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October  2010

Week One:

Can't believe it's October already. We said goodbye to the newlyweds and company and headed for Deltaville. Immediately outside Reedville we spotted our first dolphin. Later a whole pod descended on us. Along the way we ran into Canvasback Too and Mystical (Al & Mary). They followed us into Jackson Creek and anchored, whilst we took advantage of the Yacht Club's complimentary dock. The following morning it was blowing again and we decided to anchor with the others, as it was too rough to continue down to Norfolk. After three nights there our provisions were low, so Vanessa baked bread and we had to use our dried milk too. We left at the first opportunity. (It has been really stinky weather.) We had a super sail, averaging 8kts with no engine all the way down the bay. We arrived at the Hole in the Wall at 4pm and anchored for the night. Al and Mary were not far behind us. Dave stayed in the creek waiting for better weather.

The next day we traversed the Dismal Swamp. Half way through we saw Tarwathie tied to the visitor's center dock. they'd had a really rough ride on the outside and were somewhat beaten up and scared by their ordeal. It was nice to be in the relative calm and beauty of the swamp after their nasty ocean experience! It must have been bad 'cos these guys are hardy sailors.

At Elizabeth City docks we managed to get off Tally Ho and stretch our legs. We got a ride to the grocery store and then we walked to the laundromat. Chores done, it was time to socialize...again! What a great place this is for meeting new friends and gathering with old ones. The visitors center does a fine job of hosting and helping all the passing cruisers. Charming people!

An early start (6:30am) down the Pasqoutank river and we made it through the Alligator canal by 5:00pm. Aah, time for a well deserved cocktail.....Cheers!

Beautiful bread.....you should see the underneath!

The Dismal Swamp icebergs. Looks like the inside passage in Alaska (miniature version)

Mystical in the lock at Deep Creek.

...and Tarwathie has joined them.

Hmmm..where's this?

 

Week Two:

On to Oriental and a brief visit with our friends Pat and Gary. We'd arranged for West Marine to have some parts delivered there but as luck would have it they did not arrive so we arranged for them to be sent to the WM  at Spooner's Creek. We left Oriental on Monday morning and arrived at Spooner's in time for cocktails with Todd and Brenda (Life's2short). The next day Vanessa got her shopping fix at Walmart, TJMaxx, Michaels etc. and of course picked up the package from West Marine. Meanwhile, Dave (Canvasback) and another boat (Rascal) arrived at the anchorage and Andrew got the sewing machine out and fixed Dave's jib.

We left Spooner's after filling the diesel tank and as the weather was beautiful we decided not to stop at Mile Hammock but to continue on to Sloop Point. Along the way we saw dolphin and otters and of course tons of birdlife. We've never anchored at Sloop Point and we were a bit concerned, however all went well until dark!! Doesn't it always! The winds kicked up and Vanessa spent half the night on anchor watch, in the cockpit waiting for trouble (which never arrived, thankfully). the picture below shows how tranquil it was before dark!

We ran against the current in the Fear river, but it was not bad at all and we made it in to Pipeline Canal in time to set the anchor and riding sail before the rain and winds came. We had a good night's sleep and were woken early by the local fishermen, who don't care about making  a wake at 6 a.m!  An early start and we're off to Lightkeeper's Marina for a couple of nights.

Sunset somewhere!

Pat, Gary and Casey the dog.

Todd and Brenda (Lifes2short) Spooner's Creek.

Mechanical Ospreys....Camp LeJeune

Surf City bridge with High Priority (Ron & Ingrid) ahead of us.

Sunset at Sloop Point.

Serious!

Morning mist Lockwoods Folly.

 

Week Three:

We arrived at Lightkeeper's marina at lunch time so we had to dock on our own. Fortunately it was not a problem! The dockmaster, James, is a great guy and usually let's us use his personal car to get groceries, etc. Well, James was out, getting ready for a party, but another cruiser on the dock offered to take us to the liquor store and Food Lion. What can I say, the boating community is really like no other...so helpful and friendly.

Listening to the VHF we heard our friends, Lo Que Sea, Puffin and Canvasback Too were stuck at the pontoon bridge because it had mechanical troubles. They waited there for 3 hours and when they got thru they decided to call it quits and come into Lightkeeper's also. It was really great seeing them and our land friends, David and Mary Kay. Then another surprise.........walking down the dock we saw Mary and Roger of "Teamwork". What a busy night it was. Before leaving the dock for dinner with David and Mary K, we stopped by a pirates party and had some fun.

 

It's been a busy and interesting week. Vanessa spotted a large bobcat swimming across the creek in the Santee River. Wish we could have taken a picture of it but she had the binoculars glued to her face! She had no idea what it was except it was the size of a medium sized dog. Had a deer like tail, fox like ears and was a reddish color and when it turned around once it reached land it was pretty darned fierce and ugly looking! Her research on the web revealed it was a bobcat.

The wind has been from the SW for the last few days and only on Thursday did the forecast change to west. With that forecast and a full moon and clear sky we decided to go offshore from Savannah to St. Augustine (about 120 Miles). it was a long night, but uneventful AND we missed all the Georgia ICW problems and zigzags. Along the way we picked up a stowaway. The poor thing looked bedraggled and was obviously as tired as we were. amazing how these little birds can fly such long distances without a landing. See him below.

We arrived in St. Augustine at 9am and headed for the Cement Plant for the night. We're pooped!

Mary K. and Andrew

David and another Mary!

James our dockmaster 2nd from left, with entourage.

A motley crew....James, Andrew, Mary.

Lois, Judy and Gene. Carl was in hiding!

Roger & Mary with sling.

A frustrating day!

A gull's paradise.

Eagle having lunch.

Stowaway. About 20 Miles offshore he needs a rest.

An ocean moonrise

An ocean sunset

An ocean sailor!

St. Augustine light.

Entrance from the ocean with Fort ahead.

 

Week Four:

We like the sheltered haven know as the "Cement Plant", not the best of names but it does offer good protection and peaceful surroundings with lots of wildlife, alligators, birds and fish (none that we can catch). It's not a good feeling however, seeing all the fish jumping around your lure and teasing you....thank heavens we aren't relying on the catch of the day for dinner!

On to the next port of call, Halifax River Yacht Club, where we stayed for three nights awaiting a visit with our land yachting friends, Pat, Ray and doggie Romeo. We spent an enjoyable day with them catching up on news and seeing firsthand what it's like to be in an RV park. Our next adventure may be the RVing kind.....who knows!

The following two days were long hard slogs down the ICW with the wind on the nose and the heat and humidity soaring. We knew we'd have a long day from Daytona to Addison Point (we left at 7am and arrived at 6pm NASA causeway), but it turned out to be 2 hours longer than we thought because they were doing repairs to the JJ railway bridge and we got stuck there. An early start the next day and we were having engine starter trouble. Hmmm, we were going to a nice little anchorage for the night but with the possibility of no engine we gunned it to Vero and picked up a ball. Now we can spend, spend, spend at West Marine..........darn! I was hoping to do some fun shopping.

Vero has a really good (free) public transit system and it's easy to get around. Vanessa got to do the domestic shopping and  Andrew did the repair shopping. Then all hands put to work - the engine oil and filter has been changed, the engine starter button replaced, the shore power connection replaced, new snubber made, remote autopilot connector repaired, 2 house batteries replaced (125 Lbs each).........oh my, and the list goes on!

We're now waiting for a window to cross to the Abacos. Nothing in sight yet.    

Admiral at the car show.

Sunrise on the Indian River.

Captain

Mooring field at Vero beach

The new Snubber.