Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30th morning....Good Morning!

This morning we had our coffee in the cockpit, I walked the dogs and Barry worked online for a while. Then we decided to have breakfast so we mounted up on our trusty bikes and peddled over a whole 5 minutes to the corner drug store (again) and had breakfast. They were out of biscuits so I had a cheeseburger....you know the kind where they toast the bun then steam it? Oh and a vanilla coke. Barry had eggs and toast. We found the cutest toys for um er uh Alex and Elizabeth and Sami and Lynn too truth be told. We scooted to the hardware/marine supply store and pet supply store and found some things we had to have. The dogs are scratching like they have fleas so that has to be nipped in the bud. 6 years on a farm and no fleas and now they picked them up at Coinjock Marina we think. We were there long enough and there were lots of dogs wandering around. So........

Then we biked over to Paynes Crab House which is run by two sisters, who used to do it all by themselves including setting the pots out and collecting them, then cleaning and steaming or frying and picking out the meat all by themselves....now the son helps set pots and collect them.

Well, as we pulled up on our trusty bikes, here the two sisters are messing with a big old rotten piece of plywood and some fence posts.......with hammer and chain saw and I said Uh Oh......they were so cute and the one sister was so proud of herself because she put the chain on the saw by herself and by golly sawed that post to the right size....of course Barry offered to help drive nails and made some suggestions and we had a great time getting to know the sisters.

The funny thing is, the day before yesterday when we arrived, Barry said in passing that this was the kind of small town that you will find yourself talking in passing to someone and find out you are talking to the mayor!! Guess what? You got it. One of the sisters is the Mayor of Urbanna. Both were delightful and call each other sissy. Im going back tomorrow to get some warm steamed soft shell crabs for lunch and try to talk them into showing me how to clean (or how they clean) crabs. Bill Murray showed me but I dont do it enough to remember how. So it might be an adventure. I could use the social activity.

So now we are cooling off below and will go to the grocery store this afternoon with Fred and Denise who have a car here. Not that we need that much. Goodness we still have plenty of food in the freezer. However their rib-eyes are on sale for $6/pound so I cant resist.

There is all kinds of activity going on here. Prepping for the 4th. Evidently its a pretty big deal and we have front row seats for the fireworks. PLUS I found one of those big ring bubble blowing toys I love and will sit on the dock blowing huge bubbles as my way of saying Happy Birthday America!

Deltaville to Urbanna on the Bay and Rappahanock

Barry at the helm on our way from Deltaville to Urbanna. The Rappahanock River is wide and deep an a great place to sail.

Rounding Sting Ray Point alongside another sailor.

Left...Beth and Andy came for dinner! She is only 2 hours away now.

Gypsy comes up into the cockpit most evenings. Otherwise she is content to sleep all day. Right...Phoenix loves sitting on the foredeck.

Hamish fast asleep on his haunches. Even big waves dont worry him anymore!

Morning Coffee

Osprey nests with two chicks and a momma

the views from our slip at Urbanna Town Marina

Monday, June 22, 2009

This evening at Coinjock

After the tumbling we got yesterday Coinjock's peacefulness is a great change.....I love it here. We got the lightest little sprinkle late this evening and I caught it as a reflection.....can you even see the water droplets?

Our friend from Port Royal is traveling back to Deltaville VA with friends and we ended up here at Coinjock. It was so good to see a familure face. We miss our friends. No matter how wonderful an new adventure is, you always miss your friends. I miss all my horsie friends and my friends from work.....WERK! Ish. and of course our friends back at PRLM.

Hope you can hear the birds in the back ground.
this was a pretty little inlet too shallow for us but look at the clouds and tree line. It was so pretty

Lord of The Flies

Ever since we got to North Carolina we have been getting visits from flies. Most of them just hitch a ride but some as we go further north are hungry for our blood. This bad boy amazed us with some pretty good acrobatics till I nailed him with the fly swatter. Hamish is scared to death of the fly swatter so we have to hide it from him.
This is my foot and one of our nav charts I was studying this afternoon for our trip north of Coinjock which is where we are tonight.

Sunsets in Beaufort NC.

Morehead City and Beaufort NC

Hamish enjoying the rain.

Morehead City and Beaufort are right next to each other and quite a destination for boaters and commercial boating traffic. We sailed into the big river and turnaround there for big boats. At one point we had a para glider try to commit suicide on our mast. Idiots. This was the second time someone tried to commit suicide on our boat. The first was a stupid 18 year old boy skiing who thought it would be clever to 'scare' us.....he came within 5 feet of our boat going as fast as the tow boat would drag him........geeesh.

