Friday, May 11, 2018

Hampton, VA to “Home” Chester, Md.

Today:     153 miles, 22.9 hours, ICW
Total:     2782.4 miles, 433.1 hours

     After an oil change, PEKABU was once again underway at 8, since Pete had a conference call at 9.  The original plan was to leave at 10 so that they would have daylight for the last 4 hours of the trip. Thank heavens they left when they did!  The showers predicted for early evening, turned into storms. Somehow the storms managed to avoid PEKABU, but they were on all sides, with impressive lightening, thunder, and wind. Without the storms being above the boat, Pete and Greg were able to handle the lesser winds and waves, rather than needing to turn into them. As they were approaching the Annapolis Bridge, the skies began to lighten with the sunrise. They were secure in the dock by 6:50 and in the car by 7 am, heading to breakfast at the new Denny’s here on Kent Island, then on to Seaford.
      Mom is a popular lady. Family, friends, and staff continue to stop by and visit. Thankfully, Mom continues to be pain free and breathing comfortably.  She has stated many times, “I don’t feel sick!”
     We finally headed back to the boat on Saturday, 5/13.  We planned to scrub the boat, but the storms that rolled in that evening, took care of all the salt. Sunday bought more rain and Pete had a rush project, so I read most of the day.

Monday, 5/15, we went back to Mom’s. Along with spending time with here, I needed to do her laundry.  We will not be back with Mom until the weekend as I have a medical appointment in Miami on Thursday, so we will be traveling for most of the week.

     Our 2017-2018 Winter Cruise has come to an end.  For the past 8 months aboard PEKABU, we have traveled a total 2782.4 miles in 433.1 hours at 7 mph! It was filled with many memorable moments, visiting cherished friends and making wonderful new ones, and of course, the magnificent scenery, sunrises and sunsets.  And now my “To Do” list for over the summer is ready.

Our last, totally awesome sunset at Salt Pond, Hampton, VA!
   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Tuesday, 7/17  This final blog entry was completed and waiting for the photos to be processed since the 3rd week in May.  Truthfully, it fell off my radar.  May and June were rather busy.
     Pete’s Mom continues to prove she is the original “Energizer Bunny!” She also managed to prove to the staff that she was ready return to her apartment in assisted living.  She has been back in her apartment for about 2 weeks, enjoying her freedom to play her Mah Jong, cards, Bingo, getting around the complex, and joining friends for meals by using her motorized scooter. She continues to receive assistance from Hospice and the Manor House nurses, and we usually visit weekly. Of course, while visiting, her apartment is also a great place to do laundry!
     My Mom, also in her 90’s, has developed some serious issues. My sister, Debi, is doing most of care and the running around, but like with Pete’s mom, emails and text fly frequently between the siblings. If her care gets more complicated, I probably head up to NJ to help where I can.
     Our dear friend, Carolyn, needed open heart surgery as we returned to home in May. I was able to spend a few days with her in PA once she was home.  Thankfully, her recovery is as remarkable as she is!
     So, my list sits waiting, but if some things don’t get done… oh well, no worries!  We plan to head south again after the Annapolis Boat Show in October. With a little planning, I might be able to complete some of the items on the list during our next Cruise. . .or add more items to the list! Who knows. . . .
      Even with it half over, we wish everyone a wonderful and safe summer!

                                                                                                       ~ ~ /) ~ ~   K & P

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Seaford DE by Land

    Pete arranged for UBER at 7:30 am so he could be at Enterprise when they opened at 8.  We were on the road by 9. 
     We arrived at the hospital closed to 1, after leaving Bailey in Mom’s apartment. Visited for 30 minutes with Chris and Mom, then she was taken for an Echocardiogram.  Five and a half hours of information, meeting with the staff physician, the nephrologist, a dialysis nurse, the cardiologist, palliative care nurse, and 4 members of the hospice team.  Then it was a difficult conference call with the family.  Mom has decided to palliative and hospice care.
    We stayed at mom’s apartment to help with the transition  on Tuesday, from the hospital to the Health Center at her senior living center. Mom and I spent most of the days together, but still had time to get things done that she requested.
     Pete decided to sail up the Bay in a 24-hour run.  Greg offered to help, so the two of them headed to Hampton on Wednesday night.

~ ~ /) ~ ~   K & P

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Coinjock, NC to Hampton, VA.

