Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Back at Poughkeepsie YC - That's All Folks!

The rising moon at Atlantic Highlands
I went up top last night to check on the anchor and found the rising moon so I tried a shot with my Canon point and shoot. It was a beautiful night and calm too. It was a good thing since when we looked at the tides, we saw that it would be a flood tide in the morning. With an early morning (5:00 am, off the anchor by 6:00 am) it was possible to get all the way to PYC, 90 miles north. As I've related in the past, you can ride a flood tide if you can maintain 7 kts which is just what we did. We caught the tide at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and it was with us all the way north until we were within 5 miles of PYC.

West Point on the Hudson River is always an impressive sight
However, going through New York Harbor was interesting. We had a dense fog and there were lots of big boats moving around. What saved the day was AIS. I could see all the big boats and ferries (there are a LOT of ferries) complete with a vector of where each one would be in 10 minutes. Comparing that vector to a similar one projected out from my bow on the screen, I could tell if there was any chance of a meeting. We had radar too but AIS is much better. The radar was useful for small boats but almost all the sailboats and cruisers over 30 ft broadcast AIS. I looked at the radar but the AIS screen told the real story.

The Clearwater sailing on the Hudson. 
The fog cleared and the sun came out, a great welcome back to PYC. We really have mixed feeling about leaving the boat. It's been our home for 9 months of the year. Our house in Lagrangeville is really just our temporary home, our real home is on Fleetwing.

Our two resident eagles at our club
Now it's a whirlwind of doctor appointments, vet visits for Hoolie, getting a new dinghy, visits with family, PYC functions, a two week cruise with our grandkids on Long Island Sound, one week with all families at Ocean City, hauling Fleetwing for the prep for returning to the ICW in September, and writing the 2018 edition of my ICW Cruising Guide. It's going to be a busy, busy, busy time. I'm sure I left out a few things.

Fleetwing needs a cleaning but we're back safe and sound
This entry concludes the blog for my ICW trip in the spring of 2018. Mark your calendars for a resumption of the blog on September 15 for our next trip down the coast to Key West. There will probably be a few entries here and there, especially when we sail to Long Island Sound with four grandkids so you might want to check in from time to time. Otherwise, I'll see you in September. I hope you enjoyed the blog, I sure did in writing it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Atlantic Highlands - at anchor

Our dinghy, worn out by a Brittany
Today was predicted to be a perfect day to go north to the Atlantic Highlands. Every weather app agreed that it was going to be a good day and for once every app was right! What wind there was came out of the south at around 10 kts for most of the trip but it was a little sloppy from the swells hitting the boat broadside when there was very little wind to steady the deck. We made the trip in 11 hours, 15 minutes.

It's a nice, protective anchorage, recommended
We need a new dinghy. The AB marine dinghy we have is 16 years old! Hoolie has worn off all the Hypalon coating on his side of the dinghy. Now it's down to fabric and that's starting to spring multiple leaks from his claws as he excitedly leaps over the side for land. It's tough toning a Brittany down so he calmly leaves his dinghy - he all excitement as he comes to a sandy beach or dock. New dinghies have shot up in price. What used to cost $1800 is now $4500, such is inflation. With that, we're now looking for a used dinghy but those are few and far between but that's our assignment for the next month. We really do need a reliable dinghy for Hoolie.

Max flood tide under the Narrows is around 8:30 AM which provides us with the opportunity to ride the flood tide all the way to PYC. You can ride a flood tide but you can't ride an ebb tide. The peak flood tide moves up the river so it's in the direction you're going which is not the case if you're going down the river. So with the tide in our favor, we hope to reach PYC with the tide still behind us with a plus 1 to 2 kts of current. That makes a big difference for sailboat what only moves at 7 kts. It will involve an early morning departure, not one of Ann's favorites things but necessary to catch the tide this time around.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Atlantic City - Last Day at a dock

As always at Atlantic City, the boats just keep getting bigger and bigger
The winds subsided and, hopefully, the seas calmed. The high here today was only 73 and then only for a few brief moments when the sun forgot it was supposed to be cloudy all day. We thought we were bringing the southern warmth up north with us but it left us at Atlantic City.

I completed Rounds 2 and 3 of the Weather App Shootout but it's up to Waterway Guide when they will be published. It's rather frightening how tenuous the apps' grasp on reality is. Some are really no good at all but some are much better. I will do Round 4 based on our Delaware Bay experience and Round 5 based on Tuesday's ride up the Jersey shore.

