July 31, 2011
Hopefully, if all goes well, tomorrow early afternoon we will arrive in Havre de Grace concluding our 2000 mile voyage that has stretched over 7 weeks and seen numerous crews helping with various parts of the voyage. Today we boarded the boat at Herrington Harbor in Deal MD where she had been left last week when the previous crew had to return th their normal lives. Our crew for the last 70 miles consists of Pieter and his sister Nicky, Tim Jaques, his son James and his friend Cole. We arrived just before noon, had to get a ride to drop off the one way car rental, filled the water tanks and fixed the gooseneck. We tried to sail, we wanted to sail, but this is the Chesapeake bay and it is Summer so there is not enough wind. I am not sure how the early explorers ever made it up the bay because it looks like they would have had to paddle everywhere. We made it up to the mouth of the Patapsco (the one that goes to Baltimore) and anchored in Bodkin Creek. The creek is nice, the waters are still, sunset was colorful and the beers are cold. Little more you could ask for (except for Allan to install some air conditioning on the boat). Everyone went for a swim, the boys launched the dingy and paddled it around and we ate a meal fit for a king prepared by Tim. Soon we will all crawl into bunks for the night so we can get up for one more early departure. James would lime to add that while on the dingy, they were attacked by a big sea monster named Joe. It apparently did not like the taste of them very much, since they eventually came back to the boat for dinner. end
July 30, 2011
Crossing under the Chesapeake Bay bridge that leads to Annapolis.
July 23, 2011
Last night was one of the better nights (for me and my dad). Christian was going to do the whole night shift and then my dad would take over really early. So I was going to have the hardest work of all, sleeping. Rudy was still taking watch of the inside of his eye lids so he was out of the picture. I went to sleep. Apparently Rudy rose from the dead last night and was helping Christian. He went back to sleep and my dad didn’t do a shift. So in the morning my dad was so exhausted from, oh yea nothing, that he told me to help Christian. I walk up stairs and I see him asleep. I stay up there until my dad comes up and let christian go to sleep. We didn’t have much wind and eventually no wind. We motored for a while, while we we’re At empty. We managed to get to the fuel dock and refuel. We went to the dock right next to the fuel dock. We wanted to go to the pool and christian wanted a shower. We went to the pool and my dad goes to jump it and it was only 3 1/2 feet deep and hit his knees. We we’re in the pool when it started to thunder. We got out and went to a small restaurant that wasn’t open. It started to pour so we went to the bathrooms and stayed there for a while. We decided to go the restaurant where we planed to go to. We got there and then met up with Christian and had a big dinner. We came back to the boat and found that some of the windows were open in the cabins(not ours) so they got a bit wet. We filled up with water(by then Rudy and Christian decided to stay on the boat) and we still didn’t have motion sickness pills so me and my dad went to get some. We went to a 7 11 but they had none. We came back and had a good exit. We left the bay and still have no wind. So we are motoring and we have the radio going nice and loud. We are now headed to Deale where we are leaving the boat. Austin =)
July 22, 2011
We arrived at the boat at 1am and while Christian readied her, Rudi and I took the car back (a story in itself). By 2:30 we were slipping the lines and on our way to leave port in the dead of night. Rudi took first shift, safely getting us out of port and into the big seas. Within minutes we were in 6 foot seas with the wind on our nose. Beating into these seas in 18 knots of wind in the dark, coupled with no sleep quickly took its tole. Of course, for some mysterious reason this coincided with the first time we did not have dramamine on the boat. Whoever stole it, we are after you. By the time we took the turn and had some following seas and wind, Rudi and Christian were looking a little green. Even Austin and I felt it, but Austin managed to get down and have a good sleep. Eventually certain parties were feeding the fish and the boat was left to me and Austin. The seas, mind you were still pretty rough (with winds now 25 knots). What I did not mention is that we were unable to get gas at that time of night, so we decided to go anyway, with a 1/4 tank. Ordinarily this was not a bad idea, but ….well these things have a way….we broke the gooseneck on the main, and now have to sail with only the jib. 12 hours later, Rudi was now a mixture of green and a sickly pale white. The fishing rod broke, the GPS refused to work and we still had not fuel. To make matters worse, there appears to be no inlet we can get into, so next stop 120 miles away ..Chesapeake. In the 5 weeks of sailing so far today is firmly at the bottom of those experiences.
July 17, 2011
We woke up early and pulled out of Swansboro at 6:30 am. The scenery was splendid: to the East a sun rising like a tangerine on a honey lake, to the west a full moon waving in a tender blue sky… Dazzled by this atmosphere, we didn’t notice when we left the dock that we were going too far to the south, and it was very “confusionnant” (as Christian said , his favorite expression when he feels embarrassed, making a typical anglicizem that makes Anne laugh…). Because we thought we were going North East, we left the red marker on port side, instead of starboard and ended up stuck in a maze shoals for a 15 min. But Christian stayed self-assured and cleaned up this mess easily. Then we enjoyed our last, well deserved and friendly, breakfast in the cockpit, enjoying the beauty and serenity of the nature at the beginning of the day. We sailed for two hours in a narrow part of the Intracoastal, passing a lot of flat sand islands where different kinds of birds were fishing. At 11 am, we reached Morehead and docked “Woza Moya”. The weather was hot and beautiful, but we were a bit sad to have to leave our “floating house”. Thanks Allan, thanks Christian for allowing our little crew of novices to share this cruise. We’ll keep delightful and amazing memories and pictures of it ! (Anne and Juliette).
