Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Fond Farewell to the ICW - Hello to the Chesapeake Bay

Well, the prime rib was all that it was cracked up to be at the Coinjock Marina Restaurant - who would have ever guessed?? After cocktails on Gypsies, we headed up into the restaurant to do battle with the famed 32 ounce prime rib - upon further reflection we each thought that might possibly be more than we could handle so we "settled" for the 16 ounce version!!
Drinks on Gypsies Before the Prime Rib Dinner
Prime Rib Dinner in Coinjock
Bob Met His Match in Coinjock!
Despite everyone's valiant efforts, no one (at least in our party) was successful in conquering the whole thing - uncle!! Even Bob passed on desert that night - not sure that would have been the case if there was red velvet cake but alas....

The next morning we rolled out of the marina bright and early for our 12 mile trip up to Great Bridge where there are free docks and a great Mexican restaurant according to our friend Di on Aurora! As if we really needed more food - after the night before I don't think I need a meal again for at least a week, but OK I don't want to be the party pooper - if I must!! Usually a 12 mile trip is very short but we are in the land of the low clearance bridges - not even a gnat can pass under many of these bridges - so we had to time our travels to coincide with bridge openings. Unlike many of the other bridges on the ICW which open on demand (just call the bridge tender as you approach and they will open the bridge so you can pass under), the bridges along this stretch are mostly on a fixed schedule and some of them only open once an hour so if you happen to miss the opening you are screwed!! And let's be real, it's not like we can just put the boat in park and go off and mess around until the bridge opens - we have to try and hold a 66,000 pound boat steady in wind and current while not running aground, running into the bridge or running into the inevitable other boats that are doing the same bridge waiting dance along with you. To compound matters, the bridge tender often won't open the bridge until all the boats are close up and nearly ramming into each other - have any of them ever driven a boat before??? So I sound like I'm not a fan of this stretch of the ICW - bingo!!! If you could even count on all the bridges opening on time at least that would be something, but NOOOOO - inevitably one of the old railroad bridges is stuck (of course it's always stuck in the down position, never open) but I guess I digress....
Bridge 1 to Great Bridge
Bridge 2 to Great Bridge
Bridge 3 to Great Bridge

The stretch from Coinjock to Great Bridge is at least pretty scenic with lots of osprey nests and cypress and pine trees lining the winding river - where we would see really young osprey babies several months ago, they are now getting older (and more vocal) as they seem almost ready to leave the nest for a life of their own!! Very cool!!
Osprey Nest
This stretch of the ICW is narrow and very shallow outside the channel which makes dealing with the increased barge traffic interesting to say the least - one double barge I was trying to pass nearly sent me aground as he tried to deal with the current by traveling almost sideways down the narrow channel!!! Thanks buddy - not!!
The Double Barge Passes Us in Coinjock, We Passed Him about an Hour Later
We did have a very colorful hitchhiker for about a half hour of our journey though - a dragonfly with the most beautiful red wings decided that my blue binoculars were the perfect spot to chill out and enjoy the scenery. While beautiful, they do have the weirdest eyes...but as long as they continue to eat the mosquitos and assorted bugs that also find our boat hospitable, they will be welcome on Gypsies always!!
The Hitchhiker on Gypsies

At green marker 63 we passed into Virginia from NC and bid Doug a welcome home (he was born in VA) - what a weird feeling for us to be back in VA where most of Doug's family lives after being gone for almost a year!!! After dealing with swing bridges and bascule bridges of various varieties, we finally reached Great Bridge where we went through one of the funkier bridges on the ICW and then immediately tied up to the free dock on the side of the waterway along with a catamaran that we first saw in Ocracoke!!
Great Bridge from the Stern of Gypsies, Tied Up to the Free Docks
Gypsies in the Palace and September Song at the Free Dock in Great Bridge
The docks are lined with beautiful flowering trees and gaggles of Canadian geese (wonderful to look at but noisy little crap machines otherwise) and they are walking distance into a town with a great grocery store for re-provisioning which is always welcome! We took advantage of the store while studiously avoiding the Dairy Queen along the way despite a peanut buster parfait that was calling out to me the whole walk (maybe I'm dating myself - do they still make them?? if not, they should!!) We spent the afternoon relaxing and watching several women catch blue crabs off the docks by tying chicken parts to a string that they dangled in the water off the pilings - we were fascinated and it looked like a lot of fun so next stop we are definitely buying chix parts. We've had dolphin and tuna in the Bahamas, clams in Ocracoke and shrimp in Manteo all that we or friends caught so why not a crab dinner now that we are back in the Chesapeake??

