Ya Ha Ha Ting

The fun times aboard Liquid Therapy. With - Susan and Brooke Smith

25 April 2016 | Horn Harbor Marina
23 April 2016 | Ocean Marine Yacht Center
22 April 2016 | Midway Marina, Coinjock, NC
21 April 2016 | Manteo Waterfront Marina
20 April 2016 | Ocracoke National Park Docks
18 April 2016 | Ocracoke National Park Docks
17 April 2016 | Oriental Marina and Inn, Oriental, NC
15 April 2016 | Casper’s Marina, Swansboro, NC
15 April 2016 | Harbor Village Marina, Hampstead, NC
13 April 2016 | South Harbour Village Marina, Southport, NC
10 April 2016 | Shelter Cove Marina, Hilton Head, SC
05 April 2016 | Daufuskie Public Dock
04 April 2016 | Buckhead Creek Anchorage
31 March 2016 | Morningstar Golden Isles Marina
30 March 2016 | Brunswick Landing Marina, GA
29 March 2016 | Brunswick Landing Marina, GA
27 March 2016 | Lang's Marina East, St. Marys, GA
24 March 2016 | Lang's Marina East, St. Marys, GA
24 March 2016 | Jacksonville City Dock
22 March 2016 | Anchorage Matanzas River

Day 188 Monday, April 25, 2016

25 April 2016 | Horn Harbor Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage Ocean Marine Yacht Center to Horn Harbor Marina, Port Haywood, VA
9:11 AM Underway
2:53 PM Docked Horn Harbor Marina
6.8 engine hours 47 miles

Last Day of our voyage! Paul, the Captain of Misty, a 100’ Stevens Yacht, helped us out of our slip this morning. Last evening we had him and Ron and Kathy, the owners of Quest, a 36 Grand Banks, aboard Liquid Therapy for docktails. Paul has been a captain of various yachts over the 33 years of his career. We all told interesting cruising stories and of course Paul’s stories were a lot different than most boats of our size. A little later we were asked aboard Misty and given a tour. Very nice, but a lot of boat to care for as well as operate. Paul is headed to Newport, RI, where the owner will spend the summer aboard.

It was fun getting underway for the last leg of our 6 month voyage. We passed all the Navy and commercial shipping areas in the Elizabeth River and could see the Navy is still cautious of boats passing by the destroyer and aircraft carrier piers in particular. These boats were surrounded by floating fences and guard boats with mounted guns. We then passed Ft. Monroe and the Chamberlin Hotel. I know we can go to this former Army marina on our boat, as it is not operated by the military any longer. That might be fun, as before, it was only for the military R&R.

We have started to pack stuff up, however, we are not good packers. On the other hand, we have way too much ‘stuff’. Some things in our duffle bags were never unpacked. I end up wearing about the same 4 or 5 shirts and the same can be said for all the other clothing. I never even wore my foul weather jacket.

Susan and I did grow our hair. I’m not sure why I did. But Susan’s hair looks really great. I’m getting mine cut. I hope her hair stylist does something cool with hers!

The Chesapeake Bay gave us a nice ride. Wind out of the south and sunny skies. As I approached the York River, we had USS Nitze DDG 94 entering the York River channel on my starboard beam. I slowed so as not to cross its very impressive bow. I remembered being in the Navy and on DDG5, going up the York River to the Naval Weapons Station at Yorktown to load 5” shells and powder before heading across the Atlantic. We had to off load what we didn’t fire when we returned to Norfolk.

We saw the New Point Lighthouse on the horizon. It was a nice sight, meaning we were almost home. And, then we turned into Horn Harbor channel for the 30 minute run up to the marina. Our old slip was waiting for us and we backed in with no trouble at all.

And, then suddenly, we realized our cruise was over. What did we feel? Kind of strange-like we hadn’t been gone long at all. We actually traveled 3157 miles on Liquid Therapy. 188 Days.
We are spending one last night on Liquid Therapy before Eddie, my brother, picks us up tomorrow at noon.

We appreciate all of you that have gone on our cruise with us by reading our blog. We really enjoyed the comments you made to us.

