Sunday, November 19, 2017

Charleston to Mosquito Creek, NC

Today:    43 miles, 7 hours, ICW St. M 512.0
Total:     704.2 miles, 103.5 hours

     Leaving the dock could have been difficult with about a 10-12 mph breeze along with a 2-knot current against us, but Pete got us away with no problems.
Cruising through beautiful country
     It was a beautiful ride. Sunny skies and gentle breezes, just not enough to help.  Our speeds varied between 4.8 and 9.2 mph.   Hoping to catch the more of the favorable currents today, we decided to leave at 8:15 am. A number of areas have become very narrow due to shoaling. We cleared all the problem areas at mid- or higher tides, with the exception of Fenwick Cut.  We went through there at dead low, but still had 1.5 feet below the keel. Once again Bob 423’s observations were spot on!

The most unusual profile of a water vessel!
     We were passed by the usual assortment of power boats.  Sail boats were few and probably traveling south behind us.  The most unique boat we have seen this journey, was ALCHIMEDES.  It looks to be a 45-50-foot sailboat hull, minus the mast, with framework about 5-foot off the decks that support a total of 22 solar panels.  On the starboard side is a painter with a small engine that powers the boat via the hip tow.  The cruising speed appears to be about 4.5 mph. It would have been interesting to talk with him and learn more about the boat. He turned into Ashepoo Cut while we continued up the Ashepoo River heading to B & B Shrimp Co., on Mosquito Creek.
The B & B Shrimp Company

Signs & floats on the
work shed
     Yesterday, Pete called B & B Shrimp to request dockage.  We said we should be there around 3:30 today, and sure enough, he was there to help us secure to the dock.  Things are a bit more tired since the last time we were here 7 years ago, with SV BRUNELLE, SV ANDIAMO, and SV SEVILLA, but the creek is still very pretty.  There was no power at the dock, which we knew in advance.




The FV BILLIE B 
Further up the creek

FV SWEET PA TOOTIE
Working Boat FV SWEET PA TOOTIE
Apparently, B&B does oysters, too!

Portrait of the SV BILLIE B
     With temperatures due to drop to the low 40’s we added extra blankets to the bed, had Bailey wear her coat overnight and made it an early night. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Making the most of it at St. John's Marina

Tuesday, 11/14/17
     We had planned to leave this morning to head to B & B Shrimp on Mosquito Creek, about 30 miles south of here.  It is the only place to dock and walk the dog between here and Hilton Head.  Unfortunately, they are closed on Monday and Tuesdays.  Pete also checked Passage Weather.  It turns out that we will not have a window to jump from Hilton Head to Fernandina Beach until middle of next week.  So, we began researching traveling through Georgia. Unfortunately, we do not have the Georgia Cruising Guide with us.  We figured that we should stay another day, borrow the loaner car to head over to West Marine for the guide and continue our research.  Most of the afternoon was spent checking as much as we could without the guide. Through Active Captain, we were able to see the routes and marinas, but not the tides, which is a real problem.  Though only 140 miles, it could conservatively, it could take us 4-5 days due to the spacing of the marinas. Anchoring is out as there are no spots to take Bailey ashore.  Then we have to figure in the tides and currents. After much discussion, we decided not to cruise Georgia, but to make the jump.  That means we need to stay. We arranged for dockage through Sunday.  It meant we had to move the boat for a 3rd time today.  First was from the fuel dock to C-25, which was OKfor 1 night, but we needed to be on B-54 for the rest of the week.
Sunset
     By 3, it was time to pick up the car keys.  Another boater, who will be leaving in the morning, needed it more than we did, so we will have it tomorrow.  Instead we returned to the boat, read and enjoyed the leftover sausage and peppers for dinner.  We can sleep in tomorrow since we are staying.


