Yes, we’re still alive.

I haven’t been posting weekly like I try to do, but all is well.  I’ve just been a bit unmotivated.  Cruising during Covid is not nearly as fun.  We keep to ourselves and we limit our outings.  We don’t eat out in restaurants, we don’t poke around in shops, and we don’t go to museums.  Basically we aren’t any different than people living on land who take this virus seriously, with the exception of the fact that we are sitting on a 30 foot boat instead of in a larger dwelling.

Frankly, during our trip to Connecticut in mid-September for medical appointments we came thisclose to bringing the boat north, putting it on the hard, and just living in a rental for the winter.  The Bahamas weren’t looking like a viable option and we couldn’t get excited about spending the winter in Florida. Continue reading “Yes, we’re still alive.”

Jim the Wizard Mechanic.

The anchorage in Calabash Creek is not a place you want to spend multiple days.  Deep sea fishing charters speed by all day throwing a large wake.  It’s tolerable for an evening, and that’s about it.  Unfortunately, the forecast for the next five days called for heavy rain and thunderstorms.  We stuck it out for one day and then called an audible.

Perhaps more important than waiting out the heavy rain was the fact that we also wanted a better wind direction for our trip up the Cape Fear River.  Our first trip south we learned that high wind against the current on the Cape Fear equals 3.5 knots of speed at wide open throttle in a washing machine. Well, we can learn.

Continue reading “Jim the Wizard Mechanic.”

Time to slow down a bit.

We had made it from Great Sale Cay in the Abacos to north of Georgetown, SC in exactly one week – and that included a two night stop in Jacksonville Beach to get rid of our dirty fuel.  But now that we were back on the ICW with Oriental and Belhaven coming up, it was time to slow down a bit.

The days leading up to our arrival in Oriental were uneventful, save for one thunderstorm shortly after we left Cow House Creek.  We had the anchorage in Calabash Creek to ourselves that night which was quite a change from when we stopped there in the fall!

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A stunning sunset at Calabash Creek, NC.

The next day’s adventure came when we pulled up to a fuel dock at a marina in Southport, NC.  The wind had been light all day until our arrival.  I should have docked with the bow into the wind but I didn’t, and the wind steadily increased during the 20 minutes we were there.  By the time we were ready to leave, it was honking on our stern at 20 knots.  Hmm.  What to do? Continue reading “Time to slow down a bit.”

A stop in Oriental, NC.

A weather window finally opened up so it was time to say goodbye to Belhaven until the next time. And there WILL be a next time.  After doing one final load of laundry and taking our last unlimited hot showers for awhile, we set off on a nice, sunny morning to get as far as we could towards our next destination – Oriental.  We were side tied and had to back out of the fairway which was entertaining, but Jeff ably fended us off from the power boat behind us that had a raised outboard partially blocking our way. 

We had been looking forward to visiting Oriental for literally years.  Several years ago I read about the town on one of the internet sailing forums and we had done a bit of research into it to see if we might want to retire there someday.  Calling itself the “Sailing Capitol of North Carolina”, Oriental has a population of approximately 900 people and over 2,000 sailboats.  An entertaining and informative website, www.towndock.net, gives a glimpse of the local flavor, so after all of this time we were primed to finally check it out.

Continue reading “A stop in Oriental, NC.”