Day 186 Saturday, April 23, 2016

23 April 2016 | Ocean Marine Yacht Center
Brooke Smith
Passage Midway Marina Coinjock to Ocean Marine Yacht Center, Portsmouth, Va
7:31 AM Underway
1:43 PM Docked Ocean Marine Yacht Center
8.8 engine hours 48 miles

We made it to Portsmouth today. Ocean Yacht Marina (formerly Ocean Marine Yacht Center) was our first stop on our trip last fall, 10-21-15. Now we are at T-minus one and holding. We have had so many changes in the weather forecast, but have made it to Portsmouth. We could make the 38 mile run to our home marina tomorrow - except the wind is supposed to be too bad in the Chesapeake Bay until tomorrow, Sunday afternoon. It’s not good to start out in the afternoon for a 6 hour run. The Chesapeake Bay will be rolling for sure with the wind 15-20 knots out of the north. It’s supposed to drop to 5-10 in the afternoon. The waves will still be tough. So we will stay in Portsmouth until Monday morning.

The trip from Coinjock to Portsmouth was interesting as several power and sailboats pretty much started around the same time heading north. Everyone goes just a little faster or slower than the next. Much passing occurs over a period of several hours. Today’s bunch of boats were extremely courteous in the ‘Slow Pass’ procedure. That continued for several hours with all of us ending at the North Landing Bridge that had been damaged by a barge. Only one half of it was able to open. We ALL adjusted speed to arrive for the 11:30 opening. Then it was off like a herd of turtles to the Centerville Turnpike Bridge. Then came the Great Bridge lock that we were going to get to way too early for the 1 PM lock through. We tied up at the Great Bridge dock for about 15 minutes before entering the lock. The Great Bridge lock only raised us one foot. It basically keeps the salt water from the Elizabeth River and fresh water from the Virginia Cut from colliding. Seriously, we are not sure of the purpose of this lock.

We decided to refuel one more time as we were going to pass the cheapest fuel in Virginia in about one mile after the lock. We refueled at Top Rack Marina for $1.59 / gallon. That is so different from our trip four years ago when we had paid as much as $4.25 / gallon. We will need NO fuel for a year running around the Chesapeake. I did the calculations for the fuel since Osprey Marina. We have frequently, since Osprey, been in awful wind and current conditions. We still ended up burning 1.6 GPH and a respectable 3.6 MPG. This boat is very economical to run. Both of us LOVE the way Liquid Therapy has carried us safely through many different weather conditions and MANY miles these last six, months!! It is paramount to feel safe and comfortable in your home, no matter where or what it is.

As we approached Portsmouth, we were greeted with thunder and lightning from a brief afternoon thunderstorm. I called the marina and told the guy to put on a rain slicker. Our docking maneuver was probably a 9.0, but we stuck the landing first try. Soon we headed out for a celebratory meal at Lobscouser Restaurant.

Today’s picture is part of the parade of boats passing through the un-broken half of the North Landing Bridge.

Day 185 Friday, April 22, 2016

22 April 2016 | Midway Marina, Coinjock, NC
Brooke Smith
Passage Manteo Waterfront Marina to Coinjock, NC
8:09 AM Underway
12:24 PM Boarded by Coast Guard for Vessel Safety Check
12:50 PM Coast Guard disembarked
2:!9 Docked Midway Marina, Coinjock, NC
7.2 engine hours 43 miles

Our scheduled run today was not too long. We thought about trying to go 75 miles to Great Bridge, but that is a long day. We aren’t in THAT big a hurry to get back home. The wind should give us a push. But, soon after getting underway, the wind was not out of the south like it was supposed to be. It was more like west or even northwest. After running north on the Roanoke Sound, rounding the northern end of Roanoke Island, I stayed in the lee of Durant Island to get a better and more comfortable angle for the 10 mile run across the Albemarle Sound to the North River. That thought worked! When I turned to head across the Albemarle to the North River to rejoin the AICW, we had a following sea hitting our starboard quarter. Not a bad ride at all.

A few miles up the river, we were hailed over the radio by the Coast Guard for a Vessel Safety Check. We had one of these USCG checks before, 4 years ago. I don’t know if they like boarding us because the boat is a classic and they just want to see it, or the name ‘LIQUID THERAPY’ seems like a boat they should board. Maybe we are just slow and easy to catch. HA.
We had a nice bunch of guys in the boarding party. Seemed like it was a training mission as they were telling one guy how to do some parts of the inspection. We were fine. It still rattles you at first. One Coastie asked how long a line I had on our throw ring. As far as I knew, there is no line requirement on the throw ring. I told him about 25’ with a strobe light attached to the other end of the throw ring line. And, then he said, there was no requirement for a vessel our size. I don’t think there is any requirement to have a line on a throw ring period. You need to be able to throw a ring to a person for them to hold on to. You will be more accurate by NOT HOLDING ON TO A LINE ATTACHED. If a life ring has a line on it, it should float and then you could grasp the line with a boat hook when you come back to pick up the “man overboard”. The Coasties were very nice and we enjoyed their boarding. Of course we were passed by several boats that were wondering why Liquid Therapy had a ‘blue light special’ going on.
We thanked the Coast Guard for all they do as they left.

