Trip Log - Pg 5

October 13, 2011 to October 24, 2011 

 

October 13, 2011

After a productive morning of much needed cleaning – Diana is ship shape and presentable to the public again.

We left Goat Island anchorage around 1330hrs and headed to Elizabeth City about 8 miles from here.

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Interesting scenery on our way to Elizabeth City

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Steve getting wet…rain storm behind him. 

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Bridge coming into Elizabeth City

We motored through Elizabeth City in 2006 and made a note to stop this time around. It is known as the “City of Hospitality”…especially for cruisers. We arrived around 1500hrs and secured ourselves at the public dock. It’s a four post system which is something we aren’t used to and as a result are a little awkward tying up. With some help from some fellow cruisers, we were all tied up within 15 minutes or so. We are allowed to dock here for up to 48hrs for FREE and they offer FREE WIFI J

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Elizabeth City is known as “The Harbor of Hospitality” a reputation that grew from an impromptu wine and cheese party for visiting boater’s hosted by Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer in 1983. They have been hosting these parties ever since and became known as the Rose Buddies. See monument picture below for a proper description of the Rose Buddies.

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Rose Buddies - explanation

When we arrived, we were instantly informed of the welcoming party happening at 1630hrs. There were as many at 10 boats here with their crew at the gathering. We heard from the ex-mayor, the head of tourism and from the last remaining founding member of the Rose Buddies. All three gave us great information about the city and the local amenities available to us within walking distance.

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Some of the group  

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A couple of people you know…

Steve and I were about to head out to a restaurant when a thunderstorm rolled in – so we decided to stay in, save a few dollars by eating the last of the chili for supper. We took advantage of the free WIFI to check email and get ready for a tour in the morning.

October 14, 2011

As part of our information package we got a walking tour guide to which with loosely stuck too. The homes here are beautiful - southern colonial style.

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I could have taken more but you get the picture.

 

 

 

The whole town does not look like this. With a population of about 20 000 most are more modest homes and many parts are under renovation. We walked about this little city visiting  its many local art galleries, cafes, restaurants and little shops.

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We definitely know we are in the south!! Thick southern accents everywhere with “little miss this” and “little miss that”….neat!!! (I know… I don’t get out much…)

Elizabeth City has a rich history with a great museum encompassing not only Elizabeth city but all of the surrounding counties called The Albemarle Museum. It is a MUST stop if you are ever passing through.

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You know you are in the States when……So no guns allowed in the Albemarle museum. I’m glad I left mine on the boat ;)

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Part of the Albemarle Automotive History Exhibit  

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Introduction to the Maritime Era - there is so much more but you will have to visit to see for yourself.  

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Blackbeard was here!!!!! Arg! Pirates!!

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A very small part of The Canal Era exhibit

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Part of the Tourism era exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A special exhibit on the history of pottery traditions in the area. 

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An exhibit on the History of the Coast Guard

The internet connection is not all that great where we are docked so we headed to a café called the Sydney Café to use their WIFI. This is a lovely place with a great menu! They let us hang out there and use their WIFI for 3 hours and all be bought was a coffee. The hospitality here is no joke – people are so friendly and accommodating it is surprisingly refreshing. If we were in Ottawa, we would have been asked to buy something else or leave after 30 minutes but these guys kept bringing us water and telling us to stay as long as we needed. Very nice J

For supper, we headed to the Wine Cellar Café where they make EXCELLENT sandwiches and have a wine bar. Tonight – live jazz!! Some of the other cruisers headed there for a night cap so we had a chance to chit chat with a nice couple from Michigan – Steve and Sharon. They are just coming back from a trip North and had come down the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River. We shared stories and called it a night.

We were planning to head out the following morning but the weather was not in our favour so we stuck around for another day.

October 15, 2011

The website took a turn for the worst last night. I was doing some final adjustments on the dock and lost Page 2 and Page 3 of the trip log…stand by folks…I will redo it when I have a chance.

The internet connections are not as strong as we thought they would be so we may buy a booster when we get the Florida. It could make a world of difference when we get to the Bahamas.

