About Me

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We are Ernie and Camille Rogers and we are the crew of More Good Timin'. We've been married 34 years and sailing for almost all of our years together. We are living our dream of cruising the United States, Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

We're home, back in our slip at Portofino Harbour Marina.

We finally got away from New Orleans, on Saturday, April 8.  All the bridges and locks worked and we proceeded to Houma.  The water was low so we were unable to pull alongside the bulkhead at the Houma City Marina.  So, we tied the bow off so we could climb on and off and left the aft out in the channel.  We pulled the aft end in as far as possible and we were hard aground when we called it a night.   During the night, the water came up enough for us to back out of the channel but still not get close to the bulkhead  All's well that end's well ;-).



On Sunday, we proceeded to the Morgan City area. Tow traffic is really up since the last time we were this way.  The economy is doing pretty good.  I'm told the oil industry is now slowly coming back also.  Morgan City docks are still under construction so we chose the free docks on the Berwick side of the Atchafalaya River.  We checked in with the police department that we were there and spent a quiet night.


Monday, we were off to Shell Morgan in Intracoastal City.  We got fuel and tied up on their bulkhead to spend the night.  Ernie ran over to the little grocery and picked up a few items.  The store closes at 4 pm if anyone is heading that way.


We spent Tuesday night anchored at the oxbow on the Mermentau River.  This is my favorite anchorage.  It is quiet, calm, beautiful.  On this particular night, it was also stormy, windy and rainy.  The worse of the weather cleared out before bedtime so we spent a quiet night.  The next morning, after pulling the anchor up, we discovered the boat wouldn't go.  The engine was fine, the gear shift moved just fine, but no go.  We reset the anchor and Ernie started looking for the problem.  He discovered all 4 bolts to the shaft coupler had fallen out.  We retrieved all the bolts, nuts and washers from the sump and proceeded to put it all back together.  The repair was successful and we were off.


Shell Island anchorage was our next destination and we spent Wednesday night.  We were the only ones in the anchorage and had a quiet night.  We woke up totally socked in by fog.  The fog didn't lift til after 9 am and we got underway around 9:30 am.

Thursday was a long day as we were headed to the Galveston Yacht Basin for the night.  We had our first bad experience with tows for this trip and one of the very few in our cruising experience.  After a couple of long delays due to tow traffic and dealing with some very unprofessional behavior on the tow drivers part, we arrived at Galveston Yacht Basin around 8 pm and tied up just as the sun set.

We set out on the last leg of this journey around 9:30 am and made it into our slip around 1:30 pm.  We were met by our dear friends Barb and Josh, EJ and Ross and Cory.  It was wonderful to see our friends waiting to catch our lines.

So, we have settled into our new slip.  Drop by and visit us at Slip L-01 when you get a chance.  Now we are working on what our next adventure will be.  Stay tuned....


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Our time at Marco Island was pleasant and busy.  We came in on December 20 and stayed for almost 3 months.  We had moved our car over to the marina prior to bringing the boat so we always had wheels.

We found the Seminole Casino about 45 minutes away, and made a couple of trips over to gamble. We attended the Miami Boat Show and Trawlerfest in Stuart, FL.  We took a couple of weeks and retrieved the motorhome from storage in Orlando, spent 4 days at Thousand Trails in Clermont, continued on to Texas and placed the motorhome into storage in the Kemah area.  Our friend, Mike Gandy,  lives on his boat in Fort Meyers. So we had lunch with him several times.

 Katie came to visit near the end of our time at Marco. We visited the Ford Edison Winter Estates, took a sunset cruise with the Southwest Conservancy to a rookery, and rode the airboats through the mangrove tunnels and grasses.  When Katie left, she drove our car back to Houston to await us.  Then it was time to continue on our way back to Texas.

So on March 17, we left Marco Island and spent our first night out at anchor in Charlotte Harbor.  The next day, we went offshore to the Venice Inlet and stayed at the Crow's Nest Marina for 2 nights to wait out some  weather.  A rough and uncomfortable 2 day stay due to the northwest winds.  We made a smooth crossing from Venice Inlet to Dog Island near Carrabelle, FL on March 20 and March 21, about a 32 hour crossing.  We anchored at Dog Island on the night of March 21.  We experienced winds in excess of 30 kn at anchor.  What is it with us and the wind?

