Sunday, October 30, 2011

Heading south but NOT fast enough!

On the way to the North Pole??!!

Yep, it is darn cold here in NC!  We will have to make GH go even faster as I look funny with long pants and hats on!

We have had almost no cell coverage going through the state but sometimes we get the Verizon air card to connect like we are doing in our current anchorage in Bear Creek.  No phone but Internet!!??  Go figure and it pays to have two different providers I guess.

Time for a change of scene..

We knew more weather was coming and it was time to hide from the north winds so we went a short ways to Slade Creek


The place has rock solid holding as we had some big wind come through.  The old spade didn't let us down and we sat there for two days and hardly went into the cockpit as it was cold and windy!

Still.......nice sunset

Dowry Creek

We anchored in about 6 feet of water as a strong front was predicted. The holding again was fantastic as the front came through like gangbusters around 2am.  We had a beautiful day there before the weather changed.  Here's a sunset shot.  

Sitting pretty
Location    N  35. 32.154
                 W076. 32. 062

We went into the marina to get gas and ice and along the way we met Ben on s/v Loon, Crealock 37 and caught up "Old Rosie", a Bruce Roberts 44 tonner.  Last time we chatted with them was in the North Channel at Long Point Cove, Ontario in 2008 and where also we had "INTANGIBLE" anchored nearby.

It's always nice to meet new people along the way but it's really cool to see people we haven't seen in years.........very small world we keep saying.

We were invited by Loon to go to the marina happy hour but that was short lived.  If you anchor nearby and don't tie up to the ugly pilings at the marina one gets kicked out of that sort of party.  Sooooo....a word to you folks that like to anchor..........don't ask for much cause you won't get much from Dowry Creek Marina!!

East Lake, Durant Island

We stopped for the night at

N  35.55.023
W 075.54.818

Nice anchorage, very secluded and really good holding.  For the night we had light southwesterlies and slept great!!!

Just passin' through Elizabeth City

South Mills Lock to Durant Island, East Lake

We dropped lines from the raft-up around 7:30am to make our way south.  Next stop Elizabeth City and a really nice sail to Durant Island.
Early morning with a good cup of coffee

 Locking up..........easier than locking down

Next stop..........

Let the rafting begin!

No worries, I'll catch you DeFever 49!!

All tucked in

Where's Grey Hound?

The North Carolina Welcome Center, Dismal Swamp.  Well as it works out when there are 18 boats coming through a lock it takes time to get everyone through.  So not one of these vessels was going to make it to the next lock before closing.  That leaves a lot of boats looking for a place to spend the night in a very small area.  It's possible to anchor in the canal but why when you can meet all your "new best friends" at the Welcome Center? Besides the Welcome Center has washrooms and running water.

ooooooooohhhhhhh The Great Dismal Swamp!!!!

Early (for us anyways) in the morning we pulled anchor and headed south into the Dismal Swamp.  We know for fact that we are the first F-33 going through it.

Heading to the first lock!
Leaving Hospital Pt anchorage

The swamp is something quite interesting and there seems to be times when it would be not too much fun in a trimaran but we had calm winds and sunny skies, although rather cool in the mornings and at night.  First conceived in the 1700's it is now mostly used by pleasure craft and is 22 miles long with two locks.  LOCKS??!!  Oh no......

Plenty of room!!

Don't let go of that line!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

We have a little signal but.......

We tried to upload some pictures but the Internet signal is not great here in Slade Creek, NC.  We will wait out the lousy weather here as the holding is great and we are protected 360 degrees.

Stand by for further highlights....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deltaville and the trip into Norfolk.....

After Tangier Island we decided there wasn't enough wind to go far so we went over to Deltaville for a night at anchor......This was our neighbor.

Then it was off to Norfolk, VA to get ready for a new adventure........the ICW, also known as the Intercoastal Waterway.

Right now we are anchored about 300 yards inside mile maker number 0 and will start heading south tomorrow towards the Great Dismal Swamp.  Hopefully it won't be too dismal for us!!

Our friends as we came into town.......

Note the DeFever 49 in the foreground


A little more of Tangier Island

We were able to tour the museum on the island all by ourselves as Dave, the overseer let us in the back door and we had a great time with no interruption.

It was really cool to see some of the old time stuff and especially the old pictures.

days of the past

Milton Parks.....the man who caught our dock lines

Downtown Tangier
It would be a real shame to loose this part of our country.........  It may not be fancy but it is very real and good!!

Should we go south or east??

After the front went through we thought we would head south until we pulled out of Mill Creek and decided to go east to.......Tangier Island!!  It was only 15 or so miles and we had planned on this visit for some time.

The sail was not the greatest as it was DDW (dead down wind) but once there we were rewarded to a great time with the island, people and atmosphere.

