Breezy

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Apparently posting beach pictures when it’s cold and snowy back home has cursed us–or maybe some of our friends did!!! The shorts and sandals are packed away.  There has been no beach strolling.   Yesterday a big weather system hung out on the coast sending rain down on us all day.  The tides are very high and there is a bit of flooding in the streets.  The App “windy” says its averaging 23 mph right here, right now.  We are getting forecasts of “storm force gusts” to 49 knots at the buoy 30 miles offshore from us.  The seas are 10-14 feet along our coastal waters.  Tonight the seas will increase to more dangerous levels up to 17-25 feet!   Yikes!  There is a small craft warning—duh.  You can see the top of the waves “blowing” in the above picture!

Thanks you to those who have been looking at the weather here and are worrying.  We are good.  We decided to stay put here in Surf City after the first gale went through several days ago.  We did not want to be caught without a Marina to stay in as everyone was looking for a protected spot.  We are safe and sound.

Although Topsail Island Marina is only two blocks from the ocean, it is on backwaters with no inlet to the ocean.  We are protected from the wind somewhat by a wall and by a big ugly boat next to us.  We are on floating docks.  We are warm.  The only thing suffering is our credit card bill 🤔  What  can you do but wine, dine and shop!!!

We are very thankful for a strong internet connection!

Yesterday we drove to the South end of the island to visit the Missle and More Museum.  Darn, closed for the season.  The actual museum building was the missile assembly plant.  We have learned that prior to WWII, the only way to access Topsail Island was by boat.  The grumpy man at the bar had said his grandfather used to come here to fish.  There were only a few structures on the island at this time, used for shelter for fishing trips and summer vacations.

At the beginning of the war, the Army built an anti-aircraft training base at nearby Holly Ridge and took possession of this island.  They installed a floating bridge across the ICW where the present bridge is located.  They built training facilities and support buildings in what is now the Surf City business district.

After the war, the Navy took possession of the island and began a joint project known as Operation Bumblebee which was a guided Missle development program. Over 200 missles were test fired.  The old launch pad is a patio for a motel!  The  mysterious towers ??  They were tracking towers.  Out of 8, 7 remain.  The testing program ended in 1948; the roads and bridge were left intact and so began the development of the island.  We really wished we could have viewed the museum–maybe in February when we come back.

 

What is with the wind?  It just kicked up here a bit more.  The boat is bouncing a bit and the wind is howling. I know we had several delays on our cruise due to high wind forecasts.  I also recall it being quite strong last summer in Bayfield, WI, where our sailboat is located.  Yes, sailors are suppose to like wind!  So, a bit of research indicates, yes, orbiting satellites are finding wind and waves are becoming stronger each year.  The changes are tiny but show a trend.  National Geographic says in the past 20 years winds have picked up an average of 5%.  Extremely strong winds caused by storms have increased even faster, jumping 10% over 20 years. 😉 I believe National Geographic … You probably aren’t that interested but I’m just saying……..

Later on Saturday

When you are asked if you have your hurricane bag packed, the wind is Big!!  We did a little bit more touring, shopping and stopping at the beach to check the waves.  My oh my, the ocean is mad.  We don’t have a wind gauge (on the to get list) but we guess it’s blowing a steady 30 with gusts up to…..not sure, BIG.   The beautiful grass estuary behind us is under water due to high tide and wind.  We saw some canal homes where the docks were almost under water.  There is a bit of street flooding–glad to have a big truck.  What can I say, it’s crazy here.

Truth be told, I did search for a hotel but there is nothing available close by and we really don’t want to stick the Marina owners (who are wonderful) with looking after yet another boat.  I also think the Captain would like to stay with his ship but would be willing to leave for me…probably more for Coconut.   This is a very small Marina with only about a dozen boats.  Most are occupied by people trying to move south but hunkered down by this wind.  Dee and Burt (Marina operators) are going out and checking on the boats– several are unoccupied.  We were told to monitor channel 16 on our VHF radio to report anything happening to boats by us.   Joe was just out with them helping to get the big, ‘wind block’ boat next to us tied up better.  Their fenders are flat against the dock.

Coconut is not liking life.  I wish I had a picture of her face when she went out the door into the really big wind. Joe has been carrying her on the dock.

