Since we lost some time backtracking with the bridge issue and stayed in Hilton Head for two nights due to the very cold and windy weather. Cap’t John took a look at the offshore weather and we made the decision it was time to give up our ocean v-card and do an overnighter.
We pulled out of the marina at 10 am and right away we knew the gods blessed our voyage with Neptune sending a dolphin to show us the way. Of course he/she was camera shy and no photos were taken. Once we hit open water we even motor-sailed for awhile till the wind changed direction. We saw no one around us but one sailboat that fell behind in the wake of our massive speed. (6 knots-soooooo fast). Sunset was awesome and the seas were calm.
At about 8 pm the wind picked up to about 15 knots and right on the nose. The waves were about 3 or 4 feet. So “fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy night”. And it was, but she took it and so did we. I was able to cat nap some and took the helm again around 4:30 am. John took a short nap but all of a sudden our radar was filled with boats. We were about 1/2 hour from the entrance to St John’s Inlet and it was still dark. I called my captain up and he took over and we made the decision to go out to sea a bit to avoid the boats till we could see better aka letting the sun come up. And the sunrise was glorious!
With the sun up we could see all the sport fisherman leaving and we were welcomed into the inlet by dolphins (see photo below-it was the very BEST I could do. I also saw my next vacation location. On the m/y Kismet, I only need 1.3 million for a week. Anyone want to come and pay a share? We saw some great homes along the way as well.
We located a marina here in Jacksonville Beach. We got here at about 10 am……so that was 24 hours on the water. Not bad. We showered(ahhhhhh), provisioned at Publix via Uber and had a beer in the sun. After dinner I went to bed at about 6:30 pm and slept for almost 12 hours per my fitbit. And now we are away to our next spot. Our goal is to be in Titusville to see the launch on 12/4. As we were leaving we saw a dragon boat team come by. Also we are going to miss their Christmas Boat Parade. Some of the boats are here in the marina with us to get ready.
11/25 we got back to the boat and we were able to provision and take the rental car back. After that it was dinner at Luther’s Rare & Well Done and a walk around town.
The next morning we headed south in search of the sun. Well we had some sun in the morning but clouds and very cold all day. We passed Hilton Head and Skull Creek, the home of the “Pinckney Painkiller”. It is the closest thing to a Soggy Dollar Painkiller outside of BVI. We decided to anchor near Turtle Island and it was one LOOOOONG and COLD night. Neither John or I were able to sleep much. So we were up early in search of warmth. Not much warmth to be found as you can see by John but we did make good time and cross into Georgia. We were leading a small pack of boats and at 9:45am, as we approached the Causton Bluff Bascule Bridge, John call for an opening and the bridge tender started to open and then stopped…….and then it closed. It appeared to have some issues so as the boats kind of bobbed around in the water they had the bridge checked out. All the captains made a decision to drop anchor at about 1:30pm to await an opening. At about 3:00pm we heard it was going to be closed for about 48 to 72 hours.
We made the decision to head back north, yes folks I said north (not my preferred direction) and we were able to get a slip for 2 nights at Harbour Town Yacht Basin in the Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head. Sigh……. heater sweet heater!
It has been a while since I posted and a lot has happened. I will get to that later. Now let me pick up where I left off.
On 11/10 we went to the Wacca Wache Marina. We got there early and John and I spent the day doing some chores. We hung some hooks, (so we could hang stuff), finished installing a screen door, (to kind of keep out bugs), and we fixed the fenders by getting the lines the right length and installing the fender covers I made and hooked them on the lifelines with the awesome product called “Fender Tenders”. After that it was an early dinner and sleep. When we looked out at the area you could kind of see the flood line from Hurricane Florence.
It was then up early and out on the water to make up some time. We had 6 good but cold hours on the water and we headed to Leeland Marina. It is in a very protective cove and we tied up for the night. Showers, dinner and bed. Such is the hard life on the water. Ha, ha, ha!
Our plan the next day (11/12) was to head out to Charleston for two nights. We love going there by car for long weekends and wanted to spend some time sightseeing. The day was cold and wet all day with lots of fog off and on. As we were making our way there we got some bad news. Our brother-in-law Bill passed away from cancer. We changed our stay at The Harborage at Ashley marina from two night to one week and the next morning we got a rental car and headed home to celebrate his life.
Bill was a wonderful man and he fought cancer for 2 years and never lost his smile. He always had an inner light about him that was full of love and life. He will be missed. It was good to be with our family but on 11/17 we drove back to our floating home.
As it was getting close to Thanksgiving, our plan was to head to Beaufort SC and leave the boat for a week while we spent time with our daughter Katie and our dear friends Bonnie and Richard.
