Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In the Ditch

After 5 months of shore leave, we are back aboard Freedom and heading south.  As often happens, we delayed our departure a few days while we waited for some work to be done.  That gave me a few more days to get our supplies stowed and the dogs settled. Our house and dog sitters have grown up and moved out, so Ham and Miles officially joined the Freedom crew.  It's a little more work to have them aboard, and a lot noisier at times, but all in all everyone is enjoying the adventure. (More details in a future post)

After leaving the Delaware Canal on Thursday October 3rd, we headed south to Solomon's Island where we met our friends ( and cruising companions for the next few weeks) Ted and Mimi. They are traveling aboard their lovingly restored Chesapeake Bay Buy Boat, the Nellie Crockett. Also docked in Solomon's, and joining our flotilla south,  were Tom and Kathy aboard the  Buy Boat Thomas J.

The following morning we got in line behind Nellie, the Thomas J, the Muriel Eileen and the Samuel Bailey as we cruised down the bay towards St. Clements Island and the annual Blessing of the Fleet Festival.  There we enjoyed two days of warm early Fall weather and the companionship of the fun loving Buy Boat crews.

After another glorious day on the Bay, we docked at dark in Portsmouth, VA just beyond Mile 0 of the IntraCoastal Waterway --only 466 miles to go until Charleston!  A short walk with the dogs, dinner on the deck of Nellie, and before long, bed were all accomplished amid the noisy activity of the Norfolk/Portsmouth Harbor and a very large Naval ship under repairs across the river.

Monday morning we did the tightly timed lock and bridge dance as we continued along the ICW. With bad weather looming, we set our sights on the safe dockage at Coinjock Marina just over the border in North Carolina -- and 2 days later we are still there.  High winds, rough waters and the closure of the Alligator River Bridge have stopped most traffic along this stretch of the ICW.  The winds are even higher today and the rain has fallen persistently since last night.  So, we've been catching up on chores, reading, naps & blogs (!) The marina restaurant is just steps from our boats, and there is plenty of room for the dogs to run.

The weather is expected to calm down a bit tomorrow and we will continue on our way. Until then, I think it is time for another nap......

(the bad weather and our remote location are making connectivity difficult -- photos to follow)

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