Have you ever seriously thought about living your dream? We did and now we are full time cruisers onboard M/V Big Run. Everyday is a new page to be written in our ship's log as we travel to new places and revisit some ol' favorites. Come along and share our experiences and journeys.

Comments to postings are welcomed. We have elected to moderate all comments before the comment is published, so be patient, you comment will be posted.

Welcome to our Adventure

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fairwinds & Safe Passages

   Our next adventure started in early October when we left Harrisburg, PA on a rainy Thursday.  We did not let the rain dampen our spirits as we were heading west on our newest adventure - road trip!  We had stops in Indianapolis and Minneapolis/St. Paul to see family and friends.  We also had stops in Rapid City, South Dakota area to see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Bad Lands, The Black Hills and Sturgis.  Fortunately, our timing at the national parks was perfect for the government had decided to go back to work and the parks had reopened the previous day to our arrival at the The Bad Lands National Park.  Next, we were off to Cody, Wyoming, the eastern gateway to Yellowstone Park.  On our travels to Cody we crossed over the Big Horn Mountain range which had just received 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations.  The new truck with four wheel drive performed flawlessly.  The drive from Cody was fantastic, and we hadn't entered Yellowstone Park yet.  The drive through Yellowstone was unbelievable with  snow covered mountains, and we had the park to ourselves.  Remember, the national park system had just reopened and we were in Yellowstone Park 3 days afterwards so the vehicle traffic was almost non-existent.  I would estimate we saw less than 30 cars in our travels in from the east entrance, around Lake Yellowstone and out the South entrance.  Then, to our surprise, we drove south to Grand Teton National Park,  what a view!  Our final destination was quickly upon us as we drove down Logan Canyon from Bear Lake.  At the base of the Wasatch Mountain Range was to be our new home, Logan, Utah.  Logan was selected during the long hot summer while we were in Brunswick, GA.  Logan is almost geographically centered between the Canadian and Mexican borders allowing us to explore the Continental Divide, the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest.   Logan also offers many amenities including many things we did not have as boaters.  The choice of at least 5 different well stocked grocery stores, numerous restaurants and all the other benefits of a small metropolitan area of about 100,000.
      Since our arrival in Logan, we have found a beautiful brand new apartment complex.  As it is a new complex we had our choice of over 90 apartments to choose from.  We are now on the third/top floor with a fantastic view of the Wasatch mountains from our 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment.  Our apartment also includes a study, one of only 12 units with this floorplan. And forget about steps, we have an elevator.  We also have covered parking to protect our new truck from the sun and snow.  We have also rented a garage on site, who knows what new toys may be stored in there.  There was one catch to securing this rare find, the complex is a 55+ facility and we are the youngest residents at the moment albeit I am over 55.
      In my traditional blog fashion I will close out this blog entry as I have grown to do in the past, the ending is the blog entry title.  This is our last entry to the Big Run blog.  Our adventures will continue but I have decided to make this our last Big Run blog entry.  The Big Run blog was a journal of our adventures from Big Run, the log home, to Big Run, the home on the water.  Thank you to our family, friends and readers for your support on the blog over the years and with that being said I must now say Fairwinds & Safe Passages!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Next Adventure

Special note - We would like to thank Ken & Cindy of S/V Meant To Be for their gracious southern hospitality during our 5 month stay in Brunswick.  Also, we would to thank Joe & Ann of the former S/V Short Walk for a very special weekend after a stressful boat survey & new owner orientation. A special thank you to our boat broker Gary for tolerating Bob's rant and raves.  We would also like to thank the staff at Brunswick Landing Marina, for "adopting" Annie and us.     