The Coast Guard just came on the radio saying that all swing or lift bridges in North Carolina are closed to marine traffic.  Hmmm, I sure hope no one is out there moving around on a boat!

The worst part for us is listening to the wind howl.   Fortunately the boat isn’t bouncing very much.  The sea grasses behind us are becoming visible so the tide is going down some.  Stay tuned.

A few angry ocean shots:

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9:00 pm

Read a book.  Going to bed.  Still blowing like crazy.

 

2:30 am

Woke to higher wind.  Very Blustery…

 

6:30 am

Still gale force.  Isn’t going to let up until tonight.  We will not be pulling the boat tomorrow morning.  Will have to postpone it for at least a day.  Making plans to be “off island” for the day.

Fitting quote for our situation:

I have never seen a nation more quick at finding joy in a sad situation than the Irish at a funeral.  🍀

We are trying to make the best of it!!

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Tuesday morning Joe caught an Uber back to Beaufort NC to get our truck.  Coconut and I did a beach walk then worked on laundry and cleaning up the boat.  Since it was so nice, I decided to give the Coconut a bath.   Our cockpit has a wash down system hooked up to the boat’s freshwater, including hot water.  She got a scrubbing, did the “shake” and laid in the sun to dry.  At this point, it was 75 degrees.

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Checking out a giant sand castle

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Wet dog

Our Marina manager, Dee, let us know the Marina would be full the next two days.  People are looking for a place to duck in for the incoming cold front and impending gale force winds.  It was a bit hard to comprehend, walking around town and sitting outside on the boat but we prepared with extra fenders, lines, the heater and the good old wool Army blanket we carry for just this situation.  Thanks dad!

The wind kicked up about 4:00 and the temp began dropping drastically.  At this point, Pursuit does not have AC or heat.  That will possibly be next Fall’s addition to her.  However, being in a Marina allows us to heat the boat with a small electric heater.  On our sailboat, Moonlight, one heater does the job.  Not true for the trawler!!! It was 52 degrees in the boat in the morning 😳  30 degrees outside — now that is a cold front.  As soon as the sun came up, the bridge area of the boat warmed up with solar so it was a lot better. Thankfully, we had the truck so we drove “off island” and bought another heater.

It is odd, to drive away from these cute, historic, quaint, water side towns and see the strip malls, chain stores, big box stores and other “regular” town stuff.  When you visit by boat you don’t visualize that beyond walking distance is the real town.  We don’t like to go “off island.”

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Driving back on to Topsail Island on the new bridge.  Love seeing the Ocean!

 

We drove the whole length of Topsail Island on Thursday.   The towns here are Surf City where we are residing (in the middle),  Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach.  The island is a 26 mile long barrier island.  It is known for its beautiful beaches–we 2nd that!!!  There are only two ways off the island: the new high bridge here in Surf City and another high rise bridge in North Topsail Beach.

We understand the name Topsail is rumored to have come from Pirates that hid in the channel between the islands and the mainland waiting for the merchant ships loaded with goods to pass.  Apparently only the “topsail” of the pirate ships was visible so the merchants began looking for the it.  Blackbeard also is a legend here having possibly hid his treasure in the forests — boy, he sure got around — everybody claims him.  People are still hunting for pirates’ treasure but I think the excavation for all the housing surely would have produced some booty!!!

We will be touring the local museum to find out more about the history of this island.  We know from a grumpy man at a bar that the generation prior used it for fishing camps and summer vacations and that it was an aircraft training base.  The guided missle was developed here. We did see some strange towers we wondered about.

Our drive from one end to the other of the island showed it is mostly residential, with private homes being the most prevalent.  Lots and lots of vacation rentals.  The two smaller towns were summer tourist establishments.  You really must go off island for supplies.  There is a small grocery store, many restaurants, gas station and surf shops galore in Surf City.  We would be fine without our vehicle but it was a good day driving around, dining on the waterway and escaping the winds.  We did stop and run out to the beach but it wasn’t as turbulent as we had expected.

I have had crab soup from many different establishments’ recipes.  Yesterday’s was a coconut base.  Very good.  Joe said his scallops were some of the best he’s had.

Another thing that strikes us is how Southeners deal with the cold.  Today, Wednesday, was brutal, I never heard the windchill but winds blowing 25 on a 30 degree day is cold anywhere.   When it’s 60 the locals are wearing jackets but I bet most of you have been the tourist wearing shorts and sandals when the locals are all sayings it’s cold.

