Friday, November 29, 2013


Dylan from the dive shop thought we really needed to check out some of the local foods from the local fish restaurant. Seems like the commercial fishing guys bring their catches to a central spot for processing, and around the back is a restaurant.

We walked to the restaurant from where SeaMorr has been growing some barnacles (she has been moored for several days, as this place is awesome). We ordered the LBLT, which is basically a Lobster-Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwich that is on a croissant. There is a special sauce on there that makes the sandwich super-awesome!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

We've Reached the Keys

From Miami there are two routes to the southernmost part of Florida - outside on the ocean at the mercy of the wind and the waves or inside where most of the guide books make it quite clear you are guaranteed to go aground at least once.  Finally after a very large and long cold front bringing big wind and bigger waves started to die down we picked what we thought would be the better of the two and ventured out to the ocean and head further south. It turned out to be a beautiful day.  Could even start cooking Thanksgiving Turkey#2  en route!  Leaving Biscayne Bay there is a collection of houses called "Stiltsville" along the edges of the channel.  It seems hurricanes have taken their toll and no one actually lives there anymore, but the houses remain.  There was even a lighthouse for me to take pictures of (just in case we were going through withdrawal).

We pulled into Key Largo mid afternoon after an uneventful trip and met the dock master Dan at Marina Del Mar as well as the family of Pelicans who are keeping us company.


The marina shares the facilities of 3 surrounding hotels.  There are 4 pools, 3 hot tubs, free towels, amazingly fast wifi and continental breakfast and afternoon snacks of popcorn and cookies included daily.  Scuba, snorkelling, fishing and all kinds of other water sports are right here in the marina as well.  We immediately booked to stay a week. Or maybe we will never leave.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Boom, Boom, Pow

Coconut Grove !!!!!!!!

We departed from Fort Lauderdale for our average drive to Coconut Grove. We found a good mooring spot with great views of Miami.  Our trip took 6 hours. When we finally arrived we walked around town (or just trying to find town with dad and Corey navigating). When we finally found town we found dinner at a restaurant and proceeded on our walk back.

We knew it would be coming. There was a storm a-brewing.  
The boat began to roll from side to side and the temperature dipped all of a sudden. Dark clouds obscured the moon. They churned grimly in the night sky, as black as all the light suddenly went out. The moon’s mercury flush was painted silver by the thunderheads, casting down shivers of light with a ghostly glow. Underneath the moon, the rain moved towards us like a wrath’s veil of sorrow. A loud wind gusted and sighed, rippling the surface of the corpse calm sea.
Our boat heaved and tossed in the rising swell. Lightning flash suddenly illuniminating the night's sky. 
The rain-shroud passed. It drenched our boat in buckets upon buckets. The rain whipped down like crystal nails and streaky lightning emblazoned the sky. The sea swells rose as the wind whipped.
And when the morning sun rose all was clear again.
(And my English teacher said I was no good at creative writing).
The next morning we setted off to the town and we shopped and shopped and shopped again. And we were going to see a movie but there were no good seats so we went back to Seamorr and watched our own movie.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Julio's Birthday

We awoke to clouds and light rain, weather we hadn't seen since Washington D.C. This can only mean one thing; Julia was coming to visit again. Mr. Morrison, chopperito and I drove down from North Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International airport to meet her. The WestJet flight was much more enjoyable than the previous Air Canada one, simply by the fact that it arrived at the time the boarding pass said it would and had a very entertaining flight crew. The 4 of us returned to Seamorr mid-afternoon and everyone went to the beach. There were high winds created a strong surf, which was perfect for body surfing the massive waves. I'm still tearing up from the amount of salt in my eyes :'( That night we had an "early birthday" steak dinner for Julia, with homemade cupcakes (I actually cooked something... university preparation, I guess?). The following day we completed "The Traffic Jam" *see traffic jam post for details* and arrived in Fort Lauderdale. After eating dinner at The Quarterdeck, we returned to the boat and played cards. The next day the clouds completely cleared, revealing sunny skies and warmth, stereotypical south Florida weather. We started by going to the beach and suntanning amongst the palm trees, when it got too hot we moved to the hotel/yachting centre's pool. With enough time to get a decent tan, it was time to introduce Julio into the birthday  tradition of throwing her in. The water was very warm and definitely nicer than Ottawa... "can you imagine being there right now?"

For dinner we went out to a Brazilian steakhouse, it's a totally cool system of a gourmet buffet where you don't leave your table. The servers bring various meats around to your table and serve you according to you red/green coloured signal card (green meaning "i'm hungry, please feed me" and red meaning "i'm full"). It wasn't a totally accurate representation of the "real Brazil" but it was enough of a small taste of home.

