15 November 2017
Tuesday, November 14
After breakfast, we pulled the anchor up and left the anchorage at Wrightsville Beach at 8:35 a.m.. It is sunny with light winds. Compromise left the anchorage through a shortcut. We went out the way we came in. We motored down the ICW and fell in behind Compromise. The winds are 5-10 so we both put out our head sails. We are moving right along with the current at 5-6 kts. There are many large motor yachts passing us today. I love getting peeks at the ocean as we pass by the inlets. On the Cape Fear River, the wind meets the current head on causing a light chop. We continue to motor sail at 8+ kts. The river is the calmest we've ever seen. We are staying on the facedock at South Harbour Village Marina right on the ICW for the night. We are docked before 2p.m. and topped up the diesel. I heard from Believe today. They are in Georgetown, S.C. I also heard from Wolfgang on SV/SeaLife. We met him in the Bahamas two years ago. He is just behind us in Moorehead City. Maybe we will see him along the way. Karen and I end up spending the afternoon in the laundry room. I enjoyed chating with her. Carl and Ron stayed at the boats to wash down the decks and fill the water tanks. After we all have our showers we decided to walk to Joseph's, a little Italian restaurant. We share a bottle of wine and some fried calamari. The food is so good.....the shrimp linguini, chicken piccata and mussels diablo. Yummy! This definitely competes with Scatori's in Myrtle Beach near Osprey marina. One of my favorites and we reminisced about good times there. We are back on the boats by 7p.m. Before we settled in for the night, Ron came over to deliver a bottle of Texas wine. Can't wait to try that! We are planning an early departure tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 15
We left South Harbour marina at 8 a.m. It is still cold but the sun feels good and the sky is Carolina blue. We warm up nicely in our "florida room". We are doing around 8 knots motoring with the tide. Carl spotted a Bald Eagle and we see more pelicans and palm trees. The houses on the waterway get much bigger as we approach Myrtle Beach. We cautiously navagate through two inlets with serious shoaling. We ran aground here two years ago. We get through this time never seeing less than 1 foot under the keel. There are shorebirds covering the sandbars. We reached our destination at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club in South Carolina at 12:30. This is a large marina with over 150 slips. The fairways are narrow and it is always a little nerve wracking getting in and out of here. Captain Carl does a fine job once again. After we checked in, we walked to McDonald's and had breakfast for lunch. (I may be risking my reputation as a legitimate food blogger here.) The pool is still open but the water is chilly. Since we took care of all of our boat chores the last two days, I took advantage of that and enjoyed an afternoon nap. Karen and Ron came over for a game of Mexican train dominoes.
13 November 2017
Sunday November 12
We decided to leave the Moorehead City Yacht Basin while the winds were light. It was 8:10 a.m. and we were ready to go, so off we went. As we entered Bogue Sound the winds were 10-15 kts. There were a few fishermen out. We unfurled the head sail and motor sailed until the winds were too light. There are a few shoaling areas that we must watch out for. We have slowed our speed to try to time going through the shoaling areas closer to high tide. Karen And Ron catch up with us and they follow us through. We are 20 minutes early for the Onslow Beach Bridge opening. The bridge tender opened 10 minutes early for us. It is not much farther to our anchorage for the night at Mile Hammock Bay in Camp Lejeune. Dolphins are jumping out of the water, as if to greet us. There are five other boats already in the bay when we arrive. After we anchored 5 more boats came in, including a 63 ft. catamaran.
Monday November 13
It was a quiet night in Camp Lejeune. Someone turned the wind on at 7 a.m. The winds are gusting to 20+. Our Drag Queen app tells us that we've moved. We both are topside assessing just how much. From the boat we can see that two of the boats that left the anchorage earlier have run aground where the New River inlet is shoaling. We decide that we should move, reset the anchor and wait for the tide to come up before crossing the New River inlet. Carl raises the anchor and I am on the helm. I moved the gear shift forward but it did not engage. By the time I realize that we are not moving forward, the anchor is off the bottom and we are blown into the shallows. Yup....we're aground. Carl takes the helm and tries to muscle our way off to no avail. I go below to call Tow Boat. They say it will be an hour before they can get there. I put the coffee on. Did I mention that we have bananas on board? Someone at the marina left two bunches of bananas for anyone who wanted them. Carl took one bunch. We ate a few and I made some banana pudding. We had two bananas left on board. Bananas on board are supposed to be bad luck. I've never believed that kind of stuff. After all, women on board are supposed to be bad luck too! I handed Carl a banana with his coffee for breakfast.