Anyway we pulled into Town Creek Marina where they were very nice....a bit of a problem with their communication but all in all was a nice stay. As we approached their transient dock, as promised there was the dock hand waving at us. Barry had the approach perfect...this was going to be a great docking.......wait! Where is the dockhand going???? He was there one minute smiling at us and waving us on and now he is......he is at another dock helping some trawler named Bubbles position spring lines on their already secured trawler. Granted the dock hand was just a kid, someones kid and I could see what had happened. Bubbles owner demanded help and the kid was too polite to say hang on while I get this (our) boat (with no bow thrusters like the trawler) and as I suspected and found out later, the owners were obnoxious, demanding YANKEES. So we had to circle, call the marina back on the radio which they did not answer........I was patient for a while but after our third circle in shallow water, Barry was losing it and I with my bow line in hand started doing the Sami Is Pissed Off Dance. We had to call on the phone to get them to figure something out and the kid felt terrible. We did finally dock safely but not after we got a dirty look from the fishing charter captain when I asked him if he could catch our bowline. He looked at me like I had asked him for money. There was an incredible lightening storm one night that went on for hours. Way up behind a thick cloud cover but quite the show. The locals said they had never seen anything like it before and neither had I.
Great food at their restaurant and Friday nights appetizers are half price so that's what we had! There was a huge fishing tournament going on that weekend so lots of fishermen and fishing boats. We enjoyed Beaufort the next day and did some exploring. The second day it rained and we enjoyed just sitting in the cockpit listening to it glad we were not out in it. Hamish enjoyed it immensely.

We pulled into this marina because is where we asked to have both of our computer batteries sent. Barrys was there waiting for him but mine was not and did not get there till 10 days AFTER we left. They are going to send it to our next for sure destination in VA. Then maybe Ill be able to keep up with the blog! So since I do not have my computer to work on this.....and we have not had decent cell phone reception till today, because Oriental is notorious for non coverage.......Im not going t be very thorough till my computer is back up and going.......
but in the meantime I will try to post as many pictures as possible and video too. Im taking lots of short videos because everyone seems to enjoy them. Here are several dolphin videos I caught. Not an easy thing to do.

Yesterday we went thru Albermarle Sound and it was miserable. I was scared to death because the wind was out of the west for most of the trip at sometimes 20+knots and the waves were4- 5 feet on us broadside for most of the trip. Needless to say it beat the snot out of us for almost 5 hours. No one got sick but honestly I was hanging on for dear life. Barry said after it was all over and he realized how scared I was that he was not, and after all the fast horses and big jumps etc. I have done he was surprized I was so scared. Hey......give me an off the track Thoroughbred foxhunting for the first time ANY day over yesterday. Stuff got tossed below including EVERY bottle of spice we have on board and luckily the only things to break were the vanilla and sesame seeds.....it smelled good. But the kitty litter went flying and every liquor bottle (all plastic) went flying but the only thing I came down to save was this laptop because obviously its paying the bills!! Barry has to have it to work. So I took my life into my hands and grabbed it off of the dining table and put it on the sole wedged so it would not move. I was never took a picture. I was too busy holding on to the dogs and plants!

We are in Coinjock Marina tonight and tomorrow night. Its great. Small but transient friendly with a GREAT restaurant nearby. I did laundry today and googled at a 144 ft 60million dollar yacht which looks very out of place here! It has a permanent crew of at least 6 people and probably more......
The only reason we can come up with why she is here is the other boats make her look that much better...OR its taking that long to fill her fuel tanks! I will have a picture of her tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We thought it would an easy day

We pulled into a marina in Surf City NC last night. We could not get to the anchorage we wanted so......it was a tight squeeze but a good exercise in getting the boat into a small safe space. We had some GREAT sushi within walking distance. The dogs got several well deserved walks and we slept really late and watched West Wing in the morning....

I washed the decks with fresh water while Barry worked and we thought we only had a 15 mile day. Oh that it were true. Still it was interesting. We went through the part of the ICW that goes thru Camp LeJune and they had the ICW shut down off and on all day doing LIVE ammo maneuvers shooting from one side of the water at some ancient tanks and trucks. I think they killed them. Yes they looked dead and I promise LOTS of pictures. Also we got to see an OSPREY which is an airplane that can do vertical landings and take=offs. Also choppers were going all over the place....circles and swooping.

I was ready to paint my face green and crawl thru the bush! The coast guard was all over the place too in their little rubber water bullets and then personal carriers and some kind of marine boat with a parabolic microphone. I guess they could hear anything they wanted to hear just by pointing it in a certain direction. The first pic above is what they were killing.

Anyway they held us up just after the last swing bridge for an hour. We dropped anchor and watched all the action. It was actually pretty cool. However when they gave us the go ahead to go thru, our engine would not start or I should say the starter battery was dead and so the engine would not start. We turned on the generator for 15 or so minutes and thank goodness it harged the starter batt enough to start the engine so we were on our way....however the anchorage we wanted to stay was Hammock Bay which is exactly where the marines were bivowaked so we could not stay there tonight and had to go on to Swansboro another 15 miles. We got in an hour before dark and had a hell of a time finding the right anchorage. We set and reset 4 times before we felt it was right but so were the other sailboats sharing this not so great spot. The holding is good here but there is a current and its windy. Also lots of stuff to bump into if the anchor does not hold. SO we are sleeping in the cockpit tonight. Its windy but warm and this way we can hear our anchor alarm because the fancy POS GPS we got from West Marine goes thru a set of batteries every night. We bought it for back up and because its handheld and has an anchor alarm on it and we could be below and hear it........even with the 12v power cord it wont hold a charge......ardh!!! Its going back.

