May 11, 2015

May 10, 2015  Day 170 South for Winter
Whitehouse Cove Marina
Poquoson, VA

We left Waterside early Friday with the help of a Gold Looper who helped us cast off.  We had a fairly short, calm ride to Cobb’s Marina in Little Creek. 

Our daughter, Kari and son-in-law, Robert picked us up for lunch, and then we did a little provisioning before going to their home in time to greet our grandchildren who were coming home from school.  It was so good to see them again!  We stayed for dinner and had a great evening.

Saturday included doing some boat chores, positioning Kari’s car in Poquoson, attending Nathan’s soccer game, and going out for dinner with everyone.

Sunday was Mother’s Day and we were happy to have them all (including their dog, Lottie) join us on our cruise to Poquoson.  We did not have the best conditions – but did ok with about two footers mostly on the beam.  Just a little choppy, but we all had fun. Bill had each of the grandchildren take turns at the helm, and that made their day.  Bill’s brother Bob was here to greet us and catch our lines, as we returned from our “South for the Winter” journey.

Our plan is to remain here for about three weeks and get some work done on the boat, take care of Dr. appointments, and visit friends and family.  We will begin a new section of the blog in June when we depart. We plan to go out the Erie Canal, the Thousand Islands, back down the Erie Canal, down the Hudson and out in the Long Island Sound, returning to Poquoson in October.

May 6, 2015

May 6, 2015  Day 166 South for Winter
Dismal Swamp Visitors Center
South Mills, NC   

What a fun day!  The six boats unrafted and we left the Welcome Center at 8:00 heading north at 5 mph on the Dismal Swamp.

We arrived at the bridge at Deep Creek at 11:00 and then went immediately into the lock.  Robert, the well-known lock master, entertained us by blowing his conch shell.  He has quite the collection and is also a master story teller.  We had just started to lock down and he spotted Bill’s banjo on our sundeck and asked him to play. So, Bill set on the foredeck of our boat and Robert handled the stern lines for him!  
Music in the lock!

We exited the lock and then continued on the Elizabeth River, taking a slight detour to go to Top Rack Marina. They have the cheapest fuel in the entire area.  We also went inside to their deli and had great turkey Rueben sandwiches for lunch.

We decided to go to a marina instead of trying to find space on the free wall, so we called Waterside in Norfolk, VA and were happy they had room for us.  The Looper Rendezvous is in full swing there and we were excited to reunite with old friends and meet new ones.  We also joined in a birthday celebration for three of the Loopers!

Tomorrow we will go to a marina in Little Creek. Stay tuned!

May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015  Day 165 South for Winter
Dismal Swamp Visitors Center
South Mills, NC               

We left our anchorage at 6:45 Monday and spent another long day, cruising the Neuse River, Hoboken Cut, Goose Creek, Pamlico River, Pungo River, and the Alligator Cut.  We had a very calm day of travel!

We stopped for fuel at River Forest Marina in Belhaven, and then were on our way again.  At 3:45 we passed the marker showing 115 miles to Norfolk!  We reached our anchorage on the Alligator River at 5:30 and had a quiet night.  We enjoyed the beautiful full moon!

Enjoying the serenity of the Dismal Swamp
Bill is enjoying the relaxation of docking
 at the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center.
Note the sailboat that rafted to us!

On Tuesday we left early and continued traveling on the Alligator River.  At 9:15 we reached the Albemarle Sound which was very calm.  This led to the Pasquotank River which took us past Elizabeth City. We were soon at the South Mills Lock and caught the 3:30 opening.  We locked through with three sailboats and then entered the Dismal Swamp. We arrived at the Welcome Center at 4:45 and docked at the free wall. The sailboats that traveled behind us rafted to us and the other two boats already here, making six total. The people on the sailboat rafted to us had a teenage son and two large dogs!  The dogs eventually got used to stepping on and off our boat.  We had a very nice visit with everyone and realized quickly we already knew one couple from Maryland! The others were from Canada and we enjoyed meeting them.

Tomorrow we will finish our travel on the Dismal Swamp!

May 3, 2015

May 3, 2015  Day 163 South for Winter
At anchor
Adams Creek, NC       

We are being passed by a larger yacht
on the ocean
We left our anchorage at Wrightsville Beach at 0650 and entered the inlet to take us offshore.  Several other boats were also cruising offshore – some of course were out fishing.  We had 2’ to 3’ rollers on the bow for about half the day; then they reduced to about 1’. It was definitely a good day to be outside!

We reached the Beaufort Inlet at 1600 and soon reached Morehead City where we had planned to anchor. We quickly changed our minds when we saw how open it was to the inlet. Many Sunday boaters were still out and we did not want the exposure to wakes.  So, we continued on for over two hours. We finally chose an anchorage in a small “bend” off Adams Creek.  This is about a 45 minute cruise south of Oriental, NC.

Full moon on our port side

We are tired from our long day of 11 ½ hours, and are spending a quiet night at anchor.

Sunset on Adams Creek on our starboard side

May 2, 2015

May 2, 2015  Day 162 South for Winter
At anchor
Wrightsville Beach, NC

We had planned to leave Barefoot on Friday, but decided to stay an extra day because of weather.  We went to lunch with Rick and Margi and then ran errands together on the way back to the marina before the rain started. We spent more time visiting with them on our boat in the afternoon – we will not see them again for six months.

Carried Away leaving Barefoot
We did depart early this morning and continued our trip north. We passed Sunset Beach, Holden Beach, and Southport and had a good travel day. The weather was great and the water was calm.  That of course brought out many Saturday boaters and we were constantly waving to them as they passed us.  One very rude boater waked us terribly, and that is never a good thing.

We reached our anchorage at Carolina Beach at 3:00 but decided to continue on to Wrightsville Beach to shorten our day on Sunday.  We anchored near the inlet to the ocean with three sailboats.

Our plan for dinner was to grill salmon, but when Bill took off the grill cover he noticed the regulator and propane bottle were both missing. They had to have fallen off when we were waked this afternoon.  So, on to Plan B.  Joyce found a recipe to prepare salmon in the oven and it was very good.  Dinner was saved!

We will leave again in the morning at sunrise and travel offshore to an anchorage near Morehead City, NC.  We have a long day but will avoid bridges and shallow areas on the ICW.