Believe

2006 Captain's Log
2005 - 2006



Click on Image for Map of our Travels. Remember, we're a small leaf on a really, really big pond.



Date Log Entry
12/31/2006 Left Useppa Island, FL at 9:45:00 AM Arrived Boca Grande, FL at 11:00:00 AM 8 Miles
We knew we had a short trip today, so woke up wthout alarms, had a nice omelet breakfast and headed back south to Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande (GIWW 28.5). The entrance to the anchorage is through a very narrow channel and you have to hug the sea wall going out and coming in. Once in, you anchor med style with anchor off bow and stern tied to the mangroves. Wingin' IT anchored first and Cheri took the kayak and tied off their stern, then we rafted/anchored next to them and tied off our stern. Once settled we dinghed to shore and explored the town.
Midnight were some fireworks and boat horns for New Years. For dinner we BBQed steak, fresh shrimp and salmon and had strawberries and whip cream for dessert.
12/30/2006 Left Fort Myers, FL at 9:00:00 AM Arrived Useppa Island, FL at 2:42:00 PM 35.8 Miles
On Friday we took the bus to Boat U.S., West Marine and the Library, relaxed and prepared for the next day's travel. Cheri noticed that Skipper Bob had a Florida West Coast edition so on Saturday we left the mooring ball and went to the marina dock to but the book. Then we left and met Wingin' It in front of their marina. When I started the engine at 9:00 am, it was warm and there was no mist on the water and no white smoke or vapor. So it looks like its just a water vapor normal operation. I guess I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac with the boat - but I don't think it's a bad thing.
We met up with Wingin' It in front of their marina and headed West towards the mouth of the river - us and every other boat in the area. This was Saturday of a 3 day weekend and 80 degrees. Once past the mouth we headed north for some of the islands and ended up at Useppa Island (Gulf Coast Intercoastal WaterWay 21.6). We rafted with Wingin It, had dinner and watched Pirates of the Caribbean II.
12/28/2006 Left LaBelle, FL at 7:30:00 AM Arrived Fort Myers, FL at 1:10:00 PM 31.45 Miles
Started the engine at the dock and had white smoke/vapor again. But again today was a cold day and there was mist on the water. Left the dock and traveled the nice wide, deep, green Caloosahatche river through the lock and several bridges. As we got close to Fort Myers (OWW 103)., we radioed ahead to get fuel and check in for a mooring ball. The office/dock was very friendly and helpful. We got fuel and left and picked up our first mooring ball. We used the anchor bridle and a large anchor shackle I had purchased for exactly this purpose to hook onto the ball and it worked great. My only change would be to have a second shackle so we have redundancy. Right now we have 2 lines (1 to each hull cleat), 2 rings but only 1 shackle. We took the dinghy into the marina and did internet and showered and called Wingin' It, they were in Centennial Marina just past the next bridge. They invitied us to a cruisers pot luck in their marina that evening so we had good food and company. The white smoke/vapor did go away when the day warmed up.
12/27/2006 Left Moore Haven, FL at 7:30:00 AM Arrived LaBelle, FL at 11:50:00 AM 25.19 Miles
Overnight winds were much lighter than predicted, so no problems. Pulled up anchor and went through the Moore Haven Lock. The Caloosahatche canal and river had a nice deep channel and nice green scenery on either side. Went through the LaBelle lock and then the railroad bridge and docked at the River's Edge Hotel and Marina across from the town dock in LaBelle (987.9 + 103).
While underway I noticed some thin white vapor coming out the exhaust - per the books it could be many things. I did use 2 month old fuel from my fuel cannisters from Annapolis, plus the weather was in the low 40s. There was no white smoke the last hour and a half - so I'll continue to watch it. It could have something to do with the injectors plus another injector symptom is knocking - which the engine still does at low idle.
12/26/2006 Left Port Mayaca, FL at 7:15:00 AM Arrived Moore Haven, FL at 1:00:00 PM 39.16 Miles
Checked the weather and winds will be from the west 10-15 and Lake Okeechobee would have a "moderate" chop - so we untied from the dolphin and took off. The chop was light to moderate so no problem even with the wind on our nose all trip. We chose to cross the lake instead of taking the safer, slower southern Rim Route and saved 2 hours. As predicted, we went through the strong cold front moving at 30 knots but no problem underway and rather have it over with than under anchor. We continued west up the canal past the lock and Fish Camp and anchored in 8' of water at Moore Haven ((mile 987.9 + 78). The canal runs west to east and is a little narrow - but the winds are forecast to come from the West and NorthWest so we anchored close to the southwest shore and the winds should keep us in the deep water.
We talked to Wingin' It and they're doing errands today and will head north tomorrow - so we'll hook up later. We're planning on doing 1-2 days in LaBelle then Ft. Myers for a couple of days then head north and finally south to the Everglades and Keys.
