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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Dingy To The Mud Shores Along The Way To Calabash, NC
Keith, hot but bearable
08/04/2008

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Calabash, NC Anchorage
Keith, very hot but stable and clear
08/04/2008

I cruised 25 miles from Southport to here today. I crossed the border to South Carolina this afternoon, but this anchorage is slighly backtracking back into NC. It was a pretty uneventful passage today with deep water almost all the way and current with me most of the time. I've been lucky to have the current going with me most of the way from Oriental, but I sometimes think it is the bad weather to the south becking me with good currents and I will pay the price later. I passed several inlets today, which are striking to experience because you can see the open Atlantic and there are always currents and shoals adjacent to an inlet. This particular anchorage is evidently the only good anchorage in these parts. It is quite nice, I must say. At first I anchored too close to the center of the channel and the large ferry or whatever it was blew its horn at me, which hurt my feelings. I pulled up and anchored much closer to the shore and seem to be doing fine. Dropped the dingy, put on the little engine, and rowed the dogs ashore to play. The shore was like quick sand, but the squishy muddy sand felt kind of good in the hot sun. After the dogs were back on board the mothership, I took off by myself to town, reputed to serve excellent seafood. The dingy was going really fast with just one person and the 3.5 horsepower engine, but the engine is not altogether reliable and sometimes dies or threatenes to die, whether because it is out of gas or for some other reason. It's not a bad engine, just rather basic. I should have brought the honda 2 hp as a backup, but I was planning to head north and I thought I could get it when I passed back through Oriental... and that's neither here nor there now since I'm a long way south already and not going back north as of this moment. As the guidebook predicted, I was rather underwhelmed with the quality of the seafood in Calabash in spite of the town's reputation, but the air conditioning and the several large glasses of 1/2 sweet/1/2 regular ice tea were very welcome. I got the deluxe seafood platter, which has a bit of everything they serve. I've got enough leftovers to last at least all of tomorrow. I gave the fried oysters to the dogs to enjoy with their dinner tonight since oysters gross me out still no matter how they're cooked. Still an hour or so until the sun goes down, then maybe it will cool down a bit - maybe not. We'll be ok either way.

Ice, Wonderful Ice
Keith, hot and humid
08/04/2008, Southern, North Carolina

As I travel southward, it is naturally getting hotter. The afternoons are starting to really get going. I have a well known and respected brand of Fridge/Freezer. It keeps the perishibles cold using only about 2.5 amps per hour. It's my biggest draw, but its worth it. There is a little freezer, just big enough for 6 ice cube trays. I haven't yet used all 6 in one day, but its definitely possible. That ice makes cold soda, cold water, and cold cocktails. It is a little bit of icy cold bliss in what can otherwise be an extremely hot existence.

Dock Leading To An Opening In the Marsh
Keith, overcast and muggy, but at least its not sunny
08/03/2008, Southport, NC

It's noon here in southern, North Carolina. We've decided to park it in Southport for a full second day. It's Sunday and most of the shops are closed, but I don't do much shop shopping anyway. I pretty much have everything I need and a lot that I don't need. There is a Walmart 1.5 miles up the road, but I don't really need anything from there either. Perhaps a small vegetable stand would be of some interest. Otherwise, I'd like to use up some of my dry stores because things don't last forever in this environment. We took an especially long walk this morning and enjoyed this historic town. There is a lot more to see. I'd like to catch some of the concert in the park at 4:00 this afternoon. Maybe a shower and shave as well today. I've got to work on putting more ads for the truck and the other boat and the house for rent. Not much progress in that realm to date. Also need to pay some bills and otherwise attend to some matters back at home. So its a hang-out day in Southport.

A Little About The Cape Fear Region
Keith, cool, calm evening - I think I can hear something eating something off the hull
08/03/2008

We are traveling through a very historic area for the United States (and the Confederacy). Southport is located at the mouth of the Cape Fear Inlet, one of the main capes and inlets on the east coast of the US. Beyond the inlet are the frying pan shoals extending for many miles out to sea. The markers placed and maintained by the government take boats large and small by the shoals safely to open ocean. There are many, many wreaks littering the shoals. The long, deep Cape Fear River flows to the sea here. I traveled it today for 10 miles from from the cut to Carolina Beach. It was nice to be in deep water (40 feet plus) and not constantly watching the depth meter (I did anyway, but not as much). The largest ammunition loading platform in the eastern US was/is located up the Cape Fear River. Transports exit the river into the Atlantic and then head for Europe or Vietnam... now the Middle East. The original photo I chose for this entry wouldn't download. It is a memorial for the crew of a transport ship that was torpedoed by a German U-Boat outside of Cape Fear. During the civil war, the south controlled the entrance to the Cape Fear River and used that to undermine the North's attempted blockade of Cape Fear inlet and to further prevent the Northern ships from entering Cape Fear river and taking Wilmington. The futuristic looking iron topped steam battle ships were placed here to guard the entrance (and because they were too heavy and underpowered to take to sea). Eventually, of course, it all fell to the North. Now Southport is a city of peace.