The Golden Nugget was as crowded as I've ever seen it, but then it was Memorial Day weekend
All the apps and NOAA agree that Tuesday is a perfect day to return to NY along the New Jersey shore. That alone should give you pause. Nothing is every that open and shut. I'm sure we in for a few surprises along the way but barring a major about-face overnight, we're leaving at first light Tuesday morning, probably around 6:00 am. The outlook for Wednesday is favorable to catch the flood tide at the Narrows and ride it all the way up the river to our home, the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Atlantic City - At the Golden Nugget docks

The Golden Nugget is nothing if not full of glitter
The forecast was for a lazy ride north to Atlantic City with winds maxing out at 10 kt behind us all the way. You all must know the outcome since I'm mentioning this. All was well for the first couple of hours then a rain storm came through and everything changed. The south wind of 10 kts became a north wind (on the nose!) of 15 kts! Gradually the wind increased and by the time we were docked safely, it had risen to 27 kts (in the marina!) That sounds like another Weather App Shootout article for Waterway Guide, I'm behind in my writing by three articles. I'll work on them Monday since it's a layover day waiting for weather.

This is in the marina! One wonders the strength outside
We celebrated getting past Cape May with a dinner out at the Charthouse Restaurant in the Golden Nugget. Since we seem to make a habit of passing through Atlantic City on the Memorial Day weekend, the place was packed - and the rates were higher than normal for the docks too. The meal was good and now we're back in our warm boat. The temps have dropped to below 60l in a couple of hours and I guess we've finally run out of warm weather. It was 85 yesterday in Cape May.

Ann loves Grand Marnier desserts, she got her wish
All the apps agree that Tuesday is a good day to travel north along the New Jersey coast. We hope they are right. It always seems that the best weather is a day away. Once that day arrives, it somehow turns out not to be what was predicted, at least by most of the apps (but not all...) Stay tuned for the weather shootout articles.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Utsch's at Cape May - at a dock, last day

They are installing new bulkheads and in the meantime, there are no height boards.
I bought Ann the 2018 iPad which has the same chip as the more expensive iPad Pro but only costs $325 for the least expensive model with 32 GB of storage. However, it can use the Apple pencil and she tried touching up several photos today. Ann paints in pastels but she still enjoys modifying photos with the pencil on her iPad. Welcome to the digital age!

It seems like the middle of summer here with temps in the high 80's. I hiked over to the nearest convenience store to pick up some small items and it felt like a heat wave. I guess we didn't wait too long after all to come north. We see that there's a storm brewing in the Gulf and we would like to get home before that unleases rain and wind along the coast.

Utsch's Marina is a popular place to get props repaired from hitting things in the water
With that in mind, we are leaving Utsch's on Sunday for Atlantic City with the hope that we have good enough weather on Monday for the trip north. I'll take Ann out to the Charthouse at the Golden Nugget Sunday night to celebrate our moving north (we'll celebrate anything...) I have enough data for two more rounds of the Weather App Shootout and I'll get another round of data when we finally move north from Atlantic City. The only problem is finding the time to put all the articles together. We will take a last look at the forecasts Sunday morning and then it's decision time.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Utsch's Marina at Cape May - at a dock

A large convoy of Loopers came in after we arrived
We were afraid of missing low tide at the two 55 ft bridges in the Cape May Canal so we left early at 5:45 am. That was really, really early for us. The sun was rising as we left the anchorage. Last night was not a quiet night. The current runs through there at 2 to 3 kts which is no problem for holding for us but it's noisy and the boat swings from side to side. The main problem with the anchorage is the depth, it's too deep. Once you round the corner, the bottom drops out and the farther in you go, the deeper it gets, all the way down to 50 ft! You could wonder how in the world such a place could exist behind an island but it does. We anchored on the side before going in all the way at 25 ft, deep enough. We have a chain-nylon rode combination and with that depth, the nylon slips in the wildcat which requires pulling the nylon up by hand until the chain is engaged. A really fun exercise in 2 kts of current and a little wind. I can't recommend the anchorage and we only took it because of Hoolie relief nearby.

The docks are floating but the slips are shallow
For once, the forecast was pretty good with winds out of the west around 10 kts so they were on the beam as we headed south. In fact, we made too good a time and got to the bridges too early so I had to idle forward for a while to let the dropping tide catch up. They are redoing the bulkheads by both bridges so there were no height gauges. We had gone through the canal so many times that we didn't need them by just paying attention to the tides. We passed under both bridges without incident.

