We have seen some interesting, entertaining things along the ICW the last couple days. I’ll include the pics and explain each one as needed.
Ok, not an oddity, but it was so fun to see dolphins jumping around the boat. We were anchored near the mouth of Adams Creek which empties into the Neuse River down stream from new Bern, The dolphins came into our cove and played for awhile. No training or treats needed. Jumping and playing is natural behavior it turns out.
This is the first deer we’ve seen along the ICW. Hiking on trails yes, we’ve seen deer, but not from the boat. This guys was along the Alligator-Pungo Canal in North Carolina. Swamp around so mostly fresh water.
Ok, I know this is not completely in focus, but it is hard to catch a butterfly flitting around from a moving boat. This was in the Alligator River or Albemarle Sound, probably 10 miles wide or more depending on how you want to measure and where. No land except in the far distance from either side of the boat. We saw for or five butterflies. They looked black, but who knows what variety they were. One really starts to understand the precarious flight of butterflies migrating across big bodies of water.
This one may need some explaining. This marker shows the ICW which is part of the Great Loop, a 6000 mile loop through waterways of the East Coast, through Canada, down the Mississippi or Tenn-Tom Waterway (most use the Tenn-Tom), through the Gulf of Mexico and across the Florida before rounding the tip back to the East Coast. Maybe a hundred boats at most do it each year, but it has been done in small boats and one guys apparently did it on a jet ski. Hardier than I! Seeing this guy, who was quite a distance from any houses, boat launches, etc., made us wonder if he was doing the Great Loop. Do we plan to do it? Maybe. Lots of places to explore on that route, but elsewhere as well….
There is the guy who tied balloons to a chair and went flying. This guy decided to put pontoons on his wheelchair. Good for him. I hollered out that I liked his boat but he didn’t respond. Maybe he does not want to get his hearing aids wet.
Coming through Norfolk is always an adventure. A HUGE Naval shipyard where one can see multiple aircraft carriers, submarines and hundreds of other Naval vessels of various sizes along with tugs, and commercial traffic. Heading out Hampton Roads near the end of the shipping channels, we saw this big cargo ship coming in, doing 8.5 knots. This little Camino Troll (about 32 feet long) named High Cotton doing 7.2 knots, was trying to out pace the Taipei Triumph. Finally the Taipei Captain came on the radio and let High Cotton know he’d gained half mile on him and did he know that Taipei was there. He did and asked where he wanted him to move to as there was also a barge coming out Hampton Roads which we’d passed a ways back. The Taipei and barge were going to meet near a corner and needed all the room available. it was all sorted and no lives were lost in the transaction.
We have just come through the Alligator River Bridge at the mouth of the Alligator River which empties into Albemarle Sound. One has to request the bridge open to pass as any boat that sits more than 14 feet out of the water cannot make it under. The water traffic can greatly impede land traffic. This bridge opens on demand. Some on the hour/half hour, etc. Each is different. If there is a lot of boat traffic and a bridge opens on demand, there can be pretty good waits for boats and traffic. Since Holden Beach, we have requested seven or eight bridge openings and one lock (which does not interrupt traffic).
In the Chesapeake now, roughly 8 nautical miles and an hour away from our marina. More work. It seems that is all we do. New harmonic balancer, transmission oil leak and turbo leak. While they do that work, we’ll replace the alternator and regulator, replace the dipstick tube (it has the wrong one and thus we never know accurately what our oil level is) and install a new faucet and shelf in the galley. Hopefully we won’t have time for more tasks than that while in Deltaville. We are anxious to play.