  If you thought my previous blog entry was overdue, then this entry is well past being overdue.   There is very much ground to cover.
     After spending 5 long months in Brunswick, GA where it was very hot, very humid and bug infested, our patience has paid off - Big Run was sold on September 27th.  It was a bittersweet moment.  We will always treasure our life onboard Big Run.  The selling process was a long and drawn out ordeal with lots of drama.  We had 9 couples look at Big Run.  One couple made an offer which we accepted only to have them withdraw their offer less than 18 hours later.  One couple tried to "play" us to help get a lower price on another Kadey-Krogen, which they did make an offer on that boat.  Once they had that boat surveyed, they found that the cosmetic appeal of the boat was only a smoke screen for major issues hidden beneath the pretty paint job.  They did show up at the marina on our dock 3 weeks later with a different Kadey-Krogen 42 that had previously sat on the hard for 3 years.  We did learn from a reliable source that on their trip from Pensacola, FL to Brunswick, GA they had many problems.  Then, 4 days after arriving at the marina, their boat almost burned down due to a overheated wiring circuit for the engine room blower which they had left running for 2 days!  Four other couples needed to sell their existing boats before they could make an offer on Big Run.  One couple had to finish employment obligations in Europe before they could make an offer.  The drama of selling a boat went on for 4 of the 5 months we were in Brunswick.  But all prospective buyers had one thing in common - "They all loved Big Run and thought she was a beautiful boat"!
     Once the boat sold in late September, getting out of Brunswick was more drama.  Prior to selling the boat, to amuse myself from the shear boredom, I would research via the internet for a new Ford F150 truck.  At one point I had one Florida (FL) dealer and 2 Georgia (GA) dealers vying for my business.  I had instructed the dealers that I was going to purchase a vehicle and with "transport tags" drive the truck back to Pennsylvania (PA) for titling and licensing.  By purchasing a vehicle down south, we could use the vehicle to transport our stuff from Big Run back to PA and not have to pay for a rental truck.  Long story short, the FL dealer called to tell me that he could not sell me a new truck from FL because FL trucks (and GA) do not have a California Emissions System, and PA is a CARB state.  Yes, PA has adopted California Air Resources Board (CARB) guidelines and all new vehicles brought into the state must be "50 state legal"!  This technicality was actually a blessing, because when we went to move our "stuff" off of Big Run when we sold her, it would have taken a least 3 pickup truck loads.  Our solution to the truck snafu was to rent a U-Haul Van with a 10' cargo body.
     My truck research days in Brunswick were not in vain for I had learned a lot about the new F150.  Once I learned of the CARB thing, I immediately looked for trucks in PA.  My search started on the 17 of September, and I was able to find a truck that was just built the previous day and was still sitting on the lot at the Dearborn, MI assembly plant.  One catch, to take advantage of the Ford incentive programs, we needed to purchase the truck before October 1st.  On Friday, September 27th at 4:45 pm we received an email stating the money for the sale of Big Run had been transferred into our bank account.    We had already scheduled the U-Haul truck for Saturday morning and had planned to drive home to PA on Sunday.  However, with the news of the money transfer on Friday, we were living on a boat that belong to someone else.  Time to get out of Brunswick.  Saturday morning we packed up our stuff into the U-Haul truck and by 12 noon we started our 12 1/2 hour drive back to Harrisburg, PA.
     Monday morning came quickly, and we found ourselves sitting a the Ford dealership buying our new truck.  All things considered, the long months sitting in Brunswick trying to sell the boat and the failed attempt to purchase a truck down south were very well rewarded as the truck we purchased has far surpassed our expectations and should provide us with all comforts as we start our next adventure. 
2013 Ford F150, FX4, Super Crewcab, Sterling Grey Metallic, V8, 6.5 truck bed - our "Land Yacht"

Saturday, July 27, 2013


     "Wasting away in Brunswick" could be the title of this blog entry.  It's been a long time since I posted but marina life can be very dull and boring for extended periods of time.  Marina life does not provide much fodder for blogs.  The best thing that has happened is we now have neighbors on our dock that are good people. Up until the new arrivals we were the only ones on our dock.  Did my deodorant stop working?   We have never been ones to spend time in a marina and the extended stay we are experiencing right now rivals digging ditches, warm beer and overcooked steak.  There is also the marina politics, read dealing with obnoxious boaters.  While 99.9% of boaters are wonderful people, you always have that .1% - the jerks, the slobs and the world-revolves-around-me idiots.  I know that this also happens when you are a land dweller, you always have at least one SOB in the neighborhood.  Fortunately, some of those undesirables have left the marina, but give it time, they will be replaced by others.  In a marina the .1% are much closer and their actions have a more immediate consequence on a already unbearable situation.  Now, lets throw in high temperatures, off the chart humidity and man-eating bugs, welcome to Brunswick marina life.
      At least when we are on the hook there are things happening all around us.  It may be the birds or the dolphins and manatees that provide the entertainment.  When you're on the hook you also have a better chance of catching a breeze and it always seems cooler out on the water away from land.  Right now, our salvation is our Annie, who can take a terrible situation (marina life) and turn it into some the best laughter we had in a long time.
     On another note, we've had two couples look at the boat earlier this month.   No offers.  The one couple came down from North Carolina.  They already have a 43' sailboat that needs to be sold first.  They will put a "For Sale" sign on the boat when they get home!  The other couple, well, we don't want to get my blood pressure up.  All is not lost, on Sunday we have a 2 o'clock showing.  Monday we have a 12 noon showing and a 4 o'clock showing.  Hopefully, someone will bring their checkbook.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