That evening we headed over the swing bridge to the 3 Amigos restaurant (no you can't make this up!)
The 3 Amigos
As we were walking across the bridge, Bob and Doug insisted on stopping and putting some pennies and coins under the bridge (like Di from Aurora had done on an earlier trip with September Song - gee thanks for the idea Di) so that when it opened the next time they would have pressed pennies (like in those goofy tourist machines).
The Boys Place Their Coins
Great - that is if they didn't break the bridge!! Despite its outward appearance and hokey windows, the mexican restaurant turned out to be great - big margaritas, $2 beers (even if they were anheuser busch products on special), lots of warm chips and salsa and tons of food!!!
Dinner at the 3 Amigos
On the trip back across the bridge, the jailbirds picked up their crushed coins and oohed and aahed over the indentations the coins had made in the bridge (not really but you could see where the coins had been pressed flat) - we took a photo of what the boys would like like behind bars just in case the bridge tender caught them!!!
Smashed Coins...Kewl!
The Jailbirds

The next morning after our early morning goose wake-up call, we headed out into the Great Bridge lock - the only lock on the Atlantic ICW. The sign in the lock was pretty cool since we've actually been to most of the places listed!!
Sign in the Lock in Great Bridge
Compared to the Panama Canal locks or even some of them on the west coast of FL and in the Mississippi river system that we are reading that our friends on Life's2Short are going through, this is a pretty sissy lock with only about a 3 foot change in water level. But you still have to tie off to the side and wait to go through it - compared to the first time we went through the lock on our way down, we didn't have to change our shorts this time!!
Stephanie Helps Hold September Song in Place in the Lock
Tammy Holds the Stern of Gypsies in the Palace in Place in the Lock
We've learned a whole lot on this trip and now almost nothing phases us!!! Except this last stretch of the ICW - which we really don't like too much. The final 12 miles or so heading into Norfolk and Hampton Roads is one of the busiest and most commercial sections of the ICW (unlike Fort Lauderdale, you're not dealing with a bunch of idiot go-fast boats but with naval destroyers with guns and cannons and a license to fire and tugs, cargo barges and container ships that can flatten you without even knowing it) and has the oldest, low clearance bridges so you know at least one of them will be broken, it's just a guessing game as to which one and how many huge tankers or naval warships will be on your butt when it happens!!
The Approach to Norfolk
Of course our broken bridge had to be the second of two bridges right where three tugs were getting a huge tanker ready to depart which meant that their wake blew us out of the channel while we tried to sit tight waiting for the freaking railroad bridge to be fixed!! Bad enough for us but even worse for the several snailbots behind us - even Doug actually felt bad for them!!
The Broken Down Railroad Bridge Finally Starts to Go Up

But finally we maneuvered through all the bridges, passed all the navy ships and commercial barges and headed into our home for the next week, the marina at the Nauticus Center in Norfolk.
The Approach to Nauticus Marina...Now Where is That Entrance?
Whew - were we glad to be off the ICW - that is until we saw the unbelievably tight entrance to the marina and the postage stamp sized turning basin in which these guys seriously expected us to dock??? But again, experience took over and we (the royal we again as Doug was docking!) managed to get Gypsies turned around and backed into our slip with inches (OK maybe several feet) to spare.
The Narrow Entrance and Small Turning Basin in the Nauticus Marina
Then it was time to watch September Song who is 6 feet bigger than us try the same feat - Bob did a masterful job swinging SS around and cleared the wall at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in front of us with inches to spare - no kidding!! Once we were safely docked though we began right away to enjoy our little space - we plan on being here for a week and we are about as protected as you get although given how close we are to the naval base we do get some pretty serious fly-bys!

