UPDATE#11 05/01 thru 05/31/08

Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2008 from 1/1/08 through 4/30/08 have been published on the website.  We continue with the most current edition, UPDATE 2008 # 11.

 UPDATE 2008 #11   05/01/08 through 05/31/08.

At last update, AMARSE was berthed peacefully at Brunswick Landing Marina in Georgia. We were enjoying our last night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.



     Today, we must leave this tropical paradise to fly back to San Antonio.  Fortunately, our flight is not scheduled until later in the afternoon.  From our beachfront room at the NH Krystal hotel, the view is nothing less than spectacular and those tranquil sounds of the surf gently lapping are wonderfully delightful.


     In one of the many courtyards of the hotel, budding young artists gleefully brush bright colors onto large pieces of paper in mural fashion.


     The pool and swim-up bar areas are beautifully designed and maintained.


     The restaurant facilities are located in this huge thatched-roofed building.


     The man-made facilities are no match for the natural beauty of this lovely flower……


     ….. or this lovely lady.


       The NH Krystal hotel is hosting a weeklong series of seminars and conferences for surgeons from all over Central and South America.  There are hundreds of laparoscopic specialists attending the events.  Dr. Armando Joya, one of the principal educators and presenters, gave five live and simu-telecasted surgeries for the benefit of the conferees.  He came by for a visit to wish us farewell and a good trip.


     Nathalie Batilliot and Judy say their farewells at the entrance to the hotel.


     At 4:20pm, the US Airways airplane was taxiing out for departure.  A change of planes in Phoenix had us landing in San Antonio around 11pm.  A taxi whisked us from the airport to our patio home arriving at 11:30pm.


05/02 thru 05/05/08  SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

     Much of this period of time was occupied with rest and relaxation.  Judy took the opportunity to visit her dear friend, Teresa, in Rockport, TX, for a few days.  They have been such good buddies for many, many years.  Judy really misses being with her when we are away.

     She visited our old marina at Key Allegro and, fortunately, got to spend a little time with Scott Kee (MOLLY BROWN) and Steamboat Willie, often confused with Bill Seward (TORTUGA).  Bill is getting ready to start his cruising lifestyle by heading east along the GIWW in the next few weeks. 

     When she left Rockport on Monday morning, she hadn’t gone more than 5 or 6 miles when the truck got rough and stalled.  Stash, the great guy that he is, quickly came to her rescue.  Within minutes, he had the problem alleviated and Judy was on her way for the 2 hour and 45 minute drive.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY to SARAH LAW, Judy’s daughter-in-law and lovely wife of her youngest son, Scott.


     Of course, I would never reveal anyone’s actual age, especially such a good friend as Joe.  That being said, six freaking decades is a long, long time!   



     To commemorate his birthday, we invited Joe Fugate and his fiancée, Roxanne Cady, to join us for dinner. 


     Many years ago, Joe and I took a trip to the Tuscany region of Italy.  There, we enjoyed a meal of Tortellini en Brodo.  Remembering that good time, I recreated the Italian-style Chicken Soup, prepared with a rich broth made from scratch, shredded roasted chicken breast, and ricotta cheese stuffed pasta puffs called tortellini.  With a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and Italian bread, still warmed from the oven, we had a meal to celebrate.

     Careful observers will notice the “black ribbon” that proudly proclaims “OLDER THAN DIRT”.


     It wasn’t exactly birthday cake, and it wasn’t actually Italian, however, the éclairs looked and tasted delightful.  More importantly, Joe didn’t have to blow out any candles.


     Being a jewelry-making fan too, Roxanne enjoyed talking and comparing ideas with Judy.  Do you think that Joe looks bored in this picture? Or, could that just be the look of amazement and adoration of artistic creativity?



     Our wonderful friend and neighbor, Barb, took us to the airport to catch the Continental Airlines morning flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  Sharyn, my daughter, and her husband, Jeff, responded quickly to our cell phone call that we had arrived.  Back at their condo, we again enjoyed the gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the ICW to the west.  This is certainly a wonderful place.

