Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Why are you guys starting so late?

My new crew members Jim Trolinger and Paul Hamilton reported for duty in Norfolk, Virginia on schedule Friday morning, January 11, 2019.We headed out early Saturday and stopped for fuel at Atlantic Yacht Basin, about eight miles down the Intracoastal Waterway and one of the least expensive diesel fuel stops on the east coast. As we slowly pumped 500 gallons aboard, the dockhand asked: "Why are you guys starting so late?"

The simple answer is that I had hoped to have the boat out of the shop and launched in November or early December, but it didn't happen until January 2. As a result, we have been fleeing winter weather as we creep south on the Intracoastal Waterway. Annapolis, where I started, had eight inches of snow that began Saturday and continued into Monday. I believe Norfolk even got a dusting after our departure. For us there was no snow, but it has certainly been windy and cold, and we had a good bit of rain Saturday night and Sunday. This morning it was around 32 degrees in Belhaven, North Carolina and we might have a few warmer days before a winter storm again reaches the east coast Sunday night. We have only seen two recreational boats moving in four days.

The cold has not really caused any issues running the boat, but most marinas have their water turned off for the freezing temperatures. We were able to fill up when the boat was launched but not elsewhere as we spent a few days in Herrington Harbor. In Norfolk the water was also on so we filled up Friday night. Since then there has been no water, but we have called ahead to make sure we can refill tonight near Morehead City.

My crew members have been great company and excellent hands. They are handling the lines and fenders well, helping to troubleshoot issues and fix things, and we are all rotating the helm duties during the day. We should make it to the twin cities of Beaufort/Morehead City, North Carolina by tonight and on to Southport at Cape Fear by Thursday.

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