Nov 24, 2007

Just a quick post. We have to leave early tomorrow. We made it to Southport today. it's a really nice place. very pretty. Huge trees. lots of homes built in the 1870's. They've recorded a few movies here, including that one called Cape Fear with Robert Deniro.

LeeAnn in a big tree.

Looking over the Southport Harbor. Palm tree to the left!! HAHA jack frost!

Greedy pelicans waiting for a hand out.

Nov 21, 2007

Movin' Out!!

We thought we were going to Wilmington. I guess not.

We looked and looked. Called every marina within 20 miles. They either had no space, were really expensive, or said "we don't like yer kind 'round here!” And by that I mean that said they don’t allow live aboards.

Another problem with Wilmington is that it is really spread out making it really difficult to get around. We would have to buy a car. And last but not least... the main reason we were going to Wilmington was so LeeAnn could work at Petco because she already had a job lined up. They have no work for her though, so we have no reason to stay.

We are currently at Pleasure Island. They said there was a slip available and I was excited because it would be awesome to say “I lived on Pleasure Island."

When we pulled into the marina, Matt, our contact walked up and said "they're might be a little problem.."

He brought me over to a stern faced man who was standing at a large pile of squirming shrimp, ripping their heads off one by one, then tossing them into the water to be gobbled up by a swarm a fish.

"The committee is voting on whether we will allow a live aboard here. We already have two "no's" it only takes three" He said.

The shrimps head made a sucking noise as he decapitated it with his bare thumb.
"ok" I said, "How did you vote?” to which he replied "I can't tell you”

"Plop," goes another shrimp's head in the water. I looked around. It was low tide. The shore was reedy, there was a muddy landscape of a million dead oysters. The sun was baking a few jelly fish that had been trapped on the oyster beach by the receding tide, fish skeletons were littered about, and a there was growing pile of severed shrimp heads.

"No worries Fellas,” I said, “we were thinking of heading to Charleston anyway."

He said he would call the other committee members anyway. I asked him where is accent was from...
"New Jersey" He said.

Sonofabitch, Jersey strikes again!

If you click on the picture you can see it better, The tide is already up a foot, but you can still see all the land is covered by large dead oysters.

If you click on the picture you can see it better, The tide is already up a foot, but you can still see all the land is covered by large dead oysters.
Calling marinas with no luck.

Lazy cat never lifts a finger.

Nov 15, 2007

I never tell a lie!

Where the hell are we? We easily lose track and I am having a total blank.... Spooners Creek! I knew it would come to me. They have palm trees here! They aren't natural, but the fact that they can grow them outside is a good sign!

From left to right -- Yours Truly, Ohla, Peter, Ray, Sue, Irene, and LeeAnn
This place is pretty cool. It is a little hide away for rich people. I'm sure it pisses them off that we went and anchored our boat right in the middle of their little lagoon. They pay millions... we pay nothing, and on top of it we bogart their unprotected WiFi signals! Ha!

Actually there is a Best Buy, Walmart, Lowes, and a lot of other chain stores within very short walking distance. Yesterday we walked to Best Buy, where I bought a WiFi antenna which now enables me to steal WiFi signals from the next rich lagoon over!!

There was an Arby's next to the Best Buy, and I was ecstatic with joy, I was so excited for a big Arby's Roast beef melt! but it was a new Arby's that hadn't opened yet. I was crushed. "sorry guys, I've had enough, I'm going home."

otherwise not much is up. We are VERY close to Willmington. About 80 miles. two days. We had to wait out today on account of some gale force winds.

Nov 13, 2007

Dismal Swamp, Alligator River, on to Cape Fear!

Sorry it's been so long!! We haven't even had cell phone service.

... now I have to try to remember what's happened since we left deltaville, I don't recall where we were last night.
We left Deltaville during a small craft advisory. the winds were not so bad though, 10 to 20, gusting to 25. the waves were around 5 feet. We were running with the wind so it wasn't bad... LeeAnn's aunt and Uncle call it a "Nantucket Sleigh Ride." because you ride down the front of the waves. We left all our friends in deltaville.

We arrived in Norfolk and anchored in a large bay. We anchored in the north side, because the south side was a restricted navy base. Helicopters were taking off and landing constantly. Norfolk is the Largest Naval base in the world... or so the cruising guide says. They build navy ships there, along with ocean freighters. We sailed south past big navy ships, with big guns. Men stood on deck next to the guns staring us down.... I waved, they didn't wave back. Bastards!
We saw three aircraft carriers, a submarine, and a lot of other navy ships I don't know the names of.

You have to look close but you can see a row of helicopters.

We passed by the Disimal Swamp canal. We wanted to take it but it was closed do to low water. The swamp was dug out by the slaves. The canal was damaged beyond use during the Civil War. After it was rebuilt, Edgar Allen Poe spent a lot of time on it, writing many poems including "the Raven." The canal also inspired the play "showboat."

