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Blown South by Hurricane Isabel -

Sailing South to North Carolina


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Our Last Breath of South WInd

We took a year off cruising after Bob's Heart attack in 2002 at an uninhabited cay in the Bahamas. We did not go down the ICW in the winter of 2002-2003. But after Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, we decided to try the ICW again, but this time we were going to stay in a marina in Marathon for the winter. This turned out to be the last time we did this trip on our boat.

After Hurricane Isabel

Our house during Isabel - all the shutters shut

Our house during Isabel - all the shutters shut


we went out to the marina to check on the boat at low tide.
134f2ff0-eca0-11e9-9da5-49d7850281f8.jpgB dock where we have a slip from the shore at LOW tide

B dock where we have a slip from the shore at LOW tide


Covered docks after Isabel

Covered docks after Isabel


100905a0-eca0-11e9-9da5-49d7850281f8.jpgHaul slip is under water

Haul slip is under water


I waded out the dock - Bob didn't want to.
Walking out B dock stepping over the lines crossing to the pilings

Walking out B dock stepping over the lines crossing to the pilings


Low tide after Isabel - covers the docks to my knees

Low tide after Isabel - covers the docks to my knees


I had to carefully step over the lines crossing the dock - there were only cleats on one side of the dock so everyone was running lines across to the pilings on the other side. After I got out there, the boat was up too high for me to get on it, so I just sat on our dock stairs before I waded back. The floating thing is the dinghy of the boat across the dock from us.
13685d40-eca0-11e9-8a6f-6570e0dc54ae.jpgSitting on our dock stairs

Sitting on our dock stairs


Someone who stayed on their boat during the hurricane said the water came up to the tops of the pilings

27 October 2003 Monday

We hauled the boat out and washed off the bottom and scraped the barnacles off the prop.

Barnacles on the prop

Barnacles on the prop

They had accumulated on there since the fourth of July, which was the last trip we made. Photo shows the barnacles still on the prop. This is a feathering prop which folds up when we are sailing to reduce drag. It won't fold properly with the barnacles on it, plus the engine can't develop the full torque because the barnacles make it too heavy and bulky.

We went down to put the bimini curtains down on the boat because it was supposed to rain. (We had taken them all off for the hurricane)
Looking B dock at dusk with no water on it (see above after Isabel)

Looking B dock at dusk with no water on it (see above after Isabel)


Bow of RosalieAnn at dusk

Bow of RosalieAnn at dusk

Bob fixing something on the boat

Bob fixing something on the boat

Covered slips

Covered slips


Marina flagpole at dusk

Marina flagpole at dusk


We were afraid to try any of the waterfront restaurants where we usually eat for fear that they would not have recovered from the hurricane yet,
Old Ridge Inn sign

Old Ridge Inn sign


So we had dinner at the Old Ridge Inn.
Bob at the door of the Old Ridge

Bob at the door of the Old Ridge


This restaurant used to be called the Southridge, because it was south of Ridge. They opened a branch called the Northridge in Lexington Park. The Northridge has changed hands several times. This restaurant looks about the same to me as when it was the Southridge. It has a bar (smoking section) with a huge TV and billiard or pool tables, and a large non-smoking side. We were the only ones in the non-smoking side when we went, but two other couples came before we left.

They have specials for lunch and dinner M-F. I remember the special for Thursday night is spaghetti.

Bob had the Pub Prime Rib (8 oz.) coleslaw and baked potato.
Prime rib and baked potato

Prime rib and baked potato


I had the Tavern Prime Rib (12 oz), tossed salad and baked potato. We drank iced tea. The prime rib's were very good. I wanted to get the creme brulee cheesecake for dessert, but they were out of that, so I had an ordinary apple pie instead. The bill was $37.15 including tip.

Wednesday 29 Oct 2003

We moved most of the stuff to the boat, and had dinner at Matties on the way home. Very good and very cheap.
Matties

Matties


Thursday 30 Oct 2003

I talked to our neighbor down the street and gave her our Texas daughter's mother-in-law's phone number to call if she saw anything disastrous. My daughter's MIL has my Maryland daughter's number to call and she also has a key to the house. Bob cut off the water and put antifreeze in the system - toilets etc. He turned down the thermostat to 60 deg F and cleaned out the refrigerator. We put the computers and the other stuff in the car, intending to move onto the boat, and take the Mercedes back to the house (filling it up with fuel on the way) and then getting a ride back in the marina truck.

Unfortunately the marina no longer allows the truck out of the area within 5 miles and a taxi from Leonardtown to the marina would be $44.00!!! Way excessive I think. So Bob took the Mercedes home (filled up with diesel on the way) and disconnected the battery and covered it,
Covered Mercedes during hurricane

Covered Mercedes during hurricane


and brought the Lynx back with a battery charger with it and left it at the marina. He also paid the haul charge from Monday. I made tuna salad for lunch.

We had hot dogs for dinner because Bob couldn't find the steaks that he defrosted for that purpose. I took a picture of the sunset over the marina.
Sunset at the marina

Sunset at the marina


I asked Bob where we were going the next day, and he said figure out where we will be after we've gone 50 miles.

Friday Oct 31 - Halloween

Casting off, everything was fine until I tried to boot up the Toshiba. It would hang even checking the hard drive. So we are using the black Dell. Got underway a tiny bit before 0800 - would have been sooner except for the computer.
Cruise ship in the Potomac

Cruise ship in the Potomac


Saw a cruise ship in the Potomac. For some reason we are only doing 3.4 knots - should be faster than that. Bob flushed the aft LectraSan and it was OK. I flushed the forward one and it was OK. [A LectraSan is a marine toilet that disinfects with electricity before it is flushed.]

While I was down there the low frequency vibration went away and Bob thought there was something wrong with the engine, so he cut it back. After that we went normal speed. The wind generator is putting about 5 amps into the batteries (that means the wind is blowing a good bit).
Bob at the wheel

Bob at the wheel


Saw a tug towing a barge.
Tug towing a barge

Tug towing a barge


Went around Smith Point and took more pictures of the lighthouse.
Smith Point Lighthouse with a fishing boat

Smith Point Lighthouse with a fishing boat


Saw fishing boats, a car carrier and
Cargo ship

Cargo ship


another tug this time pushing a barge
c233e5c0-eca9-11e9-9874-bf276999b765.jpgTug pushing a Large barge

Tug pushing a Large barge


and various menhaden boats.
bf14cb70-eca9-11e9-805e-39e60b09a9c0.jpgMenhaden boats

Menhaden boats


Menhaden are little fish which swim in tight schools. Menhaden boats encircle the school with a net and bring them aboard. Sometimes there is a big boat with two small boats to take the net out.
Large menhaden boat with net boats on the side davits

Large menhaden boat with net boats on the side davits

Menhaden boat towing the net boat

Menhaden boat towing the net boat


Sometimes there is a medium sized boat with one smaller boat to take the net out around the school,
Single menhaden boat

Single menhaden boat


and sometimes there's a little boat like this one with a net on a reel in the boat.
Small menhaden boat

Small menhaden boat


I called (or tried to call) Old Point Comfort Marina at Ft. Monroe for a reservation for tomorrow night. None of the books had the correct "new" (from 2001) exchange. Finally worked out the number and found that they now only take DOD or military personnel or retired military or CG. Also the commissary has been closed so no reason to worry about the hours and the Chamberlain Hotel has gone out of business (no one could get to it because it is on Ft. Monroe without having their cars searched and that's way too much trouble to go to for dinner). We qualify to stay there, but we decided to go past Old Point Comfort Marina since the Chamberlain Hotel (almost the only place to eat) and the commissary have both closed. I couldn't get Waterside on the phone.

Bob made cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for lunch.

The waves were a bit bouncy and then smoothed out, due to the tide. It is astonishing to me how much difference it makes in the amount of waves when the tide and the waves are going the same direction. The wind is south and the tide is coming in (same direction of the wind) and both of them are against the direction we are going, but it is a nicer ride and we go faster.
WIndmill Point Spider

WIndmill Point Spider


We passed the Windmill Point Spider. Hear people calling marinas. Used the aft head and it blinked yellow (instead of green) over 100 times. (not a good sign)

Between the Piankatank and the Hole in the Wall

There is a very nice protected Deltaville anchorage in Fishing Bay on the north side of the Piankatank behind Stove Point. Unfortunately, it is not at all protected from the south side, and we have south winds. Also it takes a long time to get there from the Chesapeake. The guide books say for a south wind to go to the opposite shore from Fishing Bay, but it would take just as long to get there as it would take to get into Fishing Bay itself.

Bob and I discussed anchoring off Gwynn's Island in the Piankatank. He wanted to anchor on the east side of Cherry Point (the northern tip), but I feel that will be too exposed to the Bay. So we went around and anchored west of Cherry Point (which doesn't take us too much longer) at 1623
Gwynn's Island with our track as a green line

Gwynn's Island with our track as a green line


in between some fish traps (pound nets) in 17 feet of water. Our anchorage is marked by an A.
A for Anchorage

A for Anchorage


Gwynn's Island is on the south side of the Piankatank. On the north side is Deltaville. The 1500 acre island (one of the largest on the Chesapeake) is connected to the mainland by a swing bridge which was built in 1939. It is one of the busiest drawbridges in Virginia, which is saying a lot when you consider all the bridges in the Norfolk area. Before the bridge was built access was by private boat or after 1884, by ferry.

Between the island and the mainland is a body of water known as Milford Haven, which is very popular as a fishing and boating destination in the summer.

In order to get to the town of Milford Haven by water, one either goes in from the Piankatank through the bridge to the Milford Haven bay, or goes in from the south side through the shallow flats in an area called the Hole in the Wall. This entrance has shoaled to 3 feet and should only be attempted with local knowledge.

When I come up from calling Rob (Bob insisted we were NOT on the Piankatank but he had it confused with the Poquoson), and our daughter (to ask her to look in the meat drawer of the frig sometime before Thanksgiving and throw out the steak), there were two ketches anchored next to us. One was named ETHERIA (It was hard to read the name but we saw them later at the South Mills lock) and the other I think was NORTH WIND although with it painted in gold on gold-brown wood it was also very hard to read. Neither appeared to have an anchor light although when we saw them later, ETHERIA swore that they did.

Had steak and succotash for dinner. The wind generator was making noise, but not putting in many amps. Didn't really want to watch TV, so went to bed REALLY early about 6, after watching a good sunset. Spent a peaceful night.
Anchorage at sunset

Anchorage at sunset

c2bdfd50-eca9-11e9-805e-39e60b09a9c0.jpgSunset

Sunset

31-1728.jpgSunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset


Saturday 1 Nov 2003

Sunrise over Gwynn Island

Sunrise over Gwynn Island


We got up about 6ish. We pulled the anchor and were underway by about 0655. Very little wind.
Two ketches at sunrise

Two ketches at sunrise


The two ketches followed us out a bit inshore. Battery bank #1 appears not to be holding a charge well - not a good sign.

Since we've decided not to go to Old Point Comfort, I put an amended track into the computer. We had breakfast - cereal and hot tea for Bob and a bagel and hot tea for me.

Bob pulled out the jib to give us a boost and then the main. But when I came back from going to the head, he'd pulled them back in as the wind went from 5-6 knots to nothing. The sea was glassy smooth. Got an email message from our Maryland daughter via pocketmail (a device that sends and received text messages via acoustic modem) about sending medicines and tried to call and got our grandson who said (correctly) that she was at the gym working out, and apparently told his dad that we were coming up to get the medicines (wrong). I finally called her cell phone.
u75365_07.jpgWolf Trap Lighthouse

Wolf Trap Lighthouse


Went by Wolf Trap light and Bob watered the batteries.
Yellow buoy which I think indicates a fishing ground

Yellow buoy which I think indicates a fishing ground

Sparkling sea

Sparkling sea


We passed Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

u031101-1314Image064.jpgPassing the Chamberlain Hotel

Passing the Chamberlain Hotel


After I canceled the reservation at Old Point Comfort, when I couldn't reach Waterside, I made a reservation at Tidewater. THAT was a mistake. We pass the aircraft carrier section of the Norfolk Navy Base - the aircraft carriers Ronald Reagan #76 and another one.
Aircraft carriers

Aircraft carriers


We can read the name on the R. Reagan. Going by the Norfolk Naval base we saw many more Navy ships.
Red buoy off the Navy piers

Red buoy off the Navy piers


My digtal camera has an annoying hair that appears in the pictures intermittently - mostly in photos with a lot of nice sky and clouds.
Hair

Hair


I can't see it or clean it off externally, so it must be somewhere inside. Now that we are underway it's going to be hard to give it up, and also to be able to send it in for cleaning. That means that both the digital and the film camera photos are flawed.
Fort Wool

Fort Wool


We also passed Ft. Wool (formerly Fort Calhoon). This is a fort which was built on fill land where ships used to dump their ballast. Robert E. Lee was given the job of stabilizing it when he was stationed at Fort Monroe. Aside from the fact that it is on the Norfolk side of the channel, it belongs to the city of Hampton. More Navy ships-
USS Cole?

USS Cole?


Bob thinks one of the ships is the USS Cole that was blown up. The Cole got underway from Norfolk a couple of days later (I saw in the news) so that's a definite possibility. We saw a helicopter and a big thing which appeared to be a container of some kind floating in the water. And we came down alongside Craney Point on the west side of the river.
Craney Point

Craney Point


We see many more boats including American Rover which gives cruises from Norfolk
American Rover and a speed boat

American Rover and a speed boat


and this cruise ship
Cruise ship at the Norfolk terminal next to Nauticus

Cruise ship at the Norfolk terminal next to Nauticus


which was tied up near Waterside near the Wisconsin.

We were tied up by 3 in Tidewater Yacht after a total trip of 92.8 nm - today we went 49.4 nm at an average of 6.5 knots. After I got the mileages, I reset one GPS to statute miles for use in the ICW. Tidewater is big (which is one reason we haven't been here before) and the dock boys get around on bicycles. The showers are way down at the marina office.
RosalieAnn at the dock in the marina

RosalieAnn at the dock in the marina


This marina has fixed docks and the way they have us in the slip means I have to climb over the bow. That's because the end of the slip is right at the shrouds which are in front of the gate in the lifelines. The boat curves out away from the pier at that point which makes it a bigger and scarier step. It was very expensive. They charged us $!.30/ft plus $5.00 for 30 amp and the marina was subject to a LOT of wakes. I could hardly get off the boat because the boat was bobbing around so much. The pool was not in operation (although it was hot and I could have used a swim even if it was November 1st). Internet access is $3.00 I passed-I don't use the internet access unless it is free. They charged Bob $2.19 for a loaf of bread and $7.15 for some light bulbs at the little store, which he thought was ridiculous. On the way up to the restaurant we noticed that some power boats had been damaged by running into the pilings due to wakes from boats in the river.
Chart with anchorage and marina

Chart with anchorage and marina

Anchorage outside the marina at sunset

Anchorage outside the marina at sunset


The anchorage at Hospital Point (mile zero) right outside the marina is free. It is quite famous (the local name is Holiday Harbor). But it is even more subject to wakes (large merchant ships and tugs violate the "No Wake" signs frequently) (and wind) than the marina. It is also subject to quite a bit of debris, and not very quiet.

