Click on any image to see a larger version
and From The Bahamas, 2008
plan was to head straight for Nassau for fuel and groceries and then on to Lake
Worth, Florida. When we arrived in Nassau, we headed right for a restaurant that
serves cheeseburgers. The next day we went grocery shopping and had pizza for
dinner. After being away for several weeks, it was good to have US-type comfort
food. In the grocery store, we ran into Roy and Doon from Bold Endeavour, who
we last saw in Annapolis last summer. These were the people who we met on the
ICW at the Alligator River on our way north last year.. They'd also been cruising
the Exumas and were on their way back to the US.
Monday, May 5, we left Nassau harbor only to discover engine trouble and head
right back to the marina. There seemed to be a problem with the throttle linkage
- not getting as much power as we should and the sea water cooling seemed to be
having a problem. Neal changed the raw water pump impeller which brought the cooling
sytem back to normal. The throttle problem remained a mystery but we finally left
Nassau again on May 13. This time we were headed directly for the US with no stops;
taking the deep water route - the Northwest Providence Channel. Wind and waves
were higher than predicted, but we had no storms. This is a very busy route -
the cruise ships heading from Florida to Nassau all travel this way, and cargo
ships bound for the Bahamas also use this route. We saw more traffic on this passage
than on any other we've made.
in the USA
12:30 on the 14th we were tied up at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina just north
of Lake Worth. Municipal marinas are a mixed bag. Most of them are pretty marginal
on facilities because city budgets are very tight and citizens generally seem
to want their tax dollars spent on services for them rather than on visitors.
This one had very good laundry facilities, but the showers were the worse for
wear. Titusville, FL has a similar facility. On the other hand the St. Augustine
municipal marina is first class all the way as is Charleston City Marina; and
the Beaufort SC city marina is also very nice. Maybe it's because St. Augustine
and Beaufort are significant tourist destinations and the others are just stop-over
points. We rented a car for a day and hit Costco, Pubix (supermarket), Carmine's
(specialty market) and our favorite used book store. We went to our favorite cheeseburger
the 17th we left the marina for the Lake Worth anchorage, and on the 18th headed
out into the Atlantic for the trip to St. Augustine. We were expecting winds of
10 - 15 knots and that's what we had for awhile, but then it got a little more
blowy and we spent much of the trip at winds over 20 knots. As we were headed
right into the wind, sail trim was difficult and the intermittent flogging of
the main revealed the weakness of our 10 year old lazy jack lines - the starboard
side failed. We saw later that the port side lazy jack line was also close to
failure.We got into
the St. Augustine inlet on the 18th in time for the 5:30 pm bridge opening and
were docked at St. Augustine Municipal Marina by 6:00.pm.
say that the definition of cruising is: Fixing your boat in exotic places. We
haven't been to many exotic places so we fix our boat in un-exotic places.
marina recommended a rigger who was able to quickly replace our lazy jack lines.
Then Neal took another serious look at the throttle linkage problem. He found
a broken spring and thought that might be it. The mechanic we called found that
the problem was that the bracket holding the throttle cable to the engine had
broken. He didn't have another in stock but was able to get the bracket welded
and put back in place. He didn't have a replacement return spring either but we're
able to operate without it for now. City Marina was fully booked for Memorial
Day weekend so on Friday, we moved to Oyster Creek Marina where we stayed on our
trip north last June.
from earlier visits to St. Augustine can be found here
from St. Augustine
Day we headed out for Charleston, SC. We crossed the 32nd parallel at 8:30 on
the morning of May 27 - well in time to make the insurance company happy that
we're out of the hurricane zone; and we're happy because we won't have to pay
an extra insurance premium.
May 27 found us docked at Charleston City Marina. Another problem kept us in Charleston
much longer than we'd planned. We'd pulled into City Marina, filled up with fuel
and then the engine wouldn't start. The switch that prevents the engine from starting
when it is in gear had been giving us intermittent problems for some time so we
stayed long enough to get a mechanic to look at it. When the mechanic left, the
engine was reliably starting.
from earlier visits to Charleston can be found here
left Charleston on June 6 with Morehead City, NC our next destination After an
easy overnight passage, we tied up on June 7th at the Portside Marina fuel dock
in Morehead City and topped off the tanks. And the engine wouldn't start. This
time Neal got out the soldering iron and shorted out the %$*& switch.
Marina handles mostly small fishing boats and is a Suzuki dealer so this was a
good place to have the outboard motor fixed. It turned out that the problem was
simply a broken bushing in the hub of the prop. We got a new prop so it wasn't
exactly a cheap fix, but better than having to buy a new motor.
were pleasantly surprised to run into Doon and Roy of Bold Endeavour in Morehead
City. When you're a nomad, it's a great comfort to see familiar friendly faces.
is an interesting place to stop because it is right next to the commercial port.
When we arrived, a huge crane was transferring what appeared to be broken up scrap
metal from a sea going barge to a smaller barge using a huge 8 armed claw. Both
barges left the next day. Tugs come and go. Fishermen bring their boats in to
try their luck along the docks. The evening before we left, a large cargo ship
carrying lumber came in to tie up. We could smell the cut lumber as it approached
Four tugs - two on each side - eased it gently and delicately into place. During
this operation the tugs communicate with whistles as they maneuver the big ship.
It's much more interesting than being in a marina full of yachts.
left Morehead City on June 15. I'd been dreading the trip up the ICW to Norfolk,
but it turned out to be a relatively easy trip. Once we got through the maze of
confusing markers leaving Morehead City and Beaufort, it was beautiful. Everything
was lush and green and in the early morning the breeze carries the scent of the
pine trees. It is very peaceful. Almost every osprey nest had either a mom screeching
at us to stay away from her babies; or a bunch of nestlings calling out for mom
to hurry back with more food. We anchored overnight at the Pungo River anchorage
with only 3 other boats, and got going again early the next morning..
As we got to the Alligator Pungo Canal we began smelling smoke from the wildfires
in North Carolina. At first it smelled mild and sweet and piney. The farther we
went, the denser the smoke got. The Coast Guard was issuing warnings about very
limited visibility at the Alligator River bridge. Eventually we passed through
the smoke plume to clear air.
anchorage we'd planned on was full of crab traps so we stopped overnight at Coinjock
Marina. Continuing on the next day, we encountered smoke again by mid-morning
but passed through it pretty quickly. As we approached Great Bridge who should
we spot but Bold Endeavor - Doon & Roy at the free dock on the south side
of the bridge. We tied up at the free dock on the north side of Great Bridge and
our Kiwi friends joined us for a cool beverage..
June 18 we arrived at Norfolk, staying again at Waterside Marina. Just in time
for Bayou Boogaloo. That's an annual event featuring Cajun food, music and artists
from New Orleans. By the time we got to Norfolk Neal had the second part of the
engine starting problem diagnosed when he notices that the alternator belt was
not as tight as it should be. So we weren't getting as much battery charging as
we should have gotten with the engine running.
got smoke here, too when the wind is from the Southwest. One of the fires is in
the Great Dismal Swamp where there's peat burning. Peat burns slowly and is very
difficult to extinguish, so this fire could last for several weeks, yet. Our delay
here was because my glasses broke. My primary glasses had been "fixed" using super
glue after a fall; and now my backup pair have broken. We'll leave here eventually.
earlier visits to Norfolk can be found here
Go to the next log page