12/25/2006 Christmas at Port Mayaca, FL
We had planned to leave Sunday (12/24) morning but the fog didn't lift until noon - so that would mean a late arrival or marina so we decided to stay another night on the dolphin.
On Christmas day the forecast was a small craft advisory, thunderstorms with gusts of 30-60 and a tornado watch. So we decided to relax, read play games, listen to Christmas music and be thankful. Cheri made Orange-Flavored Beef in the Pressure Cooker, plus baby potatoes and chocolate cookies for dinner.
12/23/2006 Left Indiantown, FL at 7:30:00 AM Arrived Port Mayaca, FL at 9:30:00 AM 9.77 Miles
Had originally planned to cross Lake Okeechobee, but no anchorages so we'd have to pay $75 for a marina. So we decided to just do a short (2 hour) hop to the lock at Port Mayaca (mile 987.9 + 38.7) and then take off from there the next day and be able to make it to a free anchorage at Moore Haven. When Skipper Bob says "can be buggy" - he really means it. At duck even with all the screens up it was a zoo - so we shut everything until it was dark and then were able to crack the hatches. We tied onto some dolphins that are setup with cleats - so very easy and restful.
12/22/2006 Still in Indiantown, FL
Talked with Eric the Service Manager and setup work order for repairs. Repairs were completed Wednesday and Thursday. Through the week we worked on several projects and repairs. Got the outer hulls waxed, drive leg reverse lock repaired, bug screens were mounted until I ran out of snaps, protective boots were put over the shroud bases. Believe was put back in the water late 12/22 and we're spending the night at the dock and will leave in the morning.
12/15/2006 Left Stuart, FL at 8:05:00 AM Arrived Indiantown, FL at 11:50:00 AM 23 Miles
Got up and ready to leave at 7:00 am - but too foggy so waited until after 8:00 for the fog to clear. Went under several fixed bridges and through the St. Lucie lock and got hauled out at Indiantown Marina (mile 987.9 + 29.4). Talked with the Service Manager Eric and surveyed the damage from the rockpile. 90% were just scratches in the gelcoat with 2 quarter size gauges into the fiberglass - not as bad as feared. I'm also having him drill out a bolt that broke off the drive leg pulley system. He said we'd talk on Monday.
12/14/2006 Left Vero Beach, FL at 7:00:00 AM Arrived Stuart, FL at 2:45:00 PM 46.07 Miles
Had planned to stay in Vero Beach for awhile, but called Indiantown Marina and they have an opening on Friday 12/15/06 or we have to wait for Wednesday 12/27/06 - so we decided to cut our stay at Vero Beach short. Great spot, easy mooring balls, free public transportation and many shops so we see why people stay for many weeks.
Untied the mooring line from the ball and spring lines from Duet and took off. Overcast day with 10 knot winds off our nose. At the St. Lucie river we made the change from the ICW route to the Okeechobee Waterway to head west across Florido to Ft. Myers. The junction at Manotee Pocket Red marker 2 was very confusing. Anchored in Stuart (mile 987.9 + 7.9) in the cove across from the mooring balls in the rain.
12/11/2006 Left Melbourne, FL at 8:15:00 AM Arrived Vero Beach, FL at 1:30:00 PM 34.29 Miles
Overnight the winds were between 10-18 knots with some rain from the East. Left the anchorage and headed south. Winds were from the SE but averaged 6 knots. Arrived at Vero Beach Municipal Marina (951.7) and got mooring ball 52 on the north (very distant) end along with Duet and Twin Spirits. Put the dinghy down and tied a line from Believe to the mooring ball then checked in at the marina office. Came back to the boat and did projects and relaxed.
12/10/2006 Left Titusville, FL at 7:45:00 AM Arrived Melbourne, FL at 2:30:00 PM 40.82 Miles
The shuttle did take off last night and we had a great view. Got fuel on the way out of the marina. Motorsailed with 20 knots east winds off our port beam, dropped the RPMs and still made 6 knots. Had a tentative plan to stop in Coco (mile 897) but the anchorage was exposed to east winds and the forecast was for continued strong east winds so continued to Melbourne (mile 918.2). Anchored on the east shore for some protection from the winds, there's a chop, but nothing major that will "thump" on the bridgedeck.
Made reservations for a mooring ball at Vero Beach. Reviewed Skipper Bob's Marina book and am planning to haul out at Indiantown Marina to have them repair the damage received on the rockpile.
12/9/2006 Still at Titusville, FL
At the Titusville marina we ran into many old friends - Andante, Twin Spirits and we stopped by Eridanus (at anchor) on the way in. We also met the family on Seven@Sea who we passed and they passed us on the way to Wrightsville Beach. This was our longest time at anchor without running the engine (Monday-Thursday). We did "normal" things like running water, lights, refer, gas detector and 2 hours of TV. The solar panels brought back bwteen 30-40 amps which would be fine without the TV. The TV was enough over the line to have us in a deficit a bit each day. So next long anchor period we'll try the TV every other day and see how we do.
