Norfolk: Anchors Aweigh!

R&R is at Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth, just across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. Other nearby waterfront cities include Virginia Beach, Hampton, and Newport News, all located on rivers that converge into a large body of water known as Hampton Roads, one of the world's largest natural deep water harbors (a roadstead, or "roads"). … Continue reading Norfolk: Anchors Aweigh!

Last 50 Miles of the ICW to Norfolk!

Today we traveled from rural Coinjock NC to urban Norfolk, VA, naval center of the USA. As we left Coinjock, an eagle led us, rising on thermals and floating free. Soon we entered the Currituck Sound and followed the channel through the sound for at least 10 miles before entering the Albemarle-Chesapeake Canal leading to … Continue reading Last 50 Miles of the ICW to Norfolk!

Crossing the Albemarle Sound / Coinjock Carnivore Delight

Alligator River Marina was deceptively calm as we left the dock this morning. We traveled only 37 miles today, but our route crossed the Albemarle Sound on our way to Coinjock Marina and Restaurant, our last stop on the ICW. 15-20 mph southwest winds with miles of fetch built up 3-4+ foot seas in the … Continue reading Crossing the Albemarle Sound / Coinjock Carnivore Delight

Baretrappin’ for Jimmies

Early this morning I walked across the highway from our gas station/marina to a dock on a small creek where pickup trucks were unloading and boats were moving. I met a husband and wife crabbing crew setting up their boat for the day. Both were wearing white rubber overalls and the well-organized boat was equipped … Continue reading Baretrappin’ for Jimmies

Belhaven/Alligator River

Rhonda here! As we all know, the real thing doesn’t always look the website. Belhaven Marina was one of those cases. When we arrived, it took some skillful boat maneuvering to squeeze R&R into a space on the three-boat dock wall that was really too small for her. We got safely secured to the dock, … Continue reading Belhaven/Alligator River

Oriental NC: Small Town USA

On our way north toward Norfolk, we stopped for one night at the Oriental Marina and Inn, in Oriental, NC. It is a quaint, family-owned motel with about a dozen boat slips along the dock of a bay filled with commercial fishing trawlers. We met other boaters and motel guests on the lawn and on … Continue reading Oriental NC: Small Town USA

The Rock Pile, Lockwood‘s Folly, and Cape Fear (in one day)!

I was talking with a professional captain on the dock at our North Myrtle Beach marina. He casually commented that as we head north, the next 5 miles on the ICW was the most treacherous area on the entire waterway. Our fuel-dock home at Barefoot Marina in NMB. The "Rock Pile" is a stretch of … Continue reading The Rock Pile, Lockwood‘s Folly, and Cape Fear (in one day)!

Waccamaw River to Myrtle Beach

Today we started a bit late (I had to bicycle to the UPS store to overnight some legal documents for signature) and then we headed upstream toward Myrtle Beach. The ICW followed the Waccamaw (not “Whack A Mole”) River for most of our track today. Most of the trip was through rural terrain, with small … Continue reading Waccamaw River to Myrtle Beach

Georgetown/Shrimping/4,000 Miles!

Early this morning after the First Mate untied R&R, we used the thrusters to push off from our Charleston face dock and then spun around. Almost as soon as we headed downstream, a dolphin came over to greet us! Dolphins seem friendly or curious, but it's also possible that they show up because our propellers … Continue reading Georgetown/Shrimping/4,000 Miles!

Through Lowcountry To Charleston

T-Intersection on the ICW From Beaufort we wound our way through the natural beauty of the ACE (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) National Estuarine Research Reserve from Beaufort to Charleston SC. The ACE Basin is the delta of these three rivers. These streams have a 7-8 foot tidal range Most of our route cut through remote marshland and around … Continue reading Through Lowcountry To Charleston

Ooh-rah! / Lady’s Island / Friends

Today we left Windmill Harbor Marina, headed north in Skull Creek past the tip of Hilton Head Island, through the wide-open Port Royal Sound and into the Beaufort River. Leaving Windmill Harbor’s private lock Port Royal Sound Fortunately, winds were low so even at fast-cruising speed Port Royal Sound was not too lumpy. We passed … Continue reading Ooh-rah! / Lady’s Island / Friends

E-Bikes: Where have you been all my life?

