UPDATE#30 11/01 thru 11/15   

  Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2006, 2007, and 2008 through 10/31/08 have been published on the website.  We continue with the latest edition.

 UPDATE 2008 #30   11/01/08 thru 11/15/08

At last update, we were making our plans and preparations to head south for the winter. 


11/01/08      SATURDAY   BRUNSWICK, GA

     The maintenance effort to ready AMARSE for her voyage south into Florida and then the Bahamas has become our number one priority.  There is a long list of items to be accomplished to ensure a relatively trouble-free experience.  The old adage that “an ounce of prevention replaces a pound of cure” makes us wonder if we use “a pound of prevention”, will we alleviate “a ton of troubles”?  I sure hope so because we are attempting to minimize the incidences of problems and maximize our daily enjoyment.

     The major effort today focused on the engine oils and filters.  After running the two Lehman six-cylinder diesels to heat up the lubricants, we extracted all the old oil from the generator and port (left) engine.   Each engine requires almost 15 quarts of special diesel oil (we use Rotella SAE 40).  The generator holds about 4 more quarts of the same oil. 

     The Advance Auto Parts store on Community Avenue cheerfully accepts the used oil for recycling.  The free service helps protect the environment from the devastating hazards of irresponsible waste dumping in sensitive waters and marshlands.  Kudos go to Advance Auto Parts for their immeasurable help at keeping America beautiful.



     Access to the engine room is through hatches in the main salon sole (floor).  Changing oils, fluids, and filters is a very time consuming process.  We are now in our second day of work.  At times, it can be a messy job.  The spin-on type filters are mounted with the opening facing downward making it literally impossible to remove without spilling a little of the messy oil.  If they could have designed them to hang down the other direction, it would have been much better.  Of course, space is always the major consideration.  I use special oil absorbing pads to sop up the spills and keep the engine room and bilges clean.  A clean engine room is a happy engine room.


     We had some left over gasoline for the dinghy still in the tank.  Rather than disposing of it, we added it to the car so we could refill the outboard tank with fresh fuel.  The small outboard engines can be very finicky about having high-grade gasoline.

     Of course, all work and no play makes Fred and Judy a couple of dull kidz.  We took plenty of time for enjoyment and even attended a local custom auto show.  The huge First Baptist Church was hosting the entire fair-like event.  There were rides, skill games, baked goods, cakewalks, beanbag tossing, and musical performances on the stage at Mary Ross Park located adjacent to the marina property.

     We were rather shocked at one event that we still can’t understand their motivation.  They had a very nice automobile situated in the parking area.  The organizers were encouraging people to literally destroy the vehicle with sledgehammers and the like.  Perhaps you can enlighten me about the relative merits of such behavior and just what kind of valuable lessons were being taught to these young people?  To add insult to injury, the model car was exactly like Judy’s Buick Riviera.

     It was a beautiful evening for a cookout on the BBQ.  The grilled Bratwurst, mushroom skewers, and grilled squash slices were wonderful.



     After taking care of some timely bank business with Jim Jacobs of Wachovia Bank in Brunswick, it was back in the engine room again.  This time, we removed the right side hatches to work on the starboard engine.  We can lift out the entire floor area by removing the four, large panels.  Although a little more restrictive, it is more convenient to remove only two at a time.


     The majority of marine engines are cooled by the combination of an enclosed, fresh water system interacting with a sea water system using a heat exchanger.  The familiar water/antifreeze mixture is circulated through the engine.  To rid that mixture of excess heat, the heat exchanger allows cooler seawater to pass through passages containing tubes with the hot engine water.  To ensure maximum heat exchange, the passages must be kept free of buildup and debris.  My job here is to clean out the tubes by passing a brass rod through each individual opening.  You have to be a semi contortionist to bend, squeeze, and wriggle your way into a position to accomplish the task.  The effort will be rewarded with a properly cooled engine for maximum efficiency.  I replaced the pencil zincs and endplate gaskets to complete the job.


     Our main drinking water supply pump has been seeping at a fitting.  The problem was found to be a cracked, threaded end on the pump housing.  I tried several methods to repair the seep, however, I was unsuccessful.  I even slathered the fitting with 2-part epoxy.  Unfortunately, the product was too old and had lost its ability to cure.  Guess I’ll have to try something else.


