Anastasia For Sale
This is a bittersweet announcement but yes, it is true. The time has come that we must find new owners for our beloved Anastasia. We have created a lovely listing where you can view all of her details. Any questions or inquiries can be directed to our email @ email@example.com.
You can view the listing via this link: http://anastasiaforsale.webs.com/
Visit often & tell all of your friends. Anastasia is ready to head south this fall for the 2012-2013 cruising season.
The Road That Takes You Home
We took a leisurely pace after leaving Ocracoke to get home to the lower Chesapeake Bay where Anastasia hails from. Something we could have done in a few days but at this point we had successfully stretched out this cruising season to be the longest yet at 8 months, so what were a few more days of stalling?
The day we chose to leave Ocracoke was a perfect day on the calendar, nearly two weeks after arriving there. But, the weather thought otherwise. We hauled anchor early in the morning and began motoring out of the channel. Once in the channel we were hard on the wind and our course after that had us heading up considerably. It was windy, overcast and just yucky. Why rush out into unfavorable conditions when there is a comfy anchorage waiting to welcome us back? So we turned around, dropped our hook in the same spot that it was in before and settled in for at least another day. Not only was this the best thing for us, it turned out to be good luck for a traveling teenager looking for a ride north.
We have only had crew one other time and that was our good friend Dan who sailed with us to the Virgin Islands from the Bay. Dan was great to have aboard and proved that three can work just fine. So, when this young lady rowed out to Anastasia in a borrowed boat and asked for a ride we thought, why not. She was 18, full of energy and on the return leg of a 1-month cycling trip originating in Montreal, Canada. She stayed with us for three days until we reached Elizabeth City, NC where she caught a Greyhound bus north to Connecticut. It was a good experience for her and a quite eye opening one for us. Lets just say that we are not ready to have a teenager in our care any time soon.
Elizabeth City is a great stop. This was our fourth time visiting the free docks offered on their waterfront. This time we had our collapsible bikes, which allowed us to venture deeper into town. Once past the historic area it really doesn't look much different than other places. However, this was the first time we had visited a decent, well priced grocery store since Oriental so we were jazzed. And, whenever we find a Mexican restaurant with tall beers and bottomless chips we are delighted as well.
Being a few hours' drive from our hometown, Maxwell's mom joined us for the lovely trip north through the Dismal Swamp. She came aboard the night before we left and we anchored just inside the Elizabeth City Bridge. We got an early start and were treated to a lovely display of foliage and wildlife for most of the morning. The day was sunny and quite warm but with a nice breeze that stuck with us all day. We docked between the Deep Creek Bridge & lock at Elizabeth's Dock. It is a free dock with a nice public park, perfect place to spend an evening. Maxwell's dad met us to pick up his mom and to take us to dinner.
Saturday morning we transited the lock at 8:30 and were off to venture through the Elizabeth River past Portsmouth & Norfolk. Despite the route being through a major industrial area it is just as beautiful to us as the scenic Dismal Swamp from the day before. Definitely different, but just as amazing. We had been hearing security calls all morning for a returning battle group headed to Naval Station Norfolk. So, when we rounded the bend and saw an Aircraft Carrier being backed into a slip we were not surprised but awestruck. Vessels like that make Anastasia seem like a piece of driftwood! All total there were 6 ships returning that day and we saw all of them. It was very special and quite moving.
We crossed the mouth of the inlet at Norfolk bound for Hampton. Last year we anchored there, just in front of the Hampton City Docks. The marina is friendly to transients and offers many services to floating travelers. We spent one night at anchor and came into the dock briefly Sunday morning to pick up Maxwell's dad for his turn for a ride on Anastasia. The wind proved finicky so we couldn't sail so we motored most of the way. Our friend Dan, who I mentioned above, lives with his wife Kelly really close by. Actually, it is their dock that we keep Anastasia at and was our destination for the day. They came out in their boat to find us and welcome us back home. It was a surprise and great to see them. Needless to say, they made it home hours before we did.
During my turn on the helm I spotted a ski-doo jet boat adrift with seemingly no one aboard. We diverted to take a look and sure enough it was abandoned and half full of water. We called the Coast Guard and after a decent wait with the hazard in tow they came to take it from us. With that bit of excitement dealt with we were back on course. Not too much later I was once again on the helm, distracted by dolphins and soon too close to a shoal. Yep, I put us aground. Once I was fired from helm-duty Maxwell took over, got us off and we were once again headed for home agreeing that we had experience enough distractions and set-backs for one day.
The rest of the afternoon was uneventful and we arrived at Dan and Kelly's undamaged. They were there to welcome us again, this time with hugs. We settled Anastasia into her slip and started the process of unloading all of the things we'd need over the next few days spent with family.
It has been wonderful seeing everyone and getting comfortable with our land-legs for now. The rest of the summer is going to be a lot of work but we are excited about the change of pace.
Photos From Ocracoke
This is one of the many thunderstorms that passed in our two-week stay in Ocracoke.
General Store...an attempt to boost patron numbers?
This is the Skpijack "Wilma Lee."
Maxwell & our friend Daniel whom we met in the Bahamas this season.
Every night there was live music of all kinds!
