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Last update November 01 2015

It looks like hurricane Joaquin will come to the Chesapeake Bay, and guess where JoHo is located, right in the north of the Chesapeake Bay.
So we search for a sheltered anchorage spot where we should be able to ride out this storm safely. On the Sassafras River we find such a spot, in Fredericktown. We are glad that we're there, it's quite cold with plenty of rain, oh, and we got plenty of wind. So much rain that we filled our 200 liter water tank in less than 2 hour and we measured 50 knots in the gusts.
But inside JoHo it's cozy and warm. The beds have been covered with thick sleeping bags. We really need these, it's only 13 degrees Celsius (around 50F) in daytime!

After some days hurricane Joaquin has changed his path to the Atlantic Ocean and probably will not turn back to the coast, so on October 5th we sail again. It is still blowing 30 knots, but from the north and we go with the wind (and waves). We decide to stop in Annapolis again. Late in the afternoon we sail into Weems Creek, where we were before. The sheltered creek houses the US Navy-mooringballs which you can use for free if there is no named storm coming. We get lucky, as Joachim is gone, one by one the Navy training-sailingboats come out of the creek and we find a free mooringball. The only one that's free that is, many boats have been waiting for them to be free to use again.
We decide that while we're here we might as well go to the Annapolis boat show. The days before the boat show we cycle trough the center and look how they build it up. Every afternoon we have dinner at the naval training center, good and cheap! And we also buy a good used light wind Genoa for a reasonable (20% boat show discounted) price.

On Thursday, October 8th, the first day of the boat show we meet up with Toby and Sam SY Sweet Chariot. They have free entry wristbands for the entire boat show, but as they're only going one day they offer us the other days of use. Totally awesome friends, thanks! We agree to see Toby and Sam and their other friends the end of the day again, around five o'clock for a drink at Pussers (a very famous bar of the equally famous rum, here and in the Caribbean). So Toby and Sam and friends go to the boat show and we go into old Annapolis again, where we see to our surprise Lisa and Dave SY Keola Kai. We chat for a moment, their friend makes a picture of this event and then everyone goes his own way again. At the end of the day, we promise Sam and Toby to make a stop in Deltaville on our way down.

But first the Annapolis Boat Show. "The biggest in the world". Well, it's obvious Americans have never been in Europe, or don't count that as part of the world. The boat shows in Europe are much bigger, even the one in Holland, the Hiswa, not to mention Dusseldorff, but whatever.
On October 9th we are early at the gate. Our goal today is to see as much as possible about all catamarans and of course to promote our SailAdventures guides. We start with the gunboats, but my favorite is there as well, the Neel 45 trimaran. With 45 feet nicely compact and bloody fast. But the price of $ 550,000 for the base model scares us a bit off... In the afternoon we have lunch at the Naval Academy, again. Today it's chicken and pizza for including drinks, $11 for two persons. In the afternoon we walk around in the 'utilities sheds', see new features and special offers, mostly old wine into new glasses.
At six o'clock we walk to Pusser's to see whether Janice and Rich and there. They lost their car keys and weren't sure whether they'd come or not. As we don't see them and decide to go back to JoHo, what turns to be a very good decision. In the distance approaches a terrifying dark air. Fast as the approaching lightning we put our bikes in the dinghy and put them on JoHo, and as we clean up everything the wind starts to blow with thunder and lighting. From the dark sky then comes the rain. Cold again.


Annapolis Boatshow

We leave the next morning, made some good miles and in Deltaville we made the promised stop. Walked 2 miles to Sam and Toby (and sweet Sophie) and their boat Sweet Chariot only to find out they're ill, so we talked to them for a little while and said our goodbyes. Hopefully we see them again in Florida.
So next day we sailed to Portsmouth where we wanted to stay for a couple of days. There is a free dock and we love Portsmouth and Norfolk, lots to see, lots to do. And there is free space in Portsmouth on October 15th at he free dock. As John stays on JoHo and I go around for some shopping. I need a gift for John's birthday and I know where to get it here. When I come back John informs me that we have to leave the next day before eight in the morning. There is a rally coming to the free docks in Pourtsmouth. Me being admiral doesn't change that he's afraid, so I grumble a bit but relent later that evening, that's the way it is I suppose.

