Day 8, Year 10: ICW—Bay River, NC to Morehead City, NC
Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Weather: Sunny and Warm (70’s F daytime), Winds SW 10
Latitude: 34 43.097 N
Longitude: 076 42.835 W
Total Miles Traveled: 587 Nautical Miles
Miles Traveled Today: 40 Nautical Miles
Location: Anchored Behind Sugar Loaf Island, Morehead City, NC, ~Mile 205 on the ICW

Exactly nine years ago today we pulled out of our slip at Shipyard Quarters Marina in Boston and headed around the world. We called our adventure the Voyage of Windbird (VOW) and what an adventure it has been. The last three years have been spent back home here in the United States. We haven’t been sailing to faraway ports, but we have spent wonderful times with family watching grandchildren grow. And that in itself is quite an adventure. When I did a quick review of where we were on October 18th of each year, this is what I found.

2005 . . . our friends Kevin and Claire were on the dock before sunrise to hand us our lines as we set sail for Quissett Harbor on Cape Cod, our first stop in our ‘round the world adventure. In 2006 . . . we were on Ano Beach on the island of Neiafu in Tonga enjoying a traditional Tongan feast. 2007 . . . we were off on a walking tour of the city of Noumea in New Caledonia and a year later in 2008 . . . we were on the first day of a passage from Belitung in Indonesia to Singapore. The next day we would cross the equator from south to north. 2009 . . . home from Southeast Asia for the birth of two grandsons, Ziggy Milo and Jonah Biggs and on October 18 we were walking on the beach in South Carolina with friends Kevin and Claire (they keep popping up on this date). 2010 . . . the third day of passage from Madagascar to South Africa with afternoon squalls. We completed our circumnavigation in 2011when we returned to Cape Cod and on October 18 of that year we made a visit to our upcoming winter home, Fiddler’s Cove Marina in North Falmouth, Massachusetts. 2012 . . . on a blustery October 18th we were moving Windbird from a mooring to the dock in Eel Pond to get ready for our impending departure south for the winter. Heather, Jed, Ollie, Jonah, and Jed’s parents Marti and Donald were on the dock to catch our lines. 2013 . . . a plan to sail south was thwarted due to a return of Mark’s cancer. So we decided to spend the winter hanging out with Ollie. On October 18th of 2013 he was putting on a show for us by dressing in mommy’s top and daddy’s shoes. And that brings us to tonight, here at anchor just off the Intracoastal Waterway. 2014 . . . Kevin and Claire showed up again. This time it was a phone call. They called from their boat Merganser in the Rappahannock River to say hello. And we also had Skype video calls with Heather and Jed, Justin and Jo, and got to see and talk to all five grandchildren. What a perfect ‘Voyage of Windbird’ celebration.

141018 Day 8a Passage to SC–VOW's Anniversary

Mark and I struggled with where to spend this night in the Intracoastal. Today we left the swamps and headed out to the coast to the salt marshes. Anchorages in this part of the Intracoastal are often too shallow for Windbird. It was almost 85 miles from last night’s anchorage to the next deep water anchorage, and we weren’t interested in trying to make that many miles in one day. So we opted for a shorter day with a few possibilities for anchorages. We read about the first one on Active Captain, but when we got to the spot, we looked at each other and said, “No.” It was just out in an open area on the backside of Morehead City with its sprawling industrial complex for a view. I told Mark that life is just too short to put up with ugly anchorages, so we traveled on. The next possibility was a spot just right next to the waterway that runs between the waterfront in Morehead City and a little undeveloped island called Sugar Loaf. Again, we read about this on Active Captain, and when we got to the spot, we were unsure. There was a huge amount of boat traffic and not a very big spot in which to anchor. But we went for it and so far, so good. The tidal current runs fast here and Windbird heads one way for a couple of hours and then changes direction. And we have the music coming from the bars on the waterfront to entertain us. Now what more can one ask for?

141018 Day 8b Passage to SC, USA–Intracoastal, Bay River to Morehead City
Day 9, Year 10: ICW—Morehead City, NC to Camp Lejeune, NC
Day 7, Year 10: ICW—Alligator River, NC to Bay River, NC