     The girls kept busy with their jewelry making artistry.  I took a nap and, then, joined Jeff to watch some sports.



     Our car has been in storage in the condo parking garage during our absence.  The battery that had successfully survived the winter storage period had given up for good.  The car started with a jumper cable assist and we headed to Sears to replace the aged Die-Hard Battery.

     Dave has been taking care of AMARSE down at Nettles Island Marina, Hutchinson Island, Jensen Beach, Florida during our trip.  He helped the fueler put only 200 gallons of diesel fuel aboard to the tune of $868.92 (that’s $4.345/gal).  The price of fuel is literally skyrocketing.  They say it’s only the beginning.

     While I napped and Jeff watched TV sports, the girls busied themselves with their jewelry art.  They photographed these lovely examples of their handiwork.


     The four of us decided to go to see a Jai-Alai match in the evening.  I really enjoy the game and love the sound of the pelota (ball) cracking loudly against the fronton wall.



     Sharyn and Jeff were going to a weekend seminar so we all left at 7:45am for our separate agendas.  We headed back to our beloved AMARSE taking 2 hours and 15 minutes along almost traffic free roads.  Auto gas was $3.869/gal for mid-grade in W. Palm Beach.

     Our boat ice machine has been giving us difficulty for months.  We decided to replace it with a new one from Home Depot in Stuart.

     One of our new luggage bags that we bought for our trip was ripped to shreds when it arrived at Ft. Lauderdale airport.  Upon close examination, we decided that it wasn’t from rough handling, rather, it was faulty manufacturing and materials that caused the tearing.  We returned it to Wal-Mart in exchange for another.  Hopefully, this one came from a different batch and will stand up.

     The marina dockman noticed some diesel fuel in the water.  He immediately suspected our boat as the offender since it has just recently taken on fuel.  I carefully inspected the bilges and interior areas and could find no sign of any leak.  The dockman was not convinced so I called Dave to come and conduct a more thorough investigation.  Pleasantly, Dave confirmed that it was in no way coming from our boat.  The dockmaster had arrived and he was confident in Dave’s assessment.  The other dockman was still skeptical, however, I think he became convinced that this came from somewhere else and just blew into the area.  Within a short time, it was gone.  I am sure glad it wasn’t our problem.  Fuel spills can get mighty expensive in this day and age.



     At 7:15am, our good friend, Ivor Nathan, came to bid us farewell and a bon voyage for our departure this morning.  He was proudly riding his new Suzuki Bergman motorcycle.  All dressed in black astride his shiny black steed, he gave the air of a very happy man.  Ivor has been such a good friend to us.

     Dave arrived to finish up a few minor items and help us cast off for points north.  Thanks, Dave.

     It’s 9:20am, the engines are humming, the lines have been tossed aboard, we’re waving goodbye, and AMARSE is underway.  Within 15 minutes, we have rejoined the ICW at mile 979.3 (as measured from Norfolk, VA).  Heading north, we pass the cities of Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach, and a myriad of smaller towns along the way to our anchorage at Eau Gallie, FL.  We chose a spot just north of the high bridge.  With the anchor set at 5:42pm, the GPS indicated that we had traveled 64 miles today at a moving average speed of 7.9 mph.

POSITION  N28 08.203 W080 37.510    Mile 914.2



     That pesky alarm sounded at 6am.  The crew was feeling lazy and didn’t get out of bed until 6:45am.  By 7:05, we had a pretty clean anchor up and stowed.  There had been excellent holding in a black mud ground with small shells.   Here, there is virtually no tidal range and the winds had been quite calm.  We passed Cocoa Beach and Titusville, home of NASA and the fabulous Space Shuttle.  Haulover canal is a narrow channel that cuts through from just north of Titusville to Mosquito Lagoon.  The tidal current flows back and forth through this canal making it a favorite spot for small boat fishermen.