This morning, while walking around running some errands we noticed police setting up barricades. After breakfast we could hear drums and things, so we headed out to Main Street and found a PARADE. Not just any parade but an All-American Homecoming Parade!!! With marching bands from the local high schools and colleges – there must have been a dozen of them along with educational floats, floats from local business and cool cars!! All headed to a football game at the University. I was especially enamored by the marching bands….lots of photos…warning….  

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These guys are so cute!! High School Band

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           Leaders of the Future                                         A Beauty Pageant Winner

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Nice costumes...marching band

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                       Sorority Sisters                                      “Sisters of Tomorrow” Sorority 

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Boxing Club – “Gloves not Guns” 

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Check out those tires!!!!

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:) 

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Awesome fun :)

After the parade, we stopped at a bakery called “The Cupcakery” – Cupcakes galore!!! So, we picked up some fresh bread and a couple of cupcakes J

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                   Manda Happy                                                       Steve Happy

October 16, 2011

It’s time to leave – we headed out around 0715hrs. The weather is sunny and cool with winds from the SW 10-15 MPH.

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Diana at Sunrise at Elizabeth City dock

 

 

 

 

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All the other boats on the dock that are leaving this morning too…

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The leaders of the pack

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Fallen leaves on the deck – time to go south!!!!

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Albemarle Sound Charti

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Alligator Bridge – beautiful boat!! If we win the million we will get one just like it.

 

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Can someone tell me what kind of birds theses are? aducross@rogers.com They are too cute!! They perch themselves on markers and posts and dry out there wings – it looks like they are sending out the “Bat Signal” LOL!!!! They will be know as the Batman Birds until I hear otherwise  ;)

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Sunset in the Alligator River

We anchored around 1900hrs….long day…

October 17th, 2011

 

What a miserable night!!! First off – we anchored in the dark. We had picked out a great anchorage that was protected from the high SW winds we were expecting but by the time we got to the anchorage we couldn’t see to get in far enough. So we anchored further out – directly exposed to the high winds. We were safe but it was a rock and roll kinda night and not in the fun naked way ;) For some reason, the anchor roller creaked ALL NIGHT with the tension on the rode because of the wind. We’ve been in this type of wind anchored before but never heard this noise. We couldn’t figure out why, we tried re-tying the line, no difference. Oh well, at least we knew the anchor held all night.

It’s a bright sunny day today and we are planning to get to a really protected anchorage tonight EARLY so we can catch up on some sleep.

We motor-sailed all day through the Pungo River. We crossed Pamlico Sound and Goose Bay to the Bay River. We anchored in Long Creek, just off the ICW in a marshy, grassy area which translates to a well -protected anchorage.

It’s warm and sunny so we enjoyed getting CLEAN with our sun shower which is basically a black bag with a shower nozzle but it works just fine! We settled in for some left over potato soup and rosemary bread, and cracked open the very nice bottle of red wine given to us by the Rockcliffe Yacht Club – it was delicious J then fell quickly to sleep.

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Anchorage in Long Creek

 

 

October 18th, 2011

It’s a lovely morning – sunny and warm J We slept like rocks last night so we are both feeling clean and refreshed.

We are in need of some fuel, ice, laundry and a few provisions so we are headed to Oriental which should take care of all our needs.

We arrived in Oriental around 1300hrs – it’s a cute area but the only place to stay would have been on the fuel dock right beside a fish factory and it smelled really bad. Steve reminds me of my Newfoundland roots, meaning I should somehow filled with feelings of home…but I’m not.  

We ran into John and Helen from the Elizabeth City Gang – they are staying the night because they are meeting someone here. The Marina only offered one washing machine and it was in use and the grocery store was a mile away. Since it was so early, we just got fuel and ice then headed back out.

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Breakwater entering Oriental  

 

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Oriental

Weather is coming - high winds and thunderstorms. Oriental is a really protected area. We could hear boats calling the marina to secure a dock for the night as we were leaving but we had picked out a protected anchorage a few miles away in Adam’s Creek (Cedar Creek) and decided to take a chance to see if it’s available.

By the time we got to the anchorage, three other boats beat us to it and there is no more room for any other boats. It’s still beautiful out and the weather is not supposed to hit until later tonight so we made the decision to motor the next 20 miles to Morehead City. Four more hours at the helm for Steve – poor guy, he doesn’t mind at all and won’t let me take over. So much for the early day we had planned.

