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Special Introduction POEM and SONG! FUN! GIVE IT A TRY!
11/2/01 Friday, 12:30 p.m. The limousine picks us up in Durham for our trek to Rock Hall, Maryland. Wouldn't you know it, he sends the stretch limo. We certainly had plenty of room for the three cats, JoJo, Jezabelle and Sparky, in their carriers, that were "lucky" to be chosen to make this first leg of our trip with us. All was fairly quiet on the ride. I think they all realized what style they were riding in! Arrived in Rock Hall about three hours later, loaded the last bit of things on board and tried to quell some of the excitement that we both were feeling. Hayden from "Island Spirit" bid us farewell this evening after taking a couple of departing pictures.
11/3/01 Saturday, 7:15 a.m. Left Spring Cove Marina for the last time after seven years. Very much enjoyed all of our time spent at this lovely location on Swan Creek in Rock Hall, Maryland. After talking about being able to sail out of the bay onto new locations south, the dream is finally a reality. It is cloudy and there is no wind. Water is smooth so motoring is a breeze. Funny we should look to our starboard side because we heard some commotion and it was our send-off committee, Hayden in his power boat! What a surprise. He took a lot of pictures, which we haven't had the pleasure of seeing as of yet but will be attached at the publication of this writing. Clouds eventually gave way to some light rain, then cleared out to total sunshine around 2 p.m. After traveling about 60 miles, we arrive at Solomons, Maryland, our port for the evening.
11/4/01 Sunday, 7:15 a.m. Depart Solomons on this crystal clear day. After just one day of moving on the boat, we realize that JoJo (the black cat) is a real Old Salt. It took her zero time to adjust, didn't hide and was out in the cockpit stealing one of our comfortable recliners to relax in the sun. She was a real joy to watch, seemed like she was in her element. Now Jezabelle is another story. She likes to scream and holler and fight with everyone else, letting everyone know she is not happy with this present situation she has found herself in at all! After traveling 50 miles, we arrive at our next port at 5:30 p.m., at Jackson Creek in Deltaville, Virginia, on the Piankatank River. They are calling for high winds the next couple of days so we will take a much-needed chill-out and catch-our-breath break.
11/5 & 6/01 Monday and Tuesday. Stayed holed up in Jackson Creek waiting out the very gusty winds. Had lunch in town, checked e-mail at the library, got fuel and checked out the Island Packet dealer at the marina. Jezzabelle is starting to adjust.
11/7/01 Wednesday, 5:30 a.m. Winds 10 NW. Up at 4:30 a.m. to get an early start out. David is bundled and waiting a bit before starting out. Left before daybreak (a first for us, we have never gone out at dark) shining the navigation lights on the buoys to make it out of the channel. We catch a beautiful sunrise at around 6:30 this morning. Travel down the Bay and into Norfolk and Portsmouth area. Hit the "0" marker for the ICW at exactly 1:08 p.m. Norfolk was amazing to travel through on the water with all the Navy operations and ships there. Went through a few bridges after getting through Norfolk, waiting for openings. At Great Bridge there is a lock you have to go through, was anticipating all day and after entering and getting all prepared, when they told us okay, time to disembark, I couldn't believe there wasn't more to it. Piece of cake! Arrived at Atlantic Yacht Basin at Great Bridge and docked at the bulkhead there. Had electric and water hook-up so it was a nice change. Walked into town and was surprised at how much the town had to offer as far as provisioning goes. They had a great supermarket, Farm Fresh, and any other store and restaurant imaginable. After traveling about 60 miles, we are at MM 12.
We find that the boats kind of go in shifts down the ICW as they tend to bottle up in groups of three or four at the bridges when you have to wait for openings. Also the stops seem to be pretty much 40 to 50 miles apart with not much anchorage or marina stops in between. No traveling after dark around here, which suits us fine.
11/8/01 Thursday 9:30 a.m. Yes, we slept in an extra hour this morning. Had to hover at Great Bridge (a bridge after the lock and marina) for 45 minutes, went on to Centerville Turnpike Bridge and he closed on us just as we got there so we had to hover there another 30 minutes to wait for the next opening. After 32 miles we anchored at Mile Marker (MM) 54 at Public Creek.