Did a summary of our November finances keeping in mind the house selling in November and separating out the house and land cleanup stuff from the pure boat/new life style. We were $500 under budget even with the $800 for the 50 hour servicing. No shuttle launch Thursday night due to low cloud cover and winds. So they rescheduled for tonight (12/9/06). Changed engine oil and ran out of propane. Went into town but the store was closed for the weekend, but we have 1 full and 1 3/4 full container so should last for another 9 months.
12/7/2006 Left Titusville, FL at 10:00:00 AM Arrived Titusville, FL at 11:00:00 AM 1.5 Miles
Stayed on anchor since Monday but weather forecase is calling for 25 knot winds with gale force gusts - so we decided to go into the marina. We made reservations and headed into the slip at B68. The attendant told us to stear wide as we were coming in and then we were caught in the prop wash of a boat being worked on, "Oculus Mundi". They were fully tied up but in forward gear and their prop wash went all the way across the channel. There was no wind or current, so we were caught by surprise - no damage, but caught our attention. We're hoping the weather holds off and the shuttle still launches tonight.
12/4/2006 Left Titusville, FL at 9:45:00 AM Arrived Titusville, FL at 10:15:00 AM 1.5 Miles
North winds picked up overnight to 25 knots in the morning with 2-4 chop, so we pulled anchor and went through the Titusville Bridge to the south side and anchor with a little better protection - waves are only 1-2'. But we warmed up some water while running the engine and had a hot shower - so totally worth it.
12/2/2006 Left Daytona Beach, FL at 8:15:00 AM Arrived Titusville, FL at 3:00:00 PM 43.06 Miles
Quiet nite at the marina, got up and had breakfast at the marina diner - cheap and ok food.
Wind was on the nose the whole way - but still made good progess once the tide went our way at 11:57 pm. Weather is warmer and the water is clearer - so I'll dive the bottom in this clearer water.
Arrived in Titusville (mile 878) and while Wingin' It was anchoring, we got a call from our friends from Annapolis, Chuck and Kate on Eridanus in the harbor and arranged for them to come over for dinner with us and Ted and Rhonda. After talking a while, Chuck mentioned that the space shuttle would be launching on Thursday (we're right next to Cape Canaveral) - so new plans. We're staying for the launch and maybe popping down to Coco Beach and back. We'll follow the same destinations as mentioned on 12/1/06, but just different dates.
Had chili, beans, potato salad and BBQ hot dogs for dinner with great company.
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12/1/2006 Left Fort Matanzas, FL at 7:00:00 AM Arrived Daytona Beach, FL at 1:00:00 PM 43.12 Miles
No problems overnight - left the anchorage and travelled to Dayton Beach (mile 831). Got a slip at Seven Seas Marina for the night. I dove the bottom of the boat to check the hull and water visibility is 4" so couldn't do a visual inspection, but felt with my hands and there certainly are scratches, but it may only be the gel coat - not the fiberglass. I'm planning on being in Ft. Myers by 12/10/06 - so I'll probably have the boat hauled there. Discussed plan for the next couple of weeks:
12/2 - Titusville - anchor:
12/3 - Indian Harbor Beach - anchor:
12/4 - Vero Beach - mooring ball reserved:
12/5 - St. Lucie River to Okeechobee Waterway to Stuart - mooring ball :
12/6 - Port Mayaca - anchor:
12/7 - Moore Haven - anchor:
12/8 - LaBelle - free dock? :
12/10 - Ft. Myers - mooring ball reserved
11/30/2006 Left St. Augustine, FL at 3:30:00 PM Arrived Fort Matanzas, FL at 5:00:00 PM 12 Miles
Toured the great, historic town (the oldest constantly occupied town in the US) and returned to the boat around 2:00 pm. Winds had picked up and Wingin' It was watching one local boat that was dragging and swinging wildly with the current. The owner was not known and there was no way to control the boat so we pulled up anchor and travelled south to Fort Matanzas (mile 792.4) and anchored there. We anchored and Wingin' It rafted up to us - we also saw Andante and waved at them in the anchorage. I put a bridle on the anchor rode but had to take it off due to strange physics between the current and the wind. Instead of floating behind the anchor, instead the current and wind combination forced us stern to the anchor causing the rode to be under the boat. The bridle lines were then against the wires supporting the screecher hardware and no good way to chafe protect the lines, so removed the bridle and we road just on the anchor line.