July 16, 2011
Captain Christian started to get the boat on the way just by himself at 6:30. When Anne heard the engine she knew that it’s was time to wake up. The sun rose in a perfect blue sky, it is beautiful.
First we pass Southport town and Cape Fear River to return to the Intracoastal Waterway. There is a very strong head wind (22 knots)! It takes an hour, but luckily a tidal current helps us progress forward at 8 knots. Later we reach the Intracostal that passes through two banks that look like pines covered sand dunes. Our trip becomes again a leisure cruising. The Intracoastal Water way gets us into Wrighsville’s seaside resort. We wait in a maritime traffic jam: it’s the cruising and water entertainment rush hour for Americans in W.E: jet skis, sail boats, fast cruises, small ones and big ones, catamarans…and we even suspect that there is a submarine. Despite all these obstacles the Woza Moya flies like an amazing dolphin. But two hours later, a stubborn bridge, 20 feet of vertical clearance, blocks the mast and we have to make a U turn and wait 30 minutes… The boat is sailing now at an average of 7 knots and sometimes the current pushes us.
The scenery turns again to natural and salvages landscape: tidal, meadow in middle water, reeds, some dolphins fishing and a lot of ospreys. Around 7pm we discover in front of us a last little bridge that we missed on the map: it’s Swing Bridge, close to the mile marker 260, 10 feet of vertical clearance. When the bridge starts to open suddenly two small military high speed inflatable boats appear in front of us! They transport young commandos in action that were muscular and didn’t miss Juliette, our top model crew.
Finally at 8:30 after sailing an hour and a half in a beautiful and peaceful sunset we reach Swansboro, the last over night docking of our trip. Today we beat our record and sailed a distance of 9.5 miles. This was 14 hours of sailing (for average speed, you make the math yourself…) but time was flying by and we didn’t even notice time pass! We celebrated that with a locally made Lunapops (a heartier version of popsicles) and drinks in a dockside bar. That’s all folks…
July 15, 2011
Friday July 15th, 2011: We left Georgetown at 8:30 am and got back on the Intracostal water way to sail up north. We sailed the entire morning on a river that was in the middle of a forest. We were surrounded by trees everywhere; it seemed like the Amazonian river. The landscape was beautiful. There were many different varieties of trees, some had funny shapes with peculiar yet amusing branches, others had magnificent colors, and several had grown in the river and were sticking out of water. We didn’t have any wind until the afternoon and with the current helping us advance we were moving fast! Before we passed the North Carolina border we entered the Waccamaw River. We had a little trouble because there were many turns which made it difficult to navigate, but it was worth it because we saw fascinating bird nests at the top of the highest trees. Still while on the Waccamaw River we passed an enormous barge about 100 yards, which carried mulch. Later around noon arrived at a bridge that stopped the cars just to let us by. After around 1pm we ate. In the afternoon we entered North Carolina and the river changed a lot. It became more busy and lively as we entered Myrtle Beach, we passed by two more bridges and many boats (including jet skies) and we saw many houses on both banks. Later in the afternoon Juliette finally decided it was time for her to learn how to sail the boat. Christian showed her how to navigate and explained to her all she had to know about sailing. Although zigzagging in the beginning, she did quite a good job! At the end of the day she didn’t even need to use her hands, her feet were good enough, and it was much more amusing. In the late afternoon we passed were able to see the sea because of an opening from the ocean to the river, it was a beautiful sight! We continued sailing until 7:30 where we stopped at a restraint to eat and where we docked.
July 14, 2011
Thursday July 14th, 2011: Christian awoke at 6am, Anne at 6:45. At 7:30 a rain shower cleans the boat and cools off the air. At 9am, the boat is ready to leave Charlestown Marina with the tanks full of water and fuel. Today, on the French celebration “Bastille day” we decided to sail on the Intracoastal water way in the north of Charlestown, mile marker 465. 9:30 we have to make the siege of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. 30 minutes later it surrenders, pivots and the passage is free for the Woza Moya. Now began a new exploration between two sides: on port the Inland bank, on starboard the ocean bank. We discover a charming landscape with a variety of vegetation: tropical, marine plants and reeds. Lot of birds: “pelicans”, “white egret”. To our left and to our right, walk ways above the sand follow themselves one after the other. Sometimes there are half a mile long and we cannot see the houses they reach behind the vegetation. Each one has its deck with a peer and a motor boat hanging over the water. At 10:40 Juliette wakes up, her eyes full of sleepiness. Christian is teaching Anne how to sail between red and green channel markers (for color blind people the green markers are squares and the red are triangles). Anne is doing well, except when Christian compliments her because it disturbs her so she touches a shoal! The depth is very precarious in the Intercoastal. If Christian succeeds in controlling his feminine crew, he has a lot more trouble with the horseflies that love him very much. At 2 pm lunch time: another fresh salad homemade by Anne. Between 2pm and 5pm the civilization seems to have disappeared and we are sailing in a green and aquatic “no man’s river”. Finally we dock at 7:30 in the cute typical old harbor of Georgetown, South Carolina. The place is very pleasant, the atmosphere is cool, and the temperature is perfect. And we spend a lovely evening thanks to some beers, Pina Coladas and tuna spaghetti!