Off to the Dry Tortugas

For the past several years the Dry Tortugas has been on our to-do list but never accomplished. Jenn was interested in joining us for a trip to the Dry Tortugas but couldn’t come until June. We thought that might work out well, since there tends to be less wind in the Keys during the summer months than during the winter months. Leading up to Jenn’s arrival we had a couple weeks of hot steamy weather with wind and thunderstorms on a daily basis. We were  concerned that the trip might not happen again  this year. But it turned out that Mother Nature was on our side, thus this story of our trip to the Dry Tortugas.

Jenn drove down and met us at Vero Beach. We decided to drive our car to the Vero Beach Marina and leave it there so that we wouldn’t have to make the trip and then rent a car to get back   to the boat after she left, since we’d heading north then ourselves. It worked out well. Since she was going right by Vero Beach on our way south, she could pick us up and save us that extra trip. It also gave her a chance to have a little company for the last several hours of her trip to the Keys. 

After a day of adjusting to our setting Jenn joined us for a dinner at our Tai Chi instructor’s home, Jeff and  Beth Pinkus. Jeff is a great chef and seemed to enjoy the challenge of putting together a vegan dinner on Jenn’s behalf.

The weather forecast suggested that we leave for the Dry Tortugas the next day. Although there were predicted thunderstorms and rain showers everyday, there was not a lot of wind in the predictions, so we decided to take advantage. Our travel plan required that we anchor where the dogs get ashore each day, since Jenn’s dog Kaya would not do her business on the boat. The first day was a short day – 12 miles out to Bahia Honda State Park. 

Anchored by the bridge at Bahia Honda

The sun rising over the Bahia Honda campground as we left.

The next day we traveled the full day out past Key West to a small key called Boca Grande. We didn’t get dumped on by any thunderstorms but did slowdown a bit to avoid one that went by. 

To be avoided

We also slowed down again because our prop picked up a bunch of old line that may have been used for a crab pot. This required stopping the boat and me diving in to cut the line off the prop. It was easily accomplished, and then we were back traveling again. We had another full day the next day going out to the Dry Tortugas.

We were definitely sailing in blue water!

 Once again the weather cooperated. We had 2 foot waves with a light Breeze helping to push us along. We began to see more signs of life along the way. These included three sea turtles, one of which was a large leather back – rare species that we had never seen before. We also had dolphins stop by the boat on a number of occasions to check out our bow wave.

We had officially arrived.

Arriving at our anchorage by the fort at the Dry Tortugas by mid-afternoon, we were able to go ashore, register and then do some snorkeling around the fort. While the water wasn’t as clear as advertised, it was pretty clear, and we saw lots of small fish around the pilings of the docks. Our only hesitation about snorkeling near the fort was because of the many stories about the 10 foot crocodile that lived there. It turns out we needn’t have worried, since they had decided the risks were great enough to force the park rangers to capture the crocodile and move him to a safer location outside the park. 

Former home of the crocodile

One group of residents we found there we had heard nothing about before our arrival. On the island next to the fort we found the nesting site for approximately 40 to 50 thousand sooty terns. In addition there were several thousand brown noddies nesting. The noddies were a particularly interesting member of the local community. They seemed to have no fear of us and a great interest in landing on boats. 

A few of our uninvited guests

Our dogs managed to keep them off our boat most of the time and seemed to have fun barking and chasing up and down deck of the boat to keep them off. At times they hovered over our dinghy as we traveled back and forth to shore and seemed close enough that we thought we could reach up and touch them. The sooty turns were not quite as friendly but managed to fly around the boat constantly. As you can imagine, the noise was constant day and night – birds squawking and flying about. It seemed they never slept during the night even. That is not to say that the birds were annoying. They were actually quite interesting to watch and we were glad to have been there during their nesting season. 

A few thousand of our neighbours.

The second day we waited until we could see that the mooring on Loggerhead Key was available and then motored over. We picked up the mooring and then went ashore and snorkeled on the west side of the key. This was an area where the reef was right at shore, and we were able to swim within 100 feet of shore and see lots of coral and a variety of interesting small fish. Upon returning to the boat we found the mooring line had somehow wrapped around our rudder post, so once again I was back in the water to get things corrected.