The other change besides the weather is the fact our cruise is coming to an end a bit earlier than we intended.   The cold, windy weather has stopped us from moving.    Joe visited, on his way back from Beaufort, a storage yard near here that has agreed to haul Pursuit on Monday and help with the refrigerator removal.  They have someone who can construct a stainless crane for our motor too.  We feel fortunate to have found this yard.   There doesn’t seem to be anything in the next 100 miles or so if we would have traveled further.  It would also have been hard for us to find slips with the bad weather and everyone hunkering down.  We will spend the next few days getting ready to put the boat to bed for awhile and enjoying this little beach town.

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Under the Pier

If you are wondering, we are quite happy with this boat.  We love being able to walk all around her on the side decks, having several doors, the different areas to hang out, the flybridge ( on a warm day), the fuel consumption and many more things about this little trawler.  Of course their are a few things that aren’t so good like storage but we are working on it.  It’s a boat; a continuous project.

 

Surf City Here We Come

November 9, 2019

Saturday

Yes!  Now we are getting somewhere!!! Surf City on Top Sail Island.   Our Marina is two blocks from the Ocean and what a beach!!  White sand, a long pier and all private homes, no large buildings.  This town has the funky beach town vibe we love and is getting so hard to find.  It just does the Soul good to walk on a beach along the ocean especially since receiving the weather reports from home.   It’s dog friendly too.  Coconut is in a sniffing, digging frenzy.

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Our trip here, through the area where Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is located, was very interesting.  “Watch out for live fire!!”  These signs were a bit disconcerting.  The camp is a 246 square mile military training facility.  The 14 miles of beaches make it a training area for amphibious assault and its location between two deep water ports allow for fast deployments. 47,000 marines and sailors are stationed here. [not the best quality pictures – zoom on them]

 

Apparently, most people, before cruising through here, call to check if any practicing was going on, but my Captain figured “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”  Actually, he forgot 😳   But there are flashing red lights that warn you before you enter if practice maneuvers are happening.  It really was a beautiful area–more birds than we’ve seen in other ICW waters and Dolphins.

Here is the view off of our back porch (cockpit)  at the Topsail  Island Marina.  In one pic you can see boats in the background; they are on the ICW.  We’ve seen paddle boarders and fisherman in this estuary and lots of big birds.  Nice view especially in the early morning and evening.

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Sunday

Joe spent part of the day researching and working on the boat’s Racor fuel filter system.  It is has two large filters and have caused issues a few times with the motors stumbling.  It was causing us both some worry.  So, yesterday he determined, with the input of others, that there had to be an air leak.  The second filter was older and had a complicated piping system.   It was suspect as there were so many fittings.  The older filter was removed and all remaining fittings were resealed with plumbers tape.  We may add another filter at some point but it probably isn’t necessary if we keep a watchful eye and timely replace the filters.  Fingers crossed!  It’s a good thing he’s handy, there were no mechanics available here.

We had a marvelous afternoon walk on the beach talking to fisherman and dog owners.  The fisherman were catching whites mullets or silver mullets, which they all said were good eatin’.  The dogs included a frisky young chocolate lab, a beagle, yorkipoo and many unknown mixed breeds–a good time was had by all.  The Pier was lined with people fishing; I couldn’t believe their lines weren’t tangling.  There were also a few surfers out there trying to catch a wave; it is Surf City!!!

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We ended the day at The Peak, a tap house specializing in homemade pizza.  Excellent thin crust and you picked out the toppings from a checklist.  It just so happened the Carolina Panthers (we are in No. Carolina) were playing the Packers.  Holy cow, it was snowing at Lambeau!  The Panther fans have no were near the boisterous enthusiasm displayed in a Packer bar.  Oh, except for one woman who heard we lived in Wisconsin and showed Joe her sweatshirt and t-shirt, along with her ample chest.  She was a Packer Fan!  Never lived there but picked the team because the fans own them. She was very enthusiastic.  No sad faces or mass exodus when the Panthers lost.  The guy next to me said they were use to losses…  They did switch to the Vikings game but we didn’t see the end.

Monday

This morning we walked through the beautiful estuary behind our boat.   There are winding boardwalks, fishing piers, a boat ramp and playground.  It is located just north of the new bridge.  Wow, a popular spot.  We enjoyed it but it doesn’t beat the Ocean.

