Down the ICW to Tangier Island, Virginia

May 1 – 2, 2011

We traveled up out of the Palmilco Sound, down the ICW, and out into the Chesapeake Bay. On the ICW, the cool air and lift bridges that we came upon along the way reminded me of the Erie Canal. We even went through a lock!
A word to the wise, however. The bridges and the lock on this stretch of the ICW are interestingly timed. There are hours during the working week that most bridges are closed, due to heavy traffic. If you are planning on passing through here, I recommend that you do it on the weekend, as the bridges will typically open open upon request on Saturday and Sunday.
As we grew closer to the Chesapeake, more and more buildings and developed areas popped up along the ICW. Near the north end we encountered numbers large tug boats, huge cargo ships, and some military ships as well. Once we’d entered the Chesapeake, the crab traps began dotting the water. They lead us all the way up to our last stay before Annapolis: Tangier Island, VA.

Roanoke Island, North Carolina

We stayed on Roanoke island for our Outer Banks visit. Roanoke Island was one of the first places in North America to be settled by the English. It was first discovered by the British in 1585 by Richard Grenville on a mission organized and financed by Sir Walter Raleigh. When Richard left the island, he left behind several men with the promise of sending settlers soon after.
Here is the Wiki article on the rest of the history of Roanoke:

Elizabeth II

In 1587, Raleigh dispatched another group of 150 colonists to travel to Roanoke and preserve the newly found land of Roanoke. They were led by John White, an artist and friend of Raleigh who had accompanied the previous expeditions to Roanoke….On July 22, 1587, White and his men arrived back at Roanoke and set out on a mission hoping to find the Englishmen that Sir Richard Grenville had left behind the year before. They had found nothing except for what they thought may have been the bones of one of Grenville’s men. On July 23, 1587, White appointed his men to dive off of the North end of the Island in another attempt to find the remains or evidence of Grenville’s men. They were counting on these men to help with the affairs of the new colony, but when all of their efforts turned up nothing, they gave up without hope of ever seeing Grenville’s men living.[1]
On July 30, 1587, White and his men traveled to the neighboring Island of Croatoan in an effort to determine the disposition of the people of that Island and to see if they could find an ally in them. At first, it seemed as though being allies was not an option, but as they began to converse and negotiate fine details of the history of relations between the two Islands, it became apparent that they would be able to trust and rely on one another.[1]
On August 18, White’s daughter Eleanor gave birth to the first English child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare. Before her birth, White re-established relations with the neighboring Croatans and tried to re-establish relations with the tribes that Ralph Lane had attacked a year previously. The aggrieved tribes refused to meet the new colonists. Shortly thereafter, a colonist named George Howe was killed by natives while searching for crabs alone in Albemarle Sound. Knowing what had happened during Ralph Lane’s tenure in
the area and fearing for their lives, the colonists persuaded Governor White to return to England to explain the colony’s situation and ask for help. There were approximately 115 colonists—the 114 remaining men and women who had made the trans-Atlantic passage and the newborn baby, Virginia Dare—when White returned to England.

Because of the continuing war with Spain (Anglo-Spanish War), White was not able to mount another resupply attempt for three more years. He finally gained passage on a privateering expedition that agreed to stop off at Roanoke on the way back from the Caribbean. White landed on August 18, 1590, on his granddaughter’s third birthday, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried. Before he had left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been forced. As there was no cross, White took this to mean they had moved to Croatoan Island, but he was unable to conduct a search. A massive storm was brewing and his men refused to go any further. The next day, they left.

The end of the 1587 colony is unrecorded (leading to it being referred to as the “Lost Colony”), and there are multiple hypotheses as to the fate of the colonists. The principal hypothesis is that they dispersed and were absorbed by either the local Croatan or Hatteras Native Americans, or another Algonquian people; it has yet to be established if they did assimilate with one or other of the native populations.”

Ye Old Pioneer Theater.

We stayed in the town of Manteo, named after early settler’s Croatoan guide. The town is in Dare County, NC, named after the first born British child in the colonies. The town was quiet as most things open up in the summer for the tourist season. The people of Manteo are a pleasant and friendly. Kris and I chatted for a good hour or so with one of the workers at Ye Old Pioneer Theater, an independently owned movie theater that has been in business since 1918. The marina we stayed at was right across the water from the replica of the Elizabeth II, the ship the colonists brought over to the new world. One thing is for certain, Manteo is filled to the brim with history.

