2013-10-29–Bye Edenton, Hello Elizabeth City, NC

On our last day in Edenton we visited the Cupola House and Gardens. You were actually able to climb all the way to the Cupola for a wonderful view of the surrounding area. If you look closely you can see Magnolia’s mast above the trees center, right hand side of photo.




That evening we attended a wine tasting where we met a number of the locals who filled us even more on the town of Edenton.


Sadly it was time to leave and we were off to Elizabeth City NC. It was one of those long haul (50mile) days that we try and avoid but we made it just fine.


On the upside our friends MaryMarie and Frank from Eleanor Q (http://eleanorq.wordpress.com/) were there to meet us. It was great fun catching up with them. Like us they are members of the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW) Class of 2013. It is always great exchanging ideas, lessons and experiences. So much to learn!


The town of Elizabeth City sponsor a nice happy hour every day at the city dock. It is a great place to meet up with the cruisers and obtain great information about the town. The effort is much appreciated, “Thanks Elizabeth City.”


After hearing about Edenton Eleanor Q got underway there for a visit this morning.


Magnolia will be underway in the morning to head across the Albemarle for the Alligator River. We will remain at anchor there for a couple of days and then continue our trip south. 

2013-10-26–House’s Of Edenton, NC

Before we get going on the house tour check out our “Chariot” provided by the fine town of Edenton. As part of the benefit for taking a slip in Edenton, in addition to hot showers you get to sign out a truck to run errands such as grocery and laundry both about 3 miles away., both good experiences.


Above and below, same home, can not decide which door is front and which is back?



We were told this home recently sold for 1.4M but that was before the renovation to include the bowling alley in the basement!


Below is the towns former ice house that has been converted to a one (1) bedroom, one (1) bath home. This is one my absolute favorites. This place must be solid as a rock.


Below is a 60s modernistic home which Annette liked a lot. She particularly likes the fact that you can look in the front door right out to the water. It really did look interesting.


We want that screened in porch (someday).


As we returned from our afternoon adventure we were able to watch Elizabeth II arrive for a weekend visit.



All day Friday classroom after classroom of local kids toured the ship. You tell they really had a great time! Can not wait to see the lines of adults on Saturday. Crazy part was the number of crewman who came over to visit Magnolia cause they saw a “great looking boat over here!” 036


After plodding from many of the locals Annette and I crossed the bridge and went around the gate which said “Private Property” onto Hayes Plantation.


We walked for a couple of miles along manicured country road finally coming across a cemetery where famous locals James Johnston.


Safely back on “public” lands we came across this bell with the words “U.S.L.H Establishment 1901.” This one took some Google work to nail and the only thing I could get was “United States Light House.”


Edenton is a town of 5000, and surrounding county is 15,000 total population. In spite of the relative size there is so much going on here. We departed Magnolia last evening stopping at an artists exhibit at the City Art Council Office right next to the dock. There much have been 40 people enjoying a pleasant evening with the artist over wine and appetizers. That was our first stop as our primary goal was the Edenton Coffee House for an evening of live music. The evening really is a family experience with no alcohol there are plenty of kids and people of every imaginable age. Half of the attendees seem to know each other and people kept coming with folding chairs in the aisles. There must have been at least 75 people there. Speaking with an employee she related it was like this most Fridays nights. She said there are few regulars but because of the different music genres that play in attracts different people every week. Really amazing evening!

Tonight we are attending  a monthly event at the “Edenton Bay Trading Company”. It is purported to be a wine tasting but is really known for the local dishes served. We are really looking forward!



I am so amazed by this town, we left the boat at 1800 on our way to an evening of music

2013-10-23–Anniversary In Edenton, NC

To say we are enjoying our stay in Edenton would be an understatement. I am on a first name basis with the guys at the local TrueValue hardware store and the fact that its 2 blocks from the town dock is a huge plus. Walking on the streets here you cannot pass someone without or giving a greeting.  Its truly is a special little place! Everywhere you turn there is a little (or big) hidden garden or an interesting home to view.


