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BCYC South 2012-13

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    Spent 3 nights in Elizabeth City, NC at the Jenerette Brothers restaurant supply business (free) bulkhead.  It was right by the new bridge with a fair amount of construction noise during the day and traffic day and night but we slept well and, while waiting on the noreaster (which never really materialized for us) it was a good, secure place to be.   Pam and John had a rental car and took us to see Edenton, NC, a truly beautiful, friendly small town.  Most of the residents seem like northern transplants – but still friendly!   Left Elizabeth City when the weather looked favorable for transversing the (notorious) Albemarle Sound.   We got to see why its reputation is so deserved.   Once again encountered lumpy, big seas on the beam driven by strong NW winds.  Once again ran this way and that to make the ride more tolerable.   Once again upset G but this time she got seasick.    While the rough ride was only for an hour or so, we were dodging crab pots and all-in-all it made for an exciting time.   We then got much smoother waters up the Alligator River and anchored in a place that looked immense.  At night, it was pitch dark.  Had a huge commercial tug come by at around 8:30 that head headlights which could be seen for miles.  He appeared to be pulling a large piece of industrial equipment.   Winds continued to blow NW thru the night but the hook held and we slept fairly well. 

    With Compass Rose, we had decided the night before to depart at daybreak (just before 6:30 a.m.) and try to make it to Oriental, NC (about 80 miles).  The first 15 or so were thru the Alligator-Pungo Canal, a wide, straight body of water with no waves – also no alligators or Pungos (Native Americans?  John L thinks probably).  Also very little wildlife with one big exception – bears.   We heard a radio call reporting a citing the day before and again when we were in the canal but never saw any.   Thankfully smooth passage across the Pamlico River and later across the Pamlico Sound/Neuse River (a very notoriously rough place).  Heard some boats talking that were getting ready to go off-shore to the BVI.   We headed for the River Dunes Marina, not in Oriental but a beautiful new housing/marina development. We had read about this place in Coastal Living.  It was begun in 2007 and has struggled but now had 35 houses – and they are trying to support a restaurant within the development.  Apparentlyh, the quite successful marina has helped with that.   Had dinner with Lovings and some other Kadey-Krogen people (“Muddy Waters”, Michael Sagway who just had a long article in Passagemeaker about he and his young family (2 kids under 12) spending 2 years cruising from Canada thru the Bahamas.  Great dinner and great conversation.

    Heard from our other BCYC pals that they would wait for us in a harbor by Camp Lejeune, NC (a marines base, I think).  So once more, at 0 dark daybreak, we sat off.  And once again, we were blessed with calm waters and no wind, plus it’s finally getting warmer!  G may start a line of clothing for cruisers – PJs all day with large pink fluffy slippers topped off by a ball cap!  Came by Beaufort, NC ( a beautiful smalltown) and encountered our first dolphins and first serious current.   Our speed slowed by about ¼.  Ran in this current for over an hour before we got back to our typical breakneck speed of about 8 mph.   Beaufort inlet was chock-a-block with fisherman competing, it looked like, with dolphins and pelicans.  Saw some large sailboats early in the day but in the Bogue Sound all were small, a couple with men on their own, having that weather beaten, been-in-the-sun look.  Had dolphins briefly surfing in our wake. 

    Met up with our BCYC friends at around 4.  One couple had gone to Wilmington but 2 were still here so we rafted up with them (the Yates and Kranzers).   It was a wonderful truly joyful moment when we saw Quaich and Indy at anchor with fenders out waiting for us to come alongside.  We hadn't seen them since they left in late October.  We had been delayed by a hurricane, strong winds, and a noreaster but here we were, rouhgly 450 nautical miles from home seeing our pals.   Karen broke out the champagne and a normal BCYC drinking and talking late day was begun.  What a fabulous dinner and time we had!   Too much food.  Too much to drink.  Too much fun.  Oh well . . .     Off for Wrightsville Beach tomorrow.

  • 10 Nov 2012 5:17 PM | JJ Sullivan Jr
    Ahoy Quaich!