More of the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Here a few more photos of our stay by the Outer Banks.

Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

One of my favorite places on the Outer Banks was the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. This historic light house still sends out a guiding beam to sailors at sea. However, it is not in the spot it stood in for decades. The shoreline was slowly creeping up on the lighthouse, and in the 1990s, it was decided that the structure should be relocated. They moved the entire tower, in one piece, 23 miles inland on a rail and cart system. It stands at the equivalent hight of a 12 story building. However, we weren’t able to climb to the top as the high winds at the time were too strong to allow for visitors to climb the tower. It was still a beautiful sight from the ground.

Flying Away: Kitty Hawk, Jockey’s Ridge, and Kite Boarding

The Outer Banks are famous for long beaches, sandy dunes, and…wind. On a nice breezy day you can see kites of all colors and shapes flying up and down the beaches. The ocean is dotted with windsurfers and kite boarders, kits and sails zipping through the air. In this wind swept place, on the desolate dunes, the Wright brothers became the first men to fly on their own power. Here the breath of the skies plays constantly over the ever shifting landscape.

Kris is airborne!

Our first wind adventure brought us to Jockey’s Ridge, the largest dunes on the Banks. It’s here that Kitty Hawk Kites gives hang gliding lessons. Kris took to the skies here a few years ago. Today, however, the gliders were furled and put away, as the winds were gusting up to 45mph. That couldn’t stop Kris from flying his power kite! With the sand stinging our skin, the power kite took to the sky. Kris made several jumps and drags. The kite lifted him up into the air about 9ft at one point. After 20 minutes of flying, Kris put the kite away, his body sore and a smile on was his face. Now that was some crazy flying!

A replica of the Wright brothers\’ first flier.

We headed north to the Wright Brothers Memorial. Here we saw replicas of the brothers’ 1903 glider and 1904 flier. The flier was the first power driven airplane that was successfully flown by man, if only for 12 seconds. We saw the dunes were they flew, now a great grass covered field. The winds were ripping across the land. It was easy to see why the Wright Brothers chose this place to test their airplane, with the steady winds and the wide open spaces.

Kris and the power kite field.

Kris couldn’t get enough of the wind sports, and when he got a chance to take a kite boarding class, he had to take it up. The weather was glorious in the morning when we dropped him off at the Kitty Hawk Kite site, but by noon and wind had died down. Kris had learned everything about flying the kite in the water, but he hadn’t gotten a chance to actually get on the board. Sadly, the actual kite boarding will have to wait for another day. Still, it was an excellent way to round off our wind driven adventures.

The Outer Banks, North Carolina

April 25 – 28, 2011

From Southport we traveled ever northwards to the Outer Banks. After traveling for nearly 24 hours, we stopped in Ocracoke to rest up for the following day’s travels. Ocracoke is a nice little place to stay for a night. A town based chiefly on tourism in the vacationing season, it is filled with boat, bike, scooter, and golf cart rentals, restaurants, fudge and ice cream shops, gift shops, and a small but well stocked grocery store.

Kris jumping off Jockey's Ridge with his Power Kite.

In the morning we traveled further up to Roanoke Island. Pop up scattered storms brewed out on the Pamlico Sound as we traveled, but we made it safely into the marina in Manteo, NC. We’ve been here for the past few days. The first evening here Kris and I went to see The Adjustment Bureau at Ye Old Pioneer Theater in town. Kris and Gary picked up a rental car yesterday and we’ve been exploring the banks. We’ve seen Jockey’s Ridge, Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brother’s Museum, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and more. Tomorrow Kris is going to take a 6 hour kite boarding class. He was inspired by the crazy kite boarders who were out on the water in 30-40mph winds today. They were soaring off the water and 15ft in the air!

Here are a few photos of our adventures thus far. More details to come later!

Little River and Southport, North Carolina

April 21 – 24, 2011

The cyprus swamp.