     Upon exiting Haulover Canal, the waters open up into a large body called Mosquito Lagoon.  The huge Space Shuttle can easily be seen sitting on its launch pad awaiting liftoff in a couple of weeks.  If I were in the area, this is where I think I would position myself to watch the blastoff.

     AMARSE’s flying bridge gives a great view and is comfortable with the isinglass enclosure.  The large windows unzip to regulate the amount and direction of the desired airflow.


     Just north of Haulover Canal, in the channel of Mosquito Lagoon, the starboard engine began to run rough with occasional drops in power.  I checked the vacuum gauges that indicated a high vacuum condition indicative of filter clogging.  Since it was intermittent, I decided to continue on to our anchorage before working on the problem.  Within an hour or so, the starboard engine quit and we continued on with the port engine running smoothly.

     We reached our anchorage just south of the New Smyrna Beach high bridge at 3:45pm.  It is good holding ground in this place and we expected a peaceful night.  The GPS indicated that we had traveled 67.1 miles today at a moving average speed of 7.6 mph.

    After the engines had cooled down to a comfortable level, I went below into the engine room and replaced both the port and starboard Racor filters.  I use 2-micron elements.  Some folks disagree with my choice.  Here is my logic.  The fuel is filtered through 3 elements before it reaches the injection system.  The first is the Racor, then two filter stage elements at the engine that are reportedly about 10 micron grade.  These engine elements are time consuming to change and are oriented in an inconvenient location.  My thinking is to capture any particulate matter greater than 2 microns in the first stage of Racor filter.  With the bulk of matter already filtered, the remedy is to change that 2-micron filter more frequently than the 2-stages of engine filter.  I can change a Racor filter in 15 minutes and could do it readily underway if necessary.  Perhaps I’m right in my thinking; perhaps others are right in their thinking.

     After the filter change, the engines purred like contented kitty-cats.

POSITION  N29 00.922 W080 54.708    MILE



     At 6:24am, Judy was raising the anchor up from good holding ground.  It was pretty clean and didn’t require too much hosing off.  The sun was just rising at 6:33 as we passed the New Smyrna city dock that looked pretty nice since its recent renovation.  There are signs proclaiming “no overnight docking” that, reportedly, may, or may not, be enforced.  The waterway just north of New Smyrna Beach town should be navigated with extra caution.  The buoyage can be confusing and we have friends that have mistakenly gone aground in this area where the two channels merge.


     I love the sight of stately white heron stealthfully skulking through the shallows in the early morning light.


     As we turned into the Ponce Inlet cutoff, we came upon a small dredge clearing the channel.  I contacted the WILCO on their working frequency and received concise passing instructions.


     By 8:40am, we were in the Daytona section of the ICW.  Just south of this high bridge, a mangrove island provides home for hundreds of shore birds.  The mangroves are literally covered with a thick coating of white crust as evidence of their habitat.


     Daytona has numerous drawbridges and many high bridges.  The vertical supports of this high bridge are beautifully decorated with inlay mosaics of area sea-life.


     We traversed the waters of Flagler Beach and passed by Fort Matanzas before reaching the south anchorage at St. Augustine, FL.  This city boasts the title of the oldest city in the US.  At 3:10 pm, Judy had the anchor spotted in good holding in the crowded anchorage.  It is evident that many of these boats are relatively permanent fixtures here rather than transients.  The wind was a brisk 15-20 out of the NE and the current was running strong.  The significant tide will change three times during our brief respite here.  The wind will constantly fight the tide for control of the boats’ position and AMARSE, and her anchored neighbors, will twist and turn in a somewhat harmonic response.  I will need to make frequent anchor checks overnight to ensure that all the tugging and twisting does not uproot our anchor and permit us to drag.  Additionally, the anchor alarm will be set for a first-alert to any problems.


     Although we would love to visit this beautiful city, the expense of municipal dockage is high and the problems associated with lowering the dinghy have dissuaded us this time.

