Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina

May 9, 2019

We again got a late start today because I had a diver come and clean the bottom of the boat.  Ever since leaving St. Augustine I’ve noticed that the boat has been going between 1 & 2 knots slower at a given RPM than she used to, plus I’ve felt a small vibration at higher RPMs that wasn’t there before.  I suspected barnacles on the prop for the vibration and barnacles & other marine growth on the bottom for the drop in speed, which also means increased fuel consumption.  So I had called ahead to Southport Marina for a referral to a diver, and we were all set up for him to attend the boat 1st thing on Thursday morning.

I was ready for the diver by 07:00 but of course first thing turned into 09:45 because he was working on another job in the marina before he came to us.  I explained what I suspected he’d find, and he quite rightly replied, “We’ll see – I’ll let you know in a bit.”  He was in the water for almost an hour and we could hear him scraping away, but when he came up he said the bottom actually looked pretty clean.  The prop, rudder and trim tabs (the only metal parts below the waterline) were spotless, but there were scattered barnacles all over the bottom which cumulatively would slow the boat down a little and increase drag through the water.  Most importantly, he found that the sacrificial zincs on the trim tabs were about 90% gone, which is normal for a boat that’s been in the water for over a year (the zincs were replaced when the boat was hauled for the winter in 2017).  In any event I had him replace them, because once the zincs are gone (a natural process of galvanic action) the trim tabs would have basically become sacrificial.  Not good!

So the diver wrapped up his work and off we went at 11:35.  It was a glorious morning and a real pleasure to be out on the water.  We had hoped to go up the ICW about 30 miles to Masonboro Inlet, then jump outside for a 75 mile ocean run to Beaufort.  The conditions were almost perfect for that plan (East winds at 5-10 kts) in the morning but were forecast to increase in the afternoon, plus the tide would be ebbing in the afternoon which would have meant wind against tide in the inlet, almost always resulting in choppy, sloppy conditions.  So we had decided that we’d go outside if we could be in the inlet by 13:00, otherwise we’d stay in the ICW and see how far we could get.  So with the 11:35 departure we missed our window, which was somewhat disappointing because I love open ocean passages, but on the other hand it was yet another beautiful, light wind day in the ICW so we had nothing to complain about.

It was an interesting day navigation-wise in that we had to negotiate several opening bridges, which sometimes means timing it right because some bridges open “on demand” while others only open on the hour and half-hour.  We managed to arrive at the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge at 13:20, and it only opens on the hour.  There’s a pretty wicked current right there so the prospect of milling around for 40 minutes wasn’t appealing, and there are marinas on both sides of the channel for a mile or so, so anchoring wasn’t an option.  The posted vertical clearance on the bridge is 16 feet, and our air draft (height above the water) is about 13 feet with the VHF antenna down (19 feet with it up) so technically we could lower the antenna and proceed.  But the posted clearances under these bridges are notoriously inaccurate, so I wasn’t entirely confident that we could make it, and a miscalculation would result in ripping our radar antenna off…not an enticing prospect!  I tried radioing TowboatUS and SeaTow, both of which had boats based right by the bridge, to ask what they think the actual clearance is, but neither of them answered.  So I asked the bridge tender and she assured me it was 16 feet at the current state of the tide.  So I lowered the antenna we crept slowly up to the middle of the span and just before the radar antenna got there the bridge tender radioed me, “Captain, you have plenty of room.”  So the long and short of it is that we slid right under, pretty as you please, and continued on our merry way.

Our fallback plan if we didn’t make the inlet in time was to anchor in Mile Hammock Bay, which is a little square bay cut out of the marsh in the middle of U.S. Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, that can hold 20 or so boats.  It’s open to the public for anchoring, fishing or whatever (as long as there are no ongoing live-fire exercises!), but the public is absolutely prohibited from going ashore for any reason.  Mile Hammock has a reputation for a soft, mucky mud bottom and dragging anchor is a real problem if the wind kicks up, but the forecast was for light winds all night so that was our destination.  We got there at 16:30 and found 3 boats already anchored: 2 power boats and a Catalina 36.  I first tried anchoring close to the eastern side of the bay, upwind of the sailboat, but true to its reputation we couldn’t get the anchor to set.  We could tell we were in some very soupy stuff so Carol brought the anchor back up and I moved downwind a bit to where we were between 2 of the other boats, and the anchor set fine there.  3 other boats came in and anchored later in the evening, but there was plenty of room so no problem for us.