Magnolia is really enjoying being at the town dock too. She got a good bath and a number of “maintenance actions” since we have arrived. 015020021019017018

Edenton might be a small town but there is little lacking. We stopped at a small independent coffee shop that served every special coffee a Starbucks would. In addition there is even the tiny Taylor movie theater where we saw “Gravity” and “Capt. Phillips” starts Friday. Again a couple blocks from the town dock.


Last evening we had dinner at the “Waterman’s Grill” which was a nice treat after a full day of boat chores. 006003004

We took a trolley ride of historic town area this afternoon and will be celebrating 9 years tonight at another restaurant called “Bistro 309”. We are keeping busy taking care of Magnolia and sightseeing while we wait for November 1st when we can continue south! Can’t wait cause the are is starting to cool down!

2013-10-21– Edenton, NC — A Tagline That Does Not Lie

 “One of America’s Prettiest Towns” and Edenton does not lie!

Magnolia departed Broad Creek which is off the North River near Albemarle Sound on Sunday. We delayed our departure one (1) day to take advantage of a forecast north wind which we road under sail most of the way west across the sound. He sailed under a double reefed main, a “handkerchief” jib in 17-25 making 5.5 – 7.0 all the way across.


Our Automatic Identification System (AIS) is real life. When we about 7 miles apart from the pictured barge and using our I AIS system I could see that Magnolia and the barge were going to be under that bridge within 1 minute of each other. As you can see from the pictures that would have been a bad plan. We simply made a wide sweep north and allowed the barge to move on through. No fuss no muss!


We were very much looking forward to visiting Edenton based on what we read. Even before we tied Magnolia up we could see we were not going to be disappointed. The homes appeared absolutely lovely as we approached.


The town goes to a great deal of effort to provide secure pleasant in-expensive facilities. Granted out visit was pretty late in the season but we had the place to ourselves! 


After traveling 292.88nm since departing Galesville our girl is looking pretty good!


We will write more once we explore town further than the local Dairy Queen, though that alone nearly made the trip worthwhile!

2012-10-18–A week of firsts…and Lucky Duck is back!

After transiting our first lock, a few bridges, crossing the boarder into North Carolina, , saying “see you soon next time” to Kindred Spirit and performing boat maintenance in “exotic locations,” it was certainly  full week.


(This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. When I took it we were in the middle of the channel. Reagan’s “Trust but Verify” screams out to me when it comes to chart plotters!)


(Mile 50 of the Intercostal Water Way – we still have a ways to go!)

(Welcome to North Carolina, Please enjoy your stay) – Photo Kindred Spirit


(After a long day on the water – we had wonderful dinner aboard Kindred Spirit)

– Photo Kindred Spirit

After moving the boats a couple miles from Buck Island to Broad Creek it was time for a little exploring. We stumbled across a small creek/canal that had the theme song of “Deliverance” coming from it.  How could we resist?


(I told Al & Michelle there family would get this picture if we did not make it out)

(We would not have wanted them to go on their own!) – Photo Kindred Spirit

Kindred Spirit got underway to continue their trip south while Annette and get some chores done and a little more sight seeing.  First was to get the chores taken care of. First thing to be conquered was wooden stoop step into the cockpit. The varnish was terrible and I just had not made time to tackle it. Primarily because I did not know how I was going to get it off. See the builder or a previous owner did not want it to fall off so in addition to the screws they used some caulk/adhesive just to be sure. I was certain I was going to crack the wood before I got it off, but the Lucky Duck emerged!  I was not prepared to start the varnish but at least know I can get the thing off when I am ready!


I have been having a small test of will with a leaky deck drain but today I am feeling confident that a new cover and a little Butyl Tape will resolve the problem once and for all!


Meanwhile the Admiral (aka Seamless Sailor) busily working on sewing projects.

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(Seamless Sailor displaying todays accomplishments, chart cover, a repaired flag and a repaired swim platform cover.)


