Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween !!

Jib learning to walk the plank... from the cabin to the cockpit
Trick or Treat

    Scott & I have been at Hidden Harbor Marina for a week now. What an awesome community! Everyone here has welcomed us with great big open arms & then we brought on a puppy & they welcomed him too. I can see why people park @ this marina & end up staying much longer than intended. We have had a very nice break the last week, but today got back to reality. We have many projects to work on the month we are here. Today we made final arrangements with Cindy from Custom Marine Canvas to complete our full enclosure. It's a big deal.  It's a $5000 big deal. We saved for this. I will take before & after pictures...super exciting.
  Training with Jib is going great in some aspects & slow in others. Our poor little guy has a bladder infection so potty training has been difficult. He's on Keflex now & things seem a little better. He is trying, and is a smart dog so we'll get there...  :)
Scott & Jib working on something
Love & Miss everyone!!  XXXOO
Scott & Jib are checking out the bilge pump. Blurry pic but it's just so cute how Jib has to be wherever Scott is


Sunday, October 30, 2011


My name is JIB. I have huge paws.
  After much deliberation we have decided JIB is the perfect name for our little guy.  Now I know all of our land friends are scratching their heads right now and wondering "what the hell kind of name is that?"
As  I said yesterday, we wanted to stick to " J " names to honor Jesse. We also wanted to come up with a nautical name since he is going to be a sailor dog. A " Jib" is a type of sail. Each sail on a sailboat has a name & purpose. A Jib is the foremost headsail. The big one out front. :) 
We're working on the potty training thing. I"ll be glad when that's all done. The marina had a barbeque today, an Octoberfest I guess & Jib was such a good boy. He loves kids & being around people. He never barks. We just really love having him---it's been very healing for us.
 Hope everyone had a great weekend. Love & miss you all !!
Michelle, Scott, & Jib
Soooo tired after Octoberfest

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Our new baby
   Meet our new family member! He's 11 wks old, Golden Retriever of course. We are so in love already!!  We haven't decided on a name yet. We've narrowed down the list. We are sticking with " J " names to honor our Jesse....promise to post as soon as we decide. We've only had him for 24hrs so we're  still getting to know each other. So far, it seems like a perfect match. He is so sweet & always wants to be near us.  At least right now he is taking to the boat  just fine. We are so excited to have him. I think he likes us too !!!  I know Jesse would approve. :)
I Love all my new toys so much!
I am dog tired!

Buddies already
Heading to my new home. I like this guy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

St Augustine--Im In Love

Sunset in St. Augustine
   Our first day is St. Augustine has been awesome. Task number one was to move Malaika from a transiet dock into a "slip". That's like a permanant parking space for boats in a marina. I haven't written about docking too much--one because we haven't done much of it & two, it sucks so much, I usually don't want to relive the experience. Most cruisers will tell you that docking is anxiety provoking & when you're a new sailor, it's down right terrifying. It is not easy to gracefully move a 38ft (actually with all our add on stuff, Malaika is 50ft) 25,000lb vessel into a parking space. (I wrote before that Malaika was 20,000lbs but Scott has corrected me about that) Luckily for us, all our new neighbors along with Haila & David, the caretakers of the marina, were there to help us. So nice of them! It went very well with all the extra help & we couldn't be happier in our slip. One of our neighbors who came to help was Andy, a gentleman we had met in the marina in Connecticut the day after hurricane Irene. I couldn't believe it! He seemed just as proud of us as we are of ourselves for making a successful trip down the coast! It was really great to see him & we're excited to be neighbors.
  Scott & I got the bikes out & rode all around the historic district of St. Augustine. It is BEAUTIFUL!! We only scratched the surface of exploring the area because we had to get back to the boat for another meeting with a canvas maker for our full enclosure. I can't wait to see more of this great city. The pirate museum is one of the premier attractions, definetly checking it out while we're here.
   Missing everyone lots. Love hearing from you all.  I think I got the problems with leaving comments fixed so give it a try!!! We miss your notes. Also, to Cheryl from Seattle--I tried to send you a note but that's a part of the comment problem I havent figured out yet....So excited to hear that you enjoy our blog so much! :) Congrats on moving aboard your Valiant!  If anyone ever has trouble leaving us a message you can email me at or  leave a note on facebook. Our address there is scottmichellevoyage.
Historic District of St Augustine
   Love, Michelle & Scott
Malaika's new parking space
Historic district St Augustine
Old military fort in historic district
Striking a pose @ the military fort.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Cumberland Island beach @ low tide...sooo reminded me of Rocky Point, Mexico
Beautiful white sand beach @ Cumberland Island
Monarch butterfly taking a rest from her long journey south
"Sneaking up on" some of the wild horses of Cumberland
Carnegie Mansion Ruins
Great big jellyfish
  We made it!! Approximately 1500 miles from New London, CT to St. Augustine, FL. We are finally here! I am so excited I just need to ( as my neice Christina says) stomp my feet!! We are docked at Hidden Harbor Marina where we plan on staying for a month. We have electricity, showers, wifi, stores within walking distance!!! I may as well be at the the Four Seasons!! This city looked so pretty when we were sailing in... I can't wait to explore. We also had our first meeting with a gal who may do our full enclosure for the cockpit. I'll write more are some of the pics I've been promising!!
New type of crab for us..

