Join Kelly IV for her return trip northbound up the ICW, departing Titusville, FL about April 18, arriving Annapolis, MD approximately May 23, 2016. Just email or call Captain Murph to set your plans in motion.
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Karen and Murph's Big Adventure, April 27 - September 21, 2015
For the Log Entries about this trip, see below. Click Here for the next image. Click Here for previous image. For links to the Log Entries for each leg, check the Links below the chart. Or by clicking the chart below, you'll page through the charts for each leg of the cruise. Each following chart also provides access to the appropriate Log Entry.
Titusville, New Smyrna Beach, FL (Rockhouse Creek) - Log Entry
New Smyrna Beach, Plam Coast, FL - Log Entry
Palm Coast, St. Augustine, Pine Island, FL - Log Entry
Pine Island, St. John's River, Talbot Island, FL - Log Entry
Talbot Island, Fernandina Beach, FL; Brickhill River, South Altamaha River, GA - Log Entry
South Altamaha & Wahoo Rivers, Redbird Creek, Cooper River, GA; Beaufort, SC - Log Entry
Beaufort, Togoodoo Creek, Charleston, Minim Creek, SC - Log Entry
Minim Creek, Waccamaw River, SC - Log Entry
Waccamaw River, Myrtle Beach, Calabash River, SC - Log Entry
Calabash River, SC; Southport, Wrightsville Beach, NC - Log Entry
For the Log entry and great photos in Wrightsville Beach, NC - click Here.
Wrightsville Beach, Sneads Ferry, Camp Lejuene, Beaufort, NC - Log Entry
Beaufort, Oriental, Belhaven, Alligator River, Albemarle Sound, Elizabeth City, NC & Dismal Swamp Canal - Log Entry
Elizabeth River, Hampton Roads, Chesapeake Bay, Mobjack Bay, East River, Deltaville, VA - Log Entry
Deltaville, Reedville, VA; Solomons, MD - Log Entry
Solomons, Annapolis, MD - Log Entry
Annapolis Fireworks, Weems Creek, Naval Academy Band, Chester River - Log Entry
Tina Sails with Karen - Log Entry
Paviols visit Chesapeake - Log Entry
St. Michael's, MD - Log Entry
Alex and the Blue Moon - Log Entry
Mark's Cruise and the Log Canoe Race - Log Entry
Karen's Friends - Log Entry
Karen's Southbound Cruise - Log Entry
ICW Southbound - Log Entry
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 13:14 )
Southbound on the ICW, August 26 to September 21, 2015
8/27/15 - Sunrise at Back Creek, Annapolis just before our departure this morning. Passing the Calvert Cliffs on our trip south this afternoon.
The jellyfish is 6" across the top (dome?). It is the largest I've ever seen on the Chesapeake. The reflection at the top is Kelly IV at anchor in Solomons. Sunset & Moonrise reflected in our anchorage tonight in Solomons, MD. First day headed back south. Passed the Cove Point Lighthouse and the Navy buoy tender on our way. Now anchored in Solomons, MD.
8/28/15 - An early start today as we attempt to cover 60nm today. This morning we passed a northbound freighter and the USCG Cutter "Eagle", which was anchored just south of Hooper Island. You'll recognize the "Eagle" as the tall ship to the right of the freighter.
8/29/15 - The view alone is worth doing an early departure! Wolf Trap Light this morning enroute. Safely tied up after almost 60nm underway today. Tomorrow we hope to be anchored in North Carolina. Sunset in Portsmouth, Virginia.
8/30/15 - Karen takes a photo of this barge as it passes Kelly IV's anchorage just south of Coinjock, NC.
Earlier in the day, this barge was moving at 4 knots while Kelly IV was motoring along at 5 knots. We passed the barge but it took 5 stress-filled minutes to pass the 200 feet of tug and barge!
8/31/15 - It was a long day today, travelling 13 hours from sunrise to sunset. We covered 74 miles from south of Coinjock, VA (Buck Island) to Belhaven, NC.