     The famous Bridge of Lions is still undergoing its multi-year renovation project.  The temporary bridge that was constructed solely to exist while the renovation is ongoing will be destroyed around 2010 when the historical bridge is completed.  Is that “Nuts” or what?


     Today has been a wonderful day for traveling with beautiful, sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.  We even had the good fortune to see a bald eagle both in flight and at rest.  They are so graceful and so cool.

     An evening game of farkle was especially fun because I won.

     Our day’s travel added up to 68.8 miles at a moving average of 7.7 mph.

POSITION N29 53.297 W081 18.423      MILE 777.8



     Of course, with the numerous changes of wind and tide, my sleep was frequently interrupted to check our security and position. At one time, we were awakened to a banging sound on the hull.  With the wind and the current at odds, we found the boat at an unusual angle to both as they fought to control the boat position.  This had caused us to swing into an empty mooring ball that was not being adversely affected by the wind and solely by the current.  The large ball was rapping against our stern and swim platform.  Rather than exacerbate the problem with useless intervention, I decided to let the natural forces take care of the situation.  Fortunately, just left alone for a while, everything cleared itself up.

     At 6:14am, the windlass retrieved the Fortress anchor from great holding ground and the flukes were in relatively clean condition requiring a minimum of clean up effort.  At this time in the tide cycle, the current was almost slack.  The temporary bridge stands immediately north of the concrete towers of the Bridge of Lions.


     As the sun rose in the east, we approached the confluence of the ocean inlet and the continuation of the ICW.  It is an unusual situation here that requires very close attention to navigation.  The ICW would appear to turn northerly at an incorrect place.  Adherence to the charts and markers provide a path that carries further east than might be visually suspected.  The prudent mariner follows the markers and ensures that the numbers fall in sequence to avoid confusion with other markers that lead out the inlet to sea.  From our position here, it appears that we are going to sea, however, we are taking a more than 90 degree turn at this time to remain in the ICW channel.  The bigger problem for some is that they turn east too early where they mistakenly interpret the markers to line up visually.  This plants them firmly aground on a massive sandbar that is often lurking just below the surface.  Fortunately, I have known about this trap for many years and we try to pay close attention to our marks.


     The Intracoastal WaterWay is often lined with magnificent homes.  This estate, located just south of Jacksonville Beach area, is one of the most attractive that I have ever seen.  The land is gorgeous and the mansion is regal.


     As we twisted and turned through the meandering ICW just south of Fernandina, Florida, a boater caught our attention by waving his arms.  He was anchored and could not start his engine.  His battery was dead and, consequently, his radio was inoperative.  He had hoped that we could jump-start his engine, however, our batteries are deep in the hull and we didn’t have cable anywhere near long enough.  He had called via cell phone for a commercial tow but that would take hours to occur since they were busy on another run.  We agreed to tow him to the marina at Fernandina Beach.  Skillfully, Judy fashioned a towrope from our longest dock line and she passed him one end while making the other end fast to our stern cleat.  The current was running strong so it was a challenge to maintain position while he attached the towline and tried to retrieve his anchor.  To complicated matters, he was having a tough time getting his anchor up.  Strangely, he had managed to get the anchor entangled in a derelict crab trap.  It is a good thing he was a strong guy and was able to free the fouled flukes.  As we approached the marina docks, the previously alerted dockmaster was standing by to assist.  Judy masterfully handled the towline situation while I eased the boat alongside the dock.  The transition was smoothly and efficiently executed.  That’s our good deed for the day.  Who knows, we may be the next one’s to need help.


     We had originally planned to take up a mooring ball at Fernandina, however, we learned that a number of our looper and Bahamas friends were planning to be anchoring behind Drum Island adjacent to Cumberland Island National Park.  We decided to join them in the anchorage.  At 3:15pm, we successfully set the anchor just north of the second Ranger Dock.  Our travel miles today came up to 68.9 at an average moving speed of 7.7 mph, which included the time we were towing the stranded boat.

