Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still moving slowly

     After leaving Mile Hammock we arrived in Wrightsville Beach and put the anchor down in Mott’s Channel.  There were only 4 other boats so we picked the perfect spot …………… we thought.  There was a 34 foot sailboat anchored a good distance in front of us that appeared to have been there for quite some time.  We had dinner and read a bit and then went to bed.  About 3 in the morning Lynn woke up and happened to look out the port.  The sailboat was now about 30 feet or so from our boat and parallel to us.  She woke me up and by the time I looked out the boat had moved to a more comfortable distance.  We both went back to bed but never really went into deep sleep.  When we got up in the morning the sailboat was right back where it was when we anchored, no problem.  While drinking coffee in the cockpit I looked up and here was the sailboat close enough that I could have filled their coffee cups!!!!  I now realized that they had only rope for an anchor rode instead of chain and a Hell of a lot of it to boot.  As a result they were moving in an entirely different direction from the rest of the boats around them.  We decided it best to start the engine and pull up our anchor and move a safe distance behind these people.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and reading.  We were getting ready to leave the following morning when we saw about 100 people in the water in front of us.  Looking closer and turning on the VHF radio we found out it was the annual Pier to Pier swim race.  Turns out there were close to 400 people swimming.  The Coast Guard had closed the channel for the race and we had to wait about 90 minutes before we could leave.

Our boat in Mott's Channel at sunset

     Our next stop was St. James Plantation Marina in Southport, SC.  We arrived at the marina in the early afternoon having had a great run down the Cape Fear River.  We did a couple of loads of laundry and then went to the Pub for a great meal.  We met some folks that were also traveling the same as us and talked about traveling together for awhile.  But the next morning they left before us and, aside from hearing them on the radio, we never saw them again.
     From St. James we went to the Barefoot Landing Marina to spend only one night.  This marina is located along side an outlet mall that also has some great restaurants.  Our favorite in the past years has been the River City CafĂ©.  This is a great hamburger joint that has barrels of peanuts at the door.  You grab a dish of nuts and proceed to litter the floor with shells.  We each had a fantastic burger, onion rings and fries.  Then back to the boat for a great night’s sleep.  In the morning we took off for Bull’s Creek which is off the Wacamaw River.  Along the way we saw four deer swimming across the ICW!! What a sight; unfortunately we didn't get any good photos.
     We stayed in Bull’s Creek for three nights.  Remember, we are still waiting for Laura and Graeme to catch up.  We have been in Bull’s Creek many times before but this time we tried a new spot to anchor and we loved it.  Better scenery and less boat traffic.  We called Laura on the phone and found out they were planning on being in Georgetown, SC a day earlier than we had thought.  So we left the anchorage the following morning and got fuel on the way.  We arrived there about one in the afternoon and found a great place to drop the hook and wait for our friend’s arrival.  They showed up around four and we all went into town to Buzz’s Roast, a local pub, for a welcome drink and some snacks.  The talk, of course, swung to the upcoming storm, Sandy.  We discussed staying put or getting a slip at one of the local marinas.  It was decided to stay at anchor and ride it out as the forecast didn't look like it was going to be too bad in G’town.  Back to the boat for dinner and to re-evaluate our plans in the morning.
     We woke up on Thursday morning and listened to the forecast.  It had changed a bit but we still felt comfortable staying at anchor.  Laura and Graeme, on the other hand, decided to get a slip in the marina.  As the day went on, Lynn and I kept discussing our choice and were good with it until a local came by and told us the holding in the anchorage was terrible.  We then decided to also get a slip.  Then while pulling our anchor we found it dug in very deep and difficult to get up.  Needless to say we were hooked well (we later found out from other locals there are only a couple of bad spots, we were in a good one). Never the less we went to the marina and tied up.  Laura and I walked down to the seafood market and each bought fresh shrimp for $4.99 per pound!!!!  After dinner we were ready to sit thru the first night of the storm.  Well, for the next 48 hours we got nothing but lots of rain and 14 knot winds with maybe a 20 knot gust every so often.  Sandy turned out to be pretty much a non issue but I guess it was better to be safe than sorry.  So we just enjoyed being tied up and having unlimited fresh water and electricity.  We did some more laundry to kill time and so we wouldn't have to do any in Charleston, our next destination.

The shrimp boat behind us in Georgetown with one of my God Daughter's name on it

     We left G’town early yesterday morning and fought currents and 15-20 knot winds on our way to a beautiful anchorage called Dewee Creek.  Both of our boats are sitting here for 2 nights waiting for the last of the winds to die down a bit and then we’ll take a slip for one or two nights at the Charleston Maritime Center.  This is our favorite marina in Charleston as it is close, within walking distance, to almost everything downtown.  And as a bonus, the cheapest place to dock.  After Charleston we will just take our time moving south and enjoying, hopefully, some warmer weather.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On The Move

We left Edenton last Wednesday and have been moving very slow so we can enjoy the anchorages and scenery along the way.  Our first day out was the longest, 9 hours, but the water was calm.  We then went to a secluded creek called Campbell Creek and spent 3 nights at anchor.  I was able to do some of the small projects that I didn't have time to complete at home before we left.  Next we went to Beaufort, NC and bought fuel, filled the water tank and dumped our trash.  We had another pleasant night at anchor in Town Creek.  We are now in Mile Hammock Bay which is a small protected area in Jacksonville, NC at the edge of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.  This anchorage is very popular with boaters and has many different craft staying here every night.  This will be our third night here before we move along.  We had a pretty heavy rainfall the first night followed by some stiff winds that lingered into the late morning hours.  We are trying to catch up with friends Bill and Terri Ellis (Second Option ) who are in Charleston and at the same time letting Laura and Graeme (Sweet Chariot ) try to catch up with us.  It's a balancing act that I'm not sure we are winning.  But we will all get together sometime before we cross to the Bahamas, our ultimate destination.  Tomorrow we will head to Wrightsville Beach, NC and anchor in an area known as Mott's Channel.  After Mott's Channel we'll probably spend one night in a marina, St. James Plantation, in order to do laundry, refuel and top off the water tanks again.  Everything has been going well so far and we are really enjoying living on the boat again.  The weather has been comfortable during the day and maybe a bit nippy at night.  As we continue south we hope to see those nights a bit warmer.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Six days and counting down

Well, everything is completed on the project list that needs finished before we leave.  All food except produce, frozen, and bakery items have been loaded and there's still plenty of room left. The only other things to take down yet are clothes and personal stuff.  The goal is to leave on Sunday, weather permitting.  We'll take our time and hope to let Graeme and Laura, our friends on Sweet Chariot, catch up with us around the Wrightsville Beach area.  We have made the arrangements for our neighbors to watch the house and get our mail.  It's so nice to live someplace where there are such great people next door.  Lynn and I have both seen our doctors and have been given up to date immunizations and a clean bill of health to travel.  After missing out on traveling to the Bahamas last year we are excited to start another adventure.  We are looking forward to spending Christmas on one of the island chains and hoping for a visit or two from either friends or family. I'll post again as soon as we get underway and try also to add a new post at least once a week.