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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day All - Having sold my wonderful 50' Taronga (unfortunately to a couple of jerks who nearly sank her within 2 1/2 hours of leaving Annapolis - I can tell this story if anyone's interested in being heartsick,) I've "downsized" to a 28' sloop now in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm going to single hand her up to Martha's Vineyard starting in early April. I expect to wander my way along the coast, rather than riding the Gulf Stream escalator, as I've now got the time and the interest to see the seaports of the coast along the way. I intend to spend a month and 1/2 (weather gawds permitting) and to make this a "lifetime memory."

Over the years I've pretty much covered the coast from downeast Maine to Annapolis, but other than Moorhead City and the ICW 40 years ago, I haven't been along the coast south of Annapolis. I'd appreciate any thoughts folks might have as to interesting places to check out on my wander north with the Spring weather.
 

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This might not be the answer you're looking for but here's what I'd do if we were to take such a trip. First, I'll say that we have a weird knack for turning the most unlikely of trips into a memorable adventure (heck, we spent a fantastic weekend in Cleveland a few years ago and John still talks about his work trip to Lima, OH) and we like to walk around, see what's out there that you miss whizzing by in the car.

I'd first pinpoint the cities that I know I want to visit - then I'd throw darts for the rest, see what's there, perhaps find some undiscovered gem that the glossies missed. Perhaps not real darts as that would seriously mess up my monitor, but I'd look on Google Earth and find coastal towns with interesting names or that look less touristy. I'd then head over to Google and do some research on the towns I pick out and make sure they are accessible.

I'm not outgoing, but John can get a rock to tell him its life story like they'd know each other forever. He has that kind of personality. We always find someone, no matter where we are, who has a weird or fantastic story to tell. So yeah, I'd throw darts and visit the towns less traveled.
 
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I second Charleston SC. A beautiful little city, with the friendliest people. It was beautiful seeing the American flag flying over Fort Sumter as we sailed past it.
 

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You could spend years enjoying just the small towns in the Carolinas and Tidewater Virginia ... VERY friendly and easy going people. The Albemarle, Pamlico Sounds and surrounding areas are 'little used' by cruisers and offer some very interesting off the beaten path sailing areas ... just watch out for the sometimes 'very' aggressive 'cottonmouths' and 'floating reptiles'.
 

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Well, I for one would be interested in hearing the story of how someone nearly sinks a Passport 50 within a couple of hours of leaving Annapolis... (grin)

A couple of my favorites, just off the top of my head...

Cumberland Island, GA... (or any of the Georgia seacoast islands, for that matter)

Cape Lookout Bight, NC (try to avoid hitting it on a weekend, however)/Core Sound/Harkers Island/Beaufort area... some pretty interesting shoal water exploration to be had around there, if you're not afraid of going aground now and then...

Ocracoke/Portsmouth Island... If you have the weather, I'd recommend doing the Pamlico Sound route, as opposed to the ICW... The NC Sounds offer some of the most underrated cruising grounds on the East coast, IMHO... And, if you've never been there, the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk is well worth a visit...

Norfolk/Portsmouth offers a lot to see and do, museums etc... If you enjoy minor league baseball, catching a game in their stadium right near the harbor is a treat, and they do a terrific fireworks display whenever they win...

Onancock and Tangier Island if you're going up the Chesapeake, or Chincoteague if you're headed up outside...

Good luck, enjoy, have plenty of insect repellent and screens for most of the spots I've mentioned for later on in the spring...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
JamesWilson29 - glad to see that sardonic sarcasm hasn't disappeared from SN but, in the spirit of accuracy, I'd point out that although inland there is a coastline on the w'ern shore of the Chesapeake and then south of Norfolk. And, last I checked, the Chesapeake was salty water.

Thanks to all for the thoughts; very appreciated.

Jon/Rob - After 8 wonderful years of simplifying and rebuilding Taronga for winters in the Caribbean and trips to/from New England, of two Bermuda trips with the kids, of Augusts in mid-coast Maine, the Trouble and Strife (wife in Cockney rhyming slang) announced that she liked being sailed, not sailing. And I realized that the stresses of essentially single-handing Taronga was not relaxing for me, I took a last run with my son down to Annapolis and put her on the market.

Negotiated an offer from a pair of gentlemen and got the money wired to my account. After closing and while the yard was busy commissioning the boat for the new owners, these gentlemen asked a few questions of the broker: How do you tell if the blip on the radar is a ship, how do you turn on the refrigeration, how do you work the autopilot, how do you raise the leisure furling main sail? (really.) The broker suggested a shake down sail or a pro skipper to take them and the boat to Newport RI from Annapolis. They answered that they knew how to sail and were in a rush to get to Newport for a 4 July party and would leave at 0300 to make the CD canal current the next day.

The next day the broker was informed by the yard that at 0530, the USCG had been called on a cell phone to report that there was 6" of water over the cabin sole and the boat was sinking. The CG got pumps on board and towed her into the slings of a yard in MD. Apparently during commissioning, the Annapolis yard had replaced the shaft seal in such a manner that it came loose and allowed water into the boat.

Taronga had a lower electric bilge pump, an upper elec pump, a cockpit manual gusher and an additional below decks gusher whale for emergency at sea in storms. I have no facts why or how these weren't able to handle the situation. I have no facts why or how flashlights and tools couldn't have resolved the issue. I have no facts as to how electric bilge pumps can run and a sailor doesn't hear them. I have no facts as to how 6" of water can get over the cabin sole without a member of the 5 person crew noticing.

I do have lots of theories and opinions...

I was heartbroken for what had been my beautiful boat; my platform of dreams. I dreamt about it and was saddened and seriously agitated for at least several weeks.

And so it goes...
 
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