Sunday, November 24, 2019


Friday, October 3, we left our anchorage around 6:40am to make the first of many bridges on this journey. Went through a tidal lock and tied up at Great Bridge by 10am. There we were able to get provisions as there are many stores close by.

The next day was spent doing some maintenance work on the boat, oil and filter change etc.

After a fuel stop we set of for the Albemarle Sound – the following is an excerpt from Mike’s log:

“It was a nice day low 70’s with a light breeze.  We ended up going through these swampy looking areas although we did see a bald eagle, which was pretty much the highlight of the day.  This area of water is so large, yet if you where to go outside the channel which is about 50ft wide and around 9-16ft deep, the depth is anywhere from 5ft to 1ft.  We ended up anchoring at around 4pm.”

Monday October 6 2003:

After all this time I have come to the conclusion that I am always saying “we” raised the anchor at a certain time, when really all my dad actually does is put the line back in to the hole of locker down below and I tend to do all the pulling and lifting. The odd time when it’s really, really stuck and we’re at the last 10ft of chain and I ask him to help me he grunts and slowly walks over and helps just until it gets unstuck.  So from now on I will say, “we left our anchorage” instead of “we lifted or anchor”.  So today I raised the anchor at around 6:45am.  At this time the sun had not fully raised all the way yet so it was still slightly dark, however it was sunny all day today.  It was an incredibly boring day for both me and my dad since all there was to see and do was stare at the endless swamp that they call the Inter-coastal ….  We finally anchored at approximately 5:20pm.”

We didn’t realize that Oriental had free docks until after we had anchored for the night.

A cold front had finally caught up with us bringing cooler weather and rain and by the time we anchored for the night near a military training area the rain showers turned to thunderstorms with heavy rains.  Between the sounds from the firing range, wind, rain and leaking windows it made for a uncomfortable evening. It wasn’t until late the following day that the rains subsided when we anchored at Carolina Beach.

Cape Fear River was a battle with the tide making for a slow day and some more rain and drizzle accompanied us until we finally docked at Barefoot Landing. There we were able to re-stock and do some maintenance work. Mike made friends with some fellow travellers, two young guys on a 25’ boat sailing south from Mississauga, and went to the beach at Myrtle Beach.

Our next stop was Bucksport Marina for some gas and free showers and then anchored just a bit further down the way in Mulberry River.

At our next anchorage we bumped the ground a bit to get in and once anchored saw dolphins and listened to the sound of shrimp feeding off the bottom of the boat.

Some more from Mike’s log:

“Thursday October 16 2003:

We left the anchorage and as usual I raised the anchor and put the rope and chain away myself as my dad just stood there at the back of the boat and eventually put it in gear and off we went at around 7:10 this morning.  By around 11am my dad raised the genoa by himself since I went to sleep shortly after I raised the anchor.  Today was we finally realized that we actually have a pretty good system going.  At approximately 6am slightly later my dad wakes up, listens to the weather, and makes himself a cup of coffee.  A round 6:30am he goes outside and talks to Dan to plan the day.  He then turns on the blower so that any gas fumes that are in the bilge so that there would be no chance at a fire and then after 5minutes he starts the engine to warm it up.  At this point which is usually around 6:45am I wake up and eat my breakfast which usually includes half a dozen big chocolate chip cookies and some brisk lemonade to wash it down.  As soon as I’m ready I go and lift the 20-30ft of rope then the 30pounds of a 50ft chain which is attached to a 25pound anchor which is usually stuck in the mud or sand.  I then tell my dad everything is clear and he moves out while I am putting all the rope and chain away.  I then give my dad some drinks that are not in reaching distance when you’re steering the boat and then I go back to bed until around 10:30-11am.  Sometimes later sometimes earlier.  When I wake up I usually get myself cleaned up then make us some sandwiches.  I then write in this log book thing, which is really a journal.  Once all my work is done I turn on the radio and before I get all settled down and comfortable to relax in the sun, I let my dad know that if he needs any help or anything like that I will give him a hand, all he has to do is ask.  While I am relaxing I usually read since there is nothing else to do to entertain myself.  Currently I have just finished reading my 8th novel and I am starting my 9th.  So far this is the most I have ever read in the past 4-5 years put together.  Anyways while this is going on my dad is either taking the genoa down or putting it up, insisting that he doesn't need my help.  The guy thinks he’s a pro-star.  However while he's doing this he is usually stressing over the other boat traffic as well as the bridges opening and trying to float around and wait for them while trying to fight the current and tide as well as stay out of other boaters way.  Usually he does a good job at it.  Today was no exception considering we had to go through 2 bridges with a heavy current.  He also has to worry about not running aground which he has done twice so far, each of them however have only been light ones that where easy enough to plow through them with out much effort or concern.  I usually take over steering the boat for a while so that my dad can take a break.  Again today we saw a few dolphins, however this time it was like they where playing, because they where jumping and flipping so high in the air.  When we arrived at our anchorage at around 5:30pm we dropped the anchor shortly after Dan did and life was good.  Every night is pretty much the same, I drop the hock my dad maneuvers the boat to set the hock.  Once this is settled, he and Dan talk about the day and sorta plan the next one.  I on the other hand usually put all the sails away and then try and do some fishing.  However today I had a little incident in where by I cast my line way out there and reeled it in slightly.  I then put the fishing rod in place and fastened it down, so that if I do catch a fish it wouldn’t go anywhere all it would do is let out more line for the fish to play with before I started reeling it in.  Well I usually do this everyday but what makes today so special is that I did catch something and the rod did as I hoped it would and it let out more line so that the fish could play with it.  However what I caught wasn’t exactly a fish per say.  You see, what happened was the boat had swung around which it always does, and it wrapped the fishing line around a crab pot line.  Well I had to struggle with it for at least 10 minutes before I was close enough to it that I could grab the boat hook and lift the whole thing out of the water and untangle it.  Unfortunately during this process I had moved the crab trap thing closer to the boat.  At this point in time my dad and Dan as well as those stupid ducks that always sound like they’re laughing where quite amused by this and they all had a good laugh at watching me struggle with this.  Well by this time dinner was ready and we sat down and ate our dinner outside with all these stupid little flies coming out for the night and biting us where ever there was skin showing.  We also called Oma and Opa today so that we could whish Opa a happy 76th birthday and talked to them for a bit.  After dinner I read for a bit, then we called it a night.”

