Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Say Goodbye to 2014

We pulled up anchor before 6 am.  There was sufficient sunlight to see the rocky shoreline and the rolls on the shoals by the time we were at the Little Harbour Cut.  We were not the first out.  Two boats beat us out and another seven or eight came through the cut anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour behind us.  The crowd of boats reminded us why it is so hard to catch fish on this stretch of water – it is highly traveled and seems to be fished out.  We were determined to give it our best try today.  Myron used six different types, shapes and colors of lures, changing them out during the day.  He even added cut squid to the lure – normally a deal-closer for the fish.  We pulled our huge green teaser.  We cleared the lines of grass about every half hour.  We used bionic ballyhoo (really, that is name on the label).  One of the ballyhoos was taken from us, the wire leader cut clean through.  Yeah, that’s not Snowflake.  I am sure it was a shark and we have no interest in catching one or dealing with one on the end of a line.  Near the cut and the end of our sail, the second ballyhoo was taken by the cockroach of the sea.  So it was a fishless endeavor, but not for lack of effort.  All is not lost.  Uncle Willard takes care of us and gave us two nice fillets of strawberry grouper.  They made a delicious dinner tonight.

We thought there might be a crowd here, given that ten or eleven of us set off together.  Some went to Harbortown, some to Royal, some went through Current Cut to Glass Window.   In the waning light after sunset, one last sailboat straggled in and anchored behind us.  Not much of a New Year’s Eve crowd.

What a year it has been.  We thought we were headed to Guatemala for the summer and ended up in Nova Scotia instead.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  A lot of miles went under Hold Fast’s keel.  There was lots of fixing things that involved skinned hands, scraped arms, cramped muscles from working in tight spaces, and maybe a little tourettes syndrome.  And sailing, well it is sometimes a contact sport for me.  Oh well, we have bandaids.  Seriously, we have our health and thank God that we get to see such beautiful places, meet wonderful people and be reunited with loving friends and family.  Our two feathered friends on the sail north were pretty outstanding too! 

May you have blessings in 2015 – no matter how your plans change!

Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Staged at Lynyard Cay

We did some last errands this morning in preparation to head south.  Low tide was around 9 am, requiring us to wait until after noon to depart MOW Cay and take the short cut near Elbow Cay and Lubbers Quarters.  One of the discussions during dinner last night with Barb and Barry was about having a Colossal Burger at Dock and Dine.  Since we had to wait for higher water, what better way to pass the time than to split that famous burger (besides cheese and all the works, it also has an onion ring, bacon and an egg).  When we got to Dock at Dine at their opening time, Judith informed us of the specials and simultaneously let us know they had no meat for burgers - the patties would arrive on the ferry in a few hours.  Boo hoo!  We had all worked ourselves up for the event.  As a consolation, we walked over to the only other restaurant on the cay and had a regular burger.  It was good and I was happy to have it, it was just not a Colossal.

After lunch we rummaged through the coconut piles behind Dive Time, ending up with a nice inventory of more than eight green coconuts between today and yesterday's haul.  Three were harvested in route today.  Love that machete.  We like to mix the fresh coconut water with a local ginger beer.  

We are hoping for 10 to 15 knots tomorrow out of the NE.  Swells are forecast at about two feet.  There is a chance of squalls to 20, but hopefully they will not form or we will be on the banks before they roll around.  Sometimes cloudy weather has a negative impact on our fishing results, but this time we will have out both a lure and bait (pre-rigged ballyhoo).  Here is to hoping tomorrow I get to write about cleaning fish!

Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Wrapping Up in MOW Cay

We have truly enjoyed our time in MOW Cay, thanks to Barb, Barry, Jan, Jay, Uncle Willard, and the gangs on Taia and on Jasamine. 

We attended our first MOW Cay Christmas island gathering and were blessed by the generous spirit of all who attended.  We sang songs, several different pastors offered prayers, the kids got gifts and we all had plenty of homemade food to hold us off until an afternoon Christmas dinner. 

We had our Christmas dinner on Jan and Jay’s porch, while they were away in New Jersey visiting with family and the girls hoping for snow.  At least their dog got to attend.  By the end of the day, we were beat.

