Through the canal

Where were we? So we left Portsmouth in Virginia, and due to winter and the North Eastern storm that was active exactly this week, we chose to not sail on the ocean side in the area of the notorious Cape Hatteras. Instead, we prepared ourselves for 3-4 days of canal motoring. Something we didn't look too much forward to to be honest. I've mentioned before that our prop is too small for this boat and the engine doesn't have its own room but is installed under the saloon table/cover so really it feels like it makes more sound than actual progress. Thanks to wind from behind and mostly flat water, we managed to average approx. 5.8 knots throughout the canal trip so not too shabby after all.

Going through the Intracoastal Waterway as the canal system is called (which by the way goes through the whole East Coast of America) you will have to pass several bridges. Some of which are fixed at 65 ft (our mast is 63 something), some are lower but open on either request or on a particular schedule.
The canal also have locks.
I am sure this part of the trip would be much more enjoyable in the summer (as would by the way any part of the journey). Now you probably don't know Alex well enough to know this about him, but he has a very.... how should I put it.... French mood. Which means that if there is something to complain about, be sure your brain will get notified. Every 30 seconds. He is a walking paradox in many ways like many other of us human beings. I have never seen anyone deal with emergencies and life threatening events in such an efficient and focused way without raising one eyebrow, but emotional stress that could come from banal things such as ... too much marmalade on his toast, can totally get him off balance.

He gets shit done like no other and has an extreme determination, but he can't for his life write or follow a to-do-list (which by the way are my favorite things to write in the world). He is untouchable in many ways and can make a living out of anything anywhere, but he gets depressed and miserable if it's raining for too long. So you can only imagine how peaceful, harmonic and comfortable this part of the trip was, for us both of us in different ways, as it was raining 24/7. No leaves left on the trees, no visible life or wildlife to count on. And pretty much grey, dark, wet and cold for 3,5 days at end. Add to that the annoyance of the engine..

I think anyone that know me would say that I was born an optimist (sometimes too optimistic perhaps) and I can deal with anything that come my way. I could complain for a little while if I really needed to, but I never let it take more than a few minutes before I get over myself and accept and deal with what the universe has thrown at me. Alex on the other hand, seem to think that situations will change to the better if only he complains enough. Or if everyone around him feel the magnitude of his pain.

And don't you even dare to mention that you actually find a sort of beauty in the raw darkness of a cold winter landscape, because that's when the crying starts for real. Ha! I am exaggerating now but you get the point.

It has clearly taken me a few years to learn to accept the extreme opposite of my innate optimism, the sensitive pessimistic nature of my beloved Frenchman, and today I can finally laugh about it. When he's not around, of course ;) It takes a lot of practice, patience and even self confidence to not always wanting/trying to change people so they suit your personality, and instead accept that you simply were born differently. Don't you think?
Just another bridge on another rainy day.
Bought this thing on the farmers market in Portsmouth, can't remember the name of it now but it was a relative to the bok choy. Anyone knows?
Used it in many different meals, like this one. Sprouted beans with vegetables, turmeric and coconut milk.
Another meal while we're at it: Steamed rice with meatless crumbles which tastes so much like chicken when prepared with red pepper, red curry paste and coconut milk.
Cold dot com.
Stir fried cabbage with sprouted beans and a tomato salad. Plenty proteins..
"Is it over yet!"
Crossing the Pamlico River with a good breeze which gave us an opportunity to switch the engine off for some time.
The low pressure system had finally dissipated as we arrived to the other side of the river.
Swedish Christmas feeling with wonderful thin gingerbread from Anna's.
The hair that got washed approx. every seventh day over that month it took us to sail from Boston to Miami.
More of the green stuff, as well as more of the meatless crumbles, served with steamed rice. Have to try and find a non-gmo verified version of the crumble thing.
What a difference a few miles make. So much greener the closer to Morehead City we got.
Dolphins in the canal.
And more army helicopters. Felt good being near the ocean and blue water again. We stayed one night in Morehead City in a very friendly marina called Portside Marina, before we jumped out into the ocean and a two day sail to Georgia.

The last part of that wintery East Coast trip coming up here shortly ..... let me just say we are both very happy that we are back in the sun. Both the boat and the bike is now with us here in Florida and it seems this new year will be filled with much less cold rain than the previous. High five on that!