It was a beautiful setting, totally quiet and peaceful…except for 4 Marine Corps landing craft that were moored to the wharf at the head of the bay, all of which had their engines on and rumbling away for the first 45 minutes or so we were there.  There were about 30 Marines formed up on the wharf, who eventually deployed to the 4 craft, and 1 by 1 they left the bay.  Nice folks – they waved to everyone as they passed our boats.  And once they left it truly was quiet and peaceful.  After cocktails I cooked dinner on the grill in the cockpit, and we had a beautiful night.

Today: 55.9 nautical miles

Running total: 461.6 nautical miles

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Southport, North Carolina

May 8, 2019

We left Osprey Marina pretty early and had a lovely, peaceful morning along the ICW.  The river is narrower here than yesterday and the woods come right to the water’s edge, and the homes are surprisingly low and close to the water level, too.  There was almost no other boat traffic for the first couple of hours, and Carol cooked breakfast and served us on the bridge as we meandered along.  Very nice.

Then we passed through Myrtle Beach proper, which is kind of interesting.  The houses in this section are all new and big – we got the impression that everyone is trying to make sure everyone will be impressed with their imposing abode.  This includes really fancy stone work in the very elaborate retaining walls for the patios, swimming pools, hot tubs, etc., because the houses on one side of the waterway are mostly on a hill that’s quite high and slopes steeply down to the water.  Some folks just leave the hill and plant grass, but most terrace it with these walls and other structures.  It’s nice, I guess, but seemed rather presumptuous to us.

After Myrtle Beach we passed through New River, which is a working waterfront town with shrimp boats, crabbers and even casino boats.  It’s a busy section of the waterway and the “idle speed, no wake” rule is rigidly enforced.  But in its own way it’s a relief after Myrtle Beach.  Pretty much every day we spot a bizarre or just garish house along the way.  Sometimes it’s just the fact that it’s purple or bright pink, and sometimes it’s the design of the house itself.  They do make things interesting for passers-by, though.

Happily, the inlets into the ocean from the ICW for the next 30 or so miles have all been dredged this past winter, so New River Inlet, Lockwoods Folly and a couple of others that for years have had reputations for unpredictable shoaling are now a piece of cake and you can pass straight through.  In the past fellow boaters shared zigzag routes through these areas to try to avoid going aground, but no more.  Whew!

Other than that today was uneventful, which is often a good thing.  We pulled in to Southport Marina, where we stayed last fall on our way south, fairly early, around 14:00, because Southport is probably our favorite town along the ICW and we wanted to have time to walk around and do some more exploring.  Southport took a beating last year in the hurricanes, but that’s nothing new for these low-lying places along the coast.  There are many houses that were built in the 1800’s (which is considered old in the U.S.), and they’re beautifully maintained.  We came across one man who was working in his yard whose house was built in 1889, and he told us all about his and his neighbors’ houses, when they were built and when they were remodeled, etc.  He was obviously quite proud of his house and his town and was happy to tell us all about it.

Eventually we found our way to a little harbor side restaurant for drinks and dinner, then were back in the marina for the nightly 18:00 ICW briefing.  I may have mentioned doing this last fall: a retired meteorologist who lives on his boat in the marina gives a 90 minute detailed briefing on conditions in the ICW every night. In the fall he covers southbound from Southport to Savannah, and in the spring he covers northbound from Southport to Norfolk, and it’s underwritten by the marina and some local marine merchants.  He provides a fairly bulky packet of color handouts with blowups of any problem areas, including where the good water is (i.e., “from green #91 to red #104 favor the green side of the channel, etc. due to recent reports of shoaling,” or be aware that red buoy #34 is reported missing – stay on the green side in this area”, etc.).  there were about a dozen people there for the briefing tonight, and our navigator was glad she/we went.

Today: 56.0 nautical miles

Running total: 405.7 nautical miles

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMG-20190509-WA0001May 7, 2019

I wouldn’t have minded staying in Charleston for another day, but we wanted to keep moving so we have enough time to stop in places we haven’t been before.  So off we went at 08:05, inside today up the ICW.