U.S. Election Day

     In the bow of the boat, there is a compartment under the forward berth that is used for storage and contains the pump mechanism for our anchor wash down system.  The unit is a sliding vane design with a pressure-regulating switch manufactured by Groco.  After removing the entire contents of the forward stateroom, I crawled into the cramped space to troubleshoot the problem.  Opening up the motor unit revealed traces of rust on the armature and components that were locking up the motor’s rotation and conductivity.  I took the motor to several motor shops to inquire about repair.  They would need days to fit it into their busy schedule.  I then figured that I could do the job myself.  I fully disassembled the motor, cleaned it completely using a stainless steel wire brush, abrasive cloth, and spray contact cleaner.  I used a piece of Judy’s jewelry wire to keep the spring-loaded, carbon brushes retracted while reassembling the components.  After reinstalling and wiring, the unit works like new.  Now, we can cross off another item from the list.


     While everything was out of the stateroom, I turned my attention to the windlass components.  Everything works fine except the down switch on the forward deck outside.  I checked and cleaned all the contacts on the relay unit.  Not solving the problem, I will order a new switch to be installed later.  Fortunately, we can either lower the anchor and chain rode with the upper helm switch or by allowing it to freefall from the windlass itself.  Note the pile of anchor chain heaped in the chain locker.   AMARSE has 100 feet of hi-tensile, G-4 chain attached to two hundred and fifty feet of nylon rode for the primary anchoring system.  In the port side of the locker, the secondary rode consists of a length of chain and several hundred feet of nylon rode.


     With the items in satisfactory condition, we restored the forward cabin to its normal function.  In preparation for our extended time in the Bahamas, we have been stacking the room with additional provisions and supplies.  Judy directs and manages all of those kinds of activities.


     We have discovered a broken sidewall and bubble on one of the car tires.  It took a wallet full of money and an hour drive to Jacksonville, Florida to have Discount Tires replace the faulty tire.  On the bright side, we took the opportunity to add to our provision stores with a visit to Sam’s Club.

     As you all know, today was Election Day.  The results are in and Barrack Obama will lead the democracy of the United States of America for at least the next term of four years.  Regardless of their personal preferences, the people have spoken and now we hope that the all will unite for the common good and we wish him luck and wisdom in guiding our country and future.



     Anticipating another busy day, I was up early at 6:15am.  Judy rested peacefully until the alarm at 8am.  This gave me some time to organize my plans and thoughts for the day.  We moved everything out of the main salon to gain full access to the fuel tank inspection ports.

     At 10:15am, Joe and Nell Tinsman arrived with their fuel polishing equipment.  Per our arrangement, I already had the steel access covers removed and everything ready for them to commence their process.  They first covered everything with protective plastic sheeting to avoid any possible damage to the boat or its contents.  I applaud their careful approach to protecting the customer’s boat.


     Using an aluminum tube device, Joe skillfully maneuvered the wand along and through the fuel tank bottom removing dirt, residue, and contaminants trapped in the bottom of the tank. 


     The fuel is pumped through an Algae-X fuel conditioner unit that magnetically aligns the fuel molecules during the conditioning process.  The fuel passes through a pair of 2-micron elements housed in Racor 1000 filter units.  The cleanly filtered fuel is re-introduced to the same tank through the normal filler port at significant volume to agitate remaining sediments and particulate contaminants into suspension and subsequent re-filtering.  Joe’s wife, Nell, monitors the outside process of the pumping/filtering while Joe directs the wand to various areas of the tank.  After about an hour on each tank, the fuel has made numerous passages through the filter units and is definitely in excellent shape.

     Note the amount of contaminants that were removed and keep in mind that Joe said my tanks were in quite good condition comparatively.  This is the nature of diesel fuel especially as used in boats.  Perhaps it’s time for you to consider the condition of your fuel tanks and fuel supply too.


     They did an excellent job and I was very pleased with their service.  I feel confident that we won’t have any problems with clogged filters on this trip.

     If you are in the general area of Savannah, GA to Jacksonville, FL, I recommend that you contact them for their service.  Here are the details:


           JOE TINSMAN III

           BRUNSWICK, GA 31523

           1-912-269-7855  or   1-912-264-1384

     I would like to add that I think that Joe and Nell Tinsman are quality folks.  I was impressed at how pleasantly they related to each other and the evidence of loving respect was evident in their demeanor.  They seem to be friendly, caring, and honest people.  I hold a high degree of value to those attributes.