We headed out to scope out the waterside area where this weekend they are holding a Cajun Festival with lots of bayou music and you guessed it food!! Can you say yippee!!! Our tiny marina is right next to the Nauticus Center which has an aquarium, the naval museum, various exhibits and right next to it is the Wisconsin battleship that you can tour - we plan to hit all of that later today. The park around the waterfront is really beautiful with its pavilions, colorful mermaids (they are all over the city and done by different local artists!!),
The Mermaid at Waterside Park
The Mermaid at Waterside Marina
Mermaids Everywhere
fountains, sculptures and open spaces! There are a number of shops along the waterfront as well, one of which contained a mongolian fast food joint which we couldn't pass up for lunch - it was so good, we'll be back!!!
Sculpture at Waterside Titled "the Tourists"
Yesterday afternoon Doug and I finally got to see the sixth Harry Potter movie, The Half-Blood Prince, and it rocked - not only did we finally get to see a HP movie on a huge screen with all the special effects to make you jump out of your skin let alone your seat, but it felt like we were playing hookey going to a movie during the middle of the day on a Wednesday!!! But then again if you really look at it, I guess we've been playing hookey for the past year or so - this just somehow felt naughty!!! It was wonderful!!

As soon as we got back from the movie, our nephew Luke and his girlfriend Laura (yes I'm sure they take a lot of crap over that) showed up at the boat bearing presents courtesy of Doug's sister - the keys to a car that we can use during our stay!! How wonderful is that - thank you guys! It was great to see them even though we didn't have much time to catch up before one of our other nephews Larkin came to pick them up. We're hoping they will come back into town one day this weekend for the Cajun Festival but know we'll see them again soon one way or the other during our stay!!

A quiet evening on Gypsies where we polished off the remainder of our prime rib from Coinjock and drank a glass of rum out on the bow under the stars was the perfect end to a great day. Today we are heading off to explore Norfolk - the Cannonball Trail (I keep wanting to call it the Thunderball Trail - guess I really want to go back to Thunderball Grotto in the Bahamas!!!) which represents over 400 years of Norfolk history and is a walking trail through the city topped off by an afternoon at Nauticus and the Wisconsin. I better go get ready or we'll be late! Tonight is shrimp scampi on Gypsies (with the fresh shrimp that our friend Dave from Manteo caught and gave us!!!) and that's as far as we've planned....but as soon as we know, you'll know too!

Click here to see our location at Nauticus Marina

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where the Heck is Coinjock???

We're sitting here at the Coinjock Marina watching a pretty intense thunder and lightning storm rip through - Doug just got done washing the boat so it's perfect timing!! Where the h_ll you might ask is Coinjock? - good question and one that is repeated on the marina's tee-shirts complete with a map and a star showing Coinjock's location out in the middle of nowheresville!!! Coinjock is on a very narrow stretch of the ICW above the North River and about 17 miles from the Virginia border. The better question I think is why would any sane person stop in Coinjock - the answer lies in the famous 32 ounce prime rib that is served at the marina's hole in the wall restaurant - it is known up and down the ICW as the best prime rib ever!! So that should tell you why we're here at this tiny little marina in the hinterlands of North Carolina instead of making tracks further north. When we got here, we went into the little ship's store to check in (they were having a big sale on Croc's which Bob and Stephanie took advantage of - I think Doug's 5 pair will get him through for awhile!!) and after the 10 minutes we spent checking out the merchandise, we'd seen all there was to see in Coinjock short of the restaurant where we will be seen stuffing ourselves tonight after drinks on Gypsies!
Coinjock Marina

We arrived in Coinjock this morning after a mere 12 mile trek from our anchorage in Broad Creek - normally we go much farther than that on the ICW but the prime rib was really calling so we made it a short day. We were accompanied on our steam this morning by tons of butterflies and many hued dragonflies who flitted back and forth across our windshield never staying long enough for us to capture them on film - they, along with the osprey and cormorants kept us quite entertained on our short journey though!!
Osprey Nest
A Cormorant Preparing to Fly Away
We have the A/C running here at the dock which we don't usually do but we are giving the boat kitties a treat (to offset the scary booming thunder) - the girls are comfortably snoozing next to mom and dad and enjoying a relaxing day, while we are catching up on all the "stuff" we don't do when it is nice out and we can go exploring (like yesterday!!)
Bootsie Enjoys Having Mom and Dad on the Boat
Puss is a Little Nervous When it Storms

