The Wave Off!
28 October 2011
The trip to Beaufort (pronounce Bo-fort) North Carolina takes at most an hour. However, you do go out near the ocean inlet and the current, wind, number of boaters traveling in and out of the inlet can stress any captain. We managed to find all of the markers and stay in the channel. All went well, or as they say in flying, any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. While entering Taylor Creek to the Beaufort Dock Marina the incredible current from a high tide was sending us down the channel at about 2 knts without us providing any power. We were directed by the dockhand to go past the docking T to turn and the current would push us into the dock so we would need to back down quickly. Merry told Wiley that he should travel not just one dock past the dock we would be going into but 2 since the current was so strong and this would allow for greater control. However, Wiley did not hear her correctly. So this resulted in Merry screaming at Wiley to not turn yet - when it was too late. Poor Wiley! It is difficult to maneuver a boat in these circumstances and he had a screaming wife to add to his stress. The dockhand had selected a dock for us but we were not able to turn into that one but instead Merry was able to throw him some lines (as we entered sideways) he yelled out directions to the captain. The end result was we made it into the dock, generously tipped the dockhand, and began to worry about how we would ever get out of this dock with the strong current. Merry took Wiley to lunch and brews to settle his nerves. We have entered a strong learning curve regarding tides, current, and wind when maneuvering the boat. Sailboats have a mind of their own and adding these elements make it all the more challenging. We are determined to find the best time - slack tide to move the boat to an anchorage outside of the harbor prior to leaving for our next step along the ICW. Slack tide occurs at near the apex of either high or low tide. Now we just need to figure out when that happens.