Monday, April 25, 2022

Closer and closer but slowing down…

Morning traffic at RE Mayo Seafood 4/22/2022

April 22, 2022 We were off the dock by 7:10 am from RE Mayo Seafood….just after the morning rush.  A good stop – always!  It was going to be a super short day and in reality we could have waited until later to leave but wind and tide/current were in our favor earlier in the morning.  So before long we were across the Pamlico River and a good distance up the Pungo River docked in Belhaven NC at River Forest Manor and Marina…before 10:00 am!!!!  Henry (harbor master extraordinaire) and Rex were there to catch our lines!!  It was way too early to dock for the day but we had a list of things to get done and Belhaven was the chosen stop!  If you’re looking for a super friendly town with a laid back atmosphere and awesome Ace Hardware Store stop here – by boat or car!!!

We saw Never Land docked and by the days’ end there were a few more boats in the marina!  I was able to get laundry done and Charlie was successful in the replacement of the faucet in the galley…YAY!!! Since we spent Friday working, Saturday was a play day!!!  Several more boats came in, I walked all over town (twice) and Taylor’d for 2 rolled in around brunch time…FUN!!!  We had a great afternoon visiting and planning Sunday morning departure.


Docked behind Never Land

Sunday 4/24/2022 – the EARLY boats get the smooth water!!!  We were off the dock by 6:39 am.  We continued up the Pungo River then turn right on the Pungo River/Albemarle Canal and we were not alone!!! Sail boats, Catamarans and power boats – all taking advantage of the good weather to get to either the Alligator River Marina, Columbia NC (The Lower Place, Taylor’d for 2, Never Land) or get ALL the way across the Albemarle Sound.  We had fleeting thoughts of making the jump across since we had an early start.  But several boats a day ahead confirmed the Albemarle Sound was “picking up” and seas were rolling about 3’ and building…typical afternoon cycle…no thank you.


Daybreak 4/24/2022 @ 5:53 am
River Forest Marina, Belhaven NC

By 1:30 pm we were docked (bow in for the first time) at Alligator River Marina in the gusting wind!! Glad to be still!  Before long, the place filled up – Glenn the dock master said they had reservations for 20 boats coming in and they all came!!!  Taylor’d for 2 docked next to us and Never Land was across the basin on a wall – good reason to get off the boat and mingle.


Sunrise over the Alligator River 4/25/2022 

Monday 4/25/2022 Off the dock by 6:20 am and underway, light wind, no precipitation but seas a little more than I thought forecast.  Before long, beam seas of 3’ with a 4’ swell every so often – just to make us pay attention.  Oh and crab pots…LOTS and LOTS of crab pots – I thought we were back on the west coast of Florida!!

Until we left Alligator River Marina honestly we were undecided if we were going to cruise through the Virginia Cut (Albemarle Sound, North River to Coinjock) OR the Great Dismal Swamp (Albemarle Sound, Elizabeth City, and Pasquotank River).  We were only 85+/-miles from our Norfolk VA destination and that commitment doesn’t begin until May 1.  So we have a week to slow down – all of the “big water crossing” is complete for this trip. And taking the Great Dismal Swamp route provides us with  FREE docking, quaint, charming towns like Elizabeth City and the historical Great Dismal Swamp AND less commercial traffic!!!  So here we sit, tied to a dock on the back side of Jennette Brothers Provision Co!!  But wait, there’s more…

The Lower place docked at Jennette Brothers Provision Co.
Elizabeth City NC 4/25/2022

Elizabeth City NC is a charming town and GREAT STOP after the Albemarle Sound kicks your fanny!!  Well protected, and has a drawbridge that must open for boats over 12’ tall – that’s us. So, we cruised a little faster than usual crossing the sound and Never Land with Taylor’d for 2 were several miles behind us.  The bridge opened for us and we docked immediately at the Provision Co. as planned at 9:48 am.  When our buddies approached the bridge they were told the bridge wasn’t operating!!!  Apparently, The Lower Place broke the bridge and didn’t even know it!!!!  Thank goodness, the FREE city docks on the south side of the bridge were available and they were able to get docked there!!  WHEW!!!!  So, we are sitting all alone at the Provision Co. under a shade tree with a picnic table and Taylor’d for 2 and Never Land are dock in downtown Elizabeth City…we are only blocks apart!!!  We all met for lunch and now it’s naptime – after all, we did leave at daybreak!