The morning of 3/22, we entered the ICW and proceeded to Port St. Joe.  Port St. Joe is a very friendly, small town and one can walk to just about anywhere.  Except, if you throw your back out, like me, the first morning there.  So Ernie did grocery shopping, washed clothes, had a doctor's appointment, and stayed very busy while I laid in bed waiting for my back to feel better.

On March 28, we left Port St. Joe for an overnight crossing into the Pensacola Inlet continuing on to The Wharf Marina at Orange Beach, ALA for the night of 3/28.  This was not a smooth crossing and we were exhausted and beat up after a night of being tossed about.  All our weather sources showed 1 ft to 3 ft seas for the entire trip.  They were wrong and we experienced much larger seas.   This was the last overnight crossing of our trip back to Texas, thank goodness!

We continued on to Biloxi for 2 nights to wait out some more weather.  On the 31st, we travelled to New Orleans, with the expectations of crossing the Mississippi River on Saturday, 4/1, and going on to Houma, LA for a couple of days to (guess what?) wait out some more weather.  On our trip to New Orleans the Coast Guard announced that the Industrial Canal Locks were closed Fri thru Sunday, 3/31 thru 4/2, from 6am to 6pm.  So much for our plans.

We are now in New Orleans until at least Tuesday, 4/4, and we'll let the bad weather pass us here.  This trip has been chock full of high winds and severe weather so we hunker down for the bad weather and travel when weather permits.  We should be back in Kemah mid to late April.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!!  Where does the time go.  Once again, I am so very behind on my blog.  I'll try and catch up in an orderly fashion, lol!

In my last blog, I commented on the 3 tropical storms/hurricanes that we had this summer in Florida and hoping that was it for the season.  That wasn't it, and in October, Hurricane Matthew came roaring up the east Florida coast.  Jacksonville was set to take a direct hit but the storm passed by offshore sparing us from the truly bad part of the storm.  Fernandina Beach, the Jacksonville beaches and St. Augustine were not spared and incurred a great deal of damage.  Ernie and I prepared MGT for the blow and we went to Pensacola to wait out the storm.  It was a nice little vacation and everything was in good order when we returned.  The Marina at Ortega Landing where we kept MGT during the summer and fall, did a great job during the storm.  Staff was out walking the docks for the duration and posting pictures to their Facebook page so everyone could keep up with their boats.  Extra lines were added if necessary.  All the boats came through with flying colors.  The worst was a couple of shredded headsails.



More Good Timin' ready for Matthew

Boat damaged by Hurricane Matthew

A couple of weeks before Matthew, we experienced at big thunderstorm at the marina.  Lightning struck very close to us.  The stray current started our bow thruster  going and making a loud noise.  We were watching TV and immediately started shutting everything off to try and find where the noise was coming from.  The bow thruster controls were knocked out.  We had a technician over and he replaced/repaired the controls and we were good to go.  Or so we thought.

We watched the weather for weeks looking for an offshore weather window that never came.  We finally decided we would start heading down the ditch for our move south.  All our preparations were made and we were set to leave on Monday, November 7.  Except, when we started the engine and tested the bow thruster, it didn't work.  So the technician came back out and fixed it once again.  We left Jacksonville, the next day.

Leaving Jacksonville isn't that easy for a sailboat due to ongoing work on bridges going through downtown.  We left in time for the noon opening of the Main Street bridge.  But a railroad bridge before we got there was closed for repairs.  So, we anchored and waited.  We were able to transit the railroad bridge in time to make the next scheduled opening of the Main Street bridge at 4:15 pm.  We only went a few more miles and anchored for the night.

Exchange Island Anchorage outside of Jacksonville

November 9 - We picked up the ICW off the St. Johns River and headed to St. Augustine.  We spent the night in their mooring field.

November 10 - Continued down the ICW to Daytona Beach.  Water levels remained high since Hurricane Matthew which caused problems with bridge clearances.  Most fixed bridges on the ICW in Florida have a 65' clearance at high tide, we require 62.5' so we usually do not have a problem.  We were experiencing 63' clearance at low tide.  We were able to continue, just barely, but many sailboats with taller masts had to turn back to St. Augustine so they could continue south offshore.

