Friday, September 6, 2013

Sailing "home" from Ocracoke to Oriental

What's a good Pamlico Sound trip without more ferry photos??

And more fishing boat photos...

This is what the horizon looks like when you are sailing straight into a thunderstorm!!

I stashed the camera away because I knew we were going to get very wet and I didn't bring my waterproof camera enclosure.

At this point, we got busy and pulled in the sail and rode out two pretty severe storms.  There's really nothing you can do to avoid it - the boat just isn't fast enough to outrun the storm.  But, luckily, we didn't get hit by lightening and all the rain washed some of the dirt and salt water from the boat!  I saw winds of 55 knots on the wind-meter - and that was just when I was looking.....most of the time, we were just holding on to wood only - no metal in case of lightening strike!!

The sky cleared up a bit in between storms - passed by this barge....

And you can see a faint little rainbow in this photo as we approached Oriental.  A good trip!!!  Back to work now!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Always have a blast at Ocracoke with Sharon and Buddy.  Plus joining the "Greenville folks" that have spent their Labor Day holidays at Ocracoke for years and years adds to the fun!

Had to hit the 3-5PM specials - enjoyed the peel and eat shrimp at Dajio's (used to be the Pelican) and 50 cent raw oysters at The Topless in a "topless oyster", haha.  Fabulous local oysters - yes, we're in an "r" month!  Oh, and the PBR tall-boys were $2 each!!

Shopping with the girls at Books to be Red bookstore.....I love to looks at the "suggested titles" books at bookstores.  This one was particularly intriguing - so I decided the best way to take their suggestions for later reading was to take a photo.  Now I can zoom in on the titles and I have a reading list for the next year or so (I've read several of the titles so I'm thinking "Heather" has similar taste to mine!)

The non-adventurous of the group (read that as the "lazy ones") met at the Jolly Rodger to wait on the energetic ones to paddle by....Emma on a paddle board in Silver Lake.

Sharon, Jeannine, and Luke on kayaks.

I've already done the kayak thing....I told Sharon that it was already crossed off my "bucket list" and that I didn't need a repeat.  She gave me grief for that statement!

Next up was the "Greenville Gang's" yearly picnic at the Pony Island Inn.  They always do a fabulous cookout - this time was no different.  It's so nice of them to let us join them!

Howard cooking some yummy corn!  He slathered it with butter and honey!

Shrimp boil - I didn't get a photo, but they bought fresh local sea-trout and fried it up with some good 'ole House Autry breading.  Absolutely the best fist ever!

The boys (Rich, Luke, Duane and Buddy) enjoyed many, many foosball games.  I think it was about a tie overall!

And finally, this nice young man, Gary took Sharon and I "clamming" out in the shallow water.  It was a hoot!  We were out for a couple of hours and came back with the bucket full of clams.  They're gonna be yummy!  That's about it for the Ocracoke visit.   Tomorrow is the sail back to Oriental.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pamlico Sailing Trip Continued - On to Ocracoke!

After the sun was up nicely and all the mosquitoes decided to go back to where-ever they decide to spend their days....we lifted the anchor and headed for Ocracoke.  Again, winds were good to start with - we were tickled when we spied a group of dolphin.  Finally, I managed to get a decent video!  Usually, the dolphin are a hundred feet away or they just surface once, so it's hard to get a photo.

Watch this short clip - it's taken from the back of the boat - scan out to see and directly adjacent to the boat.  You'll see several.  This went on for several minutes so we probably saw 20+ different dolphin.

Pretty cool!

After that excitement, it was just a lazy sail, then motoring down the channel into Ocracoke.   Cool fishing boat that we passed ....

A few of the channel markers had been moved recently due to shifting sand, but it was easy to navigate by sight (and using the binoculars!)  You know you're getting close when you pass the pretty little sandbar.

And there we are! Safe and sound at the National Park Service docks for a few days of fun and sun on Ocracoke Island!  Buddy and Sharon are meeting us here via the Hatteras ferry.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sometimes sailing days are pretty mundane!! Leaving Bellhaven there is a neat breakwater protecting the fairly "exposed" marinas.

As you get closer to the breakwater...appears to be a favorite roost also!  (Those little dots on top of the pilings are hundreds of birds!)

Down the Pungo River and then into the Pamlico....the winds started off the morning great, but then were mediocre at best. So, we decided to take our fellow cruisers advice and pull in to Juniper Bay just past Swan Quarter.  Note the dragonfly peeping around the edge of our flag!