Free Dog Beach In Southport, NC
Keith, sunny and humid - but we are used to it and it doesn't bother. I've learned, for example, that panting doesn't mean exhausted any more than sweating does. It just means hot. The body can function if we go at a reasonable pace and stay hydrated
08/03/2008

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Town Dock In Southport, NC
Keith, hot and humid
08/03/2008

I've fallen into a daily routine which goes something like this: Wake up, make coffee, dingy the dogs to shore for a long walk, back to the boat to feed everyone clean up and get ready to travel, put up the dingy and store the outboard, head off to next destination (usually 15-30 miles away), arrive early afternoon and anchor, relax onboard listen to music and NPR news and write in log book and make sure holding is good, lower dingy and install outboard, take dogs to shore for afternoon and sometimes again for sunset walks, make and eat dinner, get ready for bed. Repeat. It's a good way to slowly make progress while enjoying every place we go. I counted and including the Oriental Harbor, Deatons Marina (remember that first night on the boat) and Whitaker Docks, we've stayed at 10 different anchorages/docks so far this trip and we've slept on the boat 20 nights. We've cruised about 170 miles in the 10 days since we left Oriental on July 24, 2008. We're presently at mile marker 320 in the ICW. Only 600 or so more miles until the Bahamas. At this rate, I could be in the Bahamas by September or earlier. I get a lot of mixed reactions about that, ranging from don't worry to stares of sorry disbelief. I've read about hurricaines hitting North Carolina in October that were disastrous. What if I had waited until October to cruise through NC. I was going to bypass Southport today since it was only 15 miles from my previous anchorage and I wanted to get some miles under me, but my main cruising guide (the one in the picture with the food) said definitely spend some time here. They were right, this town is great. There's so much to say about it but the bottom line is that it has been a haven for mariners for hundreds of years and has a little of everything a cruising sailor and his dogs could want. Another cruising guide (Skipper Bob's) explained that there is a free town dock with power and water. I couldn't find it at first and anchored in the yacht basin. The weather report spoke of heavy thunderstorms and wind this evening (which only marginally materialized) and I was worried about my holding since there isn't room in the basin to lay out enough scope. I looked over and there was a sign for the free and empty town dock space. Those guides are so worth it. We try not to skimp on cruising guides and they almost always deliever their worth and more. I called and reserved the space and managed to land with the help of a kind local. The tide range here is 4 feet, which means we sometimes climb up and sometimes down to get from the boat to the dock. And I do believe my sailboat is the coolest one in the Southport Yacht Basin tonight, which hasn't done much for me yet tonight, but still.

Jake's Spot
Keith, sunny and warm - beautiful afternoon and evening
08/02/2008, Carolina Beach, NC

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Going Ashore In Carolina Beach, NC
humid, but otherwise nice
08/02/2008

14.5 miles from anchor up to anchor down today. Carolina beach is not as upscale as Wrightsville Beach, at least not according to the view of it I saw. Cheap motels, touristy shops. But the basic concept is the same, an incredible beach on the Atlantic side with "beach" houses fit into every nook and cranny along it. Some basic homes, some extravagent villas. This is where the Carolinians have their beach houses - their Coronado (Coronado, San Diego is where my family goes). There was hardly anyplace to put the dingy ashore. I came into one condo building with a beach in front and asked someone on the balcony if I could come ashore for a little while to walk the dogs. They actually said no and watched as I turned around and headed off. But that is the exception. As I've said before, NC people seem naturally dog friendly. The man at the convienence store came out after we were done and brought the dogs biscuts. Many people have done so on this trip (remember the ladies walking in the mornings in Oriental). It seems to be the norm in these beach towns to pass ordinances restricting dogs completely from the beaches during the summer months. Pity. We go anyway, but only for short leashed runs to and from the water. I found this little put-in not far from tonight's anchorage. It was so nice out this evening that we tried to sleep out on deck, but it became just to muggy out there and now we're back inside before heading off to sleep in the more cozy cabin. It is cool out tonight, which keeps things more comfortable. There's definitely an art to cruising a sailboat long distances. One has to find comfort in all types of environments; most of all, one has to find comfort in one's self. That's why Jake does so well. Anne and I go through happy times and homesick times but we're happy to at least be together.

Doing Dishes (these are clean ones)
Keith, hot and humid
08/01/2008, Wrightsvills Beach Just Before Taking Off To Carolina Beach

I'm learning low water use methods of washing the dishes. I've got 80 gallons of water and I've not filled up since I left Whitaker Creek in Oriental. I've got the forward 35 gallon tank turned off from the supply so that I will know when I'm running low.

 

 
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