Author Archive

We are cancelling our Word Press blog   1 comment

For our loyal followers, we are cancelling our Word Press Blog at svsecondoption.com effective 26 August 2017 as we found it is very difficult to post Word Press updates from the Bahamas since sometimes we do not have adequate wifi.  We will continue our travels on our boat, Second Option, and instead will be doing posts using our FaceBook account.

Posted July 6, 2017 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

We are in the Bahamas…..yahoo!!   1 comment

Submitted late due to lack of wifi

leaving Ft Pierce

leaving Ft Pierce

We returned from Virginia following Thanksgiving, topped off fuel and water, and departed Vero Beach on 30 November and anchored at Fort Pierce, Florida.  It appears we will have a short weather window so we plan to depart Fort Pierce in lieu of going all the way to Lake Worth and head to Green Turtle Cay.

We anchored just south of the Fort Pierce Bascule Bridge, spent a

enroute to the Bahamas

enroute to the Bahamas

very peaceful night, departed the anchorage at 08:30 am, and headed out the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean in light winds.  As the day progressed, we had south winds at 23-29 knots with 3-5 foot seas….doable but not pretty!  Because of our angle across the Gulf Stream, we were only doing 3-5 knots over ground for several hours.  We finally reached the Bahama Banks at Matanilla Shoals at 7:50pm and continued in the dark….boy, was it ever dark!!  We had several heavy rain showers but no squalls with heavy winds…at least we were getting the salt

Green Turtle Cay in sight

Green Turtle Cay in sight

washed off the boat!!  Our passage from the Bahama Banks to Green Turtle Cay was otherwise uneventful as the weather cooperated and cleared into a very nice day.  We arrived at Green Turtle Club Marina at 10:25 on 2 December, a total of 25 hours….but we are in the Bahamas.  Our first night, we watched a bit of TV and was in bed by 7:30pm…..almost “Cruisers’ Midnight” after a long day.

On 3 December, Customs and Immigrations could not come to the boat, which they normally do at Green Turtle, because they could not find their golf cart keys.  So Billy hopped in the dinghy and went to New Plymouth to clear into the Bahamas.  Customs clearance only took a few minutes; the dinghy ride was longer, but everything was good.  We received a year’s cruising and fishing permits but only received 3 months immigrations so we will have to renew our Bahamian visa along the way.  We decided to remain in the marina in order to watch the Alabama-Florida football game for the Southeastern Conference.  Yep, Alabama won again!  Terri indicated she may start wearing an Alabama T-shirt vice an Auburn one….wow, that would be a sight to see!!

We departed Green Turtle Cay on 4 December, crossed the Whale Passage, and anchored in

Sunset Lynyard Cay

Sunset Lynyard Cay

Marsh Harbor so we could renew our sim cards for our IPads and Bahamian phone at the Batelco (Bahamian telephone) Store.  After getting everything set at the Batelco store, we just had to stop at the local bakery for our favorite scones, then over to Maxwell’s grocery for fresh vegetables.  Our last dinghy run was to the local liquor store where we found pink Sands beer and of course, some more rum.  Billy spent the remainder of the afternoon refueling and getting ready to head further south.

Royal Island, Eleuthera

Royal Island, Eleuthera

On 6 December, we departed Marsh Harbour and headed south for Lynyard Cay.  Good passage weather was forecasted for us to cross from the Abacos to Eleuthera.  So, on 7 December, we crossed over to Royal Island on the northern end of Eleuthera.  Our crossing was uneventful.  We tried fishing but did not even get a bite. 

After a peaceful night at anchor in Royal Island, we departed the

Sunset Royal Island

Sunset Royal Island

next morning for Rock Sound, Eleuthera, near the southern end of Eleuthera.  We originally were going to Hatchett Bay to hide out for an approaching cold front but decided instead to go to Rock Sound as it provides west wind protection, has supplies and fuel, and several good restaurants. 

