Ya Ha Ha Ting

The fun times aboard Liquid Therapy. With - Susan and Brooke Smith

15 June 2021 | Hudgins Horn Harbor Marina
15 June 2021 | Old Point Comfort Marina, Fort Monroe, VA
12 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
12 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
11 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
09 June 2021 | Coinjock Marina
08 June 2021 | Manteo Waterfront Marina
07 June 2021 | Berkley Marina, Ocracoke, NC
06 June 2021 | Berkley Marina, Ocracoke, NC
05 June 2021 | Berkley Marina, Ocracoke, NC
04 June 2021 | Berkley Marina - Ocracoke, NC
03 June 2021 | Berkley Marina Ocracoke, NC
02 June 2021 | Cape Hatteras National Park Dock
01 June 2021 | River Dunes Marina
31 May 2021 | River Dunes Marina
29 May 2021 | River Dunes Marina
29 May 2021 | River Dunes Marina, Oriental, NC
28 May 2021 | Dowry Creek Marina
26 May 2021 | Manteo Waterfront Marina
26 May 2021 | Manteo Waterfront Marina

Day 25 Monday, June 14, 2021

15 June 2021 | Hudgins Horn Harbor Marina
BROOKE SMITH | BEAUTIFUL
Passage - Old Point Comfort Marina - Hudgins Horn Harbor Marina, Port Haywood, VA
29 Miles

Last day of this cruise. We are heading back to our home marina, Hudgins Horn Harbor Marina.

Beautiful day with very calm conditions are forecasted for today and tomorrow doesn’t look so good. We’d like to stay one more day at Fort Monroe. But, we elect to head back to home port.

We get underway about 9:40AM and I set the throttle for a leisurely 5.6 knots of speed. As we round Fort Monroe we feel ocean swells lifting Liquid Therapy. These swells are very gentle and are different from the normal Chesapeake Bay chop which is non existent today. We will feel the ocean swells until we get in the shelter of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, somewhere near the York River.

Up ahead I see a destroyer headed north and will be turning west crossing our bow to head up the York River to Cheatham Annex Naval Weapons Supply. I remember going there on the destroyer I served on to pick up and unload 5” shells and powder. The crew would pass each 70 lb shell from one person to the next, up and down stairs on the ship over to a weapons barge. That was grueling work and we would get tired. And, every once in a while someone would drop a shell - Close your eyes and hold your breath until the shell stopped bouncing around. I’m here to tell you that the dropped shell didn’t explode. Yep, it didn’t.
We did that every time the ship was deployed from our home port of Norfolk. An unloaded ship at the dock cannot explode destroying other ships tied next to it. Pearl Harbor may have been some of the thinking of having the ship unloaded in port. Of course when we were deployed for 6 months we would have to go load the ship with ammunition. I ponder is the destroyer I am watching going to Yorktown to load to deploy, or, unload and returning to Norfolk.

While Liquid Therapy is on one long course and the autopilot is steering Susan and I straightened up and put away extra lines and things that would no longer needed at our home slip. Tomorrow we will be cleaning Liquid Therapy and packing up stuff to go home.

After docking we visited some friends that had been on their boat cruising in several of the same ports we were visiting. However, our ports and theirs never coincided the entire trip. The four of us rode into Mathews to eat at Richardson’s Restaurant.

We have lots of maintenance and repairs to do. Mostly around leaks from rain and some air-conditioning issues. There are always things to do on a boat.

Today’s picture is The Chamberlin Hotel, now apartments for the over 55 crowd.

Day 24 Sunday, June 13, 2021

15 June 2021 | Old Point Comfort Marina, Fort Monroe, VA
BROOKE SMITH | NICE today
Passage - Atlantic Yacht Basin to Old Point Comfort Marina, Fort Monroe, VA
24 miles

Today is not many miles but a sensory overload day. We decide to take the 9AM opening of the Great Bridge bridge into the Great Bridge Lock. Susan asks will it be many boats in there. My guess is it might just be us as most boats coming this way are starting in Coinjock and that would not be possible by 9AM.

Wrong, on my guess. The lock is filled so much that we cannot get along the rubber wall and have to quickly rig for the starboard side of the boat with fenders to protect us from the steel and concrete side of the lock. I have a following current which makes the boat not handle at all unless I go faster than the current which is also too dangerous speed. We do get help from the lock master who takes Susan’s stern line and wraps it around a lock bollard. Letting Susan’s line tighten up stops Liquid Therapy’s forward motion and I move to the bow to get that line tied to the lock wall and all is well with our ride up in the lock.

It is Sunday and weekend boaters abound in the Elizabeth River that runs through Portsmouth and Norfolk. Commercial, Coast Guard, military ships and patrol boats are also moving as well as tugs pushing barges. I have the VHF radio scanning the important channels to listen for anything that will get in our way and more importantly anything we will need to get out of the way for.