On the approach to Utsch's, we plowed mud at low tide. We saw the depth meter bottom out at 4.4 ft (we draw 4 ft, 9 in.) so we just powered through the mud. The marina itself was fine at around 8 ft MLW. However, we once again bottomed out at the fuel dock. Ann got us in as far as the depths would allow and we filled up.

The same thing happened again at our slip for the night. At low tide, we are stuck in the mud. Now it's time to start looking at weather reports for a window to reach the Atlantic Highlands. That will be tomorrow's project and perhaps another round for the Weather App Shootout1

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cohansey Island Anchorage - at anchor

The "Little Engine that Could" is pulling away
If you can't make the trip from Chesapeake City to Cape May in one day, then there are not many options. We like to take advantage of the Cape May Canal but that requires us to transit at low tide. For today, that meant at 11:30 which was too early for us to reach the canal. The trip required us to anchor overnight at Cohansey Island. It's not the most protected but does shield you from a south to southwest wind which is predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning. Looking out over the island, we can see whitecaps on the bay in the non-predicted 12 to 15 kt winds (5 to 10 supposedly) but there are no whitecaps in our anchorage.

One of the few remaining nuclear power plants, located on Delaware Bay
Despite the island between us and the bay, we are still rocking a bit from the waves working their way around the edges of the island but at least there are no whitecaps. Another quirk of the anchorage is how deep it is. Once you round the corner into the anchorage, the bottom drops out and you'll see depths all the way to 50 ft! It seems a little perverse that the best potential anchorage has depths too deep to anchor in! We are on the northern edge, anchored in 25 ft, a compromise between depth and being protected by the island but we are still rocking.

Our island of protection. If you look closely, you can see the whitecaps on the bay.
We have to reach the canal by 11:30 am and it's 33 Nm away, a 4 hr, 30 min trip. We will try to get off our anchor by 6:00 am just to be sure to have enough time to reach the two 55 ft bridges before low tide passes us by.

We have reservations at Utsch's Marine for a few days. We're looking at the weather for the trip up the New Jersey coast and now it looks like Tuesday will be a better day but, who knows? Certainly not the weatherman. The forecasts are usually but not always good for the next 24 hours. Beyond that, you might as well roll the dice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Chesapeake City - at anchor in a dredged anchorage!

Lots of ships waiting outside Annapolis
The winds were predicted to be 5 to 10 out of the northwest and for the morning, that was the case. However, in the afternoon the winds picked up to 15 kts with gusts to 19 and that was not in the forecast. Luckily, by that time we were in the upper bay where it starts to narrow so it didn't affect us all that much. None of the five apps I'm using nor NOAA predicted the afternoon high winds.

We've seen ocean-going ships barely make it under that bridge
Chesapeake City was a 56 Nm run for us from Rhode River and we got an early start at 7:00 am and reached CC by 3:00 pm. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the Chesapeake City anchorage has been dredged. There's 12 MLW everywhere and even 10 to 12 MLW by the free docks. The entrance is now just down the middle as opposed having to hug the east bulkhead. The turn to port into the anchorage itself is also down the middle. The word is not out yet I guess since there are only three boats here tonight. After dredging, you can expect a very muddy anchor and chain in the morning byt at least you will get a calm night.

Just the three of us here tonight
There seems to be a period of calm weather coming and we intend to take advantage of it to make progress north. On Thursday, we intend anchoring out at Cohansey Island to stage us for reaching Cape May the next day around noon to get under the two Cape May Canal bridges (55 ft each). Looking at the weather, we'll stay there two nights and then, hopefully, head for Atlantic City for just one night and then on to the Atlantic Highlands. At least that's the plan. Time will tell.
Evening at Chesapeake City Anchorage

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rhode River - at anchor

Hoolie's island. We only use the sandy part of the island.
We had intended to pick up a mooring at Annapolis but when we learned about all the events associated with the Navy commissioning their new officers and the lack of moorings, we decided to duck into Rhode River for a dependable place for the night. We made it just in time, about an hour before a line storm came through and it's still raining as I type.

As at all of our anchorages, there's Hoolie relief nearby at a deserted island. There is a sign up now asking for limited usage to save erosion on the island. From photos in the past, it is getting smaller and smaller. The anchorage here is totally protected from all weather and wave action so it's one of our favorites. We know that the mooring field at Annapolis can get rocky in a southwest wind to the tune of the bow bobbing up and down a couple of feet. You wouldn't think any wave action could get into the mooring field but such is not the case.