Passing Current Cut

Passing Current Cut

We arrive at Rock Sound and the winds are forecasted to come from the north-east so we anchor on the east side near the White Orchid Restaurant.  This puts us closer to the

enroute to Rock Sound, Eleuthera

enroute to Rock Sound, Eleuthera

Rock Sound settlement so the next morning, we decided to eat lunch at Sammy’s, one of our favorite restaurants in the Bahamas and certainly the most popular in Eleuthera.  We invited the other four boats anchored in the harbor and we all had a great

Sunset Rock Sound

Sunset Rock Sound

lunch.  We had met all of the four boats during previous years (Five & Dime, Tilt, Runaway, and Ursa

peaceful Rock Sound

peaceful Rock Sound

Minor) so our lunchtime was spent catching up.  S/V Runaway is from Solomons, Maryland (our summer home) and live about a block from our homeport marina of Zahniser’s.  So, yes, it is a small world!

A cold front approaches

A cold front approaches

We spent a total of three days at Rock Sound then another weather window presented itself so we crossed from Eleuthera to Black Point, Exumas.  The 53 mile passage was

Black Point, Exumas anchorage

Black Point, Exumas anchorage

pretty uneventful.  We tried fishing again but did not catch anything.  We did get a hit though on our line but unfortunately our steel leader was cut and we lost our new lure.  Would like to catch something though.  All we caught last year was barracuda…..mean, big ones, with lots of teeth.  A nice Mahi Mahi or Tuna would be nice…….oh well, at least I did not have to clean it.

sea glass

sea glass

So, where are we now?  We are in Black Point, Exumas and have

supply boat in Black Point

supply boat in Black Point

been here a week today.  We will probably be here through Christmas then perhaps drift somewhere else for New Year’s.  We have done several walk-abouts on the island, and have visited the beach several times where we’ve found a lot of sea glass so far.  We’ve had pizza and visited Lorraine’s Café several times and

Blowing the conch horn

Blowing the conch horn

happy hours.  We hope to be able to skype with family over Christmas and Black Point does offer a lot….mostly a strong wifi signal.  Of course, available wifi has been an issue this year as they are few and very far between.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, a very Merry

Merry Christmas to everyone

Merry Christmas to everyone

Christmas, and a Happy New Year.  Until our next update……

Bill and Terri     

Posted December 20, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

Home for Thanksgiving, Birthdays, and Football Game   1 comment

Submitted late due to lack of available wifi

Papa and Emma on swings

Papa and Emma on swings

We left our boat in the Vero Beach City Marina, rented a car, and

sliding away

sliding away

drove back to northern Virginia to celebrate Thanksgiving, my 66th birthday, Emma’s 4th birthday, play on the playground with Emma, the Alabama-Auburn (Iron Bowl) football game and other duties (haircuts, medications renewal, etc). On our drive northward, we noted lots of trees down along I-95 in South and North Carolina due to Hurricane Matthew.

more swings

more swings

clicking glasses during Thanksgiving

clicking glasses during Thanksgiving

Our week with Jess, Matt, and Emma went way too fast.  One memorable moment was during Thanksgiving dinner.  We had wine and Emma just insisted on having her own glass, filled with apple juice in lieu of wine.  Emma got such a kick out of clinking Terri’s wine glass, toasting the great meal. 

more gifts

more gifts

Emma’s birthday was the Saturday following Thanksgiving.  During Emma’s birthday party, she got so excited.  Jess and Matt had to go out and pick up her balloons so we babysat while they were gone.  When they returned, Matt

Terri and Emma watching the Iron Bowl

Terri and Emma watching the Iron Bowl

was able to get the Iron Bowl up and running so we had the best of two worlds, first the Iron Bowl followed by Emma’s birthday party.  Emma was so patient; she ate pizza with us for an early dinner, then

opening birthday presents

opening birthday presents

she started opening all of her presents….yep, she got a lot! 

We departed the next morning returning to Vero Beach to begin our winter adventure to the Bahamas.  Oh yes, before I forget, Alabama won the Iron Bowl over Auburn, so Terri gets to do dishes for another year.  Yahoo!!

So until our next update…..