The Elizabeth City draw bridge works...again!!!

Stay tuned as we make our way through the Great Dismal Swamp and tie up at Waterside Marina, Norfolk VA on May 1…it will be a S L O W 50 miles but that’s OK!!!


Picnic Table fun at Jennette Brothers!!

Stay healthy and God bless

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Gale Warning, Great Friends and Good Seafood


4/17/2022 Easter Sunday morning at 6:09 Eastern

We have been moving at a moderate pace since we left Southport NC on Sunday 4/17/2022 morning at 6:51 am. Yes, it was Easter Sunday and this dark moment at daybreak was so moving to my soul.  I am so blessed to have witnessed this.


This beautiful water is found in Southport North Carolina

It wasn’t a super long day at the helm and it was our plan to anchor at Mile Hammock Bay (on the fringe of Camp Lejeune property) Sunday and Monday (4/17-8/2022) nights.  Small Craft Advisory gave way to another Gale Warning and we are more than comfortable riding out such events at this proven anchorage.


Mile Hammock Bay Anchorage - safe and sound

On Tuesday morning at 7:00 we were well on our way to stop in Swansboro NC for fuel then continue on to Morehead City NC to spend a couple days there – we’ve skipped this great town on previous runs.  So we were looking forward to staying in Morehead City.  And it did not disappoint!!  I was able to get a hair appointment for Wednesday (HUX on Eighth – THANK YOU!!), walked 3+miles to the post office - great neighborhoods and pristine homes and the best part was a visit from our friends Louis and Jody who now live in New Bern NC!!  They drove an hour to see us and have dinner – highlight of our visit!!!  Plus that all important quick stop at the grocery store – boaters know boaters!!!  So thankful for their friendship!

Because our freedom requires practice & precision - thank you heros!

Thursday morning we really didn’t have anything specific planned so Charlie suggested we leave a day early and head toward RE Mayo Seafood Docks in Hobucken NC.  By 10:00 am we were out of our slip and headed north and a little east.   The weather was favorable and the tide was rising – perfect departure time and uneventful crossing of the Neuse River – thank goodness.  By 3:00 we were tied to the all familiar dock at RE Mayo!!!  Fresh seafood, low cost dockage and such pleasant people…what’s not to love!


North Carolina Ports - Morehead City

We are inching our way closer to Norfolk VA and have a couple more large bodies of water to cross so until we are safely tied up in Norfolk we will be watching weather and moving north.  So far, all is well!!! 

Proud to be an American

Stay healthy and God bless



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Hello North Carolina!


Southport NC is my kinda place!!!!

Just a quick update of our fabulous stop in Southport NC!! AND we spent TWO nights in the same place AGAIN!!

We left Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach SC at 7:15 am on Friday 4/15/2022 and headed to Southport NORTH CAROLINA!!  Wahoooo…this is our THIRD time cruising through this are and the FIRST time we’ve stopped in Southport!!  The day was windy and overcast and tide was against us most of the way but we safely docked by 3:00ish on Good Friday.


4/15/2022 view from our dinner table at The Provision Co.

It wasn’t long before we headed over to see our friends Robert and Kay (C-Life)…they have the best porch ever!!  There were several other loopers there (Magic and Taylor’d for 2) and before long the 8 of us were walking along the water headed to dinner at The Provision Co.  Life is good!

Saturday morning 4/6/2022 there was NOTHING on the agenda and we were staying docked because the weather forecast indicated heavy rains headed our way.  So I cleaned the boat, washed clothes, walked into town, found my way back to The Provision Co to meet Charlie, Chris and Lisa.  Then Lisa and I walked back to downtown for some more retail therapy.  Rain???  Maybe 5 minutes of sprinkles…but a perfect day to spend on foot!!