Today:     67 miles, 11.2 hours, ICW
Total:     2629.4 miles, 410.2 hours

     We cast off at 6:15 am. Two other boats were just ahead of us, heading north and into the rain.  Once again, we are so thankful for the enclosure.  The rains continued on and off for about 4 hours. Once in the canal south of Great Lock, the rains stopped and, slowly, the skies started to clear. With the new growth of spring, the contrast of the wet bark on trees against so many shades of green, and the sweet scent of flowers made it a very enjoyable leg of our trip.

The shoreline along the Virginia Cut

Railroad bridge
 decorated by the local kids

The Trumphy Yacht, SUMMER LOVE

     We were number 4 of 9 boats heading into the lock.  We were able to stay to the west, where the walls are lined with permanent vertical fenders. We didn’t seem to rise very much, I doubt if the difference was more than 3 inches!  For most of our travels today, we were accompanied by a 56-foot Irwin ketch, SV IT’S A LIFE, out of Texas.  They are planning to head to Maine with a stop in Boston this July.  We wish them well on their travels.
Once on the Elizabeth River,
industry takes over the shores

No Problem!
145' Bridge Clearance!

There was a lot of traffic at the mouth of the Elizabeth River, but we were able to keep moving most of the time. Only once did we need to stop in order to figure out which way the freighter would head.  Of course, he was heading towards for us, but we gave him plenty of room to maneuver.
The shipyards at Newport News, VA
and the ship named after PFC Oberon
    Once in the Bay, we noticed haze to the north and east.  As we were approaching the channel markers for Salt Pond, the fog bank rolled in. We had about 20 minutes of limited visibility and it lessened as we entered Salt Pond.  As we passed through the narrow entrance, the well protected Pond was beautiful. Homes surround the pond and marshes. A deep channel goes down the eastern side of the pond with short, multi docks extending from shore, that cover the better part of a half mile. Our marina is down at the end. The fog came and went a few times and was quite stunning.  Since we were approaching the dock just before they closed, we opted  to fuel up another time.
Views inside The Salt Pond
            After securing for the night Pete took care of the bill, the fog dissipated and we were treated to a magnificent sunset.
     We had just finished dinner when a Juneau 46 was attempting to tie up at the fuel dock next to us.  He was single handling and had never tired without dock hands. He only had a stern line on and was on the dock trying to get another line on the boat.  The wind caught it and the bow drifted away from the dock. Pete was able to give him a hand and soon he was secure.
     Once back on board, we got together stuff for the morning. We only plan a one-day visit, but I think we should bring more clothes and dog food just in case.

~ ~ /) ~ ~   K & P

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Belhaven to Coinjock, NC.

Today:     86 miles, 12.9 hours, ICW
Total:     2562.4 miles, 399.0 hours

     We were up and out by 6:10 am, just a little later than planned. We were surprised that we were not the first boat to leave this morning. A smaller sailboat left about 10 minutes earlier and we passed them about 40 minutes into our trip. Two trawlers followed us 20 minutes later, but they passed us once in the Alligator Pongo Canal.
Bubbles, foam and sparkles on the water
The last of the 3 deer on the AP Canal
     Pete pointed out 3 deer at the water’s edge, but I wasn’t quick enough with the camera.  I could only photograph the hind quarters of the last deer as they entered the brush. During out ride up the canal, I did see a number of osprey and crows, but no eagles.  The most interesting report of wild life was of the “black bear swimming across the top of the canal.”  We had to be at least 10 miles south with no chance of joining in on the sighting, but it was interesting to hear!