Yesterday our helpful Windmill Harbor Marina staffer drove us into town, where we rented very solid e-bikes and biked many miles around the island. To paraphrase Churchill, we biked with growing confidence and growing strength on the beaches, we biked on the landing grounds, we biked in the fields and streets. We even biked to … Continue reading E-Bikes: Where have you been all my life?

Pre-Cruise Checklist

So far, our Great Loop voyage has taken us almost 4,000 miles, but that voyage really has been 70 separate day trips. We gradually developed routines to prepare R&R and ourselves for each day of travel. Some of our friends have asked about those routines, so we decided to share our Official Spykman Pre-Cruise Checklist … Continue reading Pre-Cruise Checklist

Windmills in Hilton Head?

Today we had an easy 25 mile trip through South Carolina Low Country from Savannah to Hilton Head Island. We passed fields of sea grass and beautiful waterfront homes. The marked ICW channel follows a series of rivers and large creeks, and a few times the deep ICW channel crossed a large but shallow river. … Continue reading Windmills in Hilton Head?

Sophisticated Savannah

Our looper friends Jim and Marilyn from Spinning Dreams are staying at the Hinckley Marina just down the ICW from us near Savannah. They borrowed their marina’s nearly new loaner car and picked us up for a drive into downtown Savannah for a tour of this historic city built around 22 public squares. Each of … Continue reading Sophisticated Savannah

Jekyll Island

Hi, Rhonda here! After two very enjoyable days at Jekyll Island, we’re heading to Savannah today….running outside in the Atlantic for about 90 miles. The captain chose this route because the water is not as skinny (shallow) as the AICW, and we’re just going from Point A to Point B, so why not get there! … Continue reading Jekyll Island

Cumberland Island National Seashore

After more than a year in Florida, R&R (and the people who feed, clean and maintain her) crossed the border into Georgia today. Only about 7 miles beyond last night’s stop at Fernandina Beach, FL is Cumberland Island, GA, former winter home of the family of Thomas Carnegie, younger brother and buisness partner of steel … Continue reading Cumberland Island National Seashore

Fernandina Beach / Amelia Island: A Lot to Like!

Fernandina Beach is the last Florida harbor town on the AICW before the Georgia line. R&R lined up with the other Loopers in FB Morning on the FB docks We held up for two days at Fernandina Harbor Marina because I scheduled my second COVID vaccine shot at a Publix grocery store pharmacy there. (Mission … Continue reading Fernandina Beach / Amelia Island: A Lot to Like!

Impressive Ortega Landing

As we traveled north from St. Augustine, we knew we intended to take a side trip south on the St. Johns River. The Marina at Ortega Landing is located about 15 miles inside of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, past busy Jacksonville seaports and just past the downtown, and was an excellent place for us to … Continue reading Impressive Ortega Landing

Launching More Loopers

Before leaving for worship this glorious sunny Easter morning in Jacksonville, we saw First Light, with Captain and crew Mark and Barbara, leave her slip on the first day of her Great Loop! We and Mike, Marilou and Sinbad from Inshallah joined the Bon Voyage Sinbad wanted treats! Auf Wiedershen! First Light heading down the … Continue reading Launching More Loopers

PT Boats to Custom Cruisers: the Huckins Heritage

Huckins logo "We were designing high-performance hulls when the competition still used live ammo." It was serendipity that on a rainy day while staying at the Ortega Landing Marina in Jacksonville we needed an oil change and other routine engine room service. There are two good boatyards less than a half mile from our marina, … Continue reading PT Boats to Custom Cruisers: the Huckins Heritage

FRIENDS are the Very Best Part

Hi all….Rhonda here bringing you greetings from the beautiful Marina at Ortega Landing in Jacksonville, FL.  It’s sunny and 68 degrees here this afternoon, making it a perfect day for boat chores, laundry and catching up on our correspondence. The Marina at Ortega Landing One of the most frequent question we’re asked is “what has … Continue reading FRIENDS are the Very Best Part