hiking in the forest of Cumberland

I don't think this beautiful pregnant lady wants (or needs) our help

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Place Where Horses Run Free

We've spent the past couple days at Cumberland Island,Georgia. It is actually a National Park & an amazing place. It has a very long history but really came to life when the Carnegie family built some mansions here in the late 1800's. We spent 8 hours exploring the island yesterday. There are ruins of the mansions & a few are still very much intact & are very exclusive "Inns". The real treasure of this place is it's varied landscape & surprising wildlife. There are beautiful wild horses roaming all over. It was awesome to see these creatures who pay absolutely no mind to you & understand completely that this is their home..not yours. They are totally free. They've never had a human on their back putting them to work. Beautiful. The island looks like a tropical forest in some places & a grassland with the biggest, oldest oak trees in others. And then there is the beach. Scott & I have been to beaches all over the states & Central America & this one I would put in the top 5. The softest, whitest sand. We walked for miles on the beach yesterday. We found shells & little sea creatures we've never seen before. It was so awesome & I can't wait to show you all the pictures!!!
We were supposed to leave today but we have to get an insurance glitch worked out 1st thing in the morning before we take Malaika into Florida. We should be on our way tomorrow. We weren't too upset about an extra day in this beautiful place.
Little piece of trivia... Cumberland Island is where JFK Jr was married & managed to keep under raps until the weekend was over.
Pictures coming soon. Hope you all stay tuned!
Love & Miss you all sooo much!!!!
Love, Michelle & Scott
P.S. Special Thanks today to our friends Heinz & Roberta who sold our Hummer today! We really appreciate all you two did for us! Much love

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh How I Miss The Dismal Swamp

That's a sentence I never thought I'd be writing.Until I actually visited the Dismal Swamp. Those of you who have been following the blog for a while probably remember how much we loved those lazy days sailing down the swamp. It was so easy. These past few days on the ICW (intra coastal waterway) have been a challenge. The wind has made our travels rocky & anchoring difficult but the navigation has been stressful too. For experienced sailors this is no big deal & they may giggle when they read it, but for newbies like us, it's SCAREY!!! Parts of the ICW are like a busy interstate in a foreign country. There are so many markers designating different ways to's very confusing. One wrong move & we're out in the Atlantic, which with the 20-30mph winds we've had would be extremely unpleasant. Another wrong move we could be literally up a creek too shallow for our boat & we'd be aground. The past 2 days we have had to time our arrival to certain rivers perfectly with high tide or we would go aground. All boaters go aground at some point & if they haven't, they're lying. We have twice already. Often it's no big deal as long as it happens at low tide...just wait for high tide & you'll float off the sandbar. In the rough seas we've been in though, it could damage our boat. So we made it. We timed things perfect. And by the time we got anchored we were 2 giant stress balls. Tomorrow should be equally challenging as we head for Cumberland Island, Georgia. This part of the ICW is so littered with markers it's difficult to actually see the channel on the chart. Oh yeah, it's also frequented by nuclear submarines. There is a very strict marine protocol for them we need to heed to. Good times. Why we need nuclear submarine traffic in the ICW during peak cruising time is beyond my understanding.
Sorry no pictures the past few days. I can not figure out how to download them from the iPhone to the blog. Stay tuned ! I promise a photo album when we get to St Augustine on Monday & I can use my computer again.
Love you. We are really missing our family & friends these days!
Love, Michelle & Scott

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Wind. It's a love/hate relationship she & I are having. As predicted, we did not get much sleep. The wind was howling, the boat was rocking, sometimes spinning. Thankfully, the spinning thing isn't noticeable unless you are looking outside. When the boat is moving like that she makes all kinds of noises...just like an old house. Only this house can sink so loud creaky noises must be investigated. After the near miss with the steel mill a couple of weeks ago (the last time high winds caused our anchor to drag), Scott & I were up all night. Our anchor held steady, but we were so tired! We only went a short way today. I'm not even sure how far & I don't care. We are anchored again in some river with 30mph winds knocking us around. Scott is napping in anticipation of another long night. We have both our anchors out now. If the forecast is correct, things should get better by 10pm. We've been awake since 2:30am so that still seems like forever. Sometimes living the dream wears you out.
Thanks again to everyone who has signed on as followers of our blog! The number grows everyday! I really appreciate it. Love you all. XXXOOO
Love,Michelle & Scott