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There use to be an old swing bridge over to the mainland which was recently retired.  The new Surf City high-rise bridge opened in 2018.  It’s a big deal here.  Traffic can now move continuously over the bridge as boats pass underneath.  The swing bridge forced everyone to wait several times a day as it opened to allow boats to pass.  The new bridge opened 9 months ahead of schedule, unheard of in a large construction project.  It was built by Balfour Beatty, the company where Joe last worked!  It has foot and bike lanes too.  A woman passed us on our walk pushing a running stroller with three kids in it.  She was up and over that bridge before we meandered 1/2 way on the walking paths underneath.  Well, ok then……

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Next was getting the dinghy down off the davits and seeing if our poor outboard would start.  The motor doesn’t have a permanent spot for storage on Pursuit so she was on the bench in the cockpit.  Not handy; doesn’t look so great either. Maneuvering the 55 lb motor onto a bouncing boat takes some acrobatics.   Pursuit does have a swim platform so that makes it a bit easier.  After getting the motor onto the transom of the dinghy, Joe added some oil and she fired right up. He was gobsmacked by this!

We took Coconut for a ride around some backwaters off the ICW.  More nice waterfront homes.  It was a great day for a boat ride. Back to the boat for some lunch and then back to the beach.  Same as yesterday, families having fun, dogs and sand castles.  One young couple on a blanket had everything:  Love, a Yeti Cooler and a large box of Cheez-it’s!!

Another round of bad weather is heading our way.  This one will include big winds and a drastic drop in temps.   We have begun the hunt for a storage yard to pull Pursuit out for a few months.  We want a working yard.  Now is when we will have something installed to take care of our outboard motor storage issue and to remove the old refrigerator/freezer.

One more thing going on is there was a backup of boats somewhere north of here because of a problem with a lock or bridge.   People are starting to have trouble getting a transient slip because there are so many boats moving south.  Now, with this bad weather predicted, we will be staying put in this nice spot. As for storage, the closer you get to Myrtle Beach, the less storage there is…valuable real estate and all that!   We found a yard near here and will talk to them tomorrow.   Our adventure is getting cut a bit short but we want this work done and it’s getting cold.  Abnormal weather everywhere!

Our friends Rob and Sharon are pushing South.  We estimate they are 4 days ahead of us now.  We had hoped to see them again, but will have to wait until Spring.  They will be safely tucked in a Marina desiring out the expected blast.

For now, we will sit out the bad weather in Surf City.  We love it here and apparently, there are “Two girls for every boy.”

 

 

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Beaufort and Beyond

November 6, 2019

Wednesday was spent catching up with laundry (free), getting a few groceries and bringing Miss Coconut to the Vet! She had been having a few more than usual coughing/hacking episodes and she vomited a bit of white foam (sorry for the visual). We had her at the Vet here last year for fleas so we thought it best to just bring her in. They snuck her into an exam room so she wouldn’t infect any other animals if she turned out contageous. They insisted on a full physical, which was ok by us as she was over due and we love her!!! ❤️  Fortunately, nothing out of the ordinary showed up so a light dose of antibiotics was suggested. Hah, giving our little girl pills takes some ingenuity. She’s a smart cookie. We are so relieved nothing is wrong.

We were looking forward to our cocktail invite on Shangri-La, with Jan and Lee. Shangri-La is a beautiful 42′ Grand Banks trawler about the same vintage as Pursuit. She is dazzling and spacious. Jan had a lovely spread including fresh bread with olive oil dips. Homemade savory bread on a boat! She has a bread-maker on board!!

They completed the Loop and are now living on the boat in Beauford. They started a “Breakfast on a Boat” business. You spend a night in their fabulous stateroom and get a homemade breakfast from Jan. We are told people do not want to leave. Sounds like a lucrative business to us!

We had a wonderful evening with these two newlyweds. Delicately put, I believe they are around my age… We heard great stories of their Looping adventure, got some great suggestions for our trips and laughed–hard.

