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Posted By Robin & Jim

We had a nice 16 hour run offshore along the coast of Georgia, and we anchored next to Cumberland Island National Seashore and our friends Dan and Carol aboard LUCKY STARS.  Running outside saved so much time we have three days to enjoy and play on the island!
Cumberland has an interesting history, from the early Spanish explorers in the 1500's to the construction of Dungeness - the largest of several mansions built on the island by the Carnegie family in the late 1800's.  Ruins of this winter haven for the wealthy still stand.

dungeness ruins

Cumberland is a barrier island with 20 miles of pristine beach, dunes, a maritime forest, and salt marshes.  The scenery and wildlife are my favorite parts of the island, particularly the very dramatic wind-swept look of the live oak forest.

maritime forest

There is a herd of wild horses on the island, numbering around 200.  They're easiest to find in open pasture areas, but we've seen them on the beach, marsh, and wandering through the woods.

mother and foal

Armadillos are also plentiful on the island, quiet and somewhat shy.

armadillo

Wild turkeys congregate and forage for food - the sunlight really shows off the beautiful coloring of their feathers.  I surprised this one who ran to join his buddies.

wild turkey

We really enjoyed catching up with Dan and Carol, hiking and biking all around the island.  It was great to have a picnic on the beach like we used to do in the Exumas, though we were dressed in a few more layers this time!

beach lunch

Hiking near the dunes, we startled this little ghost crab and he ran behind Carol's shoe for protection!

ghost crab

I had a ball with so many interesting things to photograph.  One morning I got up early, dinghied ashore, hiked in the dark, and waited on the beach for the sunrise.  It was beautiful to be on the beach and to capture a little of the magical early morning light.  After warming back up with a good breakfast, we resumed our hiking and biking adventures. 

gulls


 
Posted By Robin & Jim

We've been busy making miles down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), unable to go outside in the ocean because of the high winds and big waves.  It has been a very nice trip so far, and the days have been clear and sunny, though the temperatures have been cool.  Once the sun is up the pilothouse gets nice and warm, and we've gotten to our anchorages by 3 or 4pm - a civilized time.

We've been treated to some beautiful sunrises and sunsets in our quiet anchorages, away from the hustle and bustle - so I'll share a few of those. 

sunset

You may not realize it, but our trip south includes a lot of miles westward!  In Georgia we are actually west of Pittsburgh.  Our daily reminders come in the form of the glaring afternoon sun in our eyes and the shifting times of daylight at sunrise and sunset.  There is no better way to appreciate geography than to experience it at a snail's pace!

Although most of our days have been quiet, we had the happy chance to hear a fellow DeFever on the radio one day - SEA BISCUIT - and we tied up to the same dock that evening to catch up and visit a bit.

Our typical days include bald eagle sightings, dolphins playing in our bow wave, wading birds in the marshes, and ever-changing scenery.  It really has been a delightful trip!

Cruising through picturesque Charleston harbor we passed close by the Spirit of South Carolina under full sail.  Our machinist friend makes all the replica and signal cannons for this ship.

spirit of south carolina

Along the way we have repeatedly encountered the AMERICAN STAR - a small cruise ship that takes tours through the ICW.  She is about 200' long, 50' wide, and draws 6.5'.  Watching out for the various shoaling areas, hazards, narrow bridges, and dealing with the increased boat traffic with the southern migration is challenging enough for us, but we can't imagine how much more difficult it is for a ship of that size!  Impressive.

american star

 We've been leaving fairly early in the mornings, and the reward is often a stunning sunrise.

sunrise

This anchorage was just shy of the SC-GA border and the ocean has settled down, so we will go out the Savannah River and run offshore for the length of Georgia.  This will give us some extra time to spend at Cumberland Island National Seashore - our next adventure. 

Savannah is a major shipping port, and this is one of several big bubbas we passed on our way out.

big ship

 


 
Posted By Robin & Jim

We departed from our usual southbound path and headed east to the Outer Banks to visit friends and some new places.  Our first stop was on Roanoke Island to the town of Manteo.  Here's a map to show the Outer Banks, and I've circled our stops, ending with Morehead City where we are today.

outer banks

The towns on Roanoke are named after the Indian Chiefs from the area - Manteo, Skyco, and Wanchese, and the area is rich with history dating back to the 1580's when the English first came ashore.  There is no better way to appreciate coastal history than to travel the waterways and see why certain locations were strategic for settlements, commerce, and defense.  Manteo has a great living museum that does a terrific job of telling its significant story of the Native Americans and the early settlers.

elizabeth II

The other highlight of our Manteo visit was to see our friends Mike and Jane Ross and Godiva - former DeFever owners and cruising buddies.  They took us on a grand tour of the area, including the Wright Brothers monument at Kitty Hawk - wonderful!

kitty hawk

 

mike, jane, & godiva

Manteo is just a lovely stop with nice shops and restaurants, and a bike path that makes it easy to get to the Aquarium, Elizabethan Gardens, and the Fort.  Our ride to the Aquarium turned into a bit of an adventure when Jim's tire blew out.  We walked our bikes the rest of the way, and he caught a cab back to the boat - it was just too far to walk!

It was a day-long trip down the Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke Island, part of the Hatteras National Seashore.  Ocracoke is only accessible by ferry, private boat, or private plane - and it was pretty quiet since we're so late in the season.  The ferries are huge and can carry cars towing good-sized boats and travel trailers, as well as tractor trailers.

ferry

We walked the town and finally decided to rent some bikes (with big tires) to venture out to the lighthouse...

ocracoke lighthouse

...and to see the beach.  It was cold and windy, but a few people were out fishing in the surf.

surf casting

Jim just happened to notice that the bike rental shop also sold ice cream, so our short visit was truly complete!  We'll definitely come back in the warmer weather.


 
Posted By Robin & Jim

We left Carter Creek off the Rappahannock River just after this beautiful sunrise, heading for the Norfolk, Va area. 

carter creek sunrise

Our first stop was in Hampton, VA for a few days to visit friends Kit (in Med School) and Roger & Ilene from the Harlem YC - wonderful folks!  Roger is part of the Caribbean 1500 Rally sailing to the BVI.

We had to shoe-horn ADVENTURES into a tight slip there - a bit of a trick with the wind blowing hard up the river.

hampton small slip

Arriving at the dock I saw a fellow with a shirt from the Bristol (RI) YC and I told him that I had a friend from there. Turns out that he knows our good friends Heidi and Pete - yet another example of how really small our world is.

Hampton is a favorite stop - with little shops and restaurants nearby...

hampton street

 

...as well as many examples of this nifty wall art.

hampton wall art

We heard that MTOA friends Dick & Elle were down in Portsmouth (across from Norfolk) at a free dock, so we fueled the boat (635 gallons) and joined them; DFC friends Jeff & Karen brought their boat in a day later.

portsmouth free dock

 

The free dock has easy access to lots of lovely cafes and little shops (I found more of my favorite scone mix at the Kitchen store), plus the Portsmouth Shipbuilding Museum, which was very well done.  We enjoyed the town's Halloween parade, and we went on the Ghost Walk through historic Old Town - absolutely wonderful!
We had entirely too much fun with all our friends while we waited for the winds to settle down. Sunday the weather settled and we ran the gauntlet of bridges and the lock down through Norfolk and we anchored in North Carolina at the end of a good day.  Next stop - the Outer Banks.