17 - 18 May 2008
I stayed in Beaufort for a few days longer than originally planned. Partly because of the weather. Partly because I was having such a good time. As I said, I really like this town. And, yeah, Moonlight and I partied our collective little hearts out. Three days of good meals and great times. Each day we thought we were leaving the next morning. And since they are so much faster than Galena, we would say, "goodbye" each night. But then the sun would rise and there we would be, still anchored next to each other.
One of our favorite places is the Backstreet Pub. It's off the alley behind Front Street.
Downstairs is a small bar with a fireplace. Very old world feel to the place
The entrance to the Backstreet Pub
Upstairs there's another bar with a bandstand and dance floor.
Bill and Sarah downstairs at the Backstreet Pub
The upstairs at the Backstreet Pub
I'd have to say my second-favorite place was Clawsons which is a bit more 'up-scale' than the backsteet bar. But it's still a T-shirt and shorts kind of place.
One morning Moonlight Serenade and I were at a coffee shop drinking coffee and playing dominoes. Karen and Angela, whom we had met the night before at the Backstreet Pub, stopped by. We taught them how to play. When we found out they were musicians, we invited them out to Moonlight Serenade for a jam session.
Karen plays the fiddle and Angela plays the guitar. We sat around making music for a while as the wind blew about 20kts outside.
Karen, Bill, Sarah, and Angela on Moonlight Serenade
After a bit Bill, Sarah, and I went to town for dinner. When we stopped by the Backstreet Pub for a beer, Bill went out to check on the boats. The wind was still blowing about 20kts and the current had just shifted with the tide. In just a few minutes Bill came running back yelling that, "The boat's not there!" He thought someone had stolen it. We ran down to the dinghy dock and as we got into the dinks we saw Moonlight Serenade. It was about 200 yards downwind of were it had been. We hurried out there since she was riding very close to another boat. It had obviously dragged. Sarah raised the anchor as I fended off the boat that was close aboard on the starboard side. As the hook came up we found it had fouled on a mooring ball's mooring line. Once we got that cleared off the anchor Moonlight's fin keel caught on a boats anchor rode. Bill backed her off that and finally made it into clear water. We moved back to where Moonlight had been anchored earlier and dropped the anchor. We just wanted to catch our breaths and settle down a bit.
By the time Moonlight was well anchored again and I returned to Galena it was about 0100 hrs. Looking at the positions of the other boats around Moonlight, Bill believed that his anchor had been tripped by some other boat. I agreed. It just didn't seem like Moonlight would have dragged like that without any help.
19 May 2008
I left Beaufort early in the morning, as usual. I got was up and moving just an hour or so before Moonlight Serenade. The tide was with me most of the way. Moonlight had said they were going all the way to Milepost 101. I usually make it there in two days. After all, it's almost 100 miles! And a fifty mile day is just about right for Galena. But with the current with me, and the longer days this time of year, and with the early start I had, I just might make it.
Alligator River Anchorage, South of G-37 at ICW Milepost 101.
Trip: 92nm, Total: 2976nm, Engine: 1821hrs
About 1700 Moonlight called to ask where I was going to anchor for the night. I was just at the bottom of the Alligator-Pungo Canal. If I enter it, I have to make it all the way through; 20 miles. There's no place to stop once you get into that canal because it's just too narrow. There was a full moon tonight and I would be able to make it to the top of the canal by sunset. So I decided to go for it.
I came out of the canal just as the moon was rising. It was big and orange. Bill on Moonlight hit me with a light as I came into sight. I anchored in 9-ft of water in a dead calm. So I rowed over to Moonlight Serenade and had a great dinner with Bill and Sarah.
20 May 2008
I sailed off the hook before down. At first the Albemarle Sound was calm. I was sailing north with about an 8-kt south breeze. But as the day wore on the winds came up higher and higher. By the time I hit the swing bridge the wind was blowing at about 20-kts and the seas were up to 4-ft.
Trip: 51nm, Total: 3017nm, Engine: 1830hrs
As I made it to the top of the Sound the wind was 25-30 kts. The seas were over 6-ft and it was really nasty. I made it in to Coinjock early enough in the afternoon to have a little nap before dinner. I was moored on the bulkhead behind s/v Mistress, who was right behind Moonlight Serenade. See, I keep saying goodbye to them and keep ending up right next to them day after day. My good fortune.