     Pirates beware, Big Run has a new security officer.  Meet the newest crew member of Big Run, Annie-Jolee.  Annie is an 8 week old Yorkshire Terrier weighing in at 2.4 lbs. She just signed on to the crew list on Friday.  In addition to security officer, she will also be the boat's morale officer.  She is more than qualified for each position.  In fact, those unwanted guests will be duly detained as she gets her required attention and as far as being morale officer, she keeps us in stitches.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


     Out on the town last night in Darien, GA doing the pub crawl.  This was in the men's room at Skipper's Fishing Camp, a local watering hole down by the river.  With a "2 hour parking limit" you gotta "Git-R-Done".  

Friday, May 31, 2013

M/V Twocan

This is M/V Twocan, a 1997 Kadey Krogen 42 widebody, hull number 200.  When we speak of a widebody, the interior of the port side has been expanded out thereby eliminating the side deck.  This creates a very spacious interior.  Also, note that we mention hull numbers.  The Kadey-Krogen 42 had a limited production run of 206 vessels before they switched to the 44' model.  Alan and Sue of Denver, CO are the proud owners.  Twocan is shown here berthed in a slip in front of Big Run in Brunswick, Ga.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Need A Hook

      High tide was 8.6 feet above datum at 1:01a.m. last night and slack tide was -.8 feet below datum at 7:16 a.m.  this morning.  Although not unusual to see a sailboat heeled over like this under sail, it does make for difficult sleeping conditions while on the hook, but then they didn't need a hook.

Update - later that day about 1 hour before high tide the boat was gracefully towed out of the marsh.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The West Coast Of Florida

     Well, it's been a long week because of the woes that computers have brought into our lives.  It appears, and I say that with a little a reluctance, that the transition to a private blog is now complete.  Although not all "invitations" have been accepted, those that have accepted are probably a little more computer savvy than myself.
     In the picture below are 2 clues as to why the blog has gone private.
      For those with a keen eye, you will have noticed the signs on the boat.  One on the pulpit and one the starboard quarter.  Yes, they are For Sale signs.  We have decided to put Big Run up for sale and continue our adventures in ways other  than boating.  We are exploring many different options for new adventures.  Once we have sold the boat, we will look for an apartment somewhere near the continental divide, the Rocky Mountains.  Make that an apartment where someone else takes care of everything.  No grass to mow, no snow to shovel, no building maintenance, just come and go as we please.  Once we have established our "new home" we can start thinking about our new adventures. One of our favorite ideas is going to Europe and getting a Euro-rail pass and exploring the old country.  The Euro-rail would be the geriatric version of backpacking through Europe.  Another idea is to explore the backroads of the United States  We also like the idea of taking the train through the Canadian Rockies.  New Zealand and Australia have also gotten honorable mentions.  As we journey to new destinations, we will continue to blog about those adventures.
     So, why the privatized blog?  I don't claim to be a prolific writer, probably not even a mediocre one and because of my shortcomings, someone who may be interested in purchasing the boat may not understand or comprehend my thoughts, make that rants, about boats and their maintenance and/or repairs.  Just to clarify this a little, yes Big Run is a vintage 1983 boat and from time to time needs repairs because of her age.  However, newer items on the boat are also prone to failure.  For example, our big 165 amp Balmar alternator mounted on the engine,  the one dedicated to charging the extra large house batteries while we are underway, stopped producing power somewhere on the trip north from Miami.  This unit is only 3 years old but is a alternator from a reputable company.  I still need to have it tested to see if it's the alternator diodes or the external regulator. So as not to discourage any potential buyers due to my poor writing skills, with respect to boat maintenance, I have taken the blog private.
     What if the boat doesn't sell?  Our current plans, and remember our plans are like jello, lots of wiggle room, are to stay, yes I said stay, here in Brunswick in the marina until October.  Then in October if the boat hasn't been sold, our plans, again don't forget about jello, are to head over to the Gulf Of Mexico and cruise the west coast of Florida.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Leave The Bottle