Billy and Terri

Posted December 14, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

Cumberland Island, Georgia, St Augustine, and Vero Beach, Florida   1 comment

Submitted late due to lack of available wifi.

A comment about available wifi. This year, Hurricane Matthew caused a lot of infrastructure issues – high water, flooding, downed trees, lots of debris in the water, lost docks, and of course, no wifi. We understand folks along the way were trying to put their lives back together and wifi was the least of their worries.

Offshore to Cumberland Island, GA

Offshore to Cumberland Island, GA

On 22 October, we departed St Simons, Georgia and traveled again offshore to Cumberland Island. We had east-southeast winds with following seas so we were literally surfing the whole way. We were informed Cumberland Island was closed due to extensive damage by Hurricane Matthew so we anchored off the ice house dock without approaching the island. We generally

Lots of boats washed ashore

Lots of boats washed ashore

stay at Cumberland for a week and explore the island but this time we noted sections of the floating dinghy docks were missing and there were lots of downed trees. Hurricane Matthew also destroyed the Fernandina Beach Marina and mooring field, both could be out of commission until sometimes late 2017.

sunrise Cumberland Island, GA

sunrise Cumberland Island, GA

So after only one night at anchor, we departed via St Mary’s inlet and with light winds, proceeded offshore to the St John’s River inlet where we continued south down the ICW. To get to St Augustine, we had to use the ICW

Traffic St Johns River

Traffic St Johns River

because Hurricane Matthew’s wind and wave actions had moved all of the marker buoys at St Augustine and the inlet was officially closed by the Coast Guard. We anchored in the Tomato River, just north of St Augustine to time our approach with the tides into St Augustine and spent a very quiet night anchored next to S/V High Z’s, who we met last year along the trek down the ICW and in the Bahamas.

sunset Tolmato River

sunset Tolmato River

On 26 October, we arrived in St Augustine, Florida. St Augustine is another location where we stay for a while but when we made our reservations, the mooring field was still closed due to Hurricane Matthew’s damage so we were placed in a slip. A small number of moorings were made available during our stay but we just decided to stay in the slip since we had rented a car to cast our vote early. St Augustine had

We voted early

We voted early

received the brunt of Hurricane Matthew but most of the local restaurants on St George’s Street were open. While sections of old St Augustine were still closed due to flooding residual; there were lots of downed tree debris piled along the road waiting for pickup.

We did get an opportunity to have lunch with Jim and Stephanie Weeks, who were in the sailing club we belonged to and who also provided the inspiration for us to do what we are doing, being cruisers. Lunch was a good time to catch up with Jim and Stephanie and even though they are no longer cruisers, they are living the good life and definitely enjoying it. It is always good to see them and I could never get tired to listening to Jim’s stories of their Bahamian escapades.

Docks are gone

Docks are gone

After four short days, we decided to depart St Augustine for points further south. We originally had planned to stay at least a week in Cumberland Island and Fernandina Beach, then another week in St Augustine, but with the St Augustine moorings still not in full operations, it was time for us to move

We saw sails ripped

We saw sails ripped

on.

As we departed St Augustine and cleared the fixed bridge to the south, we saw further evidence of Hurricane Matthew’s damage. Talking with the marina staff at St Augustine, we were told several folks decided to stay on their boats during the hurricane. So not only were the boats from the moorings washed ashore; they also carried their owners. Although no one was injured, several

another wrecked boat

another wrecked boat

boats were still on shore and a lot of docks were damaged.

We had a smooth trip from St Augustine to Daytona, where we stayed at Halifax Harbour Marina. After settling into the marina, we had a very nice dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, Stefanos. Stefanos is a small restaurant, serving the best homemade lasagna and other Italian cuisines around. We decided to stay an extra day in Daytona to catch up with admin stuff and boat cleaning. We also caught up with doing laundry; you never know just how many clothes you go through until you have to wash them. Oh well, after doing all of our chores, we just

departing St Augustine at sunrise

departing St Augustine at sunrise

chilled and had a quiet afternoon.