Monday morning brought cinnamon buns and chocolate fondu, complete with fresh local fruit. Overnight the weather turned nasty with 30kt winds and a blanket of rain, continuing into the morning, no beach today. One forecast says we'll see sunshine without wind again on December 3rd... I guess it's just good mother nature cooperated for Julia's 18th birthday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Traffic Jam - South Florida Style

Never thought we'd be talking about traffic on the waterways - a big change from the quiet ICW with grass and trees and very little of anything else to South Florida - even the dolphins have run away!
It was 51 miles from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, but with 22 bridges along the way and it being a Saturday, with the ocean too rough really to travel on for most boats,  it took all day and sometimes nerves of steel to work our way down.  Most of the bridges are too low to go under but we did our best to get under those we could and had to wait for scheduled opening with the other boats for the rest. Boats were everywhere, going every which way with current and wind, some fishing, some trolling, some waterskiing and most ensuring they were well hydrated.

Yes we made it under this one
Any idea who has right of way?

The different scenery was pretty cool - this waterway is lined with houses and boats which just seemed to keep getting bigger and more extravagant the further south we went.
New form of houseboat

Whole new way of holiday decorating

I'll bet his dad didn't retire at 45!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Take it up to Dolphin Speed…..

SeaMorr slid through the waters at a calm 1800 rpm while traveling at 7 knots. A group of dolphins wanted to travel with us and we knew taking the boat up to "Dolphin Speed" - 7.5 knots and 2000 rpm - this is what the doctor ordered….

Here we have "Flipper" and his brother "Ricardo" swimming with us as we traveled south. They effortlessly followed in our wake and loved to spin and twirl.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1000 Miles….from Norfolk VA

We had just fastened SeaMorr to the floating docks when the heavens began to cry. The cool westerly winds brought rain, thunder and lightning as we buttoned up the canvas on SeaMorr and tucked her in for the night. The sound of crackling kept us awake even though we knew it was a school of sheepshead that were eating the crustaceans that were clinging to life on the wooden piers to which we were attached.

The winds blew and the clouds rolled over our heads through out the evening. The creaking of wooden docks under the weight of our 28,000lb vessel informed us the lines were holding us to our platform to the Earth. Eventually the winds subsided and the moon fell from our view. We were looking forward to the rising sun, however the cumulus clouds shaded it from us.

We untied our lines and began our day, for today is the day that we have traveled over 1,000 miles from Norfolk VA.

As we came to the threshold of 1K, the clouds receded to let us know we have met the milestone only to disappear as quickly as it appeared.

Nothing else happened….here is a screenshot....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rockets and Shuttles and Space (oh my!)

So today, we watched as a scientific atmospheric research station blasted off of the face of our world towards a different planet at several thousands of miles per hour atop a pile of hundreds of tons of rocket fuel, never to return to the small orb that all humans who have existed died upon. Fun fact, space is really cool.

So, anyway, today started with us going to the Kennedy Space Centre, which is the coolest museum we have visited thus far on the trip. There are spaceships and rocket scientists (who we were warned not to make eye contact with. Yes, I'm kidding) space shuttles and rockets and broken powerpoint presentations and people who were excited about mars and interactive displays and broken garage doors (really is amazing that we can trust space exploration to engineers whose power point presentations and automatic doors don't work) and the privatization of space exploration and the world's largest hand painted american flag and alligators who know how to get through automatic doors (we heard from stories, not from personal experience) and water towers and IMAX movies and an angry birds exhibit and history and we got run over by a mars rover prototype but it was a really small one and it wasn't that heavy and outdated 3D glasses technology and really long lists that use the word "and" instead of commas and SPACE! It was a good day. Except for the chicken fingers, they sucked.

Anyways, after going to the space centre and learning about how they built the soundstage they used to fake the moon landing and how no one gives enough credit to Braun for designing the Saturn 5 and learning how rocket fuel works (I'm trying to keep this list shorter than the last one) we went back to the boat, where we played cards, sat on folding chairs, used commas correctly, saw a french (quebec, not france) couple we had met earlier on the trip and waited for the MAVEN to launch. Speaking of which, if anyone knows whether I am supposed to put a comma before that and, could you please tell me?