     Per our agreement, it was my job to replace the inspection plate covers on the two fuel tanks.  Together, Judy and I returned the main salon to livable conditions. 



     I was up and at it again at 6:30am.  With nice clean fuel in the tanks, I changed the ship’s two Racor 500 filter units with new filter cartridges of the 2-micron size.  The drain valve on the starboard Racor was overly stiff so I replaced it with a new and improved metal unit.

     From the two individual Racor primary filters, the fuel continues to a pair of secondary CAV filters for each engine.  These are in the 10-micron size and are rather difficult to change due to their placement near other components.  I changed the easier pair on the port side and found the canisters to be nearly spotlessly clean.

    Allow me to explain my filtration strategy.  From the tanks, fuel passes through the primary Racor, 2-micron stage.  All contaminants larger than 2-microns are trapped in the easily replaced cartridge.  From there, the fuel passes through two separate secondary filter stages of the 10-micron variety.  Since all of the contaminants of that size have already been trapped in the previous stage, these more difficult filter units remain quite clear and clean.  Depending on your individual thinking, a filter of 10-microns in the primary might accomplish a similar result.  So far, I am satisfied with my strategy.

     If you have these type of secondary filters on your Lehman engines, keep in mind that the filter cartridges are shipped with a couple of o-rings and three (3) black ring gaskets that have blue spots on them.  Two of the markings are a lighter blue that the third.  Remember to put the darker blue ring on the main CAV housing and one of the light blue rings in the lower cap.  You can discard the second ring with lighter blue marking.  You should put the small o-ring on the retainer bolt and the larger o-ring on the inside of the delivery pipe.  If possible, I recommend replacing the small copper washers on the bleed screws to prevent seeps.  You will probably have to locate these washers separately.

     The previous repair to the drinking water pump that has a crack in the housing was still leaking slightly.  The culprit crack was located in the threaded portion of the pump inlet.  Hoping to salvage the still good pump unit, I bought a metal ½ inch pipe coupler and close nipple.  A fresh batch of epoxy gel sealing everything together was the answer to that leak.  I disassembled the pump and resealed the seams with silicon film at each joint.  Everything seems to work fine now.  Any guesses as to how long it will last?  Yes, I did buy a spare pump to keep on hand in case the old one decides to fail.  That single pump is our only method to deliver water to the faucets.

     We’ve already accomplished a lot.  You know, it’s amazing how frequently that one of those simple, one-hour jobs turns into days including parts runs.


11/07/08   FRIDAY    BRUNSWICK, GA


     Harris, the technician from Dell Computer, was back again at AMARSE to repair my laptop.  I had reported a problem with the speaker jacks being inoperative.  After two hours on the phone about a week ago, the parts were ready to install.  He replaced the motherboard and the two speaker units.  Although it was only the jacks that were bad on the last motherboard they replaced, they wanted to change the speakers too.  Oh yes, the headset jack/speaker problem was resolved, however, the touchpad function was now inoperative due to a faulty replacement part.  Dell will have to send more parts for another visit.  Harris knows the insides and outs of this computer very well by now.  Thank goodness I have a current insurance agreement with Dell for repairs, otherwise I’d have been flat broke in more ways than one.

     Roger Lukas came to dive under AMARSE.  There was lots of growth on the bottom and the propellers were encrusted again with shells.  As you may remember, Roger dove and cleaned everything several months ago.  This area of Georgia is infamous for rapidly growing marine life on the hulls of boats.  He had to work long and hard to scrape everything off.   He replaced all of the zincs located underwater; two disks on each trim tab (4), two larger disks on the rudders, and four egg shapes on the prop shafts.  That is a lot of zincs.  Altogether, there are 12 zincs on the boat.

     Notice the severe dissipation of this shaft zinc.  Because zinc is a sacrificial metal, these zincs are installed to intentionally dissipate with stray electrical currents providing protection for the important metal parts of the shaft.


     These are remnant pieces of grossly dissipated disk zincs removed from the trim tab. 


     Judy sure makes a cute sidewalk supervisor. 


     Roger moves along the sides of AMARSE gently removing the soft growth from the hull bottom and sides.


     My first cousin, Fred Silver, and his wife, Judy, arrived to visit for a couple of days.  They hail from the Province of Ontario, way up north in the Dominion of Canada.  His mother and my mother were sisters.  Although we haven’t had many occasions to visit in person, I have always felt a special closeness to him.  Imagine this, here is AMARSE with two named Fred and two named Judy.  Is that cool or what?


