We're back at warm and sunny Brunswick Landing Marina in Georgia. Kite has fared well here over the past 5+ months, suffering only a bit of bird poop on her decks. Local diver Bobby cleaned our bottom yesterday (and removed the all-important plastic bag around the prop). Apparently very little growth and the bottom paint has held up beautifully, which was great news. Enjoying local specialties including shrimp and grits, along with many deliciously deep-fried things. Hope to head south to Florida next week - stay tuned!
Brunswick Landing Marina, Brunswick, Georgia. Good passage from Beaufort, though not much wind much of the way so we motored or motor-sailed; put up mainsail, then took it down way too many times! On the cool side, we had almost a full moon, and Jack got sprayed by a blowing dolphin on his night watch. Then last night the skies cleared, wind piped up to 20 or so from the north and from about 0200 to the St. Simon's Sound inlet we had a very nice sail. Bumpy ride into the inlet with sloppy beam seas. We're now tucked away at Brunswick Landing, where Kite will stay while we head home to Maine.
A few squalls about but we've avoided the rain so far. Sloppy, rolly seas, wind directly astern. Not enough to keep the sails full and keep them from slatting, so we motor-sail with various sail combinations. Have seem quite a bit of commercial traffic though now mostly inside of us, closer to land. Lots of dolphins about!
Underway to Brunswick, Georgia. Left Beaufort this morning at 0820 at slack tide, winds NE 5-15. Gorgeous day, bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. Now motoring in warm sunshine; bit rolly but pleasant. Beaufort Docks marina emptied out this morning after big winds over the weekend, with everyone headed either outside like us or down the ICW. 4 sailboats within 8m of us, also headed for Frying Pan Shoals.
Beaufort, North Carolina. ICW Mile 200. Nasty front coming so we decided to tuck into a slip at Beaufort Docks, ever-mindful of the strong currents that run through this municipal marina. We're right downtown, close to lots of restaurants, a good Maritime Museum and a claim to legendary pirate Blackbeard, who spent time in these parts. If our weather window holds, we plan to jump out of here Monday morning for Brunswick, Georgia, on the 'outside', a 2-3 day journey. Several other boats here have the same passage plan, so we may have a pack out there!
River Dunes, Oriental. After a breezy motor/sail, we treated ourselves and Kite to a washdown in this lovely marina. Luxurious showers, nice cafe and lounge, spa, pool, courtesy bikes. We could stay here for days! Marina is part of an attractive residential community, in the middle of nowhere but appealing. Saw several southbound sailboats today, plus the usual speeding powerboats being delivered to their owners in Florida.
Belhaven. Anchored off this welcoming little town, much changed in a good way from 10 or 20 years ago when we first came. Chamber of Commerce provides a cruiser's lounge with wifi, and Diana at the welcome office (a delivery captain in her spare time) gave us a ride to Food Lion. Attractive, well-tended homes, a few restaurants and couple of marinas, town dinghy dock with water. Very happy we stopped.
Tuckahoe Point. Squally morning and cloudy day, but - we sailed all day! What an awesome treat on the ICW! Wing and wing across Albemarle Sound, broad reach down the Alligator River. As much as we love our trusty Westerbeke, it was fantastic to get a break from the constant hum of the engine. Plus we had lots of wind so we flew at 7-8+ knots much of the way. Now anchored in barely enough depth in pretty, undeveloped spot. Only downside are hundreds of buzzing midgies which descend in swarms at dusk, and leave behind tiny green (poop?) spots all over the fiberglass in the morning. (This happened last night too, so tonight we were armed with screens.) At least they don't bite!
North River/Broad Creek. Got diesel at Atlantic Yacht Basin this morning, then set out for another day's motor down the ICW. Transited the always unpleasant Currituck Sound - shallow and wide, the wind just howls across it accompanied by a steep chop. Meanwhile, the channel is super narrow so a moment's inattention will have you hard aground. We motor-sailed across which made the whole thing go faster. Decided not to stop at the little town of Coinjock with its two marinas and one restaurant, and are now anchored in 10' in a wide open, bit rolly but pretty spot just off the ICW. Cockpit showers and cocktails, nice sunset, wind laying down. Life is good.