They had one of the most amazing boating stories we have ever heard. Lee was rather self-deprecating telling Joe that on their arrival back to Beaufort, he couldn’t back his boat into the slip either and gave up, heading to the end of the T dock. He also jokingly said he was going to name the boat “drag queen” because of their issues anchoring. Their amazing story involved a possible dragging anchor, a marsh and a tornado lifting a 40,000 lb. boat. A great tale they will be happy to share. Book a stay! BrownieBaker1951@gmail.com

November 7

Another early departure as we were not sure of our final destination today. A beautiful sunny morning made the cruise nice. We were finally seeing new things, including the waterways of Beaufort and the next town South, Morehead City.

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A few remnants of hurricane Dorian. We saw a bit of damage to docks, roofs and some boarded up windows.

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We drove past homes, industries and lots of fisherman. There were a lot of small boats on the water; the day before was very windy so the fisherman were out in force today.

 

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Loved the guys in the waders lined up

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Our trip took us right along the Ocean and a long, narrow strip of land. There were several inlets out to the ocean and you could really feel the tidal pulls. Our speed varied at the same rpms from a low of 6.3 to 9.6 mph. Zoom Zoom 😬  A very nice area. Beautiful homes lined both sides of this very wide part of the ICW.   Other areas  had marshes or dunes.  Lots of birds and even a few dolphins! We really enjoyed this part of the cruise.

Like I said, it was a great day. The decision was made to make a short cruising day and stop in the town of Swansboro to spend the day enjoying our cockpit with icy cold beverages. It was a shorts and flip flops type of day. Another part of the decision making process was that we knew we would be spending two days in this location as gale force winds were forecast (again) for early friday morning.

We enjoyed talking to several locals who arrived at the docks for lunch on their pontoons. They gave us some restaurant tips –the Irish Pub for sure–and just some general BS. It was all fun and games until a large, expensive sailboat came in yelling at the couple relaxing on their pontoon that “you’re in our slip”. It was not handled well. Damn sailors.  😉   We helped the pontoon couple make their exit from the dock and were gracious in also helping the loud mouths. Turns out the Captain was very embarrassed about his not regular crew and their rude antics.

We also met a couple who passed us a couple times on the water on their way from Beaufort. I remembered the man walking two small dogs because one looked like a Westie. Here they were on our dock! Their boat was a Mainship named Scout. Our first encounter was their passing us on the water and possibly trying to hail us on the radio but with a bad transmission. The second time they passed (they had ducked into a cove to check out a possible anchorage), their radio contact was loud and clear. We exchanged boat cards and talked boats and dogs. Very nice.

So, boat cards…… Basically, it is a calling card for boaters.  They help remind us who we have met and gives their basic contact information.  It’s like a business card.  Some people keep those they collect in small photo albums or credit card holders.  I recently was shown one by a gentleman who put them each on a page and wrote a bit about the people, i.e., who, where, what and when.  A nice remembrance of your trip!  We had a very nice card for our SeaRay RJ but sold her before we passed out very many.  Joe modified this logo of Pursuit for some sun shirts we ordered so we decided to use it on our cards.  It was a last minute thing; we printed about 20 at home before we left.  We will run out of them but we need an address change anyway.   It’s a fun and useful thing.  We have a basket we put them in.  They will be a memory test later!

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Swansboro is a cute, historic waterfront town.  Great shopping if you want to spend big money.  I think the people in all the homes we passed along the waterways come for lunch and shopping.  The town was decked out in Holiday decorations.  They are having a lighting ceremony tonight.  We were told by the Chamber of Commerce guy that they do it this early in the season because the town is so close to the marine base.  Apparently, the Marines hold a lot of holiday balls and would miss this family oriented event.  So, by holding it now they can attend the town’s festival and the military balls.  The town really did look pretty with the decorations, lights and window displays.  Oh, and the Chamber of Commerce comes right to your boat to welcome you!  Nice marketing scheme!!!

 

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The town is named Swanboro but these huge ducks are everywhere.  Bigger than Coconut.  They are Muscovy ducks and were originally brought here for food and eggs.  They were fun to see.  Odd duck…

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Well, the shorts and sandals got stowed away.  The promised big wind showed up with a drastic drop in temps.  It was 39 degrees outside when we woke up this morning.  The winds didn’t really bother us as the big sailboat took the hit first.  Now, where did we stash the fleece ???

