Saturday, October 31, 2015

 After sitting out the weather for a day in Spooners Creek, which was a great place to reprovision, we continued our way south through North Carolina. We traveled 150 miles in the next 3 days and ended our NC trip at Oak Island. The company that Bud worked for last year owns Blue Water Point Marina there and they couldn't have been more accommodating! We had dockage, laundry, ice, the beach, and Sid, the manager even offered a vehicle to take to town if we needed anything. Even though the shallow water made for an interesting entrance, it was totally worth it. We arrived pretty early and were able to enjoy the day there. It was the first time in months that I could walk on the beach without setting up or breaking down a wedding arch.

Church Creek
The next day we crossed into South Carolina and had 3 nights in beautiful creeks. In Church Creek we actually saw a deer swimming through the anchorage! We've seen some wacky stuff, but that's one for the books! Our anchorage the next night was in Brickyard Creek, 5 miles north of Beaufort. That's where our smooth sailing caught a snag. After anchoring, well, rafting to Links for the night, Bud went through some of his usual checks. When it came to the outdrive oil, it didn't look good. There was definitely water in the oil. The problem was that it wasn't something that could be serviced while the boat was in the water. Fortunately, we have the most amazing, knowledgable and prepared buddy boat on the planet! Links to the rescue...AGAIN! Bud and Tim diagnosed the problem and not only did Tim have the spare parts we needed, but also knew of a great boatyard 4 miles away where we could get a haul out. Unfortunately, the boatyard was not answering their phone. We decided to pull in anyway, despite the full dock and no answer on the radio. We puttered around until we saw a guy on the dock who said he would go get the owner. In a few short hours SeaQuest was high and dry.

SeaQuest in the slings

Tim and Jill had continued on another mile to Lady's Island Marina where we had reservations, but in no time at all, Tim was back at the boatyard and ready to crack open our outdrive. Bud, Tim nor the mechanic had ever done this repair before, but give these guys a manual and a YouTube video and things get done! Two hours later we were ready to go back in the water...the only problem was that there was no water. The tide went out while we were in the lift so we had to wait until the next morning. Ordinarily, this situation would be less than comfortable - pouring rain and climbing up and down a ladder to get to the restroom (we emptied our water tanks, among a bunch of other heavy stuff, in case the boat needed to be blocked for a few days). It would have been a long damp night. Luckily, we have good friends that live a few miles down the road. The Murphys lived a few houses away when I was growing up, but since Mike and Mary moved south 20 years ago I only get to see them on rare occasions. This was definitely a treat - great friends, home cooked meals and a warm dry bed. Those of you who know the Murphys, know how lucky we were!

The next morning we headed back to the boatyard to get underway. Tim joined us just in case, but after motoring around a bit the guys were satisfied with the repairs and we settled into our slip at Lady's Island Marina. This marina is located close to everything a cruiser could need, and since it was raining, the loaner car came in handy for our grocery store run. Steve and Gloria, who run the marina are fantastic! Just don't let Steve talk you into betting anything on his card trick. I lost, and technically we should still be there. (I think he let me welch on the bet because judgement may have clouded by the moonshine!) It really is the kind of marina that sucks you in and makes you feel like you are "home". It's always a little sad leaving there, but the no-see-ums make it much easier! They are the most awful little creatures on the entire planet!


Georgia sunrise
Now we are in Georgia! So many dolphins along the way, but with that comes crazy tides and currents. We take the good with the bad, because the good is so good and the bad really isn't that bad!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick Update

A week ago we finally got out of Chesapeake City. We took advantage of the clear weather and calm water and headed down the Chesapeake Bay. We would have loved to spend more time in the bay, especially stopping to visit with friends and family, but having lost so much time to weather, we had to keep pressing south.

We met up with our buddy boat, Links, and were in Norfolk before we knew it. After sitting out a little bit more squirrelly weather, we left Norfolk.

On our last trip we took the Dismal Swamp Canal. It was a beautiful trip through Virginia and into North Carolina, but this trip we decided to take the Virginia Cut. It will also allow us to stop at new places that we haven't been before.

Ok, it's been a few days since I wrote, but I think I finally figured out to to get pictures onto my post from my iPad! Hopefully now I can do shorter posts with a few more pics!

We are now in Bogue sound, just past Beaufort, NC. We had a few rough days on the way down. A lot of people think that the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) is a nice easy ride, and for the most part it is. There are a few sounds that do need crossing though, and they are large open water bodies. The Albermarle sound was a tough one, and our second day on the Pamlico wasn't the greatest either. It's amazing how conditions can change day to day. The reason I have time to write this right now is because we are waiting out more heavy winds. We do want to get south, but we also want to be comfortable and enjoy the journey. We are lucky that we have traveling partners that feel the same way!

Just a few random pics from along the way.

Great morning!
First good dolphin pic!
Captain, my Captain!
Links at the end of the rainbow! (They ARE worth their weight in gold!)
Beautiful start to our not so fun day on the Pamlico! 
Kaya hasn't jumped ship yet! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015


September 28, 2015

Well, after a week of trying to leave the dock, we finally did it! The weather hadn't been cooperating but we figured that this was our best chance for a semi-smooth ocean passage. At 6:40 AM we left the marina, quite unlike when we departed two years ago. There was no farewell breakfast, no friends and family waving from the dock and no Mesipek filled with our kids escorting us out of the creek. I think we said goodbye to family so many times in the past week they figured there was a good possibility that we wouldn't be leaving anyway. But we did. We did have one visitor before we left. Our friend dropped off a farewell gift which is the most beautiful handmade cheeseboard I've ever seen. Thanks again George! 

As we motored towards and through the canal, through the Manasquan River and towards the inlet, we discussed our plan. We checked weather reports, wind forecasts, etc., and decided we would go all the way to Cape May. Heading out the inlet our favorite sailing song, "Southern Cross" came on the radio and we were assured that it was a sign of a great day ahead! 

Then...we hit the ocean. I am not a fan of big swells, but I am a positive thinker – "I can handle this for a while, all the reports say that the wind and seas would lay down after a little bit." By 10:00am I was convinced I didn't have my sea legs yet and let's just say I did a little chumming  for the next few hours. My positive outlook began to falter, but if there is anything I am sure of, it's my Captain and our boat. SeaQuest can handle anything you throw at her – 6' to 8' swells (that's what the captain called them) 10' to 12' swells (that's what I called them), I'm sure it was somewhere in the middle. And no matter how many times I asked Bud "Are you sure you're OK with this?" He always responded with a smile and a confident "Yup". So I had no choice but to start feeling a little better.

It was a long day…a very long day…and evening. Kaya was a trooper all day until one bout of projectile vomiting around 8:00 PM, then back to sleep. We finally arrived in Cape May and anchored around midnight. With the exception of one pod of dolphins, and the realization that our adventure was finally beginning, the day was not the best. But this is what we signed up for and tomorrow will always be better! And it was! 

Up early the next morning and through the Cape May Canal, the Delaware river was beautiful! After a not so wonderful day on the ocean we were thrilled. The sun was shining and the winds were light. We put up the screecher (our biggest sail) and didn't look back. We rode the current all the way up the river and into the C&D Canal.

And here we sit, in a safe anchorage in Chesapeake City, MD, for days just waiting out the storm. 
It's ok though, now we have time to fix a few issues that occurred on day one. We are having some (amazing) friends bring up some parts needed for an exhaust leak on our engine, and troubleshooting Otto (our autopilot). 

You know what they say cruising is...fixing your boat in exotic places. Not sure how exotic MD is, but we are on our way!

Looking forward to heading south!