Maintenance, Repairs and So Much More & Does Distance Make the Heart Grow Fonder?? … #52

I left Dan in Norfolk Virginia and headed home to help my daughter with her small outdoor wedding, not exactly what they planned but with the situation with the pandemic it is the best we could do without waiting for 1+yrs for everything to calm down.

Dan stayed back to attend a reunion with his USS Flying Fish buddies. (also smaller than planned.) He spent many, many hours working on the boat making her better. Which is the focus of this blog…. “The many improvements Dan spent his time on”

“53 days, the longest Dan and I have been apart in 14+ years”

Here is Dan, in his words… 

Well, as our cruising season came to a close by 4th of July 2020 in the midst of the Pandemic hassles, Angela needed to go home to help set up daughter’s wedding in Portland, Oregon.  I stayed behind to attend the reunion of my submarine USS Flying Fish, SSN-673 set for 23 August, and to do needed maintenance on the boat. Senior Chief George Perry was a great help and friend during this time – he took Angela to the airport early on, and we shared many fun times before the reunion, on which he had the lead.

Before Angela left we got the boat ready to be tied up for a long time by cleaning it well and getting the holding tanks pumped. She also gave me lists of “to-dos”, and what to eat up out of our freezers.

My biggest projects were in the engine room. After 3 years and over 9000 miles of cruising some work was needed. I made plans but wanted professional advice before I started to make sure I was doing the right things. I hired Tommy Shook, an expert Detroit Diesel mechanic, to stop by and inspect my engines, “grade me” and advise on work to be done. He spent 2 hours with me poking around, starting and running the engines, and advising me.  Long story short, he gave me an “A-“, yay. He told me I needed to bathe the engines in degreaser and pressure wash them, and also to put matching belts on the starboard alternator.

I had some greasy maintenance still to do before I started that project. So, I went for it, changing the oil and filters yet again, and rebuilding all 4 of the main engine Racor Fuel Filters, and the 2 on the Northern Lights generators. The Port main engine Racor had a lot of undesirable tar like debris that could have cut off the fuel flow. But luckily, I caught it before it caused damage and didn’t shut down the engine while underway. I spent a few days doing all this work.

 Tommy Shook also advised I replace the seals on the valve covers. So, I ordered new kits for that from Diesel Pro.  I pulled the all the huge valve covers, one at a time, used rust remover, Barkeepers Helper, degreaser, and greenies to polish up all the chrome on each one, re-assembled and re-installed. Another few days to do this work.

Then I focused on the engine cleaning by hanging up poly sheets all over the engine room in prep for the washdown of the engines. I sprayed lots of degreaser and pressure washed with as little water as I could until those engines were clean. All that went into the drip pans and bilges (pumps turned off), and had to be shop vacuumed up, then poured into 5-gallon buckets. Once in the buckets, the oil absorb pads could be employed to get all the oil out before the dirty water was disposed of. That took a couple of days to finish. Those engines were clean, but I could see the paint job was about 5 years old and needed help. Luckily some other Detroit Diesel owners on FB had just done the prep and paint work on their engines and shared exactly how it was done. 

“Sanding, Vacuuming, Masking, then Spraying, just that simple” 

Well, maybe not so simple. It took quite some time to accomplish- I would do the work in the morning before it got too hot and humid. As with any paint job the prep was the hardest. I used Rustoleum White appliance epoxy spray paint. It holds up well.  After the engines were done, I had to paint the deck plates too, as they were trashed after all that.  As you can see from the before and after photos all that work made quite a difference! I am a fan of Rustoleum Black and White Appliance Epoxy spray paint.

For mobility around Virgina, Angela and I lifted the Suzuki 250 off the boat. It needed maintenance as well, so it got new special motorcycle oil and filter, rust removal and a wax job. It served me well, taking me down to Virginia Beach, visiting the General MacArthur memorial, and getting parts and groceries.

