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Adventures of Obiewan and Jo

This blog chronicles the Winter 2011-2012 adventures of John Oberright and Jo Rys as they head South For The Winter.  Any BCYC member can comment on their postings.  It's a great way to keep in touch!
  • 13 Nov 2011 9:25 AM | Jo Rys

     MM402 Georgetown SC

    Poor holding in Georgetown--we were up at 2AM when the anchor alarm went off, just a tide change; then back to bed but I could not go back to sleep.  We were up at 7:30; anchor up and Harmony was under way at 8AM.   Jo took the helm and successfully guided us out of the Georgetown Harbor, easy since the tide was high, and I followed a 70-foot boat named Utopia from St. Michaels out into the Winyah Bay heading to Waccanaw River.  Harmony’s engine is doing great! Also we are doing great time; the weather is getting warmer which makes it easier to get out of a warm bed in the morning.  Guy makes his double strength coffee (he is up early) and when they finish the first pot, John makes my coffee (half and half); our routine seems to work. Georgetown is a lovely town unfortunately we did not go ashore, I did in '99.  I will be back! 

    We will be in Charleston for about 10 days, meeting John's sister Terry and Jim her husband (they are great) for Thanksgiving; doesn’t that sound great?  I can get all my shopping fix in Charleston, no doubt do some or most of my Christmas shopping.  Have to keep in mind we will have to carry everything back on the plane, and we did not bring the rolling suitcase.

    We passed thru Winyah Bay Canal, Pee Dee River and Waccanaw River which follows mostly straight dredged cuts through vast marshlands for the next 50 miles to Charleston Harbor.  We spent the night in a little place called Dewees Creek about 15 miles from Charleston; were anchored alongside of a golf course that is on an island; had our Happy Hour watching the golfers being ferried in and out on the hour. Not sure where they came from but perhaps Charleston 15 miles way.  We had a dinner of leftover beef, Guy had chicken, Spatula and salad; the boys ate the last cookies.

  • 12 Nov 2011 9:18 AM | Jo Rys

    MM353.7--Barefoot Landing SC-Georgetown, South Carolina

    Barefoot Landing Marina SC – or (Myrtle Beach). Nice marina, fairly new, easy in and easy out right on the ICW.  Plugged in and ran the heater all night;  very toasty, felt good to get up to warm room (funny the things we take for granted).  Guy emptied the trash, a quick hose-down for Harmony, and fuel for Harmony (she needs fuel also). I made sticky buns for the crew’s breakfast. 

    A few bridges we passed under and we were in the Waccamaw River at MM375, one of the loveliest areas we have passed thru.  Not much in the way of civilization, with turtles sunning themselves on the rocks along the banks of the canal.  Before the Civil War, rice fields covered mile after mile of marshes along the waterway.  Using slave labor, the land was cleared, partitioned by dikes and the water level managed by a system of wooden floodgates.  These fields fueled the prosperity of the large coastal Plantations, with over half of the nation’s rice crop produced in South Carolina.

    Spanish Moss hangs in the trees along the canal and makes everything look so lazy and beautiful. We pulled into Georgetown at low tide and experienced some low spots but once we were in the harbor we were fine; anchored about 3PM.  Did a 50 mile day, decided we have been pushing too hard and should slow down a bit. Anchored twice and settled down for a beer and dinner of beef stew, baked bread and yes there are only 2 cookies left for the boys tomorrow night.

  • 11 Nov 2011 9:11 AM | Jo Rys

    Carolina Beach NC to Barefoot Landing SC  MM295.7

    Underway at 8AM with no mishaps. Cooler this morning but no dew in the enclosure. NO SHORTS TODAY!  The sun is bright and warm and hopefully will get better.  "Another day on the waterway.”  What a night!  Not much sleep did the crew get while on anchor watch trying to keep Harmony out of harm’s way.  The morning looked great and we were under way out the cut to the ICW and into the Cape Fear River, with gusts up to 26 knots.  With white caps, the wind behind us and the jib up, we were doing 8.5 knots. We passed Dutchman’s Creek and Pipe line Canal, Southport, and Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge. 

    There are some lovely homes all along the ICW in this area, and the piers stick out of the water about 10 to 15 feet in the air at low tide. Cruisers make a note: Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge is no longer a pontoon bridge, very sad; it was a sight to see in action.  Little River Bridge opened on demand and somehow we lost the gaggle.  We  came around a bend to Lockwood’s Folly and John at the helm said  “Is that guy aground?" Sure enough, he was aground--we took it very, very easy and managed to get though that 5 miles without doing the same.  

