The Essential Boater-Biased Marina and Cruising Destination Resource

ACC's Guide to Mid Atlantic/ICW Marinas - About the Author & Contributors

Beth Adams-Smith

Beth and her husband, Richard, have been "messing about in boats" at various times throughout their lives, and, for the last two plus decades, have been focused on "big boats." Coastal cruises have included numerous trips up and down the eastern seaboard, including the ICW, where they advanced the art of "achievable cruising" — cruise for a week or two, leave the boat, go home, come back a couple months later and continue on. Other cruising adventures have taken them to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean’s Leeward and Windward Islands, Tahiti and the Society Islands, Pacific Northwest, Whitsunday Islands, Tonga, South America and numerous cruising grounds throughout the Mediterranean — including Corsica, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. They are firm believers in "going" even if it means taking the office along — and technology has made that increasingly possible. Along the way, they’ve visited more than 2,500 marinas (most two, three or more times) on the east and west coasts of the US as cruisers, authors and editors — including the marinas in Atlantic Cruising Club’s Guide to Mid-Atlantic/ICW Marinas.

For more than twenty years, Beth and Richard sailed Sabres until the big "No Name" storm retired the last one. They then bought a Leopard 40 catamaran that lives at the Moorings base in Tortola, BVI and a Glacier Bay power cat, moored in Milton Harbor in Rye, NY. This combination of vessels has made a wide variety of cruising possible and added a vital element to Beth’s nautical research, writing and photography.

Beth is the primary writer/photographer/editor of the Atlantic Cruising Club’s Guides to Marinas. She is also a digital media producer and has spearheaded the design and co-managed the development of Jerawyn Publishing’s proprietary Datastract™ database management and publishing software; she also oversees the attendant databases of both factual and editorial information — including a library of over 20,000 nautical and travel images. As ACC’s webmaster, she works closely with the development team to translate this information to an online environment.

In addition to her work on the ACC Guides, Beth writes the "" blog (holistic approaches to crew lifestyle and vessel management), writes articles on cruising, destinations, waterborne and wateroriented travel as the "Wandering Mariner," and blogs on — for travelers on a plant-based diet. She has also produced numerous documentaries, multiple media and database projects on holistic living, ecology, peacemaking, and complementary medicine, including Alt.HealthWatch, the largest and most comprehensive full text and image database on Integrative Medicine and Healthful Living. Beth holds a doctorate in Technology and Media and a masters in Health Education both from Columbia University, a bachelors in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Find her or on Facebook, Linked-In or Twitter.

Contributing Writers
Josh Murphy & Amber Murphy (South Carolina and North Carolina’s Cape Fear region)

After years of dreaming of the sea, Josh’s introduction to sailing was a twenty minute lesson on the Intracoastal Waterway aboard a Catalina 27. He and his brother Paul bought that same boat and sailed down Florida’s East Coast armed with plenty of food, a GPS, SCUBA gear, a fishing pole and an irrefutable motto: "Sailing is easy; sailing well is not." Amber later joined them on their adventure. Seamanship was slow to come, and they learned most lessons the hard way as they floated up and down the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts. They now live in Charleston.

A freelance editor and writer for a variety of businesses, Amber pens for traditional magazines and online media, while editing student theses and dissertations. She also teaches high school creative writing, journalism and English courses. She graduated from Harding University with a B.A. in Psychology and also holds a Master of Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Josh is also a Harding alum, with a B.A. in General Studies. A recent graduate in dental medicine from Medical University of South Carolina, he also has a private pilot’s certificate. Josh and Amber have a shared passion for the rich history of the Carolina coast, good southern barbecue, and adventure wherever they can find it.

Trevor Rhodes (North Carolina)

Trevor Rhodes, an avid boater since the age of twelve, has explored the Carolina coastal waters by both sail, manpower and engine power. With a degree in Recreation Management, Trevor has been employed by municipalities and private firms to facilitate outdoor experiences that bridge educational, personal and corporate ideals with the intrinsic benefits of being afloat.

Trevor developed an appreciation for the many unique fresh and salt water systems of the Carolinas as an instructor for inland waterway kayaking, coastal sailing, and near shore SCUBA diving tours. He supplemented his instructor time with yacht deliveries along the eastern seaboard and the Caribbean Islands. Trevor is also certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and CPR Instructor. He has traveled across twenty six countries and loved them all.

Mari Kirby Nichols(North Carolina & Virginia)

Mari Kirby Nichols CISSP, GCIH started sailing on a catamaran off Chick’s Beach in the early 90’s. Immediately hooked, she began babysitting a Swan 40 that sailed the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Following that boat muse, she then became a sailboat broker. The first boat she owned was a 16-foot Herreshoff America classic cat boat, "Gypsy." She moved on to a Catalina 27 "Moonstruck" and lived aboard for three years upgrading to a Catalina 30, and then a Hunter Vision 32, "Noteworthy." She has always sailed single-handed and her greatest adventure has been cruising the Chesapeake Bay with her cat, Spot.

As a Computer Security professional for the past 11 years, Mari began working for the Navy’s Computer Incident Response Team in 1998, then for Lowe’s Corporation and Portfolio Recovery Associates. She is now one of an elite group of 35 volunteer Incident Handlers for the SANS Internet Storm Center which tracks computer vulnerabilities and incidents worldwide. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 2006 with a B.S. in Information Technology and is married with one daughter and two grandsons. Mari lives right on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk on the Chesapeake Bay in a 100-year-old beach house. Her dream is to retire and cruise the ICW and points beyond.

Stephen Thurston(Georgia)

Steve’s love for the sea and boats began when he was about twelve with family visits to Nantucket and Mystic, Connecticut. Whaling folklore, creaking hulls and tall-masted ships fascinated him. His father would take him deep sea fishing out of Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay; heading out in the dense, early morning fog, escorted by low soaring seagulls and surrounded by fragrant sea air, he’d imagine himself making ready for a whale hunt.

Later in life, he transformed his fantasies into reality, not by hunting whales, but by living in seaports including New York, Boston, Annapolis, Toronto and, currently, Savannah, and by visiting more seaports in Europe, Africa and Asia. He sailed his own sloop as often as weather would allow (and sometimes when it wouldn’t) on Lake Ontario for six years. He’s captained on the Chesapeake and in the Caribbean and even weathered a super typhoon on the Pacific aboard a one-time freighter that had been converted to a troop carrier sometime in the ’40s. It was a vessel measuring 440 feet in length with a 57 foot beam — which he is grateful he didn’t captain. These days he spends time fishing from small boats on the many miles of waterways around Savannah and currently has a film production underway about commercial shrimp fishing.