That did not stop us from going out and watching the Boxing Day sailboat race put on by Hope Town Sailing Club.  Barry was crewing on ‘Rage,’ a Bahamian family regatta sailboat, so he lent us his Whaler which allowed all of Hold Fast and Taia crew to go watch.  The kids entertained themselves well for the most part, and entertained us too.  But I must admit, with the winds so light, the day was a long one to ask of the kids.  The Rage finished first across the line.  We continued to watch at the finish line until the Morgan 34 from MOW Cay finished, after which we headed back.

Here is Matias during his entertainment:
The next day we were guests of Barb and Barry at the Hope Town Sailing Club gathering.  We went on to have pizza at the Harbor’s Edge, followed by a quick trip over to Seaspray Marina to watch the small Junkanoo that started at 9 pm, or mostly.  We are on island time anyway.  It was very brief and quite intimate as the dancers and players worked right through the crowd, even dancing with some bystanders - that would be you Barry.  Their coach, who was in regular clothes, would direct the crowd to get out of the way as only a generously sized Bahamian woman can do.

The gang on Taia left Saturday, but not before kindly leaving behind three conch of Ernesto’s catch.  The kids were apparently worried about us not knowing their gift was left behind as they prepared messages for us, pointing to the swim ladder where the conch were hung.  The kids also managed to include some Myron quotes in their notes.  Can you guess which are his quotes?

We are always sad to see our time of visiting come to an end.  That sorrow is held at bay as we look forward to our next place of arrival.  And we also hope to catch fish along the way!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Love to call,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Moored in Man-O-War

We are squared away with immigration, customs and fisheries, plus we got a sim card for our phone and are connected to the internet.  Hard thing to let go, connectivity.  I can live without the news, but I like to stay in touch with family and friends.

Speaking of which, my heart was warmed by such a special welcome to Man-O-War Cay.  We took the dinghy down to see Barb & Barry and Jay & Jan and managed to meet up with Ian on Jasmine along the way.  Jay and Jan surprised us all by treating us to freshly made conch salad.  We are totally spoiled – I love it!

I got the run down on most of the many local Christmas festivities.  We are going to stay here through at least Christmas and I am looking forward to attending all the events.

Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Resting in Marsh Harbour

Other than the first five hours, we had a pretty pleasant trip over. It was downright handy to have a bright and near full moon for all the night watches. The Whale Cay cut was rough and confused, but do-able.

There is a large motor vessel at the Jib Room's fuel dock. We will try to get over there in the morning to square away our check in and get diesel. If the Jib Room does not work, then we will figure it out at another one of these marinas. Once checked in, we can go about our other business, the first priority of which is to get a phone operational and get connected to the internet.

In the meantime, our quarantine flag is up, we are showered and ready to have some grub. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep, which will probably come early.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Position Update

Beautiful night, big moon.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Almost on the banks

We left Jensen Beach about 7:30 this morning and exited out St. Lucie Inlet for Marsh Harbor.
About an hour to the banks should arrive Marsh tomorrow afternoon.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Jensen Beach

That was not the first time we had a short stay in Vero Beach.  There MIGHT be a small weather window that we can squeeze Hold Fast through to get across the Gulf Stream.  I made one more trip to the grocery store, Myron filled our dinghy gas tank with fuel and we said a few goodbyes, slipping the mooring around 11:30. 

Right now, though, the winds are up and the swell is almost five feet not too far offshore.  We are both skeptical as to the weather cooperating with the forecast and letting us proceed.  It seemed prudent, or at least optimistic, to get positioned anyway.  We will check the weather again in the morning.  Skeptical or not, we have hopes for a crossing Saturday, Saturday night, or Sunday.

In the meantime, we plan to finish securing the boat and do our best to get some rest.  Tonight’s dinner will contribute to a good night’s sleep.  The menu was porterhouse steak, sautéed mushrooms, steamed fresh brussel sprouts and french bread.  On the assumption we would go, we grabbed the opportunity to have our last steak meal until we return to the states.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vero Beach Mooring

We arrived at Vero Beach about 11 am, topped off with diesel and water and took a mooring.  We launched the dinghy and were on the bus to the grocery store by noon and back by about 1:30, yet to have eaten a bite all day.  A quick lunch and a short rest and we were off to do more chores, including a couple loads of laundry.  There was also a social gathering at the gazebo.  By the time we finished and returned to the boat, I was ready for a shower, dinner and bed.  I have yet to put away the clean clothes - but I wanted to get out this post.