We'll taking a layday tomorrow to rest before moving on. Hope to arrive in Oriental on September 2nd.
9/3/15 - Looks like we'll be just south of Camp Lejeune when we reach our anchorage for the night.
Sunset after 60 miles underway today. We're making miles! Kelly IV is safely anchored in Mile Hammock Bay several miles north of Topsail Beach, NC.
9/4/15 - This evening's sky from our Wrightsville Beach anchorage. We'll be on our way again in the morning. 358 miles so far.
9/7/15 - Update: Two items.
1-The bottom right hand toggle switch on the engine control panel has failed so I cannot start or stop the engine. The failure happened Saturday night but I won't be able to work on it until tomorrow morning. The reason for the delay is item 2.
Wrightsville Beach enjoys some terrific sunsets! It seems sunsets are almost always worth observing and photographing.
9/8/15 - Thankfully the failed switch merely needed to be replaced, a relatively straightforward repair this morning. After a short motoring trip this afternoon, Kelly IV is safely tied up in Southport, NC.
9/9/15 - At anchor in the Calabash River, just north of Myrtle Beach.
9/10/15 - This 3 masted, gaff-rigged, steel hulled schooner is anchored in Cow House Creek off the Waccamaw River. Have seen a five feet long fish jump four feet out of the water three times now while at anchor west of Butler Island, north of Winyah Bay, SC. If only I knew in advance where to point the camera!
9/11/15 - Sunset north of Charleston, SC in Whiteside Creek. I find the sky and water infinitely interesting. Every day, every hour is unique.
9/12/15 - Given the forecast for thunderstorms tonight and no sheltered anchorage nearby, I chose this marina near Charleston. Of course, the storms never showed. Gee, I could have anchored.
For the sunset tonight at our marina in Charleston, SC, check this sunset video: https://www.facebook.com/allen.murphy.sailingkelly/videos/1219177784774413/.
9/13/15 - Sunset in Beaufort, SC. (right)
That's the Lady's Island Swing Bridge in the distance.
9/14/15 - What a beautiful day today (above) motorsailing from Beaufort, SC past Hilton Head to Savannah, GA. Anchored in Herb River, Thunderbolt, GA.
9/15/15 - No data service here but another gorgeous sunset in the Wahoo River, GA, south of Savannah. Kelly IV even did some great sailing! (right)
9/16/15 - When I departed Wahoo River this morning I saw this shrimp boat (below) had dragged her anchor and run aground. As I passed by they said they needed no help and were confidant they would be off with high tide.
It rained all day and is still raining here in Hawkins Creek at Lanier Island, just north of St. Simon's Sound, GA. Forecast is for more of the same tomorrow.
9/17/15 - An exciting day today as Kelly IV motored through 6 foot washing machine waves crossing St. Andrews Sound between Jekyll and Cumberland Islands, GA.
The port side dinghy davit shifted in the commotion. The one photo shows my jury rig using a halyard to hold up that davit until I can make the repair. We're anchored in the Amelia River, FL with the photos showing the weather and the A1A bridge to Amelia Island. Kelly IV and I will pass under that bridge first thing in the morning.
9/18/15 - Kelly IV & I motored under dark clouds like these all day. Rain and 20+ knots of wind again all day today. This pic (left) is from the anchorage.
9/20/15 - Kelly IV and I had a great visit with friends last night (9/19/15) after another day of intermittent showers and sun motorsailing through St. Augustine yesterday.
Today's forecast says we'll have all sunshine. First in 5 days.
I've been fortunate to see dolphins every single day I've been singlehanding the past week and a half. Sometimes they've even cruised directly beside me while I'm in the cockpit. I finally captured video of a couple of these friendly creatures here in the anchorage.