We are over a mile from the Southern Railroad bridge and it is an odd position, not up and not down and over about 45º. I switch to the bridge frequency to listen for a possible closing to let a train across the river. There is much chatter as this frequency is used by the lock and other bridges. But I hear nothing about the railroad bridge. The bridge is unusual in that it is remotely controlled with no bridge tender to talk to actually on the bridge. A large yacht ahead on me goes under the bridge and everything looks ok for him. With an uneasy feeling we pass by the partially closed bridge and all is good. Never found out if the bridge was broken again or what. But I’ve never seen a bridge stuck in that position ever. Our last trip in October the railroad bridge was broken in the down position for five days. No commercial or migrating boats headed south down the ICW could move.

Way ahead I see a large container ship. Is it coming towards me or leaving for sea? It is hard to tell with binoculars. I glance at the AIS ( Automatic Identification system ) and see that ship ahead of me is going faster and getting farther from me. Still I hug the side of the shipping channel in case something else pops up. I also notice a tug pushing a barge behind me. That tug/barge is going to overtake me in 45 minutes or so by the AIS calculations. I’ve got time on that barge and it may turn off anyway. The tug/barge keep on course and speed overtaking me and I alter course to move out of their way.

One last scary thing was a loaded cargo ship coming in from sea as I exit the Elizabeth River and cross over the bow of this large ship still miles away but intimidating. I know the ship is going to turn to head up the Elizabeth River and there will be nothing to worry about. But it certainly is daunting. There are lots more things happening I will just sum up that you have to be on your toes going through Portsmouth and Norfolk.

We dock at Old Point Comfort Marina on Fort Monroe without assistance from the dock master who doesn’t work on Sunday. A fellow boater helps us with our stern lines from the dock and we get tied up.

We take a walk around Fort Monroe. It’s a wonderful temperature and I’m still trying to get the kinks out of my back. We both sit down on a curb for a few minutes for my back pain to ease. OK this next part is funny. Neither one of us can get up! Susan has a bad knee and she can’t get up and my back isn’t letting me get up either. We start laughing like this is a movie or something. Susan starts crawling into the grass towards a big tree to get up and I am still trying to figure out if I need to roll over or something to push my way up. Tears of pain, laughter and joy as we finally get upright again. This getting old stuff isn’t much fun.

We had a nice dinner of fresh flounder at the Dockside marina restaurant. It was very busy, good and lots of leftovers for another time.

Today’s picture is a Gray Herron hunting for his dinner.

Day 23 Saturday, June 12, 2021

12 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
BROOKE SMITH | Rained All day
Docked - Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, VA

Great Bridge bridge broke. Say that fast several times. Not sure what happened. 4PM we monitor the bridge radio channel and they say they cannot go up (open) and a technician has been dispatched but is delayed by traffic. I smirk and wonder if the technician is stuck in traffic at another bridge stuck in the up position.

Anyhow, there are boats on the lock side of the bridge that cannot come though the bridge and then there are boats trying to go through the bridge into the lock and hey it's late in the day.

One boat was heading to New Jersey. I helped temporarily tie him up while the bridge is being repaired. The crew member does't know how to tie the boat to the dock and the dock masters are busy with other boats getting fuel while they have to wait for the bridge to be fixed. This is a 55' boat and only two people. They say they are not delivery crew, but I wonder. The guy has to think of where they left this morning. And he had no clue of what their destination was supposed to be for tonight. They plan on being in Atlantic City TOMORROW. As they say the most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule.

I show the guy how to tie a clove hitch to the piling and he said he knew that must be very important but didn't have a clue about knots. And, then I wonder does he and the captain have a clue of how far it is from Chesapeake, VA to Atlantic City, NJ? I ask the guy if they are going to run up the Chesapeake or outside? Blank stare. He finally mentions they have a cruise planner person that instructs them where they are going. I'm not sure they knew they were not still in North Carolina.

One thing the guy I was helping said was that I needed two hours on the massage table for my back. I'm wincing showing him the ropes and it's noticeable. I'm better. But, if I move certain ways I'm in terrible pain. I'm pretty sure the guy is correct about a massage. I swear I'm going to get back to yoga when I get back. That has always been the best exercise to keep my body in balance.

It rained most of the day until late this afternoon. We are having a nice sunset and actually had our happy hour on the fly bridge. We even got a little cool. Summer weather. You just never know.

Today's picture is sunset along our boat after all the rain today.

Day 22 Friday, June 11, 2021

12 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
BROOKE SMITH | Clousy
Docked - Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, VA

What did we do while waiting out the thunderstorms forecasted for all day today? Well, we waited for thunderstorms that never developed!

I did exercises and walked to get the kink out of my back. It’s better, but I’m still leaning on tables, etc., to steady myself. This back thing happens from time to time. It’s not fun on the boat, with so many steps.