We will catch the weather in the morning.  The forecast will not settle down, even three days out has been changing day by day.  There is always the possibility we may only be here one night.  We are rafted with a French Canadian couple, I cannot even spell the boat name, much less pronounce it.  There were kind enough to chat with us in English.  

I am glad to be on a mooring tonight and in this protected cove.  It is getting quite stormy outside and the rain is really coming down.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Serenity Island

We took a day off at Cocoa.  Our intention was to launch the dinghy and go into town.  I was up at 5 am, listening to weather by 6, then relaxing with coffee.  By the time Myron was checking in on the Cruizeheimers’ Net at 8:30 am, I was crawling back into bed.  Neither of us felt the effort of launching the dinghy for a trip into town was more important than catching up on a bit of rest.  Besides, throughout the day we were peppered with rain showers.  A perfect nap day. 

Today’s low mileage plans afforded us the luxury of pulling up anchor after weather and coffee.  Within an hour of leaving, the east wind filled our jib to help us arrive shortly after 11 am.  We had lunch and did a few errands, like ‘de-winterizing’ the boat – and us.  I cut about three inches off Myron’s hair, and he trimmed about six inches off mine.  We have been in shorts and tee-shirts and barefoot since Cocoa.  According to Intellicast, the temperatures in Cocoa are 15 degrees warmer than Jacksonville.  Only about 130 miles south.  It should only get better from here.

We are well positioned for a morning run to Vero Beach.  Yesterday, we made reservations for Thursday before noon.  The marina asks that you reserve a spot 48 hours in advance.  There may be a weather window for a crossing early next week.  The buses run at Vero on weekdays, part of Saturday and not at all on Sunday.  Any chores by bus should be accomplished Thursday and Friday.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Monday, December 1, 2014

City of Cocoa

We did not hit it at o’dark thirty this morning, but pretty near.  First we tuned in to hear weather according to Chris Parker, but apparently he recently changed his schedule.  Will try again tomorrow.

Today we made much better time than yesterday.  The wind was out of the east which made for a nice motor and jib run down Mosquito Lagoon (aptly named) and Indian River.  We reminisced about our first trip down, the different places we stayed, how it always seems to be windy around Cape Canaveral, and how last year we turned to go into the Haulover Canal and it was log jammed with fishing boats that only got out of our way at the last minute.  We pressed on past Titusville, throttled back and were still doing close to seven knots.  I saw a dolphin jump completely out of the water to look at us, then it did it again as it drew closer and rode on the bow wake for close to 20 minutes.  Stuff like that makes my day.  And it makes up for the ‘in a hurry power boater’ that seriously waked us twice today.  I guess we passed him while he was refueling in Titusville, which gave him the opportunity to do it all over again.  Practice makes perfect.

But back to us…we made such good time, we passed up Addison Point and made it to Cocoa with plenty time before sunset.   Looks like we might go investigating the City of Cocoa tomorrow.  Dinner is done, soon the dishes will be as well and we will watch a show if we can stay awake.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Daytona Beach

I forgot to mention last night, especially to our cruising friends, that the USCG put out a Notice to Mariners that buoys 4, 5, 6 and 7 for the St. Augustine Inlet are off station, in other words, out of place or gone.  I was reminded of that notice at 5:30 am when I heard the USCG talking on channel 16 to a sailboat that had gone aground in the inlet (the name of the boat was ‘Indulgence’).  The news was confirmed by sight as we passed by the inlet after daybreak and saw the sailboat high and dry on a sand bar at the edge of the inlet.  On the radio, BoatUS called it a salvage operation.  Indulgence was not on the ICW side of the sand bar, but we do not know whether they were going in the inlet or confused in the dark with the ICW.  Either way, heads up to Taia if you chose to use the St. Augustine Inlet.

In the first picture below, you can see the anchor line off the bow and what looks like the overturned tow boat off the port bow.

No matter how bad your day is today, remember it could be worse.

I still had some french bread left over after yesterday’s tasty French toast brunch, so I made turkey/avocado sandwiches on it.  Yep, we eat well aboard Hold Fast.  And it shows.
We struggled most of the day against the tidal current.  Oy!  Regardless, we made more miles than usual and were able to put the hook down before sunset.  Although it was not without its own challenges.  We tried on the east side, then again on the west side where everyone else was.  We could not get satisfied that the hook would hold.  Clearly we are more particular than the rest of the folks that were anchored in that area - which does not bode well.  We gave up on those spots and continued on the ICW, pulling off at another anchorage to the west.  The holding is much better, so here we are, all by ourselves.  Another failing grade for our attempts to be lemmings.