We departed Daytona on 1 November and timed our approach through the New Smyrna Beach area at almost high tide. New Smyrna Beach is a traditional area on the ICW marked with low water and pretty swift current. We ran aground there several years ago so we always transit the area going very slow and cautious; the lowest water depths we saw were 10-12 feet….that’s good since we draw close to six foot being so loaded.

Our biggest entertainment of the day was after the George Mussan Bascule Bridge. A sailboat which had been behind us managed to get in front of us coming through the bascule bridge. As we moved around toward the fixed bridge, the sailboat in front tried to cut a corner and went on the starboard side (the wrong side) of the green channel marker. We both watched in amazement as his boat suddenly sprang forward with the stern of the boat coming out of the water….yep, he had ran hard aground. After a bit of time, the current turned him around and he was pointed back toward the channel, slowly working himself into deep water. Okay, we are not supposed to be amused at someone who runs aground, as we all do it sometimes, but that was pretty funny, particularly

sunset Titusville

sunset Titusville

since he was so intent on his going first through the bascule bridge. We proceeded on the rest of the day with no problems….and no further amusement! We saw several manatees and dolphins along the way but never seemed to take their photo. When you have the camera ready, you never see anything. We stopped at the Titusville mooring field for the

chilling Titusville

chilling Titusville

night and had a very peaceful evening of TV watching.

We departed the Titusville mooring field on 2 November. Our

Chilling Titusville

Chilling Titusville

original plan was to anchor at Addison Point, only about 10 miles away, and take a few days to chill before we arrived at Vero Beach but the morning weather forecast looked bad for the remainder of the week…. so we decided it might be better to go on to Vero Beach early. We find that weather, more than anything, is the deciding factor in

A bird joined us from Titusville

A bird joined us from Titusville

our travels. So, instead of stopping at Addison Point, we continue to Blue Fish Point for the night. Our winds ranged from 20-30 knots from the east-south-east and we arrived at our anchorage at mid-afternoon. We noted our travel log as having gone 989 nautical miles so far since we departed Solomons, Maryland.

sunrise Bluefish Point anchorage

sunrise Bluefish Point anchorage

We departed Blue Fish Point anchorage on 3 November heading toward Vero Beach, 26 nautical miles away. Our morning is cool and mostly cloudy. The winds were blowing in the 20 knot range from the east. One of our last obstacles (?) for us to get through was the Wabassa fixed bridge, which was supposed to provide 65 foot of clearance. The water-board markings showed a bit over 63 feet when we approached the bridge. We held our breath and squeaked under the bridge with our 63 foot mast, binding back our VHF whip antenna

One thousand nautical miles gone so far

One thousand nautical miles gone so far

on the top of the mast. Yep, it was going to be another rum night from our antennas touching another fixed bridge. But, we made it through without knocking anything off and arrived at Vero Beach at midday. After waiting for a few other boats to refuel, we pulled into the fuel dock and topped off our fuel tank and got a pump-out. We are about two weeks early but the

Second Option near the mangroves

Second Option near the mangroves

marina was not full at this point. They assigned us to mooring ball #20, which is located across from the fuel dock but close to the mangrove area. We soon learned how bad the mosquitoes and no-see-ums could be! Just before dark, the mosquitoes and no-see-ums arrived with vengeance as we scurried to install our screens around the cockpit…..oops…..way too late as they ate us all night.

a nice day

a nice day

After spending a restless night chasing down the biting insects, we decided we had to do something different….or get another blood transfusion to replace what the insects had drawn off! We have never experienced this many biting insects, even more so than when we anchored in the South Carolina and Georgia mangrove and saw grass areas. So with extra screening material we had on hand, we decided to double the screening material over all of the opening hatches. Coupled with the full cockpit screen enclosures, the system worked and we were able to get some restful sleep. We could even sit in the cockpit and read without being carried off. You never want to be carried off by the little biting insects as they will carry you to the big ones……..!

