15 April 2017 | Swansboro, NC
14 April 2017 | Carolina Beach, NC
12 April 2017 | Osprey Marina , Socastee, SC
11 April 2017 | Charleston, SC
09 April 2017 | Jacksonville, FL
08 April 2017 | Atlantic ICW
07 April 2017 | Marathon, Florida
Home for the Summer
31 May 2017
We depart Portsmouth at 5:10 am, after adding some oil to our little engines, and taking Maggie for a quick walk.
It's cool and cloudy this morning, but the city lights and huge naval vessels provide plenty of light.
The waterway is busy with numerous big ships heading out to sea. Several barges and dredge operations are up and running early as well.
We enter the Chesapeake Bay around 8:00 am. It's calm; virtually no wind, so we motor along at about 7 knots. We're getting a little push from the current.
Around 10:00 am the fog sets in with a vengeance. Visibility is less than 1 mile. We turn on the radar to help us know what's around us. The fog lasts until noon, when the sun begins to peep out.
The wind shifts to North (right on the nose). The infamous weather guessers missed it again! Imagine that!! Thankfully, it's only blowing around 10 knots. We slow down significantly (down to 5 knots), but we're making progress.
Robert works from the cockpit table (he has set up a temporary work station ), and I keep a watch . When he finishes his morning meetings, he takes the helm and I go below to do a little housekeeping. Then I do some coloring in my adult coloring book.
Lunch for Robert is leftovers from the little German restaurant where we had dinner last night. I enjoy a delicious cheese stick, a boiled egg, and a cookie.
Maggie sleeps the morning away and eats nothing.
After lunch, conditions on the Bay begin to worsen. It's not horrible, but it certainly is not the ride we had anticipated based on last night's weather forecast. Oh, well, nothing to do but suck it up and move on. Only a couple more hours till we make the turn into the Rappahannock River. Guess it's good that I had a light lunch!! Also, no coloring this afternoon.
Conditions improve in a little over an hour. We make it to the Rappahannock River by 2:30 pm.
By 4:15, we're entering Urbanna Creek. We see colorful balloons tied on the power pedestal at our slip. We're greeted by our friends Carl , Melissa and Joyce. We head to the pump out station first; take care of that "business", and head to our slip.
SeaQuell looks right at home here. A few other friends stop by with warm welcomes. It's wonderful to be "home" for the summer. Maggie literally jumped for joy!!
We have a dinner of leftovers. A couple of cocktails, and we are "done". It's gonna be an early night. These early mornings have taken their toll. Over and out!!
30 May 2017
We're underway at 5:15 am. Skies are cloudy, but it looks like most of the storms have headed offshore. We had some rain last night, but no storms. We slept well in our nice anchorage.
It seems we have a stowaway today. One of the musical tree frogs jumped onboard for a free ride!! As we move along, we see another frog. He's helping Robert at the helm!
Frog # 3 has found his spot on the transom steps, and he's very vocal!!! We plan to relocate all 3 as we progress.
There's significantly more boat traffic today. Lots of big power boats, but most of them are courteous.
Robert is back at work today; taking his meetings while manning the helm. I do some housekeeping, and a little food prep. Maggie sleeps, as usual; and sheds!! The fur just flys all around, despite vacuuming an hour ago.
By 10:00 am, we are "officially" across the state line-- WooHoo!! Virginia!!
The Virginia Cut is an extremely noisy route. Huge military jets flying overhead every few minutes. Maggie hates it!! The rain has caught up with us, so I close up the enclosure. Now it feels like we're in a sauna!! At least it's just rain. Thankful no storms yet.
Lunch is tossed salad for Robert, and a veggie/prosciutto wrap for me.
After lunch, the sun appears for a couple of hours. We do the dance at several drawbridges , and are into the Great Bridge lock around 2:15. It's a cluster, with every man for himself. Absolutely no coordination of positions by the lock master. 7 boats get in and tie up without incident. Whew!!