One of the shower sump bilge pumps failed, so I ordered and replaced that. We have 2 in the master sump, so no capability was lost. I check them when I do maintenance on the sump – cleaning replacing a nylon stocking over where the water comes in, to keep hair goo and lint out of the pumps.

I got to go Flounder Fishing with George one weekend. It was a fun trip and we caught 7 of them out in the ocean off Chesapeake Bay on his fishing boat.

In the afternoons I would do paperwork and warranty work, in the air conditioned salon. I successfully got a new Blink Camera, a new Guardline sensor, and a new Weems and Plath clock.  I also went online and got ordained as a minister…When Kylie asked me to do the honors at her wedding, I wasn’t qualified, but some studying and a bit of work on the internet fixed that!

1.5 years ago when we were back in Oregon we did a fuel tank repair that caused us do a deck cut in the cockpit.  I took this time to have a stainless hatch trim frame built and because sealant alone wasn’t holding up or looking nice.  I followed Ron and Ashley’s, @zephyrnorthwest, advice on symmetrical design! It looks much better than just a sealing line and much more secure too. 

Sometimes I got visitors. There was an 8″ long lizard who visited the bar one afternoon! Being tied up alongside the ICW at Great Bridge, I was able to view an amazing parade of boats, tugs, and barges proceeding up and down the waterway, right past my windows. On 4 August, the remains of a hurricane came through and raised water into the parking lots at the marina, but only minor damages from the 45 knot winds.

I attended a webinar by the Bahamas government, sharing what they are doing to open the Bahamas to yachts, so am confident we will be able to successfully cruise there this winter. They are setting up a Port of Entry in Fort Lauderdale to speed and ease entry into the Bahamas.

I had a great time at the Flying Fish reunion and won a cool, one of a kind, handmade plaque door prize.

After that it was time to clean up messes, vacuum, rig for hurricane and pack for the airport to go get Kylie married! I missed Angela tons and am happy to be with her again, fighting the Covid and smoke in Oregon. 

Thank you Dan for writing this article, I hope you enjoyed it. I of course worked on many items for the wedding such as; painting vases with a terra cotta color and texture for the wedding deco & cake tastings at home with a wonderful Red Velvet cupcake from “A Piece of Cake Bakery ” that was the standout winner! 

AND I did an awesome hike with my son Mitchell on Mt Defiance with Mt Hood in the background!

We will be back on Angelique heading south again at the end of October. If you are local in Portland Oregon and would like to meet up with us, please reach out! 

AND YES, We missed each other tremendously during our 53 days apart! 

We are happy to be back with each other and with our family and friends for a couple months. 

Crossing the Pacific Ocean, What Could Go Wrong?? See Our Friends’ Adventures, 1st Ever Guest Blog….#51

You think some of our adventures are on the edge?? Our friends headed out on their sailboat, crossing the Pacific Ocean for 26 days to the Marquesas Islands which is part of French Polynesia. I’d estimate no more than 100 boats arrive each year from North & Central America. Sounds like an amazing trip. Read our “Guest Blog” edition for a crazy tour of John and Janet Harrington’s adventures on Tango.

Remember from our last blog;  Angelique is in Norfolk VA with Dan doing boat projects and looking forward to a reunion with his Flying Fish Crewmen, while I am in Portland Oregon (home) helping my daughter with her tiny outside wedding! 

Dan and I met John and Janet in La Paz, Mexico. We were both part of the Baja Ha Ha cruise rally from San Diego to Cabo, Mexico. We just happened to be sitting at the same table during an event for the end of the rally celebration. (just for those boats that continued on from Cabo to La Paz) We quickly became friends as John and Dan seemed to be brothers from another Mother and Janet and I had remarkable similar personalities. We also realized that we had “kind of” met each other once in Cabo when I was driving our dinghy back to the boat from going ashore and John and Janet were dropping anchor a bit too close to Angelique, as I told them “they might want to move a bit further away.” We giggled about this encounter later once we had really met them. Them saying “I sent them away”…. seriously, they were happy to learn we had a big swing circle and moved down the coast a bit.