The dock boys tried to tell us there were bathrooms at the end of our dock, and there are not - all that is their is a diesel pump and a trash bin. The nearest bathrooms and showers are all the way up at the office. I got a Portsmouth brochure at the dock office, and also I had guidebooks and it looked like there were some quite reasonable restaurants close by, but we were all the way out at the end of the very big marina, and I didn't have the energy when it came down to it. In the future I think I'll just get the ferry across from Waterside if I want to eat and walk around in Portsmouth. It will be cheaper than staying in this marina.
ENTERPRISE

ENTERPRISE


There was a big 65' sailboat named ENTERPRISE with a 90 foot mast on the face dock. They intend to be in Miami in 5 days (offshore because the limit for masts on the ICW is 65' and even at that size, boats sometimes have to wait for low tide. They were bringing lots of provisioning stuff down the dock in the carts.
u75365_09.jpgSunset across ENTERPRISE'S boom

Sunset across ENTERPRISE'S boom

Sunset

Sunset


We went and had dinner at the Deck - the (expensive) marina restaurant on the second floor. Even though it was November, it was too hot for me to walk out into town to a more reasonable priced restaurant and I was really tired as we'd had a long day. So we ate here. This restaurant was over the marina office on the 2nd floor. I expected to get some pictures of Waterside which was across the way, but none of them turned out.

They had a sports bar type area with big screen TVs and also some outside seating which they weren't using at this point. They advertise that they are the home of the one pound crab cake. We ordered only the cheapest dishes we could find on the menu, and it still cost $53.29 for the two of us including tip.

What we had for that included:
--2 iced teas for $1.50@
--I had shrimp scampi with penne and a tossed salad with blue cheese dressing for $19.95.
--Bob had a 'cup' (came in a big bowl) of she crab soup $4.95, and an appetizer half pound of steamed shrimp for $6.95.
--I got a creme brulee for dessert ($5.95) because I love creme brulee and eat it at every opportunity. The only picture I had that turned out was the one I took of my $5.95 creme brulee.
Creme brulee

Creme brulee


There was also a 'food tax' of $4.49. Bob was going to tip the waitress $6.00, but I didn't think she was worth that, so he just left $5.
Norfolk from the marina at night

Norfolk from the marina at night


The aft Lectrasan is blowing fuses.

Sunday 2 Nov 2003-

We got up very early because we want to try to get all the way to Elizabeth City today which means we have to go through the 8:30 locking at Deep Creek. Elizabeth City is 51 statute miles from the marina. Traveling 5-6 mph and with five bridges (2 in Norfolk) and two locks to be transited that means an early start. We aren't going to stop at the Visitor's Center because it will be closed. The big sailboat and the power boat next to us left before we did, which made it easier to get out of the slip. We were underway by 0630. We went by the Portsmouth Lightship Museum and Ocean Marine
Red Lightship in Portsmouth from the river

Red Lightship in Portsmouth from the river

Ocean Marine shortly after sunrise

Ocean Marine shortly after sunrise

Navy Repair Yard shoreline

Navy Repair Yard shoreline


The first bridges we get to are the lift bridges. There are very few lift bridges on the rest of the ICW. There are a lot of bascule bridges, and a fair number of swing bridges, but not many lift bridges like these. But there are two of them right together here in Norfolk. One of them is a railroad bridge which is up all the time except when a train comes. The other one (the Jordan Bridge) has restricted hours M-F. The bridge tender sits in a little house in the middle of the bridge and he can see exactly how high he needs to raise his bridge to clear the sailboat masts.
Two lift bridges ahead of us- RR and Jordan

Two lift bridges ahead of us- RR and Jordan

Approaching the RR lift bridge

Approaching the RR lift bridge

Boats following us

Boats following us

Side of the railroad lift bridge

Side of the railroad lift bridge

Our mast going under the Jordan Lift Bridge- will we make it?

Our mast going under the Jordan Lift Bridge- will we make it?

Bridge after we'd gone through

Bridge after we'd gone through

Green sailboat MARGIRETA and Jordan Bridge

Green sailboat MARGIRETA and Jordan Bridge

Jordan Bridge almost all the way down

Jordan Bridge almost all the way down


From the boat it always looks scary as if the mast won't clear. The Jordan Lift Bridge stayed up for us - no restricted hours - and also a green hulled Nordic tug from FL named ADRIANA and a green hulled sailboat named MARGIRETA. We went through at 0700
Marina travelift

Marina travelift

Houses on the shore in Deep Creek

Houses on the shore in Deep Creek


We were at the Gilmerton Bridge (a bascule bridge with a bascule railroad bridge just south of it) before 7:40. A trawler named VENTURE passed us. Then we went down under the tall I-64 beltway bridge. We were concerned that we would not get to the lock by the 0830 opening - forgetting (or maybe we didn't know) that the northbound boats lock through first. If there are none, water still has to be let out of the lock for us to go in - this lock raises us up to the canal. We've never been at the lock before about 0900.
ADRIANA ahead of us going into the lock

ADRIANA ahead of us going into the lock


The picture shows the open lock with ANNE M (sailboat from Capetown SA) in the lock, ETHERIA (ketch that anchored off Gwynn Island with us) going in, and ADRIANA the green hulled Nordic tug ahead of us.
025d3910-eddd-11e9-95cb-49d62a564c2a.jpgBob tending the lines

Bob tending the lines


Bob holding the stern lines as the lock gates close - I have the bowlines. All four of us are on the west side of the lock which makes it easier for the lock tender. The lock tender was very chatty. He told us the Dismal Swamp canal was in the best condition since the 1800s. Hurricane Isabel dumped over 683 trees in the Canal. The Corps of Engineers, working 12 hours/day, 7 days/week, cleared the waterway in 21 days, they cleared out the 140 some trees out, he said they took a rake and raked the bottom. We saw the rake (I didn't take a photo of it). However, we also took many hard hits from unseen objects. Folks with a more shallow draft (2 or 3 feet) did not have the problem. He also said that someone with a 7 foot draft went through last week. He said they tried to dissuade him (the controlling depth is 6 feet) but he made it OK, and said he only stuck a little bit in a couple of places.
Mileage board at the lock

Mileage board at the lock

ADRIANA having trouble with his lines

ADRIANA having trouble with his lines


ADRIANA was ahead of us as the lock gates open. He had a hard time tending his lines as he was singlehanding and he fell in the cabin as he was rushing around. I saw an old guy with an old Westsail of about the same length do a much better job the first year we did this.
ADRIANA in the lock

ADRIANA in the lock


We were out of the lock by 0904. ADRIANA went in front of everyone - he spends summers in the Chesapeake and the winter in Melbourne Florida. ETHERIA passed ANNE M and so did we. The picture shows ANNE M behind us in the canal just after we passed her. Something hit the hull just as we passed ANNE M.
Annie M following us

Annie M following us


After we leave the lock and pass Elizabeth's Dock (which is free), we go down and go through the Deep Creek bridge. The water in the canal is dark and reflective and there's no wind. We pass a canoe rental place on the side of the canal about 0930. I am fascinated by the reflections in the canal, and also by the vegetation that grows in the stumps of the cedar pilings that line the canal.
Reflections

Reflections

Tree roots

Tree roots

More reflections

More reflections

Former house of the superintendent c 1835

Former house of the superintendent c 1835

Downed trees at the edge of the canal

Downed trees at the edge of the canal

Rippled reflections

Rippled reflections


At mile post 14 we have been 13.1 miles. (That's because the marina was part of a mile past mile marker zero). In spite of the fact that the lock operator says that the canal is in better shape than it has been since new, we still are having things hit the hull that we can't see.

At sm 17.3, we pass the rake that they dragged the canal with, and have not hit a log since.

Oops - just hit a little one - although the depth appears to be better.We notice that the traffic has completely stopped on US Route 17 next to the canal. Fire engines and other emergency vehicles went by.

Mile post 19 - a BIG bump. Do we still have a rudder?
Boat ramp

Boat ramp


We see a helicopter on the ground with the rotors not turning. Presumably this is the accident scene. Bob wonders why the rotors are shut down. We hear later that there are frequent accidents on this stretch because the VA end of US Rte 17 is only 2 lane.
Helicopter on the highway at accident scene

Helicopter on the highway at accident scene


We see one of the fire engines at the boat ramp. The boats are launched around the corner and then come out into the canal through these walls. This is the ramp that is at the end of the Lake Drummond ditch in the Great Dismal Swamp Refuge. We never see the things we hit so it must be floating at mid depth.
Fire engine at the accident scene

Fire engine at the accident scene


Map of the Great Dismal Swamp showing Wallaceton

Map of the Great Dismal Swamp showing Wallaceton


Wallaceton Bridge

Wallaceton Bridge

Other side of the bridge

Other side of the bridge


At mile 20.9 (Wallaceton Tower), we see the portable bridge. A farmer has permission to slide this bridge across the canal to move his livestock and farm implements across the canal. The bridge (3 feet above the water) is normally only in place long enough for him to accomplish his task. It doesn't look as if this bridge has been moved in some time. It must be a great pain for him to actually do this.
Wallaceton Bridge

Wallaceton Bridge

0e0e14f0-eddd-11e9-ad83-7be8cfe705f6.jpgReflections and Leaves changing color

Reflections and Leaves changing color

Cedar stumps

Cedar stumps

001014c0-eddd-11e9-95cb-49d62a564c2a.jpgTrees cut down and removed from the canal

Trees cut down and removed from the canal


The lock tender said that if we want to make Elizabeth City tonight, we need to get to the South Mills lock for the 1330 locking. True. Elizabeth City is 19 miles from the South Mills lock, and to get there before dark, we need to go through right after lunch. He also says we have to average between 5.3 and 5.4 knots through the canal. We've been trying to do that, but it is hard. Finally I figure out that - since the canal is only 21 miles long, and we have 4.5 hours to do the distance, we really only need to do 5.4 miles per hour - which is quite a bit slower than 5.4 knots

At 1124, we are at mile post 25. We pass drain pipes that let water drain into the canal.
065c5320-eddd-11e9-ad83-7be8cfe705f6.jpgDrain pipes

Drain pipes


We see dragon flies, and small birds in the creepers, but don't see any mallards this year. At 1133 we see that the traffic has somewhat resumed, but we have not heard the helicopter take off yet. We are at mile marker 26, and we hear more bumping on the undersides of the boat. Occasionally the depth sounder goes off. At 1143, we see the "Rest Area one mile" sign on the highway. At mile marker 27, we see the Visitor's Center sign for *us* (boats). The rest area is just south of the VA state line in NC. Some of the markers have granite canal distance markers behind them.
Mile marker just before the visitor/s center with a granite marker behind it

Mile marker just before the visitor/s center with a granite marker behind it


We approach the center where there are picnic tables on the north end.
f0b0d6e0-eddc-11e9-8a16-bd8e294bd0b3.jpgApproaching the Visitor's Center

Approaching the Visitor's Center


We are passing the Visitor's Center instead of stopping like we have on our other trips because it is closed on Sunday, and also on Monday in the winter. People come down to the dock to wave and watch us go by. ANNE M is a good distance behind us. ETHERIA is out of sight around the bend ahead.
People at the Visitors Center watch us go by

People at the Visitors Center watch us go by


We exchange shouts with the man on ADRIANA as we go past. He says he stopped for lunch. He's way faster than we are, so he will catch us before the lock. We've passed the Visitor's Center before noon.
ADRIANA having lunch

ADRIANA having lunch


In the distance ahead, we see the bridge where US Route 17 leaves the canal side and goes off toward Elizabeth City.
US 17 highway bridge ahead

US 17 highway bridge ahead


I see a kingfisher fly by. As we motor down from the Visitor's Center to South Mills, a Great Blue Heron flies ahead of us. He stops and sits on a branch and waits for us to come along, and then flies down the canal ahead of us and sits on another branch. It's real hard to get close enough to him on the branch to take his picture.
Great Blue Heron escorting us

Great Blue Heron escorting us


This is apparently something this bird does regularly - other cruisers have reported on it.
Highway bridge

Highway bridge

f0ba9ae0-eddc-11e9-ad83-7be8cfe705f6.jpgHighway bridge

Highway bridge


Looking back at the US 17 bridge over the DIsmal Swamp Canal

Looking back at the US 17 bridge over the DIsmal Swamp Canal


{I have a few photos from the South Mills lock, taken while tied to the east side fenders of the South Mills bascule bridge (State Route 343). BUt the narrative has been lost. I remember getting to the lock before the 1:30 opening and trying to tie up to the bollards in front of the bridge. I had some problem doing this, and I had to sit there and hold the line, so I could only use the film camera with one hand.
Traffic gates for the bridge in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Traffic gates for the bridge in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Mullen and Main Streets

Mullen and Main Streets

South Mills Museum

South Mills Museum


I saw the museum sign on this building, but I have never been able to find anything out about it.
Gas station in South Mills from the canal

Gas station in South Mills from the canal

Family walks across the bridge and talks to me

Family walks across the bridge and talks to me

}
South Mills bridge

South Mills bridge

Bob with the dockline, waiting for the water to be let out of the lock

Bob with the dockline, waiting for the water to be let out of the lock

Leaving the South Mills Lock

Leaving the South Mills Lock


After we get out of the canal, we see ANNE M, the South African boat behind us get into the trees. She stays right behind us rather than lagging behind as she did before.
ANNE M behind us on the Pasquotank

ANNE M behind us on the Pasquotank


When we talk to them later, we find that they figure we knew where we were going - they were sticking close so they wouldn't get lost.
Pasquotank River with bald cypress

Pasquotank River with bald cypress


We are seeing occasional Spanish moss and mistletoe in the trees.

We hear ADRIANNA and ETHERIA go through the Elizabeth City Bridge.

Close to Elizabeth City there is a railroad bridge which is open all the time except when a train comes. If it is closed, you have to signal with your horn, as it doesn't have a radio.
Chart of the RR bridge near Elizabeth City

Chart of the RR bridge near Elizabeth City


Going through railroad bridge above Elizabeth City

Going through railroad bridge above Elizabeth City


In the RR bridge

In the RR bridge


It is somewhat unusual in that it is right at a bend in the river, so you approach kind of parallel to the track and then make a 90 degree turn, and then make another turn after you get to the other side because the river bends back on itself on the other side.
Looking back at the RR bridge

Looking back at the RR bridge

ANNE M coming through the railroad bridge

ANNE M coming through the railroad bridge


We passed the A. W. Jones Lumber Company again with the "Plastic and Smoke Free" sign. It said:

" No plastic and no cigarettes allowed on this property. Our jobs depend on it."

This is a family joke, because when I first reported this sign (Plastic and Smoke Free) in an email, my mom wanted to know who would sell smoke.
Shore near Elizabeth City

Shore near Elizabeth City

x031102-1703Image076.jpgElizabeth CIty Bridge

Elizabeth CIty Bridge

Elizabeth CIty Rose Buddy's sign - Complimentary Docks

Elizabeth CIty Rose Buddy's sign - Complimentary Docks


Elizabeth City has 2 nights (48 hour) free dockage at the public docks - primarily for boats going north or south on the ICW through the Dismal Swamp Canal. If the weather is bad, no one will kick you out though. We've never stayed more than 2 days. Fifteen boats can be accommodated. The number on the slip shows the width of the slip so you can pick one that you will fit in. Catamarans go over on the Waterworks side, or in some cases on the restaurant dock. Depths are about 12 feet which is plenty for anyone who's been through the Dismal Swamp.

