Saturday, May 8, 2021

Oriental, NC!!

Last I left you, the plan was to go on up the Intercoastal to Wrightsville Beach, but the weather offshore improved a bit and we decided to make a longer trip, overnight all the way to Oriental.We did a hop outside from Calabash to  Oak Island during the morning.  The forecast was for scattered storms - and boy did we run into one!  We had the sails up - and I was napping.....I heard activity on deck and found Duane had dropped the sails and we were now motoring towards a huge thunderstorm (many miles wide so we couldn't outrun it).

 

We saw true wind speeds of about 45 knots at times - we just kept the boat pointed into the waves for about 15 minutes until the system passed.  Back up with the sails and we were on our way.  At least we got a partial fresh water wash - but the windswept seawater was hitting us too so I think it was just "less salty water" in the end.


 

Passing the Oak Island Lighthouse all was calm.


 

 We went back in the Intercoastal on to Carolina Beach.  We'd decided that the weather was good for us to continue on overnight offshore - so we anchored and took a rest so that we'd arrive at Beaufort just at sunrise.  And we had a hankering for pizza (since we were unsuccessful getting it in Georgetown) - so we did an online order and took the dinghy to get some Dominos for the first time in forever!  The dinghy dock at Carolina Beach is just a 1/2 block to the Dominos.

 

This actually was our first visit to Carolina Beach in the boat - neat little area with lots of boating!

 

Sojourn anchored - we actually had another brief storm - we drug anchor a bit but we were on board and had the boat in gear to relieve the pressure on the anchor so it wasn't a problem.  2 other boats in the anchorage drug and were pulled off by TowBoat US an hour or so later.

We waited until about 6 pm to leave, timing our arrival to Beaufort Inlet about 12 hours later at sunrise.  Carolina Beach inlet - a little narrow - wouldn't want to do this in rough seas.


 

Our last sunset for this winter cruise.....

 

And our last sunrise of the cruise - beautiful!  Oh, did I mention it was cold!!  Long pants, two shirst, a jacket, socks, wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket during watches.  Yikes!

 


 

Sojourn at home, waiting on Ed and Cathy to arrive in a few weeks.


 Ashore, I was happy to find a few of my irises were still blooming!  The daffodils were long wilted.  (I guess I'll have to be around some winter to see those....)

Cleaning and organizing will be the activity of the day for a while....

Friday, May 7, 2021

Calabash, SC

 Another long day motoring north on the Intercoastal....

Pretty green scenery along the way.  



 

As we got close to Myrtle Beach, we passed a whimsical pontoon boat with a crew of young adults having a good time.

 

And we followed the "Barefoot Queen" paddleboat for a while.


 

 

Lots of traffic on the waterway.

 

And more whimsy....the ever-present floating tiki bar.

 

After 10 hours of motoring, we anchored near Calabash, famous for it's deep fried shrimp.  Busy small anchorage, we've been here before.


And one of the famous shrimp fleet going back to Calabash with their catch.


 Destination Wrightsville Beach.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Georgetown, SC

 A long day in the Intercoastal - some interesting sights.

It was low tide so the oyster beds were exposed along the marshy shore.

 

Just miles and miles of marsh.  South Carolina low country.

Occasionally there is a house or cabin out in the marsh - the only way to get there is a boat.

And often you could see the ruins of a house or shed on a little elevated area.


 

 We saw several alligators - can you see him resting on the water's surface?

 

And a few dolphins along the way - hard to get a photo of them!

 


 

Cool boats traveling the waterway.


It was fairly windy by the time we made it to Georgetown, SC.  We stopped and topped off the diesel tanks.

 

And anchored near the steel mill.  


 

 

Took a long walk in town - neat old city.  Tried to get a pizza but the restaurant was closed!  Opted for some Mexican food on the sidewalk.

 

And a very different sunset compared to the Bahamas!



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Back up a couple of days.  

I forgot that I had my spare camera in the cockpit when we were leaving St. Augustine.  The channel was rougher than we expected.....


I recorded a short video of the mono-hull that was exiting the channel at the same time as us. Fun stuff!





Monday, May 3, 2021

Capers Island Anchorage, Charleston, SC

After looking at the weather, we decided yesterday morning to head offshore from St. Augustine to Charleston.  (Well, we actually thought we'd just make it to Savannah, but the waves were not too terrible so we continued on to Charleston). 

We stayed between 10 and 20 miles off the shoreline to avoid the worse wave action.  We did see several ships, none too close.

And a sport fisher boat - made a huge wake for us to bob thru.



 It was hazy....that should have been a clue....


Because when the sun came up, there was fog! It's been a long time since we've sailed thru fog.  And it's complicated by the fact that our radar broke several months ago....



Since we could only see 200-300 feet in front of us, we had to a forward lookout in case there was a boat in front of us.  We can see boats that have AIS reporting (most do), but some small vessels don't have it.  So, we had to be vigilant for about 2 hours as we sailed thru the murk.

 

 

But eventually, the fog dissipated - we could see this tug pulling a construction barge.  (We could see him on the AIS, so we actually knew his was out there in the fog).


Approaching the Charleston inlet.  Lighthouse and some birds flying in ground effect.

 

Some pelicans bobbing in the surf.

 

Made it to the Charleston inlet mid-afternoon.  Continued in the Intercoastal Waterway.   Getting back into the swing of bridges....

 

And our secluded anchorage for the evening.  We're looking at radar now and see a line of thunderstorms heading our way....hoping for the best!


 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

St. Augustine, FL

 We started the day on the internet researching how to get our Covid shots.  Many of the pharmacy websites said we had to be Florida residents.  But the CVS website didn't have that restriction - so we made appointments for 11AM.  The pharmacy is about 2 miles from the marina, so we had a leisurely walk there.  

 

The town is very picturesque.  Lots of old buildings.

 

Beautiful day.

The town was quite busy - a long line for the entrance to the Castillo de San Marcos fort.

 

View of the back of the fort.

And like any good tourist town, St. Augustine has it's share of chintzy attractions.

 

Lots of these trolleys.

 

We probably saw 20 or 30 of these trolleys during our walk.




To the CVS pharmacy right on time.

 

The pharmacist was ready....we just checked in, no ID required.  A little "pinch" and we were done.  We got the Pfizer shot, so we'll have to get the second dose after May 22nd.  We've got that scheduled in Chapel Hill.

Back to the boat - my arm is just a bit sore.  No other side effects.

 

After a quick lunch, we set out on the dinghy to go across the waterway to the Publix grocery store.  The jet skies were out in full force churning up the water.  Apparently they had some sort of race going on.

 

There's a very nice government dock and public pier just a few blocks away from Publix.


 

We loaded our folding cart with fresh veggies.  We had made sure we had eaten all the fresh items before entering the US - customs does not allow us to bring in anything fresh.

 

Walking back down the pier to the dinghy dock.  The public pier is lovely - shady areas and even swings to relax!

 

Going back to the boat....more jet skies.

 

View of the fort from the water.

 

Back at the boat for the evening.  It's amazing what you see in the mooring field.  These "sunset sail charter boats" actually weave thru the moored boats.  You'd think they would go out in the more open water....

 

And these large tour boats weave thru the anchorage as well with their cruise director droning over the loudspeaker, coming very close to our boat.  Just odd that they do that, sortof like if the trolley weaved in and out of the parking lots.....



We're probably here for one more day before the weather is good for more northern progress.