Journey Back North – Celebrating Friends and Boat improvements at Solomons Island

We arrived at our next location Solomons Island MD to meet with our friends Rebecca and Joseph. They were in the progress of selling their house and moving onto the sailboat full time. We are forever grateful that they still took the time to help us with teaching us boat improvements and be part of our adventures. The week started with beautiful weather so we dropped the dingy in the water and explored the islands. Luna was very interested as well. There are lot of restaurants with water access, one just has to pull up.

Exploring with our Dingy “Ugly Duckling”

On top of all the stress from selling the house, Josep and Rebecca had another challenge. One morning their dog Pike was trying to jump down the stairs of the sailboat where he fell and hurt his leg, Joseph picked him up to bring him to the vet, when he carried Pike up the stairs he slipped and broke his ankle. So both of them had to go to the doctor the same day and both got casts…. You can’t really make that story up, but have a look at Pike and his face how proud he is to share the injury with his “dad”.

Two days later Josep had an medical appointment in Washington DC so we took him on a “road trip” to explore DC.

Then it was time for boat improvements, working on the fiberglass and wood was our top priority, also we wanted to install our new water heater (replacing the one which prematurely started leaking). Rebecca was teaching us all about fiberglass, gelcoat and treating wood. She is amazing and such a talent. We could not believe how good it turned out.

We had so many great dinners to celebrate our friendships

Don’t worry we did not leave Luna behind….

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Journey back North – Maryland

So we left Oriental and continued our way up north, our next stop was Alligator River. On our way down South in late November we were towing a sailing boat behind us. This time it was much quicker at full speed. We ended up in the evening at a gorgeous anchorage, away from civilization (it seemed). As you can see we had a very nice dinner.

We continued our way to Chesapeake City Virginia which is Mile Marker 1 of the Intercostal Waterway (ICW) which we have been following down and up for a long time by now.

The next day we went through the lock at the Great Bridge and a few railroad brides and arrived bac in Maryland. Our first stop there was Deltaville. Everyone recommended to stay a night at Fishing Bay and that is what we did. We did a workout in the evening and a yoga session in the morning, I think even Luna enjoyed it (of course she would not show us).

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Journey Back North – We love the Carolina’s

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Wow, wow wow – do we love Carolina Beach…

We had a smooth and easy passage from North Myrtle Beach to Carolina Beach on the open ocean. 

We have Dutch boating friends who recommended us to stay at Carolina Beach. So Marcus checked out  the mooring area and it looked like a safe place to be for a few days.

What a marvelous place it is! On one side is the canal where we moored the boat. We could go easily with the Dingy to the city or the small marina which had restrooms and a cool coffee shop. On the other side was the beach – beautiful endless beaches to run, walk and even do our MR Calisthenics class. The weather was also with us and it was warm and beautiful until the last day. 

We had so much fun to explore the area and Restaurants with our Dingy and Scooters.

Wrightsville Beach to Oriental 
On Easter Friday we moved our boat from the beautiful mooring at Carolina Beach to another cute place called Wrightsville Beach which is right at an inlet to go out to the ocean. 
By now the weather changed and it was bitterly cold – almost 0 C (35F) at night and not much warmer during the day and windy. We had to get some diesel and Marcus did such an incredible job in this wind to dock safe and leave the Marina again without hitting anything.

At Wrightsville beach it was easy to drop the anchor at a protected area. Early on Easter Saturday we got up and started our journey to Oriental via Beaufort / NC….. I just got reminded why I hate cold weather….. I didn’t have any heater patches anymore and despite wearing my ski cloth I was cold all day… to make matter worse we had the first 4 hours much higher waves than forecasted. We got smashed around and there was a lot of water coming in into the V-berth. Luna was not impressed…..

