Sunday, May 26, 2013

Long days Offshore and on the Intracoastal Waterway

   
Anchorage in Oxbow in the Waccamaw River
     When we looked back at our calendar this morning we were somewhat astounded that we'd traveled only twenty days since departing Boot Key Harbor in late April. For some reason it felt like many more days. We were initially delayed due to thunderstorms and squalls in Fort Lauderdale. But, since then the weather has improved by becoming more seasonable and we have been able to travel most days.

      After deciding to make it a short day yesterday, we motored only a few hours from Moorhead City, near Beaufort, NC to Cedar Creek at the mouth of the Neuse River near Oriental, NC. The winds were up at 20-25 knots with small craft warnings in Pamlico Sound. Rather than fight the sea conditions by crossing the river we decided to anchor in the creek until winds and seas settled down overnight.
   
     At times when we're in travel mode, as we are now it's difficult to recall where we've been and on occasion I have awakened not knowing exactly where I am. Ports of call seem to blend into each other only after a few weeks. This northern journey feels much different than the journey south. There is less excitement. The feeling is similar to returning home after a two week whirlwind vacation. Perhaps it has something to do with my reluctance to head back to a chillier climate. At any rate we have made good progress. Hopefully, my attitude will adjust as temperatures climb along the way.

Wild boars on the shoreline in northern Florida
     The scenery along the most stretches of the ICW in the south has been spectacular. Surprisingly, we've spotted an array of wild life from the usual deer, eagles, dolphins and exotic birdlife to unusual wild boars scavenging along the shoreline in northern Florida.

My GV Rubio Solista classical guitar
 






      We've anchored in isolated wooded creeks, pristine rivers and bays where I've serenaded the wild life with my guitar skills. Often in many of our anchorages Simple Life has been the sole vessel. At this time of year most cruisers making this northern migration are farther north braving unstable weather and cooler temperatures that accompany the seasonal change.


   



Sunrise on Cedar Creek, NC
by Joe Boulay
     This afternoon we're in for a treat as we have reservations at a marina in Oriental, NC. The River Dunes Marina comes highly recommended by fellow cruisers this season although the rates have been increased from $1.00 per foot to $1.50. One cruiser recommended the stop just for the spectacular showers! Apparently, they have numerous jets...we cruisers do crave a good shower. I'm also looking forward to washing the boat and taking advantage of the courtesy car for provisioning. If the weather cooperates we may take a side trip to across Pamlico Sound to Okracoke Island on the Outer Banks for a couple of days before continuing on to Chesapeake Bay. It seems new harbors beckon even while traveling north.

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