Am I allowed to be jealous? The Alps and Canada have both had their fill of snow to start the season. Friends have been taunting us with pictures of powder snow. That’s where the jealously emanates from. Fill your boots and have a nice slide chums.

We’ve had snow too. When we set off it wasn’t part of the vision I had for boat life, shovelling snow off the decks. More living in shorts and t shirts and swimming in blue blue water. We had a ‘what if….’ conversation in Cape May. What if we got the boat out of the water, winterised it and went and worked a ski season until April then came back to the boat when winter was history. I even asked the boat yard how much it would cost. Not as much as I thought but still a chunk. It was a mad dream, little aberration for a while.

Anyway, New Jersey is behind us and we’re in North Carolina. It’s warmed up and the forecast tells me it will be 68 degrees on Saturday. That’s bordering on a warm summer day in the UK. We did an overnight 32 hour passage down to Norfolk, Virginia. At times it was bouncy and wet but we sailed with the cockpit tent up which proved to be a saviour as it kept the wind and wet out. I sang Christmas carols for a good hour during one of my night watches to help me awake. Dave luxuriated in our new Bose noise cancelling headphones which meant he didn’t hear any of my wailing.

We’re now on the Intra Coastal Waterway heading towards Beaufort, our planned Christmas destination. Boy what a contrast to the Atlantic eastern seaboard. It’s a series of linked waterways, canals, rivers and lakes. You can in fact travel over 1400 Miles all inland from Norfolk to Key West, Florida and I’d never even heard of it before we got to the States. No need to go out to sea at all.

It’s the end of day two as I write this. We have covered 100 miles, one shorter day of 30 miles yesterday then almost 12 hours today making 70 which started at sunrise before seven and saw us anchoring in the dark. Sunrise and sunset were spectacular today so that was nature’s brucie bonus.

We’ve seen only a tiny handful of other boats in our 100 miles and two of those were big tugs. No yachts. So far, we’ve been through one lock, radioed up 4 bridges to get them opened so we could transit and held out breath at the fixed bridges. It’s almost impossible to judge exactly how much clearance there is above the mast but I guarantee you, its squeaky bum time, even if you know tall the mast is and how much clearance the chart says.

96 miles to go to Beaufort. Should be eminently doable over the next three days. Assuming our anchorage is not as scary as it sounds….the Alligator river just off Rattlesnake Cove.




8 thoughts on “Contrasts

  1. Dave says:

    H, Very interesting to follow you from the Southern Hemisphere… We are looking forward to a relatively cool Christmas in Melbourne, with the obligatory BBQ and trip to the beach.

    Good luck with shooting the fixed bridges – I’ve always wondered what the view would be like from the top of the mast..

    Have a great Christmas, and keep heading South !

    Dave x


    • grace of longstone says:

      Hey Dave.
      Lovely to hear from you. Thanks for following our exploits from afar. I trust both family life and work life down under are all tippedy top. A traditional Aussie Christmas sounds fun.

      We shall persist south most certainly. We get hauled out tomorrow for some much needed TLC. Plan for Christmas Day, otherwise it’ll be boat chores for us over the holidays.

      Hugs from afar,
      Helen x


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