Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We are taking a couple of days off from traveling.  We stopped off at Deep Point Marina in Southport and will take advantage of their "stay two and get one free" promotion.  We are hoping the weather offshore will settle down and maybe we can jump offshore and make some progress.

Happy Thanksgiving, We know we have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Full day to Southport

We had a full day today, 62.7 miles.  We are currently in Southport NC, downriver from Wilmington on the Cape Fear River.  It is interesting, several weeks ago we had an appointment in Wilmington and it was a two hour drive.  We come here by boat and it takes three days.  We had the anchor up at 7:00 am and arrived about 4:30.  Got lucky at the first bridge, we were late but he opened late to let all of us through instead of making us wait for the next opening an hour later.  The next two we made early and had to wait.  I say "let all of us" because there were four of us moving together.  We get strung out a bit but come back together at the bridges.  I forgot to mention that we started yesterday with dolphins joining us.  Well, there were several pods with us today also.  Fun to watch but impossible to  photograph.  I get a lot of pictures where a dolphin was after it dives.  Did I mention that it rained?  Did I mention that it was cold?  Well both are true.  It rained most of the day off and on, some of it so hard we couldn't see the boat in front of us.  Cold, you bet.  It was in the 40's with gusty winds into the 20+ knot range.  About the time we pulled into the Cape Fear River the clouds started breaking up.  The real excitement was the lightning, very close and very loud.  A bit unnerving when you are under an aluminum pole sticking 50 feet in the air.  The weather offshore is still looking bad so we will be continuing on the ICW.  Got this tip from Galan, you can follow our progress by going to and searching for Hiflite.  It tracks us using our AIS signal.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and if you are traveling, be careful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mile Hammock Bay

We are anchored in Mile Hammock Bay after a 40 mile run.  The interesting thing about this anchorage is that it is part of Camp Lejeune Marine Corp Base.  There are numerous helicopters passing by and a variety of loud noises off in the trees.   We wanted to go further than 40 miles but that would have put us in an area without a place to stop for the night.  The sun is rising around 7:00 and sets about 5:00 so we are limited by how long we are able to travel each day as compared to the long days of summer.  We encountered our first bridge opening today.  We had to wait twenty minutes for its scheduled opening.  The bridges on the ICW have an opening schedule.  It seems that someone decided that cars take precedence over boats.  You need to schedule your arrival just before opening so that you can quickly run through when it opens and continue on your way until you reach the next one.  Today’s bridge opened on the hour and the half hour.  If we had been ten minutes earlier we could have passed through instead of waiting.  Tomorrows bridges are only on the hour, can’t be late of one of them.  It is all about adjusting your speed to work out the timing.  We will get better at it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cut the Lines Today

Today is the day.  We cut the lines, figuratively, and started our adventure.  Matthews Point Marina has been out home for the last nine years but is is time to move on.  We have been dreaming, planning, and preparing for this day for a long time.  Everything (almost) is ready, the weather forecasts are reasonable and our route has been planned, at least for the next few days.  We are not going to get a weather window that will allow us to go offshore and head south so we have made the decision to proceed by going down the Intra Coastal Waterway, also known as the ICW, the ditch and a variety of other names.  The first step is to leave the Neuse River and motor to Morehead City, a trip of about 24 miles.  We fueled up and will spend the night here and get started early in the morning.  We can only travel the ICW in daylight and have to plan for each evening to stop and be anchored or in a marina before dark.  There are also a number of bridges to plan for since they have set schedules to open for boat traffic.  Be a few minutes late and you have to wait until the next scheduled opening which could be a half hour or an hour.

We also made a short video of our leaving and posted it to YouTube.  Check it out at this link:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Waiting on weather

It looks like we have just about everything ready to take off.  Now it is wait for weather.

Our friend Randy from R&R Dive Service found the seat for the dinghy.  If you need a dive service in the Beaufort NC and New Bern NC area we strongly recommend him.  The computer part showed up and is now installed.  The jerry jugs are all filled and strapped down, and a lot of other things have happened.

Cori received a JVC action video camera as a going away present. I have been testing the camera and have posted a couple of short, and shaky, video to our new YouTube channel.  Do a search at YouTube for "hiflite" and click on the one with a sailboat.  I will try to get better.  I am looking for mounts to eliminate my shaking and going hands-free.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Still Preparing

Well, it's Wednesday, the day we had hoped to start the trip. We have found that after living on Hiflite and at the marina 8+ years we have accumulated a lot of stuff. Sorting it had been challenging. We are closer, but not quiet there.  Little things are happening that need to be dealt with. Yesterday I got the Mercury 3.3 outboard running and then mounted it on the stern rail. This morning I found that it was leaking gas. After getting it off the rail and cleaning up the spilled gas I found that my mistake was to leave it on the rail tilted up all the way. Evidently the gas drained out of the carburetor since I had the fill spout and the vent closed so it couldn't be them leaking. After standing it upright and wiping everything down it didn't leak again. Lesson learned. We still have a part for one of the computers on order and no idea when it will arrive. While getting the dinghy on deck the seat fell off and is sitting on the bottom next to the boat. Our good friend Randy the Diver will be here tomorrow cleaning boats so we have him find it for us. Hate to leave it behind. As I said, little things keep causing delays. Oh ya, and then there is the weather to contend with - not a little thing. We are constantly checking the forecasts for a good weather window to take off with.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still getting ready

It is a bigger job getting ready to go cruising then we ever thought it would be.  Along with all of the provisioning (food, supplies such as how much toilet paper will we use in 6 months, etc.) there are the decisions of what will go with us and what will be left behind.  We are watching the weather forecasts to try to pick our window of opportunity to take off.  The weather not only dictates when we go but what route we will be taking. We have options of just making a straight run for the islands, staying coastal and ducking into different inlets if needed, traveling inside on the ICW, or some combination of the three.

Of course, today it is rainy and windy which really limits what we are able to accomplish.

Friday, November 14, 2014


We are preparing our boat and ourselves to begin the cruising life.  This is our blog of that adventure.  We also have a website: that has more information about us and our Pearson 424 sailboat.

Welcome aboard!