    Already anchored were TIME OUT, SUE SEA Q IV, and SALTY DAWG.  George (TIME OUT) soon moved over to raft up with Sue Sea Q.


        Soon, SUNCAT and LAMB CHOP joined to make it a four-vessel raft.


     Since we were leaving very early the next morning, we opted to anchor by ourselves.  Larry likes to tow his dinghy behind Sue Sea Q, therefore, he quickly volunteered to provide a water taxi for the AMARSE crew to join the cocktail party on TIME OUT.  From his dinghy, I caught this great picture of our beautiful AMARSE.  As you know, AMARSE means “to love each other”.  We certainly love her and we know that she loves us too.


     Marian Grafer (TIME OUT) and Judy.


Larry Vhig (SUE SEA Q IV) and Fred.


     Steve Purdy (SUNCAT) and Tim (LAMB CHOP) seem altogether too serious in this picture.  Usually, the only thing they are real serious about is their boating skills and, then,  never missing the cocktail hour.


George Grafer (TIME OUT).  We hadn’t seen them since the winter of ’07 in the Bahamas.


     Sue Vhig (SUE SEA Q IV) and the Canadian gal from LAMB CHOP.


     After a while, Pat and Pat Dwyer (SALTY DAWG) arrived to join the festivities.  They have been touring the Cumberland Island Park.


     We got a ride back to AMARSE with Pat and Pat.  They were departing sometime tomorrow too and decided to remain anchored separately.  SALTY DAWG is this delightful Pilgrim 43 tug.


     Ain’t AMARSE real perty-like?


     The Dwyer’s dinghy is both fast and comfortable.  Nice ride!


     It sure was fun seeing everyone again.  We rested comfortably in this tranquil weather and light wind.

POSITION N30 46.206 W081 28.260     NEAR MILE 711.0



     At near sunrise, we had the anchor aweigh at 6:34am.  It had been good holding ground and the chain was pretty clean.  We had to backtrack a little south to clear a shoal on the south side of Drum Island before we could reconnect to the ICW at 6:53am.

     Our route carries us passed the Kings Island Submarine Base.  Fortunately, there were no subs operating in the area.  If there were, we would have been unable to pass or move in this area.


     The sub pens are huge and can be seen for many miles.


     We are on the final leg of our journey to Brunswick.  A relaxing Judy gently warms in the morning sun.


     By rolling up the isinglass windows, we can regulate just the right amount of airflow to be comfortable.  Today, the weather is pleasant with low humidity.


     In this area, you don’t see many other boats.  Even the shrimp boats seem to be few and far between these days of rising fuel costs.  These guys must be devastated economically.


     A couple of the larger shrimper vessels pass close aboard.  We couldn’t give any more room to starboard as we were pressed against the edge of the channel.  With no radio contact, we had no way of knowing that he wanted to turn sharply to the left toward the beach area.  These bigger boats generally ply the waters offshore.  In this case, his booms are extended, however, his nets are raised.


     After passing through the relatively shallow waters of Jekyll Island Cut at about half-tide, we emerged to turn up the Brunswick River.  The architecturally pleasing high bridge spanning the river highlights the familiar skyline.


     A northerly turn up the east river channel carries us past the gravel loading area for large ships.


     The first set of shrimp docks finds the majority of the boats tied up.  Is this the result of high fuel cost?


     This three-masted schooner is a permanent fixture at this dock.  Although it looks old, it is not that old.  Rumor has it that it was brought out of South America after payment of a handsome price.  I’ve never seen it move.


     The second set of shrimp docks finds another large contingent of boats dormant and unproductive.  Is the wild shrimp industry doomed to extinction due to high fuel prices and more economical farm-raising methodology? 

     Brunswick is now a cruise ship port.  It is a smaller line called American Cruise Lines.  They schedule infrequent stopovers here at the municipal docks.


     Brunswick will seldom be called a glamour port, however, it is a sleepy little town with a nice historic district and several nice restaurants nearby.  Our marina lies just ahead to the north.


