Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sailing Vessel Paloma

I was bowled over by this beautiful Westsail lookalike here in Elizabeth City enough to go and take a visit.
She is entrusted to Dan and Kathy with son Jeff and is kept at the Mid-Atlantic Christian University here in Elizabeth City, NC
Notice the great ratlines, going up the lower stays.
She was built of wood in 1972 at Kent, in England and the plan is to go cruising in a few years.
She is immaculate down stairs.
And topsides are not too shabby either.
Lots of solar panels for a refrigerator in their ice box.
With more panels and plenty of propane in their cockpit.
Thanks so much Paloma, for allowing me to share.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Elizabeth City........... Harbor of Hospitality

The residents here really go out of their way for visitors and everything you need is very close to downtown. There is the Museum of the Albermarle.
 It features the history of the region, a US Coast Guard exhibit and a Civil war section.
Some beautiful homes downtown, show the pride her residents feel.
This "Southern Colonial' beauty on Main Street, built in 1914 as a wedding present for Ivy Blades from her father as she married Charles Robinson and is still in the family today.
There is a super art gallery featuring local artist's work also on Main Street, in an old 1897 Opera House, housing  "Arts of the Albermarle."
Speaking of art, I was inspired by Rode Trip showing me how to jazz up my dock lines. Thank you Stephanie!
And here is my Westsail, one of just 2 boats in the heart of downtown.
Come and visit!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Video

A little bit longer this week at 8 minutes. Today's video chronicles my journey north in North Carolina in my Westsail 32 starting in Oriental, then Belhaven, Alligator River, and across the Albermarle Sound to Elizabeth City. I ran into another Westsail 32 in the Alligator, so a there are a few clips of them in the video. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alligator River to Elizabeth City

Up at the crack of dawn as usual.
Does one ever get tired of witnessing the birth of a day?
I enjoyed a beautiful non-eventful day, sailing with "Rode Trip," over the Albemarle Sound.
They used a super Yankee and cruised at 6 knots, reaching in a 15 knot breeze.
I just used a staysail, plodding along with my main sail and the best I saw all day was 5.9 knots.
I couldn't help notice this gigantic building coming up the sound.
I looked it up on the internet, and it belongs to TCOM, a maker of airborne persistent surveillance equipment and they have a giant blimp on their website, so I guess they make zeppelins.
As you enter Elizabeth City harbor, "eyes left" at Cobb Point and I bet they sure have a nice view of the boat traffic. It was originally a fort here, built in 1861 called Fort Cobb. A developer bulldozed the fort in the early 1960s and Dr. Thomas Horsley’s house now stands on the site of the former fort.
And here she is........Elizabeth City, dressed to a t and ready to rock and roll.......

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life is what happens when you are busy making plans

I should be doing this blog in Elizabeth City. I should be taking pictures of the town and telling you how wonderful it is. Instead I am having to explain the whys and wherfores of this.
What you see is line usually used to hold a polystyrene buoy to a crab pot, but instead it wound up on my prop shaft when I motored over it.
That little line attached to that buoy next to my rudder can stop a great big 20,000lb boat like mine dead in it's tracks. It involves calling the cavalry, which in this case is Sea Tow and going for a swim. Meet Kevin........
Talk about a class act! I can't say enough good things about Kevin and Sea Tow. I got stuck in the middle of nowhere, here in Alligator Creek, and Kevin arrived shortly after I got disabled to save my bacon. He was very careful about towing me back to protection of the shoreline, out of the wind.
And it was blowing 20 knots with a 3 foot short chop, so nothing to sneeze about. I could have tried to swim down to my prop and cut the line without getting a tow, but the boat was hobby-horsing and could have knocked me out while under it. When I got back to shore, I was so glad to see "Rode Trip" still anchored and they were so helpful getting my boat back and running again. Here is the swimming part in calm waters, courtesy of Stephanie while Brian is helping me cut the line wound tight about the prop.
I am so grateful to have come through this event unscathed. It opened my eyes to how dependant we are on the generosity of our friends. I am humbled by this experience.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Belhaven to Aligator River

Had a long 12 hour cruising day into the teeth of a 20 knot northeasterly wind. Left Bellhaven at the crack of dawn.
Saw very little boat traffic all day but was impressed with Bodacious.
Was overjoyed to arrive at my anchorage and meet Brian and Stephanie who had their hook down from another Westsail 32, Rode Trip.
They kindly had me over for delicious homemade tortilla patties with beans. She makes them with 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of oil and fries them on the griddle with no oil. They have their beautiful boat up for sale at the moment with an excellent blog at

and one of the galley
And to cap it all off here is "Rode Trip" and the reason why I go cruising...........

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Outside of my boat

Maritime language is so specialized, I thought I would post a photo of the bow and stern of the boat with each of the parts named on the photo. That way, you can get a better understanding of what part means what. Click on each photo to zoom in. Here is the front half of the boat.
And here is the stern.
Was out and about on the dock this morning and said hello to a couple that come down regularly to collect blue crabs. They do not fish for them with a drumstick like the others do, instead they spend 5 minutes, just using a net to pick them up  from the wooden poles of the dock.
There are huge swaths of land on my way to the store, growing these plants with beautiful flowers on them.
It turns out to be cotton growing!
I splurged today and ate a tuna salad at the Spoon River cafe in town.
Delicious and surprisingly filling!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Belhaven, North Carolina

This place is a small waterfront town, population just 2000 with a main street and one traffic light.
The building above used to be City Hall when it was a bustling rail and lumber town, but now it houses a fascinating collection of unique things given to a local collector by the name of Mary Eva Blount Way.
Friends of hers used to donate artifacts to her like this German machine gun and old farm implements.
The town is also renowned for the magnificent, early 1900 River Forest Manor that was an inn and restaurant but in recent years has fallen on hard times and is for sale at just $1,900,000.
In it's heyday, it used to have famous guests like James Cagney, Roy Clark, Burl Ives, Twiggy, Neal Sadaka and Walter Cronkite. It was built by one of the Presidents of Norfolk and Southern Railroad and has 11 fireplaces, leaded cut glass windows, crystal chandaliers and carved ceilings.
 I am hunkering down out of the torrential rain doing this blog and soon to be reading a good book.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oriental to Belhaven

Had a delightful trip up yesterday on the Neuse, Bay, Pamlico and Pungo rivers. Here is a map showing the blue line of my journey up the US East Coast from Morehead City, then onto New Bern, Oriental and here at Belhaven, all in North Carolina.
Woke at 5am and was on my way at first light with a cup of tea from June in a great little coffee shop over the road from the town dock.
Plenty of these barges carrying phosphate being pushed by tugs on my journey.
Fishing for trout and red drum along the dock where I tied up in Bellhaven.
Dock had lots of bird poop on it but the birds stayed away from me fortunately.
I was not happy with the location of the boat just in case we got a few of those bad thunderstorms like the kind I experienced in New Bern, so I spent a hot sweaty hour re-positioning her to face the wind better.
Seeing the hurricane forecast this morning for 96L does not bode well for next week. I have decided to take the dismal swamp route to Norfolk and may stay parked here if things deteriorate.
I decided to be civilized and use a plate. The Food Lion here had Grapefruit! Wahooooooo!