Category Archives: ICW 2018 – 2019

Our First Thanksgiving On Board Esmeralde

We wanted it to be special, in Southport, North Carolina.

Day s 39-40, November 21-22

Being on this cruise, a big adventure, our first trip down the ICW, is very special.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  We wanted to take this Thanksgiving seriously and celebrate our good fortune together.

We had the turkey on board, and with a little luck it would fit in the oven of our Force 10 propane stove.  It was the same stove we had on our Sabre, but we had never cooked a turkey in that one either. Continue reading Our First Thanksgiving On Board Esmeralde

On to Southport for a Day or Three.

Leaving Wrightsville Beach, we were nosing around looking for a nice spot for Thanksgiving

Days 37 – 39, November 20

Have I ever said we cruise without a plan?  Well, yes.  We cruise without a plan.  No plan can make daily planning frustrating at times, but that is how we roll.  Our only short-term goal was to find a place to have some heater parts shipped for arrival within a few days after Thanksgiving weekend, hopefully in a place we might want to spend a few days so we would have repair/parts flexibility.  That was all shaping up to look like Charleston after Thanksgiving weekend.  We had no need to move fast. Continue reading On to Southport for a Day or Three.

On Firing Ranges, Dashing for Bridges, and Thanksgiving Shopping

Our [sad] visit to Swansboro was made up for with a beautiful day on the water to Wrightsville Beach.

Days 35 – 36, November 18 – 19

We pulled out of Swansboro on a gorgeous day, blue skies, light northerly, morning temps in the mid-40s.  Crisp and refreshing made for a delightful start.  We liked it.  We were headed for Wrightsville Beach, which promised activity, maybe a bit of congestion and some shopping.  Thanksgiving was approaching fast and we needed to get prepared. Continue reading On Firing Ranges, Dashing for Bridges, and Thanksgiving Shopping

A Bluebird Day to Swansboro, NC

Swansboro had some charm, but in the end, it wasn’t what we hoped.

Day 34, November 17

After a really excellent dinner at Aqua in Beaufort, we got a slow start in the morning.  It was a beautiful day, the kind of weather that the Chamber of Commerce would give the thumbs up to.  Chilly, but clear and sunny with just a light northerly breeze.  Promise for the day was high. Continue reading A Bluebird Day to Swansboro, NC

From One Great Town (Oriental) to Another (Beaufort)

They are very different places but we appreciated the benefits of both.

Day 33, November 16

The Neuse River was fiesty when we followed a shrimp boat out of the narrow channel, leaving Oriental at about 0900.  The sun was shining and the wind was biting cold, but we were toasty in our cozy pilot house with the replacement Webasto heater honking away happily in the engine room.  Our visit had been pleasant and successful.  We were ready to roll on.  We had Beaufort, NC in our sights. Continue reading From One Great Town (Oriental) to Another (Beaufort)

If River Dunes is Sterile, Oriental is Rich and Ripe (in a good way!)

We sampled both while waiting for our November 15 insurance restriction to expire.

Days 28 – 32, November 11 – 15

While we explored Belhaven we contemplated our next move[s].  We had one major constraint to contend with: our insurance policy stipulates that we remain north of 35 degrees North until after November 15.  This is a clause that is designed to keep us out of the worst of the hurricane zone until after hurricane season winds down.  

Given the storm devastation in North Carolina from September and October the restriction does make some sense, but we were beginning to feel a bit like caged rats.  The sub-optimal weather was preventing us from cruising at a normal pace; we dash as far as we can when we have a weather window, then hunker down as gales blow over.  It is a pattern that had begun the day we left home a month ago, and it persists. Continue reading If River Dunes is Sterile, Oriental is Rich and Ripe (in a good way!)

Into The Heart of Hurricane Florence’s Darkness

We had a lovely visit to Belhaven, but Wow! Major hurricane damage was still in full display.

Days 26 – 27, November 9 – 10, 2018

After our layday in Coinjock we were looking at a 74 nm run to Belhaven so we were up for our o-dark-hundred early-start program of coffee at 4:30, walk the dogs at 5:30 and cast off at 6:30 (sunrise-ish). This works well for us as the caffeine has time to enter the bloodstream and the dogs get a decent stretch before a long day cooped up on board.  It also give us a nice opportunity to experience our destinations in the pre-dawn quiet of the day which is usually a lot different from daylight action.  It might sometimes be hard to get out of bed, but it’s usually worth it. Continue reading Into The Heart of Hurricane Florence’s Darkness