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Another ICW Adventure
Orion's adventures and misadventures of 2012/13 ICW and Bahamas cruise.
Enjoying Beaufort S.C.
Walt / 65 partly sunny

Friday December 7th, A bad day for America but a good day for ORION. We are in Beaufort S.C. today at the Downtown Marina. We are taking care of a few boat chores like changing the oil in the engine. It was very easy and "mess free" with the new oil change pump installed before this trip. That was a good move. At 4:30 p.m. he main street was closed and preparations were made for the annual Night On The Town celebration to kick off the Christmas Season. All the merchants were open and serving food and drinks. There were organizations selling food on the street. We both tried our first S.C. "Ladies Island" farm raised oysters and they were really good and salty. We had a chat with the fellow who raised them. The system they use is just like in Virginia. They put the small oysters in bags and cages on the river bed. They are market size in 9 to 12 months, faster than the 18 to 24 months needed in Virginia. We had a "low country" dinner in town and purchased a few small souvenirs before returning to the boat for an early evening.

We are at mile marker 536 here in Beaufort so are really making the miles now. Remember Miami is at MM 1096. We will make it to Thunderbolt Georgia tomorrow, Saturday. Three or four more days and we will be in Florida. We hope to make it to Daytona Beach by mid December where we will leave the boat, rent a car and drive to Texas to spend the holidays with Walt's sister and family in Frisco.

We hope your Holiday celebrations are underway. See you in a few days with more news of our travels.

Orion's ICW 2012/2013 Adventure
Having fun, Really!
partly sunny, 60, calm
12/02/2012, Southport, N.C.

The picture above is sunset at Mile Hammock, Camp LeJune, N.C.

Hello from Southport, N.C. A lot has happened since our last post when we were just leaving Coinjock. We had an uneventful trip down the Alligator River until we got to the Alligator-Pungo Canal. Somewhere in that stretch our water lift muffler became detached from the mounts and fell against the shaft coupling. Net result; there was a hole in the muffler spewing carbon monoxide into the boat along with a lot of saltwater. The drip less shaft log was also throwing more water in the boat once again. We slowed down and kept on going. The bilge pump was able to keep up removing the water. We made a reservation at Belhaven Waterway Marina where they have a first rate mechanic. Fortunately the remaining 3 hours passage to Belhaven passed without further incident. The mechanic/owner Les looked over the issues on our arrival and pronounced them fixable. A new muffler was ordered with next day delivery. Since we arrived on Wednesday before Thanksgiving almost all business was shut down for the holiday. The muffler arrived on Tuesday and installed a couple of hours later. The drip less shaft bearing was adjusted and performing better than ever. Bottom line - We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Belhaven N.C. We ate steamed oysters at the local sports bar, lunch at the Gingerbread Café and dinner at Fish Hooks, all great food. I made daily trips to the local Ace hardware store to make myself feel at home. Owners of the marina, Les and Brenda Porter made us feel we were in good hands and real welcome. One of the nicest things about the marina is the heated shower rooms. They even supply bath linens. How cool is that.
Speaking of cool, we have really been enjoying our new cockpit enclosure. It keeps the cool wind off us and when the sun shines it really heats up so we peel off layers of outer wear. We have a small electric heater to use in the cabin when in a marina with power and a small alcohol heater for evenings when we are anchored out. It is getting up on a cold boat in the morning that is the hardest part. Walt still can't get going for the sunup starts. He is doing good to be ready for an 8a.m. anchor up start.

We had dinner with our friends Paul and Laurie Welser in Moorhead City. We caught up with all their sailing adventures after temporarily moving ashore.
We are keeping our fingers crossed and prayers flowing for further safe travels.

We have learned a lot already and believe it or not enjoying the experience. We enjoyed meeting many locals in Belhaven which is always a great part of these trips.

Orion's ICW 2012/2013 Adventure
Getting ready, delay, delay, finally underway.
Walt / 60 (maybe)
11/24/2012, Reedville, VA to Coinjock, N.C.

Getting Ready - It seems like we spent all summer planning, buying, installing and checking out new equipment. When it seemed we were almost done, we made the annual trek to the Annapolis sailboat show and more items followed us home. A few more weeks were spent adding new gear and when we were almost ready, along came hurricane Sandy to add a few more days delay. Finally, we close the house, move onto the boat and push off the dock. Push the engine shift lever forward to start the adventure now November 9th. The most awful clatter came from the engine room. We anchor and try to figure out what happened. What happened was an engine mount broke which caused the engine to settle which caused the shaft coupling to break its bolts and disconnect from the transmission. Dead in the water, we arrange a tow to our local boatyard by Smith Point Sea Rescue, Jennings Boatyard, just 1 mile away. We are ready to have the boat hauled for the winter, unpack everything and call it quits. Larry Jennings is not so quick to give up. After inspection they proclaimed "I can fix this. What do you want to do?" With a 5 to 7 day repair goal, Mary and I move back into the house for a week. Parts are ordered and arrive. What to do now. . .we take ourselves of to the Virginia Meseum of Fine Arts in Richmond to see the Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a major exhibition of work by internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly Check out this link to the VMFA WEB site.. Meanwhile, Installation is completed and tested. We once again close the house and leave Jennings boatyard on November 16th heading South on the Chesapeake bay with 60 degree temperatures and 15-20 mph winds out of the North..We had a spirited motor sail under jib to Mobjack Bay East River. The sun finally came out and felt glorious in the cockpit. The second day we continued to Hospital point on the Elizabeth River, Norfolk. The next day being Sunday we were able to pass through the opening bridges in Norfolk on their regular hourly schedules without rush hour traffic non-opening restrictions. Finally we are past ICW mile marker 0 (mm 0) (Hospital Point). We approach Coinjock N.C. at mm50 via the North Landing River where we encounter winds of 20-25 mph with gusts to 35mph. The waves were smaller than we had encountered on the Chesapeake a few days earlier but it was still quite a ride. Top off fuel, a trip to the ships store; obligatory prime rib dinner at the restaurant and we are on our way the next day. So far all is OK.

Orion's ICW 2012/2013 Adventure

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Our Crew
Who: Mary Frazer & Walt Keith
Port: Reedville, VA
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