11/28/2006 Left Beaufort, SC 11/28/06 7:15 am Arrived St. Augustine, FL 11/29/06 3:00 pm 198.7 Miles
The plan was to get out to buoy G15 and then head south to Fernandina Beach, FL. During the trip we decided to head to Jacksonville instead of Fernandina Beach - so our heading was 188 degrees. We reached the buoy at 11:00 am and had a 34 hour overnight to our destination. We had the radar going and had Wingin' It between 1-3 miles ahead. The conditions are very rolly - about 5-6 foot waves and winds in the low 20s. Cheri had some seasickness so she mainly stayed in the cockpit.
NOAH forcasted winds from the north with waves 1-2 feet. Winds were light during the day coming from the east, increased to 15 knots in the early evening and switched to the south (our direction of travel) - so it changed from a rolly broad reach to a banging point into the wind. Around midnight the winds increased to over 25 knots. We'd already taken down the jib since it was flapping due to the high point of sail and we decided to take the main down instead of just reefing - we knew a storm was coming and conditions were worse than predicted than morning. So onto the pitching deck with waves crashing over the bow we got the mainsail down and motored the rest of the way. Around 1:00 am we considered putting our stern to the waves and going to Fernandino Beach on low RPMs so we arrived by sunrise - but talked to Ted and Rhonda and decided to keep on. We finally reached Jacksonville as the son was rising and continued through to the ICW and to our final destination for the trip, St. Augustine, FL (mile 778). Before rafting with Wingin It, we fueled up and paid for a dinghy pass from the marina and access to showers and laundry.
Part of this is a learning experience. We have lots of light air experience, but little heavy ocean experience and haven't learned to trust and know our boat. We appreciate Wingin" It's patience, help and instruction during this first overnight, first offshore trip.
During the trip Cheri made Chicken Morango in the crockpot, but I ate alone and for dinner tonight we finished the leftover lasagna and Chicken Morango
11/27/2006 Left Stono River, SC 8 am Arrived Beaufort, SC 6:30 pm 62.32 Miles
Started the day with a plan to anchor in Parrot Creek (mile 521.5) and planning on a short day Tuesday and going outside on Wednesday. But after listening to the forecast, a storm is coming from the north so we decided to make it into Beaufort and anchor after the bridge. We didn't make the 4:00 opening so we had to wait until 6:00. Sunset was 5:17 pm so Wingin' It anchored just outside the marina and we rafted up in the dark. Rhonda made salad and chicken soup for dinner and Cheri made home made bread and nuts with rosemary.
11/26/2006 Left South Santee River, SC 7:15 am Arrived Stono River, SC 3:45 pm 54.24 Miles
The night was a little warmer (47F), but very calm and wonderful stars. Had 2 bridges that only opened on the hour/half hour so had to time the trip. Not much wind to help with the trip and not a lot of contrary current until we hit Elliot Cut - strong 3-4 knot current in 24 feet of water - no problem, but just slowed us down and you had to keep your boat alligned correctly. We anchored in 10' of water in the north end of Stono River (mile 475.5) between the range marker "A" and the power lines and Wingin' It rafted up. I ran out of fuel in one of the tanks while anchoring - no big deal just switched the tanks. We had leftover lasagna and salad and watched a movie, "What About Bob".

Discussed future plans:
Ft. Myers: 12/12/06 - 12/16/06, I made reservations. Wingin' It will be there 12/12/06 - 12/26/06
Key West: 1/7/07 - 2/7/07
Bahamas: 2/7/07 - ??
11/25/2006 Left Thoroughfare Creek, SC 10 am Arrived South Santee River, SC 3:30 pm 30.54 Miles
Overnight temperature got down to 37 - did have some current but no big 180 degree swings - so anchor held fine during the raft up. In the morning Wingin' It detached and we pulled up anchor and headed south again. Had some better winds so that helped the travel and RPMs. I kept the tach at 1950 to gather data and continue working on my fuel data and we ended the day with 8 gallons - so used 4 gallons. Passed through many more rice paddys and made a Hiku:

Rice fields, duck death lure
Cammo boats, I can see them
Hunter, hunted . . . Life

We stopped around Georgetown (403.0) at a low sand bar where many boaters go to check their bottoms - the water was still to silty so we travelled on. Planning on doing the check in Florida on Wednesday.
Wingin" It anchored in South Santee River, SC (mile 420.1) and we rafted with them. For dinner Cheri made lasagna and Rhonda brought over appetizers and salad and we watched a movie.