Wednesday, 11/15/17
Crew working on dock repairs
     So much for sleeping in late.  At 7:15, we jumped out of bed after hearing a bang/clang.  It sounded as if we lost our anchor.  Remember that barge sitting at the end of the dock?  Well, it is about 50 feet away across the fairway.  They are lifting steel pilings into place. . .at 7:15 am!
     Pete has plenty of work to keep him busy.  I did some light house cleaning, walked, transferred photos, and read.  It was a really pretty day once it warmed up to the low 60’s.  Just before six, we pricked up the car keys, and received a suggestion for a good place for Chinese/ Vietnamese food.  After buying a new printer at Staples, we had a good dinner at Pho Saigon.  Since it was in the same shopping center, we picked up a few items at Harris Teeter’s, then went to O’Rielly’s Auto Parts.
     Scenes from my walk. . . 




      Once back, I spent some time visiting Carolyn by phone.  Somehow in her sleep last night, she broke her pelvis. She was doing so well with her therapy. This will definitely set her back.

Thursday, 11/16/17
     This morning we expected noise from the workers. Pete watched in fascination as the tug re-positioned the barge in the strong current.  The barge pushed the barge away from the dock.  They then set one of the barge’s pilings to stabilize it, then the tug pushed the barge into another direction.  They stabilized it again and repeated the procedure until they were able to put the barge into the fairway. Pretty impressive in this current! 
     SV CHEROKA docked 4 slips up from us.  Mike said that they had to have a diver try to free his anchor from the sunken 42’, center cockpit sailboat that is sunk in the area that boats anchor across from Charleston City marina.  He could not pull up the anchor on Tuesday.  Suggestions from others on Active Captain as well as assistance from TowBoat US didn’t help. They had to buy a new anchor and just a short run of chain. Pete discussed our plans for jumping next week.  Mike said that they are part of a couple of boats hoping to do the same.  Looks like we might have company for our ocean ride.
     Today's walk...

     Otherwise today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday, with the Vietnamese food as leftovers.
   
Friday, 11/17/17
Re-positioning the barge
     The barge has once again been re-positioned. Today, it is on the opposite side of the dock from us.  Crews still work on the other two docks, finishing up the cleat and electrical installations.
    
    I spent a good part of the day, updating info for the blog.  We are still waiting for the pump out boat.  It has engine trouble, so it has a hip tow as it makes it rounds.  For some reason, they didn’t make rounds on Wednesday or Thursday.  We are on the list and definitely need their services.  There is no way with the barge in place, that we could get in to the fuel dock for the pump out. I also managed another good walk.  The weather is perfect: cool, mid 60’s and a light breeze.
    Another great day for a walk and photos. . . 

      After dinner, we chilled, read and watched some TV, but nothing worthwhile.

Saturday, 11/18/17
     Took advantage of the great laundry. At a $1/machine it is very reasonable and usually available as they have 4 of each machines.  There is also a long folding surface should there be others also doing laundry.  While my stuff was in the washer, I enjoyed a long, hot shower and washed my hair.  I then went back to the boat to vacuum the rugs and take them up for washing.  While in the laundry Room, I meet Neal, who was on crutches.  He had plans to circumnavigate, but they had to be put on hold for a year.  Six weeks ago, he and his parents were sailing off Florida’s east coast, when his right tibia was shattered by the end of a bungie cord attached to the windless.  He was untangling the cord, when it broke, sending the metal piece right into the tibia. His dad then fell overboard, and he had to hop back to the helm and get Dad back aboard.  Then there was a 10-hour sail into port to get medical attention.  He now has a metal rod for a tibia and plenty of therapy ahead. Once fully healed, I hope that he is able to fulfill his dream.
     It seems that the laundry room is a great place to meet other cruisers.  I also met Louise and Gary, SV TAKAMOANA (Float on Water).  They have been world sailors for the past 7 years.  They love the gypsy life with no agenda, even though it drives their daughter nuts!  We hope our paths meet further down the cruise.
     Pete was able to do a full check on the systems as well as wash the boat.  He also looked into Navionics Sonar charts (supported by Ray Marine).  It is an app that is crowd sourced.  If one has the sonar and the app, it can be set up to send specific depth information that is joined with others who have cruised that area, to give a pretty accurate depth and contours of the bottom.  Once the app was set up on his phone (he can access the info, we just can submit depths as we do not have sonar) he went and viewed the information on McClellanville and it matched what we saw when traversing the area.  Pretty neat!!!

