Andante's Sailing Blog

November 2013

Back to Andante Table of Contents

Back to October 2013                                                                                               Ahead to December 2013

November 1, 2013 Friday

NCVC to Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City has a public dock and bulkhead for transiting boats to tie up for free; no amenities.  There is a tradition that the Visitors Bureau hosts a little wine and cheese gathering in the evening if there are five or more new boats arriving that day.  We certainly met that litmus test.

November 2 - 3, 2013


Elizabeth City, NC


Of course, Adirondack was here until Saturday when Jeff and David took off for points south.  The 'little red boat' is tied up over at Pelican Marina.  On Saturday Tagwatty II with Jim and Martha arrived. I know them through Phil and Sara 'Spartina.'  Sunday I went up to the most disgusting laundromat on the east coast to do laundry since I won't have another opportunity for several weeks.   That laundromat has going for the fact that it is cheap and only a short walk from the water front.  The shots below give some idea of the state of affairs at the laundry.


Laundry1 Laundry 2

Sunday 11/10/2013

Elizabeth City to Alligator River

This turned out to be a great sailing day from Elizabeth City down to the start of the Alligator-Pungo River Canal. The photo is Yankee at the start of the trip. The first part of the day was a beam reach, then close reach and finally close hauled. The only time to bring in the sails was to go through Middle Ground and then the swing bridge further on. Yankee and Andante both anchored out of the channel near the entrance to the canal. On the way we overheard a VHF conversation between Out of the Bag and another boat. The crew on Out of the Bag were in the canal and had come across a bear swimming across the canal.

Yankee On Pasquotank

Monday 11/11/2013

Alligator River to River Dunes on Neuse River

This turned out to be a long day motoring for Anadante and Yankee. There wasn't even enough wind to motorsail. The original intent had been to travel about 40 nautical miles, but average speed was high enough and coming threatening weather made it possible to go all the way to River Dunes Marina. At the boat show in Annapolis we had gotten discount coupons for a buy one get one deal. This turned out to be a great deal because a cold front kept us in the marina for three nights. The facility is quite nice and the staff very friendly. Each evening they had a buffet, family style dinner for the visiting cruisers.

The first picture below is Retired Sailor III. Ann is on deck and Bev is at the helm on the fly bridge. The two of them sail this boat by themselves. At 73 feet and in their mid-70s they deserve a lot of credit for handling this boat. The boat is magnificent. It was built for them by one of their sons. As we spent a lot of time with them over three dinners we learned a great deal about the construction of their boat.

The second picture below is of the grounds of the Marina.

One morning Wolfgang and I borrowed the marina car to drive into the thriving metropolis of Oriental. We both needed groceries and I needed to buy a pair of long pants. In the preceding days the right knee of both pairs of my jeans had given way. While at the store in Oriental we learned about the live-aboard derelict sailboat that had been dragged/towed out of the small harbor. Read about the episode at Derelict boats are a problem throughout the southeast US. Florida's solution has been to experiment with removing the boats then filling the anchorage with moorings. One such spot is St. Augustine.

Bev and Ann

River Dunes


Thursday 11/14/2013

River Dunes to Moorehead City, NC

Another motoring day, but at least it was of fairly short duration. For the night Yankee and Andante tied up at the Sanitary Fish Market. On the way north in the spring I had stopped here. Wolfgang ordered oysters shucked at tableside. There was no lingering since there is cold weather coming and I need to hurry south to Charleston in time for a business phone call.

hSanitary Seafood




Friday 11/15/2013

Moorehead City, NC across Onslow Bay to Masonboro Inlet and Carolina Beach

Another long day of motorsailing; 70 nautical miles door-to-door. Yankee and Andante left Sanitary Fish Market at 5 AM so that we would have a reasonable chance of getting into Masonboro Inlet in daylight. At sunrise Yankee caught a photo of Andante. If the weather is right crossing Onslow Bay is a better choice than using the ICW across Bogue Sound. There has been lots of shoaling along this stretch of the ICW. In fact, on the day we crossed Onslow Bay we heard several boats calling for assistance and warning others as they bumped along the bottom.

Andante across Onslow Bay

Yankee at anchor in Carolina Beach. We stayed over an extra day here after a couple of long days underway. I used the time to change the engine oil. This chore has to be done about every 100 engine hours. Roughly speaking this corresponds to the rule of thumb that you should change the oil in your car at 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Yankee at Anchor on Carolina Beach

Sunday 11/17/2013

Carolina Beach to Harbourgate Marina at North Myrtle Beach on the ICW

Just a few photos from another long day on the ICW. Today was an adventure as I had to go by two trouble spots on the ICW: One at Lockwood's Folly Inlet and Shalotte Inlet. To make these two spots more difficult we have celestial low tides; i.e., extremely low. By hugging the red buoys away from the inlet at Lockwood's Folly I made it through just fine. Later at Shallote's Inlet i used the same strategy, but favored the red too much and touched bottom.