We discussed future plans:
Sunday get to mile 454 or 461 or 469
Monday get to mile 513 or 516

Tuesday we head outside into the Atlantic and bypass Georgia and go straight to Fernandina Beach. It's about 220 miles and will be our first overnight passage. We're planning on making the settee into a bed and doing 2 hour watches. We'll run our radar as well as do a visual check every 15 minutes (kitchen timer)
11/24/2006 Left Myrtle Beach, SC 7:30 am Arrived Thoroughfare Creek, SC 2:00 pm 37.72 Miles
Survived the winds (30+ knots) and cold temperatures (37F degrees) and left Barefoot Landing to hook up with Wingin' It at their marina (Grand Dunes) for fuel. Was a beautiful day but with light winds off the bow so no help. Arrived at Thoroughfare Creek (mile388.9) and dropped anchor, then Ted and Rhonda rafted up. The creek is surrounded by abandoned rice paddys - so was beautiful but was prime for duck hunting. Lots of boats whipping by in cammo attire. We had a celebratory cocktail toast and ate dinner together on Wingin' It (Chili, corn bread). Overnight temps should be in the high 30s so another cold one. Wingin' It offered for us to use their generator so we ran a extention cord over. I'm now reconsidering a small Honda generator for emergencies and or such situations, I think it'll be worth the space and give some extra choices. I checked fuel and had 12 gallons in the tank under several RPM speeds
11/20/2006 Left Pipeline Canal, NC 6:45 am Arrived Myrtle Beach, SC 5:30 pm 43 Miles
Left the anchorage - very peaceful and quiet and passed through several miles of currents with us and then against - but for most of the day has winds on the beam so that helped us. We had 1 bridge that opened on the hour so had to time it and 2 other bridges that we had to call. I haven't whined about powerboaters too much but today while waiting for a bridge to open in a small, narrow, channel a power boat pulled alongside and then jammed in front of me and then when the bridge opened and I was right behind that boat, a 2nd power boater pulled alongside to also jam in (thank goodness I keep my guns in a inconvenient locker). Had some trouble in the Rockpile but finally made it to Barefoot Landing Marina (mile 354.4) in Myrtle Beach. The marina doesn't have showers, but does have access to a mall and shops so should be a good place to stay during the upcoming 20-40 knot storm Monday night through Thursday. Had planned on leaving Thursday morning the Ted and Rhonda on Wingin' It - but will see if the weather calms down.
In the Rockpile we ran aground when a power boat forced us over. I thought we were fine in 7 foot and then suddenly we weren't. We were about an hour before low tide, so we watched 3 hours of Scrubs until the water came up and we backed off. We checked the bildge and watertight compartments and all seemed fine. I need to check the hull as soon as we're in water than one can see in - this water is very silty.
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11/19/2006 Left Wrightsville Beach, NC 7:45 Arrived Pipeline Canal (Southgate), NC12:15 28.8 Miles
We have 70 miles to get to Myrtle Beach, SC (mile 345) - so we decided to split it into 2 shorter days rather than 1 long day. On the other side, a big weather front is hitting next Tuesday and Wednesday - so would prefer to be at dock for the 35 knot winds. So a short day today will leave 40 miles to cover Monday and will be at dock by early afternoon, plenty of time to get ready for the storm. I started the engine and no smoke - but still the cold weather rattle unless I move the throttle up.
So we left Wrightsville Beach (mile 283) and got back into the ICW. I had downloaded the Tide tming for the Cape Fear River and timed our arrival at the mouth to take advantage of the current. It did mean we had to fight a bit of current at Snows Cut (mile 295) but more than made up for it running south on the Cape Fear River at 9.3 knots at 2000 RPM (normal slack water speed 5.9). Took some big wakes from some cargo ships heading up to Wilmington and almost lost the solar showers during the pitching (this is how we learn, they are now and will forever be tied down from now on).
After the river got back into the ICW and turned at Red Buoy 4 into the Pipeline Canal ((mile 311). Several boats already here including one suck vessel. Checked fuel and oil levels. Oil is fine, starboard diesel tank full, port tank down to 8 gallons. For dinner we had leftovers.
11/18/2006 Left Swansboro, NC 6:45 Arrived Wrightsville Beach, NC 3:45 55.53 Miles
Last night we listened to the 8:30 PM coast guard announcement in case they were doing some artillery practice at Camp LeJenne. The tide went out around 8 pm and then came back in around 4:30 am - so the boat and anchor rotated almost 180 degrees no problems. Even though we've never had a problem with the anchor (I bought one size bigger than recommended for my boat) - I think I'll get a bigger one just because.
We knew we had a lot of miles so we left Swansboro early. On the way got diesel at New River Marina. After I fueled up, I started the engine and saw some white smoke. I checked my library and saw it was steam from the cold day - so no problem, but I'll check in the morning just in case.
Today's challenge was bridges on a schedule. That is, instead of being on call, these bridges open on the hour, or on the half hour. So I plotted routes using the chart plotter/GSP. Then I look at my ETA and vary my speed so there wouldn't be a long wait and it worked just fine. Today's course was more southwest along the coast and had a north wind off the beam with little waves - so got some help and was able to lower RPMs.
Arrived in Wrightsville Beach (mile 283) and anchored by the bridge. It may be a little bouncy tonight with the winds and tide, but I feel we set the anchor well.
For dinner Cheri made very creamy pasta with tuna.