The weather forecast for the next week is bleak for crossing the Gulf Stream.  To make lemonade out of lemons, we plan to slow down and explore some of the townships around Indian River.  I wanted to go ashore at Coco Beach.  Maybe we can make that happen.  Whatever, we shall see.  One day at a time!  And now it is time to heat up Thanksgiving left overs.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Underway Again - St. Augustine

So much to do, so little time.  Even so, we managed to visit with a lot of friends in Jacksonville.  Shari, Fred and Paulette were gracious enough to run us around for our errands, Myron for parts and such, me for provisioning.  One shipment was late, and that pushed us beyond a two week stay.  Since we would be in Jacksonville through Tuesday for the delivery, why not stay through Thanksgiving?  I was not sure how to pull off our usual Thanksgiving dinner at OYCM because there is no longer a Captain’s Lounge to set up food.  So we broke with tradition and did not smoke a monster turkey.  I chose to cook one onboard.  I think I embarrassed Shari at the grocery store when I pulled out my mini tape measure to ascertain what poundage of turkey would squeeze into my teeny tiny oven.  The winner, weighing in at 12.42 pounds, was just under 7 inches in height from back to breast.   We carted the food to the car and had dinner aboard 'Taia' with Ernesto, Natalia, Matias and Camila.  It was a lovely day.

It is always my goal, and hope, that we have completed enough projects during our stay to make our last day really just for wrap up.  That has yet to happen.  I was busy all day, stopped for our pizza night and a visit with Rich and Paulette (and Lucky Dog), then kept at it until late in the evening, including getting those pictures up to share.  I was sleeping light so a train woke me up at 3 am.  We tried to sleep again, then Myron gave up and got dressed at 4:30 am and me at 5 am.  We left the dock around 6 am, in the dark.  There were no problems with the FEC RR Bridge or the Main Street Bridge, and the tide was pushing us well ahead of schedule at over eight knots.  We suffered only the last few hours of travel today, when the tide turned against us and we were down to five knots or less.  But still, we fueled up at Inlet Marina, back-tracked to the anchorage and were ready for showers by 3:15 pm.  We considered traveling further, possibly anchoring on the other side of Lion’s Bridge, but we are both plenty tired and ready to call it a day.  This is a new stop for us and it positions us to try another new stop tomorrow.  We shall see how it goes and whether or not we get fog in the morning.

I forget how calm it is on the ICW.  It motivated me to make our traditional leftover turkey enchiladas while underway.  They are heating up in the oven now.  I have no doubt, once those calories are consumed, we will fall asleep in place!

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Picture Time!

We have updated our pictures on the link to the right, they now include our travels from Onset to Chesapeake and from Norfolk to Jacksonville.  Below are a couple from the two new albums...

Yummy crabs from the East Wye River...

Hold Fast running downwind on Chesapeake Bay:

Sunrise at Norfolk:

Surprising beauty on the Alligator/Pungo Canal

There are plenty more pictures in the two newest albums.  Click on the link to the right for the photo gallery.

Love to all,

Friday, November 7, 2014


When I woke up this morning I started to panic.  It was light outside.  I thought the sun was up and we were late.  Not so.  The moon was so bright, we could see without headlights and untie the lines, jump aboard and get moving only two minutes after 6 am.  I called the Main Street Bridge at 7 am to reserve a 9 am opening.  Ernest was very nice and took down our boat name, closing with 'see you at 9.'  I felt confident.

We rode the tide in with the boat barely in gear and were at the Main Street Bridge with more than 15 minutes to spare.  The FEC RR Bridge opened for some motor vessels and then called the Main Street Bridge and asked if the sailboats waiting (that would be us) were planning to also come through the FEC.  When Main Street responded in the affirmative, FEC asked when he was going to open the Main Street.  Suddenly we had an earlier than expected opening of the Main Street and were soon through the open FEC.  Life was good.

