Snow on the pier- TIME TO LEAVE!!Finally!  Back on the water after a long 30 month hiatus from cruising.

We slipped lines at 0448 on Friday 12 December. A late start, but unavoidable. Two days to Portsmouth, about 90 nm per day. We arrived at Portsmouth with an empty starboard fuel tank, and just gallons left in the port tank. We took on about 40 gallons of fuel in Portsmouth to comfortably take us to Great Bridge, and arrived at Atlantic Yacht Basin Sunday afternoon. Emptying the port tank was purposeful: the fuel supply valve had developed a very small leak, so I took advantage of the low fuel to empty the tank completely. I installed a replacement valve Monday morning and we were ready to fuel. Just 810 gallons did it! Fuel prices are low, we paid $2.71, the lowest fuel we’ve seen since the fall of 2010! A full dollar lower than the last time we filled, a pleasant bonus!

We stayed at AYB until Wednesday, part of the plan was to rent a vehicle to return to Baltimore to retrieve carpet and oriental runners we had cut and bound to replace the well-aged pieces that we installed in 2006,  shortly after we purchased the boat. Since the binding wasn’t going to be ready by the time we were ready to shove off from Baltimore, we decided it would be preferable to make as much headway with the boat as possible and return by vehicle rather than wait 5 more days to leave. The new pieces are in place, a huge improvement, and the plan worked with some help from Enterprise!

Town free Dock- Belhaven, NCWednesday morning we headed for Coinjock, just over 30 miles, and met up with sister Lisa and her husband Dave at the Coinjock Marina & Restaurant for delightful dinner of their famous prime rib. Dee-licious!  Lines off this morning at 0520, destination Belhaven, NC. 78 nm today. We’ll stay the night at the newly constructed Town Dock. It’s a very nice dock, very spartan, no water, power and dark, but it’s free and a great stopover since we can tie up, take the pups for a walk all without having to launch the dinghy.  Tomorrow will be an early daylight departure , destination Morehead City. Our objective is Charleston, SC. by Tuesday where we’ll spend Christmas and lay over during the blow predicted on Wednesday. We’ll head offshore from Morehead to Masonboro Inlet, stay overnight at Wrightsville Beach, then head out before noon, heading offshore again from Southport – Cape Fear for the 22 hour overnight passage to arrive in Charleston about noon.

We’ve been pushing hard to move the boat south, with very early departures, and arrivals just a half hour or so before sunset. Daylight is is short supply and we prefer to anchor and secure before dark and depart an hour or so before daylight.

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