Returning Home with Steppin Up

It’s been a long time since we had an adventure to blog about, now it’s time.

Today is July 9th, we have been traveling from the USVI since June 26th. The first 2 days went well with good winds and fair seas. We sailed past Turks And Caicos on the third day then the wind died and we had to motor several times to reach the Bahamas. This caused us to get fuel in Grand Bahama on July 2, and we left under motor again until we reached the end of the Bahama Bank. The wind came back and we were sailing again. But only for a short time. We ran into a few thunderstorms with high winds from various directions causing us to drop sails and motor again. With more storms called for we decided to finish our trip in the ICW. We entered St Mary’s River on July 5th. We waited off shore until daylight to enter not being familiar with the area. We needed to refuel before heading north but the marina’s fuel dock was closed for repairs. We had to go 3  miles south to get fuel traveling in some very shallow and winding waterways. We did scratch the bottom once around a sharp turn. We reached the marina entrance, it was maybe 30′ wide and 4.2′ deep. Steppin Up draws 4′. We trenched our way in, i’m sure some areas are deeper from our keels, Fueled up and trenched our way back out. We can now head north.

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The other Life

1992 reunion

Ok, This was our 17.5 year reunion. But they’re so cute I had to include it.

At the end of our season we took our last charter guests to Puerto Rico by way of the Spanish Virgin Islands. We had some really great snorkels at various spots and were able to land a large Wahoo and King Mackerel. We dropped them in Fajardo where we take Steppin Up out for the hurricane season and flew to NC to begin construction on our house. For a break we were in NJ for our 40th High School reunion. What a fantastic weekend. A gathering on Friday night listening to music by Contraband at Runway 34, Reunion dinner on Saturday night at the Captain’s Inn in Forked River and a great day of golf on Sunday at Hanover Golf course in New Egypt followed by a nap.


Our Sponsored Hole

HS Reunion

Class of 1975

Kathy's Ball

Kathy’s Hole in ONE

Kathy's Hole in 1

Kathy at her Hole in ONE

Photo Booth

Photo Booth

HS 2

Our foursome with Johnny and Kathy Galatola


Lois taking moving pictures

Bill n Michelle

Love this picture


Pete Selikowitz and his wife. We look forward to meeting them Vieques some day.


A happy group of close friends.

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Nearing the End…..of another good season

We are currently at Christmas Cove to get off the dock and get some snorkeling in. Yesterday we snorkeled around the cove to all our favorite spots. Today we explored some new territory. However it was not as good as  the cove so we went back there again. The weather today was very windy, up to 28kt winds and dreary clouds all day with some rain. Still better than sitting at the dock. This will be our new location while not on charter next year. We were told our lease will not be renewed at the marina because a bigger boat with a higher monthly rate will be taking our space. We are ok with this though, seems the busier we are the less time we are on the dock anyway and I’m sure we could put that rent money to good use elsewhere. We have two more charters to go with the second one ending in Puerto Rico on July

These are some of the things we encountered during our snorkeling trips.


Tarpon under Steppin Up


Tarpon under Steppin Up






Small Moray Eel



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A day out on Steppin Up

What a wonderful tribute to have Ingrid blog about their day with us!

The Blue Sandcastle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Saturday we had the pleasure of sailing with the Steppin Up.

DSC_0026The Steppin Up is a 43″ large catamaran owned by Capt. Bill and Michelle. Bill and Michelle have been doing charters in the Caribbean since 2012.

On Saturday we were invited to come with them on a day sail. Saturday morning we sailed off from the marina and headed over to Christmas Cove.


Sophia quickly found her favourite spot on the boat. The big trampolines in front was just perfect for relaxing and bird/ fish watching as we sailed out.


As we approached Christmas Cove we were all excited to get into the water.

Christmas Cove is a favourite for both Bill and Michelle for night snorkelling. It is also a popular “first” stop when they take guests out on a charter.


Anchored up in Christmas Cove we are ready to have some fun!

DSC_0045Sophia was first in and…

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Found This in Our Drafts

Below the date reads Tuesday May 7, 2013…It’s a long time away from that day but I remember it well….I guess this one got by us. Looking forward to that trip to Turks again someday….remember the five, six, ten year plan!

Tuesday May 7, 2013 7:50 AM

We motored out of Culebra, past the small outer islands then put out the Gennoa and were on our way. We’re headed to Turks and trying to make it in three days. We’re met with 8 knot winds and so it looks like a Spinnaker day and we’re moving along at 4 knots. We’re making excellent headway with the Spinnaker and it’s hot out…very sunny. We’re fishing as we go without any luck. The winds were holding at around 8 knots the whole day. At around 1:00 pm we noticed a tear at the very top of the Spinnaker so we pulled the bag down around it, securing about a foot of it from the wind. This worked well and we sailed along nicely. The wind is starting to pick up to 12 knots and it looks like we may have some rain in the distance. We’re moving at about 6.5 knots. Things are gong so nice and then around 10:00 pm the wind picks up just a bit more…12.5 knots…13 knots…it’s time to take in the Spinnaker… we work very fast but a line gets caught in that tiny tear I spoke of earlier and within seconds BAM! Spinnaker Blowout Number 2. Do you recall Spinnaker Blowout Number 1? A repair job isn’t looking too likely this time around. We’ll see better in daylight.

Winds were about 20 knots all through the night and up until about 6:00 AM Wednesday when the winds suddenly dropped to 10 knots.


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Capt’n Flipped His Flop!