     Following a delightful afternoon of pleasant conversation and cheerful reminiscing, it seemed as though we had just barely touched the surface of interesting subjects and family news. 

     After cocktail hour, we still had a full evening in Brunswick planned, so it was time to get it all started. 


     After a driving tour of the historic areas of downtown Brunswick, our dinner arrangements were at the Longhorn Steakhouse. 


     Today was cousin Fred’s birthday.  Our waitress, Tannery, was friendly and ready to sing the appropriate song to the celebrating birthday boy.


     What would a birthday be without a decadent dessert treat? 


     With tickets in hand, the two cousins, Fred and Fred, were ready to attend the dance production of the “Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble”.


     The stage of the historic Ritz Theatre in downtown Brunswick came alive with the fabulous dance numbers.  Since 1979, Footworks has performed for audiences throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland.


     Incorporating the origins and influences of Southern Appalachian clogging and flatfooting, Footworks has stylized many forms of traditional percussive dance, including Irish, Scottish, English, Quebecois, Cape Breton, South African, and African American steps.


     This rousing number featured fancy footwork that combined rhythmic clogging with the artistic crunching sounds of plastic bottles.  It was very unique and very entertaining.


     Now in their 30th year, several of the cast members have been with the troupe since its debut in 1979. (Promo photo).


     The day and evening were a huge success with everyone and I am confident that cousin Fred had a fun-filled birthday.



     Cousin Fred and Judy rested well at the local La Quinta Inn.  At 9am, we met them at Shoney’s Restaurant for the breakfast buffet.


     There she goes again, it appears as if Judy likes to flirt with every guy she meets.  Just look at the smiles on their faces.  Should I be jealous?


     Our touring and sightseeing plans for the day started at famous Jekyll Island.  The entire island is filled with lovely, historic buildings dating back to the glory days of the wealthy industrialists.


     A Victorian Era summer cottage…


     The Jekyll Island Hotel is nestled amid live oak trees draped in Spanish moss.  This Victorian landmark enjoys a setting of unspoiled natural beauty on the island.


     Here, millionaires wintered in scenic seclusion for decades, enjoying the many amenities and privileges reserved for America’s wealthiest families.  The club was returned to its original elegance, highlighted by leaded art glass windows, ornate woodwork and Rumford fireplaces.  From its lofty tower to encircling verandas, Victorian charm still permeates the buildings and impeccably kept grounds.  Interestingly, the Club was the site of the first transcontinental telephone call, placed by AT&T president Theodore Vail on January 25, 1915. The original hotel property opened in 1888.  A round of Lawn Croquet anyone?


     Some trees, like this gnarly one, seemed to be there just for the climbing 


     Did your Mother ever yell at to you when you were climbing in a tree, “If you fall out of that tree and break your leg, don’t come running to me”?  Think about it.


     Cousin Fred and cousin Fred are related branches of the same “family tree”.


     The historic dock landing is very picturesque.  In decades past, the wealthiest of the wealthy disembarked here from their elegant mega-yachts.  Although those days have sadly past, the pier still bustles with vacationers from throughout the world.


     How about this, ONE Fred with TWO Judy’s?


     Next on our itinerary was St. Simon’s Island.  Crossing several bridges brought us to this quaint resort location.  The historic lighthouse still marks the waterway pass from the Atlantic Ocean that separates St. Simon’s Island from Jekyll Island.


     The newly opened welcome facility for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society was being beautifully decorated for the holidays.


     Also operated by the Historical Society, this Maritime Center occupies a restored Coast Guard Station.


     The weather was perfect enough to be the envy of the Chamber of Commerce.  Judy Law enjoys this place with a wonderful view of the Atlantic Ocean.


     Fred and Judy Silver…   I’d be willing to guess that the weather is not nearly as nice today at their hometown in Ontario, Canada.


     We admired the setting and architecture of this lovely church on St. Simon’s Island.


     Charles Wesley was the brother of John Wesley, reputed founder of the Methodist faith.