11/17/2006 Left Oriental, NC 7:15 am Arrived Swansboro, NC 3:30 pm 50.17 Miles
Checked the weather forecast and conditions looked good so we left Deaton's in the morning. Unlike Tue-Thursday, this morning was cold, when I started the engine the rattle was there - so it seems to be cold temperature related and per Ted on Wingin' It - is normal. Winds were predicted from the west and 5-10 - so we put the jib up. Once we hit the Neuse River, winds increased to 25-30 knots on our beam with 3-4' seas. Even when we brought the jib in, still a rough ride, so I added some distance and pointed more to the wind, then turned to my heading and took the wind and waves on the stern for a easy ride.
We used range markers for the first time - that's where you have 2 signs with lines many feet apart. You know you're in the channel when the lines match. Then we went into Bogue Sound and ran into some contrary current - so slowed us down to the high 3 knot speed and with the wind on our nose - no help.
We finally ended up at Swansboro (mile 229) and anchored up the White Oak River between the Red Buoy 4 and the bridge. At this time the winds are coming from the NW (and are supposed to continue) so that puts our stern to the bridge which makes me a little nervous - so I've set both the Chartplotter and GPS (thanks DaveE) on anchor watch.
Cheri warmed leftover chicken but served it with soft-cooked polenta.
11/16/2006 Still at Deaton's in Oriental, NC. Last night the winds picked up as expected from the SW at 20 knots. No rain and warm - so checking the lines during the night was easy. This morning winds have picked up to the 30s and should be shifting more to the west therefore may have some water level dropping and need to adjust the lines. Per weather forecast this AM, still looks good for heading out Friday morning, winds out of the north at 10-15. Today's big project is to receive a Fedex from the title company with the paperwork for us to sign to sell our house. We scouted yesterday and found a bank that will do notary work. The only other thing is having Fedex pick the package up - there are no drop offs in Oriental, so I called to arrange pickup for tomorrow. I started the engine and it still has no big vibration - so all is set for heading out tomorrow. Made reservations at Barefoot Landing Marina in Myrtle Beach, SC for next Tuesday and Wednesday - so that's the next piece of civilization we'll be at and able to update the log.
11/14/2006 Eric from Deaton's Yacht Service spent the day working on the boat and performing the 50 hour service. He talked me through everything he was doing, gave me tips and tricks and we ran the engine at the dock as well as a river trial. I wasn't able to duplicate the engine rattle and the throttle behaved so I'm not sure if the engine tuning took care of the other problems or if Believe was just playing with me. We decided to stay here through the storm coming Wednesday and Thursday and will leave Friday morning. I've made reservations at Barefoot Landing Marina on 11/21-11/22 - so that's the schedule we're on for now.
Dinner Wednesday and Thursday night will be leftover chicken, pork and steak.
11/13/2006 I worked on some projects while waiting for the mechanic to get to us. We found that the Schreecher Sail would tangle on the Maryland Registration plates that we attach to the bow rails - so I lowered them. Cheri has had problems with the anchor nylon rode twisting, so I removed all of it, untwisted and replaced it. I moved all the items on the outside of the stanchions (life ring, fishing rod holders) to the inside, so I'm trading off some footwork for things being smashed on some terrible docks and bulkheads we've been on.
On my 11/1/06 log I discussed how we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, now I know better. I was used to day cruisers in the marina in which they had the bare minimum of items necessary to last for a couple of hours in our marina and town. Out here, we see cruisers just like us with items tied all over the decks, lifelines and stanchions.
I created an Excel spreadsheet with the mile stops to go to get to Myrtle Beach, anchorages and marinas along the way and the upcoming weather.forecast (Wednesday night and Thursday will be 25-35 knot winds.
Cheri made boneless chicken breasts baked with rice and cheese.
11/11/2006 Left 7:45 am Arrived 12:30 pm 28 Miles
Since Oriental was just a 28-mile hop, we told ourselves we'd sleep in and not leave with the rest of the group between 6 and 7. We stayed in bed until 7:30 am and decided to leave right away, as the fishing boats had been whipping by for an hour. We had the wind on our nose all day so were not able to motor sail. The Neuse River has a worse reputation than the Albemarle Sound - but we were protected again with calm seas. It was foggy and misty, so I broke out the manual and got the radar up and working. Pretty neat: I created zones around the boat and got a warning when something entered a zone. Plus I'm able to "lock in" a target and then track it for miles. As we entered the Whittaker Creek, the winds picked up, so we had a challenge getting fuel at the dock. Then we just went around the corner to Deaton's Yacht Service for our 50-hour engine service and some other maintenance. For dinner Cheri made whole-wheat penne pasta with chicken, roasted red peppers and feta cheese. Boater's midnight is a joke (but for real around cruisers). Basically, the end of your day is between 7 and 8 pm and you're wiped. Normally, you've been up since sunrise so you're just on a different rhythm. We're totally in with that. The sun goes down around 5:15 pm when we eat dinner. We read, talk for an hour or two and then, off to bed for more reading. But then again, we've seen more sunrises in the last week than we have in 5 years.