Today’s picture is from a few days ago of a shrimp boat in front of Liquid Therapy in our torpedo sights. Fire torpedo one.

Day 184 Thursday, April 21, 2016

21 April 2016 | Manteo Waterfront Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage National Park Service Docks to Manteo Waterfront Marina, Manteo, NC
7:01 AM Underway
4:16 PM Docked port side to.
9.8 engine hours 67 miles

Bye OCRACOKE! We might be back soon for the Ocrafolk Festival in June. In reality, our household duties we’ve neglected for six months will keep us from going back that soon. As I type this, we are on a 30 mile stretch across the Pamlico Sound. It’s 7:40 AM, as I start today’s blog entry, and the chart plotter says we have 31 miles, (4 hours) on this same course. Thank goodness for the autopilot. I would go nuts steering the same course for 4 hours. I still have to watch for crab pots, however. I’m going to clean the vinyl windows and straighten up the fly bridge some, as we go.

There is a big forest fire on the western shore of the Pamlico Sound. I certainly see the smoke from it, as we pass by that area. There is also a very unnatural, gray color cloud from the smoke. Check the news to see if it is out yet. Fourteen thousand acres have burned so far.

As the day progressed, we neared the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX) and saw the Oregon Inlet bridge, the Bodie Lighthouse and Jockey’s Ridge, all from the sound side. This is a much different view than when you drive down Highway 12. This is also true of visiting all the port towns by water instead of by car. You actually see why these towns were important, through time.

The weather changed all day long from a slight northerly wind and waves hitting the bow, to a calm and very nice ride. Then, suddenly, the wind switched to the south and started picking up. Of course by the time we got to Manteo the wind was about 20 knots. Turning into the very narrow Manteo channel, it was tough getting the bow to turn through the wind. I was blown out of the channel with full rudder and moderate power and the depth dropped to almost 0 feet. I didn’t feel the boat touch the bottom and we finally started down the channel for our destination marina. Our radio might be on the blink, as the dock master never heard us and we headed for an open spot on the T dock. Lots of people, even a couple of Harley riders, were ready to help with the windy conditions. Not sure if tomorrow will be a travel day or not.
Today’s picture is accumulated smoke from a large North Carolina forest fire, which appeared above us as a totally detached, hazy, dark gray cloud.

Day 183 Wednesday, April 20, 2016

20 April 2016 | Ocracoke National Park Docks
Brooke Smith
National Park Service Docks, Ocracoke, NC

Oh darn, the weather is too bad to leave Ocracoke this morning. I feel like I got a school snow day! We love Ocracoke and being stuck here is just NOT being stuck. Yesterday, we took a walk to Springer’s Point ( http://www.outerbanks.com/springers-point.html ) to see where the demise of Blackbeard occurred in 1718. There is a curious old natural well there that had been used by Indians long before Blackbeard. Sailors knew what islands had water and trees for masts and I guess rum. Susan packed a nice picnic lunch and off we walked. There was a nice nature trail winding through the wax myrtle trees to the beach where we sat and had our picnic overlooking the Ocracoke Inlet. We mused about exactly where Blackbeard lost his head, as we ate lunch!

Later, while I was launching the dingy for our nice ride about Silver Lake, a passerby struck up a conversation and the next thing I knew we were invited to his house for cocktails. He and his wife are ‘almost retired’ and looking for a cruising boat. We had them over for a look around Liquid Therapy. I think they may be hooked on the Albin brand! Day before yesterday, we toured WOVV’s new studio. Such a very cool radio station. If I lived here I’d certainly be involved with WOVV.

Last night, after dinner at DAJIO’s Restaurant (an acronym for Doug And Judy’s In Ocracoke), I checked out a new small music venue, Coyote Music Den, and bumped into famous Ranger Bob, from the National Park Service (NPS). He is a really nice guy promoting the NPS and always helpful with visitors. He was getting ready see if the owners of the Coyote Den would appear at a new weekly music concert at NPS venue, by the ferry docks.
We walked back to Liquid Therapy for a nice evening. The northerly breeze starting picking up in the middle of the night sometime. That was nice for sleeping. But I knew the wind would be building and we would GET to stay at Ocracoke one more day. Yea!!