November 11 - We stopped in Titusville for the night.  Nice marina and nice people.

November 12 - On to Melbourne for the night.  We treated ourselves with dinner out at the local restaurant.

November 13 - We traveled to Fort Pierce and stayed at the Fort Pierce City Marina.  We had spent a couple of months here before and I was looking forward to having dinner at The Tiki.  I guess the marina was really busy because this stop was not the good experience we had in the past.  We ate on the boat and were on our way the next morning.

November 14 - Next stop, North Palm Beach.  We were getting farther south and there are more bridges.  Most of the bridges are bascule bridges and have certain times they open.  We passed through 8 bridges in our last 8 or 10 miles.

November 15 - An unexpected stop at Riviera Beach.  Another 65' bridge but the clearance was under 62' when we arrived.  We anchored off the channel and waited for low tide.  By the time we could get under the bridge, it was too late to continue.
Sunset at Riviera Beach

November 16 - Finally, we are able to get out of the ditch and go offshore.  We had a really nice run to Fort Lauderdale.  We stayed at Las Olas Marina for the night.  If we had stayed in the ditch, the day would've been a short 45 miles but there were 21 bascule bridges we would need opened to keep going.

November 17 - Offshore again, yay!  This time to Miami.  We stayed at the Crandon Park Marina for 2 nights waiting for the wind to die down a little.

November 19 - Left  around 3 p.m. for an offshore run to Boot Key Harbor.

November 20 - Arrived at Boot Key Harbor around 8 am and picked up a mooring.  Thanks to our friend, Michael Gandy for making this overnight trip with Ernie.

We stayed at Boot Key Harbor for a month and enjoyed our time in Marathon.  Moored very close by was Bob Womble, a friend from home.  The weather was unseasonably warm and we didn't enjoy the hot nights so we made arrangements to move into a marina at Marco Island.  We had stayed at the Marco Island Marina for a month a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it so we looked forward to coming back.

We left Marathon on December 19.  We anchored that night at the beautiful Little Shark River anchorage.  The anchorage is peaceful and the wildlife abundant.  The only drawback is the bugs.  We had to stay inside the boat after dark.  The next day, November 20, we arrived at the Marco Island Marina.  The boat will be here through the end of March.  We're going to take some time off and go home to Texas for a visit.
Little Shark River Anchorage

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

We're back!  We have completed a wonderful summer road trip in the RV and are back on More Good Timin'.  We really missed her!

On our road trip, we took the RV to Gloucester, VA; Washington, D.C.,  Gettysburg, PA; Hershey, PA; Niagara Falls, NY; Turning Leaf casino, NY; Sturbridge, MA; Rochester, MA; Accord, NY, Port Republic, NJ; Lancaster, PA; Colonial Beach, VA; Littleton, NC; Yemmassee, SC; Wildwood, FL and Clermont, FL.  The sightseeing was wonderful.  We have marked off many items from the bucket list.  The countryside in all these states is breathtaking.  We are already planning and looking forward to another extended road trip.

Our welcome home to MGT was Tropical Storm Julia on our 2nd night on board.  She was our 3rd storm for this season:  Tropical Storm Colin in May, Hurricane Hermine and Tropical Storm Julia in September.  I hope that is it for this season!!

We are going to hang around Jacksonville for a month or so before making our way south.  Camille is taking care of medical check ups and we'll stay until she's finished.  Our plan is to hang out in South Florida and the Keys for the cold months.  We also take into account that our plans are written in sand at low tide and can change with the changing of the tide (or a whim), so we just have to wait and see how things turn out!!

I'll keep the blog up to date on our travels as they happen.