Anyway we threw a steak and some chopped onions and potatos and musrooms on the grill and had a nice dinner. Swansboro is small but the lights from the town are comforting in a way.

Tomorrow is another long day but we stay in one place at a marina for the weekend and maybe even tool around town near Beaufort NC. My computer battery is supposed to be waiting for me there so I should have more pics etc to add to the blog.

Monday, June 8, 2009

awesome day

We did 40 miles today. Went through yet more beautiful country and water. Then we had to navigate through Myrtle Beach area.......eeeek! Insanity with motors. PWC going every which way and at one point a teen age idiot tried to commit suicide by skiing into our boat. He came within 5 feet on purpose! And laughed about it. We are anchored on Calabash Creek AND I caught shrimp with my last years birthday present...a casting net. I had a very strong mint julep, Barry grilled a wonderful dinner and then I fell asleep watching TV while he had a conference call and now I have a hangover. We are anchored with 3 other sailboats bow to stern and while I was asleep, another one slipped in between us and the one that WAS in front of us. I will have pictures of today when I am sober and not so cranky.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

will be quiet for a while

My computer needs a new battery and right now the cell signal is low.......at this anchorage anyway. We wont pull into a marina for another week or so.....not sure about what the cell signal strengths will be but I should be reachable on my BlackBerry.......had a beautiful day cruising north of Georgetown on ICW. Its simply beautiful. Lots of cypress trees......like a cypress swamp s all down both sides of the river. We are in the Wacamaw River and its beautiful. we are anchored in Bull Creek right this moment. This is a VERY wealthy area with big beautiful homes and these lovely lawns that lead down to the river. And usually a private dock with a power AND sailboat docked. There was a plantation home set waaaay back and it was easy to imagine what it must have looked like 200 years ago. This is pristine, chock full of wildlife and today we saw a boater stop and go back to fish out some garbage that had blown out of their boat!!! Nice. I will post pics when I have a better connection.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Georgetown SC

We decided to stay in Georgetown this weekend. Barry is or was feeling punky and I put my back out last night so......but we did get a chance to explore a bit yesterday. Had a lovely lunch and officially THE Best She Crab soup so far......we had it last night too but Waterfront Tavern in the historical downtown area was much better. I wish we had bikes because I think I could do that but who knows? The manager at the Piggly Wiggly will come get you and drop you back off so we will be able to do some grocery shopping.

Anyway Im going to do ice therapy all morning then see how I feel. If we do go out we will remember to take the camera this time!! THE cutest houses, all in tree lined streets and all neat as a pin. I could live here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

videos and snapshots....story is below

We did not see as many houses today as we have been.....see my longer comments below.

pics from june 4th then the story below

Pics from June 4th

Today was very different. The ICW along most of the stretches today was wild and devoid of homes and boats and it was very easy to picture what it must have been like 200 years ago.
It was peaceful and there were birds and dolphin all along the trip. Really deep swamps and forest even. I hope the pics give you and idea of how beautiful it is. No bridges and few power boats....but did see a few nice sailboats.

Then this evening about 6 dolphins blew by our anchored boat and I did get some footage of them hunting and feeding behind us towards the shore. It takes forever to download video so Im hoping Ill be able to.... we also saw the most curious thing......after this long stretch of wilderness, all of a sudden there were two signs one on each side with flashing lights saying caution ferry crossing! Was strange and kind of woke me rudely out of my flashback to 1800's daydream. We did come across a sailboat stranded on a sand bar at low tide but were able to sneak around him by him telling us where NOT to go. We had the same thing happen yesterday at low tide and just had to wait till the tide came back in and brought us some water. It was a bit scary tho because our depth finder kept reading a foot or lower under our keel....not enough to feel easy about.
Barry was feeling punky today so I was at the helm most of this day.......which was fine because besides the skinny water it was a very easy day. We did get some gentle rain but no bad weather.

At one point in the morning we did see a few really nice homes all with private docks. The houses were so big it was hard to believe they were not hotels. Then all of a sudden there is this boat yard with derelict boats......go figure. The only other difficulty today was dodging crab pots!
The crabbers are not too careful about where they put their traps and it was like dodging mines. You do NOT want one of those wrapped around your prop. Late afternoon B took the helm and I went to the bow to spot errant crab pot bouys. We were underway from 8:30 till about 5:30 which is a few hours longer than usual but we wanted to make a bit of time. Tomorrow we will go into Georgetown SC for a pump out, water and then on up the ICW.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

sunset video anchorage mm 455 Dewes Creek

this was our view about an hour ago

sunset june 3

Swing Bridge...Ben Sawyer just N. of Charleston

Wappoo Creek Draw Bridge

Call ahead and they open it for you....usually right away but some bridges you have to wait for. So we did donuts trying not to hit the other boats till the bridge opened. Its always a bit stressful to go over, under or whatever for me....even living in Chicago as a teen I can remember not likeing bridges........however ya gotta have em right???

big container ship and a sailboat being towed.

June 3 underway after repairs

Barry at the helm

Fort Sumter