Swansboro Town ParkKeith, nice morning
After it got light I took the dogs for a long walk to explore the town. Like Oriental, there are many historic houses, most with signs telling when the house was built and who it originally belonged to. There are houses here from the late 1700s, 1800s and early 1900's. I'm starting to identify the styles from those periods. They have built a wonderful park along the water, depicted in the above photograph. I've seen numerous parents with their children fishing from both the town park docks and the town dingy docks. Fishing off docks seems to be a popular leisure time activity all around these parts. I haven't obtained a rod yet. I don't care to kill anything, except sometimes in court, and I'm even holding off on that presently. I like certain sea food, but prefer to buy it already gutted and cooked. Maybe that will change as I spend more time on the coast.
Sunset In Swansboro, NCKeith, beautiful
07/29/2008, This picture is taken through a screened porthole
I'm learning how current affects cruising. For several miles the current was with us yesterday and the speed over ground was 1.5 knots higher than the speed through the water. Then it gradually changed to the opposite, then after passing Bogue Inlet, it changed opposite again so that I was going over 7 knots over ground as I approached Swansboro. I powered down and was stiill moving over 2 knots over ground. When I arrived at the anchorage I turned facing the current, dialed up just enough power to inch forward, and set the autopilot. It kept us perfectly straight until I had the anchor down and could complete the power down so we would drift back and set the anchor. By golly it worked. I played out extra chain to account for the current and we held fast. Dropped the dingy, headed into town with the dogs, and picked up a great fried flounder, chowder, hush puppy, and french fry dinner. Even after putting some extra in the dogs dishes, I've got leftovers. Going to stick around here today to get a few things done. I've got excellent internet connection and phone service, the town seems quaint but full-service, the weather is nice, and we have a sweet spot right off the town dingy dock. We tried sleeping in the cockpit last night as the town lights were so soothing and the cool breeze so nice. I think we will be doing a lot more of that. I awoke at some point and finished my sleep in my cabin, but the dogs stayed outside and didn't want to come in in spite of my urging. Jake has adopted the port side gunnel of the boat as his spot. He lodges himself against the lifelines and even sleeps out there on the edge. It worries me but he really likes it out there and seems perfectly at ease. I wouldn't let him do it while moving, but at anchorage, I let them roam the boat a bit more. The light is starting to come up here and it is very peaceful. The dogs are both still sound asleep. Their fur gets damp out there at night, but they don't seem to mind a bit.
Thank Goodness We're Out Of ThatKeith, sunny and warm/hot
07/29/2008, Beaufort Inlet
I have a number of pictures from yesterday, but this one seems to stick out at me. Anne breathes a sigh of relief to be out of the Atlantic swell on the way back from Cape Lookout. I was seriously surprised nothing broke on that run. Now I know how it is important to stow everything before an ocean passage, especially one lasting more than a few hours. I have to say I never felt in danger out there. The Catalina 36 feels strong and it takes the seas well. My only regret is that I couldn't put up the sails because the wind was against us. I think the motion would have been smoother, and quieter. It is a totally different thing sailing in the open ocean and motoring through the calms of the intercoastal waterway. When I was out there I wanted to continue and make it an ocean passage but the dogs had had enough of open ocean for the day. The cruise from Cape Lookout to our present location (Swansboro, NC) was about 35 miles. Of that we sailed without the motor about 10 and motorsailed about 15. The other 10 was pure motoring. After leaving Beaufort and Morehead City behind, it was a beautiful cruise in sunny weather along the 17 mile Bogue Sound. Winds were about 10 ahead and sometimes on the beam enough to roll out the foresail. I had to keep a close eye on the depth meter as the ICW channel is the only navigable waterway though the sound. The rest of it is too shallow for a cruising sailboat. It is easy to lose the underwater channel if one is not paying attention. There was at least one point in the day when my depth meter read 0.0, but I didn't get stuck thankfully. I'm amazed that the huge barges don't ground.
What A DayKeith, beautiful summer sunset
07/28/2008, Swanboro, NC
Awoke this morning to rain and battoning up the hatches. It cleared and I took the dogs to the beach. We walked for a while and then headed back to Tropical Dreamer, I fed the dogs breakfast, and we headed off. We sailed to the inlet and then encounted really strong swells on the Atlantic. I tied the dock lines to the dogs in case they were thrown overboard by the waves. Forfunately, nobody got hurt and we made it through the Beaufort Inlet via sail. Seeing no reason to hang out in Beaufort any longer, we set sail for points southward, cruisinin Bogle Sound (I think that's how its spelled) for some 18 miles until tonight's anchorage. More about that later but I want to get the dingy down and the dogs to shore before the sun goes down. This was a great day of cruising.