Because every town should have a Christmas shop open year 'round
Love this quaint town!

Before long Charlie had the idea to head back to Robert and Kay’s front porch with "snacks"…they weren’t home but we piled up anyway.  In addition, Lisa & I went back to our boats for plates, paper towels, additional water and drinks, trash bag – the usual stuff one might need when you invade someone’s porch with 5 lbs of steamed shrimp and boiled corn - you know, snacks!!!!  Also, while Lisa was at her boat Mountain Mermaid pulled in – they were invited too.  AND when Charlie and Chris arrived with the food, Escape II was with them!! SEVEN boaters hanging out on C-Life’s porch and before long Robert and Kay came home!!  A good time was had by all!!  Of course, I didn’t take any pictures of their home or the people I’ve mentioned (ding, dong)!!!!  But here's the view from my chair as we all enjoyed the fellowship that happens when good friends have great hearts!!!

Sitting on a porch in Southport NC - this is my view!

Easter Sunday morning we will be heading out early…like before Sunrise Service early!!!  It feels strange not spending this day in worship and with family – that’s a big negative about how we travel.  We will be travelling to a protected anchorage awaiting the next rain event…at least that’s what is forecast.  Stay tuned…


Stay healthy and God bless

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Last stop in South Carolina!


Osprey Marina, Myrtle Beach SC

So if you read the last post I mentioned the phrase “delivery mode”…and NO DOUBT – that was no lie!!

Here’s a quick recap:

Dolphins playing in our wake 4/5/2022

Tuesday 4/5/2022 we departed Sebastian River Marina at 7:40 am and anchored at Gail’s Way anchorage at 3:07pm. A routine engine room check revealed a few drops of oil.  Grrrrr…..

Merritt Island FL Cape Crossing Marina 4/6/2022

Wednesday 4/6/2022 multiple phone calls to Zack (mechanic) and trying to arrange a marina meeting point ultimately led us to backtrack 3 miles to the barge canal at Cape Canaveral. We docked at Cape Crossing Marina by 11:12am. I won’t give all the details of docking, mechanic, marina, etc. However, Zach followed through with his top-notch customer service and attention to detail.  He sent a well-qualified associate to correct the issue (not related to the recent repair)!   The Harbormaster at Cape Crossing was more than congenial and so accommodating – instead of a “day only” spot we were permitted to spend the night …and use the laundry facilities!!  WIN WIN!!!

Thursday 4/7/2022 off the dock by 7:36 and underway…time to make tracks north and get out of Florida!! Our intention was to anchor as much as possible allowing us to travel longer, easier to get going in the mornings and FREE!!!! Well, the tides in NE Florida can create some very shallow areas and the short story of this day is…we docked in Palm Coast Marina at 5:40pm.  Sometimes a marina is well worth the peace of mind knowing you won’t find ground with your boat!  Nice stop….bonus, we saw Gold Loopers, a newly minted Gold Looper and several in progress loopers docked!!  Great visit after a long day!

4/8/2022 Sunset at Sisters Creek, St. Augustine FL

Friday 4/8/2022 departed Palm Coast Marina at 7:58am cruising north on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and docked at Sisters Creek (Free dock) NORTH of Jacksonville FL by 2:36pm. A short day by our standards but we love this particular spot and before long the wall was FULL!!  After several long walks on land and a few visits on the dock it was bug:30 and time to turn in.  There was a lot of talk about the weather and if one forecast was better than another.  Honestly, we review several forecasts and follow our gut.  Sometimes it works to our favor…and sometimes…

4/9/2022 Before it got bad - horizons rarely slant!!

Saturday 4/9/2022 we departed Sisters Creek at 7:45am (low tide) knowing a Small Craft Advisory was in effect for 0-20 nautical miles “out” (meaning in the ocean).  We were travelling in the ICW – fairly protected waters except for the inlets from sea – we knew the inlets might be a little “bumpy”.  WRONG!!!  The St. Andrews Sound in GA (approach to Jekyll Island) was a MONSTER!!!!  Ten minutes before we arrived at the inlet I checked my phone for weather…GALE WARNING!!  Great…we were at the point of no return – hold on, here we go!!!  NINE MILES of 4’-6’ waves attacking us from the port stern (left rear quarter) and port bow (left front quarter) depending on which way the boat turned!  Waves over the bow, spraying the fly bridge, limiting visibility, sea water pouring through any opening it can find, anything not secured was tossed about…yep, Gilligan’s 3 hour tour was our reality!!!