     Since provisioning will not be easy once we are in Florida, I was able to get the car for some last-minute items.  I hope this is the last provisioning until we are in Riviera Beach for the next two months.
     
Tonight's sunset was beautiful!
      
~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Monday, November 13, 2017

Georgetown to Charleston, NC

Today:    71 miles, 9.5 hours, ICW St. M 472.6
Total:     661.2 miles, 96.5 hours

     We were underway by 6 am this morning.  Even with the first hints of light to the east, it was still pretty dark when leaving Georgetown harbor.
Current dragging the crab float
     As we approached the Estherville Minim Creek Canal, there were 2 sailboats anchored in the strong current of Winyah Bay.  We will be heading though the skinny waters in this area during a falling tide and hitting McClellanville at low.  They are probably trying to time it a bit differently. Thankfully, once again Bob 423 has posted his observations on Active Captain and his observations are right on! Yes, there was skinny waters, but we were able to clear them with no problem, just took it nice and slow.
     Passing through the Cape Roman National Wildlife Refuge, I spotted 7 eagles along with an osprey, turkey vultures, crows, herons, and seagulls.  I always hope we would see more wildlife that we actually have seen.
PEKABU centered
 in the deepest water
     McClellanville was a bit more disconcerting.  We had hoped to be there prior to dead low, but the currents against us didn’t let that happen.  Traveling very slowly and following the suggestions, we squeaked through with lots of mudflats close to us on each side! Only good thing about the mudflats is that Pete spotted a large, furry, black something, possibly a river otter among the exposed dock pilings.




Tide's out in McClellanville
Crab trap and float at low tide
     The tides were at mid and rising during our approach to Isle of Palms.  Definitely, a beautiful area… when there is water.  Last fall, we came through at dead low.  The mud flats were ugly, you couldn’t see the marshes, and the docks for the water front homes were all high and dry.