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More lovely homes in Adam’s Creek

The guide says that we can dock at a couple of restaurants in Morehead City. They are rated very high for wind protection – off we go!

We motored through many beautiful areas, one of which is called Newburgh. Coming in we could see splashing ahead of us. The commotion turned out to be a school of dolphins – babies and all!!!!! Beautiful!!

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We did not think the channel was big enough for the two of us...

 

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Huge boat WITH staff passing us in Adam’s Creek

We arrived at Morehead City around 1730hrs and docked at The Sanitary Fish Market Restaurant…and yes…it is slightly smelly but much easier to handle than Oriental.

It’s a dollar a foot here which is much cheaper than staying at a marina. We quizzed the restaurant staff as to where the closest laundry and grocery stores were and made a plan to take care of those chores in the morning.

We ate the Rubby Duck Tavern – delicious!! Steve had his usual land meal – burger and fries and I had mine - a GIANT salad and we snacked on a fish called Amberjack – breaded in a Cajun spice – yum!

We walked around a bit on our way back to the boat – lots of restaurants, fishing boats and gift shops here.

Once back at the boat, Steve was quick to fall asleep and I stayed up reading. The storm started around 2230hrs and it POORED ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!! It rained so hard it was coming down our mast inside the boat…and we discovered a few more leaks as a result L

October 19, 2011

It’s a cloudy, humid, rainy day in Morehead city – a perfect day for doing laundry and provisioning!

Morehead city is a small town of about 20000 residents. They have everything we need to get sorted out and back on the water again.

When we returned to the boat with CLEAN clothes, fresh veggies and food, we had a new neighbor. Steve went over to say hi and they told him that we are expecting really high winds tonight…up to 35 MPH +! Gale force winds. They were a little anxious about staying on the dock but there is no other option.

The winds picked up all day and by about 2100hrs, the boat was rocking on the dock. Steve secured more lines and added more bumpers to protect Diana. The winds howled through the rigging and we both looked at each other – nothing more we can do but ride it out and read – we won’t be getting much sleep tonight.

Around midnight, I had heard a noise so I popped my head out and said to Steve “I think a sailboat is trying to dock in front of the boat ahead of us…took me a few minutes to realize that there is no dock space there. Turns out a sailboat anchored in the bay ahead of us had sprung free and was smashing into the boat ahead of us. We got out of the boat to help pry it off the other boat and secure it to the side of the restaurant. Steve’s quick thinking got the boat secured safely and quickly. The restaurant was closed but we tripped the alarm so the police would show up so the damage could be reported. Fortunately, there was no one in the sailboat – the owner of the cruiser was very grateful for our help but we were no longer needed so we headed back to Diana. We fell asleep eventually…

October 20, 2011

We were up around 0630hrs…the wind is still high but we want to get off this dock and to a protected anchorage.

We helped the cruiser off the dock before we left. It would appear the damage is only cosmetic – which is very good. The owner of the sailboat showed up to inspect his boat. He told us it was attached to a mooring block AND he had an anchor out!! Yikes!! He said a big blue sail boat broke free from the same anchorage he was in as well and was up a head tied to a dock. We were lucky it hadn’t come further up the bay.

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A sailboat that sprung free from its mooring as a result of the high winds

We headed out around 0815hrs. It’s sunny, cool and very windy - anywhere between 20 to 25 MPH gusting to 35 MPH. We broke out the hats and mitts again.

We attempted to take the recommended channel out but bottomed out as a result of shoaling due to the winds. Steve was able to back Diana out of the shoal and he retraced our steps back to the dock. We headed out the way we came in a few days ago. Shoaling is going to be a problem today.

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Very windy leaving Morehead City – lots of shoaling along the ICW today

I monitored the VHF radio throughout the day and I could hear other cruisers advising of shoaling up ahead. It offered great information so we were able to avoid any of the new shoals that had developed throughout the night. 

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Pretty sky on our way to Mile Hammock Bay (weather cleared up)

We anchored in Mile Hammock Bay with 4 other boats. It is well recommended and protected! It is part of Camp Lejeune- a marine training base. On our approach, there is a firing range, helicopter and helicopter planes doing maneuvers all around – pretty neat stuff. They didn’t stop until about 9 pm.

