Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Opportunity to Lend a Hand

This post is to all our cruising friends who want to help the people in the Bahamas that suffered the loss of material items due to hurricane Joaquin.  We thank God no islanders’ lives were lost.  Our contact and friend at Long Island has told me that if boaters want to help, he is taking donations of clothing, linens and household items and distributing them to those in need.  I know we cannot bring things into the Bahamas other than our ships stores without claiming them for customs or violating customs – so if we each just give a little of the things requested out of our ships stores, or even just give $20 or so, I believe God will bless and multiply it.  If you feel so inclined to donate items or money upon arrival at Salt Pond, please deliver your donations to:

Craig Fox, pastor at the Assembly of God church in Salt Pond, Long Island.

It will be another month or so before we get to Long Island.  Maybe your schedule provides for an arrival later than that.  Regardless of the timing, I bet if they are in the midst of building projects when you arrive, they would be thrilled to see you bring up a hammer and tools and give them a hand.

I know God will bless you for it.

If you have any questions, please email us or leave us a comment.

Love to all,

Friday, October 23, 2015

Movin' On Up...to A Dock

We got some decent rest at Cumberland Island.  Never went ashore, but being there was enough.  On our way down the ICW to the St. John’s River, we saw some pretty skinny water and took it very slow.  We were happy to find out that the Main Street Bridge was open on demand, other than its usual commuter traffic restrictions.  As a result, we figured we had plenty of time to pick through the shallow water and to ride the incoming tide on the St. John’s.  Unfortunately, the crazy high tides played havoc with the timing of the current on the St. John’s River and we ended up motoring against an early outgoing current. 

Auto Paul met us all the way out at Nassau Sound on the ICW.  We tied ‘Gretel,’ Paul’s runabout, behind Hold Fast and he rode on board with us from there to the Main Street Bridge.  It was great to visit with him for those hours and catch up on things and to give him the helm.  After Paul joined us, we were boarded by the Coast Guard.  I told Paul I attribute it to him and he did not argue!  They were happy that all was right according to their inspection, which was one of the more detailed we have incurred, and we got a passing golden rod to prove it.  We did find it interesting that they never asked or inspected our flares.  Hmmmm…is that because they do not find them useful?  They did ask to see our Waste Management Plan (trash disposal) – shows us the priorities.  Just saying.  In any event, they were nice young men and polite and it was an easy run through for us.

In route, we got a call from Dockmaster Paul.  He changed our berthing to A Dock.  Hold Fast has never stayed at A Dock before.  It is where Paul puts all the big and fancy boats, but he had nowhere else to put us.  We have a Nordhaven 40 to our port and a classic sailboat to starboard.  It meant putting Hold Fast into a downwind and down current slip – never fun in a sailboat.  We were quite anxious about it until we recalled how much wider the slips are on A Dock.  Over on C Dock, we have nine inches on either side of the boat.  When we came into the A Dock slip – it felt like Hold Fast had gone on a crash diet.  We have at least three feet on either side!  The electric is 50 amps, so Myron had to put a splitter on our plug in to get us down to 30 amps. 

We had pizza already with the gang and are catching up with our buddies as well as starting in on our list of projects.  I cannot give a date when we will leave, but we hope it takes us no longer than two weeks to get everything – or at least the critical stuff – complete.  In the meantime, if Mia comes to see us she will find Hold Fast upgraded to a new ‘boathood!’

Love to all,

{GMST}30°16.54'N|081°42.91'W|10/23/2015|10:30 PM{GEND}

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We are in at Cumberland

{GMST}30°46.10'N|081°28.27'W|10/21/2015|1:48 AM{GEND}

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Almost There

ETA St Mary's Inlet 2 AM.
All is good. Dolphins are doing acrobatics around the boat!

{GMST}31°22.22'N|080°44.09'W|10/20/2015|4:24 PM{GEND}

Moving on

Yesterday we ran with pole out jib in till the winds went soft last evening, then motored a little. Now back to running with poled out jib.
Very Roily.

{GMST}32°16.39'N|079°52.43'W|10/20/2015|5:52 AM{GEND}

Monday, October 19, 2015

Position report

WE sailed out of Cape Fear this morning headed for Jacksonville or close.
All is well. Myron

{GMST}33°19.67'N|078°40.87'W|10/19/2015|4:36 PM{GEND}

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cape Fear River

Myron likes the winds for leaving tomorrow, so we positioned to an anchorage closer to the Cape Fear Inlet.  This morning when the winds really kicked up at Wrightsville Beach, we thought we might just leave from there tomorrow.  Then we saw an little sailboat dragging past us.  It was unmanned and had been anchored near us all night, but the winds proved too much for its ground tackle.  Thankfully it did not hit us.  Thankfully it also caught on something other than our anchor and chain, when it came to a rest near us.  That sealed the deal and we waited for a slack in tide to pull anchorand head through Snow's Cut.

It is indeed pretty windy in this anchorage.  We had our doubts as we approached, but it is just as comfortable, or uncomfortable, as Wrightsville Beach and now we have the stress of that stretch of the ICW behind us.

We expect the seas to be lumpy.  It has been windy for several days.  It turned cold here last night with the north wind, so we are motivated to get south.