Banks of the canal
      With the breezes coming from our aft, we were able to get a slight assist transiting the canal.  Once on the Alligator River, we continued to motor sail, trying to increase our speed and make time.
     Heather drove down to spend the day with Mom. She was there when the doctor came in to speak with Mom, which was great.
     We monitored VHF Channel 13 in the hopes of learning more regarding the bridge openings.  From what we heard, it didn’t seem as if there was a problem. As we were about 3 miles from the bridge, 3 other boats called in for passage.  The bridge tender told them that he would wait for all 5 boats (including us and another sailboat right behind us).  The 2 trawlers were complaining about the wait and our slow approach.  The bridge tender bowed to their wishes and opened the bridge when we were about a mile away.  This means we had to wait for the traffic to clear before he reopened them.  What really frustrated us, was as soon as both trawlers cleared the bridge, they made a hard, left turn to head into the Alligator Marina for the night.  We sailboats still had hours ahead of us!
Mile marker 50!
     As we passed through the opened bridge, I had a call from Donna.  They were already at Coinjock Marina and would we like to join them for dinner. We though we should be in by 6, so Donna made reservations for us.  Unfortunately, the winds died, and the currents were against us.  We realized that we might make it by 7, but it would be close. I called and asked to pass on dinner.
Traffic not moving!
     Once north of the Albemarle Sound, we were back on a curvy river.  I saw smoke in the distance around 5 pm.  I didn’t think it was a controlled burn, as the winds picked up again, it was late in the day and it was a Saturday.  There was no smoke as we approached Coinjock.  Just before the marina there is a 65-foot bridge.  West bound traffic was stopped and people were out of their cars. Once we passed under the bridge, we were down wind and could smell the smoke.  We found out later that is was a structure fire, but no one was hurt.  The hoses, which stretched across the highway, blocked traffic for over 2 hours!
Sad-looking home on in Coinjock
     We made it to the dock at 6:50 pm, never realizing that the Kentucky Derby was being run momentarily.  The last 3 boats with reservations (of which we were one) all arrived together. The dock crew rushed to get us in so they could see the race.  Pete went to settle the bill and walk Bailey.  He saw that 2 or 3 of the yachts had Derby parties on board.
     We caught up with Donna and Ed.  They are supposed to meet up with her daughter in Norfolk tomorrow, but with the predicted rain they might stay an extra day.  They plan to stop at Tidewater Marina in Norfolk.  We shared that we usually stay there, but we are pushing on to Salt Pond Marina in Hampton.  We hope that the 2 additional hours tomorrow will save us time when we head north.  We have reserved a rental car to get up to see Mom on Monday. The 15-20 mph N/NE winds do not look favorable for heading up the Bay Tuesday and Wednesday. We will have to monitor it closely.

Friday, May 4, 2018

River Dunes to Belhaven, NC.

Today:     41 miles, 6.8 hours, ICW
Total:     2476.4 miles, 386.1 hours

     We left River Dunes at 7:50 am. Skies were clear and winds light out of the SW around 10.  They continued to increase as we traveled down the Neuss River. The waves generated by these increasing winds made our turn into Bay River rather rocky. Once we were no longer in open stretches of water, we made good time and enjoyed the smooth ride. 
     While under way, we had a call from the hospital from the staff physician.  She said Mom heart is getting worse. We are strategizing as to the best way to get back fast.  Unfortunately, we will be traveling in areas where cell phone coverage is minimal at best and most times unavailable.  We are going to try to skip one stop in order to get to Norfolk a day sooner.
     Rather than anchoring and having to take Bailey to shore in the morning, then raise the dinghy before leaving, we opted to stay the night at the town dock.  $1/foot and $5/electric line is not bad, especially when Pete can walk the dog right next to the dock and then we can be on our way in the morning.
Belhaven Town Marina
     We were in Belhaven by 3 pm.  Pete walked over to the auto parts store 2 blocks away, but they did not have the oil Pete needed for oil change that needs to be done before we start heading up the Bay.  When he returned to the boat, the harbor master told him that there was another auto supply shop about a mile up the road.  He also said not to be surprised when folks stop and ask if they can give him a lift.  “People of Belhaven always come to the aid of cruisers.”  Sure enough. . . he had a ride to and another ride back!
     SV DEEGEE V is a day ahead of us.  Donna let us know that they had to wait at the Alligator Swing Bridge for almost an hour. The bridge tender was waiting for a bunch of boats to pass through at the same time.  After some additional research, the bridge is still undergoing some repairs. Since we are planning to bypass anchoring at the top of the Alligator Pongo Canal, it will be an 86-mile day from Belhaven to Coinjock.  A prolonged delay for the bridge opening will really mess with our time table.  We figure it will be a 12-hour day and Coinjock Marina staff leaves at 7 pm. With the boats so close stem to stern, it can be very tricky trying to dock without assistance.
     There was a lot of texting regarding medical treatment for Mom between family and a family conference call including Mom earlier this evening.  Things sound a little more positive, but we need to talk with the doctors.  We need to get to civilization and rent a car so we can go up and see Mom.
     We made it an early night.  We hope to be underway by 6 in the morning.

~ ~ /) ~ ~ K & P

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Morehead City to River Dunes, Oriental, NC.

