Log of Calypso

25 April 2018 | Deep Creek Locks, Va
19 April 2018 | Goat Island
19 April 2018
03 March 2018 | Hancock Creek, NC
27 January 2018
04 January 2018 | Cherry Point NC
09 December 2017 | Cherry Point NC
23 November 2017 | Anchored in Hampton, Va
09 November 2017 | Bonaire
08 November 2017 | Harbor Village Bonaire
07 November 2017 | Kralendijk, Bonaire
29 July 2017 | Wilton Creek
09 July 2017 | Great Bridge, Va
07 July 2017 | Anchored in Blackwater Creek, Va
04 July 2017 | Anchored off North River
29 June 2017
31 May 2017 | Bunratty Castle, Ireland
27 May 2017 | Dingle Ireland
24 May 2017 | Foynes, Ireland
21 May 2017 | Limerick, Ireland

Harbor of Hospitality

25 April 2018 | Deep Creek Locks, Va
Calypso’s log shows that, in 1999, she moored at the Elizabeth City Public Docks. The real story is being instantly greeted by a man with a huge smile, Fred Fearing.

For the next several hours this, very spry 86 year old, told us of his adventures. From Baseball Great, James Augustus “Catfish” Hunter to aviation hero, Charles Lindbergh, he knew them all. But through the stories you could always hear his underlying love for Eastern North Carolina and to him, it’s pearl, Elizabeth City.

Legend has it that in 1983, Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer at an impromptu meeting, with 17 visiting boaters, added a little wine, a little cheese, and a rose for each lady aboard each boat and the Rose Buddies began. They became known, internationally, for their offer of a rose to any women arriving by boat to Elizabeth City. They coined the phrase, Harbor of Hospitality.

Although the original public docks remain, they have certainly seen the test of time. Along the waterfront has been added additional new and modern, and oh yes, still free dockage.

Away from the fetch of the Pasquotank (Pass-Qua-Tank) River we chose to travel another 7 miles to Goat Island, to ride out the passing of yet another weather front.

Friday morning, we were underway, traveling the 10 miles further up river, to South Mills. This section of the meandering river reminds us of so many other secluded sections of the waterway like The Waccamaw, in SC, and the lower St. John’s River, in Fl.

At South Mills Lock, boats rise eight feet into the canal fed by the 3,142 acres of Lake Drummond. Locks at both ends of a nearly 30 mile Canal, originally surveyed by George Washington, today spill water after a very wet winter.

Before entering the lock, we see first hand some of the restoration work to the Dismal Swamp.

The Swamp was closed for nearly two years when Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016. Matthew brought in several feet of water. Leaving it’s mark on the trees as the Swamp overflowed it’s banks covering Old Highway 17.

Due to the cost of repairs to the locks and debris removal, the Dismal Swamp Canal was destined to be closed forever. Like hundreds of other great American canal systems over the past decade it was on “The Chopping Block”, until an intense grassroots movement arose.

During the period for public input, Congress received over 35,000 letters and countless phone calls from constituents urging them not to close the canal.

Like the song says, “Good guys win every onece in a while”, and here we are today!

We tied at the North Carolina Welcome Center and were instantly greeted with information, assistance, and a smile. This another, Harbor of Hospitality.

The docks here give easy access to the Dismal Swamp Visitors Center which offers information, on history &

wildlife, some displayed by unique taxidermy work.

For a small fee, kayak & bicycle rentals are available. A Twenty-two mile trail system includes everything from well maintained boardwalks to rough and rugged Swamp hiking, there is something for everyone.

Additionally, sections of old US Highway 17 are now part of the US East Coast Greenway.">Started as a dream of a 3,000-mile protected biking and walking route, NC has already set aside many miles of trails, with the goal that the entire trail will eventually run from Maine to Florida.

Saturday it was on to Virginia and soon after we are met on the radio by Robert, the Deep Creek Lock-master. A legend among cruisers who travel the Dismal Swamp Route, for his knowledge & hospitality, Robert, goes the extra mile to make everyone welcome. His ability to remember boat & crew names, after seeing hundreds each season, is nothing but amazing!

He is also a Conch Shell Horn blowing Aficionado. If you are ever asked about a “conch shell” play off, you would be wise to decline. Just ask the former owners of some of these conch shell horns!

We asked if we could spend the night at Elizabeth Dock, a free dock located near the lock. It was available and since we were not going thru during one of the locks regularly scheduled daily openings (0830, 1100, 1330, 1530) we didn’t have to wait before proceeding to the dock.

Later that evening, on his way home, Robert, stopped by to talk and hear our traveling plans for the following day. Without a second thought he invited us for coffee the next morning, which we gladly accepted.

Monday morning, the weather forecast changed and so did our plans. We decided to back track into the canal for protection from forecast thunderstorms with damaging winds.

Regardless if your looking for information, history, a friendly smile, or refuge from a storm the Dismal Swamp Canal will always be a fine Harbor of Hospitality.

Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy

Red Sky in the Morning

19 April 2018 | Goat Island
“...your not going to like this...”, Chris Parker from the Caribbean Weather Center, said Saturday morning.

