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“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong

does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

aaaIt often seems to me that Tolkien had sailors of some age in mind when he wrote this passage. Those of us who wander with little purpose other than enjoying the time on the water and the places we visit certainly see ‘gold’ in the passing scenery, and remain as young as we feel.
The trick is to focus on the journey, not on the destination – a hard lesson to learn and to hold onto once discovered. In thinking back over my recent journey from home in Annapolis to Key West and return, my only regret is that I frequently lost sight of that lesson. Fortunately I love taking pictures and can re-live many places and events that I hurried past a bit too fast.

There follows, some of my favorite scenes and pix that remind me of special experiences.

Leaving the Bay and clearing Gilmerton Bridge near AICW mile’0′

Gilmerton Bridge

Approaching the first lock to enter the Dismal Swamp along with other assorted boats..

IMG_2043  IMG_2054

.. and rafting together at the visitors center.

DS visitor ctr

The inevitable grounding – unstuck with the help of a friendly power boater and family …

picked the wrong side of the channel !


Just one of many beautiful sunsets..


..and sunrises..


Pelicans everywhere were constant companions ..


Some long stretches of easy travel on flat water ..


And the bridges – way too many to share. Cleared 30 in two days with a little help from friendly bridge tenders.


Did I mention beautiful sunsets?


Often had company of porpoises – got to be quick to get pictures..


Lovely evenings, sometimes followed by not so lovely mornings…

IMG_2302 IMG_20140330_092116570

The southbound trip across the Albemarle Sound was beautifully calm — less so on the return (thus no pix)


A fun gathering of fellow cruisers in St Mary’s .. chance meetings with friends.


Then finally the southern destination – here at the end of I-95.


.. and Christmas in Key West.


Wonderful live music everywhere — Jazz in the Gardens, and a band of 5 talented brothers..


Made some new friends ..


Enjoyed great food..


Even got to go fishing as guest of a friend from New York – my first off-shore fishing..thanks Joe!


And dinner with my generouse hosts in Key West – Karl & Terri (left), along with CCYC friends from home – Dan a& Martha were passing through on their way to Ft Meyers.


Lots of early morning starts – a pleasant time of day..


.. and did I mention sunsets?


.. in the end, perhaps the hardest lesson of all to learn..


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