We stayed on the hook last night to help recover from the re-fueling bill. 70F water temps here in the gator-less Chesapeake, and 80+F air temps inspired me to take my first dip of the season!
Shelly sporting her newest SPF T-shirt!
Cheap fuel isn’t the only happening thing here in Kilmarnock Virginia. This marina is putting itself “on the map” for Loopers and other transient cruisers by doubling the number of slips, all to go after the transient cruiser marketplace.
We anchored off last night just to save some scratch after yesterday’s fuel bill. There are several great spots to drop the hook nearby. But, we will certainly be stopping back here for our autumn migration to survey the progress!
Chesapeake Boat Basin in Kilmarnock VA has diesel for $4/gallon as seen in Waterway Guide. But you need to add 5.3% sales tax, making it $4.21.
We cross the Bay to Crisfield MD. Somers Cove Marina for 2 nights. We hear that town might serve up some crabs and oysters rather close to that marina. Also taking delivery of some Rx and Amazon “stuff”… the local stores will also get their share, to be sure! LOL
Here is more information about this marina and what they have coming.
Our cameras are mounted and aimed low to mainly show what is happening on the waters fore and aft. So, magnificent cloud formations at sunrise and sunset might get missed. What is interesting in these pics is the cloud formations show up in the reflected waters of this great anchorage inside Glouster Point VA.
Yesterday when we made Norfolk – Portsmouth VA we made it to the “beginning” of the Intracoastal Waterway (mile zero). The other end is in Brownsville TX.
It was also a day when our Great Loop trip odometer passed 5000 statute miles! 5008.2 to be exact.
It was a short trip from Atlantic Yacht Basin to Tidewater, but it followed a record-breaking 72-mile day on Saturday where we crossed Albermarle Sound 20 miles, then we kept going! Today is a day for Shelly to recover, do laundry, and take delivery of an Instacart order. (Not exactly rest!)
We try to pack on the miles on the weekends, as Ray still works during the week.
For almost 20 years, in three different boats named Shellerina, we have flown the US Union Jack from our bow. It’s uncommon on pleasure craft (PC), and its kinda like a trademark for us.
One other PC we met up with in Erie PA and again on July 4 last year flew this flag from their bow. https://shellerina.com/2021/07/05/fireworks-afloat-put-in-bay-oh/
The US Union Jack is flown from the bow of US Navy ships that are on liberty. (It is taken down when they are underway.) It was great to see several Navy ships flying this flag from their bow as we have for years now.
We usually buy new flags every year to put up for the 4th. https://shellerina.com/2021/07/04/new-ensign-for-the-4th-of-july/
Here is an alternative view, from the stern, of that same dock landing… in real time.
Soon after passing Atlantic YB and the Great Bridge bridge and lock, you’ll see Top Rack marina on the right.
There is a large shopping center for provisioning located just 0.4 miles from here. Definitely walkable. There is “potable well water” available on the docks. Bathrooms and showers were simple but clean and they worked! (As stated in earlier posts, we take nothing for granted!) LOL
The water looks exactly the same on both sides
This morning’s sun hit the starboard side of a Mainship with the same name as we met up with them at the Alligator River Bridge lined up for a crossing of Albermarle Sound.
A couple hours later we parted ways as they headed to the nice anchorage in Broad Creek. We will press on to Chesapeake VA, and tie up at Top Rack Marina for the night.
Change of plans, we tied up at Atlantic Yacht Basin (mm 12) instead of “chancing it” at Top Rack who is a first-come-first-serve place, and reportedly, not all their slips have shore power. Temps are heading into the low 40s tonight, and we’d like to have heat!
A big piling came by and hit our dinghy this morning. See it on the videos below.
Our neighbor left before sun up. (Click to see the video.). Hard to believe this is the same body of water here at Dowry Creek Marina as we came into last evening.
Pool opens May 1.
Nice Place. Outstanding. ICW mm 173
Very well protected harbor.
The rest of the property is similarly very impressive.
I may have neglected to mention a hot tub open 12 months a year, kept at over 100F. It’s fun to have someone to share it with.
Plus a courtesy vehicle… all for $2.25/ft/night. Worth treating yourself especially if there is some nasty weather coming through. Like tonight for us.
River Dunes is a home owner’s development community, whose marina has fuel and transient slips.