9/21/15 - FINISHED! Kelly IV and I just arrived in Titusville, FL after motorsailing over 1000 miles from Annapolis. We departed Annapolis on August 27 and were underway all but three days. For a 5-knot boat, we've covered the miles quickly! BTW, that large blue & white building in the distance is the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. They are well worth a visit.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 13:12 )
I’m happy to report that after spending two months in Annapolis, catching up with old friends, getting in some great sails, and feasting on crabs (steamed, soft shell, and crab cakes), we left Annapolis on Thursday, August 27. We are traveling back to FL in “delivery mode”, i.e., putting in 10-12 hours underway each day, with minimal stops for laundry and groceries, in order to get back to Titusville by the end of September. Before departing, Murph captured me enjoying a final meal in Annapolis . . . Steamed crabs, of course!
That does not preclude seeing some beautiful sunsets and sunrises (in fact, we are now getting underway by ~6am each day, so we are seeing sunrises as we leave the anchorage each morning). The first photo shows the view of Greenbury Point from Horn Point Marina as we started our voyage home.
Sunrise at Greenbury Point
That evening, we anchored at Solomons, MD and saw the peaceful sunset and moonrise depicted below. Notice the reflection of the moon in the water.
Sunset and moonrise at Solomons
Leaving Solomons early the next morning provided another opportunity to witness a gorgeous sunrise...
Sunrise at Solomons
We anchored that evening in Deltaville, VA. The sunrise the next morning was possibly the best we have seen so far on the trip. The water and sky were filled with striations of pink and blue, so that it was hard to tell where the sky ended and the water began, as shown in the first two photos below. Once the sun rose above the horizon, the colors were striking, as shown in the third photo.
We tied up at a public dock in Norfolk, VA that evening. The next morning we left before dawn and headed for our next anchorage at Buck Island, NC. We knew that it would be an extremely long day, and hoped that we would be able to make the anchorage by sunset. (It can be tricky navigating and dropping anchor in the dark.) After only a couple of hours into our trip, we had to pass through the Great Bridge Lock, which is quickly followed (if going south) by a bridge that opens only at scheduled times. As luck would have it, Murphy’s Law hit us (I blame Murph for that). When we approached the lock and radioed the lock tender for the next opening time, we were told that he was going to open the lock for a northbound barge next, and would open it for us in ~20 minutes. So we dropped the anchor and waited...and waited...and waited. An hour and a half later the lock was finally opened for southbound traffic. Once inside the lock, we had to wait another 30+ minutes in order to coordinate our departure from the lock with the next bridge opening. All in all, we lost 2.5 hours. But the silver lining is that there were gorgeous crape myrtles along each side of the lock, so we had a nice view.
Crape myrtles along each side of the Great Bridge Lock
Later that day, as we traveled the North Carolina cut, headed for Coinjock, we came up behind a huge barge (I would estimate 200’ long) carrying iron shavings. It is risky to pass such a huge vessel in a channel as narrow as the one we were in, but we didn’t want to reduce our speed from a whopping 5 knots to that of the barge for the rest of the day, so Murph decided to pass. We were motoring as fast as we could go, and it still took ~5 minutes to pass it. Later in the day, after we had anchored in a small desolate area of the ICW by Buck Island, NC, the barge passed our anchorage. To get some perspective of the photos below, the barge was in the narrow ICW channel and we were anchored well outside of the channel near land on the other side.
Another beautiful sunrise the next morning...
But lest you think that all on the boat is that peaceful, take a look at the photo below. We awoke that morning to thousands, yes, thousands of small flying insects covering the boat outside. They were so thick on the window screens that you could barely see through them. And the cockpit was filled with swarming masses. There were so many that even with the boat closed up (we were inside the cabin), we could hear them swarming. Murph exited the cabin with a can of Raid in hand and sprayed the entire boat. As a result, the boat was covered with their dead bodies and green and brown smears, which turned out to be a real bear to clean up the next day.
