Northward Bound

posted in: Uncategorized | 22

Lennie and I sailed back to Florida from the Bahamas in early June and went to Just Catamarans in Fort Lauderdale for some simple service. Now that the boat was back in Florida (which we never thought it would be) it was time to go sailing with family and friends – so we planned some great trips in and around Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Our insurance required us to be north of Cape Hatteras by July 1st but in my route planning we just couldn’t make it work so they extended us to July 6th for no charge but not ONE DAY LATER.

Hard left!

We left on a Sunday with a planned eight days to Norfolk Virginia (about one thousand miles). We have never been North of Charleston by boat, so this was going to be new and fun for us to do some sailing in the Northeast.  Although we planned on several stops, the first one was not planned. We took off and sailed out into the gulf stream around 8 AM and headed toward Charleston (a super cat came from behind and sailed right by us like we were parked but that is another story).  By 3 pm a mild depression formed over our track about 150 miles ahead of us and sure enough it developed into a tropical storm. Chris Parker, our weather router, told us to pull over as soon as possible. We were off of Cape Canaveral around midnight, but I checked the system again and knew it would be safe to make it to St Augustine, which would have chewed up 200 nautical miles or half the distance to Charleston, so we motor sailed as fast as we could and arrived around 9 am. We spent the day biking around the old settlement and the fort from the 1500’s Spanish era and we waited for that storm to go ashore.

One day of sailing one day of motoring

Because we sail to a schedule we have to keep moving even if there is no wind. This trip ended up pretty good at 50/50 with some flat days and then some wild days with the wind behind us and moving fast. We enjoyed our time in Charleston and the food and sightseeing was superb. We rode our electric bikes everywhere twice and we can’t wait to go back to that city. The next 200-mile run was to Beaufort, North Carolina and I had read about this place many times so we were excited to get there. The town is small, and a quick bike ride was all we needed and then we did our Rose’ Dinghy Cruise and were lucky enough to find the wild horses on the barrier island just before dark. Again, an early departure gave us a smooth trip around Cape Hatteras, also known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, so we were okay with that being a motoring day. After our fourth 200 nautical mile leg and overnight we arrived in Norfolk at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Another great trip to a new destination. From there we will head to New York and new England in August so stay tuned.

Dialed In

When you buy a new boat and outfit it like we did it takes a good while to get it all tuned up and punched out. Most people can do this within 6-9 months if they are full time, but for us having the boat in remote areas and only being on board a week a month it takes about two years. What’s funny is we hit this mark in July and with two recent trips under our belt our punch list is ZERO. Yes ZERO. Nothing to buy. Fix. Troubleshoot. Replace. As I type this, we are flying back from NY which I will write about later, but it feels great to get Happy Together perfect. Or as perfect you can get a boat. I usually have a list of chores and parts to buy to bring on the next trip. Seems odd to be so complete. I don’t believe in jinx, so I don’t mind telling you. I will need something else to fill up my time…

22 Responses

  1. Dale Cushing

    Thanks for sharing, miss your YouTube Channel but I get it!

  2. Billy Jones

    Great to hear about your trip up the coast. Let us know if you make it to the Boston area (we are located in Marblehead). RI coast, Cape and Islands are great cruising grounds as water is warm, many places to visit and typically there is wind.

  3. jim lawson

    Hi Randy & Lennie.

    Thanks for sharing. It was so good to hear from you guys and do some catch up.
    I still miss the H/T videos. Stay safe.


  4. Mike Bevers

    So glad you have the boat back and sailing again. Thanks for the email blog update.
    Cheers Mike and Angi

  5. Simon Ball

    Thank you for the update…Always nice to see what you guys are up to on your latest adventure. Simon

  6. John Montgomery

    Congratulations. The Bay of course is worth months of exploration which I did growing up: the most beautiful bay in the world, though our home port of SF is a close second!! New York will be fabulous. May I suggest you consider the The Liberty Marina in the Paulus Hook area of Jersey City. We lived next to it and found it to be a terrific area with excellent access to Manhattan without the hassles. All the best to you.
    John Montgomery
    Vineyard Utah

  7. Michel

    Hi Randy and Lennie,
    nice to read about your recent adventures again!
    It must be wonderful to have had a very nice trip from Florida to north of Cape Hatteras, and having a super boat without any repairs left!
    The fact that you spend some extra money into some adaptations before is priceless for safety and comfort.
    Hope to read more soon from you guys!
    All the best from Switzerland!

  8. James Joseph

    Just beautiful, glad you made it safely.
    Do you know when next you will be going southern caribbean.
    James in Barbados.

  9. Andrew Dinitz

    Hi guys,
    What brand of electric bike did you choose? Almost too many choices.
    So many great places in New England-
    Have a blast!

  10. Marvin "Guy" Royal

    Randy and Lennie,
    Great to hear an update from you guys and welcome to the Chesapeake Bay and Northeast. You could spend years in the Chesapeake exploring all the nooks and crannies. Marie and I met you guys at the Annapolis Boat Show a few years ago, are you planning to attend this year prior to heading back South?
    Marie and Guy
    SV “True Love”
    CM 440

  11. gerald kosse

    Happy to hear you are back out there,,,,safe travels. Ty for the update and photos!

  12. Carl Nelson

    Are you going to make it to New England? Sailing past the Statue of Liberty and going up the East River is a cruiser’s bucket list item.

    • happytogether

      Hi Carl, We are in Newport right now and have really enjoyed Sag Harbor and Block island etc. Heading to the Vineyard and Nantucket to round out the trip. No Maine for us this year. No time,….

  13. Liam McLellan

    I have been watching your adventures for a long time. Glad to hear your going to explore New England. We live on our boat during the summers in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. If you would like a few ideas on exploring the eatern part of Ct. and the RI, MA, NH and ME. area please drop us a line. There are so many stops that are terrific to see. We can give you a locals perspective on the great area.
    Enjoy the journey!,

    Liam & Eve McLellan

    • happytogether

      Hi Liam, Thanks so much. We only have time for Newport and the islands this year but maybe next year we head to Maine etc! So far we are loving this area

  14. Kimberly and Antonio, Puerto Vallarta

    Great to read that everything is going well. We were just talking last night about your prep for the world ARC, those delays and wondering where you and Happy Together are these days. Enjoy the north east. We’ve been re-watching some of your you tube videos lately. Cheers, Kimberly and Antonio.

    • happytogether

      Hi Kimberly and Antonio, Thanks so much. Yes World Arc is a distant memory now which is sad. Maybe 2024 for us. Hope your well!!

  15. Thomas

    I miss your sailing videos SO VERY MUCH. You were my favorite sailing show.
    The two of you remind me of my wife and myself. GOD bless you both.
    Perhaps some day you will restart posting videos again.

    • happytogether

      HI Donald, come to a boat show. We attend Miami and Annapolis every year……