8 miles away…
The village of Oriental… a commercial shrimping port with a hardware store and more!
There is a lot going on around us … fun to tune into if you pay attention.
I need to re-examine these pics with my app’s time stamps. I now think the pics show both clusters + Venus. Details to follow.
These three lights all ascend in unison on the same trajectory as the sun coming up behind them. Pretty Cool.
All the pics were taken with the Wyze CAM v3, with an optional 32 GB micro SD card which records about 48 hours of what it “sees.”
The planet-star alignment calcs and pics are all from Star Walk, an app on my iPhone.
Nicely protected marina carved in out of the bank on Adam’s Creek. Transients get to tie up on the fixed docks on your way into this nice hurricane hole before the fuel dock. There IS room to go in and turn around for an easy morning departure. Fender boards will come in handy.
This marina is owned by a local homeowners association. (The homes are beautiful!). The marina doubles as a locals “hang out” in the afternoon and reportedly there’s a 7:00am coffee club. Nice folks! Very friendly. 50A worked, but spigot near us was not working. Also, both ice coolers were EMPTY?!?! What’s up with that? Lack of attention to some of the business basics.
“Rough around the edges, but has some redeeming qualities.” e.g. free from current compared to many spots around here. No need to fret or time your arrival with slack tide!
We came in at dead low; 5 ft of water in the skinniest spot.
This is all west of Beaufort NC, which we will pass through this afternoon without stopping.
BOW-firt NC should not be confused with BEE-U-ford SC… (This how the locals pronounce their city-names which share the same spelling.)
A good Frenchman pronounces them both BOW-fouR… being sure to roll that “R” on the end! LOL
We entered Mile Hammock Bay at dead low tide yesterday afternoon. We had 8 feet of water in the shallowest spots. Great anchorage. Plenty of room for all.
Below: April 4, 2021
THANK YOU, JON!
The campground can be seen in this Google Earth pic just west of Shallotte Inlet in NC.
NEBO is the technology that gives you THIS when you click on Where is Shellerina in the blog’s menu. It also gives us reports and maps like this one showing our passage today.
Here is today’s passage report, as well as a Summary Report for all of March.
Yah… NEBO is pretty cool. We don’t just have the app on our smart phone. We actually have the NEBO mini-appliance which has a SIM card and GPS receiver to increase the reliability over just an app on one’s smart phone.
Ray pulled out his online charts and calculator tonight. We have 18-20 full “travel days” before we finish the Great Loop. With today being April 1st, that means we’ll finish sometime in early or mid May. Work schedule and weather (and rest) are the two driving factors. Then we hope to make Mystic CT, Salem MA, and several points in Maine this June. There are so many loved ones on Long Island NY and New England. We can’t wait to see everyone again!
Shorter term Float Plan:
Tomorrow night we will anchor at Mile Hammock NC (mm 244.5). Then we’ll make Sea Gate Marina (mm 194) for Sunday night. We should land in Grace Harbor River Dunes (mm 173) early Monday morning and stay put for a stormy week and focus on work. That port offers impeccable protection from the elements.
30 mph winds expected in this area Wednesday afternoon.
Close to the State Park Marina… *almost* walking distance. Also got a Rx filled at CVS across the street from Michael’s Seafood.
This is one to come into with at least a half tide beneath you!
This bathymetry recorded on the way into Carolina Beach State Park Marina shows a spot at near high tide of 6 feet… which is really 8 ft with our transducer offset. The problem is, that spot will only have 3.5 feet at low tide. (4.5 is the rise and fall here).
There is a LOT to see here on Treasure Island. Uber & taxis, restaurants, very historical place. For example, the largest land and sea battle of the Civil War was fought here.
We left Deep Point Marina early to get in here at high tide at 8am, rather than chance it yesterday afternoon at low.
This beautiful Beneteau trawler Linda Lou from Lake Superior came in a half hour before low tide yesterday to take on fuel ($3.80/gal). They left at dead low to continue north on the ICW, with no apparent difficulties! Lucky! Nice folks too!
Evidently, the carnivorous plant, the Venus Fly Trap grows plentifully in this State Park and surrounding area.
There were also posters up that indicated the harvesting or trampling on this protected species of plant is a felony!
Lu Lu’s … owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister, sports family photos all over the place.