Last Repeat Stop

Some spotty cell service has had us disconnected for awhile 😁

 

November 4

On to Beaufort, the place Joe wanted to move!  We are in North Carolina… Voted the South’s best small town by Southern Living readers in 2017.  Pronounced “BOW-fert” or  “BOH-fert.  South Carolina is pronounced “BEW-fert”. Don’t say it wrong, you will be corrected!

After a rather rough docking experience, we are tied up in Beaufort Yacht Basin again.  We were actually remembered by a few folks, Terry, the dock master, Jerry the manager and Joe, a regular.  We met several people right away as lots of help was needed to get Pursuit into her slip.  Very High north winds!  Tried to back in a few times unsuccessfully.  It is much easier to get off the boat this way.  We ended up putting her in bow first.

The couple next to us on a very large Grand Banks had just completed The Loop.  They noticed our Looper Flag so they were interested in what we were doing/where we are going.  Lee and Jan, the Loopers, were two of the people who helped us dock.  We have not changed our Port of Call on the back of Pursuit so everyone presumes we are from Rock Hall, MD.  Saying, no, we are actually living in Wisconsin opens up a whole new dialect.  Jan was born in Minnesota and lived in Wisconsin.  She was excited to talk to us as she said they did not meet anyone from either state in their whole Loop experience.  We are having cocktails with them tonight.

What is the Loop?  It is actually called the Great Loop and is a 6,000 mile boating adventure.   The AGLCA webpage indicates “it is an adventure dreamed of by many but completed by few.”  AGLCA is:  America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.  We joined a few years ago and feel it is well worth the $75 per year.  There is a lot of information on their website and discounts available. The daily forum postings from members are informative, funny or Bitchy.  Lee and Jan fly the Gold flag meaning they have completed the Loop.  There is also a platinum one for those who have accomplished multiple Loop completions. Ours is white and we only started to fly it recently–why does it have to be so ugly?? 😏   This photo of the flag outlines the route of the loop.

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We probably will never actually complete the Loop as we have little interest in cruising the Mississippi and want to do the Great Lakes on our sailboat (I know, that’s not working out so well and we ain’t getting any younger).  We have met a lot of people because of the AGLCA association.  All good.

Ok, Sharon and Rob, on “Ka Why Knot” are in the Marina next to us.  We toured their boat, a 36′ Albin–love the floor plan and especially the Stateroom–and made plans to meet up at the local pool hall.  Joe and I had already discovered this gem (dump) on our last tour.  Hey, they have $2 hamburgers.  I believe a good time was had by all 😙  They will be leaving in the morning so we may not connect with them again until possibly next Spring but you never know…  Fun times.  Also Sharon, love the red kitchen aide mixer and you’ll see I omitted the sink photos!!!

The Royal James Cafe is listed as the oldest continuously run cafe in Beaufort.  It was not “Royal” or anything near a “cafe”.  I needed to switch the below picture to black & white to make our friends’ faces visible.  Very dark and seedy.  We all loved it!!

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Boat buddies Sharon and Rob at the “Royal James Cafe”

Enterprise delivered our Ford Escape earlier in the evening.  This is considered a “full size” vehicle.  So tomorrow, we are making the journey back to Portsmith to get our truck.  We know, a bit nuts.  But, you get an AGLCA discount on a car rental.  $35 for a 24 hour rental.  I think car rentals have gotten cheaper.

Yet another fabulous invention!  The Sea Legs!  A pedal pub with a paddle wheel.  How cool is this?  Our boat neighbor Lee said he and Jan went on it and had a great time.   They saw horses and a pod of dolphins.  Two things:  I didn’t know wild horses were this far south and you would never see a pod of dolphins on the pedal pub in Minneapolis…..  I will try to keep all this good old American ingenuity coming 🤔

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November 5

We left the Marina early for a 3.5 hour drive which took more like 5 hours.  It rained a bit.  On the way back, we drove out to the Outer Banks.  OBX  get it?   What a reward.  It was fabulous.  A whirlwind tour but we really enjoyed the area and hope to be back with more time.  We walked out to the beach at Kitty Hawk.  Fabulous beach side town with “regular people” homes.  No giant condo buildings or monstrous houses.  It reminded us both a bit of New Syrmna Beach except for the lack of white sand.  Of course the main highway was lined with shops and restaurants but it really had a great beach-side feel.

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Beach at Kitty Hawk

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We crossed the bridge over to Roanoke Island to check out the little town of Manteo.  This was one of the places Joe wanted to see but wind/waves prevented it by boat.  A great, historic little town that only recently (according to our waiter) began to cater to tourists.  It was a fishing town.  We have heard everywhere we have been that the fishing industry has really taken a hit with the hurricanes and Dorian really did a number on the oyster beds.  The town did a great job.  Lots of waterfront decks and docks and plenty of spaces to sit a spell.   We had a great lunch with the tour guide waiter who gave us a good run down on boating in the area.  Manteo calls itself America’s oldest settlement.

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Manteo Square
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Elizabeth II replica of one of 7 English merchant vessels of 1585

One area on this island did have mansions and a row of condos with docks.  Each dock contained big, bigger, biggest Sport Fishing boats.  Apparently, Andy Griffith had a home here. Andeee…

We did not get nearly enough time here and still had 2.5 hours to drive back and return the rental car in the rain.

Joe also got to see the condition of the Dismal Swamp.   We stopped at the visitors center on our way North.  He was happy we chose not to go this way. I think I already said seeing Rob’s boat’s strainer reinforced our choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Our last blog entry last year was here in Beaufort.  From this point, all the way to St. Augustine, Florida will be new to us.  We don’t have a plan–that’s the plan.  We are hopeful to be able to spend longer periods now at each stop.  The boat needs one upgrade first, new refrigeration.  We think it’s the original unit.  It’s old, rusting and runs on AC only.  This means we need to have electricity to run it.  If we switch on our invertor to run it on the batteries, it would drain them down to a dangerous level overnight.  We could run our generator to recharge the batteries but we really don’t want to as it annoys everyone. This is the stuff a shakedown cruise is all about.  We want to be able to anchor out and take advantage of Cities’ free docks (where there would be no electric hookup).

Unbelievable to most of our fellow cruisers our freezer is actually too big.  We could utilize some of the space for a nice tool cabinet.  So, research begins and a few boat bucks fly away.

An F-18 fighter just flew over from the Cherry Point Marine base in Havelock.  We see/hear this stuff all the time.  One word:  Impressive!

I hope with new places to explore, our blog becomes more interesting than refridgerators and rental cars.   Thank you all for following us.  Your comments, contacts, emails and texts mean a lot to us!!

Here is one of the greatest Boat quotes I have heard “if you own a boat, there is something on board you need to fix–you just might not know yet it’s broken”

Lee, boat neighbor (who admitted he read it on the AGLCA forum)

Back in Oriental

We are going back reading our old blogs about the places we’ve already visited.  We see, depending on whether you are looking at a computer or an iPad, things look a little wonky as far as the timeline goes.  There are three stories from three different boats.  I believe one issue is my archaic iPad.  I have asked Santa for a new one 🎄 (Hint).

If any readers are confused, we had Bayliner Bob (25′ trailerable boat) in southern Florida in Fall 2016, Spring of 2017 and Fall of 2017 .  Bob was sold in December of 2017.  We both think we should have kept her but would she be used?  RJ the SeaRay was moved to the East Coast in the Spring of 2018 and in the Fall we moved her as far as Beaufort, NC.  At this point she was sold.  Wrong boat!   We purchased Pursuit that same Fall but it was too cold to move her.  This Fall 2019 trip is our first trip on the trawler.  So, there are three different stories on this one blog.  Snug in our Tug or Pursuit is the current one.  It’s kind of like the three bears…. This one’s too small, this one just ain’t the one and this one is just right.   Or, third times the charm.   At any rate, No more boats 🤔

Saturday November 2

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Sunrise leaving Belhaven. Early start!

Our trip yesterday across the Pamlico Sound was less than desirable.  Large NE winds on part of the journey made for an uneasy trip until we turned south.  The female crew informed the Captain that They will not be crossing that Sound in a boat again!  It was worse last time.

We got tied up in a slip at the oriental Marina and Inn and had a very nice, alfresco lunch on the deck at the Inn with Coconut.  Flounder tacos and a very good tomato bisque.  We walked around town a bit picking up some divine chocolate.  By the time we got back to the Marina, many of the same boats we were with in Belhaven arrived here.  Darn, the boats that left Belhaven a few hours after us did not have the rough water on The Pamlico!!  Forecast off again.   Rob and Sharon on the 35′ Albin were lucky to score a spot at the free dock.  We are not able to do this until we get a few issues rectified!   More on that later…..

