Just 2 Outrageous

Its How We Roll

09 March 2020
03 February 2020 | George Town Bahamas
23 January 2020 | Lee Stocking Island
09 January 2020 | Staniel Cay
20 December 2019 | Lake Sylvie Ft Lauderdale
05 December 2019 | Vero Beach
16 November 2019
13 November 2019 | Pipeline Creek
13 October 2019 | CANADA
28 April 2019 | Oriental NC
07 April 2019 | Lubbers Cay Abaco Islands
01 April 2019 | Eleuthera
24 March 2019 | Pig Beach
03 March 2019 | Lee Stocking
20 February 2019
15 February 2019 | Ragged Islands
10 February 2019 | Acklins Island

OMG, the captain failed to post the "last post" of the 2020 season! YIKES

06 April 2021
Paul and Laurie Jones
34 12.38 'N:077 47.93'W
2020-05-25 (Actual date of post....lol)

Our new autopilot drive was being delivered to Oriental, NC. We anchored in South River for a couple of days to ride out yet another weather system before heading for the town dock at Oriental on April 22/20.

Our buddy boat Bright Ayes continued their journey northward. Hopefully one day in the future we will share a meal or a drink with Wayne and Betty and get to know them a little better. It was very unusual to be travelling together but isolated. Travel plans were discussed only on the VHF or while floating in the dinghy alongside one another's boats. This is not the norm for this lifestyle!

We were delighted to find the town dock at Oriental available. The local grocery store was ready to take email orders for groceries and happily delivered to the dock. The marina next door allowed us to do some laundry. Our new autopilot drive was delivered to the dock on time and Paul had it installed and working in record time.

Ron & Deb from Sheherezade paid us a visit and we had a socially distant chat in the cockpit. Each of us in our own corners. Thank goodness the Catalina 42 has a massive cockpit!

We set out in mirror calm water the next morning along the Neuse River. The wind was building over the course of the day. By the time we were ready to drop anchor near the south end of the Alligator Pungo Canal it was blowing close to 30 knots. The sun was glaring in our eyes as we weaved through the crabpots to find a suitable spot to drop the hook.

The next day started out warm and sunny but as the hours went by, we found ourselves adding layer upon layer of warmer clothing. By mid afternoon it was extremely windy again and freezing! The alligator river swing bridge was still operating and we went through it but elected not to cross the Albermarle Sound in those less than favourable conditions. Again we found ourselves weaving though a field of crabpots to find a good spot to anchor.

The following day was beautiful and sunny but no wind. We made great time crossing the sound and things were going fantastic until we were delayed at the north landing bridge due to an accident which caused us to miss the restricted opening of the next bridge. Nothing to do but put the boat in neutral and let the current carry us lazily along for 2 hours. We were surprised to find the free dock available at Great Bridge! We got tied up and settled then treated ourselves to some fantastic Chinese food delivery.

We spent three nights at the dock. The weather wasn't very good. It was stormy and windy with lots and lots of rain. There was localized flooding causing a couple of bridges to the south of our location to be closed so not a lot of boat traffic either. In between rain storms we would head out for a walk to stretch our legs and get any supplies we needed.

When the weather cleared we made the short twelve mile hop from Great Bridge to Norfolk. We anchored in the hospital point anchorage and enjoyed a beautiful relaxed afternoon in the harbour.

On Sunday May 3/20 we made the 65 nautical mile trip from Norfolk to Urbanna where we had planned to stay for a couple of weeks before heading to Deltaville to have the boat hauled out for the summer.

Our friends Greg and Glenda from Ti Amo were on the dock to greet us and catch our lines when we arrived. The Urbanna Harbour Yacht Club is their home port and Ti Amo was docked only a few slips away from us. They even delivered our truck to the parking lot and it was there waiting for us!

We spent the next day giving 2 Outrageous a much-needed scrubbing! We took a drive to Deltaville and visited the boat yards. The yards are full! With very few summer boaters putting boats in the water as businesses remained closed and people staying at home. Our usual summer storage spot had indicated they would not be able to haul us out until at least the middle of June. Well that simply wasn't going to work for us. We had to get back to Canada before our health insurance ran out as well as be able to serve our quarantine period with enough time left over to deal with our new house before the June 15 closing date.

There were slips available for long term rental at the Urbanna Harbour Yacht Club. We wandered around the docks pondering whether or not to leave the boat in the water. We checked out the available slips and chatted with other boat owners who leave their boats in the water year-round. In fact, 80 percent of owners leave them in year-round in this area. Because it really isn't an option where we live the whole concept was foreign to us. 2 Outrageous sits in Virginia, awaiting our return.....

