We have reached Myrtle Beach and we are staying at Osprey Marina, one of our favorite stops. This marina has a small restaurant, beautiful and clean facilities, an outside picnic deck, and lots of fields and roads for jogging. We are planning to leave our boat here next Nov and Dec so we can come home for the holidays. In this photo Walt and Steve just finished their ice cream cones, yes we needed ice cream because it was so hot and sunny ALL day today! Tomorrow we head to Charleston where we will visit with the Pfuntners-our neighbors from home.
This is the only pontoon bridge on the ICW and it floats, of coarse! However, it is being replaced by a new 65' high expansion bridge which will make all the sail boaters very happy. No more waiting for this bridge to open.....
Carrot Island is across from the Beaufort waterfront. Like Shackleford Banks, Carrot Island is home to a herd of horses that descended from Iberian stock carried by Spanish supply ships. Some are believed to have swum ashore from shipwrecks, others were left by an abandoned Spanish colony.
I walked Ranger on the Island but I was unaware of the sand nettles that are so very sharp. Within two minutes he was limping...... We pulled several out with tweezers but he is not a happy dog. There are also small prickly cactus that we have to watch out for-different from NYS!
Town Creek is the anchorage on the northern side of Beaufort. You can access it from the ICW by taking the Russell Slough Channel to the Gallant Channel. To get to our anchorage on Taylor Creek you must then pass through the Beaufort Bridge.
We have discovered the historic town of Beaufort, North Carolina where the waterfront has two dinghy docks, a park, two public bathrooms, lots of quaint shops and the NC Maritime Museum. The anchorage here is large and it is located between the Front Street marinas and boardwalk of Beaufort and Carrot Island. We spend three days here exploring the sights.
Blackbeard, that famous pirate sporting a long black beard that covered his chest and all the way to his eyes, was killed in the bay here after he tried to come in and ran his ship-Queen Anne's Revenge, aground. He was beheaded and his head was mounted on the bow of a sailing vessel for all to see.
We put in 77 miles today and anchor in the Pungo River about 6 miles north of Belhaven. Just as we are ready to back down on the anchor Walt discovers we can't go into neutral or reverse.... But the anchorage is quiet for the moment so we shut off the engine, hope the anchor will hold, and take Ranger to land for a run, and then have one of Magaly's recipes-Shrimp Alfredo. Delicious! Walt problem solves for an hour and fixes the gear shift. The guy is amazing!
Six other sailboats pull in and three trawlers. We are heading to Beaufort, NC tomorrow to spend the week-end as it looks like a great place to spend some time.
Another beautiful day with sunny skies and warm temps. We head into the ICW this morning and motor to Coinjock, North Carolina, where we stay at Midway Marina with lots of other cruising boats. We visited with our dockmates, helped other boats in, and Walt rescued another boater's dog that fell in the water while trying to jump on his boat. Never a dull moment!
We had to wait for two small swing bridges today: Centerville Turnpike Bridge and the tiny North Landing Bridge.
It's a beautiful, WARM, and sunny day today so we set sail from Deltaville and head into Norfolk. The size of this harbor always amazes me. It is lined with Navy Vessels and container shipyards.
We try hard to make the Gilmerton Bridge but miss the last opening by 20 minutes...... It doesn't open during rush hour traffic from 3:30-5:30. But not to worry - we are in good company with several sailboats and two trawlers waiting to pass. We'll spend the night on the west side of the lock.
Today was sunny with 18-22 knot winds out of the north so the sailboats left Solomon's as fast as they could....what no rain? The wind was behind us all day so we made incredible time. We left at 9:00 and we dropped the anchor at 4:50 in Jackson Creek, Deltaville. It's beautiful here and very quiet. There are three anchorages and they are full of cruising boats. Tomorrow we head to Norfolk.
Yes, it's still cold, rainy, and windy but this boat can sail! We left Chesapeake City in a small craft advisory and went to Annapolis where Pete Lawler and Steve toured the town in their foul weather gear. Today we left in high winds and waves to go to Solomon's Island where we are anchored. I am at my limit of bad seas and bad weather....this boat is staying here until the sun shines and the winds are below 25 knots.
