28 October 2011
We left Oriental crossing the Neuse River to Adam's Creek. We should mention that crossing the Neuse River takes almost an hour; it doesn't look like a river but resembles a really big lake. We successfully entered the channel for Adam's Creek when Wiley (who was at the helm) once again became distracted by the sun in his eyes and Merry reading him her proposed blog entry about Oriental. SURPRISE #1, we ran aground! The air was once again full of "sailor talk". A brief attempt to back off was unsuccessful. Merry saw a large old Chris Craft named Navigator approaching the entrance to the creek and called on the radio requesting assistance. He generously offered to help and approached the area to pull us off. We requested that he proceed with caution so that he too would not go aground. We decided that Wiley would row a line out from our stern in Dimples to pull us off. Meanwhile, a SeaTow boat showed up and asked us if we would like his help. However, we do not carry SeaTow insurance so refused his services, as it would be very expensive. He commented that we should not have the other boat pull us off by our stern because we could break our rudder. This sent Merry into a tizzy as Wiley was currently in the process of rowing the line out to Navigator. Navigator began to pull us off, without much success, and with Merry yelling at Wiley about the possibility of breaking the rudder while trying to keep the line from pushing against the outboard (used for Dimples) mounted on the back of the boat. Finally, Wiley called Navigator off and Merry once again called Boat U.S. There was quite a bit of wave action against the boat and with the movement caused by the pulling of Navigator - SURPRISE #2 - we floated off! We were able to call Boat US and decline their help and we were once again off down Adam's Creek. However, Wiley's pride and confidence was damaged and so we followed other sailboats - Persistance and Celeste down the channel. Celeste, a 25 foot sailboat, single handed by a fellow from Maui sailed wing on wing down the channel. We admired the beautiful homes along Adam's Creek and really felt that we were definitely in the south as we noted that many of the homeowners had planted Palm trees. We also noted the damage from Hurricane Irene was obvious; boarded windows, roofs with tarps, and docks with missing boards. We felt that we were flying down the creek and noted that we were maintaining 7.2 knots with the wind and current behind us. We soon passed mile marker 195 of the ICW. Around noon, the greatest surprise, SURPRISE #3 happened. We saw approximately a dozen dolphins swimming along in the Creek. We had been hoping to see one and to finally see not only one but pods of dolphins made our day. We continued our attempt to navigate through to Morehead City Yacht Basin and realized that we had gone past the marker we should turn at. We called them on the radio and were redirected. When we entered this marina we were impressed by all of the large - million dollar fishing boats. This area is known for big game fishing and our little sailboat looked like their dinghy when we pulled into the dock. We were able to spend the afternoon and evening enjoying Morehead City. We sat on a floating dock drinking our sundowners and watching a blue heron across on an island while Wiley continued to lament about going aground. it is going to take time for him to heal from this traumatic event and yet most likely it will not be the last time we go aground. As we were sailing along to Morehead City we heard of another boat calling Boat US. A fellow sailor from the vessel Kittyhawk says that there are three kinds of sailors that travel the ICW, those that are aground, those that are about to go aground and those that lie about never going aground. We planned to take on the challenge of going to Beaufort tomorrow even though we know that there are strong currents in this area. We sought a lot of advice from other sailors in Morehead City and also learned of a new online, resource - Active Captain We don't want to miss the opportunity to spend time in the beautiful city of Beaufort.