11/9/01 Friday, 6:15 a.m. We are now headed for Bonnie's much dreaded Albamarle Sound crossing (she listened to many stories about this one). Well, it lived up to its reputation. Calm winds this a.m., and on entering the Sound it was 14. Not bad, we can handle this. About the middle of our crossing we were getting steady 25, gusting to 35 - 38NW!! (ouch) Luckily it was a NW wind so we were going with the waves and not against. The water is not deep in this area so when they get a sustained heavy wind, the waves tend to be very short and very choppy. It took one boat a half hour to lower his headsail, and when we lost sight of him, still had not gotten it down. Went through Alligator River Bridge, no wait and quick opening. Winds were now down to 25 but did not subside until after anchoring. Bonnie took over helm after the bridge (we do shifts of 3 hours on, 3 hours off, 2 hours on and then 2 off) and she navigated down the Alligator River. Could not use auto pilot most of the day as the waves were too strong so had to manually navigate. After traveling 51 miles, we anchor at MM 105 at Tuckahoe Point. Serene and still at dusk. What a contrast after a day of riding the wind and waves.
It has been fairly cold, especially in the evenings. If we were on land during the daytime hours, I don't think it would feel so cold but with the wind and being on the water underway, we have had to bundle up pretty good. What motivation to get further south. Many thanks for this generator and heater as we can turn them on at night and stay warm.
11/10/01 Saturday, 6:45 a.m. Depart Tuckahoe Point. Got awesome picture of boats at anchor in the midst of fog. I think we should send this one into Latitudes & Attitudes mag! Thought the fog had cleared until we got into the "ditch" section and fog was somewhat heavy. Bonnie had to stand at the bow with David at helm to be sure we navigated safely. We went through the Pungo River, across Pamlico River and down the Goose Creek. It is getting very pristine down this way. Actually we are very surprised at how undeveloped a lot of this area is but we imagine it may change once we get further south. Passed the Mayo shrimp dock with all their shrimping boats docked at the bulkhead. After traveling a serene 56 miles, we anchored in Bear Creek off the Bay River. Had to snake around after touching ground a couple times, but David figured out the markings put out by the locals on getting around into the creek. We are the only ones in sight with only a couple houses on shore. VERY QUIET, certainly what we are looking for. We are now at MM 161.
11/11/01 Sunday. Depart Bear Creek at 7:30 a.m. for a short jaunt through the Neuse River to Oriental, North Carolina, our first mail pick-up point. 13 NW winds, beautiful solitude motorsail down the river. Anchored in small harbor at Oriental. Lots of huge shrimp boats here. Had lunch at Oriental Steamer (highly recommended) in town, scallop burger. Checked our e-mail at coffee shop at bulkhead, charge $3.00/half hour. After traveling 21 miles, we are at MM 182.
11/12/01 Monday. Anchored in the harbor until tomorrow. Post office is closed for Veteran's Day so we get an extra day's layover. Had breakfast a quaint eatery, M&M Café, much recommended also.
11/13/01 Tuesday. Picked up mail at post office, left harbor at 9:30 a.m. Had rough short crossing across the Neuse River, lots of rolling. Saw dolphins at MM200 just about in Beaufort. Busy harbor in Beaufort with lots of fishing boats. After traveling 46 miles, stopped at MM 228 at Dudley's Marine, tied up at bulkhead, at the town of Swansboro. Used the old Buick station wagon, their courtesy car, and ran to store, etc.
11/14/01 Wednesday. Depart Swansboro at 7:30 to make time to catch bridge opening, but missed it by a few minutes and had to wait another half hour. Got some current against us and traveling 4 to 4.5 knots so had to crank engines up and put up front sail to gain some speed to make the hour opening of the Surf City Bridge. Current picked up and got up to top speed of 7 knots so we made it in plenty of time. Saw dolphins again, really cool. The shorelines are starting to be packed with houses but very pretty scenery. Made it to the Wrightsville Beach Bridge for 4:00 opening, snaked into the harbor at 4:30 after traveling 55 miles. We are at MM 283.
11/15/01 Thursday. We are anchored at Wrightsville Beach. Walked the oceanfront and through the town, beautiful. Did laundry and had lunch at South Beach Grill right next door. Good food and not bad prices. It is warmer here since we are getting a little further south. Made decision today we would go to Sebastian, Florida, as our final stop before renting a car to drive back to Durham for a couple weeks. That is at MM 935. Will stay anchored here until Saturday early a.m. Jezabelle has settled in quite nicely. She really is a quiet soul now, no more crying and not too much fighting with Sparky. I think she's actually getting to like him a little bit. Hard to believe she's the same cat. See how being on the water can sooth a soul?
11/16/01 Friday. Staying put here for another day. Walked to breakfast at Causeway Café, excellent. Seafood omelet and eggs Neptune, which is poached eggs with crabmeat on muffin. They serve breakfast all day and they have everything imaginable on the menu that you can do with and serve with eggs. Walked the beach for two hours. In the 70's and beautiful. Went biking in the p.m. for a couple hours until David got a flat from running over glass. Checked e-mail at library that had at least 30 computers with DSL cable that were unbelievably fast. Had early dinner back at South Beach Grill. Packed up and ready to head out early.