That night we stopped in Great Bridge. Just 20 miles from where we started. There was a big cruise ship that had run aground on the ICW, and the coast guarde wouldn't let anyone pass south of Great Bridge. We rafted up to a 60 foot schooner and ate snacks with the crew. We stayed in Great Bridge that night and spent too much on groceries.

The next day we traveled some distance down the ICW. We anchored right off the side of the canal. I put our crab trap down with some old chicken scraps, in about 5 minutes I pulled up 3 blue crabs. I accidentally dropped one when I was trying to dodge his pinchers. So we ate two.

We then sailed across Abemarle Sound. This again was a crazy ride. Strong winds, and big waves. The Sound is really shallow. the waves are steep, and steely grey, it reminded me of being on lake Michigan. We flew across the Sound and made it all the way up the Alligator River. We traveled 50 miles in 7 hours... 50 should take around 9 hours for us. we averaged 7 knots... two whole knots above our average cruising speed. Our friends Roman and Olha caught up with us on the Alligator River. They traveled a whopping 70 miles to meet up with us that night.

We next headed to Pungo River. There we got our first showers since deltaville! It was a slow day... We had to traverse the Alligator Canal.. a long long, perfectly straight canal. The East side of the canal had burnt in a fire... the west side wasn't. it was an interesting contrast. We took a golf cart to the grocery store and spent too much money again... but it all looks so good! This was the first place where I felt like we were really in the "south." The main building at this marina was a big old white place. inside the walls felt like they were radiating heat that they had stored up from the summer.
Alligator Canal Looking East
Alligator canal looking West

Alligator Canal Looking South

After Pungo we headed to Oriental where we are now! it is a very friendly place, so we decided to stay an extra day. I'm sitting in a coffee shop that seems like it should be on a T.V. show. Every time someone walks in everyone knows the persons name and cracks inside jokes with them. There is a lot of laughing and although everyone is involved in private conversations, there is an overall conversation going on that everyone is involved in.

Our next big stop is Wilmington on the Cape Fear River. We are sad our cruising will be ending for a while... but we are excited to get to our destination and to make some money!

Being passed by a huge boat in Norfolk.
Chatting on the handheld with Navy boats in the back ground.

OK. I've spent too much time on the computer. It's LeeAnn's turn! Take care. Thanks f

Nov 6, 2007


... I have no pictures at the moment because the internet connection isn't good enough to load them... I'll get some up later!

We were supposed to leave for Norfolk, Virginia today. The winds are high and there is a small craft advisory, so we decided to stay.

Last night was crazy for us. We got to take showers. luxury. Then we ate dinner with our friends Roman and Olha on their boat Moya Mreeya. Their boat was docked in Jackson Creek. From their boat we had to walk 100 feet across a narrow strip of land to where our dinghy was docked on Fishing Bay.

To walk from Jackson Creek to Fishing Bay takes less than 5 minutes, to take a boat from Jackson Creek to Fishing Bay takes a little over an hour. As we walked I said to LeeAnn, "I bet the others on Fishing bay are still partying." We hailed them on our handheld VHF... sure enough "Hey Chad it's just us drunk people! Row over here we have something to show you!"

... LeeAnn and I were planning on an early night... we hadn't planned on dinner on Moya Mreeya, our hair was still wet from the showers... But we couldn't resist the fun. We rowed over to Sea Drifters to see what was up. They had about 40 Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs in a big basket. Peter was steaming them, and Ray was picking all the meat and putting it in a big bowl.

LeeAnn and I jumped in. Drinking and picking meat from the crabs. It was a great time. We stayed up until midnight, then made plans to head for Norfolk early the next morning.

An hour later at 1:00 AM the wind had picked up from the south. Our anchorage didn't provide protection from that wind, the waves picked up quick. Ray had to re-anchor, he was dragging in our direction. After that we all dropped second anchors. Ray and Peter stayed up until 3 AM to keep an eye on things. No one got much sleep in the waves.

Other Happenings:
We are almost done with the Chesapeake Bay. We are in Virginia, our 5th state. We had a court date in New Jersey for some unpaid tickets... we are now fugitives in New Jersey.

LeeAnn has moved up to drinking Vodka instead of those girly fu fu drinks. Sailing has obviously had a positive effect on her!

Our depth sounder is on the fritz. It cuts out all the time, for long periods of time. Imagine driving a car with half the windshield blocked. it's like that. But what the hell, If Christopher Columbus can find America with out a depth sounder, then I can find North Carolina with out one!

Nov 5, 2007

Navy stealth boat. Couldn't hear this guy until he was right on top of us.
We anchored near a navy test area. Right after I put the camera away a navy boat pulled up to us and asked if we had taken any pictures. "no" i said, "we don't have any cameras on board."
this boat could really move.

Not much time.
We are in Virginia. A place called Deltaville. Tomorrow we will hit norfolk.

Here are some pictures: