Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
And so we head across the Albemarle Sound this morning bound for Elizabeth City. The crossing was beautifully smooth. Plan A is to go right past the docks and anchor beyond the lift bridge. As we neared town we heard other boats calling in to dock and it seemed like there was lots of space. I asked Shirley what she thought. No docks thanks! Christopher was also feeling queezy about it as he recounted in detail the events of November. We had some serious jitters. Then we got close and it looked inviting. What do you want to do? I asked again. "OK, let's see if there is help to dock." Next thing we knew we were coming in for a picture perfect docking with the help of some fellow boaters. On the outside it was a normal docking, with polite thank-yous. On the inside we were doing high fives and victory dances!! We faced a fear and won.
We did a two night stay and enjoyed the great hospitality of this town. Christopher was a bit down because his camera had stopped functioning properly. He averages 400 pictures a day and not having it work has thrown him into a bit of a withdrawl frenzy. But he does have some of his own money and we talked about some possibilities. So off we went to find a store that sells cameras and is open on Memorial day. The drug store of course! Sure enough they had a couple of good ones to choose from. Then I realized how particular he was about the features. He wanted to be sure the camera would do all the things he required of it, and had all the right buttons for those things. I tried to show him that this Kodak C713 indeed does everything he wants. But he was a bit leary of me and insisted we ask the sales person. She joined in and commented on "he is a hard sell isn't he?" She did a good job and he was satisfied and then handed over his US cash. By the time we left he had more bounce in his step, and after setting it up we went out and snapped a couple of hundred high quality pics. A very successful stop at Elizabeth City for all!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Enter the T21 Travelling Afghan project. About a week earlier we had received an email from CJ, the lady who started the project. It is an afghan that is travelling the world spending about a week at a time with a child who has Down syndrome and their family. She had seen our blog and thought it would be fun if the afghan could come on board.
I emailed her back our route and general timeline, and in no time she contacted us to say the afghan would be with a family in Myrtle Beach the following week and we could meet up with them.
OK then, seems like it is meant to be, let’s find a marina. Not wanting to rent a car this time, Dave started looking for one a little closer to the beach area than where we were before. The Barefoot Resort Club’s price in the guidebook was out of our range, but a phone call revealed that for once the price was lower than what was printed. What a place! We had the same access to the pool as the resort guests and what a pool! Advertized as the largest pool in South Carolina we’d never seen one like it. The deepest spot was four feet deep, it was mostly 3 feet deep, winding around cement islands and it was saltwater which made bouyancy great. It was the most Christopher friendly pool we’ve found. He was so comfortable swimming on his own it was so fun to watch him.
The local family who had the afghan had our cell phone number so while we waited for their call we enjoyed the pool and then went and explored the town area nearby. We came across one of the mini golfs we had tried to go to last November but had found closed. This one had a train engine as part of it……..so of course we played. When we contacted CJ to tell her we hadn’t heard from the family she said she hadn’t heard from them either nor could she get hold of them. Meanwhile Christopher had spotted another minigolf and was lobbying for another day’s stay. We checked the weather forecast and it looked like Friday would be the best day to travel up the Cape Fear River which can sometimes live up to its name, so leaving Thursday would get us to a spot near there to anchor. So…..twist our arm…..I guess we’ll stay.
More swimming, a visit to the beach and another minigolf. And Christopher grinning ear to ear. But………..no afghan. We hope that everything is well with the family that we were to meet but it was time to move on. CJ will see if we’ll be near it again later on in our travels, if not then we’ll try to get our turn once we’re home. To check into the T21 Traveling Afghan project go to http://thet21travelingafghanproject.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
After enjoying our 2 day holiday at Jekyll Island, we steeled ourselves for the trip through Georgia. Georgia is very beautiful but in our trip through it in the fall, negotiating the shallow water had been stressful. The upcoming daily forecast for the next week of a "slight chance of thunderstorms" was interfering with our plan of avoiding these inland waters of Georgia in favour of an outside run. "Slight chance" is no fun out on the ocean when it turns into the real thing.
The tides here change the water level by eight feet. Leaving Jekyll at mid day allowed us to sail through Buttermilk Sound and Little Mud River with ease. Yay! One bad spot over with! We anchored in New Teakettle Creek.
The next day we were in luck again at high tide as we were able to follow an inland cruise ship through another bad spot aptly named Hell Gate. Near the end of the afternoon the weather was changing, and with the current against us our anchoring destination seemed too far off. We pulled into the Isle of Hope marina.
The marina had a loaner car, and wanting to get our money's worth from this unplanned stop, we put off leaving until we had taken the car to go load up on provisions.