 

rBQmSFSwI’m going to tell their story, some of it will be in their words, so I will use quotes and italics when doing so.

A bit of history about them and their boat:

  • John and Janet met before Janet had a driver’s license!  “Dinosaurs were roaming the earth”   
  • John was in the US Coast Guard 26 years on Active Duty, serving in and commanding various units, retiring in 2000.
  • Janet was a stay at home Mom, “the hardest job ever!!”
  • Kids are grown and gone
  • Tango is a 38-year-old Tayana aft cockpit, cutter rigged sloop sailboat, purchased October of 2013 at Clear Water Lake, Texas
  • Moved on to their boat full time Thanksgiving of 2016
  • Started Cruising October of 2018, participated in the Baja Ha Ha Rally
  • List of their blogs at Tango Blogs 

tangoThey moved on to their boat full time in November 2016 and lived and actively prepared the boat for an extended offshore cruise.

On October 13, 2018 they headed under the Golden Gate Bridge and took a left down the coast south. If you haven’t been in a boat going under THAT bridge, it is truly an amazing event!

When I asked John and Janet if they would do a guest blog, one question I asked was; what some of your most memorable events was. Janet quickly said the swimming with the Whale Sharks in La Paz, and I would have to agree!!!

“Swimming with the whale sharks off La Paz was amazing (and suggested by Angela and Dan). We had friends visiting from California that week and the weather was still pretty warm even in November in Mexico. We went with a great whale watch company within walking distance of the Marina de La Paz. Our small boat with 8 passengers arrived on station with the other tour boats and as each guide got into the water, 4 passengers at a time could come and swim with the whale sharks. These beautiful animals were totally oblivious to the people in the water and would feed around us with gaping mouths. At one point, John and I were in the water as two whale sharks came toward each other with us in the middle, pretty exciting. We even got “pooped” on, bound to happen, right? Our guide said it was a first for her too.”

john-janet-victorsMid-January John and Janet joined us in Puerto Vallarta. We were in the middle of our own boat yard work which took 3 months and they were trying to schedule some work of their own. We did sneak in a dinner one night at one of our favorite Resturante’s, “Victor’s” where the tequila runs for free and YES it can kill ya!! (seriously free) As John and Janet prepared for their Pacific Crossing, we were planning our run up the Sea of Cortez.

In March 22, 2019 John and Janet left the safety of Puerto Vallarta and started the 4000 mile first leg into the Pacific Ocean. Hoping they had provisioned anything they might need along the way. They spent 2 months in Puerto Vallarta including a lengthy boatyard visit, provisioning food & boat parts, fixing/strengthening things that commonly fail. UMuGu6-QThey also had a crew member join them, Paul who is a good friend. They estimated 20-day journey and of course prayed for good weather and moderate winds.

Dan likes to say I’m a sailor now that I have 8000+ miles under my belt. But learning and reading John and Janet’s blog and seeing what it takes to sail rather than cruise our huge comfy boat… I think I have a lot still to learn. 

For the first week at sea Tango and crew had light winds which made for a comfy ride at 3-4 knots of speed, but the wind was mostly from the wrong direction adding miles to the overall trip. Everything was good as they settled in with their journey, Janet worked on meals, meal planning and baking bread, and the boys worked on the travel, weather, sail adjustments and closing hatches as they would pass through multiple daily storms.

By April 2nd, the winds had picked up and they were making good progress sailing at about 5-9 knots speed heading towards the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone).

This is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles the Earth near the thermal equator, though its specific position varies seasonally. When it lies near the geographic Equator, it is called the near-equatorial trough.

The intended target across the Pacific Ocean was the Marquesas, which is a group of islands previously claimed by the French. The Marquesas are one set of islands that are included in the Complete set of French Polynesian islands. They were headed for an island called Nuku Hiva.