Picturesque Isle of Palms at mid-tide
Isle of Palms golf course
PEKABU is really moving
 though Elliott Cut
     Timing became our biggest concern during the early afternoon.  We must make the Ben Sawyer opening early enough to cross Charleston Harbor and clear the Wapoo Creek Bridge before it closes at 4 for rush hour traffic. If we couldn’t make it, we would have to dock ourselves in the strong current of St. John’s Marina in the dark.  Pete tried to get dock space at the two other marinas in on the north side of the Wapoo Bridge, but there was nothing available. We called into the Ben Sawyer at 2:15, but had to wait 15 minutes for 2 other boats to close the space to the bridge before he would open.  With the wind and current against us, I didn’t know if we could make the 11 miles for the 3:30 opening of the Wapoo Bridge so I called the bridge and confirmed there was a 4 pm opening.   It is closed form after the 4 pm opening to 6:30. Thankfully, we made it to the bridge by 3:25 for the 3:30 opening. While waiting for the opening, I was able to rig the boat for docking in the more tranquil current in this area. The current was also in our favor through Elliott Cut, but still pretty intense.  Our speed maxed out at 10.2 mph.
The lower bridge is finally rebuilt!
     Coming towards the marina, we couldn’t help but notice the two barges at the end of C-Dock.  The dock damage from Hurricane Matthew is finally being repaired. Since we plan to leave in the morning, we were docked at the fuel dock overnight.  It’s great for walking Bailey.  The other big change here at the marina is the bridge that goes from the street into the parking lot for the marina.  It has finally been repaired after being broken for 4+ years. 

~~~ /) ~~ K & P


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Myrtle Beach to Georgetown, NC

Today:    51 miles, 7.25 hours, ICW St. M 402.9
Total:     590.2 miles, 87 hours

Osprey Marina's Transient Dock
     Clear Skies and cool temperatures greeted us this morning. We were up and away from the dock by 7:40. As we passed Osprey Marina, we saw the brand new transient dock. It is impressive…and long!  We stayed there on our trip north as part of our original cruise.  They were great.  While at The Barefoot Landing Marina, Kitty, of SV TAMUR, spoke with Osprey and asked if they had transportation so that she could pick up a few provisions.  The gal at Osprey stated that Uber could be called, but if Kitty gave her a brief list, she would pick up the groceries for her.  Talk about customer service!
The construction that closes
 the ICW on Fridays
     Thankfully, we didn’t need to leave on Friday.  Apparently, every Friday for the next couple of weeks, the ICW is closed below the Socastee Bridge so that the construction on the new bridge can proceed safely.  When we passed through that area, you can see that they are currently placing the I-beams for the road bead of the bridge.
     Currents were our main concern today.  We were against the current for the first few hours until we were on the Waccamaw River. Once the current was in our favor we were in the upper 8’s and even hit 9.2 mph until the current changed about 5 miles north of Georgetown. One noticeable observation on the Waccamaw was the turtles.  We saw groups of them on logs trying to absorb the available sunlight. Unfortunately, around the same time, clouds had begun to build so the sun was intermittent. The trees that line the river are pretty bare or brown.  Definitely, not as pretty as spring and earlier fall travel on this river.
Banks of the Waccamaw River
Turtles finding warmth in the fall
School bus ferry
Cypress roots










Bank of the Waccamacaw
further downriver
FV CAROLINA GIRLS
heads back home
FV BLACKBEARD
     In the past, we have always docked at Georgetown Marina, which is on the Pee Dee River on the outskirts of town.  Today, we went to Harbor Walk Marina.  It is right in the old town. Apparently, they just opened.  The floating docks, the shed for the fuel dock are all new.  It is a short walk into the quaint old town.  Since it was Sunday, we opted for an early dinner at the Big Tuna since most places in town close by 5 on Sunday!  We enjoyed sitting outside, watching and listening to the thousands of black birds on the island across the way.
The Big Tuna Restaurant's waterfront dining
   Once back, we spoke with some of our dock neighbors.  The couple from Boston had a Shannon motor sailor.  I must admit, it is one of the stranger sailing vessels we have seen. Strange, but according to her owner, she’s comfortable, stable, and with 12+ knots of wind, she is a good sailing vessel.
     The cloud cover made for a less than impressive sunset, but the atmospheric feel in the harbor was wonderful!

     We plan to leave a nautical twilight in the morning. We have a lot of miles to cover with a very challenging, skinny waters in a number of places, so it will be an early night.

~~~ /) ~~  K & P

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The week in North Myrtle Beach

Monday, 11/6
     This morning was very busy.  Pete worked with George via phone, while I took my 2-mile walk. When I got back to the boat, we untied the lines and moved to the main dock for fuel and pump out.  Pete continued to work under the gun until about 2. Then it was time to organize and pack before the driver from Enterprise arrived to take Pete to get his rental car.
     While Pete was working, a gentleman stopped by. He though we might have engine problems and offered assistance as a diesel mechanic. He lives here at the resort and we chatted for a while.
     I spent the afternoon updating and uploading the blog.  I had to get it done while Pete was still here, and I had the internet access through the JetPack, which travels with him for work.  Even though the marina advertises internet service, it works only on the main dock.  They are getting a better system later this month, but that doesn’t help now.
     Around 4:30, Pete left for Charleston airport, 2 hours away. Shortly after he left, I was checking my phone and saw that our daughter-in -law, Kelli, gave us a heads’ up that our good friend, Carolyn, fell in her garden and broke her hip.  I was able to speak with Carolyn and she is going to have surgery in the next day or two. What a bummer! Even though there are hundreds of miles separating us, I will be there for her as she was there for me earlier this year.