     I openly admit that over the last few days I have lost control of taking this blog private.  What was once an idea, for reasons which I still have to publish, has turned into a computer nightmare.  In their infinite wisdom, Google has mutated a simple concept into a complex web of new and improved garbage.  What I am referring to is my new arch computer nemesis "the private blog" which in the past only required a simple password.  Now, to my understanding, Google requires a reader of a Google private blog to register and create an account (email address), which is just what everyone needs, another account. We already have too many accounts, each requiring a password following a specific format.   I know that I  touted this blog as a journal of our adventures and yet here I am posting another entry about "Blog Technical Stuff".   I guess, in a way, this experience is an adventure into the cyber world!
     So here's the deal.   To date, I have received over 75 requests for access to the blog when it goes private.  When I flip the "go to private" switch, someone is bound to get lost in the shuffle.  For those who get lost and don't have our regular email address, I have set up a temporary email address to help with the change over.  I tried to keep it simple.  The temporary email address is "bigrunprivateblog@gmail.com".  If, when the blog goes private, you can't access the blog, please contact me at that email address.   However, there is a catch.  When the blog goes private, the temp email address will have gone private as well with this blog entry.  I have elected to delay the change over to private for a couple of days. When this change is done, I will definitely need an adult beverage.  Barkeep, make mine a double scotch, neat, and leave the bottle! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Too Stressful

   Yesterday, I blogged about taking this blog private.  Today, while in a early stage of setting up the private blog mode, I was experimenting with adding our "contacts list" (email addresses) to those requesting permission to access the blog when it goes private.  After stepping away from the computer, I came back to the computer to find that Google prompted itself to send out invitations to our contacts list.  I think that's what happened!  If you are on our contacts list and received an invitation, I apologize for the interruption.  I am not a computer savvy person and until the private blog thing is setup it may happen more times than I care to admit.  Computers are too stressful.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stay Safe & Have Fun

     For reasons that will be explained in the very near future, Big Run's blog is going private until further notice.  We have enjoyed blogging and will continue to blog, but for now we must limit access to the blog to family, friends or a followers.  A password will be required to access the blog starting Monday, May 20th.  If you are family, friend or a follower and wish to have access to this blog once it goes private, please send a comment through the comment section at the bottom of this entry before 6 pm Sunday, May 19th. Your comment should include a "request" for the password and your email address.  Your comment/request will not be displayed on this blog as all comments go to our email inbox for moderation.  I will not publish your comment and therefore your email address will not go public, but I will be able to contact you through email with the password to access this blog in the future.  I will issue emails with the password early next week.  Stay Safe & Have Fun

Thursday, May 2, 2013


    We have been back in the "land of abundance" for about 2 weeks and there are still adjustments to be made.  We left Miami on Tuesday a week ago and traveled north to Brunswick, GA.  In our travels north we encountered too many bridges, most of which are on a fixed schedule requiring us to hurry Big Run to the next bridge for yet another scheduled opening.  Arrive too early and you have to do what I call the bridge dance.  The bridge dance is jockeying the boat around while you wait for the bridge opening, and as you are waiting you are combating the currents and wind while confined in a narrow channel.  We even encountered another bascule bridge being builtt so that will be another bridge to add to our bridge routes.  We have routes to all the bridges that are on scheduled openings.  This way we can monitor our progress on the chartplotter to the next bridge to see if we need to slow down or speed up.  In Big Run's case, it's usually speed up.  By the way, there are too many bridges in Florida that we need openings to pass through.
     For those of you that have followed this blog, I hope your are sitting down.  We will be in a marina for the summer instead of traveling north on the ICW to the Chesapeake Bay.  This will be an adjustment for us as we love being on the hook.  Since becoming "full time cruisers" in October 2010, we have averaged less than 4 weeks per year tied up to a dock in a marina.  We may have to change our status to "liveaboards"!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Square Between The Eyes