As the days turn from one to another in the ocean, I can imagine that the doldrums kinda set in and one day blends into another. John Said “Tango and crew had anti-doldrums, being constant heavy squalls with 35-40kt winds.” BUT when something terrible happens, it marks a day in the week that you remember clearly. Two events during this time marked in their memory. 

Here is John’s details of the event on April 2. “During this mornings’ inspection of the rigging (a daily morning event) I found the nylonlock nut for the boom gooseneck on deck and the gooseneck within 1/2″ of becoming disconnected from the mast. The bolt has the mainsail tack hooks that are used to furl the sail; the tack grommet hooks to this part holding the forward corn or the sail in the furled position. The nut working off allowed the bolt to be pull up about 5-1/2″ of the total 6” length. The boom was barely connected and downward pressure of the boom vang kept it from separating. This part was rebuilt and reinstalled in La Cruz. A similar thing happened to the the boom vang gooseneck bolt where the locknut worked off and the bolt was moving upward. This happened a couple of days ago and I used threadlock as a quick fix for this other gooseneck.

This morning was a serious situation, nearly an emergency. Tango’s crew instantly her turned into the wind, furled both headsails, and dropped the main. I was then able to work the bolt back into position as Paul held the bow into the 8 ft seas. Once I got the nut reinstalled Janet turned the boat allowing me a more stable platform for final repairs. I was able to drill through the stainless hardware sets and install cotter pins on both the boom gooseneck bolt and boom vang bolt.”

On April 3, Tango passed the ITCZ and the halfway point. Only 1,443 NM to go

On April 7, “At 1230 local time today (1830Z) Tango crossed the Equator at 125-42.618W. With Paul, a Pollywog, aboard we conducted the appropriate rituals for Poseidon including sharing a glass of bubbly and some of Janet’s freshly baked brownies.”

April 11th, 700 nm NE of Marquesas the evening took a slightly different turn, Janet said it was the scariest day ever… “The day itself started out fairly normal. Rolly seas and a rain shower in the afternoon, enough rain to be able to take a quick soapy shower on deck. Dinner time was fairly calm, we ate in the cockpit as we did all of our meals. John and I were down below cleaning up dinner dishes when all the sudden Tango was heeling so far over to the starboard side that you could see only waves through the windows. John hollered for Paul to head into the wind and he flew up the stairs to the cockpit and took the helm.”

John said, “Out of nowhere, instantly, we had 34Kts of wind on the port side with all sail set. Tango was over on her side fighting to come up. Paul’s reaction was to try and turn down wind, as I’ve been teaching him. However, this was the exception and we quickly got Tango upright by letting her turn into the wind as I took over the helm. With Paul and Janet below battening down the hatches I stuck the nose into the screaming wind maintaining steerage way with 4-5 knots of forward speed. Tango and I fought this thunderstorm like this figuring it would blow out in 45 minutes, like most convection storms. Nope. Not tonight. After about an hour and 15 min the winds started to let up and Janet and Paul furled up the Genoa, I waited for a right feeling time and turned Tango downwind. Off we zoomed under the staysail set about 80% and the main in its first reef. 9.5 kts in a fairly calm sea (going down wind). With time the winds decreased to high teens and low twenty’s and we were aimed right at the Marquesas. We ate the mileage up for the first time in days. Paul went to bed and Janet stayed up with me on the first 2-man watch of the night. Janet and I zoomed easily downwind. At 0200 Paul got up to relieve Janet… and the thunderstorms started in again. So far, only rain and no wind, as in calm again! Right now, Paul is trying to keep the whopping 7 kt wind on the beam. Tango and her crew did really well in a tough situation. This is why we have Tango. She is a blue water boat.”

I asked John how he felt during this event, as I would have been nervous and scared. But with his career in the USCG with so much boating experience he said “I felt like a ship captain, trained, experienced.”