Today:    48 miles, 6.5 hours, ICW
Total:     2435.4 miles, 379.3 hours

Monday, 4/30 -  Since we were awake and up, we still left the marina around 8 am.  
     Once again, we had a beautiful day on the water. Adams Creek is always pretty, especially the northern end.   On the lower end, homes dot the banks of the canal. About half way up, the creek begins to wind around though forests and fields.  We could hear the birds, but very few were noticeable. 
Rays swimming in formation
on the Neuss River
     Crossing the Neuss River was easy, we had an outgoing current that helped us maintain 7.8 until we made the turn for Broad Creek. Pete noticed what he though was a brown paper bag just below the surface of the water.  On closer look, it was a ray. Along with about 10 of its friends.  We both started looking and there must have been hundreds of them in the area.  I counted over 60 as we started to head up to River Dunes.
     Once we topped off the fuel and emptied the holding tank, we tied up on the dock closest to the Marina office and closest to the ramp.  Very convenient for Bailey’s last walk of the day.  It was only noon. Since our car is here, I had planned to go food shopping. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t feeling good, so I chilled out instead. I will borrow the loaner car on Wednesday and do it then.
     Pete was under the gun for meeting a deadline for work.  He was so frustrated that he couldn’t maintain a strong enough signal to email the reports.  He tried to work from the cockpit, then the Community Center. When it still didn’t work, he grabbed our car and drove into Oriental for a better signal.  He managed to beat his deadline, but not by much.  He did a lot of grumbling once he came back. Apparently, River Dunes has one of the internet units out, and it is right by the boat. As for phone coverage, it is extremely weak due to being so far form civilization.  As lovely as this marina is, we might not want to stop here in the future if Pete can’t work while we are here.
     Tomorrow, we will spend the day in the car(s).  We pick up the rental and then head to Castle Harbor Marina, Maryland for the final shuffle of the car.  Breakfast is prepared and ready to grab in the morning.  The dog’s car blanket, and electronics bags ready for grabbing also.
     We were just about to turn in when I received a text from Carolyn.  She is in the ER with difficulty breathing.  I will call in morning.  Thoughts, prayers, love and light are being sent her way.

Tuesday, 5/1 – We received a phone call at 4:30 this morning, Pete’s mom is being sent to the ER due to difficulty breathing again.  The incidences of CHF are increasing. She is a remarkable lady, who continues to fight to get well.
       We managed to doze on and off until the alarm went off at 6:15. By 7:15, we were on our way to New Bern to pick up the rental car and by 8:30 we were on our way north.  We encountered no delays and arrived at Castle Harbor by 2.  It was good to see a number of new-to-the-marina boats on the docks.  It will be interesting to see how many boats will be at the marina come summer.  The marina has replaced the bulkhead on the southern end of the marina, and the trees on the western edge have been trimmed. I wonder if this is in preparation for the equipment to also replace those bulkheads. . . I hope so.
     I spoke with Carolyn. She is feeling better, but the news isn’t good.  Apparently, she and Mom are sharing the same heart issues.  Pete and I discussed the possibility of continuing on to Doylestown, but it would add another 6 hours just in traveling time. It is frustrating to be so far a way when special friends and family are hurting.  Hopefully, the rest of our travels north on the water will be uneventful and quick.
Spring showing her many colors of green in Virginia
     The car ride up was uneventful, but our return trip was not.  We approached DC close to 5 pm and that meant traffic; heavy traffic southbound.  We did pay for the express lanes. I don’t know just how much.  When we entered the gates, the sign showed $2.50 for the ride.  When we were another 5 miles down, the sign stated $10.50.  Who know what we will be charged! We just have to wait for the statement, but the hour travel time saved was worth every penny! 
     We pulled off and found a Panera Bread for dinner.  With Bailey in tow, we were able to eat out on the patio, overlooking the pond loaded with carp.  Then it was back on the road.  
     Once we exited 95 in North Carolina, we still had 2 hours of back roads to Oriental.  We were on Rt 33 when we came across a diagonally placed “Road Closure.”  We really though it was for the cross street, but about 300 yards down, the road was completely blocked.  We turned around and had to find a way to detour without adding too many additional miles.  Please note that these roads are only 2 lanes, extremely curvey, no street lamps or moonlight, and lots of deer!  We saw at least 30 deer within 10 feet of the road. Who know just how many deer there were in the shadows of the trees!  We even came across a large yellow lab walking along the road. (There were homes about a ½ mile further down the road. Hopefully, he belonged to one of the families who lived there.) It was the most stressful 2 hours of driving I can remember.
     We were back at the boat by 11 pm and were so tired, we by-passed our showers. The water heater was turned off and we didn’t want to wait the 20 minutes for it to heat.  I will be doing laundry tomorrow, so the bed and we will get washed in the morning.
     Oh yea.  We decided that we will not be shuttling our car for future cruises.  We will UBER or rent a car when needed.  Less hassles and a lot let expensive considering the extra time at marinas, fuel for both cars, time away from work and from cruising!
     I hope morning takes a very long time in coming!

