ECBrinsfield - Sailing Flight Risk

Phase 4:  Heading north in the US - update 4/21/2023

Current Location: Norfolk, VA

Flight Risk is back in Norfolk.  After an unscheduled delay in Daytona, I drove Cathy back to Virginia Beach and brought back some crew.  We finished the last segment of the ICW from Daytona to St. Augustine, then started our offshore jumps.  

We went from St. Augustine to Charleston, then Charleston to Beaufort, NC, and from there to Norfolk.  We were lucky that the wind and waves were behind us the entire trip.  

We crossed the Gulf Stream from West End to Ft. Pierce on Friday, 3/24/2023.  We anchored at Ft Pierce that night and have since moved to Vero Beach, then up to Melbourne, Florida, then Titusville, and to Daytona Beach.  We were  trying to take short day trips because the ICW is so boring and requires constant attention. 

Now that we are back in the US and retracing many of the spots we hit on the way south, I will just post interesting photos all in one gallery.  I am not going to take the same photos over again.  

You can view our current location and historical track at:


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Phase 3:  Bahamas - updated 3/23/2023

Crew:  Eric Brinsfield and Cathy Brinsfield

Last Location in the Bahamas:  West End, Grand Bahama
Old Bahama Bay Marina

We left the Exumas on March 6, 2023 and motor-sailed up to New Providence.  We are stayed on a private dock in Coral Harbour, to provision, catch up on boat and photo work, rest, and wait for the right winds.  Our hosts were wonderful and we enjoyed staying there.  From there we sailed over to Morgan's Bluff again, then over to Chub Cay Marina, and next up to Great Harbour Cay Marina.  From Great Harbour, we crossed the Northest Providence Channel to Lucaya in Grand Bahama.  When the wind looked good, we hopped around to West End for one night and cross the Gulf Stream to Ft Pierce the next day.  Our path has been controlled by our desire to move north and west, but limited by the wind direction's impact on sailing and anchoring.  

Our journey has taken us full circle now from Nassau, to the Exumas, to Cat Island, to Long Island, back to the Exumas, back to New Providence, back to Andros and now crossing our original path heading north.  

We really enjoyed Cat Island, where we spent a week or so.  From there we sailed down to Calabash Bay at the north end of Long Island, then down to Thompson Bay in the middle of the island, when we crossed the Tropic of Cancer.  Thompson Bay was more crowded than last time we came but still nice.  Plenty of room.  We rented a car and took a tour of the northern part of the island, including a visit to the Columbus Monument on top of the white cliffs, Stella Maris Marina, Stella Maris Resort, Cape Santa Maria Resort, and the Sunset Bar and Grill for lunch.  We had a wonderful dinner at Chez Pierre's in Miller Bay.  From Thompson Bay, we sailed back up to Calabash because the forecast suggested some calmer winds coming. Calabash is great for snorkeling but can get rough.  This was a good opportunity.  On 2/22, we left Calabash to head back to the Exumas. 

After a full day sail and motor, we are anchored at Lee Stocking Island north of George Town, which we skipped this year.   From there, we hopped up to Little Farmers, Black Point, and Staniel Cay (Big Major).  

We made it up to Warderick Wells again but moored near Emerald Rock, where I went snorkeling and hiking.  My photos have become a bit boring with scenery and sunsets, but I hope to pull some from my phone soon.   After Warderick Wells, we had a nice sail up to Shroud Cay, where I snorkeled some more, we took the dinghy trail (a creek) over to the sound side, and watch several White-tailed Tropicbirds in an aerial display during mating and nesting time.  The Exaumas never disappoint, except that mega-yachts and their associated boat toys are starting to fill up the anchorages.  We loved every minute.                                                   


When we reached the Exumas at Hawksbill Cay, we met some fellow cruisers, Juan Urrea and Allison Parker, on a Caliber 47 named Guajira from New Orleans.  We ended up traveling together since then and soon we will split up as they head south to St. John's, VI and we go to Long Island.  We have enjoyed their company and will miss them when they are gone.  You will see them in many of my photos.  I always feel so fortunate when we meet nice, interesting people on our journeys.                                                                                                             

Click on links below for photos (links open in new page)

See lower sections for the earlier phases of the trip.  

NOTE:  You can follow our track at:

Clockwise: Eric and Cathy in the dinghy trail at Shroud Cay, Our pet Remora, and the Wihite-tailed Tropic Bird

Phase 2:  Jacksonville to Miami  

Crew: Eric Brinsfield and Cathy Brinsfield

Phase 2 covers our journey from Jacksonville, FL to Miami, FL.  Phase 1, shown in the next section, covers the trip from Norfolk to Jacksonville prior to the holidays.  

I am a little behind on my updates and I still need to provide more detail, but I have added some quick notes about where we have been and where we are going. 

From Daytona to Fort Pierce, we have seen a rocket launch, my glasses broke, I ran hard aground while anchoring, I kedged myself off the mud using my manual override on the windless, we squeaked through bridges that were breaking everywhere, we made it to Fort Pierce, my glasses are fixed, my water maker is unwinterized and functioning, we had lunch with Jim and Sue Currie, and had a wonderful stay in Fort Pierce.  

We are ready to move on to Lake Worth tomorrow, then onto the Miami and the Bahamas.  

Links to Daily Photo Galleries - most recent first:

Phase 2

Phase 1:  Norfolk to Jacksonville, FL

Gwynn Sullivan crewed with us from Norfolk to Jacksonville Beach.  She is home safe now back in Virginia Beach.  Big thank you to Gwynn.  We miss you already.  

We had a successful trip down the coast, mostly with offshore hops, to Jacksonville Beach, FL.  We took the ICW south from Norfolk to Coinjock (where we met Lee and Dani on Etoile de Mer).   From Coinjock we sailed to the north end of the Pungo River after a passage across the Albemarle Sound, Alligator River, Alligator-Pungo Canal (where we saw a bear), and anchored in the upper reaches of the Pungo.  From the Pungo we pressed forward to Beaufort, NC. In Beaufort, we bumped into old friends from the Bahamas, George and Bev on Breeze On.  Because so many boats are heading south, we spent 2 days at Homer Smith Marina and 1 night at Morehead City Yacht Basin.  I recommend both marinas.  Great service.  

From Beaufort, we headed offshore Charleston.  I met up with old Duke friend Laura Moore and Gwynn visited with her brother and family.  After a few days, we took off to Hilton Head at Skull Creek Marina.  Then we took an overnight run to St. Simon Inlet to Brunswick, GA.  In Brunswick, we met up with old Raleigh friends Cheryl and George, who happened to be driving through, met George and Bev on Breeze Up again, and spent some time with new friends Lee and Dani on Etoile de Mer.  We also saw lots of familiar boats in Brunswick Landing.  

After a few days, we made the final stretch from Brunswick to St. John's Inlet and Pablo Creek to Palm Cove Marina.  This was the roughest day from a waves standpoint, but nothing like what we expected.  We beat my estimated arrival time.  

Flight Risk will stay in Palm Cove Marina for a month or so.  Cathy and I will return home in mid-December by rental car for Christmas with family.  After the holiday, we will drive back and start heading further south in Florida.  

When the time is right, we will cross over to the Bahamas.  We want to go back to the Exumas to explore what we missed last time and return to some of our favorite spots.  

To see daily photos, check the links below to open a gallery in a new page.  Just close the page when you are done. 

Links to Daily Photo Galleries - most recent first

  • Bear crossing the canal

    Bear crossing the canal

    After we missed him or her.

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