By the time Tow Boat arrived, the boat was heeling hard to port. It had started to rain. I went to the bow to catch the tow lines. After about 10 minutes, we are on our way. Compromise leaves ahead of us. A boat is still aground as we pass through the New River inlet. Well, we know where not to go. The tow boat captain had to help a disabled boat in the anchorage before coming back to help the boat in the inlet. Looks like he's going to have a busy day. The sun came out after we went through the Surf City Bridge. Now we have the wind and the current carrying us towards the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. We go through the bridge on the 4:00 opening and turn off the ICW to our anchorage for the night.
12 November 2017
The wind howled, the boat creaked and the fenders squeaked all night. The weather report here today is sunny with a high of 53° and a low tonight of 45°. The weather report for the Abacos, Bahamas today is sunny with a high of 82° and a low tonight of 76°. It will be warming up here this week and we will hopefully be moving south. We dressed for the cold this morning, it was 40°, and stopped by Karen and Ron's boat to see if they would join us for breakfast. Together we walked a half mile to Grumpy's. Famous for their corned beef hash, Ron ordered the Billy Ray special (two poached eggs over corned beef hash), Carl and Karen had eggs, bacon and grits, I had french toast and sausage. The town is getting ready for a Veteran's Day parade. On the way back to the marina we stopped in a marine supply store to look around. I wanted to hang around for the parade, but it is just too cold for us. The locals are setting up their chairs along the parade route. We stop at the marina office to pay for another night and then head back to our boats. Grant and Carl Ubered around to do some parts shopping. At five o'clock we all met in the Captain's lounge for happy hour. The wind is still crazy. I hope we can get off the dock in the morning!
Into The Fog
10 November 2017
We left Oriental at 8:45a.m. into the fog with running and steaming lights and the radar on. We followed the ICW down Adam's Creek off of the Neuse River. The fog burned off and the sun came out, but we can tell that the temperature has dropped. We motor with the tide past waterfront homes. We have a reservation at the Moorehead City Yacht Basin. I wish we could get farther but this is the best place to get into a marina before it gets colder tonight. Grant and Diane called to see if we want to go somewhere for lunch when we get in. The wind picks up to about 20 kts. as we enter the channel into the marina. It is an easy docking as we are blown onto the T head. I quickly realize though that this means it will not be easy to get off the dock in these winds. Diane and Grant are at a marina just across the road. They have been working on cleaning their fuel. They meet us and we all walk to Floyd's for lunch. We catch up on their adventures with the Coast Guard. The food is great and as a marina guest we received a free dessert. Great....just what we needed! We have eaten at some great places lately. I received a call from Karen and Ron (Compromise). They were looking for a place to get in out of the cold and wind. They were concerned about their anchor holding. When we returned from lunch, Compromise was on the dock. After we had showers we stopped at Compromise to catch up with them. They have been in an anchorage and haven't heard from Dave and Sue on Believe since they parted ways two days ago. We are all happy to be on a dock with shore power with this wind and cold. The heat feels so good when we get back to the boat. The winds have picked up to 30+ kts. and We are pinned to the dock. We settle in for the night. Sure hope that Believe has found a safe port.
Hanging Out In Oriental
09 November 2017
The weather has turned cold and windy overnight. It is 50° on the boat this morning. After running the engine a while, the interior temp has climbed to 60°. After coffee we help the boat in front of us off the dock. That allows us to move the boat forward so we are no longer hanging off the dock. Except for a sport fisher, they are the only ones leaving this morning. The weather is going to get worse overnight with an 80% chance of rain and high winds. Looks like we will be spend another day in Oriental. I get my comfy leggings on and my fleece blanket and get cozy in the salon. By 10:30 Carl is itching to get off the boat, so we explore Oriental. Our first stop is the Oriental Trading Company. It is a West Marine type store with gifts and gourmet food. We always find something here. This time we buy a new log book, a belt for Carl, a special hook for the anchor bridle and some fresh apples. The M&Ms Cafe is just a short walk from there and it is lunch time. The cafe is a cozy cottage with a fireplace in the back. Art work by local artists decorate the walls. The food was great! We had corn chowder, kielbasa and bean soup, BLT's and the best onion rings I've ever tasted. There are a few raindrops as we walk back to the boat. Pecans are falling from the trees. We have a group of three resident ducks that hang out on our dock waiting to be fed. After starting the generator and zipping up the enclosure, we head down below and turn on the heat for a bit. I'm soon cuddled up with my fleece blanket again and writing my blog. The rain had set in by 2p.m. for the rest of the day.