So. The Maven. Well, MAVEN, as Strunk and White would tell me to write. It IS an acronym. It stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN. It is a space station that will orbit around Mars and tell us stuff about its atmosphere. Or, lack thereof. And why the aforementioned lack is present. If you actually want to know more about it, here you go. I love wikipedia. Anyways, we watched as it rose through the atmosphere, slipping the surly bonds of earth and all that famous quotery. It wasn't actually that impressive though, we were quite a good distance away. It was still kinda loud though. Even from miles away, we could hear the rumble as it started rising. After it flew out of sight (it was a cloudy day, we saw about 20 seconds of it), we went back inside. It was still cool though.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Morrisons kept walking and finally reached their final destination

If you read Aaron's blog before this one, you will probably see it has poor grammar. You would then think "oh the titles are the same, so this one must have bad grammar too" DON'T THINK THAT! And mine is much better so, read on................

Today started like no other, because Aaron actually woke up at a single digit hour (not by choice, but because mom wanted us to go with her on a shark tooth hunting expedition, on the beach (check her purse - she has a problem)). Which after an hour, she only found four teeth.

Joy, Spirit and Coin enjoyed the sand in their hooves.
Later in the morning I went horseback riding with Karen on the beach. It was fun and all but it would have been more enjoyable if the saddle hadn't been so big. But it was fun, we went for an hour tour and learned Tennessee Walkers (the type of horse) had a very fast run (Im' not doing that again! - ha, ha!).

Karen & I learning to ride Tennessee walkers.

They also had non-human workers (who probably weren't paid). They had a huge Great Dane that would drag a bucket with him, so that the human worker could pick up after our horses (Spirt, Joy and Coin).

After that fun, yet painful experience we desided to go to the beach. We had fun building sand castles and playing in the water. :) 

The water was 78 degrees!

We were building a fort out of sand…coquina works much better for bricks to make a fort!

Then, at the beach mom was feeling generous so she gave her sunglasses to a needy dolphin (not on porpoise). 

Editors Note: Kim lost her sunglasses and if anyone sees the above sea mammal, please ask for them back!

The next day we headed for St. Augustine, Grandad and Karen came with us for a bit. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oldest in the world, or North America, or Continental US, or this city, or the oldest one left...

St. Augustine marks our second port of call in the state Florida. It was really cold and windy, but Florida never gets colder than Beautiful Napanee, Ontario, Canada... so for those of you in Napanee, it's warm in St. Augustine at the time of writing. Following the channel up to River's Edge Marina we passed the old Mainship manufacturing plant where M/V Seamorr was built. (m/v stands for "motor vessel" and just makes it sound more official, like "HMCS Toronto"... speaking of Toronto... checkout or any other news agency to see what's happening, it might crack you up). The company went bankrupt in the 2008 recession and never recovered, so no more Mainships have been made.

SeaMorr's birth place - the place is totally abandoned...
One of the coolest attractions was the old Spanish fort: "Castillo De San Marcos". According to the park ranger its home to "the oldest working flush toilet in the new world, in the americas, in Continental United States, that we know of" or something like that. The Castillo itself is the (stated by the ranger and confirmed by wikipedia) oldest masonry fort in the continental US. The fort has changed hands many times in St. Augustine's long history but never by act of force. It was built 1672, defended British attacks in 1702 & 1740, then handed over to the British in 1763 through the Treaty of Paris. In 1783 it was handed back to the Spanish through the Peace of Paris. The United States acquired Florida in 1819 in the signing of the Adam-Onis Treaty. In the civil war, the fort was controlled by 1 confederate solider who was stationed there. He gladly signed the papers when the union showed up in superior force, changing the forts ownership back to the United States.

We also ran into the sailing catamaran S/V Cascadura again as we both make our way south. We went to the pirate museum (with a Disney style) and wandered through the old town.  It was nice to see them again and Kyle is highly energetic and reminds me that camp next summer isn't that far away.


Monday, November 11, 2013

The Morrison's start walking. And continue walking. Then, just for something different, we keep walking. I'm sure we'll get to the destination by the next blog post

So, I want to tell you all about how Mom led us on a really long march, but first we have to cover the basics of what else happened today. So, I present to you, faithful readers,

The world's longest run on sentence, which is used to describe all things that happened today up to the point of the really long walk, and the aforementioned information is being presented in this grammatical nightmare for simplicity's sake.
(note, although the title is a horrible run on sentence, that is not the world's longest run on sentence, it is just a prelude)

So, in this sentence, which is comprised of 270 words, making it among the world's longest run-on-sentences will describe the event's leading up to the event which is the subject of this title which is a really long walk and I would like to warn everybody now that this is a long sentence and you should probably take breaks to breathe because I would feel terrible if someone died of suffocation because they were reading a sentence that I wrote ready let's start with what happened today which includes the following events number one being us arriving in Fernandina beach which is the first place we have been in that is actually in Florida which means that we're now in the southernmost state in the continental United States and number two being that my mom's parent's (from here on referred to as "Granddad" and "Karen") arrived to visit us and number three being that the marina had pretty good wifi which was awesome number four was that after saying hi and telling us that they were staying in the hotel right across the road from us so after we washed the boat we went and visited them and then we went out for dinner and I had a really good steak sandwich and after that we decided to walk to the fort (Fort Clinch, nice place) the next day and then we went to back to SeaMorr and they went back to their hotel for the night and the next morning we started walking to the fort, which is indeed the walk that I mentioned in the title.