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Anchorage with crazy military plane in the background

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Close up of Military Plane I don't have a great camera so they were flying pretty low for me to get this picture.....

October 21, 2011

 

It’s getting COLD!!! Up early – time to head south.

On our way out…we heard what sounded like cannons going off…we immediately thought “Engine Trouble” but turns out it WAS cannons!!! We looked behind us and sure enough the military were shooting them off – another exercise – sheesh no wonder they're in debt ;)

Today, I feel a part of me coming to terms with life on a boat. This feeling, I determine -  is ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance of the things I cannot change. I had this silly delusion that living on a boat wouldn’t be THAT much different than being in a house – except it would be much smaller but better because the scenery changes every day. But I’ve been struggling with a few things that surprise me like:

  • Being dirty – period - ourselves and the boat. I’m mean, we are not not-clean. We are bucket bath clean. So, from a sanitary perspective – we are clean but not hot shower clean (ahhhh a hot shower….) You see, it’s been so cold that we cannot or will not shower in the cockpit with our freezing cold shower bags. Instead we heat up some water in a kettle and get clean…quickly. This brings me to my second point –the cold.
  • I had not anticipated it being SO cold. We’ve had some warmer days here and there but the nights are really cold. It’s like we are one step behind the warm weather. As soon as it starts to get a little warmer a cold front moves in and we are pressured to move south more quickly. This brings me to my third point – no real touristy stuff yet.
  • I really thought that we would slowly be making our way south-stopping to visit little towns and things along the way but we can’t. It’s too cold and in order to stay ahead of it –sadly –we must keep moving. “Oh well” we tell ourselves – “On the way back!”
  • We are also a motor boat most of the time. TACKITYTACKITYTACKITYTACK goes the engine…all day long…. We have to shout at each other to hear ourselves properly. I thought we would be sailing more but the ICW is really narrow and not worth putting the sails up. We long for the ocean…
  • I also so thought I would be sleeping much better. I had the romantic notion of the motion of the boat at anchor calmly rocking us to sleep. I’ve had more restless nights, worrying about the anchor holding or rocking so hard at a dock because the winds are so high - craziness.
  • Since we are on the water all day “making way”…we eat a lot… I cannot speak for Steve but MY obsession with bread has gotten way out of control. So much so, that when I’m down to my last slice I’m quickly into my cookbooks to find a different recipe to try. I have a wheat belly…you know, like a beer belly but ‘caused from bread. Good thing it’s so cold – I can just cover my belly with extra sweaters – I will try not to cry too hard when I unveil myself in Florida to discover the Good Year Blimp has replaced me ha!
  • I also feel enslaved by my icebox. I thought that I could just deal with the fact that I will not keep food cold but I can’t. I love food that needs to be refrigerated – period. Being in the U.S, it’s pretty easy to keep things cool. The ice here is pretty cheap and readily available. I will try to wean myself off in Florida but I fear that I will just continue to eat bread and never fit into my bathing suits (side note: put money aside for new bathing suit – just in case)

Today, I find acceptance for the things I cannot control and the things I cannot change. Suddenly, a sense of peace rolls over me as I take a look around and see the beauty that surrounds me, the sun high in the clear blue sky, the different birds (my new favorite is the Pelican), the engine starting, the fact I do not have to go to work and as always - Steve in a lovely mood. I suddenly stop worrying so much.

So, this morning, I didn’t wash my face – I’ll do that later – getting warm is more important. As I tie my greasy hair back into a bun, put on another layer of deodorant – extra pants – socks – hat and sweater, make some biscuits to heat the cabin while Steve looks at the chart so we can plan our day, I sigh with complete acceptance – WE ARE GOING TO THE BAHAMAS DUMMY RELAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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We arrived in Wrightsville around 1600hrs and we have found where all the rich people live in North Carolina – right here!!! The homes are ridiculously big and beautiful with long docks leading from their homes to the deeper water so they can keep their boats close to home. Some of the homes have their own security and staff roaming about doing chores. I wonder who lives there…

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For Sale!?!?!?! Anybody wanna go halfsies??!

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Steve joggine the boat while waiting for a bridge to open

Since it was still pretty early, we figured we could do another couple of hours and get to Carolina Beach to anchor for the night.