     We continued our sightseeing travels to Fort Frederica.  Established to defend the southern frontier from the continued presence of Spanish colonials in the American southeast, Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island served as a British military headquarters in colonial America. During its heyday, from 1736 to 1758, General James Oglethorpe led the town encampment and forces that played a pivotal role in the struggle for power between England and Spain. The conflict pitted British Redcoats, the Highland Independent Company of Foot, coastal rangers, local citizens, and a band of sympathetic southeastern Indians against the superior Spanish forces that numbered 4500 to 5000.

    After an unsuccessful siege of St. Augustine by Georgia soldiers in 1740, Spanish forces launched a retaliatory invasion of Fort Frederica in midsummer, 1742. With total British forces numbered less than 1000 men, Oglethorpe was certainly outgunned and outmanned but he was not to be outmaneuvered.  Over a two-week period, he and his men engaged the invading Spanish forces in a skirmish at Gulley Hole Creek and then, on July 7, 1742 at the Battle of Bloody Marsh, the British ambushed the Spaniards in a drizzling rain. As a result, the Spanish retreated, never again to present a threat to British authority in the southeast.

    Now, as a US National Monument, the US Parks and Wildlife Department manage the grounds.

   Judy dressed in historic garb to demonstrate that 18th Century pin-up girl look.  I’m not sure that the pink “Crocs” are typical period accurate or authentic.


     My cousins, Fred and Judy Silver, had a fun time dressing in the period outfits.  General Oglethorpe would have been proud to have them in his neighborhood of settlers.


     The grounds are quite extensive, as they comprise an entire village area.  The park rangers made a golf cart available to us for the exploration of the site.  Their generosity made it possible for us to enjoy a much larger area of the park.


     This is a close-up photo of a wall section at the fort.  The material is called “tabby” and is comprised of tightly compacted oyster shells that have formed over centuries of time.  The naturally occurring material is cut out in blocks to be used in the construction.  Defensively, the inherent density provided excellent resistance to small arms and cannon fire. 


     The British were prepared to defend their position against the attack of the Spanish forces then in control of the Florida territories.


     The two Judy’s…  Hey, watch where you’re aiming that thing…


     To cap this wonderful day, we chose Barbara Jean’s Restaurant for our family dinner.  As always, everyone enjoyed the delicious meal.

     With lots of hugs and smiles, we bid adieu to the weekend visitors.  After a good night’s rest, Fred and Judy Silver would be beginning their long drive back home to Canada.  We’ve had a wonderful time together and sincerely look forward to another opportunity to be with them again.  Thanks for coming to visit and know, for certain, that we love you both. 


11/09/08   SUNDAY    BRUNSWICK, GA

     We occupied the whole day with a drive trip to Jacksonville, Florida for our last round of provisioning.  Jacksonville has a much greater variety of stores to accomplish our acquisitions.  Leaving no stone unturned, we have the register tapes from Sam’s Club, Save-A-Lot, Harbor Freight Tools, West Marine, Target, and, of course, Wal-Mart.  It was well after dark when we finally arrived back at the boat.  I must say that I was absolutely furious to find that some inconsiderate person had left the dock cart filthy with a discarded oil film.  It will have to be cleaned out before it can be used for food and supply items.  I guess I can add that to my list for tomorrow unless I can find the culprit.


11/10/08    MONDAY     BRUNSWICK, GA

     Judy worked like a crazed woman all day long.  She scrubbed the boat from bow to stern until it was spotlessly clean.  Somehow, she managed to find storage space to stash all of our acquired provisions and supplies.  Of course, I had to scrub out the dock cart before hauling our carload of stuff to the boat.  Yes, I was steamed about that!

     Robert, Terry, and I drove over to the Ocean Petroleum dock facility for a quote on today’s diesel price.  The $2.55/gal plus 7% tax would equal $2.7285 per gallon.  The attendant checked and reported that the price was scheduled to go up another 6 cents per gallon at 6pm tonight.  Anxious to get the best price before leaving for Florida, we prepared our boats to relocate to their docks to fuel up.

     AMARSE was thirsty for 270 gallons of diesel fuel.  Since the fuel is used for “off-road” purposes, there are no highway taxes imposed.  That combined with the fact that Ocean Petroleum is the area distributor, their price for fuel would be the lowest we’ll see for a long time.

     Our planning indicates that we will refuel again in Ft. Pierce, Florida.


     SEA ISLAND GIRL and AMARSE were filled with fuel.  To fuel the crews, Robert and Carolyn arranged a friendly dinner aboard their boat.  Even though they had developed a problem with a shore power cord and couldn’t use marina power, they graciously hosted us using battery and inverter power sources.  It is convenient to have that much ship-borne, AC/DC power available from their large battery packs.

