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
While we were staying overnight at the Bridge Tender Marina in Wrightsville Beach NC, boating friends Ray and Diane invited us to raft up to their boat Radian Journey, share dinner, and be “on the hook” with their boat overnight at an anchorage only 5 miles north on the ICW. Of course, we accepted the … Continue reading Anchorage #5!
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)!
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
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!
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
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
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?
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
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?
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
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
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 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!
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
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
Since we started our Great Loop travels in September 2019 Rhonda and I have used Nebo from time to time. Nebo is a boat logging app used to record and share boating travels. Looper friends have told us that they looked us up on Nebo to see where we were. But...in all of the preparations … Continue reading Nebo Tracker: First Month
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
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
The last couple of days have been cool and rainy in Daytona Beach, with high winds. Windy said “no go” Rather than traveling in this sloppy weather, we stayed in our slip at Halifax Harbour for a few days and waited for the weather to go by. This cat’s name is Daytona I researched and … Continue reading Dallying in Daytona
It's been almost a year since we posted a voyage summary, so here are some key statistics, a map showing our entire Great Loop trip, and a map of our travels since we resumed our Loop last November. R&R: Daytona Beach, Florida - Northbound Departed: September 8, 2019, Holland, Michigan Travel Days: 59 Miles: 3,436 … Continue reading Captain’s Log 3/20/2021
G’day! This is your temporary R&R first mate and author John Spykman reporting live from Port Canaveral, Florida. Over the past four days, I've been able to experience boating in a way I never have before. Dad and I began our trip in Fort Myers, and after three days of cruising we’re safe in port … Continue reading Father/Son Voyage Across Florida
After some tasty shrimp nachos at The Dock in Naples with Matt and Shirley, we headed back to the boat for the evening. Cards and puzzles were on the agenda. One of many puzzles that were puzzled The next morning, winds were still noticeable but on the way down. Late morning we left the yacht … Continue reading Back Home Again, in Legacy Harbour
Our plan on Thursday was to travel 58 miles from Marco Island to Tween Waters marina/resort inside of Captiva Island. Wind and wave forecasts were favorable (but, as we learned, not always reliable). All was well as we left Marco Island Marina and turned to port into the Marco River. As we passed Marilyn‘s condo … Continue reading We Called an Audible
Our time in Key West and Marathon was the farthest south we will travel in our Great Loop voyage. Morning coffee at Marlin Bay Marina The Florida Keys offers warm weather and a beautiful setting for boating, swimming, fishing, walking, many other outdoor activities in the months when the weather is cold "up north.” The … Continue reading Southernmost Point on our Loop. Now Northward!