Great Bridge. We're really enjoying the ICW! We've always liked this part, from Norfolk, VA, to Beaufort, NC. Norfolk is a trip with countless naval ships, barges, container ships. Only one opening bridge left in Norfolk - all others have been replaced by tall fixed bridges - plus the Great Bridge lock and bascule bridge. Now tied up at free dock opposite Atlantic Yacht Basin, just past the lock, along with four other boats. Popular spot! Lunch at local Italian place and a long walk to Food Lion for a few last provisions. Drinks tonight on Puff, our OCC neighbor on the dock, with whom, it turns out, we have several friends in common.
Old Point Comfort, Hampton Roads, Virginia. Nice sail today, mostly dead downwind, wing and wing with poled out jib and main. Good stay in Deltaville where our marina lost power during Michael - it was windy! - so no showers or wifi :-(( We're now anchored at Mill Creek, off very large Fort Monroe where we went walkabout this afternoon, and which even has a moat! Came across a cool street fair in neighboring little town of Phoebus, and had excellent she-crab soup at Deadrise, the restaurant where we tied up our dinghy. Sunset view across a highway, just to remind us we're in a major urban area! Good anchorage, tons of room, convenient to the Bay and ICW.
Deltaville. Last night wind unexpectedly piped up to 15 knots for 2 hours (midnight to 2 AM :-), giving us a brief bucking bronco-like ride in our exposed anchorage. Sea like glass again by this morning, then a light southeasterly as we motor-sailed to Chesapeake Boat Works in Fishing Bay. Anchored at noon, had a diagnostic electrical/corrosion session on Kite with yard owner followed by super-fast 1-hour haulout to replace zincs, then into a well-protected slip in adjacent Fishing Bay Marina in anticipation of Hurricane Michael passing through in a couple of days with gale+ force winds. Phew! Very nice, helpful folks in this pleasant town. Good spot to hide away until Michael is gone.
Potomac River. Left Annapolis this morning at 0715 (after taking a last shower by the harbomaster's office; it's muggy!) Boat show was, as always, huge! Between the show and the OCC Annapolis dinner, we connected with several good friends which was wonderful. Now making tracks to Deltaville where we have an appointment to sort out a possible galvanic corrosion issue. Motored all day today with little or no wind and flat seas, are now anchored at the mouth of the Potomac. Not a cozy anchorage but at least we have a nice breeze! Lots of current, crab pots, fishing weirs and a few nice homes on shore.
Annapolis. Not-too-unpleasant motor down the bay into light southwesterly, nice sail into Annapolis at the end. Unbelievably we scored a city mooring with front row seats of the upcoming boat show! We got super lucky, with every city mooring now taken. Our friend Josh (who is here as an Outbound 46 exhibitor) came by for a surprise happy hour visit. Will be here about a week, during which we expect to see more old friends.
Bohemia River, Chesapeake Bay. Easy, benign overnight from Long Island Sound under clear skies. Only downside was little or no wind - motor-sailed all but three hours. Passed bright lights of Atlantic City in the wee hours. Entrance to Delaware Bay is riddled with shoals, but there is an 'inside' route past Cape May - feels like you're practically on the beach! - between the shoals which we took today, armed with good info from friend Jay on sister ship Minx. It worked great, phew! Now anchored at top of Chesapeake Bay.
Underway to Delaware Bay. Spent a few days in Port Washington, weather-bound and also pinned in by East River closures for General Assembly. Fun stay as we went into the city - easy train ride to Penn Station - three days in a row. Finally left today in sunshine and practically no wind and motored past the ever-changing but ever-beautiful NYC skyline. Now motor sailing off NJ with a small armada of like-minded sailboats ahead and behind us.
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Port Washington. Lively, super-fast 35-mile sail in 25-30 knot easterly. Left at 7 AM, were on a mooring before noon. Town provides free moorings for 2 nights, $25 per night after that, plus a launch service. Good lunch at a Mediterranean deli, then walked to Manhasset Bay Yacht Club yard where we kept 'old' Kite one season. Amazingly, some of the same yard workers are still there! UN General Assembly is in session and much of East River is closed all week, so we're noodling through how best to get through New York City.
Port Jefferson, Long Island Sound. Long, uneventful motor-sail down Long Island Sound in light easterly. Great time on Shelter Island with friends David and Jill and productive stay in Dering Harbor on a Shelter Island Yacht Club mooring: got fuel at Picozzi's and washed Kite down at the yacht club dock - much needed, first major wash-down since June!
Dering Harbor, Shelter Island, on a yacht club guest mooring. Hiked our favorite Clay Head trail on Block Island yesterday, nice sail today. Will be here a couple of nights, checking out old haunts in Greenport while a front passes through.
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