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October 2008

Week One:

We Left Baltimore on Monday morning and had a super sail down to Galesville, where we met up with Sunshine (aka Bill and Annamarie). Margaritas and dinner aboard Sunshine, and we are off to a good start!  Rose bright and early the following day heading for Solomon's. Andrew caught our dinner ( two Bluefish) and I prepared our evening meal. It was a little choppy on our final approach to Solomon's with a South wind and we were glad to get into Mill Creek for a quiet evening. Dinner turned out to be great! (Oh so humble!).

We tried without success to fix our autopilot troubles - yes, it's always something. Can't get the goto to go to anything! Well, something like that. So the captain is a little grouchy...and so am I. We've sent the machine back to Raymarine at least twice in the past 6 months. time to send out the "heavies".

Wednesday we departed for Deltaville at 7:00am. A long days motorsail. Another big Blue was caught. So more free dinners. Really looking forward to finding a burger joint soon!!! Or just cooking the chicken I pulled out the freezer days ago.

Our grandchildren are doing exceptionally well. Now over 7lbs a piece, so they are officially considered "newborns" I think. Hannah is doing a great job of being Mum. Hard to think of her as a mother, but she's a natural.

Thursday we made it down to Hampton and we are staying in a slip for the weekend since the weather is so great. Have a look at the home page for "Where are we now" and zoom in and click on the Satellite button to see where we are.

The anti-wine-glass rattle pads.

Sunrise over the Chesapeake

Dinner - for one

Dinner for two.

Fresh from the Bay

 

Week Two:

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Hampton. Had pizza one evening (a welcome reprieve from FISH) and played "Mexican Train" aboard Reflection. That's a dominoes game.  Cycled around town, and Andrew and Ray even did a bit of bridge flying! We managed to set up skype (a free phone via computer) with a camera attached so that we can communicate with Hannah and see the babies grow...boy, are they growing fast. Mother's milk is certainly proving to be good.

We took the Dismal Swamp route since we all enjoy staying at Elizabeth City. We spotted a bear early in the morning swimming across the canal and Pat (Reflection) was lucky enough to get a photo of the Bear in the woods. We enhanced the picture to make sure it was a real bear(see photo below).

The trip through the swamp is always interesting and we got into a slip at Elizabeth City around noon on Wednesday.

On Thursday afternoon, Larry and Lynn Morrow (Hunter HSA1 sailing friends, now living in Edenton) came over to see us and later we all went to dinner at a local restaurant. We hadn't seen them in 4 years and it was great chatting about our boats and where we all intend to go this year. Hopefully we'll see them in the Abacos if not before.

This is what we can see on the computer when we use Skype

Hannah is holding up one of the babies.

Andrew and Ray in a flying competition at Hampton Roads

The shipyards at Norfolk.

Moored up for the night in the Dismal Swamp

Somebody didn't like the road being closed.

Instructions for bear confrontation.

The bear we saw swimming across the canal early in the morning.

Early morning looking down the Canal.

At the Visitor Center of the Dismal swamp Canal.

We went off for a 5 mile bike ride with Pat and Ray.

Carlton looks after the Visitor center and also took some photos for us.

Tally Ho full steam ahead.

Early moring at Goat Island.

Larry and Lynn came to see us.

Week Three:

We stayed in Elizabeth City for 5 nights since it became very windy and crossing the sound was not advised. However, Elizabeth City is a great little town and the folks there are so friendly. We eventually left on Monday morning with .... you guessed it....... no wind at all, so we motored all the way to the head of the Pungo River. It was a long 12 hour day. The following morning it was a short hike to Slade Creek where Vanessa and Pat went off for a kayak expedition and the guys did the "man" thing. Whatever that is! A local fisherman stopped by the boat and Andrew negotiated with him for a huge flounder and some crab. The same fisherman stopped us in the kayaks and gave us 4 flounder. We raced back aboard and proceeded to clean the evening meal. We've been eating flounder now for several days. The best meal has been battered fish and chips made by Capt. Andrew. Actually, the crab cakes turned out very well too.

From Slade creek we headed for Whittaker Creek, Oriental where a friend of ours has a house and dock. We decided to go there to get protection from an approaching cold front. We meandered up the creek (Vanessa first by kayak, sounding out the depth) and managed to get within a boat length of the dock before running aground. As we struggled to back out a neighbor across the creek came to our assistance and offered his dock with water and electric. Need I say more. Gary and Pat are gems. Such wonderful, gracious hosts. In fact all the residents appear to be warm, friendly people. Perhaps this would be a good place to retire to.