April 15th, “Barring unexpected problems or seriously odd weather, not that that would happen to Tango, we will anchor in Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands Tuesday afternoon, 16 Apr 2019. That’s tomorrow! Our trip will have taken 26 days or 3 weeks and 5 days, or 630 hours, one bottle of vodka and several boxes of wine, about 4 showers for the crew (not counting the free washdowns in the rain), about 2 gallons of diesel fuel for the generator daily (fridge/freezer cooling, watermaking, USB device recharging (perish the thought that we let our cellphones die), 30 gallons of water/day starting out and decreasing to about 15 gal/day ending, no caught fish, and a short list of repairs.”

On April 16th, “Landfall! Radar picked up the peaks of Ua-Huka at 23 NM a few minutes ago. We have a total of 52NM until Tango’s anchor is on the bottom of Taiohae Bay, Nuku-Hiva.   –   Assorted photos below..

The crew will be boat bound until we clear customs and they only receive in-coming boats before 1130 on weekdays. We’ll be anchoring around 1330 so we will have to wait until Wednesday to get all the paperwork done. We have several things to keep us busy, like, not rocking and rolling, no engine noise, no sail tending, etc. We also have several important projects that we could start on. Some must be done before I’ll leave harbor. The important ones are:

j-j sailMend the mainsail and move those durn jackline cleats that catch the sail and tear it. Threadlock the sail car screws, again. This is a repeat, but we had the sail off in MX. Reattach the boom vang to the mast. This could be a multiple day job, but only if I don’t have the appropriate bolts aboard. Change fuel filters. The vacuum pressures have doubled since we last ran the engine for a long time. Crud in the MX fuel… Inspect the hull zincs and probably replace them. The MX piers were very electrically HOT, and this quickly wiped the zincs. Also need to scour the bottom of any growth. Adjust, lubricate, check this and that including the Hydrovane autopilot, the Hydrogenerator mount system, Tango’s basic steering gear (wire rope, chain in the binnacle, etc.” 

j-j NZTango, along with John and Janet, are now in New Zealand enjoying their stay during the Covid pandemic. They have tons of stories I didn’t have space to report on due to the length of this blog… Please visit their Blog if you would like to read more about their adventures @ “Two To Tango in the Wind” Blog

List of locations Tango traveled.

  • Puerto Vallarta to Nuku Hiva of the Marquesas Islands, 25 days to cross
  • French Polynesia for 90 days
    • Nuku Hiva to Rangiroa,Tuamotus
    • Rangiroa to Tahiti
    • Tahiti to Moore
    • Moorea to Taaha
    • Taaha to Raiatea (back and forth between Taaha and Riatea several times (both islands within the same reef)
  • Checked out from Raiatea French Polynesia to Suwarrow Cooks Islands
  • Suwarrow to American Samoa (lost auto pilot en route)
  • American Samoa to Tonga (83 days in the Vava U group of Tonga)
  • Tonga to Minerva Reef to New Zealand

I really enjoyed telling a story from another couple’s experience. Hope you enjoyed reading it too!

Stay tuned for the adventure!

Stay Safe, Happy & Adventurous…… Cheers!

ICW Transit North with Sunken Boats, Swing Bridges, Deer Crossing & History Galore…#50

We arrived in Thunderbolt Marina a small town just outside of Savannah. We found this Marina by asking the awesome Facebook group “ICW Cruising Guide by Bob423”. These types of Facebook groups have helped while we have been cruising different and unfamiliar areas. We were glad to get at this nice marina rather than the public docks right in Savannah downtown. When we saw the docks, we were really happy with the decision we made and the recommendations from the group! Special call out to those that helped us! If you are traveling to areas unknown, join some of these Facebook groups and ask questions or read what others ask/answer. This is good for all types of travel, air, sea, foreign or domestic, it is such a wealth of knowledge from folks that live or have been to that location and know the area well.

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

With all the history we have been absorbing in these towns, I thought this quote was perfect for our lives and the history of our country….. The good and the bad, it’s history!

