Voyage 2000: Chapter 2

Frying Pan Shoals heading to Port Canaveral

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Securite! Securite! Securite! That's all we could hear on the VHF as we were crossing the Cape Fear River channel. The 'securites' were ships announcing their entrance into the channel. Great! We can't see anything (fog) and the radar is displaying a bunch of 'stuff'. We can't separate the shore clutter from the the nav aids and channel traffic. We are headed (we think) to the Bald Head Island (BHI) marina. As we have never been there before, we don't know what we are looking for. Of course, we can't see anything so who cares?! Luckily, we find the breakwater and then the hand waving harbor master. Safely tied up by 1600, we run to the bar for mucho Bloody Marys. It will not be for another 36 hours that the visibility will be sufficient to see the Old Baldy lighthouse.

We discovered that we were actually lucky to be on the 'outside' during the fog. We heard reports of numerous collisions on the ICW. Our second day at BHI was remarkably like the first. Fog!! The harbor master indicated that they had not experienced such a fog for over 20 years. Lucky us! BHI was the beginning of the floating dock district. We would see floating docks until we arrive at Port Canaveral. BHI experiences 5 foot tidal ranges. It only get worse until we arrive in Florida. The third day brought clear skies. So we decided to explore the island.

BHI marina is a very pleasant place...except you can't go anywhere without taking the ferry. We rented a golf cart and toured the island. They actually have speed limits with golf cart cops. In most areas, the speed limit was 8 mph. Lots of expensive houses, golf courses, and first class marina and staff. We must have been there on a non-busy time as there weren't many boats coming or going. The Jule III didn't have much company during our stay.

Bob and Toby decided to do some cosmetic work in the head. Some of the woodwork need touching up. We also touched up the brightwork in the cockpit and deck. Jule III was developing a mustache so we scrubbed the bow as best we could. It turns out that we would de-mustache the boat many more times before we returned. We planned to go off shore when we left BHI so we checked and double checked all of our safety systems. So far, so good!

We met a rather disagreeable couple on the docks of BHI. It was psycho duck and his mate. Both were human raised from the egg. As a result, neither has any fear of humans. Psycho duck will not tolerate anybody on his dock. He will chase the offenders and bite at their heels. Mrs. Psycho duck appears a bit embarrassed by his behavior but never intervenes. If you are ever in BHI, beware of the Psycho duck!

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