Ya Ha Ha Ting

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

24 April 2018 | Belhaven Marina
23 April 2018 | Oriental marina
22 April 2018 | Casper's Marina
21 April 2018 | Harbour Village Marina
20 April 2018 | South Harbour Village Marina
20 April 2018 | Barefoot Marina
19 April 2018 | Osprey Marina
15 April 2018 | Santee River South
13 April 2018 | Santee South River Anchorage
10 April 2018 | Harbour Town Yacht Basin
10 April 2018 | Isle Of Hope Marina
09 April 2018 | Sunbury Crab Company Marina
07 April 2018 | Cedar Creek Anchorage
05 April 2018 | Jekyll Harbor Marina
04 April 2018 | Fernandina Harbor Marina
26 March 2018 | Palm Cove Marina
25 March 2018 | Palm Cove Marina
24 March 2018 | Marineland
21 March 2018 | Cocoa Village Anchorage
18 March 2018 | Pelican Harbor Yacht Club, Ft. Pierce, FL

Monday, April 23, 2018

24 April 2018 | Belhaven Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage - Oriental - Belhaven Marina, NC
47 SM 7.8 Engine Hours
7:43 AM Underway
2:17 PM Docked starboard side to face dock

Rough ride today. It wasn’t supposed to be bad until the afternoon. But the wind got here early and we took a beating. We were worried about the Neuse river as it had beat us up bad in the past. We got an early enough start and the Neuse was choppy but not bad. We had occasional spa on the windshield and the decks were getting soaked. However, as we turned out of the Neuse into the Bay River, (yes, Bay River is really the name of this river ) the wind started picking up out of the Northeast. We were getting 15-20 knots of wind and the ride wasn’t good. The wind was supposed to be out of the Southeast. The gusts were higher than I ever got a wind reading on with my hand held wind speed meter. I told Susan we would be in Gale Creek in 5 miles and it would be calm along the creek no matter the wind.
We certainly glad to reach the creek and Liquid Therapy quit galloping along along this creek. As we passed the Hobucken Coast Guard station we saw them launching a small vessel. A few minutes later the Coast Guard went flying by us. I wondered if there was a boat in trouble ahead in the Pamlico River or Pamlico Sound. I never saw the Coast Guard boat go back and heard no distress calls on the VHF radio. At the end of this creek we would have to cross 3 miles of open water of the Pamlico River. I wasn’t looking forward to that and warned Susan we were going have a very rough 30 minutes. Susan takes care of everything being tossed about during rough stretches. It is amazing what stays in place and what falls over, slides around, and doors that close and open during hard rolls. The wine glasses start clinking in their overhead rack at some degree of roughness. I’ve been meaning to take note of the conditions when the wine glasses start tinkling and use that as a some roughness weather forecast factor.

Anyhow, just as I am departing the creek into the Pamlico River I notice a tug pushing a barge down the Pamlico River. It is bouncy and I turn to go behind the tug-barge. I am being hit broadside with waves. I’ll be turning back into the swells as soon as I get passed the stern of the tug. Just how bad can a river that is 15-18 feet deep get anyway? I mean the waves can’t get 15 - 18 feet tall. Well we certainly had a steady diet of 3-4 footers tossing us about for the 30 minutes heading diagonally into the waves. That is actually a pretty safe ride. After crossing the Pamlico river we turned about 90º into the Pungo River and now had the waves coming up behind Liquid Therapy. This was a much better ride. The wind had certainly been switching all morning and was now blowing 25 knots out of the Southeast. Liquid Therapy surfed with the waves and we had a very good ride all the way to the Belhaven Marina.

Greg, the dock master, got us tied up to the face dock. But with the wind and swells coming into the face dock Liquid Therapy was bouncing and rolling like we were still underway. I spoke with the boat that was behind us at the marina and he said they had been bouncing since their early morning arrival. There would the a 55’ boat scheduled to dock ahead of us and we were hoping that would knock down some of the bouncing.

Susan and I walked around Belhaven to the find the hardware store and Spoon River Restaurant. We had heard nothing but rave reviews about Spoon River and fortunately had made reservations for a later dinner!

