Friday, January 30, 2009

Goodbye ICW....Hello Atlantic!

After being in the Intracoastal Waterway for a little over a month, we awoke this morning in Walburg Creek with considerable anticipation...for we were headed back out into the Atlantic Ocean for an offshore passage down to St. Simon's Island, GA. Tomorrow the plan is to again go outside and travel down to Fernandina Beach, FL (Mother Nature permitting of course)!!

Tammy here by the way.

We entered the ICW at the beginning of November in Norfolk, VA and have passed through the states of North and South Carolina without once traveling on the ocean - in fact, now that I think about it, we haven't actually been in the ocean since entering the Delaware Bay way back in late September since we were in the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River and the James River all of October!! We've gone much further on the ICW than we had initially thought we would. The ICW has been truly an unexpected bonus - we have thoroughly enjoyed the varied scenery, the quaint Southern towns along the way, the comraderie of so many boats in close quarters often going to the same places, and the navigational challenges caused by floating debris, swift running currents and very narrow and shallow channels, rivers and creeks. But due to the lack of dredging in the ICW in Georgia, it has become more work than fun - we all know that's not what this trip is about, so its time to head back outside!

Our last two nights have been spent in quiet anchorages, first in the Herb River and then in Walburg Creek, where in both we were well protected from the howling winds and cold that had forced us to drive from the helm station and not the flybridge. Last night we were treated to a spectacular sunset
and then the stars were out in full force - we dreamt of nights not far off when it would be warm enough for us to be out on the bow or up topsides looking at the stars (without 4 layers of clothes)!

Today mother nature has smiled on us - we awoke to sun and while I won't say warmth, at least it wasn't the biting cold we have had for the last "unseasonably cold" month or so. This morning there was dew, not frost on the dinghy and a fine haze of fog hung across the creek which was so still there wasn't a ripple in the water.
A sure sign that we are getting closer to the warm weather is that Colleen ditched her long johns today (although she does still have the turtleneck and winter gloves!) and we are driving from the flybridge. What a glorious day to be back out in the Atlantic - the seas are calm, the sun is shining and we are sharing the seas with the dolphins (of which there are many!), the jellyfish and the shrimp boats.
The Coast Guard keeps coming on the radio telling us of Northern Right Whale sightings pretty much in our location, but we haven't seen any yet.

We are certainly keeping our eyes open....luckily today we are wearing sunglasses! Can the sunscreen be far behind?? FL here we come!!

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