Trip from Chesapeake Bay to Hilton Head, SC——-October 16,2007
Lou and I left for the Bay Oct.11th to get ready for the trip South. Bill and Jan Evans are flying in on the 16th to make the trip with us.
In the mean time we took some time to get the boat ready and do a little land cruising to catch some spots we missed on the Bay.
We met David, Kryste, and David James Dalton at the Annapolis Boat Show on the 12th, and ate dinner with them in Annapolis on the 13th. We drove down to Solomons Island on the 14th for dinner, and drove over to Chestertown for a tour and lunch on the 15th. We are ready to get to some serious travelling now! It will be good to be back underway!
The following are some photos that we took during this time.
Jan and Bill came in on the afternoon of the 16th to join us on the trip South. We, somewhat sadly, departed Hartge’s Yacht Yard on the 17th for the run down to Tangier Island.
We fueled at Calvert’s Marina at Solomons Island, MD. Then on to Tangier. This was Bill and Jan’s first visit to Tangier Island, and we were in luck. The next morning the ladies at Hilda Crocket’s Chesapeake House were going to serve their last meal of the season. They serve family style, and it is a veritable feast.
Milton Parks at Parks Marina was as interesting as always. We got a picture of Jan and Lou with him.
After lunch at Hilda Crocket’s we left for the village of Onancock on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. After running over there and four miles up the creek we found the marina full. We then headed across the Bay to stay the night at Deltaville on the Rappahannock River. This is across the Bay on the Western Shore. We tied up at Regatta Point on Broad Creek.
With the weather deteriorating we decided to leave early for the run down the Bay to Hampton. We beat the weather, and after a two hour run we were tied up at the Hampton Public Piers. We are here for two nights.
We had a fairly leisurely day today. Bill and I repaired the head that had some kind of cotton pad lodged in it. It had not sounded right for quite awhile and finally just quit working. It had broken off an impeller blade and cracked the impeller. There were no replacement parts to be found in all the Hampton Roads area. It called for a little ingenuity, but we cleaned, glued, and sealed until we got it working again. It wasn’t a permanent fix, but hopefully it will work long enough to get four people to Hilton Head. Not fun working on those things while upside down.
Norm Blinn came over bearing some wonderful gifts and providing a ride to pick up some provisions. We had lunch at the Marker 20 Restaurant. We are moving over to Norfolk’s Waterside Marina tomorrow where we hope that we may get to see both Norm and Kathy.
So far the weather has been great. We will enter the ICW at mile 0 tomorrow. If the weather holds we are headed for Manteo and Ocracoke on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Can’t wait for that.
Sunday, Oct. 21st, we moved about ten miles today. We are tied up at Norfolk’s Waterside Marina. What a great stop! Jan and Lou went over to McCarther Center for some shopping. We made a provision stop at a great downtown grocery. There was also a wine festival going on next to the marina.
Have I said that Norfolk is a Navy town? It is home to one of the largest Navy bases in the world. There were no less than six aircraft carriers in port. What an active place.
We will fuel up at Ocean Marine Yachting Center in the morning. We will then be back in the ICW for the 565 mile run to Hilton Head.
The weather does not look promising for a comfortable trip to the Outerbanks. It looks like we will stop at Belhaven, Washington or Bath, and Oriental instead. These are some of my old waters, and it will be good to get reacquainted.
Monday, Oct. 22. Norfolk is a very interesting stop. There are few harbors in the world that will compare in activity. We awoke this morning to find 3 tugs guiding a large navy ship into dry dock. This was just across from us.
After fueling at Ocean Marine, we fell in behind a large LPG tanker ship with security boats all around. It was moving at about 3 knots, and we couldn’t pass. It took all morning to move 20 miles. After that and the maze of bridges and the Great Bridge Lock all with only scheduled openings, we were finally able to start making some speed. Then it seemed that we had to work our way past every boat travelling the East Coast.
