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Autumn Borne Cruising
Southport NC to Mile Hammock Bay
Dean - sunny and warm Wind 8-16 NNW
05/12/2013, North Carolina

12 May 2013 -- Sunday - Mother's Day...
Good morning...
The tides in the Cape Fear river decided our fate least as far as stopping early at the South Harbour Village Marina... (a place we really like, anyway).... We would have been fighting an ebb tide on the Cape Fear river... NOT GOOD....
But this morning (as I write the first part of this message)... we're doing 8.4 knots to 8.8 k. speed over the ground, going WITH the flood tide...

PLUS... Susan and I had a great dinner at the Italian Bistro there in the harbor, last night: ... a Celebration of MOther's day.... a congratulation, if you will, to Susan, for contributing so much to raising our Daughter.... and how well she 'turned out'. :)

Docking at south Harbour Village Marina was a trick.... Just before we were to dock the wind picked up to about 24 knots.... Although it was an "ON-Dock" breeze, the linear length of space that the dockmaster (Bill) gave us to get into was really tight. so we turned around; put our bow into the current.... and 'shoe-horned" the AB into the spot.... then the on-dock breeze (20+ knots) PINNED us there for the rest of the evening.... (Fenders half flat with the forces).

One plus for the South Harbour Village Marina; .... they've added Cable TV... so we had movies all evening...and an NCIS re-run
Getting a Pumpout this morning... required a move of AB OFF, and then ON to the dock in a different location.... but that's done!

and now (as I write this), we're on our way up the Cape Fear River, toward "snows cut" (over toward Carolina Beach)....
If we're lucky, we'll make Mile Hammock Bay by this evening...
Three major bridge openings between us and our goal

OK... It's EVENING now....

Still Sunday... and we ARE anchored in Mile Hammock Bay in Camp Lajune (NC).
But it wasn't easy.... we missed ALL three bridges by less than 10 minutes each... so we had to wait nearly 80 minutes total for the day...

Just milling about in the channels, waiting for the timed openings of bridges (Wrightsville Beach - Figure 8 - and Surf City bridges)....

The way the tides worked today... It was Impossible to make it between the last two bridges... no matter how hard we ran, even with the sails up.
No SOAP!!!!

It was a typical Sunday on the ICW, if not more crowded because of Mother's day.... Anyone who had traveled the ICW on the weekends knows what I'm talking about...
Everyone that passes you is in such a hurry... flat out, full Throttle, and only one or two boat WIDTHS from your beam.... Why so close???? the channel is WIDE !!!!
it was a 48.5 nautical mile day... but we lost an hour and a half due to bridge waits.... The anchorage here in Mile Hammock Bay is FULL, but I suspect all these people started this morning from Wrightsville Beach.... considerably closer to here than Southport NC (where we started from this AM).

Tomorrow, if things go well, we should blow though Beaufort NC, and start NORTH toward the Pamlico. How far we get...we'll have to see.
Right off the bat, we have to wait for the Onslow Beach bridge....
(the photo is of AB at Barefoot Landing, where we met Nick and Lyn)

Barefoot Landing and meeting with Cousin Nick and Lyn
Dean - sunny and WARM
05/10/2013, Barefoot Landing-Myrtle Beach SC

As I was glancing though the facebook pages last night... I saw a posted photo of my cousin Nick and his wife Lyn...
I looked at the date of the posting... hummmm minutes ago... and the caption mentioned Myrtle beach...
Double HUMMMM ???? I wonder..

So I wrote a message... saying we'll be at Barefoot Landing in or near Myrtle Beach on Friday the 10th of May.

(thinking that while the posting mentioned the area... and the time was recent...doesn't mean that my cousin was still in the area... as you can post from anywhere... right ?

Today we got a phone call... and we met Nick and Lyn at the docks here in Barefoot Landing.... What a stroke of LUCK..that I would log onto facebook just as the photo was posted.... Anyway... we had a great Happy Hour with Nick, Lyn, and their friends John, and Jane from Seneca, SC (neighbors actually).

photo above... it was great catching up on these past few years.... We miss them a lot... They used to host the "cousin's parties" at their home in Fredonia, NY.... We miss those too...

The other thing that crossed my mind today, as we're motoring up the Waccamaw river, is that 43 years ago, today...10 May I came home from Viet Nam... (It was Mother's Day that year)...
How lucky I was...
I had taken the option of an extended tour in Nam in order to get an "early out" (ETS from the Service). If you came back into the continental USA with less than 159 days in your tour of duty... they would End Time Service, and you immediately were a citizen again... with orders to fly home.... I did not want to go to Louisiana and teach other people how to kill; that part was simple.