On 11/18 we headed out to an anchorage on the Ashepoo River. It was a beautiful place. Quiet and calm the boat was a dream to sleep in all night. The only thing was the current was running fast and we could hear it.
But the good sandy bottom held tight and we sleept like a dream.
The next day we did not have to rush as it was only about 4 hours to the Downtown Marina of Beaufort SC. It was sunny, some what warm and a very nice ride. After we went through the Ladies Island Swing Bridgen we pulled into the marina. I would like to say that it was easy peasy but it was not. We pulled in with a 4 knot current pushing against us and a strong wind off the bow. The dock master was at lunch so it was just the captain at the helm and his trusty first mate to tie up. The plan was for me to “jump” of the stearn and tie off. Well, here lies the problem. I am not coordinated. There I said it, I am NOT coordinated! While no one got hurt or wet, (that had been my thought of what the outcome would be), we still had to make about 3 tries and we were glad for the help of a couple who had been there on their boat. The four of us got Dreamers tied up and a sigh of relief came out of my mouth that I was not injured or wet! Again with the wet thing……..I know for a fact, I can see it in my future that I will be wet one day while trying to do something like this. I just hope the water is warm and clear. Ha, ha, ha.
Showers and then we walked around the downtown area looking for dinner. We found it at a cool place called Luther’s Rare & Well Done. The food was good and the beer cold. Back to the boat and a great sunset.
11/20 we picked up the rental car and headed to Boonville NC for the holiday.
Thanksgiving weekend at the Lasky’s was great. Bonnie and Richard were so wonderful to include us in their celebrations. We got to jump into their annual Thanksgiving dinner with their friends, so I called it the 1st annual Lasky, Swann, Teachey, Ferrell Friendsgiving. We were even able to contribute to the dinner with my sister-in-law’s mashed potatoes and my mother-in-law’s dressing. We ate till our tummies were full and then watched the Cowboys beat the Redskins! Go Cowboys!
Friday brought us clouds but we girls had a day of pampering. Lunch out and then over to European Touch Day Spa for massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Ahhhhhhh how to make a girl feel good.
John and Richard did some guy stuff (does anyone really know what guys do without their women around.) I now do. They go to the hardware store and then have burgers and beer for lunch. Mystery solved! John even came home and made the famous Ferrell Turkey & Dough for dinner.
Saturday we went to brunch and to see the new Grinch movie. I sure LOVE me some Benedict Cumberbatch.
Bright and early Sunday we will be heading back to the boat. I sure hope we start heading to some warm weather.
We left Middle Sound Anchorage on 11/8 after a goodbye visit from our neighbors.
Every night John and I have a nav brief. That is where we discuss the plans for the next day. We knew we would have to go through the Cape Fear River and due to the current we needed to plan our approach. John hit the nail on the head and we flew down the river going 11 kts. It was a nice day to be on the water, cool and partly cloudy.
After we got through the river we decided to stay at St James Marina. It is a very nice gated community and they had a restaurant on site. (Yeah, I don’t have to cook!) Off to the showers and a late lunch. Awwwwwww John and I both had a juicy bacon cheeseburger and our tummy’s were happy all night.
On 11/9 we left around 8am heading south. We crossed into South Carolina around 11:30. The water was some clearer as we were close to the ocean and we saw a few dolphins(they were to shy to allow me to photo them). Along the way we also saw some great homes, wrecked boats, casino ships and Santa. (I sometimes forget we are approaching the holidays.) I just hope Santa will remember I waved to him when checks his naughty or nice list.
We ended up staying in North Myrtle Beach at Barefoot Marina. John and I took our first Lyft ride to Walmart for provisions. It was not bad. I guess now that will be how we will take short trips. That night as we enjoyed our beer and cooked dinner we were able to enjoy live music from the restaurant across the ICW. I am just glad it was music we liked.
This morning we headed out through the Waccamaw River and we had planned to anchor out for the night, but since it will be a very chilly 39 tonight we pulled into the Wacca Wache Marina. They were great and very welcoming even though they are still recovering from the flood waters Hurricane Florence sent their way.
On 11/5 we left Bellhaven and headed out. We knew we wanted to try and anchor again so we were in search of a good spot. It was a cloudy day but the temperature was mild.
We were making good time so we headed past Oriental and up Adams Creek. Our book ICW & Atlantic Coast noted a calm spot on Back Creek. We got there around 3:30 and there was one other boat there already. We dropped anchor and had our celebratory beer. Dinner was cooked, eaten and cleaned up and we fell asleep. Now if you read about or first night on anchor, you know it was ROUGH. Well, I can tell you this spot was so calm, it was like sleeping on land. Our boat has not been that quiet and calm EVER. I slept like a log.
