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Dreamboat 2011-12 Cruise
Coinjock Marina
05/02/2012, Coinjock, NC

We covered 83 miles today from Oriental to Coinjock. We motored all day through mostly undeveloped Cyprus swamps and marshes along miles of manmade canals connecting wide flat shallow rivers with a trench cut down the middle for the ICW. Over the last two days we also crossed the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, both of which have reputations for being absolutely awful in bad weather. Fortunately we had pretty nice conditions, and except for moderate swells on both sounds that had the boat rolling a little, we had no problems. This afternoon as we got into the Alligator River and the Albemarle Sound we were able to motor-sail with all sails up. The sails help to reduce the rolling, and today with 10 to 15 mph winds on our beam (90 degrees from the front of the boat) the sails boosted our speed by about 1 mile per hour. Tomorrow we will travel up the canal and rivers from Coinjock to the Lock at Great Bridge Virginia. The lock lowers us down from the canal into the Elizabeth River that flows through Norfolk and into the Chesapeake Bay. We hope to dock at the Willoughby Bay Marina in Norfolk.

Dowry Creek Marina - Again
05/02/2012, Bellhaven, NC

We stopped here on the way down on October 31st and stayed 2 nights. We had such a nice time we had to stop again on the way north. As before, there was cocktail hour in the clubhouse which lasted almost 2 hours, where we got to chat with about 15 other boating couples about where they had been and where they were going. My favorite was the couple on a boat that looks like a cross between a trawler and a tug boat (called a Florida Bay Coaster). They live on their boat, and spend the summers anchored in the Great Salt Pond at Block Island, RI where he runs a Boat US Towboat, and the winters in the Abaco Islands. The Captain

Peaceful Day on the Neuse
04/30/2012, Oriental, NC

Gary left for the bus station on the hotel shuttle at 7am, and Bruce left at 7:30 to deliver his camera and sun glasses to him before his 8am bus departed. Made it with 15 minutes to spare. At 8:30 we went through the drawbridge next to this marina and motored south down the Neuse River to the town of Oriental. Seas were calm and the winds were light to moderate. The Cormorants pictured above were watching as we passed by. We are docked at the beautiful and peaceful Whittaker Point Marina in Oriental, NC. We enjoyed this place so much last November on the way down that we just had to stop again. Tomorrow we head for Dowrey Creek Marina in Bellhaven, NC. The Captain

Magical Mystery Tour
Written by the Guest Crewmember:
04/29/2012, New Bern, NC

This is my last night on what has been a very peaceful and relaxing vacation on Dreamboat for the last 5 days. I feel very lucky to be able to do this cruise and very thankful the Captain and the Admiral welcomed me aboard.
We have motored up a good stretch of the ICW and I have seen many interesting sights and beautiful scenery. I never realized North Carolina had so much undeveloped coastline which we paralleled on our trip for many miles. Often you could see the breakers in the ocean as we passed inlets and narrow stretches, and you realized you were really traveling on the edge of the land as close to the sea as you can travel without entering the ocean. The wildlife was abundant, dolphins popping up in groups of 3 sometimes, and pelicans, ducks, and shorebirds diving for fish. Those poor fish!
Along the way I enjoyed looking at all the really great houses, and docks on steroids. Many are built with decks from the ground to the roof (even the docks have two levels!). The towns we visited along the way have great views of the nature that surrounds them and much history to share, just a short walk around a town and you find out many interesting things about the area.
My highlight was our stop in Beaufort NC, a great town dock area put us close to restaurants and shops and it is where we saw a terrific Maritime Museum that houses, among many items, some artifacts that are suspected to be from Blackbeard's Pirate ship - the Queen Anne's Revenge, from 1718, that was found in 1996, just outside of Beaufort inlet in 25 feet of water! To look at a few cannon and many other items recovered from the wreck site, that were used almost 300 years ago by the notorious pirate, just really seemed to be mind boggling.
Another history tour in New Bern NC today included a 300 year old colonial governor's mansion in New Bern NC and the actual pharmacy where Pepsi-Cola was invented. More cool stuff and old buildings that are different from my surrounds in south jersey.

Lazy days on a boat is just what the doctor ordered for me, and all good things must come to an end.....unless you are retired like Bruce and Jill and you can just sail on until you feel like stopping..... anywhere you want..... day by day. (Must be nice!).
It was also very enlightening to see just what they have been doing since last October! The ICW is actually a real chore as far as navigation, and they basically report to work now as they cast off until you anchor at the end the leg for the day. Buoys, and channel markers and shoals, and crab traps, fishing boats, and even freighters and barges make for a lot of paying attention required! Not to mention the bridges!...But it is usually in great surrounds so it is not so bad, just much more than you can realize unless you experience it .