Just after we entered the Sea Monster Sound I called a boater several miles behind us…the call went something like this:  Mick, this is Robin. Turn around! This is terrible! You won’t like it – it’s awful!  Do not come out here!!  His response was “well there’s an anchorage up a creek about 4 miles. Can you make it there?”  I had no idea which way “the creek” was and didn’t have enough hands to hang on AND check the charts.  We motored on.  But Mick did find that anchorage, he was the smart one!

By 1:38pm with the helping hands of many dock assistants and fellow boaters we were secured on an outside wall at Jekyll Island Marina!!!  BRUTAL doesn’t begin to describe the conditions we were in….the WORST SEAS EVER in our lives!!!  Once our pulse rate returned to normal The Lower Place was deep cleaned inside (sea water can be sticky and smelly) top to bottom. Since the waves were still crashing and the wind was howling any outside work was not happening – it was SO LOUD AND BUMPY!!!  By 5:00 the water started to calm, I was able to shower and dress for dinner and we were able to walk on the dock without getting knocked over!!  By 6:00 pm the water was calm, the docks were still and “GALE” was a memory.  Slept like babies!!!

4/9/2022 photo taken at 7:47pm 
What a day!

Sunday 4/10/2022 while several other boats were staying a few days to recover from the Gale Experience we left the dock at 7:58 am and headed “outside”…that’s right, we boated in the Atlantic Ocean!!  It was gorgeous!!!  Several big advantages to outside cruising…no low tide issues, avoid no wake zones and PLENTY of room!!  We cruised our normal speed of 8-9mph and docked in Savannah GA at Thunderbolt Marina at 5:48 pm.  A LONG day but very well worth it!!  Hello Georgia!!

4/10/2022 Atlantic Ocean - EPIC DAY!!

4/11/2022 Sunrise over Wilmington River, Savannah GA

Monday 4/11/2022 Thunderbolt had diesel at an acceptable price ($5.25) so we topped off and headed out on the ICW since the weather in the Atlantic looked “bumpy”.  Back to watching the tide, no wake zones and other boaters…oh well.  By 3:16 pm we anchored at Patriot Lucy’s (not sure how these anchorages get named, but I like it) at mile marker 523.

Tuesday 4/12/2022 passing by Charleston SC

Tuesday 4/12/2022 by 7:13 am we were out of Patriot Lucy’s spot and underway again cruising the Coosaw River finding our way to Graham Creek Anchorage in South Carolina by 4:27 pm!!  Hello South Carolina!!!

4/13/2022 Daybreak from Graham Creek Anchorage

Wednesday 4/13/2022 by 7:07 am we were underway again (GREAT ANCHORAGE!!) and enjoying the splendid weather!!! With tide against us most of the day we didn’t seem to have any issues with low water risk but I was looking at the weather for the next few days.  By 3:23 pm we were docked at Osprey Marina in Myrtle Beach SC!!  Laundry time!!!

Thursday 4/14/2022 what is this????  We are staying an extra day in a marina!! Wahooo!!  Time for some boat chores since laundry was done yesterday.  Troublesome fresh water leak in the galley has been FIXED!!!! Hard to find and harder to repair but Captain Fix It was successful…I’m so blessed!!  With the threat of rain Charlie is working hard washing salt from the boat – I know that sounds counterproductive but it really works!  I’m working on a grocery and sundry list for whenever we might see a store again and updating this blog!

Tomorrow 4/15/2022 we will depart once again heading north to NORTH CAROLINA!!!  The miles are clicking by and before long we will reach our ultimate destination of Norfolk VA…373 miles to go!

Until next time…

Stay healthy and God bless

Monday, April 4, 2022

Happy April!

