Monday, November 30, 2015

North Carolina

We have been travelling down the ditch for a week now, it has been a very leisurely trip. We have been averaging 20 miles a day to keep within the parameters set by our insurance company. It is restful but also I am itching to make some real distance south, we usually stop shortly after noon and I am reluctant to tackle some tasks on the boat, I can't varnish because it needs 24 hours to dry and I don't think I have the sandpaper necessary to try and bring the fibreglass on the deck back to it's glory. I need a really fine grit to take off blemishes before waxing.  (That might be a big excuse because I dislike the fibreglass work) 
The country we have been travelling through is swampy, with very shallow water surrounding the ditch so you have to pay attention so you don't wander off the path and go aground. 
At places the ICW is very narrow as in the top picture and other spots it is wide open.  It has been sunny and warm with very little wind for the past 4 days. There are anchorage spots in the book and we just pull off the channel and drop our anchor in about 3 meters of water. 
I couldn't quite figure this out when we came upon it.  I thought some poor sailboat had lost half of it's mast, but was unsure how they would get below with a deck like this.  All was explained a little further on. 
Yesterday we pulled into a marina at Belhaven, NC, laundry was piling up and our fridge was looking bare. We went to the local restaurant for a buffet lunch and got a taste of southern cooking.  There was fried chicken, lightly battered shrimp, potatoes, sweet potatoes, potato salad, dumplings with rutabaga, cornbread and big flat green beans. We both ate enough that supper did not occur.  The marina had a courtesy vehicle and we had enormous fun tootling around town. 
At one spot we saw a field of white stuff and Barry said it must be cotton.  When I asked the Marina owner why it had not been picked he said that it had been too wet in the area to get it off the field. 
This picture reminds me of standing beside my first rice paddy in Bali and I thnk there is a very similar one of me beside a field of potatoes in PEI. We have been enjoying the shirt sleeve weather!

Sailing Info.

We are using "The Intracoastal Waterway, Norfolk to Miami, A Cockpit Cruising Handbook" by Jan and Bill Moeller. It is a small guide with few pictures and has references to bridges, anchorages and marinas by the mile number along the waterway. 
We have been going slowly along this stretch because our insurance company will not allow us to go south of Cape Hatteras until Dec. 1 due to possibilities of hurricanes. 

Mile 56.6 just inside of Buck Island   36*16.2 N  X  75*57.5 W
Calm flat anchorage, good protection, 
Anchored in 3m with very good holding
No services

Mile 81.9  Entrance to Little Alligator River  36*56.1 N  X  76*00.9 W
Calm flat anchorage, open to winds from NE
Anchored in 3m with very good holding
No services, lots of duck blinds in area

Mile 102.2 Opposite Green Marker 43    35*40.5 N  X  76*03.4 W 
Calm flat anchorage, open to winds from SE
Anchored in 3m with good holding
No services

Mile 127.5 Entrance to Pungo River   35*33.2 N  X  76*28.2 W
Flat anchorage, due to no wind, would be exposed from 2 directions, quite open.
Anchored in 4m with very good holding
No services but houses within 1/2 mile, lots of small boat traffic, fishermen

River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC   35*31.9 N  X  76*36.8 W
Very helpful instructions on entering, tied up to pilings on all four corners
1.50/ft. with free laundry and courtesy golf cart to get groceries, clean big showers
Fuel available, restaurants close by, a very nice stop. 

Mile 140.4 Slade Creek  35*17.6N  X  76*36.6 W
Calm flat anchorage, good all around protectin, could move further up the creek if windy. 
Anchored in 3m with good holding
No services