The lighthouse on Loggerhead Key

Upon returning to our Anchorage by the fort, we determined that it was late enough in the day with these heat dissipating that and we decided to take advantage of that to do a little of our own touring. I should also mention that the large ferry had left for the day and the other visitors who came by sea plane had also left. (Anchoring in this harbor had its unique feature since seaplanes came in two or three times a day right through the harbor up to the beach so the visitors could get off and tour the island.) 

We got a chance to explore the fort when we were nearly the only ones there. We learned much about this unusual fort that was never really completed for its original purpose of protecting Naval vessels that would protect the the important shipping channels. My first question once in the fort was why build it in the middle of the ocean far from any land. Other forts we had visited all protected some population center like St. Augustine, Charleston, Norfolk, or even Key West. There is a large harbor here which could provide weather protection for the Naval vessels. Major shipping routes pass nearby: ships sailing from the East coast to Cuba, Central America, New Orleans, etc. So we learned something new.

The travel back was reported to be the more challenging aspect of the trip. Since the winds generally blow out of the east, we would be heading into the wind the whole trip back. If the wind is strong and the waves are large, it becomes an interesting adventure. Many people end up stuck at the Dry Tortugas for days waiting for the winds to die down enough to travel. We were far enough from Key West that we were out of phone and radio contact. Our only source of weather information was posted once a day by the park rangers. 

Not exactly rough travel weather!

For us, once again Mother Nature was very helpful. There were some swells coming out of the southeast on the ocean, but if we traveled a more northerly route north of some shallows we could avoid those swells. The winds were expected to be light and the predicted storms never got close. The weather was very sunny. We traveled in northern route and at times noted that the water was like glass. There was no wind – only a puff now and then and any stormy weather was well off in the distance.

We had never anchored in Key West but had heard lots of stories about how unpleasant it was there. We were concerned that coming in late in the day we might have trouble finding a place to anchor. However we needn’t have worried​. We had picked out or most likely spot on our chart and found that it was open to us. We also noted that a couple on a trimaran that had been near us in Boot Key Harbor were anchored right next to us.

Lots of people want to see the sunset from Key West, but few get this view.

Getting ashore by Dinghy was not particularly Pleasant trip. There is no limit to speed for any boats in the harbor, so it was a bit lumpy, and we were careful to be seen by passing large boats. Downtown Key West held no surprises. There were lots of people, lots of drinking, and lots of tourist traps. Having been to Key West many times before, it was as expected.

The next morning we headed out for our last day of travel on this trip. The weather prediction, aside from the normal prediction of showers and thunderstorms, seemed to be fine. Out in Hawk Channel we found the waves not too bad and the wind pretty light, so we considered the possibility of stopping at Sombrero Key for one last snorkel before heading into Boot Key Harbor. 

Sombrero Key Light

When we got there in mid-afternoon, we found all the moorings taken since the weather was so nice. We idled along for 10 or 15 minutes until mooring opened up, and we were able to tie up. The snorkeling here was great; the water was pretty clear and there were lots of fish – probably more fish than we saw at the Dry Tortugas. In fact there were enough fish that Jenn decided to put together a list of all the different varieties we saw. Once we finished our snorkeling, we headed back into Boot Key Harbor another hour’s travel. We stopped and got some fuel, water and ice and ended up back on our mooring – a great trip ended.

Captain Bob

Carpe Diem

Adventure Update

Well in spite of my intentions to report on our adventures in a more timely way this past winter, it is already late May, and I’m only now getting around to updating everyone. I could use the excuse that we did little of interest during the past four months, but that wouldn’t be a true statement. So this blog update should be just that – an update of what we’ve been up to.

Rather than merely provide a chronological report, I’ll attempt to organize this into categories. I’ll begin by reporting on our stay at a dock at the marina we reported on in the last update. We stayed for three months and found lots to be said for the convenience of dock life. Water was easy as pulling a hose to fill our tank. We could step off and walk to our car or to the shower or laundry. No dinghy rides were necessary. However, we missed being somewhat alone on a mooring without thinking about who might be walking by the boat. We thought kayaking here might be a nice change, but found it to offer less interesting spots to visit and we had to be careful to stay out of the way of small fishing boats and jet skis. We were open to more wave action at times which required us to purchase a couple of really large fenders, and even then we had to remain alert on windy, bouncy nights.

In mid March we hauled the boat to renew the bottom paint and decided that was a good time to return to a mooring in Boot Key Harbor. The spot we’d had for the previous four winters was not available, but we did manage to get one very close by with similar views. We’ve enjoyed some great kayaking and I’ve also enjoyed a bit of dinghy sailing in the Harbor. Having spent the last two+ months on this mooring, we can still say that we made a good decision.

