Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thank God the Tiki bar's still open.

Wow, where has the time gone. We're at a Tiki bar in Oriental NC, sitting next to a dog at the bar. Yes, the dog has a seat next to me. Months ago I would never have imagined riding out a thunder storm on the Neuse river waiting to get into Oriental so I could party with a dog at the bar. It would have been a weird dream at best. We stopped at the Oriental Marina and Inn, and it's great. Russ took care of us when we arrived, and we're stuffed from the great food at their restaurant. So, looking back on the last week, I would say we've made some progress.

From Annapolis to Oriental in one week. We've anchored out most of the time, in some pretty nice spots. Been in some nice marinas with great staff, and enjoyed some great weather, with the exception of the wind being on the nose almost all of the time.

Today the good weather ended with one hell of a thunderstorm while we were in the Neuse River, trying to get to Oriental. We were about a half hour too slow, and we got whacked. We throttled down, and withstood the wind and rain for about a half hour. We kept our bearing towards Oriental, but also slowed down enough to maintain steerage, but not get too close to the shallows in case the wind really started kicking butt. We put a radio, and backup GPS in the oven, got flares ready, put on lifejackets, and held on to our butt's. The storm blew through quickly, and the lightning never struck close by. Phew. We survived so I could have a beer with a dog.

We had a sailboat swing by to say hello after it passed. They were from Fairhaven NY. More neighbors out here!

Some observations so far:

Shoals. If you don't pay attention, you're going to bump. More like plowing through pudding.
Canals in the south. Only deep in the very center. Must be V- shaped.
Don't stare at your chartplotter! Just like TV, it's sometimes meaningless.
Don't tip so much! People down here are just nice. Get used to it.
Anchoring. Getting easier, the more we do it. Slept pretty good the last few nights on the hook.
Fuel. Make sure you have clean tanks before you leave! I've gone through 5 filters!! I think there is a water issue too.
People. People are nice. TV makes you think everyone wants to stab you and steal your stuff. The people we've met are great. A little weird, but nice. We're not all the same, but that's the nice part.
Scenery. Canals are boring. Deb said I missed the bear swimming across when I went below. I told her she missed the dolphin pulling a squirrel on skis. We've had some nice anchorages, but for the most part it's been flat, with scrub brush. Not much to look at.
Crab pots. I hate 'em. You see a nice spot on the charts to anchor, and you find it filled with pots. Didn't stop us last time. We danced around them and dropped the hook. I guess you get used to them...I guess.


Portsmouth shipbuilding

Not a scenic spot, unless you're into heavy metal

Nice place. Rustic, but nice.

Typical canal


Earl Grey River

Stained our boat.

Pungo something canal

No gators. Very disappointing

Deb has some canal excitement. See it?

There's always an old Morgan for sale

Successful anchoring is rewarded

Pungo creek anchorage

Pungo creek

More Pungo creek.

Again with the Pungo. I guess we were just so happy there were no crab pots

We passed them in the canal. They never made the anchorage before dark.

But here they are in the Neuse! Guess they never stop.

This will be good, this life afloat.

Paul and Debra

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the photos of the ICW. It sounds pretty crowded with boats? I'll bet you look forward to being on the open water.