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September  2011

Week One:

Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Five days of it and no sunshine, it was worse than the good ol' UK. It's really hampered our clean up in the yard and the lawn is now almost a foot long. We've never experienced such extremes in weather with hurricanes, earthquakes, and then flooding.

It's been a week of tidying up the house and getting ready for our departure. We said goodbye to our children and grandchildren,(harder to do now the babes are so much fun to be around), and Mathew drove us to Baltimore with a trunk full of more "stuff"  to load on the boat. Where we'll put it all - who knows!

 

 

Week Two:

We spent Sunday preparing to leave the dock. We said goodbye to our friends at the marina and left Baltimore at 9am on Monday. The long trek South has now begun. The weather was gorgeous, the bay was filthy! Actually the bay looked like a war zone. The water was the colour of an English cup of tea (milk and all). We found it hard, well nigh impossible, to find a stretch of water that we could navigate without having to push through all the debris that Tropical Storm Lee so kindly dumped on us! On Pennsylvania actually. There were trees, yes, not twigs or branches but huge trees, and tires, and 50 gallon drums, plastic chairs etc. etc. The birds were loving all these little/large floating islands that had sprung up from nowhere. By 11:00am we were on the radio to Boat US. Our engine had abruptly failed and the throttle was stuck in forward. There was NO wind and we were in the middle of the shipping channel (I'm sure this sounds familiar to some of you!) Had the water been clear we'd have bravely dived in for a look, but neither of us were keen on that option. So we waited for help to arrive and got towed to Annapolis. We pulled in at our old marina and stayed the night. After a quick haul-out the following morning the culprit was found. See below! A five foot long log had got jammed in the prop. Fortunately little damage was done, except to our wallet. Within the hour we were on our way, again. We heard that the dam above Baltimore was released the day before and we knew we needed to get as far South as possible to avoid more trouble. So we're flat out and racing along, head on into wind. Never fails! The lower regions of the Bay seem to be fine and debris free. The water isn't too bad a colour either! We got into Portsmouth with a few hours to spare before a cold front came through.

Being towed to the South River

An example of the debris

The culprit log that locked the engine.

Sunrise and heading South

Some company at Norfolk

Portsmouth dock at high tide.

Week Three:

We left Portsmouth on Sunday and decided to come down the Virginia Cut route since the Dismal Swamp had a lot of "Duck Weed" in it and from experience this stuff fouls up the water intake for the engine and then it over heats. The Virginia Cut route gave us no problems and we stayed the night at Great Bridge and then headed towards Oriental to visit with Pat and Gary. It has rained EVERY day since we got to Norfolk and the forecast is for more rain.

The Bridge at Great Bridge

The lock at Great Bridge

Sunshine

Pod of Dolphins

Rain Rain and More Rain

 

Week Four:

We left Oriental on Monday morning and passed a number of washed up boats from the recent hurricane Irene. We also saw several houses with damage and a few houses demolished. Generally the destroyed houses were older properties.

It's still raining. It's Tuesday morning, we are in Spooner's Creek and this will be the 13th consecutive day that we have had rain. We want to get some food from the local stores but cannot find a break in the rain to make a dash for it. ........... Maybe tomorrow.

It's now Wednesday and we got a break in the weather and Vanessa did the shopping whilst Andrew stayed aboard. The next morning we were in the middle of the channel coming out of Spooner's and ran aground. We called the tow boat, however just before he got there a breeze started to blow and we got off. Once off we made good progress and passed Camp Lejeune where we had to wait an hour since the firing range goes across the waterway.

We stopped to see David and Mary Kay and had a great evening at a local restaurant and then went 10 more miles to Barefoot Landing where we met up with Roger and Mary (Teamwork) and had a great day. Weather has now stopped raining but the temperature has dropped ........ record low in Myrtle Beach.

 

Lunch out with Lyn and Art

Dinner out with Pat and Gary

Boat washed up after hurricane Irene

Boat for sale?

More rain.

Marines training.

Who would put this in the yard?

Big Dragon Fly comes for a visit.

The start of the Duck Race at Barefoot Landing