We had a good run across the Albemarle Sound, and after working our way into the Alligator River entrance, a great run down the river. The river entrance channel has changed. To get in you have to run over about one half mile west to the second marker–then back east–tricky!!!
The long Alligator/Pungo Canal opened into the Pungo River. We reached our destination just before sundown.
Tonight we are in the quaint town of Belhaven, NC tied up at the Waterfront Marina. We had a nice dinner and tour of the old home at the River Forest Manor. We were taken on the tour by the son of Axson Smith, the departed outgoing proprietor of the well known establishment. I had a builder customer, Bernard Voliva, also departed, that lived on the water front across the street from the manor. Bernard and I used to eat lunch there and would talk with Axson. It was a noisy place with birds, pianos, and raucous sailors stopping over on the ICW.
Tuesday, Oct. 23, we cruised over for a short, noontime visit to Bath, NC. Bath is a very historical town that served as home to Blackbeard the pirate as well as early governmental functions.
We then cruised on up to “Little” Washington, NC for the night. We had a wonderful dinner at Pia’s (we recommend it) downtown. The municipal docks are nice, convenient, and reasonably priced. The wind is up a little so it may be on to Oriental tomorrow.
Wednesday, Oct 24, 07, We departed Washington, NC. Oriental was booked, so we elected to go on to Beaufort, NC for the night. As usual, if weather is going to be encountered, it will be at the meeting of the Neuse River with Pamlico Sound. The wind was 22 mph gusting to 30 out of the South. That put it right on the nose. We still made about 26.5 knots but it was a little bouncy.
I sent Lou forward to check on the TV. Everything was OK, but I should not have sent her forward like that. Won’t do it again.
Today we encountered about everything that you are likely to be presented with while piloting the ICW–bouys changed sides 3 times (watch those gold triangles and squares), wind and choppy seas, dredging operations, rain, shoaling with temporary bouys, no wake zones, passing all kinds of boats, and fairly confusing channels with junction bouys. Not a long day, but one that required full attention.
At Beaufort Docks there was a strong on shore wind with tidal current running. Makes for an interesting docking situation. However, Beaufort is always a good stop.
Thursday, Oct 25, 07, We moved about five miles today to the Morehead City Yacht Basin. This has brought back many memories, as I kept a boat here back in the 70’s for nearly five years. Some of my sons’ fondest childhood memories are of time spent on our boat here and fishing the coastal waters. James Hester, the dockmaster that we so fondly remember, passed away two years ago this coming November. I will always remember our boys playing in the dinghy, cleaning fish, following James around, and watching wrestling with James in the captain’s lounge almost every Saturday night. He was a great guy.
We took the courtesy car and bored Bill and Jan looking at projects and land deals that I was involved in 35 years ago. Astonishingly, the buildings are still standing and look pretty good. It was the first time that I had seen them since leaving the area.
Friday, Oct. 26, 07, We departed Morehead City in hard rain and were in and out of it all day. It was a tough day of hard rain, bridge delays, and passing South bound boats. The radar overlay on the chartplotter has come in handy the last few days.
The Sunset Beach bridge is to my knowledge the only remaining pontoon bridge in the U. S. It opens once an hour, and it seems that SeaRays have the right of way here.
We departed the ICW again to run up the Cape Fear River to tie up in downtown Wilmington. This should really be a two day stop, but we will depart in the morning.
Is this a great crew or what? We had three superb dockings today. Wind blowing, current running, raining, fixed docks, floating docks or you name it. This crew is up to the task! I am even starting to look good as captain.
A little easier run today. Not as much passing and only light rain. The wind and tide were good to us on the Cape Fear River. On top of that the crew was still at top form. A good day, indeed.
Today we made Georgetown, SC and went into town for a little walking tour and dinner–nice town.