Yes, you heard right…Capt’nn blew out a FlipFlop….not the first time for this ToeJammin Man.

The story goes like this….

Our guests find a stray LEFT Flop, left there by some OneFlopWonder or possibly a pirate who only has one foot and one peg. They decide to bring it onboard for some unknown psychic reason. The next day Capt’n rips the RIGHT side out of his life LEFT life time guaranteed West Marine Flop.

No problemo….He flips the Found Brown Left Flop on his newly nude left foot and VIOLA….a new pair is there…flops not foots….and all is well, especially since they just happen to be the same color and almost the same size.

The story continues…

Capt’nNewFlop proceeds to wear one old brown right flop and one new old brown found left flop for the remainder of the charter and into the following charter since we have no flipping time to flop to the FlipFlopShop for a new set. PLUS when we get back East, which is West from here we will get a new pair from West Marine.

Allow me to continue…

Capt’n takes our group in for a hike at a very wavy location wearing the pair…the flops not the guets. While on shore the dinghy which was anchored off gets pummeled by waves and ends up on the beach. Upon their arrival they all take their flops off and flip into the dinghy while Capt’n BullDozer pushes them all back into the surf safely. Once back to Steppin Up they all throw their flops on the back swim platform and rinse off, while Capt’n shovels a foot of sand and seaweed out of the bottom of the dinghy. We pull away…then…all of a sudden…a wave hits us…(kinda like they do all the time except the flops are all on the back swim platform and WOOSH…the Right Flop left from the West Marine pair is washed overboard never to be seen again…as we sail away watching it.

Now here’s the problem. Capt’n BareLaFoot has to go to customs with one flop or wear sneakers…AND our guest, in the gust, lost her brand new flop too! That wasn’t a problem tho since she had 6 other pairs with her to choose from. Capt’n on the other hand, is not as fashion conscious and only carries a shoe or two on board. He decided to wear sneakers…

it’s not over yet…

Our guests stay ashore to shop around and we go back to the boat. Captain decided to dig out more sand and seaweed from the dinghy and VIOLA…he finds her FLOP! It never flipped overboard after all. So they get back and we tell her the good news that he dinged back to the location five miles away to search for her lost flop and FOUND it! Only to find she found a new pair onshore to go with her other pairs she already has! We did mention that we were kidding…

So our generous guests leave us a very nice gratuity…plus bought me a beautiful fish dish and Capt’n a new hat…but the kindest part is they flipped him a little extra to buy a new pair of flops!

Next day we’re off for seven and go to the FlipFlopShop to buy a new set….Capt’n is wearing one of two pairs, three sizes too small, that our guest left on our dock for the homeless people. The male guest. The FlipFlopShop…THEIR CLOSED DOWN! No West Marine east of Puerto Rico and Capt’n needs a new pair of flops!

We search and search all over St Thomas and FINALLY find a FlipFlopShop…so now he has two and they both are blue, they match his eyes and they’re both the same size!

The End

Posted in Adventure, BVI, Family Fun Vacation, Fun in The Sun, Funny Stuff, Hiking, On the Water, Steppin Up, Sunshine Sailing Charters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Swim at Christmas Cove

I went for a swim while anchored in Christmas Cove intending to do a mile. I swim with a mask and snorkel because watching all the different fish is half the fun. The water was very clear with over 100′ of visibility. I was out only a few minutes and although the visibility was great I focus on the 10′ or less of water I’m swimming in and looking down most of the time. I looked up to check my direction and I noticed I was swimming to the tail end of a 3′ barracuda that was hovering over a large rock. I casually swam around him and as I went by it looked like he was staring at me like I was intruding in his area. At this time I was feeling the effects of the swim much like when I used to run long distances wondering how I was going to complete this task. I slowed my pace changing from freestyle to breast stroke during the swim and I started to set a moderate pace that felt comfortable. All this while watching the yellow grunts, blue tangs, clown fish and many other species along the rocks and coral. I noticed a big cloud in the distance and swam over to where a large southern brown Ray foraging in the sand and noticed he only had a stump of a tail.  Moving on I cam across a green sea turtle eating grass then the remnants of a dinghy, only the Fiberglas shell was there. I’m about 1/4 of the way and feeling quite relaxed so I tried a little sprint to get my heart rate up. I’m now in 30′ of water, the bottom is in clear view and I can see all around for 100′. I don’t know how far I sprinted but thoughts of gulping salt water while having a heart attack brought me back to breast stroke and a slower pace. I’m about half way around now coming to Fish Cay which is the small island in this cove. There is an Abundance of fish life here and often see several types of angel fish and sometimes octopus. The Sargent Majors are everywhere guarding their eggs on the rocks. After passing Fish Cay there is an area of sand covered with sea urchins and if you stare at them long enough you can see them move across the bottom.  I came into a grassy area and saw 2 more green sea turtles and another southern Ray. When I reached the wall on the NE end there were schools of grunts and tangs, groups of grouper and snapper and another wrecked boat in many pieces. There was a slight current against me most of the way but it increased quite a bit on the return portion. I was swimming in about 8′ of water now nearer the shore with grass below me coming up to the ridge we often snorkel and came across a small spotted eagle Ray. I swam with it for several minutes keeping my distance so not to run it off. They move so graceful you can watch them all day. I swam along the ridge looking for eels and octopus but saw none, just lots of fish. I’ve completed the mile swim around the cove enjoying enjoying the sights made the swim much easier.


Capt’n Bill
S/Y Stepping Up

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