Maryland to North Carolina

Anchorage Hopping to the South
Since we have reservations for the month of October at Homer Smith Marina in North Carolina, we pull anchor from Saint Michaels, Maryland and continue south. We have a series of anchorages and brief marina stops planned to get us to North Carolina around October 3rd. So, here we go….

Pawtuxet River, Solomons, Maryland
Relaxing and enjoying the sunset after a long day.

What a way to end the day!


Norfolk, Virginia
Past the busy Naval shipyards and anchor at Hospital Point. Downtown Norfolk is across the river. Behind us, further into the anchorage, is a sad sunken boat.

The Navy has a wide variety of ships here. Some are rather odd?

About half of of the ships are ready to go, and the rest are being worked on.

These cranes are incredibly huge.

There are so many cranes in some of the waterfront areas.

Our anchorage is facing a museum in downtown Norfolk.

Remains of a sunken boat behind us in the anchorage.

Intracoastal Waterway
Starting down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Chesapeake, Virginia we pass a wide variety of watercraft including Hobie Cats rigged for a long trip, restored yachts, and vintage paddle wheelers.

There are 2 people aboard, large ice chest, & lots of gear. It's name was "Double Vision".

Nice, but way too much wood to varnish!

Looks like an old time river queen.

We stop overnight at the Coinjock Marina and have dinner at their restaurant for their super prime rib dinner, and the servings are huge. You can order either the 16 ounce, or the mega 32 ounce if you're really having symptoms of meat withdrawal! Nora meets some Halloween creatures on the dock.


The next morning we pull off the dock while it is still dark and continue south on the ICW. The sun rises and reveals a lower and swampy landscape. Next anchorage is just a quick in at dusk and out at dawn… Belhaven, North Carolina.

The ICW doesn't stay straight for long. Our 2,500 nautical mile Nordhavn burgee is out. 

Calm waters and a nice sunrise to start the day! 

ICW to Beaufort, NC
On this last leg, we see more fishing boats and boats beaten and sunk by hurricanes. Pretty sad to see the sunken vessels, and it is a gloomy reminder about the force of hurricanes on the east coast.   

This is a shrimp boat.

This is a shrimp boat with some patina.

We see hurricane damage on the waterway. Damage to house, boat, and docks here.

A sunken shrimp boat.

And someone's sailboat. All just some of the examples we/ve seen on this trip.

For the first time on Bravo, we also experience dolphins swimming along with our bow wave. Nora and Karl took turns watching them play along with us. We also see Nordhavn N76 on AIS… in the Jarret Bay boatyard!

Nora on the bow watching the dolphins criss-cross directly in front of our bow.

Wow! Is that Flipper?? How cool is this?

Nordhavn "N76" used to be Dennis Fox's boat. Here it is hauled out on land for maintenance. 

Homer Smith Marina, Beaufort, North Carolina
We reach the destination that will be our home for the next month. Homer Smith Marina is a wonderful small family-run marina in Beaufort, NC. They also have a wholesale fish and shrimp business on the same property, with boats coming and offloading their catches here. The shrimp here are huge and tasty, so of course we had to buy some. The marina property, and all the boats in it, are clean as a whistle.

The town was founded in the early 1700’s and has houses and graveyards to prove it. From the marina, you walk down tree-lined streets across the peninsula, to the lovely downtown and more marinas that face the barrier islands.

The town graveyard is surrounded by a couple of pristine churches.

One of two entrances. The graves are very old here, and they are jam packed in.

You can't see all the words in the picture, but it reads "Little Girl Buried in Rum Keg".

Captain Burns Tombstone.

As we tour the town, we experience more of it’s unique features. A farmer’s market pops up on Saturday mornings. A library bookmobile sells used books for $1 and $2.

A lively farmers market.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum has a wonderful film and exhibit on their efforts to salvage a sunken ship off the coast that is believed to be Blackbird’s flagship. The film and exhibit are an interesting look at the history of the southeast coast of the US. The museum also has displays documenting the fishing and oystering industry in the Carolinas, wooden boat models, and a wonderful nautical library.

This library feels very nautical, and very nostalgic.

As well as comfortable and inviting!

Karl discovers a wooden boatbuilding center/school on the waterfront.

One can certainly get the urge to play with power tools here!

Boat life
A variety of boat chores are on the list. Nora cleans the heavy electrical cords. She also has some fun baking chocolate croissants and finishing a needlepoint pillow. It takes the two of us to inflate and deploy the extra-large jumbo boat fenders. Since it is still officially hurricane season, we have to be sure that Bravo is secure and well protected on her end tie dock.


This is the fender before inflation.

Mamma Mia!!! Now that's a big fender!

Side Trip… again
Another reason we are adding extra lines and fenders is that we will be leaving Bravo for a few weeks to travel back to Louisville, Kentucky. Our friends Dennis and Julie Fox decided to buy a 59’ aluminum trawler that they saw when they looked at the houseboat (see previous blog). Our upcoming blog will have all of the tales about this exciting side trip! ...I promise!


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