Yesterday we hopped in Hobos, our family car, and along with the September Song crew in Half Note we spent the afternoon exploring Broad Creek and the various little tributaries that spring from it.
September Song Crew Aboard Half Note
We were pleasantly surprised at how far back, broad and deep the Creek was - we went first up one little creek and then another and then another, in search of a place to let the boat dogs kick up their heels and play. The creeks were lined with wild white orchids among tufted brown marshes, wood duck blinds that are tucked along the creek banks, and trees of more varieties than I can name (what was interesting is that for the first time we started to see lots of pine trees take the place of the more southern tree varietals).
Wild OrchidsWild Orchids Among the Trees
Wood Duck BlindsSome Very Strange TreesThe Start of Pine Trees
We bombed around the creeks in vain trying to find a beach or a boat landing for Cassie and Godiva - finally we found a tiny little rickety private dock where they could at least get out and take care of their more important business.
Half Note Approachs the Private Dock
In several of the little creeks, but one in particular, I definitely started to hear banjo music - it was very narrow, not more than 2 widths of our dinghy, but deep with inky black water and surrounded by trees on both sides and often forming a canopy across the water.
Entering "Banjo Creek"
We turned around when we spied a couple shacks in the woods with no windows and smelled a pungent Rastafarian herb - no sense seeing more than we bargained for - besides the deer flies were feasting at will on us!!!
Shack by the Creek
We're Outa Here!

Back to the boats we headed after several more creek expeditions for a relaxing afternoon - the dogs got to don their life jackets again and go for a swim. That evening we headed over to September Song for my first ever low country boil - if you've never experienced this, you need to!!! The meal consists of peel and eat shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage all boiled together and liberally dosed with Old Bay seasoning, plenty of butter accompanies everything and you use your hands to eat the shrimp!! What a wonderful meal - topped off with chocolate chip cookies it was a tough night to beat!!
Appetizers on September SongDinner on September Song

Tomorrow if the weather permits we should cross into Virginia, where the ICW starts (Norfolk is Mile Marker 0) - Coinjock where we are currently tied up is at Mile Marker 49. Just to put this in perspective, since returning from the Bahamas and arriving back in the States in June at Lake Worth which is in Palm Beach, FL (Mile Marker 1015), we have gone approximately 965 miles!! Since we left Kennebunkport, ME at the end of August last year, we have traveled almost 4500 miles and we now have international, well sea traveled boat kitties!!!! Our plan is to head up into the Chesapeake Bay where we will spend the rest of the summer - first up after spending some time around Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton, VA in the Hampton Roads area is a trip up the James River to see Doug's family and then on up to Richmond!! September Song has indicated that they are willing to brave meeting Doug's family....this should be interesting!!

Click here to see our location at Coinjock Marina.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goodbye to the Outer Banks - We'll Miss You

The day after the party on Stormy was a slow moving one if you get my drift - but around noon Doug and I headed across the bridge from the Manteo Waterfront Marina to the Roanoke Island Festival Park. The Park is dedicated to the history of the early Roanoke settlements which were the first in the new world. Though the Roanoke colonies never were successful in the long-term, they predated the settlement at Jamestown by about 20 years - the Roanoke settlements occurred between 1585 and 1587. The Roanoke colonies also laid the foundations for future English settlements in the new world as they provided information on the Indian tribes, the type of crops that could be grown and more generally what kind of life and hardships awaited the new colonists, increasing the odds of success for future colonies. There was a wonderful museum at the Park which brought to life over 400 years of history of the Outer Banks and Roanoke Island in particular - there was also a fascinating exhibit on Queen Elizabeth the First who reigned during much of England's exploration of the new world.
Beginning of the Queen Elizabeth I Exhibit
She was one amazing lady - taking the crown at age 25 in an era of unbridled religious antagonism and at a time when most thought a woman was not qualified to rule, she broke through the stereotypes and ruled for 45 years with both an iron fist and a velvet glove. She was responsible for much of England's colonization, she brought relative religious tolerance to the country, and chose not to marry so as to retain total control of the country and not cede power to a husband - this unfortunately caused her to have no heirs which created a stir upon her death in terms of who would succeed such a popular queen (turns out it was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, whom Queen Elizabeth had had beheaded for Mary's plot to unseat Elizabeth as the Queen of England - go figure??) Festival Park also had a number of exhibits that we toured including the Elizabeth II, the 69 foot 16th century sailing ship that is a replica of one of Sir Walter Raleigh's ships in his 1585 expedition to establish the first English settlement in the new world - 30 -35 sailors would man such a ship with only the captain and the officers have bunks; the remaining men would grab a piece of deck wherever they could to sleep.
Doug Prepares to Board Elizabeth II
And we thought 4 people on a 49 foot boat was crowded!!!! The Elizabeth II's tender was one of the highlight's for us - named Silver Chalice it was the cutest 24 foot wooden double masted sailboat that would carry 15 crew members (although we're not sure exactly how they would all fit but that's what they told us!!!) It was a far cry from our family car Hobos (our dinghy with its 20 hp motor) that takes us around at 20 mph!!
The Silver Chalice
The afternoon flew by as like sponges we soaked up the history of the region!
Exhibit on 16th Century Navigation
Map Showing All the Shipwrecks Along the Outer Banks