During my extended days in Nam...things got pretty weird... the long range ambush team, of which I was a part, was dispersed throughout the remaining units in the province... and I was assigned to the 5th and 60th Infantry... Wow...what a change from the tight, stealth oriented unit I was in for over 11 months...

I was near two base camp over-runs by VC, and NVA regulars... (near as in adjacent by a kilometer)... and then the last week I was in Nam...the base camp I was in was attacked.... "Man, I'm tooooo SHORT for this!!! "

Anyway...I hit the airfield at Oakland, California, still wearing "fatigues" with Nam mud on them, at 3 PM in the afternoon... and by 3 AM I was "out of the Service" and in a taxi cab going across the Oakland Bay bridge to San Francisco... to fly home...
They treated the non-commission officers very well... for some reason....
I was just glad to be OUT!

Anyway... that was 43 years ago... and it seems like yesterday.... Why is that Captain Ron???

Dewes Creek to Thorfare Creek (off Wacamaw River)
Dean Sunny and up to 85F
05/10/2013, Waccamaw river

Easy day yesterday... (Thursday)... along the ICW. Although we woke up late... (actually hit snooze button on alarm)... we still made it through the "skinny water section' of the ICW all the way past McClellanville ( which is an accomplishment as all sailors who've negotiated this section will understand.... high but falling tide.... which is the scariest of all scenarios in a 6 to 8 foot tide range.... [i.e. if you go hard aground.... you're bound to lay over on your boat's sides]).

We went from Dewes Creek, just north of Charleston, SC to Thorofare Creek (just off the Waccamaw River (about 48 nautical miles).

At one point we were buzzed by a mosquito control plane, flying just above the mast... that was exciting, until we realized what the plane was doing... (photo).

We exchanged the glass windows in the cockpit for the total side screens.... as the first of the SC horse flies arrived...

I think we heard him calling for his friends.... so we put in the screens.... What a difference... all day.. no bugs !!! yeah!
We heard people on the VHF radio talking about killing them by the dozens...along the way...

We reset the ODO from the overnight trip while underway... Turns out the Overnight run from St. Mary's was 168 nautical miles over about 27+ hours (probably closer to 32 hours when finally anchored).

So... this morning we'll go up the Waccamaw River to very close to the SC/NC border, and stop at Barefoot Landing for the night. Should be an 'easy day'.

St. Mary's GA to Charleston SC - Outside overnight
Dean - overnight - Clear- Wind building
05/08/2013, Charleston SC

8 MAY 2013 - ST. Mary's (Fernandina Beach, FL) to Charleston SC

We pulled the anchor up at about 0800 hours in Fernandina Beach FL, and headed for the St. Mary's River outlet to the ocean. We put up the mains'l right in front of the range marker; fell off the wind, and hauled up the foresails.... The ocean had a swell to it of about 2 feet, and a 1 foot chop on top of that... So it was nearly as predicted...

We talked with our buddy "Dream Catcher" who was motoring up the inside (AICW) tell him about the outside conditions. Course 035 Speed 6.3 knots (C035/S6.3). Running the "3 mile line"... (Although mostly we're 7 to 8 miles from the coast -- near enough for telephone signals, but too far for reliable data.... But we did change course, and approach the coast so we could see NCIS tonight....)

One has to have some priorities in life!! J

The one bit of excitement Tuesday Afternoon (right before the DoDA Network on the SSB - 8152 kHz at 1700 hours)... We lost the "Yankee" (our biggest headsail).... I had just gotten up from an hours nap; came into the cockpit; turned toward the bow, and literally watched the heads'l fall out of the forestay FOIL!

Wow... !!! So... it was an 'all hands on deck moment' to prevent the heads'l from going overboard; That being accomplished - figure out why it fell.... That was easy... the Yankee Halyard chafed through right at the snap-shackle. Bummer!

OK... what now...? WELL... after changing course, and sail trim, a bit, because of a major change in wind direction... Susan and I put the AB into the hove-to configuration (basically standing still, but with sails still up, (back winded jib - helm locked toward the wind)).

So...while the boat was hove-to, we took the Spare Halyard and attached it to the top roller furling bearings, and while I raised the roller furler bearings, Susan fed the Yankee sail back into the forestay's foil. And we were working again with all sails flying... yeah!!!