Looks like the rain is finally ending, time to take Hoolie ashore
We were supposed to have 5 to 10 kts out of the south and instead it was 15 kts all the way north. It didn't bother us since we had the wind and waves behind us but I wouldn't want to be on a  boat headed south. Not a single weather app or service predicted the 15 kt winds, they all said 5 to 10 kts.

We are looking at the weather to see if we can make Chesapeake City on Wednesday or do we have to duck into Rock Hall. Rain is predicted for the afternoon so Rock Hall may be the best bet. We also heard that Chesapeake City was dredged and now it's 10 ft throughout the anchorage. That's great news for the cruising crowd. We will reach there Wednesday or Thursday and then watch the weather for the jump to the Cohansey anchorage. We like to take the Cape May Canal and high tide is late in the afternoon so we need the stop at Cohansey to stage us for a low tide passage under the 55 ft bridges.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Solomons - at anchor

We call it a bird feeding station - the locals call it a fish weir
The forecast in the morning differed greatly between the apps and will be a good test for Round 2 in the Weather App Shootout to be written later this week, I hope. We accessed the Potomac weather buoy and saw 17 kt winds and decided to stay in for awhile to let the winds calm down. We left eventually around 10:00 and reached Solomons at 4:30. The wind actually died off completely! It turned out to be one of the calmest crossings of the Potomac ever.

What happened to my chain?
The Mill Creek anchorage is famous for its mud. When you pull up the anchor, you can barely see it due to all the mud. It's one place for sure that you want a washdown hose in the anchor locker.

Anchored for the night at Solomons - lots of boats
We are anchored in our favorite spot, the Holiday Inn anchorage where there's a dinghy dock for only $2/day. It's a short ride over for Hoolie and convenient for us. We were planning on picking up a mooring in Annapolis on Tuesday but we heard that the Navy has a big event for the next few days when they commission their new officers. I called ahead and found that the moorings were full! With that, we will aim for Rhode River and just anchor out. We can still reach Chesapeake City from there and there's plenty of room. After that, it's waiting for a window to travel down Delaware Bay.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mill Creek Anchorage - at anchor

It really is a  beautiful anchorage
We backed out without a hitch this morning even though there was a sailboat next to us and we only had about two feet of clearance. This time we remembered to release all the lines. The last time we were here, we forgot the mid cleat line and we came to a sudden stop! (me to Ann, "Why did you stop?", reply - unmentionable)

I decided to start Round 2 of the Weather App Shootout. We were headed up the Chesapeake and it can always be chancy on predicting the weather. I will be doing another article for Waterway Guide on the outcome.

Hoolie is fixated on that sandy beach!
We have lost confidence in The Weather Channel. It always seems to predict worst-case weather that rarely materializes. We've gone over to using that works better for us. It's free too.

The anchorage at Mill Creek is classic Virginia. It's rural and peaceful. The depths are around 10 ft and the holding is good. There is total protection from any wave action and there is a high bank with trees on top for pretty good wind shielding too. There is even an area for Hoolie relief at a deserted, sandy beach under a 10-foot high bank.

We will spend the night and leave late morning for Solomons across the Potomac. it's windy in the morning but it calms somewhat later in the day for our crossing. We are still about two weeks behind our schedule of last year but at least we are finally on the move.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hampton - still here

Most boaters are still here
I got up at 5:30 to get ready for a 7:00 departure Saturday morning but the weather was not looking good. We're tired of waiting for weather and that's when it's dangerous. You tend to push the forecast to hear on what you want to hear and not the whole story. Hampton didn't sound so bad but then we pulled up the forecast for Deltaville which is along the way for us and that forecast was for rain all day long. So we hemmed and hawed and eventually, we chose to recognize the facts that it would not be a good trip. You do need some level of visibility to see the crab pots and it's generally not fun to motor in the rain anyway. Eventually, reason held sway over desire and we stayed yet another day in Hampton.

Hoolie can look so lonesome when left on the boat
Of the eight boats in the anchorage, three chose to go but the rest stayed. One of the three was headed south anyway, no big deal for them. Once again we are fixated on weather reports and we'll see which one is closest to reality when we eventually shove off, hopefully on Sunday.

I tried repairing the dinghy today. You are supposed to do the repair on land, away from the high humidity of the shore but I didn't have that luxury so I barged ahead with the dinghy still in the water at the aft of the boat. About 1/2 way through the repair, the rains come yet again. That is about the worst thing that came happen when trying to repair a dinghy! So I got out Ann's hair dryer and tried to salvage the project by drying everything off. I'll find out if I succeeded on Sunday. If worse comes to worse, I can always take the old repair off and start over, ugh!