For the first time in many years, there has been a lot of dredging in the ICW this winter, and I knew we would be running into several dredges along the way today.  Our marina was on the west side of the peninsula where Charleston is located, so we looped around the city, across the south channel and back into the ICW at Sullivan Island.  This isn’t a particularly scenic part of the trip, although it’s interesting to see the variety of homes along the way.  Everyone has a dock, and for the first several miles the houses are close to the shoreline and the water is fairly deep close to shore, so the docks are short.  But first the houses are really large, then maybe a little, old camp-like house or 2, then a couple more big ones, etc…  Most likely this area started out as off-beaten-path where blue collar families could afford to live, then bridges were built and more affluent people could more easily get to work in Charleston so the small houses started getting replaced by bigger ones.  There are still plenty of rather rundown little houses right next door to huge 3 story palaces, which I guess made for interesting sightseeing and speculating for us.

We ran into our first dredge just before the Ben Sawyer Bridge, only a mile and a half into the ICW.  Dredges by their nature are working to deepen the channel, and often they are blocking most of it for passing traffic.  This was a pretty big unit with support work boats, tugs, barges and lots of pipe to take the dredge spoils ashore, but the channel is pretty wide there and most of the northbound channel was clear, so we slowed way down but passed smoothly and proceeded on our way.  Then there were several miles of open marsh before we crossed the Santee River, where wooded areas narrowed the marshes to 50 yards or so, which made somewhat more interesting scenery.  We passed quite a few other northbouners today including Loon, a 31 foot sailboat from Connecticut we rafted to in Vero Beach in January, whose Captain is 81 years old and lives aboard and sails alone, up and down the ICW every season.  What an inspiration!  She’s a really pretty little double-ender and it was fun to see Bill again as we passed him by.

Today’s route kept our navigator busy as she tried to follow the guidebooks, charts and guidance we’d received on our way south last fall.  The difficulty for Carol is that guide books et al are written with a southbound orientation, so she has to work backwards and try to keep track of where we are and what to expect next.  She did her usual stellar job, though, and we had an event-free day navigation-wise.  Probably the area of most concern today was 3 miles or so leading up to Mcclellanville, SC.  This is where we were warned last fall that if we got there at low tide, don’t even try to get through, even with our meager 3’ 10” draft, because the ICW along there has experienced significant shoaling for several years and hasn’t been dredged for quite some time.  Last fall we took Hank’s advice and stopped at the old Leland Oil Company dock rather than try to get through at low tide, but this time we got there at about half-tide on a rising tide, so I slowed down, we watched the depth sounder closely, and we kept going and got through with no problems.

Shortly after Mcclellanville we entered the Waccamaw River for 30 miles up to Bucksport, then Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Osprey Marina.  This may be the most beautiful stretch of the ICW, from our perspective.  The river is plenty wide and it curves gently north with mile after mile of forest that comes right down to the water, with only occasional communities and marinas.  there was eve  one place with a Flemming at their dock!  We passed through there last fall, of course, but it was overcast and drizzling that day, and today it was brilliant blue sky all day, which highlighted the beautiful trees and small marshes that we passed, and we both kept commenting on how lovely it was.  The scenery was wonderful, the navigation deep and easy, and it was just a fantastic way to end the day.

We’d stayed at Osprey Marina before, which is well known as the cheapest marina along the route, with the lowest diesel prices .  We fueled up on arrival ($2.69/gallon), got the holding tank pumped out (free), then pulled in to our $1/foot slip.  This is a very nice marina – not fancy, but modern, well kept facilities – and everyone wonders why the prices are so low.  The dock guy who took our lines said it belongs to a wealthy contractor who operates the marina like a hobby project and doesn’t care about making much money with it, but whatever the reason the floating docks are great, the showers and heads are clean and nice, and the staff is great.  We probably could have gone farther today, but we like Osprey and anyway Carol had some paperwork she had to take care of and the gal at the desk is a Notary, so we were happy to stop and take care of things.

So once we got the boat squared away and Carol’s project completed, it was margarita time and we chilled in the cockpit till dinnertime, then I cooked pork chops on the grill and we had a great end to a great day.  Ahh….

