Well, it’s been a few days since I updated my beloved friends and family , who are all dearly dearly missed.  On the 5th of Nov, after the long Alligator River and Pungo Canal (by the way, there are alligators in Alligator River even though it seems north),  we left Belhaven City with 8 other sailboats towards Oriental. There was not enough wind so after trying once for 30 min, we had to take the sails down through one of the sounds (large bodies of water).

We had to go past a shrimp boat facility called R.E. Mayo and of course, shrimp monsters that we are, we had to stop.  David had current and wind on his nose which turns the boat fast and he pulled up last minute in front of a shrimp boat, not really knowing where to dock. The galley slave/ doctor/ admiral/ deck hand has to then figure out how to jump out and stop the boat .  Let me tell you, you have to be courageous.  I was trying to figure out how to jump 6 ft across the water onto a dilapidated wooden dock with big poles on both sides and NO CLEATS to tie the boat to. Remember the boat weights about 17,000 lbs EMPTY. And I can barely deadweight 30lbs.. so,, I need something to tie the springline around . This old fit sailor, probably 90 yrs old but sprite as a 10 yr old, sees my look of fright and runs over and offers to catch my lines.. BLESS HIS SOUL!!! I could’ve kissed him. I think he read my mind so after he tied off the lines in about  2 seconds to the inside poles, he ran off. 

We then, walked towards the back where we saw the real dock that wimpy sailors need to use with CLEATS.  But I count it all joy as I now know what to do with a dock between large poles.

David suggested 3lbs shrimp and I suggested 5lbs. We bought 5lbs, to support the economy of course and also topped up 2 cans of diesel we had used up to get there.  The shrimpers were friendly, funny and kept calling me maam.  The politeness here is something I am not used to.  I spoke with  a shrimper while waiting for our 5lbs of big shrimp and he asked me how long we had been ” married ” possibly because David and I act like an old couple and I said over 11 yrs. I asked him and he said he had been married over 40 years. He told me that he remembers to treat his wife as if they were dating!  Now this is a man in the know.. Plus he probably brings home shrimp every day which helps. 


This is the shrimper dock David had pulled in too fast due to current and wind. The pole you use is the one on the inside. The shrimp boats are huge. 5.50lb for tasty big shrimps.


David is learning how to eat shrimp the spanish way. You must suck the juices out first (cooked with peel on) then peel it then eat the shrimp.. no waste.. As he was helming, I had to peel the shrimp for him..


Potaje, a spanish dish in the photo beside the shrimp,  is basically comprised of 24hrs soaked beans of your choice, onion, pepper, carrots chorizo and pork hocks . You can also add beef and pork belly , then pressure cooked or slow cooked until meat falls off the bone and beans are soft. YUM.. Great boat food and inexpensive.  The food here is pretty pricey and as we are “cheap ass sailors” as David likes to remind me, this is a dish we cook regularly, plus fibre is always important on a boat as you don’t walk as much…



We left Oriental (anchored outside the city due to packed docks inside) along with about 8 other boats heading to Beaufort and the open ocean!!! This year is a record year for boaters. A man with binoculars called us on 16 after we anchored in Oriental and asked about TC. We told him what it is, 37ft aluminum cat ketch with Tanton hull design and he paddled over on his paddleboard to take a look. David is only too happy to give tours and explain the benefits of a free-standing cat ketch rig, aluminum hull and wishbone booms. 


6Nov : One of my jobs is to search out the best , free, anchorages.  I found a few in Beaufort but they were crowded and we love the wild places. I saw an anchorage that was accessed offshore just north of Beaufort, Cape Lookout it was called. It looked very protected from all sides and we needed to wait for Jean Luc and Janice who hope to buddy boat down the coast with us as well as another Canadian couple on “Calista” We decided to wait and prep the boat for offshore sailing in this isolated anchorage.

I can’t tell you how beautiful this place is. It was a very bumpy 1 hr motor north , offshore from Beaufort but it is spectacular. It has a long history of  warning sailors of the shoals via a diamond painted lighthouse. Each lighthouse on the Atlantic has a specific design which tells sailors during the day where they are. This particular light house has a diamond design.

We anchored in about 15 ft of water but when we returned from our walk the next day, we found the wind had turned the boat and it was touching sand!  However, it was just touching and we easily motored off. We have to remember to give ourselves lots of swing room where there is steep shelving going towards the beach as we have tides and currents and wind changes to work with. 

