05/27/2010, Pungo River, North Carolina
May 24th, 2010 Oriental to Pungo River, NC
05/23/2010, Oriental, NC
We debated about leaving Oriental this morning. The skis were black to the east and we could see white caps out on the Neuse. But there was no serious showing up within 16 miles on the radar so even though it was sprinkling, we weighed anchor at about 6:30 and heading north east.
The wind picked up as we approached the Pamlico Sound making things rolley but not uncomfortable...3 footers with the occasional 6. We waited for a tug pushing two barges before entering the Hobucken Cut that leads to Goose Creek. It was calm there but we knew that when we left the creek we'd get blasted.
Sure enough we had 25 knots on the nose as we crossed the Pamlico River. It's was only about an hour run until we were far enough in the Pungo to get some protection. As we motor-sailed north there was a call to the Coast Guard that an older Hispanic fisherman had gone overboard had didn't come up. It happened just behind us, a little upstream on the Pamlico. There was radio traffic all afternoon but no mention of finding the guy.
At about 3 p.m. we arrived at our anchorage on the Pungo just beyond the junction of the canal. For those traveling this way and need a good stop this is it, with protection from all directions except south.
We read for a while and I baked some chicken thighs which we had with biscuits, gravy and salad.
May 23, 2010 Oriental, N.C.
05/23/2010, Oriental, NC
We had coffee, had our fill of internet, took showers and headed in to town. We visited with Kim and Steve for a while and then went out for lunch. I don't believe any work was done today-yeah! After lunch, the boys went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and we chatted for a while longer and then went back to the boat. There were some rain showers and thunder in the distance, but no big storms here.
When we got back to the boat we read, and took naps and relaxed. We plan to head out early in the morning to head for the dreaded Alligator-Pungo Canal. We considered the Ocracoke/Roanoke route because it's more fun, but with winds from the north coming up, it seemed like a bad plan.
The area of North Carolina we are heading for has notoriously bad cell phone coverage, as well as lots of swamp land, so we may be out of touch for a few days.
May 21st, 2010 South River to Oriental, NC
The morning was still. Not a whisper of wind and our cockpit was full of bugs. We shooed enough of them away to have coffee out there but it was still buggy. At about 9 we weighed anchor and motored across the Neusse to Oriental and found room to anchor off the marina.
We had a tough time getting our anchor to set, but after four tries it seemed to be holding a little. There is good protection here except for the SE so hopefully the wind with stay our of that quadrant.
Steve and Kim were heading out for lunch but we begged off, needing to stay aboard a while to insure that our anchor was going to hold.
It was still reasonably calm so we decided to work on teak. We hadn't touched it all winter....it's always too windy in the Bahamas, and it needed some attention. I sanded out all the areas that were starting to look bad and then hit them with a coat of Cetol. Then after that had tacked, we applied a coat of gloss to everything. By then the afternoon was mostly over and we were expected at Steve and Kim's for dinner.
At some point in the last week or two I mentioned that I really wanted a good steak. Steve had been shopping and found some nice rib eyes for tonight's meal. We went over to watch them cook at about 5 p.m.
We had steak, mushroom sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed corn with grape tomatoes and basil, and some good bread with olive oil.
We had a great time but were both tired and returned to the boat well before dark.
May 22nd, 2010
After coffee I went over to visit with David and Peg on "Journey" who had anchored near us yesterday. Then Kim called for my help moving their outboard to shore. We lowered their motor into the dinghy and we headed over to the dinghy dock to off load. Then, with our empty propane tanks and outboard we took off for Bayboro down the road. As we approach the marine store where we planned to drop off the outboard, the battery light on Steve's Mercedes came on the air conditioner quit and then we lost power steering. It was obviously the serpentine belt.
We pulled in the marine store and opened the hood to verify...we were right. He had replaced the belt and tensioner 1000 miles ago but it was shredded. The Mercedes place was closed so there was nothing to do but call Kim to borrow a truck and come pick us up...leaving the car there for the weekend to be towed on Monday.
Kim showed up shortly and we continued on into New Bern to rent a car and find another place to have the outboard tuned up. (The first place wouldn't work on Mercury's)
With all that accomplished, we drove back to Oriental getting our propane tanks filled at the hardware.
By then we were all hungry, so I dinghied out to pick up Kathy and some dirty clothes she was going to wash at the condo. On the way we decided to walk downtown to purchase some shrimp from the stand across the street from the seafood company.
I took them back to the boat while Kathy started laundry. Then we walked back to the marina for a nice lunch. Just as we were finishing up lunch, "Black Swan", a boat we had met in Staniel Cay, entered the harbor. Steve borrowed a VHF from Ross, the harbormaster, and gave him a call. He also got them a free slip on the outside of the dock if he wanted it.
As it turns out ,Steve from Black Swan was single-handing his boat back to Maine and after getting docked, he promised to join us for cocktails later in the day.
Kathy returned to finish laundry and do some shopping with Kim while I spent the afternoon topping off our water and fuel tanks.
At 4:30 we met back at the condo for snacks. Steve, Kim and Steve were going out to dinner but we returned to the boat where I poached some shrimp...they were excellent. When you can find shrimp right off the boat they are so much better.