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stormy Weather

Our first solo afternoon went very well. We anchored in a quiet little river that had the smallest marina I've ever seen. More like a bait shop. However,the owners of the marina were so nice!! We enjoyed a cold beer under a 3 hundred year old oak tree & admired our fine job of anchoring alone. Anchoring is an art & takes A LOT of practice to accomplish safely. You can't just drop the hook & be done with it when your boat weighs 20,000 pounds. If done incorrectly, it can be a huge danger for the boat & for us.
After chatting with the guys at the marina we dinghied home. A short time after the marina owner brought us some shrimp he had just caught for the bait shop..they use yummy shrimp for bait! He gave us about 2pounds of live shrimp but would not accept any money. Southern hospitality is the best! We had an awesome dinner!
So glad we had such a great time yesterday because today sucks. It's raining, 20+ knot winds.
UGH!! We probably won't sleep well tonight as the storm is only supposed to get worse.
Hope to be at Cumberland Island, Georgia in next couple days.
Just depends on Mother Nature. She's the boss of everything.
I have been trying for an hour to download pics from the iPhone without success! Sorry... I
Think the pictures are what everyone looks forward too! I'll post some as soon as possible! :)
Love, michelle & Scott

Monday, October 17, 2011

Going Solo

Beautiful day for sailing on the ICW
Today was a beautiful day on the ICW. Sunny skies, calm seas. It was also our last travel day with Dan & Cheri. Today we split ways for a couple weeks...they are going to visit their daughter & grandchildren in Georgia. Scott & I are moving on to Florida. We'll meet up again in a few weeks in St. Augustine, Florida. Scott & I are nervous  about going it alone...but we have learned SOOO much from Dan & Cheri that I think we will be fine the next 195miles. I CAN NOT thank them enough for the time they have taken to teach us the ropes. Hope you guys have an awesome time with your family...see you in a few weeks....and then we're off to the Bahamas!
  Cheri has let me use her WiFi connection since August, which has made this blog the entries may not be daily...I can do the blog from the I-Phone but Im not sure how to down load pictures & stuff...I'll do my best. If no pics..stay tuned. We'll be full of technology again as soon as we get to St. Augustine. Love you all!! Safe travels Dan & Cheri !
Love, Michelle & Scott
Our Mentors...Dan & Cheri
Stay Tuned...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Let's Go Grocery Shopping In Beaufort, SC !

Malaika in Beaufort, South Carolina
We had a wonderful day in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina. We had some chores to do before we could go have fun. First priority was grocery shopping. This household chore takes on a whole new meaning when you're a live-aboard boater. I tried to capture it in pictures.
1st--Scott lowers the dinghy (our car)
We have to cross this body of water beyond the bridge in the distance
Tie up to public dinghy dock & unload supplies needed for grocery trip

Start 3/4 mile walk to grocery store

3 hours later, we are home with our groceries. Whew! What a workout!

Typical house in historic distric of Beaufort....they love to have columns!
Here are some more pics from Beaufort, SC.
This was a 1st for us..."Don't feed the dolphins"
Love & miss you all!! Love, Michelle & Scott


So, we are now in Beaufort, SC. So excited to visit this town tomorrow. Beaufort is celebrating their Tricentenniel this year. Today we were on the water for almost 9hrs in 20-30mph wind & choppy seas so we are looking forward to just hanging out tomorrow. We may even watch some football....a luxary Scott has not indulged in yet this year. I think he has definetly earned it! As you can see by the picture, he has gotten very hairy. My werewolf. This is the longest he has ever gone without shaving in his whole life. He promises he'll shave it soon, he just wants to see how bushy it can get.
Lots of Thanks to everyone who signed up on the blog today! I really appreciate it & hope you enjoy our blog.
Has anyone seen my husband?

It's getting late here so just a short entry tired. Hopefully we'll have some awesome pics & stories tomorrow after touring this 300 year old city.
Love & miss you all so much
Michelle & Scott

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Greyhound, INC--Low Down Dirty Dog