(Evening moon rise as I was manning the grill)

Magnolia expects to stay here in Broad Creek until Sunday when we pan to sail about 25 miles west to Edenton, NC. The town is suppose to have a historical significance, I just don’t know what that is yet….will let you know! Until then, be safe A**2

PS Kindred Spirit, you are missed!

2013-10-16– HEADLINE — Lucky Duck succumbs to Duck Weed

For many years the running joke between my friend Greg Rodgers and I is that I am the Lucky Duck and we refer to him, well we will let that go for now! None the less Magnolia got underway Tuesday morning from Portsmouth with intent of going south using the Dismal Swamp Canal rather than the Virginia Cut Canal.


Before getting to the Canals though we had a couple of “un-restricted” bridges to pass under and others we needed to wait for an opening at some prescribed time. The photo series is from one of the un-restricted bridges. Even though the unrestricted bridge is 65 feet and our mast is 58 feet it is still rather unnerving from Magnolia deck!


(Gilmerton Bridge in Chesapeake, VA)


(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)



(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)


(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)


Just as we approached the “Y-In-The-Road” we heard radio traffic about Duck-Weed clogging boat engine water intakes causing over-heating conditions. After Kindred Spirits call to TowUS and Magnolia’s call to Dismal Swamp Lock it was decided we had better do a “U-ey” and head for the Virginia Cut. Our understanding has been the VA Cut is like the interstate and Dismal is like the country road so you can imagine our disappointment.



(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)

Our herd of boats arrived Great Bridge Locks via the Virginia Cut shortly after noon. We were able to almost immediately enter the lock.


(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)


(Magnolia courtesy of SV Kindred Spirit)


Kindred Spirit get their lines across to the side of the lock.



As the lock doors open Magnolia prepares to depart the lock. We tied to a public dock just outside the lock and spent a quiet evening relaxing with friends.

2013-10-15–Bad Blog Writer

I throw myself at the hands of the blog and ask for forgiveness. We have simply been doing too much socializing to keep! As it happened the very day Kindred Spirit and San Cles got underway from Hampton our  friends Greg & Marie arrived “home.” (Their boat Second Sally is currently berthed here in Tidewater region.) We spent a fun evening in Hampton and then got underway on Saturday morning. The rest of the story is Greg and Marie are the couple who helped us initially bring Magnolia home from Florida to Virginia. This was the first time that they had been underway with us on Magnolia so it was fun to show that we had tried to remember a few of the things they taught us! We would not be doing this today if it were not for them.


(Annette can find Magnolia’s wherever we go!)

After getting over to Little Creek it was time for us and Marie to catch up on laundry and grocery store shopping. So off we went with dock carts trailing! ( I promise to get better at pictures!

Sunday then our friends from Pentagon Sailing Club, Mike and Tina came for a visit. We last saw them in Rockhall, MD over Labor Day so it was a fun evening of food drink and lots of laughter.

Magnolia and crew got underway from Little Creek in “bumpy” conditions on Monday morning in route back to Portsmouth. Once we turned the corner on the Elizabeth River things smoother considerable.

Kindred Spirit was anchored at Portsmouth so we made plans to see Capt Philips at the the Commodore Theatre. It is Art Deco style building that has dining and drinks right in the theatre. It is really cool! The movie was excellent as well!


We are finally getting out of Tidewater tomorrow and head for the Dismal Swamp. Looking forward to getting out of “towns” for a while!

2013-10-07 — There are times boats drag!

Thankfully the above does not reflect on our life which is anything but a drag! We arrived the Portsmouth Naval Hospital anchorage on Friday afternoon. The last time I was in Portsmouth must have been at least 20 years ago. The town has come a long way developing (at least its downtown area) a real destination with a number of restaurants and shops. Very touristy!  We visited the farmers market, Mile Zero Marine Supply and maybe a pub or two! We did also visit the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard Museum and the Hog Island Fresnel lens from 1896!