We took the opportunity of good SSB propagation to ask him about the effects, duration, and intensity the latest weather system would have on inland & coastal waters of Albemarle Sound.

His response of sustained South winds at 30-35 knots and gusts to 60 in thunderstorms was not to be taken lightly. Yuk, guess if you don’t want the answer, don’t ask the question!

Twenty miles south of the Albemarle Sound, the Alligator Rivers muddy bottom would hold our anchor and 100’ of chain securely, keeping us from dragging, but if the anchor broke loose or if there was some other problem we had plenty of good water around us.

Early Sunday evening the barometer plunged 15 millibars, quickly! That was our early warning to a change in the weather. By 2200, as the wind shifted a bit to the SSE, it whistled through our “Whisker Pole” like a metal pan pipe (Flute).

Adding to the symphony were two 1/2” snubber lines. They attach to the anchor chain, on one end, and Calypso’s bow cleats on the other end. Their sole purpose is to take the strain from the anchor chain keeping the strain off the windlass, in the wind driven swell. The snubber lines pass through firehose “chafe guard” to prevent excessive wear while under load which causes them to groan.

Monday morning just after midnight, as the wind continued increasing, we checked our position using the chart plotter. Although bouncing around in the building chop we were holding firm. At 0250, as the rain started, another position check with the same results. At least the barometer had stopped falling!

Then at 0430 without warning a huge gust of wind slammed us broadside. It easily heeled Calypso’s 20,000 pounds over 20 degrees! One of the snubber lines parted under the strain it was placed under. It probably sounded like a gunshot when it snapped, but at the time the wind noise was too loud below to hear it.

In the morning while inspecting topside we found tree bark on deck. It must have been blown in by the intense winds overnight from trees along the rivers bank, over 100 yards away.

We stayed anchored there for another day as the winds and choppy river settled down before moving closer to the Sound. Wednesday morning we slid through the Alligator River Bridge, steering 018 degrees.

This course took us on the alternate route across the, now calm, Albemarle Sound towards Elizabeth City and the Dismal Swamp Canal.

Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Wendy & Jeff

Let the Weather Take You

19 April 2018
At 0800 on a calm Thursday morning our departure from Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point was bittersweet.

This had been quite the winter which included a week of sub freezing temperatures, four snow events, and for the first time in 30+ years aboard, ice belowdecks. To top it off, two days before leaving winter gave us a parting shot, sleet!

Even though we would be would leaving nearby family & close friends, as well as the camaraderie from the members of the Hancock Yacht Club, we were ready to get back underway. Not just to be getting to our destination in Virginia, it was the journey we were looking foreword to the most.

Like a lot of people, we have lived and cruised Eastern North Carolina for years, but there were several “out of the way” spots we have never explored. Loaded with history, great restaurants, and free dockage Edenton, Little Washington, and Bath, were at the top of our list, weather permitting, to visit this year.

A short stop first, at 1100 we had scheduled a quick haul, pressure wash, and hang at Sailcraft Services in Oriental. This gave us time to inspect the bottom, change zincs, and clean the prop without putting on a wetsuit and diving into 50 degree water.

Once Calypso was back in the water we were ready for adventure. As we neared our first anchorage, South River, we found the wind funneled out the entrance towards us. It would make for a rough nights sleep so, an about-face and we were off across the Neuse to Broad Creek. This would be the beginning of several modifications to our plans.

The next morning our first destination choice had been was Bath. Located on the northern banks of the Pamlico River and a full day of motoring & sailing. But then what? Even thou it is suppose to be Spring, the latest of many winter weather systems would bring a persistent south wind. Forecast to increase to 20-30+ knots as the week progressed. Our concern was being squeezed against the towns wooden docks with the winds fetch. The same was true about Little Washington so we decided to try again another trip.

So, change in plans, we continuing north we anchored in the fairly protected Scranton Creek. Again the weather would dictated our next move. The thick, sticky, mud bottom makes this a good overnight anchorage, protected from the south. But, as this next weather system passes the winds should veer to the west and would leave us exposed and on a Lee shore.

Not wanting to wake up in the marsh grass, like this poor unfortunate boat, the next morning we moved on.

We travelled 25 miles and anchored at the southern base of the Alligator River. We have been here several times in the past. Anchored in 7.5’ of tea colored water, the hard bottom grabbed our 60-pound CQR anchor like Super Glue, holding us tight. The curved banks, 100 yards away, will protect us from both wind & waves.

Were do we go from here? Edenton lies off the Albemarle Sound, only 20 miles north, or we could head on towards the Dismal Swamp Canal. As of this writing, we really don’t know, but what we DO know is there will always be towns, islands, and anchorage’s just waiting to be explored.

We have come to decide not to plan too much but instead, just let the weather take us!

Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy

Calypso’s Elevator

03 March 2018 | Hancock Creek, NC
It’s Not That the Wind is Blowing.....It’s What the Wind is Blowing! The answer for us, after nearly 48 hours of strong West North West (WNW) Winds, is WATER!