We arrive at Gilmerton Bridge at 3:10. There's a commercial barge waiting, so we lucked out. It opens 20 minutes before schedule!! Hooray! It's those little things that bring a boater joy!
We made it to the Portsmouth free docks at 4:00 pm. Can't believe we're stopping with several hours of daylight left. NICE!!
Robert takes Maggie for as potty break on real grass-- oh, my-- she's a happy girl!!
I mix cocktails for us, fill Maggie's food bowl with kibble, and put away some gear. We crank up the AC( thank goodness for our generator), and settle in the salon to embibe. It's been a mighty fine day!!
We plan to reevaluate weather for tomorrow/Thursday, and make our plans to complete the trip based on that. Looking forward to spending time in Urbanna.
30 May 2017
29 May 2017
Monday May 29, 2017
Underway at 5 am. It's calm as we depart Bath Creek. The sky is filled with stars, and there is enough light already for decent visualization.
Our weeks in Bath have been wonderful. We've enjoyed lots of time with family and friends. Leaving here is bittersweet, but our next port is calling. I guess that's just our nomad spirits!
As we enter the Pamlico River at 5:25, we raise the jib. There's not much wind this morning, so we motorsail along at 6 knots.
I do a little housekeeping while underway.
There is surprisingly little boat traffic today. Even the VHF radio is relatively calm.
We enjoy a quick lunch of prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, and egg salad. I didn't do much food prep for this trip. Trying to keep it simple and easy.
The afternoon goes by slowly. I read, Robert listens to some tunes. Maggie sleeps.
All goes well until we get to the Albemarle Sound. It's pretty wicked today. We've seen it worse, but it is far from pleasant. The wind is almost on the nose, and the waves are short and steep. We push along , rocking like a hobby horse. Yee-Haw!! We both keep a sharp lookout for crab pots. It's a difficult task. We make it across the sound in a little over two hours.
Our anchorage for the night is Broad Creek, just off of the North River. There are two boats in the anchorage, but we head on into the creek (thankful for our shallow draft), and drop the hook at 8:45 pm. The sun set about 30 minutes ago, but we have just enough light .
Dinner is stir fry-- beef, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Boiled potatoes and a tossed salad for sides. We both enjoy a good strong cocktail with our dinner.
Maggie makes a potty trip to the trampoline, eats her dinner, and hits the sack.
Robert and I watch a little TV, and listen to the weather. Tonight and tomorrow look somewhat stormy. We decide to reevaluate the weather in the am.
We're serenaded by a gazillion frogs!! Man, they are noisy!! Both of us are planning an early bedtime-- but first, a hot shower!!
Night all!! More Nordstrom adventures tomorrow!
Happy Easter/Welcome Home!!
16 April 2017 | Bath, NC
It's Easter Sunday, and we're up at 5:30 for a 6:00 departure. Robert helps NEMO with their lines while I make coffee.
There's enough light for us to ease out of our slip, into the White Oak River.
Is this the same river that we came into 12 hours ago??? This morning, it's calm, no whitecaps, light breeze. Still about 1.5 knots of current, but our departure went much more smoothly than yesterday's arrival.
Shortly after we pass the Hwy 58 bridge, the sun comes up. It is a spectacular sunrise; very appropriate for Easter Sunday. Just proof that you don't need to be in a church to have a spiritual experience.
Around 7:30, we deploy the spinnaker. The wind is forecast to pick up mid morning, so we're hoping to gain some speed.
I pass the early morning hours listening to some meditative music on Pandora. Trying to unwind a bit from the stresses of this trip, and do a little reflection on the beauty of our life.
The wind picked up, as predicted. Steady 12-15, gusts 23. We are making 7.0 knots average, but the spinnaker needs adjustment often. This wind doesn't last but about an hour, then becomes a steady 10.
We arrive at the Neuse River around noon, and initially the waves are right on our beam, but things settle quickly, and we're on a nice run. There are lots of boats out sailing today!! It's a gorgeous day; cool and sunny!!
