they have space. It seems there is a wind event coming and we had a forecast for 40 knot winds (46 mph). Even though we could stay anchored out, I found quickly Deb would be more happy in the marina. It ends up this is a very nice marina and town too.

Before I moved the boat into the marina I also aligned my rudders and outdrive. I've been thinking about this for the last month and decided it was as good a time as any to get it done and see if my theories were true. If you are interested, the process I used is located on a separate page for rudder and outdrive alignment.



We ran into some cruisers we had met down in Marathon and they introduced us to another couple on a Lagoon 410 Cat. We all went out to hear a rock and blues band on Sunday night for some Great music and dancing.

We are all just hanging out around the town and marina waiting for these strong north winds to pass which doesn't seem like it will happen until Wednesday night. Tonight, Monday, I am cooking pizza on the boat so we should have fun with our new friends and I'm sure we will exchange anchorages and places to go.

Monday night we all got together for Pizza. Of course since I was still celebrating the fact I will get published by Latitudes and Attitudes I had to deliver. I think everyone was happy with the results. We enjoyed five different Pizza's with two of them white pizzas and the others more traditional. They varied with lots of different ingredients and I think everyone went home full.

Left to right we were - Deb, Rick and Linda from s/v Bedazzle, Bill and Christy from s/v Veranda and of course me - Jim.

Tomorrow the winds are supposed to arrive and we should have a wind event so that means another Happy Hour. This time we will go aboard Veranda to celebrate our wonderful dropout status.

All I can say is keep enjoying life regardless of the obstacles!!!


May 9 - We have been stuck in Beaufort, SC but what a great town to be stuck in. The marina has a loner car so we've restocked the boat and are ready to get underway. We also unloaded the bikes for a day ride around the town and you will see many pictures of that ride. I think this half month of logs will be the one with the most pictures. Not that I'm trying to set any records but I do get some great feedback on showing this many pictures.

The first series of pictures are the ones I took of the different homes in the area. They are all beautiful although I'm sure they take a special person who wants to spend their time maintaining them. I guess that is much like people who really like to take care of their boats.

In addition to the wonderful homes, they also had great shops in the town. We went through many of them although we didn't find anything we couldn't do without. You have to remember our rule - If you buy something, you have to throw something away of similar size and weight. It is a great rule if you are cruising. That leaves more time and money for great food.

The other thing we saw that amazed me throughout the town were the great OLD oaks. Many of the ones you see in the pictures to the left and below are over 150 years old.

That evening we all got together again for happy hour and some great appetizers aboard Bill and Christy's boat. Everyone made something different and all the food was wonderful. While we were sitting around talking a complete rainbow appeared and we had to get out to see all the colors. I don't remember the last time I saw a rainbow that extended from surface around the arch and then back to surface. It was great and people from all the boats were out watching.

To the right is Linda and Rick traveling aboard their Lagoon 410 named Bedazzle. Lower left is Deb and Christy. Christy is with Bill who is pictured to the lower right along with their two traveling companions. They are traveling on Veranda which is a 42 foot center cockpit Pearson.

We had a great evening, again and actually got in at a reasonable time.

On Wednesday, we did all that really exciting stuff such as laundry and then went out to lunch with Bill and Christy. As I write this the wind has finally arrived. It ends up we are in the first named storm of the year. Subtropical storm Andrea which has produced Gail warnings and should move through tonight allowing us to leave in the morning. We also have another obstacle which is someone hit the big bridge so they have diverted most of the traffic over the swing bridge we have to go through in the morning. If we don't get the 10:15 opening we have to wait until 2 pm to go through. I think we will hit the opening or should I say make it.

Our plan now is to anchor tomorrow night and then get to Charleston on Friday afternoon.

 May 10 - Yes we are leaving today. More updates in a few days. The picture to the right will be our view as we leave Beaufort. You can see the anchorage, marina, and also the park which has all of the shops and restaurants on one side.

This is a great town and we will be stopping here again on the way back down. For now, we are ready to get underway and simply waiting for the bridge.


 May 12 - We left Beaufort on Thursday. What was interesting was on Wednesday I called and the bridge was going to open at 10:15 am. This bridge is on a very limited schedule because a large ship hit the stationary bridge a few miles away and their traffic is down to one lane. So this swing bridge is carrying most of the traffic. We were getting ready when we found out that morning, Thursday, the Coast Guard changed the schedule to 9:15 am. If we didn't make that opening, it would be 2:15 before we were able to get through. We hurried and made the opening along with our friends on Veranda.

Thursday night we anchored and enjoyed a great sunset. Bill and Christy came over after they walked the dog and Jimmy Buffett wanted to be introduced. He did well especially when Christy was feeding him.


We had lots of current and are still in the area of high tides, at least high for us. We are still seeing dolphins around the boat although not as frequently as we did in the Keys.

Lower left you can see that the bottom has changed. MUD is everywhere and those great sand beaches are a good state away. At least the anchor holds well here!

Below right is Elliot Cut. When the tide is going in our coming out and is half way through the process, the current is the strongest. I have to tell you allot of water goes through this cut. When we went through our knot meter was reading 6.1 knots and our GPS, over the ground speed, was reading 3 knots. So, we had a 3.1 knot current against us. Deb let me drive through this cut because it was so narrow and the water swirled in some of the places.

Overall we had a good trip and now we are both anchored here in Charleston, SC. We plan on going ashore on Saturday and seeing part of the town.

Also, I added a new test mapping site on my first page. If anyone wants to try it out, let me know what you think. It is cool because I can store the locations we've been and they will essentially show our entire trip. I'm thinking about taking a day or two and putting all of our stops into the map.


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