Tuesday, 11/7
     After Bailey and I took our walk, I spent most of the day reorganized things. I cleaned up photos on my phone and organized other folders, then continued on the computer.
     Pete’s flight left at 6:50 this morning, which meant that he has been up since 4 am Eastern time.  He made a mistake choosing to fly economy and he couldn’t even reserve his seating choice.  As a result, both legs of the flight were miserable; middle and window seats, when he prefers the roomier isle seating.
     Around 4:30, I as I walked Bailey, I met Kitty.  She invited me to join them for cocktails aboard SV TAMURE. Kitty and Scott are from Norwalk, CT.  They have circumnavigated the world twice, plus completed the Atlantic Circle. They had such wonderful stories to share (including being aboard their 32-foot sail boat during the strongest hurricane recorded in Fiji in the 70’s and working with the indigenous peoples of South America.) Joining us was Mike and Tina of SV CHEROKA, out of Ontario. They were the couple who helped us into the dock at Belhaven. This is their first cruise. As they entered the US, they found themselves (and his brother’s boat) heading down the Niagara River and, yes, towards the falls a few miles downstream!  They turned around once they realized their mistake, but with a 10 knot current they couldn’t make headway.  They had to use Tow Boat. The other couple were Elaine and Jeff, from MV ANEGADA DA VIDA, Greenwich Bay, RI. They have cruised the east coast a few times and they hope to make it back to the Bahamas after the first of the year. The two hours went very fast and an enjoyable time was had by all.
     I returned to PEKABU to fill the water tanks and to reheat my dinner. After dinner, I talked with Pete.  Today was long and intense, and tomorrow will be more of the same.  Pete and George their business and I am sure that the solution they wind up with will be great for their client.
     Bailey has been taking the same stick for a walk since Sunday.  Today, she exchanged it for one that had been pulled from the water and been placed on our dock.  She’s so proud of her sticks! As to her ears, their eruptions seem to be cyclic.  The ears improve and then get worse.  The vasculitis, according to the vet, feels a bit like pins and needles.  Her shaking of the head from time to time, breaks off large pieces of scab, exposing new, raw areas.  Right now, we seem to be in a declining period.  She is so good about taking the pills and allowing the application of the cream twice a day.  I just wish it would clear up.
  
Wednesday, 11/8
    We had some rain and wind overnight.  During our walk, I checked with the dock master to see if my external storage has arrived.  I finally max out the terabyte of storage on my old portable hard drive. It hadn’t yet, but today's delivery should be sometime after 11. 
    I had offered to help TAMUR and CHEROKA cast off, but they left a little before 9.  It seems a lot of boats are trying to get farther south before the rains come tomorrow. These two a heading down to Osprey Point Marina to wait out the weather.
     Kyle, the dock hand, had stopped around 11 with my package.  I spent most of the day organizing photos in LightRoom. It was just the tip of the ice berg.  I want to cull out tons of duplicate and poor photos, and organize them in LR database. I am hoping once we are docked for the 2 months in Riviera Beach, I will be able to make a sizable dent in the work. 
     I was even able to catch up with some friends and one of my sisters today. I miss Pete, but when he travels, I seems to be more productive.

Thursday, 11/9
     Set my alarm so that I could walked Bailey before the heavy rains came. Good thing I did. We were back to the boat only 20 minutes when the heavy rains came. Knowing it was going to pour all day, I thoroughly cleaned the boat. Poor Bailey, she couldn’t find a good spot to stay out of my way. Things out of place, were placed where they belong so I was moving all around the boat all day. Since I have also been successful using up the leftovers and small food items in the fridge, it was a good time to defrost it.  It might have been a poor day to be on the water (only 2 boats headed south, and no boats was added to the marina) but it was a very successful day on board.
     Pete and George are taking the red-eye home tonight.  Pete has already accepted that he will not get any sleep as he has the middle seat again.
    When I took Bailey for her final walk, the rains finally stopped and the air is crisp, clear, and clean.  If it were warmer, I would have loved to open the hatches, but I’m not crazy.  It is supposed to be in the low 40’s by morning.

