Thursday, October 31, 2013

Charleston….22lb Sheephead…

We pulled into Charleston Harbour (Harbor for our American friends) on Wednesday October 30th and decided we were going to stay for four days. We had an agenda and we wanted to take in everything that Charleston had available.

We hopped off the boat and met the South Carolina champion for his recent record for a Sheephead. The record was 16lbs, and our new friend caught a Sheephead that exceeded 22lbs and it was caught a day before we pulled into port. We learned how to catch the mussels, how to bait the hook and how to land a record Sheephead, however we weren't lucky in snagging a record or any fish for that matter. Here is a photo of the old record….the new record will be updated once they measure and weigh the new record.

Here was the record holder…16lb sheepshead…
wait for the new 22lb sheepshead photo!

We then decided that the best way to see the city was to take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. As it turns out, there are five companies that provide this service and you must get on the carriage before 4pm, or you won't be able to view the 'highly recommended' residential tour. We were able to get a carriage and an awesome guide who took us throughout the residential area and explained all the different aspects of the city. We learned when the houses were built and more importantly the significance of each building. We learned that Mr. Simmons was a blacksmith and he made most of the wrought-iron fences and gates throughout the city.



After we finished our tour, we headed over to Sticky Fingers for dinner. Aaron, our food connoisseur found the restaurant and was able to talk us into several racks of ribs….the best ribs we have ever had.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Georgetown to Charleston

We came in off the Atlantic to stop over in Georgetown SC.  After a great dinner and walk along the boardwalk we slept early knowing we wanted to go back out to the ocean.  The morning fog however limited visibility to almost zero.  We could hear other boats on the radio talking about having to anchor in the middle of the channel as "there is no viz" Once closer to the ocean however the skies cleared and it was another beautiful day.  Charleston here we come!
If you look closely there is a boat ahead




 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

17 miles from shore....let's go swimming.....

Yup, you heard that right. We crossed from Cape Fear NC to Georgetown SC. The trip was 80 miles from point to point.

At the furthest point from both points, in 65' of water and 17 miles to land, Kim and Aaron decided to jump from SeaMorr and land in the 75 degree water.

If you google the location, here are the coordinates.
33 24.930n
078 47.072w

Or here is a picture of where they went swimming.


If you want to check something really cool, check out ocearch.org to track great whites in the Atlantic. If you look, Mary Lee is in Savannah....she was in these waters three days ago. So everything is good!


Monday, October 28, 2013

DOLPHIN! OMG DOLPHIN!!!!!! LOOK OVER THERE ANOTHER DOLPHIN!!!!!! (5 minutes of this elapses) hey. there's a dolphin over there. another one.

Hey...there is a dolphin over there... a way over there!

Today had lots of dolphins. I'll get to those in a minute. First I have to tell you that a slept through the first part of the day, and just woke up in time for the dolphins. Which I can now talk about since I told you about my sleeping through the beginning of the day and just waking up in time for dolphins. Which I will now talk about (I like nesting sentences).

All the stuff you would need to know about a dolphin.

The thing about dolphins, like about cats, is that the closer you are to them, the dumber your statements become (see "you're a kitty!"). So I think that mom said "OMG a dolphin, right there, like two o'clock, it's right there" about 15 times. And dolphins are very cool and all, but we only really saw their dorsal fins, and most dolphins have highly similar dorsal fins. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all. But now I'm going to stop boring you with my rant about dolphins. And instead bore you with my description of dinner. Right after I tell you that I got some homework done on the cruise en route into South Port.

This is what the dolphin would have looked like....
if it jumped and we were able to take a photo of it.

I had a panzerotti from a waterside restaurant in South Port. It had bacon, pepperoni, and sausage in it. It was quite good. Dad had the same thing. Corey had a similar but healthier thing. Katie had wings. Mom had a sandwich. And now I'll stop boring you with that also. The end. Which will come right after I tell you that we saw a gorgeous sunset from aforementioned restaurant. Which is now. Bye!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cape Lookout

We waved goodbye in Beaufort happy to know everything was ok with the boat.  It was a beautiful day and the ocean was almost flat so we decided to head out into the ocean to an anchorage in a small protected bay at the base of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
 

It really was beautiful there.  We passed dolphins and schools of fish and went for a walk on the beach collecting shells.  The boys were very disappointed that the lighthouse was closed and we couldn't climb to the top!
 

