We've spent three years cruising to the Bahamas on Pegu Club, our Bristol 29.9. Time to switch it up a bit and head to Southern California for the winter, tent camping our way across the United States.
We needed to make another trip up north so we decided to leave the boat in New Bern, NC. The marina was reasonably priced and it was a town we hadn’t seen before (but we had heard good things about). Win-win.
So after our two days at the Oriental free docks we cast off the lines and headed up the Neuse River to New Bern. We had great conditions for sailing and thoroughly enjoyed traveling without the engine as we made our way 22 nautical miles up river. I can see why so many sailors settle in the area. Continue reading “Scooting down the East Coast.”→
Little did we know that from the moment we left Beaufort, SC it would be an almost continuous slog against some massive currents. It seemed like no matter what we did or when we traveled, we were lucky to be making four knots which is damned frustrating – typically we like to see five knots or more.
The first day we fought the current the whole way, anchoring south of Charleston. We planned to go outside the next day from Charleston to Carolina Beach, NC which would have taken us a bit over 24 hours, but by the time we fought the current to Charleston Harbor we weren’t comfortable with the size of our weather window and continued inland, still fighting the current. Our friends on S/V Mer du Jour did go outside that day, telling us later that we made the right call given the conditions and slower speed of our smaller Pegu Club.
The next day we hoped to catch a fair current as we approached Georgetown, SC, but it was so strong against us that by the time we hit the area where we would get a boost, the period for the flood current had almost passed. Gah!
After spending a week at Cumberland Island waiting for the weather to clear up, we finally decided that since we were in the south with summer approaching it simply wasn’t going to happen. Time to continue moving north.
Every day the forecast called for at least a 40% chance of thunderstorms, and every day we were lucky and didn’t have any. I bought a book about cruising in Georgia for the Kindle and it looks like there are SO many areas off of the ICW to explore. Unfortunately with hurricane season approaching we couldn’t really take advantage of it, but we are armed with knowledge of some new spots we’d like to see when we make our way south again in the fall.
In the meantime we mixed it up a bit. Instead of backtracking out of the anchorage at Cumberland, we continued winding up the Brickhill River until it rejoined the ICW.
Crossing St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, GA, we could still see the car carrier that had capsized and caught on fire last September. It carried 4,000 Hyundais and Kias, and is in the process of being cut into eight pieces and removed. The goal was to have it removed by hurricane season, but it looks like there is still quite a ways to go.
We were poking along the ICW as we did last fall, content in knowing that we were three weeks ahead of schedule compared to last year and hoping that would be enough to keep the cold weather at bay. We had enjoyed a beautiful, leisurely trip down the Dismal Swamp, spent a few nights in our favorite small town of Belhaven, and stopped in Beaufort, NC for the first time where we waited several days for a strong weather system to pass.
Our next planned multi-day stop after leaving Georgetown, SC was Beaufort (pronounced “Byoo-fert”, unlike the one in North Carolina which is pronounced “Bo-fert”).We hopped down the South Carolina coast, stopping in anchorages each night and sometimes for more than one night for – what else? – weather delays.
By now we were seeing dolphins every day which is so much fun!I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of it.We also saw our first alligator!I saw what appeared to be a log in the water and pointed it out to Jeff, and then we realized that it was swimming.Wow!Unfortunately it happened too quickly to get a picture but maybe I’ll get another chance in Florida. Continue reading “A new addition to our “Could we live here?” list: Beaufort, SC”→
At least once a week we ask ourselves, “Is it a cruise or is it a delivery?”We want to take our time going down the ICW, but if we stop and see everything we’re interested in, winter will overtake us before we get to Florida.As it is, weather delays have resulted in our being much farther north at this point than we had originally planned.Heck, we thought that we would be in St. Augustine, FL by the time we needed to return to Connecticut for Jeff’s doctor appointments.Where were we in reality?Hampton, VA.That’s a long way from St. Augustine!
As we left Oriental we decided we needed to start making some tracks south and switch from cruising mode to delivery mode.
We started off well, sharing an anchorage for the night by Morehead City with our friends from S/V Lone Star and S/V Duchess.The next morning we sadly waved goodbye to Lone Star as we headed off in different directions.They were going to wait for a weather window to make the seven day passage straight to the Bahamas, while we were continuing to take the slow route down the ICW.We are very much looking forward to seeing our good friends somewhere in the Bahamas!
After waving goodbye to Lone Star, we saw our first dolphins!