The pilings wiggle in the current a bit but they withstood Isabel. After Hurricane Isabel, the finger piers had to be rebuilt and Elizabeth City did suffer some damage to store fronts etc

We got to Elizabeth City and tied up by 1659 - too late for a Rose Buddy party if there had been one, but before sunset. We did 50.0 miles today at an average speed of 5.9 mph.
RosalieAnn at the Elizabeth City free docks

RosalieAnn at the Elizabeth City free docks


The finger piers are quite short and low, so at high tide, I have to have a milk crate or stool on the finger pier in order to get off. Some folks just climb over the bow directly onto the seawall. The guy on the port side of us helps us tie up and so does the guy from ADRIANA. ETHERIA is over on the restaurant dock.

Fred Fearing the head Rose Buddy apparently wasn't feeling well and called off the party tonight. We are urged to stay another day for the Monday party. So we do. One of the Rose Buddy ladies told me that she went to Fred's house a couple of weeks ago and found him on the floor from a heart attack. He had an angioplasty and she said he seems to be OK now. {He died 4 years later at the age of 93}

Because there are no restaurants open on Sunday except Groupers in the Waterworks building, that's where we have dinner.
Model ship in Groupers restaurant

Model ship in Groupers restaurant


I have a cup of red corn crab soup and a curry, and Bob has a chef's salad. Stalks is closed - he sold the store and it is now a dress shop.

The first trawler in line is EMMA LOU a Grand Banks 36, and on the starboard side we have a Beneteau 395 named DESTINATION who have come all the way down from Michigan. A big boat named JUBILEE came in late- two guys who went outside from RI. It seems strange to me that they would come down the Dismal Swamp Canal after they've been outside all the way from RI.

November 3, 2003 Rose Buddy Meeting

The guy in the port slip left and also a sailboat named SEA JAY, ETHERIA, EMMA LOU and the trawler CALLIOPE. JUBILEE put someone off and fired up their engines and left too. I met a guy who was in Elizabeth City doing insurance assessment of the hurricane damage who has a CSY named HEAVEN. We still see some Beth and Woody went somewhere to get water, not knowing that it is available at the free docks. damage from the hurricane in store fronts. Beth and Woody came in with a white ketch. He is a refrigeration expert. They anchored behind Goat Island last night. Beth and Woody went somewhere to get water, not knowing that it is available at the free dock if your hose is long enough to reach the drinking fountain at the docks. You have to know where to access it - one of the Rose Buddies can show you.

Pelican Marina was trashed by the hurricane, and cannot dispense fuel, and may not even be taking transients. Someone told me that they don't expect it to open until next year. TROUBADOUR that we met last year at the Visitor's Center went past and didn't stop. Another couple tied up briefly but they need fuel so they left - I guess for the Alligator River. A houseboat from Maine came in and left. DESTINATION left.

Bob got all his engine/refrigeration belts out and measured them, and fixed the refrigeration. He walked to the store and bought distilled water for the batteries and salt for the LectraSan and got a ride partway back. I walked over to the bakery
Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery

Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery


and got some very expensive bread and went to the bathroom there. I also took a picture of little Moth Boat Park at the end of that street. I have never understood what a Moth Boat was until I went and looked it up on the internet. The Albemarle Museum has a write-up on it which says:

"The moth was developed in 1929 when Captain Joel Van Sant visited Elizabeth City. He was traveling from Atlantic City to Florida and stopped to overhaul his yacht, Siesta. During his stay, he joined forces with Ernest Sanders of Elizabeth City Shipyard to design a small sailboat which could be easily raced on inland rivers and lakes. This sporty little craft, called the moth because of its ability to flit across the waves, caught the imagination of sailors and boatbuilders seeking an inexpensive vessel which could be built by non-professional boatbuilders."
Moth Boat Park

Moth Boat Park


The Classic Moth Boat Regatta is traditionally held the third Saturday in September. Visitors are invited to join the festivities which include boat tours of the harbor, art shows, craft booths along the waterfront, music and the traditional Museum of the Albemarle Barbecue Chicken Dinner '.

We walked to the Colonial Restaurant to have lunch. I had Navy bean soup and we both had a chicken salad sandwich and I had grapenuts pudding like mom used to make for dessert.
Center Square Dinner Theater across from the Colonial Restaurant

Center Square Dinner Theater across from the Colonial Restaurant

Bricks from Baltimore in the streets

Bricks from Baltimore in the streets


Today we had the Rose Buddy's party. It was fun.
Fred Fearing in his Golf Cart, talks to Bob

Fred Fearing in his Golf Cart, talks to Bob


Mr. Fearing was a retired U.S. Postal Service mailman. He and his friend Joe Kramer were the originators of the Rose Buddies. Fred decided after church one Sunday in 1983 to hold an impromptu wine and cheese party for the visiting boaters on the Intercoastal Waterway at the newly completed city docks. Joe, who grew roses as a hobby, clipped 17 buds and presented them to the visiting women on board. Thus began the first Rose Buddy party. Soon the Rose Buddies were a staple of Intracoastal Waterway lore. As the tradition grew Fred became the unofficial Elizabeth City tour guide dispensing historical facts on the Dismal Swamp and its Canal. Each day, Fearing would ride to the waterfront on the Golf Cart given to him by television weather caster Willard Scott, to count the boaters staying overnight. If there were more than five boats, Fearing would host the party at the waterfront; fewer than five, and he would invite the boaters to his house a few blocks away on Fearing Street. He doesn't like you to be late, so pay attention to the time. The idea is to get people off their boats and talking to each other and sharing experiences. Because otherwise, we tend to be a bit isolated, especially those who are saving money by anchoring out instead of coming into marinas.

Bob and Deb of ANNE M are really on their way to St. Martin to a job. We met the folks from PIKA (NY state) and there was a guy with a ferrocement boat that he built himself. He said he'd rafted up to a big boat in Alaska - the big yacht asked him how long it took him to get up there and he said 5 days. He didn't tell them that he trailered up to Canada and sailed from there.
Cypress Creek Cafe (moved to Water Street)

Cypress Creek Cafe (moved to Water Street)


We ate at the Cypress Creek Grill and the folks from HELLO DARLIN' came in and sat with us. It is a yellow hulled power boat that they've sold and are delivering. We had the pork loin special,
Pork Loin Special

Pork Loin Special


and I had coconut cake which I didn't really want as I was too full to appreciate it. I also had heartburn from it all night.

The next morning we left to go down the Pasquotank to Albemarle Sound

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:30 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sailing South Impeded by Fishing Tournaments

Now A Year Older


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Today is my 66th birthday.

We Stayed in Elizabeth City until 4 November. The aft Lectrasan seems to be totally not working now. We left at about 6:49.
Passing Pelican marina as we leave

Passing Pelican marina as we leave


PIKA and ANNE M were still there, everyone else had left. Bob is still wearing shorts even though he got bitten by mosquitoes last night. It is quite warm, even though it is November. There was no wind- it was flat calm. We had breakfast and it got VERY foggy on the Pasquotank.
Rainbow

Rainbow


We can't see very much and Bob actually activates the fog horn (which works) on the VHF radio.
Elizabeth City Regional airport

Elizabeth City Regional airport


We passed the
CG Station which Fred said was the largest CG air station in the US.

CG Station which Fred said was the largest CG air station in the US.

Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City is the United States Coast Guard's technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces

Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City is the United States Coast Guard's technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces


The fog lifts just enough for me to take a couple of pictures. We work our way down the Pasquotank - there is a sailboat behind us about 1/2 mile -sometimes we can see them and sometimes we only see them on the radar.

We see the top of the blimp hanger in the fog. If we didn't know it was there, we wouldn't know what it was. It is the largest wood construction building in the world - built in 1942, it measured 1/5 mile long by 298' wide by 192' high with 180 ton doors mounted on railroad tracks. It housed US Navy Airship Squadron ZP-14. In 1966, the decommissioned facility was sold to Westinghouse. In 1989 Westinghouse spun off the aerostat operation to TCOM, L.P. Commercial blimps such as Bud One, Fuji, and Met Life were built there. On August 3, 1995, during reconstruction of the door supports, the Hangar burned to the ground, causing $100 million in damage. One of these hangers can still be seen from the Pasquotank. I think one of them has been used for furniture manufacture.
Blimp hanger from 2001

Blimp hanger from 2001


The fog cleared as we came out into Albemarle Sound - flat calm and sunny.
42f3b8f0-efc7-11e9-abc9-39779465c2e4.jpgAlbemarle Sound

Albemarle Sound


We see a crab pot boat full of crab pots.
Crab pot boat

Crab pot boat


We hear TROUBADOUR calling Dowry Creek in Belhaven on the radio. We are passed by a steamboat trawler COASTAL QUEEN.

We tie up at the Alligator River Marina at 1300 and get 32 gals of diesel. Trip today 36 sm. I did email and Bob did a wash. After we tie up CONTESSA (CSY WT) comes in and docks one dock over. Bob didn't recognize it as a CSY at first - it is one of two WT ketches and has no stripe and no trailboards.

I have my birthday dinner at the truck stop - a 10 oz rib eye for $10.99 with creamed (mashed) potatoes and another side, and Bob had steamed shrimp for $9.99 but he thought the shrimp were pretty small. I also had an ice cream cone. For my birthday, Bob got me a 'daytimer' which had a place to put cards so I can keep the cards of the other boats and marinas in one place.

I reported to Skipper Bob (who published a book on marinas in the ICW) Alligator River Marina is up to $1.00/ft and $4.00 for 30 amp - free cable. Only cold water for laundry. Fuel was $1.14/gal for diesel for small users and $1.04 for the big guys.
Marina lighthouse at night

Marina lighthouse at night


Wednesday 5 November 2003

I woke up before dawn and looked out the stern ports and saw a big bonfire on shore. Never did figure out why.
Fire on shore

Fire on shore


We got underway before 7.
Going through the Alligator River Swing Bridge early in the morning

Going through the Alligator River Swing Bridge early in the morning

Tug with crane in the Alligator River

Tug with crane in the Alligator River


The GPS with the Toshiba isn't keeping satellites very well. We may have rain today or tomorrow. We go across the Fairfield canal and go under the new fixed Fairfield Bridge.
ddee54a0-f15c-11e9-b330-a7724e4a7afe.jpgNew Fairfield bridge

New Fairfield bridge


When we came south in 2000 this bridge was being completed, and when we came north in 2001, they were taking down the old swing bridge. CONTESSA passes and is ahead of us under the bridge. They disappear around the bend, and go to the new marina in Belhaven. A power boat names UH OH II passed.
05-1220.jpgEdge of the canal

Edge of the canal


About noon we went by three dredging barges in channel.
Barge with dayshapes

Barge with dayshapes

Passing the barge

Passing the barge


Each one of the black shapes on the barge has a meaning. For instance this configuration - One line of Two Diamonds and then Ball, diamond, Ball means Vessel engaged in dredging or underwater operations when restricted in ability to maneuver - i.e. I can't get out of your way - you have to move around me. Two balls on the far side means that there is an obstruction on that side.
Danger sign on the end of the pipes

Danger sign on the end of the pipes


Barge and containment

Barge and containment

05-1222Image023.jpgDredging operation

Dredging operation


We have been 35.4 sm at an average speed of 6.6 mph. My feet have started to swell and look pretty bad. I also have a big bruise across the joint of my left big toe in a cross shape. I don't know why.
Sand on the edge of the canal with hoses

Sand on the edge of the canal with hoses


We pass a camp and I take a picture of it, but I can find nothing about it on the internet.
Side of the canal

Side of the canal


Maybe it is a part of the Alligator River Refuge. We see a red bumper like power boaters use. Maybe someone lost it off their boat. Or maybe it is marking a snag int he canal. We don't investigate.
e90f9ab0-f15c-11e9-b330-a7724e4a7afe.jpgFloating Red Bumper Ball

Floating Red Bumper Ball


A little yellow and green tug named TAR HEEL passes pushing a crane and towing his own yellow mooring ball.
TAR HEEL pushing a crane

TAR HEEL pushing a crane


Down near the Wilkerson bridge, two big power boats passed - 2 Carvers TOTALLY WASTED and SPIDER WEB from Maryland and also GET AWAY. Hear them on the radio going into Dowry Creek as we leave the canal and enter the Pungo River. We get to Dowry Creek after 49.4 sm and 7.25 hours.
Dowry Creek

Dowry Creek


The office/marina people were up on the third floor deck. No one was down in the office. I finally yelled up at them and someone came down so I could register. Dowry Creek is $1.00/ft and nothing extra is charged

I talked to the TOTALLY WASTED people about the best way to pass (most power boaters think they are doing us a favor if they go far away to pass, but there is much less wake if they pass close to us - unfortunately, I don't think they believed me- can't blame them too much - I didn't believe it either the first time.

We also met the folks from LADY LINAKA who were on the radio so much on the Great Bahama Banks in 2002. They run the SSB net in the morning at 0800. They are going to the Bahamas anyway in spite of the new fees.

We can get DirecTV without putting the dish on the Follow Me. I tried pocketmail at the pay phone but none of the numbers worked. I found later that I had two of the numbers reversed.

There is a lot of conversation about the courtesy van. The guy that took it got back to the marina and he'd forgotten to pick up his 'O' ring, and had to go back for it. We took the courtesy van with the the folks from LADY LINAKA and went to eat at the Helmsman and then went to the Food Lion .

Thursday 6 November 2003

We woke about 5 and Bob ran the refrigeration. It's too foggy to see the marks coming into the marina. By the time the sun burns the fog off, it's 0900 and too late to leave to get to Swansboro tonight. So we stay. LADY LINAKA and the catamaran traveling with her left in spite of the fog.

EMMA LOU (the trawler we saw briefly in Elizabeth City) is here too - she's waiting for a part to be sent to her. It started to rain and we had thundershowers so I'm glad we didn't leave. Bob spent the rainstorm up on the porch
Bob on the balcony

Bob on the balcony


I discovered that the RW drive for the black Dell is defective and won't work. I did figure out how to use the data port on the pay phone (with the aid of the directions on the phone) in order to log onto the internet via the 800#. Don't think I could do it with a local number though because I don't know how to pay for a local call. I took the silver Dell up to get it's virus definitions updated and I uploaded some photos . I even managed to get Diane of EMMA LOU's AOL mail. She normally does it via cell phone, and she gets no signal here. She gave me $5 to pay for it because the 800# costs by the minute. I have big bruises on my inner thighs from climbing over the lifelines (no pictures of that).

Friday 7 November 2003 - leaving Dowry Creek

Bob wakes up early and runs the refrigeration. It is slightly foggy, but we can see the marks. We cast off at 7:15 - the Toshiba gets crazy because the GPS has poor coverage. The big boat with the captain that looks about 18 (YANKEE NOMAD) left before us as did a trawler. SEA JAY was still there and so was EMMA LOU. When we passed Belhaven we saw some boats coming out.