Our typical peaceful evening view.

As I had mentioned in the last update, we returned to Tai Chi class after returning in December. Sandra was approached by another student to teach her and a couple of friends how to design and create pine needle baskets.  In time others wanted to join as well. This resulted in several passionate followers who will pick this up again when all return in the fall.

One of her most recent projects

We enjoyed a couple of family visits so far this year. My sister Mary Jo and her family came down for a brief visit, so there son Toby could spend time in the water with dolphins where I volunteer – Dolphin Research Center. He had a great experience.

Toby “shaking hands” with a dolphin

Soon afterwards our daughter Samantha and family came down for a week. Although they have come nearly every winter we’ve been here, each time is special in a new way. This is in part because our three grandsons are a bit older with each visit. This one might be called the snorkeling visit. All three boys really enjoyed snorkeling in Key West and Bahia Honda. Additionally, Chris went into a pool to feed lots of tropical fish as well as a shark at a new facility in Marathon.

Chris in the pool where he got to feed a shark

Sam and our three grandsons feeding parrot fish

Our other daughter Jenn and her dog will be joining us early next month as we hope to sail to the Dry Tortuga’s, an island group about 70 miles west of Key West. Included is an old fort, lots of good snorkeling we hear in clear water. It’s run by the National Park Service.

Our Tai Chi instructor and his wife, now good friends of ours, are planning a trip to the Amazon next fall. They’ve done this before several times and described the area as one of the most beautiful in the world. They suggested that we consider joining them and, after some careful consideration, we decided to do so. By October, we will be in our fiftieth year of marriage, so this is how we’ve decided to celebrate! We’ll spend ten days on a 100 foot boat cruising the Rio Negro out of Manaus, Brazil. We are really quite excited.

After returning to the mooring, we were back to using the dinghy for daily transportation. Sandra doesn’t wish to deal with the outboard, having troubles starting it and dealing with the choke as well as its temperamental nature. After some exploring, we bought an electric motor and sold the gas outboard. This unit, a German model, is much lighter, starts with a push of a button, and allows us to get gasoline off the boat. She finds it easy to operate as do I. We are happy with the change. Of course this addition does put more pressure on our limited charging capacity which was already strained. Bottom line, we’ll be adding solar panels in the fall.

Speaking of adding or making changes, our main ripped, and sail makers told us that it had outlived it’s useful life. We figured that we’d have to buy a new one. Most of our traveling at that point in our trip south would have to be with the engine. We had decided to hold off till after the new year, but hadn’t gotten around to it by the time we arrived at the mooring field. The day after we arrived another Beneteau just like ours arrived next to us. We got together and learned that they had the original main in storage, since they had a new one made soon afterward buying the boat. They happily sold it to us really cheap. A great benefit to us who had recently had the Bimini replaced and bought the outboard soon after.

As I mentioned earlier, my nephew Toby went to the Dolphin Research Center to spend time with the dolphins. Of course, I spend time there every week. This year I got certified to assist with giving them water. It turns out that dolphins in the wild get all their water from the fish they eat by breaking down the fat. But just like with humans, dolphins maintain better health with extra water. So most of the adult dolphins get from 2 to 6 liters of extra water each day. Generally I now assist with this process for at least one and as many as ten dolphins each day that I volunteered. Next fall upon my return, I hope to become a docent. This will have me walking around and talking to visitors about what goes on there. I’ll have to do some studying to become more knowledgeable, but I look forward to that.

Now having volunteered once each week for three seasons, I qualified for a chance to meet with a dolphin and get a tow around the lagoon. Since I had already done much of what was included in this encounter, I gave it to Sandra. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It may have been the final incentive to convince her to volunteer next season as well.

Sandra got a ride around the lagoon thanks to Louie, a dolphin saved from the aftermath of the BP oil spill and now doing very well.

Now that it’s almost June, we’re beginning to get more summer like weather. That means more heat and humidity than we are used to during the season you probably call winter. Our fans are spinning most of the time and we get into the water multiple times each day. But the water temp is already into the mid 80s, it’s help is limited. After Jenn’s visit and our trip to the Dry Tortugas, we’ll begin our northern trek – mostly by car, since we plan to leave the boat in Vero Beach again. But more on all that in another blog post.

