Saturday, June 5, 2010
The final day, and the last 22 miles in North Carolina/Virginia, was the Dismal Swamp Canal, the oldest continually operating hand-dug waterway in the country. One of the first investors was George Washington. Digging by hired slave labor, digging began in 1793 and first opened in 1805. Today it is open for boaters interested in seeing the magnificent countryside of the cypress swamp. Locks at both ends lift you the 8 feet to the level of the swamp.
Unfortunately, a 65 ft sportfish traveled the canal the day before us at high speed leaving a huge wake. The bottom debris was so disturbed that every boat since complained of bumping logs and bent props. The sound of submerged logs hitting the hull was like a tennis shoe in a clothes dryer. With much relief and no damage we tied up in Portsmouth and had martinis on Duet.
Departing Portsmouth/Norfolk we passed the BigE, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and the George HW Bush, one the the newest aircraft carriers.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
When we bought Phantom, it was also named Duet and was also based in the Chesapeake. Since both traveled annually to and from the same places, many people had them confused. By changing the name to Phantom we solved their problem.
Beaufort (BEAU-fert) is a beautiful waterfront city in central South Carolina. It was a welcome stop after a couple of long days through Georgia swamplands. After a leisurely walk about town we had dinner at a pizza restaurant and found out it was the local prom nite.
Osprey nest are all along the ICW.
The ICW passes through the Marines Camp LeJeune. The welcome sign.
Friday, May 21, 2010
The ICW in Georgia and Sunrise in New Teakettle Creek
Friday, May 14, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
We could not go past Nassau without an overnight at Atlantis. This is a massive waterpark and aquarium and casino all in one. The fish were nice but we enjoyed the real thing snorkeling in the BVI better. After a long dip in a nearly empty pool next to our boat slip and a restfull night we are now heading for the Berry Islands.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Eight days in Georgetown enabled us to see town (a 30 min walk), shop for tee shirts (one store), groceries, and the beach where all the cruisers meet for volleyball and their daily potluck happy hours. I would not want to spend several months there as some do.
Finally, the 30 knot winds let up and we headed north to Little Farmer’s Cay. The water depths on the Bahamas Banks are under 10 feet and our route took us over some 7 ft spots (that is a mere 18 inches under the keel). We anchored just inside a “cut” that separates the deep Atlantic and the shallow banks. A strong current develops in these cuts as all the tidal water on the banks flows “off the shelf” so to speak. We needed two anchors and rotated all night with each tide change.
Yesterday, we traveled just 3 hours to Staniel Cay, spot of the renowned Thunderball Grotto, a spectacular skylit underwater cave featured in the James Bond movie. This was our first good snorkeling spot since the BVI and we went prepared for the fish with Alpo nuggets in a ziplock. The fish were plentiful and encircled us waiting for the handouts. They did not wait patiently as they acted like piranhas chomping the ziplock to shreds. We took underwater photos but cannot get the film developed until we are back in the States.
We traveled just 2 miles to Big Majors Spot and Pig Beach. As you approach the beach in your dinghy, pigs swim out begging for handouts. We may go back and empty the snack locker of some old stale Oreos.Don and Dayle