EMMA LOU passed - Bob said he drove like a drunk. KITTY CAT - a power catamaran- passed also. We turned into Goose Creek about 0945.
Boats ahead of us in Goose Creek

Boats ahead of us in Goose Creek

Tug ODELL pushing a barge

Tug ODELL pushing a barge


We passed the Hobucken Coast Guard station.
Hobucken Coast Guard Station

Hobucken Coast Guard Station


Hobucken is remarkable for the shrimping fleet, and the Coast Guard Station. Coast Guard Station Hobucken is located right alongside the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway where they can keep a watch on people who don't obey the 'No Wake' zones. According to their website: "The unit is equipped with two 41 foot utility boats and a 21 Foot Rigid Hull Inflatable. There are 22 active duty personnel assigned to the Station. The station's primary duties are Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement. Station Hobucken runs approximately 100 SAR cases and does 300 Law Enforcement boardings per year. The Coast Guard Station Hobucken, is located on 7.5 acres of land in Pamlico County on Goose Creek Island. " The town of Hobucken, NC is approximately one mile from the station.
Coast Guard boat at the Hobucken dock

Coast Guard boat at the Hobucken dock


The first time I heard Hobucken I thought they were mispronouncing Hoboken, but in North Carolina that is spelled that way. I thought the name was interesting so I looked it up. In 1871, the mail came to Goose Creek Island Post Office by boat across Goose Creek from the village of Oregon, now known as South Creek, in Beaufort County. The mail was carried by horse and buggy to Jones' Bay Side, now known as Hobucken.
Bob going under the Hobucken bridge

Bob going under the Hobucken bridge

Fisherman on the edge of the canal with a cooler

Fisherman on the edge of the canal with a cooler


Around 1880, Mr. Wiley Mayo of Hobucken, realizing the need for better mail service, started trying to get a Post Office and a name for the village of Jones' Bay. After submitting two names that were rejected by the Post Office Department, due to other places in the state already having been named that, Mr. Mayo sent in the name "Hobucken", which he had changed from Hoboken, New Jersey, and it was accepted. The name came to his attention from a letterhead he had received with returns on white potatoes that had been shipped there. Mr. Mayo became the first Postmaster of Hobucken in July, 1886. The Mayo name is still prominent in Hobucken as the docks along the waterway largely belong to R.E. Mayo Fish Netting.
b1f34b10-f2a8-11e9-936b-694d1557e402.jpgPassing the shrimp boats

Passing the shrimp boats

Shrimp boat docks

Shrimp boat docks


We went under the fixed bridge and passed the RE Mayo free docks with all the shrimp boats.
R.E.Mayo free docks

R.E.Mayo free docks

b1634010-f2a8-11e9-b8d1-d1d02939a07a.jpgShrimp boat LAST SUMMER

Shrimp boat LAST SUMMER

Leaving LAST SUMMER behind

Leaving LAST SUMMER behind


Saw some folks in a small boat deploying s shrimp net.
Folks in small boats casting nets

Folks in small boats casting nets

Hurricane Boatyard sign

Hurricane Boatyard sign


The Island Packet PURPOSE came out of Belhaven ahead of us and is still just ahead. Bob puts all the sails up. SEA JAY (Whidby 42) is overtaking us.
SEA JAY in the Pamlico

SEA JAY in the Pamlico


Rounded the mark into the Neuse River and Bob took down the jib and staysail. It's pretty windy but not too uncomfortable.
Chart of Oriental

Chart of Oriental


We tied up at Oriental Marina after 51.4 sm at an average speed of 7.4 mph. Their price is $1.25 a ft which includes electric and cable (which we don't need). Their fuel was $1.38/gal for diesel but we still have plenty so we don't get any. Jeff and Carolee of CONTESSA came in after us and were docked beside us. A Mainship trawler with one of those names that is all vowels, but with a dinghy over the name on the stern came into the marina. They call themselves MAINSHIP on the radio. We see EMMA LOU anchored outside the harbor and later they leave.

Oriental was named after a boat. Which is appropriate given that the town is such a big boating town. Oriental was originally discovered by one Louis B. Midyette in the 1870’s. Legend says that "Uncle Lou", as he was known, anchored his sailboat in the protected waters of Oriental, at the mouth of Smith Creek, to escape a gale. He was sailing from New Bern back to his home in Dare County where he was a farmer and a fisherman. The United States Post Office Department established a post office here back in 1886. Ol’ Lou Midyette was named postmaster of what was then known simply as Smith’s Creek. This prompted the need for a formal name for the rapidly growing village. Lou’s wife, Rebecca, had the nameplate from the sunken ship "Oriental". The Oriental was a Federal transport that sunk in a storm off Bodie Island during the Civil War. It was decided that Oriental would be a good name for the village… after all, they already had the sign
No Mooring on Sea Wall

No Mooring on Sea Wall

The sea wall next to the free dock

The sea wall next to the free dock

Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn

Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn


Oriental had a 10 foot tidal surge during Hurricane Isabel. It was up over the electrical boxes on the pier and to the floor of the office. The Oriental motel has been turned into condos - it is called an Inn. But it still looks like a motel to me. The restaurant is being remodeled. The free docks were destroyed by the hurricane, but they have been rebuilt. There are 3 sailboats there - one each side and one crossways at the end which Bob thought was pushing it. This will make it hard for Jeff to get CONTESSA out as she backs the wrong way. Of course Jeff and Carolee like to 'sleep in' later than we do, and since their boat is faster than ours (as it has a larger engine), they can get to the same place as we do just a little later. Jeff and Carolee told me that they rented a car in Belhaven and did some sightseeing (outside of Belhaven obviously as there isn't much to see in Belhaven and they didn't see what there was).

Bob walked down to the The Inland Waterway Treasure & Provision Companies
Store as we walked to dinner

Store as we walked to dinner


There used to be a consignment shop in Oriental, but the owner died just before our first trip in 2000. This place has kind of taken its place. They have a selection of nautical hardware, foul weather clothing, books and charts, and they will also loan or rent bikes or arrange for transportation to the grocery store.
The Inland Waterway Treasure and Provision Companies

The Inland Waterway Treasure and Provision Companies


and then we walked over to M&Ms for dinner. The wait staff here are all nubile young things, but they give good service.
07-1748.jpg07-1806.jpg
When we get back, the Tiki Bar is in full swing. On prior visits, the Tiki Bar has been under construction or not in operation. However this time, it was in full swing. I was afraid that our friends from CONTESSA would be upset by the noise, but when I went up to take a shower, I saw that they were both there partying with the best of them
Tiki Bar at night

Tiki Bar at night

Tiki Bar and the Inn/Condo from our boat

Tiki Bar and the Inn/Condo from our boat


The marina now has a combination lock on the office door so marina guests can go to the bathroom after the office closes at 9 pm. They also have a dataport phone in the passageway next to the office but no directions on using it, so if I hadn't learned how at Dowry Creek I would have had no idea of how to do it.

Saturday 8 November 2003

We cast off before 7.
Oriental bridge

Oriental bridge

Channel leaving Oriental

Channel leaving Oriental


Although I look as we go out, I can't figure out where the Oriental Harbor Marina is. I take a couple of pictures hoping that I get it.
07-1409-Image028-001.jpgMarina  and Fixed bridge and boat anchored

Marina and Fixed bridge and boat anchored


It was very rough crossing the Neuse. We passed some shrimp boats and a Corps of Engineers boat going north.
08-0928.jpgCorps of Engineers boat pushing a barge

Corps of Engineers boat pushing a barge


When we entered Adams Creek we saw EMMA LOU anchored there. The Toshiba went to the Toshiba screen and froze so I switched to the black Dell.
PInk Seahorse House

PInk Seahorse House


Adams Creek fishermen

Adams Creek fishermen

Sea Gate Marina advertising fuel prices

Sea Gate Marina advertising fuel prices


Mile marker 195 in Adams Creek Canal

Mile marker 195 in Adams Creek Canal

Adams Creek

Adams Creek

Side of the canal

Side of the canal


DATE NIGHT said he was going to pass on the port, and then said our starboard, and then actually passed on our port. We passed the high rise bridge and Bock Marine.
08-0945.jpgBock Marine

Bock Marine


The wind is on our tail at 15 knots apparent. The second half of the range at sm 200 appears to be missing.
Passing shrimp boat

Passing shrimp boat


The tide is with us. MAINSHIP passed. Later apparently someone hit him and we heard him on the radio exchanging insurance info with the boat that hit him.
08-1037.jpgApproaching Morehead City

Approaching Morehead City

Channel on the back side of the port

Channel on the back side of the port

Looking up at the US Route 70 bridge

Looking up at the US Route 70 bridge

Bridge abutment

Bridge abutment

Red Tug at the dock

Red Tug at the dock


We can see Morehead City ahead. We came around the corner into the Morehead City turning basin
Turning the corner

Turning the corner


and found it FULL of little fishing boats
Fishermen in the turning basin

Fishermen in the turning basin


anchored or drifting around all over the place. We picked our way past.
Docks and water tower

Docks and water tower


Heard later that the preceding weekend the CG had to clear a way through them so traffic could get through. A sailboat near shore BONNIE CHRISTENE came out and went through the Atlantic Beach bridge ahead of us which cleared out a little fishing boat that was anchored between the fenders under the bridge
Atlantic Beach bridge

Atlantic Beach bridge


Later they (BC) pulled over and anchored. AQUASTATION and BREAKERS - big power boats passed us throwing big wakes and set the depth sounder crazy. Both came back later in the other direction at a more moderate speed.
08-1131.jpgSouth of town on Bogue Sound

South of town on Bogue Sound

Approaching Swansboro

Approaching Swansboro


We tied up at Dudleys. Dudleys is sponsoring a fishing tournament. It was real hard for us to get into the dock against the wind. The marina is 75 cents a foot with nothing extra for electricity. We got 28 gal of diesel at $1.16.gal.
Fuel hose at Dudley's

Fuel hose at Dudley's


In addition to the $32.82 for the diesel and the $33.00 for the dockage, we paid $2.30 tax. They still have a courtesy car - much fancier than the old one.

They've finished the construction on the bridge - the marina took us up to Riverview where we ate dinner.
Driving to Riverview

Driving to Riverview

Inside Riverview Restaurant

Inside Riverview Restaurant

My Dinner

My Dinner


Bob had fried oysters and couldn't finish them all.
Bob's Fried Oysters

Bob's Fried Oysters


The Marines are having their birthday dinner ball - a lot of them were in the restaurant in full dress.

Sunday 9 November 2003

It is very windy today and is raining. I convince Bob to stay another day.
Bob on RosalieAnn at Dudley's

Bob on RosalieAnn at Dudley's


We didn't pay the tax the 2nd day. Hear a boat offshore in trouble and they are talking to SeaTow and the CG on the radio.

Monday 10 November 2003

Bob started engine and we cast off about 6:45. I held the forward lines while Bob took off the aft lines and then I let go and the bow of the boat swung out very nicely. We made our way past the shoal and back out to the ICW However the Toshiba first wanted virus definitions and then said there was an error writing to the hard drive, and then asked for a boot disk. So it's back to the black Dell.
Moonset over the Tira plant

Moonset over the Tira plant


We are headed for Hampstead which is about the only place we can stop between the Swansboro/Morehead/Beaufort area and Southport. We passed the TIRA boat plant about 0730.
Tira plant

Tira plant


There used to be an anchorage in their entrance channel, but now that the plant is producing again, they don't want people anchoring there anymore.

We entered the Camp Lejeune marine base about 0752. There were no red flags on the observation towers
Camp Lejeune observation tower

Camp Lejeune observation tower

(when they are using live ammunition, they fly a red flag and there are folks with binoculars in the towers to see where stuff lands). There was no warning sign flashing. So everything was pretty quiet.
STOP Do Not Proceed (when flashing)

STOP Do Not Proceed (when flashing)


We passed a big piece of equipment like a tank which had something written on the side, but I didn't get a picture in timeA boat from Road Town (BVI) with maroon topsides passed and went through the Onslow beach bridge at the 8:40 opening..

The Onslow Beach bridge was a pain (again). We took a station pointing upstream to wait (stern to the bridge so we could motor slowly into the current rather than backing into it) after calling the bridge to tell him we were waiting for an opening. A big power boat MONTRACT from Annapolis passed and waited closer to the bridge
MONTRACT ahead of us at the Onslow Beach bridge

MONTRACT ahead of us at the Onslow Beach bridge


backing up towards us sometimes. JOLLY GOOD was back farther. The bridge tender put the arms down at 0900
Arms are down for the cars

Arms are down for the cars


and then it was two full minutes before the bell rang and another minute before the bridge started to swing. We had to circle again as we were being pushed towards shore by the wind and current. When the bridge opened, MONTRACT did not go through.
Looking back at Onslow Beach Brdige

Looking back at Onslow Beach Brdige


He waited until we were too close to maneuver.
Onslow Beach bridge closing

Onslow Beach bridge closing


I didn't thank the bridge tender (which I usually do). JOLLY GOOD did a nice pass, but stirred up the mud so that the depth sounder went crazy. We passed the anchorage on Camp LeJeune where we spent the night on our first trip in 2000
Anchorage area at Camp LeJeune

Anchorage area at Camp LeJeune

Entrance to the anchorage at Camp LeJeune

Entrance to the anchorage at Camp LeJeune

Houses along the ICW

Houses along the ICW


Barge with daymarks

Barge with daymarks

Closeup of the barge Dayshapes

Closeup of the barge Dayshapes


Bob pulled out the jib, and then furled it again when we went by New River Inlet where the ICW winds around.
Shrimp boats at New River

Shrimp boats at New River


New River Marina

New River Marina


Diesel at the New River Marina is only 98 cents/gal. We went by Swans Point and passed the Pink House.

Signs on the bridges say "Shell Fish Relay in Progress between MM 230 and MM 330" Never have figured out what that means. At the next fixed bridge I saw someone stop on top while we went through.
Fenders of a fixed bridge

Fenders of a fixed bridge


Towboat US came north towing a power boat
Tow Boat towing a boat

Tow Boat towing a boat


and called the sailboat at marker 14. That was us - but we didn't know he wanted to talk to us because we didn't know what marker we were at. He was annoyed and grumpy that we didn't answer right away and wouldn't say what he had wanted.
Tug parked at a private dock

Tug parked at a private dock


Bob went back to pump up the dinghy which had deflated due to cold, but he said the sun had done most of the work.
Underground cables - No anchoring sign

Underground cables - No anchoring sign


We got to the Surf City Bridge around 1100 and went through without incident.
x1110-1221uImage037.jpgSurf City Bridge

Surf City Bridge


Surf City bridge closing

Surf City bridge closing


LADY BARBARA passed and then slowed way down. A stealth power boat (dark hull with the name on the transom covered by the dinghy) passed. A Trumphy type yacht named MARGERITE passed, as did DUTCHESS (a trawler), and sports fishes DEB SHA IV and VERITAS. We didn't really eat lunch.
Entrance to the marina

Entrance to the marina


We got to Harbour Village at 1300 after a trip of 38.8 sm at an average speed of 6.4 mph. The charge is $1.20/ft with no other charges. THey have some kind of special deal now for people "north of the Maryland line" that you can leave your boat there for the winter for a special rate. (6 months starting 1 Nov) They don't say which Maryland line they want you north of (the northern border of Virginia (the Potomac) or Mason Dixon).
RosalieAnn and Bob between two big power boats

RosalieAnn and Bob between two big power boats


There's only one other transient there at that time - BATTEN BAY - a trawler. Later a sailboat from Canada NIKAN, and CONTESSA arrived along with another trawler QUE PASA? and some motor boats. I took the golf cart over to do email, and ordered Chinese while I was there. The delivery arrived at the same time as I got back to the boat. We had an early dinner.