So we leave early in the morning of the 16th. That was unplanned. Through Facebook we receive a message from friends that work will be done on a railway bridge down our route. So we're being followed! How very nice to know that we do not write this all for nothing! The bridge will open only three times a day, first opening is at 9am, we're there.
It's fascinating by the way that you can sail through a military area like the Norfolk area. We are just on our way when we hear the American national anthem coming loud out of speakers from a base. It echoes across the water, it does give us a feeling as if we are in Russia though, it's a bit over the top. When we look behind us on the ICW we see that we are not alone, a large group of cruisers has had the same idea, or are repelled at the free dock. All of us are rapidly heading south where the weather is warmer, all with the 'pedal to the metal, or throttle to the bottom'. When we arrive at the lock the whole group is waiting for us. Then when lock opens, it's like we are in the Netherlands, everyone wants to go inside as quickly as possible, hurry, hurry, before all spots are taken.
Being a sailboat, and one of the last, and foreign makes the lock keeper far less friendly to us than to the others. It turns out that my line, which is quite long, but just not long enough gives him reason to mumble 'damn French' and let the line go. John barely knows how to get JoHo safely to the side without ramming other boats. After this disrespectful piece of lockkeeper we decide to stay on a free dock at Great Bridge / Chesapeake for the rest of the day, between the lock and bridge. Nice to stretch our legs and do some fresh and veggies shopping.
Chesapeake is quite a busy place and large, something we had not thought of it to be. In a Japanese restaurant we have a pre-birthday lunch of John, with all-you-can-eat sushi for $ 12, heavenly. In the Netherlands you'd pay 100 euros a person easily for the same thing. Outside the meantime it rains cats and dogs and keeps at it for the rest of the day. Despite the weather I'm going to do my laundry at a nearby laundromat, you never know when such opportunity will open the next time.

Saturday, October 17th we go on early in the morning. Autumn is already visible, the morning vapors rising up from the sides. Just before the bridge opens a large freighter gets through the locks and has some stiff words with the same lockmaster we know so well. Hmmm, seems that it isn't just us then. The tug and barge is heavily laden and can not go faster than four knots. We continue to follow him until the end of the day, when we passed it to find our place where the Intracoastal Waterway is wider. We see dancing flocks of birds near our anchorage in the air. In long black streamers the birds swarm in the sky. It lookss like a scene from a BBC nature documentary, but now it's live and even better. Beautiful. Just before the sun sets we thrown out our anchor. Time for dinner.

When we leave the Intracoastal Waterway, we (ahum, that's me, the admirals' voice) want to sail on the Outer Banks. This is an area that looks like our Wadden Islands, with less tide, but not less to see!
Our first island is Roanoke, where they have a free dock in the town of Manteo. There we meet Greta and Hans SY Warrel, a former Dutch couple who emigrated to America in the 80's. Super nice people with their fourteen-year-old dog Kobus, who have their house on the mainland in North Carolina along the ICW. Every year they do a round Outer Banks with their boat.
We also visit Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. This was the site of the first English American village in 1585, but the village disappeared mysteriously five years later and nobody knows what happened. This town is also known as the "Lost Colony" and the search for what happened goes on to date. In the afternoon we look at the Roanoke marshes lighthouse and the small maritime museum. We even filled our gas bottle here, not really needed, but so easy to do here.
As the weather looks good, tomorrow we move on.

Late in the afternoon of October 21st we sail into the channel island of Ocracoke. Which leads to the very sheltered Silver Lake where JoHo stays at anchor. We are the only anchored boat, the rest of the boats are all in marinas as they're supposed to be cheap. $1.25 a foot comes down to a bit more then $50 for a night excluding water and electricity for us. The inner harbor is smaller than we had thought by the way and quite shallow in some places. The anchorage is good, even the large car ferry entering every 2 hours doesn't bother us. After a good nights' sleep we take our bikes into the dinghy and hop to the shore. Enjoying a bit of cycling at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We stop along the Atlantic side. Everywhere we see people fishing, it's fishing competition month in Ocracoke. After that breath of fresh air we cycle back to Silver Lake. On our way back we stop at the lighthouse and some other tourist points like the British cemetery and the Blackbeard area. This area was really worth the visit.
From Ocracoke we pick up the ICW again and move a bit more speedily towards the south, along the ICW. This is what we continue to do so next week, with only here and there and stop.
October 31st finds us anchored at Carolina Beach, along the Cape Fear part of the ICW.

Jolanda

I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE, SURINAME or ARUBA have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.

Jolanda

Current position

JoHo is at anchor in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, USA at 34°02,9' N - 77°53,3' W.

Plans

Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way.
Remember to live life to the max, it can be over before you know it. That's our motto.

John and Jolanda