Vero Beach dinghy dock

Vero Beach dinghy dock

After defeating the insect invasion, we stay busy by doing errands and getting the boat ready for the Bahamas. The Vero Beach bus system is great and we are able to get to places we need to. One of the issues we have had was a leaking water hose. We checked it

arrgh

arrgh

out and the leak was coming from a small crack in the water hose itself and not coming from the tank. Of course, it was in a very inconvenient place to get to. After removing the steps and half of the flooring, we were able to pull the water hose from its connection and weave it out through the access (?) hole. We cut a quarter inch section out of the hose using a drimmel tool, added a connector and spliced the hose back together. The trick was weaving the hose back through the access hole and reconnecting it back to the water tank. But with Terri’s wise directions, (yes, I knew she was a keeper), the reconnection process took about two minutes….and we have the leak repaired! We later filled the water tank and there are no leaks…..yahoo! Yes, having a boat is a real pain sometimes and there are always things to do!

another bird stow-away

another bird stow-away

We will remain on the mooring ball until 19 November then park the boat into the marina and drive back to northern Virginia for Thanksgiving. Following Thanksgiving, we will

a pretty sunset

a pretty sunset

drive back to Vero Beach, then depart and move the boat further south to Lake Worth and wait for our weather window to cross over to the Bahamas.

So, until our next update……

Bill and Terri

Posted November 24, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

Offshore from Southport, NC to Winyah Bay, then St Helena Sound, Wassaw Sound, and St Simons, GA   1 comment

early departure during a full moon

early departure during a full moon

On 16 October, we departed Southport, NC and headed out the Cape Fear River going offshore to Winyah Bay, about 72 nautical miles away.  The seas were relatively calm, one to two feet, and the winds were light, 6-12 knots.  This was a very good offshore run, even more

ocean traffic

ocean traffic

so when we heard the USCG announce the Socastee Swing Bridge, just south of Myrtle Beach on the ICW, was closed due to no electricity and extensive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.  This basically closed all southbound traffic on the ICW south of Myrtle Beach as the bridge clearance is only 11 feet on a good day but with flooding was even less.  Later, the USCG released a Notice to

Mariners stating the bridge could be closed for up to two weeks.  About eight miles offshore from the outer markers of Winyah Bay, we noticed what we thought was an outbound current line but

green ocean meets the brown flood waters

green ocean meets the brown flood waters

instead, we were met with a distinct line where the green-colored ocean water met the brown chocolate-colored flood waters.  The oncoming waves in Winyah Bay increased to four-five feet of dirty, smelly, chocolate brown flood water.  I said to Terri the water smelled like earthworms;

sunset Winhay Bay

sunset Winhay Bay

she said it smelled like pluff mud, which is described as “slippery shiny brown-gray, sucky mud, with a distinctive smell like none other, of the tidal flats and grass salt marshes.”  We both said “yuck”, arrived at the anchorage at Winyah Bay just before dark, and spent a very peaceful night at anchor.

another early departure

another early departure

The weather forecast was good for the next 3-4 days so we departed Winyah Bay at 5:55am, yes, in the dark

sunrise at sea

sunrise at sea

but at least we had a full moon.  The outbound channel is well lit so we pointed the bow back offshore.  We had a gentle roll from the waves; Terri always says she hates the side-to-side roll when the boat rocks from side to side.  The winds were light and variable; when the winds would increase a bit,

another sunrise shot

another sunrise shot

we would roll out the jib to increase our forward speed but soon found no wind therefore we would roll in the jib back in.  We decided to bypass Charleston due to reported extensive damage and entered St

a lazy day at sea

a lazy day at sea

Helena Sound, another 77 nautical mile offshore day, at 5:35pm.  It took another hour and a half to maneuver into the Morgan River, where we anchored at dusk.  We had a quiet night but were thankful for mosquito screens over the ports as there were lots of mosquitoes.