Today: 83.2 nautical miles

Running total: 349.7 nautical miles

 

Charleston, South Carolina

Today we left our slip at 07:45 and headed north on the Beaufort River.  It was a beautiful, calm and sunny morning as we left and pulled in behind a slightly smaller power boat.  There were some docks along the ICW there and I would probably have been going faster, but the guy in front of us never went over 8 knots and it was too narrow and winding to pass him for the first 10 miles or so.  But eventually it widened out and we passed him and continued our way up through fabulous country with large trees overhanging the ICW in front of big, stately houses.  We even passed the Big Chill house and got a different view of it.  It was a really nice exit from the lovely little city of Beaufort.

This was still marsh country, but it was sunny and the brilliant variety of colors in the marsh grasses leapt out at us.  When we came through this same area last fall it was overcast for several days and the colors were decidedly muted.  But today they were in their glory and we both kept remarking about the bright greens along the water, contrasted by darker greens behind them, and golden (I assume older?) grasses farther back.  With the blue sky the contrasts of colors were really something as we wound along through these fabulous marshes.  Another interesting thing about the marshes is that you can go for miles and see no signs of humans – just grasses, birds and dolphins (and greenhead horse flies!) – then suddenly there will be a house with dock.  Some of them appear to be just fish camps, but some look like honest-to-God 2 story homes and you can’t help but wonder who would live out there very much in the middle of nowhere, where there couldn’t possibly be any utilities, never mind neighbors or supports like grocery stores and such.  Honestly, these marsh lands are an ecosystem and a human system all their own.

Another interesting thing about this country is the names of the waterways you go through, like the Coosaw River, the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff into the Ashepoo River, and of course Fenwick Cut into the South Edisto River and Watts Cut into Dahwoo Creek.  Maybe we’re easily amused, but we both kept chuckling at the names of the waterways.  Just as we made the turn into Watts Cut we saw our first alligator of this whole trip!  It was about 6’ to 8’ long and just kind of lazing there in the water about half way between the boat and the shore, and it didn’t seem overly concerned by this boat with humans going past.  I’ve been looking forward to seeing a gator (Carol…not so much!), and it finally happened.

We were lucky this morning because the tide was coming in when we started so most of the time we were in the marshes we had plenty of water, which definitely wasn’t the case a couple days ago.  And the high tides not only make navigating easier because the water is deeper and wider (the mud flats are submerged), but you’re physically higher so you can see across the marsh farther and better.  I’m probably going on too much about this, but we both really enjoyed our time in the marshes today.

Eventually, as we got closer to Charleston, there were more boats in the ICW and more houses, and the marshes gave way to wooded country.  We even went along a golf course that was narrow but was at least a mile along the ICW.   And we came around one corner in an area that was all residential, and suddenly there was a big marine contractor’s yard, with 2 very large barge-mounted cranes, tugs and deck barges, and a dredge.  It really seemed out of place, and I’m sure their neighbors would agree.

As we got closer to the city the houses got bigger and their docks longer and more elaborate.  And just before arriving in Charleston you pass through a section called Elliott Cut, which is quite narrow and has very fast currents, and the Waterway Guide recommends making a Security call before entering, advising (in our case) southbound boats that you’re about to enter northbound, because there’s not enough room for 2 larger vessels to pass in the Cut, particularly because one of you will be in a fast following current, which can significantly affect your ability to maneuver.  We made the Security call but didn’t get any replies and luckily didn’t see any southbounders.

We arrived at Charleston City Marina mid-afternoon on this beautiful day, and we were amused that they put us on the Megadock, among megayachts as well as Flemmings, Vikings and other luxury if not-quite mega yachts.  Compass Rose looked rather lonely among her big cousins, but she didn’t seem to mind.  As soon as we got the boat settled we took the complementary shuttle into the city for some shopping and, later, dinner.  Charleston is one of the lovely old Southern cities that is always a pleasure to visit.  Charleston is the home of Fort Sumpter, where the first shots of the U.S. Civil War were fired, and the city abounds with beautiful antebellum homes that have retained their charm.  We walked around quite a bit, did a bit of provisioning, and had a nice casual dinner at an outdoor restaurant, including some yummy local beers.  All in all we had a great day of boating, sightseeing and loving life.

