May 14, 2014

May 13-14, 2014  Days 16-17  Heading North!
Whitehouse Cove Marina
Poquoson, VA

Tuesday was an active day cruising busy waters.  We left Midway Marina at 0645 and were in the Currituck Sound by 0715.  We made the 1000 North Landing Bridge opening which also put us in Virginia! We made the Centerville bridge opening at 11:00 and from there went to Atlantic Yacht Basin for fuel and a pump out.  We stayed there and waited for the Great Bridge opening at 1300 hours.  That led us right into the lock which we shared with three other boats. We exited the lock at 1330 and made the next bridge opening, the Steel Bridge, at 1400 hours.

We continued on through the busy industrial ports of Portsmouth and Norfolk.  It is a very active area that required no wake zones.  We arrived at one of the Portsmouth free docks and docked with two sailboats and the ferry boat that crosses the Elizabeth River several times a day taking people to Waterside in Norfolk.

We had a pizza delivered to the boat and enjoyed our quick dinner on the sundeck.

Our final travel day home was Wednesday. May 14. We woke to a light fog and ventured out at 0815.  It is always interesting to travel the Elizabeth River with Navy ships, commercial traffic, and pleasure craft in the mix of things.  We had a smooth ride home and arrived at Whitehouse Cove Marina at 1305 hours. Bill’s brother Bob was here to catch our lines. He took us to lunch at Surfriders Restaurant which is on site.  We enjoyed catching up with him and we enjoyed the crabcake sandwiches!

Our 17 day trip home has been a good one, and we are ready to stay docked for a whole to regroup, take a trip to Illinois, and visit friends and family.  We will update the blog before we depart in mid-June to spend the summer on the Chesapeake Bay.

May 12, 2014

May 8-12, 2014  Days 11-15  Heading North!
Midway Marina
Coinjock, NC

Thursday was a sunny, calm travel day.  We did have bridges to time and two of them only open on the hour.  We made the 0900 Wrightsville Beach opening, the 10:00 Figure Eight Island Bridge opening, and the 12:00 Surf City Bridge opening.  Our intended destination was to anchor at Mile Hammock.  This changed when we heard the Onslow Bridge was under repair. The anchorage is not far from the bridge and we were concerned that it would be full. So, we opted to stay at Swan Point Marina in Sneads Ferry.  The water at the dock was shallow so we moved to the outer face dock and did fine.

We left at 0730 Friday and were happy to see that the Onslow Bridge was functioning.  We continued on the ICW to Swansboro, NC where we docked at Casper’s Marina.  Our Looper friends, Tom & Melesia are Harbor Hosts there. We joined them at their beautiful home for a shared dinner with other Loopers (In My Element, Adironack, and Kajen) and had a fabulous evening. Melesia also took Joyce to the grocery store to do provisioning.
We left there Saturday, went through Bogue Sound, passed Morehead City, and entered the Neuse River which had a tolerable chop of 1 ½ -2 feet.  We anchored in Hoboken Cut after a nine hour ride.  We had a calm night, and although Bill saw lightning to the west of us, it never reached us.

Sunday, Mother’s Day, took us to another anchorage in the Alligator River.  We traveled on the Pamlico River, the Pungo River, the Alligator River/Pungo River Cut, and then the Alligator River. Much of it is very rural and unfortunately our AT&T cell phone service did not work, so Joyce did not get to talk to our son or daughter for Mother’s Day!  We did have a calm anchorage and were joined by several sailboats.
We left the anchorage on Monday but had to wait for the fog to lift. At 0825 we decided we could manage and headed out. We reached the Alligator River Bridge at 10:35, and then entered the Albemarle Sound at 11:10. What a delight to find it calm! By 1:15 we were in the North River.  We arrived at the Midway Marina at 3:05 and tied up on their long face dock.  The restaurant is closed on Monday, so we will have dinner on board.  We are already planning our trip tomorrow – we have to time more bridges, go through a lock, stop for fuel, and navigate the busy industrial and military waters at Portsmouth and Norfolk. We hope to stop in Portsmouth and tie up at their free wall.