Really, friends, nothing of note to tell for today. We are planning on leaving here and going to Fort Monroe tomorrow.

We did limp over to the Vino Italian Restaurant for dinner. We had considered Grub Hub delivery, but really wanted to walk a bit. The main road through this area is Battlefield Blvd., which has five, heavily travelled lanes. Susan and I have done that in the past, worried that each time we are endangering our lives. Joy, rapture, we found that a pedestrian stop light had been installed to stop traffic for us to safely cross! YEA! We did make it before the crossing seconds expired. Dinner was delicious!


Today’s picture is from my picture library, Palm Cove, FL 12-6-17 because today was just gray and a little rain and my back hurts.

Day 21 Thursday, June 10, 2021

11 June 2021 | Atlantic Yacht Basin
BROOKE & SUSAN SMITH | STORMY Weather
Passage - Coinjock Marina to Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, VA
37 Miles

My back is still out. HURTS. I get up before 6AM because I’m awake. Engine room check goes very slowly because I have to calculate how to lift the engine room hatch, crouch down in the engine room and not cry at the same time. Everything on a boat is an awkward movement. You often need to summon up levitation powers in order to use both hands in the engine room. It does require bad angles to lift things too. Anyhow I endure checking the oil, fuel levels and fuel filter. I crawl out of the engine room, stare at the hatch and get it back in place.

See, everyone, boating is not all bikini’s, fair winds and glamour boating.

We get underway 7:33AM. We know that there are lots of faster boats that haven’t left the dock and will be passing us somewhere. Pretty nice ride this morning. I’m sitting sideways in my chair like a captain looking forward and behind without twisting my back. I calculate the first bridge, North Landing Bridge, that we will have to open and determine we will be there at 11:33AM. This bridge is not an open on demand bridge and opens on the hour and half hour. We need to be there at 11:30. Do, you want to wait at a bridge 3 minutes while I arrive? Probably not, and the bridge tender is not going to give me that much slack. I push the throttle up and watch the calculation drop to 11:30. That’s good, except? I start being overtaken by the faster boats we left at the dock this morning. I HAVE to slow down for them to pass me without a catastrophic wake. After the 1st boat passes us and we regain our speed, we are once again arriving at the 11:34. I can’t push Liquid Therapy but so hard. I get the estimated time to the 11:30 arrival. Good, except two more fast boats cause us to slow down for the “Slow Pass” maneuver. We are still running hard as the bridge opens but the fast boats were backed up and we get through North Landing! It looked like a country road, anyway, with not too much traffic backup

Next bridge, the Centerville Turnpike bridge, is a little over 4 miles away and calculations say since I got through the first bridge a little late that it would be 12:11 when we get to the Centerville Turnpike Bridge. I pull the throttle back a little above idle and instead of hurrying to make the 12:00 opening I settle for the 12:30. GPS says at our slow speed we will be at the bridge at 12:27. So we take in the scenery and bird sounds. Sorry to say I didn’t get a picture of a majestic bald eagle sitting in a tree. We have a leisurely bridge opening and then head for Atlantic Yacht Basin to get fuel and spend two nights to wait out weather and my back recovery, I hope.

The next timed event is the 1:00 PM Great Bridge Lock & bridge opening. The bridge lock is just beyond our destination so Liquid Therapy does not have to make those. However, Atlantic Yacht Basin’s fuel dock gets really busy from the boats coming out of the lock and wanting fuel. I radio the marina and tell them I want diesel and the marina informs me they are out and are waiting on a fuel truck delivery in a few hours. I elect to just tie up and get fuel when we leave.

For dinner, we ate Coinjock Leftovers: DELICIOUS grouper Florentine and ribeye steak, scalloped potatoes (like none we had ever tasted!), and garlic green beans. Sad to say, but not really, our eyes were too big for our stomachs when we ordered truly, ‘out of this world’ REDNECK EGG ROLLS!!! These are BBQ and collard greens, jam-packed in egg roll skins!

Today’s picture is me filling our water tank. A good time for pensive moments of adventures past and yet to come!

Day 19 & 20 Tuesday & Wednesday, June 8&9, 2021

09 June 2021 | Coinjock Marina
BROOKE SMITH | IFFY Weather
Passage - Manteo Waterfront Marina - Coinjock Marina
41 Miles

Today’s story is about running out of underwear on a boat. And, what is underwear all about anyway? More about that later.

