In the four weeks of sailing Bushranger northwards we have covered much water. We are taking a one-week break from sailing. We are off to explore and soak up the ambiance of Quebec City with our kids and and grandkids for Heather’s 60th birthday. Roll on celebrations!
So the random thoughts that sum up this section of our voyage are:
- The astonishing southern weather: We endured unbelievable heat – in the 40C (over 100F) for days, to only cool down to 29C (84F) at night. The humidity was brutal and non-stop. And this was only springtime! Natives told us this was unseasonal and normally it gets like this much later in summer. The evening thunderstorms in Virginia appear from nowhere, suddenly, and hit with a ferocity. Short and sharp with little cooling.
- Bugs: They are nasty. Some are huge, some are no see’ums. Love bugs fly in tandem, copulating and then die. Some are downright ugly. All (except love bugs who have other things on their mind) are vicious. Love bugs just litter the deck in the morning with sated corpses.
- South Carolinians are a very friendly bunch. Not to mention – every South Carolinian owns and uses a boat on Memorial Weekend! They wave and smile on the water. North Carolinians – not so much.
- We have been humbled by the help and support we get from other boaters, marina staff and some businesses. Just lovely people.
- Southern architecture is stunning, enhanced beautifully by Spanish moss. Our favorite places have been Savannah, Beaufort (SC), and Charleston.
- On the other end of the scale we have been in small backwaters with amazing seafood, like a restaurant in Belhaven that should be Michelin rated, or the seafood wholesaler with a world best crab dip in McClellanville. Google both. You will see what we mean.
- Our favorite sailing on this leg has been the Waccamaw and Pasquotank Rivers, and Dismal Swamp. Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound – let’s just say “tick that box”.
- Water colour: from the beginning of Georgia we have sailed in tannin rich waters, like sailing in chocolate. This has created a mustache on Bushranger (yet to be removed). Once we hit Norfolk, which is on the lower Chesapeake Bay, blue sea water replaced the murky brown river waters.
- Our knowledge of American history has been enhanced enormously by the places we have visited. We have been immersed in Colonial times, Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and African-American history. And loved it all.
- Norfolk: a wonderful city to walk around. The military presence on the Elizabeth and York Rivers, on the bays, on Hampton Roads; the huge ships and sheer numbers of them, the helicopters, the ammunition and weapons bases, Langley AFB – – – the size and scope is mind-blowing.
- Adding to the names of places which ignite the imagination: Pocahontas Trail, George Washington Highway, Dismal Swamp, Snow’s Cut, Cape Fear, Dowry Creek and Pungo River.
By this time next week we will, in 2019, have travelled 1000 miles up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) at 7 mph and then up the rest of the east coast to Canada at 70mph
So for now…
Such is Life!