Another long day of traveling down the ICW. We are just outside of Charleston, SC. Another 11 hour day. UGH. I must say the pace we've been going the past 10 days has been a bit grueling but we will be able to stop in St. Augustine, Florida for a month if we keep it up. AHH...that will be so nice. We plan on resting up & doing many projects on the boat befor we head to the islands.
  Im sure you are wondering what the title of the blog is all about. Scott & I shipped 24 boxes of our belongings (everything else is in our garage in Rocky Point, or belongs to new owners now) to Connecticut via Greyhound shipping. I chose Greyhound because they were cheap & we are of coarse, on a serious budget being unemployed & all. 21 of the 24 boxes arrived promptly without problems. 3 did not & are still missing. Naturally, the 3 missing boxes contained many of our most prized possessions. Mostly mine. I only packed enough clothes for the road trip across country. All of my "can't live without, can't go to storage because I must have with me" items were in those boxes. All my favorite hats & purses that I have collected over the last 20 yrs, treasured trinket stuff, wedding pictures, etc. I have been fighting with Greyhound since August trying to locate my things. Now, Im fighting with them to at least get the $1000.00 they were insured for. (That was the max amount they let you insure--doesn't matter, this stuff is priceless to me) I don't even want the lousy $1000. I want my stuff!!! I am so frustrated with them. I have been relentless. Sometimes I call everyday for days & days in a row. No one calls me back. So, if any of you have any ideas about how I can shame them into finding my boxes (which I know are sitting in a warehouse in Dallas because that's where the lost & found stuff goes) please let me know.
  I also wanted to ask all of you who check out our blog to officially sign up as "followers". The more followers we have, the more our blog gets noticed which could someday lead to a little extra cash for our unemployed selves via advertisements, etc.  Also, when I get better at this writing thing, I want to send some of our blog entries into the sailing magazines---maybe they actually publish them! I know there are more than 11 of you so sign on & follow our epic journey!! :) Even if you don't sign up, I just wanted to tell you it means so much to Scott & I that so many of our friends & family care enough to check it out. It makes us feel closer to all of you when we read your comments so keep em' coming whether you're a "follower" or not.
Love & Miss you all!!--Michelle & Scott

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Georgetown, South Carolina

It took us a couple of hours lastnight to warm up & dry out after getting drenched en route to Georgetown. It felt so nice to settle in to our cozy warm bed. 20 minutes after hitting the pillow, the wind suddenly picked up to 30mph & the boat was leaning heavily to it's side. We were should not do that. We both knew something was wrong & Scott bolted up to the cockpit, me right behind him to find that we were no longer anchored, the anchor was dragging & the squall was pushing Malaika into that montrosity you see above. A steel wall for the steel mill. AHHHH!!!! Scott immediately started the engine & I ran to the bow to pull up the anchor. I don't really have to pull it up, we have a "windless" winch that does it automatically when I step on a button. Scott drove the boat back to where it needed to be & we reset the anchor, plus set our 2nd anchor for extra holding.  It was again, terrifying. We were worried it could happen again...poor Scott. He didn't sleep at all. He was up checking the anchors every 1/2 hr. He finally went to bed at dawn & I got up. Not too much sight seeing today. Cheri & I lugged our laundry to the laundry mat, (about a mile) then went & picked up some pizzas. It's quite a workout lugging all that around. We're headed out again tomorrow at dawn. I feel like we need a vacation.
Bahamas or Bust !!! The other pics posted on this blog are from our travels down the ICW thus far.
Who doesn't want a giant giraffe in their front yard?
The great migration south
Love, Michelle & Scott
Loved this pink house w/it's own pink lighthouse

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soaking Wet South Carolina

Even though we know the always seems like we're going to hit when we go under a bridge
Are we in a Rain Forest?
Driving in the rain
We went 62 miles today. It rained the entire time. 10 hrs. Mother Nature played an especially mean trick on us the last 2 hrs & went from constant drizzle to IN YOUR FACE, hard, driving, cold rain. I hate her sometimes.  The first 8hrs really weren't too bad with the non-stop drizzle. We did see a lot of wildlife today. Dolphins, 3 bald eagles, 5 osprey, 1 woodpecker who landed on our bow sprit, & 2 enormous fish jumping. One jumped near the bow of the boat. I didn't see it but Scott said was over 5 ft.
  The reason it's so awful when it rains is because we do not have a "full enclosure" around our cockpit. We plan on getting one in Florida. We have a partial enclosure now but it doesn't really help all that much. We were going to put it off for awhile when we found out how much it costs...about the same as a small used car. However, we changed our minds about that the first time we were in bad weather.
 We are now in Georgetown, South Carolina. We're staying here tomorrow to do some chores & REST. We've been traveling for 9 days.
Capt. Michelle wearing her best fake smile
Woody Woodpecker hitched a ride
Our Nemesis...the large power boater
Enjoy the pics! Love , Michelle & Scott
                     P.S. Excited to check out Georgetown tomorrow. It was founded in 1732 ! 

Booze cruise down the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway)
These are pics from the past couple days (North Carolina to South Carolina)
They sure do like a Grand staircase in NC...just about every house had one
Cape Fear "River"...didn't feel like a river