I tried to figure out what is wrong with the Toshiba - the screen goes blank sometimes. And I called our son to tell him our plans for tomorrow.

November 11, 2003 - Tuesday


I wrote my mother: We had a most interesting day. I took over 100 pictures which won't get to you for some time. We are on our way past Wrightsville Beach, through Snow's Cut, and down the Cape Fear River to Southport.

I couldn't get a reservation in Southport, so I eventually called St. James Marina. This was to be about a 50 mile trip with two bridges at awkward distances and some possibly adverse currents, so we wanted to start early.

Getting away from the dock was relatively easy with no wind and no current although we had had a bit of trouble making the turn into the slip when we docked yesterday afternoon. We scraped on the white rubber edges of the floating docks.

We were underway by 6:45. I saw a blue heron on the lawn next to the exit channel but I did not get a chance to take a photo of him. It was cold but the sky was relatively clear. The French Canadian boat NIKAN left before us, and some of the trawlers and motor boats were getting ready to leave also.

Around 7 it started to get foggy.

We reached mile mark 270 by 0714 - a trip of 3 sm (statute miles) from the marina. At 0800 TRITON'S TRUMPET, a big power yacht from Halifax NS that had been in the marina with us passed us. We were aiming to get to the Figure Eight bridge for the 0900 opening because it was 5 miles to the Wrightsville Beach bridge and they only opened on the hour. So if we went through the first bridge on the half hour, we'd have a really long wait at the 2nd bridge.

No hope - by 0830 we were bearing down swiftly on the Figure Eight bridge. It was also getting very very foggy. We heard the bridge tender in channel 13 talking to various boats, and telling them that if they reached the half mile marker that they would be there in time for the opening. We were approaching that marker, so I called and told him. It was getting foggier although I did spot a large full sized giraffe statue on the lawn of one of the houses on the west bank.
Giant Giraffe Statue in the fog

Giant Giraffe Statue in the fog


Suddenly Bob said -"There's a sailboat!!" It was NIKAN circling in the channel - presumably in front of the bridge although we couldn't see it. We could dimly see a power boat in front of NIKAN, but could not really make out the bridge at all. Finally the bridge tender called us (i.e. southbound boats) and said "The bridge is open, you can go through now". It wasn't until we got right up to the bridge that we could even see where the opening was.
Going through the Figure 8 Bridge

Going through the Figure 8 Bridge

Figure 8 Bridge in the fog

Figure 8 Bridge in the fog


As we proceeded towards the Wrightsville Beach bridge,
Fog lifting

Fog lifting


the fog lifted and it became a nice sunny day, although I was still cold and went down and put on my thermal top.
BIrds (cormorants?) on the dock

BIrds (cormorants?) on the dock


Approaching Wrightsville Beach

Approaching Wrightsville Beach


Of course we got to the Wrightsville Beach bridge at about 0935. NIKAN was there already. The power boat that went through the Figure Eight bridge first had already gone through at the 0900 opening. About 0950, a sailboat from New England with a blue hull named LORD'S PRAYER (with two wind generators) joined the queue. We circled and watched people launch boats from the ramp on the NE side of the bridge (where we were) and the smaller power boats who were able to get under without an opening coming out of the marinas on the other side of the bridge.

The power boat BATTEN BAY which had been in the marina with us also was approaching and called the bridge to say that he was only about 18.5 feet and thought he'd sneak under without an opening. She said that her boards showed only 17 feet clearance, but that she was sure he could get through with the rest of us.
Following us through the Wrightsville Beach bridge

Following us through the Wrightsville Beach bridge


When she opened, LORD'S PRAYER was in front and they went through but NIKAN dragged their feet and did not close up the space nicely. But we all got through the bridge. As we came under the bridge, a Danish sailboat called MASHUA came out of the channel on the other side of the bridge and added to the confusion of folks proceeding down the ICW. At several points we were 2 or 3 abreast
Wrightsville Beach bridge

Wrightsville Beach bridge

Looking back at Wrightsville Beach bridge and marina

Looking back at Wrightsville Beach bridge and marina


Eventually we got sorted out with BATTEN BOY way out ahead, then MASHUA, then us, then NIKAN
NIKAN Following us

NIKAN Following us


and finally LORD'S PRAYER bringing up the rear.
Bradley Creek Marina sign

Bradley Creek Marina sign

LORD'S PRAYER with two wind generators ahead of us

LORD'S PRAYER with two wind generators ahead of us


We saw some kayakers.
Yellow and white kayaks

Yellow and white kayaks


We passed Masonboro inlet,
Masonboro Marina sign

Masonboro Marina sign


the Masonboro marina
Scaffolding on a floating dock?

Scaffolding on a floating dock?


Masonboro marina

Masonboro marina


and their restaurant Trail's End.
Trails End restaurant

Trails End restaurant


And we passed the Salt Dome House
Salt dome house

Salt dome house


The next interesting thing that happened was a helicopter swooped by about mid mast height and very close.
Helicopter right over the river

Helicopter right over the river

Helicopter

Helicopter

Speedboats on the left being photographed by the helicopter on the right

Speedboats on the left being photographed by the helicopter on the right


Wakes around us

Wakes around us


It turned out that they were photographing two small speed boats as they ran up and down the river forward and backward past us. I did get some pictures of them eventually - on about the fourth pass.
Shrimp boats

Shrimp boats


I figured the currents out and we had the current against us most of the time approaching Carolina Beach and turning into Snow's Cut it was about 1.5 knots against us.
Snow's Cut bank

Snow's Cut bank


Snow's Cut isn't very long, and the current wasn't as bad as it could have been - sometimes it is 3 or four knots against us. There are some new Floaters where a shoal has built out from the north side. MASHUA is way ahead of us and NIKAN is holding her own behind us. I look back, and there's a big ship (a small cruise ship but looking very large) about the size of the CHARLESTONIAN or larger bearing down on NIKAN in Snow's Cut. It seems to be going very slowly as it never does pass NIKAN,
NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them from the area of Red Floater #162

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them from the area of Red Floater #162


and after it exits Snow's Cut it disappears, so I decided that it must be going up the river to Wilmington. As we exited Snow's Cut there was a little red CG RIB (Rigid bottom Inflatable Boat) waiting - for what I don't know.
Red Coast Guard boat

Red Coast Guard boat


In the Cape Fear River the current was flowing out at 2.2 knots, so that made the passage down the river go a whole lot faster. We go down at a great rate doing as much as 11.6 mph.

We passed the Army Munitions Depot and there appeared to be little activity although there were some ships there.
Ships at  Army Munitions Depot

Ships at Army Munitions Depot

Cranes at the Army Munitions depot

Cranes at the Army Munitions depot


The little red CG boat zipped past, and we saw them later towing a similar little boat.
Little red Coast Guard boat towing a similar little boat

Little red Coast Guard boat towing a similar little boat


This motorized barge with a crane and two 'spuds' passed us. The spuds are the long things sticking up. When the barge is where it wants to stay, they put the spuds down to anchor them to the bottom. I've always seen three of them before, but this barge appears to have only two
Barge with spuds

Barge with spuds

Southport- Fort Fisher ferry with a speed boat

Southport- Fort Fisher ferry with a speed boat


We saw the Ft. Fisher ferry going to the north side of the river and the other one coming the other way. The ferry passed us on the starboard, and I took some pictures while the ferry passengers took pictures of us. Bob 'drafted' on the ferry for a bit. .
Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry crossing the Cape Fear River

Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry crossing the Cape Fear River


Shrimp boat trolling with a green net

Shrimp boat trolling with a green net


We heard quite a bit of radio talk about a Coast Guard boat that was dredging or diving or something, and eventually passed that.
Coast Guard working boat

Coast Guard working boat

Southport -Fort Fisher ferry going into ferry dock on the Southport side

Southport -Fort Fisher ferry going into ferry dock on the Southport side

Houses on the Cape Fear River in Southport

Houses on the Cape Fear River in Southport


MASHUA proceeded out the inlet -either to Bald Head or to put out to sea. Bob almost missed the turn into Southport and had to back up a bit. NIKAN was still following us. Heard BATTEN BAY calling South Harbor Village. We aren't staying there or in Southport because they are having a fishing tournament (like they had when we were going through Morehead City maybe). Southport told me they were overbooked, and South Harbor Village (which was sponsoring the tournament), wouldn't answer the phone. So we assumed they were full also.
Provision Company (restaurant)  dock

Provision Company (restaurant) dock


We passed Southport and saw a sailboat come out of the marina and go into the commercial harbor. Perhaps they were trying to find a slip for the night.
Southport Marina free dock at their restaurant

Southport Marina free dock at their restaurant

Gazebo out at the river edge

Gazebo out at the river edge

Southport Marina - fully booked because of a fishing tournament

Southport Marina - fully booked because of a fishing tournament

One part of a Range

One part of a Range


Passed the ferry dock for Bald Head.
Bald Head Island ferry terminal

Bald Head Island ferry terminal


We passed South Harbor Village where there was a big German ketch with stuff drying on the lifelines on the outside face dock, plus BATTEN BAY on the inside of the face dock
Big Sailboat at South Harbor Village

Big Sailboat at South Harbor Village

Table One Grill and Raw Bar (South Harbor Village Restaurant)

Table One Grill and Raw Bar (South Harbor Village Restaurant)


After we went under the fixed bridge a big PDQ catamaran named STARLIGHT passed us. We went past an airstrip and saw a small plane take off.
Private dock on the ICW

Private dock on the ICW

Entrance to St. James Marina

Entrance to St. James Marina


We turned into St. James Marina at SM 315about 1500 after a trip of 48.6 sm at an average speed of 6.1 mph. The dockmaster was helping a trawler named BAHARI to dock, so he yelled to the transient folk on GREAT ESCAPE in the next slip to help us and they did. They are from RI. Also in the marina was a transient from Canada named WINDSWEPT I. They have floating docks for up to 8' draft.

The rate is $1.25/ft/night (minimum 30 feet - maximum 50 feet) but they have a Boat US discount which brings the price down to 95 cents/ft. Electric was $5.00 and they only had 50 amp at our slip, so it was lucky that we had our own converter. THey only charged us for 30 amp - 50 amp is $7.50 and there is no discount on electric. By the week it is $1.10/ft (7 night minimum) and by the month $8.00/ft. They also have dry storage rates. I saw some white ibis on the lawn when I was coming back from registering, but did not have my camera with me. However I already have 100 pictures from today, it's probably just as well

This marina is sort of strange. While they have no problem with taking transients, but they have no services - no showers, and no laundry although they do have water, ice and fuel, pump out, and internet access The bathrooms are in the marina trailer which is locked from 1700 to 0800 in the morning. There is a restaurant that is about 1/2 mile away. They also apparently have bikes.
.
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Today we had the Sunset Beach pontoon bridge to do. We left the marina without any difficulty at about 6:45 as we usually do.
Leaving the marina

Leaving the marina


The sun was coming up and it was calm with lots of nice reflections in the water.
Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections


The bimini enclosure is covered with heavy dew condensation on the outside. The almost full but waning moon is still high in the sky.
ICW Red Marker (you can tell by the yellow triangle - that makes it an ICW marker)

ICW Red Marker (you can tell by the yellow triangle - that makes it an ICW marker)

ICW Green marker with a yellow square

ICW Green marker with a yellow square


I had fixed the color problems on the Toshiba, so we were using that for charting. As we were proceeding, I spotted something in the water - turned out to be a lawn chair. A small Contender fishing boat named JOY BEE was running up and down - back and forth.

We see several sailboats behind us. They pass us one by one. First a Gozzard ketch named SWISS9ER from VA, then a gold hulled ketch with a green stripe named FLUTTERBY. (FLUTTERBY had a Martin Bird broker sign on the bow so it was for sale and she was probably being sailed by a delivery skipper.) We passed another restaurant named the Provision Company (that was the name of the one in Southport) with a free dock and other restaurants such as this one which also has dock space for while you eat.
Dock Here to Eat

Dock Here to Eat


We passed through Holden Beach
Holden Beach Seafood

Holden Beach Seafood


and there was a shrimp boat with "Shrimp" on a sign - a guy came out of the wheelhouse and yelled at me did I want to buy some shrimp. Bob didn't hear that or we might have done. Also saw a shrimp boat with a life ring from another boat.
Shrimp for sale

Shrimp for sale


We thought initially that we'd be at the pontoon bridge by 10, but it is now 0827 and we are only at mm 325 -- still 12 miles to go. MAJIK SEEKER from NY NY passes us V E R Y slowly. LUNATIC FRINGE, a Canadian sailboat passes, and finally WINDSWEPT I - also Canadian who was in St. James marina last night passed.
Houses on the ICW

Houses on the ICW


BOAT HOUSE

BOAT HOUSE

Kayaker

Kayaker


Saw a house with an ICW #87 marker up on the balcony. Not funny or classy.
House with stolen intercoastal marker

House with stolen intercoastal marker


0943 - have gone 17.7 sm and are in Gause Landing, so we still are about 4 miles from the bridge.

A small red tug CAVALIER STATE passes us going north.
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


Just as we get to the fixed bridge, the Toshiba goes bananas, so I get the old Dell out to do the charting. When I try the Toshiba later, it works perfectly OK. There was a sign on the bridge warning of an underwater sewer line, which I did not get a photo of.
Barge with a dredge

Barge with a dredge


A small trawler FANNIE'S BOY passed apparently thinking they would get to the bridge for the 10 am opening - no way. FLUTTERBY gets through by the skin of his teeth, but when we get to the bridge we see the other three sailboats that passed us and the trawler are all waiting. We all sat idling in front of the bridge for about a half an hour.
Waiting for the pontoon bridge to open

Waiting for the pontoon bridge to open


Eventually a UK boat called PENLEE CHALLENGE and a power boat named SEA TULIP from Annapolis joined the group. There is also a power boat waiting to go north.
Boat heading north

Boat heading north


When it is time for the bridge to open the boats are all jockeying for position, but none seems to actually want to go through the bridge. PENLEE CHALLENGE is ahead of us but waves us to go first. I took lots of pictures as we went through.
Going through the pontoon bridge

Going through the pontoon bridge

Bridge tender's house on a pontoon.  Sign says Do not enter draw until signaled by bridge operator

Bridge tender's house on a pontoon. Sign says Do not enter draw until signaled by bridge operator


Bridge tender writing down boat names

Bridge tender writing down boat names

Single lane road to the pontoon bridge - traffic switches directions every half hour

Single lane road to the pontoon bridge - traffic switches directions every half hour


End of he road on the pontoon

End of he road on the pontoon

Caution ----------- Utility crossing.  DO NOT DOCK

Caution ----------- Utility crossing. DO NOT DOCK


PENLEE CHALLENGE and SEA TULIP come through the Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge after us.
Looking back at the pontoon bridge

Looking back at the pontoon bridge


I saw a sailboat and 2 power boats that did not make the opening about a mile back. I think the power boats expected to make it.