We left the dock mid day and were about 5 minutes away when the engine started overheating. Back we went....... In short, Dave did resolve the problem, but the promised "slight chance' became 100% so we stayed another night.
On Wednesday we headed off for South Carolina and had a wonderful and boisterous sail across Port Royal Sound (see video below) to Beaufort where we anchored in Factory Creek. We watched storms all around us but they missed our location. Not that the computer voice on the VHF weather station didn't have us quaking in our shoes with his dire warnings.
Thursday we headed in the direction of Charleston making it as far as Church Creek to anchor. At sunset, Dave's salute with the conch shell was preceded by bagpipes from another boat nearby. Friday we arrived in Charleston for a planned marina stop.
After exploring the market area in the historic downtown Christopher spotted some railway action. The port authority engine was doing some shunting of rail cars. Anyone who knows Christopher knows that this put Charleston on his A-OK list for attractions.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Just a short sail north of Cumberland Island across St. Andrews Sound is Jekyll Island, where we spent a day in November. At that time we looked longingly at the pool and hot tub while wearing jackets and hats. This time we were ready to lounge by the poolside! We have been taking full advantage of it and have been hopping from pool to hot tub and back again. Being in the ocean is fun but Christopher gets overwhelmed by the waves. So the pool is great to let him cut loose and swim on his own and do what he wants. Of course we spent some time at the beach as well. What a contrast from the solitude of Cumberland Island. This beach was weekend packed - which is fun in a different way. For dinner we just had to go to the marina restaurant because of its name - Sea Jay's. This is the name of our dinghy (Sea Jay ll) which is named after Christopher James - CJ l. Fare for us that night was their famous "low country boil". A bunch of stuff thrown into the same pot to boil and then put out as a buffet. Pretty good.
Later on at the dock one of the ladies who lives on her boat here, Linda, offered to show Christopher some dog tricks with her little dog Charlie. That was a hit! She had him do some of the commands so that Charlie would do a few cool things. It also drew a bit of a crowd with other kids getting in the act as well. Turns our that Charlie was "best friends" with some of the kids from another boat from the Orangeville area named Gromit this past winter. They have since headed off shore headed for St. Martin.
We also had another interesting chance meeting here. When we bought Tiffany Rose in Sodus Point NY the owner suggested a boat surveyor if we needed one, named Erik. We didn't end up needing him so we never actually met. Wouldn't you know it, we pull into the dock in here and Erik is parked right next to us on his boat "Otis from Sodus"! He said that his boat now has Tiffany Rose's slip back at the Sodus Bay club. Small world.
After using the marina courtesy car to load up on groceries and giving Tiffany Rose a cleaning we are ready to venture on!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Wild Horses, guns, subs and armoured animals – a peaceful time at Cumberland Island April 29 - May 1
The island is also steeped in history and we dinghied down to another dock where the museum is, where Christopher got absorbed in all the dates and when people died and when the buildings burned down etc. A ranger lead us on a guided walk and told stories about the days that were. And then over by the ruins we saw a few wild horses, which are famous on this island. Being spring they were quite frisky running around, making whinnieing sounds and acting like horses running free. There were also many armadillos here digging around in their armour. One came right up to my bare toes. Apparently they don’t see too well. Maybe they don’t smell well either??
Speaking of armour, another thing we were told to look out for was the comings and goings of nuclear submarines – which are heavily guarded when they come in. On our way here we watched nervously as five coast guard boats came racing towards Tiffany Rose with men poised at the machine gun stations. They turned away and headed out towards the inlet. Then this morning we got to watch a sub go by. It was much bigger than we expected. Quite a contrasting image to the peace and serenity of the island. Can’t help but wonder where it has been and what it may have been up to in its life time. Not sure I want to know.
Next we headed to Fernandina Beach to pull into town there to pay some bills before the end of the month. Being on the go means that we are usually not in internet range and need to be more organized to get important items done when we have the chance. Christopher enjoyed the stop here since a train track runs right passed the marina that we parked our dinghy at. And sure enough he was rewarded with a train passing through. And we also had to revisit the Atlantic Seafood store for their fresh shrimp.
In the morning we motored into the marina for fuel and pumpout. The lady working there, Heather, remembered Christopher from our stay here in November. Christopher began to tell her of our journey, how we are headed north for part 3 and that this was the end of 5 months in Florida. He then went on to describe how we should be throwing water balloons because that is what they did on the final day of school in grade 8 as part of a big good-bye. So… a few minutes later, Heather comes out of the marina office with 3 surgical gloves full of water to support this event! What southern hospitality!! With much fan fare Christopher launched these water balloons at Heather to the delight of everyone around. And so we had a fitting farewell to Florida and chugged off towards Georgia. Thanks Heather!