Thursday, 8 November 2012

No 37 Sandy and the ICW

Hi from Clare,                                                          Monday 5th November 2012

Hurricane Sandy wasn't a problem for us as it turned out apart from constant rain and a seven foot tide (4 foot surge). We couldn't hear the wind as we were tucked in behind high rise buildings and had all our halyards down. In fact the boat hardly moved and we slept peacefully each night. The biggest problem was condensation inside the boat. We had globules of water hanging from the ceiling and running off the windows. Our gas room heater kept us warm but it probably added to the problem as ventilation was difficult with the rain. So that was our first Hurricane experience, and we consider ourselves lucky. On Wednesday we put the boat back together again and unravelled our rope knitting which had kept Eye Candy secure throughout the "Frankenstorm".

The dock goes 4 ft. underwater and the flooded dinghy

Thursday we left Portsmouth and motored a short distance to Great Bridge where we spent the day shopping, refilling gas tanks and doing the laundry. Since Friday morning we have spent each day travelling south along the Intercostal Waterways (ICW) post haste in the hope of finding warmer weather. We have never been this cold on the boat before however it could be worse, we heard from our cruising buddies this morning in Washington DC and they have frost on their deck. The wind is bitter and we fully understand why a great number of local boats have clears enclosing the cockpit. When travelling we are rugged up with multiple layers of clothing. I even have my hot water bottle with me in the cockpit. The ICW is very shallow and the boats follow a dredged canal which is quite narrow. This means we can't use the auto pilot as the boat wanders enough to put us aground. Poor Andrew stands at the wheel in full blast of the freezing wind ensuring we stay on track. I give him a break from time to time but the margin for error is so small he really can't relax. So he returns to the helm and the cold wind causes his eyes to water and leaves salt stains on his cheeks - not on the brochure you might say, but then again who would be silly enough to print such a brochure?

Rugged up for the drive south and the ICW scenery

We are now anchored off the township of Oriental which is just north of Beaufort North Carolina. It is a small and friendly town. We needed to go to the hardware store which is situated a mile or so out of town. The owner of the marine shop in town lent us each a bicycle (one with a little cart attached) so we could peddle out and make our purchases. This is the first time in fifty odd years I have used a bicycle. The lady in the marine shop was a little concerned for our safety as she recently fell from a bike suffering 37 stitches to her leg. She suggested we use the back streets and came outside with us to ensure we knew how to operate the foot brakes. I was a bit wobbly at first but I got better as I went along. However the lady from the marine shop watched me peddle off down the side street and I don't think I did much to allay her fears for our safety as she yelled after me "you have to be on the right side of the road" - Oops!

Tuesday 6th November
Today is Election Day for the American people. We have been asking our American friends who they hope will win the Election. They haven't actually said who they hope will win and why but rather who they hope doesn't win and why. It was suggested we should attend The Bean coffee shop here this morning (where the cruisers hang out) as this morning should produce some lively political discussion. However the results won't be known until late today, so perhaps tomorrow morning will be more interesting.
We went out for dinner last night with Bob a solo sailor who we meet in Portsmouth. He came into the anchorage yesterday afternoon and as he gets fed up with eating alone we rugged up and went with him. It was a long walk to the restaurant in very chilly conditions. Tonight we are having Glenys and Neville on "Elba" over for dinner on Eye Candy; this sounds like a better plan.

We will leave here tomorrow and head 20 miles to Beaufort. From there we will check the weather and decide whether to venture out to sea or continue our journey south via the ICW.
I just checked the temperature outside. It is 11am and 9 degrees, a far cry from the 30 plus degrees we had in the Med.
Love Candy xx

At 7:13 PM7/11/2012 (utc) our position was 34°42.85'N 076°39.83'W

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