Insects covering the boat
Before we left the anchorage, we saw a frog in the cockpit! Now I ask you, we are sitting on a boat, surrounded by the water, so how does a frog get in the boat?? Maybe he was going after a huge, delicious insect breakfast...nevertheless, how the heck did he get there?? I did Google “flying frog” and found a Wikipedia entry, but it said that flying frogs (aka “gliding frogs”) have webbed feet, which this little guy didn’t have, and in any case there were no nearby trees from which it could glide, so who knows...it’s a mystery.
Frog in the cockpit
A couple of days later, as we were traveling near Hobucken, NC, we were approached by two Navy Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS). No, they weren’t chasing us, just traveling in the same direction as we were traveling on the ICW.
Ferry transporting a pickup truck
As it turns out, lightning struck close to my home and damaged several items, so I had to end my cruise sooner than expected, living and cruising aboard Kelly IV from April 27 through September 5. I spent 18 weeks aboard, instead of 21 weeks, as planned. We rented a car on Sept 5 (Labor Day weekend), Murph and I drove to Titusville, then Murph drove the rental car back to the boat at Wrightsville Beach, NC on Sept 7. As luck would have it, the switch on the boat engine also broke on Sept 4. After returning to the boat, Murph was able to buy a switch on Sept 8 and replace the switch on the boat. He brought the boat back to Titusville alone, and arrived on Sept 21.
WHAT A WONDERFUL ADVENTURE!!!!
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 13:11 )
Pat, Fred, and Bee joined Karen and I aboard Kelly IV for a beautiful day sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. We sailed out to the Annapoils Bay Bridge, saw hundreds of differnt boats and ships including racing sailboats, freighters and the beautiful Woodwind schooner. It was a terrific day to be out on the water and Karen's friends made it a terrific blast and totally wonderful.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 13:09 )
Mark, Karen's brother from NYC signed on as crew aboard Kelly IV and we soon departed for a brief sail around the mouth of the Severn River. Mark took the helm and sailed us by a green nav aid with several cormorants sunning themselves on marker "1E". After a beautiful evening walking around St. Michael's we retired aboard Kelly IV, again at Higgins Yacht Yard. The next day we sailed back to Annapolis and enjoyed our role as race fans observing the kids tacking their Optimists around the Severn River race course. That evening as we pulled into Horn Point Marina, we caught both Woodwind schooners (I and II) as they crisscrossed the Bay filled with passengers for their sunset cruise. On Mark's last day aboard we sailed to and from Kent Island catching the small 420s of the Annaoplis Yacht Club as they raced just a couple hundred yards away from Kelly IV. Karen's camera caught the fleet as one of them capsized and was rescued by their chase boat.
The capsize may have been predictive as a few days later Karen and I accepted an invitation from our marina neighbor, Carey, to watch the famous log canoes race in the Choptank River off Oxford, MD. Carey is a senior crtew member of Edmee, the log canoe owned and raced by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum of St. Michael's, MD. As it turns out, they were short a crew member and invited me along to serve as crew and ballast. Yes, ballast, as there is nothing to keep the wind from capsizing these slender, wooden racers except the weight of the crew suspended over the water on boards extending about 15 feet beyond the gunwales on the windward side. Despite our helmsman, skipper and crew's best efforts, Edmee succumbed to an unexpected gust at the leeward mark as we were gybing from a starboard reach onto a port tack back to windward. She slowly lifted us on our boards as we scrambled to keep her level, but as one of our boards was caught on the leeward side and dragged in the water, it was more than enough to drag Edmee onto her side and we capsized, dumping sails, boards, crew and worst of all, beer, into the warm Choptank water.
Once I clawed my way out from under the mainsail and sucked in a big gulp of fresh air, I was able to help scavange the drifting beer cans and save them for our consumption as we awaited help from our chase boat to lower the sails, step the masts, bail water from the hull, refloat the log canoe and tie her alongside for the infamous tow back to calm waters. Once we returned to the protected waters of the creek, we restepped the masts so Edmee would be ready to race the next day.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 13:08 )