So here we are almost one year later, pandemic bound in Canada for the entire winter! Paul took up ski patrolling at our . local hill and Laurie played the guitar and walked about 900 klms We are unsure, even now, as to what the future holds for the adventures of 2 Outrageous. Our preference is to return to the Bahamas, but not until at least a little "normal" returns to these crazy times. We so miss our cruising family....

17380

Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. And if I stay it will be double.

15 April 2020 | Wrightsville Beach NC
Paul and Laurie Jones
34 12.38 'N:077 47.93'W

In the words of The Clash:

Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. And if I stay it will be double.
So come on and let me know. Should I stay or should I go?

These lyrics resonated with us as we continually bounced back and forth between staying in Bahamas or heading back to USA and going. It appeared the Bahamian government was heading towards stricter and stricter lockdowns affecting cruising sailboats as well as residents.

On Mar 31 we made another grocery order, fueled up, and generally got prepared to make a dash for it if it became necessary. Good thing we did that! On Friday April 3 the Bahamian government ordered yet another lockdown 24-hour curfew to begin on Friday April 3 at 8pm through Monday April 5 at 5AM. That order was issued at 5PM on April 3 giving people only 3 hours to prepare!

By this time s/v Bright Ayes, Wayne and Betty, from New Jersey on board, were anchored beside us at Kidd Cove. After a couple of discussions with them it became apparent, they were of the same mindset as us. The writing was on the wall. The Bahamian government wanted us out, sooner than later.

While at anchor Paul noticed a large piece of wooden structure floating towards the anchored boats. This constituting an emergency offered a chance to go on a mission off the boat. Paul and Wayne went into action. They towed the flotsam, which was impaled with spikes and screws like a landmine for inflatable boats, into the refuge of victoria Harbour where it had originated. While securing the flotsam to the shore, the dingy floated away and Paul had to swim for it. Victoria Harbour is a bit of a cesspool, YAK, and Paul had kinda forgotten that until he jumped in and swam for the dingy. If C19 does not get him, I am pretty sure typhoid will.

There was a weather window beginning Monday April 5 for us to travel directly from George Town, Exuma to Fernandina Beach, Florida. 550 nautical miles, 77 hours non-stop. This would be the longest passage we have done.

With that decision made we staged the boat at the north end of the Elizabeth Harbour anchorage and set to work preparing the boat for offshore travel and making meals ahead that would be easy to manage at sea.

We departed George Town, along with Bright Ayes, under the cover of darkness just before 05:00 on April 5. The crossing was a great one with a variety of conditions. Calm motor-sailing under sunny skies and full moon nights, brief squalls to keep things interesting, some rolly on the quarter yaack conditions, and a crazy thunder and lightning storm at the end that I missed completely. Can't believe I slept through that! Also grateful it wasn't on my watch! We saw large schools of flying fish. Had several visits from dolphin pods who leap out of the water to get a look at us then head for the bow of the boat where they would frollick in our bow wake. As we departed Bahamian waters near West End we passed by eight massive cruise ships sitting at anchor waiting for the world to return to normal. I have a feeling they are going to be there for awhile.

I had a lot of lemons on board so decided on day 2 to make a lemon bread. It was the first time I had made one of those. My mom's recipe had me thinking of her as I made it. I had a vivid recollection of my brother Alan and I bouncing around in the kitchen as kids while Mom had a cake in the oven. I remember her yelling at us to settle down or we would make the cake fall! Hmmmm, I wonder how my lemon bread will fare in an oven in rolling and pitching sea conditions? It turned out great!

We had some fun on day 3 as we wrote a message on a coconut and tossed it into the gulf stream. Sure would be cool to know if someone finds it and where! Shortly after the coconut launch we hooked a beautiful Mahi Mahi! The last night out there was a spectacular blood moon followed by some luminescent sea life that I'm guessing were either squid or jelly fish lighting up like little light bulbs in the water as we passed by.

We arrived in Fernandina Beach, Florida in the early afternoon of April 9. With the hook down we used the US Customs and Border Protection Roam app to clear back into the United States. Easy as pie.

Time for a nap, a fantastic Mahi Mahi meal and a good night's sleep.

Our friend Charlie was kind enough to meet Paul at the dinghy dock on April 10 to take our fuel jugs to get some diesel and bring us back a few groceries. We always look forward to seeing Charlie and spending some time with him but unfortunately this time was not to be. We sure appreciated his help though and look forward to the next time when we can have a proper visit! I stayed on board and didn't even see Charlie and Terry waving from the dock to me. It was somewhat concerning to be stateside, with all the news, fake or not.