We ate rabbit food only for dinner much to Aaron's chagrin - even in the "trawler zone" of the anchorage, away from the sailboats, it didn't seem right to turn on the loud generator in the peaceful bay. Of course there was the awesome sunset to close a great day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beaufort NC

We arrived in Beaufort knowing it was a cool town, and also to get some assistance from a local marina about a vibration we had been hearing at our stern.  We decided it was a good time to haul SeaMorr out and have a look. The staff at Town Creek Marina were great.  Kenny even got a hat out of the deal and thinking positive, we didn't have to pay for dockage for 2 days! Thankfully it was a simple fix and they were able to get us back in the water quickly. It was very odd to climb up a ladder to get into the boat and not be moving at all while sleeping!



We made the most of Beaufort while SeaMorr was getting pampered.  We learned a great deal of history here (hopefully satisfying some of Aaron and Katie's educational needs).  The town played a role in the Civil war, with Fort Macon taken twice - once by each army. We toured the fort and saw a neat staircase where cannon balls had taken out parts of each step all the way down in the final battle.

 We did a double decker town tour, saw a boat building shop, a maritime museum with a big exhibit dedicated to the Pirate Blackbeard and his ship the Queen Ann's Revenge which was recently found just off shore in Beaufort.  (Although I must admit Johnny Depp is a much better looking pirate) and went on the town's Haunted Walk.  For a small town it sure has a lot of ghosts walking around!



And how could I leave out - the sunsets were awesome


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DOLPHIN!

Dolphin playing in our wake
As we headed down the ICW we got to the North Carolina border and were a little chilly (temperatures were in the 50's) and we decided we should make a 70 or 80 mile run. (Aaron has figured out that if it is cooler in the mornings, we are driving longer distances to get warmer!)

As we got approximately 200 miles south of Norfolk, we saw a triangular fin in the water that was heading north. As we passed it, it turned and started to play in our wake. The dolphin decided to head south with us for approximately a mile and then we lost him. We hope to see more of these guys, as they must hate cooler temperatures, just like us!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fried chicken and alligator at a gas station.

So I know that, after having read the title, you want me to start talking about dinner. Unfortunately, there are some other things we have to cover first.

Thing 1: the beginning of the day:
I have no idea what happened. I slept in until 11 (#theGoodLife).

Thing 2: going under the bridge and through a lock:
This happened before 11am. I am unaware of the events that transpired.

Thing 3: The Great Dismal Swamp (cont.):
The name doesn't lie. It's pretty great. And also quite dismal. Edgar Allan Poe was there while writing The Raven. The midnights are quite dreary (note the subtle poetry joke that no one will pick up on). The canal is narrow and pretty much the same the whole way down. We got excited about turning left.


photo by Katie :)

Thing 4: waking up:
I don't recommend it. I recognize that it is a necessity for most people, but if you don't fall into the category of "most people" I would advise staying asleep until 10am at least.

Thing 5: Cruising across some sound or other.
Quick note: I learned today that a sound is a body of water. Who knew. I missed most of this cruising because, as I was very very tired from waking up early, I took a nap upstairs (#theEvenBetterLife).

Thing 6: Pulling into port:
We've pulled into port many times. If you would like a description of what goes on, read a past blog post.

Ok. That's done, we can start discussing dinner. It was at the gas station at our marina, and the food was amazing. We had fried alligator bites and corn nuggets as an appetizer. Corn nuggets are bunches of corn the size of your thumb dipped in batter and deep fried. Gator bites are deep fried pieces of alligator. Gator kind of tastes like a cross between chicken and fish (I apologize for any images this comparison may bring to mind). Then, because we had only suffered two heart attacks, we had fried chicken. Which was also amazing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"This is warship 66... Use of deadly force authorized"

The trip from Hampton down the Elizabeth river takes you past the largest naval base in the world; Naval Station Norfolk. Having taken a land tour the previous day, it was clear this was a no-nonsense base and highly active. When we crossed, Destroyers: 66, 79 & 51 were all coming out of berth followed by aircraft carrier #5 and passing us head on (port to port) in the main channel. For anyone transiting this area you are wise to monitor channel 13 to hear their securit√© calls and security zones: within 500 yards you must travel the minimum speed to maintain steerage and do not come within 100 yards as it may lead to arrest/prosecution and defensive measures to protect the ship including the use of deadly force is authorized. "My nerves are shot already".  Never the less, the Elizabeth river through Norfolk and Portsmouth had enough activity to keep us occupied for a few hours.





Next was the starboard turn into the Dismal Swamp Canal. It is 40.5 miles long and looks the same from one bank to the other. On the first day, the most excitement we had was a gentle left turn part way through the canal. Just past mile 28 (from Norfolk) is the Visitors Centre with a free dock that is home "docktails" every night with the crew from all the boats rafted up together on the dock. We met some really nice people who I'm sure we'll see many times on the way south as well as many others on shorter trips. Never the less, the record of never meeting a fellow boater we wouldn't want to meet again still stands.