On the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) just north of Myrtle Beach SC, (mm 350-353) is a narrower-than-normal section of channel. Normal underwater dredging (excavation) would not work due to the rock / geology. The narrow channel “looks” normal. What we don’t see is where the underwater channel is, and where the uncut shallow rock is.
There are signs on each end of this 3-mile stretch of ICW.
It is recommended to call “Securite” on VHF-16 as one enters this area so anyone coming your way can coordinate the pass.
This morning, we were one of five northbound PC-s (pleasure craft). One of the group, Elenor, a pilot style express cruiser, was in a hurry, so we let him pass us before getting to the “Rockpile” and he agreed to let us know if there was any southbound traffic. There was none. The whole experience as a bit anti-climatic and uneventful. Just what one hopes for. We timed it so we’d have over 12” of tide in our favor for this area. (The rise and fall was only about 24” here.)
We followed new Looper friends Greg and Tammy of This Is It, who also departed Osprey Marina with us within an hour of sun-up this morning.
At one point in this area, a 20’ center console wanted to overtake us all. He was likely a LOT more familiar with these waters than all of us.
USCG and International Rules dictate that overtaking vessels have to stay clear of the vessels they are overtaking. We simply stayed in the center of the channel, and let him go around us. It reminded me of one commercial tow with barges on the western rivers. We called him on VHF to see if he had a preference on which side we should pass. His response, “I’m gonna stay right in the middle. Pass on either side you want.” This response was a bit atypical, but at the end of the day, the vessel being overtaken does not have to “move over” in narrow waterways for vessels wanting to pass.
If there was any oncoming traffic today, the common advice is, “Don’t be too generous when you move over a bit.”
May your first experience in the “Rockpile” be as uneventful as ours!
I think getting an EARLY start on this weekend day was part of our success. (An early start on a weekday may probably be even better!) .
All three were today.
Friendly guys at Wacca Wache Marina!
(Restaurant is not open.)
“There is no place more beautiful on Earth than the ocean at sunrise.”
Local Looper Jerry McNeely braved today’s nasty weather to come visit us at the Charleston Maritime Center (SC) this afternoon! He brought us a gift from he and his wife, Judi… a pineapple! … to welcome us to the Charleston SC area. Their boat is Imagine.
We had met them and their dog “Dixie” months back at Green Turtle Bay.
“It doesn’t get any better than this!” we thought, after he left. Except we should have taken HIS pic with us! Judi was back in the car, as she is recovering from [successful] foot surgery.
We passed through several spots today that we were glad to have timed it with 5 or more feet of high tide under us.
But we are here! A 53 nm day from Parrot Creek on the hook last night.
The USS Yorktown is across the harbor from us here at the Maritime Center.
The USS Shellerina is tied up on the other side of the sailboat here at the choicest place to tie up in this great port.
Most of us growing up on boats were taught, Red-Right-Return, meaning (by International Standards) you should keep the red buoys (or day markers) on the right when coming back IN to any port.
It is easy to remember! BUT, like the infamous “i before e” rule in English grammar, there are exceptions!
Many people doing the “Great Loop” start in Florida and begin by going counter-clockwise, navigating up the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), the “inside” route up the east coast.
But ahh, on the ICW, the Red-Right-Return rule doesn’t work. Most of this North-South route is not “in” or “out” of a harbor! To solve this the USA established a domestic standard for the ICW that green aids to navigation (AToN) would be on the ocean-side of the channel. And red AToN would be on the mainland side.
It is easy to remember that most red-blooded mammals are on the mainland “inside” side, and conversely, the fish and deep green ocean is on the “outside.”
Instead of Red-Right-Return, most counter-clockwise Great Loopers will follow the ICW with red on the mainland side, and green on the ocean side, (including the Gulf of Mexico). Even on the west coast of Florida, the mainland gets RED markers; the Gulf of Mexico gets green (north/south does not matter.)
So, there are TWO standards: an International Standard, and an American ICW Standard.
You can always tell which standard a buoy or day marker is using by looking for the yellow sticker. Yellow stickers mean you are in the ICW.
No sticker? That means the more international standard of Red-Right-Return applies to the waterway you are following.
Occasionally they put the opposite stickers on the AToN, as shown below.