    Coming down the homestretch we had the sun in our eyes; very hard to see even with 3 pairs of eyes.  What a long strenuous day--68 miles!  We went thru the Barefoot Landing Bridge and finally landed at Barefoot Landing Marina; the dock master was waiting for us.  I had cocktails and dip waiting for the guys and we relaxed for a few, showered and had dinner at the local restaurant.  Guy’s laundry was washing while we ordered and ate dinner and we all crashed early, exhausted.

  • 10 Nov 2011 8:59 AM | Jo Rys

    MM 244-Mile,  Hammock, Camp Lejeune, NC-Carolina Beach NC, 8AM

    Another beautiful day on the waterway! We slept in this morning didn’t get underway until 8AM; almost everyone else has left the anchorage. This morning is warmer, the condensation on the boat was not as bad and not as hard as it has been to get out of a nice warm bed, change into cold, damp clothing (at least everything feels damp) sometimes I just put my sweats over my Jammies to help pull up the anchor and change later.  Guy and John have shorts on today perhaps later as it warms up I will be able to do so, did put on a light weight T shirt with a heavy fleece on top, to pull up the anchor.  Harmony is humming along thru the water; we have a few bridges today. We caught the gaggle (I call the collection of boats the gaggle) at the Surf city swing bridge MM273--10 boats went thru with us.

    We passed thru Surf City, Top Sail Beach, Figure Eight Bridge, and Wrightsville Beach Bridge. (Think I stopped in Wrightsville Beach in '95) We had to wait for the 1PM Bridge for about 20 min. Wrightsville is a very busy area it is a burgeoning water-oriented community.  Boating is what makes the place tick, and the activities throughout its waterways are perhaps greater here than in any other NC region.  Money island and Money Point (reputedly Capt. Kidd’s hidey-holes in the later 1600’s) are located just south of Wrightsville Creek; they were perfect hiding places for pirates. Legend has it pirates hid their loot in these islands until the early 1700’s. (Nothing ever found except unearthed mastodon bones)

    Anchor down at 3Pm in Carolina beach, a small anchorage off ICW. We had stir-fry for dinner, bread and yes Guy loves the cookies. Everything was calm until about 6PM when the wind picked; up we read for a while, John put on the anchor alarm.  Guy woke to the anchor alarm and a boat dragging into us, John and Guy (thank God for Guy) stayed up until 2AM trying to get a good hold on the anchor and putting out more scope, and the wind died a little   One boat had to hauled off a sand bar by Boat US. The guys kept us safe; needless to say no one got much sleep, not even me, but I did keep  warm staying out of the way.

  • 09 Nov 2011 7:22 AM | Jo Rys

    MM181 Oriental North Carolina

    Away from the dock at 7:15AM; some rollers on the Neuse River--had to make saves in the galley and put away stuff. When things settled down I made French toast for the boys.   There is great sailing on the Neuse and Pimlico. In fact, Oriental calls themselves the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina”.  Oriental has not changed in 10 years except perhaps things have gotten older.  There is an anchorage before the bridge and the only really working marina is the oriental Marina and it fills up fast.  We were the first boat in and about 12 boats come in after us.

    We spotted dolphins today, about feeding time.  Dolphins are not porpoises; many boaters mistake dolphins for porpoises but they are in warmer waters.  Just north of Adams Creek, an inlet south to Florida, the most likely cetacean is the Atlantic Bottle-Nose Dolphin. Dolphins have a pointed noses, called a beak.  Porpoises have a flat nose with no beak, more like the front of a small whale.

    We left the dock and connected to the Adams Creek and MM185, then the New Park River and thru Bogue Sound, passing Beauford and Morehead City. Did the ditch 65 miles today to Mile Hammack, Camp Lejeune North Carolina.  We anchored at 3:45--made good time today, even caught the bridge around the opening time.  As were going toward the bridge a power boat a few hundred yards from us started to smoke and had to pull over with smoke coming out of the engine.  The skipper was not a happy camper; needless to say it ruined his day.  Boat's name was Chesapeake. 

    We were settled in with our beer and the helicopters started--boy are they loud!  That lasted for about half an hour. Dinner tonight was spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, and yes cookies.

  • 08 Nov 2011 7:15 AM | Jo Rys

    MM 159 Hoboken Cut

    We slipped in to the Neuse River with Jo behind the wheel following a Tug pushing a barge; we see that everyday--just have to keep in radio contact and know their intentions, stay behind them even if you have to go slow. We're finally able to pass them in a wider area of the river. 

    "Another beautiful day on the waterway” sounds like a song title (I have to amuse myself somehow).  Haven’t even touched my knitting or any other things I brought along to amuse myself while Guy and John do the helm.