 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
 Marine Corps Silent Drill Team at Iwo Jima Memorial
 Niagara Falls
 Anchor Bar & Grill, Buffalo, NY
Home of the Original Buffalo Wild Wings


 Gay Head Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard
 Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard
 Lighthouse, Cape May, NJ


 Pennsylvania Countryside
 Pennsylvania Countryside
 Space Launch 9.8.2016
Kennedy Space Center
Arlington Cemetery
Cape Cod Lighthouse

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I last left us in Charleston, SC at the Charleston Harbor Marina.  This is a nice marina but it is a long walk from the docks to the bathhouse and an even longer walk to the parking lot.  We got a lot of exercise during our stay, which is probably a good thing since the food in Charleston is really good!

During our research on coming into Charleston, we read about the current.  All the guides and reviews recommended docking at slack tide.  We took heed and arrived at slack tide and fueled up and went onto our slip without much ado.  The current is brutal.  I watched a large power boat (45 - 50') try to leave while the current was running and ended up pushed into the bows of docked boats and unable to move.  They waited for slack tide and went on their way.  We timed our departure from Charleston to coincide with slack tide and left without incident.  More Good Timin' was handicapped due to her bow thruster being on the fritz which made it doubly important to leave without current.

The offshore trip to the St. John's River was about 24 hours with another 4 hours tacked on for the trip up the river to Jacksonville and the Marina at Ortega Landing.  The Marina at Ortega Landing is known for being a hurricane hole.  We are leaving MGT there for the summer while we search for cooler climes in the motorhome.

We took care of many boat chores that had stacked up during our move from Deltaville, VA.  Compond and wax was first on our list.  Now MGT looks pretty again.  We did our research and replaced the batteries on the bow thruster and voila, it works.  The Lifeline 4D's we were using were 6 years old and did not winter well in Virginia without support.  The house and start batteries were supported by the solar panels while she was on the hard and they faired well.  We removed all of MGT's canvas and her headsail,  cleaned up all the loose items in the cockpit, doubled tied all her lines and closed the thru-hulls.




All our preparations were made and we left on June 13 for Virginia where we picked up the motorhome and started our summer road trip.  We'll be using the Delorme inReach tracker for this trip if you're interested in following us.  https://share.delorme.com/MoreGoodTimin  This blog will remain inactive until we return in the fall to MGT for more boating adventures.

Have a happy summer and try and stay cool!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

3-29-2016

More Good Timin' was splashed today. We docked her at Zimmerman's service docks and started work preparing her for our journey south. All the cushions, bimini, windshield and enclosure pieces, fenders, docklines, etc that had been stored inside the cabin for the winter had to be brought back outside and installed so we could move around in the cabin. I had worried about mold, mildew, insects or vermin inside the cabin after being on the hard for almost 8 months. I found a little mildew but she was in pretty good condition. The yard sent someone over after a couple of days to clean her inside and out.


4-4-2016

We moved all our belongings from the motorhome to MGT today and placed the motorhome into a storage space. We'll be back for her in a couple of months and until then she's in a secure place.


4-6-2016

We miscalculated when it started warming up in Virginia and showed up too early. It's too cold for these 2 old Texans to start a boat trip so we moved MGT to Dozier's Marina for a couple of weeks. A very nice marina with floating docks, clubhouse, pool, etc. While we were there, one of our boat neighbors backed into our car. The folks took care of having our car fixed and a rental car while our car was in the shop. So very nice to know that decent, honest people are still out there.

Ernie used this time to change the oil and other maintenance that needed doing before heading out. We provisioned the boat. We joined our friends Jim and Margie for dinner several times. They will be keeping our car for us until we dock the boat in Jacksonville, FL. They have been such good friends to us while we are in Virginia, they deserve a whole blog post. Thank you, Jim and Margie, we are blessed to have you as friends.

4-18-2016

We left Deltaville bright and early and headed for Norfolk, VA. We arrived around 3:30 pm and stayed at Waterside Marina. A nice marina within a few blocks of Norfolk restaurants and nitelife. We had dinner on the boat and went to bed early. This boating is tiring!


4-19-2016

Our departure was dictated by a bridge that would not open until 8:30 am. We arrived with a few minutes to spare and still had to wait another 20 or so minutes while work was being performed. Between Norfolk and our destination for the night, Coinjock Marina, we negotiated 4 railroad bridges, 1 bascule bridge, 5 fixed bridges, 1 lock, 2 swing bridges, and 1 lift bridge. Three of the fixed bridges were 65' tall and with our 63' mast, we had some real nail biters. We had dinner at the restaurant at Coinjock Marina and retired early again.