So, after all the events described in the above gramatic nightmare, we walked. We thought about taking a taxi, but google mislead us (first time) into thinking that the fort was only 2 miles out. Unfortunately, it was 2 miles to the gate. The fort was another 3 miles past the gate.  Along the way we did find a lighthouse (all long walks seem to involve a lighthouse on this trip) and some signs indicating alligators - but we didn't actually see any of those and lots of trees.

So we walked that too. It was a long way, but I won't bore you with the details. The fort was cool, very much like the last several we have been to (blog posts about those visits are found below this post). Nothing actually happened at this fort, other that in the civil war, when it never saw a single battle. Which I really shouldn't count as a thing. After seeing the fort, we all opted to call a taxi, which made the way back much more bearable. After that we went out for dinner. Then sleep. Sleep was wonderful.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Let's take a shortcut

Cruising the "inside" down the Atlantic Intercostal Waterway has been beautiful.  The waters are usually calm, current is confusing but doesn't usually matter, and the scenery amazing gradually changing from rivers to marshes.

After a while though it does start to look all very similar.  Excitement for us on these trips between ports is a funny conversation heard on the the VHF radio, pondering the lives of some of the boats going by, or dolphin spotting (sometimes known as a "suck in" according to Katie)  We have been lucky to see dolphins every day we have cruising on the ICW since being south of  North Carolina.  Dolphins,  I have decided though,  are very camera shy, so even when they are swimming right beside the boat in our wake, looking up at us as they jump and spin, they dive deep when the camera comes out.  Out of at least 100 "splash" pictures of plain water or a piece of fin, this is the best I could do.  You will have to trust us, they are awesome to watch. 

A new activity for us lately has been finding a new use for the cheerios which are a bit stale being open in the salt air for a few days….. see if you can spot the cheerio - the birds are amazing at finding them!

So after a few days of following these narrow channels on the ICW, marked with something called the Magenta Line which you are supposed to be able to almost blindly follow to stay in the deepest water (along with all the other boats doing the same thing) we decided to be daring, add some excitement to the day,  and leave the marked path, no longer following On Course,  towards our anchorage for the night.   It was a small river named Mud River and the chart showed all should be fine in terms of water depth, with maybe a short little bit at the end which could be kinda sketchy, but the tide was coming up - surely we could avoid hitting bottom,  we could glide across the shallow part if we needed.

Suffice it to say we celebrated a beautiful sunset in the middle of a beautiful river all by ourselves. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Morrisons go to Savannah

So. Savannah. I think I may be running out of interesting, original ideas for blog posts. Um..... Hm. Yep. Can't think of anything funny and/or original. I think I'll just tell you what happened. No, wait, what if I write like, a "25 step plan to see Savannah in the exact same way we did". It's not funny. But I haven't done it yet. Ya, why not, let's do that.


Step 1: tie your boat up to the sketchiest dock you can find
Step 2: Decide to move to a different dock, preferably the one at the Hyatt hotel
Step 3: Connect to the aforementioned hotel's wifi network. Which sucked actually. No bandwidth at all
Step 4: explore Savannah by trolley car
Step 5: Find the best breakfast place in the world
Step 6: Order the eggs benedict, which comes on a croissant
Step 7: realize that the breakfast is so good, it deserves three whole steps to describe it
Step 8: Scratch that, 4 steps
Step 9: run into our friends that we met in Ingrams bay
Step 10: take 4 steps to describe them to the loyal readers
Step 11: there's four of them, a mom and dad, a 10 year old son, and an eight year old daughter
Step 12: They're from California. They're taking two years off from real life
Step 13: invite these friends over for burgers
Step 14: swim in the hotel pool
Step 15: Throw dad into the hotel pool
Step 16: Find a grocery store
Step 17: Go to said grocery store. Stock up on supplies.
Step 18: walk back to boat. It's a long walk
Step 19: Eat dinner with our californian friends
Step 20: Sleep
Step 21: Now that it is morning, prepare your boat for departure
Step 22 : Depart.  Avoid pulling out in front of a very big ship with a very big horn. (not us!)
Step 23: Blog about the 25 steps required to enjoy Savannah
Step 24: Even though there are only 23 real steps.
Step 25: The last two are just kinda filler. No real content in them.