Tuesday was a down day and Susan was feeling a little squamish ( an Ocracoke dialog ). Actually a little fever too. So, we didn’t do our normal tour of the town. And, it was windy - about 20knots hitting our stern making us bounce around in the slip like we were underway. We love Manteo but somehow we seem to end up with windy conditions during our visits. Our aft spring line had stretched I re-adjusted our lines several times. But hey everybody, my back was killing me ( Hurt my back picking up the ice machine to dump and clean it. ) and I couldn’t tug the boat back into the wind to tighten the spring line. Well, if you aren’t strong enough to pull the boat back into a 20 knot wind, how about just starting the engine and putting it in reverse. What could go wrong? Lots of things run through my brain but I start the engine and put the boat in reverse and WALK AWAY FROM THE HELM to retie the aft spring line. I take a lot more slack out of that line than I’d ever be able to do with a younger man’s strength. I no longer have a younger man’s strength. Hey, that worked.

Whether to go or whether to say due to the weather. So, the ouija board says we might have good weather or it might be bad. Should we stay or should we go on from Manteo to Coinjock? Manteo is cool. But it looks like we might have to stay until Sunday if we don’t leave Wednesday. I talk with a fellow boater about what he is going to do. His theory is it’s summer. Thunderstorms happen. So, I decide to leave. The Albemarle Sound can kick up but it’s only supposed to be 5-10 knots today. We pull out just before 8AM and the first odd sound I hear is two of our chairs on the fly bridge turning over from THE WIND. The very light 5-10 Knot wind. I brush it off as a fluke wind gust. WRONG. It’s a good 10-15 and lots more as we round Roanoke Island into the Albemarle sound for a 2 1/2 hour ride to the other side. And, of course it’s hitting us broadside rolling us terribly I could expound but lets just say the refrigerator slid out of it’s mount, doors were sliding shut and it was most uncomfortable for 2 1/2 hours.

I love my autopilot. Especially in rough weather. I just turn the sensitivity down and let her slug it out while I hold on to everything flying about. Except the autopilot has an affinity for crab pots. Yep while holding pretty good course if Liquid Therapy sees a line of crab pots it informs the autopilot to head for that one. That makes me play chicken with the crab pot. Is it surely going to make me disengage the autopilot or not? Port? Starboard? Constant bearing decreasing range? And, sometimes I disengage the autopilot and dodge the crab pot and sometimes the autopilot just steers around it. It’s a technology, boatmanship brain teaser. We finally get across and I tell Susan it will be safe to move about once again. I just love the ouija board weather forecasts.

We safely dock at Coinjock Marina about 1:40 and I take a pain killer and a nap. Trying to decide on the 32oz prime rib dinner tonight as I’ve overdosed on seafood lately.

Today’s picture is a Max-A-Rita ( Thank you Max Guzman for this creation ). Susan and I both needed a muscle relaxer after today’s rodeo ride.
Vessel Name: LIQUID THERAPY
Vessel Make/Model: ALBIN 36' DOUBLE CABIN TRAWLER
Hailing Port: DELTAVILLE, VA
Crew: BROOKE & SUSAN SMITH
About: LONGTIME BOATERS. SOLD OUR 33' CARVER IN 2002 AND HAVE BEEN BOATING ON OTHER PEOPLES BOATS SINCE. WE ALWAYS WANTED A TRAWLER AND SAID IT WAS TIME. SO, WE NOW HAVE A 1979 ALBIN. IT'S GREAT.
Extra: Headed south fall 2017 to Miami and then the Bahamas
Social:
LIQUID THERAPY's Photos - Main
Pictures of our stay in Ocracoke
3 Photos
Created 2 November 2015
Georgetown Marina, Osprey Marina and Barefoot Marina
6 Photos
Created 15 April 2012
Isle of Hope April 7, 2012
3 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
Passages from St. Augustine to Fernandina to South River Anchorage - Isle of Hope
9 Photos
Created 5 April 2012
Pictures along the ICW from Titusville to Marineland
9 Photos
Created 31 March 2012
The crossing March 24, 2012 from the West End, Bahamas to Fort Pierce, FL USA
11 Photos
Created 26 March 2012
Our last visit with the pigs and sea life of No Nam Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
11 Photos
Created 20 March 2012
Nippers Bar, Beach,
11 Photos
Created 18 March 2012
Our stay at Orchid Bay Marina and exploring the settlement
8 Photos
Created 14 March 2012
Man O War Cay pictures
6 Photos
Created 12 March 2012
Houses and buildings of Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas
23 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
Trip to the southern end of Elbow Key with Donna Brierley & Ron Nicholas from the boat No-Snow
11 Photos
Created 3 March 2012
A magical place. Kerosine light, hand wound lighthouse at Elbow Key, Abaco, Bahamas.
13 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
Susan & Brooke's great adventure aboard Liquid Therapy
47 Photos
Created 16 February 2012
Liquid Therapy - Pictures of Hollywood to Miami
6 Photos
Created 19 December 2011
Travels from Beaufort NC to Hammock Bay, NC
13 Photos
Created 15 November 2011
5 month cruise to Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas
7 Photos
Created 8 November 2011