    Did you get to Cape Fear yet and did you scare the hell out of the group yet by watching the Cape Fear movie?  ;-)

    Snug in Annapolis!
  • 09 Nov 2012 10:22 AM | John Oberright
    Hi; We are really enjoying your adventure posts on BCYC and the Indy blog.   A real treat for our virtual and vicarious way of life this winter.  Once you get by Cape Fear life is really good.  Please keep the notes and pictures coming.  -- JOHNO&JO  
  • 07 Nov 2012 8:51 PM | Madi Yates (Administrator)
    This is Indy and you can follow us at - we are in Oriental, NC and having a blast!

    Madi and John
  • 07 Nov 2012 3:11 PM | Anonymous
    Nice to hear from you guys--quite an adventure.  Keep up the news, we're enjoying it here at home!
    Left our Canadian pals early yesterday to make the 8:30 lock.  Easy trip to Elizabeth City with much of the trip reminding us for the swamps in Louisiana -- cypress trees and dark water.  Pam and John had secured space on a bulkhead that is well protected from northerly winds that we expect from the noreaster.  And tonight here in Elizabeth City?  A possibility of snow!  Oy, what next, maybe locusts falling from the sky?   Woke up to the rather surprising results from the election.  Pam fixed a great chili last night and while we anticipated watching the results, we talked about life more generally to include -- we're boaters, remember -- issues related to the head.  Going to take their still-rented car to Edenton, NC today.  Given Colin's recent post, we will probably take a pass on Belhaven.  We are all anxious to get warm! Speaking of which, our record of 51 degree days remains unbroken.  That's not 51 outside.  It's 51 inside -- when we wake up after having no heat all night!!  The Mt. Everest boating expedition continues.
  • 06 Nov 2012 3:55 PM | Colin Soucy
    We are tied up snug and comfortable in Oriental, NC along with Indy and Quaich.  We overnighted on the hook at Belhaven, NC for the express purpose of viewing Wally's infamous clothed fleas.  The 6 of us dinghy-ed in and walked to the "museum" to find a very lonely fellow who seemed desperately happy to see warm bodies coming into the museum.  He was happy to direct us to the flea appears that time has not been kind to the two little fleas in residence.  They had been dressed in wedding clothes, which still existed, but the fleas who once were so adorned seemed to have disintegrated or vacated the premises sans clothes!  Two of us thought that we could still discern a dark speck which may have been a fragment of a flea...but John Yates, ever the practical fellow, stated that there were no fleas that he could see.  We wandered through the collection of stuff, at turns amazed, amused, and sometimes disgusted by the "collection".  I think Karen and Madi were definitely not taken by the dead baby rattlesnakes pickled in a jar!
    I cooked a supper of Tuscan Chicken Stew and in so doing, affirmed that my galley is REALLY LITTLE!  The food was tasty and the company even better.  We will lay up in Oriental to let the weather improve before moving on, Thursday, to Beaufort, NC.
    Now safe and sound (?) at the North Carolina Great Dismal Swamp visitors center.  Who are we rafted with?   Canadians!  Loonies rule!  Also a nice couple from Massachusetts -- yes, I've used the phrase "nice couple" and "from Massachusetts" in the same sentence!  Had more wind (not me but the boat) today trying to leave Portsmouth.  Pinned the boat to the pier and it took some doing even with the bow thruster to get it off.  Went to the fuel dock to get a pump out and some sailors were having the same problem pushing and tugging to get off/out.   Ironically, these people wound up going thru the same lock as us.  More on that in a minute.  But first, we dodged tugboats which seem to be as numerous as mosquitoes in Portsmouth.  All the tug captains speak a unique language which they understand but you puzzle over.  My solution?  Just keep a sharp eye out watching for them.   We trusted our chartplotter and followed the river to the first of 3 lift bridges before leaving Portsmouth.  Two of the bridges were supposed to be "usually up."  They weren't.  So we idled around with some other boats waiting for some train cars to pass.  Then got to a bridge which was supposed to open at 10:30.  It didn't.  It finally opened at 10:45 so we along with 4 sailboats missed the 11 Deep Creek Lock opening.  Thankfully, the bridge tender (who is a saint) called us on the radio to say he would open for us whenever we got there along with the other late boats.  We were in the lead boat so I passed the info on to everyone trailing us.  At noon, he "locked thru" 7 boats.  He told us that as the first boat, we would most severely experience the current when he opened the lock.  He had Geraldine handle the lines at the bow, I was at the stern.  I hung on for dear life and Geraldine did great at the bow -- sat on the cabin housing.  No problemo!  Putted thru the GDS (all a "no wake" zone) and along the way had a call from the Lovings:   they were going to see us at the visitors center.  What a great surprise.  Had drinks with all of the other transients carefully stepping over the kajillion lines one finds on a sailboat.   G fixed a great dinner.  Now listening to Pandora on my Ipad.  Couldn't get the DirecTV to work.  Oh well, still a nice day. 