After hours of culture we decided to slake our thirst with a cold beer in town before heading on to the maritime museum - such was not to be the case though as the bar we passed was not yet open - huh??? It's not like we were there at 10:00 am (not that that is a bad thing mind you) - it was almost 4:00 in the afternoon and in Manteo we couldn't find a beer!!! As much as we love NC, they have some really wacky rules when it comes to adult libations!! We went over to see the beautiful Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse that is perched along Manteo's waterfront boardwalk - it is a replica of the old lighthouse that stood in Croatan Sound (on the west side of Roanoke Island) from 1877 to 1955.
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Right next to it is the Manteo Weather Tower which dates back to 1904, when the US Weather Bureau set up its first storm warning tower in Manteo, and keeps alive the centuries old tradition of warning mariners and residents about the upcoming weather and impending storms. At the top of the tower fly colored flags indicating the upcoming weather as well as coded colored lights that can be seen at night!! While the town's telegrapher used to be the weather observer in charge of the storm tower, the dockmaster now is responsible for listening to the weather forecasts and changing the flags and lights accordingly - how cool is that??
Doug Reads the Legend for the Flags on the Weather Tower
The Flag on Top of the Weather Tower

Next it was on to the Manteo Maritime Museum where we learned about George Washington Creef who designed the shad boat which was a staple of local fisherman throughout the region - the really cool thing we found out though is that Buddy Davis who builds kick butt fishing boats is not only from Manteo but is a direct descendant of Creef. For those of you that have been reading our blog for awhile, you might remember that I hung out sharing a couple beers with Buddy Davis one night at the Dockside Bar in Marathon without knowing who he was until after he had left and the bartender told me who he was - super nice guy and very laid back!! Late that afternoon we headed back to Gypsies where we knew we would finally be able to have a beer - whew!!!

The next day we woke to rain and a little visitor on one of our dock lines
The Visitor on our Dock Lines
- we had rented a car with September Song so despite the weather, set off early to go see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We passed through miles of unbroken national seashore with huge sand dunes on our left which was the Atlantic Ocean side and kite surfers and wind surfers speckling the Pamlico Sound to our right. We passed Bodie Island Lighthouse, one of the four operational lighthouses on the Outer Banks, and then Oregon Inlet which leads out to the Atlantic Ocean and is used by a major sport fishing fleet - looking down on the inlet I sure wouldn't want to try and navigate it in anything but perfectly calm weather without local knowledge and I'm not even sure about then!! We passed through several villages along the way (Rodanthe and Avon) but most of the trip was just unbroken and unblemished national seashore with the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge thrown in for good measure - what a spectacular landscape. Finally we arrived at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse which was built in 1870 and is the world's tallest brick lighthouse at 198.5 feet - it is a charming structure of black and white diagonal stripes with a red brick base that towers over the surrounding vegetation.
Hatteras Lighthouse
Unfortunately when we arrived there was thunder and lightning so the lighthouse was closed to visitors wanting to climb to the top - I guess the National Park officials thought it might be a good lightning rod or something. They close the lighthouse for 30 minutes after the last thunder - bummer!!! But we decided to check out the lighthouse keeper's quarters and while there got to watch a movie about how the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved (yes physically picked up and moved!!!) back in 1999!!
The Lighthouse Keepers Quarters
The Lighthouse was in danger of washing away into the sea at its old location as the beach had eroded to within feet of the base of the lighthouse so after some serious planning and preparation by many engineering and technical firms, the Lighthouse was moved 2900 feet inland to the place it sits today - unbelievable!!! When we got out of the movie, the skies had cleared and we were ready for the trek to the top - all 257ish steps! As we waited for our turn to climb, we were under a tent that was unbeknownst to us inhabited by small green tree frogs - we became aware of this fact when one of the little frogs jumped from the tent roof onto the back of some guy's leg and he proceeded to basically hit the tent roof in surprise - cute little buggers though aren't they?
Tree Frog