    Thank you Lord for Guy’s help and guidance--sure takes pressure off of us. Guy sees things that need to be taken care of before John or I do.  Those little things out of the way help to get under way sooner. 

    Today was a short day:  we arrive In Oriental at 12:20, tied up with the help of the dock masters, checked in, dumped trash, recycling, filled the diesel tank and water tank.  Gave Harmony a bath and vacuumed her inside.  Walked a mile to West Marine and the tiny country grocery, walked back put away all the stuff.  The next order of business was showers for the crew, Happy Hour and dinner about a block away at the MM diner.  Small place but good food, the locals eat there.  Quiet time of reading and working on the Blog, this is a lot of work guys! Getting better at the keyboard; still hit the wrong keys but have found delete and backspace without looking,  also spell check and grammar help.  Now I wish I had taken writing classes in College, sure would help. It is 9PM and time for a little bed reading as well as keeping warm (the nights are cooler).

  • 07 Nov 2011 2:16 PM | Jo Rys

    Alligator River, North Carolina

    Anchor up at 7am and underway with all the other boats, motored making good time, put up  some sail which gave us a boost to 8 knots for a while. The sun was shining and a warm day; took off another layer of clothing, felt great.

    The Alligator River was named after the American alligator; as recently as 1930s a 15 foot alligator inhabited the river. Now you’ll have to travel further south to see an alligator.  But there are plenty of other interesting carnivores in the wild areas of the Alligator River National Wildlife area, which is one of the last eastern strong holds of the Black Bear; also a protected habitat for endangered Red wolf who were recently re-introduced to the refuge. 

    We traveled the Alligator Pango Canal thru the Pango River (No we did not see any Pangs ether) which is wide and open next Goose Creek.  So warm today  had to open the flaps of the enclosure.  Perhaps shorts tomorrow.  HAHA!!!  Took pictures of Shrimp Boats along the Goose Creek, will try to get them on the site.  Spent the night at HOBOKAN cut, MM 160.  Dinner was sweet and sour meatballs over noodles, salad and cookies (no the cookies are not gone).

  • 06 Nov 2011 2:13 PM | Jo Rys

    Elizabeth City North Carolina

    Weather finally settled down and we took off on Sunday morning travelling thru North Carolina. The water-way jumps from sound to sound connected by narrow sheltered rivers and cuts. From the woods of North Landing, the river opens into the 15 mile stretch of Currituck Sound. Then the waterway weaves thru pine forest again before opening to the expanse of Albemarle Sound.

    The sound is wide and can be rough. Harmony was doing 8 knots with sails up as we entered the Alligator River; not many places to stop so Harmony and crew stopped about 2:30 and relaxed for the afternoon in a very quiet anchorage and watched the parade of boats go by.  We were also joined by about a dozen other boats.  It is fun to watch boats anchor and all the things they do to get settled. Dinner was homemade Beef Stew, salad, fresh bread and cookies. Very quiet night and all slept well.

  • 05 Nov 2011 8:46 PM | Jo Rys

    Start Daytona Beach, Florida, Monday, November 5, 2011

    “We are one with the Magenta Line”  

    “Another day on the water way”, Finally, finally, a shorts and T-shirt day almost hot with a lovely breeze coming off the water.  Beautiful blue skies, we have Florida weather, at least what we perceive as Florida weather.  Leaving Daytona encountering a few bridges all with different times, some that do not open during rush hour and some that do, some on request and some that only open when the want to. (Actually we haven’t had too bad a time) we had to rush to one for the opening time, I called ahead on the radio and said, we were coming as fast as we can, there was one boat in front of us one behind, he held it for us all.  The sun is in our eyes all morning and it is hard to see the markers, really tires one out.   We dropped the anchor about 2:45 enjoyed the lovely afternoon and sunset, the sunsets are incredable.

  • 05 Nov 2011 2:10 PM | Jo Rys

    Elizabeth City

    Woke up to a nicer day: cloudy windy some sun, slept late and organized stuff.  Picked up a ride to the grocery store which turned out to be a 3 hour jaunt, could not find a ride back.  Finally the store brought me back, then off to the laundramat.  Guy put Pam’s Sausage Rotelli Chili Dip in the oven and we had happy hour. Dinner was Shay’s Great chili , salad, warm bread and cookies.

    Elizabeth City is known for its rose buddies; two gentlemen in the 80’s would come to the dock and hand out roses to the ladies.  Both of them have since passed away but I was fortunately to receive a rose in '99 from Fred. The rose bushes are planted in the park for everyone to enjoy.

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