Tomorrow I head home in a backwards kind of way via Myrtle Beach, and I thank the Skipper and Maryann for letting Gilligan tag along!

I suggest everyone get out and do some kind of an adventure like this as often as you can in your life.

04/30/2012 | Faye
Glad you enjoyed yourself Gary
Another nice day on ICW
34 42.977'N:076 39.933'W
04/28/2012, Beaufort, NC (Bow-fort as opposed to the same spelling for Bew-fort in SC)

We awoke this morning in the anchorage at Mile Hammock to discover that 3 of the 4 other boats had already departed, and the 4th was leaving. The 4th called us to let us know that the Marines were closing down the next 5 mile stretch of the ICW from starting at 8am for live artillery fire practice. We got the anchor up and were underway in time to make the 8 am opening of the bridge just north of our anchorage. After we got through, we came to a military patrol boat with a red flag and a sign that indicated that the ICW was closed. We hailed them on the radio and they advised that the ICW was still open for passage at that time. We thanked them and proceeded through to the other end of the restricted area where we passed another patrol boat which was stopping boats coming in from that end. We waved to them and went happily on our way. Later we did hear military warships on the radio so we were glad to be out of the target practice area. The rest of the day was spent traveling through the back side of the North Carolina barrier islands. The west side of the ICW was pretty much developed with a wide variety of house styles from new mansions to very modest houses. The majority of the houses that had boats at their docks had small to medium outboard motorboats including a number of Carolina Skiff brand and similar shallow water fishing boats. We arrived at and went under a bridge just before Morehead City and had to pool the collective brain power of The Admiral, The Captain, and the guest Crewmember, Gary, to sort out which channel to take of two very similarly marked channels that went in different directions on the other side of the bridge. The one we collectively picked did turn out to be the correct choice, and we motored through the Morehead City big ship terminal area and out the channel towards the ocean until we arrived at the turn that led us into Beaufort City harbor and the Beaufort Town Docks Marina. The picture above is our view of this nice little city from Dreamboat. Tomorrow we plan to head up Adams Creek into the Neuse River and up to the city of New Bern, NC. The Captain

Trial by Drawbridge
04/27/2012, Camp LeJeune Beach, NC

When we left Dockside this morning we had to go through one drawbridge immediately that opens only on the hour. The next drawbridge was 5 miles away and it opens on the half hour. Really pushing it we can go 9.5 mph or so, but we were at the front of the line through the first bridge so we put the throttle all the way down. There was a trawler in front of us a little bit so we thought the drawbridge would open for him, giving us just enough time to catch up. However, when we were three minutes from the bridge one minute before the half hour, we heard the trawler call the bridge to say that he was just short enough that he did not need an opening. The bridges have to open exactly on their scheduled time so that meant since we were three minutes away he could not open for us. We got to try to stay in one place for a half hour until the top of the hour for him to open for us. The next bridge was 18 miles further away but opened on the hour. Although we could do the 18 miles in about 2-1/4 hours that meant that we would miss the opening two hours away by about 15 minutes and the next opening would be still 45 more minutes away. Our only choice was to slow down and stretch our travel time for the 18 miles to three hours. We made that with time to spare and continued on towards our destination. As were were getting close we had to travel through a section that made a sharp left angle turn, went about a half mile, made a turn back parallel to our original course, made another sharp angle right, and then turned back on our original heading. Just before we got to that section, a large power yacht blew by us without slowing down as he should to not wake us badly. When we got to the second sharp turn we saw he had missed the turn and run straight off into the mud and was sitting pretty much out of the water. To make his mistake even worse, the tide had just started going out so here he was aground, and was going to wait at least 12 hours to even get back to the same tide level he ran aground at. Even at that it was going to take some real tow boat work to get him off. Just a reminder that haste makes waste, and in this case probably cost a lot of boat bucks! We continued on and arrived at our planned destination which is a very nice harbor made by the marines to provide landing craft training at Camp LeJeune. Most of the time it is empty except for the boats traveling the that stop by overnight. We are anchored here with four other boats toinight. The above picture is from our boat looking out the well marked entrance from the ICW. Tomorrow we travel to Beaufort, NC just in time for a wine and cheese festival! The Captain.

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