sunrise Morgan River

sunrise Morgan River

We departed the anchorage in the Morgan River at 6:45am on 18 October and were met by another sunny day with light winds.  We were both taken back a bit by how slick the ocean surface was; almost smooth with a very light roll.  Our offshore trip was one of the best we have had as we reached the outer marker of Wassaw Sound, after a short 41 nautical miles, at 2:42pm.  We’ve entered and exited Wassaw Sound many times and it is a very deep sound but this time, we noted all of the buoy markers were off station, meaning Hurricane Matthew moved them; one was almost on shore.  The permanent buoys were simply bare posts with the green/red markers gone.  We started a GPS track and followed our instruments staying in 30-50 feet of water all the way

shopping at the Pig

shopping at the Pig

in.  We arrived at Thunderbolt Marina at 5:35pm and fueled up and pumped out our holding tanks.  We had a very nice shrimp dinner at Tubby’s Tank House, one of favorite restaurants.  With our tummies stuffed, we slept very well!

eating at Tubby's

eating at Tubby’s

On 19 October, we wanted to depart Thunderbolt Marina very early but woke up to dense fog;

fog at Thunderbolt, GA

fog at Thunderbolt, GA

the fog was so thick we could not even see the other side of the river or the fixed bridge at Thunderbolt.  The fog finally started to lift around 8:00am so we departed the marina; shortly after we departed, we were back in dense fog.  We met two huge inbound boats on our way out in the fog; thanks to AIS, we were able to call one another

a ship following us into St Simons

a ship following us into St Simons

and pass them without any issues.  We continued following our GPS track we had set yesterday and exited the fog just before we hit the open ocean.  Our day to St Simons. GA

coming into St Simons

coming into St Simons

was another easy one marked with light winds and almost smooth seas.  We entered the channel at St Simons at 5:22pm, after downing another 52 offshore nautical miles, and pulled into a slip at Morning Star Marina at 7:00pm.  We normally tied up to the long T-head face dock but the marina had extensive damages to the face dock as well as to all of its southern docks.   We noted lots of downed trees along the shore and there were a lot of blue tarps marking damaged roofs.  The mosquitoes are just nasty here and they are the BIG ones; your blood level becomes about a quart low if you are outside the boat at dark!  Yikes!!

 Okay, so why are we going so fast down the coast?  One might ask, why not chill for a while?  Well, we have had good weather and we find weather is the driver of everything along the coast.  When it is good, you move; when not, you wait.  Plus we want to park the boat in St Augustine,

sunset at St Simons

sunset at St Simons

rent a car, and cast our vote early.  So, we plan to depart here tomorrow and head for Cumberland Island. We had planned to spend a week at Cumberland enjoying chasing the horses around with our camera but sadly Matthew caused a lot of damage at Cumberland Island and it is closed to all visitors. We had also planned to spend some time at Fernandina Beach. We thought we would stay at the marina for a few days but it had so much damage that the marina and mooring field are closed until sometime in 2017.  So we will anchor for the night at Cumberland Island then move further south on Sunday.  So, until our next update…..

Bill and Terri             

Posted October 22, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

Hurricane Matthew then to Southport, NC   Leave a comment

Submitted late due to lack of wifi

The evening before Matthew

The evening before Matthew

We arrived at River Dunes Marina, just north of Oriental, NC on 4

A solar rainbow before Matthew

A solar rainbow before Matthew

October and anticipate being here for at least a week or more until Hurricane Matthew moved past us.  We started preparing the boat for a hurricane; removing the solar panels, removing the sails, tying down the wind generator, removing the cushions, and pulling and securing our dinghy on the boat’s foredeck.  We stuffed what we could into our shower then piled everything else on the front berth.  We also met

stripped boat

stripped boat

other transit boaters stranded here on their way south and with the assistance of the marina personnel, we organized ourselves for radio safety checks, etc. 

Our dinghy on the front

Our dinghy on the front

Of course, we also organized ourselves for boat-docktail happy hours every afternoon as well as an outing to a local restaurant, The Silos, for a dinner before the hurricane got too close.  We used the courtesy van to shuttle everyone (16 of us in two trips) to the “Thirsty-Thursday” event at the restaurant where the food was exceptional, the service great, and the $0.94/beers were cold.   