Our next anchorages were Bull Creek, just past Hilton Head, then Cattle Pen Creek, Brunswick GA, and our first anchorage in FL, Ferdinand Beach. We averaged approximately 60 nm a day. And the warmer temps helped with trying to get over the cold that I had picked up from those cold rainy days.  After anchoring our time is spent making dinner, reading, and some fishing.

Mike’s log:  “When we anchored I tried to catch some fish again however I have not been successful yet, and I have tried everything as bait.  We also saw a huge blue crab today while it was swimming down to the bottom of the river.  It looked like the thing was waving with both of his claws.  It was like it was waving goodbye to us.  Unfortunately we had nothing to catch it with and if we did neither of us would know how to clean it or cook it as well as eat it.  So with this in mind we concluded that some people are born to be hunters, some are gatherers, and most people like us just carry a debit card and do our hunting at the grocery store. “

We anchored in St. Augustine, where got provisions, New Smyrna Beach, Titusville, Dragon Point and Peck Lake where we stayed for a few days and do nothing.

Mike’s log:  “I was up early and decided to do a little fishing just to try my luck, when before you new it I had a fish on my hook.  Now my whole theory which I had established about there being people who are hunters, people who are gatherers, and people who just hunt with there credit cards, and saying that I fell in to the last one is completely wrong.  It is my dad who falls in to the last one I merely fall in the first one and on occasion when the mood hits me I fall in to the last one.  However today I caught my first fish of the trip and wouldn’t you know it, it was the same type of fish that I had caught the last time I actually caught a fish and that was around the time I was 6-7.  It was an ugly, muddy looking Catfish!  A bottom feeder.  So I built up my courage took that ugly looking thing in my hands and took the hook out of its mouth and let it go freely.  It was to my disappointment however that we were unable to take a picture of it, but none the less it was a triumphant success.  Once all that excitement cooled off I decided to go for a walk along the beach and a walk it was.  I believe it was a good 4mile walk to this place called Hobe Sound Beach.  In total it was a long 8mile walk along the beach and a short paddle back to and from the boat in the dinghy.  Once I had gotten back to the boat I decided that I would rest for the rest of the day and since the sun was out and there was thankfully a breeze I was able to do so happily.

Monday October 27 2003:

We did the same thing as yesterday!”

From Hobe sound to Boca Raton, where we anchored,  we went through 19 bridges. The following day we sailed past the in water boat show in Ft. Lauderdale and anchored in Miami’s marine stadium, Oct. 29.  We were at the end of the ICW, mile marker 1095. So far we have traveled 3240KM in 65 days.

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