Monday, May 07, 2007

Onward and Upward (Northward?)

Daughter Lyz, with husband Chris and son Mikey (10 months) drove to Vero Beach to stay on the boat for a weekend. To make things simpler, we took a slip for a couple of nights. We took a two hour cruise on the IWC to introduce Mikey to boating in general and Lyz and Chris to her aging parents as powerboaters. Mikey and the old folks slept down below in air-conditioned comfort while Chris and Lyz had the penthouse suite with queen size mattress (a tent on the flybridge). A great time was had by all. After leaving Vero, The Admiral, Chief Navigator, and Cruise Director declared a forced march (AKA: "Trail of Tears") northward. This took us to one-night anchorages at: Cocoa Beach (the captain picked up 1/2 dozen jumbo blue crabs and whole red snapper - it was delicious when grilled - at his favorite fish market), Fort Matanzas (right next to the fort), Fort George River (next to the Kingsley Plantation), Fort Frederica (if this is Monday, we must be in Georgia), Queen Bess anchorage, Lady Island (Factory Creek), and Tom's Point Creek.

The next day took us to Charleston, SC, where we spent 3 days on the inside of the Mega Dock, well protected by mega yachts on the outside. It was a good thing because it blew like h--- all the time we were there. Our friends John and Diane Cummings showed up at the Ashley Marina in Duetto (PDQ Power Cat) and we shared meals at each boat (just a short walk). A & J took a great tour with a marvelous storyteller, had a delighful dinner out, and saw an excellent production of the musical, "Ragtime" at the Dock Street Theater. After Charleston, we spent a night at anchor in Georgetown. The next morning we tied up to the town dock and went into town for breakfast and a couple of pounds of shrimp at the shrimp dock. Then off to a night on the dock at Barefoot Landing (hot fudge sundaes!) and onward to anchor off Sloop Point, near Topsail, NC. Then to Spooner Creek, an anchorage in the middle of some rather nice homes with dinghy access to a Super Wal-mart. (What more could anyone ask for?!) As we left Spooner Creek, we decided to head for Oriental, because of severe storm warnings for a few days. The alternatives were some fairly open anchorages. So here we are, starting our third day at Oriental, two slips away from the main street at the Oriental Marina, immediately across the street from "The Bean", a great coffee shop. We have shopped at the local general store/hardware store/ships' chandlery, grocery store, a great roadside fruit and vegetable stand (a van from the marina took us) and had lunch out as the wind gusts to 50+ mph and the water keeps rising to about 6 feet above normal. We're used to being "waked" by big sportfishing boats, but we're now being waked by pickup trucks speeding through the flooded street beside us! Looks as if we might be here for a couple MORE days as there is no sign of the northerly stopping and the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound ain't no fun in a northerly! Getting to know the other folks who are "stuck" here and are getting reacquainted with Paul and Mimi Aldritch (he was Commodore of Baldwin Yacht Club when we joined) aboard their Grand Banks 36 "Refuge". They now live in Bristol, Maine.

It looks as if we'll miss the Camano Rendezvous, but still plan to go up the Potomac to DC. (Anyone in the area who admits to being friends or family, this is a WARNING! As we get closer, we'll have a better idea of when we'll be there and let you know so you have time to get out of town if you want to!)

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