Traveling North Up The ICW: Little River to Wrightsville Beach

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Though we have not been very good about writing blog posts this season, we have tried to keep a v-blog on our YouTube Channel.  We are a few weeks behind schedule but hope you enjoy our latest installment on our trip from Little River, SC to Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Little River to Wrightsville Beach

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Search and Rescue on Chesapeake Bay

Yesterday was a sad day aboard SV Bear.  We are still processing the events that transpired and are grieving for the families involved.  In the video below, we explain our involvement in a search and rescue operation near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Search and Rescue on Chesapeake Bay

For more information, please see the following news reports:

5 Rescued, 1 Missing After Boat Sinks Near Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Prince George’s Man Missing After Chesapeake Bay Boating Accident

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August Plans from Cambridge, Maryland

We are currently tied up to a free dock in Cambridge, Maryland after coming over from Oxford yesterday afternoon. There is a bar and restaurant steps away called Snapper’s that we had a drink at as soon as we got settled. It made us think fondly of Marsh Harbour and Snappa’s restaurant there, but did not quite have the Bahamian atmosphere.
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The Pleasures of Annapolis in 2015

We are enjoying Annapolis again this summer.

After picking up a mooring at 11:55 pm last Tuesday, we spent Wednesday and Thursday morning performing some minor maintenance and cleaning Bear from top to bottom. Thursday afternoon our friends began to arrive at the house we rented in Eastport. The weekend was filled with kayaking, sailing, drinking, eating, and a whole lot of fun and laughs. The last of the partygoers departed early this morning, and when Margaret and I finally got out of the V-berth this morning, we headed over to the rental, doing a few last loads of laundry and straightening up the place before locking it and walking away at noon.
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How The Winter Projects Have Fared

As anyone who has followed our blog and videos know, we did a lot of work on the boat over the winter. We are very happy with the outcome of many of these jobs. Others, we realized or have come to recognize still need more work. So, I thought I would spend a little time and discuss a few of the projects and how they are working out.
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Our First Week on the Water and Our Dreaded Schedule

Margaret and I were so relieved to finally splash Bear last Saturday. But as soon as we started heading north, we realized just how tight a schedule we are on. As folks frequently say, and we have learned before, sailing and schedules do not mix. But, we are once again on a schedule, trying to get to Annapolis by July 8th to meet up with friends.

Heading offshore from St. Simons, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina last week really helped us make up some time. But that just managed to give us a two or three day cushion. So, we find ourselves doing long day after long day on the ICW, which is alternatively boring, aggravating, and tense. The boredom comes from the long stretches of similar scenery. The aggravation derives from the insane people using the waterway: jetskiers galore, people towing small children on every imaginable floating device, speedboats shooting off everywhere, etc. And then shallow water causes the occasional tense moments. What’s more, it is nearly impossible to use the autopilot with the narrow channels and traffic, forcing us to hand steer the entire time. I should not make it sound too bad, though; we are still out on the water.
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The Work That Remains Before We Splash

As I have been repeatedly saying in our videos, we still have a lot of work to do. At the same time, we have been checking things off the list everyday and in seemingly quicker fashion than expected. So, what exactly remains to be accomplished?
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Cruising Books for Sale!

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We are selling off a bunch of the cruising books that helped inspire us over the past couple years as we downsize. If anyone is interested in picking up some great sea stories, you should check out our classified ad over on cruisersforum.com:

Cruising Books Sale Link

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Getting to Know Our Autohelm – Raymarine Type 2 Linear Drive Autopilot

I recently took apart our Autohelm – now Raymarine – Type 2 Linear Drive Autopilot to diagnose and correct a reoccurring issue we were having over the summer. Before starting to take it apart, I was a bit terrified of how complicated the thing would be on the inside and, ultimately, whether I would be able to get it back together, let alone fix it. But eventually I embraced the task, knowing I did not want to go through another summer worrying about whether our autopilot would continue to work and, if it broke, whether I would be able to fix it. The insides of the unit turned out to be a lot simpler than I had imagined, though I will not be certain I fixed the problem until we spend some time with the pilot on while underway.
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Leaving Bear and Thinking about the Work that Remains

It has been a hot and sunny day here in St. Mary’s. This morning I put a second coat of Bilgekote on the cabinet below the galley sink. I also completed the work on our freshwater system, installing the last of the hoses, hooking up the filter, and securing everything in place. Lots of sweat resulted from both projects, especially the freshwater filter and hoses, which were all located in the lazarette.

I will be leaving St. Mary’s tomorrow morning. We are not certain of our plans yet, but I will probably return around the 22nd of April. Margaret would then join me on or about May 10th. And, if all goes well, we will splash the boat on May 15th. With all that in mind, I spent some time this afternoon taking stock of what is left to do.
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