David and I dinghied ashore and walked the beaches. We also investigated the Cape Lookout state park , visitor center and boardwalks to the open Atlantic. It was a calm day but the waves were pretty large. I don’t think I’d swim there. Fishermen said there are lots of sharks as well. There are certainly tons of dolphins which has to speak to the health of the coastline. One other thing we noticed was that there was NO GARBAGE on the ground. Everywhere we have gone, we do not see garbage on shore or in the water. Bravo to our american neighbours!!

Shackleford Banks, (outer Core Banks) has wild spanish ponies that roam the dunes – possibly from colonists or shipwrecks in the past. I hope I get to see some before we leave the outer banks of North Carolina. You can’t get close as they can be aggressive.

The pink star is where we anchored. We were going to stay there a few days but NICOLE changed our plans.


NICOLE is coming!

We started reading about a tropical storm forming off the Bahamas. It seemed to be increasing and would hit NC on Monday night.. We needed to make a decision either to stay in the Cape Lookout Bight or to move to Beaufort (an hr motoring off shore). At first we decided to stay and experience the storm but all the sailors left and we were the only ones left in the bight. Even the ferry and park people said they wouldn’t be open or running on Tuesday. So after having decided on a great anchorage , David still felt uneasy. I was sooo looking forward to seeing big waves and big wind even though we were very protected on all sides. 

So, as I’m learning , a happy captain is a happy boat.  So we pulled up anchor and motored back to Beaufort where our friends, Gilles and Annik, on the “Calista” said there was plenty of room in a little creek called Taylor Creek. It was crowded but we motored past the crowds and found the “Calista” and a spot not far from them. It is narrow and houses on one side and trees on the other. Annik had seen horses on Carrot Island the shore across from us.  I kept an eye out for the spanish ponies. 

That night after anchoring really well in preparation for the tropical storm Nicole, we all dinghied to a pool parlour place where they serve 3$ hamburgers. Remember the “cheap ass sailor” concept.  Well, I wanted to look nice so I grabbed my pink posh leather sandals to go with my black flowy outfit and regretted it quickly. The sandals are made to look nice  but not to walk in. Annik and Gilles thought we were close to the hamburger place but in fact it took us about 40 min to walk there. I had blisters on each outside toes and on the ball of my feet. Fashion over Form always seems to cost dearly in a sailors world.  On the way back, I walked bare-foot to the dinghy.  Once in the boat, I made a moisturizer potion with tea tree oil for my feet and by morning, my blisters were much better. Next time, the pink shoes will be in my bag and I’ll wear my runners until we get to the spot we are looking for..

Nicole gave us a bumpy night, with gusts of 40 to 50 knots. Our spade anchor held very well. We heard from our good friends Jean Luc and Janice on “Tranquilla” that a few boats had dragged onto shore near them. They were farther into the busier parts of the creek. It was hard to sleep as the wind would turn our boat and make it heel while at anchor and we need to be ready to act if the anchor lets go. 

We spent the day looking at weather forecasts from different sources. It may be calm enough to sail south on Saturday. We have lost lots of days and I want to make it to see Bob and Carol before I fly home for Christmas. I’m constantly struggling with the concept of waiting on the weather..Patience is a virtue I lack. 


We listen to NOAA, the coastguard, Windy App and other regular weather stations to get the most complete weather forecasts before making decisions.

It looks like we can sail out on Saturday and we plan to sail off-shore  following the coast line of  North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and finally Florida until Vero Beach. Elliana wants to experience Charleston and Savannah vicariously through us as she dreams of visiting these historic places but we have lost so much time that I fear we will have to sail through with maybe an overnight stop.  I’ve plotted the different anchorages with different options depending on weather conditions . I aim to give us many options so that if we are too tired, or get sick, we can quickly access an anchorage and wait out the situation.

In the meantime, we wait out Nicole’s nasty winds and hope she passes soon. A 37 foot sailboat can get pretty cramped.  Today (Wed the 9th) I’m going to try and bake something sweet on our cast iron pot/oven. If anyone knows how to bake in a cast iron skillet, send me an email at nuri@neversawblue.com 


Going through the many rivers and canals, we spotted numerous bald eagles. This one on top of the pine tree is a young one. 

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