WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th to FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th — DAY 36 – 38 (Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake City, VA)
We spend three days at the Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina in Chesapeake City, Virginia (just next to the Great Bridge) waiting for and having work done on the boat, including a new double anchor roller and fuel filter. The marina is a busy place with lots of huge motor boats and yacht that seem to get priority over our sailboat. By Friday, all the repairs are done. It continues to be really hot and humid. We are looking forward to getting out of AYB.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th — TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2nd — DAY 39 – 42 (Side trip to Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina for Lee’s 50th)
When we leave for Pinehurst on Saturday morning, it is pouring rain. Not a great start for a golf weekend, but such is life. We drop Leo at the kennel on our way and then do the 5+ hour drive to Pinehurst. When we booked this weekend, the plan had been to be a bit farther south on the boat so the drive turned out to be a bit further than we had hoped, but not bad. Our friends, Susan and Maneesh drive 13 hours from Toronto to meet us for the weekend. Makes our drive look like a cake walk.
Sunday morning we golf Pinehurst #8. Beautiful course lined with huge pine trees. The resort is kind of in the middle of nowhere in North Carolina, but hosts 8 lovely golf courses including their championship course, Pinehurst #2, that will be the location of the 2014 US Open. On Monday, we play Pinehurst #5. An older course, with homes lining most of it. Luckily, the rain holds off both days although it always seems to be threatening. Monday night we have a lovely 50th Birthday celebration for Lee in the Carolina Diningroom at the resort. Way too much food, but really good! Thanks to everyone for the Birthday wishes!
Tuesday we head back to Chesapeake City, VA to pick up Leo and get back to the boat. Susan and Maneesh have the long drive back to Toronto. Ugh! It is pouring rain when we arrive back in Virginia, but clears just as the evening sets in.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3rd — DAY 43 (Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake City, VA to Coinjock, NC)
When we get up in the morning to head out, Randy notices a large chip in the boat where it looks like one of the guys dropped a tool when they were doing the work the previous week. The marina folks are at the boat and make the repairs first thing and we are on the water by 9AM. This stretch of the ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway) along the east coast of the US in Virginia is pretty remote. Mostly just trees and wetlands along the way. We have to time a few bridge openings and end up waiting for a few.
By evening we are in the cute marina at Coinjock, NC. We meet a few other couples on sailboats (“Best of Times” and “Escapade”) who will be heading south also. Other cruisers seem to be very friendly and love to chat about making the trip south to Florida and beyond.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4th — DAY 44 (Coinjock, NC to Alligator River Marina, NC)
We wave goodbye to the other folks on their boats as we leave Coinjock in the morning. We survived the most humid and hot night yet on the boat (over 80 degrees F at bedtime). Later we see “The Best of Times” and “Escapade” not far behind us when we are sailing on the Albemarle Sound (just inland from Kitty Hawk). As we approach the Alligator River, the water in the sound is almost blood-red. When we arrive at the marina, which is just at the mouth of the river, the attendant tells us the colour is a result of the minerals mixed with the brackish water (salt and freshwater mix). He also tells us that the river actually does have alligators on it! We will keep an eye out of that. Leo has a great run in the field near the marina, which is basically a gas station that backs on to the water.