One of the more attractive bridges across the ICW:


This is someone's idea of a single family home:


Along the ICW one frequently comes across grounded abandoned fishing boats. America's commercial fisheries have gone industrial and the smaller fishermen have had to find other ways to make a living on the water.

Boat 01

Boat 02

This is a fish sculpture by the bridge at Harbourgate Marina.


Monday 11/18/2013

North Myrtle Beach to Georgetown, SC

Yet another long day of motoring. Although there was wind, it was on the nose all day, precluding even motorsailing. On the other hand, there was lots of beautiful fall foliage along the waterway.

A three masted schooner anchored in the Waccamaw River on the way to Georgetown.


Today Captain Andrew Buck took Andante, hailport Bucksport, ME, past the bustling burg of Bucksport, SC. Same family. I am a direct male descendent of Jonathan Buck who had the original charter from the King of England to establish the Bucksport, ME plantation. His son or grandson established Bucksport, SC. We stopped here in 2000. At that time the waterfront was tumbledown. The fortunes of Bucksport, SC seem to have improved.


Just a pretty bird swimming in the Waccamaw.

Bidrs 01

The steel mill and sugar mill are both working now. Coming down the final stretch of the Waccamaw it smelled like there is also a paper mill working. Jobs, jobs, jobs. The sad news is that there was a fire on waterfront early in the summer that has taken out four buildings. Early reports were that half the waterfront had burned. Fortunately that is not quite true.

Tuesday 11/19/2013

Georgetown, SC to Charleston, SC

Another extra long day. I left Georgetown at sunrise, bucking the incoming tide on Winyah Bay. The tide remained against me for a few miles after making the turn to port and into the canal off western channel. A short time later the tide turned and I got a boost from the ebb tide for almost the entire trip to Charleston. In addition the wind was from the north so I could fly the genoa and get an added boost the entire day. The end result was 57 nautical miles for the day.

The trip south had its excitement toward the end. On approaching the Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge I ran aground in the vicinity of Green 119. The channel has shoaled and we are still feeling the effects of the celestial low tides. At the time I hit I had the genoa out so the wind kept catching it as I tried to steer for where I thought there might be deeper water. In the end I just let the sheets run and the sail flap until I got through the difficult section. Before the bridge I was able to roll it up even though one of the sheets had become tangled on the bow sprit.

Just upon entering the canal I came across thes white bird sitting in the trees. At first I couldn't understand how someone had managed to hang so many white t-shirts in the trees, until I got out the binoculars.

Birds off Winyah Bay

Below is the new suspension bridge across the Cooper River in Charleston. This was a government managed project that came in a couple of yearws ahead of schedule and under budget.

New Bridge Charleston

Tuesday November 19 -

Charleston, SC

Anchored off the City Marina. My Adler Barbour refrigeration was making noises as though it was dying. Turned out I had tripped the switch on the water pump that cools the compressor in VERY hot environments. I hadn't used that pump for more than a year so it took a day before it dawned on me that it was the problem.

On 11/20 I made the trek up to the library at the College of Charleston to make sure that I would have phone and internet service there for tomorrow's conference call.

On 11/21, Thursday, I am in the library of the College of Charleston in conference with the IAFF lawyers. Below is a cool sculpture in the atrium. It looks as though it was done by gluing together many books and then cutting away one side to create the wood grain effect on the right side.


11/22/2013, Saturday. Back in the library. The upshot of the phone call was that my presentation needs to be completely reworked and organized so that it is shorter and faster with a clearer message.

11/23/2013, Sunday. A very strong arctic cold front is coming up from the southwest; cold temperatures and lots of wind from the north. As soon as the wind shifted around to the north Andante started sailing around her anchor. In the space of less than an hour I had swung three times dangerously close to one of the derelict boats anchored here. Since I had to relocate in any case i decided that i would take the boat up to Cooper River Marina a few days early. Andante will stay here until I return on 12/12. I'll be in Philadelphia to appear at an arbitration hearing as an expert witness. This commitment and the attendent acheduling delays have really affected my trip south. Had it not been for having to be in certain locations for conference calls and trips north I would probably be much further south. As it is, I won't leave Charleston until 12/13 at the earliest.

On 11/29 I flew to Philadelphia. The next day while Christopher, Tara, Jaiden and Diana were all in the area we had lunch at Maria's house. Great time, great lunch.


Since leaving Rock Hall in October 2013 I have travelled 663 nautical miles on Andante.


Back to October 2013                                                                                            Ahead to December 2013