Carpe Diem

Captain Bob

Returning to Marathon, Our “Winter” Home

Not being on a schedule this year traveling south, we did our best to avoid problems that might arise if we were forced to travel when we shouldn’t. We also stayed on the ICW rather than going out in the ocean to save time, because the weather wasn’t conducive, and we had plenty of time. The one occasion when we didn’t follow our own guidance was leaving Vero Beach. We had determined years ago to avoid traveling on the ICW in South Florida on the weekend. It’s not unlike at times going to a shopping mall on Black Friday. Lots of little boats zipping around with water skis and jet skis paying no attention to who else is out there and creating blockages at times around bridge openings. Since we left Vero Beach on the Friday after Thanksgiving, it was clear that we would be traveling for the next three days through Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to Miami on weekend like conditions – maybe worse.   

We were lucky. The conditions weren’t as bad as we had expected. The one interesting experience we had was passing through the Palm Beach area. President elect Trump was at his resort there on the water for Thanksgiving, and the sheriff’s department as well as the Coast Guard were vigilant at keeping boats away from his resort shoreline and making sure nobody did anything foolish. That meant that we had an escort along a three-mile stretch of the ICW. Everybody seemed friendly, but they were ready for trouble as noted by the machine gun in the bow of the Coast Guard boat.

Our travel south of the Palm Beach area went pretty smoothly, and we managed to make good time between bridges. For those who haven’t read our earlier blogs or have yet to make the trip from Palm Beach to Miami, you should know that there are nearly 30 bridges, most which open on a schedule. The key is to be able to keep to the schedule. We had to push the boat to make the schedule, and we were lucky that the tidal current helped us along the way. This is familiar territory for us, and we knew where to anchor away from crowds and where we could replenish our food and water for the final few days of travel.

Lots of wealth evident in this part of the ICW.A view from our Miami anchorage.

Leaving Miami, we traveled down Biscayne Bay to Pumpkin Key. Then we spent a day traveling in Hawk Channel before going under the Channel Five bridge and completing our travels by arriving at the Harbour Cay Club our “winter” home this season.

This sight told us that we’d arrived in the Keys.

Leaving our anchorage near the Channel Five bridge at sunrise.

Our new home appears to be a friendly, small marina on the Florida Bay side of Marathon. We’ve already met a few of the pelicans that call this spot home. We were also visited by a manatee.

Our boat at her winter home. Note the  neighbor on the post. He is one of several daily visitors.

More of those daily visitors on rocks near our slip

This manatee appeared to be quite interested in our dinghy.

Our annual holiday trip north took us away from here for two weeks, but in the short time we’ve been here, we have already met a number of fellow boaters and Marathon residents we’d gotten to know during past winters. I’ve begun my volunteer time at the Dolphin Research Center, and Sandra has found several who seek help to make pine needle baskets.

We also made our first trip to Key West, this time to witness a visit of Tibetan monks who spent a week here to promote world peace. While here, they created a peace mandala, a sand design created one grain of sand at a time. See below.

We also attended a meditation which included the playing of singing bowls. Sandra was so intrigued that she bought one.

We’ll try out new, interesting adventures during our stay this year, and I may actually do a better job of reporting on these in more timely manner in future blog posts.

Carpe Diem

Captain Bob

South to Vero Beach

We’ve traveled another 400+ miles along the ICW since the last update sent out as we arrived in Beaufort, SC.  Our stop there provided us the opportunity to meet up with friends we’d known from Newport News and also from Marathon. In both cases, we enjoyed the company and appreciated being driven to stores.  Thanks to Janelle and Bob and to Brian and Jan. Best wishes to you Brian and Jan as you shop for that next boat… assuming that you don’t change your mind. It was sad to see Windchaser in such a sorry state.

Here’s all that remains of their marina.

The terrain has become more subtropical as we’ve traveled south, and the animal life has reflected that fact. We continued to see evidence of Matthew’s work, and we’ve enjoyed good weather just about every day.  

We left Beaufort at sunrise.

For those who wonder why we don’t just go out into the ocean and skip all the busy areas, it’s because the ocean has not been very pleasant. We nolonger are willing to get knocked around just to save a bit of time.

So it took us five days to get through Georgia and into Florida. The travel schedule was influenced by tides, since a few spots were too shallow at low tide for us. We also enjoyed most of a day at Cumberland Island, run by the National park service. Here we walked a couple of miles on a beautiful beach, saw wild horses up close and personal and got a close look at an armadillo – great fun.