Having read stories about cruising for years in books, magazines and blogs, I now see that you do keep running into the same boats.  It was different in Southern Florida when we traveled because people had mostly hit their final destination.  In the area we are now, your travel day depends on weather,  how fast your boat travels and how long of a day you want on the water.  The other limitation is where there is a town or an anchorage.  Traveling on a slow trawler puts you on the same day as sailboats, trawlers and those that want to see more.  We are good with it.   The only time I wished we could go faster was across those two darn Sounds, the Abermarle and Pamlico.

We are getting many compliments on our little tug.  She is awfully cute, just needs a bit of cosmetic work.  Like me 😉  Right now we have Nordic Tugs on each side of us–one 32 and one 37.  Nice boats.  People think our Eagle is a Nordic.  She is pretty unique, only 92 were made.

We woke to a beautiful although chilly morning.  Have needed the heater at night since that Halloween cold front went through.  We are enjoying Oriental much more this time around.  No mechanics on board!   Last year work was done on one of our motors here.

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Love these trees. Sycamore?

The weather forecast today had small craft warnings to cross the Nuese River.  It would have been a short distance but we decided to stay put!  We are NOT on a schedule.  We have to keep reminding ourselves of this.  It probably would have been fine, most everyone left. Our next destination is Beaufort, NC.   We need to rent a car there.  We remembered that the car rental agency was not open Sunday so we wouldn’t have been able to do that anyway.   We are glad we stayed put.  We ended up enjoying a nice walk and then time in the sun in our cockpit!  This is good.

This Marina has a whole different look than the one at Belhaven where we looked at the manor.  A long dock of shrimp boats are behind us and boy do they make noise.  Apparently, this town has an ordinance about running generators on the public docks.  Ha, like you would hear them.  It’s all good, we have Tiki Bar!!! 🍹

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We have to a agree with the local Town Dock news.  Best hailing port name on a boat that came in is Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada.  We did see the boat, a large Grand Banks and its name was WyRow.  We thought that was good too.

Hope you all had as nice of a Sunday as we did.

 

 

 

My view

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I love my mom and dad.  However, bouncing around on a boat in gale force winds is not my idea of fun.  But, once the boat stops, I’m off on a great walk, trotting around a new place, with new smells and odors and I’m a happy dog. Sometimes I make Mom and Dad walk for hours and miles before I’m satisfied that the new place we are in will provide us with a secure place to spend the night.  Occasionally, I like the new place so much that I suggest that we stay more than one night. I remind them that weekly rates are cheaper and I can meet more people that way. I have fans all up and down the East Coast now.

We always end up doing the some crazy stuff.  Sometimes we drive for hours, just to end up where we started. And we always find the Tahoe, right where we left it! They once made me ride in a mini van!!!  They also have recently sold my big comfy house with all the sunny spots to lay in and my own private dog park to a little house in the woods  where I have to walk in the street and not on my own land… Don’t get me wrong, I like the new place, but why did we do this?

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People everywhere want to meet and touch me.  They say I’m cute.  I believe this is a good thing because they talk to me in a voice like I’m a puppy or something. I once captivated a group of little Camp Fire girls and could have had them in the palm of my paw for hours but Mom and Dad got antsy and made me leave.

When we’re out for a walk, Mom and Dad get mad at me that I’m not always friendly to other dogs but they don’t understand the dark places I’ve been.  Plus, I try to protect them; they literally saved me when I was young. I can sense that some other dogs have ulterior motives and I don’t like that. Another thing I can’t stand is those confident Poodle types, they really annoy me.

 

Tonight I’m lying here listening to Mom and Dad talk about moving the boat AGAIN. Why can’t we just stay in one place. Something about “Moving South”. I don’t get it. We ARE south. Just listen to people talk. They pronounce my name “CoaCoaNut”. And they talk soo.. slooow… How much more south can you get? I is getting cold, though, but I haven’t seen any of that white cold stuff on the ground. That makes me happy. I remember trying to walk on just two legs while holding the other two in the air. Dad always laughed at me but then would carry me back to the house so I could lay in front of the fireplace. I love him.

Anyway, I have to go have dinner, take one more walk today, and then fine a warm spot on the boat to sleep. All dogs should have it this good.

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