Lunch is ham sandwiches, chips and salsa, and cheese.
As we come into the Bay River, we douse the spinnaker. We're quickly gaining on a big barge, and it's makin' me a little anxious!
Robert passes the barge just as we enter Hoboken Cut. NEMO follows suit.
Once past it, we raise the jib, and we're back up to 7.5 knots!!
The Coast Guard boat is in the cut with their flashing blue lights on. They board the powerboat ahead of us. Not our turn today!!
We make great time in the Pamlico River. The wind is blow in' a steady 15. Gusts over 20.
Praying it's not blowin' like that in Bath Creek when it's time to dock.
We arrive at our friend , David's dock in Bath Creek around 6:00 pm. Our welcoming committee is my sister Connie, Her hubby Rick, and David, the owner of the skip . We ease into the slip, tie off with a lot of effort on everyone's behalf. Then we help NEMO tie up at the end of the dock.
Dinner is hot dogs, brats, baked beans, and stuffed jalapeños, compliments of Connie and Rick. Numerous libations all around to celebrate our safe arrival to Bath; one of our favorite places on earth. Here's to family, friends, and fellowship!! Life is good!!
The crew of SeaQuell and NEMO have travelled many, many miles together. We're tired, but thankful. It's been a great ride!!
Flying Into Swansboro
15 April 2017 | Swansboro, NC
April 15, 2017
We depart Carolina Beach State Park Marina at 7:30. We're waiting till after low tide. It's very skinny water in here.
NEMO churns up a little mud getting out, but we both make it thru.
The ICW is nice this time of day. Just the snowbirds and small fishing boats. We enjoy it while we can; we know it'll be short lived.
We start off slow; but after about an hour, catch some current, and we're making 7 knots. We have 3 drawbridges we'd like to make before 1 pm.
As the morning goes by, boat traffic increases; especially around Wrightsville Beach. It's still not too bad, though.
Lunch is tossed salad, cheese and crackers for Robert. Yogurt and granola for me. After lunch, the wind picks up a little so we raise the jib. It buys us a knot of speed!! WooHoo!!
We wave hello to our friends Terry and Debbie as we pass their house near Surf City. We drop the jib (can't go thru NC bridges with a sail up).
We make it to Surf City swing bridge for the 1 pm opening! What a cluster!!! The new flyover bridge is under construction, and traffic is backed up on the swing bridge as far as we can see. There are 4 boats trying to maintain station in a very small area, and power boats are zooming in and out; despite No Wake signs.
The bridge tender gets traffic cleared/opens the bridge, and we all get thru unscathed. It may take awhile for me to "de-pucker"!! Whew!! I think Robert even felt some pressure with that one, even though he'll never admit it. He's always as cool as a cucumber. Guess that makes me as hot as a habenero!!
Once we're thru the bridge and traffic clears a bit, we raise the jib. We 're back up to 7 knots quickly.
We wave at Debbie's brother, Mike , and wife Linda, as we'll pass their lovely home right on the ICW.
I do a little cooking as the afternoon passes. I'm making deviled eggs for my contribution to tonight's dinner. I also whip up a quick little tray of blue cheese stuffed olives, pepperocini, pickled beets, and artichoke hearts.
We arrive at Swansboro City Dock at 5:45. Of course,, the wind has picked up to 18 knots as we're docking. Never fails!! The river is rocking!! Whitecaps everywhere. WTH??! This was NOT in the forecast!!
We get in safely, then assist NEMO with their lines. Robert takes Maggie for a quick walk. I make myself a very strong cocktail.
We enjoy a delicious fish stew aboard NEMO for dinner. The wind continues to blow like stink-- steady 15 knots with gusts to 19. Sure hope this diminishes overnight.
We take a walk around the cute little town of Swansboro, and discuss our plans for tomorrow.
Gotta get up at the ACOD. Lots of ground to try and cover tomorrow. Only about 100 miles to Bath, NC.