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From Plantation Country to Outer Banks

Posted by on May 13, 2012
Despite our best efforts to keep the blog current we have fallen behind again, so this will be another lengthy version.
We are currently berthed at the Manteo Waterfront Marina, which is located on Roanoke Island, just inside the barrier islands that define the ‘outer banks’ of North Carolina. By great coincidence, five minutes after we arrived yesterday we were joined by Tiger, another PDQ 34, piloted by Bill Lowther and Carole Binch of Belleville, Ontario.

Since our last post from Charleston we have travelled over 400 miles and have stopped at the following locations:

  • Georgetown, SC (anchorage)
  • Cow House Creek, SC (anchorage)
  • Carolina Beach, NC
  • Moorehead City, NC
  • Upper Dowry Creek, NC (anchorage)
  • Manteo, NC

Our journey over the past week has taken us from the tropical low country and hot weather of South Carolina to the more temperate climate of the central east coast . The weather continues mostly sunny and warm and we have been fortunate to have only two periods of rain since leaving Stuart (both of which occurred in the evening). Our cruising days have been somewhat longer (generally 60 to 90 miles), but no less pleasant than before.

Unfortunately we lost our travelling companions John and Marsha Belford this week when John fell and badly broke his ankle while cleaning his vessel. We were able to help them get quick assistance from the Coast Guard and they have now returned to Ontario for John’s surgery and recuperation. We wish them all the best with the recovery and when they return to Kadadi to complete their Great Loop tour.

North Carolina introduced us to our first ‘open waters’ on Friday when we transited the long and wide Neuse River (part of Pamlico Sound for those of you checking your charts and maps). The winds were around 15 knots on the nose, with a 3′ moderate sea, and it was a good chance to test His Idea in less than calm conditions. To help keep it comfortable and maintain a fast cruise speed we quartered the waves by tacking back and forth up the sound. Although there was some slapping (waves on hull, not Admiral on Captain) and a bit of spray, overall we were pleased with how the vessel handled the conditions.

Friday was also notable because we were also stopped for a Coast Guard inspection shortly after we exited the Neuse River. In a narrow cut with nowhere to go the CG has a small base where they can stop virtually all boats travelling the ICW. Fortunately the Coasties were friendly (and young looking to us old folks – they all looked to be in their mid-twenties), and His Idea passed muster with flying colours.

Today we visited the Wright Brothers National Monument at Kill Devil Hills, located not far away on the Outer Banks. A fascinating place, the monument does a great job of illustrating the struggles and ultimate accomplishments of these aviation pioneers. We came away with a much greater appreciation for the challenges they faced, and the widely varied skills, innovative thinking, and detailed science they applied to achieve their dream.

As we transition from the ‘south’ to the ‘north’ we think the following pictures reflect the variety of terrain and locations we have experienced this week. More change will follow as we complete the ICW and enter the Chesapeake Bay region within the next few days.

Another 'tow' we passed along the way.

 

Shrimpers 'twinning it' along the ICW.

 

Our Georgetown anchorage.

 

Lilypads (and turtles if you can find them) at our anchorage at Cow House Creek - very tranquil.

 

Ross, Colin, Gavin, Roy - this one's for you!

 

The ICW comes very close to the Atlantic in some places.

 

Sunset over the Cape Fear River from our spot in the State Park Marina (another gem).

 

We had a great afternoon here - fun in the surf and few people.

 

Houses of all shapes, sizes, colours and budgets can be seen along the ICW - couldn't resist a picture of this one.

 

A super long tow, complete with helper tugs - you move well over for these ones.

 

Dawn at Upper Dowry Creek anchorage.

 

The Alligator River cut links the Pungo and Alligator Rivers - more than 20 miles and almost dead straight.

 

We are berthed on Roanoke Island, just south of Kill Devil Hills.

 

View from top of Kill Devil Hills, launch sight for the Wright Brothers successful glider trials in 1902.

 

Ria at marker for terminus of Wright Brothers fourth flight, which successfully demonstrated that controlled heavier than air flight was possible.

 

Exact replica of Wright Brothers 1903 powered craft - it will fly.

 

With fellow PDQ 34 cruisers Suzanne, Bill and Carole at National Monument.

 

The twins at their Manteo berth (His Idea to port, Tiger to starboard).

 

Next stop likely somewhere on Chesapeake Bay.

10 Responses to From Plantation Country to Outer Banks

  1. Jeannie and Peter

    Love the blog and his idea to live the dream. Must have been one Mother of a birthday today John! Happy B’day!
    J&P

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks! We had a great time going for dinner in Manteo with our fellow PDQers. Ria even arranged for a surprise birthday cake.

      It’s good to hear you’re enjoying the blog.

      There’s a spare cabin waiting for you guys whenever you’re ready….

  2. Doug

    And I thought all the celebrating yesterday was for mothers. Little did I know it was for John’s birthday! Hope it was a happy one. Roslyn’s was the day before. The pictures continue to be great and the commentary fantastic! Keep up the good work.
    Cheers,
    Doug

  3. Doug's little sister

    Happy belated birthday John! Glad to see your adventures aboard ‘His Idea’ are going so well. I’m really enjoying the blog and photos.

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks Ann, and Doug too.

      Happy belated birthday Roslyn!

      John & Ria

  4. Leona

    Hi John & Ria,

    The blog is fabulous! Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time! Happy belated birthday John – hope it was special.

    Leona

  5. Trace Acres

    This is awesome, John! Just catching up on your adventures over a Saturday morning coffee… much better than reading the Vancouver Sun! Keep it up… safe travels… Trace.

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks Trace, glad you like it and that we’re serious competition for the Sun.

      Hope the new position is going well…

      John & Ria

  6. Janice

    Hi John and Ria…just catching up on all your pictures and great stories. It’s actually too hot here this weekend to be outside – not usual at all…. Glad to hear things are going well and looks like you are having a great time! I’m with Trace, much better than reading the same old newspaper stories…but John you may be interested to hear BCAA has invested in full page Sun and Province recruitment ads..possibly a first. It’s keeping us busy…..Enjoy your travels!

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