Tangier Island, VA is a very special place in our hearts.  Right now the island is slowly disappearing by 7 acres per year and the Watermen's way of life is really in jeopardy.   Between pollution and the inept Chesapeake Bay policies, the future is not bright.  How can real working fisherman hurt the environment???  We are talking about 50 boats and most of them are single owner boats going out to make a living.

As of now Tangier Island has a population of about 500 compared to 1200 folks not too long ago.  We had our dock lines caught by Milton Parks, owner of the Parks Marina and he is still quite a character at 80 years old.  Dad, he is 24 days younger than you!!  He has been operating the marina for 40 years and has been a waterman for 60.  He and his family have been on the island for a long time!

Enjoy the pictures........

Coming into the channel.....looks narrow for 24 foot beam!

No room for the anchoring......lots of mud at low tide

Crab shacks

Down the main drag at Tangier Island

Can you find the way to go?

The spooning bridge

just very cool

Which mast is GH at Parks Marina?

Waiting out the weather


We stayed in Mills Creek for 3 nights waiting out the weather.  Great holding and rather pretty and plenty of deep water for us.  Kind of wet also......

OK, how many Mill Creek does this make for us in the Chesapeake????

Ps2 - Just who was Mr Mills anyways?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just like the big boys!

We headed out of Solomons Island early (0745) just like all the rest of the fisherman and cruisers.  Kismet should be so proud of us as the day before they admonished us for leaving at 10:00am and getting to Solomon Island some how in front of them.

The sail down was OK.  As we sailed past the Potomac River the wind slackened and turned right making us go in the wrong direction as our original thought was to go to Tangiers Island.  Unfortunately it turned out to be just too far in the wrong direction so after passing Smith Point Light we headed into Mills Creek for the expected front to come through.  Us and about 10 other boats spent a quiet but rather rainy night.  We will follow this up with an update of the high winds expected tomorrow
Schooner heading north

Smith Point Light

Mills Creek

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey Jeff & Cathy......this is for you guys!!!!

At last........a sunset!!

We know you have been wondering when we would do this again.........well here you go!!!

We're off to Solomons Island

After a couple of rain delays we finally were able to head out of the Rhode River and go south.  The forecast was for SW winds but we were hoping they would stay more out of the west than not.  Well......sometimes they did but the oscillating winds (maybe 30-40 degrees) made most of the sail bumpy and rather hard.  Towards the end the wind picked up and we flew into Solomons Island nicely.

There are many small anchorages in a number of creeks so we are having a couple of nice nights.......ah, quiet!

The town at Solomons Island is small but quaint.  We managed to get our exercise walking from one end to the other.  We dinked over to what the cruising guide said is the "world's most famous dinghy dock".  We still can't figure out why as it cost us $2 bucks and it was just at the wall of the Holiday Inn.

A good start!!  Seems so very good to be moving and seeing new places and things.

Good bye "Bay Bridge"  Grey Hound is heading south!

Hello big barge!!!!

Coming into Solomons Island

A very nice looking Schoonerz

Fall is in the air

Busy street in a quiet town!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A marina with no docks!

Between all the rain the Chesapeake has had and the lunar high tides all the docks around here are under water.  This is where we are leaving from this morning, Holiday Hill.

Is this close enough??

This is one close mooring!

Now Don, Sara and Yoda are nice and all that but come on Don!!

A new captain in the making.

The first thing he grabs onboard is the jib sheet.  Then he turns around and wants the tiller!!  But first he will inspect the traveler line for any issues!!??

He could be a tough captain to work for!!

Some of the smaller boats at the show

A Melvin & Morelli design we think
Mike Horn has certainly made a change in life style.  Last I knew he was sailing around the world on a F-28!  Now he is on this huge boat is hanging out in Naptown.

Now this is one big and wild looking sailboat!

A New Adventure Begins.......

Now that we have been in the Chesapeake Bay for a couple of weeks it is time to get moving.  This year could prove to be the most interesting yet as we have decided to try sailing down the whole east coast of the US!!!!!  Key West here we come!!!!!

But, a recap of the last couple of weeks of Boat Shows, friends coming by and of course Evan James!

First......holy smokes, a ton of friends came into town to check out the boat show and we gave it a good try to eat our way through town...

Felix & Margrit came up from Florida and we had to taste the fine food and beer at the Old Stein Inn. 

Next,  Marty & Kathy had a friends home to stay in and we went all over the place to find food and to look at boats!!

Don & Sara (F31 Flight Risk) stopped by and said hi!

Tom, Sue & Erika ran through town after a Hobie Regatta to see some boats, visit with Amy, Jason & Evan along with wishing Anne a Happy B-day

Kismet told us about the fine dining at Grumpy's.

We had a happy hour with the gang from the Chesapeake Multihull Assoc.

Re-newit with other boats at Sarles Marina! you can see we had nothing at all to do over the the last two weeks!!  Oh yea, did I forget about getting Grey Hound ready for the adventure??!!