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May  2010

Week One:

We had a rest day in Georgetown and that was great. Another early morning and we set sail for parts North. Honeywind took the lead and disappeared in short order because we stopped at Osprey marina for fuel. It now appears we shall never catch up with them as they have a tighter schedule than ours. 'Twas fun while it lasted. Our friends David and Mary Kay live near Myrtle Beach so we decided to call and see if they were available for dinner. Well, we called at just the right moment. Their club was having a Kentucky Derby party and we were invited to join them. What a great crowd of people! We bet on the horses and we won! Then we stopped by David and Mary Kay's  house to see their latest home improvements and meet their dog, Alfie. They dropped us back at Lightkeeper's marina and then at 6am the following morning we left hoping to catch the current going up the Fear River. Somehow we did, although by all the calculations we'd done we shouldn't have had such a good push. Anyway, it was far too early to stop and the bridge at Wrightsville Beach was opening (it is a restricted bridge and only opens on the hour) so we pushed on thru. We seem to be pushing rather hard lately! We got thru the next bridge and the winds had picked up considerably, and they (NOAA etc.) were calling for a very breezy night. Well, there are no anchorages anywhere near, the evening is fast approaching and we are being blown all over the place. We reluctantly pull into Harbor Village marina and proceed to worry all night long as to how we will get away from the dock in the morning. We'd been put bow in, in a tight spot with a concrete wall not too far from our stern. It was a restless night.

The following morning we pulled away just fine even though our eyes were half open. What a night! Then it was on to one of our favorite anchorages, Spooner's Creek. We had fog, we had rain, we had wind AND we had Walmart (Super Walmart)!  After an overnighter and quick shopping fix we plodded on to Oriental to visit our friends Pat & Gary. We had a lovely evening with them and stayed overnight at their dock. Then it was a long day to the next anchorage north of the Alligator canal. We decided to make another early start so that we could enjoy the afternoon in Elizabeth City.........like the idea......but it was not to be. We got to the end of the Alligator River and beginning of the Albemarle Sound and THUMP. All sails were out and we had run aground in the channel (well almost in the channel). Andrew saw a shoal on the chart near G7 and tried to avoid it by going closer to R6. BIG MISTAKE!!!! The shoal is on the other side you silly chart makers. Of course the wind picked up and was pushing us further on. Some 3 hours later Tow Boat US had hauled us off and we were on our way. This was not good karma, however we arrived at Elizabeth City in time for the Rose Buddy cocktail hour and a few drinks later we were sound asleep. Now moving on and anchored in the Dismal Swamp.

 

A motley crew. Us, Mike, Karen, Patti & Emery.

About to take a tour of Georgetown, NC.

The oldest oak tree in the Carolina's.

Georgetown

Wind in the Willows - Michael singlehanded and in his 80's.

Dave & Mary Kay....they had lots of hats!

How does your garden grow?

Kentucky Derby Hats!

Sunrise departing Whittaker Creek.

Lots of barge traffic.

Here comes another one.

 

 

Week Two:

We love the Dismal Swamp although it can be quite nerve wracking when we hear the sound (thud) of deadheads hitting the keel. The Army Corps of Engineers must have done a good job of clearing the debris as we hardly hit anything. We spent three nights there at different docks and anchorages. Whilst waiting for the last lock to open we heard Tally Ho the motor vessel hailing the bridge tender in the Virginia Cut. We hadn't seen them since the Bahamas and we managed to catch up and travel for about half a mile with them thru to Portsmouth. We could see the damage they sustained from the tornado at Lucaya....not good! Poor things were freezing as their bimini was destroyed and they had no protection from the elements. It's getting cooler the further North we get!

We stopped at Portsmouth and had a restful afternoon taking the ferry to Norfolk and then shopping (what's shopping?) at the mall. Bright and early the following day we left and headed up the Chesapeake Bay. The winds were good for a little while and then the waves picked up and the waters were choppy and the wind began to blow......of course the rain started too and we decided to pull into Deltaville for the rest of the day. The temps have fallen and it is COLD. A daytime high of 60 degrees!

Well, it blew 20k - 25k all night long and then some more in the morning. We began heading out of Jackson Creek and saw to our dismay a very large motor vessel aground in the very narrow channel, so we turned around and threw out the anchor and waited until he eventually cleared the area. The weather forecast for the day was not looking good and we wanted to get a few more miles under our belt so we decided to call our friends Walt & Mary, who live in Reedville, to see if we could pop in and visit and wait out the weather at their dock. As luck would have it they were home and they gave us a royal welcome as always. It'd been a year since we'd seen them so we had lots of catching up to do. Cocktails were on Tally Ho, and as the rain started we moved up to the house where Mary cooked us a lovely dinner. What a pleasant evening!

Left our hosts dock at 7am and had a long and very cold 12 hour motor sail up the bay to Annapolis, where we anchored in Lake Ogleton for the night. Hot water bottles were a must have! Our decision was to grab a mooring ball in Annapolis the following day, however.............when we awoke we decided the winds were in the right direction to continue North to Baltimore and make safe haven before the storms blew in. What winds! Did I say wind! Hmmm. NOAA knows nought.

Deep Creek Lock

Robert at Deep creek lock with the conk shells that we brought him.

Shirley and Ed aboard m/v Tally Ho

Tally Ho in Portsmouth.

Mary and Walt in Reedville.

Calm seas.

The Pride of Baltimore

Week Three:

We had our son Mathew pick us up and drive us home from the Anchorage Marina in Baltimore, and then the fun really started.

Awnings had fallen off due to the snow that Maryland had during the winter.

Water from the snow melt had stained the carpet by the French doors - Steam clean.

The deck was green with moss - Pressure wash, stain and waterproof.

The cap on top of the furnace had fallen off - Up the roof and re-attach.

Water had gone down the flue and into the furnace - dirty clean up job.

The window in the van would not come up - new motor ..........and so the list goes on and on and on.

However it's nice to be home again.

We had a day out to meet Pat and Ray (Reflection ..... now a 5th wheel RV) and had a great crab cake birthday lunch for the girls. It was good to see them again after 12 months and also to meet Romeo their dog.

 

Week Four:

What a whirlwind we're caught in. It's been a very  busy week sorting out the house and boat. We are going to be living between the two for most of the summer. We spent a lot of time catching up on paperwork and the inevitable household chores. Of course we fit some time in for visiting with our daughter and grandchildren. We also went to our son's place of work for lunch. Mathew made us lunch and then gave us a tour of the kitchen. Our camera broke so we don't have too many pictures this week, but we managed to salvage a few of the girls!

We visited with our friends Mike and Donna at a fundraiser for their grandson who has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Fortunately he is taking his treatments well and was fit enough to attend. Seeing young children battling major sickness certainly gives one food for thought! We are blessed and often don't realize how lucky we are!

Our diesel costs for the trip to the Bahamas and back were $700 total. Now I know why we bought a sailboat.....who's out there choking on this!!!!!!

Happy Memorial Day to all.

Chloe in pink. Kendall in orange.

Yummy!

Sugar baby!

Keys family tent at fundraiser.

Linganore winery, where the event took place.

Fun for all the family.