11/30/2010, Carolina Beacn, NC
Had a good day, about 45 miles under the keel. Tonight we're staying at Carolina Beach State Park Marina. They just opened and all the docks are new floating docks. We were greated by Rob whose first words were, " I must have died because I've always prayed I'd get a Cabo Rico when I died, I just wasn't expecting it today!" He was a most charming gentleman and couldn't say enough nice things about Zephyr. Always a head trip!
I think our run of good weather is coming to an end. They're calling for nasty stuff for tomorrow, so we just might stay here another day. We want to do a little upkeep, so tomorrow is as good as any. Tuck in tight!
11/30/2010, Surf City
We have decided to get into the holiday swing of things even though the weather today speaks more of June than the December we're used to, but I think I can manage.
Left Mile Hammock at 7, well, started to leave; the windless was not ready to get up yet. A few tightened wires and she grabbed the anchor chain and rolled her up. We were off by 7:15. Seems the bouncing and vibration tends to giggle things loose.
We are motor sailing down the ICW. The channel is narrow, but the wind is 30 to 60 degrees off the nose in the 10-18 mph range so flying the geneoa works very well. With the push of the wind, current and engine we have hit up to 9 knots over the ground several times and are averaging 6.
We hope to make Joyner Marina in Carolina Beach by evening.
11/29/2010, Mile Hammock Bay
Truely, we couldn't have asked for anything nicer than today. After a chilley pre-dawn start, the temperatures climbed and we were very comfortable. This has been our longest distance traveled thus far, 60 statute miles! AND....today we saw our first dolphins! They swam around our boat and I never knew where they're going to pop up next. I bet I took 100 pictures today of water boiling where they were a second ago! However, as you can see, I got lucky once or twice (visit the gallery).
Our anchorage tonight is on military property, but we're allowed because there are no manuvers going on right now, just an occasional huey flying over.
Tomorrow we will probably get to Colonial Beach. The weather is supposed to turn colder, so we may go to a marina for the electricity to keep the cabin free from condensation. We're hoping we have improved the problem we had with the moisture gatering under our matress, no, not Depends, rather Dri Deck squares. They create a half inch air space between the mattress and the fiber glass. I'll let you know if we're successful.
We were so sad to leave Auntie Gladys, Kara and Dave, but anxious to get on with our journey. Thank you Auntie Gladys for everything; nobody could ever ask for a better auntie! And my dear Kara, it was so nice to see you happy with your young man. We wish you much continued happiness...and if you want to wrap the gifts I bought you, please feel free...I'd like the Santa Claus paper with a red bow, thank you! And to Miss Olivia, it was so nice to see your tonsils, I declare you healthy! Maybe we can Skype again real soon, you silly granddaughter!
Big hugs and kisses to all.
11/27/2010, Morehead City, NC
We have had a most delightful visit with Auntie Gladys, Kara and Dave, and her neighbors. But, we must leave...mostly, because if we don't we won't fit on the boat any more! Thanksgiving dinner was awesome as has been every meal we've eaten. Last night we had cioppino shown above. This morning we had crab and clam omlets compliments of Chef Dave, the omlet king. Photos in albumn.
Kara and I raided the stores on Friday and got some really nice Christmas gifts at very good prices. We weren't early shoppers, but there was still a lot left at 11 AM.
Tomorrow we'll bid our dear auntie, daughter Kara and boyfriend Dave fairwell and go back to the boat and leave Hancock Marina at first light Monday.
See you on the water!
We sailed over to MWR Hancock Creek Marina Thursday under beautiful sunny skies and a gentle breeze. The marina is very nice and the folks are just great. Auntie Gladys had a little trouble getting on post to get us. There is no cell phone coverage at the marina and could not reach us to verify that she had business being on post. Finally, using her southern charm, she was admitted and came to fetch us. It is so wonderful to see her; we always have so much fun when we get together.