     Dock one locates the marina office.  The visiting Coast Guard Cutter is lying along the face dock.  The marina currently has 14 rows of docks with another 6 rows in the planning stages.  The dockmaster reports that there is a sizeable waiting list of nearly 60 boats desiring slip space.


     Judy may well be the most accomplished deck person and line handler that I’ve ever met.  She always has the right lines at the ready and fenders the boat well to prevent any damage.  I think she should be elevated to the position of “Deck Supervisor”.


     AMARSE will be at home on Dock 5 this year.  Although I usually back in to the docks, we have to bow in because our egress is on the starboard side and the dock pier is more conducive to safe on and off.  The docks are very nice, concrete, long, and floating.


     This is the view of Dock 5 from the rampway.  The floating docks will rise and fall nearly 6 feet with each tidal change.  The current remains relatively light during the entire cycle.


     This is the view looking north at docks 6 through 14.  All the docks stretch for almost half a mile.



     We had the predicament that our car was parked at Nettles Island Marina more than 300 miles south of here.  No one-way rental cars were available in this town.  Although the Greyhound Bus was a viable option, a better solution arose with a suggestion from our dockmaster.  Sherry was driving another couple to Jacksonville airport at 8am.  If we would split the $100 trip with the other couple, we could ride along and pick up  a Hertz car at the airport.  At 9:45am, we pulled out of the airport area in a Kia Rio.  Perhaps the name Kia POS would have been more descriptive.  We arrived in Ft. Pierce at 2pm where we perused the stuff at the used boat parts place finding nothing of interest.  After crossing the bridge, we headed south on Hutchinson Island to the marina.  Judy drove her car and I drove the rental to the return spot in Stuart.  I filled up the rent car at Sam’s Club at $3.74/gal and turned in the Kia around 4pm.  The rental was an amazingly low price of $38.05 total for the rental.  Together, we headed off toward Brunswick.  It was about 9:10pm before we got back to the boat.



     We had hurried back to Brunswick because George and Miriam Grafer were staying the weekend in Brunswick before heading further north.  We were excited about spending some more quality time with them.

     With the car, we could take them on a tour of the area and, especially, St. Simons Island.  The weather was absolutely perfect and must have been ordered up by the Chamber of Commerce.


     As we’ve said so many times, “it’s the people that make this lifestyle so great”.  George and Miriam make this clearly evident.  We had a great time!


     At low tide, this sand bar dominates the view to the east, however, as the tide rises, that sand will be totally submerged.


     This lovely church is nestled among many magnificent trees.  It was on these grounds that Rev. Charles Wesley preached his early sermons.  His brother, John Wesley, founder of the Methodist faith, joined him here on occasion.


     Fort Frederica is famous for its role in maintaining British sovereignty at the southern most point of the empire.  The Spaniards controlled Florida and they sought expansion to the north.  General Oglethorpe resisted the overwhelming odds of their forces and kept Georgia intact.  Little remains at this historic site operated by the US National Parks Service.


     Canons like this were poised ready to damage enemy vessels approaching the tiny fort compound.


     We opted for an early dinner at Barbara Jean’s Restaurant.  At the non-peak hour, we had immediate seating and a wonderful, relaxing meal.  It was back to the boat by 5:30pm to rest awhile and clean up. 

     A little after 7pm, we picked up George and Miriam to attend the Island Players Production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.  Although we were the first folks in line, the season’s ticket holders were admitted first and they had the pick of seats.  We were fortunate to have excellent seats right in the front row where we could see and hear the whole show.  It was so much fun and all of us enjoyed every minute of it.

     Following the show, there was a meet the cast opportunity.  This is a special time for the Island Players since this is the final production to be performed in this theatre.  Subsequent shows will be performed in the Casino Theatre on St. Simons Island.


     I think I was a bit taken by the Madam of the house.  I guess I should remember that it is only a “play”.  The sheriff looking from behind is actually her husband.  Oh, Oh….