Magnolia was also able to add another relative to her visitors log. My niece Lori is here in Portsmouth with her friend Adam. We were able to have them aboard for a lovely dinner on Sunday evening. 

Monday we awoke to some reasonable windy conditions but persisted in our efforts to complete the requirements for our Customs & Immigration Vessel Registration. We hopped into the dingy set off across the Elizabeth River for Norfolk docking at the Waterside Marina. (Note To Norfolk – “If you want boaters to frequent your city and spend their money, quite charging to dock a dinghy!”)   After finishing our business with one of the few government agencies still open we saw asked some people on the street about a good sandwich place. They said they just came from “Al’s Hotdog, it’s a local institution.” They had me at “institution!” I told Annette its time to get institutionalized. If you have the chance (yes Leclercq’s I am talking to you) stop by Famous Al’s for a pretty darn good dog!

After lunch we headed back across the river with the same “fun” wind blowing down the river. As we approached Magnolia it appeared we had drug our anchor a little. Nothing significant but noticeable. More significant was the boat 1/4 mile from us that looked dangerously close to a monster channel buoy. I dropped Annette on Magnolia and ran the dingy down to take a look and see if I could get a boat name off the stern. When I arrived I could see they were within a boat length and in addition noted a French flag (ie French vessel). Just as I arrived back on Magnolia they passed aboard their dinghy as we were repositioning Magnolia. Through broken English they asked if we had drug as well. I said “yup” and they were off to tend to their boat. They came back by after we were all repositioned. They had sailed from France via Barbados. Scary part, they learned to sail on the way here!

Well we are off to a few days at a marina in Hampton, VA tomorrow!

PS I will try and take more pictures!




\\\ FamousAl’s near Waterside and the waterfront

2013-10-04–York River (Sarah Creek)–Portsmouth, VA

Magnolia took a little break in Sara Creek off the York River, just across from Yorktown, VA. Magnolia has been on a tear down the bay taking advantage of good weather. After a 150 miles it was time to take a day and catch up. Truthfully other than a walk not a lot was done except for a little relaxation time. I guess we are entitled to a little down time now and then.

Let me acknowledge upfront that we are watching “Karen” which will come ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. We are safely at anchor and expect to stay here through Wednesday morning. We can always move to a nearby marina if predictions appear to decline.  Not to worry.

Meanwhile, we again had little or no wind today so rather than stop at Hampton we came the additional 11 miles to Portsmouth.


I am not sure it’s the official end of the Chesapeake Bay but passing Point Comfort and Fort Monroe was certainly a transition for us!



Point Comfort Lighthouse.


Aegis Cruisers.


Navy Hospital Ship Comfort – I think it you use to be in Baltimore so not sure if here for a visit or has been relocated here.


Typical barge traffic


This evening’s view of downtown Norfolk


This evening’s view of downtown Norfolk


This evening’s view of Portsmouth Naval Hospital


Todays Track

2013-10-01–Government Closed–Magnolia Open

Before departing Solomon’s Magnolia stopped and took on Fuel, Water and Ice. The “Big 3” in our book. You are probably saying why is ice so important when you have a refrigerator? I don’t know about you but I am not going to deny the Admiral ice in her G&T! 


We passed this guy port-port with just over a half a mile. Fifteen minutes later I noted a weird wave in the water and took me a minute to digest what I was seeing. As the Admiral was resting her eyes, turned Magnolia to take the wave head on. After burying the bow twice the Admiral arrived on deck none to pleased..more so that her knap was disturbed.


Upon arriving Reedsville we made our way up nearby Mill Creek. It is a real zig-zag-zig entrance but once inside it was completely worth it. I noted a old barn as we entered and said to the Admiral lets anchor there!


The pictures really do tell the whole story..We departed this morning for Deltaville and thought I should post a picture of fish traps we have here in the bay. Not sure if they have them north but thought the “northerners” might appreciate the heads up. They are extra difficult to see when starting out with the glare.


We will take a slip in Deltaville and do some laundry and I think the Admiral would like to catch up on “The Good Wife” as well!