Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunny Skies, Palm Trees and Dolphins!!!

Yes, after a rough, cold slog at the start of this leg we are enjoying weather in the mid-20C's!! After leaving Morehead City, NC we spent a day on the ICW and anchored at Mile Hammock, an anchorage in the middle of the US Marine Corps base Camp Lejeunne. The camp is 246 square miles and houses 50,000 Marine and Navy personnel. All day we could hear the live firing going on. There is a large sign at each end of the ICW (and there will be Marines to stop you entering)that will warn you if live firing is going on near the waterway. Here's a video of our entertainment while at anchor.

With nice warm weather, we kept working our way south, leaving North Carolina on Wednesday and starting our way through South Carolina.
We also saw our first dolphins of the trip. No video or pics, Lisa and the kids were too busy screaming with excitement while I was trying to keep the boat inside the channel. The pair of dolphins swam along with us between the hulls, so close that Lisa and the kids were getting sprayed from the blowholes!!

We are pushing hard to get to Georgia, long days on the water, including a few hours of schoolwork for the kids. But even school isn't too bad as you can see by the pic of Delaney's classroom the other day.

Thursday we arrived in North Myrtle Beach, SC. There weren't any anchorages around, and the kids hadn't been off the boat for a few days, so we stopped for the night at Barefoot Landing, a large outlet mall along the ICW. The kids got some ice cream and a chance to run around a bit, while a little later on the parents had a nice night sitting in the cockpit not concerned about tides, currents or slipping anchors.

For all the golfers out there, I couldn't resist showing this "Golf Gondola", taking golfers from the parking lot on one side of the ICW to the course on the other.

A new addition to the boat for the trip has been a chartplotter. It has been a great tool, used in conjunction with our paper charts. For the most part it is very accurate (although it had a buoy in the wrong place as we were entering Morehead City).

Here is a pic showing us travelling about 50' outside the ICW channel!

I couldn't resist showing this pic as well, something we have seen alot of recently. All along the ICW you will find new "waterfront" communities/subdivsions, many of which must have been put on the market prior to the recent sub-prime mortgage mess.

Here you can see what must have been the "early bird" purchasers in this development. The property, complete with streetlights and docks, extends about 1km in either direction of these two houses, the only ones that were built and they are right on top of eachother!!

Friday and Saturday saw us going through some pretty remote parts of South Carolina, mostly saltwater marshes and swamps. We shared a quiet anchorage with a couple of other boats last night, one of them from Halifax on it's way to the Carribean. And yes, swamps and marshes mean mosquitoes!! We are all about 10lbs lighter and slightly anemic after our stop last night.

Tonight we are anchored in a little creek near Isle of Palms, SC (10 miles north of Charleston).,+Charleston,+South+Carolina,+United+States&ll=32.814113,-79.755582&spn=0.004535,0.010546&t=h&z=17 We decided to wait to pass through Charleston tomorrow since it has been blowing from the south for 3 days . The winds will shift to the north tonight meaning we can go across Charleston Harbour with the waves instead of them right on the nose.

We were a bit late getting the anchor down tonight , so while Lisa made an excellent lasagna, the kids played spy while I did an oil change on the engines.

Does anyone out there remember a movie called Trilogy of Terror?? It was 3 stories (duh, trilogy right), and one of them starred Karen Black. She had a little doll/idol, and when it's belt fell off it came alive and terrorized her. Remember the final scene when she is waiting for her mother to arrive???

Anyway, we have acquired a new crewmember who , although he looks a bit like the doll in the movie, hopefully will bring us nothing but good luck and decent winds .

Please post a comment with your name suggestions.

That's all for now. We are aiming for Beaufort, SC (where Forrest Gump was filmed) in about 2 days ,where we will spend a day for Delaneys 9th-Birthday (Oct. 26th), then push further to our next month-long stop (Brunswick, GA).

Take care,

Mark, Lisa, Delaney and Mitchell.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cold, Cold, Cold, Ahhh.... There's the Sun!!!!!

First of all , let's backtrack a bit to what we think is a cute video of Mitch trying to explain crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay at Olversons' .

So as we mentioned in the last entry, the weather has been less than "balmy". Now that is a bit double-sided when you are on a sailboat. On the one hand, cold is cold, and grey is grey. It makes for long days and nights, especially considering we have no source of heat onboard unless you count our oven.

Here's a quick video of our typical day , this one taken just after getting off the Dismal Swamp (we were on the Pungo River, North Carolina).

On the plus side, cold weather comes from the north, we are heading south, so the winds have been terrific for sailing.

The kids have been (up until today) on the boat for 6 days straight!!! Although their world encompasses 34' x 14' ,they have done an incredible job of keeping themselves busy while allowing Lisa and I to maintain our sanity. Apart from school work , reading and crafts (and a bit of Nintendo DS), they have been very creative with their time.

So yes, it's been cold and grey , but it has really helped us get south. Yesterday we managed 65 miles, which might not mean much to you, but when you average 5-6 kts, it's a very good day. It was blowing 20-25kts and we managed to maintain 9-11kts of boatspeed sailing down the Neuse River! We arrived in Morehead City , NC,-97.119141&sspn=34.075391,86.396484&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Morehead+City,+Carteret,+North+Carolina,+United+States&t=h&z=12hoping to get a spot at the Sanitary Restaurant (awful name admittedly) for $10/night, then tried for the free anchorage (full). We settled for the Town Dock (no, we didn't pay the $54.00 although we probably should have), then this morning scooted over to the restaurant .

For the first time in 6 days we saw the sun!!!! It was a beautiful day (18C) but tomorrow is calling for 22C-25C.

We opened the boat up and let things dry out while we wandered around town in and out of shops. The kids spent some of their own money, Lisa got some new boardshorts and a t-shirt while Mark priced out a new kite surfboard (an idea quickly shot down by Lisa, but reconsidered later and hopefully to be purchased in the morning).

NOTE TO ALAN AND COLIN: A Cabrinha 5-Niner Thruster Directional, SWEEEEET!!!!!!!NOTE TO EVERYONE ELSE: Huh????????

So looks like the good weather will be for us for a bit. We still have alot of miles to cover before I go back to work ( we are at Mile 205 and need to get to Mile 685), but we will keep pushing and hopfully get a run or two offshore once we get south of Cape Fear.

Here's a couple more pics of our day in Morehead City.

Having supper with our home (Charlotte-Ann) docked behind us.
Dessert at the Sanitary Restaurant!!
Sunset on Charlotte-Ann.