11/10/2006 Left 7 am Arrived 2:15 pm 55 Miles
Followed Twin Spirits out of the anchorage and we motorsailed to mile 155, Campbell Creek. It's a beautiful anchorage with trees all around and from all the little boats shooting around, must be a great fishing area. After everyone anchored, Stephan and Lori on Twin Spirits, Dean on Trinity and Renault on Catamie came over and snacked and talked. For dinner I bar-b-qued some steaks while I watched the fish jump and considered if I wanted to get the fly gear out. But the mosquitos helped me decide. It was a beautiful cloudless night with bright stars and a great moon.
11/9/2006 Left 7 am Arrived 2:30 pm 51 Miles
Checked the weather forecast last night and this morning and conditions look good. Departed Elizabeth City with several other cruisers, put the sails up and motor sailed to mile 65, the start of Albemarle Sound. Waves were 1-2 feet and winds were at our back at 15 knots - great sailing conditions. Some cruisers left an hour earlier and took the long route, but due to the good conditions, we cut across at green marker "1" and went straight to the mouth of the Alligator River. As we pulled into the mouth, it was like a grand meeting. There was Frodo on port and Dean on his Tartan on starboard with Andante passing us. I had planned to hit the 3 anchorages in Skipper Bob's book on the Alligator River, but Twin Spirits called from their anchor position south of Red 2 (instead of going around the corner) and invited us to join them - especially if the winds shifted to the west as forecast. So we anchored, then rowed over and visited for a while. Since we snacked with Stephan and Lori, we just had turkey sandwiches for dinner (with sprouts Cheri had grown). I made an appointment in Oriental, NC, for my engine servicing for Monday, 11/13/06. It's only 80 miles away, so tomorrow we'll target the Campbell River (mile 150ish) and then the next day a short 30 miles jaunt to Oriental (mile 180). We're planning on meeting Ted and Rhonda on Wingin' It in Myrtle Beach (mile 346) on 11/22/06 and can take our time and still easily make it.
11/8/2006 Stayed a second night in Elizabeth City, NC, waiting for a weather window. Tomorrow looks okay - NW winds 10-15. Last night was terrible. The dockmaster put us on the bulkhead which was directly exposed to the south wind storm and waves. I was up many times adjusting lines and bumpers. I was running out of ideas around midnight and some other boaters came by and offered help and brought over some of their extra bumpers - what great people. This morning, it was calmer so we moved into a slip. Shouldn't have another storm, but we'll sure sleep easier. Today was spent repairing the rubrail, doing some maintenance and planning the next leg of our journey - to the Alligator River.
11/7/2006 Left 7 am Arrived 2:30 pm 40 Miles
Left the dock early because we wanted to make the 11 am lock opening. When we got there, Frodo (Dutch) and Andante (Maryland) were there, we'd met them at our first lock the day before. The Dismal Swamp is a beautiful route - especially with the fall colors on both sides. We trimmed a tree and hit some debris - but no real problems so far. We're at the free dock in Elizabeth City (mile 50.9) and looks like we'll be here for a few days while we're waiting for a weather window to cross Albemarle Sound. Cheri has a chicken going in the crock pot that I'm looking forward to eating.
11/6/2006 Left 9 am Arrived 2:00 22 Miles
Left the marina and dodged the vessels in Norfolk harbor. Got diesel just off Hospital Point and officially started our journey down the ICW at red marker 36. This is more how we pictured it than journeying down the Chesapeake. Chesapeake was a long spell on a course versus the ICW can be narrow with many turns and corrections. Another "feature" of the ICW are its bridges and locks. But it's a well-oiled machine so you just call ahead or organize your timing for any scheduled openings. At mile 7.1 we turned a hard right and took the Dismal Swamp route. A lot more personality and it certainly is picturesque with trees on either side. At mile 10.6 after we went through our first lock (9') we docked at Elizabeth's lock (it's some small town, not sure of the name). No facilities, but there is a Food Lion in walking distance and a smoky Mexican Restaurant. For dinner we had leftovers - a combination of the Mac and Cheese and the crock pot roast. But for dessert, Cheri made some awesome bar cookies with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts and pecans.
11/5/2006 Stayed at the Willoughby Harbor Marina waiting for the mechanic to open on Monday. Worked on projects, cleanup and planning for the next week. For dinner we had turkey sandwiches with fresh sprouts Cheri had grown and fresh bread Cheri had made that morning.
11/4/2006 Left 7:15 Arrived 2:35 43 Miles
A quick note regarding last night. Keep in mind we were anchored, so no heat. It was cold, freezing cold.
