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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Oops Aground again
High 37 with a windchill of 31. Low in the 20s tonight. Winds NNW 10-25 gusts of 35 (supposed to die down over night)
11/18/2008, Cedar Creek Anchorage/Adams Creek, N.C. (N34*55.972, W076*38.707) to Swansboro, N.C. (N34*41.135, W077*07.119) Anchorage

A pic of me after the snow melted - don't I look happy?

What a day of dichotomies! It started out cold, then in Core Creek we had our first dolphin sighting! Dolphin must be crazy - it's ccccoldddd.... There were actually 3 of them that must have come in from the ocean inlet. It was very nice to see them and made me think that it was a bit warmer than it felt - after all DOLPHINS! It must be getting warmer! Two hours later we were frozen by the cold northerly winds, then pelted with sleet, then I was navigating by my depth sounder and chart plotter because we had a whiteout. SNOW FLURRIES! Hey Gary (our favorite mechanic)? If you're reading this - we told you so... The cold is following us down to Florida this year LOL. Seriously though the snow covered our dodger window and I couldn't see through it and Wayne said that half of me was white (covered in snow). He didn't think to get a picture of me until it was all melted, then I was wet standing in the sub-freezing winds.

We saw a couple pods of dolphins later in the day and there were a couple very small ones with the others - it was so cool to see them. I tried to get pictures but they kept going underwater and getting further away. One time when I as following my route scanning the water for debris and deadheads (submerged logs) one had come up and gone directly under the bow of the boat scaring me to death. I thought I was about to hit a log then it clicked "dolphin" and I was worried about running over it. Wayne laughed at me and I realized "duh - no way"...

Then a snow flurry again, briefly, and we were cruising along following the channel pretty good when I looked down and saw 3.5 feet, "thunk"... Shit! We ran aground IN the channel, and this wasn't supposed to be one of the danger spots to look for. I looked around to make sure I was still in the channel because we just passed a green buoy and were coming up on a red one. We were, so I tried nosing to the right more - no go. I shifted to neutral and felt the wind pushing me more to the left, then nada. In looking around, I noticed all the sandbars, and houses on sand and decided that with the winds and waves, a new shoal had formed. Time to call TowBoat US again... TowBoat US, Tow Boat US, this is the Sailing Vessel Kolibrie, Over. Yes Kolibrie, this is Tow Boat US, how can I help you? Yes, we've run aground between buoys G35 and R36. Okay - I'll be there in 10 minutes... Time to make some hot chocolate... When he got there, he said I don't mean to insult your intelligence but you were probably blown off the course by the strong winds. I said, no - I'm in the channel. He said if you look behind you when you're going you'll see... That I'm in the channel? Um... yes, must have shoaled in I guess. Yes, thank you. He had us towed off and thanked us and we continued on to Swansboro to anchor for the night. We asked him about any further problems heading to the anchorage and he said nope - just stay in the channel... yep - right...

We were both frozen to the bone and opened the Drambui that mom bought Wayne 15 years ago that was aged 15 years before that. It warmed me all the way down and between that and the left over beef pie I'd made the night before, by the time I called it a night - the chill was gone from the bones.

On a side note - we have cell coverage again! Picked up all the messages - Hi Nate & Allie, and returned the calls. It's amazing how disconnected you feel just knowing that you can't just pick up the phone to call anyone. Don't know how long the coverage will last, but it's good to know it's there again!

Good bye Oriental...
Sunny, 55 degrees Winds 5-10mph
11/17/2008, From Deatons, Oriental Whittaker Creek, N.C. to Adams Creek Anchorage

Man it was cold last night. It went down to 34 so needless to say we went to bed in sweatshirts, jeans, and socks and had 3 coverings over us. The weather man is predicting a low tonight of 28... I can't believe that we stayed in Oriental 11 days - wow... After we got up and had our morning coffee, we topped up the water, got a pump out, said a sad (on my part) farewell to Linda and Cat's Cradle and took off for Adams Creek. It was tight getting out because Sail Craft had boats double rafted into the creek so we couldn't turn the boat around. One of the guys at the boatyard backed it out and then into the lift area (where we got a pump out). Today was a short hop day - perfect day to cross the Neuse River and get our feet wet again (so to speak)? We went a total of 6-7 miles because with our later start figured we couldn't do a 50-mile day so tomorrow will be around 44 miles depending on if we can stop somewhere else or not. Wayne wants to put in at Spooner Creek but the entrance has been shoaling so we may not be able to. So we're planning on going further to Swansboro in case we cant get into Spooners. It looks like anchorages are not so abundant anymore (unless you have shallow draft boats) until we get to S. Carolina so we'll probably be doing short, long, short, long days (alternating).

I can't believe it's a month and a half to Christmas. We're going to have to start making some serious time to make the gam in Florida at the beginning of December. Something tells me we may not be making this one either depending on the weather, etc... It may not have been meant to be this year. This is a small anchorage right off the ICW path with a few homes scattered around the little inlet and shrimp boats. I saw a water snake when we came in, but couldn't get a picture of it. By the time we got anchored it was nowhere to be seen, but I kept looking for it! It's the first time I saw one in the water - very cool.

Still working on the boat
11/16/2008

Okay - this is what Gary looks like and for those interested - I've added new pictures to the website - Trying a new format - let me know what you think...

Yuk - what a rainy day. Everything's wet and soggy. I must have emptied 5 buckets of water near the mast last night. It's been a quiet day around the service yard. Worked on odds & ends on the boat, plotted routes for the next 6 days and went through the Cruiser's network trying to mark down all the trouble spots along the way in North Carolina. I stopped before reaching South Carolina figuring a week was all I could handle right now. This is one of those times I wish we'd have brought a printer so I could print them out! I'm wondering what they charge to haul out the boat and store it for hurricane season here - I'd like to come back!

Pete showed up with the antenna/GPS unit around 5pm and once we plugged it in, it worked like a charm... Thanks Pete - you're a lifesaver!

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