At OYCM, we were met at the dock by Fred, John, Paul and Shari to catch lines and welcome us home.  We have already run errands, had Mexican food in Green Cove Springs, and a night out at Moon River Pizza where our crowd increased with Ernesto, Natalya and the kids, Camila and Matias, plus Ernesto's mom and dad.  You just cannot beat that with a stick for a first day back.

We hope to have all our projects, errands and visits complete by the next FEC Bridge opening on November 22.  I doubt I will catch up the blog until then, except for pictures.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sister's Creek Free Dock

Wednesday was a perfect weather day (and night) at Cumberland Island.  A rare event for us in the fall.  We took a walk for more than two hours.  We were amazed at all the horseshoe crab shells on the beach.  Indeed we found some ponies.  They were so unafraid of us, we had to wait for them to walk across the trail in front of us and we even backed up so they did not step on our feet.  For the first time, we saw armadillos and turkeys and found a cemetery we had not come across previously.  Always fun to add new sightings to our island hikes. 

Today’s trip to Sister’s Creek Free Dock was uneventful until the end when Paul and Shari surprised us in Gretel, their little fast boat.  They were trying to get to the Fort George cut off so they could sneak up on us from behind.  But we left Cumberland Island earlier than they calculated and we met them after we had passed the Fort George intersection.  They raced back to the free dock and were there to help us dock Hold Fast in a rather strong current.  We wanted to be bow out for an easy exit tomorrow morning.  That meant a down-current landing.  Only one big bump and she was in.  They brought lunch and we got to visit for several hours, which seemed like minutes.   Shari said it was like we never left.  They are easy to be around and I was so glad to see them – it made the time at the dock fly by.  But they had to leave and make the about 20 mile trip back to OYCM. 

We hope to be at OYCM tomorrow morning.  Dockmaster Paul told us our old slip is waiting for us.  Our goal is to time the 9 am opening of the FEC (Florida East Coast) RR Bridge.  I found out today from Mr. Brown, the Dockmaster for this free dock, the FEC is the oldest bridge on the St. John’s River.  It shows.  Separately, due to ongoing repairs, we must make a reservation two hours in advance with the Main Street Bridge, which is just before the FEC Bridge.  In my mind that meant I could call tonight and make a reservation for a 9 am opening.  “No” said the woman on the phone, “you must call at 7 am if I want a 9 am opening, two hours in advance.”  “Thank you” I said in my best southern accent, because I could tell there was no arguing with this woman and her tone indicated that I was the idiot.

Again, our goal tomorrow is OYCM.  The success of that objective is not entirely within our control.  If we make it, we will become immediately consumed in catching up with our friends on the docks and running a few errands.  I will do my best to get a post out and remove any suspense!

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cumberland Island - Yay!

Not bad for a two day trip, the first day always being better than the second - weather wise.  Our only real tangle with traffic was with freighters around the Charleston sea buoy and shrimpers at St. Mary’s inlet.  Both sunsets were breathtaking.  I was blessed to have a single dolphin come ride the bow wave.  I went up to watch him and could hear him communicating.  Within a few minutes, there were two, then three and finally six were bumping each other for position on the bow wake, alternately leaping out of the water in front of Hold Fast.  Strapped in, I sat on the bow and enjoyed the show for over 15 minutes.  They must have come across fish because in a moment, they were all gone.  During the second night, I saw some come along side the boat.  I remained in the cockpit, knowing our lack of speed would not hold their attention for long.

We slowed Hold Fast down and tried to keep her under six knots to allow an arrival at the anchorage at sunrise.  Sometimes when things work for you, they kind of work against you.  When we got into the St. Mary’s entrance, the tide was running in.  Myron kept bringing back the throttle, but we were speeding along at seven knots.  Finally we got out of the main tidal current, pulled the throttle back and slowed to less than three knots waiting for sunlight.  We dropped anchor just before 6:30 am and went to bed.

It is such a pleasure to be back at Cumberland Island, one of our favorite destinations.  Yay!  The weather is perfect for a stay here.  Even so, we plan on moving along to Sister’s Creek tomorrow and then an early (6:15 am) departure from there on Friday to make the FEC RR Bridge opening between 9 and 10 am.  Oy - that bridge!  It can be such a problem.  I will forget all about it once we get to pizza with the gang Friday night.

