November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015  Day 8 South for the Winter 2015-16
At anchor
Carolina Beach, NC

After a late start (0900), we departed Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro, NC and cruised 65 miles to an anchorage at Carolina Beach.  This was a cloudy day but we only had a few brief sprinkles of rain this morning.  The water was calm however! 

We had to time a few bridges on the ICW that open on a fixed schedule, and that slowed us down some.  Even so, we decided to keep going when we reached Wrightsville Beach.  We wanted to get as far as we could today to have a shorter day tomorrow.  That meant docking after the sun set! Joyce had to use a flashlight to read the colored markings on the anchor chain! 

We had a nice dinner of barbecue chicken and baked potatoes after we got anchored.  We are already planning our schedule for next week.

Tomorrow’s destination: Barefoot Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC

November 29, 2015  Day 7 South for the Winter 2015-16
Dudley’s Marina
Swansboro, NC

Another great day of cruising.  This could become a habit!  We left Whittaker Pointe Marina at 0825 and entered Adams Creek at 0910. It is very scenic and has many nice homes along the waterfront.

We decided to stop at Jarrett Bay Boat Works on the way for fuel and a pump out. Their diesel price is the lowest we have ever had at $1.86/gallon!  We were on our way again at 11:20 and soon passed by Morehead City. We started seeing dolphin today!

We arrived at Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro at 2:45. After we checked in, Joyce vacuumed and Bill located our little Christmas tree.  We got it mostly decorated before it got dark outside.  A good Looper friend, Tom Goodman stopped by for a very nice visit. He lives nearby and offered to take us to run errands, but we decided we would hold off on those and just relax.  It was good to catch up with Tom and we were sorry to have missed Melesia since she was out of town!

We had a nice beef stew for dinner on board and then relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow’s destination: anchorage at Wrightsville Beach, NC.

November 28, 2015

November 28, 2015  Day 6 South for the Winter 2015-16
Whittaker Pointe Marina
Oriental, NC
We like these perfect cruising days! We left our peaceful anchorage at 0810 and cruised six hours on the Pungo River, Pamlico River, Goose Creek, Hoboken Cut, and the Neuse River. We only saw six cruising boats today, but there were several small fishing boats out enjoying the weather and hopefully their catch!

The calm Pungo River
We arrived at Whittaker Pointe Marina at 2:20. After we got checked in, we borrowed the courtesy car and ran a couple of errands in Oriental.  When we returned we got out most of the Christmas decorations and got them put in place. We will have to get the tree out tomorrow! We were tired and it was getting dark.
We had an easy dinner on board and then relaxed for the evening. Tomorrow’s destination: Swansboro, NC.

November 27, 2015

November 27, 2015  Day 5 South for the Winter 2015-16
At anchor
Pungo River, NC

Today was a perfect cruising day. We took advantage of the sunny day and very calm water and cruised nine hours for 80 miles. We only saw three other cruising boats and two tugboats all day.  We did not have to wait for any bridges – the Alligator River Bridge opened for us immediately.  We were also very happy that the Albemarle Sound was calm!
We played Christmas music all day and that made traveling even more fun!  
We arrived at our anchorage on the Pungo River at 5pm, just after the sun set.  We enjoyed leftovers from our Thanksgiving Dinner and just relaxed for the evening.

A calm Albemarle Sound
Reflections on the Alligator-Pungo River Cut
Approaching our anchorage at sunset on the Pungo River
Tomorrow’s plans are to cruise to a marina in Oriental, NC.

November 26, 2015

November 25-6, 2015  Days 3-4 South for the Winter 2015-16
Midway Marina
Coinjock, NC

After waiting for early morning fog to lift, we had a nice six hour cruise on Wednesday, traveling from Top Rack Marina in Chesapeake, VA to Midway Marina in Coinjock, NC.  We went through the Great Bridge Lock with six other boats. Nice to know we aren’t the only ones going south so late.  We passed two small boats carrying their Christmas trees home!

We got checked in at Midway for two nights. We had a nice pork chop dinner courtesy of our crock pot.  After dinner, Joyce baked a pumpkin pie to get ready for Thanksgiving!

We hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving! We had a traditional turkey dinner with all the usual trimmings. There are enough leftovers for two days! We enjoyed talking to several family members and wish we could have been with them.
We will continue our journey south in the morning. We are not sure how far we will go but will probably find an anchorage after we cross the Albemarle Sound.  We are happy to have nice calm weather this week!

November 24, 2015

November 24, 2015  Days 1-2 South for the Winter 2015-16
Top Rack Marina
Chesapeake, VA

It has been such a long time since we have updated our blog.  What we thought would be three weeks for repairs to our broken bowsprit turned out to be eight weeks! 

We are so grateful to Bill’s brother for opening his home to us and for lending us a car for those eight weeks! During that time, we also went on a fun cruise to Bermuda, visited family and friends locally, completed all Dr. appointments, shopped, attended a fabulous performance of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas“, and ate way too much food!

Yesterday, we picked up our boat (which looks wonderful now) and had her launched back in the water.  We were ready to drive off the lift and the port engine would not start.  We had the boatyard contact an electrician and six hours later, the problem was still not solved. By now it was getting dark, so they jumpstarted the engine and we were able to pull around and tie up to their outside wall to spend the night.

The electrician returned this morning and determined we need a new safety cut off switch. He wired it so we can still start the engine. Bill will order the switch and install it himself.  At any rate, we were able to leave shortly before ten this morning.

We traveled just under two hours to Top Rack Marina, located on the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, VA.  We can’t pass up their diesel price ($1.92/gallon)!  We decided to spend the night here since we would not get to our next destination until after dark.  We finished unpacking and relaxed for the afternoon.  We had a delicious dinner at the Amber Lantern, a restaurant adjacent to the marina.
Getting ready to launch!

We will be on our way to North Carolina tomorrow morning.