 

Early Morning leaving Elizabeth City

Guy (local fisherman) sold Andrew some fresh fish and then he gave additional fish to Vanessa and Pat (Reflection)

Pat (Reflection) preparing some of the fish.

All done and on the plate.

View from the back of the boat at Gary and Pat's dock.

Art Whalen's house- we could not get to his dock.

Home made crab cakes.

Tally Ho at Gary and Pats dock in Whittaker Creek.

Home made Fish and Chips- Chef Andrew

Gary, Pat and Vanessa cocktails on board.

 

Week Four:

We left the comfort of Whittaker Creek after having dinner with Art, who kindly let us do our laundry at his place (our friend with the dock we couldn't get into - dredger for you Art!) and found ourselves in Spooner's Creek for two nights.  We made arrangements with Pat and Sam (whom we've never met before) to meet us at the head of the creek  around lunch time. Pat happens to be the sister of our friend Vickie, now living in Greece. Anyway to make a long story short - another great day was had. We went to lunch in Morehead City and Sam gave us a driving tour of Beaufort (Bofort). By this time you should be very confused!!!! After reading this I am. Lots of people and too many named Pat!

After Spooner's we went to Mile Hammock Bay where the Marines train. They were doing their thing in the freezing cold after dark all around our boat. Vanessa was not amused! It's very cold morning and night. The sun warms up the bubble during the day thank goodness, but we are trying to race our way South.

Next night was at Carolina Beach and all night it blew at 20 Knots. Most uncomfortable so we left there first thing in the morning to go down the Fear River and then have a couple of nights in the St. James Plantation Marina - very nice. David and Mary Kay (who now live in the Myrtle Beach area) drove up and we all went out to lunch in Southport.

Friday night at the protected marina was very windy and it rained hard for several hours. We are here until Sunday and then it's off again.

Another week gone by and I think it's time to get going.

Sam, Pat, Vanessa and Andrew.

Vanessa finds another coin.

Some left over military stuff at Camp Le Jeune.

Cocktail hour aboard Tally Ho.

Eveyone in the tender and back to their boats.

The procession down the ICW

Andrew, Vanessa, Mary Kay and David.

Lunch at the Pharmacy Restaurant.

 

Week Five:

Another bright and early (very cold) start. We are traveling from sun up to sundown most days.....there has to be warmth soon. We are averaging 60 miles a day. Our thoughts of going on the outside have been curtailed due to freezing temps at night and very blustery days. At least it's sunny and the bubble is warming up by midday. We had a nice surprise at Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge when Gretchen and Mack (our friend Marieanne's family) waved as we went by. (We'll be stopping there on the way back - never say no to an invitation of a shower and dinner!)

Stopped in to one of our favo(u)rite marina, Osprey (on the Waccamaw River) and we were treated to an evening of folk singing. The marina had a charity event going on and we reaped the benefits!!! Our next stop was Graham Creek. The winds still strong (in the wrong direction most of the time). Daytime temps only in the 50's. Thank heavens we brought our ski undies with us and of course the hot water bottles. Graham Creek turned out to be well protected and the winds died down thankfully. The following day we bypassed Charleston and went through the Elliot Cut with a 4 knot current against us. (If you've done this or know the Cut you know how scary that can be!) We also had some hairy moments with the two bridge tenders at Ben Sawyer and Wappoo. Wish I knew who their boss is, I'd have something to say to them.

It's been too cold to really notice much wildlife, but we did see an alligator and several dolphins have been sighted. We shall be in Georgia soon and hopefully the weather will improve.

In Georgia now, and nearly out of it and still freezing to death! We have negotiated all the tight spots (shallow waters) without much ado so far. We met up with more friends, Sunshine and Canvasback Too, and are currently traveling in a "Flock".

Florida here we come!

Gretchen & Mack at Sunset Pontoon Bridge.

Slow down, deer crossing!

The old pontoon bridge - soon to disappear, we hear.

The charity event at Osprey. Great music.

Brrrgh it's cold on the Waccamaw. Andrew steering from the companionway.

Frost!

See how cold it is!

Reunion with friends.

Look who stopped to say Hi.

Savannah river meets Tally Ho.