Last Saturday, when we followed the ICW into Port Royal Sound and then the Beaufort River, Shelly remarked, “The buoys switched sides on us!” She was correct! Because Port Royal is a major international shipping port, the AToNs are set up for ships in the conventional Red-Right-Return configuration.
But because we were ALSO on the ICW, the buoys had their yellow stickers. However, for quite some distance the ICW yellow stickers were opposite from normal. The pointed red nun buoys got a square. The flat topped green can got a triangle yellow sticker. There are only a handful of places where you will see this on the ICW. This indicates you are still on the ICW, but the AToNs colors are are switched to the international system for this [short] section of the ICW.
What about the Inland Rivers?
Months ago, when going down the Mississippi River we kept green on our right and red on our left. Why? Because we were heading DOWN river. it was great because the current was with us, saving time and fuel. So, green was on the right going WITH the current.
So therefore, the “rule” on the western rivers is Red-Right-Against the current. This is easy to remember cuz most rivers eventually flow into oceans. So “returning” = going upstream, against the current!
Even on the rivers there were places where the buoys switched on us! But there was a good reason for it…
When we took the big left onto the Ohio River, the buoys switched on us because we were now bucking the current. We were heading UP river! So the red AToNs marked the right side of the channel, and the green marked the left.
There were no yellow stickers on the inland rivers. You’ll only see those on the ICW.
What about side trips off the ICW?
Whenever you leave the ICW, to go into a side river or anchorage that has navigation buoys or day beacons, you won’t see ANY yellow stickers there either. Yellow stickers are only on the ICW. No stickers mean: Red-Right-Return, just like we all learned as kids!
Addendum – Side Trips off the ICW
Below… Here is a graphic example of a “side trip” on the ICW. R4, G3, and G5 will NOT have yellow stickers. Normal Red-Right-Return standards will apply in that waterway.
However G233 and R232, which are aids to navigation (AToNs) on the actual mainline ICW, WILL have yellow stickers!
There are no yellow stickers on AToNs R2 and G1 shown here, as they are not on the ICW.
What is “Lowcountry” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina_Lowcountry
A famous watering hole in Beaufort SC… Hemingway’s Bistro… the Pastrami Rueben was excellent!
The Lowcountry theme seems to be “big” in the local culture and pride here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina_Lowcountry
We spent night one on the anchor in Factory Creek, then tied up at the highly recommended Lady’s Island Marina: Courtesy Vehicle, 0.5 miles to Publix, and the absolute best ‘Hardware & Home’ store [Grayco] you’ll ever visit. I promise!
We arrived at at Thunderbolt Marina in Savannah GA. 4396 statute miles since pushing off from Lindenhurst NY on May 25, 2021. It is so great to be underway again!
All of our navigation electronics where set to Nautical Miles when we moved to salt water years ago. Unfortunately, that was not the best or optimum setting for doing The Great Loop. All the Inland waterways starting on the Erie Canal, then continuing south from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico are tracked in statute miles. Cruising guides, and even physical mile markers along these rivers are in Statute Miles. You would think that once we reached the OCEAN, things would revert back to Nautical Miles. NOPE! The Intracoastal Waterway is all catalogued and referenced in statute miles.
Statute Mile: 5280 ft
Nautical Mile (equal to one minute of earth’s latitude): 6076.12 feet.
For most, The Great Loop comes out to about 6000 statute miles. We’ll see what our mileage figure is in a month or two!
This Duplin River anchorage is TIDAL. So the current will make our boat turn 180 degrees in the middle of the night, and pull the anchor in the opposite direction.
Pods of Porpoise, at least one Bald Eagle, and scores of other water bird species were also seen this day. I especially like the diving Pelicans! We can see the splash a half mile away in the calm morning waters. .
A wet walk back after dinner.
One of the better articles on DEGAUSSING can be found here: https://navymuseum.co.nz/explore/by-themes/technology-and-weapons/degaussing-2/
This “break” in the contour of the bow of a Mainship is the characteristic difference you can spot from a distance. It makes for a bit dryer ride in chop.
We left Fairfax FL about 10:00am EDT, we dropped anchor off south west shore of Cumberland Island… very close to St Mary’s Inlet in Georgia. The times shown on this map are an hour behind (standard time instead of daylight savings time).