While Stephanie waited for us down on the ground, Bob, Doug and I headed for the top of the Lighthouse - now you have to understand, neither Bob or Doug is real big on heights so they were holding on for dear life!!
Bob Hangs on for Dear Life
The view from the top of the Lighthouse was unbelievably spectacular though and well worth the wait and the climb!!
Bob and Doug Enjoy the View
In one direction you could see down towards the beach to the site where the Lighthouse used to stand before it was moved
The Old Site of the Lighthouse
and in the another direction you could see out to Cape Hatteras Point and the Diamond Shoals beyond that have claimed the lives of so many mariners and wrecked so many ships that they have become known as the graveyard of the Atlantic.
Cape Hatteras
Stephanie Waves at Us from the Ground
From such a high elevation you could see how treacherous the waters off the Cape are - over 600 ships have wrecked here, victims of the shoals and the often nasty weather that rolls across the Outer Banks. World War II German U-boats sank so many Allied tankers, freighters and cargo ships off the Outer Banks that the waters here have also been known as Torpedo Junction - during the latter part of 1941 and early 1942, nearly one ship a day was torpedoed along this stretch of water!! Although many lives were lost along these treacherous waters, many have also been saved by local villagers - back as far as the 1870's, the US Life Saving Service (which was the precursor to today's Coast Guard) set up stations every 7 miles along the Outer Banks to help rescue foundering ships and their crew. Heroism and courage were traits that those serving in the Life Saving Stations and as Lightkeepers exhibited in saving as many lives as they did - theirs was a hard, physically demanding job as they patrolled the beaches and attempted to rescue those in need of help, often in horrible and dangerous conditions. Nowhere else is there such a history of family participation in the Coast Guard than there is here in the Outer Banks based I'm sure on the long standing traditions of the Life Saving Stations, several of which still exist today.

From the Lighthouse we walked down to the site by the beach where the Lighthouse had previously stood and marveled at the engineering feat that had been accomplished to actually move such a mammoth structure - truly mindblowing!! Then we brought out our chairs, coolers and boogie boards for an afternoon at the beach - we had thought about heading to Nags Head to the beach but why - it was so beautiful there at Cape Hatteras and the waves were just calling to us!!! The waves were rocking so it wasn't long before we were playing along with the surfers, boogie boards in hand.
The Waves at the Hatteras Beach
Man we got the you know what kicked out of us by those waves and the rip currents - we were exhausted (especially after climbing the Lighthouse!!) and spent the rest of the afternoon reclining on the beach, adult libation in hand!! What a great day!
Lounging at the Beach in Hatteras

That evening since we still had the rental car we headed over to Nags Head in search of a great local "joint" for dinner - none of those chain restaurants for us. After driving the main road and then closer towards the beach, we finally set eyes on the Jolly Roger and figured we'd give it a try. Boy was it a joint - the bar had a separate entrance and was covered by a stain glass roof (???)
Bar with Stained Glass Roof
and the room we wound up having dinner in was gaudily decorated in faux christmas motif - now how that exactly translates to the Jolly Roger/pirate theme we were expecting is beyond me but the food was great and the company even better - we asked for local character and that's what we got I guess!!!
Dinner in the Restaurant with Christmas Ornaments on the Ceiling

The next morning we hit the local farmers market which took all of about 5 minutes - it wasn't nearly as big as the one we'd been to in Fort Pierce, FL but September Song was still able to round up some baked goodies! Leaving Manteo and the Outer Banks was bittersweet - if we had been on anchor, we easily could have stayed another week or two as there is so much to do and see - as it is we never got a chance to hit the bike trails or see the Lost Colony Park or go hang gliding in the dunes - but I guess that's why we know we'll be back at some point!!! Off we set across the Albemarle Sound to our current anchorage in Broad Creek, which is a beautiful creek teeming with flowering wild orchids and protected from most of the wind and waves. As soon as we arrived, Cassie and Godiva got to go swimming in their life jackets for exercise since there is no real beach for them to play on - they were too cute!
Cassie and Godiva Go Swimming
Once we do some boat chores this morning, we plan on dropping the dink and heading out to explore - tomorrow we are on to Coinjack and the final stretch up the ICW to Virginia!!

Click here to see a Google map of our anchorage in Broad Creek.