Friday, 11/10
     Bailey and I resumed our longer morning walks. Once back, I defrosted the freezer.  While it was defrosting, I made up a quick reference sheet of all our stops on the cruise, including miles including notes on inlets from which we might be able to “jump” for ocean passages as a way of shortening the travel time.  We planned to be in West Palm Beach by Thanksgiving, However, with my medical appointments in Florida being over 2 weeks instead of 4 days, it pushed things back.  Weather delays as well as Pete trip to California have also pushed things further behind.  Once Pete has recouped and slept, I let him to do calculations to see if it is possible. We can’t do jumps if they are longer than 12 hours due to Bailey.  She is not trained to take care of business on board.  Even if any are feasible, it will depend on the weather when the time comes for the jump.
     I went over and started 2 loads of laundry, then jumped into the shower.  It is wonderful to have water over head when washing hair!  When I returned to the laundry to switch the loads into the dryer, I was joined by Shirley.  They arrived earlier today. She and her husband live in Toms River, NJ, joined the “dark side” about 2 years ago. They gave up their 30-foot Hunter for a 32-foot Juneau Swift Trawler, traveling between the Chesapeake and Fort Meyers, FL.  Not a bad way to travel.
      As I took Bailey for her before dinner walk, we passed the gate for A-Dock.  There was a beautiful young boxer at the gate definitely wanting to play.  The gate is at the top of a flexible ramp that attaches to the floating dock, and sits about 10 -12 feet lower than the gate. There is no space to play. As we continued our walk, the boxer ran along the cement capstone of the sea wall.  It is only 18 inches wide and I was worried that she would fall.  Thankfully, nothing bad happened and we returned to the boat. Knowing Pete would be home by seven, I made sure dinner would be ready
     As predicted, Pete didn’t sleep on the flight last night.  Before sunrise, George drove him to the marina to pick up our car.  He then started driving south on 95.  Thankfully, he missed all the traffic.  He drove to Charleston, deposited our car at the airport long term parking and retrieved the rental car from Monday. (Our car will stay in long term parking until we get to Florida.) He was here at the marina by 7. After a hardy dinner, he made himself comfortable on the couch and napped until it was time to head to bed.

 Saturday, 11/11
     It was 34 degrees at 7 this morning. The coldest we have experienced this fall.  Hopefully, the next few mornings will be a bit warmer.
     Pete was able to sleep until 8.  The plans were to stop for groceries and West Marine before returning the rental car by noon.  Pete suggested that we go out for breakfast.  He knows that it is my favorite meal to eat out.   Besides being delicious, somehow it sets the tone for the entire day. We were able to do everything planned and Pete returned the car by 11:50. Unfortunately, there was no staff to drive him back to the marina, but a customer offered to drop him nearby as he was coming that way. It was a longer walk than he anticipated from Route 17 back to the marina, but it gave me time to stow all the provisions and clean up by the time Pete arrived back at the boat. 
     Thankfully, the marina was OK with us staying another day. When I went up to pay the balance, I was pleasantly surprised that we owed $17.20 for the extra night’s dockage.  The discount now kicked in for the total number of days.
     It was a nice relaxing afternoon of reading and updating the blog.  Pete read for most of the afternoon until the temperature began to drop. Once inside, he did the engine checks, tried to repair the printer, which no longer prints in color, and cleaned out 2 flashlights where the batteries corroded. I am sure that after dinner, we will call it an early night.  We will be departing for Georgetown shortly after sunrise.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Staying in Myrtle Beach

We both enjoyed the extra hour of sleep since the clocks turned back last night.

After breakfast, we took advantage of the heavy dew, clouds and comfortable temperatures. Pete scrubbed the exterior of the boat. I did some chores down below and then went up to dry the cockpit and enclosure.  I also cleaned the cockpit cushions. Pete enjoyed watching most the Eagles/Bronco Game on CBS. During the 4th quarter, coverage suddenly switched to the Ravens’ game without explanation. I don’t think he has seen a full game yet this season.  Good news, Eagles dominated and won 51to 23!  They are having an outstanding season so far.

I spent the day prepping photos from our travels and getting the blog ready to post.  The Wi-Fi is terrible here.  We were told that by the end of the month, the new digital Wi-Fi should be up and running.  With everything ready to post, I will us our Jetpack tomorrow and post everything before Pete leaves.

