Sunday, September 16, 2018

16 September 2018 - Great Bridge, VA - North River, NC - Belhaven, NC - Morehead City, NC - Snead's Ferry, NC, Oxbow/Waccamaw, NC, Johns Island, SC - Cumberland Island, GA - Ortega Landing, FL

1 - This morning we left Great Bridge, VA, and spent the night in North River, NC. Nature treated us to a beautiful sky all day. Even at our slow pace, seems as if we got to NC exceedingly quickly. Imagine because this is our Final Cruise and we want each day to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out for as long as possible.

2 - Up and at 'em leaving our anchorage and relishing the exquisite sunrise.

     Coincidentally, our sailing friends, Robert and Tracy were sailing back home in Oriental and we passed each other "like ships in the night." They took a photo of us and we of them, however they did a much better job for us than we did.

3 - Labor Day morning, we saw this 42 foot Grady White sporting four 425 HP outboards. Would love to see that at full throttle. Seems like he could become airborne. That will make for some pretty expensive fish.

                              Isn't this guy the cutest little puppy!!!

     In northern NC, we found every nanometer of our boat covered in blind mosquitoes, AKA Midges. They lay black gelatinous eggs that are the devil to remove and they were everywhere those critters went. Certainly didn't want them propagating in our domain. And even worse, they poop tiny little specks of green dots. 

     We went into Morehead City Yacht Basin to scrub the boat inside and out. Wish I'd taken a photo of our bridge enclosure and our dingy cover. There wasn't a spot as big as a pencil point not covered by those things.  We'd put in a long, hot day and boat washing was the last thing we had any inclination of doing but there wasn't any other choice. I multi-tasked by also doing laundry. Someone told me once that multi-tasking is the result of being scatter-brained. Could be!

     What a lovely surprise to see old boating buds, Diane and Louis, walking down the dock to welcome us. They wanted to take us to dinner but laundry was still in the process of becoming clean again and we were in dire need of showers so weren't able to accept their sweet offer.

4 - This morning we went to breakfast with Louis and Diane to an old family owned restaurant in Morehead City. We love going to dives--not that this was one but it was definitely immensely local. All the servers know our friends--'twas like one big family. We had an enormous breakfast.

 On Tuesdays they serve chicken livers which Diane and I both love so after a brief "rest" from breakfast, we were back for lunch and had to hurry before they ran out. They've lived in that area for eons so gave us a wonderful tour of the city and of their home. Exquisite is the only word to describe their home. Wish I'd taken a photo.

5 - We left Morehead and cruised to Snead's Ferry. Don't know what it is about us and sinking boats but this one, with two Yamahas, sank just before we arrived.

6 - Sunrise as we leaving little Swan Point Marina, we headed toward Southport to visit and have dinner with our boating friends (believe it or not, we DO have friends who aren't nor have ever been boaters) Kay, Robert, Patsy, and Rick. 

     What delightful hosts are Kay and Robert. They are unquestionably, awesome, friendly, welcoming, and hospitable friends.

7 - Good morning, Baby Moon.
                                         Southport City Marina

     We decided that we need to make tracks so are abandoning our usual cruising style of leaving at 10 AM and anchoring by 3 PM to putting in 12-13 hour days to get south of Florence's cone.

8 - We left before first light and thankfully the current is with us. Jim Cantore just arrived Wilmington, NC. NOT a good sign!

9 - After 8 ½ hours of bucking the current almost all the way, we’re in one of our favorite anchorages.

      This is the Oxbow, just off the beautiful tannic Waccamaw River, whose shores are lined with graceful, moss-draped cypress trees. Their bases are punctuated with diminutive cypress knees. One of the loveliest areas of the waterway. 


     We planned to stop in Little River to visit boating friends, Mary and Larry but those plans were aborted so Mary, came out to wave as we passed and took this photo. Thanks, Mary.

10 - We blew past Wild Dunes/Charleston where we had reservations. So strange to pass places, at our break-neck speed, that we know and love when we wanted to chill there for a while.

     Anchored John’s Island, SC, south of Charleston. 12 hours. 103 miles. We’re exhausted. 3 more days just like this till we get to Jacksonville.

                  I just love the beguiling marshes and the wonderful balm they emit.

10 - Today we had several magic dolphin shows with them riding our bow wave and our wake. They would turn on their sides and smile up at us. After all these years, we've never grown tired of the dolphin performances.

12 - Mission accomplished! In 5 days we traveled 450 miles and those sweet Ford Lehman engines purred all the way with nary a hiccoup. We pulled into Ortega Landing Marina just off the St. John's River on the Ortega River in Jacksonville, totally fried! We did absolutely nothing the first two days but sleep. Again, that was not our way of cruising but "you do whatcha gotta do" and we had to get Kindred Spirit III out of Flo's fury. Prolly one of the hardest things I've ever done. Could never get cool. Couldn't take enough cold showers. But that's behind us now and we're enjoying our time here and are working on choreographing our move to Ocala to our new home. We will close and move in a week from this Friday.

14 - Today my little mother would be 109!!! She and Daddy both lived to age 98. This photo is of her college graduation from Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee which is now FSU. Doesn’t seem like she's been gone for 11 years. Doesn't being an orphan just suck!!!

Bill and Laura
Jacksonville, FL


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28 February 2019 GRAND FINALE!!! So long to 13 years of blogging from Ocala, FL

     This issue concludes 13 years of blogging. Now that we’ve become CLODS (Cruisers Living on Dirt), our lives are like everyone ...