We again booked the same open air trolley tour company we did when we were in St Augustine Old Town Trolley Tours which is an On-off trolley ride through town. It is a perfect way to see the town and hear the history at the same time. img_7884As I mentioned in my last blog Cruising from Satellite Beach Florida to Savannah Georgia. Savannah was made more popular by the Author John Berendt book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. He wrote about the city and a group of folks which he met along the way. He called out all the uniqueness’s of these people & how they were living and stories they told him. This is a Non-Fiction book, I might add.  The tour guide said those citizens that were mentioned in the book were not too keen when it was published. I think the town now values the tourism that it brings to their fine city. We strolled past the house made famous in the book, the “Mercer-Williams House,” where the murder and shenanigans happened. It was a blast to see the city, with its planned out city streets and park blocks every so often on a regular squared map.savannah city map

This was done at first for safety having military posted at each park square, which allowed them to see across the whole town and protect the city. Today they are each a quaint parks with stone/brick pathways through them, seating and or monuments. You can see a few pictures of the parks in the slideshow below.

As one of the most hot and humid cities we visited, we saw first hand how the buildup of moisture and afternoon rains hit the city, which we happen to get stuck in while traveling around. But we found some cover and waited it out. 

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Because of the heat in Savannah, we were glad to be moving north again. We went straight from Savannah to Charleston SC, landing at Charleston City marina. We took another tour bus around the town; this method gives you such a good base for the city. img_7858We learned about the 4 corners of law, which consist of the Federal Courthouse, Charleston City Hall, Charleston County Courthouse & St. Michael’s Episcopal Church which are all in the same intersection together. Near this intersection is where we found Ruth and other artisans making their Sweet-grass baskets. They make them right in front of you on the street corner. I, of course, couldn’t leave without one and a picture of her with her beautiful work.

If you love old architecture like me…. you will love all the many southern houses in Charleston. They have beautiful grand porches facing a courtyard on the sides of the house. They all point windward as planned, to get the evening wind to cool the house down. (Can you imagine, no AC) They all have window and porches that they could keep open to reduce the daytime heat. The houses have an odd door leading to the side of the porch. This was for blocking the street dust and horse poop smell from their living areas. It also was for hospitality and greeting neighbors and friends with sweet tea and a visit on the porch. Today they are more for security purpose, but it is the entrance into the courtyard/porch and front door area.

We were able to see the open-air market area that goes on for blocks and blocks, with no vendors due to Covid, but it must be a hustling area when open. Close by we found a local place for lunch. We enjoyed our walk around the city. We also saw a “replicaof the H.L. Hunley submarine. The CSS Hunley was the first combat submarine to sink a warship (USS Housatonic) in 1864. After her successful attack she along with her crew were lost at sea. She was 39.5 ft in length and 3.83 feet in beam. Her propulsion was a hand-cranked duct propeller which could make 4.6 miles per hour. There were 2 officers and 6 enlisted men who performed the propulsion. In 1995 she was finally located in the depths of the sea and raised in 2000 and is on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center.

The next day we took a tour to Fort Sumter which is a National Historic Park. The construction of the fort started in 1829 but was not completed until 1861 when the civil war began. The fort was built with a high stone and heavy masonry walls circling the boundaries. The fort was turned over when South Carolina seceded from the Union. In 1863 there was a failed attempt by the Union to retake the fort and it was reduced to rubble. It remained in Confederate hands until 1865. The U.S. Army worked to restore it as a useful military installation. In 1898 during the American Spanish war, a new massive concrete blockhouse-style installation was built inside the original walls. It was never used during the war, but the mashup of the two different decades is very evident.

Up until Savannah we were traveling in and out of the ocean and into the ICW to anchor or visit marinas. But when we left Charleston the weather was rough in the ocean and we decided to stay in ICW, even if it is a bit more difficult to travel this way. I am sure glad we did because the sights and views that we were able to see have just been amazing. The ICW was a bit more open and navigable in North & South Carolina and Virginia than in Florida and Georgia.