MAJIK SEEKER gets behind us but the rest of them go racing ahead. Eventually we hear them at the Little River Swing Bridge. The bridge tender has an accent that is so southern that I can barely understand him. Listening to the Brit lady on PENLEE CHALLENGE talking to him is a trip. We come by the REALLY PINK house again. THe house that everyone calls the Pink House is up near Swansboro and is a spectacular house with a tower etc. on the waterway. This one is just an ordinary house painted a really aggressive shade of pink.
The Really Pink House

The Really Pink House

Crab traps with colorful flags

Crab traps with colorful flags


I call the Little River Swing Bridge (channel 9 in SC and not 13 like in NC) and we go through
Little River Swing Bridge

Little River Swing Bridge


with MAJIK SEEKER who is still trying to call on 13 or 16.
Lighthouse Marina sign (not a real lighthouse)

Lighthouse Marina sign (not a real lighthouse)


We have decided to stop at Dock Holiday's before Barefoot Landing. I hear later that they are so full down there that some people have come back up to Dock Holiday's because there is no room. We get to Dock Holidays's at about 1312 after a total trip of 401 nm.
RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's

RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's


The charges were 95 cents/ft,(without a discount) $5 electric and $2.50 for cable and $2.20 tax. . You can download e-mail if you bring your laptop in to the marina office.
Dock Holiday's Marina

Dock Holiday's Marina


RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's

RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's


Bob goes to the Food Lion, and then does the laundry ($1.50 for wash, $1.50 for dry) and takes a shower. I go up and do email and get to sit in on a Chamber of Congress meeting which is in the same room (they are discussing a golf tournament and the Thanksgiving Xmas parade). Then later I also go and get a shower.

CONTESSA comes in and is put in a slip beside us. They were in South Harbor Village last night. There was an Oyster 43 at the fuel dock because at low tide they can't get into the marina over the lump at the edge. (draft 6'6")
Outdoor seating (we ate inside)

Outdoor seating (we ate inside)


The new restaurant there is terrific. It is called "Fisherman's Marketplace" is open for the first time in two visits, so we go up for the early bird specials. It's pretty empty this early. Bob has steamed Gulf shrimp, baked potato and salad for $7.95 and I had the rib eye (also with baked potato and salad) for $8.95.

We've decided that we are going to try to make it to Georgetown tomorrow instead of stopping at Wacha Wachee, and then try to get to Charleston on Friday. It should be possible.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A Windy Interval in South Carolina

Scheduled Long Days


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Thursday 13 November 2003 - Heading for the Rockpile

Maybe we should have stayed in N. Myrtle Beach another day. CONTESSA is staying another day as there are predicted to be wind gusts to 35 mph or higher - which was accurate. But as it turned out, if we would have waited, we'd have had a headwind instead of the tail wind that we had helping us along.

We cast off about 6:45 am. It was low tide so we could actually see the rocks sticking out in the Rock Pile portion.
Rockpile Rocks

Rockpile Rocks


x1113-0729uImage005.jpgRock ledges at low tide

Rock ledges at low tide


The banks on one side of the canal were in shadows.
Ladder instead of steps

Ladder instead of steps


Before we got to the Barefoot Swing bridge we heard a Viking 47 saying that he would sneak through as he was only 18 ft air draft (height from the water). The bridge tender told him that if it had been high tide, he would not have made it as the bridge is only 17 feet.
Approaching Barefoot Landing

Approaching Barefoot Landing


A sailboat with the mast on the deck caught up to us at the Barefoot bridge. He was faster than we were and we heard people talking to him ahead of us all the way along.
x1113-0754Image012.jpgBarefoot Landing bridge with Sailboat with the mast on the deck ahead of us

Barefoot Landing bridge with Sailboat with the mast on the deck ahead of us


You can see how close the bridge is to the deck of the boat (I'm taking the picture standing on the deck so I'm probably about 12 feet above the waterline - Bob doesn't need me to be in the cockpit to go through a bridge). Our mast is 58.5 feet, so we definitely have to have the bridge open to go through.
Going under the Barefoot Landing bridge

Going under the Barefoot Landing bridge


As we passed Barefoot Landing, we saw a lot of boats there, but not as many as there were in 2001.
Sailboat JOWARI with solar panels along the life lines at the Barefoot landing free docks

Sailboat JOWARI with solar panels along the life lines at the Barefoot landing free docks


(The Barefoot Landing docks are free but have no electricity.) We saw PENLEE CHALLENGE, EMMA LOU, and WINDSWEPT I.
Greg Norman's restaurant

Greg Norman's restaurant


The trawler CORAL BAY was down in front of Greg Norman's restaurant

It's still only 0800 when we come across this construction site on the west side of the waterway. This scruffy looking construction worker emerged from the shed on the barge as we went by.
Construction on the side of the Rockpile section

Construction on the side of the Rockpile section


What interested me was the little bull dozer or back hoe or some kind of construction vehicle going up and down the ramp between the barge and the land. I kept waiting for it to slide down or fall off of the ramp. But it didn't do that at least while I was watching.
Going up and down the ramp

Going up and down the ramp


We go under the 'old' fixed bridge - that is the Conway bridge, which was unfinished for so long that the ICW guides said it would never be finished.

Next we come to the Skyway to the Waterway Hills Golf Links. I try to get a picture of the cars going across the waterway, but they pass when we are pretty far away.
Golfers tramway

Golfers tramway


The literature says: "This is truly one of the most unique courses in all golf. First, it is designed by golf's most celebrated course designer Robert Trent Jones. Second, the only access to this 27-hole golf preserve is by glass-enclosed cable car across the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you touch down, you'll find it is one of the most tranquil and unspoiled settings you've ever encountered."
One end of the golfer's tramway

One end of the golfer's tramway


The east side of the Skyway is on US Route 17.
x1113-0836uImage052.jpgWaving mannequin with SLOW sign

Waving mannequin with SLOW sign


Then we came to the mannequin or statue that appears to be waving. In 2001, Lucette waved at him before she realized that it wasn't a real person. This year, he has a "Slow" sign.
New bridge that was being constructed in 2000

New bridge that was being constructed in 2000


The next thing we came to was the new bridge which was just being started in the fall of 2000, and now is completed. There is small truck about halfway down the hill under the west side of the bridge and there were two men standing between the bridge piers.
Two men at the foot of the bridge

Two men at the foot of the bridge


The sun gradually illuminated the other side. It's relatively calm at this hour in the canal. We saw the sailboat BONNIE CHRISTINE aground - probably trying to run after dark or at high tide.
BONNIE CHRISTINE aground

BONNIE CHRISTINE aground

Red floater up on shore

Red floater up on shore


This buoy is a legitimate red channel marker which is a bit off its mooring (which would be on the west shore).
Bascule bridge open

Bascule bridge open


Just past the blue RR bridge (this bridge used to be a dual railroad and road bridge) and the fixed bridge that is north of the Socastee Swing Bridge,
Looking back at the new bridge and swing bridge

Looking back at the new bridge and swing bridge


when suddenly ahead, we see two red markers way over on the port side. Just about a half an hour previously, we had seen a displaced red marker up on the left bank. Red ICW markers are supposed to be on the starboard (right) side. They are too close to the docks for us to go between the marker and the dock.

With the binoculars, I determine that these are not ICW markers but are actually "No Wake" markers.
Red "No Wake Zone" marker

Red "No Wake Zone" marker


NO-Wake markers are supposed to be white with an orange stripe. Red ones are confusing, probably illegal, and dangerous.

I guess the people who live along here in the big fancy houses think that they don't have to abide by the regulations, just as the power boaters don't pay any attention to the regular No Wake marker
Golf course

Golf course


We pass some more golf courses. We came down to the Socastee bridge and found that there was a construction barge there and that they were working on the bridge. The bridge tender warned that the bridge couldn't swing all the way open because the equipment on the barge was in the way and to open the bridge they had to swing the crane back onto the barge.
Construction barge and the partly open Socastee Bridge

Construction barge and the partly open Socastee Bridge


I found out later that the construction on the bridge had started January 2003 and was to have been for 10 months. They were to renovate the bridge completely and paint it blue (like the fixed bridge and the railroad bridge). We went through the Socastee Swing bridge with CORAL BAY (which had caught up to us) and FRANCES - a new green Gozzard.
Bridge tender's house

Bridge tender's house


Just between us and the next following boat (CORAL BAY), a parade of ducks crossed the canal from one side to the other.
Ducks crossing

Ducks crossing


It was very funny to see but I didn't get a good picture as they were too far away. We then went down and through the fixed bridge.

CORAL BAY was chicken to go farther in the high winds on the Wacamaw and went into Osprey Marina. We proceeded down the river toward Bucksport. FRANCES passed us fairly quickly. We were waked very badly by a power boat with a red hull named SUREFIRE from RI. We passed Bucksport and saw a sailboat there named L'AIR.
Advertising fuel prices

Advertising fuel prices


The Wilds of the river near Brookgreen Gardens

The Wilds of the river near Brookgreen Gardens


Red marker

Red marker


The treadmaster on the cockpit floor has not cured properly and they keep shifting. Bob was on the side trying to push one section off the cockpit drain outlet when he looked up and the spreaders were into the cypress trees on the west side. We were still in 24 feet of water.
Red marker in a tree

Red marker in a tree


We passed
Wacca Wachee marina

Wacca Wachee marina


and just past that were waked by a sports fishing boat named BIG MAMA III. SEA TULIP, another trawler passed, and then ODYSSEY, an Endeavour Trawler Catamaran from Vero Beach came by.

It was getting very gusty - we had no sails up, but were still doing 8 mph - Fortunately the wind was behind us so I guess we were sailing on the bimini. Heard a large power boat names SUSAN A call the Boat Shed. Also heard FRANCES call them - they had intended to anchor and said there wasn't room. Also SEA TULIP calling Georgetown Landing Marina and hoping for a dock that he could get into easily from the wind. I saw buzzards circling but every time I focused on them,
Buzzards being blown around by the wind

Buzzards being blown around by the wind


they were blown out of their tight circle formation and had to regroup. We smell the paper mill in Georgetown which I think smells like cooking cabbage. After a wild ride down the Waccamaw River in gusts up to 35 mph we docked at the Boat Shed in Georgetown - rate $1.10/ft- no charge for electricity.
Boat Shed marina

Boat Shed marina


However the fuel is a rip-off. We were charged $1.55 for fuel - if we had gotten over 50 gallons it would have been only $1.35/gallon -- but still!!! The amount shown on the tanks was different on each side. (one showed $46.98 and the other side showed $46.92)
At the dock in the Boat Shed

At the dock in the Boat Shed


For dinner, we walked up to the Orange Blossom Cafe,
Bob walking ahead of me to dinner

Bob walking ahead of me to dinner


but it was closed and under new management. The Rice Paddy also appeared to be closed.
So we ate at the Dogwood Cafe.
Dogwood Cafe sign

Dogwood Cafe sign


Bob had a half rack of ribs, which looked good, and I had a 'low country' shrimp dish with grits(?) and ham. It also had hush puppies, which were burnt and the Caesar salad had globs of mayo on the bottom leaves. I had peach cobbler for dessert which was good.

Friday 14 November 2003

To get from Georgetown to the Ben Sawyer bridge before the restricted hours at 4 pm (which I assume is still restricted) we have to make 62 sm. Otherwise we will be stuck on the other side until after dark. Then we will have a hard time getting to the Enterprise office on Sat am as they are not open in the afternoon and the only one open on Sunday is at the airport. To make it, we left before 6 am in the dark, and motored and motor sailed hard all day.

We got underway about 558. It is DARK. Bob was in the channel according to the charts on the starboard side and running out of water - it got down to 5.1 feet and we will go aground at 4.6 feet. I got him to go over to the port side of the channel where we had always gone before and where the water is deeper.
031114-0647Image001.jpgSunrise over Winyah Bay

Sunrise over Winyah Bay


The Toshiba froze because the GPS was refusing to keep ahold of the satellites, so I brought up the black Dell. At 0705 we have done 8 sm and are turning into the Esterville Mimms canal. The sun is just up.

There is some surface fog over the canal. The free running ferry doesn't appear to be running
Ferry

Ferry


but they were launching boats at the boat ramp.
Boat launching

Boat launching


Lots of egrets and some blue herons along the canal banks or roosting in the trees. We turn off the nav lights
Wading birds at dawn

Wading birds at dawn


0757 - sports fish FLOATING RAINE (?) waked us, but didn't get the camera on in time. I'll use the film camera for this in the future.
Tower over the former rice fields

Tower over the former rice fields


0800 - Big boat with a green hull SEA OWL from Georgetown in the Cayman Islands passed and also the sports fish BLUE SKY.
Blue Sky passing us

Blue Sky passing us


0920 - have gone 22.2 sm - one third of the way - we are being helped by the current.
Birds sitting on the railings

Birds sitting on the railings


1000 - We are making pretty good progress. We've gone 26.2 sm at an average speed of 6.5 mph. We are passing through edge the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and crossing the North and South Santee Rivers with their confusing markers and cross currents.
Birds following a shrimp boat

Birds following a shrimp boat


The Cape Romain area is mostly uninhabited. In fact in Claiborne Young's "Cruising Guide to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia" quotes James Henry Rice, Jr. in "Glories of the Carolina Coast" who wrote that it was "..a region so wild that you can readily believe yourself in Africa or Asia."
large_xcape_romain_map.JPG
ODYSSEY passed us just before McClellanville. We passed a somewhat scruffy houseboat with two outboards pulling a Boston whaler type dinghy going the other way.

1100 In the upper reaches of the Harbor River, SILVER MOON (with several dogs, a cat and a young child aboard) the boat who was docked ahead of SUSAN A at the marina passed as did AFTERNOON TEA. They were also at Dowry Creek with us. There are now houses along the banks.
Two power boats ahead of us

Two power boats ahead of us


1103 - trip so far is 33.1 - half way there. Bob predicts we will be there before 2. I will just be satisfied if we get there before about 3:30. I know that the tidal currents in this stretch can as easily be against us as with us, and I'm not ready to predict victory yet. We pass some nice houses and one of them has a lot of birdhouses.
Hanging gourd birdhouses at the dock

Hanging gourd birdhouses at the dock


We pass a small UK sailboat named SALTICUS. I see FRANCES behind us. They obviously left way after we did, and it has taken them until now to catch us. We are at about mm 440

1210 FRANCES and BATTEN BAY both pass while I was fixing lunch. We are now going through the Francis Marion National Forest recreation area. This is a no wake zone to protect the launching ramp
Boat ramp

Boat ramp


from marker #50 to marker #51. We see campgrounds with trailers and tents along the shore. We see a big power yacht being towed north by TowBoat US.
Towing a large boat

Towing a large boat


1344 We hear PENLEE CHALLENGER calling the City Marina. We can now see the Isle of Palms fixed bridge. I think we are going to make it. We come by the Isle of Palms marina at 1415 (2:15 pm)
Flock of birds over the marina

Flock of birds over the marina


and I see that there is a new restaurant open for business there. We also pass a Parasailing boat docked just past the marina.
Para Sailing boat

Para Sailing boat


We go under the fixed bridge south of the marina at 2:34 pm
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


and pass the golf course right by the ICW.
Golf course

Golf course


As we are approaching the Ben Sawyer bridge
Ben Sawyer bridge

Ben Sawyer bridge


It starts to open pretty early.
Looking up at the Ben Sawyer Bridge

Looking up at the Ben Sawyer Bridge


But we do get down to the bridge and get through it. I look back and see the traffic backed up as the bridge closes.