     The crossing from Nassau to Miami went as planned.  We did leave Nassau on Monday about 1.5 hours earlier than planned, we figured if we got to Goverment Cut in Miami to early we could always throttle back to delay our entry back into the States.  As we crossed the Tongue of the Ocean from Nassau to Northwest Channel Light waypoint the seas started to laydown as the winds let up.  The journey across the Great Bahama Bank is always a pleasure even though most of that was done in the dark.  Around 1 a.m. Tuesday, we approached the last Bahama waypoint, Triangle Rocks.  By taking this route from south of Bimini back to Florida, we were hoping to set a heading south of our rhumbline to compensate for the push north by the gulf stream currents.  According to our last update on Monday from NOAA, the western wall of the gulf stream was 10 miles east of the Florida coast as reported at Fowey Rocks.  The crossing of the Florida Straits went smoothly with only a few extra large ships to avoid.  The seas were still a little confused from the winds as we had following seas with rollers attacking from both the port and starboard quarter.  It's strange how waves can intercept each other and not cancel each other out.  Another one of the "mysteries" of the oceans.  Finally, around 7 a.m. we were able to start to see civilization, the coastal skyscrapers.  Also, we were approaching the western wall of the gulf stream.  At this point, any push from the gulf stream should have pushed us north to our rhumbline, but we were still 1.5 miles south of the rhumbline as we had planned.  Then, once inside of the "reported western wall" of the gulf stream where there should not have been a current it grabbed us and took us for a ride.  Long story short, 1 hour later we were 1 mile north of our rhumbline as we tried to buck the current and head SW to Government Cut.  So we changed course to a westerly heading, drifted north with the current and then when the current released its grip we headed SW to Government Cut.  By 10 a.m. the anchor was dropped at the  Belle Isle anchorage in South Beach.  Another successful crossing.  
     Our plans were to recuperate from the crossing the rest of the day on Tuesday, drop the dinghy on Wednesday and visit a grocery store, where the shelves are filled to the max.  No waiting in line to get fresh produce.  And that one day on Tuesday would allow us to adjust to the "cultural shock" of being  back in the States.  All the noise, congestion, people and the madness of civilization, that isn't found in the Exumas Cays, is overwhelming and will hit you square between the eyes.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Not So Happy Ending

     It all started yesterday, Saturday, as I was killing time on the boat.  Our number one source of entertainment, as boaters, is checking and keeping an eye on the weather.  After checking windfinder.com and passageweather.com and a few of the noaa.gov pages, it was confirmed that our weather window to leave the Bahamas and head back to Florida was going to be Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  It was time, our immigration permit (visa) expires in 3 weeks on May 6th.  Imagine, over 5 months in the Bahamas, what an adventure. As this was a sudden decision to depart on Sunday morning, we were not able to depart until the news was dropped like an atomic bomb on a few friends.  After we said our goodbyes over the VHF to some dear friends, the anchor was up and stowed by 8:15 am.  Late by Big Run standards, but still early.  Our original plan was to run up the Exuma chain to Highbourne Cay to an anchorage we used last year for the same purpose, heading "home".  After fours hours of cruising the decision was to forgo the Highbourne anchorage and head to Nassau.   The weather forecast was for the winds to be in the low teens (knots) out of the southeast.  This would be a following sea as we crossed the Yellow Bank to Nassau and provide a little push to get us there before sunset.  By 6:30 we made it to the Porgees Rock waypoint at the east entrance to the harbor.  Just 5 miles to the anchorage at the west end of Nassau harbor.  At 7:30 as we were deploying the anchor, the anchor chain got jammed in the pipe leading from the anchor locker to the foredeck and the windlass.  Thanks to a 5lb. persuader (read sledgehammer), the problem was remedied in under 5 minutes.  Time to kick back before dinner and unwind as we waited for Sharon's world famous Stromboli's to come out of the oven.  After a long day, the dinner was perfect, well almost perfect.  As we sat at the table discussing our plans for an overnight passage to Florida on Monday night, there was the sound of a police siren next to the boat.  When I went out onto the cockpit, there was a Bahamian Defense Task Force boat on the port side of Big Run.  We never heard them approach Big Run.  Then, to what was almost a perfect day, came the words "Prepare to be boarded".  Fortunately, our cruising permit and immigration papers were in order and the officers left after an uneventful "inspection".  Now, if it would have been 3 weeks later and our permits had expired, well, that would have been another story with an not so happy ending.
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