07/17/2012, Ocracoke, NC
Ocracoke! Ocracoke! Ocracoke! Our NEW Favorite! Why have we never visited this quaint little town by boat before? Oh the time wasted! We should have made this little island a MUST DO in previous years, but oh well...
We have been here for 8 days and counting; anchored in Silver Lake in the heart of town. Early in the morning we hear the hustle and bustle of the Cedar Island ferries and the passing of parasail boats filled with excited vacationers waiting for their time in the sky. We have heard of poor holding here in the lake of which we have not had any issues. When we arrived, we dropped our 55lb Rocna and just left it there, not backing down with the engine at all so it could settle through the thick silt layer and get down to the good stuff worth holding on to. In perfect timing, mid-day of the next day we had a decent squall come through and pull us back enough to set really well so no other attention was needed. The harbour is well protected in all directions but is still well open to the breeze. Anastasia is great in the summer, so we are finding really well this season, with her 12 port holes, generous forward hatch and huge butterfly hatch in the main salon. With everything open we stay pretty cool.
We chose to visit Ocracoke this year because Jen's parents, her sister and husband were paying us a visit. We thought this to be a perfect spot to meet. It has been 8 months since we said farewell in the fall so it was a nice reunion. Ocracoke turned out to be a perfect place indeed!
The island is small but well populated with locals and vacationers. Plenty of restaurants to keep you full and tons of water sports to keep you busy. We have frequented a few of the many ice cream stands and have worn out the back roads with our bikes. For the shopper there are boutiques and galleries on every corner stocked with local treasures. The trendy bars have nightly live music whether waterfront or tucked away on a special side street.
So, when will we leave? Good Question! The oceanfront beach is a quick pedal north on highway 12 and a relaxing dip in the sound waters of the Pamlico are even closer. We have all we need here...who knows we might look into renting a P.O. box???
A Month In Review
07/03/2012, Beaufort, NC
I changed our calendar today and was overwhelmed by guilt of not having posted any meaty stories in a long time. We have been in the US for over a month now having made our crossing from the western Abacos on May 31st. We entered into Ft. Pierce mid-day on June 1st, welcomed by at least a week of daily thunderstorms. This weather was not new to us as you will have read in the earlier post about the Abacos. We even got smart enough to start collecting the water and keeping our tanks topped off!
From Ft. Pierce, where we only spent one night, we motored up the ICW to one of our favorite spots--Vero Beach. Upon arriving in Vero we realized quickly that we were way, way behind the rest of the pack. Nearly every mooring ball was empty where normally you raft 3-deep in the high season. We were looking forward to a little social exposure but we weren't getting it there. So we took advantage of the free public bus, re-provisioned and kept on pluggin' north. From there we stopped for the night north of Melbourne, the next night in Titusville where we stayed two nights. New Symrna Beach after that, a night in the Matanza River with some extreme current before landing on a mooring ball in St. Augustine.
It was our first time in St. Augustine and we had heard such nice things about it so we were pumped! We settled Anastasia north of the Lions Bridge in the smaller mooring field and rowed ashore. The marina's facilities were quite nice with cheap laundry and clean showers. We walked the historic streets and really enjoyed our afternoon. After some beers and appetizers at a local restaurant we worked our way back to the boat to relax. The next morning we debated on whether or not to stay another night but eventually we bagged the idea and slipped our lines for another day heading north on the ICW. Before arriving in Fernandina Beach we spent one night in the Ft. George River which has crazy current and huge tides. That is where we experienced one of the most beautiful thunderstorms ever. The photos are in the preceding blog post.
Fernandina hold a special place in our hearts. Traveling up and down the East Coast so many times, we have developed a relationship with certain stops. They feel like home somewhat in their familiarity. This is one of those places. We anchored out for a few days, rowing in for the awesome Mexican restaurant, Peppers! We frequented the bar for beer and chips probably too much as they started to remember our names...
In Fernandina, the shrimp are cheap and big! We helped ourselves to a few pounds!
Also while there we left Anastasia on a mooring for a few days while we rented a car and drove to Mississippi on a fact finding mission for the future. We are doing research on the next chapter. It was a lot of fun and we both giggled one night in our hotel room saying that it was like we were on vacation.
Once back in Fernandina we were excited to have a visit from Maxwell's parents. We spent two days together with Anastasia in the marina and touring downtown Fernandina. It was great to see them and a lot of fun.
From Fernandina we opted for an offshore jump to Charleston, SC. We arrived there on a Saturday evening, just in time to meet up with Maxwell's sister and her good friends for a night out on the town. We also had a chance to meet up with some other friends we haven't seen in a while as well. We spent almost a week there, loving every minute. Charleston is somewhere we could see ourselves living very easily. It has a great vibe and tons of things to do.
From Charleston we were offshore once more, two days and two nights into Beaufort, NC where we are now. Beaufort is another one of those places with a strange familiarity. We counted that we have been through here 6 times in 3 years! It is the only place we have hit every season, coming and going. We plan to spend the 4th of July here, celebrating with our friends on Seaveyor whom we met our first season in the Bahamas.
As things are drawing to a close for our 2011-2012 season we are still living it up, loving every minute until Anastasia reaches the Chesapeake waters.
06/13/2012, Fernandina Beach, Florida
Here are some great photos of a thunderstorm we experienced a few nights ago.