May 7, 2014

May 5-7, 2014  Days 8-10  Heading North!
At anchor
Carolina Beach, NC

We spent three nights at the Barefoot Marina in North Myrtle Beach. This gave us time to visit friends, provision the boat, and do some chores.

Joyce and Margi went to the grocery store Monday morning. Joyce and two other boaters treated themselves to pedicures in the afternoon.  Bill got the exterior of the boat cleaned!  We went to dinner at the closest restaurant that evening and had a light meal.
Tuesday was spent doing laundry (Joyce) and working on the dinghy motor (Bill). We had not used the dinghy since last fall, and it may have moisture in the gas tank. After several attempts to solve that problem it still does not run, so we will have to take it to a Honda dealer when we get home.  

Bill’s cousin, Bill and his wife Diane, drove to see us from their nearby home in Sunset Beach. We spent time visiting on our boat and then went to dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. It is always so good to see them when we arrive at Barefoot. Next fall they hope to join us for a boat trip!

We left the marina before 0800 and once again Rick and Margi were there to help with our lines and see us off.  We said goodbye with hugs – we will not see them until next winter.  We traveled north for about seven hours to our anchorage in Carolina Beach.  Lockwood Folly has been dredged and that was a blessing!  The Cape Fear River also behaved today with only a one foot shop at most.  It was a good travel day!

Tomorrow we will continue on journey north and plan to anchor again.



May 3-4, 2014  Days 6-7  Heading North!
Barefoot Marina
North Myrtle Beach, SC

On Saturday at 0720, we left our anchorage at Church Creek and headed north through Elliott’s Cut which leads into the busy Charleston Harbor. It is always a treat to come through there and see the beautiful, historic homes on the Battery. We did not stop in Charleston this time, but continued on to make a longer distance.  We enjoyed talking with our friends on Salt Shaker again on the radio and hope to see them this summer in the Chesapeake.

By early afternoon we realized we needed to stop for a little fuel and we went into Jerome Creek to Leland Oil Co.  We had to wait at the entrance to the creek for several shrimp boats to leave. They were just coming from the “Blessing of the Fleet” Ceremony. It was fun to watch them parade out into the river.
We reached our anchorage on the South Santee River at 1620 and spent a very peaceful night there.

Sunday morning found us up and out early at 0705. We entered the Waccamaw River at 0820 and were soon passing Georgetown.  Our first stop was at the Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach. They have the best fuel prices in the area and we filled all thee tanks. We left there and wound our way down to North Myrtle Beach to dock at the Barefoot Marina.  It was quite a ride – take a warm, sunny afternoon on Sunday and you will find every jet ski, pontoon boat, runaround boat, cruisers, and even a tow boat going up and down the narrow river. We arrived at the marina at 5:00 and our friends Rick and Margi, on Journey were there to take our lines.  Soon we were with other Loopers having Docktails!

May 2, 2014

April 30 – May 2, 2014  Days 3-5  Heading North!
At anchor, Church Creek, SC

On Wednesday, we left our anchorage at New Teakettle Creek (love the name!) and traveled eleven hours to reach an anchorage at Bull Island near Hilton Head. After traveling through a thunderstorm, we eventually arrived at our destination and actually spent a very quiet night at anchor.

On Thursday, we had a short, calm 4 hour drive and went to the Lady’s Island Marina. This is across the river from the historical town of Beaufort.  After 3 days at anchor we needed to get off the boat! We borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and went to Publix to provision our galley. We also got some laundry done. We found some Loopers there also. Randy and Sherri on Priorities are on their Californian, and before we all went to dinner we had them over for a visit. It is always fun to meet people on a boat like ours!  We had a nice seafood dinner at Dockside, a restaurant right behind the marina.

This morning, Friday, we left the marina and drove six hours to an anchorage in Church Creek, just south of Charleston, SC.   We had such a pleasant surprise when we heard the crew of Salt Shaker on the radio.  They are the former owners of our boat, and we enjoyed chatting with them on the radio!  It is such a small world. They are also anchored here with us.  We saw more boat traffic today than we have seen all week!  

Tomorrow we will continue our journey north!