Rain Day

Today is Tuesday and I know that because the Tues. section of daily medications to be taken was up next……..seriously, some days I am not certain what day it really is!!

We are sitting at TidewaterMarina in Portsmouth, VA.  We are directly across from the Sheraton hotel in Norfolk where we were a couple of weeks ago for the Great Loop Rendezvous.   It is rather cool and it has been raining all day.   So Tues. became a day of rest and catching up on paper work, emails, and general reorganizing.   We have determined our next days of travel and reservations have been made at the two marinas.  Mail is being forwarded for us to receive on Thursday and all is well with the World.

This evening we had dinner with Looper friends Steve and Vivian from Arkansas.   We have had a lot of fun these past several days traveling with them.   They are headed back home for a couple of weeks.  Perhaps our wakes will cross each other again as we both journey Northward.

Salt Lick was boarded by pirate Buc the other day and dang it all — he showed up again today.   Not certain if this is a real pirate or Ralph Mace disguised as such!!!!!!!

(click link below)

 

 

WHEW

Whew – today we cruised across the Albemarle Sound.   9 1/2 years ago when we purchased the boat and brought it down from Conn. to GA., we made a crossing of this body of water that was one of the most difficult cruising days ever!!   It was December, 2006, it was cold, and the waves were 4-5 feet and increasing to about 6 feet!!   Salt Lick was taking green water up and over the bow.  For 2 long hours this gal was hanging onto that helm wheel with all her might.   Waves coming at us and waves hitting us on the side/beam.   Hank would have the binoculars at the ready to spot the markers when we would come up on top of a wave.

SO – today, the crossing was a piece of cake!!   It was cold and windy, but the seas were relatively calm compared to our previous experience.   At least this time,  we got to actually see the surroundings and what the sound was really like.

Yesterday was a beautiful day of cruising.  We departed Belhaven Waterway Marina and cruised 52 miles to Alligator River Marina.  Along the way we spotted one large Bald Eagle.  The rest of the area we went thru was rather boring.   We traversed the Alligator /Pungo canal.   This canal was dug to connect the Pungo and Alligator Rivers and is a straight run for several miles between the two.The Alligator river is a large wide river, but it is not very deep.

One day in the future when I am able to get another dog – that dog will be named PUNGO!! Don’t you love that name???

Bird of Prey, with Steve and Vivien aboard, followed to Alligator River and along with us today to Coinjock Marina and Restaurant.   We have reservations for dinner where not only a boater who passed us by, but others have said you can get  the best steak ever at the only show in town!!   They are also noted for their prime rib.   Traveling with my foodie guy, food becomes a highlight!   Speaking of which, last evening we had some great fried chicken at the Shell Gas station behind which we were docked for the night.   There is NOTHING else around, and Ms. Wanda, who is the owner of the station, marina and small boat ramp, takes really good care of her customers.

Since departing Hilton Head Island on April  27th, this is day #11 of cruising and day #19 of the trip.   We have traveled 540.5 miles – about a 10th of what the total trip will be.

All is going well ——UNLESS – I get arrested and put into jail for disagreements with the MO  (managing owner).  HA HAIMG_3079.JPG

This was the back of the gas station at Alligator River Marina where we docked and then had dinner.    The lighthouse is a small replica of the Hatteras Lighthouse.  IMG_3077.JPG

Lopsided galloping horse

Today we cruised mostly on the Neuse River and in making a turn on our route the waves and wind were creating a most uncomfortable ride.   I likened it to a seriously lopsided galloping horse…..!!   Thankfully that lasted only about an hour and soon we were  in flat calm seas.  Clouds and mild rain were also a part of the day.  Now we are docked in Belhaven, NC.

Lunch was a short 1/2 block walk into town where we lunched  and met with owner Teresa at her restaurant called Spoon River Artworks and Market.  Very good and a nice compliment to our cruising day of 48 miles.  It is raining now, but not storming.  Teresa formerly was a baker and ran a bakery along with an interior design firm.   A rather strange combination.   She also did some set designs for the film industry in LA.   After 5 years she said that was enough and then decided to open a wine shop and restaurant.   She is a local gal whose husband has a flower farm where he grows and sells flower bulbs!   This town has a population of around 1200.   Makes you wonder what life stories the rest of the place has to tell!!!!

After the rain stops I am using my boat bike   ( a fold up bike)  to peddle to the local Walgreens for my eye drops prescription.   We are planning two longer days of cruising starting tomorrow with a goal of getting to Norfolk, VA by Monday.

Have a good weekend everyone.

 

New skill for the Captain

Today we had a short cruise of only 28 miles to Oriental, NC.  Hank and I stayed at this marina 9 1/2 years ago when we had purchased the boat and were bringing it from Conn. to Ga..  It is a lovely small marina right in the heart of Oriental.

Our plan was to see Ashley Erwin who lives here.  We purchased our lot and dock property in Georgia from him and his wife several years ago.   Sadly we are missing him as his father is not well and he is in NM caring for him.  A rather sad note, as Carol, his wife, died about a year ago of cancer.  Life brings us difficult times to deal with.  And sometimes all at once.  So Ashley – if you read this,  we did raise a glass of cheer to you and your Dad this evening.  Hopefully our paths will cross again one day.

So – the MO – managing owner, aka Hank Barrett – has  declared today an A+ day for my docking skills.  He and the harbor master, Tom, gave me a good grade in my docking skills. As one moves North and the tides are more minimal, the need for floating docks disappears  So in docking you tie up to these pilings/posts that are in the water.   Today when we arrived at Oriental Marina, we pulled in bow first, but realized my vertically challenged self wouldn’t be able to easily get off and on the boat, SO, I moved the boat out of the slip , turned her around, and BACKED into this dock space between two sail boats!    THIS WAS A FIST for me!!   YAY   — and no damage to the dock, the other boats or to our boat.   ha    🙂

I must say, there is something to be said for no currents and no wind messing around with your boat!