In the morning after coffee we headed out. Weather was going to be very windy and if it was going to be rough we were going to stop in either Beaufort or Morehead City. When we went past MoreheadCity, we saw “our” Hampton Inn. John and I have stayed there several times and have always enjoyed our time there. When we got to that point we decided to keep moving as we were having fun in the sun. We hit Bogue Sound and even raised the foresail for awhile. (Not long as the wind was not in our favor.)
With the weather in our favor we headed on and ended up in Swansboro at Dudley’s Marina. We saw some damage from Hurricane Florence along the way and Dudley’s had some shoaling and we hit bottom (our draft is 3‘5”) going to the first place they wanted us to go. After some discussion we went to a different pier and tied up for the night. Our evening was the same as the night before beer, dinner, clean up and bed.
We were up early and headed out and it was a great day to be on the water, sunny and warm. We even saw some dolphin playing but you know by the time I got my camera out the were gone.
Tonight we are anchored in Middle Sound. It is between Topsail Beach and Wrightsville Beach. The plan for tonight? I bet you can guess.
When John and I first dreamed a dream of living the sailing life we would travel from Chesapeake to vacation in the Outer Banks or visit his sister we would cross the ICW near Coinjock and I would have to ask over and over “which way would we be going down the ICW”. It took a while before I got it! A lot of the time John’s mom was driving with us and she would just laugh at me and it became known as my bridge. Well this time I got to go UNDER my bridge heading south and living my dream!
We left Coinjock 11/3 on a cold and very windy morning. We had 2 plans a “this is where we want to go” plan and an “oh shit” plan.
We headed out ready to cross the Albemarle Sound. It is a wide piece of water and the weather called for heavy chop. Your intrepid captain and first mate got to the sound and picked the first plan and away we went. In at least 4 foot seas. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING rolled and bounced. I stayed inside and poor John had to brave the winds and he got us through. My hero!
When we went through the Alligator River it calmed down and found what looked to be a good anchorage. There was even a sailboat already there. We got there and it was great. We dropped the anchor like pros and she set in the mud in about 9 feet of water. We celebrated with some champagne and since we were so tired we went to bed. While I was in my kerchief and pa in his cap we just settled down for long restful sleep that sneaky wind changed on us and started the waves hitting us broadsided. Now there was no real issue with that but it was loud, very loud. John got up to check on things as so not to keep waking me up he stayed in the salon.
Now, I was able to sleep off and on but then “nature” called and I had to get up. Now I don’t want anyone to freak out but when I put my feet on the floor it was wet, very wet. So what do I do but call my captain. It turned out that the waves were hitting the boat just right to push water up into the bilges . In action we go to pump the water out and while it is not hard it did take some time.
As the sun come up we are pumping and cleaning up the mess and then off we go heading down the Alligator River/Pungo River Canal. It was a nice calm ride after the day before. We even passed Mile Marker 100. We had a game plan to head to Belhaven and found The River Forest Marina. We got here and it is very nice. They took a hit from the Hurricane but are fixing the piers and damage. I have to say this is a great place. The showers are very clean and nice and they have free washers and dryers and golf carts for our use. So I got a great shower, a whole pile of clean cloths and a tour of the town. Dinner on the boat and sleep are in my future.
We spent a 2nd night in Great Bridge to finish up the sale of our car and to do some last minute shopping. We had all kinds of visitors to say goodbye. On Wednesday we saw John’s mom Frances and his sister Holly and on Thursday we saw my friend Kim and her hubby Buddy, John’s sister Christy, our friend and former neighbor Pat and our nephew Eric and his wife VeNessa. It was so nice to have them all wish us well on our new adventure.
Friday morning we we hit the water with some rain and mist. It was a good 5 to 6 hours till we reached Conjock NC. We tied up at the Conjock Marina. The nice dock hands helped us get tied up. It was VERY nice to have a good warm shower after being damp all day. It was also cool to already recognize people we have already met. Everyone is so nice and it will be fun to see how many different people we meet along the way.
We invited Christy to join us for dinner here, as it was on her way home. We have been hearing about the Conjock prime rib so it was always our plan to eat here. John and I each got the “small” one. I did not put much of a hurting on mine so we have plenty for dinner tomorrow.
Our plan right now is to anchor near the Alligator River Bridge. This will be the first time we have anchored with this boat.
On a sad note. Over the summer me met some nice people while we were at Tidewater Yacht and I just wanted to say goodbye to Blu.
We lost Blu a few days ago and he will be missed by everyone there. My heart goes out to his human Ted as Blu walks over that Rainbow Bridge.