Our dock neighbor, a local, left this morning for the Bahamas and a couple from Boston came in to their spot. It rained all day. We heard from friends, Diane and Grant, on SV/Monarch. They left Urbanna and went offshore on Tuesday. They had engine trouble and were towed in to Moorehead City by the Coast Guard. They said the conditions were to rough for Tow Boat. Turns out that they may have water in their fuel. They carry 200 gallons and will have to empty it all and possibly clean their tank. That will probably hold them up a few days. In the meantime, they will be waiting for better weather to go back outside. We also heard that Davido and crew are anchored in Treasure Cay. They saw a few squalls on the way. Our friends from Canada, Debra and Bob (SV/ Sanfire) are flying to Treasure Cay today. Their boat has been on the hard in Green Turtle while they traveled the world. I've enjoyed following them on facebook. Despite the fact that there is no sun, our Boston neighbors came over for a sundowner. We enjoyed the company. This is Kathy and Dave's first year cruising. They have already traveled 1000 miles since leaving Boston in September. They are heading to the west coast of Florida. The rain is really coming down. As we sip our drinks in the cockpit, two huge motor yachts come in to dock at the marina next to us. After dinner we chart our course for tomorrow. We have hung out here long enough!
Dowry Creek to Oriental
07 November 2017
It is foggy this morning. We leave the anchorage at 9 a.m. It will be a short day to Dowry Creek marina. We all need to top up fuel, pump out, and wash off the salt water from the Chesapeake Bay. As soon as we have a phone signal, I phoned them to be sure they have room for us. It is a tall order to ask for dock space for two 41' boats with 14' beams and a 39' catamaran with a 20' beam. ( Wait,that sounds a little bit familiar, SeaQuell and Nemo....) The young man on the phone says he can accommodate us, but he is working alone, so could we come in one at a time giving him time to catch everyone's lines. Everyone hits the ground running as soon as we are tied up. Fueling up, pumping out, washing down. The ladies all take advantage of the free laundry. Carl and I took the marina car to Belhaven to buy a new starter battery. The engine has not been starting first time every time, so Carl decided that we should replace the battery. Guess it's the safe thing to do. We hurry back so others can use the car. There is a happy hour in the captain's lounge at 5:00, but I end up taking a drink with me to do a load of laundry and then I take a shower and get some ice. By the time I get back to the boat it is time for dinner. We have collard greens, glazed carrots and hoe cakes. It has been a busy day!
Believe, Compromise and Bay Breezin' all leave the marina by 8 a.m. We are still traveling together to Oriental, N.C. It is overcast today with a 20% chance of rain. The winds are 5-10. As we exit Dowry Creek, the winds pick up to around 10 knots and we all put our sails out. We have a nice sail down the Pungo River. As we turn to cross the Pamlico River we take our sails in before we reach Goose Creek and the Hoboken Cut. it is cool today without the sun, but still no rain. We leave the Hoboken and I am happy to see that the Neuse River is calm today. The sun peeks out after lunch. The temps warm up and it is quite comfortable. We motor to Oriental. It is about 3 p.m. when we go into the creek on Bay Breezin' to check the town docks. The old dock, and the only one with room for Believe, is full with three boats. The new dock has two boats but looks like if they pull forward we might get two more in. I radio our findings to the others and they decide to go across the river to anchor in Cedar Creek. Carl and I decide to pull in as far as we can behind the boat on the left side of the dock. We tie up but our stern is hanging out about 20 feet. The boat in front of us is sitting on the bottom, so they can't move forward. The boat on the other side has no one on it. As I suspected, we are on the dock and Carl is not moving. So we will just be "hanging out" in Oriental! Im worried about getting hit, but there are a couple of shrimp boats sticking way out that may help protect us. I am not too happy about the situation, but Carl takes me to the Bean for a root beer float. I feel better now and hope for the best!