Well, enough about me.   Tomorrow we may sit here OR head out.  It depends upon the weather situation in the AM.   There are forecasts for thunderstorms and higher winds.  As for tonight, we are safely tucked away in a quiet little harbor and marina.  All is well and I hope the same for all of you.

 

Beaufort (aka Bo-), NC

We arrived here in Beaufort, NC, pronounced “Bo-fort”, as opposed to Beaufort, SC, pronounced “Bu-fort”.   This is a quaint and old coastal town with several restaurants and shops all along the waterfront.  We have been here before, but never docked here on the boat.   After settling in we will walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Yesterday while in Sneads Ferry, we borrowed the marina loaner car and ran some errands.   Last Fall and other times when we have borrowed this “ride”, the car bounced around, was very rough looking and the interior was a mess with old fast food sacks, etc..  Well — we thought perhaps this was Enterprise car rental as yesterday the same car had been totally cleaned on the interior, it had a new paint job, and maybe the shocks had been fixed.  There is still no air conditioning, but hey, this is a freebe!!   There was a strange electrical cord/wire that wrapped around the steering column that might have been to make the turn signals work, we didn’t ask!!   🙂

As we will find along this journey, one gets services such as hair cuts , etc. when and where you can.   The UPS mailing center was located inside a small engine and motor repair business.  One just can’t be too picky!

Late yesterday afternoon as promised, Danny arrived on our dock with the 5 pound delivery of shrimp!!   They are huge – about 6 inches long, and look delicious.  Presently they are de-headed and now residing in the baby freezer compartment of the refrigerator..

Take a look at these guys…….IMG_2001.JPG

The marina loaner car in front of the SEMPER FI hair cut place.  Camp Lejune nearby.IMG_3064.JPG

Hank working in his new office!IMG_3063.JPG

Once we docked we were invited over onto Sid and Kathy’s boat for a beer.   They had followed us here from Swan Point Marina in Sneads Ferry.  They are from Canada and have recently sold their boat to other Canadians and are delivering the boat from Florida back up to Canada.   They are on a bit of a schedule, but I have a feeling we will be seeing them again along the waterways.

We bought a couple more waterway guide books and Hank bought a coconut head pirate!   Guess that will be hung somewhere on the fly bridge.  Doesn’t every cruiser need one??

IMG_3071.JPG

 

 

Out of South Carolina…….

Today is Monday, May 9, 2016.  This is day 13 of the Great Loop adventure and we have cruised a total of 6 days.     After returning to Myrtle Beach, SC we departed last Sat. and arrived in Southport, NC  (Southport Marina)  where we have stayed previously.   There are several swing bridges and draw bridges that we encounter along our travels.  At one bridge we were the lead boat of 4 other trawlers requesting an opening.   That was a new experience.   No doubt will happen many other times along the way.  On another note, while cruising yesterday, we failed to look ahead regarding bridge openings, and had to wait for almost an hour for one to open.   Oh well — time for a lunch snack!

Hank noticed movement on a marshy island and with the binoculars we found two very FAT goats wandering around out there.   They had to have been put there by someone.  I just hope they had some source of fresh water.   Initially we thought they were wild boars.

Friend Bob Creech, stopped by our boat late afternoon.  He lives in Southport and is a Port Captain with MTOA ( a trawler boating group we belong to) as well as a Harbor Captain for the AGLCA ( the Great Loop boating group).   He will assist boaters with “needs” from a mechanic to a medicine man!   Thankfully, we required neither one.

Yesterday we left Southport and arrived in Sneads Ferry, NC.  This was a 62 mile run.  We are staying for the fourth time at this very funky marina called Swan Point Marina.  The day was very long and tiring, so we are docked here for a few nights.

Many osprey nests on the day markers with Moms and /or Pops sitting on the nests.  It is going to be a bumper crop of ospreys this year.  uuuummmm   as Hank says, can you imagine having as your first meal of your life being regurgitated fish???   Yeah – he is ill!!

We were greeted by Evelyn who runs this marina along with her daughter, Tina Turner.   Evelyn delivered hot, out of the oven cinnamon coffee cake for our breakfast this morning. NICE.   These two women drove off their husbands and took over the marina a few years ago.  There are a few folks who live here full time.   Vince and Laura – who came for a day over a year ago and are still here,  Glen, who lives on a sailboat and drives a tug boat/barge once in a while, and this guy named Danny with a wandering eye who also lives on a sailboat.  We thought he had left, but he showed up on the dock last evening!!   We shared some beers with him, and after about an hour he wandered off promising to bring us some shrimp on Tues.

For today it is chores  — laundry ( tried to do that a few days ago, but the dryer would not function  :()    , some minor repairs Hank is doing on the boat, cleaning, and paper work/business things for me.   Well —this isn’t very exciting news, but as you can tell, it is what we do while living aboard a boat.   Just like home!!!!

 

Rendezvous completed

Good morning from cold Myrtle Beach and Salt Lick!   We arrived back at the boat last night after being in Norfolk, VA for the Great Loop Spring Rendezvous.  There were around 265 people in attendance from Canada, Alaska, South Dakota, France and even a delightful Kiwi chap from New Zealand!!!   We were able to get some of our  questions answered and in my mind, just helped to better visualize the next several month’s travels.   We also met some interesting and fun people that I am certain we will run into again along the way.

Today we are doing grocery shopping, laundry and general regrouping with the hopes of being able to head out tomorrow  on the ICW.   Weather and boat checks first and then we will go.   My guess is we will aim for Southport, NC area as the destination.

We are now truly live-aboard boaters doing the Great Loop!