This has got to be a good sign, right!?
The last shower came through a few minutes ago, we hope, and we're set for the night. Sunday is supposed to be windier but out of the southwest which is still good for us going north. We will do a last check in the morning.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hampton - last day we hope

Waiting for weather
Hampton is stacked up with boats waiting for weather to go north. In the photo, you can see seven boats at anchor by our marina and one more came in later today. The boat to the farthest right is anchored right in the middle of the channel but nobody bothered him. I imagine there will be a few leaving Saturday.

View from above - from the parking garage with mother duck and her little ones
If you look at The Weather Channel, it shows thunderstorms every hour of the day for today, tomorrow, Sunday, etc. So the day went by and we had some rain but no thunderstorms. We are getting tired of sitting in weather good enough to move in.

Our salad tonight was garden fresh! Hampton maintains a garden for cruisers
We rented a car today and stocked up on a few things, not a lot but just enough to get us to Solomons where I can hike the mile to the nearest supermarket and get perishables. The dinghy only has one tube out of three holding air, nuts! I found a Westmarine and I'll try some patching over the next few days. I'm trying Tear Aid and also Polymarine adhesive for Hypalon. It holds air long enough to get Hoolie to shore and back at least.

The Taphouse, our favorite restaurant in Hampton, inexpensive and good
Needless to say, watching the weather predictions is the biggest hobby on Fleetwing. The winds are out of the south at 10 to 15 and any rain is not predicted to materialize until later in the afternoon. If that forecast holds, we'll leave Saturday morning around 8:00 and head for the Mill Creek anchorage just below the Potomac River and hope to move on to Solomons on Sunday and anchor. From there, who knows? The weatherman certainly doesn't. Wish us luck.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hampton - We visit with Gordon and Eta

A surprise present for Gordon upon returning from the Bahamas and the ICW
If you're away from your home having fun on the ICW, what do you do with your car? You need to unhook the battery since most cars of recent vintage will have a small drain on the battery for housekeeping functions like security. I came home to dead car batteries for the first couple of years until I learned to take one of the terminals off the battery to disconnect it. Another soluttion is to remove the battery entirely and store it inside if you have no room in your garage.

Unfortunately, this leaves a cozy space under the hood. Imagine the surprise when Gordon lifted the hood of his car after many months of absence only to find a possum family in the battery compartment! He left the hood open for a day or so and eventually the possum family left for better prospects but he had a mess to clean out what was left of their nest.

Nothing left to solve, we voted to let the next generation handle it
We learned of all this when we were invited over for dinner with Gordon, Eta, and their friends. Eta made an excellent dinner of lamb with all the trimmings. We solved the world's problems in less than two hours, what a record! If only we were elected...

We are watching the weather for the first window to go north. Friday doesn't look good but we're open on the next days although they don't look ideal. We'll wait and see.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Downtown Hampton Public Piers - at a dock

Through the locks again
The forecast was not so hot with an overcast sky and the threat of rain in the afternoon. We quickly decided that if there was going to be a rain delay on our trip, we would much rather have that delay at Hampton than at Coinjock. After all, as much as we enjoyed the prime rib dinner, how many times can you do that? And, there is nothing else there unless your hobby is watching boats being squeezed in as tightly as possible. They actually wind up having more dock length than the added LOA of each boat!

Norfolk is always interesting - as long you don't get too close
Patrol boats were whizzing around between us and the big ships
When it's time to leave in the morning, they are not around to help. It's every boat for itself. Nevertheless, everyone got off fine. It helped that we were first in line so our departure was easy. We left at 7:00 am but most of the boats had already left - and we thought we were very early, ha!

Hampton is always nicely decorated
We hit all our bridges as planned and the lock too before the rains came. We motored in a downpour from Gilmerton bridge to just south of Hampton. Then the sun came out to welcome us to our dock. The marina is on the side of a river and the current runs crosswise to the docks so it's not as easy to dock as it appears. Adding more challenge is the half length of the docks themselves. They barely reach to the midpoint of Fleetwing.

Secure for the night. Note the short docks.
Downtown Hampton Public Piers is a very economical marina. The general cost is $1.50/ft but if you join their cruising club, the cost goes down to only $1.25/ft and every 5th night is free. We always stay here on the trips down and up. There is an Enterprise office just around the corner for renting a car, very convenient.