We made it totally exhausted to Oriental where we got our hard work paid off with the most beautiful sunset and anchorage…. Even though the Anchorage was a bit too small for my taste. I prefer, like skydiving, no other people or boats near me…. Marcus loves to push “the envelope” to get closer and have more exciting experiences….. After a bit of back and forth and resetting the anchor we both were happy and switched on the anchor alarm and enjoyed a well deserved glass of wine and about 10 hours of sleep…..

Easter Sunday 
I was still exhausted when I woke up. Marcus was full of energy and ready to go…. I would have loved to just take the day off… My beautiful girlfriend Nora from Singapore left me a message if I could contact her when I’m awake…So I happily stayed in bed and had a wonderful conversation until Marcus couldn’t contain his energy… we went…lucky the weather improved immensely to a comfortable 22 C (about 68F)…

Still I was a bit sad not to have a proper Easter Brunch and to celebrate Easter…. I then went on to listen to one of my favored motivators Bob Baker & Pooki Lee (see – if you ever feel down, I highly recommend them!). 

I felt like on top of the world again and connected with our family and our most wonderful friends via messaging which lifted me even further up. I also managed to clean up the boat a bit after yesterday rampage…with everything flying around and hide Marcus Easter basket…
Our beautiful friend Michelle inspired me with her champagne picture to put a bottle of sparkling in the fridge so we can proper celebrate tonight. 

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Cool ICW video – thanks Lenny

On a morning walk we met Lenny at Chesapeake City / VA park flying his drone. As we stayed only one night I wanted to get some footage as well, but he told us that he is doing some time-laps of the bridge we just tied up. I asked him if I can use his footage and he said ok. If you watch the video you see our boat on the public pier and later re-fueling at Atlantic Yacht Basin.

Lenny told us that he is taking care of his mom at home during his free time and he is not able to spend too much time outside. He enjoys flying his drone when he has the chance.

Thanks again Lenny for the great footage.

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Departing Charleston

Finally it was time to leave Charleston and continue our way back up to New Jersey. To leave from the City Marina can be challenging depending on wind and tide, so I was planning my departure carefully and in the beginning it looked good.

We were planning to leave close to slack tide and with no wind forecasted. Unfortunately another boat arrived the day earlier and put us in a tight spot (imagine you get your car parked in with one in front and one behind). Until now I do not know why the marina placed the boat  so close to us as it had a lot of space behind (and they were leaving 1 hour after us). The owner of the boat was very friendly and told me that he is able to help me when we are leaving. So I felt comfortable leaving with no wind, not much current and 5 ft in front and about 12 ft in the back. Usually I would always depart against the current or wind (if exists), but this time I thought that backing out without wind and current would be better as I have more space to swing the bow towards the dock. I asked our friendly neighbor to go on his boat and if we come too close he can fend us off.

So off I went, the dock hand used a spring line to get the stern out and then backed up. Out of a sudden the boat moved more sidewards than backwards and as I hesitated to push backwards, our boat hit the neighbors boat. Our neighbor was not able to fend off. Luckily no damage on the other boat and some scratches on our gelcoat.

Just a flesh wound

So I learned some valuable lessons after I debriefed the departure with the harbor master afterwards over the phone:
– even the slightest current can push the boat going in the same direction
– if someone wants to help to fend off, make sure he has a fender in his hand
– if there is more space, tell people to move the boat
– Pre-brief departure with Dockmaster rather than de-brief 

The rest of the journey to North Myrtle Beach was uneventful. It took us about 90min to get out of the ocean, which was a bit rough  but once we set course North it was smooth sailing until the little river inlet. 

At Myrtle Beach Yacht club we were greeted by our friend Jamie (who owns the same boat as us), unfortunately his wife was away. This was a good opportunity for a boys night with beer and fish and chips. 

I learned so much from Jamie to fix things on our boat that we might need some more dinners to pay him back :-). Before we left we enjoyed a BBQ together – until next time wonderful friend

Another pleasant surprise was the visit from our NJ friend Stacy’s parents. Ann and Joe are living near Southport and showed us the beautiful Myrtle beach. There was a very yummy ice cream shop we tried out – our first this year.

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