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Old 11-07-2011, 06:03 PM   #21
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Left Jekyll Island, GA at 0730 hrs.* Picked up fuel in Fernandina Beach, FL.* 254 gal. at $3.87/gal.* Went through St. Augustine at noon.* Arrived Halifax*Harbor Marina, Daytona Beach, FL 1500 hrs.* Sorry, Bess, but no pictures with this. Maybe later.

I have an important business conference call scheduled for tomorrow.* It that happens we will hold over another day in Daytona Beach.* Early to bed tonight.*
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:16 PM   #22
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Headed South for Winter?

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Old Stone wrote:
Don - It is wonderful following your trip, but one question. Given the distances you are travelling, what is your average speed? You sure seem to be covering some ground, or should I say, water !!!! Great post to follow, thanks.
*Hi Carl,

We left Daytona Beach at 0915 and arrived Ft. Pierce at 1600 hrs.* That is 136 statute miles.* The first 40 or so were pretty miserable.* Narrow channels, long no wake zones,* and slow passing what seemed like every boat on the East Coast.* After coming out of Haul Over Canal, the long run down the Indian River was covered at 25-27 knots (our normal cruise speed.

We have covered 400 miles in 3 days cruising.* We have been cruising only about 7 hurs per day.**For ICW travel, we haul the mail.* Few cruising boats can run with us.* When the slow boat traffic is heavy as in the spring and fall, it makes for some tedious passing work.* The experienced cruisers know the drill.* I slow, they slow, and I give them a good quick pass.* Some have no idea how to do it.* When you see a 40 something foot boat with the water drooping in a deep swag at the waterline, he is running close to hull speed.* I have to go at least 10-11 knots to give a slow pass.* That is where I throw the largest wake.* Go figure.* Even after asking them to slow, some don't.* Such is life on the ICW.

We are home for awhile.* Maybe a year or so.* We will cruise and fish*out of here.* It is a short hop to the Bahamas.*

After realizing that I did not answer your question about average speed, I figure we averaged about 20 mph.* Our regular cruise is 30 mph, but this considers idling, no wake zones, and slow passes.* By the way, something that most boaters don't have to put up with, but the difficult to read signs along the way can cost you money.* Believe it or not, there are no wake, minimum wake, 12" wake, 25 mph, 30 mph, and normal operation areas.* The signs for manatee protection are everywhere.* At 27 knots, you had better read them quickly.* We try very hard to obey them all.


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Tuesday 8th of November 2011 08:49:14 PM
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:10 PM   #23
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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Old Stone wrote:
Alright!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, if Ft. Pierce is to be the water home base for a year, what are you land travel tactics between Fla and home (car of fly)? How often will you make the trip?
*Carl, it is a one day drive, so we will drive to have a car.* When the wind blows and boating is not good, there is still much to see and do withing a 100 mile radius from here.* Ft Lauderdale and Miami are always good,* Trawler Fest and the Miami Boat shows are coming up.

We plan to come down for a couple of weeks after Christmas.* Maybe cruise, maybe fish, or maybe hang out and relax.* Vero Beach is close by and a great stop for a few days.* Stuart the same.* We usually come every 4 to 6 weeks for a couple of weeks.* We want to spend about 6 weeks in the Bahamas in the spring.* Probably May and June.

I am on a mainly fishing dock.* I hired a charter boat captain next to me to look after the boat.* He will just check on it and move it for haul out in case of a hurricane.* I also made a deal with a diver to check the bottom once a month.* Moonstruck should be in good hands.* I will try to post some pictures later.

There seem to be few people who use their boat in a similar manner to us.* We get bored with one place, and enjoy the new scenery.* Meeting new people is nice too.* I have already learned some nice fishing info right here on the dock!
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:11 PM   #24
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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There seem to be few people who use their boat in a similar manner to us.*
******* I know of no one.........
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:15 PM   #25
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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Moonstruck wrote:*We get bored with one place, and enjoy the new scenery.
See, that's the big problem with back east.* Flat gets boring fast.* It's never boring out here, even at the same places.* Everything's always changing-- weather, wildlife, water, the snow in the*mountains,*the amounts of volcanic ash in the air. *

It's the main reason I moved from Hawaii to here.* (I don't like Seattle, I like where Seattle is, plus it's near Vancouver, BC, one of the best cities on the planet in my book).

We have met a few people who do what you do but in this area.* Most of them live inland--- Montana, Idaho, Nevada.* They'll put their boat in Sidney for a year and come out and use it there.* Then they'll take it up to Campbell River for a year and come out and use it there.* Then maybe up to Ketchkan or Juneau for a year.* And so on.* Takes a fair amount of money to do this but if one can afford it it's a great way to get to know this part of the world.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #26
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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Marin wrote:Moonstruck wrote:*We get bored with one place, and enjoy the new scenery.
See, that's the big problem with back east.* Flat gets boring fast.* It's never boring out here, even at the same places.* Everything's always changing-- weather, wildlife, water, the snow in the*mountains,*the amounts of volcanic ash in the air. *

It's the main reason I moved from Hawaii to here.* (I don't like Seattle, I like where Seattle is, plus it's near Vancouver, BC, one of the best cities on the planet in my book).