11/17/01 Saturday. Departed Wrightsville Beach at 6:45 a.m. After traveling 64 miles, tied up at a marina in North Mrytle Beach, South Carolina, Anchor Marina. Offered Boat US discount but very noisy in early evening. We are at MM347.
11/18/01 Sunday. Depart Anchor Marina at 6:30 a.m. The Waccamaw River is just majestic with no development at all. There are marinas here and there tucked back in that look so serene. After traveling 56 miles, we went into the harbor at Georgetown, South Carolina, MM403. Great harbor town with constantly running steel mill that really adds to the character of the neighborhood. Plan to stay here tomorrow and do some exploring.
11/19/01 Monday, David's Birthday!!! Went out for breakfast at Thomas Café. Another great place, seafood omelets all around. David got his hair cut at a local barber shop, very colorful female barbists! Walked to the post office, three miles one way, to pick up our forwarded mail. Much busier place once you get inland. Bought some fresh shrimp, there are tons of shrimp boats here, for David's birthday dinner. Went biking through town and to grocery store for some provisioning. Seemed like a busy day doing all these "chores". Sure beats sitting at a desk in some cramped office though. Biked to Wal-Mart in search of food for JoJo since we ran out of her favorite stuff, wound up buying two lobster tails for dinner tonight. Hard to find lobsters in seafood stores here. Had cocktails and dinner on board after stowing everything for an early departure tomorrow a.m.
11/20/01 Tuesday. Departed Georgetown 7:00 a.m., traveling down some flatland countryside. No development at all. After traveling 66 miles, we are in the Ashley River in Charleston, NC, at MM469. Lots of boats anchored in harbor. Very pretty city line at night.
11/21/01 Wednesday. Departed Charleston at 8:30 to make the 9:00 opening of the Wappoo Creek Bridge. Went in a pack of four or five boats all the way down to the North Edisto River to South Edisto River where they holed up for the night and we continued on down through part of the Coosaw River. Anchored in Parrot Creek after traveling 56 miles, we are at MM521.
11/22/01 Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Departed Parrot Creek at 6:45 a.m. Went through Beaufort, SC, will stop there on the way back up ICW. Looks like nice place to stop. Entered Georgia today at MM575. Anchored in the Herb River south of Savannah. Lots of marshlands through this state and a fair amount of bugs. After traveling 63 miles, we are at MM584. Got here at about 3:30 and will make our roasted duck for Thanksgiving dinner. Turned out VERY good!!
11/23/01 Friday. Departed Herb River at usual time of 6:40 a.m. Lots of bugs in a.m. and foul smell in the air. We want to get to Jekyll Island which is our next land stop so will continue until then. Went through Isle of Hope, Vernon River down across Ogeechee River, through Florida Passage, across St. Catherines Sound. Down Johnson Creek and across the Sapelo Sound into the Front River to Old Teakettle Creek and settled in for the night at New Teakettle Creek after traveling 62 miles, at MM646.
11/24/01 Saturday. Departed New Teakettle Creek for our destination of Jekyll Island. Very excited to be making a landfall. Traveled down the Doboy Sound into North River, Little Mud River, Altamaha River across the Altamaha Sound, into Buttermilk Sound and down through the Makay River, past St. Simons Island and Brunswick through the St. Simons Sound and on into the Jekyll Creek to the Jekyll Harbor Marina for a two-night stayover. Tied to the bulkhead for a peaceful stay here after traveling 37 miles, we are at MM683. Had a late lunch at the SeaJay's restaurant at the marina. Nice to have a meal cooked for you!!
11/25/01 Sunday. Had breakfast on board and took it easy this a.m. Went on the bike trail around the island, 20 miles, for a beautiful naturistic (word made up?) bike ride. This is by far one of our favorite places to be. A quiet island that has maintained its natural habitat without much development. Lots of mansions built by a few millionaires years back when they got together and bought the island. They built the Jekyll Island Club which is now a hotel that is absolutely magnificent. The houses they built for themselves (remember, mansions) have no kitchens because they ate their meals at the clubhouse. Sounds great, huh?