We Dingy To The LighthouseKeith, getting windy
07/27/2008, Cape Lookout Anchorage
After waking up and taking the dogs to shore to do their thing, and after making a nice egg, cheese, and lenders bagel breakfast for myself and the dogs, we headed out across the harbor to the lighthouse. I should have taken the dogs' life jackets and the handheld VHF radio and some other things, but we still made it without sinking. I enjoyed the museum made from the assistant lighthouse keepers' quarters and there were surfers on the Atlantic side riding the nice waves. We got soaked heading back to the boat, but we made it so I shouldn't complain. The wind has picked up considerably so I've got the wind turbine going. It does best in stronger winds. Most of the boats have left this anchorage - only about 10% of the boats here yesterday remain. Folks need to get back to work tomorrow, evidently. I've admittedly been having some trouble adjusting to the cruising life. This freedonm is new to me and requires getting used to. Stronger weather like that coming on tonight actually helps to give me something to focus on. The wind generator works fine in heavy wind. It produces so much power that it shuts itself off whent the batteries are fully charged. When it comes to charging, the heart charger (powered by the engine) goes off first at about 13.2 volts, then the solar at about 14.1 volts, then the wind gen at about 14.2 volts. It just went off now. When the wind turbine goes off, you know the batteries are completely charged.
Terryaki Chicken and TortillasKeith, a light rain is coming through after dinner tonight
07/26/2008, Cape Lookout Anchorage
Afternoon Walk Along The Beach At Cape Lookout AnchorageKeith, sunny and warm
Heading Out Beaufort Inlet To the AtlanticKeith, sunny and clear
The land we anchored near last night is called Carrot Island. There are wild horses there brought by the spanish hundreds of years ago. No horse sightings, but we did find evidence of their presence. Jake has taken to jumping out of the dingy when he thinks he's near enough to shore to swim. He pretty much swam from the sailboat to the beach this morning and Anne and I followed him. We walked around for a bit but it was getting hot already and the weather was perfect and I wanted to get going while the going was good. 15 minutes later we were off to tonight's anchorage at Cape Lookout. To get here we traveled out the Beaufort inlet into the Atlantic and then along the coast for 10 miles to the inlet. It was an uneventful cruise, except for the rocking caused by all the powerboats exiting the inlet. I lost my good 1 gallon gas tank that I keep on the dingy when a particularly big set of wakes hit us. I have another one, but it isn't as good as the one that went overboard. I probably should have turned around and retrieved it, but I didn't know if it was going to get worse and just stayed my course out the inlet. It was a bit overwhelming when I started feeling the swell of the open Atlantic, but Tropical Dreamer handles it excellently and just cruises along. I put out the jenny sail (that's the foward sail - the big one) but of course the wind was coming from the direction I was headed, so I powered all the way here. It is a beautiful area, almost completely sheltered harbor. There are tons of boats here, but the harbor is probably two miles in each direction so there's plenty of room. A lot of people will be gone by sunset. Soon Jake and Anne and I will go on a long walk along the beach to the lighthouse and museum across the way. Then perhaps an afternoon nap. I can't believe I get internet here. It's pretty far from town.
A Chance Encounter With New FriendsKeith, beautiful evening
07/26/2008, Front Street anchorage, Beaufort, NC
I was hanging out on the boat enjoying the sunset when I noticed the kid with the Catalina 25 trying to push her off the beach to no avail. I got in my dingy to help but it was too late, the little sailboat was careened on its side and wasn't going anywhere until the tide came back up. I was chatting with the guy when his friend was dropped off from a passing boat wearing a backpack and toting a cooler. The three of us sat around talking and wound up becoming friends. I brought the dogs to the beach and they had a ball playing with their new dog friend. It was one of those beach nights where the air is cool and comfortable and the water feels perfect. We wound up having a few beers and watching the sunset while sitting on their grounded, tilted-over sailboat. The beach was all sand and there were no waves, so it the boat was perfectly safe. It felt like when you're all heeled over from sailing hard but frozen in the moment with no movement. Turns out those "kids" are marine fighter pilots 1/2 way through training. They fly harrier jump jets. You wouldn't have known it from their kind demeanor. Later in the evening we took Little Dreamer across the waterway to the Boat House, a waterside bar/restaurant, where a live band was playing along the water. It seemed that all the cruisers and other boat people in town were there. It was really festive. By the time I dropped the marines off at their boat, it was almost floating again. When I awoke at 9:00 a.m. to a sunny morning today, they were gone. Didn't even get an e-mail. It seems we make friends almost everywhere we go while cruising, but then we part to go on with the adventure. I look forward to meeting up with someone I met previously on this or another cruise, like meeting an old friend along the way.
Singer Family Adventures
[ Contents ]