We have met a few people who do what you do but in this area.* Most of them live inland--- Montana, Idaho, Nevada.* They'll put their boat in Sidney for a year and come out and use it there.* Then they'll take it up to Campbell River for a year and come out and use it there.* Then maybe up to Ketchkan or Juneau for a year.* And so on.* Takes a fair amount of money to do this but if one can afford it it's a great way to get to know this part of the world.

*I have toyed with the idea of trucking Moonstruck to the PNW for a 3 or 4 year stay.* It would be an interesting place to cruise.* I am also*looking at flying out, renting a car, and doing the ferry system.* Then it would be time to come home to the warm, clear, blue waters of South Florida and the Bahamas.

I am liking this place at Ft. Pierce better with each day.* the Gulf
Stream is just off shore.* It is one of the best sports*fishing areas anywhere.* The weather has been perfect.* Location is great.* Starting home Monday morning.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:48 PM   #27
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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Moonstruck wrote: * I am also*looking at flying out, renting a car, and doing the ferry system.* Then it would be time to come home to the warm, clear, blue waters of South Florida and the Bahamas.
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Don:
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I've done that several times as well as cruised on a private yacht throughout the area. A good case can be made for both approaches but after the ferry rides, you'll want Moonstruck for all the cove anchoring and fishing. It's a remarkable area.
*
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:31 PM   #28
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Don,

Hotel Henning is ready for you * .....well that may depend on when you get here. Next week would be fine.*
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:24 AM   #29
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Thanks, Eric.* We would love to take you up on it.* Another consideration would be a 3-4 week charter out of Anacortes.* That would probably make a good deal of sense.

We are planning to go up to Maine in summer or fall then visiting friends in Ontario.* We would like to charter a boat for a week up there, but haven't worked out the time to do it all.* We may have 4 grandkids with us.* If one goes they all go.* They love getting together for a trip with us.

There is truly so much to do.* We live in a great world.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:10 AM   #30
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

OK Don,

I think they charter Nordic Tugs out of Juneau. Not sure. Should check it out though. It's a very long way to SE Alaska from Anacortes AND BACK. Better to use the time (and money) in Alaska. If you spent the whole summer cruising SE you'll scratch the surface to be sure but it would take 4 or 5 years to do the whole thing. I live here and have'nt come close. Talk to Arctic Traveler (Jeff). He's spent recent time in Juneau and gets around more than we do. But I can recommend some great places to go.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #31
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Headed South for Winter?

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Moonstruck wrote:I am also*looking at flying out, renting a car, and doing the ferry system.
*The Alaska State Ferry system is sort of an unsung hero.* Everybody these days thinks in terms of cruise ships, and I guess if you like being on*board *a big ugly ship with 3000+ of your closest friends and worst enemies it's fine.

But for a much more "real" experience, I highly recommend the ferries.* You can even get by without a car which reduces the cost a bunch I believe.* If you want a car in the towns up there you can rent one for the day.* At least you can in Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau.* Don't know about Petersburg or Wrangell although I'm sure Eric has the latest info about this.

And in addtion to the ferries, if you want to spend the money you can ride the floatplanes from Ketchikan out to some of the more remote communities.* Most of them are so small you don't really need a car to explore them.* And there are floatplane tours of some of the really wild country up there, specifically Misty Fiords (yes, they spell it wrong up there) on the mainland east of Ketchikan and out of Petersburg over the LeConte glacier and down into the Stikine River valley.* There are also jet-boat tours up the Stikine out of Wrangell.* The Stikine is one of the last totally wild (no dams) rivers along the coast.

I've posted the three aerial shots before--- I took them on one of my wife and my floatplane trips north---* but they are of a section of the Inside Passage (the ferry goes through here), approaching the LeConte glacier, and going over the backside of the glacier down into the Stikine River valley.

The last photo is the Alaska State Ferry "Columbia."* An actual ship as opposed to a horizontal Hyatt Hotel.


-- Edited by Marin on Friday 11th of November 2011 06:30:46 PM
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:09 PM   #32
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Thanks, Marin.* I really haven't considered an Alaskan Cruise ship tour.* I much prefer the smaller, earhier ferries.* Same way with the Greek Isles.* Just hop on and off a ferry.* Sometimes day travel.* Sometimes over night.* Renting a cabin for over night is a great way to go.* It saves a room, you get where you are going in the morning, and the cost is about the same as a room in a pension.* I have been checking into the ferry system for awhile.* Seems like a great way to go.