My nephew Peter, and his wife, Kate, drove two hours to visit us on the boat. It was great to see family. We went to Catamaran's for beer, wings, and oysters and we didn't have to walk-they had a CAR! It was a great time. Thanks Pete!
When traveling south on a sailboat from Lake Ontario there are many bridges and locks to contend with. Our sailboat has a mast that is 60 feet high so there are some bridges that we can go under and some others that have to lift up so that we can get through. This is a lift bridge that raises up the bridge bed itself. It used to be on the C & D Canal but it has been replaced by a very high bridge. Other kinds of bridges include the swing bridge and the bascule bridge. Both of these bridges must open for a large sailboat to pass through.
There is a new railroad lift bridge on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal but it is usually up.
Here is Waves of Grace in the Chesapeake City Anchorage. There is lots of spray on our dodger as we leave the Delaware River and enter the much quieter waters of the C & D Canal. In view is the Reedy Point Bridge.
We left Cape May at 6:00 AM and headed out into the ocean for the long trip around the Cape and into the Delaware River and Bay. It took us two hours before we were in a position to turn up into the river as there were many shoals and shallow areas that we were avoiding. The sun came up and it was quite warm and once we turned up into the river the ocean swells disappeared. The tide was not with us today so it took 12 and one half hours to reach Chesapeake City but that was fine with us as there is really foul weather coming in for the rest of the week. Pete Lawler was on the helm as we came into view of the C & D Canal and it was blowing 28 knots. He loved it! We anchored in the anchorage with three cruisers and some sailboats. The dock is too shallow for Waves of Grace.
We are just opposite the Canal museum, park and dinghy dock so Ranger is happy. Wed morning we visited the museum and walked to town. We can look out into the canal and see the monster freighters passing with their tugboats either pushing or pulling them. The canal is 450' wide and 35' deep. The canal reduces the water routes between Philadelphia and Baltimore by nearly 300 miles.
Monday, October 12th we decided to sail out of Barnegat Bay to Cape May even though there was a small craft advisory. We left all the other cruisers in the anchorage and headed out into stiff winds and choppy waters. The problem is that there is more nasty weather headed our way with high winds and big waves....oh and that cold weather that we are trying to avoid. We arrive at Cape May around 4:00 and the anchorage north and south of the Coast Guard Station is quite full. We decide to indulge and we get a slip at Utsch's Marina. Steve and Pete can get out to explore, Ranger can run around, and we can all use the great showers. Plus, best of all...diesel is selling for $2.37 here so we fill up.
We met some cruisers from Buzzard's Bay and they said they saw a 52' sailboat get knocked over by a 10' wave in an unexpected storm. The boat came back up but that was pretty scary. Oh, NOAA weather had predicted a pretty nice day and there had been no storm alerts. So staying out of storms is our number one priority. Tomorrow we head to the Delaware River.
We leave 79th Street and head out under the Verrazano Bridge to Barnegat Bay where we spend the night. There are lots of cruising boats at the anchorage. It's sunny, chilly and windy so we sail the whole day. The ocean is quite calm with waves only 2'-3'.
We spend part of Friday in Central Park which is truly beautiful. We pass the museum of Natural History with Teddy Roosevelt mounted on his horse with a pigeon on his head. On Saturday Walt, Steve, and Pete spend the afternoon visiting the Intrepid, an aircraft carrier turned museum. All of the admission fees go to help disabled veterans.
Just before the Tappen Zee Bridge we take a mooring ball in Nyack. The community is very upscale with townhouses, condos, upscale shops and restaurants. We spend the night and then head over to 79th Street Boat Basin where we spend two nights because we have more very windy weather - gusts to 25 knots.
The marina is just two blocks from Broadway and five blocks from Central Park. We have a secure dinghy dock, showers and free washer and dryer. It doesn't get better than this!
We meet Bev and Rob formerly from Stray Cat. They are headed south again in their new trawler this year. It was good to catch up with boating friends.
There are lots of weather reports indicating very strong winds to arrive this afternoon. I take the dinghy out and check the area over for a spot to bring in our boat. There is already a 38' Catalina at Lynch's Marina so I stop to sign up for a slip from Bart who is taking care of the place. We pull anchor and head over.