Wednesday, 5/2 – Pete snuck out around 6:45 am, took the dog for a walk, fed her and then took the rental car back to New Bern.  He called once there to ask if I could look for his clip-on sunglasses and blue tooth ear piece.  I searched and unpacked everything, but no luck.  He never found the glasses and ear piece, so he called Enterprise.  They had just detailed the car and found both.  They will have them shipped FedEX over-night.
     Once back, Pete had to prepare for a very busy day.   Then he began working straight through until 5:15.
     I stripped the bed and took the laundry over to the machines.  The freezer was defrosted and cleaned, and parts of the boat interior were also cleaned.
     I headed to showers around 1:30. Friends on SV DEEGEE V, Donna and Ed, pulled in around 2.  Donna and I were went food shopping on her loaner car time and then the four of us headed over to dinner in Oriental on my loaner car time. Since the office closes at 6, I could keep the car for later in the evening and just leave the keys in a designated spot.
     The loaner car is the same one we used when we were here in 2010. She now has 162,000 + miles and is dire need of a new transmission.  She got us to Piggly Wiggly, back to the marina, and then to M & M CafĂ© in Oriental, where Pete had his Cheese Burger, while Donna, Ed and I had their delicious Lobster Rolls.  While finishing dinner, Scott, the harbor master, called. A boat came in late and wanted to catch a late dinner in Oriental.  I told him we would be only a half hour more and would leave the keys for the newly arrived crew.
Sunset at River Dunes
     Once back we said good by to Donna and Ed.  They will head up to Belhaven tomorrow and probably to the top of Alligator Pongo on Friday. Right now, if Pete continues with fully-packed work days, we will only be able to go to Belhaven on Friday. That way he will have phone service for work. If he has no work commitments, we might be able to head straight to the top of the A/P Canal. I will keep them posted of our daily float plans. Perhaps we can travel together later at some point.
     Once back on board, Pete crashed and burned.  I managed to stay awake for Bailey’s final walk.  Once off the boat Bailey started to race around, then I heard a couple of splashes.  I think she found the river otters, who have been living here all winter, and leaving their calling cards on the dock.  The harbor master said that they also sometimes hide their food under the floating docks.  That must make quite  memorable odor on warm days! The lit buildings are pretty stunning. I  was able to snap a few night shots of the lit structures around the marina.  

      Next: showers and bed. ‘Nite all!

Thursday, 5/3 – We never heard DEEEGEE leave early this morning.  Both of us slept soundly last night.
     Pete once again has a full day of work.  I did a few things around the boat, but spent time on the phone with Mom’s doctor discussing the possibility and drawbacks of surgery.  Then spent a long visit with Chris on the phone and more time with Mom.
    The afternoon was spent on photos and blog. I hope I can get more posted before we leave in the morning.  We will see.
     Tomorrow we will head to Belhaven so Pete can work.  Saturday, we plan on the 12-hour trip from Belhaven to Coinjock.  With Mom’s health issues, we want to get closer to home, sooner rather than later.

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~ K & P

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mile Hammock Bay to Morehead City, NC.

Today:    33 miles, 5.6 hours, ICW
Total:     2468.4 miles, 384.9 hours

     It was another beautiful morning and everyone, but 3 boats, decided to leave at first light or shortly thereafter.  The breezes have changed to the NNW and have brought cooler temperatures with the change. 
Barrier island at Camp Lejuine
Bailey's safe place during the rocking
     It was an uneventful cruise with the exception of the smaller fishing boats, who like to pass about 10 feet from us at speed. 
     As we were in the northern part of Bogue Sound, the current was in our favor and we cruised at 8.4 for a while. This also meant that once we crossed the inlet, our speed would drop. It wasn’t a real concern a we needed to drop speed further to allow a tug and barge to reposition, then build up speed to head north.  This wasn’t a problem as we only needed to travel about 1000 feet before making our turn into the creek for Morehead City Marina.
     It was a relaxing evening after dinner and we plan to get a later start tomorrow as River Dunes is only 30 miles upriver.

~ ~ ~ /) ~ ~ K & P