 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hampton (featuring Igor and the red Elvises)

Thursday October 17th- Sunday October 20th

Thursday,
We started our day in Deltaville and headed to Hampton. It was a beautiful, cold and sunny day (probably just cause Julio was there). We arrived and got our car so, mom and dad went grocery shopping.......
This is what happens when dad goes shopping:)

We got there late and just in time for dinner so we walked into town and saw signs for dad's favorite band ........
No comment......

Then we had a faboulous dinner at the Conch & Bucket restaurant beside the restaurant with this band playing.

Friday,
This morning we decided to wake up early.....why? I have no idea, I was sleeping. 
Anyway today dad had a confence call so while he did that and set up for that the rest of us went to the Virginia Air and Space museum. And saw the IMAX movie gravity (which probably wouldn't have been so good when not wearing earplugs).  Very educational & WAY better than schoolwork!








After that was done,we ate dinner on the boat and thinking Julio wasn't traumatized enough we played "Things" and if that wasn't traumatizing enough we don't know what is! 

Saturday,
Today is a very sad day because it is Julio's last day:(
So to celebrate her being here we went to go see how a bunch of people died!
Not exactly ... we went to go to Yorktown and Jamestown to learn about the American Revolution & life a long time ago.  They had a cool live cannon demo & I became a Yorktown Jr Ranger.


Sunday,
Today, we have to take Julio back well Corey and Mom did at 5:30 am (I didn't even know such a time existed!!!!!! 

We already miss you Julio!!!
Only 4 more months till she comes back!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ingram Bay - Oysters, Tubing & Choppy Seas

Heading down the Potomac to Ingram Bay was supposed to be an easy run...the weather was cool, however the winds were supposed to be light (5 to 10 knots), however when we hit the Chesapeake, we found some big water and waves. The wind from the north and the Atlantic to the south had the effect of a washing machine whereby the waves were square waves - both sets of waves and wind had an effect that wasn't much fun for the three hour run down the Bay.

We made it to Ingram Bay Marina on the Chesapeake and this has to be one of the best run marina's around. From the handshake from the dock master and the help getting all rigged up for fishing, this place is awesome. The customer service is second to none. We even learned how to oyster (catch the critters) as well as popping open their shells to consume the contents, this was a great marina.


We met up with the Haas family again for lunch at a great Italian place called Anna's.  Before we pulled out of the marina, Corey & Aaron decided that we needed to tryout the new motor and the new tube (thanks WestMarine, we love you too). Sahara decided she wanted to try out the tube, so the three went out to the area just outside the marina in order to try everything out. All worked well and the tubing was a great success.

From Ingram Bay, we headed down and around to Deltaville. Deltaville marina is pretty cool where we were able to sit up in their cumfy couches and watch the movie 21. A great day just hanging out and getting caught back up on emails, ordering a new horn for the boat and find some great bagels in town.

Thanksgiving Day

Today was Thanksgiving (not where we were, but where we come from). As such we cooked, ate, then regretted eating so much of, a Thanksgiving feast. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the start...

500+ shark teeth that now sit in a Corona bottle...

Which for me was 9am, which is WAY too early to wake up whilst on vacation. You see, we are on the Chesapeake, which 1.5 million years ago had sharks in it. And mom decided that we can't let those sharks have a respectful memory, instead we have to find the last remaining pieces of them and fill a corona bottle with their teeth. (The teeth wash up on a beach. We go to the beach. We take their teeth. We fill a Corona bottle with their teeth.).

We were amazed by how many sharks teeth we found (500ish) and we were able to fill a third of a beer bottle. Sharks have lots of teeth.

After hunting for a couple hours, we departed from our anchorage, and towards the sketchiest gas dock I have ever seen. We had to pump out our own sewage tank. Ew. Luckily, we got enough diesel to cook a 14 pound turkey.
Delicious turkey...cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, peas and potatoes...

You see, most people's ovens (including our own) run on electricity. Which is produced at electrical plants. Unfortunately, our boat is not connected to an electrical plant, so we had to run our generator for 4 hours to cook dinner. 5 hours if you count baking a pumpkin pie.

Even though it was diesel intensive, dinner was awesome. We had the aforementioned turkey, mashed topatoes, peas, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie for desert. And still had leftovers enough to make sandwiches for the following day.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

By Reading This, You have Made More Decisions Than Congress

97 miles there  and 97 miles back, up hill both ways (yes it's possible on a river- it's called "current"). That's well worth the trek to see national monuments and attractions such as the Smithsonian Institute, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, National Archives, Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, African American Civil War Memorial, DC War Memorial. Eisenhower Memorial, FDR Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lyndon Johnson Memorial, Martin Luther King jr. National Memorial, Nation Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, USAF Memorial, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Navy Memorial, World War II Memorial and many others I don't know about because THEY WERE ALL CLOSED.
 