Today’s picture is the Coast Guard headed north, my guess, to Hatteras Island - almost sunset overlooking the Pamlico Sound. We think they were taking soundings, near the south end of the island.

Day 181 Monday, April 18, 2016

18 April 2016 | Ocracoke National Park Docks
Brooke Smith
Passage Oriental Marina and Inn to National Park Service Docks, Ocracoke, NC
7:10 AM Underway
1:20 PM Docked port side to.
7.2 engine hours 46 miles

OK, we are not home. But Ocracoke feels like home. From high school until now, Ocracoke is just fun. I’m listening to WOVV, their local station, over the radio right now. Usually I have to stream the the station on TuneInRadio. They are playing some really good blues, jazz and other music I cannot put into any genre. I visited their new studio today. They moved from a tiny, waterfront studio to a nice second floor building. I’d certainly volunteer if I lived here!

Our cruise this morning down the Neuse River was pretty easy, even though the windy conditions were still echoing on the Pamlico Sound, with two to three foot seas. Not bad, except they were almost hitting us broadside for two hours. The flag was limp due to lack of wind, but still, the uncomfortable swells continued to run. They finally calmed as the morning wore on.

Where are the two ferries I’m wondering, as I’m still about two hours from the entry of the Ocracoke channel? I don’t know why, but these ferry boats do not appear to have the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which would tell me where they are, their course and speed and how close we will pass. I finally spied the Cedar Island ferry a good hour before it got to me. It looked like a “constant bearing decreasing range” situation. That equals collision. Still, the ferry was, about 10 miles away on my starboard quarter. Then, I saw the Swan Quarter ferry, off the port bow, maybe 5 miles away. Who knows for sure, because they don’t have AIS either. They might not have AIS because of security. AIS would tell a terrorist exactly where the ferry is. War ships don’t have AIS either. Cargo and most commercial vessels have AIS. It was how the Somali Pirates were initially tracking their prey. Now ships cut off their AIS when in pirate waters.

The problem, here is that I was on autopilot with a 9 mile run dialed in and didn’t want to change course if I didn’t have to. On the other hand, though, I was not seeing a change of course on the Cedar Island ferry. The Swan Quarter ferry, I determine, is not a threat. Calling the ferry on the VHF goes through my mind. I will when the ferry gets a little closer. I don’t like what I’m seeing and I don’t want to kick the autopilot off so I decide to slow down a bit. I could speed up and cross his bow and avoid the collision. It might avoid a crash but that would be the time your motor would fail and you’d get run over! So, slowing down let me leave the autopilot on and the ferry go ahead of me. The angle changes and he is definitely going to pass ahead of me. The thing about the ferries is they are fast and I don’t want them coming up behind me in the narrow Big Foot Slough Channel. I prefer for the ferries to be ahead of me going in. They also leave really quickly and will be coming out of Silver Lake’s narrow channel at 1:00 PM and 1:30PM. I will arrive before 1:30 but after 1:00PM so one of those ferries will be coming back out before I arrive. So, I wait for the 1:00 PM ferry to leave and we proceed into the Silver Lake channel and past the other ferry. Wow, no other boat at the National Park Dock, no wind and no current. Docking was a piece of cake!
Today’s picture is the Cedar Island Ferry docked for the night in front of Liquid Therapy.
Vessel Name: LIQUID THERAPY
Vessel Make/Model: ALBIN 36' DOUBLE CABIN TRAWLER
Hailing Port: DELTAVILLE, VA
Crew: BROOKE & SUSAN SMITH
About: LONGTIME BOATERS. SOLD OUR 33' CARVER IN 2002 AND HAVE BEEN BOATING ON OTHER PEOPLES BOATS SINCE. WE ALWAYS WANTED A TRAWLER AND SAID IT WAS TIME. SO, WE NOW HAVE A 1979 ALBIN. IT'S GREAT.
Extra: Boating the Chesapeake Bay
LIQUID THERAPY's Photos - Barefoot Man Weekend
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Nippers Scene from one of the decks. It is multilevel.
Nippers Scene from one of the decks. It is multilevel.
Added 18 March 2012