Love to all,

{GMST}33°55.86'N|077°58.66'W|10/18/2015|5:32 PM{GEND}

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beautiful Day on the Water

We got our north winds, NNE at about 030.  It was a good and easy run down to Masonboro Inlet, we could not have asked for a better day.  Near the end of our trip, an east swell began to develop - a sure sign that some weather is coming.

At any rate, another leg of the trip to Jacksonville is behind us.  Myron is checking the weather and working on timing for our next leg.  Possible next departure is Monday.

Love to all,

{GMST}34°12.12'N|077°48.24'W|10/17/2015|6:28 PM{GEND}

Friday, October 16, 2015

Poised and Hoping

The winds were much stronger out of the southwest today than forecast. That is not a problem for this anchorage near the Coast Guard station in Morehead City, but we sure hope the forecast for NNW winds tomorrow is correct. We are banking on it for an early rise and sail over to Wrightsville Beach. We cannot get enough consecutive days of decent weather to get further south yet.

The seas are up, so we pray the wind cooperates. Hopefully it all works out and it is a good sail.

We have returned to the routine of early to bed, early to rise.

Love to all,
PS North Winds are here.

{GMST}34°42.14'N|076°41.18'W|10/16/2015|6:34 PM{GEND}

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fueled Up

What a beautiful morning. A golden sunrise accompanied by a mist low on the water near the shoreline where the trees are turning fall colors. We were temporarily surrounded by swallows busy gobbling up bugs. They could not have picked a better place to have a feast - the blind mosquitos were out in force. How awful it would be without swallows to trim back the population.

The anchor was up early this morning so we could get fuel and rejoin 'Allegria' in route. Today they followed us into the anchorage as it was their first time into Broad Creek. Dee and Molly launched their dinghy and rowed over for a visit. It has been a pleasant surprise reunion. It appears we may stick together the next couple travel days. Even though we are each on our own boats, it makes the journey more special.

I can testify that our freezer is working just fine. I took a chicken out today to defrost for dinner. It was frozen solid and is still not thawed enough to deal with it for dinner. Neither of us are hungry enough to be disappointed that I have postponed its appointment with the pot until tomorrow.

By the way, diesel at River Forest Marina this morning was $2.179/gallon. Best price we have paid at a marina yet. Besides, Henry - the new owner/dockmaster - is a really nice guy.

Until we move again. Love to all,

{GMST}35°05.49'N|076°37.15'W|10/15/2015|8:16 PM{GEND}

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A New Anchorage

I was reluctant to leave Elizabeth City this morning. It is always hard to leave such good friends, however, weather windows rule. We are now in a rush to get positioned at Beaufort Inlet for a Saturday departure. We do not have the three days of good weather we want to get down to St. John's River, but we will take whatever southing we can get.

Our plan is to make a fuel stop tomorrow, so we pushed hard today to get to this new anchorage. Our friends, Dee and Molly on 'Allegria,' another Whitby 42, joined up with us in route today at the top of the Alligator River. We were both heading to this anchorage, but Allegria had anchored here several times before. It was nice to follow them in. At this point, it seems like a pleasant anchorage and pretty well protected.

It was also nice to follow Allegria under the Wilkenson Bridge. That bridge is the subject of much talk lately. It has been settling for years and no longer has a 65 foot clearance. Further, with all the rain the water is up, and the clearance was even less: 63.8 feet. We only need about 59 feet, but many other boats were taking the Manteo route to get down to Beaufort. We figured we would be just fine. What a comfort to have a sister boat prove it out. Thanks Dee!

Time to shower and prepare dinner.

Love to all,

{GMST}35°33.52'N|076°28.12'W|10/14/2015|5:39 PM{GEND}

Monday, October 12, 2015

In Search of Oyster Stew

We are breaking the cycle somewhat.  Today I woke at 4:30 am.  Not quite there but better than 3 am.

When we arrived at Elizabeth City, the slips were almost empty, giving us the freedom to pick a choice spot.  The folks from the other boats with us at the Visitor’s Center joined us for lunch at Quality Seafood.  Myron’s goal was oyster stew and fried oysters.  I wanted fried oysters and popcorn shrimp.  We fell short only on the oyster stew.  We will just have to make that a treasure hunt for tomorrow.  We will stay in E.C. another day, not because of the oyster stew – though that is a worthy cause – but because the winds are unfavorable for crossing the Albemarle Sound until Wednesday.  

I was overcome by a need for a nap after lunch.  Waking up was one of those strange times where I had to stop and recollect where we were.  Were we at anchor and did we set the anchor drag alarm?  We were still in Deltaville at the dock?  It took a bit for the fog to clear and for me to work through the events that led to us arriving at E.C. and that I was waking from a nap, not after a night’s sleep.  I guess you can call that a pretty good nap!

We had dinner with Dan and Kathy and caught up on all the boaters we know in common.  The boating community is wonderful in that we may only see some of our friends for one or two days a year yet the friendships stay strong.

Myron has some boat maintenance tomorrow and I have a little more shopping to do to prepare for an offshore run.  Then we will resume in our treasure hunt.

Love to all,

{GMST}36°17.92'N|076°13.09'W|10/12/2015|9:02 PM{GEND}