Charleston Maritime Center had no space except for one night on the gas dock, and when we went to visit a friend there, it seemed much more exposed to wakes than I remember it being. Buzzard's Roost said they had been so busy that they could not take advance reservations. Toler's Cove said they were completely booked. I thought Isle of Palms was too expensive, and ditto the City Marina.

So I called the Charleston Harbor Marina at Patriot Point - it is $1.50/night and 30 amp electric is $4.00. But by the week it is only $1.07/ft/night, so that's where we are. We got to there by 1544 - total trip 505 nm - today's trip 64.1 sm with an average speed of 6.6 mph and a max speed of 8.4 mph. It took us 9 hours and 45 minutes. We were both tired. Bob says we are never going to do that again. Of course he says that every time we do one of these long days. Maybe we should have just waited a day at Dock Holiday's and taken it more leisurely

We normally only stay 4 or 5 days with our children, but at this marina it is so much cheaper by the week that we are going to stay a week. It is also cheaper to rent a car for a week. Normally our son works 2nd shift Thursday through Monday and has Tuesday and Wednesday off. That's what we've based our schedule on- to be here Saturday and leave next Friday. But we find out that his hours are going to be different this week. He's working 2nd shift Saturday and Sunday and the working first shift Monday through Friday.

I checked us in at the fuel dock and Bob walked around to see where everything was. We went up to have dinner at the Reel Bar at the Hilton. We didn't want to bother with a full dinner at the 'real' restaurant. The girls behind the bar brought our dinners to us while we sat in the lounge chairs and we ate off the coffee table. There were some cute kids there presumably with their parents and grandparents. I looked at the TV while we ate.

I also look and the dates on our registration slip are wrong, so I go get it changed. We are on D dock - not very far from the gas dock, which is good because I don't have so far to walk to the bathrooms there.
Bathrooms on the gas dock

Bathrooms on the gas dock


They have green and red markers as men and women's signs. They no longer have phone lines at the slip so I go up and send emails.

While I was downloading email in the main office, I heard about a guy who worked for DNR who'd been out in a boat about 45 minutes away who had a heart attack, and was being brought in to the marina. Reportedly, the Coast Guard refused to come and get him - he died.
Sunset

Sunset

031114-1751Image048.jpgSunset at the marina

Sunset at the marina


Saturday 15 November 2003

Our oldest daughter D is having trouble getting email to me - pocketmail seems to have put filters on without telling me. We get our rental car from Enterprise, and Bob stopped by Radio Shack to buy a cable. He watered the batteries and then we went to our son's house and got our schedules organized. We left when he went to work after I downloaded email, and we picked up the prescriptions that had been forwarded by our daughter.
Daughter-in-law and son in their kitchen

Daughter-in-law and son in their kitchen


We then went down to the Maritime Center and visited CSY 33 deLight, who was docked there. There is a big sunken sightseeing boat in the inner basin which the dockmasters are upset about.
CSY deLight at the dock

CSY deLight at the dock


Max was not on the boat, but we waited around a bit and found that he'd been taking a shower. Then we drove out into town to find a place to eat. We went by Hyman's and there was a line already and it wasn't even 5:30. We found someone leaving a metered parking place and slid into it and started to walk. We stopped at two Italian places - neither one opened until 6, and one said he was full and had no room anyway.

When we saw the sign for Vickery's, our friend said it was a kind of pub/bar place. So I said - they've probably got a happy hour and are open now. So we went in, and they were. There is another Vickery's on the other side of the river in the Mt. Pleasant area.
Vickery sign

Vickery sign

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant


They seated us inside (it was too cold for outside) and billed each of us separately - I guess the waitress could not figure out who went with who. Our friend Max had two appetizers and two Rolling Rock beers on the happy hour specials (wings and quesadilla). I had black eyed pea fritters ($1.00), a cup of gazpacho (very spicy with a lot of onion), and a tossed salad with bacon and drank iced tea, and Bob had a chef's salad with salmon and also drank tea. The whole bill for the three of us was $36.52 including a $6.00 tip. I would have had dessert, but the two guys were falling to sleep.

Sunday 16 November 2003
Looking across to Charleston

Looking across to Charleston

Knotted dock rope

Knotted dock rope


It has been glassy calm the last couple of days - we do have some mild wakes from the freighters going in and out of the harbor.
Reflections in the marina

Reflections in the marina

RosalieAnn at the dock

RosalieAnn at the dock


My stepstool to get onto RosalieAnn

My stepstool to get onto RosalieAnn

Looking down the sterns of the boats in the marina

Looking down the sterns of the boats in the marina


There is a wireless network in the marina, which I eventually get to work. Bob washed the boat. He says the alternator bracket is broken and he can find no one in Mt. Pleasant who will do the welding.

We left the boat at noon and he went to Walmart and Home Depot. Then we got caught in a motorcycle cavalcade. We went to Robs and stayed until he left for work.

We were driving around in the dark trying to find a place to eat. We tried the restaurant next to The Trawler and couldn't even get into the parking lot. So we went there.
View from The Trawler restaurant

View from The Trawler restaurant


The place was almost deserted. I see by searching on the internet that it has many bad reviews, including bad service. I didn't think it was that bad. I think Bob had shrimp appetizer as an entree
Bob's steamed shrimp

Bob's steamed shrimp


and
Bread pudding $4.50 for dessert.

Bread pudding $4.50 for dessert.


Creme brule

Creme brule


I had creme brulee for dessert for $4.95- that's something I get almost every time I can. The whole dinner including tip was $46.70 for two of us. Then we got gas in the car.

Monday 17 November 2003

I called Dell and after 1.5+ hours on the phone being shifted from one person to another around and around, I finally gave up on getting credit for the RW drive which makes the black Dell hang, and ordered another one.

Bob went out - still unable to find anyone in Mt. Pleasant and drove all the way back to Summerville where the Caterpillar place did the welding for him for free. They gave it to him red hot (on a wire) and he quenched it in a mud puddle so that he could put it in the car without burning it up. He also found a Perkins place and ordered a replacement bracket. He reinstalled the bracket on the engine.

We didn't go to Robs because he was working 4 to midnight Sunday and then 8-4 on Monday. We went up to Andolini's Pizza. You give your order in at the counter, and pay and then sit down at a table and some apparently free lance waiters bring you your order. I considered getting a Calzone, but eventually we just got a large cheese pizza and some breadsticks. The pizza and bread sticks were $21.50 and we left the waiter $2.00. There was too much to eat so we took some back to the boat.
Andolini's pizza

Andolini's pizza


Their website says: "We make our own dough, grate our own cheese, and make fresh sauce daily. N.Y. style pizza comes naturally to us, as Michael Rabin, the founder of Andolinis Pizza, was born in Queens, New York. Edie, his wife, not only makes all the dough, but she helps make it all happen too. Michael's brother, Neil, was born in Brooklyn and is our "chief cook and bottle washer." As you can see, we are family owned and operated and have been serving great N.Y. style pizza to the people of Charleston since 1991. "

Tuesday 18 November 2003

They delivered my RW drive to the boat (I put my slip number on my order). They also delivered Bob's new bracket, but in spite of the fact that he spelled the name of the boat for them 3 times, they sent it to "Roady Ann" and the marina couldn't figure out who that was. So we didn't get that until November 20th. We went to Rob's and we got two of the packages that D sent, but not the photoworks package. It never did come and I had to order a replacement.

We watched our grandson playing basketball
01.jpgBob and son's family at basketball practice

Bob and son's family at basketball practice

03.jpgStretching and Basketball practice

Stretching and Basketball practice

Wednesday 19 November 2003

Bob insisted we'd have good wind and should go outside down to FL on Friday. He went to Shem Creek and bought shrimp and steamed them. Rob came over after work (he works just around the corner from the marina) and we ate them.

Thursday 20 November, 2003

Bob found that his part had arrived, and then we went to the commissary and exchange. We went to Rob's but the last package had still not arrived.
TV room

TV room

Grandson's guitars

Grandson's guitars

Granddaughter's new bed

Granddaughter's new bed


We took the family out to dinner at Oscar's before we left Charleston. This is my DIL's favorite place.
Oscar's

Oscar's


My husband had Three Amigos dish ($8.95). My DIL had she crab soup first ($3.95) and then she had two crab cake appetizers.
Two Crab Cake Appetizer $8.95

Two Crab Cake Appetizer $8.95


My granddaughter had hamburger and fries ($2.95). I had the
Sirloin special on spinach and sweet potato fries

Sirloin special on spinach and sweet potato fries


with a side salad for $18.95, and for dessert - ice cream crepe for $3.25. The ice cream crepes are now $4.50

Friday, 21 November 2003

Bob returned the car to the office. I could not boot up the Toshiba, so I prepped the black Dell and had a shower. We cast off about 0920. Other than my having some difficulty holding the boat to the dock so Bob could get back on, we had no difficulty getting out of the marina. We set off to go out of the harbor into the Atlantic

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:54 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Seceding from South Carolina

Meeting my Sister


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Winter in Marathon & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Overnight to Florida

When we last saw our intrepid sailors they were bravely venturing forth out of Charleston harbor.
Brown haze over the city

Brown haze over the city


The sky over Charleston is a funny yellowish color down by the city. The rest of the sky is blue and clear. We went past Ft. Sumter
large_x1121-1011Image001.jpg
and Ft. Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.
Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie


We've visited Ft. Sumter with our grandchildren, but we have not yet been to Ft. Moultrie. We pass the Sullivan's Island lighthouse and I take several pictures as we go along.
Sullivan's Island lighthouse

Sullivan's Island lighthouse


When I look for information on the internet, I find that the lighthouse is triangular and was built in 1962. It has been declared 'surplus property' by the Coast Guard, but it is not open to the public.
Fort Sumter with the ferry

Fort Sumter with the ferry


We see the Fort Sumter ferry approaching the fort at 10:15.

Then we went out through the jetties, which are under water at high tide. Sometimes people who aren't familiar with the harbor and have no charts come to grief on these jetties because they don't see them or know they are there. The tide was going out at about 2 knots (our SOG i.e. speed over ground) is 7 knots but through the water we are only doing 5.3 knots), so we have a BIG boost and are going 8.8 mph.
Fishing boats

Fishing boats


There are lots of little fishing boats inside the jetties. When we get out past the jetties we turn south. I look back and see the morning sun on Ft. Sumter and the brown haze over the city.
Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter


Bob pulled out the main and staysail, but there wasn't much wind.
Morris Island lighthouse in the distance

Morris Island lighthouse in the distance


We can still see the shore, and we see a lighthouse south of Charleston which I believe is Morris Island Light near Folly Beach. We see dolphins which play 'chicken' with the boat for 15 minutes or so - racing alongside and then darting across in front. Again I didn't get any pictures because I was afraid if I went to get the camera, they'd be gone.

1240 - I still have enough of a signal on the bag phone to do pocketmail. We've been 25.5 sm and 22 nm.

1346 I took a nap. While I was napping, Bob said that a CG helicopter buzzed us and also buzzed some other boats.

1435 - trip 39.5 sm or 34 nm approaching St. Helena Sound. There's very little signal on the bag phone and none on the ATT phone. Wind is 10-11 knots from the SE. I took another nap. Bob refuses to nap.

1600 Retrieved pocketmail - ATT cell phone has no signal.

November 21, 2003 - Evening

1735 (5:35 pm) - Trip 60.3 sm or 52 nm. The sun has set and the lights are on. We are between Port Royal sound and Savannah. We've eaten dinner.

Bob went down at about 1745, but came up at 1945 saying he couldn't sleep. While he was attempting to sleep, I dodged some freighters, saw some more dolphins and saw a meteor. I can still do pocketmail. We are hearing radio traffic from Charleston, and Savannah both. We do get some warning when the big ships say they are going out the channel.

Night time - November 21, 2003

The stars are very bright except near shore where I can see the glow in the sky from the various cities we pass - first Charleston and then I guess Beaufort (dimmer) and then Savannah. I try to take a picture, but am unsuccessful.

There are big rollers coming from the east, but the surface of the water is pretty smooth and I can see the low stars reflected. Sometimes I can't tell that it is a star and not a ship - until of course it gets above the horizon a bit. There's also some kind of strobe thing west of us.

I went down and slept from about 2000 to about 2330.

2344 - Trip 102 sm. I reminded Bob that he never could sleep underway in the aft cabin, so he went down to the main saloon. I started hearing the CG asking if anyone had seen a red parachute flare, but I had not.
0130 - Bob said he'd slept a little, so I went down to the aft cabin (I can sleep there perfectly well) and stayed there until 0530. Bob went to the forward cabin to try and rest again.

Dawn - November 22, 2003

Dawn on the Atlantic at 6:50 am

Dawn on the Atlantic at 6:50 am


At 0630, the sky started to lighten up

0648 - trip 150 sm - average speed 7 mph - 130 nm Water depth is 60 feet, course 218 deg. Wind 8.4 knots - SOG 5.7 knots - speed through the water 5.8 knots - there is a little current against us.

The sky gets lighter as the sun begins to come up.
Dawn - is that land to the East?

Dawn - is that land to the East?


It looks like there is land to the east of us (which I know is not so). It's a bank of low lying clouds. The ships in the Savannah River are complaining about fog. I turn off the night colors on the computer (the night time vision lights are red like in a darkroom so as not to destroy our night vision) and turn off the GPS lights but leave the running lights on. I try hard to get a picture of the sun coming up behind the clouds
Sun rising 7:15 off the coast of Georgia

Sun rising 7:15 off the coast of Georgia

0700 - I estimate about 30 sm to go to the St. Mary's River inlet. By 7:30, the sun is well up. At night-time you can see the lights of the ATON (Aids TO Navigation) for a long distance. In the daytime you can't see them as well because they don't stand out as much. OTOH you can see the ships better during the day.

I see the rollers up ahead look like breaking surf, but it isn't. Later, Bob said that he saw that phenomena yesterday but didn't say anything to me because he thought I might give him a hard time about it (I don't like big waves).

Someone with a DSC radio (Digital Selective Calling) has broadcast a distress signal. There is considerable traffic with the CG in various places with other folks who have a DSC radio who got the distress signal. We don't have a DSC radio. Apparently the DSC radios give the number of the radio broadcasting the distress call and the other radios can read the number.

0805 - Off St. Andrews Sound (Brunswick GA). Trip 158 sm average 7 mph. 18 sm to the inlet. Bob got up and shaved and we ate breakfast.