We were supposed to get up at 6 am, but I forgot to set the alarm, so we woke up at 7 am. We turned and burned and had the anchor up and were on our way by 7:15 am. When I started the engine, it vibrated terribly and then had problems when I was switching into neutral and between forward and reverse. So we decided to go to Engines One and have our 50-hour check up as well as have them look at the transmission. Since today is Saturday and they're not open, we had no idea where to dock for servicing, so planned to only go part way and then call them on Monday.
We took off and planned to stay at a marina just past the York River, but later decided to press on and ended up at Willoughby Harbor Marina in Norfolk in Willoughby Bay at 2:35 pm. Weather forecast called for waves 1 to 2', but were actually 3-4' with winds 3-8 knots from the north. Cheri made toasted cheese and soup for dinner - perfect fare for the cold temperatures.
More cold temperatures tonight, but we're at the dock so I have the engine heater going as well as a small heater in the cabin. Who knows, maybe we'll be up to 50 degrees in the cabin tonight.
11/3/2006 Left 6:50 Arrived 4:05 61 Miles
We left Cavert Marina at 6:50 am and anchored in Fishing Bay in Deltaville at 4:05 pm. A freezing warning is in effect in the area, so most of the morning was in the 40's. Once the engine was running, we ran the cabin heater and opened the door into the cockpit enclosure - so that helped. Winds were between 10-15 knots from the north, so we had the wind at our back. Seas were over 3 foot so Cheri was mildly seasick (no chumming) when she went below but was just fine in the cockpit (ginger capsules helped). Cheri made a roast in the crock pot the previous day, so tonight was leftover meat with Mac and Cheese.
Tonight the wind should be 5-10 from the north and we anchored in 20' with 90' of scope, so should be fine. The temperature is expected to drop into the 20's or low 30's - so I'm going to watch the temperature overnight. If it gets below freezing, I'll start the engine and let it warm up.
11/1/2006 Left 7:30 Arrived 3:30 49 Miles
We feel like a boat version of the Beverly Hillbillies. Items arre strapped on, tied on, wire-tied on the outside. The inside is jam-packed to the gills. But we now have time to trim things down and figure it out.
We had planned to leave Port Annapolis Marina on 10/31, but due to some weather that developed overnight and some small craft advisories (not a big deal) and 20-knot winds coming from the south (a big deal) we waited for a better weather window. This gave us a day to decompress and complete some projects - strapping for the ice chest and sewing machine, figure out the course and program the chart plotter, etc.
We left the marina at 7:30 am and arrived in Solomons 3:30 - 49 miles. Since this was our first time, we planned to stop halfway at Herrington Harbor. At 11:00 am we were at Herrington Bay and made the call to continue on to Solomons. The winds were light and the water was smooth. So a great, easy first day. We arrived at Calvert Marina, got fuel and spent the night. The facilities aren't that clean and the bathrooms are smoky. For dinner, Cheri made pasta tossed with olive oil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and rosemary from our garden (yes we have a "garden" -- we also grow thyme and aloe vera).
8/26/2006 Moved boat back to slip.
8/22/2006 Moved boat to haul-out at Port Annapolis Marina. Did bottom paint and added Dynaplate for SSB.
07/09/06 Return to Port Annapolis Marina. Sail went much better as did raising the anchor. We decided we need a anchor washer.
07/07/06 Took trip to anchorage off Camp Letts at West and Rhode River for annual after 4th fireworks. Tested electrical systems - worked fine. Tested dinghy lock down support and looked good. Tested aft cabin shelf supports and worked fine. Tested BBQ tied into main propane tank and worked fine. Worked on the sail raising and anchoring processes.
06/29/06 Took Believe out to play with reverse lock. It seems to work fine - but will need to be checked before use. Fuel pressure was at 0 when engine was going. Engine RPMs maxed at 2500, when it used to be around 3000. Not sure if it's due to high output alternator or new Raccor Filter. May need to get mechanic out to check it.
04/28/06 Our dinghy, Unbelieveable, set up and running.
04/12/06 Moved Believe from Ego Alley to her new home at Port Annapolis Marina.
04/12/06 Sold Annapolis Post Box to Yong Chong-Han. We're officially retired. Marina.
12/11/05 Moved Believe back to Ego Alley
12/08/05 Moved Believe from Ego Alley for the Christmas Parade of Lights to Back Creek. Had a slip arranged at PCI, but too much ice - so docked at Bert Jabins.
10/30/05 Moved Believe from Liberty Marina to Ego Alley for the winter. This is my birthday for those of you who have gifts.
09/17/05 Took Gary and Marlene Dunne out for a sail.
09/04/05 After Phase 1 work completed by Peter Kennedy, moved Believe from PCI to Liberty Marina.
07/23/05 Signed Bill of Sale and purchased Believe from Performance Cruising. Did check out sail with Will Hershfield.




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