     Terry and Peggy (MORE ATTITUDE) cooked Flank Steak aboard their Nordic Tug 37.  Judy prepared Steamers Asian Blend Veggies, as well as, Brussels sprouts in a butter sauce.  The bread-and-butter pickles added a nice flavor touch to dinner.  Carolyn served the mashed potatoes and dished up ice cream for dessert.  It was a delightful evening.

     I hope Peggy isn’t coming after me with that razor-sharp knife.  Honestly, whatever I said, it was only a joke, really, just a joke.


     Terry and Peggy from MORE ATTITUDE…




     Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.  It is largely from the noble efforts of so very many of these heroic citizens that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that we all hold dear.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

     In November, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.  An Act of Congress, approved in 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday, a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."  In 1954, after World War II and the Korean Conflict, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

     On AMARSE, the transmission fluids are cooled through heat exchangers attached to the engines.  I removed the starboard unit for inspection and replacement, however, the existing unit looked like new.  The Copper-Nickel unit was reinstalled and the replacement units will be stored for later changing.

     Using the new hand pump that I purchased at Harbor Freight Tools, I changed the fluids in both transmissions.  The little hand pump worked wonderfully.  Per the servicing recommendation, the refilling was done using high quality Castrol ATF rated Mercon III and Dextron approved.

     As we continue with the final provisioning, it seems as though every day becomes a shopping day.  Items were purchased from Target, West Marine, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart.



     Judy took Carolyn Wilson (SEA ISLAND GIRL) and Peggy (MORE ATTITUDE) to the stores for their stock-up.

     Our original decision was to delay our departure until the beginning of next week, however, a complete check of the upcoming weather forecasts, combined with a late conference with several other travelers, we altered our plan to depart in the morning tomorrow.

     Final preparations were completed and everything was shipshape to get underway.  The excitement was building with our anticipation.



     Everyone was out of bed at 6:30am to ready AMARSE for the commencement of her southerly excursion.  When the marina office opened, the checkout process was completed and we made our reservation to return here in the spring.  Our special thanks to dockmaster Sherry and to Cindy for making our time in Brunswick memorably pleasant and fun.  Additionally, George deserves our special thanks for everything he does to keep the facility and grounds in excellent condition.  We really appreciate the marina team.  Bye-bye, y’all, see you in the spring.

     At 8:21am, the diesels were all warmed up and the transmissions were engaged to gently propel AMARSE away from her tethers and toward the waterway.


     At the Brunswick City Docks, a small ship, the AMERICAN STAR, of the American Cruise Lines was in port visiting the historic center.  Sailing exclusively along the eastern seaboard of the United States, American Cruise Line's ships are American built and American crewed. The emphasis is on comfortable exploration along sheltered, inland waterways and visiting the smaller ports that are less accessible to larger ships. Itineraries are scheduled to arrive in ports every day and tie alongside the docks at night. An onboard lecturer helps to provide a focus on the historical significance and natural beauty of each region.


     Slightly further on, CHABLIS was at the Ocean Petroleum docks ready to take on a load of fuel before she heads south in trail.


     As we proceeded outbound, SEA ISLAND GIRL was inbound returning due to low visibilities.  The fog was getting thicker.


     Originally the leader of the pack, MORE ATTITUDE, a Nordic Tug under the watchful eye of Captain Terry and Peggy, were also returning to their slip at the marina to await further clearing.


     AMARSE chose to continue outbound using compass, gps, and radar aids.  We doubled our watch and listening vigilance while keeping a watchful eye on the sweeping radar screen.  The channels are well marked in this area and the radar returns were strong and bright as we proceeded along the Brunswick River toward the ICW. 

     As we approached the constricted area of the Jekyll Island Cut at ICW mile marker 680, we were fortunate to have the visibility increasing to more acceptable limits.  Had the fog remained dense, we would not have attempted the shallow, sinuous passage through the infamous route.  It would have been too easy to run hard aground without adequate visual reference.  Luck was with us and we traversed the cut emerging into the sound in the company of several other boats and an escorting entourage of seagulls feasting on the propeller churnings.


