Fun City

Jacksonville Light Night

Hi Girls & Guys: Well Saturday I stumbled into a big party in Jacksonville! The city of Jacksonville takes their fireworks seriously. I arrived about sunset and was preparing to tie up at the city bulkhead only to find they were having a big hup te do and tieups were limited at the city facility! A fellow sailboater invited me to tie alongside and watch the show! The Tern and I had a birds eye view of the show! They had a boat light parade with gaily decorated boats of all types and then a fantastic fireworks display! (see pics).
Frog's Log Cabin

Houses of Wanchese

Hi Girls & Guys: The stop here in Wanchese is going to provide some much needed rest for me and the Tern. We have been going non stop since I finished spring maintenance. sailing almost every day which is a little tough for a 67 year old! The weather here has been dry and warm, just ideal for varnish. When I finish the varnish in another week or so the Tern will be hauled out to paint the bottom and topsides! The water in the states is so dirty even up north it is impossible to keep the bottom and boot top clean of growth! I have contacted Kirby paint in New Bedford and they are going to send me a special paint to combat the growth!

Annapolis to Norfolk

Hi Girls & Guys: This leg of the journey will take us to the largest Naval Port in the world Norfolk VA! My father was stationed in Norfolk during WWII. I get goose bumps when we pass in front of the Attack Carriers, probably due to my service in the Navy stationed in Attack squadron 155 onboard the attack carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA - 43) AKA Coral Maru. The trip down from Annapolis was fickle like the winds of the Chesapeake.
Capt. Tom Aitken

Norfolk to Wanchese

The Tern will be coming out of the water tomorrow and back in the water Monday, Nov 2nd! The water is so dirty that it is necessary to haul twice a year to keep the bottom clean. The last two weeks here in Wanchese have been beautiful fall days with abundant sunshine, warm temps and fresh shrimp! Yesterday I paid $2 a pound with the heads on! The warm dry days have been perfect for varnish and resting with 1000 hours (10AM) wake up the norm and of course the late afternoon nap! At this time Wanchese is a sleepy little fishing village, I fear in the near future it will undergo the changes have have happened all along the coasts turning quiet little villages into booming tourist meccas! It is very sad to witness this first hand.
Old & Young pirates

Wanchese the Fishing Villiage

Hi Girls & Guys: Being as I am going to be in Wanchese for a few weeks I thought I would do a picture and people kind of thing! The 1st segment will be pics of the Port of Wanchese. The 2nd will be pics of the Houses of Wanchese with a few comparisons to the Outer Banks thrown in. This place as you will see from the pics is very unique. The 3rd and final segment will be about the People of Wanchese whom I think are the last of a breed of true coastal Americans. A breed that is being swallowed up slowly but surely. Swallowed up by mega money and mega sport fishing boats. Bayliss Marine where the Tern will be hauled has a 3 million dollar sport fisher in the barn being built.

Ships on St. Johns River

Attached you will find pics of the ships I encountered while coming up the river to Jacksonville! Next to Norfolk & NYC Jacksonville is probably the busiest port! You can travel almost 200 miles up the St. John's River. There was a plan at one time to continue the river with a canal to the west coast of Florida but it failed to get funding. The Navy has a large facility at the beginning of the river but the sun was on the wrong side to get pics of the ships!
Patty Oconnor's Houseboat

Houses of the St. Johns River

Hi Girls & Guys: Though the St. Johns River is mostly commercial there are a few houses along the river. I am sure if I traveled the 200 miles up the river there would be a lot more. As you can see from the pics the people here are into big houses which nobody lives in full time. Far different than the houses in Wanchese! I included a couple more pics of the Giraffes (cranes)on the river!
Mike & Jenny

Visitors at Boot Key

Hi Girls & Guys: No water has passed under the keel of the Tern since my last e-mail except for the ebb & flow of the tide here in Boot Key Florida! Since our arrival here in Boot Key it has been days filled with sunshine, swimming, playing chef for my friend Ray and catching up on ice cold Corona Lites! Speaking of cooking today Sat. is Ham & Bean day for the Frenchmen. Me being half French I decided to cook Ham & Bean for Mr. Ray Guertin and myself using the recipe from cousin Dave in Wanchese.
Locking Up

Busted & Locked Up on the Okechobee

The trip across Lake Okeechobee was uneventful except for being stopped by the police and being locked up! The Tern and I were locked up 14 feet to the St. Lucie Canal. There is a series of four locks leading into the lake and out of the lake. The first lock is the St. Lucie lock which raised the Tern 14 feet into the St.Lucie Canal! The 2nd lock going into Lake Okeechobee was open to the lake as the water in the lake was quite high. We started the trip across Florida from Manatee pocket in St. Lucie. The homes on both sides of the waterway ran the gambit from multi million homes on the water to trailers. In addition there were quite a few abandoned dreams (boats) along the route. Farmers grow tremendous amounts of oranges on both waterways utilizing the available water in the ditches to irrigate the trees.