     Judy worked very hard cleaning the boat interior.  It pleases me that she is so caring to keep everything nice for us in our floating home.  In the afternoon, she went to TIME OUT to learn some new techniques of jewelry making.  Miriam does it professionally and has developed a technique of crocheting the wire to enhance to decorative beauty.  They had fun together making beautiful works of art.

     Following the obligatory Wal-Mart run to re-supply the cruisers, a trip to Publix Market enabled some tasty chicken for the picnic tonight.

     At 5:45pm, the four of us loaded into Judy’s car with our picnic lunches and folding chairs.  The concert would begin at 7 pm, however, the crowd gathers early on the lawn of the St. Simons Lighthouse to visit with friends, picnic, and locate the prime viewing spots.  Early arrivers get to choose a parking spot from the sparse selection.


     From the Gazebo, the “Fifth Street Band” entertained the spectators.  The weather was threatening rain and the wind was howling.


     The attendance tonight was fewer than usual.  I am not sure if the weather kept them away or if the main summer residents don’t get here until Memorial Day.  George and Miriam moved a bit further back to get shelter from the wind and reduce the loudness.  Judy and I stayed up front and center.  As the sun dipped low, Judy felt the chills.  Inventively, she used the seat holders as leggings and flipped up the hood of her jacket.  She was happy and warm.


     At one point, the group started a conga line.  If Judy had joined in, it would have looked like a potato sack race.


     The more wine that flowed, the more dancers participated.


     We had a great time and the music was excellent.



     George and Miriam took TIME OUT back out on the river very early this morning.  We will miss them and we wish them Bon Voyage.

     Judy undertook the daunting task of doing laundry today.  My chore was to spend lots and lots of time with the Dell Computer guy trying to resolve the problem with my Inspiron laptop.

     Tonight, the Spurs won the Game 7 against the Hornets.



     The sunsets can be quite pretty across the harbor waters.


05/21 thru 5/23/08     BRUNSWICK, GA

     It has been a routine few days.  The Dell Computer repairman came with the designated repair parts.  After their installation, the pesky vertical lines were still there.  He called Dell directly and ordered more parts for overnight delivery.  Well, guess what, the parts were shipped to a San Antonio repair office.  That  complicated matters and the whole process got very confusing.

     In the meantime, Judy is getting comfortable with our new computer.  She has a folding table that she uses for the computer and also for her jewelry projects.  It works quite well with her leather chair.



     It’s Saturday night and the south Georgia “good ol’ boys” are ready to make some noise at the local oval racetrack.  Tonight is special because the Waycross Motor Speedway is the host track for the National Circuit guys that have come from Florida, the Carolinas, and Georgia.  It is one of the two big nights of the season around this half-mile asphalt track.  Looks like race fan Judy has already been to the concession stand.


     The racing card was quite enjoyable.  There was a slight delay of about half an hour for a quick rain shower.  It was enough to force people into their cars for the delay.  Soon, the roar of powerful engines filled the air along with the smell of racing tire rubber.


     An unfortunate encounter with the outer track wall halted this boy’s evening plan to take the winners’ circle.


     It took two wreckers to haul this dude back to the pits.

     We had left the marina at 5:15 pm for the hour plus trip to Waycross.  Hot laps started at 7pm and racing kicked off at 8:30pm following the rain delay.  The final race ended at about midnight.  It was 1:15 am when we finally got back to the boat.


05/25/08  SUNDAY     BRUNSWICK, GA

     Tonight’s program at the St. Simons Lighthouse was called Jazz in the Park.  The setting is lovely and the music emanating from the gazebo was delightful.


     An Asian gal from Japan offered wonderful renditions of some classic standards.  The trumpet player has just been awarded a full scholarship to the famous Julliard School of Music.  Every note from this band was very enjoyable.


     With perfect weather and the Memorial Day weekend in full swing, the lawn was overflowing with spectators. 