Yesterday we picked up our new friends from Rubaiyat, Deen and Chrissey, and went to the Back Street Pub in Beaufort, did some shopping, and then got together for dinner last night. We picked up some salty oysters and steamed them to go with our dinner. They were the best I've ever eaten! We finished dinner with Auntie Gladys' pies; she has baked two pecans, two sweet potatoe pies, and a chocolate cream...so delicious!! We all had a great evening together. Today they continued on their journey; we hope we meet again, they are such dear and interesting folks.
Only five more days until Kara and Dave get here! We can hardly wait. In the meantime, Auntie Gladys and I have some serious shopping to do!
Just chilling out today. Wind is up to 20's on the sound and supposed to go to 10 tomorrow, so, no sense beating ourselves to death, and it is so nice here. Went for a nice long bike ride this morning.
We have a new tracking device that gives our position called Spot. If you're interested in receiving updates, let me know and I'll add (or remove) you from the recipient list. We are not sure we have all the bugs worked out, but we'll keep on it.
11/16/2010, Sailing Captial of NC
We are just having such a nice time! Cruising is everything we'd dreamed it would be and more. We're here in Oriental where we have cousins. Just got back from Bob and Gay's where we were treated to a fantastic dinner and wonderful company. Always so good to get to spend time with them.
Today I was wearing shorts and a T shirt and was quite comfy. We decided to stay an extra day because they were calling for big winds and rains today, and besides, we are having such a nice time visiting with Dean and Chrissey (and Stella) on Rubaiyat, and the crew on Moonshine. It's true, crusisers are really nice folks!
Tomorrow we're casting off to head to the military marina at Cherry Point where we will keep the boat while we visit Auntie Gladys in Morehead until after Thanksgiving. It's only two hours away and so we don't have to get up at 5 AM, hooray. With the shortened daylight of the season, we're adjusting to the cruiser's clock: sail at first light because it gets dark so early.
A note for Pete and Pokey- the folks at Dowry Creek send their best regards, said you were a real fun couple and look forward to seeing you again.
A note for Carlos - thanks for all the sage advice. Everything you told us was right on. Hope those stripers are hopping in your boat!
All is well on Zephyr.
11/14/2010, Belhaven, NC
November 14, 2010
This morning was an early rise; 5 AM, but only because the restaurant at the Alligator Creek Marina was serving a real southern breakfast! The gals did it up right with really good grits and biscuits so light they nearly floated off our plates. Then it was cast off and head out. We said farewell to Rubaiyat for the day as we waited for the swing bridge to swing and then down the Alligator River to the Pungo Canal we went. About noon we passed the little cove at the mouth of the canal where we anchored on the delivery we did two years ago, not a soul there this time. This canal looks very looks very different from the Dismal. Instead of narrow with lush vegetation, this one is wide and bordered by scrub and dead trees pointing their lonesome spires to the sky. I believe I read that a change in salinity has caused the die off. Once under the Route 94 bridge the vegetation begins to return. First some loblolly pines and then other trees, shrubs and a smothering vine fill in. Occasionally now we see a waterfront home site under development or abandoned with a for sale sign on the dock.
For lunch we enjoyed the leftover fish chowder Terry made for dinner last night. We had thawed a piece fish two times and decided it might be a little mushy for eating whole. What a lucky serendipity. With a can of diced potatoes, corn, sautéed onions a bouillon cube and some milk and butter, Terry made a very tasty dish.
We have been surprised by the lack of wildlife we've seen thus far. Only one heron a couple of unidentified raptors, a few ducks, typical sea gulls, and a couple of pelicans in Norfolk. Today with the bright sunshine we are experiencing a new phenomenon; we're sailing through a gossamer sea
of spider webs glowing like silver threads twisting and turning a graceful dance in the faint breeze. Some are many feet long, but all in our path are clinging to our rigging giving us a festive glow. Christmas in the south! (So far, we've not seen any of Charlotte's children attached to the ends of these arachnid parachutes!)