We had dinner and drinks and called it a night. Oh, and said, "Goodbye" once again.
21 May 2008
Hampton Public Docks, Hampton, VA
Trip: 50nm, Total: 3078nm, Engine: 1838hrs
I made it to Hampton after an uneventful run up the ICW and through Norfolk. Again, I'm tied up next to Moonlight Serenade. We all went out to a pub named Marker 20. There I met Kim and Brian, friends of M.S. After a nice light dinner and a couple of beers, we again said, "Goodbye" and called it a night. This time, the goodbye was real
I'd never stopped here before. This is a nice, small, inexpensive marina with easy access to the slips and just a short walk to the night life of Hampton. They have showers and electricity. But no fuel. Sarah handled the bow lines and Galena ended up with her bowsprit hanging way out over the (floating) dock. I watched one guy walk around the bowsprit with some anoyance. But he wasn't a boater. He was just some guy out for a walk.
On the way to the marina I stopped at my old favorite, the Bluewater Marina, to get fuel. Bluewater is open until 7pm and the fuel dock is easy in/out.
I made it through the second-to-last bridge (the G) just before the 1530 closing (they close for rush hour). So there was no way I could make it through the Jordan lift bridge (the northernmost bridge in Norfolk) until after the rush hour restriction ended (1730hrs). I was planning on going over to the east side of the bridge and dropping the anchor while waiting for the next opening.
But someone called the bridge and asked if there was any "scheduled commercial traffic" during this restriction. And, yes, there was. As I approached the bridge the commercial traffic was pulling out of it's mooring just to the west of the bridge. The bridge was going up and I was between the tug/barge and the bridge. So I snuck through without even having to stop. That let me get to Bluewater marina before the fuel dock closed.
The 'Public Dock' was closed, but Moonlight Sarah had made my reservation and paid my fees for me. So I was good to go there.
22 May 2008
I was going to go all night and end up in Baltimore. The gang from my home marina was going to spend Labor Day Weekend rafted up in the Inner Harbor. I wanted to surprise them and just show up there. I had called my buddy Capt Ron and he was going to be there early on Friday.
Solomons Island, VA
Trip: 92nm, Total: 3171nm, Engine: 1856hrs
But the wind was right on the nose. And the seas were about 3-ft and pounding into Galena with a very tiring motion. So about midnight I decided to head into Solomons and drop the hook for a few hours sleep.
I've been here quite a few times before and was fairly comfortable coming into this place in the dark.
I got the hook down and immediately fell asleep.
23 - 25 May 2008
I had to motorsail all the way here. The wind was either nonexistent or right on the nose all day long. By the time I got here there was four of my friends already anchored. s/v's Sea Woof, Lastdance, Cloud Nine, and m/v Bliss. I rafted up with Lastdance.
Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD
Trip: 71nm, Total: 3241nm, Engine: 1869hrs
I partied with Capt Ron and the others for a while and fell asleep.
The next day we spent a lot of time talking about how we spent the winter. The others from O-Dock arrived throughout the day. Rising Tide, Integrity, Zufrieden. Capt Ron and I wondered about the waterfront for a while and went out for diner.
Some of the boats at the Baltimore Raft-up
Picture from the cover of Nor' easter Magazine showing our raft-ups. Galena is center of three-boat raft at lower-rght.
After another couple of days partying with my buddies it was time to actually finish this trip.
26 May 2008
I called Jane and headed home to Mears Point Marina. It was only 30 miles across the bay and up the Narrows. I had to motor all the way home. I arrived about 1300 hrs. When I got there Joel and Joanne (s/v So Excited) and Billy and Karen (s/v Betterdays) were waiting to catch my lines. Jane took some pictures as Galena found her way into her slip after almost 3300 miles and seven months of cruising.
Mears Point Marina, Kent Narrows, MD
Trip: 30nm, Total: 3270nm, Engine: 1856hrs
Galena turning into her slip at the marina after a seven-month, 3300 mile voyage.
Joel (s/v So Excited) and Billy (s/v Betterdays) catching my lines
Jane took pictures as I brought Galena home and into her slip at Mears Point Marina. Once Galena was tied up and secure Jane
and I went out to have a little lunch.
Jane and I on the dock just after securing Galena in her slip
Then she drove me home. So ends the adventure of 07-08. All in all a most excellent adventure.