November, 2021 browsing by month


Good start. Going South. Saturday November 20, 2021

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

I am at anchor at Mile 8 of the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway). No worries of a tug and barge passing by in the middle of the night. The Great Northern Railway bridge, next to the Gilberton highway bridge just north of me, will be down to a 6’10” clearance until this Tuesday 11 a.m. for maintenance. I just made it.


It is nice and cozy in the cabin, after cooking my usual stir-fry. I opened the companion way stair to let the heat from the engine warm up the cabin. There was a weak wind from the NE, but I had to drop the main after trying to motor-sail. I left at 09.00 and dropped the hook at 18.00 for the 38 plus nautical miles.

Last year, I took the ICW section that goes through Coinjock to Beaufort, N.C. from where I set off for Saint Martin on Rose Marie’s birthday, February 3rd. This time I’ll take the Dismal Swamp route through Elizabeth City to Beaufort. I is supposed to be real nasty on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I might have a window to make into the trade winds from Beaufort on Thursday.

This is my 4th south bound ICW trip. And this will be the 2nd through the Dismal Swamp. The first was in November 2008, in the same period, before Thanksgiving. And if all had gone according to the plan you would have never read “SoloMan”. That summer I met the perfect sailing companion, but that lasted until the Monday before Thanksgiving, in Beaufort.

My plan is to spend some time in Cuba. I was on the South Central and SW Coast of Cuba in 2017, mostly in Cienfuegos. I most likely try Santiago de Cuba. And on the return Havana.

If all goes as well as today’s start, I might finally take a run at Cartagena, Colombia.



One of the projects I finished in the month I spent in the Cape Charles Marina, was to replace the heavy steel tiller arm with a three-ply laminated hardwood tiller with help from a three-some. Wayne Downey, the diesel mechanic who finally disentangled the rat’s nest of engine problems, I had last summer until January. Wayne cut the steel and he donated the wood which consisted of tropical hardwood fence pickets. Ralph Orzo and his friend Tom Bonadeo, sized the blank I had glued up. You might remember this two-some who made up my magnificent companion way door insert, two years ago, to replace the one that floated away in the 2017 shipwreck.

Ralph and Jeanette Orzo are the first permanent friends I made in Cape Charles. One of those happenstance encounters while I was getting on my bike after lunch at the Coach House restaurant, in 2017. The friendship was sealed when I ran into them, the following Sunday, at Saint Charles Church.

I was at their home, last night, for dinner. A treat. And met Ralph’s son Ralph, and his grandson Ralph and his mother, who recently moved here after Ralph II retired at age 55.


A few pictures of yesterday morning’s Lunar Eclipse. The Eagle pictures were taken on my way out of Cape Charles, the left turn at the concrete plant.


Moon eclipse

moon set

QUESTION: What am I seeing on the Chesapeake that I don’t see in the summer. A white bird with black tipped wings the size and look of a Booby, with a similar beak, it takes off clumsily like a Cormorant, furiously clapping the wings but once airborne a decent flyer. Anyone? No pictures yet.


I promise I will post regularly on this blog while on this winter migration. And I’ll have my Garmin In Reach turned on for you to follow my progress. The link is in the right upper corner of this blog.

Haad no wi-fi or hot spot last night. It is 10 am at the fueldock I’ll be going through the first Dismal Swamp canal lock at 11 and will try make it to near Elizabet City.