Well, time to walk Bailey a final time, so good night.

~~~ /) ~~ K & P

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Carolina Beach to Myrtle Beach, NC

Today:    51 miles, 9 hours, ICW St. M 348.2
Total:     539.2 miles, 79.75 hours

Up again at first light for an early departure.  We were underway by 7:15 again and watched the full moon set.
Daybreak over Carolina Beach
Moon rise emerging out of Snow's Cut
The 9+mph current
 We anticipated, based on our research, that we would have the 2.3 mph current against us heading down the Cape Fear River.  As it turns out, we had the current heading west through Snow’s Cut.  We hit 9.2 under the bridge.  Though there was shoaling on the western end of the Cut, we still had about 10 feet at high tide.  Once on the river, we managed a decent 6.7 mph even with the flood tide.  Pete noticed two tugs heading to the ship docked at Reaves Point, a military installation.  We kept our eyes on the ship to see when she powered up.   We were about 1.5-2 miles south of the ship when the Sheriff's boat came alongside, requesting us to keep to the green side of the channel and wait until the ship and the Coast Guard boats pass before continuing our journey.  As the ship approached, the USCG small boat parallel us at about 100 feet as the ship passed.  The machine gun was manned, and eyes were on all directions from the boat. A larger 50-foot USCG boat was bringing up the rear.  That machine gun was also manned.   As the ship was a little over a mile south of us, a small, 10-foot fishing boat was heading full speed towards the ship’s aft.  The Coast Guard cut him off and stopped his forward progress.  He sat there the better part of 10 minutes before resuming his course.

The Black Eagle with an escort
One of the USCG escorts



Pelican Perch
PEGASUS with Tow Boat US
Unfortunately, we heard one of the bridges us calling towboat for a sail boat hard aground at the New River Inlet. We also heard PEGASUS call out. They dropped anchor in the channel in Southport.  They have fuel in the bilge and are waiting for towboat. This has not been a good trip for them.
Sunrise yoga in Southport
Fishermen at the Inlet
Once again, strong currents
at the inlet
We passed through Fowley’s Inlet just past high tide.  Depths were good (17 foot +) and the current strong. Pete had to slow down as we were doing 10+mph approaching the inlet.  Of course, once south of the Inlet, we had the current against, but the ride is beautiful.

The winds continued to slowly increase out of the north for most of the day.  Unfortunately, the ICW is very difficult to sail with all the curves and angles.  However, on such a beautiful day neither one of us will complain.

Tired fishing boats
Unique deck in Holden Beach

Horse and riders along the banks
Unusable marina!
Homes come in all colors!
We seemed to catch extreme low tide most of the way down from Shallot’s Inlet. Combine normal low with full moon and things get interesting.  We finally began to fight against the current just north of Little River Bridge and managed 5.3 mph for the last 2 ½ hours of our trip.  That low tide was very dramatic once we entered the Rock Pile.  Some of the rocks were about 3 feet above the water. As we were navigating through one of the narrowest parts, a north bound, 50-foot, fast boat charged up the ICW and within 5 feet of us doing 30+and rocked our boat!

THE ROCK PILE ~



He was only 15 feet from our boat in the center of the channel!
We finally arrived at 4:45 and secured to C Dock on the southern end of the marina.  Once secure, I had some minor chores below and Pete sat up above finally having time to enjoy a good book.  He suddenly called down to me and said that I had to see what’s heading north.  As it turns out it was not one, but two 1000-foot plus dredging “trains.”  The first was a tug, pulling the barge with the dredging machine, another barge with a three-story housing probably for the power, 2 other barges with extra pipes and equipment.  Two smaller work tugs were positioned to keep the “train” in the center of the channel.  The second “train” consisted of the main tug, a barge with equipment and over 600 feet of pipes and floats, once again also being assisted by 2 work tugs. Had our arrival at The Barefoot Marina been delayed another hour or so, I cannot imagine what we would have done once we met them in the Rock Pile. The thing neither one of us can understand is why they did not call out a security periodically to alert south bounder boats of their presence and give the boats a chance to decide how and where to proceed.  We hope that traffic was held north at the Little River Bridge, where there are places to pull off of the channel safely.

THE DREDGING TRAIN ~




We will be staying here at The Barefoot Marina for the next week. Pete flying out to California for business next week.  Bailey and I will stay here to get in some good walks and explore some of the shops across the way.  Probably a bike ride to the grocery store for some minor provisioning.

Well, time to cook dinner so I’ll say good-night.

~~~/) ~~  K & P