After that whirlwind single day at Fernandina Beach during which time we prepped the boat yet again for another blast offshore. There was a very short window of weather opportunity to make it from Fernandina to Cape Fear NC, 260nm. I admit I was anxious about this trip way more so than the crossing from the Bahamas to Fernandina. We were breaking some of our rules for ocean passage. Forecasted winds of over 20 knots, large seas, and a very short weather window. What if the weather gurus got it wrong?
As it was, it turned out to be not that bad. The first 18 hours were very pleasant. We had dolphin encounters and a large sea turtle sighting.
A problem with our headsail furler made it necessary to drop the headsail on deck so Paul could go forward and make the repair. Thankfully this issue happened in the daylight hours and before the seas got really big.
The wind came around to our quarter and increased during the overnight hours. Late the next afternoon, 35 hours into the trip, the auto pilot failed. The good news was it failed at this point and not at the beginning of the trip. The bad news was it failed during the highest winds and largest seas. It was an extreme workout for Paul to handle the boat in those conditions. The auto pilot is truly a third crewmember whose sole purpose is to steer the boat....99% of the time. Its loss, to us, is serious. The sea state (6') and wind (23g30) made for very challenging hand steering for 3.5 hours into the inlet at Cape Fear.

We were tired and relieved to get the hook down, just after dark, in the Tina's Pocket anchorage in the Cape Fear River. We have been in the anchorage many times before. There were always a few crab pots around but we just had to cross our fingers and hope we didn't snag one on the way in! Every other time we had been in this anchorage the weather was calm so the 20+ knots we had this night wasn't exactly quiet but we were so tired it didn't really matter. We had no idea.
The next morning by 09:00 we had listened to alarm after alarm on the VHF radio urging us to take cover. There was a storm line producing gale force winds and spinning out tornados all along the path. As we watched on weather radar it was looking like we might be facing a direct hit! Nothing we could do but get the life jackets out and hope for the best. The cell passed over us at 09:30 where we endured 55-60 knot winds for what seemed like a really long time. We had a brief reprise of 15 knots winds for about 10 minutes or so then the winds piped back up to 37 to 43 knots sustained until 17:00. There were 3 to 4 ft waves rolling through the anchorage. After enduring 60 knots 43 knots didn't seem that bad anymore! In fact, that afternoon I made some bread to keep myself occupied. In the evening when the winds lay down to 20 to 25 knots again it felt calm. See video link on main blog page.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmYMJL40tbM

We woke the next morning to a much different view. The sunny skies and calm anchorage had us thinking did that really happen?
To say we've had periods of anxiety this year is an understatement. The latest thing to be anxious about was the fact that our USA cruising license was set to expire on April 25. We had tried to cancel the cruising license upon leaving the US in December but the customs and border folks in Florida refused to do that for us. That was plan A. Plan B was not to leave the Bahamas until after May 10 which would have satisfied the criteria for the US to issue us a new cruising license. That criteria being a new cruising license could be issued 15 days after expiration of a previous cruising license providing that we had arrived from a foreign port. Our problem was we had to come back to the USA sooner than planned because of COVID 19. What we needed now was a reasonable and sympathetic customs and border officer. Lucky for us we had one who helped us out last year with our cruising license. A quick email to him had us with a new cruising license in hand, by email, within 10 minutes. Whew!
Ok, feeling much better we hauled up the anchor, with great difficulty I might add, that anchor was so far gone in the bottom we had to power forward with the engine to pull it out! We had a pleasant short trip in the ICW to Wrightsville Beach, NC. We have never stopped here before. It looks like a cute sea-side spot we would love to walk around and check out but sadly we can't, locked down. The parks and beaches are closed with the threat of pretty hefty fines. Wednesday big surprise, windy rainy and stormy. We may walk to the grocery store later today to pick up some much-needed fresh stuff.

Today marks day fifteen of not getting off the boat!
Vessel Name: 2 Outrageous
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42mkii 1996
Hailing Port: Kingston Ontario -- Loyalist Cove Marina - Arnprior
Crew: Paul and Laurie
About: Just a couple of pirates
Extra: - We live in Arnprior Ontario Canada in the Ottawa Valley, often found hanging out in Bath or Kingston. Possibly coming to a driveway near you.
Home Page: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0ajqbieSyqqWfpN5OzhMPWplSaqqGliuZ
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A day of 25 knots
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Turning south and rollin down the Hudson, tides, still freshwater. On to Catskill to step the mast.
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