Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sailing Washington, NC to Oriental

I guess all good trips have to come to an end sometime....and this one has to because we've got more adventures planned soon!!

Up early again.

And it was foggy!

Thru the open railroad bridge.

But, as usual, the sun came up!

We passed closer to the phosphate mine.  Huge operation.

Very nice winds.

Eventually we were in the "ditch" - part of the Intercoastal Waterway.

US Coast Guard station.

Mayo docks....big fishing boats.

A couple of hours of this view....

Then finally back out on the open Pamlico Sound.  A phosphate barge splashing thru the by then choppy seas.

And we were on a converging course with this nice sailboat. 

And that about wraps up the almost 3 weeks that we cruised the coast of NC!  More adventures await!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Washington, NC

 Our buddies Reid and Laurie (they went on the Bahamas charter trip with us) have recently purchased a condo in this building along the waterfront at Washington.  They offered to let us stay tonight at their dock.

So we pedaled over to investigate.  The end dock is the only one our wide boat would fit.

So we moved over.  Snug fit.

Then we tried out the "complementary showers" that the Town of Washington provides for boaters.  Very nice!  Again, the price is right.  I took this photo because I was amused at the nice shampoo they had left in the shower.  Mane 'n Tail.  Haha.

We had to pedal to Bill's Hot Dogs for lunch.  We had visited here with Buddy and Sharon about 30 years ago.  Exactly the same.  They've been selling hot dogs, and only hot dogs for about 100 years!

They have 3 condiments - mustard, onions and a wild white bean chili.  I, of course can't eat the hot they made me a "chili dog" - extra bean chili and onions.  Was delicious.  All 3 were, in fact!

Late in the afternoon, Reid/Laurie and Buddy/Sharon arrived.  This is the view of the boat from their 2nd story condo.

The plans for the night were to go see a concert - mainly Scott Kirby - a folksy singer we had all seen together a couple of years ago at Key West.  After a nice dinner with a crowd of Reid's childhood friends, we all headed to the Turnage Theater.  Very much like what I remember the Carolina Theater to be like - but very nicely re-done!

Sharon and Buddy trying to escape a photo! 

At the concert - a fun time.  Scott Kirby was with a small group including Peter Mayer (one of Jimmy Buffet's bandmembers and his son Brendan).  

Here is a little snippet - look out for Brendan Mayer - I bet he'll make it big some day!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sailing Bath to "Little Washington"

Our next destination is Washington (NC, of course!).  Strangely, we have never sailed there.  It's not that far by road, but it's close to 60 miles from Oriental in the boat due to all that silly land being in the way!

It's not a long way from Bath, however....we threw off the dock lines and got under way early.  I pan-fried the last fish I caught for a yummy but bony breakfast.

A few hours later - Washington!

We called the dockmaster on the VHF and he told us where to tie up.

Here we are tied up to the "free dock" that the town so nicely allows travelers to use.  No power or water available, but, again, the price is right!

A little family of ducks meandered around the boat often. I took a stale piece of bread and tossed them bits.

Had a nice bike ride around town and to Blackwater Jack's.  Big late lunch there - so we skipped dinner.
Lovely view at sunset!!  (I just snapped this photo with my automatic camera - this is really what it looked like - no funny settings or anything!)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sailing Bath, NC

We took good advantage of the "free dock" at Bath, staying two nights.

Early in the morning, the two power boats were gone....such is the life of the drifting boaters! 

We dutifully went to the Bath Visitors Center and gave them our registration form.  We were promptly given a "permit" to stay at the dock.  Seems a bit much trouble for such a simple thing.....

Then we got on the bikes for a nice ride to Goose Creek State Park.  I had mapped it on Google and it said the distance was 4.7 miles from Bath to Goose Creek sure felt longer!

Anyway, we had a great couple of hours hiking around on the trails.  Boardwalk thru a swampy area.

We hiked about 1/2 of the 8 miles of trails thru wooded forests adjoining the river.

And spent a little time in the nicely air-conditioned "discovery center" (I assume it was for school groups).

And since I was exhausted when we got back to the boat late in the afternoon, I did another map program to see how long we'd ridden. It actually was 7.5 miles - one way - from Bath to the park. So, yeah. I'm not very talented at Googling.....15 miles on the bikes, 4 miles hiking. A good day!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sailing Belhaven to Bath

Up early enough to see the sunrise...beautiful night. Had to get out the quilt it was so chilly!

I borrowed the courtesy car from the marina and shared a ride into Belhaven for a needed re-fill of the refrigerator.  Nice of them to have  a car to loan!

Then it was time to shove off.  Enjoyed Dowry Creek Marina - nice folks.

Underway - I spotted the Aurora ferry.

And I believe this is the phosphate works - the origin of all those huge barges we see on the Neuse River.

Approaching the lovely Historic city of Bath.

All tied up at the NC "free" dock.

Unfortunately all 3 of the restaurants in town were closed for the day....but I had a treat!  The Ruitan Club was putting on a shrimp fry!  It was yummy - Duane, of course couldn't partake. 

Lovely view from the back of the boat.

We were joined at the dock by a couple of nice fellows in their power boats.  That was our day!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sailing Elizabeth City to Belhaven

We woke up early for some reason, so we decided to go on and shove off a little before 6am.

Another grey day - the sun trying to peek through!

We were able to pull the jib out - nice to be sailing even if motor assisted.

We stopped off at Alligator River Marina for some diesel and a snack from their grill.  Nothing fancy but a great "convenience" store/marina.

They are on the main highway over to Manteo/Outer Banks....and they have a replica Hatteras Lighthouse.  Pretty authentic looking!

Next up was the only bridge that we had to have opened on this trip.  It's the Alligator River swing bridge.  We called the helpful attendant on VHF channel 13 requesting the opening.  He cheerfully said "no problem".

So, as we got closer, we could hear the warning bells ringing  and could see the barricades drop to stop the traffic.  The bridge started pivoting in the center.

And slowly swings open.

Allowing us to quickly motor thru the opening.

The poor cars that are eagerly waiting for us to get thru so they can be on their way.

And in just a few minutes, the bridge is back in place and we're on the other side!

Pulled the sail back out for a great run down the straight part of the Aligator River.  The winds were 20+ knots, but not from a great direction.  Since we had a long run ahead of us, we continued to use the motors also.

Next up was the long, straight Alligator/Pungo River canal.  It's about 23 miles and looks mostly like this the entire way.

It's a man-made canal built in the early 1900's for barge traffic.  Pretty shorelines.

And we saw a modern day barge!

He was pushing a platform of unknown use.  Other than one other power-boat, this was the only traffic we saw for hours!

Love going under these Intercoastal Waterway bridges with this boat since we don't have to worry about our mast height!

I was sneaky and stole a shot of my Captain when he wasn't looking!

After a very long day - we stopped for the night at the Dowry Creek Marina just north of Belhaven.  We'd never been there before.  Very nice marina and friendly folks.  They invited us to their daily "Happy Hour" at the clubhouse for some nice boating chatter.

Beautiful sunset!