The weather is sunny and calm until about 1:00 and then the wind gusts are crazy. We start to pull the whole dock away so we re-tie our lines to the dock next to us and to land. It continues to gust all afternoon and anything that's not tied down starts to blow away. So happy that we didn't stay anchored near the rock wall where we spent last night as the holding isn't great there.
We walked into Saugerties and checked out the quaint shops and antique stores.
We pull into Hop-O-Nose Marina on Catskill Creek to step our mast today. There is a 38' Catalina Morgan next to us who is also headed to the Florida Keys. Since it's Tuesday we order beer and chicken wings at the marina restaurant. We head out around 4:00 and go to Esopus Creek in Saugerties to anchor for the night. We pass lots of boats at Riverside Marine waiting to have their masts stepped. There is quite a lot of boat traffic headed south this year. Does this mean the northeast will be having an unusually cold and snowy winter?
There are two guard gates protecting the 5 stair locks from flooding. These locks are close together and you no sooner finish one and exit when you are entering the next lock. They lower you and your boat almost 200 feet to the Waterford/Troy area.
Waterford is filled with boats heading south. Yes there are all sorts of sailboats and plenty of French Canadian skippers speaking lots of French. I was happy to practice speaking with them today. Steve and I walked Ranger over the bridge to Troy this afternoon after finishing up our laundry at a really nice near-bye laundromat. They like dogs here and the harbormaster brought over a doggie biscuit as soon as we tied off at the dock.
Tomorrow we step the mast at Hop-O-Nose and then it's down to NYC.
Lock 17 in Little Falls is the largest single step lock on the Erie Canal and drops 40 feet. It's eastern gate does not swing open but is pulled up by a dripping counter weight.
As we head east today the weather clears and we see some rays of sunshine. We shed our ski jackets and hats in the afternoon. We share several more locks with other boats heading south. Tonight we are In Scotia at Lock 8. It is so warm that we have dinner in the cockpit and watch the moon rise. There is a great biking trail behind us and lots of room for Ranger to run free.
Tomorrow we'll be in Waterford.
The rain lets up this morning and we enjoy a glorious day with lots of sunshine and warmth. We cross Oneida Lake and enter the canal at Sylvan Beach. This is a photo of lock 19 which is just past Utica. Instead of locking up now we enter each lock at canal level and lock down. These locks are amazing.....
After 9 hours on the Erie Canal we decide to stay at the free dock in Herkimer which is just in front of a nice restaurant. We walk across the bridge to attend Mass in the town of Mohawk and re-cross to walk to the Applebees Restaurant in Herkimer which faces a super walmart....every boater's dream store!
Today, Friday, Oct 2nd, we head out into the lake at 6:30 in the morning. It's quite chilly but the lake is flat and there is no rain. We are through Lock 8 at 10:30 and we press on to finish all of the Oswego locks before noon. We are making great progress. There is quite a bit of boat traffic on the canal and we lock thru several times with a variety of power and sailboats. Rain comes in during the afternoon so we lock thru 23 on the Erie Canal just before Oneida Lake and stay for the night at Brewerton. I made brownies for dessert tonight and the oven heated up the cabin quite nicely.
Steve is getting a taste of what it's like to cruise. He has been a great help on the helm and his muscles are coming in handy in the locks. Three on board is so much better than two! Thanks Steve!
This week has been a roller coaster filled with high winds, rain, cold temperatures and false starts. We have waited four days for the winds to subside so that we could un-step the mast. We set out today, October 1, for Oswego but we encounter 6 foot rollers still on the lake. With the mast strapped to the boat it's like we're on a roller coaster.... Then we stuffed the front of the over-hanging mast into a wave.....and last but not least our anchor cuts loose and slams into the deck marring our gel-coat. Well that's enough fun for one day! We head back to Katlynn and wait.
Walt and I have been avid sailors for 38 years. Our retirement dream was to sail to Florida and the Bahamas for the winter months which we did for the first time last year, 2007-2008. We decided that we loved the cruising life
and four days after our return to Lake Ontario we traded our Catalina 320, Eagle's Wings, in for a Catalina 42 which we named Waves of Grace. We hope to continue to cruise in the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas for many years to come