We saw so many sights along the way; Sunken boats, swing bridges, party islands, beautiful homes/docks, lighthouses, birds nesting, swamp lands, fisherman, swimming deer, dredge boats, hunting towers… You name it was saw it.

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img_8099One of the funniest things we saw along the way, was this Flagpole with a US flag, a fake palm tree and a parking meter on a very small strip of sand. Legend has it, that it arrived in early 2000 and no one knows exactly who is responsible, but that it was meant to be a humorous stab at the climbing parking rates for visitors to the coastal town. Townspeople claim it is maintained by a “secret society of locals” who surreptitiously show up when the treetop needs replacing. Boaters often anchor there on either side of the low tide to temporarily inhabit the island, which slowly disappears as the water begins rising toward high tide.

As we headed to New Bern, we had few more stops. We did one-night anchor out at South Santee River & another at Enterprise Oxbow. Only one notable event, in South Santee River happened. During our anchoring that night, we quickly noticed that it was really soft mud and our anchor didn’t hold. Dan had the great idea to drop our second anchor to hold us. It worked great until we decided to pull the anchor up the next morning. They were all twisted around each other, which we didn’t know until we pulled one of them up. The first anchor rode got caught on the second anchor fluke. It was a nightmare situation. Dan and I worked for 30-40 mins with boat hooks and such to get it untangled. We finally got a separate line through the anchor chain that was hanging off the fluke of the other anchor and tied it off. Then dropped the anchor a bit in the water which changed the direction and it came loose. We won’t do that again!!!

img_8054We did a quick stop at Southport Harbor Village Marina where Dan got to meet up with his Navy buddy, Pete from the Flying Fish Submarine time. They hung out and told tons of stories and got caught up from over 40+ years of not seeing each other.

We did one more night at anchor at Swanboro NC before making our way to New Bern to meet up with Debi on Mad Hatteras. We met Debi on the Hatteras Owners  Facebook page. We stayed in the Bridgeton Harbor Marina which was just across the Neuse River from New Bern. We had the BEST welcome we have ever had, as we arrived in Bridgeton. img_8143Debi had gone all out for us with a Hawaiian welcome, (as she lived on Oahu for a while) and still has a business she operates there. We were welcomed with many helping hands to catch our lines for easy docking, champagne, snacks and Hawaiian Leis. Everyone was so nice and helpful. We spent 5 nights and enjoyed dinner on each other’s boat and an awesome dinner out in town. Got to meet people in the marina and had a great time. If you head this way, it is a really nice marina at which to stay.

We did a couple more nights at anchor along the way to Norfolk, our final destination for the summer. This puts us out of the hurricane risk area. We anchored at Sanders Point in Bay river for 1 night. Then we headed into an interesting little marina for 2 nights in Belhaven NC at River Forest Marina. We enjoyed our stay in Belhaven. It is a very quaint little town with a beautiful manor they do events in. Of course, with Covid, it isn’t active at the moment. I wish I could have gone inside!

We did one more night at anchor on the North River off Abermarle Sound (AKA Crab pot city). Then off to Norfolk. But not before we had two amazing events. We had these birds follow us for hours behind our boat. I think they thought we were fishing and would toss out our fish remains as we cleaned the fish, so they were tailing us pretty close. It was amazing watching them.

And the big finale was a deer crossing right in front of our boat. Dan saw him first and yelled back to me that he saw a deer in the river. I came quickly, but Dan was going so fast that he would have hit him. The deer was swimming faster than he had thought. So, he backed down which gave me a good view of the deer and ability to film her.

We are in Norfolk until November when we plan to go south again. Dan has a reunion with his Flying Fish Submarine buddies in August and we have a wedding of our daughter Kylie. So, we will stay really busy getting everything ready.

I do have a couple special blogs planned for this time away from our adventures… so stay tuned to see what is coming next!