Yes, this post is about Washington. Up until St. Michael's, it had been 31 days without a drop of rain or enough overcast not to get a tan. Then it all changed, in the last week we've had an unimpaired view of the sun for a total of about 1 hour and 26 minutes and enough rain to watch a fellow boaters dinghy sink. Never the less we got our rain jackets on and prepared to keep America's economy moving. Because this week, no one else was. As a result of the government shutdown (North Korea doesn't have this problem... just throwing it out there...) none of the above tourist/historic sites were open meaning not many people were around and the rain kept away whoever pre-booked a vacation weeks ago.  

There is a silver lining amongst all the storm clouds, we watched Captain Phillips (excellent movie btw), saw some local attractions (from behind security guards and locked gates), toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (self described as "the ones who keep America's Economy strong", printing $1 billion US dollars a day), I guess one museum had to be open... not sure how profitable it is when admission is free, but at least umbrella sales went up. We also treated our hockey addiction and went to a Capitals game.  Caps lost but the Avalnche's Canadian Coach Patrick Roy was who were were cheering for anyway !

Oh and yes, Julio (aka Julia) finally arrived in Washington after being delayed 8 hours on Air Canada, she is having a great time on the boat and now 5/6th of the crew vote for dad as a the cool parent, as he claims. It is now time to turn south and never see "N" on the compass for the next 7 months.

Friday, October 11, 2013

SHARKS!!!!! (Teeth)

This, dear readers will be a two day blog post.....

October 6th,

We woke up and set off for Solomon's Island but there was a cool beach on the way so .......
We went to look for sharks teeth. And I know what you're thinking.... How will they find sharks teeth? 

Well this is,what I say to that.......




Boom that just happened!!!!!

October 7th,

Rain, Lots of rain ;(  But we can't complain, it's the first day of rain after thirty days of sunshine. And it was supposed to start in the afternoon , but came early and with nothing else to do we went to a museum by dingy (FREEZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). We saw otters and fish and jelly fish, oh my! Then we went to West Marine, which is apperantly our favorite store because we spend like an hour and a half buying tubes, crab traps and much more!! The museum was Awesome! The we had pizza for dinner and went to bed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Range is HOT!


So...this is how our day started out....

We headed out from our marina and we headed north on the Potomac River (the same one that George Washington crossed), however we had more excitement than what GW had. We had a US Coast Guard boat come and visit us as we headed north.

Here is the radio transmission...

"Seamorr this is Range Boat 2 on channel 16"
"Range Boat 2, this is Seamorr on channel 16"
"Seamorr change to channel 18. Range Boat 2 out on 16"
"Seamorr changing to channel 18. Seamorr out on 16"
"Seamorr, do you know that the Range is hot? We need you to alter your course...."
"Seamorr standing by for instructions"

We were instructed to change course as the firing range was firing live ammunition into the Potomac. The range is actually part of the course as you head north on the Potomac River! We basically crossed at right angles over to the eastern shore, then head north and then we were able to join back into the channel again....we didn't see anyone shooting and we made it through without issue!



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Kenny !

The day started early....or would have been early if Corey's alarm battery didn't conveniently die through the night.... We thought we would try to beat the nastier weather predicted to come later in the day.  Unfortunately it  didn't quite work out that way and we spent a couple of hours going down (or bobbing up and down in)  the Chesapeake in some very big waves and wind - the kind where everything in the cabin decides it wants to meet in the middle!  Corey and Katie did a great job protecting the surprise cupcakes though,  turns out bathtubs can be very protective !  The Waterways Guide which described this part of the Bay as like a "washing machine"  when the winds are from the North, certainly had it right!  Once we turned up the Potomac however things calmed down and the rest of the ride to Colonial Beach VA was uneventful.  We arrived in the mid afternoon and had a cupcake birthday lunch, saw the highlights of "Sharknato" ( which some of us had missed on the first viewing of it, and really is too funny to miss)  then went off to explore the town.

 


We ran into the very nice marina owner Bill Bowman at the Lighthouse Restaurant and he joined us for dinner.  The advertise themselves as the best sunsets in town and we were not disappointed !!



Our food silo widened even more with a dessert of delicious homemake coconut ice-cream. The candle was a nice birthday touch !

Happy Birthday Kenny !