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May  2011

Week One:

After a week looking for an RV and not seeing the Space Shuttle launch (another delay from NASA) we left Titusville and started heading north on Monday. We continue to meet and chat with friends travelling the same  way and we thought it would be nice to stop in to see Kent and Gretchen who were in the Bahamas two years ago, but now live in St.Augustine. We called them but they had to decline our invite for cocktails because they had been invited to dinner by Fred and Sodonia aboard Shearwater. Andrew made another quick call to Fred and whatd'ya know we got a dinner invite as well. What a great evening, good company, good food....... see photo's.

Early the next morning we left Comachee Cove marina and continued North, anchoring for a night in the Amelia river. We got up bright and early and cruised into Fernandina Beach marina by 9 am. We met up with Corey and Linda (Live Wire II) for a pleasant lunch in town. We'd never been to Fernandina and it was a pretty, little historic town to mooch around. The following day should have been an outside trip, but the weather didn't cooperate so we plodded up the ICW (some 70 miles) arriving into the Crescent river in Georgia just in time for cocktails, aaah!

Kent and Gretchen

A great evening

Week Two:

Traveling the ICW through Georgia can be very wearing. Although there are some pretty sights and stops along the way, there are also some very scary shallow spots to negotiate. We prepared ourselves for a few days of intense concentration at the wheel and plenty of research into tides and currents. Well prepared, we headed out of the Crescent river early (it's always early!) and as we approached Sapelo Sound we made a hasty decision to turn right and head out to sea.  It turned out to be a great decision. The winds and seas were good for an overnight sail (30 hours) to Georgetown, Winyah Bay. If we had trouble we could pop in at several places and continue the slog up the ICW. That never happened and we found ourselves tied up at Osprey marina for a night, where we were met by our friend Karen (Premium Time) and we all went out to dinner. 

An early departure again, and we arrived by lunchtime at Lightkeeper's marina in Myrtle Beach. Our dock master, James, loaned us his car and we picked up some booze for cocktails onboard with our friends David, Mary Kay and Sue. They then drove us to their house for dinner.

Another rooster rising and after a very long day of motoring with a yell and wave to our friends Roger & Mary at Holden Beach, we finally arrived at Wrightsville Beach and were met by Bette & David (Tar Heel), who took us to their lovely home for dinner.

Guess what? Yes, at 6:30 am (almost a lay in) we departed for Spooner's Creek arriving some 12 hours later. Who's cooking tonight??? Time for a day of rest, and shopping, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Belks, Ross. Heaven!!! Well, only for one of us. The afternoon was spent napping.......that kept the other half happy.

Now we're off to Oriental to visit more friends. Having a ball!

Sue, Mary K, David and Vanessa for cocktails.

Roger and Mary (Teamwork) wave from their house.

This boat had a motor bike strapped to the swim platform. I wonder how long the bike lasts in salt water

Bette, (Tar Heel) wearing what turned out to be first prize in her gardening club contest.

Week Three:

We rise at the crack of dawn these days, (I should say leave, not rise) So our arrival in Oriental was pre-noon. We tied the boat up at Pat & Gary's dock, and as they weren't home we decided to stroll into town and pick up some groceries. Along the way we met them and made arrangements for evening cocktails aboard Tally Ho. We had a lovely evening and bypassed dinner altogether. Such is the cruising lifestyle!

A 6:00 am departure and great winds taking us down the Neuse river and across Pamlico Sound, couldn't be better UNTIL.........Bang! We both thought the boom had whipped across, but there it was dead centre, hmm, the mainsail however was flailing all over the place. It had broken away at the clew and we hadn't a clue how to fix it. We quickly furled it in and tied it with a bungy cord to the mast. Now what to do?  We anchored for the night in the Alligator River and bet you can't guess what time we left in the morning - 6:00 am.

The plan was to stop in Elizabeth City for laundry and a walkabout. When we got there the wind was blowing from the South and we couldn't find a space to tie up that was protected. Obviously others have caught on to our sheltered spots. So we proceeded into the Dismal Swamp and anchored at Goat Island and watched the storms go North and South of us all evening.