We did have to cut a small piece off the heads'l bolt rope... as it was jamming in the foil... Guess we need to take it to a sail loft this summer...

From sunset to midnight everything went fairly well.... Then just after passing Tybee Roads (Savannah River) I had a "bit of a go" with a very large freighter... He was plainly visible on radar as I approached him... I was certain we were on a collision course... So I changed course to let him pass to our bow... good idea, right ?

He did pass to our bow... and I returned to our normal course... and speed. Then, the frieghter immediately turned 180 degrees and headed back out to sea... right towards the AB.... WTF!!!!

WE can't normally out-run freighters.... So now what... I changed course again to at least parallel his, slightly off to his starboard side... to see what his intentions were...

And I increased our speed with the motor.... His position stayed the same relative to AB's course and speed.... NOT GOOD!!! ... as sometime I must turn to port... and cross his bow to maintain course to Charleston.... About 15 minutes later...The freighter ceases to make way... and we outrun him.... Whewwww! Turns out he was trying to orient the freighter to give the Savannah PILOT a lee-side stairway (1 meter above the sea).... Go figure! So... I put the AB back on course, and continue with the night run around Georgia, and most of SC. Hectic 15 or 20 minutes.... !!!!!

We passed Port Royal Sound entrance about 0120 hours... So we were well into South Carolina waters, as I wrote the bulk of this ( 0423 hours) . I saved this document for uploading in the AM, when we anchor at Charleston, SC.

Morning/Afternoon 8 May 2013

As it turns out... the the ocean wasn't going to let us go into the Charleston Harbor without a "good-bye" slap on the rear.... The winds increased all morning after sunrise, until we entered the harbor with 24 knot winds, and 4 to 5 foot waves on our beam.... Quite the wild ending to a passage...

Unfortunately, we were caught between two problems... getting off the ocean as quickly as we could, and trying to wait out the ebb tide coming out of the Charleston Harbor...

We elected to go in the entrance jetty against the outgoing tide.... So with those 5 foot waves slapping our beam, and 20+ winds in the mains'l, and stays'l.... we entered... our Speed over the Ground went from 7.0 knots in the ocean, to 4.2 in the entrance channel... a fight!!!

Anyway... once inside we doused sail, and elected to start down the ICW toward Winyah Bay... We're now anchored in DEWES creek about 6 miles north of Charleston. AND the wind is still howling...

05/08/2013 | Kathy Payne-Davis
Wow- you guys made a good jump! Travel safely!
Saturday.... rain has NOT gone away
dean - windy - rainy -
05/04/2013, St. Augustine, FL Mooring 50

WELL... the "rain, rain, go away" thing didn't work... YET !!!
It's still blowing like crazy.... and misty type rain.... very wet... as I was just outside... adding water to the potable water tanks...

I was making water too, with the R.O. unit to keep it ready to go... The gallons going through the R.O. unit were impressive... mostly because the entire surface of the water here is RAIN Water, and very fresh.... (flows right through the RO membrane).

At the same time... I was running the main engine.... just to make sure it was also ready to go.... More later... Going to shore on Shuttle.

Rain Rain go Away !!!
Dean - nearly 9 inches of Rain, SO FAR...
05/03/2013, St. Augustine, FL

Friday - 3 May 2013 - St. Augustine -- 8.25 inches so far
Wow.... This is almost more rain water than we saw in Hurricane Irene, or Sandy...!!!
So far, (as of this morning's news) 8.25" of rain has fallen.... The dinghy was filled right up to the transom this morning....but still floating happily out to our stern.
I just came in from bailing it out.... So..I've already had my morning shower!
The harbor here is a maelstrom... rocking and rolling all the boats here... I feel sorry for the lighter boats.... Because even AB is rocking... and we slung-out at Westland Marina at 38,500 pounds...(not full of fuel, or water).
The winds have not stopped either.... Last night they were force 7 to 8 (33 to 38 knots)... The weather reporter just mentioned the "ocean is a wreck; don't even consider going out there..."
AND.... According to the radar... there's a lot more to come.... So, I guess we're sitting STILL today, and maybe tomorrow....and maybe for the weekend....
More to follow.

05/03/2013 | Doug Vaughn
Hello Autumn Borne, tried to make contact this am on the net without success. I think my radio system needs a tune-up. Just saying hello and letting you know I've enjoyed your posts as I too have the walkthrough. stay safe and dry!
05/03/2013 | dean perry
hello Eleuthra II .... sorry no contact this AM,
I could hear you but the modulation was not of sufficient Quality to make out what you were saying....

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