     Steadily, the weather continued lifting as we passed along Cumberland Island toward the huge submarine pens of King’s Island Naval Submarine Base located in the southeastern-most corner of Georgia.  Facilities at the base enable King's Bay to serve as a homeport, refit site, and training facility for the Navy people that operate and maintain the Ohio-class strategic submarines.

     Although it did not affect us today, the entire waterway nearby is completely closed-off to other traffic while the submarines are arriving or departing.  Just hours ago, this nuclear-powered submarine arrived here from the ocean.


     About 2pm, the sleek lines of this impressive Tollycraft motor yacht, CHABLIS, glided past us in the vicinity of the Georgia-Florida border at Fernandina Beach.  Dave and Barb are making their way to the Bahamas too.


     It feels so wonderful to be back underway along these beautiful waterways.


     At 5pm and shortly before sunset, AMARSE dropped the hook to anchor securely in the Ft. George River at ICW mile marker 735.  The unspoiled Fort George River branches off the east side of the IntraCoastal Waterway just a few miles north of the St. Johns River. On the incoming tide, clean salt water from the Atlantic Ocean flows west over white sand from the mouth of the Fort George River back into the ICW.  The Kingsley Plantation historical site rests peacefully alongside the anchorage area.


     CHABLIS was already firmly set for the night when we arrived.


     Our dinner consisted of shrimp cocktails, sautéed mixed vegetables including corn, broccoli, and baby carrots, followed by dessert of fresh papaya, cantaloupe melon, and green grapes.

     We were both tired from the activities of the day and were comfortably snuggled into bed by 9pm.

     AMARSE traveled 60.8 miles today at an average speed of 7.1 mph.  The early fog may have slowed us down a bit, however, it could not diminish our delight to be out and about again.

POSITION:  N30 26.427 W081 26.063



      I was awake at 5:25am but lazed around in bed until 5:40a.  The night had been wonderfully calm and quiet in this lovely anchorage.  With no sign of the threatened fog, Judy had the anchor hauled, cleaned, and stowed by 6:30am.  Still before sunrise, we eased past several anchored boats to rejoin the ICW southbound.  


     At 7:15a, we passed under the Sister’s Creek Bridge to cross the St. John’s River in the Jacksonville, FL area.  The current was really quite strong creating a lot of turbulence at the southern breakwater jetty that transitions back into the ICW.  The forces of all that rushing water pushed all of the boats around like bobbers in a wading pool.  It was a continuous steering effort to counteract the twisting and turning motion of the swirls.  Within a few minutes, things returned to normal and we benefited from a nice push created by the incoming tide.

     By early morning, Chablis had narrowed the distance gap and gave us a nice, gentle, “one-whistle” pass (pass on our starboard or right side when overtaking).


     Following close in trail, AMARSE approached the Bridge of Lions construction project as CHABLIS passed under.  This project has been ongoing for several years now in the St. Augustine, FL portion of the ICW.  When the historic bridge is completely restored in 2010, the huge structure and temporary bridge will be demolished.  How’s that for a government project that seems to make little or no sense to most of us?


     The two smaller, gray-colored towers are the portions being reconstructed.


     Seen here are the St. Augustine Municipal Marina docks at the foot of the city center.  St. Augustine is one of the prettiest cities in Florida and lays claim to being the oldest city in the US.


     The tranquility of the ICW provides a wonderful environment for enjoying boating and the natural beauty of the surrounding area.  We are blessed with terrific weather conditions.


     With a plan in mind, we pressed on for Palm Coast, FL and had our lines on the dock poles by 3:45pm.  AMARSE had carried us 68 miles today at a moving average speed of 7.2 mph.  The Palm Coast Marina is at ICW mile marker 803.2. 

     OK, here is an outline of what the plan was.  We knew that there was a NASA Space Shuttle launch scheduled for tonight.  Judy spent lots and lots of time on the cell phone gathering information and arranging the plan.  We were going to take a marina slip, rent a car, have Dave and Barb join us, and drive to Titusville to get a close-up view of the spectacular night blastoff.  As I said, that was the plan.  Enterprise Rental Car was to meet us upon our arrival and Judy would pickup the car while I secured the boat.  She would pick us up and we’d have enough time to locate a good viewing site.  The plan fell apart when Enterprise failed to be there as agreed.  Numerous additional phone calls promised that the driver would be there any minute.  More cell calls received the same result.  Frustration set in as the time whisked on by and still no driver.  When the car actually arrived over an hour late, the driver explained it would actually take at least or perhaps even more than another hour to go back to the office, fill out the paperwork, and then for Judy to return.  We had just plain run out of time and we could not make it there in enough time to see the launch anyway, so we cancelled our plan and the driver left after confessing that he had been in the office when they were telling us that he was almost there.  Oh well, at this age, we have learned not to rely too close on any plan.   