Not a lot going on in this peaceful little bay.  I really must get a better telephoto camera....there were some lovely white birds out there in the marsh, but you can hardly see them in this photo.

That's it for the day!  Lovely breeze with all the hatches open (with screens installed for the mosquitos!!)

Then, at 3AM there was a mad dash all around to close them since we got a nice little storm - but the anchor was well placed and we had no problems riding it out.  Off to Ocracoke tomorrow!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sailing trip - Bellhaven

Love the little Bellhaven Waterway Marina! Nice couple runs it - helped us tie up with huge bumpers to their dock.

Love the little "captain's lounge".... keeps you away from the biting bugs!!

Just a lovely little place to spend the night!  Had great local-crab-cakes at the Fish Hook Restaurant and then a nice breakfast at the Gingerbread Bakery on main street.  Nice small town, but time to shove off!  Maybe anchor near Swan Quarter....or maybe head over to Ocracoke.....tell ya when I know!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sailing to Bellhaven

Since we have limited time on the water....the only logical next destination is Bellhaven.  So, after a nice breakfast at the diner and a little engine-troubleshooting for Duane (not ours - our dockmate had some difficulties and Duane offered some assistance) we shoved off from the welcoming town of Bath....

The day started with some pretty decent winds - but they died out thru the morning.  At some points we were only moving at 3 knots....

I heard a thump, thump, thump.....sometimes that can be a bad thing - but in this case it was what appeared to be a National Guard helicopter flying down the middle of the river.  They looked very close in person - I waved at the guys in the cockpit!

When I look at this video - they don't look so close....but it was neat anyway

Again, a long day....but we tied up at the new-to-us Bellhaven Waterway Marina.  Nice folks and nice facility!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sailing to Bath, NC!!!

We had a wonderful night - even needed a blanket about 3 AM!!  We made a bit of a mistake and left the companionway open just to let the air flow....about 1AM a few mosquitoes decided to find us....but I couldn't be bothered to wake up!!

After coffee and cereal for breakfast, we pulled the anchor out of the mud and headed out.  Due to the north winds of late, we decided not to take the Intercoastal waterway northbound.  Let me explain - our mast height is really high - 64'9".  The Intercoastal waterway bridges are SUPPOSED to allow 65' to clear.  But, if the winds or tides are high, sometimes that is a problem.  We decided to play it safe and go "around" - out in the Pamlico Sound instead.  Good choice - the winds were not crazy like yesterday....although not favorable for sailing.

Self-portrait!  My tee shirt is a duplicate of one Sharon also reads "Sail Fast" on front and "Live Slow" on back.  Duane said I needed a new shirt for today....the front should read "Sail Slow"... haha.  We did have the sails up, but they only gave us about .5 knots.  Still, it's a free .5 knots!!

We had to make a big loop to avoid a "prohibited area" near Stumpy Point....note why.  No argument!

Once we cleared the bombing range, we were in the Pamlico River. Still motor-sailing, we passed the Aurora phosphate plant that is the origin for all those barges I've snapped photos of over the years. We didn't actually see one this time, but heard them several times on the VHF radio announcing their progress down the waterway.

After about 6 or 7 hours....we arrive at Bath!  Really quaint little town. 

Since we had brought our new-to-us fold-up bikes, we got the boat settled and went for a town tour.  This is one of the only photos I've been able to steal lately with Duane in it!!!

At a pretty, shady waterfront park.

The town of Bath is really, really small.....nice folks though!  Here we are at the only diner in town. 

Lots of historic buildings.....

Glory Days tied up to the State Dock....

Very nice of the state to provide suck a nice, free place to tie up for the night!!

Off to Bellhaven tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Anchoring out near River Dunes

We decided that since the weather is sooooo wonderful (breezy and cool for August in the South!!) that we'd anchor out in the creek near River Dunes.  Just picked a spot off the channel in 7 feet of water and dropped the hook!

Off to Bath tomorrow!!! Should be better winds....we'll see....

Monday, August 26, 2013

Small Craft Advisory!!

OK, so NOAA published a "small craft advisory" that was supposed to be ending at 8AM.....

Highest True Wind Speed - 38 knots

Lightest winds - 21 knots

Sailing time from Oriental to River Dunes - 4+ hours

Direction we wanted to go - North

Direction winds were from - North

Ahh, but a good sailing day with 2 reefs in the main!  (Mainsail not fully extended due to high winds)

Finally made it to River Dunes - wonderful sandwich and enjoying their high speed wifi!!!

We'll be off to a close-by anchorage for the night....more when time allows!