By 1800hrs, we were anchored and settled in for the night. It’s lovely here too. We anchored here in 2006 so it’s kind of fun to come back to it.

Wildlife sightings today – JELLY FISH - Lots of them. They were brown and the size of Volley Balls!!! Pelicans J, hawks and many other birds I cannot name. No dolphins today but we know they are out there.

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Pelicans!! …well I like the Batman birds too J

The water is slowly becoming more and more blue and the palm trees are starting to line some of the homes…all signs of WARMTH J

 

Spaghetti for supper

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Anchorage at Carolina Beach

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Anchor light works!!

October 22, 2011

We were on the water by 0830hrs. The weather is sunny but cold!!!

There are LOTS of sports fisherman here. When we were weighing anchor, there were about a dozen or so boats out fishing with nets. We assume they are catching bait for the day. Before leaving Carolina Beach, we stopped to get fuel, ice, water – good for another few days J

Not much to report today – more of the same beautiful houses lining the shore….it’s actually starting to get a little sickening…who can afford to live in these places anyway?!!? Even the Seagulls are FAT HAHAHA! (Steve’s line)

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Fat Seagull!!! He barely fits on the post!!

One of the inlets we were motoring through was peppered with fisherman in little boats. I wondered if there was a derby or something going on…Steve simply said “It’s just Saturday” LOL!! Which makes so much sense, this living on the water stuff is so foreign to me.

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Fishermen everywhere!!

We crossed into South Carolina around 1500hrs and anchored on Little River, in Calabash River, just in the nick of time too! This is not a big anchorage so we were happy to find a spot. We carefully motored in, avoided any fish traps (which were many), made sure we were not in the channel then dropped our anchor. We were pretty pleased with ourselves and the care we took, then as we are sipping our celebratory beer – four big sailboats come in and drop anchor everywhere! Suddenly, we were a village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anchorage in Calabash River – our sailboat village

We met a couple of brothers from New Brunswick. He is on a five year adventure!! So jealous!! He too is heading to the Bahamas. Really nice guys and I hope we meet up again further south.

 

We are planning a really big day tomorrow – 60 miles – 10 or 12 hours – we need to be making way by 0700hrs – the latest. We have a quick stir-fry supper, Steve does his routine check of the engine and we head to bed.

October 23, 2011

Up at 0630hrs – actually back on the ICW by 0645hrs – gotta be a record for us.

We came through all of Myrtle Beach – I say that because there is a North, Centre and South Myrtle Beach…all HUGE disgustingly beautiful houses…I’m tired of this scenery…

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This is the last fancy rich house picture I will post…

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Abandoned sailboat...very sad.

We came through the Waccama River – it’s a beautiful, healthy river with turtles sunning themselves on near by logs – EVERYWHERE!! We crawled up to them to try and get a good picture but our engine blows our cover every time and they jump off the log.

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Turtles!! This is as close as we could get. I count 13 on that log….

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The ever pretty Waccamaw River

We are making EXCELLENT time today!! We motored between 5 to 7.5 knotts today and made it to Georgetown by 1630hrs – two hours ahead of schedule.

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Georgetown - we are at the public dock near the brown building

We secured ourselves at the public dock. A local was there as well and the sign says “no overnighting” but the local said it is not enforced. That’s works for us! We packed up our computers and found some internet at Buzz’s Root A Reel Bar restaurant. We settled in for a delicious crab cake sandwich and read email from friends and family. Thanks everyone – keep ‘em coming we love to hear from you J

We will be sticking around Georgetown tonight and tomorrow afternoon because Steve’s parents are meeting us here on their way to Florida J

October 24, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today was a GREAT day!! Steve's parents came to visit!! They arrived around 1000hrs. We spent a few hours together, had lunch and ran a few errands.

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Steve's Dad, Ray on the Left - us in the middle - Steve's mom, Betty on the right.

They brought us some things from home  - one of which are my polarized glasses :) and....................WILSON!!!!! 

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Wilson is back part of the crew :) Wilson was a joke gift given to me by my co-workers - I left him behind thinking I had not room for him but turns out I do :) Wilson is awesome!

We are sticking around for tonight in Georgetwon - trying our luck again at the town dock...which says we cannot stay overnight - we are such REBELS ;)

Heading out tomorrow - we intend on being in Charleston SC by the 26th of October.