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Last update December 03 2015

The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from the Pamlico Sound Outer Banks has some surprises for us. We have pretty good charts, but in the state of North Carolina the ICW is very shallow and narrow in places. We draw only 5 feet, but in some places even that is too much.
And then there are those other "sailors", those who motor along the whole ICW except when they have to pass!! Then suddenly they put up a sail, until they've passed JoHo, then they quickly roll in their sails again. As this happens quite a few times we ask ourselves why, until someone explains it. Apparently the fact that your lability is very different when you are under sail is the reason for this behavior. That's the claim culture, not the sailors culture. Strange people (some of) these Americans.
Time to leave this part of the ICW and get some ocean miles under our keel again.

On November 4th, we leave South Harbour Cove. At the exit of our anchorage we get stuck, and stuck good for the first time as we can't come loose on our own. It's low tide and it's very very shallow in the entrance of our anchorage. Impatiently we wait for high tide and after 1.5 hours we are free to sail from Cape Fear to the Atlantic.
It's rainy and cold but the wind is good, we went out on such a small weather window of only two days. But we take what we can, winter is coming!
Through the Charleston Inlet (South Carolina) we go back into the ICW. The weather changes fast, there comes fog and it appears to be a very good decision to get back into the ICW. The entire coast is invisible on the Atlantic side.

It's Saturday, November 7th when we arrive at Factory Creek. This is an anchorage near Beaufort in the state of South Carolina. We are looking for an anchor spot when a man at a private dock asks us if we are Dutch. Well, look at our flag, yes we are! He invites JoHo to tie up on his dock for free!! First we ask whether this is not a joke, but the man is sincere.
When JoHo is docked, he even asks if we need water and electricity. This is our introduction to Meindert and Gail. Meindert was born in Indonesia and after the war his family moved to the Netherlands. And in the 50's the entire family emigrated to Canada. Here they built a new life in the agricultural business. In Canada, he also met his wife Gail. Every autumn, when the harvest is over, Meindert and Gail leave Canada for their house in Beaufort.
With these lovely hospitable people we stay for a week and we could (and would) have stayed longer if it wasn't for the perfect weather. They showed us the area and here we also celebrated John's birthday. We visited historic Beaufort on our own, on the bikes.
What a super time we had, thank you Meindert and Gail!!

On Friday the 13th (we are not so superstitious as many Americans) we say goodbye to Meindert, Gail and Beaufort and sail toward the Atlantic for yet another overnight sail. The predicted wind was a nice 15 knots and luckily this time it is not so cold at night. Our goal is to reach the border of Florida, some 150 miles.
In the evening the wind stirs up to a solid 25 knots, but from the right angle, we fly south. At dawn we see the entrance of the St John's river already, we have made an average of almost seven knots! However, we decide to sail in here and not into the inlet of St Augustine. So from here we take the ICW inside down to St.Augustine again. We are back on familiar territory and in well maintained ICW territory that is.
When we pass St.Augustine inlet later that day we were happy with our decision. By now it is blowing around 30 knots and the sea is very rough outside. There are high breakers in front of the inlet.

The following days we hop from anchorage to anchorage along the ICW. Once at Dragon Point (Melbourne) we stop for a few days. The weather does not cooperate and we want to see Tammy and Jim. On Thursday we meet up with Tammy, Jim unfortunately prevented due his work. It was as always super nice with Tammy. First we enjoyed a cup of coffee at Panera and did a lot of catching up. At the end of the day we went for a dinner at the Texas Ranch there. That night we said goodbye for a longer time. We will be doing another round down south this winter and it does not look like we'll be back soon in Melbourne, but you never know.
In the weekend we visit a craft market where they sell homemade products. From jewelry to Christmas decorations. Very nice to stroll around and so different in products from European markets.

After Dragon Point we sail on November 24th to Vero Beach for our next appointment. Penny and her son Iwan are both in her shop 'A Bead Above'. She is so happy to see us again. At the shop we make arrangements for the next day, Thanksgiving Day. Penny has no arrangements in place and their children already have plans. Well, that is easily arranged, we'll get together then.
Penny picked us up next day, on Thankgiving Day and we went walking to a park nearby.
Everyone wishes each other a happy Thanksgiving that day. In Vero Beach Marina there is a potluck in the afternoon. We skip it because Penny shows us around Vero Beach and stopped to show us her new address where she will move before the end of December.
Part we've already seen on our stay in 2007. Around two we go to Cracker Barrel where they serve country food. We'll take the Thanksgiving menu. You get a plate filled with typical Thanksgiving food, cranberrriesaus with ham, turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing and a side dish. Of course we get the pumpkin pie as desert, we are stuffed after all this food. Time to relax. But since no alcohol is available at Cracker Barrel, we propose to do a sundowner aboard JoHo. It was a pleasant day.

Days fly by and after Thanksgiving we (have to) go again. In two day sails we arrive in Lake Worth (West Palm Beach). This is the place where we bought JoHo eight years ago. We'll stay here, to see Eddy and Marion from Bonaire, other cruisers coming south and to make plans for the next months.


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.


Current position

JoHo is at anchor in Lake Worth, Florida, USA at 26°50,4' N - 80°03,3' W.


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