Those are days to come.  Right now it is time to enjoy some coffee, launch the dinghy, take a walk on the island and see if we can spy some ponies.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wrightsville Beach to Cumberland Island 4

Nice sunset tonight.
ETA: 6:30 AM tomorrow.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Wrightsville Beach to Cumberland Island 3

We had a good night with the moon reflecting off the water.
Eta Wednesday morning.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Wrightsville Beach to Cumberland Island 2

All is well nice night.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Wrightsville Beach to Cumberland Island 1

We a are motor sailing in light conditions.
ETA Wednesday morning.

Posted via Ham Radio.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wrightsville Beach

As Myron pointed out earlier, we were all set to go south on the inside.  There was a significant change in the weather forecast which resulted in our opting to go outside.  Besides, folks were encountering all sorts of delays on the inside due to bridge complications and live firing exercises at Camp LaJeune as well as military operations that closed Mile Hammock Bay, one of the few anchoring spots between Beaufort and Wrightsville.

It was a good trip out there.  Even though we saw no less than six warships, they ignored us and let us mosey through the restricted area.  They circled the perimeter of the prohibited area, which was not on our route.  We watched a high-speed hovercraft.  It came out of the back of one of those small aircraft carriers used by the Marines.  It went by David on ‘Blue Yonder,’ a Valient 40 traveling with us, and then into shore.  Then we saw it speed back toward the small carrier.  Myron said they went to pick up pizza.  It skirted around the ocean for a bit, then started heading over toward us.  I thought I was going to get a close up photo opportunity, but the small carrier gave a blast of its horn and then hovercraft headed back to momma.  Guess they wanted their pizza.

We had dolphins ride our bow wave for a long time.  That never gets old.  We had a beautiful sunset and then were entertained by a multitude of flares going off the small carrier.  I have no idea what they were doing, but it went on for quite some time.

We arrived at the entrance buoy before 10 pm.  We put down the sail out there because we have never been in this entrance and had no idea what to expect for room, much less visibility.  As with any inlet that is less than Class A, the stress level was high coming in.  We prayed before turning to go in.  I thank God I spotted that unlit buoy just inside the breakwater.  We anchored well away from everyone.  There is quite a tidal current through here.  With the expected high winds over the next few days, Hold Fast will dance away on the end of her chain and scare the daylights out of the other boaters.  We anchored well away from them in the dark, but may relocate when we can see in the morning.

We think we will stay here to ride out the nasty low coming off the coast.  Floyd Jean (runs Ward’s tugs) said they are forecasting winds of over 50 knots on the Chesapeake Bay.  We head north for better weather in the summer and then there is this fine line of when to head south for better weather in the fall.  That line has been crossed.  The icky northerlies are here in force and I wish we were already in Florida.

Time for a shower, snack and bed.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.

Morehead to Wrightville Beach

We left Broad Creek at first light with plan to go down the ICW but it was so nice outside so here we are.
Should arrive around 11 PM.

Posted via Mifi.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Broad Creek

We left Deep Point at first light before sunrise.  We wanted to get the 22 mile Alligator/Pungo Canal behind us.  The ‘patches’ of morning fog were only along the shoreline, and the canal consists of two shorelines.  In some places the fog was quite thick.  Myron had the radar and fog horn going and I was on the bow looking for logs and listening for traffic.  It was a surreal scene as the sun rose and its rays lit up the fall colored trees and melted away the fog.  I did my best to capture it on camera while simultaneously looking for hazards.  We had two bald eagles staying in front of us, flying from tree to tree and sometimes fighting amongst themselves.  We both confess:  this was the first time we saw the grandeur and beauty of the Alligator/Pungo Canal. 

We were out of the bottom of the canal by 10:30 am and well on our way for the remainder of the day of navigating the Pungo River, Pamlico River, Goose River and part of the Neuse River to arrive at Broad Creek.  We are expecting westerly winds for the next few days, which can make navigating Maw Point and going west on the Neuse River a bit of a nuisance.  Hence our goal of Broad Creek to wait out the westerlies.  We will stage here or near here until we have a good opportunity to get to Morehead City and then go out and down to Wrightsville Beach, or further.

Poor Hold Fast was so covered with leaves, I could have raked them in a pile to jump into.  I expect we will still be plucking them off the deck and out of the aft deck lockers when we get to Jacksonville.  It is a small price to pay for the stunning scenery of the Dismal Swamp Canal and all these subsequent tributaries.

Love to all,

Posted via Mifi.