4-20-2016

Our planned excitement for today was crossing the Abelmarle Sound. We had been advised to wait for calm weather and only cross in early morning or late afternoon when the winds were low. This particular crossing has a reputation for nasty seas. We crossed with a 20/25 knot north wind. The wind and waves were at our stern so the trip was bearable. No one exaggerated how nasty this sound could get. After the sound, we entered the Alligator River which was just as rough and nasty. Our planned anchorage for the night was now unacceptable so we pushed on. We also crossed under the Wilkerson Bridge, a 64' fixed bridge, with our fingers crossed and our hearts in our throats, but we made it. We stopped for the night at Dowry Creek Marina, just north of Belhaven, NC. This marina is owned by a lovely couple. We met some nice folks and had a good night here.

4-21-2016

We traveled to Oriental, NC and stayed at the Oriental Harbor Inn and Marina. We spent 2 nights, had a nice meal at the restaurant, met more nice people and enjoyed the tiki bar. This was our first day idle since we left. It was nice to have some downtime.

4-23-2016

We arrived after a short day on the water at Morehead City Yacht Basin. Our grandson, CJ, and his wife, Kayla, came to visit and gave us a ride to West Marine and to the Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. Before we left Deltaville, I had called Clare for help with a crisis we were experiencing. The Walmart close to Deltaville was out of diet coke syrup for our sodastream machine. I ordered some and had it shipped to the Walmart in New Bern where Clare picked it up. She and Bob drove the 30 miles from New Bern to Morehead City to bring us the syrup so we wouldn't run out. We are so blessed with good friends.


4-25-2016

Our first offshore run for this trip. We left out the Beaufort Inlet, traveled about 70 miles, and came back in at the Masonboro Inlet at Wrightsville Beach. We spent the night in an anchorage just inside the inlet. This was a nice day's run.


4-26-2016

We waited for higher tides today for our trip to Southport, NC on the Cape Fear River. They are some skinny places along the AICW and we needed the higher tides to get through. We arrived at Southport Marina around 1pm, fueled up and took a slip. We ended up staying here 3 nights waiting for some weather to pass. We rented a car one day and did some sightseeing. This is probably the best marina we've been in. Everyday they have a weather briefing and talk about trouble spots on the AICW. The problem is, this time of year everyone is heading north for the summer and we were heading south. The guy doing the briefings went out of his way to make sure we had a copy of the materials for going south.


4-29-2016 / 4-30-2016

We made an overnight trip offshore from Cape Fear River inlet to Charleston Harbor inlet. We left around 2 on the 29th and arrived in Charleston around 10 a.m. the next morning. We are staying at Charleston Harbor Marina.



That catches us up with our travels. The next hop is to Jacksonville, FL, another overnight run. Weather will keep us here for several days before we push on. We'll play that by ear. The bow thruster on MGT has gone out and we're going to look into fixing it when we get to Jacksonville.  Ernie is still a wonderful boat driver, even without a bow thruster.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We left South Padre Island on March 10 to start our trip back to Virginia and More Good Timin'.
First stop, Pleasanton, TX to visit with Ernie's sister Shannon.  Next, we traveled to Oak Island, Texas to join TMCA for Doc's St. Patrick's Fish Fry at Marker 17.  This was a really good time and gave us a chance to say goodbye to a lot of friends.

Next stop was Poche's RV Park and Fish Camp in Breaux Bridge, LA.  Getting here was iffy due to all the flooding in Texas and Louisiana.  In fact, the Texas/Louisiana border was closed due to flooding the day after we  crossed it.  We were high and dry at Poche's and spent 4 days enjoying Acadiana.  Even though we had passed this way by water several times, we had not visited the Tabasco Factory until this trip.  We also ate at Victor's Cafeteria in our search of Dave Robicheaux.  We were able to have dinner with Ernie's cousin Terry and her husband Rod at Pat's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant.



Poche's RV Park
Poche's RV Park
Ernie likes big peppers



Big bottles of Tabasco

Dinner with Terry and Rod