This was the only crowd we saw on the beach.

This driftwood was pretty but a bit too large for us to get on the boat.

Our next stop was in St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. We always enjoy wandering the streets of this old city and appreciating the architecture. 

Henry Flagler’s first luxury hotel in St.Augustine, now part of Flagler College.

We also knew we needed replacement netting for our lifelines to keep Maddie and things we drop from ending up overboard. We knew of a marine store that sold fish netting that works well and lasts for years, so we made a stop there in addition to other activities.

This was found at the entrance to one of many beautiful galleries in St. Augustine.

Then it was off once again heading further south to Vero Beach. Along this stretch we saw more dolphins and at least a half dozen manatees in addition to several flocks of white pelicans.

We stayed at Vero for a week. This gave us the chance to visit with my sister Mary Jo and her family in West Palm Beach which included a Thanksgiving dinner. We also go our car up to Vero, so we could accomplish a number of errands, visit a couple of great eating  establishments and catch a movie as well. Maddie got to run on the beach, an activity she always enjoys. The downside to the beach walk was to see how much of the sand had been washed away by Matthew. This made us a bit sad and reminded us that nothing remains unchanged.

A good sign as we left Vero Beach

It was a good week, and now we are off once more, heading south of course. We have six or seven more travel days to Marathon. We’ll pass down the ICW through Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. We find more extreme wealth on display here in this stretch of approximately 90 miles than anywhere else we’ve ever been.
More to come…

Captain Bob

Carpe Diem

 We Continue South And View More Hurricane Impact

Since the last update, we have traveled another 240 miles. (That may not seem like much, but it’s a lot when you’re best speed is about 8 miles per hour with a boost from the tidal current.  

 Our first sunrise in South Carolina

As we left North Carolina and entered South Carolina, we begin to see more evidence of Matthew’s work. A section of the ICW is a narrow canal with steep Banks. Most of it is loose dirt with some areas rock. Because of the rocks present, this portion of the route is a problem for boaters and is called the “Rockpile”.The high water from Matthew created other issues that we noted along the way. The loose embankment didn’t hold up with the high water, so it collapsed bringing down with it trees and bushes. 

We saw many examples of this. We also saw a few docks damaged and boats pushed up onto the shore because of the high water.  

When I reached the Socastee Bridge, we were glad to see that it was still functional. Following the storm, the water rose an additional six feet, creating problems for its electrical system.

 If you look closely at the next photo you will see a line on the vegetation marking the high water there. 

As we traveled down the Waccamaw River, we noted areas where the shoreline was still covered with water. 

During the past couple of days we spent time in remote areas of coastal South Carolina. This area is called Low Country, an appropriate name for the area given the expansive areas at or near sealevel with  little dry land at high tide. This area reminds us of the Everglades with occasional “hammocks”. Hammocks are small pieces of land in the Everglades that generally remain dry enough for trees to grow. Most of the territory both in the Everglades and coastal SC was just grass and very wet with occasional small spots with trees growing. 

Our next stop will be in Beaufort, South Carolina for a couple of days with the chance to visit some friends. Then we’ll venture into Georgia’s remote Coastline. This section of the ICW has some interesting challenges due to shallow water and high tides. One is even called Hell Gate. Once we reach the Florida line, we will still have nearly five hundred miles to go before we reach Marathon.

Carpe Diem

Captain Bob

With Matthew Come Changes in Plans

As I wrote in the last installment of this blog, we had adjusted our plans to arrive in New Bern North Carolina at the marina we thought would provide reasonable protection. As this storm approached we took down our bimini, secured our sails and everything else that we chose to leave out on deck. We also made sure that our batteries remained charged and water tanks were full just in case the Marina lost either.

Nasty weather

Back to normal

As it turned out, we briefly had lots of wind, although not hurricane force, and lots of rain. The readers may have heard on the news about the resulting flooding in eastern North Carolina. It turns out that the heaviest rain came to inland areas farther from the coast. The flooding was close to or exceeded earlier records.  New Bern sits on the Neuse and Trent Rivers, both of which flooded further upstream. However the rivers  widen a great deal by the time they reach New Bern. Hence we experienced little flooding.