11/26/01 Monday. Left Jekyll Island for our next stop at Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida. Yes, we are going to make it into Florida today!! Very exciting for us both. We passed Cumberland Island (which is where JFK Jr. and Caroline got married) that is very remote and supposedly has wild horses. We will be sure to stop there on the return back up north. Got into Fernandina Beach at around noon and went ashore to have lunch at the restaurant at the marina. Loved it, great view of the harbor and good food. On first impression we loved this stop but after a night's stay we found the harbor was noisy with a couple of non-stop running factories and the outskirts of this town on the island is very, very busy. The inside proper of Fernandina is very quaint. Got our mail forwarded to this post office so picked up mail and headed out. We were going to stay another night but wished for a more quiet and natural anchorage.
11/27/01 Tuesday. After traveling a mere 19 miles (it was an unscheduled travel day so took a leisurely cruise) we stopped at the Ft. George River at MM 735.
11/28/01 Wednesday. Departed Ft. George River headed for our final land stop of Sebastian River Marina where we have a slip rented for the month of December. We have the next four heavy travel days and then will rest up for our drive north to Durham. After traveling 57 miles, we anchor at the Fort Matanzas Inlet at MM792. Traveled through St. Augustine, FL. Nice place to stop on way north.
11/29/01 Thursday. Departed Fort Matanzas Inlet and headed down the ditch through all of the residential area of Florida with huge homes on the ICW waterfront. New Smyrna Beach looks like good place to stop on way north also. There is a scheduled space shuttle launching this p.m. at 7:41. Trying to get to a good spot to see it as the space center is not too far from us. Traveled 71 miles to Mosquito Lagoon only to find out that the space shuttle was scratched and will maybe have launch tomorrow. Anchorage is a bit unprotected but very remote and beautiful wildlife. Seeing dolphins every day for a couple weeks now. Now at MM863.
11/30/01 Friday. Departed Mosquito Lagoon at 6:30 a.m., trying to make it today to our final destination, Sebastian, FL. After going through the Haulover Canal Bridge, Mosquito Lagoon really opens up and it is teaming with wildlife. Tons of birds and dolphins, they say also manatees but we didn't spot any. Saw the launching station for with Endeavor space shuttle. Found wonderful anchorage to watch liftoff if we ever get through here when there is a scheduled launch. Tons of boats anchored in and around Titusville (and all disappointed!). Made our way down the Indian River and on final approach to Sebastian, sun was setting and had a final gorgeous sunset. Made it into our slip just before it got dark. Traveled 74 miles today and are at MM937. What an exhilarating feeling to reach your destination after such a wonderful cruise, free 95% of the time of any inclement weather. Tied the boat up in its slip, showered and went ashore to the bar and restaurant here, had a couple of celebratory margaritas and dinner, all with the backdrop of a very bright full moon!! Happy Endings!!
We will be talking to you again when we return for the next leg of our trip which starts right before Christmas. Plan to return to the boat somewhere around the 23rd of December. Happy Holidays Everyone!!
We Made Our Way Much Further South Than We Had Originally Planned. If You Can Believe It, When We Were Planning Our Trip From Our Kitchen In Durham, Pennsylvania, We Discussed Ending Our First Leg At A Marina Just North Of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Somewhere Around Mm350, When In Fact We Stopped At Sebastian, Florida, At Mm937. The Weather, For The Most Part, Was Wonderful (Except The Crossing Of The Albemarle Sound), Very Little Rain, Which Was Also Responsible For The Closing Of The Dismal Swamp Route, An Area We Had Hoped To Explore.
Our Finances Stayed Well Within Our Budget, And As A Matter Of Fact, We Believe That We Will Spend Less On Dockage And Marinas With The Initial Experience Under Our Belt. Not Surprisingly, You Don't Spend Money When You're Traveling Or On The Hook. The Money Gets Spent When You Are Ashore. Bonnie Did A Great Job Provisioning For The Trip, We Started Running Out Of Food Items Just A Week Before The End Of This Leg. What A Great Reason To Finally Get To Eat Dinner Out As The Only Restaurant Meals We Had Were Three Or Four Breakfasts And Two Or Three Lunches. We Vacuum Packed A Lot Of Poultry And Poultry Related Items Which Stayed Both Frozen In Our Adler Barber Refrigerator/Freezer And Fresh Throughout The Trip. The Marina In Sebastian Cost Approximately $300 For The Entire Month, Although At The End Of Our Second Leg, We Anticipate Being Somewhere In Or Around The Florida Keys And Suspect That The Marina Costs Will Be Greater. We Rented A Car In Vero Beach And Drove Home With Our Three Passengers. Although The Rental Of The Car For A Month Was A Substantial Expense, It Was Well Offset By The Business That We Both Conducted Once We Returned Home.
We Both Were At A Loss When We Left The Boat, The Boat Having Become Home After Our Five-Week Journey, And Suspect That Leaving The Boat Will Become Progressively Harder The More Time We Spend Aboard.
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