3/29/2022 Sunshine over Lake Okeechobee

Well, it’s been a minute since my last post from Roland Martin Marina on the Okeechobee Waterway.  We haven’t travelled far but we have been dodging weather and staying safe!!  So that’s a good thing!

On March 29th we departed Roland Martin Marina and bid our farewells (or “See ya later”) to our dear friends Ben & Chantale (formerly At Ease). It was so nice to have them there as we navigated the “back down the channel (between the rock shore & other boats) then spin in the basin”!!!  Thank goodness there was no wind, no current and no tide!  We looked like pros!!  THANKS BEN & CHANTALE for the pics – proof that coffee matters!!

3/29/2022 departing Roland Martin Marina
we're BACKING down the channel!

We crossed Lake Okeechobee in a couple hours + and were officially in “East Florida waters” once again.  The weather forecast was predicting a “significant wind event” so we started looking for a protected (from the SE winds) anchorage for the next few days.  It wasn’t long before San Souci (Steve & Libby) called saying they were headed towards us!!  YAY!!  They found a great anchorage AND a Benihana Japanese Restaurant within dinghy distance.  Even better info…they ate at this restaurant over 40 years ago as newlyweds!!  We were so excited to dinghy to shore & share a great meal with them…their company was even better!!

Anchored with San Souci at Sewall''s Point

The next morning San Souci pulled anchor and headed toward the protected waters of the Okeechobee Waterway.  We pulled anchor to move closer to shore and let out over 150’ of anchor rode…high winds were on the way!!  We stayed anchored at Sewall’s Point – on the NW side of the A1A Bridge over the St.Lucie River – with very little waves!  The wind was great as it kept the temps low – we stayed until Friday April 1st – no foolin’!!!

3/29/2022 Sunset at Sewall's Point anchorage

Friday morning, it was time to fire up the motors and get moving!  At 7:47am we were underway  first heading south out of the St. Lucie River then a hard turn to port (left) put us in the Atlantic ICW heading north…Norfolk, here we come…in a month!!  While the winds were calm the clouds were full, so our peaceful cruising day was spent watching the sky…and the rains came!  Fresh water boat rinse was nice, ZERO visibility off and on for an hour….not so nice.  But our electronics can be our eyes for a little while, we know how to read RADAR and there was very little boat traffic (imagine that?).  The downpour ended and we were fortunate to dock without rain at Sebastian River Marina and Boat Yard around 2:15pm.

Friday 4/1/2022 - fresh water rinse!!

Charlie discovered a hose with a small oil leak, we know a very good mechanic in the area and he suggested we dock at Sebastian so he could stop by the boat on his way home Friday afternoon!!  What a wonderful guy…we met him on our first loop in March 2017…his knowledge and customer service still rank at the top in our opinion!!  His assessment was about what we expected – he could fix it BUT the engines needed to be COOL!!  Fortunately the marina slip was available for the weekend and Zack came back on Monday to correct the issue…AFTER the motors cooled!!   The weekend forecast was not boater friendly so everything worked out for the best.

3/31/2022 When the stove top becomes a workbench -
at anchor a kitchen towels is multi-purpose

Sebastian/Micco area is a very friendly 55+area.  There’s not much locally to the marina but I have enjoyed the 1 mile walk to Winn Dixie and Family Dollar along US Hwy 1!!  There are several locally owned cafes and “watering holes” filled with locals, snowbirds and out of towners (like us) and we have been greeted with friendly faces and warm smiles.  It’s our kind of spot and we are thankful to be here.

Sunday morning 4/3/2022 view from our bow

4/2/2022 The Lower Place tucked in for the weekend
Sebastian River Marina, Micco, FL

As I post this, it is Monday April 4th and unless something unexpected happens, we should depart Tuesday morning continuing our trek north.  It’s time to make tracks to Norfolk as we have the Spring Rendezvous in early May!!  The clock is ticking and somehow I feel like we will be in “delivery mode” while respecting the spring weather sweeping across the country.  Until next time…

Stay healthy and God bless

Great Place - Super Folks