Our task is now to divine the weather on the Chesapeake and it may turn into another round of pitting the weather apps against each other with us as the guinea pigs. Well, anything for the education of our readers...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Coinjock - at a dock

We are packed relatively loosely this time around
It was a great day to cross the Albemarle with southwest winds, always behind us. We usually see fuzzy bills as riders but not this time. It was the biting flies that kept us busy swatting. You really wonder where they come from in the middle of the Albemarle, 10 miles from the nearest shore, but find us they did.

As I said, every space is taken
Our luck with good weather is about to come to an end, we think. There is rain in the forecast for Wednesday on our trip north to Hampton but maybe it will hold off until late afternoon. We have a little over 50 miles to go and three bridges that have to open for us to pass through. Great Bridge is right in front of a lock and then there's the famous Gilmerton bridge which won't open after 3:30. If we leave at 7:00 am, we should make all the bridges in time. We will be docking at Hampton about when the rains are due, oh well.

Whenever we're in Coinjock, we have dinner at the restaurant with their featured prime rib dinner. It was as good as ever and I would recommend it to all who pass through the area. The marina here is just one long face dock but tonight they are full. Most of the boats are much bigger than us and there's no dock space to spare. The dockhands make sure of that by packing boats much tighter than at any other marina. The bow of one will usually overlap the aft section of the one in front. It's all part of making sure everyone has a spot and maximizing the revenue I suppose.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Alligator River Marina - at a dock

I view of the Pungo-Alligator Canal, it's hard to imagine how anyone could get through that jungle!
We had intended anchoring out at Pungo River by the entrance to the Pungo-Alligator Canal but when we got there by 11:30 it was just too early to quit, even for us. So we soldiered on to  Alligator River Marina. We used to anchor out around the Alligator River until one time when we were visited by Fuzzy Bills (by the thousands). We anchored up by the entrance to the river and were the only boat for miles around with lights. Well, that attracted what is called, "Fuzzy Bills". They look just like mosquitos except they don't bite. However, they make up for that advantageous trait by dying by the thousands on your boat overnight. So you wake up in the morning and discover your boat is now green. Some people have reported having to use a shovel to remove the carcasses off the decks.  When it happened to me, I put into Dowry Creek Marina and spent three hours removing the green slime. I was one of three boats with the same problem. Given that experience, I no longer anchor out in the vicinity of the Albemarle Sound.

It's not a real marina, just a roadside gas station with a few docks but they are located in a convenient
place for us making the run from RE Mayo and Coinjock
The Alligator River Bridge is a real problem. We called ahead to be sure they knew we were coming since some reports said they wanted two hours' notice. So we called in the morning when we first set out and again about two hours before our arrival. It made no difference at all. They seemed intent on making all boaters await at least 45 minutes before opening the bridge. The operative word is "wait". We had a 15 kt southern wind with accompanying waves but it made no difference to the crew working on the bridge. In order to get through you had to punch your waiting ticket first. Nobody just rolls up to the bridge and gets through right away. We heard that it won't be done until sometime in May of 2019!

We are secure for the night and have both the forward and aft AC units going full tilt. The cabin temperature when we arrived was 95 and the outside temperature was in the high 80's. We will head for Coinjock on Tuesday and then on to Hampton. After that, it's looking for a weather window to go up the Chesapeake and home.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

RE Mayo - at a dock

It's nice to take all your toys with you
The crossing of the Neuse River was calmer than any time in the past, a piece of cake. Even though we're two weeks late, we continue to be blessed with excellent weather. It can't last all the way home but we hope it does. One would never believe how nasty the Neuse can be given today's weather coming north.

RE Mayo is not for everyone
We arrived at RE Mayo to find that we are the only boat here. That's pretty fortunate since there is only one electrical outlet. When more boats try to plug in with an adapter, the electricity turns off. The outlet can support one boat as long as not too many things are running. It supports one AC unit but not much more. On the other hand, the price is cheap at $0.40/ft with no extra charge for electricity. The place is not for everyone. It is not a marina, just a dock to tie up to and the docks look rather raw. You have to be careful where you step due to debris on the docks.

There are barges of potash shipped on this area of the ICW, very large and long
We like the place due to the seafood you can stock your freezer with. We choose the frozen shrimp mostly. It's caught locally and flash frozen in blister packs, perfect for packing a freezer. Tonight we had friends over for dinner and just enjoyed an evening in the cockpit talking of past times. They brought dinner too!

We will leave Monday morning for the anchorage at Pungo Creek at the south end of the Pungo-Alligator canal. It's a short hop of only about 26 Nm but it stages us for the next leg to Alligator River Marina.