The many creeks & rivers along the wide sounds in Eastern NC have a non-lunar tide. This is very true for Hancock Creek as the West component winds pulled four feet of water from under Calypso’s keel, Down Elevator! With an additional 4’ step, getting on or off was quite a stretch.

Powerful gusts, rocked us into the muddy bottom. The strongest was over 57 mph which is stronger then the gust we experienced when Hurricane Sandy passed off the NC coast in October of 2012.

Chris Parker’s Caribbean Weather Center had forecast, “Surface LO/GALE significantly strengthens as it develops into a borderline "bomb cyclone" off NewEng coast Today. Life-threatening Hurricane force wind gusts and seas currently affecting nearshore and offshore areas N of Hatteras.”

This morning, we hear news of Winter Storm Riley’s destructive power. Thousand of flights were cancelled, millions lost or are still without power, and at least seven deaths are blamed on the storm.

As the storm pulls off the coast and the wind slacks the water fills back in lifting us back to our normal height, Up Elevator!

Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy

Ragged Islands Update

27 January 2018
Below is a repost from Donna Luh​​ and Jerry Luh​​ on the restoration efforts in the Ragged Islands, Bahamas. https://www.facebook.com/restorationraggedisland/

Fair Winds & Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy
Friday, January 24, 2018
Good morning,

Many of our friends have asked how the people on Ragged Island are doing and how they can best be helped. We are hoping you can assist in getting this information out over any nets you can think of...Caribbean Weather Center, Cruiseheimers Net/blog, the Waterway Cruising Net, The Boat Galley/Newsletter, personal facebooks/blogs,... plus any other means you can imagine.

Unlike in the United States, there is no FEMA in the Bahamas and the Bahamian government has given no indication of forthcoming assistance for the badly damaged Ragged Islands. Time passes and people forget those in need.
SO...2 ways to help financially:

1. GoFundMe account. https://www.gofundme.com/raggedisland

2. Restoration Ragged Island Association (a nonprofit) is accepting donations thru:

Scotiabank Bahamas Limited
Telephone #: 242-502-3161
Bay Street East
Nassau, Bahamas
Branch #50385/3334292

Wire transfers thru:
JP Morgan/Chase Bank NY
Swift Code: ChaseUS 33
ABA: 021000021

For the Scotiabank Bahamas Limited
Branch: 50385
Beneficary: Restoration Ragged Island Association
Account #: 3334292

First hand knowledge for those who know Ragged Island:
Jerry and I took a tour of the entire island with Maxine (the boaters emissary on the island) and talked with many of the remaining residents. No building on the island was unscathed by Hurricane Irma and the accompanying 3 tornadoes that cut thru the island taking everything in their path on September 8, 2017 .

Many homes were totally destroyed, roofs blown away, windows blown out, and sections of houses demolished by flying debris. All the heavy equipment remaining on the island for construction of the defense force docks was turned over and flooded. Only one fishing boat was damaged due to the islanders’ forward thinking of trailering the boats and hiding them in the brush. The hurricane came in from the northeast and breached thru the island on the north end bringing ocean water into the salt ponds. After the eye went over, the winds returned from the southeast and took sand and water high onto the island with devastation of plant life and shoreline. The school, police station, and administrative buildings are uninhabitable. The island is being patrolled by the defense force who has set up operations in the one remaining church...the Baptist church is gone. All but 17 residents were evacuated during the hurricane but those who have anything to return to are slowly trickling back in and restoration has begun. Everyone is upbeat and doing the best they can with what they have.

Electricity and cell phone service have been restored and parts for the RO (reverse osmosis) water plant are expected to be installed soon. The Captain C is making regular visits to the island with supplies but mail service has not resumed therefore making it difficult to get mail to the islanders.

What the people need most is financial aid. Individuals can no longer bring supplies in duty free except thru the Restoration Ragged Island Association. By using one of the two methods listed above, we can help our Ragged Island friends.

Check out https:b-m.facebook.com/RestorationRaggedIsland plus these three sites for more current pictures and information about Duncantown:
www.persephonesail.blogspot.com (Life Aboard Persephone)
www.sailblogs.com (search for: Scheherazade)

Thank each and every one of you who have taken time to read and consider the plight of these people. Your help will be appreciated.

Your friends,

Donna and Jerry Luh
sv Bluejacket


04 January 2018 | Cherry Point NC
After years of living aboard and cruising Calypso the slightest abnormal thump, clump, or bump, gets investigated. Such was the case this morning in the wake of the “Cold Bomb”.

The wind driven tide on the Neuse River was blown out by 22 knot of NW wind. Calypso settled softly under the dock, waking us with a bump!

After putting on several layers of clothes and dealing with a frozen companionway hatch, Jeff went topside. It seemed the forecast 3-5” of snow with ice beneath it was correct. After adjusting the frozen dock lines we took a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of Hancock Creek before hibernating back below into the warmth of Calypso’s cabin.

Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Wendy & Jeff
Vessel Name: Calypso
Vessel Make/Model: Westsail 32
Hailing Port: Clearwater, Fla
Calypso's Photos - Main
Repair to Calypso's foredeck, mast step, rudder, & Seacock replacement
7 Photos
Created 3 November 2016