Today: 58.1 nautical miles

Running total: 266.5 nautical miles

Beaufort, South Carolina

We weighed anchor at 08:05 and continued up the ICW only a short way, before turning right and heading out into open ocean via St. Catherines Sound.  The forecast was for East winds at 10 kts, which was right on our beam but I figured it would be light enough that the waves wouldn’t be a problem, and so it worked out.  It was a sunny day and there were 3 to 4 foot rollers but they were far enough apart that Compass Rose just rose and fell with them but didn’t roll much at all.  So we had a lovely ride up the coast for about 40 miles, and we had the ocean largely to ourselves except for a couple of groups of shrimp boats that I had to navigate through and/or around.

We both thought it was funny that we didn’t see any other north-bound boats while offshore – not one.  I’m active in a couple of Facebook ICW groups and a large number of people have been posting about their experiences heading back north after a winter in Florida (the migration)…but where are they?  Yesterday we definitely saw more south-bounders than north-bounders, which is even stranger, as many of them had Florida homeports.  Where have they been all winter, and why are they heading back to Florida just in time for the hot weather?  Curious…

We turned in at Port Royal Sound for the final 22 miles up to Beaufort, SC (pronounced Beewfort, unlike Beaufort, NC, which is pronounced Bowfort – more on that in a minute).  It was sunny and nice all the way from our anchorage to about where we turned into the Beaufort River, when we saw the entire western sky turn dark and obvious rain clouds head our way – the  only question was would we make it to our marina before the rain caught us.  The wind gradually picked up and the river got quite choppy by the time we got to our destination.  But all in all the remainder of the day was fine as we passed some lovely homes along the river, then passed the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island.  There were a few other boats in the river, mainly small center-consoles, and then we could see church spires and other buildings of Beaufort behind a point of land past a turn in the river.   Carol remarked how different everything looks than it did last fall, when we went through this same area but in the other direction.  I guess to a large extent you’re looking at the other side of things,  you’re in fact looking at things you’ve not seen before, but still it’s funny.

The Beaufort Downtown Marina is right in the center of the town and we had a reservation for 2 nights.  So we took on fuel and then backed snugly into our slip just as the sky opened up with torrential rain that lasted about 30 minutes.  My deckhand was very grateful that the rain held off until we were safely moored!

Beaufort is a lovely old Southern town with large, stately homes, and huge old oak trees with masses of Spanish Moss hanging from the branches.  They’ve done a good job of maintaining a lively downtown with lots of small shops, bars and restaurants, while keeping the charm of the old town intact.  We walked around quite a bit but more rain was threatening and it was very humid, so we ducked into a bar for some cold libations and found the TV showing an extended Kentucky Derby pre-race show, which seemed (although the sound was off) to focus as much on the ladies’ hats and Woodford Reserve mint julips as it did on the horses and jockeys.  And it did rain some more, but when the sun came out we walked around some more then picked a nice little restaurant for dinner.  We sat at the bar and watched the actual Derby and chatted for quite a while with a nice couple from Texas.  As a kind of a lark we asked the bartender if the correct pronunciation of the name of the town is Beewfort or Bowfort.  She confirmed that it’s Beewfort and said the folks in the North Carolina Beaufort get upset if you call their town Beewfort, but the folks here don’t care.  Of course, she was a jokster and had funny things to say about anything you asked her.  Anyway, after dinner we retired back to the boat for the evening.  All in all it was a very nice day, both at sea and on land.

On Sunday we walked around the town some more and had coffee (tea for me) at an outside table at a little cafe along the waterfront – very nice.  Then we borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and went to a supermarket for a couple of odds & ends, and did some more sightseeing.  Beaufort was the scene of several books and movies, including Prince of Tides, the Great Santini and the Big Chill.  The Big Chill house is on the tourist map so we drove by and saw it: a beautiful, classic huge old

southern house right along the river.  Nice.  The rest of the day was a few chores on the boat, some more walking around (for gelato, this time), and a fair amount of relaxing.  Tomorrow it’s on to Charleston.