     Every quadrant of the lawn area was packed with picnic partiers and wine aficionados.  Young and old, tall and short, fat and thin;  everyone loves Jazz and a picnic.


     We were fortunate to arrive early enough to get prime seating area and good parking.



HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.  Our THANKS and GRATITUDE to the members of the armed forces that fought and sacrificed for our freedoms.


     Our salon chairs on the boat were relatively comfortable as delivered.  I had the idea that I could modify the base mounts to cant the back a little more by placing a wooden block and longer bolts in the base.  We bought the supplies at Home Depot and I converted one.  The result was much improvement.  I will convert the other one later when we get more parts.

     On major holidays, the marina hosts a big cookout for the folks.  They set up the grills and provided Hot Dogs and Burgers with all the fixin’s.  Side dishes were present and lots of desserts from guests rounded out the get-together.  It was fun chatting with lots of folks from the marina that we hardly ever see.  The weather was absolutely perfect.



     Judy tackled the mound of laundry at the marina wash facility.  She stripped the cover off the Divan and it came out beautifully clean.  I worked to modify the other salon chair.  They are much more comfortable now.

     I had to spend altogether too much precious time on the phone with Dell Computer trying to resolve the mix-up problem with the parts.  Hours later, the new components were on their way to the repair technician.



     Harris, the Dell repairman arrived from Waycross, GA with several boxes of component parts.  He replaced the LCD screen, the motherboard, and the bottom frame plastic case.  He also determined that the bezel and top cover needed replacement.  I’m sure glad that I purchased the all-inclusive warranty plan.






     Judy measured and sewed all day long making slipcovers for our Divan sofa cushions.  She has done a great job and they will protect our upholstery from everyday wear, tear, dirt, and stains.


05/30/08   FRIDAY  BRUNSWICK, GA  

     Harris came from Dell with more boxes of parts.  He replaced the screen bezel and the top framework and hinges on the laptop.  I questioned why the Bluetooth light was not illuminated.  I surmise that he forgot to transfer the chip when he replaced the motherboard.  He promised to check into it.  We’ll see.



     The local farmer’s market is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays within easy walking distance from the marina.  As the warmer days of summer draw nearer, the supply of local produce is increasing all the time.  Although many of the items are brought north from Florida, the Georgia crops are beginning to come in.  I really love the colors of all the veggies and fruits.


     This Saturday night, the south Georgia “Good ‘Ol Boys” took to the 4/10ths mile, oval dirt track to battle it out for the checkered flag.  The Golden Isles Speedway is located Waynesville, GA which is about a half hour drive from the marina.  The track operates on alternate weekends in coordination with the Waycross Motor Speedway.  As Waycross is asphalt and Golden Isles is dirt, fans get to experience their favorite drivers racing on different surfaces every week.

     As good fortune would have it, the National Circuit boys were here too.  They only run twice a year on this track.  The purse for the feature race was $3000 and the competition was fierce.


     The track opened with a wetted dirt foundation in perfect racing condition.  It was fast and exciting.  As the racing progressed, the track began to dry out.  Combined with a bit of breeze, the dust began to fly.  It was often a challenge to keep the specks out of our eyes.  Judy had rows of dust and dirt covering her white shirt.  I must say that I love this dirt track racing stuff.

     With all of the qualifications, racing heats, and feature events, along with numerous caution delays, the races continued until about 2am.  Fortunately, this track is only about a half hour away.  We got to bed about 2:45am.  It was great loud and dirty fun.


     This concludes this edition of the AMARSE Update logs.  We hope you will join us again soon for more of our activities and adventures in the month of June and beyond.



       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.


     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can review any of the 2006, 2007, or the upcoming 2008 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.



   You may contact us via email anytime.

   We will have internet where ever we find WiFi service. 

   Our cell phones have been turned back ON.  Judy has AT&T/CINGULAR service.  Fred has VERIZON service.  Email us if you would like our phone numbers.


"AMARSE".  is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".  Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .  

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.

Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law