Once the storm had passed, we sought as much information as we could about the conditions on the ICW south of us and what changes we might expect due to the storm damage. Several sources looked to be helpful. We had decided not to leave New Bern for a week or two in order to allow the debris that was found to be in the ICW to settle out and some of the problems along the route to be resolved. One particular bridge it appeared would not be open to boat traffic until the very end of October or even later, so we were not in a big hurry to head south until things sounded better.

The time we would spend at the dock in New Bern we decided would allow us to accomplish the tasks that we might not have planned to take care of until we got to Marathon. Just down the dock from us was a canvas and sail maker, and we invited him to give us a quote for the replacement of our bimini and enclosure.   We knew we would need to get a new one this year since the current one was 18 years old – well past its useful life. His price and timing were good. We found that we could get it done while we were waiting out the problems on the ICW. 

We were pleased with the results.

Additionally we dealt with some electrical issues and took care of waxing of the hull and redoing the teak. We also replaced a noisy water pump with something at least somewhat quieter. And, of course, Sandra worked on her pine needle baskets as well as some knitting.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to some of our readers was the fact that we took Maddie to PetSmart and had her groomed for the first time in her five-year life. She didn’t like all aspects of it, but she seemed to survive and looks much better now. Her hair isn’t a lot shorter but it is a somewhat shorter at this point and looks a lot better.

We saved the canvas from our old bimini, and Sandra made covers for our ugly fuel jugs. While the sewing machine was out, we also restitched the jib. We didn’t bother with the main, since it has ripped and must be replaced when we get to our “winter” home.

On Sunday (10/23) we learned the bridge we’ve been waiting on (the Socastee) was now functioning once again, since the flood waters had finally receded. So we prepared to leave. Yesterday (10/25) we set out for Moorehead City and points south. All went well, and we noted that the current was running strong. It seems that the flood waters are still receding. For those who might be familiar with the Adams Creek Canal, we got 2 mph boost rather than getting slowed by nearly 1 mph as was predicted by our chart plotter. It would nice if we saw high water all along the ICW, but only time will tell. One fact is apparent: many boaters who were waiting for the Socastee Bridge to open are now on the move. We will have plenty of company as we travel. Will spend tonight at Mile Hammock and head to Wrightsville Beach in the morning. We are currently at Mile Marker 244. That means we still have 1000 miles of boat travel to reach Marathon. But we are on the way.

Carpe Diem

Captain Bob

 

Challenges of Matthew

Our travel south of Norfolk was interesting and a bit different from previous trips. First we got delayed at the Great Bridge lock. It seems that lots of NE wind over several days has resulted in extra high tides. The tide was too high for the lock to operate when we arrived, so we waited till the tide dropped a bit. Then we had to wait for the bridge just beyond the lock to open. Usually this is not an issue, since the timing of the two is coordinated. Because of the tide, the opening came off schedule, and the bridge, controlled by the town, would not make an adjustment. Oh well, no big deal. However, because of the delay, we couldn’t make our planned anchorage. 

Most people never get to see the subtle beauty of this part of the world.

Looking back as we travel the 20 miles of the Alligator-Pungo Canal on the ICW

We chose to anchor in the Currituck Sound. This began pleasantly, with just a bit air moving and a beautiful sunset. 

By morning, however, the boat was literally covered with some kind of bugs – I mean thousands! Fortunately they don’t bite, but they seemed to leave green slime everywhere, and they refused to leave.

Our next anchorage would be in the south end of the Alligator River, where we expected a new onslaught. Sandra had created a large net that would allow us to  cover the bimini. We also kept off the low anchor light and just used the one at the top of the mast.  We woke more or less free of bugs the next morning.

By this time, Hurricane Matthew was getting lots of our attention, so we decided to leave our normal route on the ICW and head to a marina in New Bern, NC. This location is more inland and well protected. We had stayed here for Hurricane Sandy a few years ago, and we were glad we did.

The hotel and condos will provide wind protection.

At the moment, we are waiting for the weather to hit, but Matthew continues to change course. We’ve been glued to our weather apps and television to try to learn all We can about the expectations anticipated by the NHC. I guess we aren’t as likely to get any hurricane force winds here according to current thinking . There may be some storm surge, but we are secure at a floating dock.

Lots of bears in New Bern

In the meantime,we’ll enjoy New Bern and wonder about how this storm will impact our continued travel south. Will there be lots of damage? destroyed marinas where we normally fuel up? newly created areas of shoaling that could prevent our progress?

I’ll send out an update after all this passes.

Captain Bob

Carpe Diem