Part of the day was spent going down one of my favorite parts of the ICW–The Waccamaw River. After the junk behind Myrtle Beach it was a welcomed relief. Even the usual cranky bridge tender at the Socastee Creek swing bridge was cordial today. He opened on demand and seemed to be in a good mood. Tomorrow, on to Charleston for a couple of nights.
Sunday, Oct. 28, ’07
Charleston! Hailing port of MOONSTRUCK. It is good to be back on the Mega Dock and enjoying the ambience of this wonderful town.
It was a good cruise today with better weather–cloudy but no rain. There is a break in the heat, and fall is in the air.
We took the Marina shuttle into town and did some shopping at Harris Teeters Market. There will be more touring tomorrow.
We extended to stay a third night in Charleston. It is just too good of a town to leave. Today was a day for a little walking tour. Tonight we have reservations at Magnolia’s Restaurant. It has always been very good. Here are some shots from today’s walk.
Halloween, Oct. 31, ’07 Wednesday
We are about 30 miles from our destination. After a two and on half hour run from Charleston we tied up at the Beaufort, SC Downtown Marina. We took on 372 gallons of very expensive diesel fuel.
We must have passed at least 20 boats on the run down today. Hardly any are going north. Tomorrow we hope to beat the weather and run early to Hilton Head. We know our slip is available. There was a boat here that had to vacate a slip at Shelter Cove because we are due in tomorrow.
Thursday, Nov. 1, ’07
Well, once again MOONSTRUCK has gotten her crew to their destination safely. We have arrived at our slip at Shelter Cove Harbor on Hilton Head Island. This has been more of a leisure cruise than we ordinarily do. We were able to take the time to go off the beaten path for some exploring.
for jumping ship at Hilton Head, SC.
Has anyone seen the following people? They are able seamen Bill Evans and able seaman Janice Evans, AKA Salty Bill and Sassy Jan. Their last known address was in Palmetto, FL, but they have a boat and may be seen in most any harbor. They are sometimes seen travelling with a short, copper and white colored Pit Corgy dog. Do Not try to apprehend them yourself. Anyone with information on their whereabouts please contact us through the comments section of this website.
Because of business and personal interests, we are planning for MOONSTRUCK to be at Shelter Cove Harbor for the foreseeable future. There have been many miles put under her keel in the last several months. She has provided a safe home and transportation. She deserves a rest.
It will be different getting used to a fixed base for awhile, but we will be able to visit with family and friends while taking it a little easier.
And now, we will have some comments from Lou so that you can know what really happened on this trip!
The saying, “Time flies when having fun”, was true of this trip!! In terms of days, it was the longest trip, however, time passed so quickly it seemed soooo short.
Spending time with Jan and Bill, visiting with Norm (sorry we missed Kathy), and visiting the many ports made this an interesting as well as educational trip. The many historical homes, churches and markers depicting the history of the towns made each stop different, yet intriguing.
One of the things that makes boating so interesting is being able to tie up in the middle of town and walk to points of interest. Washington, DC, Annapolis, St. Michaels, Tangier Island, Oxford, Norfolk, Hampton, Bath, Washington, NC, Beaufort, NC, Morehead City, Wilmington, Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, SC and Portsmouth VA are examples of such ports.
Jan, Bill and I decided we needed to evaluate Captain Don on how he performed his duties as captain of Moonstruck. I think I speak for all of us when saying his skill in handling the boat was superb, however, in building crew moral, he was somewhat lacking at times. His philosophy is “The beatings continue until moral improves!” We heard statements like…discipline will be dished out at 3 PM…the bus schedule is always posted, etc. Who can work under these conditions?? We did convince him, however, that handling the boat by himself might be a bit difficult. Seriously, we all had great fun and a wonderful cruise.
We are looking forward to seeing Kathy and Norm in the fall, spending time in the mountains, visiting more with Jan and Bill, getting together with Ron and Linda and discovering Hilton Head Island.
It looks as if we will be here for quite awhile..possibly a year. This gives ample time to explore and visit all points of interests.