I don’t usually write about food, but Spoon River was the best meal we have had our entire trip. The restaurant features local produce, seafood and beef. We tried a flight of wine, the first we had ever seen! The bartender came over to see what drink we ordered and set us up with 4 different wines, in our flight, to go with our meal. They had run out of several entree items, so we both opted for filet mignon. I ordered an appetizer of local shrimp egg roll. When the flight of wine came, it had cheese, crackers, peanuts, gherkins and queen olives. I should not have ordered the appetizer as the flight came with so much food and wine. The appetizer consisted of two huge shrimp egg rolls and was loaded with all kinds of decorative edibles. We boxed much of the wine flight food and half of the shrimp egg roll appetizer and garnishes. Susan no longer needs to go to the store for parsley, just limes. She said she is going to make slaw out of the cabbage, carrots and parsley! We were definitely wowed and almost full when our steaks arrived. Local cold crop veggies had been grilled and tossed with a reduction sauce over red bliss potatoes, with the filet served on top! I may have enjoyed the grilled Brussel sprouts more than the steak. Again, too much to eat and we will have steak for dinner aboard on this very rainy, windy night. On our way out, the bartender rushed up with a big slice of apple spice coffee cake, made by her husband. You would not believe the weight of the boxed food we took home. I actually checked how far it is from our house to come here to eat, a mere three and a half hours. We may actually come down to Belhaven for a long weekend sometime in the future. Or, it’s only a four day boat trip from the Chesapeake. We will be back!

Today’s picture is the shrimp egg roll appetizer from Spoon River. Like I said before, Susan will be making cole slaw out of the garnishes of purple and green cabbage! There is rarely a lack fun and good food aboard Liquid Therapy!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

23 April 2018 | Oriental marina
Brooke Smith
Passage - Casper’s Marina Oriental Marina, Oriental, NC
50 SM 8.2 Engine Hours
7:53 AM Underway
2:51 PM Docked starboard side to face dock

Easy run today from Swansboro to Oriental, NC. We had some tidal current with us and some against us. But, the giant tides south of here are not present up here. The tidal swing at Oriental is 6”. The tidal swing of Swansboro was about 4’. The remainder of our trip will have weak tides.
We only crossed one inlet to the Atlantic today. That was Bogue inlet, very near Swansboro. The inlet posed no problems with currents or shoaling that often occurs. It would be our only inlet that we would be near the rest of our trip. Much of our trip was the Bogue Sound after the inlet with long straight legs. Very easy. We were well inland of the Beaufort, NC inlet when we turned out of the Bogue sound for the Adam’s Creek cut over to the Neuse River. There were many long stretches on this creek too. The autopilot was happy with the fewer turns of this passage.
Then we crossed the 4.2 miles of the Neuse River. I knew the Neuse was wide. It sort of reminds me of the Rappahannock River. The Rappahannock is not that wide i don’t believe. The Neuse did toss us about as there was about a 10 knot wind blowing straight down the river. We have got to go up the Neuse Monday morning. I hope it is calm for that about 10 miles

The weather is supposed to get bad on Monday afternoon and Tuesday they are calling for 2” of rain with thunderstorms on Tuesday. So, we are heading to Belhaven for Monday and Tuesday nights.

Today’s picture is the Meka II built by Horatio Sinbad “”” He built the Meka II in his backyard in Detroit, Michigan, starting when he was 19. He launched her in 1967 and spent his summers cruising the Great Lakes. “”” http://www.pirate-privateer.com/biography/

Saturday, April 21, 2018

22 April 2018 | Casper's Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage - Harbour Village Marina - Casper’s Marina, Swansboro, NC
38 SM 6.6 Engine Hours
8:04 AM Underway
1:36 PM Docked starboard side to face dock

Pretty easy run today. I did have to time two bridges. But they worked out just fine. Didn’t have to run hard to meet either opening. The wind was nice, chilly but nice. The bridge at Camp LeJeune was also quiet. Sometimes while waiting at this bridge there are explosions from the marine guns. You can actually feel the concussion through the hull of the boat. But today it is Saturday and the off duty marines are fishing along the ICW.

We really like Casper’s Marina and the town of Swansboro. heading south this fall Casper’s was full and we couldn’t get a slip for the two days we wanted to spend here. But when we arrived we were the only boat in the entire marina. We have had to make reservations in advance heading north as the migration of boats is heading north. But Casper’s is empty. Just a fluke I suppose of boats going father before stopping each way. We could have made it to Beaufort, NC instead of stopping here as well. But we like Mr. Casper and visit the town each way.

