Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rockin' and Rollin' in Georgetown, SC

I'm tied to a dock in Georgetown Landing Marina but still exposed to the 25+ knots of wind and rough seas blowing up tonight (Sunday, 11/30). I added several dock lines to the boat but still probably won't get much sleep as the boat is bouncing like crazy and the wind is howling. Stopped here today to do laundry and dry out from the last two days of rain. I'm at Mile Marker 403 (33 deg 21.9' N, 79 16' W) and close to the half way point from DealeMD to Key West. I may try to make Charleston tomorrow but it is 50+ miles and the wind is still predicted to be out of the SW at 20 to 25 knots.

I've posted some new pictures in the "pics" section of the website. There are many gorgeous mansions in this section of the ICW, each one bigger and fancier than the last. I don't know who all these rich people are (and why I don't know any of them!) but there are lots of them around. I also met another rich New Yorker last night who is taking his cruiser down to his second home in Key West. He has picked up 3 guys along the way as hired crew and he is treating them well, buying food and drinks as well as paying them. I will definitely look him up when I get to Key West!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mile Hammock Anchorage

This was one of my companions for my morning coffee in the Mile Hammock anchorage today.
Yesterday, I left Beaufort just in time to catch the 8:30 opening of the Beaufort swing bridge. It was another cold day but I motored about 40 miles to this anchorage that the marines have dug out at Camp LeJuene. I got there a little late as I was stopped at one point by the Navy due to a live fire exercise going on in the ICW. I had to execute an emergency anchoring in a very narrow channel and waited about 45 minutes before everything cleared up and they let me through. Then I had to wait a bit for the Onslow Beach Bridge. But it was all worth it, Mile Hammock is a beautiful, quiet spot and there were 4 or 5 other boats there to keep me company. It was a very cold night but it was clear and calm and the stars were radiant!
After my breakfast with the doplphins I weighed anchor and headed out again. I was hoping to make it to Wrightsville Beach but due to a slight detour due to a wrong turn into the New River (I was in the channel, just not the right one), bouncing along the bottom at one point (I was just slightly out of the channel that time) and waiting for yet another bridge opening, I decided to duck into Harbor Village Marina as I still had two more opening bridges and it was doubtful I could make Wrightsville Beach before dark. For those tracking my progress, I am at Mile 267 on the ICW at 34 deg 23.175' N, 77 deg 38.26' W.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Solo Passage on Starshine

I awoke this morning in River Dunes (near Oriental, NC) and found frost all over the boat and dock. I had to carefully make my way up to the showers to avoid slipping into the water - although the water was much warmer than the air! Boy, do I need to keep moving south!

After checking the weather and settling up with the dockmaster, I headed out on my first solo passage on Starshine. I had cruised solo many times about my Flicka, QED, including a two month cruise through Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas and I have sailed Starshine solo several times, but this was my first solo passage on this much larger vessel. With all the modern technology (chart plotter, autopilot, cell phones, etc) this first step was really no problem. Eventually I will get used to handing Starshine and I think she will "shrink" as time goes on.

I decided to head for Beaufort, NC ("Bo-fort" as opposed to "Bu-fort", in SC). The day started out a little warmer and with lots of sun (but no wind) so I motored up the Neuse River and into Adams Creek and the Adams Creek Canal. I ended up at mile 202 at the Town Creek Marina, a nice little spot just outside of Beaufort. Just before getting in I saw my first dolphins of the trip but each time they appeared, they quickly dissapeared before I could get a picture - you'll have to trust me. For now, here is a picture of the sunset from Beaufort for all of those people who have said they wanted to live vicariously through me as I pursue my adventure (notice - no desks, no commuter traffic, no TVs, no schedules).