From Georgetown we traveled up the ICW toward Little River, NC. The stretch of the ICW that we passed through was bordered by a beautiful cyprus swamp. Ospreys nested in the tall trees on out on the channel markers. I posted a few photos of these fishing hawks in a previous post: Down the Intracoastal in South Carolina We traveled more quickly than anticipated and made it to our planned anchorage too early. The tide was down and the entrance too shallow. With several hours of daylight to go, we headed for what appeared to be another good anchorage. Once we got there though, the current was ripping through the little river inlet and neither anchor was holding. Luckily for us there was a restaurant was dockage on the river. Kris pulled into the dock magnificently, despite the strong current that pulled him off to the starboard side. Carol and I assisted from the dock, pulling the bow and stern lines to keep Kris from pulling too far to the right and away from the dock. It was an exciting and exhausting night.

Range marker and signal flag.

The following day we left early to journey up to the Cape Fear area. I’m still not entirely sure why it’s called Cape Fear, but I believe it is because of the numerous shoals in the area, particularly the one that stretches out from the point about 10 miles out into the ocean. Ships unfamiliar with the area would have a hard time safely navigating into the harbor. That is where the town of Southport comes in. For centuries pilot boat captains have been guiding ships through Cape Fear waters and into port. Southport is now a quiet little town, with a few restaurants and shops that do their real business in the vacationing season. The houses around town range from the 19th century to present day. The Southport Marina is a nice place to stay for a few days, with electric, water, showers, laundry, and diesel and gasoline readily available. However, if business is not too booming, you can tie up for free at the Provision Company in town. Docking is limited but the food is quick and good.
We stayed in Southport through most of Easter Sunday. At 5pm we headed out on a 24 hour trip up to the Outer Banks.

Georgetown, South Carolina

April 20, 2011

We said our goodbyes to Charleston and headed out into the Atlantic for a 19 trip to Georgetown, SC. Georgetown seemed like a sleepy old historic town. We walked around for a bit, but nearly everything was closed as we’d arrived at about 6:30pm. Here are a few photos of the trip and the old town.

Southport, North Carolina

April 23, 2011

We are currently tied up at the Southport Marina here in the Cape Fear area. We’ve been in South Port since yesterday and enjoyed a nice gray and drizzly day, a good day to just relax and recoup. Today’s weather is cloudy but warmer. Kris and I plan to check out the festival going on in the town park when we have some time between laundry, cleaning and preparing for the journey to come. Many people are all here on Easter weekend, enjoying their spring break in North Carolina. The place is just packed!
We’ll be here through the night and will leave tomorrow for a long trek up to Roanoke Island. The trip will take several days. I’ll keep you posted when we get there!

Looking Back: Edisto Island and Charleston, South Carolina

April 15 – 19, 2011

On this long stretch of days, my mom came for a boat visit. She arrived Friday night in time to celebrate my birthday with us. She, Kris and I explored Botany Bay the following day and later took Spin for a dingy ride down the marsh creeks. The 17th was a traveling day for the Krasnosky’s as the moved the boat to Charleston and a Mom and me day for my mother and I. We spent the day in Charleston mostly, just meandering down it’s beautiful streets, taking photos and enjoying ourselves. We all wandered Charleston on the 18th. The following day we had to bid my mom goodbye. Kris and I later visited Fort Sumter to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.
It was an extremely eventful week! I’ll let you all view it via the photo gallery:

Looking Back: Trip to Edisto Island, South Carolina

April 14, 2011

Today we left with the tide at 7am. The water and sky had been painted in a pastel rainbow. The water was still in the calm of the morning. Manatee noses and dolphin fins peeked from the surface. Spinny was back out on the deck with me, looking out for her sea going distant cousins.

The boat at the dock.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. By 3pm we had made it to the mouth of the Edisto River Sound. My nerves tingled slightly with excitement. This is the island my family has been coming to for spring break since I was seven, and I get to see it from the ocean instead of simply from shore.

We docked at the Edisto Marina a little ways down the river. Spin made a friend with the dock master’s dog. Kris and I rode the bikes down the tree lined Jungle Road to the Waterfront Restaurant for dinner. It was a longer but lovely ride.

Tomorrow my mom will be heading down to join us here at Edisto. I’m looking forward to her visit as I haven’t seen her in over 2 months!