I have friends that really want us to charter together in the San Jauns, but they don't want to stay but a couple of weeks.*This year is out because of the Bahamas and Maine/Canada, but maybe the next.*
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:01 PM   #33
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

There are smaller cruise ships--- more like big boats than ships--- that work in SE Alaska. Maybe 30 to 60 passengers or so. They often have specialists on board on various subjects like sea life, wildlife, whales, birds, etc. I've talked to a few people who have taken these more personalized cruises and I've not yet met anyone who didn't love them. Plus they can go to places like Petersburg that the Horizontal Hyatts physically can't get into.

I'm not aware of any small passenger ferries up there other than the smaller classes of Alaska State ferries. But perhaps there are.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:31 AM   #34
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Headed South for Winter?

If you'd like to get a good feel for what cruising SE AK in your own boat might be like, there are a number of smaller (65-100 feet) boats that take 6-12 passengers.* Not cheap, but awfully nice.* Most travel the northern half of SE AK, roughly between Juneau and Sitka, around Admiralty Baranof and Chichagof islands.* They go all the same places we go, unlike even the smallest ferries and cruise ships.* They are typically very knowledgeable on fishing, crabbing, shrimping, critter watching and sightseeing, and carry kayaks fishing gear etc.

Or you can charter a Nordic Tug out of Juneau.* A 42-footer goes for about $1000/day IIRC.


-- Edited by RCook on Saturday 12th of November 2011 09:35:46 AM
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #35
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

I strongly recommend the Alaska Marine Highway System, aka Alaska Ferries, for a real view of Southeast and Southwest Alaska. It provides a view of the places and people that the "horizontal Hyatts" can't even begin to offer.

The AMHS ships are the only means of transportation for many areas and the people who live there. They really are an undiscovered way to see Alaska. You can pitch a tent on the aft deck of several of the boats (no campfires though) or get a cabin and enjoy the cafeteria style dining.

There is one run that I always enjoyed the most and tried to make the first trip of the season. It ran from Homer, stopped in the beautiful little town of Seldovia, back to Homer, then down to Kodiak and from there it made the "chain trip" stopping at villages along the Aleutian Islands as far out as Dutch Harobr and Akutan. You see things and talk to people that no cruise ship "guest" could even imagine. I really enjoyed the first trip of the season. I described them as a "National Geographic adventure."

The first arrival after a long winter was a big deal in the villages and everyone was on the dock to meet the ship. The local kids spent the winter collecting Japanese fishing floats and sold them by the milk crate, the ladies sold their craft items and home made berry jams. All the village kids stormed on board to feed the vending machines and get free ice cream from the galley. It really is an amazing experience.

We used to visit Columbia Glacier on the PWS runs. The passengers really got a kick out of our nosing up to icebergs and letting them enjoy the sound of ice cracking or watching bergs roll over. The cruise ship industry forced the State to prevent our doing that since they figured they "'owned" the rights to show visitors the glacier.

Crooked politics and cruise ship scams aside, make a cruise on "the highway" and really get to see and visit with Alaskans. If you are up there on your own boat, do it anyway since it will give you a chance to go places you won't have the time to see otherwise and it's kind of nice to leave the driving to someone else. Everyone on the crew is a local and they know everone in every town or village. You get a lot more than you pay for.

No, I don't work for AMHS these days and I don't get a finder's fee. I just know a good thing when I see it.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:47 AM   #36
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Our boat is in charter out of Anacortes and I had an interesting proposition made to me this summer.* An Alaskan family wanted to charter our boat one way, from Anacortes to Alaska, and then have us fly up and bring it back home.* If it had worked with my schedule I would have seriously considered it.*

So, if you don"t have the time to do both legs, you might find someone that would do the return trip.

Lyle
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:44 PM   #37
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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RickB wrote:It ran from Homer, stopped in the beautiful little town of Seldovia, back to Homer, then down to Kodiak and from there it made the "chain trip" stopping at villages along the Aleutian Islands as far out as Dutch Harobr and Akutan.
Well, what you learn on the forum.* As my coastal Alaska experience has been limited to SE Alaska (although I have been to the Kenai Penninsula and Homer a few times) I had no idea the Alaska ferry system extended to the western side of the state.* That Homer-Aleutian run sounds fascinating.* I'm going to see if my wife is interested.* Thanks much for bringing my attention to it.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #38
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Look up the Tustumena on the AMHS site and look at its schedule. They don't run the "chain trip" in the winter for very good reasons.

The "Tusty" is a small but very friendly little ship and the trip is spectacular.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #39
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

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RickB wrote:
Look up the Tustumena on the AMHS site and look at its schedule. They don't run the "chain trip" in the winter for very good reasons.

The "Tusty" is a small but very friendly little ship and the trip is spectacular.
*Thanks RickB.* Sounds like my kind of travel.* It also sounds a lot like the Greek ferry system.* I will definitely check into it.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #40
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RE: Headed South for Winter?

Don do you have any updates on your Florida adventures? I finally have time to get caught up on TF and I'm wondering what you are up to.
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