There was lots of excitement going on in Swansboro. Pirates festival and also Prom Night. Lots of pirates roaming the streets in their pirate regalia mixed with Prom couples having their pictures taken on the street. Susan smartly made dinner reservations for us as we knew between pirates and prom couples the restaurants would be overrun. Speaking of prom, many of these couples had photographers following them around the town and having them pose. The girls mostly are much larger than the boys. That was funny to me. I guess the girls were more mature than us boys at that age too. But, all of the guys looked shrimpy compared to the girls.

We ate ashore and came back to the marina. I figured SOME other boat would have arrived. But, strangely we were the only boat in the marina. Mrs. Casper said we were the 64th transient of the year and their business was way off. There are less and less boaters doing what we do. The younger generations don’t even take the time to boat on the weekends like we did earlier in our careers. Monday’s at work water cooler talk was have many fish did you catch and boat stories. By Wednesday the talk was where were you going on your boat. Long weekends and vacations were always boat trips somewhere. Lots of boats are for sale with no one looking at them. I’m not sure where the boating industry is headed. I’ve heard three industries are in trouble with the older crowds dying off and new people not interested in those hobbies. The three are boating, flying and golf. I still boat. I used to fly. Never played golf, but I have lots of friends that golf. They are all older too.

Today’s picture is a very cool dog we met walking around Swansboro. He has a beard and is a German Drahthaar.

Friday, April 20, 2018

21 April 2018 | Harbour Village Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage - Southport - Harbour Village Marina, Hampstead, NC
44 SM 7.7 Engine Hours
7:41 AM Underway
2:12 PM Docked port side to stern in slip A12

Cold front came through and it’s 41º on the boat this morning. Jeans and long sleeves today. At least the wind has died somewhat. But the wind direction is now NE instead of SE.

We get away from the dock without any problems and down the couple miles to the Cape Fear River. Wow, the wind is blowing straight down this wide ocean going ship traffic River. The river is also very busy with morning ferry traffic - both car ferries and people ferries. I make sure I don’t cross their bows even though I’d really like to get to the proper side of the channel. As windy and choppy as the river is, I am able to drink coffee in the full enclosure zipped tight on the fly bridge. The cold is still there but at least the wind can’t hit me straight on. I pass a boat or two and I am passed by a few faster boats. Then we hit Snows cut, a man made cut between the Cape Fear River and the Beaufort River. The current’s that flow though Snow’s Cut are horrendous. I had difficulty keeping the bow headed into the strong current and boats coming the other way were flying barely under control. And, then we enter the New River and the current fades and changes directions as we head up to Wrightsville Beach Bridge.

Now comes timing the Wrightsville Beach Bridge opening some 10 miles away. I work on that a while with the current working against me and then at some point it will be with me. I have to run the engine harder for part of the way to Wrightsville to compensate for current. And, then there are no wake zones and worse pier guys working off small platforms that have no warning unless you see them in time to slow down and not throw a wake that will throw them into the water. I see one constructions crew waving a red flag on the end of a long pipe. I slow down, but the guy behind me doesn’t. The dock workers hold on while that wake shakes everything they are working on and the platform they are working from. Still I get near the Wrightsville bridge about 10 minutes to spare and slow down behind a long line of other boats bumping in and out of gear to try to maintain control in the current near the bridge. This bridge only opens once an hour. It’s noon and bunches of us go through. There are four more bridges until I get to my destination marina. The next bridge has 21 feet clearance and I only need about 14 feet so I cruse by some of the boats that were ahead of me from Wrightsville and go under the Figure Eight Island Bridge while they have to wait for that bridge next scheduled opening.

Then a funny thing happens at the destination marina. Three boats ahead of me in the ICW turn into that marina. I know the dock master is going to be busy. He doesn’t answer the VHF and I know he has his hands full. As I get into the marina basin I see him helping tie up a boat. I yell Liquid Therapy to him and he says SLIP A12. I have to backtrack a bit in reverse to get to A12. I pivot and back in. Susan and I have no problem getting the lines on the dock. We are secure when the dock master arrives. We get reminded we were supposed to call him on the phone after leaving Wrightsville Bridge. I told him I just flat forgot. He had wanted to space out the arrivals. He told each boat to call him NONE OF US DID. It’s kind unusual protocol to call on the phone instead of the VHF radio anyway. But I got the dock masters point of wanting to sequence arrivals like air traffic control does for planes.