0847 - trip 163 sm - 14 sm from the St. Mary's channel

0930 - trip 168 sm. We can see the stacks of the paper mills at Fernandina in the distance.
Paper mill

Paper mill


We saw a big power cat heading north. Someone has called the CG to report the sighting of a whale (black) The next day I heard a funny story about this inlet. We were talking about the current. Someone said that a friend was out fishing and not paying much attention to where he was. He drifted back and forth with the current and tide. When it was time to go home, he headed for the mills that he could see. But the inlet didn't look familiar to him. It turned out that he had gone in to Brunswick Inlet instead of the St. Mary's River. (Brunswick also has paper mills - the Inlet is one that shouldn't be done without sufficient local knowledge.)

I called Fernandina on the bag phone - there's no signal on the ATT phone. I know that they don't take reservations, but I'm hoping to get there in time to get space on the inside docks which are less exposed to the weather. The bag phone has an external antenna (we are using the antenna as a flag staff which is on the stern of the boat), plus it has a bigger, heavier and more powerful battery. That's why it gets a signal when the little cell phone cannot.

0944 Bob went to the head, and the alternator started to squeal and the apparent rpms went down below 10K. He looked and said the house water system pump was leaking on the alternator belt and that's what was causing the squeal. The bilge was also almost full of water. He started the bilge pump and he turned off the pressure water system and said we wouldn't have water until that was fixed.

1000 - Finally have one bar on the ATT cell phone. At least there is something, although it is too little to actually have a conversation. We played chicken with a shrimp boat trailing nets, but "let him" win.
Shrimp boat

Shrimp boat


There are shrimp boats all over - north of the inlet - south of the inlet - converging - diverging.

Bob notes that the lighted range markers have us outside of the channel.
x1122-1052Image032.jpgApproaching a range

Approaching a range


Hear a boat repeatedly calling a Navy vessel. I think it is a tug calling.
Tug in the inlet by Cumberland Island

Tug in the inlet by Cumberland Island


Don't see any Navy vessel and never hear the Navy vessel answer. But we do see a tug.

They've renumbered the buoys in the inlet and the one marked #16 on the chart is now #10. This doesn't make a problem for us because we have the chart on the computer and it shows us where we are in relation to the shore, but for cruisers on the ICW who are turning at a certain buoy number, rather than going to a location by GPS, it means that they might end up in St. Mary's Georgia instead of Fernandina Beach, Florida.

There is a LOT of current in the inlet channel. It takes us about a hour and a half to get in the inlet
Kayaks in the inlet

Kayaks in the inlet

Shrimp boat

Shrimp boat

x1122-1236uImage056.jpgFort Clinch

Fort Clinch

Range marker in the channel

Range marker in the channel


because the current out against us made our progress so slow.
Fort Clinch park dock

Fort Clinch park dock

Crane

Crane

Boats in the anchorage

Boats in the anchorage


We finally tie up at the marina after a trip of 187 sm (or 163 nm - nautical miles) with an average speed of 6.8 mph - maximum speed of 10.4 mph. It took us 27.5 hours to do the trip, and we've saved 5 stops, but Bob is extremely cranky from lack of sleep.

We are too late to get an inside dock. The outside docks are really unsafe and certainly uncomfortable in a NW wind. But the weather is calm and sunny so it shouldn't make much difference. Before we tie up for good we get 41 gals of fuel and try to pump out the new holding tank, but there's not enough in it to pump it out yet. The marina has an internet connection in the office. They have showers, fuel and ice. The old town is right there in walking distance, but a grocery store is about 2 miles away.
Tied up behind FOUR SEASONS

Tied up behind FOUR SEASONS


The dock people take pity on us and put us right behind a power boat named FOUR SEASONS instead of all the way down at the end of the dock. Down there we'd have to walk a quarter mile just to get to the bathrooms.
Yellow catamaran at the end of the docks

Yellow catamaran at the end of the docks

One of the foreign boats that is anchored in the anchorage across from the marina - a big catamaran from Scandinavia, came in to get fuel.

We had dinner at the Marina Restaurant early,
The Marina Restaurant.

The Marina Restaurant.


but they don't have Early Bird specials on weekends. The Marina Restaurant is not the restaurant at the marina. It is near the marina in town.

We walked up to Fernandina Fudge This shop makes their own candy and also sells ice cream. They advertise "Our Fudge and Chocolates are made in the traditional way using all natural ingredients, cooked in a copper kettle and made on a marble slab."and Bob got fudge and I got a half pound box of pralines for $5.00
Fernandina Fudge Candy store

Fernandina Fudge Candy store


The CG boat SHRIKE (which is the name of a bird) was at the dock getting fuel when we got back to the boat.
Coast Guard boat SHRIKE

Coast Guard boat SHRIKE


Bob said he had trouble sleeping.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

My sister made arrangements to go to Amelia Island Plantation for a couple of days before Thanksgiving for a short break. She was going to meet us at Fernandina. She was supposed to fly in on Saturday, but my BIL was very sick, so she postponed the whole vacation a day.

We talk to various people on the docks.
Electric pedestal at the marina by RosalieAnn

Electric pedestal at the marina by RosalieAnn


Bob got the dink down from the davits and scrubbed the diesel smoke off the aft end. We talked to John and Barbara some Canadians who had two goldens - an older male and a 3 month old female puppy. They have a Krogen on the inside of the south side of the docks and are leaving it here and going home for Christmas. The south side docks closest to shore have no water at low tide
x031123-1447Image012.jpgLow tide at the inside southside docks

Low tide at the inside southside docks


Bob discovers that John was a naval aviator in the Canadian navy. Bob also cycled out to the Winn Dixie and we spent some time watching people smoke their tires trying to retrieve their boats at the boat ramp. I did email and found out from Kevin, the dock master, that the tides are especially high - they are 8.8 feet since it is a new moon.

THe CG boat moved to behind us
Coast Guard boat docking - will it crush the little yellow catamaran?

Coast Guard boat docking - will it crush the little yellow catamaran?


and I thought they were going to crush the yellow catamaran behind them. It's a whole lot more difficult for them than it is for us - mostly because the helm and the line handlers aren't in contact with each other. Everyone is very careful not to make wakes with the CG here.

Pablo Creek is the place we normally stay just before St. Augustine, but they aren't answering the phone. I find Beach Marine is just a little farther along past Pablo Creek. so I make a reservation there for Monday.

We had conversations with my sister Barbara on the phone. They landed in Jax, but they lost her bag. They checked in to the hotel and our BIL George took a nap. Bob bought some shrimp at the seafood market next to the marina bathrooms and steamed them, and then Barbara and George came down to the boat and we ate shrimp.
Eating shrimp in the cockpit

Eating shrimp in the cockpit


They had trouble figuring out how to get down to the boat. It is simple from the dock to the land - there's only one way to do it. From the other direction it looks as if you can get out to the transient dock by walking along the south side docks.
To the south side docks

To the south side docks


My sister's photo of the incorrect dock access

My sister's photo of the incorrect dock access


But there's no connection between that dock and ours.
High tide

High tide


After we ate the shrimp that Bob steamed, we got into their car and looked for a place to eat that we might not be able to get to on foot. But my BIL had just been very sick with a high fever and didn't feel like eating very much, or anything very spicy. He also doesn't eat much meat or fat. So we ended up at the Loop Grill which is a chain of franchises with headquarters in Jacksonville which is mostly in Florida, but also has some locations in Georgia, and NC. They have pizzas, burgers, salads, wraps, soups and desserts
The side of the Loop Grille with my sister BIL and husband walking in - part of the neon sign is out (the OP of Loop isn't lit)

The side of the Loop Grille with my sister BIL and husband walking in - part of the neon sign is out (the OP of Loop isn't lit)


Barbara had a walnut salad which looked good.
Walnut salad

Walnut salad


George and Bob and I had the black bean soup which added impetus to our lower digestive trace for several days. Bob and I also had a chicken caesar wrap
Bean soup and wrap

Bean soup and wrap


and Bob had a milkshake.

We challenged my sister to ride from Amelia Island to Jacksonville with us, and she decided to do that.

Monday, November 24, 2003
Sunrise from the marina

Sunrise from the marina


We were up early because we wanted to leave at high tide as far as possible to avoid the shoaling in the Amelia River and Nassau Sound. I took some pictures of the plovers on the pier.
Plovers on the docks at 7:45

Plovers on the docks at 7:45


Barbara boarded earlier than she probably wanted to (being a night owl), and we cast off at 0745.
Amelia Island marina sign with Manatee area sign

Amelia Island marina sign with Manatee area sign


She ate her breakfast, which she brought with her. We came down to the railroad bridge
Railroad Bridge

Railroad Bridge


and were so close to it when we went through that I could read a notice stenciled on it about lead paint. But I didn't get my digital camera unlimbered fast enough to take a picture of the sign. As we went through, I looked back and saw someone on the bridge. When I used the binoculars, I saw someone clambering around on the bridge, and pretty soon, the bridge CLOSED. I'd never seen that bridge used before.
Closed Railroad Bridge

Closed Railroad Bridge

large_0840Image016.jpg
Bob made my sister take the wheel for a bit,
My sister at the wheel

My sister at the wheel


but I missed the fact that there was a range and she wouldn't know what that was. So when we came to it, she asked which way to go, and Bob said it didn't matter. Since it was high tide, there wasn't any particular indication as to which side was the shallow side, and she picked to go on the wrong side of it, which mean that the depth sounder went off.

So Bob took over and promptly ran aground. The tide was high (remember 8.1 foot tides), so we'd have been aground well before this at low tide. The depth sounder starts to sound at 7 ft. and we stop forward movement at 4.6 ft. Bob backed off without any problem.-

She took a nap in the main saloon. While she was napping, we crossed Nassau Sound and I think I saw some of the buildings of their hotel up on the ridge. Most of those buildings seem to look the same from a distance. I didn't want to wake her up and ask her.
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


We also saw the Nassau Sound bridge which is currently non-functional because the inlet is closed.
Nassau Sound non-opening swing bridge

Nassau Sound non-opening swing bridge


My BIL will be traversing the bridge by car on the way to pick up my sister. He will also have to take the Ferry from Ft. George Island to Mayport.

We got to the Sister's Creek bridge about 10, and went through without any problem.
Approaching Sister's Creek bridge

Approaching Sister's Creek bridge

Sister's Creek bridge with a tide board showing 19 feet clearance at the center when the bridge is closed

Sister's Creek bridge with a tide board showing 19 feet clearance at the center when the bridge is closed

Our mast and the raised Sister's Creek Bridge

Our mast and the raised Sister's Creek Bridge

We passed the boatyard that is hard by the bridge,
Shipyard by Sister's Creek

Shipyard by Sister's Creek


and could see the big ships going up and down the St. John's River ahead of us. I took some pictures of the yard on the north side of the river and then we managed to cross. We saw ships going down the river before we crossed it,
Approaching the St. John River

Approaching the St. John River


and we saw ships going down the river after we crossed it, but when we crossed there were no big ships going up or down. We only had to worry about the current in the river and finding the entrance to the ICW between the rock jetties on the other side.
Ships at Mayport

Ships at Mayport


After we crossed the river we could look east and see the Mayport Navy boats and a helicopter. Our nephew (my sister's son) was stationed there for a time.

They are building a new high rise bridge which doesn't appear to be 65 feet - it was only 63 or 64 feet on the tide boards.
Tideboard with only 64 feet

Tideboard with only 64 feet


We went under it without a problem as our mast is only 58.5 feet.
Under construction bridge

Under construction bridge

Construction

Construction

Standing wave from current by the bridge

Standing wave from current by the bridge


We passed Pablo Creek - or what WAS Pablo Creek. It is gone completely - leveled to the ground. Now I understand why they didn't answer the phone. Apparently the area is going to be used to construct condos with their own slips.
Where the Pablo Creek marina was and no longer is

Where the Pablo Creek marina was and no longer is


It is now almost one o'clock and my sister is starving to death. But I've become accustomed to Bob's habit of not eating until after we've safely anchored or tied up unless we aren't going to arrive until after 2 or 3 pm. She went foraging around and found some crackers to hold her over.

Beach Marine is a couple of miles farther past where Pablo Creek used to be. There is a Florida Fish and Game building on the north side of the channel with a big antenna.
Florida Fish and Game building

Florida Fish and Game building


There is another marina across the way, but it doesn't have enough channel depth for us. We tied up at Beach Marine after 31.3 sm at an average speed of 5.6 mph (we've had the current against us a lot of the time) at about 2 pm. We've done a total of 694 nm this trip. Beach Marine cost was $1.25/ft Electric and tax added up to $9.20. I wasn't able to use the internet although they say they have some. Their website says they have wet slips for travelers, laundry facilities, dry storage, T docks, easy safe access to the Intracoastal Waterway. Diesel and marine gas are available as well as parts and supplies. Nearby stores and shops provide everything one needs. Permanent dockage for on-board living features phone service, 30 and 50 amp electrical service and cable. There isn't much current in the marina, but the current through the McCormick bridge which is right next to it is *extremely* fast at some states of tide
Fairway at Beach Marine

Fairway at Beach Marine


RosalieAnn at the dock

RosalieAnn at the dock


While I went up to pay, Barbara and Bob went up to Billy's Boathouse Grille (the restaurant on site) to have a late lunch.
Billy's Boathouse

Billy's Boathouse


Bob had a coconut shrimp basket, and Barbara had a grilled snapper sandwich and I had a chicken sandwich with cheese and bacon. Barbara also had three appetizer crab cakes which she didn't care for as they were fried. The sauce was good though.

When I went up to try to do email (at which I was unsuccessful), I heard from the marina folks that there was going to be a vote tonight on whether to turn this marina into a condo arrangement too. This is very worrisome as there isn't really another good spot to stop between St. Augustine and Fernandina.
Sisters

Sisters

Sunset at Beach Marine

Sunset at Beach Marine


George meanwhile took A1A down the coast including a ferry and arrived at the marina about 5. We went out prospecting for a place to eat dinner that we wouldn't walk to from the marina and ended up at Tsunami, a Japanese restaurant in Jax Beach.
Tsunami restaurant

Tsunami restaurant


George and Barbara apparently did a piece for US 1 (their local free newspaper) where they ate at 6 different Japanese restaurants in 7 days, so they were able to help us with what to order. But Bob was so tired I thought he might fall asleep at the table (he still hadn't caught up on sleep from the 27 hours offshore) and I was also tired.

I had a seaweed salad, which wasn't quite what I expected,
Seaweed salad

Seaweed salad


sweet potato tempora (which was good but a little greasy tasting when cold)
Sweet potato tempura

Sweet potato tempura


and steak Kushyuki which was on skewers. Bob had the steak also.
Steak Kushyuki

Steak Kushyuki


George had the 16 piece of fish sushimi dinner with miso soup and Barbara had 6 piece sushi appetizer which included white tuna, red tuna, salmon, shrimp, yellowtail and snapper.
6 piece sushi appetizer

6 piece sushi appetizer


She also had the sunomono salad which had conch, octopus, crab, shrimp and cucumber in vinegar.
Sunomono salad with octopus

Sunomono salad with octopus


Bob and I took most of our steak back to the boat. We were really too tired to appreciate a new type of food. But George was quite enthusiastic about the restaurant. He paid the bill which was $72.10

George discussed the water massage that he had. Then they returned us to the boat and they went back to the resort. Bob told me later that I should never sign him up for anything like that.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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