The following day we went to Portsmouth, and the next morning we arrived in Hampton to visit our friends, Shirley and Ed. We also made arrangements for the sail to be repaired. It was lovely seeing our friends again and although Shirley is battling cancer, she is in fine spirits and looking great. We enjoyed a seafood lunch at Bluewater Yachting center then said goodbye. Sail repair done and sail back in place we left bright and early the next day for Yorktown. We didn't know the history of the town until we arrived and then we made a quick exit as the Brits were not thought of kindly in these parts.  In the late 1700's America and it's cohorts, France, defeated the British troops under Cornwallis. Okay that's all the history you're getting from us.

We're now anchored in the typical Chesapeake bay anchorage, a quiet cove, a few houses and lots of trees. Serene, safe and silent.

Andrew, Gary, Pat and Vanessa.

Where is my sail

Here it is.

The Dismal Swamp canal.

One of the old houses in Yorktown.

Dead dolphin in the bay

Week Four:

We departed Antipoison Creek at daybreak and headed off to see Walt and Mary in Reedville. We had a very nice evening with them and their friends Polli & Mike. We also went to see Walt's boat that's being painted and refurbished in a nearby barn.

From Reedville we crossed the bay to Onancock where we discovered that the famous hardware store on Main Street (the place we desperately wanted to go to) had closed down over a year ago. Saddened, we walked the town to find not a store open, it was Sunday after all! The next day we were going to Solomon's, crossing the bay again, but the weather did not cooperate and we decided to head for safe harbor in Crisfield. We had a really tough time approaching the docks as the 25kt winds took us wherever they pleased.  Thankfully the slips were empty and we went where we could, not where we chose!  Happy to be tied at all four corners, the next problem was how do we get off the boat....We had come in bow first and the finger piers were short and it was high tide. Somers Cove marina staff were super and fixed us up with a sturdy ladder and in short order we were in town looking for a restaurant. Oh no, it's Monday, and the restaurants are all closed, well nearly. We managed to  find a place and we had our first taste of crabs for the year. The following day, at 6 am we struggled out of the marina in breezy conditions and went to Solomons for a couple of nights. Then it was a short and bumpy trip to see Jack and Sue (Seafood Searcher) in Deale where we had a beautiful dinner at their house.

We left the marina early as the bay had small craft advisories out and we wanted to be in the sheltered waters of the Choptank River before noon. We had the right idea, but upon entering the Knapps Narrows we ran aground right in the middle of the channel. Two crabbers tried to pull us off and the second was successful....phew! We're now anchored and awaiting severe storms heading our way. So much for a good nights sleep!

Walt showing us his boats new paint job.

Off at sunrise out of Solomons MD


Week Five:

The storms never materialized and we did get a couple of good nights sleep in our anchorage at San Domingo Creek. We enjoyed a picnic ashore with our Maryland sailing club Saturday evening and early Sunday morning we pulled anchor, well tried to pull anchor! Andrew had a devil of a time at the bow and finally ran, yes, ran back to me at the helm. The wind was blowing (of course), the anchorage was full (what else!), and now the anchor had several crab lines wrapped around it with one taught and angled toward our prop. A quick rush to the galley and the captain surfaced with bread knife in hand. Another dash to the bow and it was all action. What a mess! Mud everywhere, but we managed to get out of town without any damage. Not sure how many people we woke up though!

We arrived at our summer home, Anchorage Marina in Baltimore, on Sunday afternoon and prepared for the arrival of our children and grandchildren on Memorial Day. Oh how lovely it was to see them even though it was over 90 degrees and humid. The girls had fun in the pool and enjoyed the boat too, and it didn't take long for them to warm to us. Hannah brought our car and now we can get about. We spent a day at Hannah's beautiful home playing with the girls, and we were able to run several errands. Mathew stopped by to see us and deliver our mail (mainly bills $$$)....so nice!

We've had a couple of days rest but now we have some issues: What's new...well, the jib is now being sewn up (it was the main a week ago - more $$$) and we've got a leak somewhere near the rudder ($$$$$), so tomorrow we are taking the boat back to Annapolis to be checked out and repaired.

Great picnic with the sailing club

Hunter Sailing Club having a picnic.

Blessing of the fleet at Anchorage Marina.

Andrew and the twins