Hurricane Matthew, at one time, was a Category 5 Hurricane with its eye targeted on the

Radar had Matthew just missing us

Radar had Matthew just missing us

Bahamas, Florida, and the entire east coast.  At one point in Hurricane Matthew’s track, it appeared the hurricane eye would come directly over us but predictions changed and the track passed offshore just to the east of us.  Since at least a Category 1 hurricane was predicted to hit or come very close to us, the marina required everyone on transit boats to move off their boats.  We moved into a one-bedroom on-site cottage while others rented other cottages or moved into vacant houses in the development.  We took our crock pot and made chili.  The cottage was very comfortable with a large queen bed, a claw foot bathtub and a steam shower.  If we have to suffer during a hurricane, well, at least we were not suffering too much!  We actually watched the Alabama-Arkansas football game before power went off.  Saturday, 8 October, was marked with heavy winds and horizontal rain for several hours.  The marina clocked 65 knots of wind (74.1 mph) – a Category 1 hurricane.  Of course, Matthew passed by us at night so we could not see much through the cottage’s window but it definitely was nasty.  We both have had enough hurricanes for our lives as we were in pre-Hurricane Alex in Eleuthera in the Bahamas last 6 January…enough is enough for us!! 

At daybreak on Sunday, 9 October, we checked the boat, no damages…..which is a GOOD thing.  We made coffee and breakfast on the boat as the power on shore was still off.  Mid-morning, we started moving back onto the boat using our generator to heat dinner and watch TV.  On Monday, we put the boat back together; it took all day to reinstall everything.  You never know how much stuff you have on a boat until you have to take everything down then reinstall it.  By mid-afternoon Monday, power was restored so we got hot showers and did a load of laundry.

The weather forecast really started to look good so we had our last boat-docktail happy hour with other boaters and departed the marina on 11 October after spending 8 days total.  All in all, our decision to stay in the marina was a good one!!

a boat washed ashore

a boat washed ashore

Our 11 October passage was a long one, 77 miles from River Dunes Marina to the Mile Hammock Bay anchorage.  With brisk northeast winds and a following current, we made good time.  We cleared all of the four fixed 65 foot bridges without touching any antennas, okay, we will still have some rum anyway, and we only had to wait about 10 minutes or so for the opening of the Onslow Beach Swing Bridge that only opened every 30 minutes.  We set the anchor before dark, had a

Mile Hammock Bay sunset

Mile Hammock Bay sunset

great meat loaf dinner, a hot shower, and a very restful sleep.

On 12 October, we made a run to Carolina Beach, NC where we grabbed a mooring ball.  Our only issue was the three timed-opening swing and bascule bridges.  We had to wait about 20 minutes or so for the first bridge, then proceed at a dead slow speed to time our passage to the next swing bridge, which only opens once an hour, and finally adjusting our speed, back to slow, to time our approach to the final bascule bridge.  Yes, bridges that only opens once an hour are a pain but we adjust and get through them…with Terri always thanking the bridge tender for their timely (?) opening.  The unwritten ICW gospel is ….Never, never complain to a bridge tender…..if you do, you pay for your mistake further down the line as they all monitor the radio.

A PINK house along the way

A PINK house along the way

We departed Carolina Beach the following day and hitting the current of the Cape Fear River, we seemed to fly down the river.  We docked at South Harbour Village Marina in Southport, NC just two hours after we disconnected from the mooring ball in Carolina Beach.  A short passage and other good one.  We generally meet several big

big boat traffic on our bow

big boat traffic on our bow

ships coming up the Cape Fear as we are moving south and having AIS (ship identification) really assist in calling them by name and exchanging passing information. 

sunset Southport

sunset Southport

After listening to Chris Parker’s weather information, we decided to remain at Southport for a few days and wait for offshore weather conditions.  We plan to depart tomorrow, 16 October, and go offshore to anchor at Winyah Bay, near Georgetown, SC, about an 80 mile run offshore.  Weather forecasts also indicates we will have favorable weather for the next few days, so we plan to hopscotch offshore and possibly be in or near Cumberland Island, Georgia on the Georgia/Florida line by the end of the week.  So, until our next update……

Bill and Terri

Posted October 21, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized

Down the Bay to the Pungo River   1 comment

Submitted late due to lack of internet

A gloomy departure

A gloomy departure

We departed Zahniser’s Marina, our Chesapeake Bay home port for the summer, in the rain on 27 September and started our 2016-2017 southbound adventure.  Upon our departure, the light rain lasted for only a few hours then we just had cloudy skies.  By late afternoon, the sun was trying to peak out; the winds were light and the seas were not too bad.  All in all, our passage to Reedville, VA was not a bad one.  We dropped anchor in Sandy Point anchorage and enjoyed a quiet night.   