Cumberland Island National Seashore is known for its wild horses among other things. FMI: https://www.nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
It was a bit cooler than normal, but we were very comfortable in our enclosed fly bridge, 65-70F. A perfect boating day! About 48 nm. (3701 nm since we started our Loop last May.)
From Ortega Landing Marina, Jacksonville:
MM = mile marker. In statute miles the Intracoastal Waterway has mile markers as reference points. “Zero” is in Norfolk VA where the Intracoastal Waterway ends and the Chesapeake Bay begins north.
This float plan shows about 21 “travel days” of 3-5 hours each. Sometimes two “hops” can be accomplished in a single travel day depending on weather, tide, and current.
MM 716 Fernandia Harbor (40.5 nm) OR MM 680 Brunswick Landing (35.5nm)
MM 678 Morning Star Marina
MM 649 Duplin River Anchorage (inside or out)
MM 590 Isle of Hope, south of Savannah (50.4 nm)
MM 565 / 555 Harbor Town Marina OR Skull Creek Marina 31.1 nm
MM 536.5 Safe Harbor Beaufort SC downtown 15.6 nm
MM 488/473 Church Creek anchorage OR St Johns Yacht Harbor Marina
MM 466 Charlestown Maritime Center OR MM 436 Awendaw Creek anchorage
MM 403 Georgetown Dry Stack Marina
MM 373 Osprey Marina
353-350 “Rockpile” caution
MM 346 Myrtle Beach Y.C.
MM 309 Southport Marina (visit Robt and Kay)
MM 284 Wrightsville Beach – Bridge Tender Restaurants.
MM 247.8 New River Marina
MM 244.5 Mile Hammock Bay anchorage
MM 244-231 Camp LeJeun USMC
MM 238 shoaling R60-G61A
MM 204 Beaufort City Docks and alternatives
MM 180 Whittaker Point Marina
MM 136 River Forest Marina and alternatives
MM 101 Alligator River anchorage
MM 84 Alligator River Marina
Albermarle Sound … from which we choose between two routes to Norfolk VA and Chesapeake Bay
Feeling accomplished after finishing two more projects this morning, I carried a BOOK to the pool, put our stuff down on a choice pair of poolside chaise lounges, then when into the shower house to s- – -, shower, and shave.
Then did the pool, hot tub, pool regimen. Then I picked up my BOOK and started reading! I haven’t done this in years for anything but a manual of one sort or another.
One thing has been interesting since we returned the rental car 16 days ago, my social interactions have increased with dock mates. People loaning me their car, thanking me for filling their tank, and others asking if wanted to accompany them to the hardware store etc.
A shelf has been fashioned to hold our new air frier-toaster oven! Designed to survive tossing seas, and not loose any precious counter space. Note the LED lighting beneath the new shelf!
Are you interested in duplicating this on your Mainship 390?
If so, here are a few more details that may help.
The 12vDC circuit that supplies power to the light above the STOVE comes down to that light from the cabinet that typically had a coffee maker in it. We removed the coffee maker months ago so our ability to tap into that 12 vDC circuit was easy. Feeding a wire down, out-of-sight, to under the new shelf was easily accomplished. It can be seen next to the hinge bracket, above.
The toaster oven / air frier is a Ninja SP301 – 13-in-1. We got it from Amazon.
Our nephew Adam and college roommate, Will, arrived here in Florida on Tuesday!
Adam, Shelly, and Will near the pool and hot tub. It is a far cry different from the cold and snowy North that they are trying to escape for a few days. They are students at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.
They found the marina’s camp fire pit! As you might expect, there were 3-4 hours of engaging conversations with other boat owners… AND job offers too for these young men from Maine. Adam’s adjective for the discussions is “ongoing!”
One of their primary tasks was to report back to me what the REAL effective range of our new electric outboard motor.
Today they aggressively did a boat cleaning detail for a couple hours on the big boat with Shelly. Very impressive! “A clean boat is a happy boat!”
Vendor for the parts: http://suremarineservice.com
Highly recommended! Since Seaward Products Inc. who manufactured this 3-burner “Princess” stove has long been out of business, the folks at Sure actually manufacture and stock parts for these 20+ year old stoves. Their website catalogs everything by manufacturer and stove model number, both electric and propane. Returns are easy; ask for “Todd”. Excellent customer service.
. Colleen, we are so sorry for your loss.