     Dave and Barb have been coming to this location for many years.  They recommended a nice area of shops and restaurants within walking distance.  We joined them at Mezzaluna Pizzeria.


     I selected this fabulous Caprese Salad plate with sliced tomatoes, fire-roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella cheese drizzled with a flavorful dressing and balsamic vinegar reduction.  Caprese means “in the style of Capri” in Italian.


     After dinner, we found a vantage point with a good view in the direction of the Kennedy Space Center from the foredeck of AMARSE.  Exactly on schedule at 7:55pm, the southern sky began to illuminate as if it were sunrise.  Moments later, the intense light from the powerful booster rockets appeared streaking upward in the clear, dark sky.  From this location nearly 80 miles away, the view was still spectacular.  It must have been absolutely awesome from closer by.  Our eyes were fixed on the rapidly climbing rocket that captured our wonder for many minutes.  We could even see the actual separation of the solid rocket boosters.  I was surprised that there did not appear to be any of the contrails lingering in the air.  I think I managed to get a nice photo of what we saw.  Modern space travel is truly marvelous.  Imagine what it would be like to be aboard that craft being hurled into orbit to look down at the “big blue marble”?  Wow…







     Our night at the dock had been peacefully still and warm.  Although the winds were howling offshore, we enjoyed the protection of the ICW waters.  At 6:48am with lines aboard, AMARSE eased quietly from her dock confines.

     It wasn’t very long before CHABLIS signaled for a pass.  Their destination was much further than ours for the day’s travel.


     The ICW continues south passing Daytona Beach.  We always enjoy seeing these unique mosaic tile artworks of dolphins and manatees that adorn this high-rise bridge.



     The Ponce Inlet lighthouse graces the skyline north of New Smyrna Beach.


     New Smyrna, FL was the destination for today’s travel.  The city has constructed two, curved docks along the waterfront.  The preferred south dock was occupied with two sailboats, one of which was selfishly taking two spaces.  We attempted to get dockage at the local yacht club; however, they declined to grant us reciprocity.  Upon returning to the city docks, a fellow from one of the sailboats came up to assist us with lines at the north end.  By 1:50pm, we were shutdown and secure. 

     AMARSE traveled 44.5 miles today at a moving average speed of 6.6 mph.  A lot of time was spent cruising in no-wake zones and loitering around looking for the best docking opportunity.  So far, we have traveled 173 miles from Brunswick, GA.

     From this picture, you can clearly see that AMARSE has taken on a nice “waterway smile”.  As you may remember, the familiar beige staining on the bow comes from the tannins in the river waters that comprise much of the IntraCoastal Waterway or ICW.


     The city dock is very close to the town center.  We took a nice stroll around the historic streets and window shopped in the downtown stores.

     The local bus system leaves from a central stop in downtown.  We hopped on the #42 bus for a round trip sightseeing ride out to the New Smyrna Beach area.        

     After returning, we visited the small ruins site near the waterfront.  One of the greatest mysteries of Old New Smyrna is the identity of the ruins in "Old Fort Park”.     Are the ruins the remains of a Spanish fortress built in the 1500's by Menendez de Aviles, as was the premise of John Detwiler, historian and first editor of the New Smyrna Breeze newspaper? Other theories abound. Is the structure a foundation for the Turnbull's Palace, or the beginnings of a Catholic Church, or a Turnbull period warehouse? The structure's exterior buttresses and walls of "three foot thick" coquina or tabby materials, clearly remind one of the Spanish forts along the Florida Coast. Perhaps, one day, historical researchers and archaeologists will be able to unlock the secrets of this mystery.


     We had a nice visit with Deane and Becky Barney aboard their sailboat, “FULL TILT”.  They are presently enroute from Connecticut to Key West where they will be working at the West Marine store.  Stop by and see them at the store.  They are great folks and I know you’d enjoy meeting them too.

     Judy and I enjoyed a nice peaceful dinner aboard AMARSE.

 POSITION:  N29 01.539 W080 55.168





       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.

     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



    "AMARSE” is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".