Beez in the USA
Beez Neez At-Venture in the United States of America
The single biggest thrill for me was to take this picture of the Skipper and Liberty
Soon after we arrived in America it was clear that number plates were quite a thing, each State has one and within each State a variety of bits and bobs – servicemen, veterans, golfers, football teams, just about anything can be on them, even a Purple Heart recipient. The classic ones just have the State motto. As we bimbled about it became a ‘thing’ to see how many we could find. The biggest challenges we thought, would be Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico and Utah. Along the way we have seen some great cars, stickers and some ‘foreign ones’.
Some special moments
The ICW, the Intracoastal Waterway was something we had no idea of until we met Jimmy, the retired New York fireman in Trinidad. He told we had to do ‘the Ditch’ and we had to see New York. A plan formed. We researched which books, guides and cockpit mapbooks we needed and swear by Kettlewell’s spiral bound mile by mile guide and Skipper Bob’s mile by mile anchorages and services. The only pictures we saw before we got there were of very industrial scenes, big ships on a wide expanse of waterway, hugged by gas and fuel storage tanks.
We were pleased in many ways to have no preconceived ideas and our first impressions were of the sheer size and amazing wildlife, we lost count at forty five birds and forgot to log them anywhere. The ICW gave us access to so many interesting towns. The other boaters we met were mostly like minded and polite, many captains radioing for an overtake and slowing down as they passed us. It was only going through high touristy areas we were tossed about on bow waves but only a dozen or so times – actually a very small percentage.
The sheer variety of the ICW was a constant surprise, three and four mile widths – depths from zero ( sailing on the spot) to twelve metres below us. The idyllic, silent anchorages within swamp, mangrove, beach, military test zone, by city bridges, coastal inlets, backs-of beyond and National Park.
Growing up neither had seen many osprey, today we can say we have seen hundreds, if not more. We had a laugh spotting nests and of course the famous Wise Owl made his own blog and Bear’s heroic part in his rescue after the unfortunate Owlnapping incident.
We met our first manatee, saw hundreds of dolphins, witnessed tail-slapping and families just having lots of fun
We came up close and personal with so many of the comical Pecalins and they remain wonderful favourites.
We enjoyed our road trips and tours
Biggest laugh was making the video of “I feel good”- sadly due to copyright we cannot put it on Facebook
Negatives: Really a very small list. Lack of trains and buses in many towns. No pickled onions. If one of us finished our meal the staff would immediately took that plate away, bit irritating. Guns, could be a positive or a negative but coming from a non packing country, we found it odd to sit within reach of all sorts, big and small. Not sure if we would ever get used to sitting in a restaurant looking at these full holsters.
Rules changing (from a yachty perspective), sometimes dramatically from state to state made us think they are the Disunited States of America.
Highlights: The thrill of sailing in to New York has produced a lifelong memory. The sheer size and the miles we covered through the various states with all their different accents. Without fail the people we have met have been helpful, kind and good to know, we have made so many new friends. We have felt so at home here with a special mention and thanks to Front Royal. Despite what we have seen in the movies we have never once felt unsafe or in any way uncomfortable especially enjoying our bimble around Harlem. In films, commonly set in New York, language is always generously spattered with heavy going swear words, not so, we have heard very little cussing anywhere. We have seen not a single hoodie. Beez Neez herself has become a bit of a ‘Rock Chick’, so many people have taken her to heart, taken her picture and cooed at her name.
Many, many more memories than we could have ever imagined, far too many to list here.
Biggest personal moment for Big Bear was firing the cannon in St. Augustine
Statistics: Anchored forty times.
Free Docked three times
Mooring ball once
Total Nautical Miles: 2514.68
Total Trip Miles: 11,527.7
Down to the toughies and what we missed. Alaska funnily enough we saw quite a few and Utah a couple. Idaho we had but somehow I deleted it by mistake. We overtook a Wyoming on the motorway in Miami but by the time I spotted it and asked Bear to drop back he had taken an off-ramp on the right – darn. I saw Hawaii parked tightly in between two cars as we did our first trip on the tour bus in Savannah, by the time we had done a full circuit I had no idea how to find it again. Montana was a mistake, thinking we had it and we didn’t. Nebraska and North Dakota were no shows and as we had guessed New Mexico remains something that Steve, Mags and Trooper told us existed as it is their home plate.
Final plate had to be from Key West
It is with some sadness that we leave tomorrow, but as the children said in March “Isn’t it about time you got on with it.”
Yes everyone, we are really planning our Panama Canal trip to the other side. Promise.
ALL IN ALL A TERRIFIC TIME