Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Shedding Winter Blues

Beaufort, NC - we continue to have a great visit in this little southern small town. It's been a while since I've written about our travels and I'm excited to catch up! Finally bringing on some warmer temperatures, we've felt more motivated to explore our surroundings and go "outside"! This past Sunday, we reached our 3-month official sailing anniversary since leaving Halifax, NS - a landmark celebration indeed!

We spent a crisp and windy Thanksgiving Day sailing down the ICW towards Adams Creek, about a 40M day. Once at anchor right outside the ICW channel, a small storm blew through leaving a vibrant rainbow in its path- a sure sign of natural and unmistakable beauty. We both missed our families this Thanksgiving Day. Although relaxing and special, I would have liked a little noise and the ability to bake my apple pie. But...thanks to my sister and mama, we kept the family tradition alive and they baked my tradition caramel apple pie which I always gift to Dan - my kind-hearted, fun-loving cousin. I think he really liked it and hopefully he shared a bite with others!
Safely docked in Belhaven, NC
I just love this photo! A sunny and cold morning in the cockpit on our way to Elizabeth City, NC
A familiar cold sight along the ICW
Homemade smell - our oven bakes really well too!

We arrived into Beaufort on a breezy, but warm Black Friday after our final days sailing and motor-sailing down the ICW to MM200! Beaufort is our last stop through the ICW. From here we'll go outside the ditch due South. We've come across some great moments while in Beaufort so here's a quick update:

After anchoring in Taylor's Creek, we immediately came ashore to find laundry and public showers (two recurring necessities of our lifestyle) after being without for eight days. Checking out the local scene, I walked into the North Carolina Maritime Museum to inquire about these invaluable services. Seeing my desperation and greasy hair, boy, did I talk to the right gal! Turns out the sailing community is around every corner! After providing her number to a complete stranger, in case we didn't find what we needed, our dear friend, Dianne, opened her home to us for a delayering-of-skin shower, a washing machine, evening cocktails, among escorting us around town to provision during our stay, and even introduced us to some of the museum's cool hidden gems - including the Maritime Museum Watercraft Center, where we got complimentary wood scraps for the stove, and the Maritime Museum Cetacean Research Center. The biologist that works at the research center deserves a medal for his passion or at least a bigger building to house and build his masterpieces of whale skeletons - I think I could have hung out with him all day and talked about porpoises and sperm whales!
Pirate Blackbeard frequents the Maritime Museum
Beautiful maritime library at the museum!
A very large, rare sperm whale tooth from Scotland!
A skeleton of a beached whale
A beautiful, but small studio
Being newer to the cruising community, it seems only natural that veteran cruisers are always waiting in the wings to help us newbies out. It's happenstance that we cross eachothers' path, but seems all too common when you're living in this environment. Dianne saw an opportunity (or maybe the look in my puppy dog eyes), knew our desires, and offered a kind heart and cruising hand, fulfilling our needs without asking for anything in return. Although, I believe we gave her something in return - time and human connection. As we swapped stories in her living room, sipping red wine after a life-altering shower, she openly shared and warmly reminisced about her 8-year cruising career, aboard Cloud 9 with her late husband, with a continued glow on her face. She was able to talk about things she hadn't thought about for a long time and was proud of every moment she experienced with him. By being forward and unashamed of asking for what we need, we've met the friendly locals, openly sharing about our travels and receiving some unexpected opportunities. It's good to be a social butterfly, you never know who you'll meet!

We took a sunset row down Taylor's Creek, amidst the vacant pirate ship, and tied up on Carrot Island upon the Rachel Carson Estuarian Reserve where we were hopeful to see the popular wild horses. Of the claimed 33 horses on Carrot Island, we saw one! She was beautiful and I call that a success. Wyatt and myself were able to see our first wild horse. Check!
Trails on the Rachel Carson Reserve - the outer loop usually muddy due to tides
My personal driver
Lots of Sniffing
Rachel Carson Estuarian Reserve
See the white spot on the horse's bridge?!
We hired a diver from Discovery Diving Co to unravel our anchor chain from an undiscovered 500-lb anchor at the bottom of Taylor's Creek! Turns out our anchor was free as a bird, but our anchor chain thought otherwise. Thankfully, the heavily aged anchor and wrapped chain kept us set for 3 days before we were able to free our boat and re-anchor. It took the diver 5 minutes to unhook the chain and costs us $50. But, the excitement he got from finding this discovery will allow him to bring his diving students back to the site to pull up the anchor. Glad we could help out!
Thanks Andrew for the fix!
Barnacle-encrusted wine bottles from down under!
Nate was in Beaufort during his 2-week stay aboard Heretic back in December 2006. He was really excited to hit up Backstreet Pub, a place both he and dear friend Rupp were quite fond of!
Friday night on the town @ Backstreet Pub
Backstreet Pub
Provisioning Day
Laundry Day
Warm, luscious afternoon run!
Fresh seafood run
Remember these rings we used to make?! Its not much, but it's festive!
Downtown Beaufort
Haven't seen one of these around CO. This bar was also a non-smoking bar!
After all the unexpected cold fronts we've been handed and priceless wood burning fires, we begin to shed our winter attitudes and layers, seeing real temperatures averaging 60-68 degrees, sitting in the cockpit at night to connect with family under shooting stars, and I've finally been able to run in a tank top (woohoo!). As the internal butterflies take flight about offshore and overnight sailing as my biggest setback, I put my trust in our ability to navigate, Nate's expertise as well as the distance we've already accomplished. We are lightly seasoned. We're getting mentally and physically closer to our Miami-bound destination and we're looking forward to the journey (and arrival!).

Love to All,
Nate & Jenn


  1. It touched my heart (and belly) so deeply that Lyndsi, Sheree and you coordinated the effort of love and tradition to make 'my' Thanksgiving apple pie. It was delicious and I am thankful for you guys (Nate too).

    Glad to read of your continued trek and learn of your discoveries on and off Aletheia as well as the kindness of those you've met. Love, Dan and Ellyn, Jacob and Sarah

  2. Thanks for keeping in touch. It sounds like you're having a great time.
    We miss you guys!
    Love, Dad

  3. Sounds like an amazing journey. Thanks for sharing

  4. Beautifully written and I am so glad I get to actually speak to you on this wonderful invention called "cell phones". Sending warm wishes to you as well as warm weather. We have had it for many days and a few more to come. Safe travels, love you, mama