At Harbour Village marina the arriving boats and Liquid Therapy decided to have a dock party at 5PM. It was much fun speaking with everyone. All of the boats were in some part of doing the great loop ( http://www.greatloop.org ) it seemed except us. I have no desire to do that 5200 mile 1 year cruise.

A 1984 Albin 36’ ended up docked next to us.They were very enthusiastic about our antique boats. We swapped information with them and our boat cards as well. They may actually stay at our home marina in Port Haywood for a while. The couple had started the LOOP on their sailboat. It had gotten destroyed by Hurricane Irma. So, they switched to a trawler to finish the loop.

We all had a nice time and then went our own ways for dinner. It was going to be an early morning for some as they were headed 60+ miles to Beaufort, NC. We were not going that far. Only to Swansboro 44 miles.

Today’s picture is a pirate ship that passed us. At least they didn’t fire cannons!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

20 April 2018 | South Harbour Village Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage Passage - Barefoot Marina - South Harbour Village Marina, Southport, NC
43 SM 7.2 Engine Hours
7:42 AM Underway
1:41 PM Docked port side to stern in slip B28

We are now in North Carolina! North Carolina is the longest part of the ICW about 300 miles long. Today’s passage was much more scenic. We did have to traverse the dangerous “rock pile” area of the ICW north of Myrtle Beach. The few miles of the ICW here have slate looking banks instead of sand. This cut is man made and has strong currents and you cannot get out of the channel. Mariners routinely announce they are entering the rock pile section on the radio. I look on my AIS screen to see if any commercial traffic is coming my way or running over me from behind. If the coast is clear I go. We had no encounters head on or overtaking today. !!!

We stop at South Harbour Village Marina as it is very near where the lady that worked in Susan’s classroom for 20+ years retired to. It was nice catching up with Judy and Chuck. They were also long time boaters. At 85 they are still getting around, but no longer have a boat. They drove over to the marina to see us and have dinner at the Dead End Saloon. We always have fun catching up with them.

The wind got so bad that we were forced to hunker down one more day at South Port. We tried to get reservations at other marinas, but they were full and with the windstorm no one was moving. In the morning it was so bad that we would have canceled it we had been successful in getting reservations. Friday is looking good. So, we will get as far as practical on Friday.

Today’s picture is a group of people paddling for exercise. They passed us by and turned around. I thought they might pass us. We were in a no wake zone and started to yell at them to slow down and watch their wake!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

20 April 2018 | Barefoot Marina
Brooke Smith
Passage Passage - Osprey Marina - Barefoot Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC
20 SM 3.6 Engine Hours
9:58 AM Underway
12:53 PM Docked port side to face dock

This stretch of the ICW is rather boring. We are running in the “ditch” basically. There are lots of houses and golf courses along this 20 miles. However, I would not want to live with the view of your neighbor across the waterway. We like the homes that have large expanse views of marsh or the Atlantic views. We had lots of no wake zones making this trip pretty slow.

Friends - We met some people I had worked with at Verizon Communications. Marcia, Seabird, Dana and Dave were all RV-ing in Myrtle Beach. We had them over for a visit to Liquid Therapy for happy hour and conversation. All 6 of us couldn’t all talk fast enough about the various things we have done in retirement. We all had worked for C&P Telephone Company that changed to Bell Atlantic and then Verizon Communications. It was a quick 30 + year career for all of us. They drove us to a barbecue restaurant for dinner and we all had lots of fun catching up. We have met more old friends on this trip than any other we have taken.

We are starting to see home in sight. It’s about another 7-8 travel days left until we are back at Horn Harbor Marina, our home marina.

Today’s picture is the Barefoot Bridge at sunrise.
Hailing Port: DELTAVILLE, VA
Extra: Headed south fall 2017 to Miami and then the Bahamas
LIQUID THERAPY's Photos - Hollywood to Miami Passage
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