Thursday, October 21, 2010

First Dolphins

Cape Fear River, NC
34 01.02 N 077 56.44 W

We saw our first dolphins of the season this morning. They weren't out at sea, but rather in the ICW. There were two of them and they swam along side us for a while. It was a welcome sight, and symbolic of our return to subtropical regions and to the winter season to come.

We are sincerely hoping that this winter will not be a repeat of last winter's cold. According to all the folk lore and farmer's almanac type signs we've heard so far, it should be milder.

There's two ways to travel on the ICW. There's the tourist mode, where one stops frequently to take in the sights and the local color. Then there's the commuter mode when the goal is trying to get as far as possible in minimum time. This trip we're in the commuter mode. We would like to be in Georgia early next week, and we need to be in Melbourne, FL by November 12. It appears that we'll be lucky to get to Beaufort, SC by Wednesday next week.

The winds haven't been favorable to go on the outside. On the inside, the tidal currents and the drawbridge schedules have been working against us. Therefore our progress is agonizingly slow. In three days since leaving Oriental, we have traveled only about 100 miles.

If we could have gone on the outside, we would be arriving in Florida about now. What does that say? This is our 6th southward migration. The first 3 times we traveled primarily on the inside because of weather. The 4th and 5th times we were blessed with extra good luck that let us make speedy and comfortable outside passages. Counting on that luck is a sign of being spoiled.

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