Monday, May 7, 2018

Playing leapfrog

May 7, 2018 Experiences from the previous 3 weeks and 3 States on the Loop

We keep meeting the nicest people!  Leaving St. Augustine on April 16th, we cruised north and stayed at a few anchorages until we got to St. Simon’s Island, GA.  

These ran much better after we bought some air for the tires!
Here we took a slip to visit the island and used the Marina’s loaner bikes to visit the lighthouse.  We also used the Marina’s loaner car to get groceries.
Barbara Bush's demise was the reason for the half-mast flag at the St. Simons Lighthouse that day.
When we returned from our land-based running around we found fresh water in the engine room.  A fitting was leaking.  We replaced it with a shark bite fitting and we were ship-shape again.

Going north, we’re playing leapfrog with other cruisers.  We kept passing (or being passed by) trawlers and sailing ships with names like Chips Ahoy (dinghy Micro Chip), Au Contraire, Tender, Crows Nest, and others.  Sometimes they chose the same anchorage or marina we did.

A lot of us were tied up at the dock in Beaufort, SC because a big front was coming through. (4/22)  Au Contraire was tied up behind us, Chip Ahoy was on the next dock over, as well as other familiar names.  

We helped Au Contraire tie up and met Redina (“like Regina, with a 'd'", she calmly explained for the umpteen time in her life) and Mike.  We enjoyed their company and spent a lot of time strolling Beaufort’s antebellum streets, exploring the museums and graveyards, shops and restaurants.
Stately oaks and old homes make up Beaufort SC
Graveyard between two churches in Beaufort, SC

The current is especially swift at that marina.  Jerry and I had gone for a walk.  When we got back we learned from Mike that Chip Ahoy had run into their boat, as well as the boat behind them.  Chip had to tie back up and exchange paperwork and apologize.  Lesson – wait for the current to ease. 

After everything was settled with Chip Ahoy and the current was slack, Tanuki and Au Countaire left for a mutually agreeable anchorage.  On the way, we passed Chip Ahoy trying to set anchor in an open, unprotected area that’s not a recommended anchorage.  Poor guy!  Still learning lessons.

Because Au Contraire is a 30-foot catamaran, Redina and Mike travel slower than we do.  We invited them to have dinner with us. The next night at a different achorage, we went to their place for dinner.  Same as at home, except you don’t take a car, you take the dinghy over (as well as a salad).

Some pretty scenery from South Carolina
We all needed fuel, so we all got a night at the Osprey Marina and met Crows Nest and Tender. We let them know we were going to Bald Head Island, NC to see Jerry’s cousin Tony and his family and we told them about the monthly Howl at the Moon party on Sunday.  We invited them to come along.  

All of us were anchored just off Southport for the short hop across the aptly named Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island Marina.  We researched and found a restaurant nearby who could accommodate all 8 of us and took 2 dinghys over to enjoy a great meal together and get to know each other better.

Mike & Radina on Au Contraire, Kara & John on Crow's Nest, Joselyn and D on Tender, me and Jerry on Tanuki
Tender continued on and the rest of us went into Bald Head Island Marina.  On Sunday, Tony, Juliette and their daughter Katherine, invited us all over for beer-can chicken at their vacation place on the island. We all brought sides and had a great time. Tony was able to score an additional golf cart so we could all travel in comfort to the Howl at the Moon party.  Cars aren't allowed on the island.  All travel is done by foot, bicycle, golf cart, or in our case on our electric kick scooters.
John & Kara, Mike & Redina, me, Juliette, Jerry, Tony and Katherine with Abby the dog in the front, howling at the moon 4/29/2018
This man played bagpipes as the sun set and the full moon rose.
After the beach party, Crows Nest and Au Contraire continued north. We stayed until May 3.  
Old Baldy, the lighthouse on Bald Head Island.  
360 from top of Old Baldy.  Golf carts, bikes and pedestrians populate the streets.  
After Au Contraire and Crow's Nest left, Insandity and Semper Fi arrived at Bald Head Island Marina.  They are the exact same model boat as Tanuki.  Mirage, in Gainesville, FL, made only 22 of the Great Harbour N37s.

Chuck on Insandity invited us to join them, Semper Fi and another N37 JADIP (Just Another Day In Paradise) to buddy boat on an overnight passage.  So almost 20% of the existing N37s in the world (OK, 4 of us) would be running a nighttime rhumb line together!  Hard to pass up that opportunity!
Leaving Bald Head Island, Insanity is in the lead, JADIP, Tanuki and Semper Fi bringing up the rear.  
At 1:45 pm on May 3rd, we were underway and met JADIP in the Cape Fear River to make the 12-hour journey.  In order to reach our destination in daylight, we had to slow our roll and turned it into a 16-hour journey.  "Who'd have thought we'd be trying to go slow?" Chuck joked over the VHF.  Next time I’ll check the charts and times myself.  It would have been so much easier if we all just stayed one more night and left at the crack of dawn to get there at dusk, at full throttle.  Oh well, live and learn.

We got up to the other Beaufort (in NC) and at the Beaufort Yacht Basin, whom did we run into but Au Contraire!  They tell us that Crows Nest just left the slip we were occupying.  
Streets still named for when the area was a British Colony.
We went to the Saturday Farmers Market together and the Wooden Boat festival.  We went to the pre-party/fundraiser and enjoyed appetizers with a couple of guys who brought a wooden boat down for the show. Folly Girl was tied up at the Downtown Beaufort docks and we were invited to watch the homemade rowboat races from her bow.  

Today we’re sauntering up to New Bern for the Great Harbour Owners Association meeting. JADIP, Semper Fi and Insandity are already there, as well as some of the other models made by Mirage.  

Beverly S hailed us on the VHF.  They remembered us from the time we shared in New Bern last October.  “It’s important to keep the boat clean,” Larry said to us during the call, “you just never know who you’re gonna run into.”   So true!  And the way we ran into them didn’t require any paperwork, unlike Chip Ahoy’s run in.  

And now... grandkid pictiures!  Pop got to take Joy's oldest 3 and Jay's oldest one on dinghy rides during our month in St. Augustine.

Gigi, thrilled with her ride on Lil T
Johnathan, Madelyn & Zachary set for adventure with Pop on Lil T

Remember, all who wander are not lost.  

Until we write again, may we all have fair winds and following seas!  

The Wandering Williams, Jerry & Sam on Tanuki

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update. Sharon and I have been traveling far and wide, Nevada, Arizona to walk the rim of the Grand Canyon, home for a few days, then Chicago for Art and Architecture. Next up grandchildren in Ohio. Be safe. Hugs from St. Augustine