We awoke to cloudy skies and higher winds (20-25 that later grew to 35 knots) and decided to

Getting nasty

Getting nasty

move further south to the East River in Mobjack Bay.  As we got into the main channel leaving the Great Wicomico River at Reedville, we passed a Canadian boat that looked very familiar.  We realized it was S/V Sweet Chariot II with our friends, Grame and Laura, whom we met along the way and in the Bahamas five years ago.  We talked with them over the radio for a few minutes; they were headed north, we south.

staying cozy while it is raining

staying cozy while it is raining

As we arrived in the East River, the clouds thickened and the winds piped up; the lightning and thunder came later.  We set the anchor in Put In Creek just in time for the gusty winds to begin; we had a couple of gusts to 50 knots….yikes!  We have stayed here in past trips; the anchorage is very protected and the holding is good.  So we installed our cockpit enclosures, sat in the cockpit, and watched the storms pass through.  Most of the strong storms missed us; that was good and the anchor was buried deep into the mud.

We awoke the next morning to more episodes of storms and decided to just chill at anchor for

Chilling

Chilling

playing dominoes

playing dominoes

another day.  We certainly were not in a hurry.  It was a good day for reading and playing dominoes.  Terri popped some popcorn and we spent the afternoon playing Mexican Train Dominoes.  For once, Bill won 235 to Terri’s 529…..yahoo!!  Tomorrow’s weather is forecasted to be better so we plan to head to Norfolk.

Navy ships

Navy ships

We departed the East River and made our way to Norfolk on 30 September.  The weather was vastly improved, the sun came out, and it was a very nice passage.  Our only excitement was when a Coast Guard boat pulled alongside and announced the US Navy was conducting an exercise and asked us to approach Norfolk using the western most channel.  We arrived at Waterside Marina in Norfolk early afternoon.  We like Waterside Marina because it is located on the Norfolk side of the Elizabeth River and provides easy access to restaurants and other locations.  We walked down to Grandy Street Pizza for dinner and had a very quiet night. 

On 1 October, we departed Norfolk and started our trek down the ICW.  We made it through all

our first eagle sighting this year

our first eagle sighting this year

of the various bridges and were the last boat, by ourselves, to go through the Great Bridge Lock.  Due to high water levels, the lock was shut down at high tide.  We cleared the locks and passed under the Pungo Ferry fixed bridge; the clearance board read only 63.5 feet….yikes….we touched every rung of the bridge with our antennas.  Yep, it is going to be another rum night!!  We made it without further incidents to Coinjock where we tied to the marina and slept like babies…….rum helps every now and again!!

sky on the water

sky on the water

We departed Coinjock Marina early on 2 October, made good time

a pretty reflection

a pretty reflection

down the Alligator River and decided to go through the Alligator-Pungo Canal.  Our trip through the canal was really pretty as the water was so still that the sky was reflected onto the water like a mirror.  Of course, at the end of the canal rest the Wilkerson Bridge, one of a few bridges on the ICW that was not built with a 65 foot clearance; the Wilkerson only has 64 foot.  When we went under the bridge, the clearance boards read 63 feet and a few inches…..yep, another rum night as our antenna hit every rung of the underside of the bridge.  We anchored in the Pungo River at Mile Marker 127.

Pungo River sunset

Pungo River sunset

Of course, the high point of the news day was the impending appearance of Hurricane Matthew.  With that in mind, we decided to make a run to River Dunes Marina, just north of Oriental, NC as it is pretty protected.  So, with that….until our next update….. 

Bill and Terri

Posted October 15, 2016 by svsecondoption in Uncategorized