Solomons, MD to Chub Cay, Bahamas

After the Kadey Krogen rendezvous we high-tailed it southward hoping to avoid as much of the cold as possible. We met up with friends in Chesapeake, VA then buddy boated with Way To Go, Changing Course, and Tuscan Sun. A fun time was had in Manteo, and River Dunes marina in Oriental where we toured the Southern Living idea house.

Due to boat insurance regulations we couldn’t go south of North Carolina until October 24. We made the most of the pause and enjoyed 3 nights at the Morningstar Marina in Southport with Scott’s family: his brother and sister-in-law, nephew, niece and her husband and 2 sweet daughters. During this time the screen on my phone malfunctioned and I had to get a new phone. What a debacle that was! I’ll spare the frustrating details.

We had a calm overnight passage to Cumberland Island which is one of my favorite spots on the ICW! The two docks at the south end of the island, where we usually anchor, were closed due to damage from Hurricane Ian so we picked up Torie and Gary on Gratitude and traveled via dink 7.5 miles north to Plum Orchard. I have wanted to explore more of the island formerly owned by the Carnegie family and thoroughly enjoyed this tour, hike and picnic with our friends. Plum Orchard was a summer home and not as splendid as other mansions we have toured from this era but we were impressed with the modern conveniences such as an indoor pool, ice machine, heated towel racks, bidets, and more. The Spanish moss on ginormous Live Oak trees set the perfect backdrop for a summer home.

A second overnight passage all the way to Stuart, Florida completed our quickest and most relaxed transit south allowing the shortest time in the ICW that Scott could arrange. In fact, we arrived 4 days earlier than planned.

We needed those 4 days as we had a long list or chores to accomplish. I provisioned the boat for 6 months in the Bahamas which is 2 months longer than previous trips. This means estimating, purchasing and finding places to store anything we could possibly need such as cleaning supplies, food, beverages, medical emergencies, and TP (we had over 90 rolls). Just when I thought the boat was full I would find more nooks and crannies to stuff. Oh, and I had to do all the Christmas shopping.

Scott’s most recent light replacement project in the guest stateroom.

Scott was busy completing his own projects, purchasing extra supplies and spare parts, and directing our cavalcade of helpers that keep Unforgettable running smoothly and look fabulous…Dave Arnold, Anthony, Angel, Josh, Ray.

We took a 2 day pause when we had a visitor…Hurricane Nicole who was headed right toward us but turned about 30 miles north at the last minute. A lot of work and stress goes into preparing for a hurricane, especially when one is docked to a fixed dock and it’s a king tide, which is an exceptionally high tide that occurs around a full moon. Extra lines are added, cushions brought inside, extra fenders, etc. Then we packed our bags and headed for the Hampton Inn along with 3 other couples on boats. My first hurricane party was great fun which kept our minds off of worrying about the condition of our homes. It was a great relief to see her floating when we returned the next morning. The 12″ of water that had covered the dock had receded but it was still a challenge getting back on board as you can see in the photo above.

Two days later we traveled for 10 days for fabulous visits to my family. First up was Valdosta, GA, to see my oldest son, Clayton. I am so proud of his service in the Air Force at Moody. We ate a lot, visited the base, hiked Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area and admired the cypress wetlands, and had a great time ax throwing. Who knew throwing an ax would be so much fun?

A visit with my 87 year old Dad in Marionville, MO was next and we kept him busy. Again, a lot of eating…he loves his food and was anxious to enjoy something other than the nursing home cuisine. We made a side trip to Branson to see the Irish Daniel O’Donnell show and Christmas lights which he enjoyed. I’m so glad we go to spend quality time with my father.

Finally, a weekend with my youngest daughter, Cassandra and her fiancee, Noah. I was honored that she asked me to spend the day with her while she worked as a high school librarian. Today’s libraries are nothing like the libraries from my generation. One can talk, play games, create videos with a green screen, ride an exercise bike while reading and play ping pong! In fact, they are now called “Learning Commons”! We spent an afternoon being educated by her at the St. Louis Art Museum and she took us to see her school’s musical. A wonderful time was had by all!

On Thanksgiving morning a Kadey Krogen pulled up to the fuel dock near our slip. The dock hands were off for the holiday so we went out to help them and learned that they were officially completing the Great Loop, a trip of about 6000 mi. up the US east coast, across Canada, down the rivers back to Florida! This was a day of celebration! Of course, we invited them to our Thanksgiving meal as they were going to have grilled cheese sandwiches…that’s just what we boaters do! We enjoyed spending time with John and Ann from Blue Yonder and congratulate them for their completing their grand adventure.

Our intended date of departure for the Bahamas had been Nov. 28. Scott’s son, wife and 2 granddaughters in Seattle are coming to visit us in Georgetown, Exuma on Dec. 19. For months Scott has been worrying about arriving in time to meet them. Although it’s only 300 mi. from Stuart weather can cause long delays. When I woke up on Nov. 27 he announced that we would be leaving that day at noon! Cool…it’s like going on vacation a day early! However, I had to do 2 final grocery store runs and return the rental car, we had to fill up with 1200 gallons more diesel (don’t even think about how much that cost!), pump out, take the boat our for a test drive, etc. Our departure was only about 20 minutes later than planned and we had the most calm cruise south to Lake Worth via the Atlantic. Typically we travel the ICW which is crazy busy, especially on a Sunday, especially when it’s 85 degrees at the end of November! 

After a lovely overnight cruise to Chub Cay Marina we are lounging at this wonderful little resort. We’re quite happy being stuck here for some winds for 6 days and thank goodness their current low prices and multi-day discount allowing us to afford the dockage. The infinity pool is top-notch, the people friendly, there’s an amazing garden, and we had a delicious grouper dinner at the restaurant. It’s been in the 80’s and a little breezy, if this is December in the Bahamas…we’ll take it!

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