North Carolina

As we’ve progressed north, cooler temps and lower humidity have welcomed us.  What an awesome greeting! We are most appreciative!

As we’ve passed – and stayed the night in – these little North Carolina towns along the ICW, I’m reminded of one of the major benefits of cruising.  We see things that you just can’t see traveling in a car…. acres and acres of green sea grasses, miles of undeveloped forest and marshes.  There are also many small, sleepy towns and villages that depend upon boating visitors.  Last night we were in Belhaven, North Carolina.  Tonight it’s Coinjock.  In fact, the ship’s store at the marina has tshirts for sale that say “JustwherethehellisCoinjock?” !!

Have you ever heard of Belhaven or Coinjock?  In fact, I challenge you to find them on a map in less than 2 minutes!  But be sure you have a detailed map because they are tiny. However, cruisers are very familiar with them, and visit them often on their boat trips up and down the ICW.   In our years of boating, we have stayed in both of these spots numerous times.

Today John spent some time polishing stainless.  While this is not exactly his favorite task, we do strive to keep the boat in tip top shape.  But most of the time he is the eagle-eye captain at the helm, sometimes with a 4-legged crew member in his lap!

We also did some sit-ups on the bow. “How does that work?” you ask.  Well, we tied a line to each of the forward cleats to secure our ankles and put a towel under the line so we wouldn’t get rope burn. Looks and sounds wierd, but it works!  And on the boat, you have to get creative about exercise.  In fact, I recall once cruising along the East River through New York City and seeing a woman on a sailboat using a stationary bike!
Zoey and M.E. enjoy the sites from the side deck

We’re Back!!

After a long absence, we are back to blogging! Welcome readers!
Since our last entry we have logged many hours up and down the east coast of the States and exhibited a boat in 17 boat shows; and in March 2014, we hosted a Krogen Express owner’s rendezvous at Ocean Reef Resort in Key Largo, Florida. It was a fun three day event spent at a lovely spot with great folks!
We hope that all the Krogen Express fans, owners, and wanna-be owners will enjoy our entries this fall as we cruise north bound for Newport, Rhode Island, and then work our way south for shows in Maryland and Florida. We pride ourselves in identifying the Krogen Express owners as members of the Krogen Express “family”, and we hope that you will feel that way too through this blog.
If you would like to read earlier blogs, check out the blog “archive”. You can also find some postings on Facebook, if you would like to check that out.
Traveling with me and John are our two dogs, M.E., who is a 10 year veteran on the boat, and Zoey who is brand new to boating. (I can already see some good dog blog material in our future with these two!!)
And they’re off………
We departed from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina this morning, August 10. As it was home for us for about 11 years (and was the home of Betsie’s parents for many years), we really enjoyed having a few days there. We went out the Port Royal Sound inlet into the Atlantic, and turned left, bound for Isle of Palms, just north of Charleston. Although a little choppy, it was a following sea, so it gave us a nice boost, allowing us to arrive ahead of schedule. In fact, we were able to meet up with some ol’ college friends who were vacationing in the area! It’s always fun to have surprise get-togethers like that!
Zoey enjoyed her first full day of boating, and fared very well. But, even more, she enjoyed the grass under her feet when we arrived at the marina!
Myrtle Beach Bound
The sun had just risen when we left Isle of Palms. That’s such a nice time of day to be on the water when things are quiet; and that particular stretch of the Waterway is undeveloped and natural. The dolphin were riding our bow wave, the sun was peaking up over the green sea grasses, and I had my cup of coffee!! All was well with the world!! A few hours later the green-head flies arrived (ugh!) and the sun got hot! But the scenery along the Waccamaw River (see pic lower right) made up for it. Gorgeous! We arrived without incident at Barefoot Marina in Myrtle Beach about 5, plugged in the power cord, and cranked up the air conditioning. Ahhh.
The next morning, we cautiously proceeded through the “Rock Pile”. In the boating world, Myrtle Beach is known for the infamous “Rock Pile”, a man-made canal-like section of the ICW. It spans a distance of about 5 miles. The canal is narrow and lined with submerged rocks and a rock shelf, just a foot or two below the water’s surface. When the Army Corps of Engineers was building this portion of the ICW in the 1930’s they encountered a sold shelf of granite. The Corps simply blasted through this obstruction, but, over the years, the soft silt above and below this rocky outcropping has washed away, making the canal now appear wider than it really is. It can be very dangerous and costly to the inattentive captain. On the other hand, our Director of Yacht Services, Captain Andrea Gaines, has done it at night! She’s good. Really good!
This picture to the left shows us passing a single file parade of boats traversing the Rock Pile.  You can’t see the rocks, but they’re there!
North Carolina
Every time we make this tripalong the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), we find more and more shallow (or “skinny”, as John calls them) areas. Chronic shoaling along the 1,100-mile section from Norfolk to Miami plagues everything from private yachts to tugs with barges, charter fishing boats and passenger vessels. This part of the ICW is made up of naturally deep estuaries, rivers and sounds connected by manmade “cuts” through land areas and shallows which has earned it the nickname “The Ditch.” It is these cuts and dredged channels, as well as secondary channels running inland and connecting channels to ocean inlets, that require periodic dredging to keep traffic flowing.  Unfortunately, the Federal government – and many State governments – keep cutting dredging budgets.  This is why we appreciate the 4′ draft on the Krogen Express. It would be pretty dicey if it were any more than that!

So Many Wonderful Friends!

Since the completion of boat show season, John and I have been busy hanging out with our Krogen Express family.  It’s one of our favorite things to do!  As you read in the previous posting, we had a wonderful Thai dinner in Vero Beach with Karen, Skip, Robert, and Jill.  Shortly thereafter, we returned to our home in Hilton Head, South Carolina only be blessed with the arrival our Dutch owners, Hans and Thea aboard “Scylla” (pronounced Silla).  They had with them their friends from Holland whom we have met many times before.  They are such a happy group, probably because they love being aboard such a beautiful boat!

They came to our house for dinner, but first
Thea requested a little computer help
from John!

Then we sat down for a lasagna dinner
followed by fruit pie (Hans’ favorite!)


Hans and Thea are in the center of the pic (dressed in gray…..although their dispositions are far from gray!!)

They departed the next morning in an effort to
reach Florida and warmer temps.  We were
just sorry that they couldn’t have stayed longer
in Hilton Head.

Only 4 days later we met up with David (“Electra”) whose boat had been stored over the summer at a marina in nearby Savannah, Georgia (about 45 minute drive from Hilton Head).  We went to a fabulous and famous restaurant there called “The Old Pink House”.  Wow!  What a meal.  Definitely a notch (or two or three) up from my lasagna!

While we were eating, a woman approached our table and said to John, “Excuse me, but you look so familiar, and when I overheard you talking about boats I realized I’d probably met you at a boat show.”  (John has become a celebrity!  Who knew!)  An engaging conversation ensued, and sure enough we’d met her and her husband at several shows most recently at Newport. (We call those folks “boat show junkies” which she readily claimed herself to be!) She will see us at Ft. Lauderdale TrawlerFest at the end of January.

David will be heading out to the Bahamas in a few days for some sun and fun.  Happy cruising!!