Beaufort N.C. heading south

Written by Jack van Ommen on February 2nd, 2020

I will take one more look at the 7 day forecast in the morning. Right now it looks good for departing on Monday the 3rd of February. There are some 30 plus knot winds coming up from the south on Thursday Friday but it gives me enough time to get to the east and south of this system.

I left Cape Charles on Wednesday the 15th of January and had planned to spend a few nights with my youngest daughter, Jeannine, but near freezing cold and strong winds that blew the water out of the I.C.W. (Intra-Coastal Waterway) kept me tied up until the 26th.

I left from West Norfolk on the Elizabeth River on Sunday morning, did my dominical habit Saturday evening with Jeannine on the Saturday evening prior, and had a great sunny day on the ICW. I passed through the Gilberton Bridge right behind the ketch “China Rose” and had a nice chat with Peter and Linda in the Great Bridge lock. They are heading for Oriental, near Beaufort. They are both from Southern Norway and live near New York, Peter is a retired fireman and she was a nurse.    I anchored near day marker 57 on the west side of the channel close to milepost 40. Griffith Brinkley, the younger son of my Cape Charles friend Bruce Brinkley, who lives on Munden Point and he met me and guided me in and took me in his skiff to his dock. Griff and his Portuguese-American wife Soraia were my outstanding hosts for the night.

Sunset from the Brinkley home

 

Griff with the Vatican ensign and George the Portuguese waterdog.

 

 

 

On Monday I made it at dusk to an anchoring spot just north of the Alligator River bridge. I had not counted on the wind to go north and it was a very rough night and it was very difficult and time consuming to get the anchor up against the strong wind and chop. Little by little with help from the engine it came up. It was again after dark that I made it to a very calm anchorage on Tuesday evening just south of the long canal, east of Belhaven.

The Alligator River- Pungo River Canal

 

 

The nights were cold. Once the anchor was down, I opened the companionway stairs to let the heat off the engine and radiator warm up the closed cabin and crawled in my sleeping bag soon after dinner.

This is the 4th time I have transited this part of the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort. In January and November 2008 and May 2017. I filled up my diesel tank and spare canister on Thursday here in Beaufort. I am writing this from the living room of Joni Dennis, one row back from the waterfront of this historic Maritime town. She has deep maritime roots here. I was introduced to Joni by Linda Chancler who is a sailor FB friend. Both Linda and Joni crewed and worked on large sailboats.  They started their adventures in their early twenties, in the eighties, in the Caribbean and Joni has been all over the globe. She moved her cooking skills and international recipes and ingredients on shore to Fort Lauderdale and now to her roots in Beaufort. She has combined her culinary skills, cultures and adventures in her books. The first one, which has been very well received: “Mermaids Yachts & Rum”. I started reading it and I could not put it down. This is a totally different part of the yachting world than what I ever get to see. Wild and wonderful and a constant changing scene in many parts of the world. She is just going on a book tour of the second book of the “Sea of Destiny Series”. You must get a hold of her books. Go to her web site: http://www.ChefJoni.com

Joni’s friend Meekah, who rents the upstairs, drove me to mass at the St. Egberts church in Moorhead City this morning. I have been here before but never read up on this, for me, obscure saint. Turns out the was an English priest who ended up in Ireland and sent Saint Willibrord, in the early part of the 8th century,  to convert the pagan Frisians.  He became the first bishop of Utrecht. Another one of his contemporaries, Saint Bonifacius was martyred in Friesland in 754. My mother is a Frisian. This N.E. Province of Holland became for the most part protestant in the Reformation. There are a few enclave villages in Friesland where the reformation never happened. One of them is the town of Sint Nicolaasga. Just 15 miles north of de Lemmer where my mother’s roots are. The maternal roots of Father Gary Weisenberger, our parish Priest for many years in Gig Harbor, are in Sint Nicolaasga.

Father Davis at St. Egberts church

 

 

 

Besides Peter, Linda, Joni and Meeka I want to introduce you to two other new friends I made yesterday. They are Dan Brown (a.k.a. Nguyen Viet Tri) and Le Ly Hayslip. The last name might be familiar to you if you read her book or saw the Oliver Stone movie: “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places” I read her book when I was in Vietnam on “Fleetwood” in 2006. A few years later I read this moving story from Dan Brown. There are so many similarities in their stories, geography, struggles and search for their relatives and uprooted roots. I finally succeeded in getting the two together, yesterday. This came about through a Google group I belong to of mostly Vietnam era war correspondents. They are having a reunion in Hue in April and it turned out that one of the members made contact with Le Ly who is going to be in Vietnam in her mission for her Global Village.  

You know how to follow me, see the upper right box on this post.

By now you’ll know the winners of the super bowl. Her is my bit of name dropping and bragging about the friends that keep me. I was talking to my dear Cape Charles friend Thelma Peterson suggestion the super bowl. She told me that she, and probably a few more women, had a crush on Joe Namath. A couple she knows invited her to attend a game and with the suggestion to come down to the field to take a look from there at the season ticket loge they had in the Kansas stadium, she was confronted by Joe with a smirk on his face “Hi sweetheart, I understand you wanted to meet me…” You can see more of Thelma in the previous blog, as the songwriter of “Jack come back”.

Thelma with “Broadway Joe”

 

 

You know how to follow me, see the upper right box on this post. It is good to be moving again and I hope that you will keep an eye on this blog for more adventures.

 

 

 

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