Today: 67.8 nautical miles

Running total: 208.4 nautical miles

Cumberland Is. to North Newport River, Georgia (anchorage)

We weighed anchor at 07:50 and headed out toward Cumberland Sound.  But as we got near the entrance to the anchorage we saw 2 U.S. Coast Guard boats zooming around out in the channel, approaching northbound boats for we didn’t know what reason.  And then a Sheriff’s boat came over to us with blue lights flashing (my first thought was, What did I do this time?!?), and the young man told us we had to remain in the anchorage, bow-in and at least 100 yards from the channel, because there was a US Navy submarine inbound and they were enforcing a moving security zone.  The Navy has a sub base just a couple of miles up the Sound (King’s Bay) and they have very strict security procedures when a sub is inbound or outbound.  So we and a few other boats turned around and headed back into the anchorage a ways, then I started milling around while we watched the channel for the approaching sub (Carol had never seen a submarine before and was kind of looking forward to it).  After 15 minutes or so of milling around I decided to anchor rather than burn fuel for no reason, and about 15 minutes after that a USCG boat came up to us and said the sub had been delayed and we could proceed northbound up the ICW.  So off we went.

Last evening we were looking at the offshore marine weather forecast, since we wanted to go outside today, and it didn’t look good so we decided to go up the ICW again, instead.  It was kind of a “6 of one, half a dozen of the other” kind of thing, since we were going to end up in the same place; it’s just that offshore is easier when the weather is good.  But the ICW is OK, too, so that’s what we decided to do.  One of the fun things about this kind of trip is evaluating the boat, ourselves, and the weather every day to decide where, when and how to go.  I really like that.  Anyway, up the ICW we went, and Carol got to see her first submarine after all as there was one docked at the base and we passed a couple of hundred yards off it as we went by.  There was a heavily armed patrol boat enforcing a security zone around the vessel, but you still go right by it on the ICW.

The rest of the day was sort of sketchy, weather-wise: patchy blue sky, then overcast, and rain clouds right nearby all day.  And from time to time those rain clouds caught us and it would rain for a little while.  No big downpours and really no big deal, but overall it was pretty much a gray day.  Whenever the sun did come out the marsh grasses came alive with colors: a variety of greens with big splotches of golden thrown in, with clusters of green trees sometimes, and against a blue sky background it was really beautiful.  I think I commented last fall that the ICW in Georgia and South Carolina goes through mile after mile after mile of flat marshland that can get boring.  And it does when the sky is gray, but when the sun comes out the marshes come alive and it’s really something to behold.

I was originally headed to an anchorage in Sapelo Sound, fairly close inside from the inlet at the north end of Sapelo Island, but when we got there it was on a lee shore in a big, wide-open Sound so we decided to keep going and find something more protected.  Which we did find about 10 miles farther along, and here we are in the North Newport River, Georgia, with pelicans, ospreys and dolphins feeding all around us.  It was raining when we got here, but 20 minutes later the sun came out and this is one beautiful place.  Carol is taking a nap, I’m enjoying a Dark n’ Stormy, and life is good!

By the way, for those of you who know what it means, we had an AIS transponder installed this winter and we now broadcast on AIS.  Our MMSI number is 338238394.

Today: 77.8 nautical miles

Running total: 140.6 nautical miles

St. Augustine to Cumberland Is., Georgia

Homeward bound!

We left the poor boat by herself for 2 months in St. Augustine while we tended to some family business at home, the highlight of which was welcoming our newest granddaughter, Lily into the world.  But on Tuesday we flew to Jacksonville, rented a car and drove to St. Augustine to get her ready and head home.  Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday were for provisioning and cleaning, with a little tourist stuff thrown in, and this morning we left our slip at 07:00, pointed the bow north and started toward home.  The plan is to take the whole month of May for the return trip, which should give us lots of free time to make it a leisurely trip and visit some of the places we passed by on our way south last fall.

The plan for today was to go outside in the ocean to Cumberland Sound and anchor behind Cumberland Island, which is a National Seashore with hiking trails, an old but preserved Carnegie mansion, and beautiful ocean beaches.  But the weather didn’t cooperate and we had to stay inside in the ICW the whole way.  It was a nice, sunny day and a lovely trip, but it’s a lot more work to navigate the marshes that comprise most of the ICW in Georgia and South Carolina than it is to get into open water, engage the autopilot and watch the dolphins and the world go by.  But all’s well that ends well and we were anchored by mid-afternoon, which gave us plenty of time to explore some of the island.  After the heavy rain storm that greeted us on arrival, that is, which lasted 15 minutes or so and poured like the tropics.  But that’s OK, because once the weather calmed down we had blue skies for our hike on the island, punctuated by a stunning sunset over Cumberland Sound and a fabulous dinner on board.

Yes, indeed…life is good!

Today: 62.8 nautical miles