    I going to do a Google blog but Mary reminded me that I could do it here -- so here we are, in a manner of speaking.  We left our slip at the West River Yacht Club on Nov. 2 and went to Solomons Island, anchoring in a great little cove in front of the Calvert Marine Museum.  There were several Canadian boats anchored nearby off of the Zanhizer mooring field.  Well, I think they were Canadians -- theyh were all flying the maple leaf flag.  Early the next morning we headed for the Piankatank River, wanting to get by the Potomac at slack tide, which we did.  But then the wind picked up considerably and we took a beating (4-5 foot seas), yawwing around no matter what speed or course heading.  After 2+ hours of having water cascading over the entire boat, we got into the Piankatank and anchored in Jackson Creek, a beautiful spot. and once we were again on speaking terms decided to stay put the next day when the wind a was still blowing like hell (25kts at the Stingray Point lighthouse). We didn't see the Canadians but were reminded of them:   there was a loon in the creek by our boat.  The wind abated and on Nov. 4 we had a nice ride down the bay to Portsmouth.  Bill Kranzer had told me how huge the Bay seemed once you got past the Potomac and he was right; it was like being in the ocean.  Could not see land when looking east and had to run 3 miles of so off-shore, not like the northern part of the Bay where we do most of our boating.  Two very impressive sights coming into Portsmouth:  1.  The USS Enterprise (a huge and storied aircraft carrier) had just been decommissioned and was in its slip.  A lot of white tents and other signs of welcoming the ship home were still present.  2.  The cooler sight was a large naval "warship" (that, btw, is how they announce themselves when they come on the ship's radio) was also returning to port.  Tugboats with their water cannons on were going out to greet it.  Went for a walk into "historic" Portsmouth which was long on history but on a cold Sunday night short on much to do.  Ate a mediocre dinner and walked back to Tidewater Marina where we had a slip and where they remembered our BCYC pals cruising a few days ahead of us; this is where they rode out Hurricane Sandy.  Today, off for the Great Dismal Swamp. 

    Pictures to follow -- if I can figure out how to do it!

  • 04 Nov 2012 1:18 PM | Colin Soucy
    Elizabeth City, NC has got to be one of the most friendly towns on the planet.  The free dockage in addition to the boater's gathering to introduce the newbies to what the town has to offer was very nice.  Culinary expertise is not my forte' but Karen and Maddie are gifted chefs so the three crews of Fandango, Indie, and Quaich are eating very well indeed!  
    We left E City this morning and went as far as the Alligator River, berthing at the Alligator River Marina.  The Albermarle Sound crossing was uneventful with waves of 1 foot  and few rain showers.  Now that we are tied up safe and snug at the marina, the wind has begun to pick up and it is raw and rainy.  Glad to have the heat on, but best of all, we FINALLY got a pump out!  The plan is to continue on tomorrow to Bellhaven to see the famous fleas and thence on to Oriental.  It feels like November and I think we need to get south sooner where I can complain about the heat!
    Colin has some chicken wings on order at the marina restaurant and expects to spend the afternoon watching football. 
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