Continuing Back North – End of the AICW in Norfolk

Diesel prices are unbelievable – this marina was $1.799 only 2 1/2 years ago…

Norfolk, VA is generally considered the “end” (Mile 0) of the AICW (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway) when heading north. We’ve already traveled north nearly 950 miles from Vero Beach, FL in just under 3 weeks.  Heading south or back north, the big question usually is how quickly?  With each trip we often say we won’t hurry or won’t be on a schedule, however weather & all of the various complications seem to always rule.  On perfect days, do you travel or enjoy where you are?  Spring thunderstorms (often with tornado watches/warnings) down in the Carolinas are nothing to take likely.  When the radio blares “take immediate shelter in your basement”, Lori always give me a funny look…  Fortunately, we avoided even a single thunderstorm this year although we came close in Norfolk with weather warnings of gusts to 60, but it veered past us with light rain & gusts to only 20.

The biggest “tragedy” of this trip was skipping (the famous) Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach – we arrived on Tuesday, but they weren’t open until Friday.  The travel weather was just too good to wait “just” for donuts.  It wasn’t all tears though, as nearby Wake’n Bake Donuts was an adequate substitute, even though the lady in front of me ordered the last of Lori’s favorite donuts (the Carolina Sands & Samoa) 😦

A beautiful sunset up a creek
Lori has rated Beaufort Grocery’s (really a restaurant) pecan pie the best! When asked “whipped cream” or “bourbon cream”, she just smiles & gets 2 of each!
A sunset photo of Twin Sisters by Erin on m/v Barefeet – Thanks for making Lori’s wish come true!
The guys talking shop outside while the girls shop inside. All the talking & shopping made us donut hungry. It was a nice surprise to come upon cruising friends Chris & Erin on m/v Barefeet anchored near us in Oriental, NC & we enjoyed a fun-filled day together!
Delicious oysters enjoyed at Jack’s Neck Tavern in Belhaven, NC.
Some bridges always seem to be having mechanical issues. This one claimed (with only one leaf opening) a remaining 38′ of width – plenty of room for us at only 17′ wide. However, there was a bit of a discussion earlier in the day when a 120′ x 26′ wide yacht needed to go thru. In the end, the bridge reluctantly opened the 2nd broken span as well – probably a smart move!

Blasting Off to Connecticut

The lefthand photo was our view of the launch. The righthand photo was the rocket’s view of us (well … if they had panned out a bit!).  This was the April 8 SpaceX rocket launch – the first all-private astronaut team ever launched to the International Space Station.

We had a quick 10-day turnaround in Vero Beach – a whirlwind of activity including 2 rental cars with dozens of errands, 6 grocery store trips, over 30 packages received, engine & generator repairs & I can’t even recall what else. We are planning a moderately quick trip of about 5 weeks back up to Connecticut.

Sunset at our first anchorage in the Mosquito Lagoon, just north of Cape Canaveral. An oddball anchorage with only a few spots deep enough to anchor.  Interestingly enough, we have never seen a mosquito there!

Before we left Vero Beach, it was our generator’s turn for a little TLC. A new thermostat, exhaust elbow & water pump.  Also pictured is one of our main engine’s exhaust elbows – also replaced.

By our 3rd day underway, we had already made it out of Florida into Georgia.  The change in temperatures has been shocking – we left Vero Beach in the high ’80’s with the A/C blasting to now mornings in the low ’50’s! It wasn’t just the distance traveled – there was a major cold front which really chilled things down.  I had to find my jeans – wearing them for the first time in 5 months – horror!