Most sailboats travel at between 5-8 knots when under power, powerboats, well, they fly like the wind. Usually the difference is not a problem; they go their way and we go ours. Now in a canal it becomes a bit more of an issue. Those great big motors dig a big hole in the water and cause a great wake as they pass. Many a smaller boat has swamped by the careless power boater. Even for larger sailboats it is dangerous when they are rocked to and fro so hard. The solution is called a courtesy pass. The sailboat goes to idle slow as the powerboat approaches, when off the aft quarter, the powerboat slows to a crawl and stops his wake. Continuing slowly, he passes and does not resume his speed until well past the sailboat. It only takes a couple of minutes, but works wonders for the sailor-power boater relationship!
As we wandered down the channel, we watched a boat a mile or so ahead of us make a hard starboard turn...seemed funny in a canal with no inlets. Soon he was straightened out and going again. A few minutes later he hailed us on the VHF. He told us that there was snag underwater that had turned him around, but that he got off without damage. We passed carefully, away from the shore and had no difficulty. We passed the info on to those behind us. So if you're don the Pungo anytime soon, hug channel marker 59 AR fairly close!
We are near Belhaven tonight at Dowry Creek Marina. Very nice place. Used the courtesy car to run to the Food Lion...can't take Egg Beaters again!
Tomorrow, Oriental is the goal.
We had a peaceful and uneventful sail across the Albemarle Sound today. The wind was less than 10 knots from the north and just a touch of waves. We're at a marina tonight for the electircity. We had to get rid of the gas tank we had for the dinghy today. The lid wasn't sealing well and leaked...with a following breeze it was smelly to say nothing of dangerous. When we got fuel we offered it to the attendant and he took it. It should be fine with a new cap.
Tomorrow we plan to make Bellhaven and the next day to cross the Pamlico sound if she is not in a rage. We plan to be at Auntie Gladys' sometime next week. Can hardly wait.
(Got this started yesterday but didn't get to post.)
This morning came before I was ready. I don't believe I've ever slept as soundly as I do on Zephyr! Terry had coffee ready and was ready for me to come top-side to help him cast off before I had the sleep out of my eyes. Once dressed and on deck we were welcomed with a wonderful blue sky and bright shining sun. We cast off and continued down the canal. The next lock, South Mills, came up while I was at the helm and so I just pulled her in and we tied up. The water was to drop 8 feet so attending the lines was imperative. We did just fine and headed on toward Elizabeth City, NC. It wasn't long before the scenery started to change. More loblolly pine and cypress filled with mistletoe and the canal became a river with many twists and turns. We were really surprised that we saw only one heron and a few ducks as the only wildlife, guess everyone has left and headed south!
We arrived at E City about noon and took a slip at Pelican Marina. Last night it got quite chilly and by morning we have condensation on all the outside walls. Having the heaters on takes care of that, but of course needs electricity. We have the generator, but it's a little noisy and we hate to be a nuisance when we're close to other boats.
The weather tomorrow is calling for strong wind and waves, so we're going to take the day to explore E City and take off Saturday when things are to be a bit calmer.
Today we decided would be a good laundry day, the marina has a washer and dryer for only$1.50 a load including drying. We did regular chores and then walked into town. We had to cross the bridge that opened for us yesterday and I was tempted to stop and give the bridge tender a piece of my mind. When we were approaching the bridge we contacted him on 16 and he told us to come on and don't stop, we kept getting closer and closer and there were still cars going over the bridge! He finally started opening it, but we were what we felt was dangerously close and slowed down. He came on the radio and said, "Didn't I tell you not to stop?" I told him he was scaring my pants off and we didn't want to end our trip on his bridge. He just laughed.
But we had a nice stroll through town and had lunch at the Grouper where I had the best crab and advacado salad I ever ate. We visited the Page after Page Bookstore. They have a fabulous cllection of children's books...if only I had more room on the boat....sorry Livvy. We headed back to the boat where the folks from Rubaiyat are joining us for happy hour. Life is good.